5 Best Russian VPN services in 2021

Using a Russian VPN can drastically improve your online privacy and security. VPNs encrypt all of your data; stopping the government, your ISP, and hackers you visit from knowing what you are up to online. A VPN also changes your IP Address, allowing you to unblock websites unavailable in your location. This is great if you want to unblock websites in Russia, or if you are a Russian ex-pat looking to access websites and services only available in Russia.

Recently Russia has demanded that VPN providers link Russian servers to their blacklist of websites to stop residents from accessing blocked websites. As a result, it has become more difficult to find the right Russian VPN service.

In this guide, we list the best VPNs for Russia. All these services still work in the country. We also give you some top tips on staying secure online, in and outside of the country.

What are the Best Russian VPNs In 2021

We have listed the best Russia VPN services below. If you need more information about any of the services list below, scroll below this list for an in-depth analysis of each service.

  1. Surfshark - the best VPN for Russia and also the cheapest. It's a zero-logs VPN with strong security features, and offers Russian VPN servers.
  2. VyprVPN - audited by a third party to prove that it's secure, and doesn't keep logs.
  3. PrivateVPN - impressed us with a 7-day free trial and excellent customer service, as well as a simple setup process.
  4. ExpressVPN - a premium provider that puts security first, with stealth servers, a kill-switch, and a proprietary protocol.
  5. IPVanish - a no-logs provider that also boasts unlimited simultaneous connections!

All the VPNs for Russia have the following features to ensure you get the most out of your VPN:

The best VPN for Russia – In-depth analysis

We take a closer look at the best VPNs for Russia below. If you still want more information about any of the services listed below, check out our detailed VPN reviews.

Surfshark is the best VPN for Russia and the cheapest VPNs on the list. It has strong encryption, it's great at unblocking sites, and has Russian VPN servers in St Petersburg and Moscow.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $2.49/mth
      80% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.49/mth
      49% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo
Surfshark Demo


Surfshark is an awesome VPN that can be purchased for as little as $1.99 US per month. That is surprisingly cheap considering that this VPN has servers in 63 countries worldwide and a heap of security and privacy features for users to take advantage of. It's a premium VPN that doesn't break the bank!


Despite being a zero-logs VPN, Surfshark is one of the few VPN providers that continues to offer a server in Russia. It impressed us with its ability to unblock Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, and we love that it lets subscribers install and use the VPN on an unlimited number of devices. It is well worth taking for a test run using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Tested by Ray Walsh

Tested by Ray Walsh

VyprVPN is a great all-round VPN for Russia. It has been audited by a third party to prove it is secure and keeps no logs, has great apps, and a server in Moscow.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $1.67/mth
      87% OFF
    • 18 months: $2.5/mth
      80% OFF
    • 2 months: $6.47/mth
      50% OFF
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

VYPR Demo

VYPR Demo
VYPR Demo


VyprVPN has a zero-logs policy and, despite Russian Yarovaya laws that insist on mandatory data retention practices, continues to provide a server in Russia. It's a solid provider focusing deeply on customer privacy, and even offers advanced obfuscation (VPN cloaking) technology in the form of its Chameleon protocol. It's perfect for Russians who want to unblock foreign content without their ISP or government finding out.


What's more, VyprVPN is one of the few providers that has proven its no-logs infrastructure with a full third-party audit of its services. We love that VyprVPN provides access to geo-restricted content worldwide, and because this VPN runs on a proprietary network (that belongs to Golden Frog) it can provide lightning-fast speeds. It even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can compare it to our other providers without risking your cash.

Tested by Hannah Hart

Tested by Hannah Hart

PrivateVPN boasts coverage in St. Petersburg, stealth servers, and a kill-switch, making it an ideal pick for anyone in Russia.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $1.89/mth
      82% OFF
    • 3 months: $4.2/mth
      61% OFF
    • 1 month: $7.12/mth
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

PrivateVPN Demo

PrivateVPN Demo
PrivateVPN Demo


PrivateVPN has the feel of a premium VPN service without the expensive price tag! This is doubly impressive when you consider that the service actually has servers in Russia. Connect to this location in St. Petersburg if you need a Russian IP address, or browse restricted international content by making good use of PrivateVPN's other servers in 63 countries. The VPN can unblock in-demand sites like Netflix, and also allows P2P activity – though you'll want to make sure you've turned the kill-switch on before you download anything.


This is a VPN that well and truly lives up to its name, boasting OpenVPN encryption and stealth servers that can get around censorship imposed by restrictive regimes. PrivateVPN also protects against DNS and IPv6 leaks, so you don't have to worry about any personal data accidentally making its way back to your ISP or government, and enforces a no-logs policy. If you need help at any point, I strongly recommend reaching out to PrivateVPN's customer service via email or live chat to speak to a team of in-house developers. They're friendly, answer queries quickly, and are available 24/7.

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

ExpressVPN might lack servers in Russia, but can still unblock a wealth of international content in a few clicks.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months: $6.67/mth
      48% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN Demo

ExpressVPN Demo
ExpressVPN Demo


ExpressVPN is a superb service that doesn't skimp on security, however, it currently has no servers located in Russia – this makes it more suitable for Russian users who don't need a Russian IP address, and instead are more concerned about unblocking international geo-restricted content. ExpressVPN can unblock just about any service you can think of, in fact! Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and more, and the service can also unblock social media sites, so you can stay up to date with loved ones and all the most recent news stories.


ExpressVPN keeps snoopers and the authorities from monitoring your online activity with OpenVPN encryption that's strongly implemented, runs its very own encrypted DNS, and even packs an automatically enabled kill-switch that'll prevent your original IP leaking if your VPN connection drops out. Plus, an audited no-logs policy makes ExpressVPN one of our most secure and feature-rich recommendations for Russia.

IPVanish is adept at unblocking geo-restricted sites and services, despite having no servers in Russia.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months: $3.2/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $10.99/mth
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

IPVanish Demo

IPVanish Demo
IPVanish Demo


IPVanish, like ExpressVPN, does not have any servers located in Russia, so you'll need to bear that in mind if you need a Russian IP address. If not, and you're mostly interested in unblocking restricted content, then IPVanish is an excellent pick! The service offers unlimited simultaneous connections and apps for all platforms, and has a large network of servers scattered across the globe, ideal for geo-hopping and making the most out of your streaming service subscriptions. Plus, XOR obfuscated servers are also available, which might be effective against some of Russia's staunchest VPN bans.


I like that IPVanish lets users take their pick of protocols, including WireGuard and OpenVPN, and secures traffic with super secure AES 256-bit encryption. Users also benefit from DNS leak protection and a kill-switch, so you can rest assured that you're not accidentally leaking identifiable data that could get you in trouble with your ISP... or government. Whilst IPVanish is, unfortunately, based in the United States, it does abide by a no-logs policy! This should be enough to allay most concerns, though I do wish IPVanish would undertake a third-party audit, eventually.

How to use a VPN in Russia

Once you have subscribed to a VPN, using it to gain privacy and to bypass censorship is not hard. You can follow the steps below to get your VPN up and running securely:

  1. Choose a VPN that suits your needs best. We've listed the best services for the job above.
  2. Download and install the VPN software onto your device, then log in.
  3. Open the settings menu and ensure that your kill-switch and obfuscation (stealth mode) to conceal your VPN use from the government.
  4. Choose a VPN server in that is close to where you live for the best speeds.
  5. Access restricted services and access any content censored by the Russian government.

Why use a VPN in Russia?

In Russia, the government is highly invasive and imposes an iron will on its people. Mandatory data retention and censorship are common, and there is pressure on firms to store all data about Russian citizens on servers located within the country.

A huge number of foreign websites are also blacklisted for many reasons. Foreign news is often subjected to blackouts – as are foreign services such as Google. Ukrainian sites are blocked due to the ongoing conflict, and other websites that are critical of the Russian government (or that the Kremlin decides are incompatible morally and religiously) are also censored. Pornography, for example, is heavily restricted.

The government also places citizens under high levels of surveillance. This is due to get even worse this year thanks to the introduction of new Yarovaya laws – a VPN is the only way to ensure both internet freedom and digital privacy within the country.

Blogging Restrictions

In 2014, the Russian government passed a law requiring all bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers to follow the same regulations as large-scale media outlets. This includes having to write using their real name and official registration with Koskomnadzor, the nation’s media regulator.

Expressing dissenting political views can result in imprisonment within Russia. Any support of "terrorism" (mainly defined as anti-government rhetoric) within the nation can also result in a seven-year prison sentence. Since the ‘law on bloggers’ came into effect, many Russians have begun to take their privacy more seriously. As a result, the use of VPNs in the country has vastly increased.

Russia Bans Telegram Messenger

On Friday 19 April 2019, a Moscow court authorized Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications, and technology watchdog, to block the popular Telegram Messenger app.

The move follows demands from the Federal Security Service (FSB) that Telegram hand over its encryption keys to the secretive KGB successor after claiming that it is widely used by terrorists. Telegram refused.

The good news, however, is that Telegram can still be freely accessed in Russia using a VPN. This is because a VPN hides the fact that you are connecting to the Telegram network from your internet and/or mobile provider (and therefore the Roskomnadzor).

For more information on this story, please see our full Russia Bans Telegram Messenger article.

Gain privacy with a VPN for Russia

A Virtual Private Network for Russia overcomes all government-imposed censorship. Once connected to a VPN, users are free to look at any blog or news source that they wish, without fear of being flagged up as someone with dissenting opinions and views.

A VPN also bypasses geo-restrictions so that people can access content and services from overseas. A VPN will also allow users to overcome network restrictions imposed by local administrators such as employers and landlords.

In addition, reliable Russian VPN apps encrypt all web traffic. By scrambling data with military-grade encryption, a VPN for Russia stops ISPs from collecting web browsing data on behalf of the government. With this in mind, a VPN app is the best digital privacy tool available.

A VPN also conceals the user's real location. This stops the websites they visit from being able to track their real IP address. This is good for privacy but also means that VPN users can pretend to be in a different country. By connecting to a VPN server in a foreign country – users can overcome both censorship and geo-restrictions.

Using a VPN for Security in Russia

Whether you are at home or on public Wi-Fi, a VPN can help you stay secure. Using public Wi-Fi on a regular basis opens you up to the possibility of being hacked. Even at home, your IP address can give hackers a way to pinpoint cyberattacks at you. With a VPN, your IP address is securely concealed.

In addition, VPN encryption protects all your data from hackers by scrambling it. This protects your passwords, credit card details – and other sensitive data – from being snooped on by hackers, IPS, and the government. It also protects your data from being hacked by anybody exploiting the KRACK vulnerability found in many routers.

It is currently legal to use a VPN in Russia... Before you jump for joy, however, it's important to note that using a VPN to access any content blocked by the Russian government has been banned by law.

In Russia, the Federal Security Service works with ISPs to monitor user telecommunications (including emails and phone calls) and block websites. Faced with this extensive surveilling and censorship, plenty of Russian citizens seek out VPNs to safeguard their privacy and open up the web, but it's a risky choice.

VPN usage in and of itself is not a criminal offense in the country, and you can still use a VPN for personal or business purposes – you're only skirting the law if you're trying to bypass those government-imposed restrictions or access blacklisted websites. This law was introduced in October 2017, and was followed in 2018 by another law ordering the URLs of certain VPN services themselves, or any sites that sell VPN services, to be blocked. Search engines that allowed access to VPN sites and services were also liable to fines.

As a result, you might find that some of the websites of the VPNs in this article are blocked – if that's the case, keep reading to learn how you can still sign up for a VPN service.

How to access blocked VPN websites in Russia

If you've decided that you'd like to try a VPN out for yourself, you might go to visit the homepage of one of our recommended providers only to find that it's been blocked. Schools, workplaces, network administrators, and governments have been known to restrict access to VPN sites – which can be frustrating, and makes purchasing and downloading a VPN that much more difficult. However, it's not impossible!

  1. Russian users who find that VPN websites are blocked may want to try changing their DNS, or Domain Name System. Your ISP can assign you a DNS, which could end up being slow or block you from certain sites – like VPN pages! Fortunately, you can change your DNS by using a free service. Try using Google's DNS (8.8.8.8) and accessing the VPN page again. You'll hopefully be able to access it, and may even see an improvement in your overall connection speed.
  2. It's also possible to use the Tor browser (and its anonymous network) to bypass website restrictions. First, you'll need to download Tor, and you can do so on any Windows, Mac, Linux, or Android device. Some VPN providers even have onion websites accessible to Tor users – like ExpressVPN!
  3. Finally, Russian users may want to consider using a VPN mirror website. You can find these sites with a quick Google search. Mirror sites behave just like a regular VPN page (just with a different URL or domain), and you'll be able to purchase and download your VPN from them just as you would on the main site.

VPN in Russia – is it safe?

Because the Russian government forces Russian-based servers to hand over data to the government, some VPNs are unwilling to run servers within the country. Even when VPNs have Russian servers, on the whole, it is better to use a server located elsewhere. By using a VPN server in a country with strong data protection laws, you guarantee that your online activities are better protected from Russia's invasive government.

A VPN for Russia should also have a strong privacy policy, advanced VPN features, and well-implemented military-grade encryption. This will allow you to have confidence in the protection provided by your VPN. Many VPNs are outdated – or make revenue from their user's data. Those VPNs should be avoided.

All the VPNs in this article have been carefully selected because they have important features such as a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, VPN cloaking technology, auto-connect, and OpenVPN encryption. Our recommended VPNs have strong privacy policies that never store logs about what their users do online.

Russian VPN for Android

The VPNs in this article provide software for all platforms. That means you can use the VPN on three simultaneous devices (or more – depending on the VPN). That includes Windows, iOS, and Android devices.

What Can I Do with a VPN in Russia?

A Russia VPN is extremely useful. Not only can you overcome government censorship and regain access to blacklisted websites, but you can also access geo-restricted websites, too. With a VPN, you can unblock and watch British TV channels like ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer.

You can also watch foreign sports such as football, Formula 1 or UFC fighting a lot cheaper. You can even subscribe to US cable on Sling TV and watch the world's best shows the moment they come out. A VPN truly unlocks the whole internet, allowing you to visit any website or use any service.

Connect to VPN Servers in Russia

If you are outside of Russia and want to use Russian websites such as Vkontakte (VK.com), the search engine Yandex, Mail.ru, and Odnoklassniki (OK.ru) – you will need to connect to a VPN server in Russia. Many Russian speakers in Ukraine, for example, must use a VPN with a Russian server in order to use Russia's version of Facebook (VK.com).

No matter where you are, you can use a VPN server to pretend to be in Russia if that is what you wish. However, on the whole, we recommend using servers located outside of Russia whenever possible: as this will be better for your privacy.

Can I get a free VPN for Russia?

If you're a Russian citizen, you may find it hard to find a free VPN for Russia. Even if you can find them, you need to be very careful because many free services collect data from their users and sell it to the highest bidder. Studies have revealed that free services have poor encryption, bad data practices, critical leaks, and even adware designed to track your habits to serve you ads. This is the opposite of what a VPN should be doing. 

Luckily, there are some free VPNs that are safe to use in Russia. Our recommended services provide a limited free plan so that you can use their service a little each month. Although these services are useful, they will do not compare to the unrestricted service you get with a full VPN subscription. 

If you want to try a full, unrestricted VPN service, we advise that you try one of the VPNs on this page. The VPNs for Russia in this article all have a VPN free trials and money-back guarantee. That means you can try out the full premium VPN and get tour money back to try another if you want to.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

5 Comments

Poøllemås
on April 12, 2020
Reply
please update this article with new information, PIA and NordVPN does not support Russia anymore. Dont know abou the other mentioned VPN's.
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Poøllemås
on April 14, 2020
Reply
Hi Poøllemås. Ray is looking into this and will update the article as required. Thanks.
Sam
on May 30, 2017
Reply
Visiting next month! I'll let you know how ExpressVPN works!
Robert replied to Sam
on August 23, 2017
Reply
So, Sam, how did it do for you?
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Sam
on May 31, 2017
Reply
Hi Sam. Please do! :)
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