When it comes to internet freedoms in India, things aren’t quite as peachy as they could be. As the local government performs regular blocking and restricts - the best way to protect yourself from any grey areas is by using a VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) not only keeps you secure but allows you to access geo-restricted content easily.
It's important to note that although streaming and merely visiting blocked sites isn’t necessarily illegal as such, downloading copyrighted material is - and could land you some serious jail time.
- Check out the best VPNs of 2020
Best India VPN providers in 2020
Best for mobile users
Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | IP addresses: 30,000 | Maximum devices supported: 5
ExpressVPN boasts lots of local coverage with servers in Mumbai and Chennai, and furthermore it offers locations in almost all neighbouring countries to India. In terms of performance, this VPN gives you above-average speeds. There’s also an impressive variety of easy-to-use clients for all major platforms. The Android and iOS apps are quite intuitive and well-designed, offering an array of useful options.
Security-wise, ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols. There is no logging of network traffic, and 24/7 customer support is available via email or live chat. This provider supports P2P, as well.
ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free trial – but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. Subscriptions are a bit more expensive than many rivals (although you can get some money off via the firm’s referral program). Of the three plans, the yearly subscription is the most affordable, as usual; plus you get three months free. The packages available are:
- [$6.67 a month] 15-months (with 3-months free) - $99.95
- [$9.99 a month] 6-months - $59.95
- [$12.95 a month] 1-month
Best all-round VPN for India
Number of servers: 1,300+ | Server locations: 75 | IP addresses: 40,000 | Maximum devices supported: 10
IPVanish offers two servers in New Delhi which should guarantee a stable and good quality connection. In our performance testing, we certainly found download speeds to be excellent, and actually faster than our normal rates with the VPN turned off.
The dedicated Windows client is one of the best around with a wide range of settings that cover both basic and advanced features, although we did encounter the odd network glitch (but your mileage may well vary). The IPV allows torrenting and unlimited P2P traffic, which is doubtless a huge plus for some users.
On the security front, you get OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols, along with additional goodies like being able to set your IP address to automatically change after a certain interval. A strict ‘zero logs’ policy is in place with 24/7 customer support to deal with any problems.
IPVanish’s pricing is slightly higher than most other VPN providers, and there’s no free trial to test. However, the three available plans include a hassle-free 7-day money-back guarantee. The 1-year plan is your best bet as the most affordable option. The packages available are:
3. Tiger VPN
Number of servers: 300+ | Server locations: 62 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
This Slovakian VPN provider has servers in Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai. TigerVPN runs its own servers and network infrastructure, with our tests showing excellent results performance-wise. Tiger VPN offers native apps for all the main platforms – iOS, Android, Windows and Mac – and these are very easy-to-use, if a little light on advanced options.
TigerVPN is P2P friendly, and in terms of protocols you get OpenVPN, IPSec L2TP, and PPTP support. Additionally, there’s a NAT firewall, and it uses meshed IP addresses for enhanced privacy. TigerVPN doesn’t store any logs of your internet activity anywhere, and customer support is available instantly via email, live chat, a ticketing system or the native apps.
You can get a small sampler with a 3-day demo account. If you want to sign up, in total, there are three pricing plans at your disposal. The monthly plan only supports two simultaneous connections, so your best bet is the 12-month plan (or the 3-year plan if you don’t mind a longer commitment) that provides five connections and a cheaper overall price. The packages available are:
- [$2.75 a month] 3-year - $99
- [$6.67 a month] 1-year - $79.99
- [$11.99 a month] 1-month - $11.99
- Check out TigerVPN here
Most affordable VPN
Number of servers: 400 | Server locations: 34 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
This VPN provider has a total of nine servers in India, and manages its own server network. Our performance tests yielded generally very good results with only small drops in download and upload speeds. There are native apps for all the main operating systems, namely Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, and they’re nice and user-friendly.
It supports IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP security protocols. There is no logging of traffic data but the provider does collect some session data (connect and disconnect times, and similar). That’s more information than we’d ideally like – and another slight downer to bear in mind is that torrents aren’t supported here.
Customer service is available around the clock via live chat or email, and you can test this VPN out with a 24-hour ‘all-access’ trial. That’s backed up by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Among the three price plans, the 2-year option offers the most value-for-money. The packages available are:
- [$3.29 a month] 2-years - $78.96
- [$5.49 a month] 1-year - $65.88
- [$10.99 a month] 1-month - $10.99
- Check out SaferVPN here
5. Buffered VPN
Best for responsive browsing
Number of servers: 40+ | Server locations: 37 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
This Hungary-based provider has one location in India, and offers excellent performance. We saw top-notch speeds and low latency in both short and long distance connections during testing, which made for very responsive browsing.
Biffered boasts solid desktop clients, and mobile users will be glad to hear that both Android and iOS apps are available.
Buffered VPN is not cheap, even if you opt for the year-long plan. However, the firm’s refund policy is a highlight, and will be very useful for those who want to give this VPN a try, knowing they have a safety net to fall back on. You can get your money back as long as you haven’t used the VPN connection for more than 10 hours of time, 100 sessions or 10GB of bandwidth (whichever comes first). The packages available are:
- [$12.99 a month] 1-month
- [$9.99 a month] 6-months - $59.94
- [$7.62 a month] 13-months (1 month free) - $99.00
How to choose the best India VPN
We have already established the two primary concerns in this matter – privacy and security. Whether you’re a local, expat or a visitor on business or otherwise, you’ll want as many local server locations as possible for a fast and reliable connection.
Ideally, a good VPN provider should offer quality customer support round-the-clock to address any issues swiftly and accordingly. Everything else is a bonus, although it’s always good to have straightforward and user-friendly native clients (and preferably strong mobile app support).