With 1.3 billion people and the world's fastest growing economy, the People's Republic of China (PRC) is a modern economy miracle. But for all the commercial freedom and success available in China since economic reforms which began in 1978, political freedom has remained much more elusive. The government of China maintains a repressive set of Internet restrictions; but obtaining a proxy server in China can provide one way to scale the Great Firewall of China.
- Skill level:
Investigate and compare available proxy servers. The websites of many free and commercial proxy server services will be blocked, so try to visit the websites of several to see which websites are accessible. A possible comparison tool is serverwatch.com/stypes/compare, which allows the comparison of several types of servers including proxy servers.
Download a proxy server--from among those accessible--based on your preferences. Note that using proxy servers carries the risk of having passwords and user names hijacked by the proxy servers owner. Take caution when using a proxy server to access a private or financial account, and only use proxy servers of reliable integrity.
Visit a website and ping your IP address to see it identifies your location as China. One such website is whatismyipaddress.com but there are several other such sites available.
Tips and warnings
- Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) instead of a proxy server. VPNs are significantly more reliable than proxy servers, are less susceptible to being blocked or hijacked, and reduce the security risks of using an anonymous proxy server.
- The Internet proxy Firefox has several add-ons, which can server as a proxy server, which are less likely to be blocked.
- If you intend to travel to China and you still have unrestricted Internet access, it is ideal to install software that will facilitate a VPN connection on your computer before your trip.
- Using an anonymous proxy server (free or commercial) carries the risk that information or accounts you intended for privately usage will be known or controlled by others. Many users consider this risk unacceptable and choose not to use proxy servers.
- The PRC maintains military, police and intelligence divisions specifically to enforce its Internet censorship restrictions and to identify people evading the firewall among other responsibilities. Using a proxy server in China may result in your prosecution or persecution.
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