We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Advertising Disclosure

vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

4 Best VPNs for Russia That Work in 2024 — All Safe to Use

Akash Deep Updated on 9th February 2024 Fact-checked by Kristina Joshevska Cybersecurity Researcher
2024 Update: Russia is actively blocking VPN services, but the VPNs listed below are the most reliable as per our tests. ExpressVPN remains our top choice because we found it to be the most consistent at the time of writing.

Since the conflict in Ukraine, Russia has tightened its restrictions on internet freedom. Plus, many VPNs don’t work there, and others don’t host servers in the country.

However, some VPNs are working hard to protect the digital freedom of their users in Russia. So I’ve compiled a list of VPNs that still work in Russia, that let you use the internet safely.

The best VPN for Russia is ExpressVPN. It has automatic obfuscation on every server that can detect deep packet inspection (DPI), an advanced form of VPN detection. Plus, it’s fast enough to let you stream, torrent, and game without lag or buffering. You can even try it risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get ExpressVPN Today >>

Note! While using a VPN in Russia is legal, accessing banned websites with one is not. We at vpnMentor recommend you stay updated with the most recent laws regarding VPN use in the country to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal issues.

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Russia in 2024

  1. Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Reliable VPN with robust security features. It accepts Russian payment methods.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  2. Astrill VPN
    Astrill
    Safe no-logs VPN with server obfuscation. Offers 300 servers in Russia.
  3. Proton VPN
    Proton
    Secure Core servers that offer double encryption, but small server network.
  4. PrivateVPN
    PrivateVPN
    Intuitive Russia VPN that’s suitable for beginners, but it’s 5-Eyes-Alliance-based.

Best VPNs for Russia — Full Analysis (Updated 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Automatic Obfuscation on Every Server Disguises VPN Use in Russia

Best Security Feature Every server automatically obfuscates your connection if it detects DPI
Nearby Servers Ukraine, Romania, Finland, Belarus, Japan, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Mongolia
Simultaneous Device Connections 8, allowing you to cover your primary devices
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, Max (previously HBO Max), DAZN, ESPN, and more

Every one of ExpressVPN’s 3,000 servers has automatic obfuscation to disguise your VPN use as regular internet traffic. While VPNs aren’t illegal in Russia, their use may be viewed with suspicion by ISPs and other network owners. Obfuscation helps you to keep your browsing private without attracting attention.

The dedicated kill switch also automatically disconnects your internet if the VPN connection fails, ensuring you’re never left vulnerable while online in Russia. Additionally, I didn’t face any IP or DNS leaks during my tests. What’s more, ExpressVPN’s military-grade encryption is enhanced with perfect forward secrecy, meaning your encryption key changes regularly. So, even if your current key is somehow compromised, it won't affect the security of past or future VPN sessions.

ExpressVPN's advanced protection settings windowYou can also change VPN protocol and add new shortcuts from the settings panel

The versatility of the servers goes even further — each one supports streaming, torrenting, and gaming. I was able to switch from YouTube to playing Among Us to torrenting a 3GB file, all on that same Ukraine server.

Like many VPNs, ExpressVPN doesn't have any servers in Russia due to the Yarovaya laws that would require them to record and hold user data. However, there are plenty of nearby servers in neighboring countries. You can try them for yourself entirely risk-free thanks to ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. If they don’t work for you, it’s easy to get a refund.

It’s also important to note that you may need a Russian-sanctioned VPN to access and use ExpressVPN, at least the first time you use it. I recommend using the free version of Kaspersky VPN. Kaspersky VPN is sanctioned by Russia because it complies with its laws and data requirements.

Useful Features

  • Exclusive Lightway protocol. Most VPNs use standard open-source protocols like OpenVPN, but ExpressVPN also offers its proprietary Lightway protocol. It was designed for fast and highly secure connections, making it a good choice for maintaining your privacy in Russia.
  • TrustedServer technology. ExpressVPN’s RAM-only servers automatically wipe all data on reboot. Plus, its no-logs policy has been proven in court multiple times, so your internet activity in Russia will be free from prying eyes.
  • Threat Manager. ExpressVPN continuously maintains and updates a list of domains that contain viruses and malware. Once you activate its Threat Manager feature, it will prevent you from accessing malicious sites in Russia.
  • Shortcuts. This neat feature lets you set up shortcuts to your favorite sites and apps. So, whenever you need to transmit sensitive data to services like online banking, you can create a secure connection to that website with a single click.
ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. Astrill VPN — Multiple Russian Servers to Safely Use Local Sites

Best Security Feature Russian servers to get a local IP address
Nearby Servers Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Romania, Japan, Lithuania
Simultaneous Device Connections 5, allowing you to cover your main devices
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, Max (previously HBO Max), DAZN, ESPN, and more

Astrill is one of the few VPNs that still offers Russian IP addresses. You can also get dedicated IP addresses in Moscow and St. Petersburg for an extra fee. That means you’re the only person using that IP, which helps maintain a stable connection and reduces your chances of being blocked. So you can access your local Russian sites safely without compromising your online privacy. During testing, I had reliable connections with Astrill VPN’s servers.

Screenshot of Astrill VPN's Russian serversYou can connect to the recommended server options or even pin your favorite locations

For added privacy, you can use its StealthVPN protocol. This means that your online activity and the fact that you're using a VPN is hidden from Russian snoopers. You also get an automatic kill switch that shuts down your internet if the VPN connection fails (to avoid exposing your data or identity).

Astrill VPN also comes with a Site Filter that lets you choose which websites are routed through the encrypted tunnel and which ones stay on your regular IP address. App Guard is a similar feature where you can prevent selected apps from running if the VPN isn’t active. These features allow for a great degree of control over what aspects of your online activity are protected in Russia.

If you’re a techie like me, you may find the app a little basic. But it’s easy to use, and everything works, so it’s a good choice for VPN newcomers. There’s also a 7-day free trial available for Astrill. However, you don’t get a money-back guarantee.

Useful Features

  • Ad blocker. This ensures your browsing experience in Russia is free of intrusive ads and trackers, improving both privacy and webpage load times.
  • P2P-optimized servers. Astrill VPN also lets you torrent in Russia without restrictions. It’s compatible with clients like BitTorrent, LimeWire, and uTorrent.
  • Multi-hop VPN. Multi-hop routes your traffic through multiple servers for better security and privacy while in Russia — but it’s only accessible for an additional fee.

3. Proton VPN — Increase Your Protection in Russia With Secure Core Double Encryption

Best Security Feature Secure Core routes your data through 2 separate servers offering double encryption
Nearby Servers Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Romania, Japan, Lithuania, South Korea
Simultaneous Device Connections 10, allowing you to cover your primary devices
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, Max (previously HBO Max), DAZN, ESPN, and more

Proton VPN’s Secure Core connections route your data through 2 separate servers, doubling your online security in Russia. These servers did slow my base speed by around 20%, and I usually had to wait over a minute to connect. But it was worth the wait to cover my sensitive data with an extra layer of encryption.

It also comes with the feature NetShield, which safeguards you against pop-ups and dangerous links. It’s a great safety net to have, particularly if you're not fluent in Russian and you’re not confident whether you can discern if a site is malicious or not. My tests confirmed Proton VPN’s NetShield effectively blocks malicious websites, pop-up ads, and trackers.

Screenshot of Proton VPN's security settingsProton VPN’s split tunneling lets you set only certain apps to use the VPN tunnel

With Proton VPN, you also get robust security settings to safeguard your digital footprint in Russia. The military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and strict no-logs policy (verified by independent audits several times) work to make sure no one can get their hands on your browsing history — not even the VPN itself.

My main concern with Proton VPN is that it has a smaller server network compared to the others on this list. That said, it does have a lot of optimized options to choose from. I had access to servers specially designed for torrenting, streaming, and Tor.

Proton VPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try it for free. If you’re not completely happy, claiming a refund is easy.

Useful Features

  • Tor over VPN. Servers marked with an onion logo let you access the dark web in Russia on a regular browser (instead of Tor).
  • P2P servers. Proton VPN offers specialty servers so you can safely and privately download torrent files in Russia.
  • Perfect forward secrecy. This feature continuously changes your encryption keys. So, even in the incredibly unlikely event a key is compromised, past and future VPN sessions will remain protected as they use different keys.

4. PrivateVPN — Easy-to-Use Russia VPN, Great for VPN Beginners

Best Security Feature Intuitive apps for any type of VPN user
Nearby Servers Ukraine, Finland, Romania, South Korea, Japan
Simultaneous Device Connections 10 connection to cover your devices and maybe even share
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, iPlayer, Sky TV, Max (previously HBO Max), DAZN, ESPN, and more

PrivateVPN has simple apps that are easy to navigate, even if you’re a VPN beginner. It allows you to sort servers based on distance, which lets you choose a low-ping server for gaming. You can also add a server location to Favorites for an easy future connection. If you’re an experienced user, you can switch to its Advanced View and optimize your connection as per your security needs in Russia.

However, I was concerned that PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, which has a variety of data retention and surveillance laws that can affect VPN providers. However, it has a strict no-logs policy, so your online activity remains private.

PrivateVPN is pretty affordable — you can get a subscription for just $2/month. The plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can also test it for free.

Useful Features

  • Stealth mode. PrivateVPN’s Stealth VPN mode scrambles your metadata to make your VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic. This lets you use the VPN on restrictive networks, so you can safely visit sites and apps in Russia.
  • Remote support. If you’re new to VPNs, PrivateVPN’s support team can take control of your devices remotely to set up the VPN or solve any technical issues you may have in Russia.
  • OpenVPN protocol. PrivateVPN doesn’t have a proprietary protocol like ExpressVPN’s Lightway, but it does offer OpenVPN, which is one of the safest options for Russia.

Quick Guide: How to Set Up a VPN for Russia in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because it has automatic obfuscation and thousands of servers across the world. Plus, it accepts Russian payment methods, including Qiwi and UnionPay.
  2. Connect to a server. Choose a server that’s close to your physical location for a faster connection.
  3. Browse the web. Your network is now secure, and you can browse the web safely.

Tips on Choosing the Best VPN for Russia

I used the following metrics to rank my top picks. You can use the same criteria to help you choose the best Russia VPN.

  • Works in Russia. Many VPNs have stopped operating in Russia, whether voluntarily or as a result of state blocks. All the VPNs on this list have been tested by our team of testers in Russia, and they successfully worked at the time of writing.
  • Virtual Russian servers or in nearby locations. This will give you secure connections for safely browsing local Russian content and allow you to get the fastest speeds possible. I made sure to shortlist at least one VPN that has virtual Russian servers. Plus, all VPNs on this list have servers in nearby locations.
  • Works with popular sites. Choose a VPN that gives you reliable and stable connections to popular Russian sites. We made sure to choose VPNs with fast speeds for HD streaming and smooth browsing.
  • Strong security. Your VPN should have robust security features to protect your privacy and digital freedom in Russia and abroad. I thoroughly tested each VPN on this list to ensure they have essential features, like an automatic kill switch, military-grade encryption, and IP/DNS leak protection. Some also offer obfuscation to secure your connection on restrictive networks that block VPNs.
  • A strict no-logs policy. Pick a VPN that has a strict no-logs policy to protect your data in Russia. No VPN on this list stores identifiable info like browsing history. This means they have no information to hand over to any entity that requests it.
  • Fast speeds. Your VPN should offer fast speeds across all its servers. The speed drop on nearby serves shouldn’t exceed 30%. I made sure to only shortlist VPNs that are ideal for high-bandwidth activities like streaming, gaming, and torrenting.
  • Reliable support. Look for a VPN that offers reliable support over 24/7 live chat, email, and contact form. I’ve prioritized VPNs with 24/7 live chat so you’ll always be able to access help in Russia at any time.

Internet Censorship in Russia

The digital landscape in Russia has changed a lot over the years. Historically, the internet in Russia was a relatively free space, but recent years have seen a shift towards more strict regulations and censorship. This has been driven by a combination of political, security, and ideological concerns.

Key Legislation and Actions

  • Yarovaya Law (2016). One of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting internet freedom in Russia is the Yarovaya Law. Introduced in 2016, it mandates telecom companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to store detailed user communication records for six months and all connection metadata for three years. This extensive data retention allows the government unprecedented access to user activities online. The law also criminalizes certain online behaviors, like posting things that hurt “national dignity.”
  • Blocking of Telegram (2018). In a move against encrypted communication, the Russian authorities attempted to block the messaging app Telegram in 2018. This resulted in the unintentional shutdown of over 4 million IP addresses, affecting various unrelated services, from MasterCard to Twitch. Despite the massive blockade, Telegram remained accessible in the country.
  • Sovereign Internet Law (2019). Aiming to establish greater control over the domestic internet, the Sovereign Internet Law was enacted in 2019. This legislation empowers the Russian state to disconnect from the global internet during perceived "emergencies." It's a step towards creating a domestic alternative to the worldwide web.

Current State and Future Implications

Presently, content critical of the government, especially regarding its actions in Crimea and the Ukrainian conflict, is frequently filtered. Independent news outlets are also under pressure, with many experiencing legal and financial challenges. The trajectory suggests a potential further isolation of Russia's internet from the global community, raising concerns about access to unbiased information and freedom of expression.

FAQs on Using a VPN for Russia

Why do I need to use a VPN in Russia?

Under the new Yarovaya laws, Russian ISPs and other telecommunication operators must record phone conversations, text messages, and internet history and store this data for up to 6 months. The associated metadata can also be stored for up to 3 years. Using a reputable VPN with strong encryption protocols in Russia is the best way to restore your online privacy and digital freedom.

Which VPN has Russian servers? Will this give me a Russian IP?

During my tests, I found 2 safe VPNs with Russian servers that can give you a Russian IP address.

Most reputed VPNs no longer offer servers within Russia. The ones that do only offer virtual servers that aren’t physically located in the country. This is in response to the latest call for VPNs to comply with Russian law by The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor). If a VPN had physical servers in Russia, it would have to store your data for up to 3 years to comply with Russian law.

Is it legal to use a VPN in Russia, or have they been banned?

It’s complicated — it is legal to use a VPN in Russia, but it’s illegal to access sites that the government has banned. Using a non-government-authorized VPN is also against the law. The government has intensified its efforts against VPN providers that don't comply with their content restriction policies, resulting in several of them being banned.

We don’t condone illegal activities, so please stay up-to-date on the country's laws to ensure you don’t accidentally break rules by accessing a banned site.

Can you download a VPN in Russia?

You can, but Russia blocks many VPN websites. You can download all the VPNs on this list in Russia at the time of writing, but that’s subject to change.

If the download link doesn’t work, you can ask the provider for an alternate URL or “mirror” site (an identical site with a different URL that Russia doesn’t block). VPNs switch up these URLs frequently to evade detection.

What websites and apps does Russia block?

Russia bans many websites and apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It also blocks thousands of international news websites and independent media. Sites like BBC News, NYTimes, and Google News are inaccessible in the country.

This is because of the government’s strict regulations about permissible content. As another example, ISPs are required to store user data for up to a year. And the government doesn’t need a court order to access that data.

Can I use a free VPN for Russia?

Yes, but I don’t recommend it. It’s better to use a low-cost premium VPN in Russia with solid security features and a strict no-logs policy, which most free VPNs can’t offer.

Many free VPNs collect and share your data with third parties. In addition, they lack essential security features. All this can put your privacy at risk. Some premium VPNs offer free versions, but these are severely restricted. You’ll often have limits on speeds, server access, and data.

Get the Best VPN for Russia

The Russian government imposes strict censorship and surveillance. It blocks thousands of websites, including popular social media platforms, international news sites, and more. Most VPNs are blocked in the country, so finding one that works isn’t easy. However, I’ve shortlisted the most reliable options for Russia at the time of writing.

My top recommendation for protecting your privacy is ExpressVPN. It offers automatic obfuscation on every server, allowing it to work well in Russia. Plus, it has an ad blocker and strong security features to safeguard your online activities. You can even try ExpressVPN risk-free since it has a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not 100% happy, you can easily claim a refund.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs for Russia…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 59%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 50%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 85%!
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Akash is a writer at vpnMentor dedicated to providing readers with unbiased and expert advice on online security and privacy. He specializes in analyzing the latest cybersecurity trends and providing up-to-date information to help readers make informed decisions.

Did you like this article? Rate it!
I hated it! I don't really like it It was ok Pretty good! Loved it!
out of 10 - Voted by users
Thank you for your feedback