Using a VPN in India protects yourself from government surveillance while roaming the internet freely. What’s more - the best VPN lets you stream geo-blocked content with fast speed at a low price!
Our #1 VPN for India definitely goes to Surfshark, with top-notch security & fast speeds at just ₹173/mo!
We’ve researched thoroughly on the top VPNs for different countries – India is no exception. We bought VPNs, measured their speed, tested for leaks, and checked their features – then narrowed down to VPNs that can best protect you from the Indian government.
As with all my VPN tests, before judging their speed I always judge my own. The following is my actual broadband speed based on a service line of 500Mbps, without a VPN connection active:
As I am based in Malaysia, my speeds will tend to be high connecting to Asia-region VPN servers and slower as I connect to servers in the US or Europe. For this test I connected to a India-based speed test server to give you an idea of relative speed over distance.
As you can see, a VPN-free connection to a local server nets me a decent speed of 333Mbps. Speeds of course will vary at times, so take this with a pinch of salt.
Surfshark has a very nippy and minimalist interface for a good reason – it keeps focus on providing a safe and secure VPN service. That’s right, there are very little in the way of frills and thanks to that, it has impressively managed to expand its network to over 1,000 servers in a very short time.
Despite its relative youth (Surfshark was only introduced in late 2018), this service provider has managed to keep up with the top dogs and overall provides a very stress-free experience for a price that many would just love.
Despite this seemingly minimalist attitude, Surfshark still manages to offer all the key components of a good VPN service provider. This includes supporting P2P traffic on almost all their servers, strong encryptions, access to multi-region content of video streaming platforms, and more.
As the top best VPNs for India, Surfshark was one of the few that managed to keep up impressive speeds in what is normally a usually very congestion-prone region. Speeds tests from a Latur server shown downstream speeds of around 80 Mbps.
See our Surfshark review to learn why it’s our #1 VPN for India!
NordVPN takes a strong first place in our Best VPN for India list for many reasons. One of the first is that they are based in Panama, which is also a good place to be for VPNs. Aside from that, NordVPN has a sterling reputation and is another VPN provider that has a huge number of servers in many countries.
Their strict no-logging policy combines with 256-bit military grade encryption and great price plans to offer almost anyone a deal that is hard to resist.
With a 134 Mbps downstream speed, in this round of tests NordVPN showed very stable performance on their India server. What makes them even more attractive is that they not only allow P2P traffic but have specially optimized servers for torrenting with.
Read our in-depth review on NordVPN to learn why it’s one of our top picks!
Because of the many restrictions there It should come as no surprise that ExpressVPN seems to have laid extensive infrastructure allowances for India. The company has key servers in both Chennai and Mumbai as well as an alternate that can be routed via the UK.
On average, this VPN service offers excellent all-round service from top-notch speeds all the way to comprehensive applications and protocols – ideal for safety, privacy and anonymity. Its security protocols are also the best-in-class for consumer use existing today.
I have tested the service comprehensively and have no hesitation in recommending them as the top VPN service provider for users in India. ExpressVPN is stable and allows access on a good range of devices as well.
As an idea of how good it gets, I compared my default line speed without a VPN to an ExpressVPN covered test to the same location. With ExpressVPN on and connected to a server in India, I managed to show a solid 115 Mbps downstream speed.
Read our complete review on ExpressVPN to see why it’s a good VPN!
Atlas VPN can be considered a new kid on the block. Yet that’s not always a bad thing – after all, we’ve seen Surfshark grow from newbie into quite the behemoth. In Atlas VPN, we see many of the same traits – exceptional speed, decent pricing, and impressive momentum.
Something it’s especially great for is streaming. India’s massive market hosts multiple popular overseas streaming platforms. From Amazon Prime to Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar Premium, Atlas VPN’s streaming capabilities come at an excellent price with speed for smooth performance.
These key features go well with excellent customer support and related capabilities. Two good examples are its built-in ad blockers and unlimited device connections. While there are some downsides, it perfectly fits the role of a media streaming partner that offers good privacy.
See our full review on Atlas VPN to learn more!
I am also a big fan of their very upbeat and uniquely identifying marketing gimmicks, which at the same time are both iconic and a little bit cute. This approach is exactly what regular consumers need when dealing with a dry, yet necessary tool like a VPN.
It also helps that CyberGhost walks the talk and has bumped up their performance by so much lately. Sadly, within India its a bit of a letdown, but you can easily connect to a nearby country with strong results.
Users in India need to take note that most CyberGhost servers are in the EU zone, but thankfully, they have some in the Asia region as well. India seems to be an exception though and they have gone the extra mile to establish a higher server count there.
See our full review on CyberGhost to learn more!
The TorGuard interface may seem a little dated when first encountered but there is no doubt that there are one of the most secure VPN service providers around. Even though there isn’t a lot of bling on the user-facing side, performance is quite remarkable.
There is one key difference between TorGuard and many competitors in that it allows you to choose what level of encryption you prefer. This means that for P2P users, you can turn down encryption a notch and enjoy faster torrenting speeds anytime!
Aside from that, TorGuard has many other redeeming qualities, such as stable speeds, multi-platform capability and the ability to bypass VPN blockers.
As one of the top VPNs for India, TorGuard of course met certain speed requirements. This showed in my test result for it from a Bengaluru-based VPN server and again, users in the country should generally get this speed with few issues.
The only downside is that for younger users who are used to the sleekness of modern applications, the TorGuard interface will look like something from the past.
Read our thorough analysis on TorGuard for more information!
IPVanish has suffered greatly in recent times due to its embroilment in certain …shall we say, unfortunate incidents. Yet aside from that, take note that they are under new management and hopefully such things will become just speed bumps in their past.
Moving those incidents aside, they remain a VPN giant in the field and boast speeds that are impressive. Luckily for that, since if you have any complaints about their speed, there isn’t much you can do as they force 256-bit encryption on everyone without exception.
Speed-wise, IPVanish managed to stay up to par even with its more limited India presence. I managed to establish a downstream speed of around 38 Mbps which is decent for the infrastructure there.
For those willing to experiment you can always try other servers in the region which may give better results. Still, the connection was stable and more than enough to stream media on.
Read our in-depth review on IPVanish to find out more!
Virtual Private Network, or VPN, are private networks of servers. They help users increase digital privacy while adding additional layers of security at the same time. They can be used by both businesses and individual consumers.
In a major business context, most VPNs are built and run by the companies themselves, or customized by special service providers. This allows them to offer off-site employees to access confidential information safely.
We mainly look at VPNs from an individual consumer or small business context. Part of this is due to the fact that consumer VPNs are significantly easier to access and use. However, they are also priced for the consumer market – more affordably so.
The main objectives are still the same though – privacy and security. By routing your data connection through secure VPN servers, you adopt the physical characteristics of those servers in some way.
Your point of origin is masked, along with many other details of your own device and internet connection. What you’re showing to the outside world is essentially your representation online – the VPN server.
While all this is going on, VPNs also help by encrypting your data. If somehow data is lost or stolen during transmission, that encryption will prevent anyone else from being able to read and use the information.
For a long time, India has attempted to block access to a large (and increasing number of) websites. While you may be right in thinking that these sites were perhaps illegal or immoral in some way, such as pornographic sites, that hasn’t always been the case.
For example, in 2011 and as recently as 2016 there have been temporary bans on Facebook in the country which were implemented without any warning.
The government has also formalized the ban on many other websites with a blanket law which prohibits citizens from trying to visit any site on a specific list. Penalties for violating this law are severe and go past the usual fines, allowing for prison sentences of up to three years if caught.
Because of its attempts to block access to many websites, it has always been assumed that India was carrying out some forms of covert surveillance on its own citizens. This has now been legalized to an extent thanks to official authorization given.
The government has allowed 10 federal agencies the right to intercept and monitor information from any computer. This is a move towards the mass surveillance activities undertaken in China to supervise the activities of its citizens.
Not only can these agencies now monitor and intercept, but officially they can even decrypt any information thus obtained. The agencies authorized are not just those concerned with national security, but also overseeing tax investigation, narcotics, financial crime and others.
This information on its own is already alarming, but even more so given that the Indian Supreme Court has recognised the right to privacy as a fundamental right. This means that the government is giving authorization for such activities in violation of the law.
Media streaming and P2P file sharing in the country is a little bit more of a hazy area. Although technically streaming isn’t illegal, it might be if the site offering such services is on the list of banned sites.
A high court judge in India in 2016 ruled that there was no offence in viewing media being streamed, but rather in other areas associated with the activity. These include the distribution, exhibition or sale of copyright material. Unfortunately, ISPs in the country at the time were giving notice to their users that all media streaming activities were punishable offences – including viewing!
As you can see, there are legal fine lines involved in the matter and you certainly don’t want to get caught on a technicality here.
Reddit users have been discussing reports that Reliance Jio, one of the largest telcos in the country, has been blocking proxy websites. Proxies help users work around geolocation restrictions, meaning that the company is dictating the behaviour of its 250 million user-strong subscriber base.
Again, this is in violation of net neutrality which in general works on the principle that ISPs must not exert their own influence on data. The site Quartz did an investigation in the country and found that “At least seven proxy sites were not accessible … from a Jio connection”.
These were not just banned sites but also sites which allowed the download of VPN software. The telco has apparently blocked access to Hide.me, Hidester and Megaproxy, amongst others. While other ISPs have not yet followed suit what would prevent them from doing the same?
Again, the issue here is unclear boundaries between what is legal or not, along with whether companies decide to toe the government line, offer their own independent support of government efforts (like Jio) or simply do as they wish. Either way, Internet users in India are at their mercy.
As we can observe, the Indian government is exerting increasingly strict control over the Internet. While unfortunate, this environment means that VPNs have become an ideal solution.
There are three key benefits to residents in India for using a VPN;
By their very nature, VPNs are intended to help mask your identity and secure your data. However, they also come along with many other redeeming capabilities. Let’s consider how they can be used:
There are many web services that restrict access based on where in the world you come from. One major culprit that behaves in this manner are media streaming services such as Netflix. All of us pay the same fees to Netflix, so why should we not get equal access?
Using a VPN will help you bypass the geo-blocks that most of these services put into place. For example, by connecting to a US server, a good VPN service will give you access to US-region Netflix content.
We don’t all live in free countries. Some governments are more oppressive than others. The more totalitarian among them may attempt to curb digital freedom. This is generally done by issuing instructions to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telling them what sites to block.
Since VPNs encrypt our data and route information through their own servers, ISP-implemented blocks generally fail. Using them, you can regain your digital freedom and access any sites which may have been blocked.
The problem with the Internet today is that everyone wants a piece of you. Data has become a much-wanted source of currency and companies and hackers all chase after it. Some tracking is even done more legitimately, but at the end of the day – they know who you are and what you do.
VPNs help avoid this and for regular folks, it helps that you know people can’t follow your data trail.
Torrenting has become a very touchy subject in today’s world. The problem isn’t with the technology itself – it’s simply for file sharing. However, copyrights and intellectual property laws intervene.
Because of this many countries have imposed various laws on torrenting or file sharing. The situation can be very murky sometimes. Using a VPN can help you ease your worries since you can torrent safely – and no one will know where you’re doing it from.
The use of a VPN secures your connection, no matter where you link to. This ability makes it perfect for business use. Anyone who is outside the office can easily and quickly access information on company servers.
This process helps you protect the information you’re getting to, such as invoices, customer information, billing details, and more.
While at this point of time there has been no official news of laws banning the use of VPN services in India, it is a bit of a tricky issue. Take for example the case of Jio Reliance I discussed above – what if ISPs decide to add all VPN service providers to the list of banned sites?
While using a VPN there may not be legally restricted, there are still laws which prevent all users in the country from using VPNs for illegal activities. I would take this to mean that if you were to use an VPN service – it better be one that does not keep logs!
As you may realise by now, India really isn’t the kind of place where you want to be surfing the net without the use of a VPN, whether you are a national or visitor to the country. Because of the factors I’ve shared above and the seriousness of consequences of violating those regulations, it is a good idea to focus on the aspects of privacy and anonymity a VPN offers for users in India.
With both the government as well as private industry working together as well as independently to monitor and control traffic, a VPN needs to be able to ensure that your data and activities can be kept exactly the way it should be – private.
One of the best ways to ensure this is to keep an eye out for VPNs that not only have strict no-logging policies but that are also based out of countries that are laxer in their data retention laws. This certainly excludes countries in the five eyes and fourteen eyes jurisdiction.
The security spiel on VPNs is the same for India-based users as everywhere else. The ideal balance is known only to you, as a user. Do you opt for 256-bit encryption at the risk of lower VPN speeds or are you willing to lower that bar for increased speed?
Personally, I feel that for the India market that it would be best to try and keep encryption levels high for two main reasons. The first is that one of the protagonists in the case we are discussing is the Indian government, which will likely have more resources dedicated towards attempting to break any encryption encountered.
The second is that because of lower average internet speeds in the country, you are safe to keep encryption levels as high as possible without compromising your overall maximum speeds achievable.
Normally when we talk about geolocation spoofing it would be with an aim of accessing alternative content from mainstream providers such as Netflix US or the BBC iPlayer in the UK. However, India users have much more to look forward to in geolocation spoofing since there are literally a ton of sites they cannot access.
This is where a VPN would shine, especially since there are reports of some telcos banning even proxy sites from being used.
One of the categories of sites being blocked from access in India seems to be torrent sites. Again, this is another area where a VPN would really help. Look out for VPNs that have P2P traffic guidelines clearly spelt out in their terms of service, such as TorGuard or NordVPN.
With an average fixed line broadband speed of just 27.68Mbps in India, most VPNs should have zero issues matching the needs of users there. Mobile speeds are even lower at an average of 10.13Mbps, so the main concern with VPNs in India certainly won’t be speed.
While VPNs are awesome, there do remain some limitations that you need to pay attention to. They aren’t blank cheques that will allow you to do anything you want online without heed. For instance, they:
While aiming to achieve many similar things, VPN, Tor, and Proxies are not really the same thing. You might be able to get away with using either for some purposes, but the technology is fundamentally different.
The Onion Router, or TOR, is more of an anonymizer that works by routing packets of data though a massively conflagurated network of hubs and nodes. It does this in the hope of making things as difficult as possible to trace the origins of the data.
It’s free to use, but the way it’s built makes it very slow to use. At the same time it does not offer the same level of protection to either the source or the data itself that a VPN service does.
Proxies only serve to route your connection through a third party server. It doesn’t mean your data is safe, especially since the provider of the proxy server itself can be shady at the best of times.
It is possible to combine these services with a VPNs service to improve your overall security profile. Honestly though, in most cases, simply using a VPN is sufficient.
To recap, here is a side-by-side comparison of VPN service for India:
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Given the terrible combination of both government and private pressure on Internet freedom in the country, I feel that the use of a VPN should rank quite highly on most user’s agenda there. This goes doubly so for foreigners who are in India for work or leisure – you certainly don’t want to run afoul of legislation and end up in an Indian jail.
There are too many unknowns in many areas and my take is that it is always better to be safe than sorry. Please, look for the right VPN for you today if you’re on the Internet in India.
Our pick for best VPN in India is Surfshark. This great VPN service provider has many benefits and comes with a price tag that is highly affordable. It offers a strong combination of great speed, security, and potent mix of features that matches that of many top brand names.
Yes, absolutely. VPNs come with a very wide range of benefits, even if their key focus is on security. VPNs also offer a high degree of anonymity, allowing greater digital freedom. Extremely versatile, VPNs can be used at any location, even to help you secure public WiFi.
Free VPNs are generally not safe to use. However, it is important to note that there are two types of free VPNs. The type which isn’t safe are mainly those who try to pass off the service as completely free. There is simply no way a service provider can afford that without making some money off your back – such as selling your data.
Surfshark is a solid choice for VPN users in India who want to access content from the UK. There are a couple of reasons for this, but of course the core lies in its excellent speed performance and security features. It has multiple in-country servers in the UK and others in the euro region nearby.
VPNs are currently legal for use in the UK. There is no specific legislation against their use by anyone in the country. It is important to note though, that use of a VPN for illegal purposes isn’t the same. That is, if you use a VPN to commit a crime – you can still get persecuted if caught.
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are considered by many as kings of the field. They rate excellently in performance and features, although differing in some areas. For example, NordVPN has implemented a variant of WireGuard, while ExpressVPN has stayed true to core protocols.
Yes, it is possible for a VPN to get hacked. This has to be taken with a large grain of salt though. Even though it is remotely possible, it is by no means easy at all and incidences are very rare. Most incidents arise from server vulnerabilities, rather than flaws in the VPN protocols and encryption themselves.