When we first came to China in 2007, the average expat didn’t need a VPN. But a lot has changed since then.
For example, I use:
- Gmail for e-mail;
- Google for search and translation;
- Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch with family and friends, and share pictures of our kids with their aunties, uncles, grandpas and grandmas;
- Twitter for news;
- YouTube to make music playlists for our family;
And in China, I need to VPN to access every single one of those. So without a VPN, I lose my first or only options for English-language e-mail, search, translation, news and social networking, and a lot of music.
微信 is great, but it’s not like all my North American friends and relatives are all going to ditch Facebook for WeChat any time soon.
And that’s why we’re starting our third year with SunVPN. We use it at home on our computers and everywhere on our phones. With so many server locations to choose from, it means we can access stuff that’s country restricted — like NBC’s Olympics videos, Netflix movies or Comedy Central clips. It’s easy to install and use (we are not techie people at all), and on the rare occasion that something goes wrong (like when I clicked “Run” instead of “Run as Administrator” and didn’t know why it wasn’t working) their 24-hour support is really prompt. They support OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP connections, and have multiple servers in North America, Europe and East Asia.