Youku is like a Chinese version of YouTube, offering more videos than anyone could watch in his/her lifetime. So if you’re a Chinese national living abroad, you may want to connect to Youku and see what’s going on there.
In addition to user-generated clips, the service also offers professionally produced videos and licensed content that can be pretty entertaining — or at least that’s what Youku’s numbers say.
Alas, you may not be able to access Youku from all over the world without a VPN. With a VPN, you can connect to a server in China and unlock the entire Youku catalog. It’s actually that easy.
But wait, there’s more — with the best VPNs also protecting your privacy online, preventing the likes of Google and Facebook from keeping track of every step you make. And the same goes for various government agencies.
That being said, here are the best VPNs for Youku that will also cover all other needs you may have:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Good for both torrenting and streaming
- Works in China
- Solid network with servers in 60+ countries
- Easy to use apps on multiple platforms
- Live chat isn't always available
- Fairly pricey
Whether you need a VPN for watching Netflix shows or downloading files via BitTorrent, Astrill can help you out — all while keeping your identity under the radar. And this is especially true if you live or work in China when the company's stealth protocols will kick in to let you access all the popular sites that are by default blocked by the country's censors.
Astrill's apps are easy to use and available on all popular platforms. Nevertheless, they still manage to provide a host of advanced features tech-savvy folks are used to get. Highly recommended, again, especially if you're looking to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- Fast download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
- Great for torrenting
- Advanced privacy features (i.e. Tor over VPN)
- Relatively small number of servers
- There are no browser extensions
- Live chat support is not always available
Specifically, you can rely on PrivateVPN for both torrenting and streaming, without paying a premium. It is, in fact, one of the most affordable options in its league and we love it for that.
Customer support may not be on par with bigger players but it's not like you should experience many problems anyway. You will get the same level of security and privacy as with other services, and a single license will let you run PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices. Pretty cool.
- Works in China
- Many servers in Asia
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Advanced services like VyprVPN Cloud
- No browser extensions
- Torrenting could be better
It manages to bypass restrictions in high-censorship countries and elsewhere by relying on its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which can easily slide under the radar.
VyprVPN is also great for accessing video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and so on — delivering the true buffer-free experience every single time. It will also work with BitTorrent, and consequently - Kodi.
VyprVPN has a strict zero-logs policy. Period.
Youku is a Beijing, China-based video hosting service that operates as a subsidiary of Alibaba Group. Its full name is Youku Tudou and was created as a result of a merger between Youku and Tudou. The service has more than 500 million monthly active users, with 800 million daily video views.
Youku is, obviously, one of China’s top online video and streaming service platforms — along with iQiyi, Sohu, LeTV, Tencent Video, PPTV, 56.com and Funshion. However, Youku’s domination in the Chinese market has been toppled by its competitor Baidu’s iQiyi.
Youku now has streaming services for shows and films that can be distinguished from YouTube.
How Youku was created?
Youku was founded by Victor Koo, former President of Chinese Internet portal Sohu, with initial funding coming from 1Verge — a fund raised by Koo. A beta version of the site was launched with limited geographic reach in June 2003, and the website was formally launched in December 2003. In 2007, the company received $25 million in venture funding; and in December 2009 – it raised a total of $110 million in private equity funding. Major investors include Brookside (Bain) Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, Maverick Capital, and Chengwei Ventures.
Initially, Youku was all about user-generated content but has later shifted its focus to professionally produced videos licensed from over 1,500 content partners.
The company’s notable partnerships include those with Myspace in China (in 2008) and with Mozilla to be the sole online video provider embedded in the China Edition of Mozilla Firefox.
Youku recorded gross revenues of 200 million RMB in 2009.
On December 8 2010, Youku was listed at the New York Stock Exchange for the first time.
The mentioned Youku Tudou merger took place in March 2012, after which — in November 2015 — Alibaba Group acquired the combined company.
You need a VPN to watch Youku from anywhere…
Youku is very similar to YouTube and just like the Google-operated service, it too offers a ton of content to enjoy. However, you can’t that easily access it outside of China. Again, there are content rights that don’t allow Youku to let everyone access all videos on its platform.
Except, that is, if you’re not using a VPN. Then, the situation changes dramatically as you can connect to a China-based server and trick Youku into thinking that you’re a local resident instead of someone who may be connecting to Youku from an opposite side of the globe.
That’s all nice, but that is just one of the reasons why you should get a VPN. First and foremost, it will protect your privacy on the Internet, so that the Big Tech giants and various government agencies can’t (easily) follow every step you make online. Furthermore, a good VPN will:
- Protect your privacy from the government and big corporations
- Bypass restrictions imposed by the government or various organizations
- Change your IP address so you get unrestricted access to Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, HULU, and other video streaming services
- Encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals
The top contenders that check all these boxes include the following: