LIFE IN CHINA
Is Astrill Any Good Anyway?
I’ve been using Astrill VPN since September 2018.
I would say I’m a pro user. Not pro as in I know every nuance of the VPN and could list the servers in alphabetical order kinda pro. Just the I use Astrill every single day, have done for months, will continue to because it makes running my life and business a heck of a lot easier.
Each week I use Astrill to upload five pieces of content to Instagram, live stream twice, and upload a video to YouTube. I also watch Netflix on occasion and download stuff from iTunes.
My business in China is the only way I make income. Most people teach in China to get their visa, but my visa is linked to my business. If I can’t run my business, I can’t eat. Sad times.
Astrill on iPhone
When I first installed Astrill VPN onto my iPhone 7 it didn’t work. A controversial way to promote a service that I love, I know. I switched to Express VPN and that didn’t work on my phone either — I actually never got that to work on my phone. *Sigh*.
However, I reached out to Astrill’s tech support and they gave me a few solutions, I tried them and poof the VPN magically worked on my phone. Don’t ask me how the Astrill Guru’s made it work.
Astrill Pros & Cons
I rely on Astrill to live stream twice a week on Facebook and Instagram. Live stream is the number one way I engage with my audience. Weak, slower VPN’s can’t live stream reliably.
One of my favorite features is Astrill’s speed test. I click a button and Astrill scans through their servers, pinging them and downloading something from them. It gives me a ping speed rating and a download speed rating so I always know the best server to connect to. This is the game you’re going to play here in China. There is no alternative.
Speed always varies depending on the time of the day. Just like anywhere else in the world.
If you’re having trouble connecting don’t be afraid to reach out to their tech support. They have 24/7 customer support included in all their plans. Either choose from watching tutorials, browsing FAQ’s, or talk directly to live support to get issues solved in record time.
Buy and set-up your VPN before you get to China. You won’t be able to connect to any VPN websites once you arrive and are inside the Great Firewall of China.
Weird & Wonderful Facts
If you connect to a Japanese server and then stream on Netflix you won’t get the same offerings compared to when you are connected to a US server. Seems obvious right? But, I was genuinely so surprised to see all this new stuff on Netflix that I’d never seen available before. Basically, we almost get global Netflix rights. Don’t tell Netflix this secret.
Express VPN seems to have better Marketing, however, I have tons of friends who use Express and they said that it got suuuuper slow when the government had their official global meetings. This happens two or three times a year. When these meetings happen Beijing puts the squeeze on your internet. It’s so sad. But, we do also get blue skies. So who can complain?
So far, I have never experienced this slowing of internet whilst on Astrill.
Let me tell you now, every single VPN has their ups and downs. No VPN will be 100% perfect. No VPN will connect within 2 seconds every single time. No VPN will be super fast all the time. This is China.
If you’re using a cheaper VPN than Astrill or Express you’re going to have more downs than ups. Some days you just can’t connect for a while. You have to be patient, try a few different servers or sometimes just take a break from the internet and come back to it later.
Maybe, secretly the VPN’s are working with our screen time apps on our iPhones, helping us to reduce screen time by blocking our access to the internet?
Frustrating, yes. Anything we can do? Unfortunately no.
Compare Astrill and Express VPN and see which one works better for you. Don’t use any other VPN apart from these two because you don’t want to waste your time and money waiting for servers to connect. If you buy a free VPN you get what you pay for. I’d suck it up and pay an extra two dollars a month to guarantee connectivity.
- 24/7 customer support
- Ultra fast VPN servers in 50+ countries
- Free apps for Android and iPhone
- Unlimited bandwidth & server switches
- Connect unlimited devices in your household
- $8.33 per month if you commit to one year
- $15.90 month by month
- 24-hour live chat support
- Ultra fast VPN servers in 94 countries
- Free apps for Android and iPhone
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- $8.32 per month if you commit to one year
- $12.95 month by month
This comparison is purely a surface level analysis of what they offer. I’d still recommend reading reviews from genuine people who have used either or both VPN’s and can give an honest opinion on how well they work. Like I said earlier, a ton of my friends complained about Express VPN going down over the government meetings period. That isn’t going to be mentioned on their website, is it?
A quick and important disclosure:
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful.