Best VPN for India: Surf Safely and Freely While You’re in India
Are you searching for the best VPN for India? While data from different sources vary, it is believed that 25 to 45% of people in India use a VPN. Privacy, censorship, security and surveillance are just four of many reasons why Internet users in India might reach for a VPN. Connecting to the Internet through a secure VPN link to the provider’s server can help you access blocked sites and services, hide your activities from surveillance and conceal your identity when there’s good reason to be cautious. What’s more, with a VPN you can appear to be using the Internet in another country, enabling you to access US services that are normally blocked to non-US residents, or access news and information from free, uncensored sources.
At a Glance – Best VPN for India
This article will discuss the best VPNs for India in detail, but if you’re short on time, here are our top picks:
Choosing the Best VPN for India
Up to a point, users in India have the same VPN requirements as users elsewhere in the world, with privacy and security features balanced against affordability and the need for good connection speeds. However, users also need easy access to an IP address in a nearby country free from Internet restrictions, as one of the priorities is to evade India’s restrictive, often sudden blocks. In the past, state or local authorities have shut down or restricted Internet access in response to protests, and while Facebook and Twitter have never been banned, the authorities have criticised both for spreading incendiary messages. Recent years have seen an increase in arrests related to content shared over services like Facebook and WhatsApp. All this means that a robust VPN is a sensible safeguard against future censorship and free speech restrictions.
What’s more, there are other good reasons to use a VPN. India has high penalties for the illegal downloading or sharing of copyright materials, while there’s a hunger for US and UK video streaming services that are off the menu outside their home territories. There’s also a real need for enhanced security while using public wireless networks, as identity theft and fraud are growing problems in the country’s high-tech cities and many Indian websites are being hit with targeted attacks. As a result, it’s worth looking for services with strong, easily-accessible anti-censorship and anti-blocking features, robust privacy and security features and good connection speeds. As the effects of losing anonymity and privacy through a dropped VPN connection can be severe, a killswitch, which cuts all connections if the VPN stops, is a must, while features that prevent DNS leaks giving you away are a definite plus.
The Best VPNs for India
1. ExpressVPN: The best VPN for India overall
Price: $12.95 per month, $6.67 per month for one-year plan
With ExpressVPN, you will be able to stream content exclusive to India when you are on a holiday or business trip. And when you’re back home in India, you’ll be able to access a huge selection of worldwide media – including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney Plus, Peacock, BBC iPlayer, and so much more. Plus, you can watch cricket matches and other sports.
But to fully enjoy those shows, you’ll need fast connection speeds. Thankfully, ExpressVPN delivers in that department. Another thing that’s noteworthy about this VPN service is its excellent apps. You can use it on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Smart TVs, and game consoles. Whatever platform you intend to use it on, the ExpressVPN app will work smoothly.
This VPN is encrypted with 256-bit AES protection and doesn’t keep traffic logs (so you can rest assured that it’s safe and private). Another security feature is the kill switch. If you lose VPN connection, a kill switch will automatically disconnect your device from the internet connection to ensure privacy until the VPN connection is restored. The kill switch feature prevents your IP address, location, and identity from accidentally being exposed. Simply put, you can rely on ExpressVPN when it comes to privacy and security.
ExpressVPN combines speed, coverage, and ease of use into one package – and it is super reliable as well. As of this writing, ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers in 160 locations in 94 countries.
When it comes to the cost, you can save money if you opt for ExpressVPN’s annual plan. Buying through our links will give you 3 months free when you avail of the one-year plan. That’s 49% cheaper than the monthly plan.
- Excellent at unblocking streaming services
- Vast server network
- Strong encryption and fast speeds
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- A bit pricier compared to other VPNs
2. CyberGhost: A great VPN for unblocking, privacy and P2P
Price: $12.99 per month, $4.29 per month (one-year plan)
CyberGhost has more than 6,800 servers across 91 countries around the world. Its app is well-designed and easy to work with, with instantly accessible modes designed specifically to counter censorship or unblock streaming websites, though you can also do things manually, selecting your location from a list. What’s more, the server map gives an anonymization score for each server, based on the number of users online. If the server is busy and being used by more users, it’s harder to trace who’s been up to what online.
There are other advantages of choosing CyberGhost as your VPN. One of the things users are looking for in a VPN service is fast connection speeds, and CyberGhost performs respectably in this department. It also has strong DNS and IP leak protection plus an automatic kill switch. CyberGhost also promises unlimited bandwidth, and while P2P traffic isn’t allowed on certain servers for legal issues, it’s tolerated on many others, making CyberGhost one of a shrinking number of VPN providers that doesn’t do its best to block torrents. CyberGhost is based in Romania (not a member of the 5/9/14 Alliance) and has a strict no-logging policy. Definitely a great VPN for those who want to overcome restrictions.
- Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
- Large server fleet
- Strict no-logs policy
- Up to 7 simultaneous connections
- 45-day money-back guarantee (for an annual plan or higher)
- No independent audit
3. Private Internet Access – a secure VPN with a vast server network
Price: $11.99 per month, $7.50 per month (6-month plan), $2.19 per month (2-year plan with 2 months free)
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a veteran of the VPN market. This VPN service upholds a strict no-logs policy that has been proven in court on numerous occasions, making it a reliable and trustworthy choice.
Geo-hopping is a breeze with PIA. It has around 30,000 servers spread across 78 countries. You can access foreign news websites, gaming servers, and new shows and movies on US Netflix.
PIA servers are fast, too. You’ll be able to download files quickly and stream in HD, thanks to its unlimited bandwidth and data. There are no monthly caps to worry about, and you can even put a stop to ISP throttling when you connect to a PIA server.
The PIA apps provide a ton of customization options (though VPN newbies don’t have to worry about such settings) and its tried-and-true encryption is especially useful if you will be torrenting or downloading apps. The fact that PIA includes DNS leak prevention and a kill switch ensures that your anonymity is maintained even if your VPN connection unexpectedly drops.
PIA is based in the USA. That said, PIA’s zero-logs policy should make up for it. This policy means that even if the NSA comes knocking with a warrant and wanted PIA to provide user logs, there’s nothing to hand over in the first place.
- Up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Well-implemented encryption
- Zero-logs policy
- Kill switches on all platforms
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Decent but not incredible speeds
4. TunnelBear: A good VPN for privacy protection
Price: $9.99 per month, $4.99 per month for one-year plan
One of several great things about TunnelBear is that you can use it gratis, provided you keep your VPN traffic below 500MB per month (which is a difficult thing to do). Yet this is also a service worth paying for, with good privacy and security features and one of the most user-friendly interfaces around. TunnelBear has over 1,800 servers in 26 countries, and it’s speeds are pretty good. We saw a reasonable 33% reduction in speed over a short-hop connection, though using a server in Singapore from the UK pushed that up to an 87% drop – still not terrible by VPN standards.
TunnelBear is based in Canada – part of the five eyes network – but makes up for it with clear privacy policies, terms and conditions that make it clear what the service logs and how it will respond to requests for customer information. The service also has two options – VigilantBear and GhostBear. The first acts as a kill switch, while the second traffic passing through the VPN to make it look like normal, unencrypted traffic. This can help with circumventing government blocks and firewalls.
- Easy to set up
- Fun theme
- Clear Terms of Service
- Good security features
- Free trial (with 500 MB cap)
- No money-back guarantee, but refunds can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
5. IPVanish: The best VPN for expert users with multiple devices
Price: $10.99 per month, $3.75 per month for one-year plan
IPVanish has apps for the iOS and Android, plus a Chrome extension for protected browsing, so it’s a good choice for those wanting privacy or anonymity across multiple devices. The company claims to have a strict no logging policy, and you can use Bitcoin for anonymous payments.
IPVanish’s big selling point is control. The Windows app is more sophisticated than most, and while you can just pick a country and let the app do the rest, you can go more in-depth.
Your traffic is protected by 256-bit AES encryption, and there’s a killswitch to drop all connections immediately should your VPN fail. You can also set IPVanish to switch IP addresses every 45 minutes. It is a US-based service, which might put off anyone with concerns about five eyes surveillance, while it’s long-haul speeds are on the slow side, with a 72.5% drop in connection speed over a UK-to-US VPN. Over shorter distances, though, it’s a great service that should help you sneak past the censors and block.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Good for torrenting
- Fast speeds
- Strong encryption
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Based in the USA
- Doesn’t work with some streaming services
A Note Regarding VPNs in India
India’s Computer Emergency Response Team has directed all VPN companies operating there to gather client data, store it for at least 5 years, and turn it over to the authorities if requested. Any consumer VPN company with servers in India would have to keep customer records due to the new data protection regulations, which took effect on June 27, 2022.
These changes are not only bad for internet freedom and privacy, but they are also incompatible with how most VPN services operate. This is not just because of their no-logs policies; it’s also impossible due to the way their technology is set up. Their hardware is configured in such a way that it is not possible to record that data.
Many VPN firms have developed a workaround rather than simply eliminating India from the list of nations. The next best alternative for individuals who want to unblock content in India is not ideal, but it is still a good one. The solution is to use what is known as virtual servers. These servers aren’t physically located in India.
For example, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost pulled out their physical servers in India and now operate virtual servers instead for those looking for Indian IPs. Those virtual servers are physically hosted in other countries. Virtual servers are safe to use: the no-logs policy still applies.