How Can I Use Google Services in China?

Can’t Use Google Services in China?

Can you use Google Services in China? What error do you see when trying to use Gmail? It is a fact that Google is not available for users in mainland China. Google services including Gmail, Search engine and Google play store as well as its affiliated services like Blogger and YouTube. Does that mean there is no chance to use those services as they are banned by the government? The answer is no. You still are able to access them with a reliable VPN.

Blocked Google Services in China

Though China has Baidu which is a search engine that is more popular in China than Google, some Chinese and foreigners prefer Google search engine. Baidu comes with a broader issue that it only turns up search results from China and blocks the rest of the world. On the platform, you only find what Chinese people search. However, you will find data from around the world when using Google search engine. Besides, many ads are injected to Baidu search results that have nothing to do with needed information. There are fewer ads in Google search results. Even it has ads, that result will be marked. You don’t have to click on the ads and just head to useful information.

In China, it has QQ mail, 163 and more email services while many users still use Gmail. College students use it to contact their foreign friends. Businessmen need it to communicate with their foreign partners. Many users complained that it is extremely inconvenient for being not able to use Gmail. They can’t use Gmail in China while their partners only use this email.

Google play store is very useful while it does not work either. If you purchased your device outside of China, the Google Play is pre-installed. You can download app, music, magazines, books, movies, and television programs there. However, it fails to work when you arrive in mainland China. It won’t load as it is blocked. You won’t be able to install new apps from there or update existing apps downloaded from the Google Play store. If you try to download apps from the third party websites, you may download malicious apps and install virus. It is very awful. To continue to use Google play store, a VPN is needed to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

Why are Google Services Blocked in China?

You may wonder why Google is blocked. It is a great service all over the world. What is the reason behind the block? The story began at 2009 when Google and the Chinese authority have their first dispute. Back then, a video of violence was posted on YouTube and were widely spread. The Chinese government blocked the video and required Google to remove related information from search results, but Google refused it. Similar case appeared in Hong Kong. Pictures of protestors’ activities were shared on Instagram and caused quite a stir. Later, the Chinese government accused of Google hacking Chinese officials’ account. Finally, Google shut down its mainland-based search operations in response and relocated it to Hong Kong. Soon afterward, the Chinese government blocked access to every service Google offers by using the Great Firewall. When users in mainland China try to use Google services, they are regularly getting error messages like “this webpage is not available,” “this website can not be reached,” “your connection is interrupted.” or “the connection was reset”.

Great Firewall of China Google

After the several riots, the Chinese government believed that the western social media platforms, search engines and video-sharing websites etc. instigated riots among Chinese people. Hence, those services have been considered as a threat to government and society. They developed the most advanced firewall to block the “harmful” services which is known as the Golden Shield Project. The firewall system has a black list of domains that the government does not want users in their country to visit. When you try to access Google, your browser checks with the DNS to find out what Google’s address on the Internet actually is. The government uses DNS Filtering to block connections to Google services by making sure the DNS servers in China. They also use the IP addresses that the servers and routers that move data around the Internet to do their jobs. The firewall uses IP Filtering technology to block attempts to access banned sites directly. In addition, China’s Internet routers refuse to pass data to the IP addresses on the banned list. What’s worse, the firewall even works on blocking VPN. That makes it very difficult for users to unblock Google services.

How to Use Google Services in China

Should you give up your favorite Google services such as Gmail, Google Drive and Google Search as the firewall is so powerful? No, there is no need to give up them. VPN has been created to save users from the high Internet censorship. It helps you bypass location-based IP blocking to access Google in China easily. VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. It chooses a distinct structure within that network to carry out data transfer. Your data goes through an encrypted “tunnel” and your online sessions are secured. VPN also hides your location and connects you to remote server that can be located in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa or Oceania. It allows you to experience the Internet without restrictions. As your location and connections are hidden, the firewall has no reason to censor your Internet. You can escape from the Great Firewall of China and access a free and open Internet and all your Google products.

Still Can’t I Use Google Services with VPN?

We received complaint that they still couldn’t use Google services even after they ran VPN. How come? VPN is the most effective and secure way to unblock Google in China? Why can’t you access the services? It is because you might choose the wrong VPN. There are many VPNs in the market. Some of them are expensive. Some of them are cheap. Some of them even are free. Some of the VPN providers are based in US. Some are in China. Some are in German or Switzerland. Some of them are mainly used to keep private on the Internet. Some of them are developed to keep safe from hackers. Some of them are made to bypass geo-restriction and government censorship. To access Google in China, you need to pick the one which is able to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

As we know, the firewall is very powerful and has been updated all the time. It blocks domains on the list as well as VPN. The firewall can look inside the data packets flowing through the system. Forbidden key words like “Tiananmen Square Riot” and “Tibetan Protestors” etc. can be detected by them with the Packet Inspection technology. It can identify some VPN connections to block. The Chinese government occasionally shuts down some VPN providers, mostly because they crossed some political or other line. Some VPNs worked in China in the past, but they are blocked now. Some VPN works now and we don’t know if they will be blocked someday. Luckily, there are other VPN providers that own stealth techniques to hide their VPN traffic. Most of them are able to bypass Packet Inspection and defeat firewall, letting you access Google in China. Selecting the right VPN is very important.

How to Select a Right VPN for China?

Many users ask if it is worth to pay money on VPN. We can tell you that it is worth the money. You should note that free VPNs can bring popup ads when you are surfing the Internet. Some of them may store your browsing data to sell it to third parties. Some of them use your computer as a server. You will notice that your device and Internet connection both are slowed down badly. Most importantly, many of them don’t work anymore because the firewall has been constantly updated and is becoming more complicated to bypass every now and then. Here are tips that you should keep in mind when selecting a VPN to access Google services in China.

First of all, pick the one which works in China. As we mentioned, not all VPNs are able to bypass the Great Firewall of China. If you are not sure which VPN works, you can get information from VPN viewer.

Secondly, the speed ought to be fast. If you get the wrong VPN, your connection will be slowed down obviously. You barely can load the websites. For example, it usually takes about 0.5 seconds to search for information on Google. With the slow VPN, you may have to wait for several seconds. Sometimes, it even fails due long respond time. You won’t be able to watch YouTube. Hence, speed is a very important factor.

Thirdly, the VPN should be stable. Once connected, it works stably and rarely drops. You will not suffer annoying disconnection. You can work with Gmail, search engine and Google Play store etc. for a long time.

Fourthly, advanced protocols and smart servers should be offered. As the Great Firewall is being constantly updated, one VPN works today and can be blocked tomorrow. The various advanced protocols and smart servers provide you with much more flexibility. That ensures you will be always able to unblock Google services in China.

Last but not least, post-sale service is important. If you have any problem with your connection, you can chat with a technician via live chat or email. Just visit your VPN provider and contact them. Usually, your issue will be fixed immediately via live chat. If you use email ticket, it may take some hours to respond.

How to Choose a VPN Server to Access Google in China?

VPN server is important to connection speed. As Chinese users often visit websites based in Mainland China, so the selected VPN server must be based near the country to keep speeds fast. For westerners, they need a server which is based as close as possible to Google web server’s country of origin. Choose US server to use Google, YouTube and more in mainland China. Usually, western websites load faster through a VPN which is closer to the home country than to China. However, the Chinese websites will load very slowly with a western IP as you’re routing the web traffic to the other side of the world, and routing back again. Therefore, you can turn off VPN when visiting domestic website. Or, you can connect to server in Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries near to mainland China. By the way, it is necessary to connect to a server which is located in a place where Google is not blocked.

How Does a VPN Work?

A VPN works by encrypting your Internet connection to keep your communications, data, location and other information private while online in China. It has the ability to masks your personal IP address with a VPN server’s IP address, connecting to worldwide VPN server location. When it works, OpenVPN 256-bit protocol is employed to secure all data and communications sent over the connection. It is the same security standard used by leading banks. In this way, the Chinese ISPs and firewall only see your VPN IP address and encrypted connections. If you choose a US IP address, they do not know that you are actually located in China. Your request is first sent to VPN servers and the session is encrypted. The server then sends the request to Google website. Result will be sent back to VPN servers and then gets back to you. The firewall will think the request sent from the location that VPN is based. They will not block request sent from outside mainland China. In this case, you can escape blocks imposed by the Great Firewall and avoid censorship while using a VPN in China. Though it routes several times, the Internet connection is still fast with great VPN. A VPN also secures your connection, so you don’t need to worry about snoops or the government violating your privacy or surveilling you.

Can’t Access Domestic Chinese Websites with VPN?

Using VPN might make some domestic Chinese websites inaccessible. Video sharing platforms like Youku and Tencent video are only available for China-based IP address. Besides, Chinese prices are much cheaper than foreign prices on some shopping sites. You will not get the cheap price if you are using a US-based IP with a VPN. That is a question. In this case, you can turn off VPN when visiting domestic websites. That makes some domestic websites available and helps you get faster speed. Simply switch it on when using Google services.

Is Using VPN Legal in China?

The Chinese government has never stated that it is illegal to use a VPN to circumvent the “Great Firewall.” Besides, nobody has been taken to court for using a VPN. Despite this, China blocks the websites of most major VPNs. If you use VPN service that operate in China, make sure that they’ve agreed to disclose information about where you’re accessing the site from and what you’re doing on them upon request from the Chinese government. Usually, the providers do not offer information to government as their missions are providing private, secure and free network.

When should you install VPN? We suggest you install VPN before going to China. You have more choices. Many VPNs’ websites are blocked. Though the VPN software can circumvent the firewall, their websites are blocked. You can’t purchase VPN plan or download client there. If you installed VPN before going to China, it can help you unblock Google services in China successfully. If you forget to install VPN before the journey, you are suggested to use ExpressVPN and AreaVPN as their websites have not been blocked.

Kindly remind: When you’re using Google services, don’t try to search for sensitive keywords that might catch the attention of the Chinese government. Your connection will be reset, meaning that you’ll be shut off of the Internet for about 90 seconds. You should be able to get back on when you can see the website’s logo again.

Guide to Set Up VPN on Android

1. Unblock the device screen. Tap the Settings icon and select “More” under Wireless & Networks.

2. Select the VPN option on the Wireless & Networks screen.

3. Tap the “+” button and enter the VPN’s details. Give a name to help you remember which VPN is which into the Name field. Then, select the type of VPN server you’re connecting to, and enter the VPN server’s address.

4. Tap the VPN to connect once you finish the setup. You are allowed to choose from the multiple VPN servers configured and switch between them from the VPN screen.

It requires your VPN username and password to login when you connect. If you think it’s inconvenient to enter detail every time, you can save this account information for next time. While connected to a VPN, you will see a persistent “VPN activated” notification in your notifications drawer. To disconnect, tap the notification and tap Disconnect. In this way, you can use Google Services in China on Android freely.

Best VPNs for China or Other Prohibited Countries

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Detail of Some VPNs


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Due to several disputes, Google gave up its services in mainland China and the Chinese authority blocks Google and all of its services. The Chinese government stated that they do so to protect their people’s thought. Others think the government block western websites to make place for domestic ones. Anyway, users can’t access those services with the help of local servers. Like Google, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube and more famous services also are blocked by the Great Firewall of China. To use Google services and other blocked websites in China, you need a reliable VPN. It enables you to bypass government censorship as well as geo-restriction. You also can unblock Netflix in China. Besides, the VPN encrypts your connections to keep snoopers, advertisers, hackers, ISP and government away from your privacy. Still struggling with the Great Firewall of China? Grab a VPN to use Google services in China now.