For those in the West, it’s easy to get a misguided understanding of VPN technology and its significance. While our governments are far from ideal (and drifting further from perfection with each year), we take freedom of speech, the rule of law, human rights, and other such concepts for granted. Meanwhile, in countries like Russia, concepts is all they are. Therefore, the best VPN for Russia is one that not only deals well with geo-blocking but also is able to bypass firewalls and provides maximum anonymity.
As such, it must keep the bare minimum of logs and be outside the reach of the Russian government. A good VPN for Russia is also one with stealth protocols that can pierce attempts to block VPN traffic and thus keep the user out of the public eye. In the same vein, it is crucial for Russian users to be able to pay for the service using some anonymous payment method – Bitcoin, other crypto choices, or gift cards.
Finally, no service can claim the title of Best VPN for Russia without the speed to back it up. Generally, that means lots of well-optimized servers in Europe, but we’ll take whatever way good speed is achieved.
To sum up, our criteria for finding the Best VPN for Russia:
- Robust security features
- Maximum privacy and anonymity
- Good speeds
Let’s meet the contenders!
1. NordVPN ‣
- Location: Panama
- Pricing: starts at $2.99/month
- Features: strongest security suite on the market, very mindful of privacy, decent speeds
Whenever there’s a huge premium on security (as there is with the Best VPN for Russia), the likelihood of NordVPN taking the top place increases. This Panama-based VPN service has built a business out of reliability and concern for user privacy.
NordVPN uses military-grade AES-256 data encryption, has no leaks and an awesome set of security features. This includes two types of kill switch, DNS leak protection, IPv6 leak protection, a browsing safety tool, Double VPN (multihop), and Onion over VPN. In short, no one is getting to your data, unless NordVPN wants them to. Does it?
Well, all evidence points to the fact that it doesn’t. The service keeps zero logs (as has been proven by an independent audit), doesn’t ask for any personally identifiable data, and allows anonymous payments. Users in Russia need look no further for complete confidentiality.
To top this entry off, NordVPN has a stealth protocol (“Obfuscated servers”) to bypass firewalls and has one of the best server lists.
The history of the Russian state can be traced back to the Varangian chieftain Rurik and his mighty dynasty. And now it’s time to get back to the North!
2. VyprVPN ‣
- Location: Switzerland
- Pricing: starts at $5.00/month
- Features: top-notch security features and an audit-proven no-log policy; top speeds
VyprVPN is always among the best for users in VPN-restricted countries. This is hardly a surprise because Golden Frog has marketed their product this way from the very beginning – not great for copyright violations, but awesome for those with a noble purpose. That includes journalists, political activists, and also regular people in need of a weapon against censorship.
Just as every other VPN tool on this list, VyprVPN offers users AES-256 data encryption. That’s an un-brute-forcible cipher users should feel really good about. Additionally, VyprVPN has no leaks, clean clients, and great security features (a kill switch, zero-knowledge DNS, NAT Firewall). This service is also notable for owning all of the servers on the network, making security even less of an issue.
Incidentally, owning their own servers allows Golden Frog to make VyprVPN one of the fastest VPN services in the world.
VyprVPN also has its own stealth protocol, so Russia’s firewall should not be an issue.
3. ExpressVPN ‣
- Location: British Virgin Islands
- Pricing: starts at $8.32/month
- Features: very versatile VPN, top security and privacy, stealth protocol, great speeds
This is the industry’s favorite VPN service and there are good reasons for it. First off, ExpressVPN has no holes or leaks – in that sense, it is completely watertight. The encryption standard is the same as with previous entries on this Best VPN for Russia list, and the features are similar – Express has a kill switch, DNS leak protection, plenty of protocols, and great clients.
ExpressVPN keeps the absolute minimum of data about its users. This was proven in the wild when Turkish authorities seized an ExpressVPN server and found nothing of use to them.
With 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, the ExpressVPN network of servers may be the strongest entry on this list. It’s sure to give users great speeds in most parts of the world, including Russia. Like others on this list, ExpressVPN also has a stealth protocol, allowing it to bypass even the toughest firewalls.
- Location: Seychelles
- Pricing: starts at $8.33/month
- Features: very fast, stealth protocols, great security, some logging
A smaller network than others (327 servers in 65 countries), Astrill VPN has all the same security benefits as others on this list. There’s the strong AES-256 encryption, lots of protocols, a kill switch, etc. Perhaps the only concern here has to do with privacy.
In short, Astrill VPN collects more data about users than other tools on this list. However, this data is not personally identifiable and should be unreachable for Russian authorities. Just make sure you don’t use the 2 Astrill VPN servers in Russia.
On the other hand, Astrill VPN is super-fast and has the most protocols on this list, including not one but two stealth protocols (OpenWeb and StealthVPN) as well as the cutting-edge WireGuard protocol.
- Location: Switzerland
- Pricing: starts at $8.95/month
- Features: super-strong security features, no logging, can be a bit slow
This VPN service has a fitting name because user privacy is its prime concern. Perfect Privacy has one of the strongest security suites on the market – it has all the offerings of NordVPN (although not as polished), and even some additional features, like Neurorouting.
Perfect Privacy keeps no logs and has no simultaneous connection limit, meaning you could buy one subscription and use it on a lot of devices.
With all that said, Perfect Privacy is not the fastest VPN service on the market and its apps are some of the most old-school pieces of software, so reminiscent of the ‘90s you might start singing Ice Ice Baby. Regardless, it undoubtedly deserves to be on any Best VPN for Russia list.
And the best VPN for Russia is…
NordVPN. This service has the strongest security credentials and seems to care the most about your anonymity. Additionally, this is an all-around reliable VPN that can unblock Netflix, protect your P2P activities, and offer great speeds regardless of whether you’re in Saint Petersburg or Vladivostok.
Users in Russia will also appreciate the price of NordVPN, which is just $2.99 a month if you buy a 3-year subscription.
Not so sure this is the Best VPN for Russia? Have a look through our list of VPN reviews for something that might fit you better!