Network Infrustucture in my Home in Shanghai

11:50 PM

I have been asked about how I can access Internet. For friends in Shanghai, they are curious about the broadband, which is new to the city.

Dial-up: Basically, residents in Shanghai have lots of choices for Internet access from home.

  • The China Telecom is the largest and most popular provider of dial-up access.

    Telephone #: 8163

    username: 8163

    password: 8163

    The Internet service fee will be charged to the caller’s telephone bill. This is very convenience. We don’t need to apply a user account. (What about other regions in the world? Writhe comments and let us hear you.)

  • Their there many other ISPs are providing Internet Access card. Users buy the cards and can dial the number on the card for predefined period of Internet Access time. It is also good and cheaper than 8163 service.


There are many service providers are competing to gain more market share here in Shanghai

  • China Telecom is selling ADSL – the method to use normal telephone line to transmit digital signals, though greatly speed-up the data transition.
  • Cable TV providers are persuading users to use cable modem to access Internet.
  • China Unicom, which don’t have the fixed line telephone are using wireless technology to gain its market. User with wireless LAN adaptor can subscribe to their services.
  • Other broadband providers like Great Wall Broadband – the provider I chose. They are using traditional LAN technologies for users in a residential area.

Let me share some facts of the broadband I am using.

Speed The inbound network cable provides 100M access to other servers on the LAN, and provide pretty good Internet access rate (not very sure about the exact bandwidth now) I tried to download some files, the transfer rate displayed on downloading dialog box is typically 40 KB/sec to 100 KB/sec.

IP address GWBN is providing dynamic, real IP address.

  • Dynamic IP GWBN uses DHCP to allocate IP addresses on a LAN. Heroically, the IP may change. However, because currently the number of subscribers is far less than number of IPs in the IP pool, the IP addresses for my computers never changed. So I can safely direct my domain to my IP address
  • Real IP Unlike China Telecom broadband and other broadband who are using NAT (Network Address Translation), GWBN provides real IP address. I queried my IP address in, the result looks like this

    inetnum: –

    netname: GWBN-SH-COMMUNITY145


    country: CN

    admin-c: JM97-AP

    tech-c: JM97-AP

    mnt-by: MAINT-CNNIC-AP

    changed: 20020715


    source: APNIC

I guess the so-called “# 145 RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY” refers to Vanke Waltz Garden. That means 773 families are sharing the 255 IP addresses. It is pretty good, since only about 5% of the residents are subscribers now.

I randomly checked some IP from to and found them all belong to GWBN. It seems the company has lots of IP addresses for the broadband services.

38 thoughts on “Network Infrustucture in my Home in Shanghai

  1. That is great that broadband is seeing market penetration in Shanghai. When I was there a year ago there seemed to be a lot of talk about it, but broadband (in China) only existed in Hong Kong. Hopefully, when I go back to China, I’ll end up in a city with available broadband services.

    I used 163 in Changchun and it was pretty good for a dialup, but just extremely slow compared to the cable modem I have in the United States.

  2. Broadband is becoming more and more popular here in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. I am enjoying the high speed of the broadbands provide. However, it is still far behind the market’s expectation. Millions of dolloars have been put into the infrastructure construction, but the output is disappointing. According to media, most broadband providers are having a hard time now. For providers like GWBN, the situation is even worse. According to recent media report, GWBN needs about 500 million RMB for its daily operation, while it only receives less than 50 million RMB from its subscribers.

    About months ago, GWBN announced to be transformed into a content provider instead of Internet Service Provider. Source: [Chinese site]

    You can check this site later to reveal more update about basic IT infrastructures and the environment later.

  3. Very useful information here. A few questions.

    How much does it cost to use the 8163 service. Does one get detailed billing for that? To the best of my knowledge, China is the only country that offers this kind of billing. As they say in England, “Very clever, these Chinese.” In my mind, this innovation ranks among paper, gunpowder, compass, double-hulled ships, internet (sorry Al Gore!), fried rice and the great wall among Chinese achievements.

    Is broadband access of the “all you can eat” variety or there is a cap?

    Are there many wireless hot spots that one can plug into? More questions to follow later.

  4. I am going to visit Shanghai during the first week of Jan 2003. I would like to know which Cafe’s and public areas are suitable to use wireless Broadband Internet – with my own notebook and wireless LAN card ?

    Any advice to my email address would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks and regards


    Singapore Tel: (65)-92374150

  5. To Bethune:

    Sorry for late answering your questions. For the 8163 service, people get detailed bill for that. It is combined with the telecom’s telephone bill. In the bill, there is a column named “information services”. That record the cost of the 8163 Internet services.

    For 8163, it is dial-up Internet services and it is charged by minute (about 0.4 RMB or something like that per minute)

    For broadband, most of them provide “all-you-can-eat” package. It costs 100 RMB for Greatwall Broadband and 130 RMB for ADSL Broadband Access. There is no limitation on connected time or bandwith limitation.

    There are other options for cheaper access with bandwidth limitation. It really depends on the service provider. The good thing is, there are too many choices for end users and you can always pick the right one for you.

  6. To Nico,

    Nice to see your comment and to talk with you over phone. Regarding the questions of wireless access point, actually, I don’t know any public places to offer this service in Shanghai till now. Starbucks planned to provide Wireless Access to Internet with the help of Compaq, but it is not implemented yet.

    I also bought a wireless card and a base station. I can use it at my home. Refer to

    If you are going to access Internet, I believe you can get it in your hotel – the hotel MAY provide broadband for you – in this case, you have a network cable ready in you room. Or you can dial-up to 8163.

    Jian Shuo Wang

  7. Great Wall Broadband.

    Does the 100 RMB cover installation charges? What about modem rental?

    Ditto for ADSL Broadband Access

  8. Great Wall Brandband is different than ADSL or other brandband. They have deal with the Real Estate company and build the equipment and network port in the apartment when the building was built. Thus there is no installation fee for end user (or it has been included in the price of the apartment).

    Since it uses exactly the LAN technology, you will get LAN port (RJ-45) on your wall. No modem is needed. Just plug the cable in the port and it works/

  9. I use Outlook Express, and I need to know the SMTP server to send e-mail!

    How can help me?

  10. Unfortunately for those of you that are in china at the moment especially in shanghai using any type of dial up or broad band service know that we are getting blocked and therefore have extremely slow connections to worldwide internet sites, such as hotmail, cnn etc. hopefully this will change soon. and we ca nget back to normal so dont be dissapointed if the internet seems slow. I do a lot of online gaming and its been impossible to play anything online for the last 2 months.

  11. To Miklos Campuzano,

    I was in Jinzhao at the end of February using 163 v90 dialup & noticed certain URLs gave DNS errors.

    These were:

    Is this the result of blocking?

    Why are certain URLs being blocked?

    Who is doing the blocking?

    If a different DNS is used would this improve reliability?

    Does China Telecom use transparent proxies?

    Should I configure the browser to use a proxy?

    My aim it to configure dyndns & tighvnc on my partner’s sister’s PC for remote support.

    The computer is used mainly for VOIP & video conferencing using Yahoo Messenger.

  12. hi guys:

    do you know what china telecom charges for their wireless lan internet service – i’m next to the marriott hotel & seem to get a signal – wondering if you would be cheaper than adsl.


    plz can you email me at i.j{@} if you know.



  13. Hi thanks for the great info. I gotta say that I am having many of the same problems. I use China Tel’s ADSL service and the performance is little better than dial-up speeds for anything outside of China.

    I am also having the same DNS resolution problems as Daryl. My checks indicate that ALL the dynamic dns providers I know of do not resolve properly. I suspect that is has something to do with the dynamic name resolution methods used.

    Anybody had any luck getting around this?

  14. yeah, when i was in egypt last year, they introduced free ( not fully free) internet access servies, there’s many companies (isp actually) provide you numbers begin with 0777 xxxx, choose any of them, then you’r connected…

    then u charged by tel company, 6hourser for only 1 USD..

  15. I’m living in Guangzhou with a few roommates, and we also have GWBN. When first connecting via the web, it redirects our browser to a login webpage. The internet connection won’t go further until this is done. No problem for one computer, but now we are trying to install a router. We’ve tried Linksys and Netgear routers, both of which lock up once the outside line is hooked in. Any idea how to get this to work on GWBN?

  16. I don’t have any idea about how to make it work. I don’t like GWBN, since it is not well tested and does not consider the end user. I have unsubscribed from it.

  17. The alternative right now is to log in one machine directly to the liine, figure out the what the assigned IP/Subnet/Gateway/DNS addresses are, then set the router manually to these. This works until the Dynamic IP changes, which seems to take several days. It’s working so far. We may have to just flow with this. I’m not familiar with the other providers out here, my roommates had help getting this set up before I arrived. Any suggestions for alternative providers? Thanks!

  18. I am getting frustrated with the China Telecom ADSL service. This appears to be the only choice for broadband where I live in Pudong.

    As was mentioned above, the speed for foreign web-sites is very slow.

    In addition, China Telecom seem to block cheap IP telephone providers such as Dailpad. I phoned them up and it seems to be company policy to block these.

    When I lived in Puxi, I used Cable Modem, and the service was much better. I could use Dailpad and the speed of international sites was much better. Alll this shows that China Telecom are abusing the monopoly they have in some areas.

  19. I’m having trouble with china telecom smtp server too… I’m in guangzhou, and couldn’t find anything about smtp servers, except what has been posted here

  20. I would like to know a SMTP for Nanjing. As a expat I use an Australian ISP and sending emails is impossible but receiving is no worries. My work is suffering drastically. Can you help?

  21. Im experiecing same problems as described above. I have very slow connetions to international sites and also have problems with my email account hosted abroad. Im trying to find a solution by means of a serviced office or apartment that has a good fast connection for International sites + Email. Anyone have any information on this possibility.

    I appreciate the info:

  22. I have same comment as Martin posted on Sept 14, 04. I don’t know whether the slow speed to websites outside of China is due to filtering/blocking or just China telecom is trying to save money by having too many customer share bandwidth for international traffic. This is really frustrating at times and is a definite negative for international business. I wish China telecom would offer an option for those of us who might be willing to pay more for better international access.

  23. I just arrived in Shanghai and it has been difficult for my outlook to download emails. I am using Shanghai Telecom ADSL. However, it is impossible for me to send out any emails. I am guessing that Shanghai Tel is blocking smtp port 25. Any idea how to get around it or know of any smtp servers that I can send emails out from?

  24. Hello,

    Same problems as above concerning sending mails from beijing to europe via outlook.

    My smtp provider (wanadoo) in france told me find a chinese smtp server, wich should be the one of my internet provider (china telecom).

    I phoned china telecom about this problem. I still wait for their answer.

    Does somebody noes the name of china telecom’s smtp server in beijing ?

    Thanks and good luck,

    Luciole fr.

  25. Regarding smtp, I can offer my experiences as a Canadian expat since Sept 04. Outgoing smtp is not blocked for me, though it is also not a provided service from what I know (China Telecom has no smtp servers). Trying to run my own smtp server worked only sometimes, because emails which originate from China IP addresses are often blocked from the other side, because of all the spam which originates in China. Furthermore I am not a tech expert. The only 2 solutions that work reliably are as follows: 1. sending to an smtp server that is off-continent: such as the one my Canadian webhosting provider provides me free with my webhosting package (I never knew they did, but I asked, and they do); 2. Webmail (hotmail and other IMAP providers), though this doesn’t work if you need MS Outlook integration with other app’s…

    No solution is perfect if you’re in China. I use these and estimate about 95% success (providing that your off-continent provider doesn’t block your traffic from this IP too). If you want more info, email me at I happen to be a former telecom consultant.

  26. I am a user of subscriber …. when in Shanghai I am connected to the ADSL available here throgh a usuaal residential fone. I recieve my mail with no problem by this setup … However when I want to send an email the ADSL provider does not allow me to use the usual SMTP and will only allow me if I change my address to their. This however will confuse the reciever of my real address…

    Please assist and respond to my email address

  27. Hi,

    I’m staying in Shanghai right now and I tried to access the internet by using the dial-up method. I used 8163, China Telecom.

    But somehow it didn”t work. It sounded like the line was bussy. Do I have to dial any other numbers than 8163, for example a city code or so?



  28. Hi all,

    I have the same problem as some of you, namely, I can’t send email through outlook using the smtp servers provided with my email accounts. It worked one or two time but stopped completely during the last two months. It’s a bit frustrating! I considered to use a proxy to mask my IP address and connect to the smtp servers of my email addresses out of China.

    Do some of you know a good proxy connectable since China (Beijing) and that could make it possible?

    Thanks again,


  29. Hi all,

    I have the same problem but at least I can send and receive emails thru Outlook Express from GMail. My problem lies when I need to use a specific software to send emails, then they require smtp information, which I am not sure which to use….when I put in the gmail info as provided by Gmail, I cant get thru, and I have not idea what is the ShanghaI Telecom broadband ADSL details are. By the way I am living in Pudong. Can anyone help/advise? I will try calling Shanghai Telecom tomorrow but since they don’t speak English and my Chinese is not good enough to explain what I need, I anticipate some challenges there.

    Look forward to some useful advise on this forum. Thanks


  30. Trying to get a Cisco Router working on a China Net ADSL Service in Beijing.

    Does anyone know if the DSL service provided by China Net is purley ATM and what type if any Encapsulation may be used on the Service. The router is unable to dynamically obtain the IP address from the Service provider.

    I look forward to your helpful responses.



  31. Have you heard of a company called Zhejiang Orient Fibersense Photonics Communication Company Limited?

    I heard they have a contract with Great Wall Broadband to roll out wireless communications.

    Anything you have heard would be appreciated.

  32. Hi, I am trying to set up a firewall for a ship posted in Pudong which has been set up with China Tel broadband. I know that they have a DHCP assigned address as it would cost an extra 3000 per month for a static address, but I cant find the DNS server addresses anywhere. Does anyone know what these are?

  33. Hello

    I’m looking for a way to use my outlook in shanghai!!

    With laposte, gmail or wanadoo i can receive my email but i can’t send it!! i really need to know how and/or where i can find THE OUTGOING SERVER SMTP of shanghai.

    Thank a lot to help me!!!

  34. Hi! what is the best company to subscribe adsl in shanghai? and how much are they charging per month? Im going to settle in shanghai so your inputs will be very helpful for me. thanks!

  35. Hi!

    I had the same problem for send some mail from China Telecom with my domain name adress.

    I did not find any SMTP server from China Telecom. The solution which is working for me

    is to create a yahoo mail for example then use their smtp : with your login et password…

    Like this it is almost better cause if you use the wireless from another adsl company you can still check your mail!

  36. that’s what i was told about my apt. just plug in your rj45 and it’ll work! the landlord gave me a username + password as well.

    i plug it in and nothing happens. =(

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