Best VPNs For Russia in 2021

Russia is quite unpopular for its authoritarian leadership and especially for its habit of muzzling free speech entirely. This has left dozens of digital rights activists in prison or subjected to cyber-attacks and violence, lending to the increased reliance on VPN services across the region. Since the nature of online freedom in Russia is deteriorating rapidly, you must use a VPN when browsing.

Written By: Kazi

A VPN (virtual private network) ensures that all traffic flowing out and into your device is encrypted and that your location is spoofed, making it difficult for both hackers and nosy surveillance agencies to track and pry on what you’re doing online. VPNs are essential for Russians, especially social media activists and bloggers that are active in the fight for digital rights. 

VPNs allow people to post anonymously without the fear of getting tracked. Not only that, but they allow users to bypass censorship and access content on video streaming sites such as Vudu, ESPN, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix.

However, finding a reliable VPN service in Russia can be quite challenging, especially since the country demands that providers link their Russian servers to the country’s state censorship agency. As a result, most services have refused to comply and don’t operate local servers. But remember: you can still use a VPN without Russian servers to access geo-blocked content.

Top 5 VPN Picks - Quick Overview:

  • Excellent speeds - no slow down experience
  • Zero latency – smooth gaming experience
  • Ease of use - set up in a couple of minutes
  • No-logs policy - Your data is 100% untraceable.
  • Impressive security – military grade encryption
ExpressVPN
$8.32/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
107ms Avg.
45.09Mbps Avg.
9.29Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 8 ms 58.56 Mbps 12.25 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 54.52 Mbps 11.85 Mbps
Manual connect US server 12 ms 53.22 Mbps 11.12 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 140 ms 42.85 Mbps 6.69 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 133 ms 37.64 Mbps 9.21 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 82 ms 40.41 Mbps 11.09 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 180 ms 38.42 Mbps 6.01 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 291 ms 35.11 Mbps 6.09 Mbps
VPN locations:
145 Servers in
VPN locations: 92 Countries
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Kenya
  • South Korea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • North Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Myanmar [Burma]
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

The fastest VPN in the world is our #1 best-rated VPN for its outstanding security, consistent speed and reliability

Visit ExpressVPN
  • Fast, stable, and encrypted connections
  • Multi-device security for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
  • Proxy extensions for web browsers Chrome and Firefox
  • Up to 6 simultaneously connected devices
NordVPN
$3.71/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
163ms Avg.
42.71Mbps Avg.
9.23Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 11 ms 56.23 Mbps 11.71 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 49.83 Mbps 10.75 Mbps
Manual connect US server 15 ms 46.73 Mbps 10.64 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 148 ms 45.79 Mbps 11.11 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 241 ms 32.01 Mbps 10.85 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 84 ms 49.99 Mbps 11.28 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 361 ms 23.14 Mbps 1.69 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 434 ms 37.97 Mbps 5.84 Mbps
VPN locations:
80 Servers in
VPN locations: 59 Countries
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica
  • Chile
  • South Africa
  • India
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Israel
  • Turkey
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Ireland
  • Czech Republic
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Finland
  • Serbia
  • Austria
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Bulgaria
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Romania
  • Portugal
  • Luxembourg
  • Ukraine
  • Greece
  • Estonia
  • Iceland
  • Albania
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Moldova
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Georgia
  • North Macedonia

While NordVPN didn’t quite manage to make our number one spot, it’s an excellent VPN with a long list of security features and server locations that provide phenomenal value.

Visit NordVPN
  • Superfast - It is one of the world’s fastest VPN services
  • Strong security features - AES-256 bit encryption, antivirus software, secure servers and more
  • Windscribe’s Password Manager - keep your passwords secure and fully encrypted
  • Unblock streaming apps - no issues unblocking Netflix, Disney+, Amazing Prime Video and more
  • Generous guarantee plan - offers an extended 45-day money-back guarantee
Hotspot Shield
$0/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
114.63ms Avg.
46.13Mbps Avg.
8.53Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 11 ms 59.25 Mbps 12.13 Mbps
Quick connect US server 13 ms 55.67 Mbps 11.43 Mbps
Manual connect US server 15 ms 52.11 Mbps 9.14 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 116 ms 45.13 Mbps 7.65 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 135 ms 42.23 Mbps 7.05 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 100 ms 44.27 Mbps 8.63 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 242 ms 37.93 Mbps 6.23 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 285 ms 32.41 Mbps 6.01 Mbps
VPN locations:
138 Servers in
VPN locations: 99 Countries
  • United States
  • Argentina
  • Bahamas
  • Belize
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Guatemala
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Jersey
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • North Macedonia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • India
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar [Burma]
  • Nepal
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Algeria
  • Cyprus
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Kenya
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates

Hotspot Shield is an admirable VPN, that has one of the fastest speeds out there.

Visit Hotspot Shield
  • No device limit: unmetered usage and use of SugarSync allows you to use the service on any device
  • No-logs policy: the official IPVanish policy is to have zero usage logs, keeping your information totally safe
  • Excellent data transfer: no caps on data transfers,
IPVanish VPN
$8.33/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
143.11ms Avg.
43.85Mbps Avg.
9.13Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 0.9 ms 55.95 Mbps 12.25 Mbps
Quick connect US server 11 ms 52.10 Mbps 10.99 Mbps
Manual connect US server 13 ms 44.96 Mbps 10.81 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 127 ms 44.92 Mbps 9.86 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 148 ms 46.22 Mbps 10.95 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 58 ms 46.22 Mbps 10.95 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 429 ms 31.29 Mbps Mbps
Quick connect AU server 358 ms 29.10 Mbps 7.24 Mbps
VPN locations:
1632 Servers in
VPN locations: 53 Countries
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Luxembourg
  • Spain
  • Czech Republic
  • Switzerland
  • Bulgaria
  • Hungary
  • Romania
  • Denmark
  • Moldova
  • Slovakia
  • Serbia
  • Ireland
  • Finland
  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Latvia
  • Ukraine
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Estonia
  • Belgium
  • Slovenia
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Israel
  • India
  • Taiwan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Singapore
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Colombia
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa

IPVanish is known for its versatility, making it a good choice for people who have some experience with VPNs as well as those who are rookies.

Visit IPVanish VPN
  • No limits: you can connect as many devices to your account as you want
  • No logs: like many VPNs, Surfshark advertises a strict no-log policy
  • Security audit: its privacy and security features have been verified by third-party analysts
Surfshark
$2.49/mo 30 Days Moneyback
Available on:
Speed Test:
28.5ms Avg.
67Mbps Avg.
28.5Mbps Avg.
Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 34 ms 78 Mbps 23 Mbps
Quick connect US server 23 ms 56 Mbps 34 Mbps
VPN locations:
62 Servers in
VPN locations: 63 Countries
  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Paraguay
  • United States
  • Israel
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Australia
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Surfshark is a great VPN that offers a wide range of unique features. It is easy to use, and has an impressive array of over 3,200 servers in 65 countries.

Visit Surfshark

What is a VPN, and Why Do You Need One? 

VPNs create a private server connection, giving the user online anonymity and privacy when connected to public WiFi. They ensure that a user’s online actions are untraceable by masking their internet protocol (IP). 

Any time you’re transacting or surfing the web over an unsecured network, you risk exposing your browsing habits and private information. This is why a VPN service should be a priority for anyone who needs to be anonymous and secure.

A VPN gives you greater anonymity and encryption. Whether browsing, paying bills, or shopping, a VPN guarantees you peace of mind that no one is watching you or snooping around.

As the Russian government seems to be sliding even `closer into authoritarianism, it’s more important than ever to protect your online identity, whether you live in the country or are just visiting. In the past, the authorities have targeted journalists, bloggers and online activists, going so far as to arrest those that are critical of the government. 

This shouldn’t be too much of a worry for most everyday internet users that are simply looking for a way to browse anonymously, or unblock certain sites, but we believe you can never be too careful when it comes to censorship and falling foul of the law, and would always recommend a VPN.

In fact, in May 2020 the government even began to demand that popular VPN providers link their servers to the Russian state censorship agency, with those not complying ultimately having servers removed from the country. It was good to see many of the big names refuse to give into this kind of bullying, many of them mentioned in our list below. Luckily, you can still use these providers to bypass censorship blocks in Russia by simply connecting to neighboring countries.

Security is Vital When Choosing a VPN For Russia

Having a VPN ensures that you remain protected, whether on public or home WiFi.

Not only does a VPN keep you safe online, but it also protects your files from being scrambled by hackers. This includes protecting sensitive data such as your credit card details and passwords from the government, ISPs, and hackers. It does this by ensuring that you’re safe from the KRACK vulnerability that comes with multiple home routers.

Which VPN is the Fastest and Most Secure for Russia? 

Our top pick is NordVPN. This popular and reputable VPN offers fast, stable, and encrypted connections that are ideal for a variety of devices, including iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. It comes with extra features such as the proxy extensions for Firefox and Chrome web browsers and supports up to six devices simultaneously.

NordVPN ensures that users benefit from its Cybersec, double VPN, and military-grade encryption features. What’s more, subscribers benefit from an automatic kill switch, a strict no-logs policy, DNS leak protection, and Onion over VPN.

The provider has a wide variety of servers available in countries across the globe, which means you’ll never have an issue with slow connections, or your connection dropping out altogether. It can get around some of the toughest region-blocks in a breeze, so you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the TV and online activity you love from anywhere.

Compared to all other VPNs in this list, NordVPN offers users better security, safety, and privacy. With NordVPN being based in Panama, users can rest easy knowing they’re not required to hand over any information or have their data stored. Additionally, according to NordVPN’s privacy policy, the company doesn’t maintain a traffic log of a user’s bandwidth data, session information, timestamps, and IP address.

We would recommend this provider to all of our users, not just those in Russia.

What to Consider When Choosing a VPN For Russia

If you’re looking to subscribe to a VPN, start by considering what’s important to you. Is it being able to surf anonymously, access geo-blocked or local content when traveling, or is it the fear that comes with your information being stolen on public WiFi? Here are some of the critical considerations to make before choosing a VPN service in Russia.

Privacy

Unlike free VPNs, premium options are far less likely to log your data or track you online. If your service is logging your data, it makes sense that they’ll likely sell it to a third party or willingly hand it over to the government.

Most experts will advise people to avoid free VPNs. Free services are likely to store your data and use it as an avenue to grow their profits since users aren’t paying for subscriptions.

Compatibility 

When looking for a VPN, it’s essential to consider whether it’s compatible with your needs and will work across your devices. Fortunately, you’ll find that most paid services will have little to no issues with compatibility.

Trust 

Be sure to peruse the privacy policy of a VPN before making a decision whether or not to take it. A VPN might in its website state that it offers a zero logs policy, but when you check in the privacy policy, you find something else.

Speed 

While your internet will determine the reliability and speed of your VPN service, having an unreliable VPN service will likely make your internet connection suffer, affecting the connection speeds. Ensure that you opt for a VPN service that optimizes its servers fully and won’t harm your internet connection.

Supported devices

Before settling for a specific VPN option, review all devices in your home that are connected to the internet, i.e., voice assistants, tablets, laptops, etc. If you’re looking to keep all these devices safe, you should choose a VPN that allows several devices to connect simultaneously. This will enable you to protect your laptop while at the same time also protecting your phone or any other smart appliance.

Most VPN options in the market will allow different simultaneous connections, with the top providers offering as many as ten. Others will come with packages that increase the number of connections at extra cost.

User-Friendly Navigation

A VPN service must be straightforward and simple for a person of any IT level since not everyone is technically minded. If navigating through is proving difficult, you’re better off with an alternative. The VPN you choose should be easy to grasp and intuitive.

Number of servers

It’s important to check the number of servers a VPN has before making a decision. Choosing one with few available means you’re likely to experience bad speeds and the congestion that comes when they’re overcrowded. During peak hours, servers can quickly get overloaded.

Extensive Review – Full Overview of Top 5 VPN Services:

Written By: Kazi

1. ExpressVPN

Every inch of ExpressVPN has some intuitive techie feature that enthusiasts can play around with to improve their connection. The service uses military-grade encryption on its own DNS servers to keep snoopers and attackers away from your activity. Plus, you have total control over which apps are used with your VPN, thanks to its split-tunneling system.

Apps are available on all major desktop and mobile operating systems in addition to its kill switch, built-in ad blocker, and malware protection. It operates over 3000 servers in 94 countries and provides some of the most powerful worldwide server coverage available. It has a large number of servers based in Asia but none in Russia itself.

ExpressVPN operates from the Virgin Channel Islands, so it doesn’t have obligations to any other country to hand over internet users’ data.

Works with:
Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, browsers, video game consoles, and Smart TVs
Data logging Independently audited, strict no-logging policy.
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 3,000
Top download speed reached 96 Mbps
VPN locations 160 in 94 countries
Maximum devices supported Five simultaneous connections
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans one month, six months, and 12 months

If you’re looking for an all-around service, ExpressVPN should be your first choice. It has a 30-day money guarantee, class-leading privacy and security, great speeds, and a large network of servers.

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 8 ms 58.56 Mbps 12.25 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 54.52 Mbps 11.85 Mbps
Manual connect US server 12 ms 53.22 Mbps 11.12 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 140 ms 42.85 Mbps 6.69 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 133 ms 37.64 Mbps 9.21 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 82 ms 40.41 Mbps 11.09 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 180 ms 38.42 Mbps 6.01 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 291 ms 35.11 Mbps 6.09 Mbps

Not Good For... ExpressVPN is the priciest option on the list of VPN providers. Though it’s worth the money, we can’t all afford the costs of this subscription.

Bottom Line 

ExpressVPN has one of the largest networks we’ve seen and it unblocks Netflix and other streaming services without any hassle. It supports torrenting, it’s fast and reliable, and excelled in all areas of our testing.

Read ExpressVPN Full Review

2. NordVPN

NordVPN has been in business for more than ten years and is popular among global users due to its simplicity: powerful features simplified into an intuitive application. For example, users have the option to select servers based on the task they seek to perform, such as servers for anonymity, anti-DDoS, ultra-secure privacy, and streaming TV content. It comes with support for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows operating systems.

NordVPN achieved the highest score of 9/10 in our test based on privacy and speed. The VPN comes with a strict no-logs policy, meaning that it doesn’t record any user information relating to the timestamps, traffic, and user sessions. The fact that it’s a Panama-based corporation, meaning it’s not subject to mandatory data retention laws.

Out of the VPNs we’ve reviewed in this article, NordVPN has the largest server network, comprising 5500 servers operated across 60 countries worldwide, giving users more access to geo-locked content.

As for security, NordVPN is based on the 256-bit AES protocol and relies on other protocols such as 2,048-bit SSL keys and DNS leak protection.

Works with:

Key Features

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Deluge, Vuze, Kindle Fire, Opera, compatible routers and game consoles
Data logging No-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 Days
Number of servers 5,500+
Top download speed reached 98 Mbps
VPN locations Over 80 in 60 countries
Maximum devices supported Six devices
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans One month, one year, and two-year subscriptions

With NordVPN, you have the key to a world of local content. This Panama-based VPN comes with a wide variety of servers to choose from. 

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 11 ms 56.23 Mbps 11.71 Mbps
Quick connect US server 10 ms 49.83 Mbps 10.75 Mbps
Manual connect US server 15 ms 46.73 Mbps 10.64 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 148 ms 45.79 Mbps 11.11 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 241 ms 32.01 Mbps 10.85 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 84 ms 49.99 Mbps 11.28 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 361 ms 23.14 Mbps 1.69 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 434 ms 37.97 Mbps 5.84 Mbps

Not Good for... While the VPN generally offers impressive speeds, servers across the Middle East and India will be much slower.

Bottom Line 

NordVPN is the best VPN for use in Russia. It offers great value, privacy, and security. Users can also enjoy six simultaneous connections and the 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service.

Read NordVPN Full Review

3. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield VPN has been at the center of criticism due to its logging policy. However, this has changed over time, and this VPN only logs in the encrypted IP address during an active session but deletes them immediately after a user terminates the connection, keeping your information away from third parties. 

Key features include automatic WiFi protection for mobile phones, a desktop kill switch, leak protection, and strong encryption. One area that Hotspot Shield excels in is speed. Users can enjoy the superior performance that makes it ideal for heavy torrent users.

Hotspot Shield VPN has no bandwidth limit and utilizes a shared IP address system. Unlike IPVanish, Hotspot Shield can unblock geo-locked content such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix. Users can also test the service by taking advantage of the VPN’s 45-day money-back guarantee.

Unblocks:

Key Features

Available on: Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux, video game consoles, Smart TVs, browser extensions, compatible routers, and more.
Data logging Stringent no-logging policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers Over 700
Top download speed reached 78 Mbps
VPN locations Over 70
Maximum devices supported Up to five simultaneous connections
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans one month, 12-month, and two-year plans

Looking to stream geo-locked content at high speeds? Hotspot Shield is for you.

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 11 ms 59.25 Mbps 12.13 Mbps
Quick connect US server 13 ms 55.67 Mbps 11.43 Mbps
Manual connect US server 15 ms 52.11 Mbps 9.14 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 116 ms 45.13 Mbps 7.65 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 135 ms 42.23 Mbps 7.05 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 100 ms 44.27 Mbps 8.63 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 242 ms 37.93 Mbps 6.23 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 285 ms 32.41 Mbps 6.01 Mbps

Not good for... Lacks some of the advanced security features that are seen by other providers such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a VPN service that offers excellent security and privacy features at a fair price, then Hotspot Shield VPN is your choice. It’s an excellent option for anyone in Russia, and if you’re unsure, you can test the service using its 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read Hotspot Shield Full Review

4. IPVanish

IPVanish is an all-around VPN that’s built for privacy, security, and speed and is ideal for heavy torrent users. It achieved an 8/10 rating, which is quite an impressive score.

If you’re from Russia, IPVanish assures you that it doesn’t store user information. Everything from the bandwidth, servers, and session history is hidden from your ISP and the government. 

In terms of security, this VPN is packing. By default, It utilizes the 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default. Users can also look forward to a DHE-RSA 2,048 key exchange and SHA512 authentication that works perfectly with forwarding secrecy. These ensure that in the case that a hacker accesses your device, they’ll still be unable to reach anything apart from the session data. Plus, the internet kill switch gives you an extra layer of protection.

As for the servers, IPVanish VPN has over 1300 servers operated across 75 countries. Unfortunately, this VPN doesn’t offer any Russian servers, but users can rely on servers from Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, and Romania. While IPVanish supports torrenting, it doesn’t unlock Hulu or Netflix. You can, however, access BBC iPlayer.

In terms of usability, IPVanish VPN comes with Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows apps and is excellent for use with Kodi as it allows direct downloads of the Android APK. It comes with a user-friendly interface that works on virtually all devices without a mouse or keyboard.

Works with:

Key Features

Available on: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire Stick, Amazon TV, Chrome, PlayStation, Firefox, Xbox, Nintendo, and compatible Smart TVs and routers
Data logging No-logging policy
Money-back guarantee Up to 45 days
Number of servers 6,000+
Top download speed reached 88 Mbps
VPN locations Over 100 locations in 90 countries
Maximum devices supported Seven devices
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans One month, six months, and 18-month subscriptions

IPVanish is quite popular among Fire TV stick and Kodi users due to its easy remote integration. It offers great security features and lighting-fast speeds.

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed US 0.9 ms 55.95 Mbps 12.25 Mbps
Quick connect US server 11 ms 52.10 Mbps 10.99 Mbps
Manual connect US server 13 ms 44.96 Mbps 10.81 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 127 ms 44.92 Mbps 9.86 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 148 ms 46.22 Mbps 10.95 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 58 ms 46.22 Mbps 10.95 Mbps
Quick connect JP server 429 ms 31.29 Mbps Mbps
Quick connect AU server 358 ms 29.10 Mbps 7.24 Mbps

Not Good For... IPVanish is great for the most part; however, the support system could do with some improvements. OpenVPN speeds can be unreliable.

Bottom Line 

IPVanish is a lightweight and easy to use VPN that offers multi-platform support with up to 10 simultaneous connections. This VPN will be reliable across Russia, and if you’re unsure, you can always utilize the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read IPVanish VPN Full Review

5. Surfshark

One of the things we love about Surfshark is that it puts no restrictions on the number of devices that can be used simultaneously with its VPN. Combine this with some enticing introductory offers, and you’re on your way to securing a great provider.

Having a decent selection of server locations across the world means you can unblock a wider range of geo-restricted content, and you’ll benefit from greater speeds with servers near your physical location. Fortunately, Surfshark delivers on this, having in excess of 1700 servers in 63 countries and covers some sought after locations such as Russia and China that other providers currently don’t offer.

Its app is straightforward for even the newest of users and is available on all the platforms you’d hope for. It bundles an internet kill switch, tracker, and ad-blocking tools and uses high-end encryption to secure your connection.

Surfshark gave us the news we wanted from its no-logging policy, explaining in its privacy policy that IP addresses, network traffic, bandwidth usage, and more aren’t recorded. Much like ExpressVPN, it operates outside of the five eyes alliance in the British Virgin Islands, which is an excellent way of backing its promise of not logging online activity.

Works with:

Key Features

Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation, and more
Data logging no-logs policy
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Number of servers 1,700+
Top download speed reached 95 Mbps
VPN locations 63 countries
Maximum devices supported Unlimited
24/7 live chat Yes
Plans One month, six months, and two-year subscriptions

In addition to having physical servers in Russia, Surfshark VPN has powerful privacy protection and security protocols. It also comes with no limit in terms of connections.

Speed

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Quick connect UK server 34 ms 78 Mbps 23 Mbps
Quick connect US server 23 ms 56 Mbps 34 Mbps

Not Good For... It has fewer servers than some competitors which means less well-performing global connections for some of us.

Bottom Line 

Surfshark may still be regarded as a newcomer to the VPN market, and although it has fewer servers than some of the more established brands, it delivers well on speeds and reliability. It has a feature-rich app, live chat support, and a zero-logs policy you can trust.

Read Surfshark Full Review

Additional Insights and FAQs

Are free VPNs Ideal for use in Russia?

A free VPN might work in Russia, but it’d be unwise to use one in such a restrictive country. Most free VPNs lack the ‘Private’ aspect in the ‘Private Virtual Network’ and will only offer you a virtual network. Most of these free VPNs will foot their bills by selling user data to third party users and advertisers. Therefore, a free VPN might be quite risky in a country such as Russia. They might hand over your data to the government you’re trying to protect yourself from, for example.
Free VPNs have been caught injecting tracking cookies into user devices and forcing advertisements when you’re browsing. Some of these cookies will even extend after you’ve disconnected the VPN.
Users are likely to experience bad performance and protection due to limited servers and slow speeds as a result of overcrowded users. Most free VPNs will also place a limit or throttle the connection in a bid to preserve their bandwidth for premium subscribers.
Some providers offer their premium service for free but with data caps. Activities like streaming HD videos, online gaming, and downloading large files over the web result in large amounts of data being transmitted, and for the most part you’ll never notice how large the transmissions are. If a provider gives you a 1GB data allowance you can expect to use this within the first hour of switching on the VPN, especially if you’re catching up on the latest TV shows or movies.

What VPNs should I avoid?

It’s vital that users settle for a VPN that assures inaccessibility to private data and information. The VPNs provided in this article are great options to get started with.
One essential VPN you should avoid while in Russia is Hola. This Israeli-based VPN operates through browser extensions and has a significant following of over 50 million users at one time. However, this all came tumbling down very fast when it chose to leverage user data and bandwidth into a botnet army, hijacking devices to promote pornography, copyrighted content, and performing Distributed Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Can I use a VPN to stream Moskva TV?

A VPN will spoof your IP address when traveling abroad, allowing you to access local content such as Moskva TV. However, you’ll have to find a VPN with Russian servers, meaning they’ll be subjected to Russia’s less-than-private data retention laws. Once you find a reliable Russian server (these servers are pretty limited), you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite streaming services, often over a fast connection which means HD content will be uninterrupted and won’t be throttled by your ISP.

Will my online activity be hidden when using a VPN?

Using a VPN in Russia allows you to bypass all government-imposed censorship, so you can consume whatever content you wish to without worrying about being flagged down as an individual with opposition to the state.

A VPN will hide your location, making it hard for anyone to track your IP address. Users can also rely on a VPN to access geo-blocked content, allowing you to access overseas content in Russia as well as Russian content when you’re overseas.

The best VPNs use military-grade encryption to anonymize and scramble your activity, making it especially difficult for both the government and ISPs to collect user browsing data.

Is using a VPN in Russia safe?

Most VPNs will be unwilling to operate Russian servers for their services due to the strict Russian data retention laws that force them to hand over data to the government. Even if a VPN has Russian servers, it’s wise that you use a server that’s being operated from another region. This will guarantee that what you do online is protected from the government.

Any VPN you need to install should have well-implemented military-grade encryption, advanced VPN features, and a firm privacy policy. These three features alone will protect you. Ensure that you avoid any outdated VPNs or any that share user data. Other factors to consider include OpenVPN encryption, cloaking technology, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch.

What are some of the uses of a VPN?

Using a VPN is the best way to remain protected when online. Since your geographical location can be identified through your IP address, a VPN enables you to acquire an IP address that identifies with another country, effectively changing your location. Plus, you can access content exclusive to that region. This is also known as ‘location spoofing’ and is a feature that allows an individual access to financial servers, gaming servers, and VOD content that’s not available in your country.

A VPN is very reliable when using public WiFi too. These are loved by hackers since they lack encryption and allow easy access to an individual’s online activities and information, such as banking passwords. Apart from public WiFi, a VPN will prevent your ISP from tracking your every step online. What’s more, it can’t throttle your speeds when sharing files or streaming, for example..

Without the use of a Virtual Private Network, your Internet Service Provider has the ability to throttle your internet connection i.e. slow it down when you’re performing traffic-intensive online activities. Hit the connect button on your VPN, and your ISP has no information about the types of actions you’re performing over your connection, and as a result, can’t throttle your connection.

Lastly, most VPNs will come with ‘split-tunneling,’. This allows you to select which activities are encrypted, like accessing company data remotely, and ISP bandwidth can be saved for less important internet uses.

Using a VPN in Russia

If you’re an expatriate living in Russia and are looking to browse with a non-Russian IP address, use the following steps to obtain and use a VPN in Russia.
Read through our article on top VPN picks for Russia and decide which options work for you.
Sign up and pay for the VPN service
Download the required apps for both phone and PC
Before starting, ensure that you clear all your cache and cookies from your web browsers. This will remove all the location identifiers.
Restart your device
Open the VPN software and sign in to your user account.
Select the server location and start the connection. It should take you a few seconds before the connection is established. Once done, the app should notify you at the top of your screen.
Browse the web and enjoy the content as you would before. You’ll notice that when you have your VPN on, websites will recognize your new spoofed location rather than where you’re actually based.
If you’ve traveled abroad from Russia, choose a VPN service that has servers in Russia, and repeat the steps listed above.
Should you have any problems accessing a particular server in Russia, we’d recommend switching to a different one to see if your connection improves in any way. If that doesn’t make hardly any difference, it might be that Russia has blocked access to the provider you’re using. To avoid this happening in the future, it’s always worth checking the website of your chosen Virtual Private Network before signing up to a long subscription. That way, you’re not tied into a sometimes costly service that you’re not even able to use.

What applications or websites are banned from Russia?

Some of the popular applications and websites banned from Russia include:
Wikipedia pages that have information on illegal activities
ProtonMail
Dailymotion
LinkedIn
Dailymotion and LinkedIn are blocked from operating in Russia since they refuse to comply with its ‘on Personal Data’ law, which requires internet services with Russian users to store this data in Russia. This law is enforced by the government and claims to protect Russian internet users. However, this can only be described as an attempt to maintain a massive data pool to control and surveil the population.
There’s a growing fear that major service providers such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other tech companies will be banned in the near future. The cause of this ban will be due to the companies’ unwillingness to use Russian servers in storing user data.
Such threats symbolize the control exhibited by the Russian government as well as trivialize political matters and internet freedom

Is it illegal to use a VPN in Russia?

While using a VPN in Russia isn’t illegal, using an ‘unauthorized’ VPN can land users into trouble with the law. This is also likely to earn the user a punishment of 300,000 RUB ($5,100); the VPN in question will pay 700,000 RUB ($12,000).

Some VPN providers make deals with the Russian government to operate in the country, but they still have to cooperate with Russian laws and share user data and block all blacklisted. This means that an ‘authorized’ VPN in Russia will impede your access to popular web services and invite scrutiny from the Russian government.

Using an authorized VPN means that you’ll be giving away your personal information to the provider since they’re commanded to by the state to do so,

Will a VPN improve my speeds?

One common misconception about VPNs is that they improve your broadband speed. In rare instances they can, but that’s not how they’re designed to work. But if you’re being throttled by your ISP and having your bandwidth lowered, you can avoid this with a VPN as you’re accessing servers without congestion.

How can I Get a Russian IP Address From Anywhere?

A Russian IP address will come in handy if you’ve traveled outside of Russia and are looking to enjoy the content you would at home, like podcasts, music, and movies.

However, we do advise that you do your due diligence in confirming whether a VPN has access to Russian servers before signing up. ExpressVPN, for example, has stopped operating Russian servers and won’t get you access to its content. You can rely on the other picks in our list (IPVanish, Windscribe, Astrill, or Surfshark) as they all operate servers here.

Use the followings steps to obtain a Russian IP address from abroad:

Register for a VPN with Russian-based servers and install the VPN application. For this example, we’ll use Surfshark.
Launch the app and navigate to the settings. Check whether the OpenVPN protocol is the default protocol in use and that the kill switch is enabled.
Proceed to enable other features for highly censored regions, such as the ‘NoBorders’ feature in Surfshark VPN.
Select Russia from the VPNs server locations and click connect
Use an IP lookup tool to double-check whether your VPN is running successfully. Once the IP address displays Russia, you’re ready and can browse and enjoy Russia-exclusive content.

Summary

Both residents and visitors of Russia are subjected to punitive and strict data laws. Therefore, you need to utilize the benefits that come with a VPN, such as increased and enhanced protection of your online activities from the Russian government.

It’s useful to note that not all providers are equal in the features they provide, and some may not be up to the task of bypassing the strict censorship that everyone in some way comes up against when living in or passing through Russia. 

Any VPN you choose, whether that’s one on our list or one that you’ve found yourself, should be secure enough to shield your privacy from the watchful eyes of the Russian government. That said, the provider also needs to be smart enough to get around geo-restrictions and constantly update their infrastructure, so you’re not prevented from accessing the best content that can be found across the globe.

Finally, keep reliability and speed at the top of your considerations for VPN use, as this is what determines how stable your connection is, regardless of the server location you connect to. No one wants a provider that disconnects in the middle of a video stream or while downloading a huge file when torrenting.