Youku proxy server
However, what happens when we want to access the network that exists within the Great Firewall? This article is intended for people who for whatever reason want to access websites located in China without any type of restrictions.
Summary of the article
Below is a summary of what this article talks about and the conclusions we reach. If you want more information, just read the section you are interested in.
- Problem: Browsing Chinese websites outside of the country is extremely slow and some content is restricted (for examples videos on Youku, Tudou, Sohu and LeTV)
- Reason: The Great Firewall and geographic restrictions (copyright laws)
- The best way to resolve this: A VPN with a server in China
- Who do we recommend use a VPN with a server in China?: People of Chinese origin who live outside of the country, Mandarin students and people who due to their job or for other reasons need to do research on China.
Accessing Chinese websites from outside of China
Before moving to China, I would hear my Chinese friends complain about how slow the internet was in Spain, and as naive as I was, I though that while there were a few websites blocked in China, the internet was very fast. When I got to China and it took me 10 minutes to open my email, I was truly deceived. But why does this happen?
“The Internet has two internets: one is the internet and the other is the Chinanet.”
Basically, what Michael is referring to is that the Great Firewall of China has isolated the Chinese internet in such a way that any connection from one side to the other becomes complicated and as a result, extremely slow. On a practical level, this means that when my Chinese friend who lived in Spain tried to read his email on 163.com (Chinese Gmail), he would grow desperate when it took him ten minutes to access every email, just like what happened to me when I tried to access my email from within China.
For whatever reason, if you normally visit Chinese websites, you will already know that the enormous exercise of patience is added to yet another problem: geographic restrictions. Just like when you try to watch your favorite Netflix or television series online outside of your country, there is a lot of content restricted outside of China. The most prominent examples of this content are videos on Youku, Tudou, Sohu, LeTV and other websites or music on Baidu Yinyue.
How to browse the Chinese web and unblock websites such as Youku, Tudou, Sohu or LeTV
To avoid geographic restrictions or to simply save yourself from eternal loading time and errors when visiting websites hosted on Chinese servers, there are several solutions. The most popular ones are proxies, Tor or VPNs. However, I always recommend using VPNs, especially if you’re not an internet expert (click on the previous link to find out why).
The main problem is that the majority of the best VPN providers, such as ExpressVPN or VyprVPN, don’t have servers in mainland China. While a solution may be to connect to the servers they have in Hong Kong, which substantially improves speed, servers in Hong Kong don’t allow you to get around geographic restrictions, as Hong Kong is outside of the “Chinanet.”
But all is not lost….
The best VPN with a server in China
Over the past months, I have been looking for and testing numerous VPNs with servers in China, and for the moment, I have only been able to find one VPN provider that offers guarantees of service and guarantees that its servers in China work adequately. I’m talking about Hide My Ass.
While I will continue to search until I find at least three providers to choose from, without a doubt, Hide My Ass is the best option today.