If you’re looking for the best VPN in Shanghai, your only choice is likely NordVPN. It’s one of the few “illegal” VPNs that actually works in China.



The legality of VPNs in China is a bit of a grey area. Technically, VPNs are legal in China but they have to cooperate with the state. By that, we mean VPNs have to keep logs of what users do online and if necessary, allow the state access to them. This defeats the whole purpose of using VPNs in the first place.

However, for users in Shanghai, Beijing, and China in general, VPNs are necessary because the Internet is controlled by the government. Many popular services and websites are blocked by China’s Great Firewall, not to mention the surveillance all China’s Internet users are under.

To access content and services blocked by the Great Firewall of China as well as escape surveillance, users in China can use VPNs. However, setting up VPNs that aren’t under government control while in China is difficult. So if you’re planning on visiting Shanghai, or China in general, it would best to set up the VPN before entering the country.

However, the issue with finding the best VPN in Shanghai is that they need to have certain features. In countries like China where many VPNs are blocked, only a few VPNs that can bypass these blocks will work. You certainly won’t find the best VPN in Shanghai while looking at free VPNs. Free VPNs do not have the resources to bypass blocks.

The issue with using a VPN in Shanghai is that China does its best to come up with new ways to prevent its citizens from accessing unrestricted Internet. That includes staying on top of blocking VPN traffic. So even if you pick the best VPN in Shanghai and it seems to work at first, it can stop working seemingly completely randomly.

What features does the best VPN in Shanghai need

  • Large server network/obfuscated servers

No matter which VPN you choose, servers will stop working randomly. You need to have options for when it does happen, so a VPN with a lot of servers is always a better choice. VPNs with large server networks are always better because users get distributed more evenly, thus reducing server congestion.

The best VPN in Shanghai needs to have obfuscated servers. When connected to regular servers, the traffic is encrypted but the Internet Service Provider can see that a VPN is being used. For a VPN to work in a country where VPN traffic is blocked, it needs to have servers that conceal VPN usage. When users connect to an obfuscated server, the VPN vendor removes all traces of a VPN from the data, allowing the traffic to go through the blocks.

  • Security and traffic encryption

A VPN protects users from online surveillance by encrypting their traffic. Encrypted traffic becomes unreadable to the Internet Service Provider (ISP). Most popular VPNs use AES-256 encryption.

  • Strict zero-logs policy

VPNs are used to escape surveillance so it would make little sense for a VPN to keep logs of users’ activities as that would go against the whole purpose of a VPN. Therefore, the best VPN in Shanghai will have a strict zero-logs policy. The policy also needs to be audited by an independent party at least once because only then can users be sure that its contents are true.

It’s worth mentioning that VPNs approved by the Chinese government do keep logs and will provide them to authorities if necessary.

  • Extra features

If you use features like adblockers, protection against malware, password managers, etc., it may be better to use a VPN that has these features. If you pay for them, using just a VPN with those features would also be better value for money.

Features like a kill switch are a must for all VPNs, especially for ones that are used in countries like China. A kill switch protects a user’s IP address and stops it from leaking when they get disconnected from the VPN while online.

VPNs also come with a split tunneling feature that allows users to control which traffic should go through the encryption tunnel and which can reach the Internet normally.

  • Speed

This is particularly relevant for users who have slow Internet. VPNs slow down the Internet to some extent because of how they work. However, in most cases, it’s pretty unnoticeable. The best VPN in Shanghai will be able to retain at least 80-90% of the original speed.

NordVPN may be the best VPN in Shanghai

Finding the best VPN for Shanghai is a bit tricky because China is very advanced when it comes to detecting VPNs. Nonetheless, NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that work. That, and its features, make it the best VPN in Shanghai.

  • Large server network with obfuscated servers

First of all, it needs to be mentioned that NordVPN has obfuscated servers. When connected to them, the VPN will remove all traces of a VPN from users’ data, allowing the VPN to bypass blocks.

Overall, NordVPN has a network of almost 6,000 servers in 60+ countries. Even when a server stops working, users will have plenty of options.

  • Traffic encryption

NordVPN encrypts traffic using a combination of AES-256 and ChaCha20 algorithms. This encryption is practically indecipherable. This is especially important for users located in countries where the government monitors all users’ online activities.

  • Privacy

NordVPN does not track users or keep any logs of their online activities, as stated in its privacy policy. The only information it keeps is what’s necessary to maintain an account. NordVPN has also been audited several times by independent parties, confirming that its data policy is legitimate.

  • Fast VPN in Shanghai

NordVPN’s NordLynx encryption protocol is why NordVPN is the best VPN in Shanghai, and the best in general. Because of this protocol, NordVPN is able to retain 90% of the original Internet speed, which is pretty impressive. You can switch encryption protocols in NordVPN settings but we recommend sticking to NordLynx, as it’s why NordVPN is such a fast VPN in Shanghai.

  • Additional features

NordVPN offers many excellent features that you may find useful. Even with the cheapest subscription, you can get an adblocker and protection against malware features. More expensive plans also include a cross-platform password manager, a data breach scanner, and 1TB of cloud storage.

It goes without saying that NordVPN has a kill switch feature to protect your IP address from leaking, And if you want to control which traffic should be encrypted and which should not, you can use the split tunneling feature.

  • Price

You will not find the best VPN in Shanghai while looking at free VPNs. NordVPN also does not have a free Shanghai VPN. However, the VPN offers discounts all year round, which makes it a very affordable VPN. If you use the offered discounts for long-term subscriptions, you could get a NordVPN subscription for $2.99/month.

  • Shanghai VPN free

There is no NordVPN free Shanghai VPN version but there is a free 7-day trial. You need an Android device to initiate the trial but it can later be used on all devices, whatever OS they are running. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can use a free trial as long you request a refund in time.

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