India has really started ramping up the censorship, having recently blocked over 260 apps and services from China. On top of that, the country has recently joined the “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing and encryption backdoor alliance, meaning Indian citizens’ privacy has taken another huge hit from the spectre of mass surveillance. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the five best VPNs for India, a great start in your fight against government restrictions and surveillance.
How does a VPN help? Well, VPNs are designed to encrypt your online traffic – which is just a fancy way of saying that nobody can see what you’re doing online. Not your Internet provider, not the government, and certainly not any run-of-the-mill hackers. This is ideal, considering hackers are using the Coronavirus panic to spread further chaos.
Additionally, VPNs hide your IP address and replace it with the one from the server you’re connected to. This has two major benefits. For one, your real life location is hidden, as IP addresses can reveal which city you live in, right down to the postal (PIN) number. Second of all, this allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and access all the content that’s currently blocked in India. Or, if you’re currently living abroad, this also allows you to watch Hotstar outside India, as well as access other services exclusive to India.
Here Are 5 Amazing India VPNs to Unblock Your Favorite Content and Secure Your Data!
Below you’ll find the 5 best VPNs for India in 2021, fit for anything from streaming, safe torrenting, and even online gaming. All of these providers offer top-notch security and do not keep any logs about your online activity, so we’ve ranked them based on other criteria.
1. ExpressVPN – The Most Feature-Rich VPN for India
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ExpressVPN has a sleek interface and is one of the easiest VPN applications to use. 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 automatically 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 boasts a huge 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.
Moreover, ExpressVPN doesn’t track your activity (no activity and connection logs). Considering India has recently joined the “Five Eyes,” 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.
We recommend checking out TechNadu’s ExpressVPN review, where you’ll find in-depth information about the provider, their app features, and our own speed tests to get an idea of what to expect.
- Encryption & VPN Protocols: AES-256; Lightway, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP.
- Servers Available in India: 3 locations; Dozens of servers.
- Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days.
2. CyberGhost VPN – Best India VPN for Streaming
Most people use VPNs for streaming content, 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 speeds don’t necessarily translate into the best connection quality for streaming.
CyberGhost VPN’s website features a server selection option for five major streaming platforms:
The VPN also works with other services, such as Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, as seen from our CyberGhost VPN review. Check that out for a more in-depth analysis.
- Encryption & VPN Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2, Wireguard, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP.
- Servers Available in India: 1 location, 20+ servers
- Money-Back Guarantee: 14 days (for 1 month plans); 45 days (6+ month plans).
3. NordVPN – Fast VPN for India, Strong Security Options
NordVPN is another highly reputable brand, with several years of experience under its belt. It’s characterized by its simple UI, highly expansive server network, fast speeds, and several unique features. For example, their CyberSec feature blocks malware and phishing domains, as well as intrusive ads and trackers that could compromise your privacy.
They offer P2P-friendly servers for safe torrenting, have a strict ‘no-logs’ policy, and have recently implemented their own version of the fast and secure WireGuard protocol (NordLynx) – ensuring top quality connections for any online activity. On top of that, they have no trouble unblocking most major content platforms out there, making them a decent VPN for streaming video in India.
- Encryption & VPN Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, NordLynx.
- Servers Available in India: 2 locations; 30+ servers.
- Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days.
4. Surfshark – Great Value, Safe Torrenting on All Servers
While still a relatively new provider (2018), Surfshark has skyrocketed in usage thanks to their low price point for longer subscriptions, as well as the top-tier quality we’ve come to expect from the best VPNs for India.
What sets them apart is the fact that they offer unlimited connections for a single account. You’re looking at a VPN that can unblock all manner of content as well, so it has amazing value when shared with friends and family.
All their servers are P2P-friendly, meaning you can safely use them for (legal) torrenting if your ISP blocks torrent connections for whatever reason. Their CleanWeb feature is similar to NordVPN’s CyberSec utility and blocks most known malware and phishing sites while also cleaning up intrusive ads. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work for YouTube ads – but we can’t fault them for it, considering that’s not the primary purpose of a VPN.
In any case, look to our full Surfshark review for any and all details we haven’t covered here.
- Encryption & VPN Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2.
- Servers Available in India: 3 locations, plenty of servers.
- Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days.
5. Private Internet Access – Court-proven No-Logs VPN With Massive Server Network
Private Internet Access is in the relatively unique situation of having proven their 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 them go back on their promises.
Aside from that, PIA also boasts a massive server network. The number is inevitably going to change as they add or remove some of them, but as of December 2020, they had a total of over 22,000+ servers. To be fair, half of those are in the US alone, but it’s still an impressive feat for a single provider. You’ll definitely have no problems with server congestion or unblocking content with PIA.
Make sure to check out our Private Internet Access review for full details about their service.
- Encryption & VPN Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2. Manual configuration allows for L2TP/IPSec and PPTP.
- Servers Available in India: 1 location, 56 servers.
- Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days.
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 gave for banning all these 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 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 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 VPNs 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 in your desktop or mobile browser, it’s definitely possible with an India VPN. Simply use the steps below and you’re set.
How Do I Use a VPN in India? (4 Quick Steps)
Fortunately, VPNs nowadays are fairly easy to install and use. Here’s a short guide:
- Subscribe to one of the best VPNs for India recommended above (ExpressVPN is a great solution if you’re just starting out).
- Download the app from the provider’s website and install the VPN on your device(s). We suggest using a VPN on all your compatible devices for maximum protection and unblocking websites on the go.
- Launch the app and log in using your username and password.
- Click or tap on a VPN server listed in the app. Most providers offer a “recommended server” close to your location, but if you want to unblock sites from outside India you’ll have to use a foreign server.
That’s it! Enjoy enhanced security and a freer Web experience.
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’ve seen, all providers have 30 to 45 day money-back guarantees in place so you can test them out at your leisure. Not satisfied with their speeds or features? Get your money back without a fuss.
If you still have questions about using VPNs in India, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the most frequent topics that come up in online discussions.
Are VPNs Legal in India?
Yes, it’s 100% legal to use any VPN in India. However, keep in mind that accessing content the government has deemed unlawful comes with its own risks. A VPN will encrypt your network traffic, meaning nobody can monitor your online activity. Still, police have the authority for warrantless searches if they suspect you’re in violation of laws such as the Information Technology Act.
Censorship tends to be stricter in areas like Jammu and Kashmir, while enforcement of these laws is more lax in Uttar Pradesh and more densely populated areas. As long as you keep it legal, you should be just fine using a VPN in India.
How to Get an Indian IP Address?
Easy. Simply use one of the India VPN providers recommended above and select India from the list of countries in the VPN app. This will set your current region to India and allow you to watch content from Hotstar and other local services that are inaccessible from abroad. Read this guide for step-by-step instruction.
Just want to protect your data from your ISP and government surveillance? Then using an Indian VPN server is a sure way to get the fastest browsing speeds your provider can support.
What’s the Best Free VPN for India?
It can be tempting to get a free VPN for use in India, considering the economic situation in the country. However, free VPNs are dangerous for your privacy, as many log and sell your data for advertising purposes. Or worse, they contain malicious code that can harvest sensitive data off your devices. Moreover, they come with severely limited features and are typically blocked by websites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming platforms.
If money is an issue, Surfshark is a great choice since it supports unlimited devices on a single account. Your family and friends can chip in to enjoy the benefits of one of the best VPNs for India at a pretty cheap price.
What’s the Best VPN for Torrenting in India?
Torrenting is usually associated with piracy everywhere in the world, and it’s no different in India. However, torrent apps allow you to quickly share large files among many users, making them great for work or transferring a large number of pictures, for example.
Of course, that doesn’t prevent Internet providers from outright blocking torrenting from their service to comply with local laws. Fortunately, a VPN will help you bypass those restrictions. Some great choices for India torrenting VPNs are Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN, since they have P2P-friendly servers. Otherwise, ExpressVPN is the best alternative if you’re looking for a more well-rounded VPN.
What’s the Best VPN for Gaming in India?
Which VPN Is Best for Jio?
As the largest mobile carrier and ISP India, Reliance Jio has been known to block access to VPNs. A worrying state of affairs, considering the government did not order them to do so, and Jio’s actions seem to be in violation of local net neutrality regulations. Fortunately, the government has since lifted certain VPN restrictions, making it easier to use a VPN in India – especially for businesses and working from home.
If you’re looking for the best VPN as a Reliance Jio subscriber, our recommendation is ExpressVPN. Naturally, all the best VPNs for India have mobile apps compatible with Android and iOS. Feel free to choose a provider suited to your tastes from the list above.
Which VPN Is Best for Airtel?
With over 309 million subscribers, Bharti Airtel is the second largest mobile network operator in India. If you’re an Airtel user, then all the India VPN providers recommended above have quality mobile apps you can use on your smartphone. Personally, we recommend ExpressVPN for the best all-around mobile VPN experience in India.
As you’ve seen, the best VPNs for India will help you secure your data and navigate the country’s seemingly expanding online censorship – among other useful benefits. Just remember not to use VPNs for illegal activities that could get you in trouble. After all, VPNs can’t protect you from a random police search.