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roddy

Internet Blocks, the Great Firewall and VPNs

How are you getting round Internet blocks in China?  

60 members have voted

  1. 1. How are you getting round Internet blocks in China?

    • I just give up and read the China Daily
      20
    • Free web proxy like Anonymouse
      20
    • Paid web proxy like Proxify
      2
    • A browser plug in like Gladder
      12
    • I installed a bit of software, like Tor
      21
    • Something else which I will detail below . . .
      3
    • Port forwarding over SSH to a remote proxy, like Imron
      10
    • VPN, like Witopia
      53


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imron

Also, if you're worried that it might not be what you're looking for, or might not work with your computer/network setup, Witopia has a 30-day money back guarantee.

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randydandy

roddy and imron, my problem with free proxies are they can not upload pictures to my multiply account. and we have a surveillance camera with remote internet access in my home country and i can not access it now. i was still able to access it earlier this week. :help

btw roddy, the link you gave me has the same price with witopia :mrgreen:

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imron
roddy and imron, my problem with free proxies
I never suggested a free proxy :mrgreen: If you have the technical know-how I would recommend setting up your own private proxy. If not, I would recommend something like Witopia.
the link you gave me has the same price with witopia
Which comes to less than 1 RMB a day over the course of a year :mrgreen:

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randydandy

imron, then i think i have to buy a witopia :mrgreen:

one more thing, on the billing address, do i have to write my china address? or my hometown address? i will be paying via credit card. :help

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imron

If you have someone in your hometown able to pick up your mail, then I would use that.

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randydandy

final question as of the moment hehe

is using proxy or personal vpn legal in china? i dont want to get into any trouble in surfing something that is blocked in china :mrgreen:

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imron

I'm not sure about the specific legality of proxies and VPNs however there are significant legitimate uses for these technologies, hence the reason such things haven't been banned.

Any illegality involved is likely to come from what you are using it for, not from the use of the technology itself. Having said that, I am not a lawyer and nor am I familiar with the specific laws that would cover this. I have however been successfully using a personal proxy for over 4 years without any problems.

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roddy

Yeah, unless you're actively working to bring down the state you won't attract any notice. And if they want to arrest you, what you've actually done isn't that relevant . . .

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ABCinChina

Ever since my expensive Total Net Shield (paid around $170 for 2 years) personal VPN service expired, I felt the frustration of being blocked in China. I think I'm ready to try Witopia now since it's quite inexpensive. All I have to do is click the below link and the forums will get credit?

Link to Witopia

Edited by roddy

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imron

Well, in addition to clicking, you also have to purchase the VPN through that link too :mrgreen:, but other than that, yep, that's all you have to do, and you'll be dropping a few coins in the forums' coffers.

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roddy

If you want, let me know when you've made the purchase and I can confirm it's registered. Should work fine though - I know it did when I renewed mine the other week.

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ABCinChina

Everything seems to be working fine with Witopia and it seems pretty fast. Are programs such as MSN supported and encrypted? I remember Total Net Shield encrypted pretty much everything including Outlook and MSN. There's not too much that you have to set up with Witopia which can be a good and bad thing. :)

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roddy

As far as I'm aware, once the VPN is working anything you do online runs through it and will therefore be encrypted. Certainly it lets applications like iTunes get round the GFW.

Oh, and thanks for the beer money :wink:

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ABCinChina

No problem! I remember that Total Net Shield encrypted your sent information so that any passwords typed over MSN, Firefox, etc. would get protected. Hence, when you're at an airport, you don't have to worry about typing out credit card numbers, passwords, etc. when using potentially dangerous hotspots which can be set up to steal your information.

I'm just wondering if Witopia does this exact same thing and not just forwarding your information sent to the Witopia servers then back to you. But then again, certain words could not get past the firewall if not encrypted so I think it does this. Pretty great value for only $40 a year!

Edited by ABCinChina

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roddy

According to Witopia themselves:

Works with any and all applications including E-mail, Instant Messaging, and Web surfing. Now you can use wireless Hotspots or any potentially unsafe wired or wireless network without worry.

and I certainly use it for stuff I wouldn't normally send over a connection I wasn't one hundred per cent sure about. My only niggle would be that you have to manually connect it - you can't have it connect automatically on start-up. Unless someone else knows how to do that.

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ABCinChina

I just put the "personalVPN" shortcut into my Startup folder and it works. But it takes some time for the program to recognize my wireless network so in the end, it's probably faster to just click the personalVPN shortcut yourself after your computer has connected to the internet.

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roddy

Does that actually connect though, or just put the icon in your system tray?

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imron

A word of caution about this. Witopia (or any other VPN) does not provide end-to-end encryption. Content will only be encrypted between your machine and Witopia's network i.e. they are only protecting you from the network you are using to connect to the internet (e.g. the wireless network at the airport, China Telecom/Netcom/Great Firewall etc). Once your traffic leaves Witopia's network (something it needs to do to get to its destination) then it will be unencrypted as normal. So if you're sending passwords to a friend over MSN, then if your friend is on an unprotected network then the password could easily be sniffed at their end (or at any one of several hops in between).

If you need encrypted communications, then you should use an encrypted protocol.

Edited by imron

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ABCinChina

Hehe, you're right. It just puts it in your system tray and you still have to double-click it just to get it to connect. Oh well, not such a big hassle to me since I don't always need to use it.

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ABCinChina

I can't seem to get this to work on my work computer. After I double-click "personalVPN" it shows "OpenVPN" in the system tray. Then when I double-click that, it does nothing. The only options that I'm getting are the "Proxy Settings". Does this have anything to do with me being behind the company firewall?

2054_thumb.attach

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