For those of you that are unfamiliar with the term, the ‘Great Firewall of China’ is essentially a censorship tool used by the Chinese government to regulate internet access, in which access to over 6 million websites is blocked. A lot of people have a lot of opinions about this, and I won’t get into my thoughts on the political and ethical implications of such a block here. But, good or bad, one thing’s for certain – it sure is annoying.
How I Beat the Great Firewall of China
For Westerners that have traveled through China, like me, it comes as quite a shock. It’s a brutal reminder of how dependent you are on the internet. Losing access to Facebook felt like losing my left arm. And it isn’t just Facebook that is blocked; most high-profile websites that you have probably got open on another tab right now are too. I’m talking about sites like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram – even Google! Imagine a life without Google!
It occurred to me pretty quickly that, if I was going to be able to continue to travel through here, I was going to need a solution. Sure, there are plenty of websites that aren’t blocked, Google equivalents and such. But, I needed to stay in touch with friends and family back home, and the only way that was going to be possible was if I could access social media networks like Facebook.
I started looking into VPNs – Virtual Private Networks, or private browsers – as I’d heard that they offer a way to bypass regional restrictions on the internet. Most of them were, unfortunately, out of my budget. A monthly subscription fee isn’t ideal for a traveler – every penny counts. There were a few different free options but these were vastly different in quality. Many of them looked free but in reality, if you wanted to be able to access decent servers and speed, or a reasonable amount of data, there were extra fees to pay.
Just when I thought I’d never find a suitable option, I came across Cocoon Asia, and the answer to my prayers. Not only was I able to sign up for free to this secure browser and access the blocked websites, it also provided a whole host of other useful features too.
Cocoon Asia works like a VPN and private browser all-in-one. It has an easy to use interface, encrypts data securely in order to maintain privacy and security, and also provides in-built virus protection. The money this service saves me is unreal. Using it means I don’t have to pay for antivirus software or subscription-based VPN services. It also protects me from data theft, which means I don’t have to worry about credit card fraud. Not only that, it allows me to access US content outside of the US.
There’s no doubt my travel experience in China would have been cut short if it wasn’t for Cocoon Asia. Any travelers thinking about taking a trip to China (or anywhere else for that matter), should consider signing up.
Check out this Cocoon video about online privacy for yourself, then download your own private browser for free.
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