Russia is one of the most suppressive states in the world when it comes to freedom of expression.
The government looks down upon citizens having their say on the Internet and is particularly stern towards critical voices against the government. Not only that, a lot of foreign websites and services like Hulu are inaccessible in Russia.
As such, surviving on the web with constantly depleting privacy has become a challenge for travelers and citizens in Russia.
In this scenario, you’ll have to rely on a renowned Russian VPN to have an ounce of control over your online privacy.
Keeping that in mind, I’m going to share with you 5 VPN services that work flawlessly in Russia and elsewhere.
A brief overview of Russian VPNs…
- PureVPN – A truly budget-friendly VPN with powerful features for security and for bypassing geo-blocks.
- Surfshark – Cheapest VPN on the market with top-notch security features.
- NordVPN – 5600+ servers capable of unblocking anything and everything.
- ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN in the industry capable of offering blazing fast speeds.
- CyberGhost – A decently well-specced VPN with tons of security features and servers.
5 Best Russian VPNs for 2019
There are literally hundreds of VPN apps out there. It surely isn’t easy picking out the best Russian VPN out of all the available ones.
In fact, Russian authorities have banned many VPN services in the country. So, many of these VPNs aren’t even functional in Russia!
To make the search for the right VPN easier for you, the following are 5 excellent VPNs that are guaranteed to still be functional in Russia:
PureVPN is my personal favorite Russian VPN, as it offers great privacy without cutting short on speed and unblocking capabilities.
Since Russian authorities keep metadata on every citizen for a period of six months, you need a VPN with strong security.
Speaking of which, PureVPN comes packed with features like Kill switch, military-grade encryption, zero logs, and a bunch of other powerful features to help you achieve total anonymity.
Not only that, PureVPN offers 2000+ servers from the world which can help access pretty much any geo-restricted websites and services.
With the help of PureVPN, you can spoof your location and keep your online activity a secret like it should be.
Curious to know more about this VPN, check out our review of PureVPN.
Surfshark may be a new kid around the block, but it is no slouch when it comes to offering great protective features and overall VPN performance.
The fact that it is new actually gives it an edge over older providers. That’s because Surfshark is not yet under the radar of the Russian authorities.
Aside from being new, Surfshark offers 800+ servers, fast speeds, and powerful encryption to help you stay totally safe and secure in Russia.
So, for a Russia VPN, Surfshark works wonders, especially due to its excellent no-logging policy which you can learn about in our exclusive Surfshark review.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Strong encryption
- Great usability
- No dedicated app for Mac and Linux
NordVPN is the most renowned VPN service in the market in terms of server park. With over 5600 servers located in 60 countries, this VPN offers unmatched exposure to geo-blocked contents from around the world.
NordVPN even offers special obfuscated servers which are designed to bypass strict firewalls present in Russia, China, and in other oppressive countries.
As far as security is concerned, NordVPN offers a kill switch, leak protection, no logs, and unique features like CyberSec which can protect you against malware, and annoying advertisements.
That’s not all, there are even more features which you can check out in our exclusive NordVPN review.
- 5600+ servers in 60 countries
- Allows 6 simultaneous connections
- Zero-logging policy
- Nothing worth complaining about
ExpressVPN is arguably the safest and fastest of the VPNs you can use. No matter what you use ExpressVPN for, be it torrenting, streaming, or bypassing blocked sites, you’re always going to be pleased with its performance.
If we talk about servers alone, ExpressVPN has expanded its server park from 2000+ servers to 3000+ in quite a short period.
Other than servers, you get all the basic bells and whistles like kill switch, powerful encryption, and awesome support for torrenting.
If we talk about unique features, ExpressVPN offers a split tunneling feature, which basically allows you to segregate your secure traffic from your unsecured network traffic.
In short, this is one VPN you can’t go wrong with. Don’t believe me, check out our extensive ExpressVPN review.
- Provides more than 3000+ servers in 94 locations
- Excellent security and privacy
- Fast servers
- Expensive pricing
CyberGhost is a VPN based in Romania having more than 3800 servers in 60 countries. If it’s not obvious by now, more servers mean you get to access more geo-block content.
Based on our review of CyberGhost, it is definitely worth checking out, especially since it offers a 7-day free trial.
- 3000+ servers in 60 countries
- Allows 7 simultaneous connections
- Supports P2P filesharing
- Average speeds
How To Choose The Best VPN For Russia
When the realization has dawned on you that your life probably can’t continue without a VPN anymore, keep these pointers in mind when searching for a VPN:
- Overseas VPN servers – The VPN should have a wide number of servers located in countries other than Russia. This will allow you to bypass any geo-restrictions and hide your activities from government agencies.
- Encryption quality – One of the main reasons for using a VPN is the encryption that they add to user traffic traveling through the VPN server. Modern encryption protocols are highly effective in securing user data.
Russian Laws Restricting VPN Usage
The new Russian law passed last year is a measure taken by the government to restrict usage of proxy and VPN services for the purposes of denying access to banned websites.
The law was enforced by Roskomnadzor, which is a Russian watchdog authority responsible for the blacklisting of websites and VPN services.
The new law demands VPNs to comply with Roskomnadzor’s blacklist and refrain from allowing users the ability to access these banned sites in Russia. Many VPNs that refused to comply are banned in the country.
Putin is watching you
Nonetheless, there are still quite a few best VPN services that remain operational in the country.
How Will the Law be enforced?
The authority responsible for the implementation of this law in Russia is the Federal Security Service (FSB). The VPNs are required to register with the Roskomnadzor and comply with the new law. Otherwise, they will be blocked from being functional in Russia.
This is really bad news for users in Russia, as this law only bestows more authoritarian control and power to the government against the liberties we all value.
However, these restrictions apply on a private level. In the corporate sphere, Russian VPNs will continue working in the usual way.
Why VPNs Are Ban in Russia?
The government took this step to ban VPNs in Russia in order to make sure users do not take advantage of alternative ways to access censored sites and content in the country. Although censorship is a long-standing element in Russia, it has always been a challenge for the government to prevent users from getting their hands on content supposed to be censored.
As such, Russia has passed this law to ban non-complying VPNs in an attempt to force adherence to its internet censorship laws to a more effective extent.
This is a reprehensible decision aimed at imposing needless restrictions on freedom of expression of citizens and criticism of the government.
- Get a VPN from the list above
- Download and install its app on your device
- Launch the VPN app and connect to a Russian server
- Now you are on a Russian VPN ready to access sites from the country
If you are a gamer who is a fan of steam, you are probably aware that CD keys of games are sold at much cheaper rates in Russian than elsewhere. You can purchase games on steam for cheaper with the help of a VPN:
- Get a Russian VPN
- Connect to a server from Russia
- Now, open Steam > Games > Select > Activate a product on Steam
- Click “Next” when a new screen appears
- Choose “I agree”
- Paste the Russian CD key in the text field and select “Next”
- And that’s it!
There are hardly any free VPN for Russia. This is because most only have a few servers to offer, and Russia is seldom offered for free.
Nonetheless, there is one provider offering servers for free in Russia: Speedify. You can download Speedify from its official website.
The need for a Russian VPN is getting more pronounced as the government tightens its grip on online censorship and freedom of netizens.
Therefore, a VPN is your only solution to deal with government oppression and bypassing blocked contents in Russia.