Coined more than two decades ago, the term "Great Firewall of China" refers to the Chinese government's ongoing efforts to regulate and censor the internet within the borders of the country's mainland. It's a play on the name of the Great Wall of China — as in, the sprawling, millennia-old landmark that's one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
You could make the argument that the Great Firewall is a world wonder, too — as in, it'll have you wondering how the heck you'd make it through a trip to China without a means to stay in touch with friends, pull up driving directions, or fight off jet lag with Netflix. Read more...
BEST OVERALL CHOICE (PAID)ExpressVPN
Reviewers overwhelmingly recommend this one for a reason: It's got the perfect blend of speed, security, and customer service as well as a large server network.
- Monthly plan: $12.95/month
- Six-month plan: $9.99/month
- 12-month plan: $8.32/month
BEST OVERALL CHOICE (FREE)TunnelBear
An uncomplicated VPN with a bear-y cute mascot that shares a lot of features with the paid services on this list.
- Basic plan: Free
- Monthly plan: $9.99/month
- Annual plan: $4.99/month
BEST FOR VPN NEWBIESPandaPow VPN
A no-frills VPN that'll walk you through every step of the setup process. Be sure to check out its VPN router, too.
- One-month plan: $9
- Three-month plan: $24
- 12-month plan: $84
BEST FOR SPEEDPureVPN
Potential logging issues aside, this VPN is one of the few that's fast enough to get you your Netflix fix.
- Monthly plan: $10.95/month
- One-year plan: $4.08/month
- Two-year plan: $2.88/month
BEST FOR COMPREHENSIVE SECURITYNordVPN
If you're really worried about getting hit with one of those $145 fines from the Chinese government, NordVPN will quell your concerns with top-of-the-line privacy features.
- Monthly plan: $11.95/month
- One-year plan: $6.99/month
- Two-year plan: $3.99/month
- Three-year plan: $2.99/month
BEST CUSTOMER SERVICEBuffered VPN
A helpful chaperone for the VPN world with a bare-bones spec lineup.
- Monthly plan: $12.99/month
- One-year plan: $6.59/month
- Two-year plan: $4.12/month