Hi there!

From the 13th I will be officially based in Shanghai And before landing in that city I'd like to prepare my venue...

So, here is some needed informations:

- VPN / I have read already many topics here... But I'm still wondering a which one is the best one?
During my last venue in last July, I used a free vpn that I downloaded in my different devices and it worked, but I have just heard that any VPN will be banned soon in China, is it true??? Hope not!
Please let me know if in subscribing in a VPN I will be able to use it into all my different devices.
Also, please let me know the cost and if it is better to download it before my arrival in Shanghai.

- WhatsApp / I also heard that it became very difficult to use this App in China too... I'm already using WeChat with all my Chinese contacts, but except my Chinese contact, none of my others contact use it... So, I really need to be sure that WhatsApp will work too...

- Skype/ is Skype still work in China?

- NETFLIX / is it working now in China? I heard that some agreement have been done to expand it in China but not sure if it is already possible to use it. (apparently you can't use it even with a vpn...)

Many thanks in advance for all your helpful support/infos!


Hi Dan,

Regarding VPN, it's better to subscribe to one of those, as free VPNs can be blocked anytime. I use Express VPN, it works quite alright; I've also heard that Astrill works pretty well. The price depends on the duration of your subscription, the longer the cheaper. I've got mine for a year, so paid 99.95 for the whole year. It's better to get it while you're still not in China, I've been told that it's harder to do it here. You can use one subscription on all your devices.

WhatsApp has been blocked a couple of weeks back, so it doesn't work without VPN. But if you take care of VPN beforehand, it's not going to be a problem.

Skype does work.

Netflix works with VPN, however, internet is quite slow over here, so I'm not sure if you'll be able to actually watch something on netflix. But you can try.

Good luck!

I use Astrill for Netflix, works like a charm.

Whatsapp only with VPN.

I operate an English School in Zhaoyuan China and we use Google Docs.  In order to do that we need a reliable VPN.  For us, the best success has been with Astrill.  Even during this 5 Year PROC meeting, others have reported issues, Astrill has been trucking along nicely.

Not a user of WhatsApp or Netflix, but certain a VPN will allow you to keep using them.

As for Skype, I find the best connections occur when my VPN is turned off.  That being said, I would suggest encouraging your family and friends to use WeChat (weixin).  We have switched all of our family members over to it when trying to communicate with us.  Voice and Videos calls are clear and reliable anywhere in the world...and you do not need your VPN to be one.

As a side note.  Recently purchased a cell phone in China.  Typically, to even install Android Apps was a pain....many 'google playstore' errors.  For the first time, I found a 100% Chinese cell phone that allowed me to install any Android app I wanted.  So long as a VPN was installed, there was no trouble installing or using the apps.  The brand I bought was a Vivo [y66].  Has anyone had this type of positive experience?

Hope that helps.....

Astrill. stopped being a viable service for us in October 2017.  Now all other options like Lantern are terrible.

ExpressVPN works just great. However I've recently given a try to hidester.com and it is fine as well. Cheaper then Express :)

My IT guru has had real difficulties with VPN's and we are currently using work around because our company email is gmail. I am glad to hear that others have VPN's that work.  I have used some of those mentioned.  They are blocked.  Apparently the way VPN's are blocked is not by a specific company or VPN.  But rather they are blocked by a complex formula that may or may not include location, content being accessed, and some other factors.

Skype is still available.

I have asked all my family to switch to wechat and other Chinese services, but I have found that a number of them are actually blocked in the USA and the UK.  I guess that America thinks that blocking websites from China is a good thing.

I would suggest all readers to wean themselves off western websites and go local.  I have used yahoo mail for over a decade and it is slow, problematic, and filled with advertisements.  I started to gradually migrate to 163.com and have none of the problems that plague Yahoo.

If you can, get rid of all google APPS.  Latest info show that they have been tracking Huawei users even if the user is not using the phone and selling the information to third parties.  This goes for all android phones, including shao mi. 

Only load the apps that you use frequently.  Do not load games or anything else.  The USA government monitors all expats in China. It does not matter why.  They just do.

another good mail is mail.qq.com, big data for example 20~30M could be transfered through qq mail.



I'm using this service


try it for a month, who knows it suit you

You'll definitely need VPN in Shanghai. So many apps and social media are blocked that if you are used to them your stay there won't be the easiest. I can't advise a particular client but I'd recommend you choose between nordvpn vs expressvpn. They are pretty decent.

New topic