In China? Get a VPN.

Do you miss Internet freedom?

Living in Shanghai, or anywhere in Mainland China, means access is denied for Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Blogspot, and all the other sites blocked by Great Firewall of China (GFW).

Foreigners scattered everywhere in China share the same frustration. Some live with the ridiculous censors, some work around it with unreliably free solutions that only get added to the blocked list, while others pay a hefty price for VPNs. If you dabble with social media to any extent, you’d really want to get around the GFW with a VPN. (Professional) Social media junkie? A paid VPN is a must-have!

Free VPNs/Proxies

There are free VPNs like Hotspot Shield and Freedur but they are at risk of being, or already have been, blocked by the GFW. Same case with proxies like (which still works for now). You can use it for browsing blocked sites, but using it for sites that require your login information is highly unadvisable because these free solutions are very unsafe. Your passwords may very well be stolen when you use such proxies. Moreover, annoying ads keep popping up either on your current page or on a new browser window.

Paid VPNs

So far, the more popular VPNs used in China by foreigners are Witopia and new solution 12VPN. Some paid VPNs might not be able to grant you access to Twitter and Facebook, but both Witopia and 12VPN have no such issue. Access Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube in China with 12VPN. The connection is fast, usage is stable and it gets you a US/UK IP address.

Even if you aren’t in a country that restricts Internet freedom, a VPN should be considered to give you that extra layer of protection when you need to do secure transactions or surf anonymously (useful in the office where they try to log your Internet activity).



12VPN used to only cost $2.95/month for their Lite plan, and customers who bought it during that time can renew it at that price. However, after there was a series of clamp downs on VPNs, 12VPN has had no choice but to increase its pricing to $79/year for a US Personal plan, and $119 for a World Personal plan. These prices are still very competitive and it pays to have internet freedom and secure surfing.


12VPN’s tech support is impressive. Their replies are prompt and the support team provides friendly and apt help. They even offer background information of the problem to enable the layman to understand. A solution company should always make tech support priority, and 12VPN’s professional assistance is a role model. The tech support team even has a great sense of humour, you’ll see.


12VPN has the following protocols:

  • OpenVPN
  • PPTP
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • Cisco/Shrew

And is compatible with the following platforms:

  • Android
  • iPhone
  • iPod Touch
  • Linux Command-Line and Ubuntu
  • Mac OS/X 10.5 and above
  • Windows XP, 2000, 2003, Vista, 7

Get 12VPN at 5% off

12VPN offers a 7-day money back guarantee, so you can try it first before committing, in a way. For a limited period, the guys at 12VPN has offered readers a 5% discount. Simply enter the promo code SHANGHAIHALFPAT during sign-up to qualify.

VPN in China

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