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Using a VPN service in China

Updated on April 10, 2011

Background

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that allows two (or more) computers, that are not in the physical vicinity of each other, to be able to connect and communicate with each other securely. This private connection typically happens "over" an existing public connection, like internet, without the need for dedicated lines between these two computers.

One advantage of such connection is it's ability to hide the online activity of a person, by hiding the IP address of the connecting computer. The only IP address visible to any monitoring third-party is the VPN server's IP, which may well be located in a different country.

A VPN can be very useful to people living or visiting countries like China. China's online censorship laws are well known. Not only are many popular email and social sites banned there, but so are many sites that have content discussing anything that is politically sensitive in China. Media sites, websites of organizations tracking human right violations, are few examples.

Now China is the world's most populous country, with about one-fifth the world's population residing there. It is only natural that many of these people would want to see, know, and take part in online activities that the rest of the world does - without inhibition or fear of repercussions. And therein lies the need, and market, for a VPN in China.

People living in China, or those visiting temporarily, can use China VPN to not only access websites of personal interest like movie or video sites, but also to connect with people across the world using anonymous web-based email services or social networking platforms. With VPN service in China, people there can also read about news that interest them, or take part in online discussions, without fear of government retribution.

In short, China VPN has the potential to transform more than a billion people from being passive recipients of government-censored version of truth, to active pursuers of truth, as well as become contributors to it.

While free proxy servers can sometimes achieve similar results, more often than not, strong firewalls such as those in China, can prevent this type of connection, or at the very least, slow it down to death. A VPN can bypass that disadvantage, as the firewall can only "see" a computer's connection to the remote VPN server, but cannot "see" the remote server interacting with rest of the web on the computer's behalf. Additionally, a VPN is much more secure solution, as the data transmitted between a computer and the server is always encrypted.

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      Belinda 

      7 years ago

      Maddison thanks for the informative hub. I have always found it a bit difficult to grasp the concept of a VPN but with your explanations and parallel examples I now understand, thanks!

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