ExpressVPN

5 Best VPNs For Russia

2014 was a bad year for Russian internet users and websites operating within Russia alike. Several new laws, touted as counter-terrorism measures or protecting Russian values, have been passed with the effect of curtailing freedom to express opinion, access information and even operate business without government interference.  This makes using a VPN in Russia important if you want to keep your data safe and your internet free.

There are over 100 VPNs reviewed on this site, all offering different combinations of features and options, so it’s important to think about what they offer before choosing which one to spend your money on.

Many users may not need a full set anonymity features but still value their privacy and want to remain safe whilst using the web.  All the VPN services we have recommended in this list provide a great service and have servers in Russia for great performance whilst accessing non-restricted sites in Russia.

Any whistleblowers, journalists or activists considering speaking out against Putin’s government would do well to think carefully about the risks involved and take the necessary precautions to remain safe. Our Ultimate Privacy Guide has a wealth of great information on how to remain undetected, and it is possible to connect to your VPN through TOR for extra anonymity, although few VPN providers offer this feature.

Check our table below for the best VPNs for Russia.

Best VPN for Russia Summary

Rank Provider Starting Price Grade Link

1

VPNArea Logo $9.9/mo

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2

ExpressVPN Logo $8.32/mo

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3

NordVPN Logo $5.33/mo

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4

IPVanish Logo $6.49/mo

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5

Buffered Logo $10/mo

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Winner

VPNArea

4,9/5

  • PROS
  • No logs
  • Accepts BitCoin
  • Shared IPs
  • Based in Bulgaria and keeps data in Switzerland
  • Servers in many countries
  • DNS leak protection
  • Per-app kill switch
  • 256bit AES encyption
  • CONS
  • Expensive for one month, but very competitive for an annual subscription

VPNArea have great clients for Windows and Mac with DNS leak protection and a per-app kill switch, as well as excellent set-up guides for other systems and you can connect up to five devices simultaneously, which makes it perfect if you want protection for home and mobile technology.

Although there is no free trial, they do offer a seven day money back guarantee if you are unsatisfied (the website states that they have never refused a refund request).

No activity logs are kept and shared static IP’s are used, making it extremely difficult to match individual users with online activity, and being registered in Bulgaria and hosted in Switzerland means they are protected by Swiss laws, which are generally better for privacy than those in the EU.

VPNArea have also just informed us that they are going to launch 2 new Russian VPN servers to provide an even better service across the country.

Try out the best Russia VPN today!

Visit VPNArea »

7 day moneyback guarantee

2nd place

ExpressVPN

4,85/5

ExpressVPN Logo

  • PROS
  • Excellent easy to set up clients for Windows
  • Android and iOS
  • Simple registration
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Servers in 78 countries
  • Accepts BitCoin
  • CONS
  • Quite expensive
  • Different login for each device
  • Keeps some logs (related to access times, not user activity)

ExpressVPN consistently rank highly in our top 5 lists for good reason, they offer great speeds and high security whilst keeping the UI clean and easy to use, and have dedicated clients for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

You can pay with BitCoin so the only personal data you need to provide whilst signing up is an email address.

Express are one of the biggest VPN providers out there and have servers all over the world, so whether you’re connecting from Moscow or Yakutsk, you’ll be able to achieve great speeds in Russia with ExpressVPN.

Visit ExpressVPN »


3rd place

NordVPN

4,85/5

NordVPN Logo

  • PROS
  • Dedication to security
  • Bitcoin payment
  • 256 bit AES OpenVPN encryption
  • Double VPN and Tor over VPN
  • Outside EU and USA jurisdiction – no logs
  • Data or use
  • 3 day free trial
  • CONS
  • Only Windows
  • iOS and iPad clients
  • Inconsistent speeds

NordVPN definitely take security seriously and offer many features in their client such as a VPN kill switch, DNS leak protection and double VPN, which encrypts your data twice and can even be used over TOR. Coupled with the fact that they are based in Panama which has no mandatory data retention laws and have a great zero logs policy anyway, we can highly recommend this service.

It is possible to get a three day free trial by email the customer support, otherwise they have a three day money back guarantee which only covers you should the service fail to work.

They currently have dedicated clients for Windows, iOS and iPad and their excellent customer support rep informed me that they are currently developing Mac and Android clients. All in all, a great Russian VPN pick!

Visit NordVPN »


4th place

IPVanish

4,8/5

IPVanish Logo

  • PROS
  • No logs policy
  • Shared IPs
  • Very fast
  • 59 servers around the world
  • Clients for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and setup guides for other devices
  • Accepts BitCoin
  • CONS
  • Limited simultaneous use
  • Few features in clients

Although based in the USA, IPVanish has an excellent zero logs policy and accepts BitCoin, therefore we don’t think Russian VPN users need worry too much.

The client is quite simple and doesn’t offer as many features as others, but it works nicely and you can easily see server speeds and location, as well as periodically change IP.

IPVansih offer 2 simultaneous connections but only allow 1 OpenVPN connection and 1 other (L2TP or PPTP) connection, and we only recommend using OpenVPN so you are rather limited in this respect.  If you do need to connect several devices at once, you can buy a router from the IPVanish website which allows you to use the service with all devices connecting through it.

Visit IPVanish »


5th place

BufferedVPN

4,75/5

Buffered Logo

  • PROS
  • Great Security
  • Based in Hungary so no UK or US restrictions
  • Clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • CONS
  • Keeps some logs
  • No BitCoin payment option

Buffered are a new but rapidly expanding VPN service based in Hungary. They currently have servers in 16 countries and promise to be adding more soon.

Their prices are at the higher end of the spectrum, but they do offer a good service that allows you to connect 3 devices simultaneously. They keep no activity logs although your IP address, time and amount of data transferred are kept. Unfortunately they don’t currently have the option to pay by BitCoin, but promise to change this in early 2015.

Visit Buffered »


Russian VPN Considerations

“Law on Bloggers”

In July last year, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, imposed a law requiring all bloggers with more than 3000 daily readers to follow the same rules as large media outlets, including writing under their real name and registering with the mass media regulator, Koskomnadzor. The effect of which is an ever tighter control on Russian media and access to unbiased news.

Since the announcement of the ‘law on bloggers’, many internet users have, predictably, begun to take their privacy more seriously and use of VPNs in Russia and other anonymising services has greatly increased, with the number of users accessing the TOR network from Russia doubling between May and July 2014, although numbers dropped somewhat when the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs offered a $110,000 prize for cracking the network.

Data Retention and Civil Unrest

It’s not only bloggers who face increasingly tight restrictions in Russia; Facebook, Google and Twitter have all come into the line of fire after Russian authorities demanded that certain pages linked demonstrations and protests be removed.

This comes after a bill was passed, coming into force in September 2016, that will require all websites which store details of Russian users to do so on servers located within Russia, sparking fears that this will lead to increased restrictions on freedom and privacy.

Western companies such as Facebook and Twitter that want to continue doing business with Russian users may have to rent up to 1500 servers in one of the new Siberian data centres, costing up to $45 million per year.   Google have since declared that it will close its offices in Russia.

Best Russian VPNs Conclusion

As long government agencies across the globe continue their attack on internet freedom, people will be increasingly concerned with protecting their privacy.  Using a quality VPN in Russia will help you remain safe, and there are extra measures that can be taken such as paying for your VPN using BitCoin and using anonymous email such as Guerilla Mail.

All the providers in this list offer a high quality service and optimised security at a reasonable price, so there’s no reason anyone wanting a VPN in Russia should shy away from trying them out.

Russia VPN Summary

Rank Provider Starting Price Grade Link

1

VPNArea Logo $9.9/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

2

ExpressVPN Logo $8.32/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

3

NordVPN Logo $5.33/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

4

IPVanish Logo $6.49/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

5

Buffered Logo $10/mo

Read Review >
Visit Site >

Joseph Robinson I'm a libertarian interested in human rights, technology, paradoxes and analogue synths.

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