Raspberry Pi used to avoid Internet censorship in China

May 30, 2013
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Raspberry Pi

In countries like China, government control looms large. As much of the rest of the world enjoys hassle-free Internet browsing, countries with less than open governments face censorship on a grand scale. Painting with a broad brush, The People’s Republic of China is not friendly to outside influence, including those on the Internet.

Where there’s a will, there’s a Pi. A Redditor, going by JaiPasInternet, has found a nifty workaround for censorship on the go. Using a Raspberry Pi computer, this crafty Redditor has turned theirs into a remote VPN client, able to operate free of oversight.

While we tend to think of VPN as file hosting for our work related needs, it’s a popular option for Chinese citizens to access the Internet we take for granted. The method for doing this via Raspberry Pi is relatively simple, and could catch on widely. From JaiPasInternet’s Reddit post:

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, plug it into ethernet and to any usb plug, and after a few minutes, I have my censor-free Wi-Fi hotspot.


The Redditor notes that it may take some time to connect to the VPN, but once established the connection is reliable. This little trick allows users to go undetected while China cracks down on VPN hosting services. As the government in China begins to identify and block access to various VPN clients operating in the country, this makes it nearly impossible to track.

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