Many popular American websites like Google, Facebook, WordPress, NY Times, Wikipedia, Twitter, and Instagram cannot be accessed in China. However, you can still access Google services such as Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Duo, Google Meet, and other websites if you are in China.
If you are traveling to China, accessing Google is quite important. It’s noteworthy to highlight the rocky history between the gigantic internet search engine and the People’s Republic of China. It was nothing short of a tense relationship until Google shut down its business there more than a decade ago.
There are other internet search engine alternatives available in China. However, these alternatives do not return results from Western and European Countries. So if you’re taking a trip to China or other countries with tough internet restrictions, you need to prepare well ahead in order to maintain unrestricted access to these popular websites that have become part of our daily lives.
The good news is that there’s an easy way to navigate the Google restriction in China. The solution is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). There are two key reasons to use a good VPN service in China.
- Bypass the Chinese government censorship
- Protect yourself from Chinese government surveillance
It’s important to know that not all VPNs are capable to bypass the Great Firewall of China. However, we recommend NordVPN.
If you’re traveling to China, it’s also important to know that you need to download and install your VPN before leaving your country.
Quick Overview: How to Access Google from China
- Find a VPN that works in China. We suggest NordVPN.
- Download, install and connect the VPN before you arrive in China
- Access Google in China
Why You Need a VPN to Gain Access to Google in China
The Chinese government is well known for its internet censorship especially targeting internet businesses originating from Western and European nations. Most Google products and services are banned in China. The censorship machine is called the Great Firewall of China.
The Great Firewall of China (GFW) is a mix of sophisticated technologies and legislation created in the 1990s and enforced by the People’s Republic of China to regulate internet access in China – but not Hong Kong or Macau which are China’s Special Administrative Regions.
The firewall is the largest surveillance and censorship system in the world. You need to connect to a foreign server to bypass this firewall.
Before we discuss how to bypass this firewall, let’s understand how a VPN works and how they bypass internet restrictions like the one in China.
Using a VPN to Gain Access to Google in China
First, VPN encrypts data and creates a safe channel to enable secure travel of this encrypted data. This data encryption procedure protects your information from malicious users and government surveillance apparatus.
Without a VPN, your data goes through your internet service provider (ISP). But with a VPN, your data goes through secure servers run by the service provider of the VPN. The difference here is that internet service providers follow government internet laws and restrictions whereas virtual private networks (VPNs) are not bound by these government internet laws and restrictions.
This protection mechanism allows VPN service providers to mask your true IP information hereby allowing you to access restricted websites like Google.
Over the years, China has increasingly cracked down on VPN service providers. They have also increased their surveillance and continuously expanded their internet censorship. Some VPN encryption protocols are restricted by the Chinese Great Firewall. So these VPNs do not work in China. The country also regularly investigates VPNs using deep packet inspection.
NordVPN is well known to bypass the Chinese Great Firewall with its obfuscated servers. These obfuscated servers are specially designed to assist users to connect from heavily restricted countries like China. It is necessary to keep in mind that you MUST download your VPN prior to your trip to these locations, as these VPN web sites are definitely blocked in these restricted areas.
So how do you connect to NordVPN from within China? Follow our step-by-step guide below.
How to Use a VPN to Access Google in China
- Open up the NordVPN software on your computer – Look for the specialty servers (used for connecting in China).
- Go to your Advanced Settings – You can locate this by clicking on Settings in the top left corner. Then go to the left-hand side of the screen and look for Advanced Options. Go to the Obfuscated Servers. Then click the Switch button to turn it on. When it’s on, the button will turn blue.
- Return to the Servers screen – You should now have an option to choose from a selection of countries with Obfuscated Servers. For the fastest speeds, we recommend selecting a server that is located close to China, such as Singapore.
It’s simple to switch over off the Obfuscated Servers switch if you desire to attach to one of the normal servers outside of China. Simply return to your Advanced settings and click the “off” button.
It’s practically impossible to access popular websites like Google without a VPN in China. The Great Firewall of China is sophisticated and difficult to bypass even with basic VPNs. With a reputable VPN like NordVPN, users can use Obfuscated Servers to bypass China’s internet censorship.
The Chinese government is working tirelessly to restrict VPNs. NordVPN is reliable, readily available, and verified to work in China. If you have issues accessing restricted websites in the country even when using the Obfuscated Server, the NordVPN customer service can help you stay online with no issues any time of the day.
You can access the Google websites, products, and services with NordVPN without been under surveillance or blocked by the Great Firewall of China.
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