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mac os x
virtual private network
facebook
windows operating systems
cold turkey
iphone
middle man
pandas
What You Need To Know To Unblock Facebook In China On Mac Os/x
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China is quickly becoming a very popular travel destination, and as they become more "user friendly", ie more developed, more and more types of people are coming to China. While in the past, it was the kind of "untraveled adventure", for young backpacker types, it's becoming a travel destination even for families, and for lack of a better word, old people.  I see all kind of people coming here, marveling at the temples, the pandas, and those crazy old ladies dancing in the park at night.  If you're planning on going to China, soon, you probably know that the Internet isn't the same as in the west, and you're going to have some problems accessing a lot of the sites you normally use.

One of the big ones is Facebook, and even as a seasoned expat here in China, I see that there are still a lot of discussions happening on just what the best way to unblock Facebook in China is.  Some people use proxies, some people use VPN, some people just go cold turkey and say, "I'll check my Facebook account when I go home".  For Mac and Windows users alike, Facebook and many other sites are just plain blocked, and you need special tools that can be downloaded on the Internet.

One of these tools to unblock Facebook in China is called a proxy. It's like a special browser window that you can open from a secure link.  With this special, secure browser, you'll be surfing the net using https, instead of http.  You may have notice the change (plus a little lock sign) when you order things online.  This is a way to secure your online activities without having to worry about outsiders spying on what you're doing.  A proxy is a very popular and still effective way to unblock Facebook in China on Mac OS/X and Windows operating systems.  This will also work on your smart phones like iPhone and Android.

One other method is called a virtual private network.  A VPN works by putting a middle man server between you and Facebook or whatever blocked site.  It first secures your computer with something called encryption. It then sends your web traffic through a secure tunnel to a VPN server, where you private data is stripped from the traffic, and replaced by the VPN's data.  The most important thing here is that you get a replacement IP address.  It's the change of IP address that's key to being able to access blocked sites in China.  When you access a banned site with this non-Chinese IP address, China is none the wiser. Essentially, you no longer exist on their network, and they have no control over what sites you surf.  This is a more secure way to unblock Facebook in China on Mac or other PC OS, but its main limitation is that you cannot use it on your phone.


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