India's Internet freedom has sharply declined in the last decade. Today, the government heavily monitors and censors its residents' and visitors' online activities. Furthermore, India's socio-political instability translates to rampant Internet shutdowns, content restrictions, and legal consequences for infractions. Luckily, a VPN for India will allow you to browse safely from within the country and give you full access to any content you want to enjoy.
Whether you live in India or you’re just visiting, if you want to access your favorite streaming content, news, or social media, you’ll need to use a VPN with the most countries and servers. Unblocking geo-restricted content is much easier with a wide variety of servers to choose from in many different locations across the world.
In addition to unlocking media, a VPN will protect your identity by masking your actual IP address and location. Using the best VPN with solid privacy and security features will protect you from government surveillance while you conduct your business online.
In this article, we recommend the 5 best Indian VPNs and thoroughly evaluate their features, including their pros and cons. We'll also discuss why using a VPN for India is necessary and review the criteria for choosing an ideal provider.
Ready? Let's dig right in!
How to Use a VPN in India
Before you get to use a VPN for India, you need to take your pick and subscribe to a suitable VPN provider. Then, download its apps and establish a VPN session. Just follow these steps:
- Sign up for a capable India VPN service (our #1 recommendation is ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the VPN app on your device(s).
- Launch the VPN and access its home screen using your credentials.
- Pick a server inside or outside India and establish a new VPN session.
- Keep the VPN running in the background. That's it!
By picking an India-based server, you can get an Indian IP address - no matter if you're inside or outside the country. And if you'd like to unblock websites from India, make sure to pick any server outside the country.
Best India VPN
The best India VPN must follow a strict no-logs policy, refusing to share user information with the government. Since India is rapidly becoming a strict surveillance country like China, you need a fast, reliable, and privacy-focused VPN to overcome any risk of government snooping or cyber-attacks. Ideally, it should employ a kill-switch feature, offer obfuscation, and use RAM-only servers. The provider must also protect all user data with military-grade encryption and use advanced tunneling protocols such as OpenVPN and WireGuard. Lastly, the best VPN in India should offer a money-back guarantee.
Based on the criteria mentioned above, the 5 best VPNs for India are:
- ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated VPN for India
- NordVPN – Best India VPN with Specialized Servers
- CyberGhost VPN – Indian VPN with the Most Servers
- Surfshark – Fast and Easy-to-Use VPN in India
- Private Internet Access – VPN with Advanced Customization Features
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ExpressVPN is the best India VPN available at the moment, as well as one of the most easy-to-use options. Download, install, and with a push of a button, you're ready to watch all your favorite content from abroad. And at lightning-fast speeds, too. The app suggests a server to connect to, but there's also a built-in speed test feature if you want the best speeds out there.
The VPN comes with a vast server network optimized to provide you with fast access to the websites you wish to visit. With unlimited bandwidth and zero throttling, expect to work or browse the Web without any bottlenecks.
We'll also mention that ExpressVPN no longer has servers physically located in India. That was a way for the VPN to avoid having to log your personal data, as forced by Indian authorities. Still, you can get an Indian IP address using two virtual servers found in the UK and Singapore.
Moreover, ExpressVPN doesn’t track your activity (no activity or connection logs). Considering India has recently joined the "Five Eyes" alliance, you'll need a provider like that to ensure your continued privacy online. And that your provider won't share your data with the government or leak it online, of course.
Finally, we'll also mention that you get access to 24/7 live chat support. Also, ExpressVPN has a 30-day no-questions-asked money-back policy. That means you can try VPN for India without any risk whatsoever.
- Super easy to use.
- Servers in 94 countries.
- Virtual servers for India.
- Unblocks most streaming sites.
- Privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- 5 simultaneous connections.
NordVPN is another highly-reputable brand with many years of experience under its belt. It's characterized by its simple UI, large server fleet, fast speeds, and several unique features.
For example, its Threat Protection feature blocks malware and phishing domains, as well as intrusive ads and trackers that could compromise your privacy. Plus, it scans any downloaded files for malware and deletes any possible threats.
It offers P2P-friendly servers for safe torrenting, has a strict 'no-logs' policy, and has recently implemented its own version of the fast and secure WireGuard protocol (NordLynx) - ensuring top-quality connections for any online activity.
On top of that, it has no trouble unblocking most of the major content platforms out there, making it a great India VPN for streaming video.
You also get 5,500+ servers in around 60 countries. NordVPN used to have servers in Mumbai, but that's no longer the case. To avoid being forced by the Indian government to collect its customers' data, NordVPN shut down its Indian servers. That means we recommend this VPN only if you wish to unblock websites in India (by connecting to foreign servers).
Of course, being one of the best VPN in India, NordVPN features 24/7 live chat support. On top of that, you can count on its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Solid encryption and privacy.
- Works on most streaming sites.
- Specialized servers on offer.
- Unblocks content with ease.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- Remote servers can be slow.
Most people use VPNs for streaming, and CyberGhost VPN understands this very well. How? Well, most providers' apps recommend servers based on speed alone. While that's all fine and dandy, the fastest download/upload speeds don't necessarily translate to the best connection quality for streaming.
Instead, CyberGhost VPN's service features a server selection option for 5 major streaming platforms: Hulu, Crunchyroll, BBC iPlayer, Netflix (DE, US, and FR options), and YouTube. The VPN also works with other services, such as Disney+ and Prime Video.
Another strong suit of CyberGhost VPN is its server network. You get 9,500+ servers, more than any other recommendation from this guide. Close to 30 of those servers are found in India (Mumbai) and that's a virtual VPN location. In total, over 90 countries are covered, so you'll always find a nearby server.
Let's not forget to mention CyberGhost's extra-helpful customer support. You'll get to count on its 24/7 live chat support. Also, CyberGhost's long-term plans are covered by a 45-day money-back policy.
- Streaming-optimized VPN.
- Large server network.
- Always-on kill switch.
- Option to block ads and trackers.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- Slower than its competitors.
While still a relatively new provider (2018), Surfshark has skyrocketed in usage thanks to its low price point for longer subscriptions, as well as the top-tier quality we've come to expect from any best VPN for India.
What sets it apart is the fact that it offers unlimited connections for a single account. You're looking at a VPN that can unblock all manner of content as well, so it has incredible value when shared with friends and family.
All its servers are P2P-friendly, meaning you can safely use them for (legal) torrenting if your ISP blocks torrent connections for whatever reason. Its CleanWeb feature is similar to NordVPN's Threat Manager utility and blocks most known malware and phishing sites while also cleaning up intrusive ads.
Surfshark has 3,200+ servers. It covers India with multiple server locations. More precisely, you can choose from Mumbai or Delhi, and there's a virtual location as well. However, all those are virtual servers, which means your data is protected.
Lastly, this India VPN comes with 24/7 live chat support. So, expect to have your questions answered in record time. On top of that, there's a 30-day money-back policy.
- No device limit.
- P2P-friendly servers.
- GPS spoofing on Android.
- Anti-tracking and ad-blocking.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- Connection times can be spotty.
Private Internet Access is in the relatively unique situation of having proven its no-logs policy in court (twice!) That isn't to doubt the authenticity of the no-logs policies of our other India VPN choices, most of which were audited by independent cybersec firms. However, it is reassuring that PIA takes your privacy seriously enough that not even multiple subpoenas from the FBI can make it go back on its promises.
Aside from that, PIA has thousands of servers in 80+ countries. It used to offer physical servers in India, but those are virtual ones now. So, even if you decide to get an Indian IP address, you can rest assured your data won't be logged at any point.
Then, we should mention that PIA comes with a high level of customization. It's one of the rare VPNs to allow you to choose a level of encryption (AES-128 or AES-256). Also, you get two types of kill switches, split tunneling, the ability to block ads, change your DNS settings, and ple ty more.
Just like other reputable India VPNs, PIA comes with 24/7 live chat support. Then, there's a 30-day money-back policy, meaning no risks are involved in trying this VPN out.
- Massive server fleet.
- Highly customizable.
- Court-proven no-logs policy.
- Virtual servers in India.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- Requires some customization.
Why Do I Need a VPN in India?
You need a VPN for India to protect yourself against government surveillance and hackers. The best VPN in India will also give you access to content blocked inside the country. Other reasons you need a VPN for India include the following:
- Bypassing Government Oversight – A robust Indian VPN helps you bypass surveillance by creating an encrypted tunnel for your data to safely transfer through. It also masks your true IP address, so your identity is protected.
- Accessing Restricted Content – Accessing restricted content (especially reputable news outlets) in India can be tricky due to the strict censorship laws enforced within the country. A VPN will bypass the restrictions and give you access to regional content by changing your virtual location to a different country of your choosing.
- Overcoming Social Media Bans – In India, social media restrictions are occasionally enacted, especially during social tensions. You can bypass these restrictions to stay connected with friends and family in times of unrest.
- Sharing Opinions Safely – While free speech is heavily censored, using an Indian VPN will allow you to safely share your opinions online. A VPN assigns you a unique IP address different from your own, which shields your real identity from government surveillance.
- Protection Against Cyber Criminals – Conducting sensitive business online can be risky, especially if you're in a country with as many Internet users as India. A VPN for India will protect your sensitive information, especially on public WiFi networks, with encryption protocols that prevent cyber attacks.
How to Choose the Best VPN for India?
To choose the best VPN for India, you must look for three core features: fast servers, a strict no-logs policy, and robust security and privacy measures. India's surveillance network is powerful enough to track users' online activity, but a good VPN can easily overcome this. Here are more qualities to look for in the best India VPN:
- Broad Server Network – A good India VPN should boast a robust server infrastructure with a wide variety of servers nearby India to choose from. The closer the server is to your location, the faster your connection will be.
- Fast Connection Speeds – Your chosen VPN provider must offer fast servers for seamless, lag-free streaming, gaming, or torrenting, based on your planned activities.
- Strong Encryption Protocols – To ensure complete privacy and security of your identity and sensitive personal data, pick a VPN with impressive encryption and tunneling protocols. Military-grade AES-256 encryption is preferred.
- Strict No-Logs Policy – You must choose a VPN with a strict no-logs policy. It’s even better if it has been independently audited. This policy ensures the provider will not comply with the Indian government's order to keep and turn over detailed user logs, including names, IP addresses, and more. If they don’t record the data, there is nothing to hand over when the government comes knocking.
- Obfuscation – Ideally, your VPN provider should offer obfuscation on its servers. This technology prevents your VPN from hitting firewall blockades by hiding the fact that you're even using it. This allows access to restricted Indian sites.
Are VPNs Legal in India?
Yes, VPNs are currently legal in India. However, India’s new data law takes a step towards restricting VPN use in India. It orders VPN providers in India to keep logs of users’ activities and identities. This law elicited a strong response from Indian VPN companies, who claim it is an attack on privacy.
To bypass the order and remain operational in India, almost all VPN providers removed their physical Indian servers. Instead, they started offering virtual Indian servers in nearby locations outside Indian jurisdiction so they don’t have to comply with India’s latest data law.
In short, even though the Indian government is trying to regulate VPNs, it is still legal to use them in India. However, keep in mind that using a VPN to do anything illegal is always risky.
Which VPN Offers India-Based Servers?
Right now, no VPN providers offer physical servers based in India. However, you can still get an Indian IP address by connecting to any virtual Indian server offered by ExpressVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost, and PIA. Unfortunately, NordVPN doesn’t offer any virtual Indian servers.
As previously mentioned, India’s new data law dictates VPN providers must share their users’ info with the government, which is why they pulled all physical Indian servers from their networks.
ExpressVPN was one of the first VPN for India to remove their physical servers, sending a message of their refusal to comply with data demands. Instead, they now offer virtual Indian servers in Singapore and the UK. PIA, Surfshark, and CyberGhost followed suit and shifted to virtual Indian servers in various locations, including Singapore, the Netherlands, and London.
Websites That Are Blocked in India
India has infamously blocked more than 55,000 websites across different categories in the last 7 years, including pornography, obscenity, social media, and many more. This number will only continue to grow as the country’s government continues to extend its surveillance and censorship.
It’s impossible to list all the URLs blocked in India, but some of the most popular ones include TikTok, Reddit, Vimeo, Pornhub, and Telegram, as well as torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, YIFY/YTS, 123Movies, IPTorrents, ExtraTorrent, KickassTorrents, LimeTorrents, and Torrentz.
However, most of these sites are not completely blocked. The government instead blocks specific URLs on services such as YouTube and other popular social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.
India follows a legal framework to block websites, which includes Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000. The country allows emergency blocking that can shut down websites within 48 hours of a government request. That said, the government has also blocked websites without the use of the IT Act.
According to Entrackr, the Indian government has direct access to all Internet traffic from the source. Using a VPN for India will allow you to access any partially or fully blocked websites, and your identity will be protected while you do so.
Are VPN Providers Threatening to Quit India Over New Data Law?
If you weren't aware, India has ordered crypto exchanges, data centers, cloud providers, and VPNs to log and hand over user data. This pretty much goes against what VPNs stand for, which is to prevent ISPs, governments, and hackers from spying on your online activity.
We've also covered what data VPNs need to send to the Indian government, and it's pretty bad. Under the new CERT-in laws, Indian citizens will have zero right to privacy. If these new rules aren't reverted, several major providers have threatened to pull their servers from India.
In fact, ExpressVPN was the first one to react by removing India-based servers in an effort to protect the privacy of its users. However, you can still get an Indian IP address, as ExpressVPN uses two virtual locations for that - in the UK and Singapore.
Which Chinese Apps Were Banned in India and Why?
Among the most popular Chinese apps banned in India stand entertainment giants such as TikTok and PUBG Mobile. The main (and seemingly only) reason the Indian government decided to ban all those apps is that they threaten the "national security and defense of India, which ultimately impinges upon India’s sovereignty and integrity."
This decision isn't without merit, as we've previously discussed how TikTok Pro is basically spyware in disguise. Or the fact that all visitors to China need to install spyware on their phones before entering the country. All this is on top of China's well-known restrictive regime and dystopian levels of mass surveillance and control.
That being said, it shouldn't be up to the government to decide what apps you can and can't use - especially when there are more pressing issues to address. Fortunately, a secure India VPN can help you regain your Internet freedom.
Can an India VPN Unblock TikTok and Other Banned Apps in India?
As we've mentioned in our article on the best VPN for TikTok, it's definitely possible to unblock apps banned in India with a VPN. However, do note that these apps can also be blocked based on your device ID, in which case a VPN won't be of much use.
Even so, a VPN will definitely help you get around restrictions for the apps' Web-based counterparts. So if you want to use TikTok on your desktop or mobile browser, it's definitely possible with an India VPN. Simply use the short guide at the start of the article, and you're set.
Why You Shouldn't Use a Free VPN in India
If you're planning on accessing content blocked by the government in India, a free VPN may not be a good idea for several reasons:
- Your device could get infected - According to Statista, 91% of mobile users in India use an Android phone. Well, you should know that 38% of free Android VPNs contain malicious code that could do way more damage than the price of a monthly subscription.
- They offer poor performance and unblocking capabilities - We're sure you're looking for the fastest speeds and a way to get around pesky geo-restrictions. Free VPNs are not the solution, unfortunately. After all, running a high-quality service costs quite a bit of money. The fact that free VPNs sell your data to advertisers probably doesn't cover those costs.
Luckily, you don't have to take our word for it. As you may know, all providers have 30 to 45-day money-back guarantees in place, so you can test them out at your leisure. And if you're still willing to try a free VPN, make sure to use the provided link to get our dedicated guide.
If you live in or plan to travel to India, you must use a VPN to protect yourself from government snooping and access geo-restricted content. Most VPN providers have removed their physical Indian servers, but virtual servers offered by most of the India VPNs we just reviewed ensure users can display an Indian IP address without issues.
We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN service in India because it meets the privacy demands of anyone who wants to bypass geo-restrictions and avoid government surveillance. It is super fast and highly secure, so you can be sure your identity will remain protected while you freely enjoy streaming, gaming, torrenting, browsing, and more.
Will VPNs Be Banned in India?
Under the new CERT-in rules, VPNs with servers in India will be required to log and hand over user data to the Indian government.
Major providers like NordVPN have said they will pull out of the country if given no other option, as they value their users' right to privacy. ExpressVPN has already done that (but it provides equally-helpful virtual locations).
Is a VPN Safe to Use in India?
For the moment, using a top-rated VPN (such as ExpressVPN) is perfectly safe to use in India. Even if providers pull their Indian servers due to the new data logging policy, you can connect to a server outside the country to preserve your privacy.
Is It Illegal to Use VPNs for Banned Apps in India?
While India has ordered ISPs to block Chinese apps like TikTok, it is not illegal to use a VPN to unblock them. Even watching porn with a VPN is legal (as long as the pornographic content itself is legal under Indian law).
What's the Punishment for Using a VPN in India?
There are no laws that punish the simple activity of using a VPN in India. Accessing the Internet while connected to a VPN is perfectly legal.
Of course, if you get caught accessing illegal content (such as torrent trackers), you can be fined and arrested under the Copyright Act, 1957 of the Constitution of India. More specifically, Sections 63, 63A, 65, and 65A.
Can I Bypass the India Porn Ban with a VPN?
Yes, you can unblock porn sites in India with a VPN. Simply connect to a VPN server outside India, and you'll gain access to all the content available in that country.
What Is the Cheapest VPN in India?
Private Internet Access (PIA) and CyberGhost offer the cheapest VPN services in India at around $2.00 per month - if you pick their long-term plans.
What Is the Fastest VPN in India?
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN in India thanks to its proprietary Lightway protocol and robust server network infrastructure. Connect to a server closest to your physical location for the best connection speeds.
Does ExpressVPN Work in India?
Yes, ExpressVPN works in India. It even offers virtual Indian servers located in the UK and Singapore if you want to display an Indian IP address. Using any of its servers, you can browse the Internet privately and securely.
That's all for our guide to the best VPN for India. If you have any questions, let us know via the comments section below. Thank you for reading!