Once again Russia is threatening to ban virtual private networks (VPNs) in the country in a bid to prevent access to foreign content. However, by using a reliable and secure VPN, you can beat the censorship and access international news outlets such as the BBC and social media like Facebook, Twitter.
The best VPNs for Russia allow access to website content while keeping users' online activity secure and their privacy protected. They are a safe way to bypass website blocks and use Western media without worrying about tracking.
Due to the war in Ukraine, using a VPN in Russia has become increasingly necessary. However, it is important to note that using a VPN in Russia comes with some risks. So, it is strongly advised to use caution when selecting a VPN provider.
The top three VPNs for Russia
Check out our top three Russia VPN picks:
1. VyprVPN: the best Russia VPN
VyprVPN is an excellent choice for safely accessing restricted content in Russia and keeping your online activity private. The Swiss provider has over 700 servers across 70 countries, including Russia. So, you can use VyprVPN to keep up with all the goings on around the world.
Take advantage of its Chameleon protocol to get around even the strictest of censorship firewalls and evade deep packet inspection.
2. PrivateVPN: the best cheap Russia VPN
PrivateVPN is a Swedish provider that offers a server directly in Russia. With a 4.9/5 rating at Trustpilot, it ranks as one of the most trusted VPN providers. Take advantage of the 1-year paid plan that comes with an excellent offer of an extra 24 months for free.
Try its SmartDNS servers with a 30-day money-back guarantee and stream your favorite shows anywhere.
1. ExpressVPN: the best of the rest
ExpressVPN is our top pick for most use cases but lacks a server in Russia. Still, it offers an enormous array of servers elsewhere, 24/7 customer support, and plenty of privacy features to keep you safe online.
If you opt for the 12-month plan, you'll get 3 months of extra protection, 1 year of unlimited cloud storage, and a built-in password manager, all for free.
With Roskomnadzor doubling down on efforts to restrict VPNs, I've gone back through the list to make sure each service is still a viable pick to help protect Russian citizens online as they unblock foreign news, media, and content.
The best Russia VPNs in 2023
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Take a deeper look at the top Russia VPNs with our expert analysis:
The best VPN for Russia overall
Best VPN for Russia
Server in Russia: yes | Number of server countries: over 70 | Obfuscation: yes | Banned in Russia: no | Money-back guarantee: yes
✔️ You want to get around VPN blocking: VyprVPN's Chameleon protocol can unblock more sites than standard VPNs.
✔️ You want to access sites all over the world: with over 70 locations around the world to choose from, you'll be able to access content from around the globe.
❌ You want to watch US Netflix: VpyrVPN doesn't gain access to US Netflix.
❌ You need lightning speeds: with lower speeds compared to other providers, there are better options.
🔒 VyprVPN offers maximum security with its Chameleon protocol so you can unblock foreign content with total peace of mind. Try it for yourself with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our in-depth VyprVPN review for a closer look at the service, and see why it's our #1 VPN for Russia.
VyprVPN is one of the best Russian VPNs in 2023. It offers a wide range of features to keep your online activity secure and private. It has servers in Russia and over 70 other countries worldwide, giving you options for bypassing geo-restrictions and accessing content from different regions.
The servers are owned and managed by the company, which means you are getting your data directly from the source, and there is no reliance on third-party web hosts.
VyprVPN offers outstanding obfuscation capabilities through its custom Chameleon protocol. This makes it much harder to detect whether you're using a VPN, which is increasingly useful in Russia with Roskomnadzor cracking down on VPNs bypassing censorship. VyprVPN claims the protocol "scrambles OpenVPN packet metadata to ensure it’s not recognizable via deep packet inspection (DPI)."
The no-logging service of VyprVPN is actually trustworthy. In 2018, VyprVPN proved this by undergoing an independent audit of its zero-logging policy to verify that it doesn't log or share anything about what you're doing online, including session logs. Since then, VyprVPN has continued to maintain a good reputation for privacy.
Broad platform support includes apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Tomato-based routers, QNAP, Anonabox, Smart TVs, and Blackphone. This service is not lightning-fast and has an old-fashioned UI but probably your best bet for privacy in Russia.
If you sign up via the website, VyprVPN supports connecting up to 30 devices simultaneously. However, if you sign up from the Android or iOS app, only five connections are supported.
|Design||UI has too much information||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||Quick and easy to set up whether you’re a tech pro or not||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||Speeds are a bit behind competitors||⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||Verified by 3rd parties||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Customer support||Available support team||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Price||Great price for the number of supported simultaneous devices||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
The best cheap VPN for Russia
Small but mighty network
Server in Russia: yes | Number of server countries: 63 | Obfuscation: yes | Banned in Russia: no | Money-back guarantee: 30 days
✔️ You want to try before you buy: take advantage of the free trial.
✔️ You want to hide your VPN usage: PrivateVPN's kill switch will keep your VPN hidden.
❌ You want to make sure your logs are not tracked: PrivateVPN does not use a 3rd party to audit logs so you can't be sure your logs are not kept.
❌ You're worried about DNS leaks: PrivateVPN's kill switch is useless if DNS leaks occur which can happen with some protocols.
🔒 PrivateVPN offers a server directly in Russia, which means you'll be able to browse normally without being tracked online and provides obfuscation.
Find out more in our in-depth PrivateVPN review to see why this budget-friendly service is great for Russia.
PrivateVPN has a relatively small network, with over 200 servers in 63 countries, but it is the best free VPN network in Russia right now. The website claims support for unblocking various services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, Disney Plus, Fox, NBC, and CBS. In addition, you get above-average OpenVPN speeds to keep up with streaming demands. This may be an excellent option for those traveling and looking to access their usual home content.
User-friendly desktops and apps make it easy to use. A 4.9 rating at Trustpilot makes it "the world's most-trusted VPN provider," as the company says. Although it is not a 100% guarantee of good service, it is a strong indication that PrivateVPN keeps up with its promises.
With PrivateVPN, you can connect up to 10 of your devices at the same time, all of which can be assigned a unique IP address. The service has a zero-logs policy and offers DNS leak protection and a built-in kill switch to help keep you protected if your VPN connection drops.
PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, however the quality of these apps has dipped recently. It's a real shame because this was one of my favorite VPN services only three years ago.
Having a Russian server means that you can browse your local sites normally while also keeping your security and privacy secure. However, you still need to be careful if you are doing highly-sensitive activities because DNS leaks could potentially let others see what you're doing.
|Design||Simplistic and uncluttered||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||One-click operations||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||Above average speeds||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Unblocking||Not as many servers as competitors||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||DNS leaks and no security audit||⭐⭐|
|Customer support||Help available for installation and troubleshooting||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Price||Great deals but pricey later on||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
The best of the rest - my favorite VPN
Our top VPN for most use cases, but it lacks a Russian server
Server in Russia: no | Number of server countries: 94 | Obfuscation: yes | Banned in Russia: no | Money-back guarantee: 30 days
✔️ You want access to content from all over the world: ExpressVPN offer a wide range of servers across the globe.
✔️ You might need help setting up a VPN: ExpressVPN's customer support has good reviews and will be able to help if you encounter difficulties.
❌ You frequently access Russian websites: ExpressVPN no longer provide a Russian sever.
❌ You use multiple devices: with only 5 simultaneous connections supported with one plan, you could come up short.
🔒 ExpressVPN is a reliable service that you can trust with your life, but with no servers available in Russia, you'll have to rely on split tunneling to access local services.
Check out our latest ExpressVPN review for more information on why it's our top pick for most use cases.
ExpressVPN regularly tops our lists as one of the best VPNs on the market. It's also great for streaming, so if you're primarily interested in the world's media, like Netflix or BBC iPlayer, Express has you covered. It offers a vast network of over 3,200 servers in 94 countries and provides a consistently reliable connection. It also offers speedy Lightway, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols, with AES-256 encryption and IPv6 leak protection.
Offering multi-layer privacy protection through state-of-the-art encryption shields your traffic from snooping cyber criminals and governments. Secure DNS prevents websites from seeing your real location and identity—helping you unblock your favorite content no matter what. Combine that with a reliable kill switch that prevents a data leak if your VPN connection drops, and you've got a reliable and secure service that won't let you down.
ExpressVPN's Lightway protocol is wrappable in TCP and UDP configurations, so it is theoretically possible to run it over port 443 or 8443 for rudimentary obfuscation—a feat no other WireGuard-inspired proprietary protocol can do.
The amount of support for devices means that you can run it on your router and protect every device on your home network with a single connection. You can also download it on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire TV, PlayStation, Chromebooks, Kindle Fire, and more.
Another plus for ExpressVPN is the high-quality customer service that provides help 24/7 - helping solve most problems in just a few minutes. If you find yourself stuck for any reason, they've got you covered.
ExpressVPN withdrew its Russian servers over the last year, so it is not the best option for those who want to browse local media with VPN protection. However, it offers reliable obfuscation (VPN cloaking) and is an excellent choice for anyone wishing to access Western services, sites, and media.
|Design||A clean and simple design that gives you everything you need, exactly when you need it||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||Intuitive apps with auto-connect functionality make life easier||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||Fast enough for anything you could throw at it, but slower than NordVPN and Surfshark||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Unblocking||Effortlessly gives you access to content around the world||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||Express offers military-grade protection for total peace of mind||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Customer support||Always available, friendly, and helpful||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Price||More expensive than leading competitors||⭐⭐⭐|
Perfect for streaming
Server in Russia: no | Number of server countries: 60 | Obfuscation: yes | Banned in Russia: no | Money-back guarantee: 30 days