Talking about VPNs in China is a somewhat delicate subject, but also an essential one when you come to visit us. We live and work in China, and we know that it’s helpful for us to share our experience with our clients. In fact, this trait makes us unique. Because being leaders in the construction and furniture hardware market isn’t enough for us. We want to be a trusted company that supports our clients in every aspect. That’s why today we’ll explain; does a furniture hardware importer in China need a VPN?
What is a VPN?
We’ve all heard of them, and many of you may have even used them in your company, but it’s always good to refresh your memory on some concepts.
VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. In simple terms, they are apps that ensure the privacy of all the information you manage online. In fact, there are some actions that are impossible if you don’t access them through a VPN.
Originally, they were only used by large companies, organizations and governments. Now, they are a part of everyday life. From a computer at home, to the biggest institutions that govern us: all the information that travels on the web passes through VPNs.
How do VPNs work?
It’s simple: a VPN creates a cable between its computer and the server. The information from its computer passes through this virtual tunnel (the VPN), which encrypts it. What happens is that the VPN connects different computers to a private network using the internet. In this way, your computer doesn’t dialogue directly with the internet, but rather through the VPN. Hence, the confidentiality, because it isn’t your computer/IP that is connecting, but the VPN/its IP.
VPNs protect you from:
• ISPs (Internet Service Providers)
• Any other entity that might want to access your information
We are international specialists in hardware and accessories for the furniture and construction industry, and we receive countless visits in our daily work. Our industry is increasingly competitive, and we need powerful business alternatives. At IBMH, we can solve the problem of the profitability of your imports, and that’s great. But we know that there could be other details that muddy the issue. That’s why, if you’re not sure if a furniture hardware importer in China needs a VPN, we provide you the necessary information to make the best decision.
VPNs possess diverse features, but we want to highlight 3 services, which in our opinion are essential:
- Hiding/Protecting your IP: an IP is your private address, like your home address but for your computer. Without VPNs, anyone can get the key. VPNs ensure maximum protection of your most private information.
- Encrypting your information: when information is encrypted, it’s very difficult to hack. It’s vitally important when connecting to different Wi-Fi services, whose security is usually unknown.
- Unblocking content: it doesn’t matter where you are anymore. By changing your geolocation, you can access all the information you want, wherever you may be. VPNs take care of giving you access.
VPNs and the Great Firewall of China: current status
China, for users and providers of VPNs, is what people in the field call a “hotspot” because of the conflict it can generate.
While in China, if you want to access social media or online services like Google, News, etc., you have to “scale” the “Great Firewall of China” (or GFW). Obviously, while remembering to respect local manners, premises and recommendations.
In January 2017, the Chinese government announced a “cleanup” plan to “reclaim Chinese sovereignty over the internet”. On July 11, it asked telecommunications companies operating in China to close access to VPNs before February 1, 2018.
This is still a very recent measure, and we’ll have to follow the matter closely, but we do have to say that the majority of the big companies “heeded” the government’s request, with Apple being the prime example (it removed all VPN apps from its online app store).
I’m going to travel to China. What should I do with a VPN?
Before giving our advice on the subject, we want to emphasize once again the importance of using VPNs responsibly. Now, if we had to recommend one VPN during your stay in China, it would be ExpressVPN.
It is definitely the most popular in China because:
• While not the cheapest, it does have the most servers available
• They offer 24/7 assistance and maximum speed
• It works with all devices and offers good guarantees
• If you are traveling immediately, we recommend the 30-day money-back trial version
To write this post, we asked ourselves the following question:
How many times will a furniture hardware importer in China need a VPN?
Although you’re not obligated to have one, you should keep in mind the difficulties that you might have with your connections. So, don’t forget to be prepared for a possible interruption in communication or, in any case, for a different rhythm in your results. At IBMH, we will always help you with whatever we can. In an upcoming post, we’ll browse the most useful apps in China, because there are some great ones. Very many, and very good. We look forward to seeing you here in Guangzhou to share more information about business, hardware, and local customs and uses in China!