China’s internet problems, outages, black outs, and censors are nothing new. Foreign business people living in and traveling to even the larger cities like Beijing or Shanghai China cannot depend on the internet for work or much else, unless they can find a way to bypass internet censorship blocks. That doesn’t mean you can’t get online in China without vpns and proxies, but it does mean that where you want to go online is extremely restricted and what is off limits may change from minute to minute. (We know a number of Americans in Beijing, Dalian, Shanghai, etc. who are forced to use proxies or VPNs just to check email or Facebook).

Sure, for those who just want to know how to unblock banned websites like Youtube or Facebook in China , researching the best free vpns or free proxy servers might be a good start. Randomwire.com features this article with a list of free proxies to use in China but you might want to Google “proxies China 2012″ or whatever year it is when you read this for an updated list. It’s always changing.

For professionals who absolutely need unrestrained access to the internet, it’s best not to skate by with unreliable freebies loaded with ads etc, and to go with what works (and even then it’s not a guarantee, as the Chinese gov’t has even been known to target even the most effective vpns.)

VPNChoice.com features this list of top five vpn connections in their article “Best VPN For China“:

1     Hide My “Ass”
2    Strong VPN (our affiliate)
3     ExpressVPN
4     IAPS
5     VyprVPN

They also note: that the “above top 5 list of VPN Providers are rated and ranked in the TOP 5 List because of the quantity of servers they offer in different countries, outstanding quality of customer support, VPN features, protocols supported, experience and consumer reviews.”

Let us know what VPN you’re using in China, or if something different is working better.

Note: We are not implying that anyone should break the law in any country by using a VPN. Check with your international attorney or local authorities about how VPN laws apply to your situation.