Just like other countries China is well covered with wireless internet (in urban areas) and you can get a great signal in every hotel, restaurant or café. However, in Chine things are a bit different than in the USA. For example, if you want to access some social media platforms, you can see only the Chinese version.
Free Wi-Fi Access in China
You can get free Wi-Fi everywhere from hotels to restaurants and cafes. No matter whether you are checking in a hotel or sitting in a café all you have to do is to ask some of the employees there for the wireless password, and you will get it without problems.
However, keep in mind that this is valid for urban areas. The further you go from the urban surrounding the lower are the chances to enjoy your free Wi-Fi connection.
Wired Internet Connections in Hotels
Since the wireless network in a hotel can be a bit sluggish because of the great number of devices already connected to it, some hotels in China offer the possibility to use a wired high-speed Internet. Generally hotels have Ethernet cables in their rooms and you have to consult the hotel staff for the current rates, both daily and hourly.
Wi-Fi connections in Buses, Trains and cruisers
As in other parts of the world, in China you can enjoy a free Wi-Fi on buses, trains and cruisers. In this way you can still do your online tasks while travelling.
Internet Cafés and Foreigners
Wireless connections are generally not offered in Internet cafes. Instead you have a laptop or a computer you can use. When you are in an Internet café, you can have problems when they ask you for an ID card, mainly because passports are not accepted. It is good to have this in mind.
Avoid sending and receiving emails on Wi-Fi networks
Foreigners in China can be a bit frustrated about the public internet access because there are many blocked resources. This is why you should avoid free Wi-Fi in hotels and restaurants to check your emails.
Internet Censorship in China
Forget about logging in to Facebook or Twitter
Websites which promote free people interaction like forums and social networks are generally restricted. This is the reason why Facebook and Twitter, Youtube and other similar websites are restricted are not available for all users. However, if you travel to Macau and Hong Kong you won’t have problems accessing these sites.
Use other search engines other than Google
There is a huge number of foreign users use Google as their default search engine. For a very long time the many functions of Google services have been obstructed, and later most Google services have been blocked. However, Gmail couldn’t be accessed via a browser, but if you really needed to use it you could use any program which supports POP and IMAP connections.
Luckily, nearly all Google services have their alternatives today so instead of Google Maps, you can use Bing Maps, instead of Gmail, you can use Outlook and the list goes on.
Also, if you are a proud owner of a Google software phone, chances are that you may forget about using it once you arrive at China.
Use a VPN to Gain Browse Foreign Websites
After you have read all of this you can be sure that you won’t be able to visit some of your favorite websites. From the foreigner’s point of view you can easily say that the internet in China doesn’t work well. Also, since the number of blocked sites in China increases day by day many foreign users will have more and more trouble seeing the advantages of free wireless internet access. Therefore it is best to be prepared if you have no possibility to use even your email, so you better get ready for it before you go and visit China.
One of the possible solutions for all your problems is to pay for a good quality VPN service, but first check if that service is functioning properly in China. Although you pay for them, VPN services also get blocked in China so you better get ready for some unpleasant surprises.
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