But it is quite limited. Especially as you are not able to use google and microsofts bing maps. When google is banned you are not able to use google play and a lot of these services for contact. I beleive social networks like facebook, youtube, dailymotion and a lot of news on the net are not available in China. English wikipedia tells that it should be over 3000 pages that are blocked right now in China. You are also able to see on google.com/transparencyreport/ where you got problems today acessing googles services. I suggest you install applications and programs you need before you go here. Like the iTranslate you'll find on google play and iTunes. Plus, maybe some kind of VPN that are able to reach Hongkong or Singapore. When you get to China you are able to use it as soon as you got wifi. Another useful application you install before you go there is called wifimap. With this one you'll find wifispots and also passwords to some of these. You'll get it on google play>>>. Many places like supermarkets, trainstations and malls needs a chinese telephone number to give you access for wifi. It could be a good idea to get a cheaper chinese mobile just for this reason. Many times you are also able to ask the staff in a restaurant or trainstation to get that wifi. Usually no problems. Most of hotels got free wifi and sometimes you just need to stand close to them for getting a good connection. Many times you see the password on the wall in the lobby or by using the wifimap in your phone. Also search or keywords are blocked. If you, for instance, try searching something with Lei Yang like "Lei Yang + incident" on baidu you get the searchresults but when you click on them you'll get to a login page. You see keywords that are blocked on chinadigitaltimes.net.
You'll have to be careful with your computer. Most antivirus companies writes that more then half of the computers in China are infected with virus and scamware. You also got problems updating your antivirus when travelling in china. This is due to the GFW(Great Fire Wall) that blocks lot of foreign websites. I recommend using a VPN when you are here. You've got thousands of discussions regarding malware and virus from china if you just google "pc virus in china". The chinese goverment then get a good reason for shutting down access for foreign companies to publish news and products in china through the net. To me it looks like the chinese goverment hates foreign companies. Or do they also have a "Donald Trump" leading their ,so called, democratic goverment? Bloomberg, the economist, reuters and many other newspapers are asking what they are thinking. China is actually seemed as the country with most infected computer. Regarding South china morning post, PC world , mcAfee, and many others. You'll need to be aware of that. As example, in most subways you are able to get free wifi by install a small file to your computer. This file conatins a lot of scamware and also opens ports to your computer. The most secure way of avoiding this is simply by using your hotels wifi and use it carefully. When you connect to this network you should not use home network connection.
If you should be able to use google maps, gmail and other services you'll need connecting to a vpn server. I give you some examples here:
ibvpn gives you free vpn for one month to test. Then you'll have to pay about 6 $ for one year. These got vpn servers in Hong kong and taiwan so you'll get quite close when visiting China.
Hidemyass got a bad reputation by some antivirus and scam detectors. You could, eventhough, try it if you are careful. Use it together with a good antiscam and antivirus.
Using the free streisand vpn could be one solution. But it can be complicated if you are not friend with linux system. You could use a free oracle virtual box for running it inside your windows. You install it at home, create a security code and then use a html file for friends who also wants a vpn connection.
safervpn gives access to vpn servers nearly all over the world for 7$ first month. If you are travelling a lot you should sign a 2 year contract for 3,49$ a month.
vpnac gives two weeks free vpn and you are able to use 6 clients for vpn. However, they give some restrictions on bandwidth.
Good fast vpn, 好快速vpn At the moment these got 1000+ servers across 136+ locations in 87 countries. They are increasing the numbers every day. Propably the best vpn at the moment. You pay 12$ for a month or 9$ a month if you order this one for one year. You've got a couple of videos on youtube for how you use it. Like: How to Install ExpressVPN for Linux,
Dear Law Enforcement: Learn to Love Encryption!,
5 Best Ways to Use VPN
What is a VPN? And what can you do with it?
protonvpn is another free vpn. But the free vpn got some restrictions with servers just in Japan, Netherland and the states.
As the chinese goverment do not say or confess that internet is restricted in China they are not able to ban using vpn either. You are not able to find any court cases or judgments regarding using vpn in China. The chinese goverment just say they protect inhabitants against bad influence. Please read an interesting discussion about this on quora.com.
Download the client before you go to China. The sites is sometimes blocked in China. I also suggest using two different services because the proxy servers sometimes also get blocked.
Another way could be using your own vpn router at home. With this router you are able to get access at home, to your own files on the computer, network or media. You connect it to a dynamic dns, install a vpn client on your computer or smartphone and you suddenly got access to everything like at home. Google, facebook, linkedin and what you need. You'll see a manual on howto get it working on D-Links home page>>>
Another way could be using a webbrowser with built in vpn like this epic. It is a webbrowser built on opensource like chroome. Download it here>>>
There is actually some proxy servers in China you could try. I have tried some of them. You'll get a couple here>>>
The place I got the best connection in Wuxi where in Bank of China. I actually got 100 MB in here. I did not get the password through wifi map so I had to ask a chinese help me. Then I got a good connection and where able to use a VPN in Japan.
Most people use wechat in China for social activites on internet. I told you that youtube, facebook and a lot of other social medias are not allowed here. Wechat is used in many places for paying bills, services and for paying in stores here. They then use the application WeChat wallet that they connect to their bank account. Regarding using credit cards from the west it looks quite complicated to get connected. On help.wechat.com you can read that just foreign cards with credits are allowed to use for this service. Maybe you are able to use forex or american creditcard for getting connected. Many reviews on internet say that they are doubtful about using this service due to it wants all your data on computer like mail accounts, passwords and so on. Read more about this on commonsensemedia.org, quora.com and wikipedia.
Just like other countries McDonalds got free wifi in their restaurants. It differ though in different restaurants but you usually get a good connection here. I also met some in the McDonalds that where able to speak some english. Remember, McDonalds got a policy that make your cookies worthless. That will say you are not able to use saved passwords on some pages and if you need them you'll need to write them down before you use their internet. Other fastfood restaurants like KFC also got free wifi.
Today indiatimes writes that Beijing and google are engotiating about new access for google in China. But they will get a problem and that is that it will not be legal to show any political opinions. That will be against google:s policy. I really hope China:s goverment discover what will happen if the continue stop opinion in a friendly way. Most wars actually starts after shutting information to ordinary people. That makes people worried.