Using a commercial VPN is the easiest method. However, even when using a VPN you’ll have to experiment with the settings to get a good connection. The Chinese Firewall changes daily so it will be a ongoing project.
However, if a commercial VPN doesn’t work for you, you may want to host your own VPN or Shadowsocks sever. You must install the sever software on a rented VPS (virtual private server). Many people rent a VPS from DigitalOcean or Vultr to do this (more details in the article below).
Commercial VPN Providers That Can Bypass The Firewall
- VPN.AC: This small provider has services has many optimization for Chinese users (including the ability to make OpenVPN traffic appear as normal SSL traffic). They have three servers in Hong Kong, one in Singapore. These server have peering with China Telecom and China Unicom. Doesn’t work for Netflix and tend to be slower than ExpressVPN.
- ExpressVPN: This provider has fast connections to China. I recommend using their servers in Hong Kong and Taiwan for the fastest connetions. They have a 30 days “no quibble” money-back offer. They accept these forms of payment — Paypal, major credit cards, Bitcoin, Unionpay, Alipay, Webmoney and CashU.
Software that Makes It Easier to Install a VPN on a VPS
Here a list of open source software that helps facilitate the installation of a VPN on a VPS.
The Outline suite also includes client software that connects to the Outline server. The client is available for these platforms: Mac OS, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS and Android.
Streisand is a open-source project that allows you to set-up and deploy your own VPN server with the minimum possible fuss.
An alternative to Streisand is Algo VPN. It is described as “a set of Ansible scripts that simplify the setup of a personal IPSEC VPN.”
I haven’t tested Algo. The Linux version is said to be somewhat difficult to use, but I’m told that the Mac, Windows and mobile support is much stronger.
How To Use Shadowsocks To Bypass The Chinese Firewall
I have a separate article with details on how to install Shadowsocks here
The Latest Shadowsocks Versions
To avoid new blocks, new Shadowsocks versions are being released all the time. You can find a list of the latest versions here.
A List Of ShadowsocksR Client Apps
- ShadowsocksR for Windows
- ShadowsocksR for Android
- ShadowsocksR for Mac
- iOS Potatso Lite (FREE)
- iOS Shadowrocket ($2.99)
Potatso Lite and other shadowsocks app are not available on the Chinese Apple App Store.
You can use a VPN and make an Apple ID account based in USA. When you log in to App Store it will ask for payment method and if it detects ‘NONE’ as an option it means that your account is valid. Then in settings use that as your App Store account, and it should be able to download all the apps for USA.