Internet surveillance in Russia is a common concern. Though there is little in the way of internet censorship, there are some blocks and restrictions in place on politically insensitive or defamatory content.
To open up your access and simultaneously protect your privacy, your best bet is to use a VPN. VPNs give you an anonymous connection and unlimited access by changing your IP address.
Best VPN For Russia is Express VPN.
Why Is My Russian Access Limited?
If you live in or plan on travelling to Russia anytime soon, you should be aware of the internet surveillance that government conducts there.
In addition to blocking and restricting access to some content, the Russian government also quite openly monitors internet usage, in addition to phone connections.
Though a measure was recently passed that requires a warrant to obtain records from ISPs, they are nonetheless obligated to cooperate and comply with Russian law enforcement.
There’s a simple and effective way around all of this though, and it starts by simply using a VPN.
What is a VPN?
If you’ve never used a VPN before, don’t worry, they’re really simple.
Virtual private networks are a subscription service that give you access to blocked content by routing your connection through a server overseas.
Just select the location, hit connect, and get access to all of the content available in that region, regardless of the restrictions that are in place where you’re actually located.
VPNs also have the added benefit of giving their users complete privacy, with a securely encrypted connection to keep your data private, even from government surveillance agencies.
Top 3 VPNs for Russia
There are a lot of options out there to choose from, and with so many VPNs on the market, how do you know which ones are going to be worth the money?
I’ve compiled a quick list here of the top three VPNs on the web, and how they compare for open, secure browsing in Russia.
#1 Choice: Express VPN – 9/10 – Best customer service
When it comes to VPNs, Express VPN is the total package. This company is one of the few out there that combines an amazing product with unbeatable customer support.
Their company boasts features like:
- staff available 24/7 to answer your questions
- live chat for instant help
- 20 minute average response time for e-mail inquiries
Express VPN also backs their service with a no-questions-asked 30 day money back guarantee, and a referral program that gives you and a friend a month of free service when you get them to sign up.
Express VPN has one of the fastest and most reliable connections around too, making them perfect for streaming and downloading.
Their plans come with unlimited bandwidth, so you never have to worry about hitting a cap.
With user-friendly software that’s compatible with all major operating systems and military grade encryption, Express VPN will always be my go-to choice for privacy and accessibility overseas.
For the fastest and most reliable connection, get Express VPN now.
#2: IPVanish – 7/10 – No live support
If for some reason you can’t access an Express VPN server, IPVanish is a good one to try next.
Though their service isn’t quite as comprehensive as Express VPN’s, at just $10 a month, it’s an affordable option with a fast, reliable connection.
However, if you need a VPN to use on a mobile Apple device, keep in mind that, unlike Express VPN, IPVanish is not compatible with everything – it won’t work with iOS.
The good news is that, like Express VPN, their plans do come with unlimited bandwidth and two simultaneous connections, so you can protect all of your connections without breaking the bank.
If you’ve never used a VPN and think you may wind up needing some help, keep in mind that IPVanish doesn’t have as many support options as Express VPN.
Though their staff are available 24/7, you can’t reach them by any way but e-mail. Expect to wait longer to hear back too, at least a few hours.
Also worth keeping in mind is that IPVanish only comes with a one week guarantee, and doesn’t have a referral program.
However, if you just need a bare bones VPN plan with a great connection, IPVanish may just be the one for the job.
IPVanish can be found through this link.
#3: HideMyAss– 5/10 – Slow support, unreliable connection
HideMyAss is definitely one I would only use as a last resort.
Even though their service may seem to have a lot of bells and whistles, they really drop the ball when it comes to the quality of their service. For one thing, their connection is slow – really slow.
Streaming is pretty hopeless when using this VPN, and it usually takes twice as long as it should for me to finish a download on a HideMyAss server.
In addition, the connection is terribly unreliable, often cutting in and out multiple times during a session. This was very different from the fast and reliable connection I had with Express VPN.
What’s really frustrating is that HideMyAss’s customer support is very seldom prompt or effective.
Even their live channels usually have extensive wait times, and their e-mail support usually takes at least overnight to get a response from.
Though their software is compatible with all systems, their poor connection quality and customer support just doesn’t make it worth it to me – you’re much better off using Express VPN in Russia.
HideMyAss is here.
Conclusion: Best VPN For Russia
With pervasive government surveillance, internet users in Russia face some unique challenges when it comes to protecting their privacy.
Bloggers have faced brutal violence as a result of their publications, so it stands to reason that keeping your connection private could very well keep you safe.
Express VPN will protect your privacy and anonymity, and open up your access to blocked content, and allow you to use services that may otherwise only be available to you overseas.
For the fastest connection and the strongest encryption to protect your data in Russia, get Express VPN today.