Beating the Censorship of China’s Great Firewall with Raspberry Pi

C. Custer
9:30 am on May 29, 2013

800px-RaspberryPiChinese internet censorship can be a pain in the ass. While it’s easy enough to circumvent with a good VPN, it’s tough to bring your VPN with you wherever you go; even if you install its client on all your own devices you won’t have it at friends houses or on public computers, and you’ve got to open the client and connect on each device separately.

Yesterday, in a reddit thread about how people use the Raspberry Pi (the tiny, $25 computer pictured on the right), a China-based redditor using the handle JaiPasInternet posted this clever way to make jumping the GFW a lot easier across all your devices (we added the link):

I set my Raspberry to automatically connect to my VPN server through OpenVPN, and then share the connection with a wifi dongle, using hostapd software. I use it on a daily basis with my iPhone and Android tablet (way better than the included VPN client) but the good thing is that, wherever I go, I just bring my Raspberry [Pi], plug it into ethernet and to any usb plug, and after a few minutes, I have my censor-free wifi hotspot.

So, while it still requires a VPN, it sounds like the Raspberry Pi can make things easier for those looking to evade the censor’s long arm, especially if you use a number of different devices, use unfamiliar/public computers often, or want to surf the uncensored web on computers you can’t install your own software on (like work computers in some offices). Happy GFW-hopping, people!

(via reddit, so go upvote this guy!)

  • Andao

    If you have a friend overseas who can help you with this, you can also install a Raspberry Pi at their house and use it as a free VPN. But I don’t think they have Android/iOS support yet.

  • Jay

    People flashed their home WiFi routers with a hacker-made Tomato firmware to run VPNs, now this engineer runs stock software on Raspberry Pi to do the trick, the level of newness in it is low.

  • Faizan Ali

    Since we are talking about VPNs i would like to recommend one which still works in china due to its SSTP protocol but unfortunately because of the protocol the internet speed does get a little slow but im assuming with Rasberry Pi it might work like a charm (source:

  • Alan Wade

    Yeah i agree with Faizan Ali that Secure Shell Tunnel Protocol (SSTP) is the best protocol among all the protocols but i dont think that its gonna slow don our internet speed.

  • pattinson

    @FaizanAli Thanks dear for suggest this awesome service i am using VyprVPN Service but its slow thats i move to purevpn thanks

  • Todd

    I just use a USB drive, 2 files and a standalone browser. Works everywhere, leaves zero trace, virtually unblockable, unlimited users and bandwidth and stupidly easy to setup.

  • Jashua

    Great article but I use easier solution that my Professional BoxPN VPN Sevice, provides 200+ VPN servers globaly different country and locations, thanks.

  • AJ

    @Todd – Care to share more information on your setup? As much as I’d like expats in Changzhou, China to stop using facebook for information on the city, I think they’d appreciate a simple solution to getting past China’s Firewall for other sites being blocked.

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