Once upon a time, in a land far (Far East) away, people could access Facebook.
Then it all changed. In 2009, the Chinese government banned Facebook. Goodbye, zài jiàn.
Slamming the door on Facebook appalled thousands if not millions of people who live in or visit China, and rely on Facebook to keep in touch with all their friends and share their Chinese adventures. Maybe you’re one of them.
But if you are, all is not lost. There are still ways to have Facebook access in China.
First, here’s what doesn’t work:
1) Writing a letter of complaint to the Chinese government. Bad move. I’m sure you can see why – especially if you put your name and address on it.
2) The Tor Network. This is a network run by volunteers to give users a way to surf anonymously – and it used to work. But China has gotten better and better at blocking it.
3) Free proxies. Not across the board, but in general the free stuff doesn’t have the kind of programming power behind it that will deal well with the complicated technology of Facebook. So you can try to find one, but it’s usually a waste of time.
Okay, I know you’re waiting for what DOES work to get Facebook access in China.
1) Certain paid proxies. One example I’ve used recently for Facebook access is Proxy Center. They have all the things to look for in a good proxy, so whether you’re using them or you want to try something else, here’s the list of things to look for:
a) Free trial – and hopefully you should actually be able to try it and check that it will work where you are and for what you want to do before they tell you to hand over any of your personal info.
b) Secure. Make sure there is an https:// in front of any page you ever find yourself on while using the site or the service.
c) Good support. They should be prompt and deal with any issues that come up. I had an issue come up when using the Proxy Center service, and they worked with me until they solved it.
d) It actually works. Yeah, that sounds obvious, but Facebook is tricky. Check that you can do all the things that are important to you – so that you don’t start paying and suddenly find out that you can’t access Farmville. Luckily Proxy Center is Farmville-friendly.
2) VPNs. If you decide to go with a VPN for Facebook access in China, it should have all the same qualities as a good proxy. I haven’t used VPNs – I’m happy with Proxy Center, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you want to check them out, there’s plenty of info out there – just really make sure that they have a free trial, they’re secure, they have good support, and they do what you want them to do.
You know what works, you know what doesn’t – now go and get Facebook access in China!