UPDATE August 23/09: While some of these may still work, if you are in China for any length of time, we recommend getting yourself hooked up with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). For a super-fast and versatile solution, check out WiTopia. If their inexpensive yearly fee is too much for you, give the ad-supported (but free) Hotspot Shield a try.

Ah, the Great Firewall of China – keeping the barbarians (with their porn, free thought, spiritual movements and user-generated encyclopedias) out of the Middle Kingdom.

Well, if you’ve ever had Kublai-like aspirations, here are a few proxy tools for scaling the wall, and getting back to reading the nefarious posts of all those Blogspot bloggers, and porn.

tor.gifTor: Anonymity Online
Easily the most important tool in a wallcrawler’s arsenal. Tor is a group of tools that with a bit of configuring, allows you to surf the net anonymously. Basically the software routes all your Web page requests through other people’s IP addresses (your Internet calling card), masking your identity online. Though effective, the re-routing slows down pageloads considerably. Because of this, you’ll want to download Firefox, and get the TorButton extension, which lets you turn Tor on when you need it and off when you don’t by the simple click of a button.

anonymouse.gifAnonymouse: Cuttin’ The Cheese
This no-software solution is a quick and easy way to get to most blocked sites. A little clunky, expect sites to run a bit slow when loaded through Anonymouse – as well, many commenting systems wont accept the anonymoused links, so leaving your opinion can be limited.

Proxzee: The New Kid’s Speedyproxzee.gif
Proxzee is new, so I’ve really no experience with it other than I plugged in a few sites and they came up fast. As reported at the Weifang Radish and in more detail at Dave’s Wagon, this proxy service seems to operate much faster than those solutions mentioned above. Like both Anonymouse and the about-to-be-mentioned PKBlog, Proxzee relinks all children links on the page to Proxzeefied links (cure or curse, I’ll let you decide).

pkblogs.comPKBlogs: Slap The Block
This site is exclusively for getting around the China/Pakistan/Iran/India blocking of Blogspot/Blogger blogs. It too is completely Web-based, and you need only enter the blog’s name to access the site. For example, if you wish to visit granitestudio.blogspot.com, you need only enter ‘granitestudio’ on the site, or optionally, simply type in http://www.pkblogs.com/granitestudio, or whatever blog you’re trying to reach. UPDATE: As of a few hours after writing this, Blogspot blogs became unblocked here in the Mainland. The CPC seems to block and unblock randomly, so… I’d suggest bookmarking this for later use.

psiphon.jpgPsiphon: It Probably Doesn’t Suck
Alright, how do I know. It’s mere minutes into November 28th, and the site advertises that its download will be available come December 1st – but it looks promising. Designed by The Citizen Lab, Psiphon allows trusted networks of computers in unblocked countries to provide access to blocked sites for people in places like China. I remember reading about this months and months ago, and I’m still not clear how it differs from Tor, but well… I guess I need only wait a few more days to find out.

And if these don’t cut it, check out a bazillion others (thanks to Shaun for this link).

Discussion

14
  1. Cheers Shaun. I’ve added that link to the main post. And I’m HAPPY to post another post about this should you wish to review all 300 for us 😉

    Interestingly enough, I clicked that link before realizing it was a blogspot site, and guess what… it came up right away. A couple more checks, and yup… looks like, at least for the moment, that Blogger blogs are unblocked here in China.

  2. Heh, timely. I went through a hell of a process trying to find all of these things to get back into my blog, only to discover (the one time I forgot about it and just clicked the link) that the damn things aint blocked no mo.

    For a wikipedia only solution, I’ve found the Gollum browser pretty handy. I guess it searches Wikipedia for you, via a web-interface. Seems pretty quick too.

  3. Help! My picture site is based in the USA and I have not had access for-ever! Can’t even get in toe edit the pics. I’m in Shenzhen. These proxy sites won’t let me login either. Any idea?

  4. Hey Yokie, is it a private server or one of those photo sites (like Flickr, Photobucket, etc.)?

    You may want to try that last one – and newest – Psiphon, as it looks like it might be able to do this type of thing.

  5. Pingback: Blogspot Blog Quick Fix | Lost Laowai China Blog

  6. Pingback: How To Spot A Blogspot Blog (A Quick Fix) | Life In Suzhou China Blog | Adventures of the Humanaught

  7. Pingback: The China Expat » There's another way to get around the Great Fire Wall of China

  8. Pingback: Great Firewall of China: Explained | Lost Laowai China Blog

  9. Hey Andy, if I had to remove a post every time it became dated, I’d endlessly be removing posts. Each post is date stamped for just this reason.

    That said, I do try to keep back posts updated with pointers to new information when I can. This one just slipped through the cracks. I’ve added info to the top that will help people avoid false hope.

  10. I live in China. Since the old methods don’t always work, I had to set up a server in the States. I charge $3/month to friends. The only catch is that sometimes if they discover it I have to set up a new one which is a few days of downtime.

    You can write me an email and I’ll give you free access for a couple weeks if you want. blockedbychina at gmail.com

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