You thought you just came to access Facebook in China, but I'll tell you that there's a lot more to it than you think. When you access Facebook in China, no matter what tools you use, you're bypassing Internet censorship, and this is a major challenge in China. Not only is China blocking HUNDREDS of sites every month, they're slowly cutting away at the ways to unblock them.
When Facebook was first blocked in 2009 there were lots of free options to access the log in page. Some were bits of freeware or software passed around friends and colleagues. Some were little loop holes you could find to sneak a peak at what was happening back in "The Real World" outside of China.
If you're looking for a free option, you can leave now, and I wish you good luck.
What's worse, is that paid tools to bypass Internet censorship in China are getting harder and harder to find these days. Up until March of 2011, it was pretty easy to find a web based proxy or virtual private network that could change your IP address and allow you to access Facebook (along with other sites) in China. Some of the popular ones were StrongVPN, Hotspot Shield, Hide My Ass, Witopia, and Freedur.
But in the first couple months of 2011 Egypt underwent some serious political change, and Facebook and Twitter were given credit at catalysts to this change. While at first glance, these sites seem like they're just about putting up photos of yourself looking sexy and cool, or telling everyone what you had for breakfast, it was the first time they had stimulated social change.
And this scared China. What if the same thing happened here?
So they started by blocking ALL of the most popular "unblocking" sites. Not only that, but they blocked something called PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols, which are used for mobile devices like iPhone and other smart phones.
So can you still access Facebook in China?
Yes, but its a frequently changing battlefield. VPNs and Proxies that worked a few months ago are blocked in many areas of China (that is to say their sites are blocked, but SSL/OpenVPN and some web based services are still working)
Though there are new services constantly popping up, ways to access Facebook in China are slowly dying out.
But I've got the hook up. I actually LIVE IN CHINA, so I know what works. Ok, so I can't speak for the whole country. Sometimes you'll find that some services are available in certain areas, and not in others, but I can give you a pretty good idea of what's going on.
Not only that, I can tell you what actually works.
Here's basically what you need to know.
There are two services I recommend.
One is called Securitales
Securitales is good for people using iPhone, iPad, Android, and other smart phones or mobile devices. Like I mentioned earlier, PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols are blocked in China, so to access Facebook in China on your phone, you're going to have to get a web based service like Securitales offers.
This is a great service because you don't have to install anything on your computer. They send you the link to your email inbox, which means that you can access it at work, at school, on your phone, and on your personal laptop or desktop. Unlike a VPN which can only be installed on one device, you can use this on anything that connects to the Internet, and you don't have to worry about installing anything. Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, Blogspot, and whatever else (with the exception of Hulu and Netflix) can be unblocked with Securitales.
For a full list of updates on VPN services that are working in China this year go to www.bestvpninchina.com