China has upgraded its Great Firewall, frustrating VPN users to no bounds

Those who live in China and use a foreign-run VPN already know this, but China upgraded its firewall not long ago and is throttling access to forbidden sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, and the New York Times) in new, improved, and annoying ways.

Here’s the Guardian’s much-linked-to story on the subject:

China Unicom, one of the biggest telecoms providers in the country, is now killing connections where a VPN is detected, according to one company with a number of users in China.

…Astrill, a VPN provider for users inside and outside China, has emailed its users to warn them that the “Great Firewall” system is blocking at least four of the common protocols used by VPNs, which means that they don’t function. “This GFW update makes a lot of harm to business in China,” the email says. “We believe [the] China censorship minister is a smart man … and this blockage will be removed and things will go back to normal.”

You can test whether a website is blocked in China via GreatFire.orgBlocked in China, or Great Firewall of China.

5 Responses to “China has upgraded its Great Firewall, frustrating VPN users to no bounds”

  1. David Fieldman

    For those readers using Witopia, you should know they have responded miraculously to the issue by issuing a series of workarounds and fixes, one of whcih I am currenbtly using. They reply to everyone’s request within several hours. A truly remarkbale and compassionate organization.

    Reply
    • Anthony Tao

      I agree. Question for Astrill users — and I know a lot of folks who have switched over — how are things on your end? Asking purely out of curiosity.

      Reply
      • RhZ

        I have witopia and also a private service run by a friend with a cisco appliance.

        Witopia has been fine, but just want to throw it out there that during the 18th congress when I was getting constant resets on this private service, I asked my friend about it and he tweaked things, and no more resets.

        For awhile at least. Still, they are/were able to somehow peek into the stream, because youtube vids were all timing out, even through the private vpn. Which, that should be impossible. So that’s pretty impressive, but I am working under the assumption that the internet police are as incompetent as the rest of the government.

        I can’t remember if we fixed the youtube problem or not, seems we did with more tweaking.

        Reply
      • Warboys

        Astrill is completely borked. OpenWeb works semi-ok… sometimes… so I can sometimes get onto Facebook and Youtube. The OpenVPN protocols have all been blocked, and connecting through OpenVPN is the REAL shit… that tricks services like Steam into thinking you’re actually in the USA (to get around location restricted crap)

        Reply

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