Best VPN provider (In your opinion)? (Strictly no referral allowed)

stiwipl

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Yes 12VPN is also recommended by the author of tipsforchina.com for China GFW bypass. But his comments say that 12VPN is more targeting mainland China users and not that good for privacy due to the lack of no log policy.

https://www.tipsforchina.com/mobile/best-vpn-for-china.html#6_12VPN

Astrill used to rank very high in the list of VPN vendors. Once upon a time it was also the No 1 choices for unblock China GFW but then was heavily targeted by Chinese Authority and then not working any more. Now it disappeared from the list of top VPNs from various websites.
[...]

You rely too much on the blogs and what those websites recommend, I don't. I rely on my personal and others experience directly with the mentioned VPNs. Just think twice why you think those websites rank some VPNs higher than the others? And this guy from tipsofchina, which I admit has a useful blog (if you know how to read these blogs...), his rank could easily change daily depending if the authorities decided to "switch off" the lights or not.

Your list of 14 VPNs is pointless, "worth looking at". These are not girls we are talking about here but personal experiences with VPNs users have. You have to stop blindly following VPN ranking websites, as in majority they know nothing, apart from how to earn affiliate commission.

Speaking of which, if you would dig a bit, you would know why Astrill has disappeared from the blogs and ranking websites. But yes, you won't find this information there I am afraid. They had affiliate program before which they have decided to stop at one point. Angry "commissioners" (read: VPN blogs) have decided to take them off, because no money no honey. It could be that Astrill, after revamping their website, has brought back the affiliate plan in place but the trust has already been damaged. If you dig even deeper you will learn that people in China are still saying that nothing works better than Astrill.

Any gd vpn for nVidia Shield TV?

Astrill. Reason is because they have OpenWeb protocol on their AndroidTV, which won't slow down the CPU like traditional OpenVPN offered by majority of VPNs. Alternatively a provider with SS proxy (like 12 VPN) and official SS Android client.
 

xiaofan

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Any gd vpn for nVidia Shield TV?

Shield TV runs Android TV OS and many well-known VPN vendors have apps on the Google Play Store of Android TV OS.

So it depends on what you need. If it is for Netflix unblock, then Surfshark and Windscribe are of good value based on the feedbacks from this forum thread.
 

xiaofan

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You rely too much on the blogs and what those websites recommend, I don't. I rely on my personal and others experience directly with the mentioned VPNs. Just think twice why you think those websites rank some VPNs higher than the others? And this guy from tipsofchina, which I admit has a useful blog (if you know how to read these blogs...), his rank could easily change daily depending if the authorities decided to "switch off" the lights or not.

Your list of 14 VPNs is pointless, "worth looking at".
...
Speaking of which, if you would dig a bit, you would know why Astrill has disappeared from the blogs and ranking websites.
...
If you dig even deeper you will learn that people in China are still saying that nothing works better than Astrill.

Point taken.

My main interests are going into China for China contents and bypass China GFW. I do have first hands experiences in these two use cases.

As for other streaming contents like bypassing Netflix geo-blcking, this forum provides good first hand experiences and test data. And I also have first hands experiences with some US/UK/HK contents.

I understand the websites have affiliate programs. But the tipsforchina website does have good test data and I have sources in China who give me feedbacks on China related VPN and SS providers.

I do not really blindly follow the ranking websites in reality. In fact many website lists Nord VPN as No 1 or No 2 but apparently the feedbacks here say otherwise. Surfshark is a rising star and indeed the feedbacks here are positive.

As for Astrill, unfortunately it is seldom mentioned in this forum recently and my China source told me it did not work well at the time I asked.

Your assertion that nothing works better than Astrill in China is not in line with my observations. Apparently none of the well-known VPN vendors work well consistently. So they are adopting SS or similar. I mentioned this fact in my posts.
 
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xiaofan

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Your list of 14 VPNs is pointless, "worth looking at". These are not girls we are talking about here but personal experiences with VPNs users have. You have to stop blindly following VPN ranking websites, as in majority they know nothing, apart from how to earn affiliate commission.

That post is just a starting point and I will add more short summary with more inputs from the users her and elsewhere.

It may be useless for experienced users but may still be useful for inexperienced users.
 
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ycse88

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Anyone can pm about the $0.80 surfshark promo?
Thank you very much! :)
 

bodohboy

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Are you running the ExpressVPN OpenVPN client under Asus with Asus stock firmware? Or are you running customized ExpressVPN Firmware on the Asus? I tend to believe the proprietary ExpressVPN firmware may have better performance but may not have all the features of Asus/Merlin FW.

ExpressVPN router firmware.
https://www.expressvpn.com/support/vpn-setup/app-for-routers-asus/

It has the per device settings you want. But not so sure if your router is supported or not.

Yeap I am running OpenVPN client as my ASUS router(RT-AC2600) is not one of the listed router to run the ExpressVPN firmware.

Read through the thread and know that Charlie bro and others are using the AC86U perharps I should get that but it also is not listed to run ExpressVPN firmware. Will that be an issue?
 

xiaofan

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Yeap I am running OpenVPN client as my ASUS router(RT-AC2600) is not one of the listed router to run the ExpressVPN firmware.

Read through the thread and know that Charlie bro and others are using the AC86U perharps I should get that but it also is not listed to run ExpressVPN firmware. Will that be an issue?

Asus RT-AC86U is a very good router and has good performance for VPN.

No need to run the ExpressVPN firmware which has limited router feature. The experts here seem to lean towards Merlin firmware for the Asus RT-AC86U.
 

xiaofan

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purevpnas China server is apparently not good based on my testing.

Another VPN vendor openly advertising for China servers to go into China for China contents (bypass geo-blocking) is Ivacy.
https://www.ivacy.com/vpn-servers/china-vpn/

Ivacy has offers now, 5 years for US$30 and life time for US$40 with NAT Firewall add-on.
https://stacksocial.com/sales/ivacy-vpn-5-year-subscription

https://stacksocial.com/sales/ivacy-vpn-lifetime-subscription-5

It had the US$30 life time offer but now sold out.

Any Ivacy user here?

It is tempatating to go into this deal as I'd like to have a two-in-one solution to go into China for geo-block contents and go out of China (to bypass China GFW).

But then I think over it and unlikely the China servers will be reliable since they are simply not authorized by the Chinese authority. So in the end it is still better to use the dedicated VPN like Transocks and SpeedIn which is said to have been authorized by the Chinese authority to provide the services to mainly overseas Chinese to access contents in China.

So in the end I will give IVacy offer a pass.

Still being a Singapore based company, IVacy seems to have good Singapore/Malaysia servers so maybe overseas Singaporean/Malaysian may want to try it for Singapore/Malaysia contents.
 
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stiwipl

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Point taken.

My main interests are going into China for China contents and bypass China GFW. I do have first hands experiences in these two use cases.

As for other streaming contents like bypassing Netflix geo-blcking, this forum provides good first hand experiences and test data. And I also have first hands experiences with some US/UK/HK contents.

I understand the websites have affiliate programs. But the tipsforchina website does have good test data and I have sources in China who give me feedbacks on China related VPN and SS providers.

I do not really blindly follow the ranking websites in reality. In fact many website lists Nord VPN as No 1 or No 2 but apparently the feedbacks here say otherwise. Surfshark is a rising star and indeed the feedbacks here are positive.

As for Astrill, unfortunately it is seldom mentioned in this forum recently and my China source told me it did not work well at the time I asked.

Your assertion that nothing works better than Astrill in China is not in line with my observations. Apparently none of the well-known VPN vendors work well consistently. So they are adopting SS or similar. I mentioned this fact in my posts.


Surfshark cannot be a rising star, that's simple maths. If you can get them for 0.80$ per month that means that they have very poor infrastructure or poor development team or both. I heave learnt that you have to pay for the quality as nothing good is being almost free these days.

I currently live in a similar to China VPN situation country and have tested almost 20 VPN providers, since the VPN crackdow has started. The only VPN that listened and developed a super solid workaround was Astrill. No other VPN was listening or was interested in doing anything, even when I told some what they were supposed to do. ExpressVPN was still marketing as no 1 VPN in that country, yes great marketing, poor VPN. It obviously didn't work and still doesn't work stable. Solutions of TCP 443 OpenVPN while could be working, would have been extremely slow and UDP is shaped.

So speaking from experience, Astrill is the leader when it comes to custom development for the users need. The workaround I am talking about has been quickly deployed, upon initial testing period, to all servers and even Astrill applet to use on the router. It's been easily over a year since many users struggle here and I have been enjoying full connection speed via VPN. I am sure they are actively fighting China together with 12VPN, it just takes time to test and deploy some alternative solutions.

Also you may be interested in reading this two recent posts on Reddit regarding China and Astrill. See here and here (see the comment by BananaRepublic user).

As I mentioned tipsforchina guy is very valuable in his testing and sharing experiences, his blog is heavily affiliated and he makes good money out of it. But, unlike other clueless VPN blogs, he is at least knowledgable and share his real findings. The problem is not him but Chinese authorities. If you have been following his blog you will see that on the day authorities switched off the lights, his VPN ranking was useless anyway or could have been easily reversed. A word VPN ranking and China just don't work well together, as the situation changes daily. Also he explains why he doesn't advertise Astrill anymore (told you it is all about $$$$$) and he clearly says he hasn't been using them since 2016.

Years back this forum was heavily into Astrill, those were the days where there were caps by local telcos on international bandwidth of 25-30Mbps... This could be easily avoided using Astrill or other VPNs. Also they had their famous Singapore (USA) server, which identified itself as US location (for US Netflix) but it was a local server in fact. I also know that once someone has a solid VPN he has been using for years, he just sticks to it without losing his time to try some "failsharks" or others, which could be the reason why the feedback is limited on them here lately.
 

xiaofan

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Thanks for the valuable inputs, stiwipl. Indeed Astrill is still a very good VPN based on your description.

And I read good posts of you from 2015 to 2017, along with another poster suntanoi1983.

I understand ExpressVPN is very good at marketing but they do have good stuff to backup, especially for speed and geo-blocking. In fact I recommended it to my China friends and they are telling me most of the time it works well -- they just use it to search for information, not really Netflix though, and not really mission critical. If not working for a few weeks it is also not that critical for them. They are also okay with the price. Information is money. I'll ask my friends to try out Astrill next time.

As for Surfsharks, there are many good comments here. Not so sure about the US$0.8 offer though. So no comments there.

I am already happy with the US$0.99 per month (US$11.88) one year offer from purevpn and apparently its quality matches the price (read: not very good but matches my expectations). I need to carry out the real tests in two weeks time to see how good or how bad it can bypass China GFW when I am visiting China.
 
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xiaofan

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It is tempatating to go into this deal as I'd like to have a two-in-one solution to go into China for geo-block contents and go out of China (to bypass China GFW).

But then I think over it and unlikely the China servers will be reliable since they are simply not authorized by the Chinese authority. So in the end it is still better to use the dedicated VPN like Transocks and SpeedIn which is said to have been authorized by the Chinese authority to provide the services to mainly overseas Chinese to access contents in China.

So in the end I will give IVacy offer a pass.

Still being a Singapore based company, IVacy seems to have good Singapore/Malaysia servers so maybe overseas Singaporean/Malaysian may want to try it for Singapore/Malaysia contents.

Yet another one is FlyVPN which was recommended previously. It claims to have 113 servers in China. Since it is heavily geared toward from outside to China, it should work. But it is not famous to bypass GFW for use inside China.

https://www.flyvpn.com/servers

Anyway I give up on dual-use VPN already (go into China and go out of China) myself.
 

bodohboy

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Asus RT-AC86U is a very good router and has good performance for VPN.

No need to run the ExpressVPN firmware which has limited router feature. The experts here seem to lean towards Merlin firmware for the Asus RT-AC86U.

Thanks for the heads up, would the AC68U be a much better budget alternative? I am afraid that the AC86U will be too much of an overkill
 

xiaofan

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Yet another one is FlyVPN which was recommended previously. It claims to have 113 servers in China. Since it is heavily geared toward from outside to China, it should work. But it is not famous to bypass GFW for use inside China.

https://www.flyvpn.com/servers

Anyway I give up on dual-use VPN already (go into China and go out of China) myself.

Just an update, contacted purevpn online support and the support is pretty good (first guy does not know but the second guy is precise to the point). They provided the solution for Windows and Android by providing two dedicated server IP addresses and one of them works. I will ask for iOS solution later.

Speed is so so but at least works for 720p streaming of Youku (tested with 长安十二时辰 under Windows).

Haha, now the US$11.88 is totally worth it.

That being said, not recommend others to get purevpn. Some old comments mentioned as "pureCrap" if compared to better VPNs.
 
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bodohboy

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if you intend to setup VPN on your router, then go for the ac86u.. if just normal router usage then ac68u would suffice.

I was thinking of buying either the AC86U or AC68U and running it as a secondary VPN router so everytime when need to use VPN just connect to it will do.

Do you recommend this bro or just flash Merlin on the AC86U to enable a certain device/static IP to connect to VPN while the rest stays on normal network?
 

Charlie_Zhan

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I was thinking of buying either the AC86U or AC68U and running it as a secondary VPN router so everytime when need to use VPN just connect to it will do.

Do you recommend this bro or just flash Merlin on the AC86U to enable a certain device/static IP to connect to VPN while the rest stays on normal network?

get the ac86u flash Merlin and setup split tunneling
 
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