How to Safely Watch CNN while Visiting China
When it comes to websites censored by the Chinese government, there are few bigger targets than CNN.com. The US-based 24-hour-a-day news channel has covered events in China since its inception in the 1980s, providing coverage of some of the nation’s biggest black eyes, notably the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
It is therefore not surprising that the Western news organization’s website has been banned in China; the same holds true of other well-regarded standouts of the industry, including the BBC, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.
Non-government-approved VPNs are illegal in China, but there have been no public cases of tourists being penalized by the Chinese government. My team and I don’t condone illegal behavior and the protection of a VPN does not give you license to commit illegal acts. Please exercise a basic level of caution when using a VPN in China.
What is the Process of How a VPN Works?
VPNs are used by most businesses in China that have partners or clients located outside of the country’s borders. VPNs allow computers in China to safely access the Internet by connecting their users to a remote server located outside of China. This practice is generally known as using a proxy server, but VPNs take it one step further by creating an encrypted “tunnel” between your Internet-capable device and the remote server.
Any information sent through this tunnel is hidden from any third parties, such as your Chinese Internet Service Provider (ISP). Once your connected to a remote server, you can begin making request of sites you want to view. Your requests are encrypted, sent to the remote server, and decrypted there. The remote server then sends your requests to the Internet under a new IP address from the country it’s located in.
The data packets sent from the website travel first to the remote server, where they are encrypted and sent to your location. The better quality VPNs carry extra security features to enhance your privacy, such as kill switches that will sever your Internet connection should the VPN fail.
How Do I Use a VPN to Access CNN in China?
What are the Best VPNs for Accessing CNN in China?
Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN gets a bad rap for being located in the United States, but its security is impossible to beat. It features a kill switch, DNS leak protection, SOCKS5 compatibility, and some of the highest-level encryption in the industry. Factor in its server count – more than 3,000 at last check, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
IPVanish VPN is legendary for its encryption, which is the same used by the US government, and lauded for its merits by privacy experts around the globe. Like Private Internet Access, it’s located in the US, but that doesn’t stop it from offering more than 1,000 servers in some 60 countries. Even better, all IPVanish packages come with unlimited bandwidth as well as unlimited peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic.