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The best VPNs for Indian users: Paid and free options

We take a look at some of the best VPN services you can get in India, both paid and free, along with why you might need one.
June 20, 2021
VPN stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The number of Internet users in India has grown exponentially in recent years. The rapid growth has been helped along by the availability of low-cost smartphones and affordable mobile data as well as home broadband plans. Unfortunately, Internet freedom and security hasn’t developed as quickly. This is where a good virtual private network (VPN) can make all the difference. Here is our roundup of some of the best VPNs for India, both paid and free.

Are VPNs legal in India and do I need one?

India has a decent, but not great, Internet Freedom score of 51 (higher is better) according to Freedom House. As far as limits on content go, a big reason for the spotlight on great VPN services for Indian users is the “porn ban” that went into effect a few of years ago, with almost every national and regional ISP blocking access to over 800 sites.

More worrying is the increasing number of instances of cyber fraud and identity, password, and bank theft. The massive growth of the Internet user base has resulted in an exponential rise in such cases as well. While not the ultimate security solution, a good VPN can go a long way in keeping your online activity and information safe.

Apart from the obvious privacy and security benefits, a good VPN for India will also let you access region-specific websites and content that may be legal but simply unavailable in the country. Some content providers actively discourage VPN use for this purpose, though, so make sure that you aren’t doing something that will get you in trouble.

That brings us to the question of “are VPNs legal in India?” The short answer is yes. Using a VPN isn’t illegal, and there are actually no laws in the country that address the use of such a service. However, what remains an issue is if you use a VPN for illegal activities.

Laws surrounding the distribution of pirated content, copyright infringement, and banned content still apply. It’ll be the nefarious activity that will land you in legal trouble, and not the act of using a VPN itself. As an Internet user in India, you are completely free to use a VPN. In fact, I’d recommend it as a great way to stay safe and secure online.

The best VPNs for India:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. NordVPN
  3. VyprVPN

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Indian VPNs regularly as new services launch.

1. ExpressVPN

express vpn connected icon
  • Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • Logs: No logs
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Encryption: AES-256, OpenVPN, LT2P/IPSec, PPTP
  • Servers: 3,000+ in 94 countries
  • P2P: Yes (all servers)
  • Streaming: Yes
  • Price: $6.67(~500 rupees) — $12.95 (~960 rupees)

ExpressVPN is considered one of the best VPNs around with good reason. To steal a term from smartphone reviewers, this is my VPN “daily driver,” and the one I’ve been using for a very long time.

It’s based in a country that doesn’t have mandatory data-retention laws, and a zero-logging policy should help ease any concerns even more. You get access to an impressive number of servers in cities around the world. It also comes with all the essential security features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and more.

Apps are available for all major desktop and mobile platforms, and helpful guides can be found to set up ExpressVPN on routers, gaming consoles, and media streaming devices. The apps are also very simple and easy to use.

ExpressVPN has always been a personal favorite because of its fast and stable connection speeds. However, it is far more expensive than other providers, and that’s where its biggest drawback is. The lowest monthly rate is available with the 15-month plan (annual + three months free) , but it’s still a hefty $99.95 (~7,500 rupees).

2. NordVPN

nord feature - vpn with free trial in India
Ankit Banerjee / Android Authority
  • Jurisdiction: Panama
  • Logs: No logs
  • Simultaneous connections: 6
  • Encryption: AES-256, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec
  • Servers: Around 5,300 in 59 countries
  • P2P: Yes (dedicated servers)
  • Streaming: Yes
  • Price: $3.30 (~245 rupees) — $11.95 (~910 rupees)

If I had to pick a second choice, NordVPN would be it. This VPN is all about security. The company is based in Panama and your online activity is completely private since it doesn’t keep any logs.

You’ll find specialty servers for P2P and anti-DDoS available. You also have the option to enable Double VPN and everything through two servers. Apart from a network kill switch, NordVPN also comes with an App Kill Switch that automatically closes selected apps if the VPN connection drops. Finally, its CyberSec feature blocks ads and protects your device from malware as well.

NordVPN is also quite affordable, with multiple long-term plans with increasing discounts. If you’re ready to commit long-term, you can enjoy a monthly rate of just $3.30 (~245 rupees) with the two-year plan (around 6,500 rupees every two years), and also gets you an additional 3 months free.

However, it would be remiss of us to not mention the breach that NordVPN suffered a couple of years ago and disclosed only after being called out for a lack of transparency. No user activity was leaked, but the breach of trust because of a failure to publicly disclose any information is an issue.

They have since conducted multiple audits, raised its data server standards, and put a few other things in place to continue to provide a secure and private service. So it’s definitely worth considering. At least in terms of features, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for India you can get.

3. VyprVPN

vypr vpn feature
  • Jurisdiction: Switzerland
  • Logs: No logs
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Encryption: AES-256, Chameleon, OpenVPN, IKEv2
  • Servers: 700+ in 60+ countries
  • P2P: Yes
  • Streaming: Yes
  • Price: $1.66 (~120 rupees) — $6.47 (~480 rupees)

VyprVPN completely overhauled its business model and, more importantly, its privacy policy a few years ago and has quickly become of one the best cheap VPNs for India you can get.

The service went from one that keeps connection logs to now featuring a strict no-logging policy that has been independently audited. It also comes with a proprietary VPN protocol called Chameleon that lets you use it in restricted regions.

Its server list is somewhat limited compared to some of the more popular options out there, and the connection speeds aren’t the fastest either. However, in my experience, it was still fast enough to comfortably stream high-quality videos and do everything else I’d normally do.

You won’t find an extensive list of supported devices either. But the popular operating systems are all covered, including Android, Windows, macOS, and iOS. You can find the VyprVPN app on some smart TVs and directly install it on a Wi-Fi router as well.

VyprVPN may not be the absolute best of the lot, but it is the cheapest option on this list when it comes to its long-term plans. With a three-year commitment, you can get this VPN service for just $1.66 (~120 rupees) per month, or 4,500 rupees charged every three years. The service has also significantly slashed its monthly rate, and is just $6.47 (~480 rupees) per month now.

The best free VPNs in India

free VPN in India

I don’t recommend using a free VPN in India, because there’s a lot such services can do with your data. But if you want to go down this road, the best options for India are the free versions of paid VPNs. There are restrictions on accessibility and data usage, but what isn’t compromised is privacy.

  • Speedify 10 — Speedify was already one of the best options around, especially for mobile. The recent update to Speedify 10 makes things even better. The app can now combine both Wi-Fi and mobile networks to enhance connection speeds. You also get a decent data limit of 2GB per month and no server restrictions.
  • Windscribe — Windscribe offers an impressive 10GB of data per month, but with a catch. You will have to provide an email address to get a higher data cap. If not, you can still enjoy up to 2GB of secure browsing for free with this service. It doesn’t have a lot of servers, but doesn’t limit access to them in any way.
  • Hotspot Shield — Hotspot Shield’s data cap of 15GB per month seems plenty, but the unfortunate catch is the 500MB per day limit. You can’t manually select a server, but some users may appreciate having the guesswork taken out of the process. You will have to deal with ads with this free VPN though.
  • Proton VPN — Proton VPN completely flips the script. There is no data limit, but you get access to only three server locations. What makes Proton VPN one of the best free options is the fact that the company is known for its privacy products, so you don’t have to worry about your data being misused.

While these are some of the best free Indian VPN services, don’t forget to check out even more options in our comprehensive roundup.

Now you have an idea of the kind of VPN services out there, be sure to check out our guide on how to use a VPN and the best VPN apps you can get.