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New VPN Services To Access Blocked Sites In China
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It seems like recently, there has been more VPN services popping up for users trying to access blocked sites in China. VPN, or virtual private network, is a tool that is commonly used for businesses to allow employees to access local servers while they're away.  By using secure encryption and tunneling protocols, the security of the connection is ensured, and any kind of information can be passes between the end user and the server.  You could be half-way across the world and access office data as if you were sitting in front of the computer.

We can use the same technology to access blocked sites in China. There are many VPN services that "rent out" a large number of servers for individuals to access from different locations around the world.  The result is that users who connect to the VPN servers are able to secure their online traffic from outside attacks by hackers and other tracking/spying devices. This is called anonymous surfing.

This is particularly useful for users in countries that censor the Internet.  We're able to access blocked sites in China, Vietnam, Iran, UAE, Egypt, and even from our office or school network.  The idea here is that firewalls are what block sites.  Firewalls allow or prevent connection of the IP addresses on its network to IP addresses outside it's network. At it's best, a firewall can prevent malicious sites from harming your device.  However, firewalls can also be used to restrict users, be it fairly or unfairly.

VPNs help up get around firewalls by changing our IP address. When we connect to a VPN server, we are not longer perceived as browsing the Internet with our actual IP. We adopt a temporary IP address assigned by the VPN server, and this is used as our "face" to the Internet.  This "fake" IP is how we avoid Chinese ISP restrictions, bypass The Great Firewall, and access blocked sites in China.

As recently as a few months ago, many VPN services offering connections to Chinese users came under attack and had their main domains blocked in China.  Since then, some have still not recovered, but some are still offering services under alternate domain names.  For the time being, flying under the radar seems to be the best way to stay out of the war-path of the Chinese government. 

I personally think this is why there has be a rise in the number of smaller VPN sites starting to advertise to users in China.  It's possible that these are individual resellers, working for the larger VPN services, or that it's the large companies themselves that are providing this alternate service. Either way, for the time being, it seems that being able to change your IP address with a VPN in order to access blocked sites in China is not something we'll have give up any time soon.


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