VPN in China Latest Updates - Live Blog

About This Page

This page is a journal style blog where I just talk about whatever VPN servers are working good for me or just my random thoughts about using VPNs in China. It's highly disorganized and overly-detailed, the average VPN user will not find anything of interest on this page. If you are just looking for a good VPN for China and don't want to spend hours reading about my VPN usage over the past 6 months then go to the Best VPN for China page. If you are deeply interested in getting high VPN performance and advanced tips then keep reading.

If you think that providing this detailed information is helping the government block VPNs then you have a very poor understanding of the GFW works. 99% of all blocking is done automatically by algorithms and machine learning. China could block all VPN traffic if they wanted to, but they will never do this. Using a VPN or talking about using a VPN is not illegal in China. Check the VPN in China FAQ page for more information on this.

Certain providers such as Astrill are sometimes targeted specifically by the GFW. This is likely due to the fact that they advertise their service in Chinese language, market their service to locals in China, and partner with resellers that are enemies of the government (Great Fire dot org for example, I won't put the link here otherwise this website may get blocked). When Astrill gets blocked, they usually blame their customers for talking about their service on Twitter, online forums, etc. This is not the real reason for the blocking. You will also notice that Astrill needs to invent new protocols to keep their VPN working but other VPNs work fine with standard PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN.

Feel free to talk about VPN server performance here. It's not illegal and you are not going to cause any VPN to get blocked. Leave your comments at the bottom of the page.

2017 VPN in China Blog Start Here....

The page was getting too large so I started a new one for 2017. If you are looking for the 2016 blog, you can find it here.

James' current top-recommended VPN servers for China

The below recommendations are based on my extensive testing with China Telecom 100M fibre in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China Unicom 4G mobile data, and China Unicom 20M fibre in Yulin, Guangxi. The recommendations for China Mobile are based on limited testing during business travel to Jiangsu province.

I am only including servers with the very best performance - low latency - high reliability - high download speed. I highly recommend using China Mobile or China Unicom over China Telecom if you have the choice. The international bandwidth of Unicom and Mobile is not nearly as over-sold as Telecom, and there are many more VPN servers that will give you high performance.

Many VPN servers work in China, this list only includes the best performing ones and does not take any other factors into consideration such as quality of apps, customer support, etc. For a more complete ranking taking all of these factors into consideration, check the best VPN for China page.


Top VPN servers for China Telecom

Top Tier:

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 1 (NEW)

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3

Second Tier:

VPN.ac Germany (CN2)

Top VPN servers for China Mobile

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1

ExpressVPN Singapore Jurong

ExpressVPN Tokyo 1

ExpressVPN Tokyo 2

StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG301/HKG302

StrongVPN Tokyo HND301/HND302/HND303

VyprVPN Hong Kong

VPN.ac Hong Kong 2

VPN.ac Tokyo 2


Top VPN servers for China Unicom

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 1 (NEW)

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3

StrongVPN Singapore SIN301/SIN302

VPN.ac Tokyo 2

August 14, 2017 3:00am

I am currently on vacation in Canada. However, the following tests were done from my computer in China. I accessed my computer in China remotely through a software called TeamViewer.

Before I start the tests, I should mention that it has been widely reported in the news that VPN apps have been removed from the China version of the Apple app store.

This does not surprise me at all. 

In fact, I predicted this very event in my blog post published on January 24, 2017 (the last point at the bottom of the article).

Don't worry, it's still easy to download all the VPN apps on your iPhone or iPad in China. Just follow my instructions on how to create a USA iTunes account without a credit card.

Amid all of these news reports about China "cracking down" on VPNs, let's see how my top recommended VPN services are working these days...

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 1 - OpenVPN UDP

This server is still performing very well, but I do have a complaint. 

The IP address that was assigned to me is geo-located in USA. I had to manually choose a speed test server in Hong Kong to get an accurate result. 

This is a common problem with ExpressVPN. I don't understand why they assign exit IPs with incorrectly registered geo-location data to many of their servers. Aside from being an annoyance, performance is degraded on websites that serve content from servers based on your geographic region.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 - OpenVPN UDP

The ping time was a little higher than usual, but still decent, and the speed is amazing (as always).

VPN.ac Germany (CN2) - OpenVPN ECC (UDP)

High latency, decent download speed. As usual.

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 - OpenVPN ECC (UDP)

Great latency and download speed. I will try to test this one again during China peak bandwidth hours soon and see how it performs. As I recall, this server performs well during non-peak hours but poorly during peak hours.

VyprVPN Tokyo Chameleon

VyprVPN San Francisco Chameleon

Not much to say about VyprVPN really. The Chameleon protocol works quite well, connection is always reliable. However, the speed is not great with China Telecom. 

VyprVPN works fine for lite browsing, emails, social media, etc. However, if you need a fast connection for HD video streaming, downloading large files, etc then you are better off to look elsewhere.

June 20, 2017 6:30pm

There have been some changes made to the ExpressVPN Hong Kong servers. Hong Kong 4 no longer has good routing to China Telecom. However, there is good news...

Hong Kong 1 now has a new premium China Telecom routing

It is even faster than Hong Kong 3!

The speed test page is not cooperating with me at the moment, but I assure you that it's very fast. No problems streaming YouTube in 1080P at 15,000Mbps right now.

If you are using ExpressVPN with China Telecom, I highly recommend you try the Hong Kong 1 server ASAP. 

If you haven't tried ExpressVPN yet, now is a great time to try it risk-free for 30 days.

June 18, 2017 2:30pm

Long time, no updates. I just got out of jail. I was arrested for using a VPN, I guess I was wrong, it is illegal after all.

Just joking.

I've just been very busy recently, spending most of my free time trading bitcoins and other crypto-currencies.

I have been using ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 and my own Alibaba shadowsocks server. Nothing else is good enough for me right now. Especially when I am trading bitcoins, I need a very fast connection so I can see the order book in real time. 

I found that ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 is not quite as stable as Hong Kong 3 and can be slow sometimes so I have stopped using it. If you need the fastest and most stable VPN connection with China Telecom, then ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 is the only choice.

Even worse news for customers of StrongVPN who are using China Telecom. They have removed the HKG301 and HKG302 servers and replaced them with servers hosted on another provider. 

The HKG301 and HKG302 servers were hosted on Tele Asia, which had direct peering with China Telecom. Typical ping time for me was 15ms.

The new HKG303 and HKG304 servers are hosted on some shit provider without any direct route to China Telecom.

HKG303 is routed through UK and USA! This is the worst routing I have ever seen. All the way around the world!

StrongVPN HKG303 China Telecom Routing

HKG304 is not much better...

StrongVPN HKG304 routing China Telecom

Here are some speed test results for the HKG304 and HKG304 servers.

I am really disappointed about this server change. I feel bad for recommending StrongVPN on this blog for China Telecom customers. I have already sent my comments to the General Manager of StrongVPN. If there are any StrongVPN subscribers using China Telecom, I suggest that you send your own feedback to StrongVPN about this Hong Kong server change.

StrongVPN Support - support@vpn@support.reliablehosting.com

StrongVPN Management - management@strongvpn.com

I have already removed StrongVPN from the "Top VPNs for China" section of the sidebar and I will edit the Best VPN for China page soon.

May 12, 2017 11:30pm to 12:30am (+1)

Here are some speed test results done on my Android phone at a bar in Zhuhai which is using China Mobile for their free WIFI connection.

The tests shown in this blue background area were done using China Mobile ISP. Normally, the tests on this page are done with China Telecom unless stated otherwise.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP via China Mobile

ExpressVPN Singapore Jurong OpenVPN UDP via China Mobile

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP via China Mobile

StrongVPN Singapore SIN301 OpenVPN UDP via China Mobile

VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN UDP via China Mobile

VyprVPN Hong Kong OpenVPN 256 via China Mobile

VPN.ac Tokyo 2 OpenVPN UDP via China Mobile

Conclusion - The same servers that I identified from my last China Mobile test continue to work very well. The maximum speed was around 10Mbps, it seemed like the speed was limited by QoS on the router at the bar or maybe they don't have a very fast line from China Mobile.

I am still recommending China Mobile as the best ISP in China for VPN connections.

May 4, 2017 5:00pm to 6:00pm

It's been a long time since I did any testing with China Unicom. I found out that you can buy a 1GB mobile data pack from China Unicom for only 5 RMB, valid for 1 day within Guangdong province only.

I bought this data pack today so I could tether my phone to my computer via the android WIFI hotspot and do some China Unicom tests.

The 4G signal is not great in my apartment, only 50% bars. Here is the speed I can get without a VPN.

Wow, the upload speed is very fast! Maybe the download speed is limited by the tower that my phone is connected to?

The tests are done in random order because I wanted to test as many different VPNs as possible before my 1GB was finished.

The tests shown in this grey background area were done using China Unicom ISP. Normally, the tests on this page are done with China Telecom unless stated otherwise.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

Hong Kong 3 is always good no matter what ISP you are using. The data center of Hong Kong 3 has a direct premium line to all 3 ISPs in China. The latency is only 10ms higher than the test with no VPN and the speed is not bad either.

VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

I don't know what happened but Leaseweb (the host of VPN.ac Hong Kong 2) had very good peering with China Unicom before. That is no longer the case. I found this same high latency when I tested one of my shadowsocks servers that is using the Leaseweb backbone.

I believe the VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 server is hosted in a new data center since the last time I tested it with China Unicom.

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

It looks like the Hong Kong 1 server from VPN.ac is now the one which works good with China Unicom. Latnecy is similar to ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 and the speed is pretty good too.

VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 is not the only server that is no longer performing very well with China Unicom.

VyprVPN Singapore OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

The speed is pretty good, still better than anything I could get using China Telecom with VyprVPN right now. However, the latency is a little too high to include this in my list of top performing servers. This server has been removed from the list.

Let's see if the StrongVPN Singapore server still has good latency to China Unicom.

StrongVPN Singapore OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

Excellent ping time, decent download speed, and wow, look at that upload speed! The only server so far to take advantage of the China Unicom fast upload speed.

I have some data left, I will run the ExpressVPN speed test and see what other servers might be good.

ExpressVPN in-app speed test results using China Unicom mobile data tethering

Of course Hong Kong 3 is the best server, and I have already tested it. Now I am going to try the next 3 servers on the top of the list.

ExpressVPN Thailand OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

Decent download speed but the the latency is too high. Next...

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

The latency is just borderline acceptable for me (keep in mind that latency is a bit higher on a mobile network compared to a residential connection) and the download speed is good. I think I am going to include this in the top servers for China Unicom.

Both the Hong Kong 3 and Hong Kong 4 servers from ExpressVPN have a direct premium line to China Telecom (China Telecom CN2 routing). However, only Hong Kong 3 has the direct line to China Unicom. The Hong Kong 4 server is routed to China Unicom through Beijing and Tokyo. The routing with China Telecom is the same as Hong Kong 3 (directly to Hong Kong via Guangzhou).

Here is my trace route map using China Unicom with Hong Kong 4. As far as indirect routes go, this is one of the better ones I have seen. At least it's not routed to USA like most other Asian VPN servers.

China Unicom visual trace route to ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4

The latency of ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 with China Unicom would be better from Beijing / Northern China as Beijing is the transit point for the China Unicom route.

Taiwan 1 is also not performing as well as it used to with China Unicom.

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP

Good download speed but much higher latency than before. I'm going to cross this one off the list as well.

Now I am going to run my VPN.ac server ping script to see what other servers have a good ping time to China Unicom.

It looks like the Tokyo 2 server will be good.

VPN.ac Tokyo 2 OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

Yes, good latnecy and download speed.

I still have a few hundred MB remaining to use up today. I am going to re-test a few of the servers at 9pm tonight and see if they still perform well.

To be continued....

9pm Re-test

First, I tried VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 but it was so slow that the speed test could not even finish. I kept getting an error saying that the download failed. I guess that will not make the list of top servers for China Unicom.

VPN.ac Tokyo 2, on the other hand, is still performing very well at 9pm.

VPN.ac Tokyo 2 OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

Let's see how ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 and Hong Kong 4 are performing at 9pm with China Unicom.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 and Hong Kong 4 are still performing very well.

Final test, let's see whether StrongVPN Singapore is still fast at 9pm.

StrongVPN Singapore OpenVPN UDP via China Unicom mobile data

Yes, it is still fast, and that upload speed is amazing. I don't know why this server gets faster upload speeds with China Unicom than any other servers.

Conclusion based on the China Unicom tests above is that China Unicom is not as good as it was last year for VPN connections. Some of the international hosting providers that used to have low latency to China Unicom now have high latency, which has affected some of the servers I was recommending before.

However, China Unicom is still a much better option than China Telecom. Even the servers I tested today which did not make the list of top recommended servers still perform better than 99% of VPN servers with China Telecom.

If you have a China Unicom SIM card for your mobile phone and you are getting frustrated with poor VPN performance using China Telecom, you can always buy a 1-day data package from China Unicom. The cost is only 5 yuan for 1GB (can be used only in Guangdong in my case, I'm not sure if this is available in other provinces or not).

If you're not lucky enough to be using China Unicom or China Mobile then the only way to get very good VPN performance with China Telecom at this time of night is with ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 and Hong Kong 4 (or by tunneling a VPN connection over a shadowsocks server).

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP (back on China Telecom now)

Wow, I have never seen such high latency with ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3. The ping time for me is usually 15ms - 20ms. Download speed is a little slower than usual too. China Telecom must be experiencing some network issues on their CN2 routes to Hong Kong tonight.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 seems to be performing even better than Hong Kong 3 sometimes. Slightly lower ping time (still not as low as usual) and much higher download speed.

May 1, 2017 6:00pm

Happy May 1 holiday everyone!

I'm currently using ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 to watch YouTube and it's working very well. Currently streaming at over 40Mbps. My monitor is only 1080P, that's why I'm not streaming in 4k. 

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 YouTube streaming speed from China

May 1, 2017 12:00pm

Website visitor Joe tried to embed a speed test result in the comments section but that doesn't seem to work so I want to show his result here. He said he is using a 200Mbps China Telecom connection in Kunming, Yunnan. 

Very impressive speed, thanks for sharing your result Joe!

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP (result from website visitor Joe in Kunming with China Telecom 200Mbps connection)

If anyone else wants to share a speed test result in the comments section, after clicking on the share link you will get 4 options - WEB, IMAGE, EMBED, FORUM. Choose the EMBED option and it will work.


April 30, 2017 9:00pm to 9:15pm

Finally, I have time to do a 9pm speed test. This is the worst time to use a VPN with China Telecom because their international lines are very congested right now.

I am going to re-test the same servers that I tested earlier this afternoon.

For this testing, I calculated a "speed index" by using this formula.

speed index = download speed (Mbps) * 100 / ping time (ms).

The higher the download speed, the higher the speed index. The lower the latency, the higher the speed index. Both high download speed and low latency will contribute to a higher speed index number.

Server Index DL (Mbps) UL (Mbps) Ping (ms)
ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 265.2 47.73 3.92 18
ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 183.5 28.45 3.94 31
VPN.ac Germany (CN2) 24.7 27.65 4.74 224
VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 5.5 0.69 4.79 25
StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG302 99.9 9.49 4.58 19
VyprVPN Hong Kong 0.3 0.27 0.11 188
VyprVPN Los Angeles 0.2 0.34 1.71 285

speed test chart expressvpn vs vyprvpn vs vpn.ac vs strongvpn

As you can see, ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 and Hong Kong 4 outperform everything else using China Telecom. It's not even close.

The raw test data is shown below.

speed test raw data expressvpn vs strongvpn vs vyprvpn vs vpn.ac

April 30, 2017 12:45pm to 1:00pm

This new Hong Kong 4 server from ExpressVPN is performing very well.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP

It's even a little faster than Hong Kong 3 right now.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

Next I will test VPN.ac Germany (CN2) and Hong Kong 1.

VPN.ac Germany (CN2) OpenVPN UDP

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP

Let's see how the one good server of StrongVPN is performing today.

StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG302 OpenVPN UDP

I haven't tested VyprVPN for a long time. I was told that they would be making some improvements for connections to China Telecom. Let's see if anything has improved.

VyprVPN Hong Kong OpenVPN UDP

VyprVPN Los Angeles OpenVPN UDP

Here is my conclusion based on today's testing.

ExpressVPN - High speed and low latency, the perfect combination, with both Hong Kong 3 and Hong Kong 4.

VPN.ac - High speed, high latency (Germany) or low speed, low latency (Hong Kong 1). Not ideal but still considered good options for China Telecom connections.

StrongVPN - Low speed, low latency. Not ideal but still a decent option for China Telecom if low latency is important to you.

VyprVPN - Low speed, high latency. Not recommended for China Telecom.

April 30, 2017 1:00am

I just found out that ExpressVPN has a new server - Hong Kong 4.

It is very fast with very low latency, just like Hong Kong 3.

I will test it some more tomorrow to see if it's also fast during peak bandwidth hours.

April 21, 2017 7:00pm

Just a quick test before I go out to see a movie. DIRK from the comments section of the Best VPN for China page said that the VyprVPN Tokyo was working good for him with China Telecom.

Unfortunately, it is not performing so well for me. High latency and low download speed.

April 22, 2017 VPN speed test using China Telecom VyprVPN vs ExpressVPN vs VPN.ac

I only had time to do the above 5 tests. I will try another test soon during peak bandwidth hours around 9pm soon. Many VPNs can perform well at this time but let's see which ones can still perform well at 9pm using China Telecom.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 had both the highest download speed and the lowest latency of the servers tested today. This is, by far, the absolute best server available from any VPN provider for China Telecom connections. 

I tried to connect to ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 but the connection was unsuccessful so I connected to Taiwan 3 instead.

VPN.ac Germany (CN2) also has very good download speed (but high latency). VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 had both good latency and good download speed. I will continue to test it more over the next few days.

April 10, 2017

I am still on vacation in USA, just a quick announcement for those of you who have been waiting patiently for my shadowsocks tutorials. I have finished the first 2 tutorials.

How to set up your own fast shadowsocks server on Vultr VPS

How to tunnel OpenVPN over shadowsocks with ExpressVPN

March 28, 2017 4:00pm (China time)

Right now I am sitting on United Airlines flight UA180 from Hong Kong to Newark. There is in-flight Wi-Fi available on this flight so I purchased a pass for $17.

United Airlines purchase in-flight WIFI screen

As you can see above, "internet video streaming is currently not supported." I tried to watch a video on YouTube but it doesn't seem to work, the video just keeps trying to load but it won't load. I guess they have blocked video streaming somehow.

What is the solution?

Of course, this problem can be solved by turning on a VPN. I am using ExpressVPN and it's working great.

Watching YouTube on United Airlines Wi-Fi with ExpressVPN

The next problem is that United Airlines only allows you to connect one device simultaneously, unless you pay another $17.

What's the solution?

I transferred the connection from my phone to my computer and then followed my own tutorial and set up a virtual VPN router with ExpressVPN to share the connection with my phone. If I wasn't travelling alone, this would be even more useful because then I would be able to share my VPN Wifi connection with whoever I was travelling with as well.

The internet connection is actually not bad considering that I am 40,000 feet in the air.

Here is the speed without a VPN

ExpressVPN Los Angeles OpenVPN UDP

The latency is not great but 2Mbps is good enough for some simple video streaming.

I will be in the USA for the next few weeks, this will probably be the last time I update this page until I go back to the land of no internet freedom. I am always available to answer questions and give advice by email so feel free to get in touch with me any time. I think have solved the problem with my emails being detected as SPAM but better check your SPAM folder just to be sure in case you have sent me an email and didn't get a reply.

March 23, 2017 9:30pm to 10:00pm

9:30pm to 10:00pm is about the worst possible time to use a VPN with China Telecom. Here is the speed of the ExpressVPN Los Angeles server, which is quite typical for any USA server at this time of night with China Telecom.

ExpressVPN Los Angeles OpenVPN UDP

Let's see the speed of this same server when I tunnel the connection over my Alibaba Cloud (Aliyun) Hong Kong shadowsocks server.

ExpressVPN Los Angeles OpenVPN TCP over socks5 (Aliyun HK shadowsocks)

Tunneling a VPN connection over an Alibaba Hong Kong shadowsocks server is not the only way to get a fast VPN connection at this time of night. You could also just use ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 directly with China Telecom.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

The advantage of tunneling the connection over shadowsocks is very useful for servers other than ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3. It will basically make any VPN server fast with China Telecom. It can be extremely useful if you need to connect to a specific server, for example, to watch Netflix, that doesn't normally have good peering with China Telecom.

I am currently working on publishing some tutorials about shadowsocks. How to make your own shadowsocks server on Alibaba Cloud, Vultr, Digital Ocean, etc, how to tunnel a VPN over shadowsocks, and more. Check back soon for updates.

March 23, 2017 3:00pm

First, a quick announcement for anyone who has sent me an email and not received a reply. Check your SPAM folder. I am having problems with my emails being detected as SPAM, specifically Gmail seems to be marking my emails as SPAM, as I found out when I sent a test email to my own Gmail account.

test email to gmail from yandex detected as spam

I am hosting my domain email on Yandex Mail, which offers free hosting that you can use with your own domain. There seems to be something with their emails that Google doesn't like. I will try to find a solution or host the email somewhere else. I could probably do without the Russian government reading my emails anyway. In the meantime, please check your SPAM folder if you are expecting an email from me. If anyone has advice on how to solve this problem, please let me know.

I just got back to Zhuhai and the first thing I did was ask my girlfriend to call China Mobile to check whether their excellent internet service is available in my apartment complex. Sadly, it is not available. Only China Telecom here.

Here is a visual trace route that I did yesterday from Jiangsu province China Mobile to VyprVPN Hong Kong.

China Mobile trace route to VyprVPN Hong Kong

Now, here is the visual trace route to the same server today using China Telecom.

China Telecom trace route to VyprVPN Hong Kong

What the trace route shows is how exactly how the connection is made between my computer and the VyprVPN Hong Kong server. The China Telecom routing to VyprVPN Hong Kong is a classic example of non-direct peering that is very common with China Telecom. As you can see, the data is routed from Zhuhai to Guangzhou to California to Hong Kong. Hence, the high latency (ping time).

You should never connect to a VPN server with this kind of routing. It's a bad choice no matter where the website is that you are trying to access. If you are using a VPN connection like this to access a website hosted in Asia, then your data is going across the Pacific Ocean and back before making the connection to the website. If you are accessing a website hosted in USA, then all of your data is making 2 round trips across the Pacific Ocean. You are better off just connecting directly to a USA server.

March 22, 2017 12:00pm to 1:00pm

I decided to skip lunch today so I can find more high performance VPN servers for China Mobile. It's really not hard to find good servers with China Mobile, almost all of the ones I tried are good.

Aside from the testing, the server I am using normally on China Mobile is ExpressVPN Singapore Jurong. It's very fast and extremely stable.

ExpressVPN OpenVPN UDP Singapore Jurong via China Mobile

Still working great, same as yesterday. Now I will try some new servers now that I didn't test yesterday.

ExpressVPN OpenVPN UDP Tokyo 2 via China Mobile

ExpressVPN OpenVPN UDP Tokyo 1 via China Mobile

StrongVPN OpenVPN TCP Hong Kong HKG302 via China Mobile

StrongVPN OpenVPN TCP Tokyo HND302 via China Mobile

With StrongVPN, both of these servers were much faster with TCP. However, the upload speeds are not so good.

VPN.ac OpenVPN UDP Hong Kong 2 via China Mobile

The VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 server actually has the lowest latency and highest download speed of all the servers I tested today. This server is great with both China Unicom and China Mobile. Unfortunately, not so good with China Telecom.

VPN.ac OpenVPN UDP Tokyo 2 via China Mobile

I have updated the list of top recommended servers at the top of this page and included some top recommended servers for China Mobile. I would like to do more testing with China Mobile. If anyone knows of any bars, restaurants, or cafes in Zhuhai that offer China Mobile WIFI, please let me know.

March 21, 2017 1:00pm

I am currently on a business trip in Jiangsu province, and I am using an internet connection from China Mobile right now.

China Mobile is even better than China Unicom for VPN connections. If you have a choice of ISP in China, I recommend China Mobile, China Unicom, and then China Telecom, in that order.

I just ran the ExpressVPN server speed test in the Windows software. Wow, there are so many servers with latency under 100ms that I can't even show all of them to you in a single screenshot.

ExpressVPN in-app speed test results

I don't have time to test all of these, so I will just test a few of them.

First, I will test the speed of my connection here without a VPN.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP via China Mobile

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP via China Mobile

ExpressVPN Singapore Jurong OpenVPN UDP via China Mobile

Wow, the ExpressVPN Singapore Jurong server is amazing. I am getting the full speed of the line, no slowdown at all. It's working so well that I don't even feel any need to use shadowsocks today.

I'm sure that I can find good servers with other VPNs too, but I don't have time right now. I will do some more testing later if I have time.

4:30pm Update:

I just have time for one more test before I leave the place with China Mobile internet. I want to try VyprVPN because I don't often use it, due to the poor performance with China Telecom.

As with ExpressVPN, there are several servers with good latency.

VyprVPN server latency with China Mobile

I am going to try the Hong Kong server, which I know does not work good with China Telecom.

VyprVPN Hong Kong OpenVPN 256bit

Excellent performance.

Actually, I don't think it's very difficult to find good servers with any VPN if you are using China Mobile.

Any China Mobile users out there? What servers work good for you? Leave your comments at the bottom of the page.

March 18, 2017 8:30pm

I think I just found the fastest possible way to watch Netflix from China.

I have finally figured out how to tunnel ExpressVPN over a shadowsocks proxy using the Viscosity client. At first, it didn't work because the ExpressVPN manual OpenVPN configuration files are for UDP and shadowsocks can only tunnel a TCP connection.

After making some changes to the ovpn file (add line "proto tcp", change port to 443, delete line "fragment 1300), I was able to connect using TCP and then tunnel the connection over my Alibaba Hong Kong shadowsocks server.

Here is the Netflix streaming speed before and after tunneling the connection over my Alibaba Hong Kong shadowsocks server.

Netflix streaming speeds china expressvpn vs expressvpn over shadowsocks proxy

I have never experienced Netflix streaming this fast in China before!

ExpressVPN + Aliyun HK shadowsocks = crazy fast Netflix streaming

I also tested this setup with my virtual VPN router instructions and that is working very well. Time to go find my Roku...

March 18, 2017 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Previously, I have shown you how to tunnel TorGuard over a shadowsocks proxy. Today I learned that the third party OpenVPN client Viscosity also has the function to tunnel a VPN over a SOCKS5 proxy. As I am using the Viscosity client for StrongVPN (due to their terrible Windows software), I thought I would give it a try.

First, I will test StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG301 server with the normal configuration (no SOCKS5 proxy).

StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG301 OpenVPN TCP via using Viscosity

Now, lets try the same server tunneled over my Alibaba (Aliyun) shadowsocks proxy.

Viscosity SOCKS5 settings

StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG301 OpenVPN TCP over Aliyun shadowsocks proxy using Viscosity

Here are a few more speed tests using the ExpressVPN Windows app.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP

The ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 server seems to perform much better with China Unicom, even comparing China Unicom at 10pm on a Friday night with China Telecom at 4pm in the afternoon.

The VPN.ac Germany (CN2) server doesn't seem to be working very well anymore.

VPN.ac Germany (CN2) OpenVPN UDP

March 17, 2017 9:45pm

I am at a bar right now using their China Telecom WIFI, which is very slow. I turned the WIFI off and thought now might be a good chance to test some top rated VPN servers for China Unicom using my mobile data.

As I have said many times before, China Unicom and China Mobile are much better for VPN connections because their international bandwidth is not nearly as oversold as China Telecom. Even at 9:45pm on a Friday night, I am getting pretty good speeds, much better than anything you can get from China Telecom at this time unless you are using ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3.





StrongVPN Singapore China Unicom mobile data speed test


Hong Kong 2


VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 China Unicom mobile data speed test


Taiwan 1


ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 China Unicom mobile data speed test

I just burned through about 150M of my data doing this test. I probably won't be doing this again any time soon.

March 11, 2017

Today I am looking for the best servers for torrenting. I will be downloading a 1.48 GB legal torrent using the qBittorrent client on my 100Mbps China Telecom connection in Zhuhai, China.

I'm looking for servers that can download this 1.5 GB file in under 10 minutes.

As I suspected, the VPN.ac Germany CN2 is very good for torrenting. Remember, latency doesn't matter for torrenting.

VPN.ac Germany CN2

Average Speed - 4.3 MB/s = 34.4 Mbps

Peak Speed - 7.3 MB/s = 58.4 Mbps

Download time - 6 minutes

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1

Average Speed - 3.1 MB/s = 24.8 Mbps

Peak Speed - 4.7 MB/s = 37.6 Mbps

Download time - 8 minutes

Torguard over Aliyun torrent streaming speed

TorGuard Los Angeles tunneled over my own Alibaba shadowsocks server

Average Speed - 4.4 MB/s = 35.2 Mbps

Peak Speed - 7.3 MB/s = 58.4 Mbps

Download time - 6 minutes

If you know of any more VPN servers that can download this torrent in under 10 minutes, leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

March 5, 2017 10pm to 10:30pm

This time period of 10pm to 10:30pm is about the worst possible time for using China Telecom. 

But you can still get good VPN performance at this time, if you use the right servers...

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

StrongVPN HKG301 OpenVPN TCP

VPN.ac Germany (CN2) OpenVPN UDP

VPN.ac Germany (CN2) was recommended in the comment section by website visitor gyxrhy. I was testing it a little yesterday and again tonight. The latency is a too high for my liking, but I can often get decent download speed, even during peak hours. I would recommend this server when latency is not important, such as for torrenting.

VPN.ac also has some "CN2" servers in Los Angeles, but those ones don't perform so well.

February 26, 2017 2pm to 4pm

Here are a few speed test results from this afternoon.

StrongVPN HKG301 OpenVPN TCP via Viscosity Windows client

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP via Linksys WRT1900ACv2 router

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP via VPN.ac Windows client

TorGuard Hong Kong Cisco Anyconnect via Windows Anyconnect client

TorGuard Hong Kong OpenVPN UDP tunneled over Alibaba (Aliyun) Hong Kong shadowsocks server

February 24, 2017 8:30pm

Today I found out something very interesting - VPN over shadowsocks. It's really fast and way more secure than just using shadowsocks by itself.

One of the things that I don't like about shadowsocks, despite the amazing fast speed, is that it is not as secure as a VPN. It's not really safe or suitable for torrenting. It also doesn't work with all kinds of traffic and all programs. Well, I think I have found a solution to all of these problems.

VPN over shadowsocks

I remembered that TorGuard has a feature called "Stealth Proxy" which runs the VPN over TorGuard's own SOCKS5 proxy.

I have tried this before using all of the available proxy servers and it does connect but it's extremely slow. In fact, I wanted to do a speed test for this blog post to show you how slow it is but it was so slow that I couldn't even load speedtest.net.

Anyway, my goal was to see if I could get my own shadowsocks proxy hosted on Alibaba Cloud (Aliyun) to work through TorGuard. I happy to report that it works great!

Not bad speed for 8pm. Not quite as fast as pure shadowsocks but still very good. 

TorGuard is hosting their Hong Kong server on Softlayer which does not make direct connections to China Telecom. Normally, this would be a terrible choice of a VPN server if you are in China. The ping time between me and Softlayer server is over 200ms without a VPN or proxy.

Here is my traceroute to this Hong Kong server. You can see how Softlayer bounces the traffic to Malaysia and then Japan to avoid making a direct connection to China Telecom.

Traceroute to Hong Kong

However, when I tunnel the connection through my Hong Kong Aliyun shadowsocks server, the ping time is only 18ms, as you can see in the speed test result posted above.

This solves 2 of the main problems I had with shadowsocks - lack of security/anonymity and not having all traffic routed over the VPN or proxy.

Now I can enjoy the blazing fast speed of shadowsocks with the security and anonymity of a full VPN.

Seeing how TorGuard is a popular choice for torrenting, I decided to test the speed by downloading a torrent. Although technically it's possible to torrent over shadowsocks, it's generally not a good idea, especially not on a VPS, and especially not on Alibaba's servers.

No problems torrenting with VPN over shadowsocks though, because now all of my traffic is encrypted and cannot be seen by Alibaba. Speed is pretty good too, 8 MB/s * 8 = 64Mbps

Torrent Streaming Speed

Fast on YouTube too.

YouTube streaming speed Torguard over shadowsocks

Out of curiosity, I disconnected from TorGuard and then changed the stealth proxy option to use TorGuard's proxy instead of my own. Watch what happened to the YouTube streaming speed.

youtube streaming speed torguard stealth proxy

If you are running your own fast shadowsocks server with good routing out of China and want to tunnel a VPN through it, here are the instructions.

Step 1 - Sign up for TorGuard's "Anonymous VPN" package

Not to be confused with the "anonymous proxy" or other services they offer. The anonymous VPN is what you want. Use the link below and save 50% for the life of your account. This will only cost you $30 for an entire year using this promo.

Sign up for TorGuard here and get a 50% lifetime recurring discount!

Step 2 - Open the Shadowsocks client

Open the shadowsocks client and choose your shadowsocks server but do not enable the system proxy. Leave the "Enable system proxy" option un-checked as shown below.

system proxy not enabled

Step 3 - Connect shadowsocks to TorGuard

As long as the shadowsocks client is running, the proxy is still running on port 1080 of your computer. You just need to tell the TorGuard client where to find it. In the TorGuard client, choose "more settings" and then under the "Proxy" tab, choose "specify custom proxy server" and enter the following settings:

Type: Socks5


Port: 1080

Torguard shadowsocks settings

Step 4 - Connect to Torguard

Any server will work good, you don't need to use the Hong Kong server. As long as you have a good route out of China on your shadowsocks server then you will get good performance with just about anything.

For example, Los Angeles is working quite well too.

If you want to try this but don't have your own shadowsocks server, you can send me an email. I am currently running 9 servers that I am sharing for free with my friends and readers of this blog until the end of this month.

February 22, 2017 12:00am

StrongVPN is having another sale. Save 50% off any plan (monthly or annual) - this week only!

The Hong Kong HKG301/HKG302 OpenVPN server has very good routing to China Telecom.  Only $35 for 1 year is an amazing deal to get access to one of the top servers for China Telecom connections. There is also a 5 day money back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.

Just remember that StrongVPN does not have nice apps or a good interface. I only recommend it because of their one good server location for China Telecom HKG301/HKG302. 

After getting fed up with StrongVPN's buggy Window software, I decided to use Viscosity to connect to StrongVPN instead of their dedicated software. I don't know if it's because of using a third party client or what, but the speed is much faster than it was the last time I connected.

Viscosity normally costs $9 for a license but I got a free license with my 12VPN subscription. If you want to use a third party OpenVPN client, you don't have a 12VPN subscription, and you don't want to spend $9 on Viscosity, you can also connect using the OpenVPN GUI application.


February 19, 2017 11:00am

I haven't used StrongVPN for a long time so I thought I would give it a try this morning. The performance is slower than usual.

StrongVPN HKG302 OpenVPN TCP+Scramble

Next, I tried changing the protocol to UDP, and the performance was a little better, but still not great.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 is still fast and stable, as always.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP on Linksys WRT1900ACv2

The only thing faster than ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 with similar latency to China Telecom is my shadowsocks server hosted on Alibaba Cloud (Aliyun) Hong Kong.

Aliyun Hong Kong shadowsocks speed test

I have never experienced anything this fast before. It's crazy fast in the morning, the afternoon, and all night. I was getting close to 60M streaming speed from YouTube at 10:00pm last night.

aliyun streaming speed on youtube

If you know how to set up your own shadowsocks or VPN server on a VPS, I highly recommend the Aliyun Hong Kong location. They are currently offering the deal of a lifetime called an ECS Starter Package for only USD $8/month including instance, storage, and 2TB of free data transfer!

Normally, you need to pay USD $0.153 per GB of data transfer for the Hong Kong location, so the 2TB of free data transfer alone is worth over USD $300. Jack Ma must be losing a fortune by offering this deal.

Here is what you need to know about this promotion of a lifetime.

  • This promotion is only available on the Aliyun international website. If you are in China, you need to open the link with a VPN or proxy turned on, otherwise you will be redirected to the domestic site. There is no promotion for free data transfer on the domestic site, the cost is 1 RMB per GB plus instance fees and storage fees.
  • You must verify a credit card that was issued OUTSIDE OF MAINLAND CHINA. If you don't have a credit card that was issued outside of mainland China then you cannot take advantage of this promotion.
  • The port speed is limited to 30Mbps for starter package VPS but you can buy a second VPS at the normal price with a 200Mbps port and share the free data from the starter package. Basically, you end up paying $16 in total for 2 servers (30Mbps port and 100Mbps port) with 2TB of free data transfer shared between the 2 servers. If you are just using it by yourself then this isn't really necessary because 30Mbps is good enough for most people.
  • As far as I know, there is no way to automatically stop the VPS after you have reached 2TB. You need to be careful because you will be billed at the pay-as-you-go rate of $0.153 per GB if you exceed 2TB.
  • The promotion ends on March 31, 2017. You will get the free 2TB of data transfer for every starter package purchased or renewed before March 31, 2017.

February 18, 2017 6:00pm

I have been busy setting up and testing shadowsocks proxy servers over the past week, I haven't used a VPN in almost a week! ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 is still fast and stable AF on my Linksys WRT1900ACv2. I never need to restart this router or change the settings, it's always connected and always fast. I have this router plugged into my main router and even after not using it for 1 week, it's still connected and performing well.

The ExpressVPN router app is only available for Linksys WRT1200AC and WRT1900AC(S) series of routers. I highly recommend getting one of these routers with ExpressVPN if you want the best performing VPN router solution.

Here are the latest prices on Tmall

WRT1200AC - 999 CNY

WRT1900ACS - 1499 CNY

These routers are expensive but they are very good routers with powerful CPU that can run OpenVPN very well.

February 7, 2017 8:00pm

From 7pm to 8pm, I have been watching YouTube with StrongVPN HKG302. At first, the speed was not stable but then I enabled the scramble option and changed the port to TCP. Then, it was faster and more stable. No problems watching YouTube in 720P (the maximum resolution of the video I was watching).

StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG302 OpenVPN TCP + scramble

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP

The ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 server is much slower at night. Actually, almost every VPN connection is slow at night if you use China Telecom. The only way to get a fast route for your data out of China during the peak night time hours is with a good Hong Kong server.

Finding a high performance VPN server is much easier with China Unicom. I highly recommend using China Unicom ISP if it's available in your area.

February 7, 2017 12:30pm

Just a quick test of ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 and Taiwan 1. I will try to do more testing with Taiwan 1 in the future because some people don't have Hong Kong 3 in their account.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP

If I have time tonight, I will do another test around 8pm during peak bandwidth hours.

February 7, 2017 12:00pm

I tested the new iOS app from VPN.ac yesterday. Generally, the IKEv2 protocol used in the app doesn't work very well in China but it does work very well on one of the servers (Los Angeles). Check my new blog post on IKEv2 in China for more information.

February  4, 2017 10:30am

I forgot to mention something yesterday, it looks like the StrongVPN Hong Kong OpenVPN servers HKG301 and HKG302 are becoming too popular again. I had changed the server to a USA location for Netflix testing a few days ago and when I tried to change it back to HKG301/HKG302 yesterday, those servers were both full. Remember, StrongVPN server assignment works differently than other VPNs, you need to assign a specific server to your account and you can only use that server.

Anyway, I managed to get back on HKG302 this morning.

StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG302 OpenVPN UDP

For those of you who have not followed my 2016 VPN blog, here is a summary of what I think about StrongVPN.

  • StrongVPN has the worst apps and user-friendliness of any of the VPNs that I recommend. It's only good if you know how to use it. They have one good server location for China Telecom (HKG301/HKG302 hosted on Tele Asia) and one good server location for China Unicom (All Singapore servers hosted on Highwinds). Everything else is basically garbage and not worth using.
  • The Windows software is especially buggy. When changing server locations, it doesn't tell you whether the server is full or not so you will get some weird error if you try to change to a server that is full. Changing between UDP and TCP in the drop-down selector on the main screen doesn't do anything. You can change between UDP and TCP in the advanced settings but setting the scramble option (stealth mode) doesn't work. Setting the scramble option can only be done from the customer portal of the website. Actually, I recommend only using the customer portal to change servers and settings to ensure that it is done properly.
  • After connecting the first time, I often don't have any connectivity to the internet. I need to disconnect and connect again, then it's fine.
  • For iOS, I recommend using the third party OpenVPN Connect client because their app uses IKEV2 protocol which doesn't work very well in China. The good sever for China Telecom (HKG301/HKG302) is only available with OpenVPN anyway.
  • Despite all of these complaints, I still recommend it for the Hong Kong OpenVPN server if you are using China Telecom. After ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3, it's the second best server for China Telecom.
  • StrongVPN prices are very reasonable, only $10 per month or $69.99 per year. If you want to try it out, use the coupon code here for 25% off. Valid for the first billing cycle only. The money back guarantee is 5 days only.

Here are a few more speed tests.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

TorGuard Hong Kong (Sunny Vision) Cisco Anyconnect

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP

Latency is very good, it would be even better for those of you that are geographically closer to Taiwan than I am. Download is speed is not great though. Decent, but not great.

VPN.ac Tokyo 2 OpenVPN UDP

Latency of around 150ms is the normal latency for me on this server. I was surprised that it was only 80ms yesterday.

That's all for today, have a great day everyone.

February 3, 2017 5:00pm to 6:30pm

I'm back at home now in Zhuhai using China Telecom. First, I am going to test the new TorGuard Hong Kong Cisco Anyconnect servers. They performed decently using China Unicom, check the test results from January 26, 2017 below for the details. If you want to try out TorGuard, here is what you need to know.

  • The TorGuard website is blocked in China and they don't have an alternative mirror site so you will need to use another VPN or proxy in order to sign up if you are in China.
  • The only decent server they have for connecting from China is the Hong Kong Sunny Vision server that is only available using Cisco Anyconnect. They have both Sunny Vision servers and Intermap servers on the same server location. You will be assigned one randomly each time you connect. If you want the Sunny Vision server, you need to keep disconnecting and reconnecting until you get an IP address from Sunny Vision. You can look up your IP address here or you can also see it when you load speedtest.net. Once you get a Sunny Vision IP address, you enter that IP directing in the Cisco Anyconnect client instead of using the host name.
  • The Cisco Anyconnect client is available for iOS, Mac OS, Windows, and Chromebook.
  • I have never got good speeds from any of the servers available in the Torguard apps but you are welcome to try that out as well, it is possible to connect from China.
  • The performance isn't the best but for $30 a year using the 50% off coupon code, it is certainly a great value.

Ok, on with the testing.

TorGuard Hong Kong (Intermap) Cisco Anyconnect

TorGuard Hong Kong (Sunny Vision) Cisco Anyconnect

On the Sunny Vision server, latency is good, download speed is decent, but not great. Let's compare it to the VPN.ac server that is also hosted on Sunny Vision.

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN TCP

The TorGuard server using Cisco Anyconnect does seem to perform better than the VPN.ac server using OpenVPN on the same host when using both China Unicom and China Telecom.

Now I'm going to try VPN.ac Hong Kong 2, the one that was working so well for me over the past week when using China Unicom.

VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN UDP

This VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 server performs much better with China Unicom. When connecting from China Unicom, the latency is only 1/4 of the latency with China Telecom even though I am now much closer to Hong Kong here in Zhuhai, Guangdong compared to Guangxi province, where I was using China Unicom. The download speed with China Unicom is over 10 times faster even though I was only using a 20M connection compared to my 100M connection here in Zhuhai with China Telecom.

I've had enough of these low speeds, time to test ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

Latency of 16ms and 70M download speed, it doesn't get much better than that! I don't normally get this fast of download speeds but it does happen from time to time.

One of my Twitter followers sent me a message a few days ago and said that VPN.ac Tokyo 2 server was working very well for him recently in Sichuan province. Let's give it a try.

VPN.ac Tokyo 2 OpenVPN UDP

The latency is much better than usual for this server and the download speed is not bad either. I started watching YouTube and it was streaming great for a while but then it became slow.

Retest of VPN.ac Tokyo 2 after connected for 15 mintues

I have always found this server to be unstable. Sometimes it's great, but it's very inconsistent. This server seems to work better with China Unicom and China Mobile, especially in the North of China, geographically closer to Japan. As I recall, this server was one of the best performing servers when I was using China Mobile ISP during a business trip to Zhejiang province last year, near Shanghai.

That's all the time I have for testing today, I have some other work to do now. Back to ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3...

Happy Chinese new year everyone!

The tests shown in this grey background area were done using China Unicom ISP. Normally, the tests are done with China Telecom. In my experience, China Unicom is much better for VPN connections compared to China Telecom.

January 28, 2017

Happy Chinese new year everyone! Last night my computer froze and then wouldn't boot after I turned it off. I finally got it to boot again after using the repair Windows option in the advanced boot menu.

I am continuing the hunt for USA servers with latency under 200ms and download speed above 10 Mbps to China Unicom.

ExpressVPN Los Angeles 2 OpenVPN UDP

The above server is incorrectly geo-located on the east coast USA. I had to manually choose a test server in Los Angeles to properly test the speed and latency of this server.

January 27, 2017

VyprVPN Singapore server has better latency to China Unicom today. While it doesn't strictly meet my requirement of under 100ms, 118ms is not too bad. Download speed is excellent and the connection is very stable.

VyprVPN Singapore OpenVPN 160bit

I think that is all the decent Asian servers for China Unicom that I can find. Now, I will be looking for good US servers. I am looking for servers with ping time under 200ms and download speed higher than 10 Mbps.

VyprVPN San Francisco L2TP (OpenVPN failed to connect, Chameleon was too slow)

VPN.ac Los Angeles 4 / US West Coast CN2 peer (these both connect to the same server)

January 26, 2017

Today I am going to be testing ExpressVPN, VPN.ac, StrongVPN, 12VPN, VyprVPN, and TorGuard to find the servers with best speed and latency for China Unicom connections. The requirements to make this list are ping time under 100ms and download speed higher than 10 Mbps. I will post the servers below as I find them.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN ECC UDP

For StrongVPN, I used the their server speed test page to find the best server. You can also use this page to test your speed and latency to StrongVPN servers, you don't need to be a customer to use the tool. If you want to try the server speed test tool, remember to set the option for shared IP, the dynamic IP and static IP options are no longer offered for new accounts. The best performing server I could find for China Unicom was Singapore SIN101, the speed test result is shown below.

strongvpn server speed test singapore sin101

StrongVPN has separate servers for OpenVPN and PPTP/L2TP/SSTP, this SIN101 server is for PPTP/L2TP/SSTP so I tried L2TP at first but didn't get good speed. The SSTP was much faster. Normally, the SSTP protocol doesn't work very well for me when using China Telecom at home but it seems to work quite well with China Unicom.

StrongVPN Singapore SIN101 SSTP

I suspect that PPTP would also be fast but PPTP is an insecure protocol so I didn't bother trying it.

If you try the StrongVPN speed testing page and l like what you see, remember to use this link to save 15% on an annual StrongVPN account if you want to try it. There is a 5 day money back guarantee as well. StrongVPN is a great value if you know how to use it properly. There is 1 good server for China Unicom (Singapore PPTP/L2TP/SSTP) and 1 good server for China Telecom (Hong Kong OpenVPN). The software is not very good or user-friendly, but for me, having the Hong Kong OpenVPN server for China Telecom makes it worth the cost. Actually, this is the second best server I have ever used for China Telecom, the first is ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 of course.

I couldn't find any servers on VyprVPN or TorGuard that could meet my speed and latency requirements. The VyprVPN Singapore location was good last time I was using Unicom but that is no longer the case.

I forgot to test ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 earlier, that is also working very well.

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP

12VPN also has a Hong Kong server hosted in the same data center as VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 (Lease Web). The speed and latency of the 12VPN server is the same as the VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 server.

12VPN CN Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN (via 3rd party SoftEther client)

I don't often test 12VPN because they don't have any high performance servers for China Telecom. However, they do have some decent servers for China Unicom. 12VPN is also not my personal favorite VPN because their service is more geared towards proxy instead of VPN connections. They don't have any dedicated software for VPN connections, you can only connect using third party programs such as OpenConnect, Viscosity, or SoftEther. I also don't like the fact that they don't allow torrenting and don't support Netflix. If you using China Unicom, don't watch Netflix, don't use BitTorrent, and don't mind using a third party VPN client or connecting by proxy instead of VPN, then I highly recommend you try out 12VPN (use my coupon code TIPS25 for a 25% discount on any unlimited plan).

Now that we are on the topic of different VPNs hosting servers in the same data centers, I remembered that TorGuard recently introduced some new servers available exclusively with the Cisco Anyconnect protocol. One of the Hong Kong servers is hosted on Sunny Vision, the same host as the VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 location (Sunny Vision).

TorGuard claims that the Cisco Anyconnect protocol is "Optmized to work in China through iOS or for any highly restricted work or college network." Currently, you can download Cisco AnyConnect clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Chromebook from the TorGuard website. When connecting to the Hong Kong location, there are actually 2 different data centers, you will be assigned a server randomly from either Sunny Vision or Intermap. The Sunny Vision server has good latency to both China Unicom and China Telecom but the Intermap server does not have direct peering with either ISP in China. After connecting to a Sunny Vision server, I then copied the IP address and use the IP directly instead of the host name to make sure I get a Sunny Vision server each time I connect.

I have been testing TorGuard for a while now but I didn't get good enough performance from China to mention it as a good option for China yet. Although this Sunny Vision server from TorGuard doesn't quite meet my download speed requirement of 10 Mbps, it's close enough.

TorGuard Cisco Anyconnect Hong Kong (Sunny Vision)

I don't know what happened with the VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 (Sunny Vision) server, it used to be very fast with OpenVPN TCP but now it is terrible with both China Telecom and China Unicom.

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN TCP (also tried UDP but it was so slow the speed test didn't finish)


Maybe this Cisco Anyconnect protocol really does work better than other protocols when connecting from China. However, it still doesn't work as good as the VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 location with OpenVPN connecting from China Unicom. If you are on a tight budget for a VPN, TorGuard is very cheap. It's only $30 for a year using the 50% off discount. Unfortunately, their website is blocked in China and they don't have an alternative mirror site so you will need to connect to another VPN or proxy if you want to sign up from China.

That's all for now, I might find some good USA servers tonight if I have time.

January 25, 2017 2:00pm

I am now in my girlfriend's hometown in Yulin, Guangxi using a China Unicom 20M internet connection. You can see my location on the map below.

Yulin City, Guangxi province location

The best server I can find right now is VPN.ac Hong Kong 2. My download speed is a little bit higher than the advertised 20M bandwidth from China Unicom. Latency is excellent too considering my location.

VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN ECC UDP

Here is my speed without a VPN connected

I haven't been using VPN.ac much recently at home with my China Telecom ISP connection because I am not getting the same good performance as I used to. The Hong Kong 1 server used to be very fast with China Telecom using OpenVPN TCP but not anymore. For China Telecom, the best options for me are ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 and StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG301/HKG302. For China Unicom, I think this VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 server might be the best one. I will continue testing more servers with China Unicom over the next few days. Check back here soon!

January 24, 2017 12:00pm

If you have read in the news recently that VPNs are now illegal in China, please check my blog post about on this subject.

I have been using ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 on my VPN router as my exclusive internet connection over the past few days while at home. When outside, I have been using VyprVPN Singapore with my China Unicom mobile data.

I didn't have much time for testing the speeds of other VPNs recently. ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 is working so good that I just use my VPN router all the time, I don't ever feel the need to change to my main router WIFI and use any other VPNs. The latency on this server is so good that I still use the VPN for Taobao and Chinese online banking.

I am getting ready to go to my girlfriend's hometown in Guangxi province today, here are a few quick test results.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP (via Linksys WRT1900ACv2 router)

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP (via Windows software)

StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG302 OpenVPN UDP

Sorry that I don't have time to test more today. The next test will be using China Unicom ISP in Guangxi and will be more extensive. If there are any China Unicom ISP users reading this, please leave me your server suggestions in the comment section below.

January 19, 2017 7:00am to 8:00am

The speeds just keep getting better and better every day.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP (via Windows software)

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP (via router app on my Linksys WRT1900ACv2)

StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG302 OpenVPN UDP

VyprVPN Tokyo OpenVPN

VPN.ac Los Angeles 4 OpenVPN UDP

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN TCP

VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN UDP

VyprVPN Los Angeles OpenVPN

Now I am going to go watch Netflix with VyprVPN Los Angeles so I can update the Netflix VPN page. Have a nice day everyone!

January 18, 2017 9:30am

I'm getting good speeds this morning.

StrongVPN HKG302 OpenVPN UDP

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

VyprVPN Taiwan OpenVPN

January 17, 2017 6:30pm to 7:00pm

It looks like VyprVPN have made some improvements to their VPN performance in China. The speed is much faster than before and it's also possible to connect to most servers using standard OpenVPN, no need for Chameleon anymore. OpenVPN is faster than Chameleon.

I am getting good speed from the VyprVPN Taiwan server but the latency is still not great.

Unfortunately, the connection between VyprVPN Asian servers and China Telecom is still done via USA, hence the high latency. Although this USA route is not good for latency, there does seem to be plenty of bandwidth available.

Please help me test VyprVPN from your location in China. I suspect that the USA routing may be different depending on your location in China. If you don't have a VyprVPN account, you can get a 500mb free trial by following these steps.

1. Open www.tipsforchina.com/vyprpromos.html using your Android or iOS device.

2. Click the link at the bottom of that page for your free 500mb trial account.

Note - Don't use your main email address for the free trial account because you will not be eligible for other promotions later on using same email address. If you later want to buy a subscription and take advantage of the promotion for 50% off the first month or 40% off 1 year then you need to use a different email address than the one you used to sign up for the free trial.

After signing up for the free trial on your android or iOS device, you can download and use the Windows or Mac software with your trial account as well.

Please test the Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan locations and let me know your results in the comment section below or by email. Let me know what city you are in and what ISP you are using.

Here are some more speed tests with other VPNs. I can't find anything as fast as VyprVPN right now, but there is certainly better latency available.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP

Ironsocket Taiwan OpenVPN UDP (hosted on Hi-Net, same host as ExpressVPN Taiwan 1)

StrongVPN Hong Kong HKG302 OpenVPN UDP

January 15, 2017 8:00am

I am back. Here are the 2 best servers I can find right now.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP

StrongVPN HKG302 OpenVPN UDP