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Best VPNs for Russia in 2022


With the world’s ever-changing political situation, having a reliable VPN is more important than ever. That applies to Russia as well, as its government blocks access to a myriad of websites. Not only that - right now, some sites have banned Russian users as well, creating an even bigger need for the right tools to bypass these restrictions.

In this article, I’ll provide a list of the best VPNs for Russia in 2022. These VPNs will not only allow you to unblock Facebook, Twitter, and other sites, but will also protect your traffic from your ISP and make your online activity anonymous.

Top 5 best VPNs for Russia – our shortlist:

  1. NordVPN – best VPN choice for Russia
  2. Surfshark – affordable VPN for the Russian users
  3. PrivateVPN – VPN with fast connections for Russia
  4. Mullvad – privacy-focused VPN for Russian users
  5. IPVanish – good VPN with traffic obfuscation

Best VPNs for Russian users - our detailed list:

We have tested at least a dozen different VPNs to help you find which ones are worthy. Below is a list of the best VPNs for Russia that have servers across the world, can circumvent geo-restrictions, and offer strong security.

1. NordVPN – best VPN choice for Russia

NordVPN banner
Based in:Panama
Russian servers:No
Connections per subscription:6 connections
Current deal:🔥 Get NordVPN with 68% OFF + 3 months FREE 🔥

NordVPN has one of the largest server fleets which makes it an excellent VPN choice for Russian users. With 5500 servers in 59 countries, you can easily change your virtual location and access global media platforms.

Apart from that, this VPN uses AES-256 encryption that is known as a golden standard – it ensures that your sensitive information is safe from third parties. The VPN also operates on RAM-only servers that are completely wiped with every server restart.

You can choose between multiple tunneling protocols, including OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), IKEv2/IPsec, and Nordlynx. For the best speeds and stable connection, the latter one is the most suitable option.

It’s worth mentioning that NordVPN has additional security features, such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and specialized servers, including obfuscated and Onion over VPN servers. The former allow you to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN while the latter give privacy from ISP and the government.

The pricing of NordVPN subscription starts from $3.09/month and you can pay with cryptocurrencies among other traditional payment methods. The provider offers dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, iOS devices, and even a free 7-day trial for Android users.

Find out more about this provider in the full NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – affordable VPN for the Russian users

Surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Russian servers:No
Connections per subscription:Unlimited
Current deal:🔥 Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE 🔥

Surfshark is another great VPN for Russia that doesn’t limit simultaneous connections and works with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. So, you can change your Russian IP address wherever you go, on as many devices as you need.

One of the most important aspects to mention is that this VPN has a NoBorders feature and a Camouflage mode. In simple terms, it allows you to use a VPN in heavily restricted countries and prevents the authorities from detecting that you’re changing your IP address.

Apart from that, Surfshark also offers the MultiHop technology that reroutes your traffic through two servers rather than just one. It significantly reduces the chances of revealing your real location.

On the side of the great security features, the provider gives you an opportunity to choose from 3200 servers in 99 countries. So, you can easily bypass location restrictions and access various social media networks or streaming services.

Keep in mind that this VPN supports the WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), and IKEv2 tunneling protocols, as well as uses an AES-256 cipher. Thus, you get fast speeds and strong protection.

Surfshark is also one of the most affordable VPNs with the starting price of $2.30/month. You can purchase your subscription with cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, or other regular payment methods.

Read more about the provider in the complete Surfshark review.

3. PrivateVPN – VPN with fast connections for Russia

PrivateVPN banner
Based in:Sweden
Russian servers:Yes
Connections per subscription:6 connections
Current deal:🔥 Get PrivateVPN, now 85% OFF! 🔥

PrivateVPN is a good VPN for Russia as it offers fast connections and great security features. You can use it on 6 different devices at the same time – from Windows, macOS, and Linux computers to Android and iOS smartphones.

This provider supports OpenVPN TCP and UDP tunneling protocols, as well as allows you to manually select either 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption. So, you can make your own configurations and get great speeds with strong security.

On top of that, PrivateVPN has a Stealth VPN feature which hides your online traffic from the ISP and the government. It’s also useful when trying to access geo-restricted content in censor-heavy locations.

Even though this VPN has a relatively modest server fleet – 200 servers in 63 locations – you can still easily unblock global content, including social media platforms and streaming services. Also, PrivateVPN is one of those rare services that offer servers in Russia - you can use them if you want to encrypt your traffic without changing the country.

Another great PrivateVPN’s attribute is a kill switch. This feature blocks all internet traffic in case you disconnect from a VPN. This way, your real IP is not exposed to the relevant authorities.

You can get a premium subscription of PrivateVPN from $2.00/month. The provider accepts traditional payment methods, as well as cryptocurrencies. There’s also an option to get a free 7-day trial – contact the customer support via [email protected] email address.

Find out more about the provider in the PrivateVPN review.

4. Mullvad – privacy-focused VPN for Russian users

Mullvad VPN banner
Based in:Sweden
Russian servers:No
Connections per subscription:up to 5 connections
Current deal:VPN coupons

Mullvad VPN is highly valuable for Russian users who want to protect their privacy. It’s 100% anonymous, as the registration process doesn’t require your personal details – you get a randomly generated 16-digit code to set up an account.

What’s more is that this VPN supports one of the safest and fastest tunneling protocols, WireGuard, as well as another great one – OpenVPN. Your data is also secured using AES-256 encryption, so that it wouldn’t be accessible to third parties.

Apart from that, Mullvad also allows you to enable IPv6 and has a reliable kill switch feature. Likewise, you can be sure that your IP is not exposed in case your connection drops or you are visiting websites that use IPv6 addresses.

Even though this VPN has a relatively smaller server fleet of 784 servers in 38 locations compared to the others, it’s still a decent option to access heavily-censored media content.

Mullvad has a fixed pricing of $6.00/month for its subscription. You can purchase a plan with cryptocurrencies or even cash and use this VPN on up to 5 devices at the same time. It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Learn more about this provider in the full Mullvad VPN review.

5. IPVanish – good VPN with traffic obfuscation

IPVanish banner
Based in:United States
Russian servers:No
Connections per subscription:Unlimited
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 69% OFF IPVanish + Antivirus 🔥

IPVanish offers strong security and stable connections which makes it an excellent choice for Russian users. You can install it on as many devices as you want since it doesn’t limit simultaneous connections and supports Windows, macOS, Linux Android, and iOS platforms.

Keep in mind that this VPN not only encrypts your data with the AES-256 algorithm but also uses XOR cipher for your traffic obfuscation. So that no third parties, including government authorities, could detect that you’re using a VPN.

Just as other premium VPNs, this one also supports multiple tunneling protocols – WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN (TCP/UDP). You get great speeds and a stable connection. In case there are any connectivity issues, there’s a kill switch feature to stop all internet traffic.

It’s worth mentioning that IPVanish has 2000 servers in 50 countries that can be successfully used to unblock various media platforms and streaming websites. The cost of a subscription starts from $3.33/month depending on which plan you choose.

Read more about the VPN in the detailed IPVanish review.

6. TorGuard – solid VPN option to use in heavily restricted countries

TorGuard banner
Based in:US
Russian servers:Yes
Connections per subscription:8 connections
Current deal:🔥 Get 50% OFF with ‘CyberNews’ code! 🔥

TorGuard is another good VPN for Russia as it provides strong security features. For one, it supports the Stealth VPN protocol that makes your connection appear as regular internet traffic – no one can know that you’re changing your IP address.

There’s also a customizable kill switch that you can configure to either close certain applications or stop then entire internet traffic in case you disconnect from a VPN. This way, your real location is not exposed to your ISP or other relevant authorities.

Keep in mind that as any other reliable VPN, TorGuard employs AES-256 encryption and supports the WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) tunneling protocols. So, you get strong security and good speeds at the same time.

With 3000 servers in 50 locations, this provider is also a decent choice when trying to unblock geo-restricted content.

TorGuard pricing starts from $4.00/month for 8 simultaneous connections and it neither limits speeds nor the bandwidth. You can purchase a subscription via regular payment methods or with cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and others.

Check out the complete TorGuard review to learn more about the provider.

7. Astrill VPN – secure and speedy VPN for Russia

Astrill VPN banner
Based in:Seychelles
Russian servers:Yes
Connections per subscription:5 connections
Current deal:🔥 Get 50% OFF with 1-year plan! 🔥

Astrill is a VPN that can also be useful for users in Russia. It’s widely known to work in countries with strong censorship regulations, so people can circumvent them and access global content by taking advantage of 3000 servers in 57 locations. The VPN also offers servers in Russia.

Astrill VPN also offers a good package of security features. You can use the StealthVPN protocol to disguise your connection as regular internet traffic and enable a kill switch, which protects your real IP address from being exposed if you lose VPN connection.

There’s also an option to get greater anonymity with the help of specialized servers. Astrill VPN has multi-hop and Onion over VPN servers that can be used to avoid detection by the ISP or the government.

Keep in mind that this VPN also supports reliable tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) so you can get strong security and fast connections at the same time.

Astrill VPN subscription costs from $12.50/month for 5 simultaneous connections on most popular devices, like Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. The provider accepts cryptocurrency among other payment methods.

Find out more about this provider in the detailed Astrill VPN review.

How we selected and tested these VPNs

Since there are numerous different VPNs currently available on the market, it might be quite challenging to decide which ones are worthy. For this reason, we’ve tested a bunch of different products for you. Here are the criteria used to select best VPNs for Russia:

  • Servers and locations. We made sure that our selected VPNs would offer the largest selection of servers across different countries. So, you could change your Russian IP to appear from any country in the world.
  • Security. Our chosen VPNs use military-grade encryption to secure your connection and operate under a strict no-logs policy. Thus, you can be sure that your private information is inaccessible to third parties.
  • Additional features. Premium VPNs offer extra attributes to boost your security. That includes specialized servers, such as obfuscated servers, or a kill switch.
  • Compatibility. We made sure that you would be able to use a VPN wherever you go. So, the selected products are compatible with the most popular desktop and mobile devices – Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
  • Content unblocking capabilities. Due to heavy location-based restrictions on various media platforms, we’ve picked VPNs that can easily unblock global content.
  • Cryptocurrency payments. The selection of our VPN providers accepts payments in cryptocurrencies. So, you can pay for your subscription using Bitcoin or alternative coins.

Why do I need a VPN for Russia?

There are many reasons why you need a VPN while living in Russia, especially if you want to access Western news and media. So, here’s why you might consider getting a VPN in Russia:

  • Internet censorship. Right now, it’s impossible to access many websites if you have a Russian IP address. Both the government and pages themselves block Russian users from accessing the content they need, and thus a VPN is the only way to bypass these restrictions.
  • Heavy internet monitoring. In Russia, your ISP uses Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) in order to help the government to monitor your data. When DPI is used, you need a VPN that uses traffic obfuscation, a.k.a. one that offers obfuscated servers (like NordVPN).
  • The problem of free speech. In a country with strict internet censorship, it’s dangerous to express what you really think, especially when your thoughts oppose the regime. Right now, Russia is even passing a bill related to sharing “false information” which can lead to a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Using a VPN will make you much harder to track.
  • Safe torrenting. Russia bans many torrenting sites that could help you get the content you need. Luckily, a VPN can unblock them and allow you to torrent much more safely.
  • Streaming. Last but not least, you may want to get a VPN in Russia for accessing various streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer.

What websites and apps are blocked in Russia?

There are lots of websites that cannot be accessed with a Russian IP address. In the period from when the invasion was started (February 24) until the day of writing this article (March 7), according to Russia's own registry, the country blocked nearly 5,000 domains. Even though most of them are adult entertainment or gambling sites, there are also a lot of media outlets on the list.

Type of website
Examples
Ukrainian media sitesStopwar.in.ua
Cinema.in.ua
savelife.in.ua
Golos.com.ua
Capital.ua
Dsnews.ua
ipress.ua
Unso.org.ua
Focus.ua
Delo.ua
Comments.ua
Golos.ua
Depo.ua
Uatv.ua
Gazeta.ua
Econom-ia.com.ua
Bagukraine.com.ua
Astart3s.com.ua
Streamoftime.com.ua
Ru.infertax.com.ua
Melia.com.ua
Sta.poltava.ua
Olx-24.com.ua
Akcenty.com.ua
Kray.biz.ua
Kiev.vgrode.ua
Other media sitesinoSMI
Mediazona
New Times
Novaya Gazeta
Free Press
The Journalist
Linizdat
Krym.Realii
Current Time TV
BBC
CNN
Bloomberg
Web archiving websitesArchive.org
Archive.ec
Archive.is
Social media sitesFacebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Instagram
TikTok

The reason for blocking Ukrainian and Western media sites, as well as web archiving pages, is the content about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and reports on the events in the region.

In terms of social media sites, Russia blocks them because the pages removed some of the Rusia-affiliated media channels. Also, people are constantly posting about the war on social media, and the sites have refused to moderate the content in accordance with Russia’s wishes.

The website 200rf.com, which was created by the Ukrainians to help Russians check if a soldier they know was killed or captured in the conflict, is also blocked in Russia.

As for YouTube, it is currently still accessible, but there are rumors that it will be blocked in the near future, and has already experienced some throttling.

There are also reports of some VPN websites, as well as the Tor project’s website, being blocked and inaccessible to Russian users.

Are all VPNs suitable for unblocking social media?

As most of the Western social media platforms have been blocked in Russia, you might want to use a VPN to unblock them. However, you should be aware of the possible risks.

You see, some social media platforms have blacklists of VPN IP ranges and might ban users who are using these IPs. In other words, there is a risk of getting your account banned or suspended with any VPN. However, your chances of getting banned are much lower if you use a VPN with a lot of servers and IPs. Also, VPNs that are able to bypass streaming restrictions should be good for keeping you under the radar on social media as well, as technologies used to identify VPN users are basically the same on both fronts.

How to use a VPN in Russia

At the moment, getting a VPN in Russia might be a bit more complicated than doing it in other countries. As most of the payment options might be declined, the best method to buy a VPN in Russia is using cryptocurrency.

Keeping that in mind, these are the steps you should take for setting up a VPN on your device:

  1. Go to the website of your preferred VPN and choose a subscription plan. Our top recommendation is NordVPN.
NordVPN plans
  1. Enter the data required and pay for the service
NordVPN create an account and select payment
  1. Download the .exe file and open it
NordVPN setup file
  1. Allow the app to make changes to your device
  2. Follow the instructions on the installation wizard
NordVPN installation wizard
  1. Log into your account and pick the server you need

If you don’t use cryptocurrency, you could also try making an account with a bank that still has access to SWIFT, as only 7 out of 102 currently active Russian banks have been cut off. However, there is no telling if they will continue to have access to SWIFT in the near future. The list of the banks cut off from the SWIFT system includes Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Russia Bank, Sovcombank, VEB, and VTB.

Some VPNs allow paying in cash (like Mullvad). However, for that, you would need to send actual foreign currency (euros or dollars) through the mail, which can be tricky due to the lack of foreign currency in Russia at the moment. It could also be difficult to send paper money through the post successfully, to begin with.

Yes - in a general sense, VPNs are not completely banned in Russia. For example, the use of business VPNs is completely legal. However, the situation is different when it comes to private VPN services, as they are usually used to access content blocked by the government. As a result, the Russian government can even block certain VPN providers if they link suspicious activity with them.

So, in short, it is not the usage of a VPN that’s forbidden - it’s what you are doing with it.

Is It safe to use a VPN in Russia?

Unfortunately, using a VPN in Russia may not be safe. According to the law signed in 2017, unauthorized use of VPNs to access content blacklisted in Russia will result in a 300,000 ruble fine, which is currently equivalent to $2,600 (of course, the ratio is fluctuating a lot currently). Luckily, there have been no reports of the actual enforcement of this law.

However, due to the current situation in Russia, more severe penalties are not out of the question. It might still be possible for the government to see which IPs are connecting to VPN services. And, theoretically, a user could be tracked down and possibly even arrested - however, these are only my speculations in the light of the ongoing conflict.

Can I use a free VPN for Russia?

Yes, you can use a free VPN in Russia. There are plenty of safe freemium VPN services that will allow you to unblock Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other websites without spending a single ruble.

Here’s a list of safe free VPNs that you can use in Russia to access the content you need:

  • Atlas VPN. This VPN will let you use 10 GB of data every single month. You’ll get servers in three different locations (Netherlands, USA Los Angeles, and USA New York. However, the free version of Atlas VPN doesn’t offer the fastest speeds and it will limit the features you can use.
  • ProtonVPN. Proton VPN is a great choice for Russians as it offers an unlimited free version that will allow you to visit the sites you need without any data restrictions. With this tool, you can connect to three different countries while being completely anonymous.
  • Hide.me. In case you want a security-oriented free VPN for Russia, this is it. The free version of Hide.me supports P2P connections, offers split tunneling, and has a good kill switch. And you can use 10 GB of free data per month!
  • Windscribe. Yet another free VPN for Russia, Windscribe offers a special deal for users suffering from online oppression and looking to access free internet with a free VPN. Use the code ПИЗДЕЦ to get a secured online connection with 30 GB of monthly data. Despite being free, this plan also works rather well with streaming services and offers you three different server locations.
  • TunnelBear. When it comes to TunnelBear, Russian users might particularly enjoy its mascot - an extremely cute bear. Aside from that, the VPN offers strong encryption and lots of countries to choose from. However, you’ll only get 500 MB a month.

Keep in mind that it’s only safe to use freemium VPNs that also offer a premium (paid) version. There are lots of shady free VPNs that can steal your personal information, so it’s best to only use the tools provided on our page.

Conclusion

Even though having a VPN is essential if you want to access blocked content or practice free speech in Russia, you have to do it really carefully, taking all the possible risks into consideration. However, when used cautiously, a VPN will give you a lot of online freedom that has been taken away by the government.

So, you should pick a VPN you can trust. Services like NordVPN and Surfshark should be the first on your list of possible options, as they offer obfuscated servers, a high level of encryption, and other security features. They also allow you to pay with cryptocurrency, which is currently probably the only way of making cross-border payments.


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