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Best VPN for China – Astrill VPN

Table of Contents

What is Astrill VPN?

Astrill VPN is a versatile service that not only provides you with military-grade security and good speeds, but also offers a ton of useful features like split tunneling. In addition, this VPN works in China, has protection against DNS leaks, and unblocks the US Netflix. It’s even compatible with torrenting.

Interestingly enough, Astrill is one of the oldest VPN service providers. They have been around since 2009, yet you never seem to hear much about Astrill VPN.

As they claim on their webpage, that is because they’re not involved in extensive marketing schemes. Their solution is investing in hardware, software, and human resources.

Is Astrill VPN fast?

VPN speeds are a hard nut to crack because they depend on a varied set of factors. To find out how fast Astrill VPN is, we found our baseline connection speed, then compared it to speed test results using various different tunneling protocols and VPN servers.

OpenWeb and StealthVPN

Although both OpenWeb and Stealth VPN are in the same table, they couldn’t be more different. OpenWeb provides amazing speeds, and connection times are almost instant. On average, OpenWeb reduced my download speed by 3% and my upload by 46%.

Since Stealth VPN is really just modified OpenVPN (UDP), the speeds are on par with the previous section’s results. The drop off for average download speeds is ~36%, while the uploads suffer a 75% dip.

WireGuard

WireGuard has a reputation for being one of the fastest tunneling protocols. Astrill VPN is no exception for downloads (average speed reduction of 30%), but uploads get slashed by 71%.

I have to give Astrill VPN credit for delivering a decent experience with all of their tunneling protocols. Every single one is usable and has real-world scenarios where it could be useful. Speed-wise, the most impressive is OpenWeb. However, you should use it with caution: this is a proprietary protocol and we know little about it, including the encryption level.

Does Astrill VPN work with Netflix?

Astrill is a decent VPN for streaming. During our tests, we managed to unblock Netflix US without triggering any alarms.

The next on the list was BBC iPlayer. While this service is nowhere near as popular as Netflix, it has lots of awesome British TV content. Sadly, if you want to enjoy it, you’ll have to turn to other VPN providers. Astrill VPN didn’t manage to unblock BBC iPlayer.

The next unpleasant surprise came from YouTube. While you can access the site, geo-restricted videos remain unavailable. You may also be surprised to see everything written in Chinese – this is because Astrill is a popular VPN in China and Google (YouTube is owned by Google) is treating some Astrill IP addresses as if they were Chinese.

Finally, Astrill VPN managed to unblock DAZN, the trickiest service on this list. However, according to the website link, it did detect that I’m connecting from Lithuania. This is strange, as DAZN isn’t even available in Lithuania. So, it’s a bit hard to say how exactly I managed to unblock it.

Does Astrill VPN allow torrenting?

Astrill VPN is proud to announce that its servers are compatible with P2P traffic. I can confirm that torrenting not only works, but the download speeds were really good, too. They topped around 20MB/s (160mbps) – a very good result even without a VPN considering my baseline connection. With that said, torrent speeds depend on lots of different factors, so apply this result to your situation with caution.

Does Astrill VPN work in China?

Astrill not only works in China, but it’s also unofficially one of the most popular VPNs for bypassing the Great Firewall. It helps that Astrill runs a .onion version of their website, which is still accessible in China.

The service offers the StealthVPN tunneling protocol, which is designed to pierce through the Great Firewall. It does this by simulating HTTPS traffic and having no indications that a VPN is in use. OpenWeb also seems like a protocol that may be able to beat the Great Firewall.

Finally, a large proportion of Astrill’s server pool is based in Asia, which is ideal for users in China.

Lucian
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