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These top VPN tools have been banned in Russia - here's why

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Russian VPN (opens in new tab) users may need to start looking for a new VPN provider as the country's telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor (opens in new tab) has banned two popular services.

In a statement on its site (opens in new tab), Roskomnadzor explained that VyprVPN (opens in new tab) and Opera VPN (opens in new tab) will be banned from use in Russia effective immediately, saying:

“In accordance with the regulation on responding to threats to circumvent restrictions on access to child pornography, suicidal, narcotic and other prohibited content, restrictions on the use of VPN services VyprVPN and Opera VPN will be introduced from June 17, 2021. These VPN services are classified as threats in accordance with the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 127 dated February 12.”

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Roskomnadzor also said that these restrictions “will not affect Russian companies using VPN services in continuous technological processes”. This likely means that while VyprVPN and Opera VPN have been banned in the country, Russian organizations can continue using business VPN (opens in new tab) services from other providers in their day-to-day operations.

Banned but still working for now

In order to learn more about how this ban will affect both providers, TechRadar Pro reached out to VyprVPN and a company spokesperson explained that its VPN service and connections are still currently working in Russia.

At the same time, the company spokesperson also revealed that it has not been contacted by any relevant authorities in Russia regarding the new ban on its VPN service. While this could change, it appears that at least for now, VpyrVPN can still be used in the country.

Back in March after CyberNews reported that the user databases (opens in new tab) of three popular Android VPN (opens in new tab) services were hacked, Roskomnadzor said that it would begin an investigation regarding data breaches that have affected users of free VPN (opens in new tab) services.

We'll likely hear more if the ban on VyprVPN and Opera VPN in Russia goes into effect but until then, Russian users should take a look at our best VPN guide (opens in new tab) to start shopping around for an alternative VPN provider.

Via Reuters (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.