If you’re traveling abroad and want to access content from back home in China you may have already found out a lot of websites and streaming services block their content abroad. VPNs can help you access region-locked services from outside of China. Usually, these platforms check to see if the user’s IP address comes from a specific country. If not, you’re prevented from using the service. However, when connected to a VPN, you’re given a new IP address, specific to the country your chosen server is in. This makes it simple to regain access to sites like Youku, iQiyi, CNTV, or Tudou outside of China.
Believe it or not, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the government can see exactly what you get up to online. By connecting to a VPN, though, you can route your network traffic through servers in another country, sidestepping any monitoring systems that are in place and allowing you to browse the internet without worrying about who might be watching.
How to get a Chinese IP address using a VPN
With the right VPN, getting a Chinese IP address only takes a few seconds.
Here’s how to get a China IP address in 5 steps:
- First of all, sign up for one of the VPNs below (we particularly recommend Hotspot Shield).
- Next, download and install the VPN app. There’ll be several different versions, so be sure to get the appropriate one for your device or operating system.
- Connect to any of your VPN’s China servers.
- Visit a region-locked Chinese site. It should now be accessible, as though you were actually in China.
- If this doesn’t work, you can fix most issues by clearing your browser’s cookies and cache, then reloading the page.
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In a hurry? Here’s a quick guide to the best VPNs for getting a Chinese IP address:
- Hotspot Shield: Our #1 choice to get a Chinese IP address. Fast enough for flawless streaming with user-friendly apps that make it easy to get a Chinese IP address abroad.
- ZenMate: Secure, easy to use, and able to access most major streaming platforms. Has a dozen servers in China and over 4,000 worldwide.
- HideMyAss: A popular service with strong encryption, decent streaming potential, and the ability to get you an IP address from China wherever you are.
Thanks to China’s incredibly strict data-retention laws and the potential for interference from the government, most major VPNs no longer offer access to Chinese servers. This doesn’t mean you have to settle for whatev er you can get, though; we’ll only be recommending high-quality VPNs that meet all of the criteria below:
- Has at least one server in China (although the more, the better)
- Uses effectively uncrackable encryption and offers numerous other security features
- Provides reliable connections and consistently high speeds
- Logs no personally identifiable information
- Has apps for all major operating systems
The best VPNs for getting a Chinese IP address – At a glance
We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with Hotspot Shield – our #1 choice for Chinese IP.
|No value||Hotspot Shield||Zenmate||Hide My Ass VPN|
|Website||www.Hotspotshield.com||www.zenmate.com||www.HideMyAss.com||Ranking for China||1||2||3||Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, FireTV||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Android tv||Avg Speed||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||Popular Sites Unblocked||85%||85%||30%||Logging Policy||No logs stored||No logs||minimal logs|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.99 |
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Best VPNs for getting an IP address from China
Take a look below to find out which VPNs are best at getting you a Chinese IP address:
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield is our top choice for getting a Chinese IP address. It has roughly 1,800 servers in 80+ locations including China, which means it’s great for securely access streaming services from all around the world. Further, with consistently high speeds (over 60 Mbps in our latest tests), there’s no need to worry about excessive lag or buffering. This VPN allows you to connect up to five devices simultaneously.
This service uses 256-bit encryption and DNS leak protection to keep your traffic secure at all times. There’s also a kill switch in the Windows and Android apps which stops all data transferal whenever you lose connection suddenly. Hotspot Shield doesn’t log any personally identifiable information. This VPN even has its own custom protocol named Hydra that can help you browse safely while in China. Customer support is available 24/7 via email or live chat.
Hotspot Shield apps are available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Fast, reliable speeds
- Works with most major streaming services
- Powerful encryption
- No anonymous payment options
BEST VPN FOR GETTING A CHINESE IP ADDRESS:Hotspot Shield is our top pick as it allows you to quickly and reliably access sites like Youku outside of China. This VPN is fast, secure, and best of all, it comes with a risk-free 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Hotspot Shield review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 days
ZenMate has a dozen servers in China and more than 4,000 others in a further 80 countries. It’s able to securely access most of the streaming platforms we’ve tested it with, including more stubborn services like Netflix. While its speeds aren’t the fastest we’ve seen, they’re steady enough for most tasks. Better still, this is one of the few VPNs on the market that lets you connect all of your devices at once.
This service keeps your activities hidden with 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. What’s more, it follows a true no-logs policy, meaning it can’t reveal what you do online, even in the face of legal pressure. If you run into any issues, you can submit a ticket or get help over live chat (though this service does seem to go offline periodically).
ZenMate has its own iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows apps.
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Impressive security and privacy offering
- No problems with popular streaming platforms
- Speeds could be better
NO DEVICE LIMIT:ZenMate can secure every device you own simultaneously. Not only that, but it’s a strong choice for streaming and keeps no logs whatsoever. Still unsure? No problem: this VPN offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ZenMate.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
HideMyAss might not have the largest network (around 1,100 servers) but it covers more than 200 locations, including China. This VPN unblocks Chinese TV Channels and streaming services like Youku with ease, and is fast enough to stream live HD video with no noticeable lag or buffering. With up to five simultaneous connections permitted, HideMyAss is great for anyone looking to protect all of their most commonly-used devices at once.
This VPN has apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS devices. It also works with Linux systems and some internet routers, but must be installed manually.
- Decent speeds
- Good streaming ability
- Strong security features
- No option to pay via cryptocurrencies
- Poor history with regard to privacy
LIGHTNING FAST BROWSING:HideMyAss offers the ability to watch Chinese TV live, from anywhere, in the highest possible quality. It also includes powerful security options and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our comprehensive HideMyAss review.
Internet restrictions in China
The Chinese government restricts access to a huge range of content. Although most VPNs will still allow you to access blocked websites while connected to a Chinese server, some might not. For this reason, we’ve created a short list of the kinds of sites and services that are blocked in China:
- Social media services (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Search engines (Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing)
- Messaging services (Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram)
- Most streaming services (Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer)
- Information hubs (Wikipedia, Quora)
- Cloud-storage platforms (Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive)
- Non-Chinese news (The Guardian, NY Times, CNN)
- Privacy or VPN-related sites (OpenVPN, Comparitech, Torproject)
Methodology: Choosing the best VPNs for a Chinese IP address
The Chinese government has been cracking down on VPNs for several years, which is why it’s so hard to find a provider with servers in the country. Still, there are still a few suitable VPNs. To make sure we only recommend the very best services, we created a strict list of requirements:
- Suitable servers: First, we need servers that can get you a Chinese IP address. These might be physically located in China, but will more likely be hosted elsewhere to avoid interference from the government.
- Excellent performance: We thoroughly speed test every service to ensure that they’re fast enough for streaming, torrenting, and general browsing. Their speeds have to be pretty consistent too, otherwise you’ll run into problems like lag or random connection drops.
- Powerful security tools: Our top VPNs have to offer a strong set of security and privacy features, including powerful encryption, leak protection, and a no-logs policy.
- High level of versatility: Ideally, services will offer specially-optimized servers for different tasks. Additionally, we’d rather they work with a wide range of Chinese streaming services including iQiYi, Youku, and Tencent Video.
Read our detailed explainer post to find out more about how we test VPNs at Comparitech.
Getting a Chinese IP address abroad: FAQs
Can I get a Chinese IP address with a free VPN?
It’ll be extremely difficult to obtain a Chinese IP address using a free VPN, simply because there are only a handful of services that still have servers in China. Even if you find a free VPN that does, it’s likely you’ll run into other issues like slow speeds, excessive lag, or an inability to unblock Chinese services.
Of course, there’s also the security risk that free VPNs pose. Prior research has shown that out of 200 free VPN apps, almost 40% contained malware. Worse still, almost one in five never used any encryption at all, meaning they offered their users no extra security whatsoever. We’ve also seen major VPN providers like Hola sell user bandwidth to help run a botnet, so unfortunately, these problems aren’t limited to smaller services.
Can I use a VPN to watch Chinese TV abroad?
Absolutely. Once connected to a Chinese VPN server, most Chinese streaming services won’t be able to tell that you’re actually somewhere else in the world. This means you’ll be able to watch content on all of your favorite platforms abroad.
Note that some services use more stringent methods of geo-blocking. For instance, a VPN won’t help if your payment method has to be linked to a local address, or if you have to provide identification as part of the registration.
DISCLAIMER: Comparitech does not encourage using a VPN to stream content illegally. Please consult local laws thoroughly before deciding to embark on this route. If you have any questions, it’s best to talk to a lawyer in your country of residence.