Internet in China is limited. This blockage is named as The Great Firewall of China. The name is an analogy to the real Great Wall of China that was built centuries ago to protect the country from invading neighboring nations, but, unfortunately, in 1208 China’s Wall failed and the country was invaded by Mongols. So ironically the term more implies “to the Great Firewall’s deficiencies than to its effectiveness as a stalwart barrier to the dissemination of certain types of information in China. <…> The implication of the Great Firewall analogy is that the Great Firewall, like the Great Wall of China, will eventually fail as a protective fortress.”
Anyway, whatever the term would be, it basically blocks all of the sites that I use daily, such as google, gmail, Facebook, youtube and a few others, including wordpress and blopgspot, not to mention numerous news webpages. So, no one in China can really access this blog. Unless they, just like me, fake their IP address. (A fun thing with it, is to notice what kind of adverts you are bombarded with, when you are in different locations. Today ‘I am’ in Toronto. Will see what that brings:)
Before leaving to China I googled several VPN providers for China’s internet but I could not make my mind which one to choose. Then, just before leaving, I came across one traveler’s blog and he listed several VPNs. One of them had China friendly link. Since I could not google anything else, I just decided to give a try to that one. I think they have a 30 days money back guarantee, but they are doing a great job and I don’t feel like looking for anything else. I love their customer support! They can help 24/7 and, really, anytime I needed anything – I received an answer straight away. This VPN is called Witopia. If anyone, who happens to read this blog, wants to come to China, here is a link that gives you a discount for installing Witopia (and it is China friendly:). I have a few problems of it operating on my android, but I have not really looked into what is causing it.
So how people connect in mainland China if the most popular connection sites are blocked? Well, they have their own sites. A very popular one is QQ. I still have not figured out how it works. It is all in Chinese. It looks a little bit like skype, but maybe a hybrid of facebook and skype is a more accurate description. I hope one of my Chinese friends can help to set it up to English.
Then, there is wechat, but I have not installed that one. Hanna said that it is for free, but I only found the one that you have to pay for, and so far I don’t see a need to do that.
P.s. I also created a new email account because I can’t provide my gmail in Chinese webpages. If you would like to say hello, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.p.s. I need to find an alternative Google for work too.