2018 China VPN Blog Page

The China VPN blog page is the place where I post regular VPN speed test results from China, and share tips for finding the best servers and settings the best VPNs for China.

Previous Blog Pages


2016 VPN in China Blog


2017 VPN in China Blog


Note of the format - The 2018 blog page is written in chronological order (the newest content is at the bottom of the page). This is opposite to the way I did the 2016 and 2017 blogs.


February 23, 2018 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Happy Chinese New Year to everyone, and welcome to the 2018 VPN in China blog page!


I had a long Christmas vacation in Canada and USA, came back for a short time, and then went to Philippines for the CNY holiday. Anyway, I'm back now, and ready to test some VPNs.


Let's see how my top 3 recommended VPNs for China are performing.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP (via Windows app)



Wow, unbelievable speed and latency (only 16ms ping time). This is the best server you will find for connections from China Telecom, that is for sure.


And it looks like China Telecom has upgraded my upload speed from 5Mbps to 20Mbps without me doing anything. Nice.


I am also running the Hong Kong 3 server on my cheap Linksys XAC1200 router. It's working great for streaming HD YouTube through my Roku stick that I plugged into my XiaoMi Smart TV. I will sometimes change the server if I want to watch Netflix, but I've mostly just been watching YouTube since I got back.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP (via XAC1200 router)



The speed is limited by the CPU in this small router, but it's still quite good for the price of 180 CNY. Check the tutorial on this router for more info and how to buy one and set up ExpressVPN on it.


I will test 1 more server from ExpressVPN.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



Hong Kong 4 is performing quite good as well.


If you are in China and have not tried ExpressVPN yet, I highly recommend it. There is a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free for 30 days. I also have a special offer for 3 additional months free if you buy a 12 month subscription. Enjoy 15 months of ExpressVPN for only $99 (and you still get the 30 day money back guarantee).


Special Offer Link - 3 Bonus Months


Let's see how VPN.ac is performing these days.


VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



Hong Kong 1 and Taiwan servers from VPN.ac are still performing very good.


A friend from Twitter send me a DM and suggested that I try VPN.ac Los Angeles 1. He said that it has CN2 routing, even though it's not advertised as CN2 server. I checked the trace route, and this appears to be true.


VPN.ac Los Angeles 1



The speed is not great compared to the other test results today, I still prefer my Asian servers.


VPN.ac is my second favorite VPN for China. They offer a 7 day money back guarantee so you can try it risk-free for 7 days. Use the Tips for China exclusive coupon code, and get a 25% off lifetime recurring discount (25% off initial subscription and 25% off renewal price).


I don't really have a good #3 top VPN right now, but I think VyprVPN is probably the next best one after ExpressVPN and VPN.ac. The speed is usually not great, but the service does seem to be reliable and they do offer a 3 day free trial.


VyprVPN Los Angeles OpenVPN



VyprVPN Hong Kong OpenVPN



The Hong Kong server is a little faster than the Los Angeles server, but the latency is very high (172ms). This is because the server is connected to China Telecom via USA. If you are going to use an Asian VPN server from China, then I highly recommend one with a direct connection, such as the ExpressVPN and VPN.ac servers tested today (under 20ms ping time).


That's all for now. I will try to test these same servers at night time hours soon and will put the results below.


February 23, 2018 10:00pm to 10:30pm


As promised, here is a re-testing of the same servers during peak bandwidth hours.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4



VPN.ac Hong Kong 1



VPN.ac Taiwan



VPN.ac Los Angeles 1



VyprVPN Los Angeles



VyprVPN Hong Kong

February 25-26, 2018


I tested ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 at various times during the day over a 24 hour period. Here are the results.


Overall, this is the absolute best server for China Telecom connections. No question about it.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 speeds from China

March 4, 2018 4:30pm to 5:00pm


Currently, there is another big government meeting in Beijing. I am expecting that VPN servers will be blocked aggressively over the next few weeks.


So far everything is working great.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



VyprVPN Hong Kong OpenVPN UDP



I was asked to test NordVPN again because I was told their service is working better in China now. I was unable to connect to most of their servers, but eventually I was able to make a connection to the Singapore obfusicated server.


NordVPN Singapore obusicated OpenVPN UDP

March 20, 2018 12:30pm to 1:00pm


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



If you haven't tried ExpressVPN yet, keep in mind that all of the ExpressVPN links on this page are including a special offer for 3 months free when you buy a 12 month subscription.


VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



If you haven't tried VPN.ac yet, remember to use the Tips for China exclusive promo code for a 25% off lifetime recurring discount!


I recently updated the Best VPN for China page and moved 12VPN up to the number #3 spot. I have never been a big fan of the 12VPN service, but they do have some very fast shadowsocks servers that are worth mentioning.


12VPN China Optimized 2 (HK) shadowsocks



12VPN China Optimized 4 (SG) shadowsocks



These servers are hosted on Aliyun Hong Kong and Aliyun Singapore. Some of the best China Telecom CN2 servers available. The speed is almost the full capacity of my 100Mbps connection.


I should mention that the latency is higher than normal on the above tests because I could not use a speed test server in the same country as the shadowsocks server. The reason for this is that 12VPN blocks most ports to stop people from using torrenting. Most of the speedtest.net servers are using port 8080, and only a small subset of servers are available if port 8080 is blocked. The Hong Kong server was tested on a Taiwan speed test server, and the Singapore server was tested on an Indian speed test server.


The speed tests were done using the open source Shadowsocks app for Windows. I prefer not to use their "VPNGUI" app. In order to do this, I had to get the QR codes from the Android setup instructions, and change the encryption to chacha20 (default settings didn't work on Windows).


The reason that I don't really like 12VPN is that it is a terrible choice for privacy. There is no logging policy specified in their TOS, most ports are blocked, they don't allow torrenting, and they don't support OpenVPN for connections from China. And their money back guarantee is very restrictive (only valid if you use less than 5GB of data). See the Best VPN for China page for more details.


If you don't care about privacy and just want a fast connection, then 12VPN is definitely worth a try. Don't forget to use the Tips for China exclusive promo code to get 25% off your first billing cycle (not valid for renewals so it's best to sign up for 1 year to get the best price and maximum discount).

March 28, 2018 - China Mobile Tests


Normally, all of the tests done here are from the China Telecom network. If you see this blue background, then that means the tests are done from China Mobile.


Please note that the speedtest.net android app has a bug that causes the test results to show "CARRIER: China Unicom." It always shows the carrier of the SIM 1 SIM card, even if you are using data from the SIM 2 SIM card. I have China Unicom in SIM 1 and China Mobile in SIM 2.


ExpressVPN Tokyo 1 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



Wow, it looks like Hong Kong 4 performs even better than Hong Kong 3 on China Mobile!


VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN UDP



Hong Kong 2 is much faster than Hong Kong 1 with China Unicom. But the download is slow on both.


That's all I have time for right now. I will do more China Mobile tests soon.

March 28, 2018 - China Unicom Tests


First, a test without VPN (something I forgot to do with China Mobile earlier).



ExpressVPN Tokyo 1 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Tokyo 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



NordVPN Hong Kong obfuscated

March 31, 2018


According to the news media, all VPNs are supposed to stop working today.


Foreign companies in China brace for VPN crackdown


I recently wrote this Reddit post on my thoughts about this upcoming "VPN crackdown".


So far, everything is working normally. I will make a post here if there is any change.

March 31, 2018 - 8:30pm to 9:00pm - China Telecom


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4



Wow, Hong Kong 4 seems to be very slow right now. Let me try Hong Kong 1, I haven't tested that one in a while.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



Still limited to 5Mbps, but the latency is very good.


VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP


VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



NordVPN Hong Kong Obfusacated

Connected successfully but no connectivity to the internet. Tried again and the result was the same.

March 31, 2018 - 9:00pm to 9:30pm - China Mobile


Time for some more China Mobile tests. This time I will tether the data from my phone to my computer. Please note that UDP was not working for me on any of the servers, so I switched the protocol to TCP. This often happens with China Mobile.


Here is a baseline test without any VPN.



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN TCP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP and TCP

Connected but no connectivity to the internet.


ExpressVPN Tokyo 1 OpenVPN TCP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN TCP



VPN.ac Tokyo 2 OpenVPN TCP



VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN TCP

Connected but no connectivity to the internet.


VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN TCP

Download 11M, upload test failed.


NordVPN Hong Kong Obfusacated UDP



I'm surprised that UDP worked at all, seeing how UDP is not working with other providers on China Mobile today. I will also test NordVPN with TCP.


NordVPN Hong Kong Obfusacted TCP


March 31, 2018 - 10:00pm to 10:30pm - China Unicom


As with China Mobile, TCP seems to work better than UDP for most of the servers (but not all).


Baseline test without VPN.



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN TCP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN TCP



ExpressVPN Tokyo 1 OpenVPN TCP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN TCP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN TCP



VPN.ac Tokyo 2 OpenVPN UDP (TCP was not working well)



NordVPN Hong Kong Obfuscated UDP (TCP was not working well)

April 1, 2018 - Testing TorGuard in China


Some websites visitors have asked me to test TorGuard recently. It's been a while since the last time I tried it. I just tested it again, and they have made some big improvements.


1. The OpenConnect protocol is now built in to their Windows app.


2. There is a new server hosted on Taiwan Hi-Net, which works quite well.


3. They have added an option for STunnel when connecting by OpenVPN TCP. This may be useful for adding another layer of obfuscation. However, I found the speed to be slow. But it is still interesting to have this option available in case the Great Firewall steps up their blocking of OpenVPN.


Here are some test results from TorGuard.


TorGuard Hong Kong 1 - OpenConnect TCP



The Hong Kong servers of TorGuard do not have a direct connection to China Telecom, hence the extremely high latency of 334ms.


Most of TorGuard's asian servers are like this. I will try the Asian optimized Los Angeles server.


TorGuard Los Angeles (asia optimized) - OpenConnect UDP



Next, here is a test with STunnel.


TorGuard Los Angeles (asia optimized) - OpenVPN TCP STunnel



Finally, I found this new server in Taiwan that seems to work good.


TorGuard Taiwan - OpenConnect UDP



TorGuard Taiwan - OpenConnect TCP



OpenConnect TCP seems to work the fastest.


To test how stable the connection is, I downloaded some torrents. The connection was still stable after downloading a few GB of torrents, and the download speed was pretty good too.


4.8 MiB/s = 38.4 Mbps

torguard torrent download speed

I will continue testing this server over the next few days.


In case anyone wants to try TorGuard, I have a 50% off lifetime recurring discount available. That will bring the price down to only $30 for 1 year. Unfortunately, they don't have an alternative site that is accessible in China, so you will need to use another VPN in order to sign up.


UPDATE - I have found that there are 2 Taiwan servers, and you get one randomly when you connect. One is fast, and the other one is not.


Slow Taiwan server (61.216.159.176 IP)



Fast Taiwan server (61.216.151.x IP)



Luckily, TorGuard has a feature in the Windows app to "Pin" a specific server so you will get the same one next time you connect.

Torguard pin ip feature

The real test will come tonight, during peak bandwidth hours. I forgot to mention the time, it's in the afternoon right now.

April 1, 2018 - 9:00pm - Battle of the Taiwan Hi-Net servers - TorGuard vs VPN.ac vs ExpressVPN


Let's see how the TorGuard Taiwan Hi-Net server is performing during peak bandwidth hours.


TorGuard Taiwan OpenConnect TCP



Not too bad for 9:00pm on China Telecom.


Let's see how this compares to the VPN.ac Taiwan server, also hosted on Hi-Net Taiwan.


VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



Wow, VPN.ac's Hi-Net server is much faster.


ExpressVPN also has a server hosted on Taiwan Hi-Net. Let's see how that compares to the Hi-Net servers of TorGuard and VPN.ac.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN TCP (couldn't connect with UDP)



The Taiwan Hi-Net server of ExpressVPN seems to be much slower compared to the Taiwan Hi-Net servers of TorGuard and VPN.ac.


Maybe the VPN.ac and TorGuard servers are faster because those VPNs are less popular and there are less people using the servers from China (every server of Hi-Net will have a maximum bandwidth to China, that is separate from the overall maximum bandwidth).


Just a theory.


Anyway, none of those Taiwan servers are as fast as ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3


I always thought the time of peak international bandwidth saturation started around 9pm. However, maybe it doesn't get really bad until after 11pm.


Everything is much slower now at 11:30pm.


TorGuard Taiwan OpenConnect TCP



VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP


April 4, 2018 - 11:30pm to 12:00am peak CT bandwidth hours - ExpressVPN vs VPN.ac vs NordVPN vs TorGuard


Let's see how the top VPN servers perform during time of peak international bandwidth over-saturation on China Telecom.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



NordVPN Hong Kong Obusacated UDP



TorGuard Taiwan Openconnect TCP



This is the time of day where China Telecom users will notice a big difference in performance between ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3, and any other VPN servers. Hong Kong 3 can still be fast, even when everything else is slow.

April 6, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - Global Bandwidth Test - ExpressVPN vs VPN.ac vs TorGuard vs VyprVPN


Today I was thinking of a better way to test VPN servers. Normally, the tests only show the connection quality between myself and the VPN server location. However, it doesn't tell us anything about the international bandwidth quality of the VPN server.


When you are using the internet with a VPN server in China, there are 2 parts to the connection.


1. China -> VPN Server

2. VPN Server --> Destination Host


The destination host can be anywhere in the world, depending on where the website or web service you are using is hosted.


Today, I will test different VPN servers by manually choosing 3 locations around the world.


Los Angeles - Race Communications

London - Structured Communications

Tokyo - Speedtest.net


If you want to try this same test, just go to speedtest.net and click the link that says "change server", then type the name of the city to see the list of available servers in that city.


First, I will test some locations inside China to measure the quality of my domestic bandwidth in China.


No VPN - Shenzhen



No VPN - Guangzhou



No VPN - Zhejiang



Generally speaking, domestic bandwidth is pretty good in China. You can get close to what you pay for. In my case, 100Mbps.


The problem comes when your connection goes outside of China.


The closest speedtest.net server to me is hosted in Macau, just across the border from Zhuhai. But how is the speed when choosing a test server in Macau?


No VPN - Macau



Even though this server is the closest to me, the download speed is only 5% of my domestic bandwidth.


Let's see how the speed is to the 3 locations I have chosen for the test today.


No VPN - Los Angeles



No VPN - London



No VPN - Tokyo



Pretty terrible performance. Note the exceptionally high ping time for London and Tokyo.


If I did this test at night, it would be even worse.


Let's see if we can improve the performance to these same 3 servers by using a VPN server with good peering to China Telecom.


VPN #1 - ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP


Los Angeles



London



Tokyo


VPN #2 - ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP


Los Angeles



London



Tokyo



VPN #3 - VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP


Los Angeles



London


Tokyo



VPN #4 - VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP


Los Angeles


London


Tokyo



VPN #5 - TorGuard Taiwan Openconnect TCP


Los Angeles


London


Tokyo


VPN #6 - TorGuard Los Angeles (Asia Optimized) Openconnect TCP


Los Angeles


London


Tokyo

VPN #7 - VyprVPN Hong Kong OpenVPN UDP


Los Angeles


London


Tokyo


VPN #8 - VyprVPN San Francisco OpenVPN UDP


Los Angeles


London


Tokyo


Conclusion


Not only does ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 have the best bandwidth to China Telecom, but it also has the best global bandwidth.

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 and Taiwan have pretty good bandwidth to China (based on the history of tests done on this page), but not such good international bandwidth outside of HK/TW.

The results from TorGuard were not great, but not too bad either considering the cost of their VPN is only $30 for 1 year with my 50% off coupon code.

VyprVPN Hong Kong does not have direct peering to China Telecom. Nor does any other VyprVPN server in Asia. Rather, the connection is routed to USA before connecting to Hong Kong. Thus, the very high latency to all locations (the data is travelling all the way to USA and back to HK before even hitting the VPN server).

April 16, 2018 - 11:00pm


Everything is very slow right now, and I don't have time to do many speed tests. I will just show the speed of the only 2 servers I can find right now that are giving me decent speed.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



All the other usual servers that I test are very slow right now.

May 12, 2018 - 8pm to 8:30pm - ExpressVPN vs VPN.ac vs TorGuard


Long time no updates.


Everything has been working well lately.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



Blazing fast! As always


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



Well, I'm not sure what happened with Hong Kong 4. It doesn't seem to be very fast today.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP



It looks like ExpressVPN has improved the speed of Taiwan 1 recently. I would say that is now the second best ExpressVPN server for China Telecom.


VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



Not quite as fast as before, but still pretty decent.


VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



About the same as ExpressVPN's Taiwan server.


TorGuard Taiwan OpenConnect UDP



Wow, even faster than VPN.ac's and ExpressVPN's Taiwan server!


TorGuard Los Angeles (Asia Optimised) OpenConnect UDP



I have to say that TorGuard has definitely improved lately. I haven't tested it on other devices recently, but the Taiwan server is working very well on the Windows app with the OpenConnect protocol.


The only thing that I don't like about their Windows app is that I can't minimize it to the notifications area. It seems that the program always needs to be open in the taskbar while it's running. If you try to close it then it will disconnect from the VPN and exit completely.


A minor issue, but still very annoying for me. I like to keep my taskbar clean and let my VPN app run in the background.


If you want to try TorGuard, don't forget to use my coupon code for a 50% off lifetime discount.


This brings the price down to only $30 for 1 year! You will not find any other VPN available cheaper than this that works reasonably well in China. I think it's a great value and definitely worth trying out if you have not done so recently.


June 4, 2018 - 12:30am to 1:00am - ExpressVPN vs VPN.ac vs TorGuard


VPN connections have been slower than usual over the past few days. Some servers have been blocked as well.


This is happening because the anniversary of something that "didn't happen" on today's date many years ago.


Hopefully things will be back to normal soon.


ExpressVPN had many servers that failed to connect for me today. Hong Kong 3, Hong Kong 1, Taiwan 1, and Los Angeles 3 all failed to connect. Later, I was able to connect to Los Angeles 3 by changing the protocol from Automatic to UDP (automatic setting seems to be using TCP now).


Tip for ExpressVPN users - Try both UDP and TCP (can be changed in the settings) if you fail to connect. Some of the servers can sometimes work with UDP but not TCP (or visa versa).


Fortunately, Hong Kong 4 is still working well.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN TCP (realized later that it was TCP, may have been faster with UDP)



ExpressVPN Los Angeles 3 OpenVPN UDP



I didn't get any connection failures with VPN.ac or TorGuard today. Maybe they are not being targeted as much by the GFW because they are smaller providers (or maybe I just got lucky and the only servers I tried were not blocked).


VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



TorGuard Taiwan OpenConnect UDP



TorGuard Los Angeles (Asia Optimized) OpenConnect UDP


June 4, 2018 - Afternoon Update


This morning I tried to test TorGuard on my Android, but I couldn't get a connection using the "Stealth" protocol to either Taiwan or Los Angeles (Asia Optimized).


After trying different combinations, I was able to connect to Taiwan using the OpenVPN AES-256-CBC | SHA256 cipher option. The connection seems to not be as stable compared to the OpenConnect protocol on my computer. It stopped working after about 30 minutes and I had to re-connect.


I tried changing the cipher to OpenVPN AES-256-CBC on my computer and found that the speed was good (same as using OpenConnect) but the connection did stop working after a while (same as with the Android app).


Next, I started testing some ExpressVPN servers. HK3 and Taiwan are still blocked but I was able to connect to Hong Kong 1 and it's very stable.


Even though the speed is limited to 5Mbps, the connection is routed out of China on a Hong Kong CN2 line, so the latency and packet loss are very low. And it seems to be very stable.


I connected at 1:30pm and it's now 4:00pm. It's been working perfectly all afternoon without any interruption or slow down.


Although it doesn't produce the attention grabbing headlines, 5Mbps is a good enough speed for most situations. The packet loss and latency are also important factors to consider, and Hong Kong 1 is the best you will find (only matched by Hong Kong 3 or other HK CN2 servers).


It's actually fast enough to stream 1080p on YouTube without any buffering so I'm happy with that.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 1 YouTube streaming speed

I was going to test more servers today but now I don't want to disconnect from ExpressVPN HK1 because I'm curious to see how long it can stay connected for.


If you are looking for a stable connection, I highly recommend Hong Kong 1 (I'm using UDP, but try TCP as well if UDP fails to connect).


One more tip for today.


Remember to reboot your router if you are experiencing speed throttling. Sometimes the GFW will slow down all of your connections after using a VPN connection heavily. Once you reboot your router, you will get issued a new IP address and this will usually solve the problem.

June 4, 2018 - 6pm - NordVPN vs VyprVPN vs ExpressVPN


The connection to ExpressVPN Hong Kong 1 finally stopped working shortly after I published the previous update (it was stable for about 3 hours). The automatic re-connection attempt failed but upon trying to connect to HK1 again manually, it was successful.


Rather than seeing long it was stable for again, I thought this would be a good time to try some VPNs that I haven't tested recently.


Let's see how NordVPN and VyprVPN are performing today.


NordVPN Hong Kong Obfusicated UDP

Successful connection but no internet connectivity.


NordVPN United States Obfusicated UDP



After changing the setting to TCP, I was able to a connection on Hong Kong that worked.


NordVPN Hong Kong Obfusicated TCP



Not great speeds, but at least some of the configurations are working. And the latency is very good on the Hong Kong obfusicated server (make sure to use TCP if UDP isn't working for you).


Let's see how VyprVPN is working.


I can only test VyprVPN using manual OpenVPN config files with the official OpenVPN client. I don't have the VyprVPN app installed on my computers because I found it connecting to an external IP address and sending data, even while the program was not running.


Although I can't use the Chameleon protocol, I can still connect successfully with the manual OpenVPN configs.


VyprVPN Hong Kong OpenVPN UDP



I see that their Hong Kong server is still routed through USA (notice the ping time of 170ms compared to other Hong Kong servers).


While I had the OpenVPN client open, I decided to try an ExpressVPN config that I set up a while ago.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 manual OpenVPN config



That is very interesting. I never thought to try Taiwan 3 after failing to connect to Taiwan 1.


The Taiwan 3 server is also working in the ExpressVPN app.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP (via Windows app)



I'm going to stay on Taiwan 3 and see how long the connection lasts. It's now 6:30pm.


More updates coming later.


June 4, 2018 - 10:00pm


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 is still going strong.


I have tested the speed at various times between 6:30pm and 10:30pm. The average download speed is around 40Mbps and it's been very stable under heavy use.

ExpressVPN June 4 2018 Taiwan server speeds

I'm going to bed soon but I'm going to leave my computer running overnight to see how long this connection on Taiwan 1 can keep going.

June 5, 2018 morning


I woke up this morning and ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 was still connected from last night.

Connection to Taiwan 1 on ExpressVPN Windows app

Speed is still good as well.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP



YouTube streaming in 4k HD

ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 YouTube streaming speed

The next logical step was to try Taiwan 3 on my cheap ExpressVPN router.

ExpressVPN router app

The speed of OpenVPN on this router can only reach around 20Mbps, but that is pretty good for a 180 RMB router.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP (via router)



I noticed that YouTube in 4k plays smoother when connected to this router, even though the speed is slower. I think my CPU has trouble handling the 4k streaming at the same time as running OpenVPN (both CPU intensive tasks).


That's one of the biggest advantages of running a VPN on your router. You will free up the CPU on your computer or phone and it will often run better as a result.


Now that I have Taiwan 3 running on the router, I will try to test some more VPNs later today.

June 5, 2018 - 3:00pm


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 has now been fully blocked when connecting from the apps.


However, I have found that I can still connect when using the manual .ovpn config file with the OpenVPN GUI app.


If you are using Windows 10 and plan to use the OpenVPN manual config files, make sure you edit the .ovpn file and add the following line first.


block-outside-dns


As shown below.

Add block-outside-dns to the config file

This is not necessary for Windows 7, Android, iOS. Only Windows 10 requires this line.

The speed is around the same as it was when connecting from the App (before the app server was blocked).


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP (via manual OpenVPN config file)



I have to go out and do something for the next few hours. I'm going to leave it connected and see what happens when I get back.

5:00pm Update


Just got back and ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 via manual OpenVPN config file is still connected and working well.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP (via manual config)



11:00pm Update


It looks like China Telecom is throttling my connection, everything got really slow just now.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP (via manual config)


Time to reboot my router.

ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP (via manual config)


Not as fast as earlier today, but still pretty good for 11pm.

Here are a few more tests.

TorGuard Taiwan OpenConnect UDP

VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP

VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP


NordVPN Hong Kong Obfuicated TCP


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP (via the app)


If you are using the app, then Hong Kong 1 is probably the best server for ExpressVPN right now that isn't blocked. If you know how to use the manual OpenVPN config files with a third party client, then Taiwan 3 is the best one.


It's times like this when it's really useful to have multiple VPN services. VPN.ac and TorGuard are both really good choices to have as a backup VPN.
If you want to try one of these, don't forget to use the Tips for China coupon codes.



June 6, 2018 - ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 via Android OpenVPN Connect App


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 is still working good on my computer with the OpenVPN GUI app.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP via OpenVPN GUI manual config



Seeing how most of the good servers are still blocked when connecting from the app, I decided to try Taiwan 3 manual ovpn file with the OpenVPN Connect Android App.


Although ExpressVPN doesn't seem to officially support this method for Android, I decided to try it anyways.


Unforunently, it did not work with the the standard .ovpn file because the OpenVPN Connect app does not support connecting to a server that uses the fragment directive. And ExpressVPN is using the fragment directive in their config.


I was able to finally get it to work by using TCP instead of UDP.


See the new ExpressVPN manual OpenVPN connection tutorial (for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS) for the details on how I got it to work.


TLDR:


1. Remove the line that starts with "fragment" (or add the # symbol to the beginning of the line).

2. Change the port to 443 on the line that starts with "remote" (the number at the end).

3. Add another new line with text "proto tcp-client" (without quotes).

4:00pm Update


Taiwan 3 is now working again when connecting from the apps. No need for manual OpenVPN configurations anymore.


However, I kind of like using the open-source OpenVPN apps, so I think I'll keep using it until Hong Kong 3 is unblocked.

June 7, 2018 - Hong Kong 3 is Back!


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP


I guess the June 4 anniversary VPN crackdown is over now. I probably won't update this page as often now but feel free to leave a comment or post your own speed test results in the comment section.

June 22, 2018 - ExpressVPN get blocked again?


Looks like some ExpressVPN servers are under attack from the GFW again. Hong Kong 3, Hong Kong 1, Taiwan 1, and Taiwan 3 all seem to be blocked at the moment.


Hong Kong 4 is the best working server I can find right now using the ExpressVPN app.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP (via ExpressVPN app)



The Taiwan 3 server is still working when connecting by manual OpenVPN config files (not using the app).


If you are an ExpressVPN customer, I highly recommend setting up the manual OpenVPN connection with the Taiwan 3 server. This one tends to stay "under the radar" and not get blocked as easily as the server that the app connects to.


I'm going to be making a tutorial soon on how to set up manual OpenVPN connections. In the meantime, you can refer to my previous post on this page. Windows 7 and Mac is quite straightforward. Windows 10 requires the block-outside-dns line added. Android and iOS require some more modifications to the config file.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP (via OpenVPN Connect app)



Not as fast as usual, but still a good stable connection. I was using it all day on my phone with my China Unicom data and at home with China Telecom.


Let's see how the VPN.ac and TorGuard Hi-Net servers are performing.

VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP

TorGuard Taiwan OpenConnect UDP


There is definitely something up with the China Telecom - Taiwan Hi-Net routing today. I can usually get 40-50 Mbps at this time of day.


I only have time for one more test today.


VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



Hopefully Hong Kong 3 will be back online soon. In the meantime, there are still a few decent servers to use on ExpressVPN, VPN.ac, and TorGuard.


June 25, 2018 3:30pm - Almost everything is blocked


The ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 server is now fully blocked on both the app and manual OpenVPN connections.


The best working server I can find right now is ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4. I had to retry a few times and it look a while to connect but I'm now connected on both my computer and phone.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



I'm going to test more servers and update this page soon. In the meantime, here are some general tips for connecting to ExpressVPN.


  • Try the speed test in the desktop app or the ping test in the mobile app to find out what servers to try. On the desktop version, you don't have to wait for the whole test to finish, just try the servers that you see a latency result for.
  • Try changing the settings between TCP and UDP and retry a few times if the speed/ping test responded to a ping but you can't connect.
  • Sign out of the app and sign back in again (you will need to re-enter your activation code).

VPN.ac seems to be fully 100% blocked right now for VPN connections. However, the SecureProxy Chrome extension is still working on some locations.


VPN.ac Tokyo 5 SecureProxy Chrome extension



TorGuard seems to be fully blocked as well. I can't connect any server that I have tried so far.


More working servers (list will be updated as I find them)


12VPN China Optimized 2 (HK) - Shadowsocks



12VPN China Optimized 4 (SG) - Shadowsocks



NordVPN appears to be fully blocked as well, I can't connect to anything.


I have just sent support tickets to NordVPN, VPN.ac, and TorGuard. I will see what they say.


I got a very fast reply from VPN.ac. They told me to refresh the server list and try LA4, LA5, and Tokyo 2.


VPN.ac Los Angeles 4 (CN2) OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Los Angeles 5 (CN2) OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Tokyo 2 OpenVPN UDP



Congratulations to VPN.ac for the quick reply and quick action to restore some of their servers. I'm still waiting to hear back from NordVPN and TorGuard.


To refresh the server list for VPN.ac, you need to completely exit from the apps and start them again.


ExpressVPN Los Angeles 2 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Los Angeles 3 OpenVPN UDP



VyprVPN Los Angeles OpenVPN UDP (via manual OpenVPN config, not sure if Chameleon is working because I don't have their app installed).



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 is still working very well.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP


I'm going to keep Hong Kong 4 connected for a while and see how stable it is. I will update later.

If you only have one VPN service in China right now, I highly recommend getting a second one as a back up if using the internet is important to you. China has stepped up their blocking of VPNs today to a level which I have rarely seen before. Almost all VPN IP addresses were suddenly blocked this afternoon.


ExpressVPN, VPN.ac, and 12VPN seem to be able to keep up and they all have at least a few servers online with good performance.


If you want to try any of these services, I have discount offers for all of them.


ExpressVPN discount - 3 months free with 12 month subscription (30 day no hassle money back guarantee)


VPN.ac discount - 25% off lifetime recurring discount (7 day money back guarantee)


12VPN discount - 25% off one-time discount (14 day money back guarantee)


I have now been connected to ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 for about 45 minutes, the speed is very good and consistent. I think ExpressVPN must have upgraded the bandwidth capacity on that server because it doesn't normally work this good.

ExpressVPN speed test results

I'm going to disconnect now because I got an email back from NordVPN and TorGuard. I'm going to try some of their suggestions to see if anything will work.


11:30pm Update


I finally managed to get TorGuard to connect by using the Cisco Anyconnect servers. The Cisco Anyconnect client is not a very nice app and I don't recommend using unless you don't have any other options. Also, none of the Anyconnect servers have good connectivity to China. Latnecy is over 200ms on all servers. The lowest latency is actually the US one.


TorGuard Los Angeles Cisco Anyconnect


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



Not as fast as earlier tonight, but everything is always slower at 11pm on China Telecom.


ExpressVPN Los Angeles 2 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac has released an official statement and has already restored more working servers for China.

VPN.ac announcement

VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Los Angeles 5 (CN2) OpenVPN UDP



Still no luck with NordVPN. I will update again tomorrow.

June 26, 2018 - NordVPN is working in China


Last night I thought NordVPN was fully blocked but the error was actually on my end. After I was unable to connect even through my ExpressVPN router WiFi, I realized that the "nordvpn-service" was blocked on my firewall.


Following the advice in the email I got from NordVPN support, I tried some of their suggested servers after changing my firewall settings.


These are the best servers ones I could find.


NordVPN United States #2420 Obfuscated UDP



NordVPN United States #2423 Obfuscated UDP


NordVPN Singapore #116 Obfuscated UDP


Not the best performance but they are offering 36 months for only $99 so I guess I can't complain too much about that.


On to some faster VPNs now.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP via my cheap vpn router

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP via ExpressVPN app


VPN.ac Hong Kong 2 OpenVPN UDP

12VPN China Optimized 2 (HK) Shadowsocks

June 27, 2018 - VPN servers still working in China


11:00am


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP


Latency is higher than normal. Hopefully just a temporary issue.

ExpressVPN Los Angeles 2 OpenVPN UDP


I have big news for VPN.ac customers.

VPN.ac has almost fully restored almost all servers for China users


VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP


VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP


Now I have big news for ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 manual OpenVPN is working in China again!


ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP via manual OpenVPN method


Taiwan 3 is still blocked using the ExpressVPN apps. I highly recommend checking out my recent tutorial.



That's all I have time for right now. I will be in Hong Kong most of the day today. Will make another post when I get back later tonight.

June 28, 2018 (2:00pm) - James finally woke up from his coma


After I got back from Hong Kong last night I took a Valium and ended up passing out before I could do an update. I guess I really needed some good sleep.


Major announcement - Hong Kong 3 is back


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



This is, without a doubt, the best VPN server for China. Nothing else even comes close. Premium CN2 network with ultra low latency, ultra low packet loss, and very high speed.


Time to change the server from Hong Kong 4 to Hong Kong 3 on my low cost ExpressVPN router.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP (via router app on a low-end router)



Actually, not only Hong Kong 3 is back. All ExpressVPN servers seem to be working now. I will just test a few of them.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac is working on all servers now too.


VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



Now that everything is back to normal, I won't be updating this page as often unless there are new developments or I test a new VPN.

June 28, 2018 - 11pm China Telecom peak bandwidth congestion


I decided to do 1 more test because it's not fair to only show the speeds in the daytime when everything can be fast.


These tests were done between 11:00pm to 11:30pm, the time of peak international bandwidth congestion in China.


Now you can really see the difference between ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 and everything else.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Taiwan 3 OpenVPN UDP



ExpressVPN Hong Kong 4 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Taiwan OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Hong Kong 1 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Tokyo 2 OpenVPN UDP



VyprVPN Hong Kong OpenVPN UDP



VyprVPN Los Angeles OpenVPN UDP



VyprVPN Seattle OpenVPN UDP



NordVPN Hong Kong Obfuscated UDP



NordVPN United States Obfuscated UDP



I tried to test a third server of NordVPN but I could only get a stable connection on the above 2 locations.


Here is a chart comparing the download speeds (latency shown in brackets after the server name).

Download speed comparison chart

Some VPN servers can get high speeds during non-peak hours, but ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 is the only one that you can rely on for high speeds any time of the day.

July 9, 2018 - NordVPN manual OpenVPN


Following the suggestion of Emrick in the comments section, I'm going to try the NordVPN manual OpenVPN config files with the OpenVPN GUI Windows app.


NordVPN Portugal #15 OpenVPN UDP manual config



Next, I tried Japan #115 and Japan #116 but the speed test would not work on those servers. It looks like NordVPN is blocking the connection to something that the speed tests requires. I tried speedtest.net and dslreports.com/speedtest.


As I couldn't do a speed test with the Japan servers, I measured the streaming speed on YouTube instead.

NordVPN YouTube Streaming

The speed is around 15Mbps on YouTube using NordVPN Japan #117. By pinging the server IP without a VPN connection, I determined the latency to be around 280ms.


Even with the high latency, I found this server to work quite well compared to other NordVPN servers.


NordVPN United States #2481 OpenVPN UDP manual config



It's good to know that NordVPN is working fine with manual OpenVPN connections. I think I'm going to uninstall the app now.


Thanks for the tip Emrick!


Let's see how China's best VPN server is doing tonight.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP


I ended up putting Taiwan 1 on my cheap ExpressVPN router and using it for Netflix on my living room TV. I'm actually surprised how many TV shows and movies are on the Taiwan version of Netflix. And the streaming speed is much faster than any US servers.


Check the Netflix in China page for further information.


Even right now at 10:30pm I'm getting 1080p resolution without any delay.


ExpressVPN Taiwan 1 OpenVPN UDP via ExpressVPN router app


July 9, 2018 - Fastest China VPN at 11pm - Round 2

ExpressVPN vs USA CN2 servers


I have a suggestion from de1t in the comment section to try VPN.ac Los Angeles 4 and Los Angeles 5 compared to ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 at 11pm.


It's now 11pm. Let's get started.


ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Los Angeles 4 (CN2) OpenVPN UDP



VPN.ac Los Angeles 5 (CN2) OpenVPN UDP



TorGuard Los Angeles (Asia-optimized) Openconnect UDP



Seeing how I'm testing all of these USA servers, I may as well test ExpressVPN as well.


ExpressVPN Los Angeles 3 OpenVPN UDP



It's kind of funny because the USA servers I tested before were CN2 but ExpressVPN Los Angeles 3 is not CN2. Yet the speed was still faster.


I have found that most of the USA CN2 networks have become oversold and are not necessarily faster than a non-CN2 server anymore.


If you want reliable high speed any time of day on China Telecom then you need an Asian CN2 like ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3.