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Vpn In China - 2011
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With recent changes to how China's government blocks web sites, more and more expats and Chinese people are looking for ways to get a hold of a vpn in China. In the past, free anonymous proxies were widely available and used to unblock popular sites not available in China, like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Blogger. However, every year China's Great Firewall becomes stronger and blocks an increasing number of western media sites in hopes of restricting the flow of information in and out of China. Though China claims that much of the blocking is meant to keep local companies protected from the monopoly of Western giants like Skype and Gmail, it seems obvious (at least from a Westerner's perspective) that much of internet censorship imposed by the government is in an effort to control the minds of Chinese citizens.

A vpn in China means internet freedom. Because anonymous proxies are now blocked due to their lack of security and the fact that they are easily detected, a vpn in China seems to be the only way to bypass internet censorship for those seeking to do so. Vpn companies are capitalizing on this fact, and many services that were previously free, are now charging at least a minimal monthly fee.

Even vpn companies are at risk in China. In March 2011 there was a huge campaign to block companies advertising vpn's in China. Some of the biggest names in vpn's were blocked, including 12vpn, Strongvpn, and Witopia. Other popular vpn companies such as ibVpn, Vyprvpn, and Freedur, although not blocked on a national level, were reported experiencing user connection problems in various parts of the country. PPTP and L2TP protocols for mobile devices were also blocked, meaning that only users with SSL/OpenVpn or SSTP protocols were able to use their vpn's to bypass internet censorship.

The motivation for the block was of course not commented on by the Chinese government, but with recent political change in Egypt and the role that western social media sites Twitter and Facebook played in those changes was probably what sparked the push for blocking vpn's in China.

Though most companies affected by the block recovered within a few days, the future of vpn's in China is still up for anyone's guess. "There has yet to be a government which has been able to block SSL/OpenVpn protocols" was what a representative of a vpn company told me in an email when I asked if it was possible that all vpn's would eventually be blocked in China. While this may be true, there has yet to be a government with so much to lose from its people organizing and revolting. The world is watching China, and if they were to lose their footing as a result of Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook-ish antics, it would be a serious loss of face.

You can get updates on the state of Gmail, Youtube, Facebook, and the use of vpn's in China at my personal blog. If you are considering purchasing a vpn in China or any country that censors the internet there are also resources regarding prices, reliability and other vpn statistics available. Follow the links provided.


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