India’s internet freedom is not rosy as it may seem. The government has tightened restrictions with frequent blocking of certain websites and apps. In fact, it ranks poorly in the latest Freedom House internet freedom score.
The best way to stay anonymous online, avoid government censorship, and unblocked content is to use a VPN. All you need to do is connect to a server in a different country to spoof your IP address. As simple as that.
Let’s take a look at the best Indian VPNs, how to use a VPN in India, what makes a good VPN for India, VPNs to avoid in India, and much more.
A quick guide on how to use an India VPN
Using VPNs for India is effortless as follows:
- Get a well-established VPN provider. We recommend NordVPN as it has a reputation for high-quality services and has servers in India.
- Choose a suitable plan and subscribe.
- Download and install the VPN app.
- Sign in and connect to an Indian server.
- Enjoy stealthy privacy online alongside access to geo-blocked content and services.
Is it safe to use a VPN in India?
Until recently, using VPNs in India was not a big deal. Many VPN providers offered physical servers from the region, whereas people frequently used VPNs without hassle.
However, things started to change earlier this year when India announced mandatory data retention policies for VPNs and data centers. This intrusive policy annoyed many providers, compelling top providers like ExpressVPN and Surfshark to pull off their servers from the country. While they continue offering Indian locations on their network, they now use virtual servers.
Apparently, this policy asks nothing from the end-users. But of course, it directly impacts users’ privacy by urging the service providers to log their activities. That means the extent of internet freedom that Indian users once enjoyed now no longer exists.
Nonetheless, Indian authorities haven’t announced anything about banning VPNs or labeling them illegal. So, it’s safe for users to secure their online activities with VPNs. In fact, given the government’s intention to track internet users, it’s inevitable for privacy freaks to use such services that protect their internet freedom. However, Indian citizens must ensure not to participate in any grey activities, even with VPNs, as they are now more prone to facing legal consequences.
Best VPNs for India today
Whether you need a VPN to watch Indian TV from abroad, torrent or play online games, choose any below VPNs. We tested both paid and free VPNs and ranked the top 10 for you to choose the one that suits your needs.
Our top pick Indian VPN because of its multiple Indian server locations, commitment to privacy, connection reliability, and lightning-fast speeds.
- Unblocks Indian streaming services
- Breakneck speeds
- Massive global server network
- The Android app lacks a kill switch feature
NordVPN emerges fastest during our periodic VPN tests. This is mostly due to its proprietary protocol, NordLynx, which has significantly improved the speeds. The VPN is fast enough to stream 4K videos, high-quality video conferencing, and live stream HD video.
NordVPN has apps for Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV. In addition, it allows you to connect up to six simultaneous devices on one account, an excellent way to share with family.
There is an inconsistency between the apps, with some features available on the mobile apps not available on the desktop client and vice versa. For instance, its Android VPN app has the split tunneling feature while the Windows app doesn’t.
The VPN unblocks all the major streaming services, including but not limited to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. Its SmartPlay feature enables you to get past even the most difficult geo-blocks. The provider operates several Indian VPNs, so you’ll be able to unblock local streaming sites such as Zee5, Hotstar, etc.
NordVPN’s security specifications include AES 256-bit encryption, 3072-bit DHE-RSA key exchange, SHA384 authentication, and perfect forward secrecy. This may not mean anything to you but know it meets military-grade standards and will always ensure your protection. The company is also in the process of converting to RAM-only servers.