WhatsApp is among the thousands of apps and websites banned in China. While millions of people around the world use the app to keep in touch with family and friends, visit this country and it becomes impossible. That is, unless you are behind a VPN. This brings about the question of how to unblock and use WhatsApp in China with a VPN?
What is a VPN?
When behind a Virtual Private Network your IP address is masked as you take on one from another country. While you are located in China, if you connect to a server offered by the VPN it looks like you are located in another country anywhere in the world.
It is important to bear in mind that if you are going to use a VPN in the country, you sign up and set it up outside of the country.
Yes, the use of Virtual Private Networks is discouraged and the government has stopped people selling VPN services unless they have government approval. With this in mind, you will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to sign up for a VPN once you are there.
So, if you are visiting the country in the future choose a provider to take out a subscription and sign up for the subscription in your own country. Three of the best VPN providers for overcoming the Great Firewall of China are ExpressVPN, CyberGhost and NordVPN.
How to unblock and use WhatsApp in China
Once you have chosen your plan you can follow the steps below. Bear in mind that ExpressVPN offer 49% savings for a 12 month plan and give your three months free.
- Download apps onto the devices you will be taking with you. You can install as many apps as you want for different devices
- Install the app on your device
- Launch the application and then sign in using your credentials
- Choose a server in the USA or UK and connect to that server
- Launch WhatsApp on your device.
It might be wise to test out the above before leaving home so that you know how to use WhatsApp in China correctly once you are in the country.
Once you have gotten used to connecting to the VPN in your own country, it will become second nature and when you travel abroad, you will instinctively use the Virtual Private Network before connecting to the internet.
When you have touched down in the country and want to use the messaging app to let your family know you have arrived, it is simple to overcome the restrictions.
We have previously shown you how to access WhatsApp in China and you will have practiced the method at home. Now when you arrive in the country all you have to do is open the VPN software and choose a server from anywhere in the world and click on the connect button. Open WhatsApp and connect just as you would at home.
However, you might also want to take some additional steps when in the country. The first thing you should do is to make sure that the software automatically connects to the device, just in case you forget to do so.
To do this you can:
- Head to the main page of the software
- Click on the menu icon and choose options
- Under the general tab, tick the first two options
- If using a laptop you might also want to tick to use the kill switch.
Then go to the advanced tab and:
- Tick the boxes to use IPv6 protection along with DNS protection
- Click on the OK button to exit.
Issues with how to use WhatsApp in China?
If you do have issues when trying to use WhatsApp despite having connected to a VPN server there are some things you can do to overcome them.
If you still cannot use the app you should disconnect from the server and choose another one. This is the easiest way to overcome issues. As the government is so conscientious about blocking, it may be possible that they have blocked the server you are using. Not to worry, ExpressVPN offers thousands of different servers so there is sure to be one that works.
If issues persist, you can change the protocol used by the software. Again, go into the settings of the software as seen in the screenshot below.
Hopefully, the above will remedy any issues that you might have come across and provide the answer to how to unblock and use WhatsApp in China.
You should now be able to connect to the app and share your adventures in the country by showing your family and friends photos and chatting with them. You will also be able to unblock Netflix and many other websites.
If you have more questions regarding this tutorial, don’t hesitate to contact the online support of your provider!
Alison has joined the team in the early stage because she wanted to share with us the experience she had while using VPNs over the last few years. As she’s travelled a lot, she tested many VPNs and wanted to share this with you. Alison cares about staying anonymous and not leaving any footprints on the internet. Therefore, you won’t have the chance to see her face ;).