Russia is one of the most oppressive states in the world when it comes to freedom of expression. Even if you’re a Russian native, you can’t overlook heavy censorship, government surveillance, and the blockage of mainstream websites and services.
The Russian government heavily monitors and controls the right of its citizens to express their views about the government online. The Russian government is pretty stern towards internet freedom and blocks a lot of foreign websites and services like Hulu and Netflix.
As such, surviving on the web with constantly depleting privacy has become a challenge for travelers and citizens in Russia. In this scenario, the only solution for travelers and expats is to rely on the best Russian VPNs to truly take control over their online privacy.
Keeping that in mind, I’m going to share with you 6 of the best VPN for Russia that works flawlessly in Russia and elsewhere.
But first, let’s go through a brief overview of some good Russia VPNs…
- PureVPN – An overall VPN with powerful features for security and for bypassing geo-blocks.
- Surfshark -Fastest VPN on the market having servers in Moscow & St. Petersburg.
- NordVPN – Best geo unblocking VPN with 5500+ servers & obfuscation technology.
- ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN in the industry capable of offering blazing fast speeds.
- CyberGhost – A private VPN with tons of security features and 96 servers in Russia.
- Ivacy – Well-rounded VPN for addressing privacy and censorship issues in Russia.
6 Best VPN for Russia 2020
There are literally hundreds of VPN apps out there. This is why it surely isn’t easy picking out the best Russian VPN provider out of all the available ones. To make things easy for you, here are the 6 best VPNs for Russia you can use in 2020:
1. PureVPN – Affordable Pick for Russia
PureVPN is my top recommended choice to use as a Russian VPN because it offers great privacy without cutting short on speed and unblocking capabilities within just $2.91/mo .
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 around the world. It doesn’t have servers in Russia, but that’s not something to worry about. It has servers in its neighboring countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Finland, and Mongolia that will help you unblock local websites.
With the help of PureVPN, you can spoof your location and keep your online activity a secret like it should be.
2. Surfshark VPN – Best for Russia
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 1,000+ servers which make it one of the fastest VPNs around. It offers powerful encryption to help you stay totally safe and secure in Russia with just paying $1.99/mo . It has 2 servers in Moscow and St. Petersburg that will allow you to access local and regional content.
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.
3. NordVPN – Top VPN for Russia with Great Coverage
NordVPN is the most renowned VPN service in the market in terms of server park. With over 5500 servers located in 60 countries, this VPN offers unmatched exposure to geo-blocked content from around the world.
Despite having a large server network, it doesn’t have servers in Russia. In fact, it has servers in its neighboring countries such as Finland and Ukraine that will easily unblock websites and let you stay private online. You can get NordVPN by paying $3.49/mo .
NordVPN even offers special obfuscated servers that 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.
4. ExpressVPN – Best for Streaming in Russia
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 to 3000+ servers in quite a short period. ExpressVPN doesn’t have servers in Russia, that’s obvious but it has servers in border countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Belarus. You will not find any difficulty in accessing Russian content by paying $8.32/mo .
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 a VPN that you wouldn’t be disappointed with. Don’t believe me, check out our extensive ExpressVPN review.
5. CyberGhost VPN – Top Pick for Online Security in Russia
CyberGhost is a VPN based in Romania having more than 5,500+ servers in 85+ countries. If it’s not obvious by now, more servers mean you get to access more geo-block content. CyberGhost is the only VPN that connects to Russia through physical servers.
It has 96 servers in Russia alone even though all of these servers are virtually available. Having said that, you can easily access any Russian websites and stream all you want by paying just $2.75/mo .
Based on our review of CyberGhost, it is definitely worth checking out, especially since it offers a 7-day free trial.
6. Ivacy VPN – Best for Torrenting in Russia
Ivacy offers 6 dedicated servers in Russia. In total, the service has 1,000+ servers in 100+ countries that are capable of giving access to blocked websites and protecting user communications with strong encryption protocols.
Users in Russia can connect to local servers to obtain the benefit of encrypted communications and stay safe from strict online regulations in the country. You can also utilize the large range of offshore servers to gain access to services that are normally inaccessible within Russia.
Ivacy takes care of user privacy by refraining from logging any private information and implementing mechanisms such as IPv6 leak protection, DNS secure, and kill switch. The 2-year subscription can be availed for $2.25/mo which comes with the benefit of 30-day money-back guarantee and 5 simultaneous connections.
For more information about this VPN, check out this Ivacy review.
How To Choose The Best from Russian VPNs List
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 Russia 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 the Use of VPN
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. 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. Even more alarming is the fact that by 2021, the Russian government may have complete control over the entire Russian Cyberspace.
Due to strict laws governing VPN use in Russia, most VPN providers can’t provide servers in Russia. For instance, according to fortune.com, TorGuard removed one of its servers from Russia due to privacy issues. Similarly, VyprVPN also stated that it can’t offer servers in Russia due to strict restrictions. If such circumstances continue to exist, more VPNs might also remove its servers from Russia.
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.
Best Free Russian VPN to use in 2020
I don’t normally recommend users to use a free VPN due to privacy issues. After all, free VPNs are known to sell user data to third parties. That being said, there are still a few free VPNs that you can trust. Here’s a list of VPNs that wouldn’t cost you a dime but are still somewhat trustworthy.
Yes, you can use VPNs in Russia. In fact, most VPNs listed above actually offer servers in Russia. But as per the local laws and regulations implemented by Roskomnadzor, many popular VPNs don’t work in Russia. That’s because similar to China, Russia bans VPN providers also.
Getting the best Russia VPN is not all that complicated. All you’ll need to do is find a VPN that offers servers in Russia and plenty of other servers all over the world. In addition to that, you’ll need to make sure that the VPN service you’re planning on getting, keeps no logs.
Yes, Russian users can access any foreign blocked content from within Russia. However, ever since April 1st, 2019, NordVPN no longer offers a local server in Russia, which prevents foreign Russian citizens from accessing local content.
Yes, ExpressVPN does work in Russia. However, similar to NordVPN, ExpressVPN only allows users to access foreign content and is only capable of accessing some local Russian content with the help of nearby servers.
The need for a VPN in Russia is getting more pronounced as the government tightens its grip on online censorship and freedom of its citizens.
Everything you do over the internet, either via social networking websites or visiting other websites, is being constantly monitored and controlled.
Despite living in 2020, the only solution at the moment to deal with government oppression and bypassing blocked content in the country is by using the best VPN for Russia listed above.