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China Working Hard to Block VPN Access

The Guardian reports that the Chinese government is working hard to block access to VPN providers. While this is being done to keep in place the tough restrictions on information that China imposes upon its citizens, it has other effects that may be damaging to businesses.

The Effort

According to the report, the government is using technology that allows it to discover VPN traffic and to block it when they find it. One of the largest ISPs in China, China Unicom, has already set up a system that terminates the connections of people using a VPN. VPN providers have also warned some of the customers that some of the protocols used for VPN service are being blocked but, according to the report, the companies believe that the blockage will be removed.

The Chinese government has become somewhat notorious for blocking Internet traffic. The policy has been called the Great Firewall. In other instances when the government has attempted to crack down on VPN use, providers have eventually found a way around it and VPN connectivity has been restored.

Other Consequences

While the government’s goal might be to choke off information coming in and out of China, it also has a significant impact on businesses. Many businesses use VPNs to provide an encrypted means of communication for sensitive company data. Cutting off VPN access on the Internet has the effect of cutting off the VPN access used by businesses, which may have significant economic consequences.

Finding a Provider

You’ll find many good options among our preferred providers. If you happen to be trying to get free access to the Internet in a nation that deliberately blocks that access, however, you have to be a little bit better informed than the average VPN user.

OpenVPN and SSTP are currently the best options for use in nations where a firewall is used to block access to the Internet. PPTP can be hacked quite easily and does not provide enough security for users in such nations. L2TP is an excellent VPN protocol where security is concerned, but requires the use of a specific port and most ISPs in nations where information is tightly controlled have already blocked off the port, rendering this protocol unusable.

A VPN service encrypts data to and from a computer and prevents it from being spied upon. With OpenVPN, different ports can be used to defeat port blocking tactics and the encryption is strong enough to keep prying eyes from seeing what type of data is being transmitted, what type of website is being viewed and any other sensitive information.

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