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Best VPN for Russia

Looking for the best Russia VPN service? Live in Russia and would like to access blocked websites from around the world? Concerned by the strict online censorship from the Russian authorities? Then check out our best Russia VPN recommendations below!

The best VPNs for Russia explained

VPN usage in Russia has dramatically increased over the past few years with Russia rapidly catching China in becoming one of the most censored and tracked countries in the world. Whether you’re a Russian citizen or simply visiting Russia on holiday, a 100% reliable VPN is the only option with safety and security features paramount.

With the introduction of the severe Russian VPN restriction law in 2017, a whole host of popular websites, applications, western news agencies and video sharing websites are now blocked, and trying to access such material is seriously risky without having your IP address securely encrypted and your online activity hidden.

The situation was made worse with the introduction of Russia’s ‘big brother’ Yarovaya law which imposes sweeping surveillance on all Russian citizens and visitors to the country. The law provisions for invasive tracking of all electronic communications and forces telecommunication companies to store all phone records and meta data for tracking purposes. Really not ideal!

Our top 5 recommended VPNs for Russia will all successfully bypass this strict government censorship and grant you full internet freedom with super secure protection at all times.

What do you need from a VPN in Russia?

Due to the sensitivity of online communications in Russia, once our experts have confirmed which VPNs successfully work when turned on, we then look at which providers offer the best privacy protection and have the strictest of log policies. Due to the Russian ban on VPNs, obfuscation technology is also required, ensuring that user VPN usage isn’t detected whilst also prevent any monitoring from Russian ISPs or government authorities. Our best VPNs for Russia all include:

  • Large VPN server choice in Russia and internationally
  • Military grade privacy protection and strict logging policies
  • Obfuscation and stealth protocols to overcome Russian VPN blocks
  • Unblocks blacklisted websites in Russia as well as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming services
  • Fast and reliable speeds

Melvyn's top 5 VPNs for Russia

Numbers(One)(7)

CyberGhost

CyberGhost are an exceptional VPN provider with industry leading levels of privacy, worldwide server locations ideal for torrenting with user friendly applications that flawlessly unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming services. If you want a super-fast, zero logs, easy to use VPN… then look no further! 

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Super-fast, zero logs, easy to use apps and friendly 24/7 customer support… you can see why it’s our number one recommended provider!  

Our score:

5.0

5/5

Price from:

$2.75

per month

Pros
  • Super fast, reliable servers with up to 265Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 6,100+ servers spanning more than 90 countries​
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and all other popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed
  • Protect up to 7 devices with one account
  • One of the best value VPNs available
Cons
  • No VPN obfuscation technology for use in high censorship countries
  • Doesn’t work in China
Numbers(Two)

Surfshark

Surfshark’s rise from zero to hero has been nothing short of outstanding and has quickly become a favourite amongst VPN users worldwide since joining the market in 2018. A secure, no logs VPN with great speeds, it’s ideal for streaming & torrenting. It’s extremely competitively priced, simple to use and allows users to protect an unlimited number of devices.

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Super user-friendly apps (ideal for beginners), great speeds and unlimited device allowance… Surfshark is making some serious waves!

Our score:

4.8

4.8/5

Price from:

$1.99

per month

Pros
  • Fast, reliable servers with up to 64Mbps download speeds
  • Super user-friendly applications ideal for beginners
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to 1,700+ servers spanning 63 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed
  • Protect unlimited devices with one account
  • One of the cheapest VPNs available
Cons
  • Speeds not quite as fast as rivals (at present)
  • Server network still has room to grow
  • Torrenting routed to servers in Canada and Holland
Numbers(Three)

NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the best and most popular VPN providers out there. It strikes the perfect balance for privacy concerned users and those looking for lightning fast speeds. It’s great for unblocking content such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer and also supports P2P and torrenting. Add to this its no logs policy and impeccable security, Nord sure does tick all the boxes! 

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Outstanding speeds, zero logs, and award winning 24/7 customer support… NordVPN is up there with the very best in the VPN market!

Our score:

4.9

4.9/5

Price from:

$3.49

per month

Pros
  • Super-fast reliable servers with up to 226Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 5,600+ servers spanning 60 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • Double VPN security feature for extra protection
  • One of the most popular VPNs available
Cons
  • Alternative security protocols need manual configuration
  • Speeds can be compromised on some distant connections
Numbers(Four)

ZenMate

Newly relaunched and better than ever, ZenMate are aiming to break into the top 5 best VPNs that’s for sure! With upgraded hardware, incredible privacy, zero logs and market leading speeds, plus the ability to torrent and flawlessly unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming services. If you want a super-fast, user-friendly, highly secure VPN… ZenMate may be your answer!

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Super-fast, highly secure and potentially the cheapest premium VPN on the market right now… ZenMate really are trying to compete with the very best!

Our score:

4.7

4.7/5

Price from:

$2.22

per month

Pros
  • Super-fast, reliable servers with up to 255Mbps download speeds​
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices​
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 3,600 servers spanning 74+ countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites​
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • Protect an unlimited amount of devices with one account
  • One of the best value VPNs available​
Cons
  • No 24/7 live chat support
  • Servers focussed around Europe & North America
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting not available on North American servers
Numbers(Five)

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN are one of the most recognisable names on the market, offering best-in-class zero logs privacy, fantastic speeds, awesome features and easy to use applications. ExpressVPN is a true market leader, and whilst it comes with a premium price tag (compared to others), users are rewarded with an outstanding product! 

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Blazing-fast speeds, exceptional app usability and 24/7 customer support… ExpressVPN is a real force to be reckoned with! 

Our score:

4.8

4.8/5

Price from:

$8.32

per month

Pros
  • Blazing-fast servers with up to 170Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 3,000+ servers spanning 94 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and great for HD streaming
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • Defeats content and government censorship
  • One of the most trusted names out there
Cons
  • Only allows you to protect 3 devices
  • Premium brand so you pay a premium price

Russian VPN FAQs...

If you are concerned by either your online privacy or freedom, using a VPN in Russia is an absolute must! With high levels of internet monitoring and censorship enforced by the Russian government, they blacklist a wide range of websites that would otherwise appear in your normal day to day usage and VPN is the only option to access such sites in a safe manner without the risk of being tracked.

Using a VPN in Russia is considered illegal unless you are using an ‘authorised VPN provider’. Should you be found using an unauthorised VPN in Russia, you could personally face a fine of 300,000 RUB ($5,100) and the VPN provider could also be slapped with a 700,000 RUB ($12,000) fine!

To become ‘authorised’, the VPN provider in question would need to comply with Russia’s strict VPN laws by blocking all websites listed in their extensive website blacklist, as well as offering up user data and activity upon request from the Russian security services (which kind of goes against the whole point of using a VPN don’t you think..!)

Due to the above, we really do not recommend our readers move away from our top 5 recommendations on this page as it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever get into any trouble with the government by using one of these ‘authorised’ services.

There aren’t many providers that will give you all the tools required to safely overcome the strict government VPN blocks, and even if they do, most are limited by data allowances and small server networks. We really do not recommend using any free VPNs in Russia given it’s such a sensitive jurisdiction and the high-end VPN protocols required to keep users anonymous, but should you wish to quickly test the capabilities of a VPN in Russia before purchasing a more premium service, we recommend you take a look at either Windscribe and its 10GB monthly allowance or TunnelBear but you’re limited to a starting allowance of 500MB per month (but you can ‘earn’ more data).

Russia blocks VPN providers as part of a wider internet crackdown strategy aimed at ensuring the beliefs and values of the Russian people are aligned to that of the state. All content is banned in Russia that is believed to be incompatible with the state’s views. This includes popular apps like Telegram and LinkedIn as well as websites with LGBT content, drugs or pornography which are heavily restricted.

It’s really straightforward to overcome government blocks on websites/applications in Russia if you follow these simple instructions. Firstly sign up to one of our top 5 recommended VPNs for Russia and then download the providers VPN app onto the device you are planning on using. Once installed, sign in with your account details and connect to a server outside of the country (for instance neighbouring Ukraine). Once connected, open the website or application that was previously blocked and you should now have full access whilst being fully protected from prying eyes.

Yes all of our top 5 best recommended VPNs for Russia currently successfully overcome all Netflix VPN blocks giving you full access to the US Netflix library with the click of a button. To do so, you simply connect to a US server from your VPN when in Russia and away you go. Many providers also have dedicated (labelled) Netflix servers so you won’t have any trouble finding one that works!

Yes all of our top 5 best recommended VPNs for Russia deliver exceptionally fast connection speeds but it’s worth knowing that you will always experience some form of speed drop when connected to a VPN. All of our recommended providers have servers located in the country as well as in nearby surrounding locations to assist with VPN speed and connection quality and we always advise you connect to a server as close to your physical location as possible. Also, most VPN providers offer a quick connect feature built into their app so the VPN will connect you to the fastest server automatically.

The best VPNs are packed with features to help protect you online data and allow you to browse the internet privately and freely in Russia at all times. It’s imperative that they can unblock content from government restricted websites as well as enabling streaming of overseas content thanks to geo-spoofing your location. Fundamentally, user privacy and safety is our number one concern and given the sensitive nature of VPN usage in Russia, it is essential to pick a VPN that has obfuscation or stealth VPN protocols making VPN usage untraceable.

All of our top 5 best recommended VPNs for Russia have custom built applications that can be downloaded via the app store onto your Android devices, and it’s the same for users on iOS devices too. A mobile VPN gives you full protection whether you’re using the internet at home or out and about on public Wi-Fi.

Aside from the highest levels of encryption technology to overcome the strong Russian VPN blocks, your VPN provider needs to offer the all-important VPN kill switch which prevents the leaking of your real IP address and browsing activity in the event your VPN unexpectedly loses connection. Without this, you are always susceptible to being traced.

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