Visiting India will open your eyes to its diverse culture, delicious food and spiritual connections. However, if the connection you’re thinking about is the online variety, you should first install one of our best VPN for India picks.
Doing so will protect you from India’s online surveillance programs, as well as give you extra internet freedom by helping you bypass internet censorship and geoblocked content. Simply put, it’s not a good idea to go without a virtual private network (VPN).
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) if you want to unblock the web, access streaming services or browse privately.
- When shopping for a VPN, consider privacy and security features, the availability of virtual servers in India, price and speed.
- ExpressVPN tops the list of the best VPNs for India, with a worldwide network across 94 countries, including two virtual Indian servers.
We’ll talk more about why it’s a good idea to use a VPN in India later, and we’ll also recommend five of the best VPN providers that’ll do the job nicely. If you’re not in the mood to read, though, we recommend that you go right ahead and install ExpressVPN — the best Indian VPN.
07/18/2022 Facts checked
Since our last review, India has implemented a new law requesting all VPNs to log and retain user data for five years. Responses from VPN services have been coming in thick and fast, with all the VPNs on this list indicating that they’ll remove their physical servers from the country. Most of them are resorting to virtual Indian servers.
Windscribe is the best free VPN for India because it offers access to 10 servers and 10GB of data at no cost. However, it doesn’t have servers in India, so you’ll need a premium VPN service if you want to access India-specific content.
VPN services are legal in India; however, the government’s new law requiring VPNs to store customer data has caused many VPN services to remove their physical servers from the country and make virtual servers available. Also, the government has recently barred government employees from using VPNs.
The Indian government hasn’t banned ExpressVPN, but the VPN service has withdrawn all its physical servers from the country in response to the new logging law. However, users can access its two virtual servers via Singapore and U.K.
ExpressVPN and Surfshark have made virtual Indian servers available via Singapore and U.K. CyberGhost also has deployed Indian servers for Mumbai. You’re likely to get only virtual servers for India, as most VPNs have withdrawn their physical servers from the country because of the government’s data retention laws.
Best VPN for India Comparison
Average speedDownload Speed90 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency8 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, PaymentWall
- : 5
Average speedDownload Speed91 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency5 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
- : 6
Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency95 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
Average speedDownload Speed63 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency48 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 7
Average speedDownload Speed93 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency4 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
What Makes the Best VPN for India?
When looking for a VPN in India, you’re going to want to consider several things, including privacy and security features, servers, speed and streaming performance.
Here’s a quick list of our top five providers:
- ExpressVPN — Best India VPN with two virtual server locations in India via the U.K. and Singapore
- NordVPN — VPN with excellent security and blazing-fast speeds
- Surfshark — Well-rounded contender with over 3,200 servers available in 95 countries, including virtual Indian servers in two locations
- CyberGhost — Affordable VPN for unblocking streaming services with virtual servers deployed for Mumbai
- Windscribe — Useful India VPN with free version and stealth technology
The recent Indian VPN ban has made privacy and security an even bigger concern. You’ll want a VPN that sticks to its no-logs policy in the face of sanctions from the Indian government. A kill switch and DNS leak protection are must-haves because they ensure that you remain anonymous even if your internet connection drops.
Virtual Indian servers are also proving to be useful. Because of the recent India VPN ban, many VPN services are withdrawing their physical servers from the country. However, some are offering Indian IP addresses through virtual servers. Read our virtual vs physical server article to see how they compare.
Obviously price also matters a lot, so the cost of each service weighs heavily in this ranking. Read on for more details about each India VPN.
The 5 Best VPNs for India
As you can see, there is a lot to take in when it comes to VPNs. We’ve done a deep dive into the top five VPNs in this industry to help you make an informed purchase. Let’s take a detailed look at each.
More details about ExpressVPN:
- Pricing: $99.95 per year
- Provider website: www.expressvpn.com
- Fast servers
- Easy to use
- Large server network
- No ad-blocking software
ExpressVPN is a powerful and secure VPN service that has a wide variety of VPN features, including AES-256 encryption, a kill switch (called Network Lock), perfect forward secrecy and leak protection. It performs well on many fronts, sitting as the best VPN for streaming, the best VPN for public WiFi and the best VPN for gaming, among others.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN has the best-in-class obfuscated servers, ensuring that your traffic is never exposed to any outsider. The TrustedServer technology is also worth a mention since it ensures that data is never written to the hard drive. That way, you don’t have to worry about your data being exposed even if ExpressVPN suffers a data breach.
Get an Indian IP Address Through Two Virtual Indian Servers
ExpressVPN gives you access to thousands of servers spread across 94 countries. If you’re looking for an Indian IP address, you can choose from two virtual Indian servers via Singapore or the U.K. Thankfully, ExpressVPN offers a built-in speed test, so you can quickly sift through the network of servers and find the fastest one for your location.
The only real downside to ExpressVPN is its price. However, this VPN provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out risk free. If the service isn’t to your liking, you can get your money back. For even more details about ExpressVPN, read our in-depth ExpressVPN review.
More details about NordVPN:
- Pricing: $3.29 per month
- Provider website: www.nordvpn.com
- Blazing fast
- Easy to use
- Inexpensive long-term plans
- Inconsistent speeds between servers
NordVPN clinches the second spot in this review because of its blazing speeds and security features. In our latest VPN speed tests, NordVPN came out tops, and we were particularly impressed with its download speeds worldwide. This means that you won’t have to endure annoying lags when streaming or downloading large files.
NordVPN has also stopped operating servers from India in line with its strict no-logs policy; however, it hasn’t made virtual Indian servers available as of yet. Still, you can connect to over 5,500 servers in 60 countries. There’s also a suite of handy security and privacy features, including leak protection, double VPN servers and dedicated IP addresses.
Threat Protection & P2P Servers
NordVPN comes with several features that make it a premium offering in the VPN space. One of these is threat protection, an ad and malware blocking tool included for free with any NordVPN subscription. You’ll be able to browse without annoying and intrusive advertisements and pop-ups — a feature that ExpressVPN doesn’t offer. It includes an antivirus as well.
If you use BitTorrent, then you should strongly consider using NordVPN for its P2P servers, which increase your download speeds. Torrenting without a VPN in India can be especially dangerous, considering your internet provider can impose penalties, and NordVPN rates as our best VPN for torrenting. If you’d like a more in-depth look at NordVPN, check out our NordVPN review.
NordVPN’s monthly plan is almost as costly as ExpressVPN’s, but its two-year plan is relatively cheap. NordVPN backs each plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- : Unlimited GB
- : 6
- : Unlimited GB
- : 6
More details about Surfshark:
- Pricing: $2.49 per month
- Provider website: www.surfshark.com
- Accesses all top streaming services
- Unlimited number of devices
- Good value for the money
- No user support forum
- Streaming speed could be better
Surfshark is another featured-packed VPN service that ticks many boxes. When it comes to servers, Surfshark has also stuck to its guns, withdrawing all its physical servers from India. However, there’s the option to connect to a virtual Indian VPN server in either Singapore or London. If you’re not unblocking Indian-specific content, you can choose from over 3,200 servers in 95 countries.
It also comes with a suite of tools that enhance your VPN usage. First is the CleanWeb ad and malware blocker, which streamlines your surfing and gives you peace of mind. There is also MultiHop, which routes your connection through two VPN servers, so that if one fails, you still have the other one as a fallback.
Surfshark designed the NoBorders mode for countries like India that limit internet freedom and VPN use. As soon as the Surfshark detects network restrictions, NoBorders will kick into action, compiling a select list of servers that are built to get past those barriers. If you’d like more information on Surfshark, then read our full Surfshark review.
Surfshark is one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, especially with the two-year plan, which comes with an extra two months free. It also offers a money-back guarantee for 30 days. You can use it unrestricted for that time, and if you don’t like it, you’ll be able to get a full refund.
More details on CyberGhost:
- Pricing: $2.29 per month
- Provider website: www.cyberghostvpn.com
- Great desktop app
- Excellent security
- Cheap on longer plans
- Does not work well with most streaming platforms (except Netflix)
- Cluttered knowledgebase
CyberGhost offers the right balance of advanced user features and user-friendliness. It’s easy to find the right server type for your location, and it has quite the spread of servers, with around 8,000 servers in over 91 countries. In order to uphold its no-logs policy, the VPN service has withdrawn its Indian servers and deployed virtual servers locations for Mumbai.
CyberGhost falls behind our top three picks in this article when it comes to speed. Still, it offers decent streaming performance on Netflix. In addition, you get your hands on useful security features, including a kill switch, an ad blocker and a dedicated IP address at an extra charge. It also has “smart rules” that let you automate your VPN connection (like connecting to the VPN when you open your browser).
If you’re concerned about governments seizing a VPN’s data by force (which wouldn’t be out of the question in India), you can use CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers. These servers are located in CyberGhost’s headquarters in Romania — a privacy-friendly jurisdiction in the EU. This lets CyberGhost keep a close eye on the operation of these servers and makes sure that they can’t be tampered with.
Like most of the other entries on this list, Cyberghost’s monthly plan is quite expensive. If you opt for a longer plan, it gets quite affordable, especially on the three-year plan. Plus those longer plans come with a 45-day money back guarantee. Read our CyberGhost review for more.
More details on Windscribe:
- Pricing: Free, $1 per server location
- Provider website: www.windscribe.com
- Free plan
- Flexible paid plans
- Great features, security & privacy
- 3-day money-back-guarantee
- Poor user interface
Windscribe is the best free VPN, and it’s another top contender for India with useful features, including a kill switch, leak protection and a strict no-logs policy. Despite India’s VPN restrictions, Windscribe intends to operate as usual since it doesn’t require country of origin when users sign up. If you’re concerned about using a server in India, you can choose from Windscribe’s servers in nearby countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia and Turkey.
When it comes to speed, Windscribe gives the likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN a run for their money. It has excellent download and upload speeds and low latency, which will ensure that you enjoy a lag-free experience whether you’re playing games online, streaming movies or torrenting.
Windscribe Stealth Technology
Like many top VPNs, Windscribe offers various protocols, including OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), WireGuard and IKEv2. However, it also offers the Stealth and Websocket Stunnel (WStunnel) protocols, which conceal the fact that you’re using a VPN. As a result, they’re great for restrictive countries and those with VPN bans. Read more about how this technology works in our full-length Windscribe review.
If you’re looking for a free VPN for India, Windscribe is certainly an attractive proposition. You can get up to 10 GB per month free, unlimited connections and access to servers in 10 countries. What’s more, Windscribe is as flexible as it gets. You can create your own custom plan based on the server locations you want. However, the VPN service only offers a three-day money-back guarantee.
- : Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
- : 15 GB
- : Unlimited
- : Unlimited GB
- : Unlimited
Best Free VPN for India
Although free VPN software may sound attractive, in most cases, it can’t hold a candle to what premium VPNs can offer.
First, many free VPNs have malware coded into the apps. These programs can compromise your computer and make your machine vulnerable to a cyberattack. Such VPNs may also track the browsing activity of internet users and sell it to third parties. Some free VPNs are even ad supported, which means you’ll see intrusive advertisements while using the service.
In addition, free VPNs typically don’t include Indian servers, so if you need an Indian IP address to unblock India-specific content, you’ll need a paid VPN. Usually, free VPNs struggle to unblock streaming services.
Finally, even the best free VPNs may limit your internet data and reduce your speeds. This is because the VPNs don’t have the resources to purchase the servers needed to provide speedy and secure internet usage.
However, this doesn’t apply to all free VPNs. There are many VPNs that offer a free version in addition to a premium paid service. If you must use a free VPN, we’ve done the dirty work of digging around in this market to find the best free VPNs aside from Windscribe.
- Hide.me — It has a 10GB per month free plan, and currently offers servers in only five locations (four countries), excluding India.
- ProtonVPN — Its free plan offers a medium-speed connection and has 17 servers in three locations (Japan, U.S. and Netherlands).
- TunnelBear — Its basic, bare-bones free VPN service has lower speeds, and the bandwidth limit is 500MB per day, but it does have a server in India you can use.
Why Do I Need a VPN in India?
There are many reasons why you might want to use a VPN in India, besides an extra layer of protection or access to geo-restricted streaming content. If you like to torrent, simply accessing a torrent site can result in punishment (our second pick, NordVPN, is our best VPN for torrenting).
A VPN will also help protect you from growing cybercrime in India. That’s especially important if you plan on using public WiFi, but you should also invest in a decent antivirus.
However, one of the biggest reasons you might want to use a VPN is to bypass internet restrictions and the Indian government’s surveillance.
Internet Censorship & Government Surveillance in India
Although India’s government is not as bad as some when it comes to censorship, it does impose some restrictions. Gambling, pornography and dating websites (among other things) can all be blocked.
The government has also banned more than 50 Chinese apps, including WeChat, Helo and TikTok (read our best VPN for TikTok guide), saying they “threaten the country’s sovereignty and security.”
A VPN can help you bypass any censorship, but one of the main reasons you should use one is because of India’s online surveillance practices. India has a real-time surveillance tool called Network Traffic Analysis, or NETRA. The tool monitors internet traffic for keywords, such as “terrorist,” and it can also monitor text messages and social media. Even encrypted messages are at risk.
Most recently, the Indian government adopted laws that require VPN providers to keep user data and logs for five years. The VPNs on this list have already removed their physical servers from the country, and more providers could follow suit. Read more about that in our guide to India’s VPN data law.
India imposes some online speech restrictions, with punishment that sometimes includes a prison sentence, so you should be careful about what you post online. Spreading fake news and rumors on social media can land you in hot water too.
Final Thoughts: The Best India VPN
Whether you’re trying to watch your favorite show or shield yourself from ongoing surveillance, using a VPN will help you. You shouldn’t just download the first VPN service you see, though. You need to make sure it has good security and privacy to keep you hidden.
ExpressVPN is the top VPN for India. That’s mostly due to its great security and privacy, but also because it is fast, it can get into any streaming platform and it has a large number of server locations, including two Indian virtual server locations.
Have you used a VPN to browse in India? Did you experience any difficulties while at it? Let us know about your experience in the comments section below. As always, thank you for reading.