Travelling in China can be difficult.
Having consistent access to the internet (mobile and wifi) will help you plan and stay connected when you need it most. However, the internet situation in China can be a little tricky. Here are our top 5 internet tips for China.
1. Get a VPN
The internet is heavily censored in China. That means most of your favourite apps and websites (Facebook, Google, Youtube, Whatsapp, Instagram, etc) won’t be accessible there.
Thankfully you can download VPN apps on your computer and mobile devices that will allow your to bypass the internet censorship. Beware of free VPN apps though, they can be risky as they might be selling your browsing data.
2. Get a SIM card with 4G LTE
If you have a smartphone then it is a no brainer to pick up a SIM card while travelling through China. SIM cards and mobile data are cheap so you really have no excuse. Any mobile phone store or China Unicom / China Mobile carrier store can hook you up. Just make sure you bring your passport with you.
3. Alternative: Use Roaming or Google-Fi
Forget a local SIM.
Roaming or Google-Fi allows you to use your home country’s mobile internet network. This has the added bonus of tunnelling your web traffic over the internet censorship. This means you can access Google and the like without a VPN.
4. Most restaurants have free WIFI
Unlike North America, Chinese restaurants all seem to have free wifi — it’s part of Chinese consumer culture to expect it. Usually you will need to ask a waiter / waitress for the wifi password. Don’t worry if you don’t know Mandarin, “WIFI” is a universal word. Just point at your phone.
5. No password, No worries
Chinese public wifi networks have the most unimaginative wifi passwords. As 8 is a lucky number in China, and most passwords need 8 characters minimum, you will find that you can access many wifi networks by using the password “88888888” (8 number eights).
No harm in trying!