VPNs are extremely popular everywhere, but they’re particularly useful when living or traveling to Russia for a few different reasons – transparency and legality being just two of them.
VPN services give internet users a way to access the web while avoiding filters and other restrictions and they also offer a high level of encryption which allows users to stay safe online while browsing the web privately. VPNs are especially popular in Russia because internet censorship is rife in the country. The infamous ‘Yarovaya Laws’ introduced by Russian lawmakers requires VPNs to comply with VPN censorship in Russia by banning VPN services from within the country if VPN servers are outside of Russia. The laws around VPNs can change at any time. Internet users should always check what VPN laws there are in Russia. It is advisable to consult VPN providers before signing up for VPN services that are based in any country. So which VPN services should one use?
So, let’s find out the best VPNs for Russia in 2022!
VPN Laws in Russia
VPNs are already censored by Russia’s internet censorship body, Roskomnadzor (The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media). VPN providers in Russia must keep all records regarding traffic and user activity for three years after a subscription expires. If VPN providers do not comply with data retention and processing requests from Russian authorities, they will risk being blocked by Russian ISPs.
VPNs relaying their services through foreign servers would be forced to move their servers inside Russia (which is not possible with some VPN types) or stop their services to Russia completely. VPNs cannot offer services to Russian citizens without carefully considering the geographical location of the servers used to provide these services (the VPN service would need to operate exclusively with VPN servers located in Russia). Basically, VPN providers must stop using servers that are not in Russia or risk facing fines of around $7,300 for each alleged VPN violation. Also, VPN services that do not comply with these rules will be added to a list of banned VPN providers.
This VPN legislation is justified by the Russian government as a way of protecting Russian citizens from using VPNs for criminal purposes.
The Best VPNs for Russia in 2022
To watch media from Russia on VPN services outside of Russia, you’ll want to connect to a VPN server within Russia. Most VPNs allow users to have multiple simultaneous connections, so you can protect all of your devices with one VPN account. We’ve chosen VPNs that have servers in Russia to get around VPN blocking by Russian ISPs and government, so take a look at our recommendations –
NordVPN is one of the world’ most popular VPNs due to its wide range of features, huge server network, and robust security. This VPN has servers based in over 60 countries including Russia, so you can use this VPN to bypass the country’s harsh censorship to enjoy a limitless online experience.
This VPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption which is almost impossible to brute-force, so you can browse the web without any worry of your traffic being intercepted. NordVPN also provides users with plenty of helpful security features including a kill switch, MFA, split tunneling support, double VPN protection, dedicated IP, and DNS leak protection. You can also make use of NordVPN obfuscation to hide all of your online activity from your ISP.
NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy that has been independently audited. This means that the provider will never, under any circumstances, monitor or collect your sensitive user data. This VPN allows for up to 6 simultaneous connections and provides all users with unlimited bandwidth, so you can browse the web, stream, or even torrent on all your favourite devices in Russia without any restrictions.
ExpressVPN is a top pick for those located in Russia thanks to its unbeatable security measures, reliable servers, and super-fast connection speeds. If your main priority is to stay safe when online in Russia, then this VPN will be best suited to you.
There are thousands of high-quality servers in over 94 countries including Russia, soyou can easily spoof your location to access geo-blocked content. Due to this VPN’s impressive speeds, you can game, torrent, or stream in high-quality and without any lag, buffering, or other interruptions. ExpressVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption along with various other security features such as a kill switch, split tunnelling support, private DNS, and a built-in threat manager.
ExpressVPN has a no-logs policy that has been independently audited so you can browse the web without a trace. This VPN provides unlimited bandwidth and you can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously and enjoy a censorship-free online experience when living in or travelling to Russia.
ProtonVPN is a trustworthy, privacy-focused VPN that is suitable for users who live in highly restrictive or censored countries such as Russia. If you want to spoof your location, stay protected from cyber threats, and remain anonymous when online, then look no further than this VPN.
There are more than 1700 servers located in 63 countries around the world (including Russia) so you can spoof your location to access content that is restricted or blocked in your region. Additionally, these servers have very good speeds, so you won’t have to deal with any lag, buffering or slow page loading times when online. PrptonVPN protects users with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and offers a range of other features including a kill switch, built-in Tor support, DNS leak protection, and a built-in ad blocker.
The ProtonVPN app is fully open source and the provider has a no-logs policy that has been independently audited. For even more privacy, you can choose to sign up with an anonymous Protonmail email account. This VPN allows for up to 10 simultaneous connections and offers all users unlimited bandwidth, so you can enjoy a private, safer, and unrestricted online experience in Russia.
They are not. However, after the ‘Yarovaya Laws’ were introduced, VPN providers have been targeted more frequently by authorities. VPN providers are being forced to stop VPN services from within Russia if their servers are outside of Russia or face being blocked themselves. VPNs that do not comply with the new law could be added to this list of VPNs banned in Russia and internet users will no longer be able to use VPN services for private web browsing.
A VPN service encrypts your internet connection, essentially creating an anonymous VPN tunnel between you and the VPN provider. VPNs protect your privacy at home and on public WiFi, but they also allow you to access geo-restricted services from Russia – like international streaming video or news sources.
The reason for enforcing stricter rules on VPN services is because internet users have been using VPNs to get around some of Russia’s internet restrictions. VPNs can also be used to mask activities that are illegal in Russia. The VPN providers themselves are not committing any crime, but they must ensure their services comply with Russian laws on data retention and processing requests from law enforcement agencies.