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5 Best Free Russia VPNs: Secure Servers Which Work in 2023

5 Best Free Russia VPNs: Secure Servers Which Work in 2023

Protecting your privacy while in Russia is crucial because of the numerous cyber risks. But finding a free VPN that works in the country is challenging due to Russia’s tough stance on encryption services. Only Roskomnadzor-approved VPNs are allowed to operate.

My team and I tested 50+ VPNs to find free ones that still work in Russia. We shortlisted the best secure free VPNs with global servers (including in Russia) for safe browsing. These VPNs can also help you access international content. Read on to find which ones they are, plus additional valuable tips for choosing a safe free Russian VPN.

My top choice for Russia is ExpressVPN. Its military-grade encryption (enhanced further with perfect forward secrecy) provides high-end protection against snoopers and hackers in Russia. You can easily connect to the vast network of obfuscated servers and browse international content censorship-free. The 30-day money-back guarantee offered by ExpressVPN lets you try the full service risk-free.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free >>

Important! Several popular VPNs in Russia are banned, and using them within the country could lead to legal consequences. I and my team at vpnMentor do not condone illegal activities, so please ensure you’re up to date with Russia’s latest laws and regulations before using a VPN.

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Free Russia VPNs in 2023

  1. ExpressVPN — The most secure (and fastest) VPN I tested for Russia, with strong AES 256-bit encryption and a strict, proven no-logs policy. You can use ExpressVPN risk-free since it’s supported by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. CyberGhost — Dedicated servers for seamless streaming, gaming, and torrenting, and it offers a long 45-day money-back guarantee — but only if you sign up for a long-term plan.
  3. Proton VPN — Unrestricted bandwidth for unlimited secure browsing, but the accessible server network on the free version is disappointingly small.
  4. — Supports P2P activities on all servers, but the free service is generally unreliable for streaming.
  5. Avira Phantom VPN — Unlimited device connections, but there’s a 500MB monthly data limit.

Best Free Russia VPNs — Full Analysis (Updated in 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — High-End Encryption for Secure Connections in Russia

Best Feature Military-grade encryption enhanced with perfect forward secrecy makes your connection virtually indecipherable
Server Network 3,000 servers in 94 for bypassing geoblocks anywhere
Security and Privacy Independently-audited no-logs policy to ensure your activity in Russia is never stored
Works with Netflix (all libraries), Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Sky TV, and more

ExpressVPN is the most secure VPN I’ve tested for Russia. Not only does it offer AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, but this encryption is further enhanced by perfect forward secrecy (a process that regularly changes your encryption key) and HMAC authentication (a process that prevents man-in-the-middle attacks). You’re also secured with Network Lock, a built-in killswitch that cuts off your internet if the VPN connection suddenly drops, and robust IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection.

A screenshot of ExpressVPN leak test resultsRussian ISPs can’t snoop on you while you’re connected to ExpressVPN’s secure servers

To add privacy, the VPN uses RAM-only servers (TrustedServer). During regular server reboots, the servers are automatically wiped clean of any stored data. Its Threat Manager also blocks hidden trackers or malicious websites. Plus, ExpressVPN has passed a recent independent audit of its no-logs policy, performed by trusted firm PwC. It’s also based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, which isn’t a 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance country (nations that share intelligence).

The vast server network of 3,000 servers across 94 countries lets you easily bypass global geo-restrictions. All the servers are automatically obfuscated when network restrictions are detected, and will disguise your VPN traffic as regular internet to avoid detection and VPN-blocking firewalls. While ExpressVPN doesn’t have Russian servers, there are some in nearby locations like Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, and more.

During my tests, the VPN was one of the only ones that worked with all streaming and VoIP services. For example, I connected to the US servers and watched Netflix US content in UHD without buffering. Because of the unlimited bandwidth, you can safely stream high-quality content from Russia and torrent large files without restrictions.

While ExpressVPN unfortunately isn’t forever free, you can try it risk-free for 30 days thanks to its money-back guarantee. I tested it myself by canceling on day 27 of my subscription — I got my full refund back in my account in just 3 days.

ExpressVPN Offer June 2023: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don’t miss out!

Useful Features

  • Lightway protocol. ExpressVPN is impressively fast, and this is due in part to its proprietary Lightway protocol. With it active, I got speeds of 115Mbps (only 8% slower than my regular internet connection). Nicely, Lightway has also been proven to be highly secure by multiple independent audits.
  • P2P-friendly network. All of ExpressVPN’s servers allow torrenting and its fast speeds are great for speedy downloads from within Russia.
  • Split tunneling. You can designate which apps should safely tunnel through the VPN and exclude others. This allows you to simultaneously access local and international content while browsing in Russia.
  • MediaStreamer. With this Smart DNS feature, you can easily configure devices that don’t support native VPN apps (like Smart TVs, PlayStation, and Xbox) to be able to access US and UK streaming content from Russia.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free >>

2. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers for Streaming, Gaming, and Torrenting in Russia

Best Feature Easy to find the ideal server for your needs in Russia, thanks to its dedicated servers for popular activities
Server Network 9,528 servers in 90 countries, including a virtual server in Russia
Security and Privacy Automatic WiFi protection to keep you safe on unsecured public hotspots
Works with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Sky TV, and more

Whether you want to stream, play online games, or torrent, CyberGhost’s dedicated servers let you easily do all of this from within Russia. The server network spans 90 countries (including Russia), and many of these are specialized for certain activities. For example, CyberGhost offers an optimized server for accessing BBC iPlayer — when I tested it, I could instantly unblock my account on the service and start streaming.

A screenshot of CyberGhost optimized servers for streaming, gaming, and torrentingCyberGhost’s user-friendly apps are really easy to navigate

CyberGhost’s robust security keeps you secure in Russia. AES 256-bit encryption secures your traffic against hackers who may try to intercept your communications. Other features like IP/DNS leak protection and a kill switch help to ensure your sensitive information remains hidden. Plus, WiFi protection automatically connects the VPN when on public hotspots, ensuring your connection is safe from cybercriminals.

While not as fast as ExpressVPN, the VPN supports the WireGuard protocol, which balances speed and security. Most servers I tested gave me speeds of up to 110Mbps, dropping just 12% from my 125Mbps base speed. I didn’t encounter any interruptions while streaming or making VoIP calls on Skype and Telegram. The gaming servers also had low latency, allowing me to play lag-free​.

CyberGhost’s no-logs policy is transparent and has been independently audited. The VPN uses RAM-only servers like ExpressVPN and it’s based in privacy-friendly Romania. The only letdown is that it isn’t fully free. However, by signing up with a long-term plan, you can try CyberGhost risk-free for 45 days, thanks to its impressively long money-back guarantee. Prices start at just $2.11/month, too.

June 2023 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

Useful Features

  • NoSpy servers. CyberGhost also offers privacy-optimized servers called NoSpy servers. These are servers located in CyberGhost’s Romanian HQ, where they are maintained by CyberGhost staff only. You won’t have to worry about unknown data center employees or other third parties potentially having access to your data.
  • Dedicated IP. For a slight additional fee, you can get a dedicated IP address which you won’t have to share with any other users. This has a few benefits — you’re less likely to be detected and blocked by georestricted services and platforms, and you also won’t run into constant CAPTCHA security checks while browsing.
  • Content Blocker. If enabled, this feature enhances privacy and security by blocking ads, trackers, and malicious websites.
  • Smart DNS. CyberGhost’s Smart DNS is really easy to set up, and allows you to access region-specific content on streaming devices that don’t support VPN apps.

Try CyberGhost Risk-Free >>

3. Proton VPN — Unlimited Bandwidth for Unrestricted Internet Access in Russia

Best Feature No limits on bandwidth, so you can browse as much as you like from Russia
Server Network 57 servers across the US, Japan, and the Netherlands
Security and Privacy Stealth protocol to disguise VPN traffic while on restricted networks
Works with Netflix (US only), Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max

Proton VPN’s free service doesn’t restrict bandwidth. This allows you to enjoy unrestricted browsing, streaming, and downloading in Russia without worrying about hitting data caps. Plus, the VPN doesn’t throttle connections (deliberately slowing you down). I recorded decent speeds when I tested Proton VPN’s free servers. My connection only dropped to 101.30Mbps, which is more than fast enough for most online activities.

A screenshot of Proton VPN speed test resultsThe WireGuard protocol is recommended for faster connections on Proton VPN

Besides masking your IP, this VPN offers a Stealth protocol to disguise VPN traffic as regular traffic (so you can evade Russian VPN blocks). It also deploys AES 256-bit encryption alongside features like a kill switch and leak protection. Proton doesn’t keep records of your online activity either, as the VPN is based in privacy-friendly Switzerland and it complies with an audited no-logs policy.

The big downside is that you only get access to 57 servers with the free version, a small number relative to the 2,991 on the premium plan. The server network only covers 3 countries (the US, Japan, and the Netherlands) too. While I could unblock my Netflix US account after trying a few times, Proton VPN failed to access many streaming platforms that I could unblock just fine with ExpressVPN or CyberGhost. Still, if none of that bothers you, you can start using Proton VPN for free in Russia without handing over any financial info.

Useful Features

  • Open-source. All Proton VPN apps are open source — meaning anyone can inspect the code to see if it’s secure and privacy-optimized. Proton VPN has passed multiple audits from independent parties proving just that.
  • VPN Accelerator. This built-in technology softens the impact of VPN encryption on speeds, giving you faster connections and low latency on most servers.
  • Money-back guarantee with paid plans. You can try Proton VPN’s premium plans risk-free for 30 days thanks to a money-back guarantee. These plans come with even more security and privacy features, such as Tor over VPN services, an ad and tracker blocker, and more.

Try Proton VPN Free >>

4. — Torrent-Friendly Servers for Secure File Transfers in Russia

Best Feature Free torrenting servers in many locations across the globe
Server Network 9 servers in 8 countries covering North America, Europe, and Asia
Security and Privacy Stealth Guard to prevent specific apps from being opened without VPN protection
Works with YouTube, VoIP services

All servers support peer-to-peer (P2P) connections. They provide ample safety and decent speeds to download or share files in Russia. The VPN doesn’t throttle speeds (I recorded around 90Mbps during my tests) but you can only get 10GB of data per month with the free plan. That’s just enough to download a few HD movies and can cause torrents to get stuck until the limit refreshes.

You also only get access to 9 servers with the free plan. The app let me connect to servers in the US, the UK, Canada, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, France, and Singapore. While there were 2 US servers to choose from (one on each coast), I couldn’t unblock Netflix US, despite trying a couple of times.

That said, still offers pretty good security measures for a free VPN. It supports AES-256-bit encryption and multiple safe tunneling protocols, including IKEv2 and WireGuard. There’s also leak protection and a kill switch. Plus, the VPN offers good online privacy thanks to a zero-logs policy.

Useful Features

  • Port forwarding. Hide.Me also lets you set up port forwarding — a rarity among free VPNs. This is useful for torrenting as it lets you connect to more peers, increasing your download speeds.
  • Stealth Guard. You can set specific apps to only be able to connect to the internet via the VPN. For example, you can ensure your torrenting client can only connect under the VPN, so there’s never any risk of accidentally torrenting without protection.

Try Free >>

5. Avira Phantom VPN — Unlimited Connections To Safeguard All Your Devices in Russia

Best Feature Allows you to connect as many devices as you want for free
Server Network You can only connect to nearby servers
Security and Privacy Leak protection to hide your sensitive details while browsing
Works with No streaming platforms reliably during my tests

Avira Phantom VPN offers unmetered connections, allowing you to secure all your devices in Russia. The VPN is also compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS (though not Linux or Chromebook). I connected multiple devices while testing Avira Phantom VPN and performance wasn’t affected. Overall, the VPN dropped my speeds by 32% to 85Mbps — more than fast enough for simple browsing.

My biggest frustration with Avira is that you can’t manually choose a server with a free account. I only had the option to connect to the fastest server for my location (which is usually just the closest option). As Avira doesn’t have a Russian server, I could only connect to servers in surrounding countries. That meant I couldn’t unblock many of my favorite US streaming accounts from Russia, for example. Your data is also limited to just 500MB/month.

If you’re just looking for an online security boost though, Avira Phantom VPN is still a decent choice. The service uses safe protocols like OpenVPN alongside AES-256 encryption. Plus, you get privacy features like DNS leak protection — though only the paid version has a kill switch.

Useful Features

  • Extra data. If you sign up with an email address, you can get an additional 500MB of data per month — taking your allowance up to 1GB.
  • No logs policy. All of Avira Phantom VPN’s plans are covered by a strict privacy policy, so the service won’t record what you do online.

Try Avira Phantom VPN Free >>

Quick Comparison Table: Best Free Russia VPN Features

To help you choose the best free Russia VPN, I have compared the top services side-by-side in the table below. I’ve focused on whether each VPN is forever free, along with the extent of the server network, the speeds you can expect, and more. These are all important factors when using a VPN to access content securely in Russia.

Forever Free? Server Network Average Speed Data Limit Maximum Device Connections
🥇ExpressVPN No free version, but a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee 3,000 servers in 94 countries 115Mbps (8% drop) Unlimited 5
🥈CyberGhost No free version, but a risk-free 45-day money-back guarantee 9,528 servers in 90 countries 110Mbps (12% drop) Unlimited 7
🥉Proton VPN Forever free 57 servers across 3 countries for free 100Mbps (20% drop) Unlimited 1 only on free plan Forever free 9 servers across 8 countries for free 90Mbps (28% drop) 10GB on free plan 1 only on free plan
Avira Phantom VPN Forever free Can only connect to closest / fastest server on free plan 85Mbps (32% drop) 500MB on free plan Unlimited

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free >>

Tips on Choosing the Best Free Russia VPN

Only a few free VPNs work in Russia, so it’s crucial to consider some basic things while making your selection. Here are my top criteria:

  • Security and privacy features. The VPN must use the best encryption standards (i.e. AES 256-bit encryption) because of the potential risks of monitoring on Russian networks. It should also have a kill switch, IP/DNS leak protection, and follow a trustworthy no-logs policy that ensures your activity isn’t recorded.
  • Actually free. Your free Russia VPN should be just that — free. If not forever free, it should at least offer a long trial or money-back guarantee period to let you test the service without risk.
  • Worldwide servers. Access to global servers enables you to reliably bypass geo-restrictions and censorship while in Russia. You should be able to access platforms and sites from other countries (such as streaming services) with ease.
  • Fast speeds. Because VPN encryption often slows down connections, get a service that doesn’t significantly affect your speeds. That way, you can stream high-quality videos without buffering and play online games lag-free from Russia.
  • Device compatibility. Your chosen VPN should work on a good range of devices and also support multiple connections. That way, you can secure your entire network.
  • Enough data. Many free Russia VPNs significantly restrict your data usage. Make sure your chosen option gives you enough data to at least cover secure day-to-day browsing. The best free Russia VPNs give you plenty, or even unlimited, data to work with.
  • Helpful support. Choose a Russia VPN that offers a responsive support team who are happy to assist even free users. That way, you’ll have experts to fall back on if you ever run into issues.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free >>

Expert Tip: Most Free VPNs for Russia Aren’t Safe

Hackers in Russia are very skilled. Most free VPNs can’t reliably protect you from cyber threats due to limited security features. They provide weak data encryption and may lack vital features like a kill switch and IP leak protection. Because of this, your data is left vulnerable. Russian ISPs can also easily detect and block your VPN traffic or monitor your online activities.

Another risk with free VPNs is that they might collect and sell your activity data themselves. In the past, free services like SuperVPN have leaked the information of millions of users. Some free VPNs even include malware or trackers that can steal your sensitive information, including account passwords.

All my recommended free services use AES 256-bit encryption to secure your data. Plus, they don’t store your activity records, so third parties can’t find anything on you even if the servers are hacked or raided. That said, the truly free services on my list still have plenty of limitations. Some restrict your data usage, and all of them include less security features than premium alternatives. For truly secure and unrestricted internet access in Russia, I highly recommend using a low-cost paid VPN instead.

Quick Guide: How to Use a Free Russia VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. While not free, ExpressVPN is my recommended service because it’s highly secure and offers a reliable global server network for accessing sites from Russia. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free because it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Connect to a server. Pick a location that offers the geo-restricted service you’d like to access. For example, connecting to a US server lets you unblock your Netflix US account while visiting Russia.
  3. Browse content. You should now be able to browse your desired site or service securely from Russia.
Pro Tip: If you have any issues accessing Russian sites with your VPN, try clearing your browser cache and cookies as these can sometimes reveal your real location. Switching to a different server can also help — you can contact your VPN’s customer support to get recommendations for servers that work in Russia. That said, ExpressVPN never had trouble accessing Russian sites in my tests.

FAQs on Best Free Russia VPN

Are VPNs legal and safe to use in Russia?

VPNs are generally legal in Russia, but many popular VPN services are banned in the country. This is because these VPNs have failed to comply with Russia’s demands that they block certain websites and log user data. None of our top free Russia VPNs log user data or enforce blocks, so it’s possible some of these may fall under Russia’s bans. Using a banned VPN in the country could lead to legal consequences, such as fines.

Russia tends to focus more on blocking access to banned services rather than punishing individual users. However, please keep in mind that we do not condone illegal activity — so always ensure you’re following the latest laws and regulations surrounding VPNs in Russia.

Which VPNs have servers near Russia?

ExpressVPN has servers in multiple countries bordering Russia, including Belarus, Georgia, and Poland. Plus, ExpressVPN offers the best security features I tested for browsing while in Russia. Whatever you want to do, you can quickly find a reliable server on the app.

How do I get a Russian IP address?

The easiest way is to connect to a Russian server via a VPN. This tunnels all your internet traffic through Russia, masking your real IP address with a Russian one. Just make sure to choose a VPN with servers in Russia. These can be tricky to find, as lots of VPNs have withdrawn services from the country due to its restrictive internet regulations.

Which websites and apps are blocked in Russia?

Netflix, Instagram, and Twitter are just a few of the services blocked in Russia. Social media sites, VoIP services, and international news sites are amongst the most frequently blocked. If you travel to Russia, a VPN can help you securely access your favorite services and accounts from back home without restrictions. That means you can communicate with family or clients on VoIP apps or watch your favorite content anywhere

Other websites and apps that have been blocked in Russia include:

Skype Telegram Facebook (and Messenger) LinkedIn TikTok WhatsApp
Discord Tor Google News BBC News Microsoft Teams CBC Gem
NPR Bild Die Welt Ukrayinska Pravda Interfax-Ukraine
Voice of America Bellingcat Amnesty International CNN AOL Telegraph
Dailymotion (Wayback Machine) Canva Quora Soundcloud

What’s the best VPN protocol to use in Russia?

Lightway is recommended for Russia because it’s both secure and fast. Lightway is exclusively available with ExpressVPN, though all the recommended VPNs in this article support alternative secure protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN. They just aren’t quite as fast or battery-friendly as Lightway.

Get the Best Free Russia VPN

Russia is a major hotspot for cybercrime and third-party snoopers. If you don’t take steps to protect your privacy, you can easily fall victim to phishing scams, hacking, and monitoring. A robust VPN can help prevent potential threats online and on public networks. While there are good free options, please keep in mind that these offer slower speeds, less security features, strict data limits, and other limitations.

That’s why I’d always recommend ExpressVPN. While not free, it secures all your connections with military-grade encryption and disguises itself as regular internet traffic (to avoid detection by Russian firewalls that block VPNs). Also, the extensive server coverage allows you to easily access geo-restricted websites. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on the service, meaning you can always try ExpressVPN risk-free.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs for Russia…

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