Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

Internet Blocks, the Great Firewall and VPNs


How are you getting round Internet blocks in China?  

67 members have voted

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

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

Recommended Posts

FG is worlds faster than Tor. It doesn't get the attention that Tor gets for two reasons: (1) it's not open-source so there's no guarantee of anonymity, and (2) it's affiliated with organizations some might call sketchy.

I've been using it regularly for several years now and lots of my acquaintances do too. There are sporadic problems around major political sessions - it was in and out for the duration of the NPC sessions in the spring - but it gets updated frequently to get around targeted blocking when it occurs.

Also, there are some sites that don't load with FG, perhaps because their servers have been identified as carrying loads of users from China, or because of proxy settings or whatnot. Usually, all it takes is switching to another host (there are typically four or five to select from) to clear up the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Just download FG through Tor (version 6.5 is the latest). :wink: It is much faster. I'm currently posting this message while using FG. Browsing this forums seem almost to be at normal speed.

FG is only automatically configured for IE, but you can set up Firefox to use it by using the add-on SwitchProxy or FoxyProxy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A word of warning - by mentioning all of these sites, etc., you risk having all of them blocked. Before I knew Blogspot was blocked, I started a blog, and after discovering it was inaccessible in China, sent out a mass email telling people to use a certain proxy site. A few days later that proxy site was blocked. It's guessed that China employes tens of thousands of people, plus lots of technology, to simply sit around and monitor emails, websites, and even cell phone text messages. I read an article about it, possibly in NY Times. They scan for certain keywords, and if the emails contain any of them they trash it. Same goes for text messages and websites. You're risking having this website added to the list by starting a thread on this subject. Sure, you could just use one of the methods listed in this thread to get around it, but how many people will be willing to do that just to visit a forum?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roddy, is chinese-forums hosted on its own server? or if not are you able to install proxy software (like Squid) on it (or perhaps ask your webhosts to set it up)?.

If you could do that, you could do the port forwarding trick over SSH. Access would be limited to those with login accounts to the chinese-forums server.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've set up simple proxies myself in the past, but when I want web-based I use the paid one I have - does everything you need and costs a pittance. I started looking at Tor as I needed a non-web proxy for iTunes, but it's slow, hence now looking at others.

@imron - shared (reseller) hosting still.

@lilyongyue. Now you've made me paranoid . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The beauty of port forwarding over SSH is that everything works with it (well, at least everything I've tried so far), iTunes included. It might be worth seeing if your webhost can set this up for you (they might already have a proxy installed to use for caching purposes).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Article about a very detailed report just published about internet censorship in China.


Chinese Internet Censorship Machine Revealed


October 11, 2007 03:52 PM

A report issued by Reporters Without Borders describes a bureaucracy that effectively clamps down on dissent, quashes articles, and uses online companies to distribute its own propaganda.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I've found a solution which appears to be working out quite well, for the first hour anyway . . .

Came across an ad for Witopia. Basically you can get a personal VPN for USD40 a year, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Set it up fairly easily - you've got to do a little bit of work with the windows set up, apparently Mac is easier. Seems to be working great - all blocked sites are now accessible, other apps like iTunes and IM are working fine, even P2P stuff seems to be going through, and there's no significant slowdown like I was getting with Tor.

Was thinking about trying the Tor alternatives, but this seems to be working quite nicely and at less than a dollar a week I don't mind paying for it.

*Disclosure: Chinese-forums is a Witopia affiliate. If you use that link to make a purchase, then for less than 1 RMB a day you not only get a fully-functional VPN which will solve all blocking issues within China, you also drop a few coins in the forums' coffers.

Edited by roddy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use Witopia and I do agree that's it's decent but it should be noted that it can slow down your connection so it's better to download stuff in the morning... (less traffic then) and sometimes in the evening it borders on impossible. I only use it at certain times now...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...


What proxy could I download to outdo the Chinese firewall? I'm in mainland China right now, so I am not asking what proxies people are using, but which one could I download from mainland China right now? I used to use "tor" until my system crashed and I had to do everything from scratch. I lost my "tor" files and the "tor" page, just like anonymouse, seems to be blocked. So I can't download it. Go Olympics! Yeah, right...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...