Russians are some of the most digitally-savvy people in the world, with more than 88% of adults online having a social network profile. But for those living or traveling to Russia, accessing websites and services can be tricky — especially if you’re from another country. That’s because many popular services like PayPal, Google, Facebook, and Instagram are all blocked in Russia. And that’s not the only digital roadblocks you might come across while traveling or living here.
The government also blocks access to many VPN services because they can be used to bypass internet censorship and surveillance. That means without a VPN, you won’t be able to access sites like Facebook and Gmail, download files from Dropbox, or stream music on Spotify. But fret not! You can deal with all the governmental restrictions and international sanctions with the help of the best VPNs that still work in Russia. I’ll list the premium VPNs that accept the residence of Russia where you can pay with payment methods like QIWI, YooMoney and also bitcoin.
The Importance of VPNs in Russia
VPNs are a critical tool for internet freedom, and their importance is only growing in Russia. Since the government enacted strict internet censorship laws in 2017, VPNs have become even more important to people living in Russia. VPNs help protect you from state-sponsored surveillance and hackers on public WiFi, and they also allow you to access blocked websites and services like Facebook, YouTube, and Gmail. They are also an essential tool for expats living in Russia who want to keep in touch with friends and family back home.
Back in February many US and European companies started to leave Russia as sanctions started raining on Russians due to the military operations in Ukraine. Although the US government announced that internet services wouldn’t be included in the sanctions, many US internet companies and online payment providers decided to leave the country in order to protest the actions of the Russian government. On top of that the Russian government decided to block such US-based social media platforms as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Millions of Russians rely on these platforms to communicate with their loved ones and also for their business operations. Thus, the VPN usage hit all-time-high in Russia in 2022.
How to Find the Best VPNs that Still Work in Russia
Best VPNs to Access Social Media in Russia (and Which to Avoid)
To make it easy for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best VPNs for Russia. Keep in mind, though, that not all VPNs will work in the country. If you’re in Russia, you’ll want to look for a VPN that has servers in the country. Here are our top recommendations, along with a few you should avoid:
My first suggestion in this list of the best VPNs that still work in Russia is AtlasVPN. It is one of the best VPNs for Russia, and it’s available across all popular devices. It has over 750 servers in 38 countries. There are not many VPNs that can get close to these numbers.
AtlasVPN’s cheapest subscription plan is the 2-year plan which has 81% discount at the moment and costs only $2.05/month. The 1-year plan costs $3.29/month while the monthly plan costs $10.99. You can pay for the subscription easily with bitcoin as well. Read our in-depth AtlasVPN review to learn more. You can also click here to try AtlasVPN right away.
Considered one of the best value VPNs on the market, NordVPN offers a ton of features and is great for users in Russia. It has 5490 servers in over 60 locations, with more being added all the time. NordVPN is great for gaming, torrenting and also social media. Furthermore, It utilizes strong AES 256-bit encryption which renders your connection as secure as possible. Neither your ISP can track your online activity nor the apps that you use can reveal your identity.
NordVPN subscription plans are quite affordable. The cheapest plan (2-year plan) costs $3.99/month. You can purchase the plan using bitcoin to go around the sanctions. It is definitely one of the best VPNs that still work in Russia. And also offer great value for money. Read our in-depth NordVPN review to find out the best NordVPN plan for you. You can also click here to go to the NordVPN website to try it out right away.
Paying for Your VPN with QIWI and Yandex Money
Many VPNs don’t accept credit cards or PayPal in Russia, making it difficult for travelers and expats to sign up for a paid account. If you do want to sign up for a paid plan, you can use QIWI or YooMoney (formerly known as Yandex.Money) as an alternative. Both are popular payment methods in Russia, and many people living here use them to pay their bills and buy groceries. You can also use them to pay for your VPN subscription. If you have a Russian bank account, you may use your bank card to pay for your VPN subscription as well. But, then again it is a tricky situation as Russian cars are not accepted internationally due to sanctions. I recommend using bitcoin to purchase a VPN subscription.
Here are the steps to sign up for a VPN that accepts QIWI or Yandex money: Find a VPN that accepts QIWI or Yandex money. Click to visit the provider’s website. Click the sign-up button and select a plan. Enter your payment information and billing details. Click “submit” and you’re all set!
The Best VPNs That Still Work in Russia (That We Know About)
There are hundreds of VPNs on the market, but not all of them will work in Russia. As we mentioned above, Russian authorities have been cracking down on VPNs since the government enacted strict internet censorship laws in 2017. Moreover, many VPN services left Russia after the Russia initiated a military operation in Ukraine. So, the list of the best VPNs that still work in Russia is not a long one. To keep this list as up to date as possible, we’ve selected a few of the best VPNs that we know are still working in Russia. So far the list includes NordVPN and AtlasVPN. I’ll update this list as I encounter more reliable VPN services that are active in Russia.
Finding the Right VPN for Russia