I had to test 30+ VPNs to find ones that work, and ExpressVPN is the best for Russia. It has TrustedServer technology to protect your connection and hide your data from third parties, even on unsecured public WiFi in the country. With over 3000 global servers including in Europe and Asia, ExpressVPN can easily unblock sites like LinkedIn, Canva, Ukrayinska Pravda, and more. You can get started with ExpressVPN in Russia quickly and if you’re not satisfied, you have up to 30 days to claim a refund. Get ExpressVPN for Russia

Quick Guide: Best VPNs for Russia in January 2023

3 Easy Steps to Get a VPN for Russia

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The Best VPNs to Use In Russia (Tested in January 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN for Russia With Fully-Audited TrustedServer Technology to Keep Your Data Safe From Third Parties

Key Features: ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Russia thanks to its TrustedServer network which hides your data with RAM-based servers, which can’t store any information. That means nothing you do on the Russian web can be spied on or hacked. The fully-audited technology passed a real-life test when Turkish authorities seized one of ExpressVPN’s servers during a criminal investigation and found no data on its users. In addition to those features, ExpressVPN kept my data safe and anonymous with:

A location in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands where the government doesn’t conduct surveillance Anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin Network Lock to automatically disable your connection when switching WiFi networks or when the internet is unstable, preventing your data from being revealed IP leak prevention that keeps all your traffic in an encrypted tunnel, hidden from Russian hackers and other online threats Military-grade 256-bit encryption with an HMAC authentication code to stop cybercriminals from seeing or modifying your data while it moves across the web Its proprietary Lightway protocol gave me industry-leading security with faster speed compared to other protocols like OpenVPN

With a streaming-optimized network, ExpressVPN easily unblocks streaming services and live news channels such as: During my extensive tests on its servers near Russia in Estonia, Latvia, and Ukraine, ExpressVPN had the fastest speed of any VPN on this list. Even a server in the US almost 10,000 miles away from my location in Singapore maintained speeds of 88Mbps during tests. It was plenty of speed for an episode of Kim’s Convenience to play without lags. It took me less than 3 minutes to download the app to my iPhone and connect to a server in Ukraine for live news on Ukrinform. Even on ExpressVPN’s maximum of 5 devices, my usual social and communication apps like Facebook and Skype sent messages and received calls with no unexpected call drops or other issues. One small area where ExpressVPN falls short is that the Network Lock option isn’t available on iOS. This isn’t ideal if you rely on your iPhone to browse the web in Russia. But since I never had a connection issue, I still recommend ExpressVPN for your mobile security in Russia. To get the best value for the money, the 1-year + 3 months plan only costs $6.67 per month. No matter which plan you choose, you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee. I tried the policy myself and confirmed that you can get ExpressVPN for Russia in confidence since it’s easy to get a refund if you change your mind. I asked for my money back via 24/7 live chat and heard back within a minute. It only took 4 days for the funds to arrive in my bank account. Get ExpressVPN for Russia

2. CyberGhost — NoSpy Servers Hide Your Data in Russia From Untrustworthy Data Centers

Key Features: CyberGhost has NoSpy servers in its headquarters in Romania to give you total privacy using the internet in Russia. This network is in a secure facility fully owned by CyberGhost instead of rented from external data centers. This prevents malicious third parties at server farms from abusing your data. Some of CyberGhost’s other important privacy and security perks are:

The VPN’s location in privacy-friendly Romania doesn’t require the VPN to collect or share your online activities in Russia like in the 14 Eyes Alliance countries There’s a Bitcoin payment option for anonymous sign-up Its no-log policy was audited by Deloitte and proven when one of CyberGhost’s service partners was breached but no data was compromised IP leak protection I tested myself to confirm my traffic stays fully encrypted at all times to protect it from Russian hackers and other threats Military-grade 256-bit encryption offers the highest security for your online activities in Russia

This is one of the few VPNs with over 120 virtual servers in Moscow. While they’re not physically located in Russia, they give you a Russian IP address and rightful access to essential online services like your SberBank account while you’re abroad. CyberGhost also has optimized servers for lag-free gaming, torrenting, and streaming from within the country. Its specialized networks instantly access many streaming services like: Testing virtual servers in Russia, there was never a moment of lag to ruin the tension when Pavel raced to track a lost shipment in Detective Syndrome on Kinopiosk. Speeds on CyberGhost’s optimized servers for Netflix, HBO Max, and other sites were fast enough to watch in 4K on multiple devices. Only ExpressVPN outperformed CyberGhost, but there was plenty of speed on its BBC-optimized server for bufferless episodes of Killing Eve. In under 5 minutes, I was able to install CyberGhost and connect to a server in Russia on 7 devices including iPhones, Windows laptops, and others. For installation on other platforms like routers and gaming consoles, I found CyberGhost’s step-by-step guides and 24/7 live chat very helpful. The only problem I have with CyberGhost is that its monthly plan is more expensive compared to other VPNs on this list, and it only comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee. However, CyberGhost’s longer-term plans are very affordable. If you want to try CyberGhost in Russia for free, I recommend the 2-year + 2 months plan for $2.19 per month. This subscription has one of the longest money-back guarantee periods in the industry — 45 days. I tested this policy by asking for a refund via live chat after a few weeks and got my money back in 5 days. Get CyberGhost for Russia

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — MACE Blocks Ads, Trackers, and Malware on the Russian Internet

Key Features: PIA has MACE to block dangerous ads, trackers, and malware in Russia and keep you safe using apps and web browsers. Without ads sites like RT.com, The Moscow Times, and CNN loaded faster and were easier to navigate. Better yet, a plugin I used to monitor trackers didn’t detect any running in the background. This proved that MACE prevented Russian marketing bots from watching me online. PIA also has many other features to protect your security and privacy like:

A no-log policy that’s been independently proven by Deloitte to prove that PIA doesn’t store data on any server that could identify users in Russia Anonymous and secure Bitcoin payment using Bitpay Supports Shadowsocks, a lightweight web proxy to disguise VPN traffic and bypass Russian censorship Option of 128-bit encryption to maximize speeds for lag-free games like Dota 2, or 256-bit encryption for maximum security to check balances on your Swedbank app

Like most VPNs, PIA doesn’t have a physical or virtual server in Russia. But with 35000+ options in over 84 countries including Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Latvia, PIA has plenty of servers near Russia to unblock global sites. My tests of servers in Ukraine and Latvia showed speeds of around 65Mbps. This was more than fast enough to load MMA fights on Facebook Watch without buffering ruining a knockout kick. You can connect up to 10 devices to PIA, but to secure all the devices on my home network at once I configured the VPN on my Asus router. This was a bit technical, but PIA has detailed step-by-step guides and 24/7 live chat support that helped me get the job done in 25 minutes. During tests, PIA unblocked most streaming sites in Russia and abroad like: The one minor downside to PIA is that it couldn’t unblock BBC iPlayer from Russia. But as long as watching BBC isn’t your main goal, PIA is a great choice to unblock most TV and movie services and watch without buffers. Plus, its 2-year + 2 months plan is very affordable at just $2.19 per month. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’d like to try PIA risk-free in Russia. When I was done with my tests, I asked for a refund via live chat. The customer support agent asked why I was canceling, and I said I didn’t need a VPN anymore. My request was approved and I got my money back within a week. Get PIA for Russia

4. NordVPN — Premium VPN With Cheap Prices on Long-Term Plans

Key Features: NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market — and you can get super cheap prices when you sign up for a long-term subscription. One thing to note, however, is that when it’s time to renew your subscription, prices do increase quite significantly. I did, however, have issues with using NordVPN’s native Fire TV app. Although it worked and unblocked some streaming services, it sometimes had issues unblocking Netflix US and kept crashing. I also found that NordVPN’s user interface for desktop devices was less user-friendly than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost. NordVPN has the following security and privacy features:

AES 256-bit encryptionA kill switch that cuts your internet access if your connection to a VPN server drops suddenlyBuilt-in ad and malware blocker, so you don’t need a third-party ad blockerFully audited no-logs policy (audited by PwC) – NordVPN doesn’t store any personal or identifying data while you’re connected to the VPN

In addition, NordVPN includes Threat Protection that protects you from viruses, infected websites, and trackers – and it works whenever you have the NordVPN app open, even if you’re not connected to a VPN server. With plans that cost as little as $3.49 per month, it’s easy to find a NordVPN subscription plan that suits your needs. You can also stream, torrent, and browse for free for up to 30 days with its money-back guarantee. To ensure that you’ll really get your money back, I tested NordVPN’s money-back guarantee. At first, the support team tried to give me an extended trial period — but they initiated my refund right away after I told them I wasn’t interested in the extension. I got my money back in 6 business days. Get NordVPN today NordVPN works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Chromebook, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Fire Stick, and Android TV

5. Surfshark — Best Value for Money with Unlimited Device Connections and Fast Speeds

Key Features: Surfshark offers the best value for money out of every premium VPN on the market. You can connect an unlimited number of devices with a single subscription, which means you can use Surfshark on all your devices without getting logged out. I tested Surfshark’s simultaneous connections on 2 PCs, 2 phones, a Fire Stick 4K, and an iPad. My connection remained reliable on all 6 devices. Even while I was actively streaming on all my devices, my average speed was 112 Mbps — fast enough for UHD quality. When I saw the price of this service, I thought it couldn’t possibly have top-grade security features for such a low price, but I was pleasantly surprised. Surfshark has the following security and privacy features:

AES 256-bit encryption on all devices, with ChaCha encryption available for Android usersWireguard VPN protocol enabled by defaultDiskless, RAM-only servers to protect your privacy (no data can be physically extracted from any servers)Kill switch (although this isn’t enabled by default)IP and DNS leak protection

Surfshark offers two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. This feature requires you to enter an extra code before you can log in to ensure that only you can access your account. While Surfshark does have slightly fewer global servers than rivals such as CyberGhost and PIA, I didn’t experience any issues during my tests. I easily connected fast working servers every time, and I had excellent speeds for streaming Netflix in UHD, downloading torrents, and browsing the internet.

You can try Surfshark for yourself with the 30-day money-back guarantee. It has plans that cost as little as $2.05. Requesting a refund is easy with Surfshark’s live chat feature. Although the support team asked why I wanted to cancel my subscription, I had no problem getting my money back (and it only took 4 days!). Get Surfshark today Surfshark works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire Stick, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Android TV, Kodi, and selected routers

6. PrivateVPN — Stealth Feature Makes it Undetectable by VPN Firewalls in Russia

Key Features: PrivateVPN’s Stealth Mode effectively conceals connections from Russian VPN-blocking firewalls. This allows servers to unblock global sites and apps in countries with strict censorship like Russia, China, and the UAE. To make sure data remains safe and anonymous, PrivateVPN also includes:

A strict no-log policy that makes sure all your online activities in Russia and other data are never stored, so they can’t be compromised An automatic kill switch that disconnects the internet on unsteady networks to avoid triggering Russian firewalls IP leak prevention to hide sensitive information like your real location from third parties Military-grade 256-bit encryption protects your connection from Russian hackers

If you’re a beginner and just want to get started quickly, you can easily connect to a server as soon as you log in. But to turn on Stealth VPN before using the internet in Russia, just click the Advanced View button. I found more setting options here including a choice of encryption levels to tweak my ratio of security and speeds. The PrivateVPN network has 200+ international servers including in the US, the UK, and Australia. There are also virtual servers you can use in Russia and more in neighboring countries like Latvia and Ukraine. These global servers help PrivateVPN can unblock most TV and movie services in the region and beyond, like: However, PrivateVPN’s network is smaller compared to other VPNs on this list so I was worried the servers might be congested and slow for streaming. But to my surprise, locations in Moscow and Krasnoyarsk handled a Vlad Bumaga prank video on YouTube without problems. Servers in the US maintained steady 55Mbps download speeds, which was plenty for streaming Palm Springs without lags on Hulu. Low prices on 1-month plans make this one of the best monthly VPNs if you’ll only need a VPN in Russia for a short time. But if you’re ready to make this your long-term VPN for Russia, the 3-year plan is only $2.00 per month. Plus, you can still change your mind since it has a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you try PrivateVPN for Russia. I asked for a refund via email and after giving a reason for canceling, I was reimbursed within 2 weeks. Get PrivateVPN for Russia

7. PureVPN — Quantum-Resistant Encryption Protects Your Data in Russia From Next-Generation Hacking

Key Features: PureVPN is the only VPN I tested that uses quantum-resistant encryption keys to prevent next-generation computers from hacking your data in Russia. While ordinary encryption could be broken when quantum computing systems are developed, PureVPN anticipated the technology with built-in protections. It also supports your privacy and security with:

Nearly-unbreakable military-grade 256-bit encryption to keep your logins, bank details, and search histories in Russia secure Headquarters in the British Virgin Islands, which is outside the 14 Eyes Alliance A no-log policy that’s been verified by KPMG

You get a choice of servers in 78 countries including Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, and the US. The servers in Russia seamlessly unblocked several Russian social media platforms like VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. Tests of its global network proved PureVPN can access Netflix US seamlessly along with these streaming services in Russia: My speed tests on Russian servers showed an average of 58Mbps. Despite being 4,000 miles away from my real location, there weren’t any buffering pauses during a live broadcast on Russia1. During tests of BBC iPlayer with PureVPN’s server in the UK, the Graham Norton Show only buffered for 2-3 seconds and then played smoothly. One account lets you secure up to 10 devices in Russia simultaneously, and I tested PureVPN with 6 at once. Watching YouTube and voice calling on WhatsApp, my connection stayed stable throughout. Setup only took me 3 minutes on Windows and just over a minute on iOS and Android. You can also install it on your router if you live in Russia and want to protect all devices on your home network at once. The one minor issue with PureVPN is that its virtual servers in the US are slower than the regular servers, but it was easy to avoid these since they’re marked on the server list. Plus, if you have any questions while you’re using it in Russia PureVPN has a subreddit where you can ask technical questions. Moderators often join the conversation to help. If you’d like to try PureVPN’s servers in Russia, I recommend its 5-year plan which costs $1.33 per month. It has a 31-day money-back guarantee and when I asked for a refund via email, I got my money back after 3 weeks. Get PureVPN for Russia

8. Proton VPN — Secure Core Routes Your Russian Web Traffic Through Multiple Servers for Extra Privacy

Key Features: Proton VPN’s Secure Core servers hide your online activities in Russia from hackers and other third parties by routing your traffic through privacy-friendly countries. In addition to this extra-anonymous network, Proton VPN has 16 physical servers in St. Petersburg. These let you securely access online services like your local bank accounts from anywhere. Other ways Proton VPN protects your privacy and security in Russia include:

A kill switch that automatically protects your data when the internet is unstable IP leak protection I personally tested to prove my internet traffic stayed hidden in the encrypted tunnel Strict no-logs network so Proton VPN doesn’t collect any data. It’s also based in Switzerland, which isn’t part of the 14 Eyes Alliance of countries that conduct web surveillance

The VPN’s servers in over 60 countries including Russia are advanced enough to get past most geo-blocks. Proton VPN can instantly access popular streaming services like: When I tested Proton VPN’s physical servers in the US and Russia, they showed an average speed of 40Mbps. Speeds on networks in the US and Russia kept to about 40Mbps, more than enough for most high-bandwidth activities like HD TV. Even on an option in the US 10,000 miles from my real location Stranger Things played without any interruptions on Netflix US. I installed the native app on my Windows computer in under 4 minutes. Even on the maximum of 10 devices, my connections to both Secure Core and standard servers were always reliable with zero drop-outs. This VPN doesn’t have a 24/7 live chat if you’re stuck in Russia with a technical issue. However, the online guides are comprehensive, and I got a response within 3 hours of submitting an online ticket. Though Proton VPN has a free option, it only offers 3 servers that don’t support Secure Core or streaming. Plus, you can only secure a single device. To avoid these restrictions, get Proton VPN’s 2-year plan for $4.99 per month. With this plan, Proton VPN gives you a 30-day money-back guarantee on the unused portion of your subscription. Proton VPN refunded me in less than 2 weeks after I submitted my request using a support form. Get Proton VPN for Russia

Comparison Table: 2023’s Best VPNs for Russia

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How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs for Russia

My extensive tests had the following criteria to find the best VPNs in 2023 for Russia:

Large global network — The more servers a VPN has the more news sites, social media apps, and other international content it can access from Russia. With servers in Russia, a VPN can access local sites and services anonymously from anywhere. Strong security and privacy features — Military-grade encryption, kill switch, and IP leak protection are crucial to protect connections from hacking and prevent third-party tracking on the heavily censored and monitored Russian internet. Fast speeds — All VPNs reduce your connection’s performance to some extent, but I found out which has the fastest servers in Russia and nearby countries for lag-free Russian TV and smooth online games. Unblocking capabilities — The VPNs on this list have all been tested to confirm they can seamlessly access international news sites and other online services that are banned in Russia. Customer support — Since all the VPNs on this list are based in different time zones outside Russia, I only picked those with fast-replying 24/7 live chat agents or same-day responses via email. Payment options — Some payment methods like PayPal aren’t available in Russia, so I found VPNs with alternative sign-up options like credit card and cryptocurrency.

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How a VPN Gets You an IP Address Outside Russia

A VPN connects you to the internet anonymously using an encrypted server. This hides your real IP address and gives you one in a new location, hiding your data by sending it through the VPN server instead of your usual network. To the Russian firewalls and sites like Facebook and Netflix, this new IP address will make it seem as if traffic is coming from outside of Russia. This unblocks banned and geo-restricted sites. Thanks to the secure VPN tunnel, you’ll also stay safe from hackers, websites that track your activities, hackers, and other third parties from seeing your location or what you do online.

Yes — but only licensed, state-approved VPNs are allowed. The best VPNs for Russia on this list aren’t technically allowed in the country but they work. VPNs based in Russia are required to keep user logs for 6 months, which goes against the strict privacy policies of every VPN on this list. I don’t condone using a VPN to access content that has been blocked by the Russian government. It’s against the law, and you could be fined 300,000 rubles. Streaming services can also ban your account with no refund if you use a VPN to watch geo-restricted shows. I recommend using a VPN strictly to protect your privacy in Russia and secure your devices from hackers. Always research the law before you connect so you know what you’re allowed to do in Russia with a VPN.

Which sites and apps are blocked in Russia?

A VPN can get an IP address outside Russia to access restricted sites like: The Roskomnadzor is Russia’s federal department for communications, information technology, and mass media, and it maintains a full list of blocked websites. Sites are frequently added to the national block list, so you can expect it to change often.

Is it possible to download a VPN within Russia?

Yes, it is. Although many VPN sites are blocked in the country, the top VPNs for Russia in this list are all accessible and you can download the apps from the country. You can also use Tor Bridges or hidden Tor relays to download Tor — a secure and anonymous browser banned in Russia. With the Tor browser, you can access a VPN’s onion site in the dark web (if they have one) and download the apps you need. For example, ExpressVPN’s onion site is Expressobutiolem.onion, but you can’t access it with regular browsers like Chrome or Firefox. For other VPNs, contact their support team either for an alternative URL or to find out if they have an onion site. Remember though, VPN websites can be banned at any time in Russia. If you’re traveling to the country, it’s best to download the VPN apps you need before leaving.

Can I use a free VPN for Russia?

Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. There are some good free VPNs to consider, as they’re secure and don’t log your data. But even the top free VPNs have limited bandwidth so you can’t watch more than a few episodes of a series. Some free VPNs make money by selling your information or using your data for targeted ads. With limited resources, most have only 1 server location or are limited to servers in a few small countries. This leads to congestion with too many users at once, making them too slow for streaming or torrenting. I recommend you use a premium VPN like CyberGhost for free instead. It has fast speeds and a huge global network to protect your data and easily access global sites. Just take advantage of its money-back guarantee to use it for 45 days and then get a refund. The process only took me a few minutes.

Get a VPN for Russia and Connect Today

Russia is steadily increasing the number of websites, services, and social media platforms that are blocked in the country. That means you could subscribe to a streaming site or even a financial service only to find out a week later that you can’t log in, losing access to your money. The best way to avoid being unexpectedly locked out of your rightful accounts in Russia is with a VPN. Since many VPNs don’t actually work in Russia, I recommend ExpressVPN as it has TrustedServer technology to keep your data safe and has fast enough speeds for smooth TV shows, movies, and live broadcasts. You can get started with ExpressVPN in Russia quickly. If you’re not satisfied, you have up to 30 days to easily get a refund.

Summary: These Are The Top VPNs That Work in Russia in 2023