I've got to write a follow up article on some of the recent posts I've been making, because I suddenly became aware a few days ago that it's still possible to access Facebook in China on iPad. I know, I know, after all my posts talking about how L2TP and PPTP VPNs were blocked because of the stuff that was going on in Egypt, and after all the stuff I wrote about how mobile devices like iPad couldn't access blocked sites without jailbreaking the iPad and messing up your warranty, I've got to go back and change what I said. It is completely possible to access Facebook in China on iPad – all you need is a web based service to help you bypass Internet censorship.
I got an email from a company called Securitales the other day. I had seen their advertisements around, and to be honest, they never really caught my eye. I didn't really know what they were, but I was happy with my VPN, so I didn't look into it so much.
However, when they contacted me about featuring them on the site, it came to my attention that their service was a bit different from other services I had tried. They're a web based service. This is now the second time I've used this term – and it's exactly what it sounds like. It's called a web based service because their method of unblocking sites in China does not involve downloading or installing anything on your computer. It is accessible through any device that can connect to the Internet because there are no changes made to the device that you're using. It's just like accessing a website, or using a special browser window. This is why you can even access Facebook in China on iPad.
Unlike PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols which are blocked and don't work in most of China, Securitales will send you a secure link to your inbox, which means you can access their secure browser anywhere, anytime, even if their site is blocked. They've even got a FREE TRIAL, (if you click the link, the free trial option is right below the sign-up form) which is amazing these days – most VPNs don't even offer that. Once you access the link, type in your username and password, and type the URL of the blocked site into the secure browser area. You'll notice that it's using HTTPS, not HTTP.
I was pleasantly surprised at the speed of Securitales. Like I said, I had seen their service advertised around before and didn't think much of it. But don't let their lack of flash and strange name (sounds like the name of a Pixar/Disney movie doesn't it?) fool you. They're pretty much on par with most VPN companies.
A disadvantage of using a web based service is that you've got to type the URL you want to visit into the designated area in order for the site to be unblocked. I'm still getting used to it and I frequently switch back to my normal browser only to be blocked from the site, and then I've got to go back and retype the URL. Not a big deal, but slightly inconvenient. For users that want to access Facebook in China on iPad however, you haven't really got a choice, and something is better than nothing. This is probably just one of those things that you get used to.
Securitales will also work on your iPhone and Android devices. In a nutshell, for mobile users in China, its a very cool service to have.
Remember, they've got a FREE TRIAL