Chinese New Year holiday brings the gift of an upgraded Great Firewall of China

This week has been a frustrating one for those of us living behind the Great Firewall of China. Popular methods of leaping the wall have been restricted by the authorities and many VPN providers have been totally locked out, especially on mobile devices that are limited to certain detectable protocols.

The provider I have used for the last 18 months or so has had good speeds and solutions in China up until this week. On Tuesdsy their iOS app got totally blocked but fortunately they already had a solution in review with Apple and two days ago it was released. Sadly the euphoria was short lived because as of last night I was presented with this message:

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In the past censorship has increased during the holidays, but not like this. My gut feeling is this is a more permanent upgrade, which if it is the case, then my life will be made even more challenging.

I can understand this is not only frustrating for users, but also the developers of the VPN products, but last night this appeared on my Mac desktop client:

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This message is totally offensive to customers, and if I could get my money back I would. But sadly the only stupid thing I did was give them money in the first place. Are they so naive to think that customers and the press are the reason the new app got blocked so soon? Do they seriously believe the Chinese authorities are smart enough to create the Great Firewall but not smart enough to monitor the status of one of the more prominent circumvention tools? I really hope somebody got reprimanded for pushing this message out, as I for one will not be sending any further money their way. They must have forgotten that they have competition that actually have functional solutions right now!

Will I ever know what a good Internet connection is?

Today saw the great Internet crackdown of 2016 here in China with most IPSec VPN servers being blocked. For users of VPN's on iOS this is a bit of a disaster because IPSec protocols are what they mainly use.

It's not clear whether the blockage is automatic or if the GFW is targeting the big VPN players, but whatever the reason it's a real pain in the arse. Earlier this evening OpenVPN was being blocked but that seems to be working OK right now.

Life is great in China, except for the air quality and the Internet. That reminds me, I must research the air purifier I want to buy from BlueAir….that's assuming I can access their website.