Does CyberGhost VPN Work in China in 2024?

Updated on: May 7, 2024
Fact Checked by Katarina Glamoslija
Toma Novakovic Toma Novakovic
Updated on: May 7, 2024 Writer

Short on time? Here’s the best VPN for China in 2024:

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN : CyberGhost VPN isn’t good for China, so I recommend ExpressVPN — it includes reliable obfuscation tools to hide your VPN traffic in China and maintains blazing-fast speeds. You get industry-leading security and privacy features to protect your online activities from the government and any third parties, and it’s very easy to use. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.

CyberGhost VPN doesn’t work reliably in China in 2024 — multiple customer support reps confirmed there’s no guarantee it will work in China 100% of the time. China only allows government-approved VPNs for use in the country because it requires VPNs to log user data and share the data with the government.

The good news is CyberGhost VPN doesn’t store user data. However, CyberGhost lacks the obfuscation tools needed for it to consistently go undetected and work in China.

Fortunately, there are excellent alternatives that work well in China. My top recommendation is ExpressVPN because it has excellent obfuscation features, provides best-in-class security and privacy features to secure your online traffic, and maintains super-fast speeds for all online activities.

TRY EXPRESSVPN NOW

Quick summary of the best VPNs that still work in China in 2024:

  • 1. 🥇ExpressVPN — Best VPN for China in 2024 (lightning-fast speeds and obfuscation on all servers).
  • 2. 🥈Private Internet Access — Excellent VPN for China with strong security features + customizable apps.
  • 3. 🥉PrivateVPN — Beginner-friendly VPN for China with easy-to-use apps + simple obfuscation tool.

Disclaimer: Using unauthorized VPNs in China is against the law. No known cases of foreigners being penalized for VPN use exist, but I recommend being cautious about using a VPN in China. Make sure you familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations. This guidance is not an endorsement of using VPNs for illegal activities.

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for China in 2024

Approved by our experts
ExpressVPN
Approved by our experts
Most readers pick ExpressVPN
Servers in countries
105
Key Features
Industry-leading speeds
Number of devices
8
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
expressvpn.com

ExpressVPN is my #1 recommendation for China. Multiple support reps told me it works in the country, and it includes high-end security features, has lightning-fast speeds, and comes with intuitive apps for all of the major operating systems. Plus, you get servers in 105 countries, including nearby servers in Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore to get the fastest speeds.

ExpressVPN’s obfuscation feature is excellent. It disguises your VPN traffic to look like regular traffic, which makes it harder for Chinese censors to detect and block it. I really like how the VPN supports obfuscation on all servers and protocols, but its support representatives told me to use the Automatic protocol setting in China for the best results.

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for China in 2024

ExpressVPN uses mirror links, in case you’re unable to access its official site from China. These links use different URLs to take you to the ExpressVPN site, so you can download the VPN onto your device. If you need a mirror link, just email ExpressVPN’s customer support team.

ExpressVPN has advanced security features to protect your privacy in China. It includes full leak protection, so your real IP address is never exposed. The service operates on RAM-only servers, which wipe all data upon reboot. It also has perfect forward secrecy, which frequently changes your encryption keys. Plus, its no-logs policy has passed multiple independent audits, proving that ExpressVPN doesn’t track or record your online activities.

I like ExpressVPN’s split-tunneling feature, which lets you choose which apps use the VPN connection and which use your regular connection. It’s useful if you only want to use the VPN for specific apps. For example, you can route a social media app through the VPN but browse a local app through your primary network.

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for China in 2024

ExpressVPN’s plans start at $6.67 / month. While it’s a bit pricey compared to competitors, the cost is worth it because ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market. Plus, it backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out risk-free.

ExpressVPN: Save 49% on the 12-month plan + FREE months!
Get a full 15 months (12 months + 3 free months) at a 49% discount.

Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN is my #1 VPN pick for China in 2024 as it reliably works in the restrictive country, has strong security and privacy features, lightning-fast speeds, and plenty of server locations near China for the best possible speeds. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full ExpressVPN review

🥈2. Private Internet Access — Strong Security for China

Servers in countries
91
Key Features
Excellent ad blocker
Number of devices
Unlimited
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
privateinternetaccess.com

Private Internet Access (PIA) works in China thanks to Shadowsocks proxy servers — these servers obfuscate your traffic and allow you to connect to servers in countries that don’t restrict the internet. PIA’s email and live chat support reps assured me that the VPN works in China using proxy servers, which are located in 6 privacy-friendly countries, including the US, Canada, Japan, the UK, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

While I like that it’s easy to find and connect to PIA’s Shadowsocks servers, I prefer using ExpressVPN in China. You can connect to a server in any of its 91 countries

🥈2. Private Internet Access — Strong Security for China

PIA has advanced security features, including full leak protection, RAM-only servers, and perfect forward secrecy. Its no-logs policy has passed independent audits (and it’s even been verified in court documents), and I appreciate that PIA regularly shares transparency reports that confirm it doesn’t log or share any user data.

PIA’s apps are highly customizable, allowing you to configure your connections as you wish. This includes choosing between different levels of encryption (128-bit AES and 256-bit AES), local port connections, IP and app whitelisting, and even automation rules. I also really like that PIA lets you connect an unlimited number of devices, so you and your entire family can protect your connections in China.

🥈2. Private Internet Access — Strong Security for China

I’m a huge fan of PIA’s advanced split-tunneling that lets you split-tunnel both apps and sites. This way, you don’t have to exclude your entire browser when you need the VPN for a select number of sites.

PIA’s plans are very affordable, starting at $2.03 / month. It backs all subscriptions with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access: Save 83% on the 24-month plan + FREE months!
You can save 83% if you act right now.

Bottom Line:

Private Internet Access has excellent security for use in China. It provides obfuscation via Shadowsocks proxy servers, offers really good speeds with obfuscation, and flexible apps that are great for customizing your connections. It backs all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Private Internet Access review

🥉3. PrivateVPN — Beginner-Friendly VPN for China

Servers in countries
63
Key Features
Works in restrictive nations
Number of devices
10
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
privatevpn.com

PrivateVPN’s easy-to-use interface is great for people who have never used a VPN. Its Stealth Mode feature obfuscates your traffic in China, and it’s very simple to enable — all you have to do is toggle the Stealth Mode switch in the settings.

With servers in 63 countries, PrivateVPN has a smaller server network than ExpressVPN, but PrivateVPN still covers several locations near mainland China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea.

🥉3. PrivateVPN — Beginner-Friendly VPN for China

Its apps are very intuitive and offer simple explanations for all features, so you won’t have any trouble finding Stealth Mode and connecting to a server. I especially like how it lets you choose between Simple View and Advanced View. The former is perfect for beginners as it displays minimal options and lets you easily connect to the VPN, while the latter offers more advanced options and allows you to customize the settings.

🥉3. PrivateVPN — Beginner-Friendly VPN for China

PrivateVPN is secure, as you get perfect forward secrecy, as well as DNS and IPv6 leak protection (but it’s missing RAM-only servers). I also really like Application Guard, which is an advanced kill switch that disconnects certain apps when your connection to the VPN server drops.

PrivateVPN offers very competitive pricing plans (starting at $2.00 / month), and covers all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Save up to 85% on PrivateVPN!
You can save 85% if you act right now.

Bottom Line:

PrivateVPN is a beginner-friendly VPN for China. Its minimalistic apps make it very easy to enable obfuscation, you get great security features, and fast speeds on nearby servers. PrivateVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee included with all of its plans.

Read the full PrivateVPN review

Quick Comparison Table

VPN Starting Price Number of Countries with Servers Leak Protection Split-Tunneling Obfuscation Tool Number of Simultaneous Connections Money-Back Guarantee
🥇1. ExpressVPN $6.67 / month 105

DNS ✅

WebRTC ✅

IPv6 ✅

Windows ✅

macOS ✅

Android ✅

iOS ❌

Obfuscation on all servers and protocols Up to 8 30 days
🥈2. Private Internet Access $2.03 / month 91

DNS ✅

WebRTC ✅

IPv6 ✅

Windows ✅

macOS ✅

Android ✅

iOS ❌

Shadowsocks proxy servers Unlimited 30 days
🥉3. PrivateVPN $2.00 / month 63

DNS ✅

WebRTC ❌

IPv6 ✅

Windows ❌

macOS ❌

Android ❌

iOS ❌

Stealth VPN protocol Up to 10 30 days

How to Choose the Best VPN for China in 2024

  • Find a VPN that works in China. Most VPNs don’t work in China because the government actively bans unauthorized VPNs and VPN traffic. However, all of the VPNs I recommend on this list reliably work in China.
  • Choose a VPN with strong security. All the VPNs on this list have industry-leading VPN security features, including military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, leak protection, and perfect forward secrecy.
  • Test for fast speeds. VPNs slow down your connection because of the encryption process, and the obfuscation that you need to hide your VPN traffic in China slows it even further due to the extra layers of encryption. If speed is your priority, ExpressVPN consistently had the fastest speeds in my tests.
  • Look for a VPN with a large server network. More servers means better chances to find stable connections nearby. The VPNs I recommend have servers in countries that are near China, so you can get the fastest possible speeds.
  • Check for app compatibility & ease of use. Each VPN on my list has apps for all major operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. All of their apps are extremely simple to use — it only takes a couple of clicks to enable obfuscation and connect to your preferred server location while in China.
  • Buy a VPN that offers excellent value. I always recommend VPNs that come with extra features like split-tunneling and offer a money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the service risk-free.

How to Use a VPN in China

  1. Download and install a VPN that works in China. I recommend ExpressVPN. If you’re traveling to China, it’s best to download and set up the app on your devices before you get there. If you’re already in China and have trouble accessing the VPN site, email customer support and ask for a mirror link.
  2. Launch the VPN app. Open the VPN app and enable obfuscation.
  3. Connect to a server. I generally recommend picking a nearby server so you get the fastest possible speeds. That’s it! You’re all set to securely browse the web in China.

How to Download a VPN If You’re Already in China

Chances are, you won’t be able to access your VPN’s official site to download the app if you’re already in China. The good news is there are plenty of workarounds:

  • Use a mirror website. Many VPNs have mirror websites with different URLs that they regularly change to make sure the Chinese government hasn’t blocked them. To get a link to your provider’s mirror website, just reach out to its customer support via email.
  • Use a free web proxy. A proxy temporarily changes your IP address (without encrypting data). This way, you can just type in your provider’s website into the search field.
  • Use your SIM card. If the SIM card from your home country supports roaming, you may be able to use it to visit your provider’s website.
  • Get help from a friend abroad. Reach out to a friend that’s outside of China and ask them to buy a subscription for you. They can then email you the installation files and login details.
  • If you use Android, ask the support reps for the .apk installation files. Once you receive them, you’ll simply need to open and install them, without having to go to your provider’s website.
  • Consider a trip to Hong Kong or Macau. Although these regions aren’t 100% free of Chinese surveillance, they’re outside China’s Great Firewall, so you should be able to visit your provider’s website from there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn’t CyberGhost VPN work in China?

The Chinese government uses advanced technology to detect and block unauthorized internet traffic, including VPNs that aren’t approved by the government. For a VPN to be approved for use in China, the provider has to agree to share data with the Chinese government, which defeats the purpose of using a VPN in the first place.

This is why a lot of VPNs, including CyberGhost VPN, no longer work in China. The very few that do, like the VPNs on this list, use obfuscation to hide VPN traffic. Please note that it may be illegal to use a VPN in China — I recommend following all the local rules and regulations.

Why do I need a VPN in China?

Many websites that are available outside of China are unreachable through Chinese internet services because the government regulates internet access. All the VPNs on my list have obfuscation features, which mask VPN traffic as normal traffic, allowing you to connect to a server in another country. In addition, a VPN encrypts your traffic so it’s unreadable by third parties.

Is CyberGhost VPN legal in China?

CyberGhost VPN isn’t a government-approved VPN in China, so it may be illegal to use it. China only approves VPNs that agree to share user data with the government and CyberGhost VPN isn’t one of them. I haven’t found any instances where the government legally took legal steps against tourists for using a VPN, but I recommend caution.

What’s more, CyberGhost doesn’t really work in China, so if you really need a good VPN for China, check out my best VPN picks for China here.

Which VPNs still work in China?

There are only a few independent VPNs that work reliably in China. These include ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and PrivateVPN. All 3 providers use obfuscation to hide your VPN traffic and good security features so you can safely browse the web in China.

Best VPNs for China in 2024 — Final Score:

Our Rank
Our Score
Best Deal
1
9.8
save 49%
2
9.6
save 83%
3
8.8
save 85%
The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation and some are co-owned by our parent company. This influence: Rank and manner in which listings are presented. 
Learn more
About the Author
Toma Novakovic
Updated on: May 7, 2024

About the Author

Toma Novakovic is a writer at SafetyDetectives. Before joining, he worked as a freelance writer for various publications in the tech, language arts, and science fields. He has a broad array of interests and loves learning new things about the tech sector and the ever-growing field of cybersecurity and privacy. When he's not writing at work, he's likely writing fiction, reading up on obscure topics, or replaying some Final Fantasy video game.

Leave a Comment