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Want to View Vimeo from China? This Hack Solves Your Problem

John Bennet
Last Updated by John Bennet on June 19, 2022

It might seem like YouTube runs the world when it comes to hosting and sharing videos, but New York City-based Vimeo has become a major player in the industry in the past decade.

The problem is that there are large great swafts of the world where Vimeo is unavailable. Not surprisingly, one of these regions is China. So how does one check out the latest on Vimeo if you’re traveling within the reach of China’s “Great Firewall?”

Employing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the surefire solution, but it takes research, knowledge, and a decent bit of a touch of tech to ensure you’re getting the best fit for the problem.

What is Vimeo?

In layman’s terms, Vimeo is intent on becoming the anti-YouTube. It does not have ads on its website and it is largely a community of independent filmmakers and those who follow them. It was the first site to host high-definition 4K videos and offers a number of plans that are paid month to month.

Why Does China Block Vimeo?

China blocks Vimeo for the same reason it blocks most websites that allow for the hosting and sharing of information — it wants to control the information its own citizens have about China’s history, current place in world politics, and religious viewpoints.

A website like Vimeo hosts ‘outsider’ opinions that contradict the Chinese government’s selected facts and figures. Vimeo went live in 2004 and was blocked by China in October 2009, about six months after the country blocked YouTube.

How a VPN Works With Vimeo in China

VPNs work by constructing a secure connection between your personal Internet device and one located outside China. When you download and install a VPN client, it establishes an encrypted connection with a computer located in your home country. This allows you to access your Vimeo account.

Once that connection is secured, all information you upload to or from the Internet passes through said connection. From there it is given a new IP address and sent on to the website of your choice.

When you download pages or files, they are sent to the remote server, encrypted, then sent to your device to be decrypted.

Are VPNs Legal in China?

It’s complicated. Technically, VPNs aren’t legal unless they are government-approved, so you should exercise caution if you decide to use a non-approved VPN within China’s borders. However, there have been no cases of tourists being penalized by the Chinese government to date. The common practice is that China fights VPNs by technologically blocking the services, and not by chasing after foreigners who use them.

Several of the more successful VPN providers have been able to establish workarounds to ensure their services work inside China’s borders — although the safest option is to download and install a VPN before arriving in China.

The following VPN sites are blocked in China:

  • OpenVPN
  • Strong VPN
  • Pure VPN
  • ElephantVPN
  • Lantern
  • Shadowsocks

The Best VPNs for Vimeo in China

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the gold standard when it comes to speed in the VPN market, but this entry has way more than a hot rod mentality. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN in China for yourself. If you decide the service isn’t for you, you’re entitled to a full refund.

ExpressVPN has 24/7 customer support with a live chat feature. It has a proven track record for working in  China, and has a kill switch, zero-knowledge DNS, and AES-256 encryption.

Try Now Risk Free

2. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN lives up to its name promise with stout security features, including a strict no-log policy and 2048-bit encryption.

It has an automatic kill switch and built-in leak protection as well. PrivateVPN offers up to six connections per license and is good for torrenting as well.

Get it Now

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John Bennet
John Bennet is an experienced data and communications engineer and cross-platform copy and content writer and editor with a keen interest in cybersecurity. He has been working with and researching, VPNs and other online privacy tools for many years.