Does NordVPN Work in China

Does NordVPN Work in China? (What You Need to Know in 2024)

Published on: April 9, 2023
Last Updated: April 9, 2023

Does NordVPN Work in China? (What You Need to Know in 2024)

Published on: April 9, 2023
Last Updated: April 9, 2023


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Does NordVPN work in China?

Does it pass the test that seems to have become the distinguishing factor between a good VPN and the best one?

If you have these questions lingering in your head, you are probably well aware of the notoriously complex relationship that China has always had with the internet.

Having one of the lowest rankings for internet freedom worldwide, China’s visitors should anticipate hundreds of websites being restricted, extensive censorship, and highly constrained access to most of the western online services.

When your online activity is so heavily regulated, the only way for Chinese citizens to get some privacy is to use a VPN for China.

And that brings us back to the question, does NordVPN work in China?


Do other VPNs work in China as well?

Some do, and some don’t.

How Does NordVPN Work in China? But Many Other VPNs Don’t?


The level of online censorship that the Chinese government imposes is no secret to the world.

Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Twitter, and WhatsApp are just a few of the well-known websites that are notoriously blocked by The Great Firewall of China.

The Great Firewall is a dynamic system.

Regular updates are received, and improvements are made at blocking connections, much like any other service.

The VPN supplier must invest significant time and resources into this.

The infrastructure must be carefully planned, and ongoing situational monitoring and prompt action are required when something goes wrong.

Since only a few companies, including NordVPN, can afford to bear the costs associated with bypassing the Great Firewall, this is the first reason why only a small number of VPN service providers claim to be active in China.

Moreover, after the Chinese cyber security laws were updated in 2017, all VPN and Internet providers were urged to register with the all-powerful Chinese government to stay in business.

These Internet service providers were also instructed to assist with any data requests made by the government for any future investigations.

The businesses that cooperated with these directives are now on a list of VPN providers approved by the Chinese government, but regrettably, they can no longer be relied upon to prioritize user privacy and security.

Additionally, they are unable to unblock anything that is blocked by the government.

But what about the VPN providers who refused to surrender to Chinese regulation and stood their ground?

These are now the focus of several advanced VPN detection techniques, including deep packet inspection, making it more challenging for them to pass through the Firewall with the user traffic of OpenVPN.

Despite the challenges posed by the Chinese government, NordVPN and some other top VPN services for China can bypass the Firewall while upholding customer security and privacy.

What Makes NordVPN Capable of Getting Around China’s Great Firewall?

china tech

Prompted by logic, you must have begun wondering how NordVPN operates in China if it is not included in the Chinese government’s list of authorized VPN providers.

NordVPN makes a lot of effort to avoid being detected by the Chinese government.

There are more than 5500 servers available, but if you pay close attention, you’ll see that none of them are in China.

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So, when you access a local Chinese server, you are essentially being connected to a server in close-by locations such as Singapore or Hong Kong.

This does not imply that NordVPN is ineffective in China.

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Conversely, it indicates that NordVPN doesn’t belong to the list of VPNs that have been formally certified and keeps a low profile to protect its users’ privacy.

Utilizing its famous Obfuscated Servers feature, NordVPN switches into Stealth Mode.

It masks a user’s IP address and traffic and presents it as HTTPS web traffic to circumvent the restrictions on OpenVPN user traffic.

This is necessary because, despite VPN traffic being encrypted, your ISP can still detect your use of a VPN and the Great Firewall does a fine job of blocking typical VPN traffic.

By sending extra data packets to fool the Great Firewall, your VPN traffic appears as ordinary web browsing done without a VPN. This enables NordVPN to get around the blocks.

Furthermore, even though non-government-approved VPNs are illegal in China, no visitor has ever been fined for using one. As a result, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about your security.

Other Attractive Features of NordVPN?

NordVPN Meshnet

When using the internet from China, NordVPN’s premium features for privacy and security will keep you safe and anonymous. 

It has a strict policy against logging user data and safeguards all user data with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption.

It also features an automatic kill switch that shuts off your Internet connection if your VPN connection halts, protecting you from online exposure.

While it does not have servers specifically in China, NordVPN offers fantastic connection speeds on servers in Singapore, Hong Kong, or Japan, which are close by.

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Alongside these, it offers a total of 450+ obfuscated servers in eleven other countries too. These include Canada, Sweden, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, Egypt, the UAE, the US, and the UK.

So, it is safe to say that the major benefit of NordVPN for strictly regulated locations like China is its wide selection of obfuscated servers.

Due to its extensive geographic coverage, NordVPN is a fantastic option not only for China but also for several other highly regulated countries like Iran, Russia, Qatar, and the UAE.

A single subscription to NordVPN allows you to connect up to six devices simultaneously.

Obfuscation is not entirely foolproof, though.

You might occasionally have problems. However, you can count on NordVPN’s superb 24/7 customer service for advice or an update if you’re having issues.

In just a few seconds, you may begin a live chat session with an expert.

Last but not least, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with 100% satisfaction. There is no harm in taking it for a test run because there will be nothing at risk.

What are Some Other Good VPNs That Work in China?

The Great Firewall of China certainly makes it difficult for VPN providers to cope and provide their services in the country, but it is not impossible.

Like NordVPN, there are some other top-tier VPN providers too who have the capabilities and resources to make your experience with the internet more private and secure, even in China.

Some of them are as follows:

  • ExpressVPN – As the name suggests, this service provider is extremely fast, with strong security features, a wide network of servers, and a proven no-logs policy. Furthermore, it offers exclusive stealth servers for China, making it a frequent choice for quick, seamless access to restricted social media websites, Google services, and various streaming platforms.
  • VyprVPN – Truly allowing access to a free and open internet experience, VyprVPN is another excellent choice. It is a solid option for China because it is made to tolerate deep packet inspection. Its main feature is its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which defeats VPN blocks seamlessly to give back its users their internet freedom regardless of their location.

These VPNs are our top picks for China since they provide Internet freedom and security regardless of the VPN server location you select.

In addition to their military-grade encryption and other features for security, they include 24/7 live-chat customer assistance, which can be quite helpful when you desperately need to unblock a website but keep encountering problems due to the Great Firewall.

You may feel like you have a friend in enemy territory when you receive immediate customer support in a country with strict censorship, such as China.

How to Configure NordVPN for Use in China?

Whether or not you are already familiar with the service, NordVPN is extremely simple to use. Following a few easy steps, you can instantly enhance your privacy and security while browsing in China.

However, it is strongly recommended that you download the app before arriving in China.

Given China’s increasing crackdown on VPNs, we wouldn’t advise accessing NordVPN’s website from Chine (even though it is accessible).

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If you are done with that, here is how you can configure NordVPN with its obfuscated servers:

  • Open up the NordVPN app on your device and take a close look at the list of servers on the left. You’ll notice a tab of specialty servers. We will return to it shortly.
NordVPN app
  • Click the Settings button in the top ribbon, then scroll down until you see the “Show advanced settings” option. Click on that option to open the advanced settings window.
NordVPN advanced settings

A warning window will show up if this is your first time using NordVPN’s advanced settings. Choose ‘I know what I’m doing!’ and you are good to go.

  • Scroll down to “Obfuscated Servers” once you’ve entered the advanced options and flip the switch on. Indicating the change, the slider will turn blue.
NordVPN Obfuscated Servers
  • Go back to the main screen by clicking ‘servers’ in the top ribbon once more. Check the ‘specialty servers’ tab once again. If it lists obfuscated servers only, you are on the correct path.
NordVPN Obfuscated Servers 2

Looking at the list more closely, you’ll see that several of your server options have vanished. Only the server locations with Obfuscated Server settings are now visible to you.

  • Now you simply have to choose and connect. Whether you decide to choose from the given list of countries or pick a pinned location from the map, connecting to it will do the magic.
NordVPN Obfuscated Servers 3

If you’re successful, information on your chosen Obfuscated Server will be updated in the NordVPN app.

In the same manner, you can also disable the obfuscation mode by going to the advanced settings whenever you want.

What to Do When NordVPN Stops Working?

NordVPN is one of the leading service providers in the industry. But we all know that even the finest services can experience difficulties, outages, and server failure.

Following are some of the simple procedures that are sufficient and effective for rectifying minor issues in getting NordVPN to function in China:

Restart Your Connection with The VPN.

There are times when all you need to do to fix your VPN connection is to disconnect, wait for a couple of seconds, and then reconnect to a different server to re-establish your VPN connection.

Sometimes, certain IP addresses may have a history of being blocked for questionable use. Even the top providers on the market can experience this, albeit NordVPN hardly ever does.

Relaunching the software on the device or refreshing your Wi-Fi connection are some other ways in which you can restore your connection with the VPN.

Although most individuals may find VPN technology to be confusing or intimidating, the solution does not always involve re-configurations of the software.

Delete Browsing History

It is typical to become engulfed in the IP address “hysteria.” Even if it undoubtedly accounts for the majority of VPN failures, IP address is not always responsible.

For instance, your browser’s cache may be the problem if you are using the VPN app in China to connect to a server in the U.S.

Without noticing it, we frequently accept cookies from websites. Netflix, for example, offers personalized content recommendations only when you accept their cookies.

However, visiting Netflix in multiple countries in one night can certainly create doubts. Consequently, clearing the browser’s cache might do the trick for you.

Reach out To the Customer Support Team

How does NordVPN work in China seamlessly? As mentioned earlier, this can be achieved with the help of a good customer support team.

Despite our mastery of VPN technology, we are sometimes just unable to get around the Great Chinese Firewall.

The servers that are obfuscated are an illustration of this. Most users are unfamiliar with these.

Therefore, tutorials on the website or customer support services may be useful in this situation. Thankfully, NordVPN offers customer support around-the-clock.

By contacting the support team, you are likely to acquire the right advice from professionals in the VPN industry.

It is almost certain that customer care can provide some useful insights into how you can troubleshoot your connection issues with NordVPN on your own.


Is It Illegal to Use VPNs in China?

Technically, no.

China has a list of VPNs authorized for use by the government.

Accessing blocked websites in China via unregulated VPNs may be frowned upon, but it is not downright illegal.

According to experience and recent research, there has never been a case of anyone being punished for actively using any VPN in China.

Remember that China typically opposes the use of VPNs technologically rather than going after the users.

However, it is always good to remain on the safe side and read about the current internet and VPN laws when visiting China.

Has NordVPN Been Banned in China?

There are limitations on all western VPN service providers.

You won’t be able to visit these websites, but they aren’t banned.

Although NordVPN is one of the URLs that cannot be accessed from mainland China, this does not mean that the service is prohibited and cannot be used at all.

Therefore, for being able to use NordVPN in China, you shall have to download the app before arriving in the country.

Can I Use a Free VPN in China?

No, most free VPNs lack the resources necessary to circumvent China’s Great Firewall.

It is next to impossible to find a solution that works in China, respects your privacy, and is free of cost.

In Summary, the best VPNs in 2024 are;


In this modern world, highly dependent on the internet, having to go about your day without access to your desired websites or services seems quite unfair.

Yet, whenever we are traveling or residing abroad, we often find ourselves in countries that strictly regulate the online activities of citizens.

NordVPN is one of the most well-known and dependable VPN providers in the market that can assist users in such countries.

It encrypts all your internet traffic such that you can access all blocked websites without the regulatory authorities catching on.

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Thanks to its obfuscated servers, the VPN can be effectively used for activities like torrenting, getting access to Netflix, and enhancing privacy.

So, NordVPN is one of the finest services that can pass the test of ‘does NordVPN work in China?’ —with flying colors every time you try.

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Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.

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