Feeds

Japan's free public VPN project tunnels through Great Firewall

China and Japan make friends on the interwebs

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Chinese netizens finding it increasingly difficult to bypass the Great Firewall after a recent crackdown on virtual private network (VPN) services have found an unlikely ally in a new public relay VPN service from Japan.

The VPN Gate Academic Experiment Project (h/t TechInAsia) was set up by researchers at the Graduate School of Japan’s University of Tsukuba with a mission to “expand the knowledge of ‘Global Distributed Public VPN Relay Servers’.”

The free service requires no user registrations and bills itself as having “strong resistance against firewalls” because its VPN servers are provided by volunteers around the world and therefore hosted by different ISPs and in different physical locations.

VPN Gate explains more in patchy English below:

The number of volunteers increases or decreases every day, and each IP address vary every time. If something "out-of-order" will occur on the government's firewall, whole the VPN Gate Relay Server are not affected. If a few VPN servers become unreachable from your country, you can still reach other VPN servers.

The platform supports the SSL-VPN (SoftEther VPN) protocol, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN, and Microsoft SSTP protocol.

This amount of choice is useful because the Chinese government recently began shutting down foreign-owned VPN services, rendering OpenVPN virtually useless inside the Great Firewall, as explained by VPN Instructions.

It’s no surprise then to see that of the 4,800 sessions established within the past three hours (at time of writing), the overwhelming majority are from users inside China

At present there are 87 public VPN servers worldwide offered by the platform, with the Japanese researchers having also taken measures to enable access to the VPN server list in the event that the VPN Gate web site is blocked.

Here's how the site says users can get around blocks:

If you are a citizen of the country which has a government's firewall with unknown error which prevents accesses to the www.vpngate.net from the domestic Internet, please access to the Mirror Sites List page, copy the URL list and paste it to SNS, Blogs or community forums in your country to help VPN users in your country.

China is of course not the only country where tighter regulation of the internet is further squeezing online freedoms and making things difficult for business users.

It recently emerged that Iran has blocked most VPNs in a bid to prevent users from visiting certain banned web sites as the Islamic republic gears up for elections in a few months’ time. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.