The 5 best VPNs to travel in Russia in 2024

The 5 best VPNs to travel in Russia in 2024

A holiday suitcase filled with a map, vintage camera, hate and smartphone with a Russia VPN

Having a VPN in Russia is a must, not only to stay safe and anonymous online but also to keep in touch with friends and family back home via popular social media platforms that have been blocked and banned since spring 2022.

If you’re looking for the best VPN to use while travelling in Russia, this short Russia VPN guide will help you to bypass censorship on blocked social medias and websites and allow you to access Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix etc while in the country (rumor has it that Whatsapp is about to be blacklisted too …)

The VPNs are listed in no particular order.

Last updated 21/04/2024

A map with zoom on Europe and Russia with pins of VPN servers
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RUssia travel insurance

It’s mandatory to have an insurance to travel in Russia and apply for a russian visa (including the e-visa)

I recommend Attollo Assistance (24/7 assistance, medical expenses up to 35 000 €, repatriation)


Why should you use a VPN in Russia ?

Internet censorship in Russia isn’t as bad as let’s say China but the numbers of banned and censored websites & social media platforms has been growing fast especially since spring 2022.

You need to use a VPN in Russia for your own online security, anonymity, access your favourite Western news websites and social media plaforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram if you wish to keep in touch with your loved ones at home.

A Russian city skyscrappers at night with a layer a smarphone and map of VPN servers

What is Roskomnadzor?

Roskomnadzor is the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media in Russia. It is responsible for overseeing the implementation of laws related to telecommunications, internet, media and also regulates the use of VPNs.

Basically Roskomnadzor is responsible for the censorship of popular social medias such as Twitter, Instagram etc and banning well known VPNs such as NordVPN and Expressvpn.

Note : Banned VPNs = No servers in Russia but they still works inside the country.

What is Roskombadzor ?

What makes a VPN good for your travels in Russia ?

There are many VPNs that still work in Russia, including free ones (most locals use these to access blocked social media platforms). When choosing which VPN to use inside the country, there are a few key features to consider :

1 – Servers in Russia. You won’t be able to access the national railway wesbite (RZD) to book your trains with a Western IP address for example.

2- Security and online anonymity. Not only from the Russian government but also hackers. Russia is in the top 5 countries with the most hackers in the world.

3 – Speed. If you wish to watch your favourite Netflix show, upload video on your Instagram story or whatever else that has to do with uploading, downloading or streaming you better get a fast VPN.

Aerial view of Moscow in Russia at night

The 5 best VPNs to travel in Russia

The following VPNs are listed in no particular order. They all provide excellent online security, good speed and have servers in Russia. The famous NordVPN, ExpressVPN, HideMyAss etc aren’t here because they have no server locations in the country anymore.

Proton VPN

The homepage of Proton VPN website

Proton VPN offers 16 different server locations in Saint Petersburg and connection speed up to 10 Gbps.

  • Great speed
  • No-logs policy
  • Thousands of servers in 67 countries (+ double hops)
  • Price start at 4.99 €/month for a 2 years plan or 9.99 € for a month
  • 16 servers in Saint Petersburg

Cyberghost

The homepage of Cyberghost VPN website

Cyberghost is a well known VPN service that has 62 server locations in Moscow, a 24/7 live customer support and P2P file sharing.

  • “no logs” policy, your data is not stored
  • Very fast connection speeds
  • 120 server locations in over 88 countries
  • Price start at 2,11€/month for a 2 years plan or 11,99€ for a month
  • 62 servers in Russia

Hotspot Shield

The homepage of HotspotShield VPN website

Hotspot Shield VPN has 256-bit encryption and a server in Russia. You can get a 7 day free trial to give it a go before your trip.

  • 256-bit encryption
  • Wi-Fi Security (100% data encryption)
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Price start at 7,99€/month (yearly plan) or 12,99€ for a month
  • 1 server in Russia

VPN.ac

The homepage of VPN.ac website

VPN.ac is a little known VPN service based in Romania that offers strong encryption, good speed and solid custumer service. VPN.ac provides a Double-hop Russia – Netherlands server. I’ve been using it for years in all my travels in Russia and beyond.

  • Multiple VPN protocols/encryption types
  • Self-hosted
  • Excellent customer support
  • Price start at $3,75/month for a 2 years plan or $9 for a month
  • A Double-hop Russia – Netherlands server

Vpyr VPN

The homepage of Vpyr VPN website

Vpyr VPN has a strong AES-256-bit encryption, is free from data retention laws and has servers in Moscow.

  • AES-256-bit encryption
  • Public Wi-Fi protection
  • Customer service live chat feature available
  • Price start at 5€/month for a yearly plan or 10€ for a month
  • Multiple servers in Moscow

FAQ

Are VPNs legal in Russia ?

Yes they are. However it is illegal is to use VPNs in Russia to bypass censorship and access blocked/banned wesbites.

Do I need a VPN in Crimea ?

Yes. It happened to me many times before switching on my VPN to be located in Ukraine so russian booking platforms such as RZD’s was incaccessible.

Don’t you think for a sec that the Ukrainian goverment isn’t watching foreigners (having entered illegally what they consider theirs) in Crimea.

The Best VPN to travel in Russia
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