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laowai

China VPN experience - April 2018

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Hey guys, just thought I'd provide some detail of my experiences using Airvpn in mainland China.

Disclaimer: I'm in IT

 

Platform: Nexus 6P, Oreo 8.1 April security patch, *not* rooted

Client: OpenVPN for Android

Location: Nanning, Guangxi

 

I was last in mainland China in Oct 2017. We visited Guangxi and Guangdong, and I was forced to use the Hong Kong UDP-Altentry as nothing else worked. This was quite unreliable and whilst some places we visited were remote and rural, they still had good broadband speed for the locals.

 

This time around everything works. Everything in the screenshot. I find that strange.

The Chinese government officially cracked down *more" in Feb 2018, so why would these now all work?

 

One thing I have noticed is in one hotel, only Hong Kong UDP-Altentry would work. This was sometimes the case in public free WiFi hotspots also. Everyone in IT security knows that layers are important, so I can only assume that large enough public WiFi (large hotel chains etc.) are required by law to have a level of filtering (perhaps dropping all UDP on 80 and 443, as sometimes only TCP would work)

 

Presumably the Chinese government may look at forums like these in order to bolster their security, but perhaps they have relaxed VPN access in order to "catch" more nationals in the act.

 

A friend lent us a SIM card, which is China Telecom and not only is the LTE *fast*, but again, all VPN tunnels in the screenshot here worked.

 

Perhaps OpemVPN have upgraded their termination points, but either way this is both good and worrying news.

 

On the plus side, there's no need for me to consider an alternative (nonsense chameleon marketing aside), and the speed is just as good as I've experienced when at home. On the down side, I'm convinced they are monitoring in order to create more filtering policies to block VPNs by allowing them to run more freely.

 

I hope the cynic in me is wrong.

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It's worth noting that SSL Tunnels work on non-rooted android.

 

If i were in China I'd use SSL Tunnel 24/7, the obfuscation of the OpenVPN layer provided by SSL Tunnels may keep it unblocked longer than your traditional OpenVPN counterpart.

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