Are you wondering if Discord works in China? Unfortunately for regular users, this hugely popular communication app is banned by China’s Great Firewall. Not all hope is lost though, as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help you access Discord while traveling in China.
A VPN will encrypt your internet traffic and tunnel it through an additional server. The location of that server is in a country of your choice. Due to the encryption these services use, snoopers can’t see the contents of your traffic. Additionally, using a secondary server means no one can see where your traffic is going. This enables you to bypass censorship and access whatever content you want.
Below, we reveal exactly how to access Discord in China and the best VPNs for the job.
How to unblock Discord in China
VPNs can sound quite complex but getting started is pretty simple, just follow our step-by-step guide below.
Here’s how to unblock Discord in China:
- Choose a VPN from the list below and subscribe. We recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the VPN app on your device.
- Log in using your new username and password.
- Connect to a server in the country of your choice. Nearby servers will usually give you better speeds.
- Access Discord and you should be able to use the platform as normal.
Note that you may need to apply specific VPN settings to ensure the service works in China. That said, many VPN websites are blocked in China, so it’s a good idea to install the app and download all the setup and troubleshooting information you might need before you travel.
Choosing a suitable provider can be tough, especially since so many services simply don’t work in China. Below, we’ve taken a quick look at the best VPNs for Discord in China, but you can also scroll down to find out more about each.
Best VPNs to unblock Discord:
- ExpressVPN: Our top pick for Discord in China. This VPN is fast and secure, and doesn’t need any special setup for China. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
- NordVPN: This budget-friendly alternative boasts a huge network and a strong suite of security extras.
- Surfshark: An easy-to-use VPN that works well in China and doesn’t impose a connection limit.
- PrivateVPN: This provider offers excellent security and privacy as well as decent speeds.
- Hotspot Shield: A fast, secure VPN with a ton of location options.
- VyprVPN: This service is renowned for being reliable in China and anywhere else in the world.
VPNs vary greatly in terms of what they have to offer. We considered the following main criteria when choosing the best Discord VPNs:
- Fast, reliable connections
- Solid suite of security features
- Keeps no logs
- Easy-to-use apps
- Knowledgeable customer support
- Generous refund policy
Best VPNs for Discord in China
Here’s our list of the best VPNs to unblock Discord in China:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is our first choice for unblocking Discord in China. This provider boasts a broad network of more than 3,000 high-speed servers in 94 countries. It works reliably in China and will help you access Discord without the need to change any settings. If you’d like to stream geo-restricted content while you’re in the country, you’ll be pleased to know ExpressVPN can easily unblock multiple Netflix catalogs, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more popular platforms.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, and up to five simultaneous connections are permitted. Support is available 24/7 via live chat.
- Fast speeds
- Tight security measures
- Beginner-friendly apps
- No-logs VPN
- No-fuss money-back guarantee
- Costs a bit more than some competitors
BEST VPN FOR DISCORD:ExpressVPN is our #1 Discord VPN. It’s fast and secure and can unblock a ton of censored and geo-restricted content. Plans include a no-quibbles 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is another solid China VPN, especially suitable for users on a budget. It’s extremely fast and has a large network of over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, so you’ll never be short of options. Many of these are obfuscated servers, tailored for accessing the free web in countries like China. NordVPN can also readily unblock streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.
This provider has a strong focus on security and privacy. It keeps no logs whatsoever and protects your traffic with virtually uncrackable encryption, perfect forward secrecy, a customizable kill switch (in all apps except Android), and leak protection. It also gives you automatic wifi protection and the option to use double VPN to send your traffic through two VPN servers. If you’d like to sign up more anonymously, you can pay with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple.
Desktop clients are available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, and you can download mobile apps for iOS and Android. NordVPN allows you to connect up to six devices at a time. Live-chat support is on hand around the clock.
- Very fast
- Special obfuscated servers
- No logs at all
- Security extras
- Switching servers can be slow
EASY ON THE WALLET:NordVPN is our top low-cost provider. It has an expansive network and offers reliable, secure connections. This provider extends a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is another low-cost option that works reliably in China. It has over 1,700 servers in 63 countries, and activating NoBorders mode will ensure you bypass China’s VPN detection technology. Surfshark can help you unblock lots of geo-restricted content too, including multiple Netflix libraries, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
You don’t have to worry about the safety of your information when you use Surfshark. This VPN employs strong encryption with perfect forward secrecy and includes leak protection and a kill switch in all apps. Extras include split tunneling and multihop VPN. Surfshark never logs your data. It accepts cryptocurrency payments in the form of Ripple, Bitcoin, and Ethereum.
One of Surfshark’s biggest appeals is it doesn’t restrict the number of devices you can connect at a given time. Easy-to-use apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. You can access support via live chat at any time of day.
- Decent speeds
- Easily bypasses restrictions
- No device limit
- True no-logs policy
- Smaller network than top rivals
UNLIMITED DEVICES:Surfshark is great for unblocking and you can use it on as many devices as you like. You can try it out free thanks to a 30-day refund policy.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield is yet another strong contender as a solid Discord VPN. This provider has more than 3,000 servers in over 80 countries. It has been stepping up its game and now works in China and other countries that actively block VPNs. Hotspot Shields’ proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol can go undetected yet maintain fast speeds. It can even help you access otherwise geo-blocked content from sites like Netflix.
This provider won’t keep logs of personally identifiable information and boasts a range of security features. You get 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, a kill switch (in the Windows app), and automatic wifi protection.
Hotspot Shield apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. You can connect up to five devices at a time. Support is available from live chat agents 24/7.
- Great speeds
- Suite of security features
- Generous money-back guarantee
- Can’t pay with cryptocurrency
SPEEDY DISCORD VPN:Hotspot Shield pegs very fast speeds, is highly secure, and works well in China. It offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Hotspot Shield review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN’s network might be on the small side (with just 150 servers in around 60 countries), but this VPN consistently works well in China and anywhere else in the world. In fact, its Stealth mode is specifically designed for this purpose. If you’d like to do more than just unblock Discord, PrivateVPN can help you gain access to plenty of restricted and censored content from across the globe. It readily unblocks Netflix US and UK (and a handful of other libraries), Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.
As its name suggests, this VPN maintains a strong focus on privacy. It’s a true no-logs VPN and keeps your data private with leak protection. There’s also a kill switch in the Windows client. Security is in the form of military-grade encryption in conjunction with perfect forward secrecy. PrivateVPN gives you the option to pay with Bitcoin.
Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android, and you can download desktop clients for Windows and MacOS. Six simultaneous connections are permitted. Live chat should be available throughout the day, but it’s not entirely reliable.
- Works well in China
- Doesn’t keep logs
- Strong encryption
- Far fewer servers than competitors
- Live support option goes down intermittently
PRIVATE AND SECURE:PrivateVPN is a small but powerful VPN ideal for users in China. It can unblock Discord and a ton of other restricted sites. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
VyprVPN has a loyal following, with one of its big draws being that it works reliably in China. It has an ample network of over 700 servers in 70 countries and its Chameleon protocol will help you unblock Discord and a plethora of other sites. You can even use it to bypass geo-restriction measures put in place by sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
If you’re concerned about security, VyprVPN has your back. It uses strong encryption and perfect forward secrecy, and a kill switch (in all apps except iOS) and leak protection ensure your data remains inside the encrypted tunnel. VyprVPN doesn’t keep logs of personal data.
This provider offers around-the-clock support in case you run into issues. Apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and MacOS, and you can use the VPN on up to five devices simultaneously.
- Secure, reliable connections
- Bypass detection measures
- Doesn’t log personal information
- No cryptocurrency option
- Some servers can be slow
BYPASS BLOCKS:VyprVPN is a private, secure service that can help you circumvent blocks and access censored content. This provider offers a 30-day refund policy.
Read our full VyprVPN review.
Discord China VPN FAQs
Can I use a free VPN to unblock Discord in China?
While free VPNs aren’t hard to come by, they can be a great source of frustration. To start, it’s highly unlikely a free VPN will work in China, let alone help you access Discord. These services don't have the financial backing required to actively bypass the strict blocks imposed by the Chinese government. What’s more, they tend to have a ton of users and a small number of servers, leading to long wait times and slow connections.
If you’re at all concerned about privacy and security, we recommend steering clear of free VPNs. Many of these operate using business models that involve collecting user data and selling it to third parties. Worse, some don’t offer the security they advertise and have weak encryption standards, or in some cases, no encryption at all.
Paying a small fee for a quality VPN provider can go a long way in ensuring a seamless experience backed by the security measures you expect from a VPN.
What other apps are blocked by the Great Firewall?
Of course, it’s not just Discord that is inaccessible to Chinese internet users. Thousands of sites are blocked for various reasons. Here are a few of the platforms you might miss:
- New sites including BBC, Daily Mail, New York Times, and Washington Post.
- Social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Communications apps including Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Zoom (often only the VoIP features are blocked by the firewall)
- Video-sharing sites like YouTube, Twitch, and Vimeo
- Search engines such as Google, StartPage, and Wikipedia
What else can I use a China VPN for?
A VPN isn’t just handy for unlocking Discord and other apps; it has many other uses too. We mentioned some streaming platforms above and indeed, a VPN can help you unblock content from a ton of sites that usually geo-restrict their content. For example, Netflix doesn’t operate in China but as long as you have a Netflix account, you can access another country's catalog by connecting to the corresponding VPN server. Similarly, you can view content from the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more.
Another primary use for a VPN is to ensure your internet connection is always secure. Do you frequently connect to public wifi networks such as those provided in coffee shops, airports, and hotels? Unfortunately, these are known to lack security and you never know when a hacker might be lurking and monitoring your connection. A VPN will encrypt all data that flows to and from your device, preventing cybercriminals and other snoopers from being able to read the contents of your traffic.
Will a VPN cause issues with my Discord App?
No, each of the VPNs on this list has been tried and tested with Discord, in China, and will not cause any freezing or technical issues. However, there are thousands of servers to choose from and one might be better for Discord than another.
If you are experiencing trouble with Discord with the VPN turned on, try using it without to see if the VPN is the cause. If it is, try connecting to a different server. You may need to do a complete restart of the Discord app to clear any app cache settings - here's how.
Is it illegal to unblock Discord in China?
China's criminal code does not specifically say that bypassing the governments's online restrictions is a crime, nor do any of its computer-related offences mention the Great Firewall. However, we have seen incidents where VPN users are fined, so it's clear that those in charge would prefer you didn't access services like Discord.
Still, given China's poor record on human rights and extreme online surveillance, you may determine that having a safe way to stay in touch with people back home is worth the risk.
Note: Comparitech does not provide legal advice and you should always research local laws before accessing Discord in China.