Private Internet Access is quickly becoming one of the most popular VPNs on the market. Its large server base and strong security features make it a top choice when it comes to accessing content from almost anywhere in the world, including China.

The service easily bypasses geoblocks for iQiyi, Sohu, and YouKu, as well as giving you access to email, chat, and shopping sites in China. Better yet, it allows up to 10 simultaneous connections per license and comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. That way you can try the service and not get locked into a plan if it isn’t a good fit.

Quick Guide: How to Use Private Internet Access for China in 3 Steps

  1. Subscribe to Private Internet Access.
  2. Download and install the app on your device.
  3. Connect to a server in China. That’s it, you now have a Chinese IP address!

Use Private Internet Access for China Today!

Why You Need A VPN for China

China has notoriously tough restrictions when it comes to internet access and VPN use. The government uses a slew of technological blocks and legal restrictions to monitor and control internet usage, this dual system is known as the Great Firewall of China.

While the government does allow citizens to use VPNs if they have a license, these services are heavily monitored which makes online privacy virtually impossible. Unlicensed citizens that use VPNs to get around regulations and access banned websites can face serious fines.

These restrictions also make it difficult for Chinese exchange students, ex-pats, and anyone else who wants to enjoy local Chinese websites, streaming services, and local shopping. A strong VPN like PIA can help you bypass the Great Firewall, so you can gain access to all of your favorite Chinese sites and services no matter where you are.

That said, if you plan on visiting China you should install the VPN before you leave home, then you won’t need to worry about it being available for download when you arrive.

What Makes Private Internet Access A Good Choice for China

  • 35,550 servers in 77 countries
  • 10 devices per license
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO, Crunchyroll, Steam, and more
  • Compatible with:


























With over 35,550 servers in 77 countries, Private Internet Access is a pro at bypassing tough georestrictions. It can help you access your email, favorite local online shops, and other important accounts from almost anywhere you travel.

It uses 128-bit AES encryption by default but also offers industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption, as well as OpenVPN protocols for both speed and security. The MACE feature is an ad, malware, and tracker blocker that can be easily activated by toggling a switch in settings.

In addition to bypassing tough geoblocks, it allows torrenting on all of its servers and even offers P2P support. Other helpful torrenting features include a kill switch to disconnect you from the internet if the VPN fails and port forwarding which makes it more difficult to track activity back to your true location.

Private Internet Access offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its premium plans, and you get up to 10 simultaneous device connections per license.

Get Started with Private Internet Access Today!

Where Private Internet Access Falls Short for China

Private Internet Access is a secure VPN capable of giving you access to some of your favorite streaming and gaming accounts worldwide, but it isn’t the best choice if you enjoy streaming YouKu, iQIYI, or Sohu. While I was able to access each site, I was met with an endless buffering wheel when I attempted to play videos on each service.

A screenshot of YouKu and ToDou buffering while connected to PIA.

While I was able to access YouKu and ToDou, I wasn’t able to watch anything due to extreme buffering.

Download speeds were fast enough to stream in HD at around 5-7Mbps but the pingback was 260+ ms and upload speeds were 2-3Mbps, which helps explain why I was unable to actually stream any content.

A screenshot of the speed test performed on PIA's China server.

Ping speeds were high and download never reached over 7Mbps.

Pingback is the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the server and back. Just for reference here are recommended download, upload, and pingback speeds for streaming:

  • Download: 3Mbps (SD), 5Mbps (HD), 25Mbps (UltraHD/4K)
  • Upload: 4Mbps (SD), 7Mbps (HD), 20-30Mbps (UltraHD/4K)
  • Ping: 100ms or less

To be fair, my original location is somewhere in the US, so I didn’t expect to get PIA’s best speeds but even for a server that far away 260+ ms is a bit extreme. These speeds also caused lag and freezing while gaming. That means unless you live in China, local streaming and gaming are a no-go with PIA.

When it comes to streaming Chinese content, you’d be better off with ExpressVPN. It offers over 3,000 servers in 90 countries and its Lightway protocol offers some of the fastest pingback and download speeds of any VPN on the market.

ExpressVPN also allows up to 5 simultaneous device connections per license and features a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can purchase a subscription risk-free and cover all your favorite devices.

ExpressVPN’s latest deal May 2021: Get 3 months completely free on your annual subscription with this current offer! It’s not for certain when this deal will end so it’s best to check the deals page to see if it’s still available.

Bottom Line

If you’re primarily using PIA for browsing local content, sharing or downloading smaller files, or accessing your Chinese email accounts overseas it’s a solid option but I wouldn’t recommend it for streaming or torrenting larger files. In that case, you’ll want to go with a VPN that offers more reliable speeds for China like ExpressVPN.

Use Private Internet Access for China Today!

FAQs

What is the best VPN for China?

Right now, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for China thanks to the lightning-fast speeds offered by its proprietary protocol Lightway and ability to bypass even the toughest georestrictions.

Gaming, streaming, and browsing local content is effortless using the service and you can use it on up to 5 devices simultaneously per license. Plus it backs its service with a full 30-day money-back guarantee for first-time users, making it a risk-free choice for China.

Is using a VPN in China illegal?

It depends. China’s citizens can face fines if they don’t have a license to access restricted sites using a VPN. No tourist has ever gotten a fine for using an unlicensed VPN to date but I’d still recommend installing your chosen VPN before visiting the country.

For more information on where VPNs are and aren’t legal, check out this guide.

Can I use a free VPN for China?

While there are a few safe, free VPNs that work for China, most can’t offer the security and stability you need to reliably bypass the Great Firewall. Worse yet, many free services come with malware, adware, or even viruses. Some even sell your browsing history and other information to third parties for marketing purposes.

Looking for an alternative VPN for China? Here are the top 5 alternatives for 2021

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Original source: https://www.vpnmentor.com/blog/use-pia-for-china/