At this point in history, a large portion of our lives are connected to the internet. Casually, many people stay connected with social media.
However, more crucially, our work lives are wrapped up in the internet or at least online features. As such, it can be absolutely important that you can access the internet and get to what you need quickly.
Internet speeds, as many people know, aren’t the same everywhere you go. Even if you are staying in the same country, you can experience different speeds depending on your provider and location. So, if you are going to China, what can you expect as far as internet speeds?
Who Provides Internet Connectivity in China?
You might be surprised to find out that there are two massive ISPs in China. Not only do these companies provide, proportionally, a lot of the internet coverage in China, they provide as much as 20% of the broadband coverage in the world. This is a testament to how
These companies are known as China Telecom and China Unicom.
China Telecom is the larger of these two companies. This company describes itself as unique to Shanghai and offers a couple options to those interested in using China Telecom for coverage. They provide the following choices of speeds for their customers:
- 10 Mbps
- 20 Mbps
- 30 Mbps
- 50 Mbps
- 100 Mbps
- 200 Mbps
Of course, the costs of these speeds vary based on aspects such as the plan you choose.
China Unicom is more focused on internet connectivity through mobile devices rather than a more traditional household or office internet. For this company, plans are offered in a pay-as-you-go fashion rather than signing onto a long term plan.
Internet in China Is Affordable
If you shopped around a few years ago, you would’ve found the prices of internet plans in China to be relatively expensive. Now, though, they are fairly affordable.
This is thanks to a few factors. For instance, there are more companies offering internet plans to the population in China. This competition offers customers more options when it comes to price.
In addition, this competition also offers a variety of plans when it comes to how much internet you need and how effective your coverage is. This means that customers have options and these options drive companies to compete to offer customers the best deals available to them.
Internet Filters Might Slow You Down
One of the most well-known facts about the internet in China is that it sees much more regulation than the internet in western countries such as the United States. As such, you need to be aware of some issues you might run into.
First and foremost, you need to know that Chinese run websites are given some favor. If you are trying to use a website based outside of China, you may end up waiting and refreshing quite a few times before you finally get to what you need to.
If you are trying to access a Chinese website, though, you probably won’t run into a problem. Once again, this is because these websites aren’t subjected to heavy filters like outside websites usually are.
You Might Be Unable to Access Some Websites
The filters on the internet in China do a little more than slow down your connection. In some cases, you connection to certain websites will be blocked altogether. For example, it is extremely difficult to access websites such as YouTube or Facebook without some sort of workaround on the firewalls. Even then, the connection isn’t promised to be quick or easy to work with.
The fastest way to access online resources in China is to stick to the approved websites and Chinese-run website. Without being touched by censors or firewalls, these websites will work with the best connection.
Beware of Public Connections
In most places, you want to be wary of public connections. For example, you shouldn’t shop online when you are using a public connection to protect information such as credit card numbers. Generally, you shouldn’t expect the same level of privacy and security on an open network as you would on your own personal home Wi-Fi.
In China, this warning is ever present. Don’t feel so complacent with a public connection that you potentially give away important information or secure data. After all, it is much easier for hackers and those with ill-intent to get their hands on information via a public connection.
There is also the warning that you shouldn’t use a public connection on your personal computer or device as it opens you up to the possibility of contracting malware or viruses. To fight this, make sure your computer has strong anti-virus software if you have to use a public connection. After all, this malware can slow down or otherwise harm your computer.
Michael Michelini is host of the GlobalFromAsia.com podcast, an online radio show to help business owners grow their companies in Asia and around the world.
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