VPNs available in Russia
Information about Russian VPNs
What is a VPN for Russia?
A VPN for Russia is an online service that allows its users to protect their digital privacy, stream geo-blocked content, or just access their accounts without worrying about whether or not that data will be traced back to their IP address.
Russia does not explicitly ban the use of VPNs for its more than 87 million internet users, though the actual laws behind the usage of the services is a bit dodgy (as we’ll expand on in the sections below). The country does have a respectable number of cities with higher than average internet speed though, with both Moscow and St. Petersburg representing two of the fastest connected areas in the world.
Why Use a VPN in Russia?
Like China, Russia has been on a warpath in recent years to crush any dissenting opinions that go against its host government or their policies. Putin has been personally involved in dozens of info war campaigns, whether it’s snuffing out journalists who report negatively about the state’s activities or political protesters who fight back against anything from Russia’s stance on gay rights to their dealings in the Middle East.
This is why it’s imperative that anyone involved in those fields do everything they can to use a VPN anytime they’re posting content that they think the government may not agree with. A VPN allows you to protect your identity when you’re visiting what the Kremlin refers to as “unlawful” websites, and will give you the edge on them whenever you want to watch movies, TV shows, or YouTube shows that the government has tried to prevent its own people from seeing.
Is it Legal to Use a VPN in Russia?
Sort of. Last year on November 1st, a law was signed into effect by Vladimir Putin which requires all VPN providers to cooperate with the state-owned media watchdog group Roskomnadzor, which essentially means opening up all their logbooks (if they keep them) to help the state identify users who are visiting “banned” sites.
Exactly which sites are considered unlawful by the state still remains to be seen, and could even be handled on a case-by-case basis if the government gets its way (which it almost always certainly does in the country). Not only that, but because all VPN providers must cooperate with the Kremlin, we may be entering a new paradigm shift in privacy where VPN services are actually less effective at protecting your identity than an unencrypted connection.
This is because as VPN providers hand over their logs (by legal requirement), the Kremlin will now have a list of all the people who are actively trying to subvert censorship. Stay tuned to VPN.com for regular updates on this story, and stay safe out there!