Is Gmail blocked in China is a standard question you can expect to hear from any business person or tourist headed to China. The simple answer is ‘yes’ because the Chinese government has implemented internet censorship which limits devices on Chinese servers from accessing certain websites. If you are going to China you will either have to make do with these rules or try to look for ways to get around their giant ‘firewall’. There is a way to access Gmail in China and we will be looking at how to do this using virtual private networks (VPN).
Does Gmail work in China?
Two main types of websites are blocked: social media sites and foreign news sites. Not all websites that fall into these two categories are blocked but most of the big names like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Gmail, and The Washington Post are blocked.
Even though the Chinese government has put these steps into place to try to stop citizens to access Gmail and other ‘unfavorable’ websites, they cannot completely prevent it.
As soon as the technology was invented for ISPs, and therefore governments, to block certain traffic, new technology was released that allowed users to bypass these firewalls and ensure that their access remains confidential.
‘Does Gmail work in China?’ is no longer a dead-end, but the start of another road. That road is paved by VPNs. VPNs provide users with the ability to encrypt their data and change where it seems they are. By doing so, the Chinese servers are unable to implement their censorship technology and, therefore, cannot stop you from accessing the sites of your choosing.
To access Gmail in China all you have to do is download a reliable VPN and use its service. Once operational the VPN will take care of the rest and you should be able to access Gmail in China.
VPNs that work in China
Virtual Private Networks are like having a virtual cloak of invisibility. Instead of having to worry about different parties knowing who and where you are, the VPN allows you to stay hidden which provides you with increased security and fewer access limitations.
One of the main reasons that VPNs are so popular is because certain ISPs or government bodies block citizens from accessing certain sites. These can range from online gambling to simple social media websites like in China.
There are plenty of VPN services that can be downloaded for free or for a small fee. Each service has its pros and cons and we would spend the whole day just listing all the options available. Your best bet is to look at some of the top recommended VPNs and to decide which one will work best for your intended purpose.
The two main areas to look at when choosing a VPN is security and speed. Both are important but some users require more security than speed and vice versa. The VPN protocol used is what determines the level of encryption and the speed achieved by a VPN.
You will find below some top names in the VPN world. All of these are secure options but have subtle differences that are valued to certain users.
Free VPNs: A solution to avoid
You now know that you need a VPN to make sure you keep up to date with all your social media accounts while in China but are you willing to spend money or are you just looking for the free version that will make this all possible. Because when you ask ‘does Gmail work in China’ you have to consider what you are willing to do to make it work.
When it comes to accessing Gmail in China, you might want to take time to consider your options. The Chinese government has become increasingly clever with preventing their internet users from accessing prohibited sites. They have implemented various anti-VPN updates to their censorship protocols.
Even though free VPN servers can do the trick for most basic needs, most of them are not updated regularly meaning you could find yourself stuck in China with a VPN that does not work and remember, once you are in China it is a lot harder to download a VPN.
Instead of taking the risk, use a VPN server that you can trust. Most of these companies put a lot of effort into their servers and maintaining their quality is of their utmost importance. To provide this service, they require a small fee.
The fees are often in the form of a subscription and can be canceled at any point. It might be worth paying for the VPN while you are on holiday and then afterward you can always cancel it.
Is Gmail blocked in China? The answer is still yes. But now we realize that even though something is blocked, it does not mean it has to stay that way for every user. With the right VPN, you will be searching your favorite sites in no time.
Now that you have the VPN of your choosing, ExpressVPN, you can tackle the next question: ‘how does Gmail work in China’. You know that a VPN masks your identity, well this is the key principle behind them allowing you to access Gmail in China.
Once in China, you will have a Chinese IP address. This IP address lets the world know that you are searching the internet from China and therefore, due to the ‘firewall’, you cannot access certain sites.
To get around this, all you need to do is get your VPN to choose a different location from which to create your IP address. That way, you will have generated an IP address from, for example, the United States. They do not block social media in the United States and therefore you will be able to access Gmail as much as you like.
So, is Gmail blocked in China? Yes, but thanks to VPNs you don’t ever have to be ‘in China’ when you are using the internet.