Russia has stringent censorship, blocking access to international news outlets, social networks, and pivotal online platforms. In such tightly controlled cyberspace, using the best free VPN for Russia is necessary for secure, anonymous browsing.
Amidst this digital clampdown, finding a free VPN service that bypasses these restrictions while maintaining your privacy is challenging. During my recent exploration, I put over 40 free VPNs to the test, discovering only a handful, like Windscribe, that could stand up to the challenge.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that free VPNs often have limitations. This is why I suggest a more robust solution – CyberGhost. It is not only cost-effective but also ensures top-notch security to access geo-restricted content without compromising privacy.
5 Best Free VPNs for Russia [In-Depth Analysis]
I’ve delved deep into the VPN landscape to provide the best free VPN for Russia. With internet freedom increasingly threatened, these VPNs can bypass censorship while maintaining privacy.
CyberGhost – Best Free Trial VPN to Access Global Content from Russia:
CyberGhost is my top recommendation as the best free trial VPN for accessing global content from Russia. Its reputation is well-deserved due to its superior speed and specialized servers for streaming, gaming, and torrenting.
The CyberGhost server list is vast, comprising 11651+ servers in 100 countries worldwide. With 60 virtual servers in Moscow, it is a VPN working in Russia. The performance is top-notch, with high-speed connections that eliminate lag and buffering to enjoy high-definition streaming.
To test its unblocking capabilities, I started with the Russian streaming platform. I could easily unblock the RT Documentary Channel by connecting to its Moscow-Russia server.
I conducted a CyberGhost speed test and got a download speed of 75.47 Mbps and an upload speed of 69.34 Mbps. This was excellent for streaming Netflix in Ultra HD quality.
Security and Privacy
Regarding security, CyberGhost sets the bar high with AES-256 encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. The RAM Only server is particularly useful in Russia, adding an extra layer of security by routing your connection with every reboot, making it the best VPN for Russia.
CyberGhost’s user-friendly approach extends to its device compatibility, supporting various operating systems such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. This versatility ensures you can connect CyberGhost on Roku and all your other devices under a single subscription, a great advantage for tech-savvy households.
Free Trial and Pricing
The CyberGhost free trial is an excellent starting point for those new to VPNs to explore its features without any financial commitment. Once the trial period is up, the subscription plans are competitively priced, making CyberGhost a cost-effective choice for long-term use.
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Feel free to delve into the comprehensive CyberGhost review to learn more about this VPN service provider.
Pros and Cons
- Comprehensive server network with options work in Russia
- Excellent speed for uninterrupted streaming
- Advanced security features for privacy and protection
- Support for unlimited device connections
- Attractive free trial offer
- No permanent free VPN option post-trial
- The kill switch requires manual activation
ProtonVPN – Best Free VPN for Russia with Unlimited Data
ProtonVPN is a reliable free VPN for Russia with unlimited data. Its robust security features and commitment to user privacy earned it the title of the best free VPN in Russia.
Its server network is extensive, with the free version providing access to 5 server locations in the US, Japan, Romania, Poland, and the Netherlands. Although the free servers in Russia are not offered, its paid version encompasses a wider global reach, featuring 3000+ servers in 70 countries.
Based on my personal experience, ProtonVPN has proven to be exceptionally useful, especially when dealing with geo-blocked sites. I used its free US servers to unblock Netflix with ProtonVPN. The browsing sessions went smoothly without the frustration of buffering or interruptions.
Regarding speed, ProtonVPN does not disappoint. I conducted a ProtonVPN speed test on a 100 Mbps internet connection and received a download speed of 65.12 Mbps and an upload speed of 59.32 Mbps.
Security and Privacy
Security is one of ProtonVPN’s strongest suits. The free version doesn’t skimp on security features, offering AES-256 encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and perfect forward secrecy. Additionally, ProtonVPN also boasts an obfuscation feature through its proprietary protocol called Stealth, which effectively conceals your VPN traffic.
ProtonVPN offers dedicated apps for all common operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows, and MacOS. I was also able to use ProtonVPN with Kodi. This means you can secure your online activities across a wide range of devices with ease.
Free Trial and Pricing
For those interested in trying out ProtonVPN’s premium features, the service offers a ProtonVPN free trial, allowing you to test the full capabilities without any risk. The pricing for the premium plans starts at $9.99 per month, offering an excellent value-for-money proposition for those seeking additional features and server access.
According to the free VPN with Russian server Reddit, their customer support is very good. In the unlikely situation where ProtonVPN is not working as expected, you can count on their helpful customer support team. This support system ensures a seamless and trouble-free experience.
You can learn more about this service in my ProtonVPN review.
Pros and Cons
- Strong security and privacy measures
- Bypasses geo-restrictions effectively
- Unlimited bandwidth with the free plan
- User-friendly interface across all devices
- Speed limitations on the free plan
- Limited server options for free users
- No free servers in Russia
Astrill VPN – Secure Free VPN for Russia
Astrill VPN is recognized as the secure choice for those seeking a VPN free for Russia, offering robust security features that stand up to the most stringent online threats. It’s the go-to VPN for users who prioritize their online safety without sacrificing speed and accessibility.
Boasting a network of 107 servers across the globe, including strategically positioned locations within Moscow – Russia, Astrill VPN is not only a robust choice but also a notable free VPN with Russian server options.
My experience with Astrill VPN was nothing short of remarkable. With multiple free servers in Russia, I enjoyed local content on TV1 Russia without compromising my security or privacy.
I also performed an Astrill VPN speed test, but the results were underwhelming. On a 100 Mbps connection, it only managed an average upload speed of 18.45 Mbps and a download speed of 20.53 Mbps.
Security and Privacy
Speaking of security, Astrill VPN’s features are top-notch. It employs military-grade encryption that Russian netizens would find indispensable despite stringent internet regulations. Additionally, Astrill VPN offers features like VPN sharing and a Smart Mode that helps users bypass censorship without being detected.
The compatibility of Astrill VPN’s applications across various devices further sweetens the deal. This free Russian VPN for PC offers dedicated applications compatible with major platforms such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, ensuring a seamless experience on desktop or mobile.
Free Trial and Pricing Plan
For those interested in testing without financial commitment, Astrill VPN offers a 7-day free trial that is generous and fully functional. The pricing starts from US$12.00/mo for a two-year plan, providing good value for its cost. If you ever encounter problems, Astrill VPN’s 24/7 live chat support ensures you receive timely assistance.
Feel free to delve into the comprehensive Astrill VPN review to learn more about its services.
Pros and Cons
- Highly effective StealthVPN protocol for bypassing censorship
- Best free VPNs in Russia for accessing local content
- No significant speed loss, ensuring fast streaming and browsing
- Strong security measures for enhanced online protection
- Higher price point compared to other VPN services
- Mobile applications lack StealthVPN and kill switch features
- Absence of third-party audits or transparency reports
- The user interface could be modernized for a better user experience
Windscribe – Recommended Free VPN for Russia with 10GB Free Data/Mon
Windscribe comes highly recommended as a free VPN for Russia, striking an impressive balance between functionality and cost-efficiency. It offers strong privacy features and a generous 10 GB free data allowance, making it an ideal choice for streaming and torrenting in Russia.
It has 480 servers in 60+ countries. However, using the Windscribe free trial version, you can only access 10 server locations – UK, USA, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, France, Norway, and Switzerland. To unblock the Russian server, upgrade to the paid version.
Nevertheless, it is a strong option for those who need a free VPN working in Russia. I unblocked TV1 Russia easily with its Russian server, earning it the best free VPN for Russia travel, proving that users can bypass any regional restrictions.
My Windscribe speed test gave remarkable results. Over a 100 Mbps connection, I had an average upload speed of 88.27 Mbps and an average download speed of 84.8 Mbps.
Windscribe is the best free Russia VPN for PCs, but you can also use it on any device with a mainstream operating system, such as iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, and Windows. The best thing about Windscribe is that it offers unlimited device connection options even in its free version, which makes it a great choice as the best free VPN for Russian servers.
Security and Privacy
The Windscribe app has a Stealth protocol to make your VPN traffic seem like regular internet traffic. To level up its user privacy, Windscribe offers the innovative R.O.B.E.R.T. feature that blocks ads and trackers.
Free Data and Pricing Plan
You may enjoy 10 GB of free data on Windscribe for free. But, if you want to enjoy unlimited data over all its servers, you will need to upgrade to one of its paid plans. However, if you feel the paid plan is not the right choice, you can easily cancel your Windscribe subscription and revert to the free version.
In my detailed Windscribe review, you can find more information.
Pros and Cons
- Best free VPN with Russian IP address
- Outstanding streaming and torrenting speed.
- Military-grade security and privacy.
- Unlimited device connection feature.
- Easy to use and hide my IP.
- Server location limitation.
- Less free data.
Hotspot Shield – Free VPN for Russia with Catapult Hydra Protocol:
Hotspot Shield is recommended as a VPN for Russia free of charge, notably for its proprietary Catapult Hydra Protocol, which enhances speed and security. This protocol is a standout feature, making Hotspot Shield a preferred choice for users seeking performance and protection.
Its free version offers only 4 servers – Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, and is not compatible with major streaming platforms. I was able to access Hulu in Russia using its Los Angeles server. However, unblocking platforms take more time on Hotspot Shield than other VPN services.
To test how well Hotspot Shield’s free server works for streaming, I decided to run a Hotspot Shield speed test and was pleasantly surprised by the results. With a 100 Mbps connection, it delivered a download speed of 45.63 Mbps and an upload speed of 39.56 Mbps.
Security and Privacy
Now, speaking of security features, is Hotspot Shield Safe? Yes, it is quite safe. This VPN relies on AES-256-bit encryption to safeguard your data and maintains a strict no-logs policy. The paid choices offer additional advantages like protection against Malware and phishing attacks, along with the bonus of a Smart VPN.
Hotspot Shield offers broad device compatibility, including support for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Chrome extensions. This allows users to secure various devices with a single account, ensuring comprehensive protection.
Free Data and Pricing Plan
Its free version offers unlimited data, sufficient for moderate browsing and streaming needs. For access to premium security features, plans start at $7.99 per month, with longer subscription options available at discounted rates.
In this detailed Hotspot Shield Review, you can find more information about this service.
Pros and Cons
- Unlimited Data
- Good connection speeds
- VPN for Russia free with AES-256 encryption
- Keeps minimal logs
- Limited protocol selection
- Unstable speeds for streaming
Best Paid VPNs for Russia – Detailed List
When it comes to selecting a VPN for use in Russia, both free and paid options are available, each with its own set of benefits and limitations. While free VPN services are cost-effective, it’s important to acknowledge that paid VPNs often offer enhanced features and security.
Here’s a detailed list of the best-paid VPN services for users in Russia, along with my recommendations:
- ExpressVPN: Boasts a wide range of server locations and advanced security features, providing versatility for anonymous browsing.
- NordVPN: Offers top-notch security with a large server network, making it the best choice for those looking for premium VPN services.
- IPVanish: Provides robust security with traffic obfuscation, ensuring your online activities remain anonymous.
Comparison Table: Best Free VPN for Russia
When comparing what VPN to use for Russia, it’s essential to evaluate them based on various criteria, including security and privacy, server locations, compatibility, features, streaming capabilities, and data limits. Here’s a concise comparison of the best free VPNs for Russia:
|Overall Russia Rating
|11651+ including 60 virtual servers in Russia
(USA, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Japan)
|50+ countries including Russia
(USA, UK, Germany, France, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, and Switzerland)
|Free Trial/ Free Plan
|Money-back guarantee (On paid plans)
|Local Download Speed
|1 with the free plan
|1 with the free plan
|$1 per month/location
How I Tested These Free VPNs for Russia (Methodology)
Selecting and testing VPNs for use in Russia requires a methodology that prioritizes features catering to the unique challenges posed by the Russian digital landscape.
I evaluated each VPN based on its ability to access restricted content within Russia, the effectiveness of its obfuscation tools, privacy policies, and overall performance impact.
Servers in Russia or Nearby Countries (10%)
To assess the efficacy of each free VPN Russia, I examined the availability and performance of servers within Russia or nearest countries like Ukraine. This involved evaluating connection speeds, server diversity, and reliability in providing access to Russian content.
Ability to bypass Russian censorship (15%):
My evaluation included testing each VPN with Russian server for free to bypass Russian censorship measures. I accessed blocked websites and content to determine how the VPNs could overcome restrictions.
Unblocking Capabilities for Russian channels (15%)
I examined the VPNs’ capability to unblock Russian channels and services, both within Russia and from the United States. This involved assessing their effectiveness in providing access to geo-restricted Russian content, such as streaming platforms and online media.
The speed of each VPN was a critical factor in my assessment, with the minimum bandwidth requirement for uninterrupted streaming being 40 Mbps. I conducted speed tests to measure download and upload speeds while connected to different servers. This helped me gauge the VPNs’ performance in delivering a smooth and lag-free online experience.
Security and Privacy (20%)
My tests on various VPNs prioritized those employing advanced AES-256 encryption or its equivalent, along with leading tunneling protocols such as OpenVPN or WireGuard. Additionally, I verified their commitment to stringent no-logs policies.
Data allowance (10%)
The lesser the data protection offered, the more limited your safe browsing is. I focused on services that provide unlimited data or a minimum of 5 GB per month, ensuring extensive and secure internet usage.
I shortlisted VPNs that support various devices and platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. This allows for flexibility in how and where you can use the VPN.
Price-to-value ratio (5%)
The cost-effectiveness of each free VPN Russia Chrome was evaluated, considering any limitations or restrictions imposed by the free versions. I analyzed the value proposition, including features, server access, and additional benefits, to determine which VPNs offered the best balance between performance and cost.
Payment Modes (10%)
Given the uncertain legal status of VPNs in Russia, my chosen VPN providers allow cryptocurrency payments, enabling you to subscribe using Bitcoin or other digital currencies.
What Websites and Apps are Blocked in Russia?
In Russia, the government exercises significant control over internet content, leading to the blocking of various websites and apps. These restrictions often target platforms that are deemed to pose a threat to national security, spread misinformation, or violate local laws.
Key categories of blocked content include:
Why You Should Use a Free VPN in Russia in 2024
In Russia, the digital landscape is heavily influenced by government censorship, resulting in significant restrictions on information and online content. The Yarovaya Law and the Sovereign Internet Law further extend the government’s control over the Internet.
Given control over the internet, a VPN is indispensable for maintaining privacy and unrestricted access to information usually unavailable with a Russian IP address. Here are key reasons to consider a free VPN in Russia:
- Overcome Censorship: Free VPNs can help bypass government-imposed blocks on websites and apps, granting access to a broader range of information and services.
- Enhance Privacy: With surveillance and monitoring efforts in place, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic, protecting your online activities from being tracked by ISPs or government entities.
- Secure Public Wi-Fi: Free VPNs offer an added layer of security when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, shielding your data from potential cyber threats.
- Access Geo-Restricted Content: They enable users to access content and services geographically restricted to other regions, including streaming services, news outlets, and social media platforms.
- Anonymous Downloading and Streaming: VPNs allow you to change your IP address and encrypt your connection, enabling you to torrent files and stream content anonymously in Russia.
- Cost-Effective Security: For individuals who require basic VPN functionalities without the added cost, free VPNs provide a budget-friendly option for enhancing online security and privacy.
While free VPNs offer these advantages, it’s crucial to choose a reputable service to ensure sufficient speed, security features, and data allowances, all while minimizing privacy risks.
How to use a Free VPN in Russia [Easy Steps]
Using a VPN in Russia for free involves a slightly more intricate process than in other countries, primarily due to potential restrictions on payment methods. Cryptocurrency emerges as the most viable option for purchasing a VPN service.
Why are Some VPNs Banned in Russia?
In Russia, the use of VPNs is a subject of particular significance due to the government’s stringent internet regulations. The Russian government enforces restrictions to limit access to information that contradicts its narrative or could disrupt public order.
To maintain control, Russia sanctions specific VPNs to censor content as per government regulations and share user data when required. As a result, while using a VPN is not outright illegal in Russia, the government has targeted many services that do not comply with its extensive blacklist of prohibited websites.
Therefore, while free VPNs are available, they largely depend on their ability to operate without succumbing to government pressure. It’s crucial to use a VPN that remains undetected and unblocked, offering obfuscation to avoid detection and does not log your activity.
Censorship in Russia
Over the past 10 years, the Russian government has repeatedly tried to enforce more influence within its borders through the Internet. If you are curious about whether Is it illegal to use VPN in Russia? This section provides insights into the current state of internet freedom in Russia.
Restricting Access to Telegram:
In April 2018, Russia’s communications watchdog moved to block the private messaging app Telegram, blocking more than 4 million IP addresses.
This project made Telegram accessible, but it had unintended consequences. Many other websites and apps were temporarily taken offline. Services affected included well-known names such as MasterCard, Twitch, and Viber and e-commerce and online banking platforms. It took more than a month to restore these services.
The Yarovaya Law:
In 2016, the Russian parliament passed the Yarovaya Law. The law obliges all Russian telecommunications companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to keep records of correct connections for six months and connection metadata for three years.
As a result, the government can access your activity online at any time. Posting ‘hate speech’ on the Internet can result in up to five years in prison. Under Yarowaya’s law, ‘terrorism’ also includes minor forms of protest, such as actions seen as an “insult to national pride”.
Domestic Russian Internet:
Russia has taken significant actions in its censorship plan; in November 2019, a law called the Universal Internet Law was passed, which gives the Russian government the power to cut off Russian connections to the World Wide Web in an emergency.
In addition, the government intends to create its own Wikipedia by 2024 to provide its citizens with more reliable information about their country’s history.
Which VPNs to avoid in Russia?
Be careful when using VPNs in Russia. During my evaluation process, I have found some VPNs that are not only bad for keeping privacy but also share it with third-party users. Here are those VPNs you need to avoid at all costs:
|Free VPN Providers
|Why these VPNs avoided in Russia?
|This VPN doesn’t have a Russian server, so you can’t use a free VPN here. Hola VPN is not very good at unblocking content, and when I tried it with Hulu with Netflix, it didn’t work. If you want to know more, check out the detailed review of Hola VPN.
|Unlike normal VPNs, the Hoxx VPN works more like a proxy. While regular VPNs protect your online behavior through encryption to keep you anonymous, Hoxx VPN doesn’t offer the same level of security. When we tried to use the Hoxx VPN to connect to the Russian server, it didn’t work. I tried several times, but the error message kept showing up. You can check out the in-depth Hoxx VPN review to learn more.
|In our evaluations, I discovered that using an HMA VPN proved challenging. This VPN didn’t excel when it came to speed and unblocking content. The maximum download speed it achieved was just 31.09 Mbps, which falls short of smooth streaming. For more comprehensive information, feel free to explore the complete HideMyAss review.
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FAQs – Best Free VPN for Russia
Are VPNs Legal in Russia?
The legality of using VPNs in Russia is a complex topic. While the use of VPNs is not illegal, the Russian government has banned VPN services that do not comply with local internet restrictions.
Is it Safe to Use VPN in Russia?
Using a VPN in Russia carries certain risks due to the legal landscape. Russian government sanctions VPNs to censor content and share user data when required. As a result, only government-approved VPN services can be used in the country.
Is there a free VPN to go to Russia?
Yes, Proton VPN is a secure free VPN that can be used in Russia. It provides strong security features to protect against government surveillance and data logging, ensuring your data is safe with advanced AES-256 encryption and a no-logs policy that has been independently audited.
What is the best free VPN to use in Russia?
The best free VPN to connect to Russia is Astrill VPN. It features user-friendly apps that reliably work in the country, making it an excellent choice for those new to VPNs. Astrill VPN allows for easy server connection within a few clicks, ensuring a secure online experience in Russia.
Does Russia block free VPNs?
Yes, Russia does block many VPN websites, meaning you might be unable to download free VPNs while in the country. However, certain VPNs like ProtonVPN can be accessed via their Tor version in Russia.
Can you get a free Russian VPN?
Yes, you can get a Russian VPN for free. Astrill VPN is a secure option available in Russia with Russian servers. It provides robust security features to protect against government surveillance and data logging, ensuring your security and privacy.
What happens if you use a free VPN in Russia?
Using a free VPN in Russia can pose significant security risks. Many free VPNs lack vital security features, like a kill switch and strong encryption, leaving your data vulnerable to potential leaks to third parties. It’s crucial to opt for a reputable VPN service with robust security features when seeking privacy and security in a country like Russia.
Which VPNs are legal in Russia?
Proton VPN is the only free VPN legal and effective in Russia, as it doesn’t share your data with the Russian government. After testing all top free VPNs in the country, Proton VPN proved the best working option.
How can I stay anonymous online in Russia with a free VPN?
You can stay anonymous online in Russia with a free VPN by using ProtonVPN. Its many servers in Russia allow you to use services like Kinopoisk without issues.
Russia’s digital landscape is tight, with limited access to information and online content. This prompts the need for VPNs. Although using VPNs is a grey area in Russian law, a free VPN that works in Russia can be valuable to access the global internet and protect your online activities.
While considering a free VPN with a Russian server or looking for a free VPN to use in Russia, select one that uses obfuscation technology to ensure that your internet usage remains private and less susceptible to scrutiny.
My top recommended best free VPN for Russia is CyberGhost. Though it’s not entirely free, its affordability, resilience, and adaptability ensure that users can access their desired content without compromising speed or privacy.