Best VPN for Russia in 2020

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Security researcher
Last updated: October 23, 2020

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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.

These are our criteria for finding the Best VPN for Russia:

  • Robust security features
  • Maximum privacy and anonymity
  • Good speeds

Let’s meet the contenders!

No time to read? Here are our best VPNs:

#
PROVIDER
CATEGORY SCORECATEGORY SCORE
1.
The best VPN for Russia
9.7
2.
Budget-friendly and powerful
9.3
3.
Security-first VPN
9.1
4.
Privacy-oriented VPN
8.8
5.
Both fast and secure
8.6

1. NordVPN

9.7
Top VPN provider
Company location
Company location:
Panama
Protocols
Protocols:
NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
1,201 Mbit/s
  • Strongest security suite on the market
  • Independently-audited no-logs policy
  • Excellent speeds due to NordLynx protocol
  • No router app

Whenever there’s a huge premium on security (as there is with the Best VPN for Russia), the likelihood of NordVPN ending up among the best 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!

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark VPN

9.3
Top VPN provider
Company location
Company location:
British Virgin Islands (BVI)
Protocols
Protocols:
WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
689 Mbit/s
  • Solid security features, including kill switch
  • No logs
  • Stealth protocols
  • Weak self-help support section

Surfshark VPN is a medium sized VPN network that is already a strong contender in any toplist.

It has all the qualifying security benefits, such as AES-256 encryption, IKEv2/IPsec, and OpenVPN security protocols. It also has a kill switch that can be configured per-app basis or to shut down your internet connection when the link between a VPN server and your device is disrupted.

Prices start at $1.99/month, and there’s no limit for the number of simultaneous connections. This means it can be used to shield your whole family from privy state eyes.

This VPN is based in the British Virgin Islands that have no ties with surveillance alliances.

While Surfshark used to lack for a stealth protocol or stealth proxy, now it has the capability to disguise VPN traffic through the use of Camouflage Mode and NoBorders Mode.

Torrenting is also permitted on all servers and the speeds are reliable.

This service is one of the best VPNs for Russia if you’re on a tighter budget but still want to be in charge of your own privacy.

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

3. VyprVPN

Company location
Company location:
Switzerland
Protocols
Protocols:
OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, Chameleon
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
72 Mbit/s
  • Top-notch security features
  • An audit-proven no-log policy
  • Top speeds
  • No anonymous payments

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.

For a deeper investigation of VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN review.

4. Perfect Privacy VPN

Company location
Company location:
Switzerland
Protocols
Protocols:
OpenVPN, IPsec, and SSH2 tunnel
Support
Support:
Email, Forum, Support tickets
  • Super-strong security features
  • No logging
  • Stealth VPN feature
  • Lacks in speeds department

This VPN service has a fitting name because user privacy is its prime concern. Perfect Privacy VPN 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.

For a deeper investigation of Perfect Privacy VPN, read our Perfect Privacy VPN review.

5. ExpressVPN

Company location
Company location:
British Virgin Islands (BVI)
Protocols
Protocols:
OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
129 Mbit/s
  • Top security and privacy features
  • Stealth protocol
  • Super fast
  • Very expensive

This is one of 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 3000+ servers in 90+ countries, the ExpressVPN network of servers may be the strongest 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.

For a deeper investigation of ExpressVPN, read our ExpressVPN review.

Bottom line

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 $3.49 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!

6 comments
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  1. Teri the Tigress

    I enjoyed reading about the best VPN’s for people in Russia. Question: A friend (not me) is traveling to Russia this summer and I’m curious whether they should use a VPN while they’re over there. They’re a bit paranoid about what security will be like (yet they’re still going) and I don’t know whether to tell them to use a VPN or just avoid going online.


  2. Lena M

    NordVPN sounds like a really good choice to me ! I love the fact that it’s the best regarding security and privacy, it’s the two main things you should look for in a VPN. Thanks for the article !


  3. YeseniaGavrilova

    I will be spending 2 months in Russia and plan to use a VPN while there to access to my email and social media accounts to keep everyone at home informed of my adventures. I don’t normally use a VPN at home so I’ll probably just pay the monthly fee without signing up for a whole year. NordVPN offers an $11.95 monthly plan which is about what I expected to pay. Thanks for the info.


  4. Amalia R

    I’ve heard real good things about NordVPN, it seems like the best there is, but I’ve checked their subscription plan and it is $2,99 per month but it’s billed every three years so you pay over a $100 at once, depending on the budget it’s something to take into consideration as well. Thanks for the article though, it’s very clear, great content !


    1. Kevin Marlowe

      Hi Amalia,

      You make a good point, however, this seems to be a common way to give the price in the VPN industry. In some cases, people may be reasonably reluctant to pay for such a long period in advance. However, NordVPN has given no indication that the product will be any worse in 3 years time, just as the world has given no indication that VPNs will become any less necessary. With that said, of course, nothing is permanent.


  5. Zakir Zotov

    Astrill VPN did exactly what it should, although I haven’t tried other “premium” apps. nice and clean, and just amazing

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