By: James | February 07, 2017

The answer is "it depends"... on the server.

The iOS apps of many VPN services use the Cisco IKEv2 protocol. I have always found this protocol to perform very poorly during my testing and concluded that IKEv2 doesn't work very well in China. I was testing the new iOS app from yesterday and discovered that the IKEv2 protocol works extremely well - on one specific server. The Los Angeles server hosted on Psychz is very fast with the IKEv2 protocol. I was able to get 75M download speed on my China Telecom 100M fibre connection.

The server names used by are very confusing. The Psychz hosted server is called "Los Angeles" in the iPad app but in the Windows software, it is called "Los Angeles 4" and ...

Category: VPN 

Tags: china, ikev2, vpn ac, strongvpn, expressvpn 

By: James | January 24, 2017

TL;DR Version

The Chinese government annouced a crackdown against Chinese telecom companies offering unregistered VPN services for cross-border business activities. This was widely mis-reported by the international news media as China making VPN use illegal. There is no law against individuals in China using a personal VPN service - never has been, probably never will be. Carry on, nothing to see here.

If you are a VPN user in China and you follow the international news, you might be expecting the police to knock on your door and take you to jail soon. You can thank the South China Morning Post for causing mass hysteria among expats in China with their irresponsible and incomplete reporting in an article titled China tightens Great Firewall ...

Category: VPN 

Tags: VPN in China illegal 

By: James | July 23, 2016

My Best VPN for Netflix page is mainly focused on using a VPN or Smart DNS to watch the USA Netflix library if you are outside USA. Several website visitors have asked me recently about using a VPN to watch Netflix libraries from other countries such as Canada and UK. I didn't realize there was any demand for this but I guess some people are looking for it.

I have tested my top 2 recommended VPNs for Netflix - VyprVPN and ExpressVPN.

VyprVPN does not seem to work for non-US Netflix. However ExpressVPN is working for at least Canada and UK VPN connections. However the MediaStreamer DNS only works with USA Netlfix library. If you want to watch Canadian or UK Netflix on an iPad, Apple TV, Smart TV, PS4, Roku, etc then use a VPN router or vi...

By: James | June 11, 2016

One of my friends signed up with ExpressVPN a few months ago. He had a very specific requirement of watching UK streaming TV and he found that ExpressVPN was not good in this regard. Their UK servers were not fast enough for reliable streaming. 

I recommended VPN.AC to him because they have a special unofficial unadvertised feature that enables you to watch geo-restricted streaming services regardless of which server location you connect to. Using VPN.AC he was able to watch UK streaming services from any server, not having to rely on the small selection of UK servers of other VPN services.

So is the money back guarantee really hassle-free? Decide for yourself, the chat transcript is shown below. It seems hassle-free to me! If you wa...

Category: VPN 


By: James | June 11, 2016

Previously it was possible to get a free 7 day trial from Astrill if you signed up using another VPN or signed up outside of China. I previously published this page showing how you could get the free trial using another VPN. 

It looks like they have closed that loophole and no longer offer a free trials for customers in China even if you sign up while connected to another VPN. No money back guarantee either. According to their official refund policy you can only get a refund if "Astrill doesn't work on your computer due to technical reasons and Astrill technicians were not able to fix the problem within 7 days after purchase was made." You can read the full refund policy here.

The first sentence of the policy is "Astrill ...

Category: VPN 

Tags: Astrill 

By: James | May 15, 2016


This blog post was originally published in May, 2016.

After over 2 years, the MediaStreamer DNS from ExpressVPN still works perfectly on Apple TV and many other devices (Xbox, Play Station, etc).

I have been using ExpressVPN VPN and DNS services for USA Netflix for almost 2 years. I can say, without doubt, that it is the most reliable and provides the fastest streaming compared to any other service.

Special Offer for ExpressVPN

Sign up using this special link and get an additional 3 months free with purchase of a 1 year subscription (you will still get the 30 day hassle-free money back guarantee with this offer).

As some of you may know I am currently in Canada. I didn't think I would be using any VPN services during my time here...

Category: VPN 

Tags: Netflix 

By: James | April 01, 2016

January 9, 2017 Update

I don't know why, but it's still possible to order from iHerb tax-free if you choose SF Express for delivery and the total tax is under 50 yuan (using the old tax calculation system). I just made this order today and it's tax-free with free shipping using SF Express. It's not as easy as before to get both free shipping and no tax because the tax rates have changed. Most items are taxed at 15% now instead of 10% which means you need to make your order over $40 for free shipping but less than ~ $47 (depending on USD/CNY FOREX rate). If you have trouble getting the right items in your cart for both free shipping and tax-free then you can order over $20 and the shipping is only $4.

Here are the new tax rates for personal o...

Category: iHerb 


By: James | March 15, 2016

I decided to try the VyprVPN live chat support when all of their servers were down during the early morning hours of March 7, 2016 during the NPC meetings. The chat was completely useless and the most idiotic advice even given to me by any VPN support staff. Yes VyprVPN - the VPNs are being actively blocked by the government I'm sure that reinstalling the C++ Redistributable files will solve the problem!

I did send an email and got a more sensible reply form the email support.

Here is the transcript of my live chat.

Me: Cannot connect to anything from China right now.
Just a moment...

Sorry for the delay. We're working on getting to you as quickly as possible. If you need to run, you can contact us via email here:  Contact Support

Sorry, Frank is...

Category: Uncategorized 


By: James | March 14, 2016

I normally have nothing but good things to say about iHerb but I had a terrible experience with the live chat on the website. The real cause of my problem is that when shipping by China EMS you need to enter a China ID card number (身份证)for customs clearance purposes. In the end I had to cancel my order and place a new order with SF shipping but I had to remove one item that is not available to be shipped by SF Express. Check my iHerb page for more information and tips about shopping on iHerb from China.

Below is the live chat transcript from iHerb. It felt like I was talking to a bot, not a real person.

Chat transcript

Mary De Chavez Sat, 03/12/16 07:59:54 pm Asia/Hong_Kong
Thank you for contacting iHerb. May I have your name please?

Category: Uncategorized 

Tags: iHerb 

By: James | February 07, 2016

I recently put some instructions on this website about how to get a driver's license legally in China. When I was thinking about the process I was reminded of some of the funny questions from the written exam. I saved some of the questions that I thought were the most funny. This is not a joke, these are real questions on from the test. The person who is addicted to drug taking and injection may apply for a motorized
vehicle driving license when he is not overwhelmed by drug addiction.
Answer: Wrong When rescuing the injured, it is necessary to ________.
A. Save life first and treat the wounds later
B. Treat the wounds first and safe life later
C. Help the slightly wounded persons first
D. Help the seriously wounded persons later

Category: Uncategorized