Staying connected while traveling: How to access the Internet in China

COVID-19 cases and death continue to decline in China, so travel restrictions will be lifted sooner than expected. If you’re thinking about visiting China in the near future, be prepared for holiday travel hiccups. Getting online is pretty complicated. It’s not straightforward like it is in the USA. The country’s Internet censorship is more extensive and advanced than any other place in the world, so don’t even try to sign in to your social media accounts. Actually, you can’t even check your emails because Gmail doesn’t work. Even if you succeed in accessing the Internet, you’ll be surprised to see that it’s terribly slow. The good news for travelers is that there are ways to beat the system. Here’s how. 

Get a local SIM card 

So, you need Internet on the go. You want to keep in touch with friends and family. You’ll have a very hard time finding Internet in China, which comes as a shock since China has the largest network in the world. Anyway, if you want to stay connected, buy a local SIM card from a supplier shop or service booth or phone store. Mobile broadband Internet access services from the USA or Canada don’t usually work and, if they do, they don’t work to their full availability. You’re better off using T-Mobile. Sure, the data connection tends to be slow, but it’s the best solution you have. Refrain from buying SIM cards from airports. Your data allotment will run out in a couple of days. 

Buy a VPN 

You can get a VPN, which is an Internet-based secure passage between devices that enables users to visit any website. It offers you a temporary IP address and hides your location from every site or email that you connect with. If you’re doing business while traveling the world, don’t hesitate to buy a VPN. Nobody will be able to steal your data, not to mention that you can access blocked websites such as Facebook. You need a VPN to surf the Web in China. That’s pretty clear. With a VPN, your connection is secure, so you can have peace of mind while conducting business. Various technologies are available for Windows, Mac, Android, etc.if all this sounds too complicated, don’t worry because it isn’t.  

Activate international roaming on your phone 

If you want to be able to access Gmail or Google Drive, consider activating international roaming. This way, you can use the phone outside of the range of its home network, even if it’s a little bit expensive. If you’re taking your mobile device on an international trip, why not? Just make sure you don’t wake up with unexpected charges on your next phone bill. Access the Internet only if you have to. If you’re not conducting business from China, there’s no point in surfing the Web all day long. You should better enjoy your trip. After all, it’s not every day that you get to travel to China. Treasure the moment and take lots and lots of photos. You’ll upload them to your social media accounts when you get back home.