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Despite there being many proxies blocked, many users are still looking for a proxy for China.  These are popular for a number of reasons, and although some users are now converting to VPNs, there are still  quite a number of proxy users in China.

What's a proxy?

A proxy is a computer server that's somewhere other than China. It stores information from the Internet.  When you type a URL into an "Open Proxy", you request the proxies information, not the information from the server of the site you requested. For example, if you're talking about a proxy for China, lets say you want to get on Facebook.

So instead of your computer going directly to Facebook, it would first go the proxy.  Because China doesn't know the proxies IP address, they can't block it with The GFW.  If the proxy server has the information from Facebook stored in it, it can show you it.  In this case a proxy connection will be very fast. However, much of the time, the proxy server will have to make a request on your behalf because it doesn't have this information stored in it, ie, personal Facebook pages.  In this case it would remove your data from the site request, make the request for you, then show you the data.  This also works, but it is obviously a bit slower.

Are proxies different from VPNs?

Yes, and no.  No, because they produce the safe effect - A proxy for China will unblock sites just as effectively as a VPN for China.  It won't get you access to sites like Hulu and Netflix, but that's Hulu and Netflix's problem, not China's or the proxy's.

Yes, because with a VPN you're assigned a virtual IP address that you use for the period of time you browse the Internet or run your Internet connected software.  A proxy will frequently cycle though IP's, making it harder to track history and data of users, and for this reason, some people refer to them as "rolling" proxies.  There's a bit of debate on whether VPNs are faster or not. In my experience, it depends wholly on the service that you're using - everything is possible.  A good proxy service will unblock sites in China better than a bad VPN service.

Is a proxy for China legal?

Yes and no.  China hasn't said that they're illegal, but it also hasn't stopped them from blocking almost every proxy service in the country.  Just two years ago most of the proxy services that were available in the West were also reachable in China. Today, only a 1 or 2 of the most reliable and professional services still exist. A reliable proxy for China isn't easy to find anymore,but they are available.

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