China is an authoritarian state that heavily censors internet usage in a bid to prevent certain ideas opinions on the Chinese policies and culture. This move prevents interfering with the government and influencing Chinese citizens.
For a long time, many Chinese citizens managed to circumvent this censorship by using a VPN. The state, however, has started to wise up to this and has begun blocking VPNs in China.
With this country-wide blocking, it is getting harder to find a reliable VPN. Luckily, though, NordVPN has obfuscated servers that can be used to get around this block. It’s not as simple as downloading NordVPN and getting to it, though—there are some steps that need to be taken first.
Making NordVPN Work in China
Looking through NordVPN’s list of servers and locations, you may notice that China isn’t there. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work in China, though. This is simply a method being used by NordVPN to remain off the Chinese government’s radar and avoid being spotted and blocked.
You may be thinking “But Hong Kong is there, that’s in China” and while this is correct, there is very little internet censorship in Hong Kong. This is because Hong Kong is a Chinese “special administrative region” and not strictly part of China itself. It was, for many years, under British rule and has been heavily influenced by the West.
How to Use NordVPN in China
One crucial advice you need to follow: if you want to use NordVPN in China it is important that you download, install, and configure it before you get there.
NordVPN’s website is blocked in the country and downloading it can be very difficult while you are there. Also, by doing this you reduce the chance of being caught by the Chinese authorities trying to download a VPN. Remember, the internet in China is not only heavily censored, but heavily, heavily monitored.
Alternatively, you can load the NordVPN installation files onto a USB stick, external drive, or your device itself before getting there.
Once you have downloaded NordVPN (before arriving in the country, if possible) it is very easy to configure NordVPN so that it can be used seamlessly in China and bypass censorship.
All you need to do is set up NordVPN so that it uses their obfuscated servers that are optimized for usage in China. These only work on Windows, Android, and macOS devices, though. If you are an iOS user, you will need to manually configure OpenVPN and be aware that NordVPN has said that there can be authentication issues for macOS users.
Some users have reported this method doesn’t work – but they have found that NordVPN support has another way of configuring the services for China. Make sure you contact NordVPN before going to China. Take a look at our comments section for more context. Regardless, contact NordVPN support before going so they can deliver on their promises!
Setting Up NordVPN’s Obfuscated Servers
It is very easy to do this—user friendliness is one of the many things that makes NordVPN such a great service.
1. Open up NordVPN and head to Settings in the top-left
You will be met by this impressively long list of configuration options.
2. Scroll down to “show advanced settings” and click on it
NordVPN might ask if you are sure you want to continue, just click on “Proceed”.
3. Find “Obfuscated Servers” and toggle it from Off to On
4. Exit out of settings by clicking “Servers” and then press “Obfuscated Servers” on the left
5. You can then either let NordVPN choose a server for you, or select from the drop-downs
Some users have trouble connecting to NordVPN’s obfuscated servers. Personally, we had no trouble on multiple devices…
Before you run into problems, we recommend contacting NordVPN’s customer support team. There are lots of different support channels available and responses are quick and informative!
All NordVPN’s obfuscated servers work in other sketchy countries such as Russia and the UAE, however, it is worth keeping in mind that they are designed and optimized for use in China.
Try Out NordVPN for Yourself
You can try out NordVPN for yourself completely free.
NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee (no questions asked), giving you an entire month to try out NordVPN and decide whether it’s right for you without losing any money.