In this guide, I’ll be highlighting the best VPN for Russia to get past some major censorship and surveillance issues. You’ll learn how to bypass these restrictions safely and use the internet freely in Russia.
Short on time? Here are the best VPNs for Russia in 2021…
- Surfshark is the best VPN for Russia overall. Allows unlimited device connections, fast speeds, secure apps, advanced privacy, and unblocking features, and also Smart DNS access.
- NordVPN is a fast VPN that offers advanced obfuscation VPN tools to use in Russia. Offers Double VPN encrypted servers, SmartPlay for streaming, and no data retention policies.
- ExpressVPN is great for users in Russia who require the fastest speeds for streaming, a large and reliable server network, and exceptional security features. Comes with MediaStreamer technology and a free trial.
- IPVanish offers a Scramble OpenVPN Traffic feature to bypass harsh censorship with a VPN, unlimited device connections, and great for Fire TV users in Russia.
- CyberGhost comes with user-friendly apps, great speeds, optimized servers fast and secure for unblocking popular platforms in or outside Russia. CyberGhost is very affordable.
The law in Russia
Russia, among a couple of other countries in the world, has decided to take control of the way its population uses the internet. This means having full control over censorship of what their public watches or accesses, blocking any and every western or local website that they don’t approve of.
It was said that in 2021, Russia will have full control of blocking off any unwanted websites. It will also keep strict surveillance over what its internet users are accessing, especially concerning foreign websites like Netflix or even LinkedIn.
For this reason, the people of Russia are going to need a reliable VPN that will give them full access to numerous websites or platforms, without being watched or having their data under 24/7 scrutiny.
The best VPN for Russia in 2021 – Detailed analysis
Russia has ordered many VPN providers to hand over full access to the Russian servers. It’s to control how their residents use the internet, keeping it under surveillance.
However, among many top VPNs, the VPNs for Russia mentioned on this list refused to comply and also offer great features to keep you safe while using the internet. They are:
|Servers||3200+ servers in 65 countries|
|Compatibility||Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, browser extensions, FireStick, Smart TVs, and more|
Surfshark has very often been deemed as the public’s favorite. Hailing from the British Virgin Islands, this VPN doesn’t lack anything in perfection. It may be the new guy in the neighborhood, but that’s what gives it the upper hand.
Being new in the industry also means being far from the watchful eyes of the Russian authorities. It has a rich list of 3200+ servers in 65 countries including servers in Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg). So accessing local content would be a piece of cake.
Speaking of servers, it also includes many in the US that will get you straight access to numerous restricted websites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and much more. So, all in all, it provides you with unlimited access to both local and international content.
Now coming to security, this seems to be of dire importance, if you’re ever using a VPN in Russia. You need to be able to choose a VPN with the highest security measures, which Surfshark offers.
Surfshark provides impenetrable AES 256-bit encryption and supports major protocols (IKEv2, OpenVPN, and Shadowsocks). It comes with a functional Kill Switch, DNS and IP leak protection, a Camouflage and NoBorders Mode, and the new GPS Spoofing feature allowing you to change your physical GPS location.
Surfshark allows unlimited device connections and offers apps for numerous operating systems. However, some devices don’t support native VPN apps, so for that, you can use its Smart DNS feature via a router.
Just in case you have any doubts, I also contacted their chat support in reference to whether it works in Russia, to which they replied:
So, if you ever feel like you need a VPN for Russia, Surfshark should be your number one go-to.
In case you’re interested in putting this VPN to the test, Surfshark offers a free trial for smartphones and a 30-day refund policy for extensive testing.
|Servers||5400+servers in 59 countries|
|Compatibility||Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Browser extensions, Firestick, Linux, routers|
NordVPN, a Panama-based VPN is the second, best VPN for Russia.
Remember we spoke about the censorship laws that Russia enforces and only allows VPNs that comply with their terms of having full access to the Russian servers?
Well, NordVPN was among the many VPNs that received a letter from the Russian Federation, asking them to follow through with the demands or be blocked.
However, NordVPN cares about its user’s privacy and certainly sticks to its no data-retention policies, and declined the terms. All-in-all, NordVPN is a pretty safe choice for protecting its user’s privacy and anonymity online.
Just because NordVPN doesn’t have any Russian servers doesn’t mean you lose access to local content. You can easily gain access by connecting to any one of Russia’s neighboring country servers like Finland, Poland, and Ukraine and log into any local content you desire.
It has an immaculate server list (5400+ in 59 countries) that you can also use to gain access to restricted services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO, and more. For mere assurance, I contacted their around the clock support chat asking for a confirmation, which said:
Coming to its security measures, it protects your privacy and anonymity with bank-grade AES 256-bit encryption. Other advanced features include a Kill Switch, DNS/IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection, Onion Over VPN, and other features like Smart Play that allows you to access multiple restricted streaming services with double encryption. The NordVPN CyberSec feature is also pretty impressive for adblocking.
You can try accessing a few of the geo-restricted streaming services or just simply test out its advanced features, using its free trial, or access it for a longer time using its 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Servers||3000+ servers in 94 countries|
|Compatibility||Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Browser extensions, Linux, Routers, Firestick & more|
ExpressVPN is a fast and diverse VPN, and also makes one of the best VPNs for Russia for a lot of reasons. It’s able to bypass the strongest geo-blocks and unblocks numerous websites. It’s one of the few VPNs that didn’t comply with the demands made by the Russian Federation, also doesn’t have a Russian server.
In turn, it has servers from bordering Russian countries, such as Finland, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Poland which you can use to access local content and unlock many more blocked websites.
This is just a small part of what ExpressVPN can pull off. Looking at its server-rich platform of having 3000+ servers in 94 countries, it has around many US servers that you can use to break into geo-restricted websites.
Some of these services include US Netflix, DAZN, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Amazon Prime, and much more. Just to be sure whether the VPN does actually work in Russia, I contacted their support chat:
Knowing that Russia is still on the lookout for VPN users or other means being used to try and gain access to blocked websites, ExpressVPN comes in handy where providing heavy security is concerned.
It operates on AES 256-bit encryption, major protocols (PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSEC), Kill Switch, and is DNS and IP leak protected. There’s also a split tunneling feature, allowing you to separate the traffic you require from ones that you don’t.
You can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously, and also create a VPN connection on those devices that don’t support VPN apps, like Apple TV or Xbox by using the ExpressVPN MediaStreamer proxy via a router.
|Servers||1600+ servers in 75+ Locations|
|Compatibility||Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Fire TV Stick, Browser extensions, Smart TVs Android Box, and more|
IPVanish is a great VPN app and performed really well when I tested and reviewed the VPN app. It’s one of the best VPNs for Russia for a number of reasons which are:
Firstly, because IPVanish is a US-based VPN, it means you will have access to a great deal of US channels, websites, streaming services, and a lot more. When I tested the VPN, I got access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, BBC News, BBC iPlayer, and much more.
Apart from this, the VPN comes with fairly decent coverage of 1600+ servers in 75+ locations, all of which deliver speeds fast enough for 4K or HD streams.
When we talk about security, IPVanish does great in that area too. It operates using OpenVPN and AES 256-bit encryption with AES 128-bit encryption on PPTP protocol.
Other advanced features include DNS Leak protection, Split-Tunneling, a Kill Switch, and more. There’s also a Scramble OpenVPN Traffic feature that allows you to use the VPN without getting detected. That’s great for the internet in Russia.
IPVanish doesn’t typically offer a free trial, but you can still test the VPN for free using its money-back guarantee.
|Servers||6000+ in 90 countries|
|Compatibility||Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, browser extensions, Fire TV, AndroidTV, and Linux|
This Romanian-based VPN is not only known for having one of the biggest server lists (6000+ servers in 90 countries) in the VPN industry but also the fact that it is one of the few that actually work in countries like Russia that have strict censorship laws.
Among its server-rich platform, it has around 36 dedicated Russian servers, allowing you to access any local content in the blink of an eye.
And if Netflix and other restricted streaming services or channels are what you’re looking for, it also has around 1171 US servers in its catalog, which will give you all the access you need.
You just have to tweak around with its settings a little bit, switching servers to get the best results. Just to receive confirmation, I went the extra mile and contacted their 24/7 support chat, which said:
There should be no problems using this VPN. It has some pretty neat security features, enough to preserve your privacy/anonymity. You will be allowed to surf the web safely.
A few of the CyberGhost features include military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, major protocols (L2TP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN), DNS and IP leak protected, a Kill Switch, and reasonably good speeds.
You can put these advanced security features to the test using its free trial period or directly use the 45-day refund policy.
All-in-all, if you’re looking for a VPN to use in Russia that’s big on security and is great for streaming, then CyberGhost makes a great choice.
Roskomnadzor – Censorship laws to abide by
In case you assume that the name refers to some intimidating, made-up Russian name, you should know that intimidating is the correct word to use.
The Roskomnadzor is the Russian Federal executive body that takes care of or is responsible for all the censorship decisions made in media or telecommunication platforms.
The laws put out in ordinance with their policies, are religiously practiced and were signed by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin on July 29th, 2017.
Among these censorship laws, includes the ban on all VPNs that failed to comply with the laws regulated by the Russian government. It stated that those VPN providers that object to give complete inside access to the Russian servers provided by the VPN would be completely blacklisted by the government in retaliation.
Along with this, the VPN providers will have to abide by the Russian laws of banning whatever sites they deem as prohibited/inappropriate. For more information on the matter, you could read all about it on BBC News.
However, there are still a few VPNs in the coming list, that have amazing services that still work with full functionality. It also makes them the perfect choice when traveling out of Russia. Let’s discuss a little about what makes them the perfect choice for Russia.
How to choose the best VPN for Russia
Keeping in mind the countless blocked websites and their users’ every activity and data being brought under surveillance in Russia, it’s no news that the people are bound to turn to the services of a VPN.
However, since we’ve established that most VPNs have previously and currently been blocked, there are still a few great VPNs (mentioned on this list) that still work quite efficiently in Russia.
No, these providers weren’t picked out of thin air because they’re part of the few that wasn’t blocked, but, rather because they possess security features so immaculate that it makes them the perfect choice for Best VPN for Russia.
These providers were picked on the following facts:
These VPNs were all capable of breaking through any censorship laws or blocks that may have been put up. They each possess server lists that are rich in locations from all over the world, making it easy for you to connect to one of them; accessing both local and international content. All 5 VPNs allow you to access restricted content like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, etc.
Part of preserving your privacy and anonymity which the Russian government puts a halt to, we chose VPNs that observe strict privacy policies and a no-data retention law all while having staunch security features like AES 256-bit encryption, major protocols, a Kill Switch, DNS, and IP leak protection.
There’s absolutely no point in investing in a VPN that fails to provide efficient speeds. Luckily for you, all 5 of these top VPNs have been tried and tested ensuring you the best speed results; perfect for streaming and torrenting.
Besides the above, we chose them based on user-friendliness, compatibility with multiple platforms (iOS, Windows, Android, macOS, browser extensions like Chrome and Firefox, etc., its ability to allow multiple connections simultaneously, and reliable chat/email support.
“Putin” Things into Perspective
It’s quite common for anyone to have second thoughts about using a VPN and especially when it has to do with a country like Russia that puts up some heavy laws on censorship and strict surveillance. But not to worry, here are the commonly asked questions and answers that will help you sleep peacefully at night:
Can we use a free VPN in Russia?
Firstly, with all the heavy laws put on surveillance of every online activity carried out, you should definitely consider using a proper and reliable VPN like the ones I mentioned above.
Free VPNs or proxies never come with the same security measures as a premium VPN has. With a history of most free VPNs stealing their user’s data and selling it to third parties, you need to re-evaluate your decisions.
However, if you have your heart set on free services only for a short time, why don’t you just go for a premium provider and hack a free trial?
Why do you need a VPN in Russia?
In normal circumstances, using a VPN is the best option for security purposes. It’s equally great for unblocking Netflix and other platforms that are geo-restricted within the country.
But, considering that the Russian government is monitoring your every move, you definitely need a VPN that sticks to its privacy policies.
Choosing the best VPN will not only let you access blocked content; it will secure your device, preserve your anonymity, and privatize your actual IP.
Is it illegal to use a VPN in Russia?
Unfortunately, yes it is.
Even though VPNs aren’t legal in Russia, the government has left the people with no choice. There are blocked websites, communication platforms, and more! The government has left its people looking for ways to jet-past these heavy laws.
So, yes using a VPN may not be the best choice but it definitely is the only choice. The VPNs provided are superlative in features and security measures. However, when using a VPN always make sure you do it safely.
To wrap things up
Gaining access to unlimited blocked websites or platforms should never be a big hassle with the best VPN services.
Using one of these providers in the best VPN for Russia list above (Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and CyberGhost) would be the best bet. It’ll give you all the access you need in Russia while keeping your privacy preserved.
Using the best VPN, you can now gain access to the best platforms in Russia. The best part is they also come with free trials or refund policies. So, even if you’re dissatisfied, you could contact the support team, asking for a full refund.
If, however, you’re looking to access local content or apps while traveling abroad, a few of these top providers also offer Russian IP addresses to use outside Russia.
The VPNs on this list also offer great discounts. Keep track of them on our VPN deals and discount page.
To Summarize, the Best VPN for Russia is…
|Rank||Provider||Our Score||User Rating|