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China Traveler Survival Guide?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Madrugada, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Madrugada

    Madrugada Lurker
    Thread Starter

    What are the best apps for being able to use an android phone/tablet and the internet in China as easily as usa? LogMeIn seems to work, but is awkward. I have had mixed success With VyprVPN and I think no success With Orbot. Getting access to the real Google sites and services seems to be a problem.

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  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Welcome to China. :thumbup:

    It can be yes. At the moment anything Google is blocked, except for Maps and Translate via google.cn. Orbot uses Tor, that doesn't work as the GFW censoring can detect and block Tor packets. Generally you'll have more success with paid VPN services like VyperVPN, than trying to use any free ones. Thing with the free ones, usually the servers are known about and are therefore blocked, or they're just too busy and slow to be useful. One free one that usually seems to work OK though is VPN1Click. Thing is the speeds of the internet in and out of the Middle Kingdom can be relatively slow, certainly compared to what you get in the West, speeds within China are absolutely great, but it means you'll be struggling with HD Youtube and other high-bandwidth streaming that's coming from servers outside of the country.. LogMeIn isn't blocked, but it could well be subject to bandwidth limitations, like everything else coming in and out of China.

    Something else you may want to do, and that is to have some form of payment details registered on your Google Play account, e.g. a credit card from a US bank. Even if you don't make any purchases, but it means you should still get access to the US Play store. Otherwise you'll be getting the Chinese Play store, which is a limited choice of free apps only, nothing else.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  3. Madrugada

    Madrugada Lurker
    Thread Starter

    VyperVPN does not seem to get around the Google blocking; is paid VPN supposed to? Even with a US card, I seem to get an empty Play Store, not even a China one. Am I doing something wrong?

    I may just need to get a netbook and use that with LMI instead of trying to use my tablet.

    Do you have any info on best SIM cards to buy for mobile data; I'm not sure how that works, or how many areas, if any, have 4G.

  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I've not tried Vyper, but it sounds like it's blocked, and if you're getting nothing in Play, it's blocked. I've been using VPN 1-Click for a few months now, it's free and it does work for Google. Can get it here: VPN 1-Click(Free) | 1mobile.com Don't usually recommend 1Mobile, but you're in China and I know this app is OK.

    You can use FreeGate on a netbook or laptop, that definitely works. It is a Windows program, but works on Mac and Linux as well using Wine. http://www.dit-inc.us/freegate

    Most cities should have 4G LTE now, from all three carriers. But you need a phone that can do TD-LTE on 2500, band 38. If you brought a phone in from the US, it probably won't have it. What phone have you got? I'm using an Oppo Find 7a, which I bought here, and I've got LTE service from China Mobile. If you're right out in the countryside, remote villages, etc, it's likely to be 2G service only. SIMs are nearly always pre-paid, and you buy so many minutes and so much data. I'm paying 120 yuan for 500 minutes and 1GB data a month with China Mobile. Carrier service is on a city or provincial level, so if you buy a SIM in say Beijing and you go to another city, you'll be paying an extra roaming fee on incoming and outgoing calls, also you might not be able to re-charge credit in another city.

    China Telecom is CDMA/EV-DO, so likely won't be using them unless you have a phone that was supplied by them.
    China Unicom is GSM/WCDMA, which should give 2G and 3G service for most GSM phones.
    China Mobile is GSM/TD-SCDMA, needs a phone that can do TD-SCDMA, usuallly ones that they supply, otherwise you'll get 2G EDGE service only.
    But all three carriers now do LTE, in addition to the above.

    Are you just visiting China, vacation, or are you staying for a while?

    Something to be aware of with buying Android devices in China, is that they usually don't have Google apps and services on them, even Samsungs. I bought an Oppo F7a, which is very easily rooted and put CyanogenMod on it, instead of Oppo's default firmware.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  5. Madrugada

    Madrugada Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I currently have the Google Play edition of the HTC One "M7".

    I currently have a 1-year multiple entry visa and will be visiting one or two different cities on each trip.

    Thanks for all the info.
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好


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