In order to get around the Great Fire Wall and visit blocked websites such as Twitter and Facebook, many Chinese internet users subscribe to VPN services. However, according to recent news from Engadget, many VPNs (free and paid) have been blocked. Learn about the China block.
PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols blocked
Firstly, the PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols have been blocked on March 16, 2011, and then, soon after, the access to several VPN providers’ sites was disrupted. Unfortunately, the number of blocked VPNs in China kept growing since then. Some of the providers were able to fight back and provide workaround solutions for their Chinese clients, but many VPN sites are still inaccessible.
The two protocols (PPTP and L2TP) are often used for mobile devices for connecting to a private network, but they are also the only protocols exposed by small VPN providers. By blocking these, Chinese internet users are left without options: the access to the sites of big VPN providers is blocked and the small VPN providers are not able to offer a working solution.
How to get around the China block
My advice for those interested is to get a VPN account as soon as possible from those providers that are not yet blocked and offer SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)/SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) or SSL/OpenVPN (here is a list of such services). These protocols have yet to be blocked by the government of any country, so although sites may be unable to be accessed, those who have access to the software before internet censorship organizations block VPN companies’ sites will still be able to protect their privacy and surf anonymously.
Are you using VPN from China? Were you affected by the China block? Were you been able to bypass it using OpenVPN? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.