As many people know the Internet is fairly heavily censored in China. This can be annoying when you want to catch up on the news, look something up in an online encyclopedia or even just search. Of course, there are plenty of ways around this, even for those with little technical understanding. My favourite is to use Tor, which consists of a network of virtual tunnels which bounce your requests randomly around the world (using distributed onion routing) providing both unfiltered access and anonymity.
Installing and setting up Tor is dead simple – check out the guide for instructions. You’ll notice that web pages take longer to load when using Tor due to the pages being sent via a “twisty, hard-to-follow route” but it’s better than a blank error page! I use the FoxyProxy extension for Firefox which allows you to set up rules for which sites are viewed over Tor, it will even try to automatically detect which pages are blocked and then route the connection appropriately – pretty cool stuff!
N.B. This technique not only applies to China but can be used anywhere in the world, so whether you’re in Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan Uzbekistan, Vietnam or just the UK it should still work.
P.P.S. For everything, you could ever want to know about Google’s self-censorship check out this FAQ.
Happy uncensored surfing ^_^
Update (08/03): According to this site my site is blocked from China… actually it isn’t. Another good reason not to believe everything you’re told!
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You're most welcome! Of course I do not condone this sort of activity in any way and encourage all to respect local laws (however inane they may be) 😉
Hey David!Tor is a very cool tool to get around the Chinese government censor indeed! Thanks for sharing it pal!
Tor is quite slow. Try freedur.com
[…] national censorship laws (the “counter-Net” as Bey describes it) such as Wikileaks or Tor. It might be a counter-cultural festival or temporary intentional community (like Burning Man or a […]
I’m in China, installed tor on mac, installation was easy. but i cannot connect to tor network. also i cannot find a bridge.
I’m having the same problem. I think the problem is chinese people don’t use mac, too expensive for them so the system doesn’t work….
um… I am trying to open the link to your “guide” but its been blocked. Help!!
I am in china and cannot access the above links – what to do?
Tor is blocked by the Chinese government (see http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.0447v1.pdf). However there are several paid and free vpn services available that can still be used in China.
Thanks for the update – I’m not surprised it’s been blocked but never found Tor particularly useful anyway since it is so slow.