Despite India’s status as the largest democracy in the world, there are growing concerns over government surveillance and its impact on citizens’ privacy. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) helps counteract some of these concerns by encrypting browsing data and redirecting traffic to servers based in other countries.
We tested out all leading VPNs on the market and identified the following as the best VPNs for India in 2023:
- Surfshark: The best India VPN
- ExpressVPN: The most user-friendly VPN for India
- CyberGhost: The best budget India VPN
- NordVPN: The best India VPN for security and safety
- Private Internet Access: The most private VPN for India
- Proton VPN: The best free India VPN
Surfshark gets the top spot on our list, as it offers excellent speeds, top-notch security, and virtual servers in India. It edges out competition from ExpressVPN and NordVPN due to its affordable subscription options.
There are growing concerns about the freedom of the internet in India. These concerns stem from the lack of a data protection law and recent regulations that have sought to expand government control over the internet. There are also issues regarding the use of surveillance technology, such as Pegasus.
Resultantly, using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect your identity and data becomes vital when accessing the internet from India. While leading VPN providers have removed their physical servers from the country, several VPN services remain available in India. This article ranks the best VPNs for India for 2023.
The Best India VPNs for 2023
Some context on our ranking criteria is essential before jumping into the list of the best VPNs for India. In 2022, the Indian government introduced guidelines that require VPN providers to store and share consumer information, including user logs and assigned IP addresses.
However, these guidelines violate the no-logs policy of leading VPN providers. As a result, most VPN providers have removed their physical servers from India. However, the regulations do not apply to virtual VPN servers, so many Indian VPN services now offer such servers to their users. The availability of a virtual VPN server for India was one of the most important criteria in our ranking.
We also looked at other relevant factors in judging a VPN, including its price, server network, privacy measures, and security credentials. A snapshot of the best VPNs for India and their key features is provided below.
|Feature||Surfshark||ExpressVPN||CyberGhost||NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|Virtual servers in India||✔||✔||✔||✖||✔|
|Server network||3,200 servers in 100 countries||3,000 servers in 94 countries||7,000+ servers in 90 countries||5,500+ servers in 64 countries||33,000 servers in 84 countries|
|Protocols||OpenVPN, WireGuard||OpenVPN, L2TP, WireGuard, Lightway||OpenVPN, L2TP, WireGuard||OpenVPN, L2TP, NordLynx||OpenVPN, L2TP, WireGuard, PPTP|
|Starting price||Rs. 169.67/month ($2.05)||Rs. 552.45/month ($6.67)||Rs. 165/month ($2.03)||Rs. 342.17/month ($4.19)||Rs. 165/month ($2.03)|
|Purchase||Get Surfshark||Get ExpressVPN||Get CyberGhost||Get NordVPN||Get PIA|
Would you like more detailed information about each of these options, as well as an extra India VPN? We’ll discuss each VPN provider down below.
1. Surfshark: The best India VPN
- 50 virtual servers in two different locations in India
- High speeds that are excellent for streaming and unblocking
- Proven no-logs policy and RAM-only servers for excellent online privacy in India
- Protocols: OpenVPN and WireGuard
Surfshark is our top pick for India since it constantly delivers high speeds with a low ping on our tests. There is hardly any drop-off in speeds when connecting to nearby servers, and daily browsing is seamless while using Surfshark in India.
With 3,200 servers in more than 100 countries, Surfshark has an extensive global network. This will help you unlock content on Netflix and other streaming platforms that aren’t available in India. Most importantly, it offers 50 servers in two virtual India locations.
Due to Surfshark’s watertight audited no-logs policy, your browsing data won’t be handed over to the government. In fact, Surfshark’s RAM-only servers make it impossible to recover anyone’s online activity. Moreover, this VPN offers the safest VPN protocols as well as additional security features, such as two-factor authentication and MultiHop.
Through their user-friendly website, you can sign up for a Surfshark subscription and download the app in just a few minutes. The app itself is very simple and intuitive. Simply click on “Quick-connect” to be routed through the closest and fastest VPN server. If you run into any issues, Surfshark has a live chat that offers excellent customer support 24/7, so you won’t need to take time zones into account when reaching out to Surfshark’s representatives.
Surfshark ticks all the boxes for the best VPN for India. It has great speeds, rock-solid security, and privacy, and it’s one of the more affordable options on our list. Want to know more? You can read our full Surfshark review for a detailed look into this service. If you want to get started right away, you can subscribe to Surfshark using the button below.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
2. ExpressVPN: The most user-friendly VPN for India
- Virtual India servers through Singapore and the UK
- Easy-to-use apps
- Excellent logging policy that’s India-proof
- Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP, WireGuard, and Lightway
ExpressVPN is one of the most well-known VPN solutions in the market and has a track record of protecting user security and privacy. Since using a VPN is legal in India, it is worthwhile choosing this service provider, as its app is easy to use, and the connection speeds for India are faster compared to other VPNs.
Thanks to its 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN is one of the better VPNs for unblocking. We could unblock BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix in India using different servers on ExpressVPN. Torrenting is also a breeze because ExpressVPN allows anonymous P2P sharing on all its servers without any throttling. It offers two virtual servers via Singapore and the UK, which can be used to get an Indian IP address.
Getting a subscription, downloading the apps, and managing your account can also be done easily using ExpressVPN’s well-laid-out website. ExpressVPN’s apps work on all leading operating systems, including Linux, and are easy to install. The app is well designed, with a large on/off button in the center, which connects to the most optimal server. While some features, like server obfuscation, can be tricky, the app is easy to navigate overall.
If you’re willing to shell out money for your VPN protection, then you can’t go wrong with using ExpressVPN in India. For more information, check out our detailed ExpressVPN review.
- Very easy to use VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
3. CyberGhost: The best budget India VPN
- Affordable subscriptions
- Various virtual servers in Mumbai
- Works with Hotstar
- Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP, and WireGuard
If you’re looking for a top-tier VPN for India that’s easy on the pocket, CyberGhost is your best bet. It even offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out with any of the Indian streaming services and other geo-blocked websites you’d like to use to see if it works for you.
While speeds on CyberGhost are relatively slower compared to competitors, its server network is quite expansive, with over 7,000 servers in 90 countries, including multiple virtual servers in Mumbai. It also has a number of dedicated servers for streaming and gaming, which help unblock Indian services like Disney+ Hotstar.
CyberGhost collects some personal information for registration and product improvement but keeps it separate from other non-personal information, so your true identity can’t be revealed. While this experience isn’t as completely anonymous as that of some of the other VPNs on this list, it is more than enough to get a private online experience while in India.
If you’re starting to use VPNs, we highly recommend CyberGhost. Its app interface is very simple to use and navigate around. The home screen also provides information about your data use, which can be helpful on limited connections.
CyberGhost’s live customer support is polite and responsive but may not be available 24/7, unlike that of NordVPN and ExpressVPN. For more information on CyberGhost’s extra features and options, you can read our full review. If you’re on a budget and looking for an affordable VPN for India, then why not choose CyberGhost?
- Very user-friendly
- High quality for a low price
- Torrents and Netflix possible
4. NordVPN: The best India VPN for security and safety
- Massive server network (but no servers in India)
- Countless unblocking options for worldwide content
- Option to get a dedicated IP
- Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP, and NordLynx
NordVPN is currently the best VPN on the market if you ask us. However, when it comes to the best VPNs for India, it dropped slightly on our list. This is primarily because NordVPN does not currently have virtual servers in India, so it can’t be used to get an Indian IP address. If you would just like to use a VPN to unblock foreign content while you’re in India, however, NordVPN does a great job.
The selection of VPN servers on NordVPN is immense: it has 5,500+ servers in 59 countries. Want to watch American Netflix while you’re in India? No problem! Simply click the American version of your choice and head over to stream your favorite Netflix show. NordVPN also offers a dedicated IP service, which will cost you $70 a year. This can help you stay anonymous while getting rid of any unnecessary VPN blocks.
Speaking of anonymity, NordVPN is at the forefront of this. It uses RAM-based servers and does not track user activity. Their “no log” policy has been audited several times and holds up in India as well as in the rest of the world.
Clean and efficient are the two words that best describe NordVPN’s app and website. We particularly like the app’s layout, as it features a large map of the NordVPN network along with a list to choose from. The menus are easy to navigate, making even advanced features accessible.
If you happen to face a problem while using NordVPN, you can always check out the helpful customer support section. While NordVPN’s chatbot isn’t the best, the live support staff is available to help you around the clock.
In short, if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock content while you’re in India, NordVPN and its great security features are the solution for you.
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
5. Private Internet Access (PIA): The most private VPN for India
- No-logs policy and strict focus on privacy
- “Geo-Located” virtual servers in India
- Huge server network with tens of thousands of IPs
- Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP, WireGuard, and PPTP
Given the risks of government surveillance in India, you may be looking for a VPN that’s focused on privacy and user security. We can’t think of many other VPNs that do a better job of ensuring user privacy than Private Internet Access (PIA).
PIA’s 33,000 servers across 84 countries make it a good option for unblocking sports streams and OTT content like on Netflix and Hulu, but it doesn’t work as consistently as some of the other options on our list.
You can use PIA’s Indian IP addresses to access local content when you’re traveling to another country. Simply choose the “Geo-Located” server in India to connect. PIA has also recently started offering dedicated IP addresses in various countries, although India isn’t one of them.
PIA ensures that browsing data and other personal information are stored on a special null device, from which data is unretrievable. It has been proven during multiple trials in the United States, its headquarters, that PIA does not retain any data on users’ browsing activity.
PIA’s adopted a minimalist and uncluttered approach for its app and website. The menu is well-segmented, making it easier to access the different security features and options.
Customer support on PIA doesn’t quite match up to some of the other best VPNs for India. While it does have live chat support, it took us about 10 minutes to be connected with an agent.
Even so, PIA’s easy-to-use website, privacy-focused approach, and wide server network can be ideal if you are looking for a reliable VPN for India.
- Strong focus on privacy and security
- Good price
- Fast and stable servers
6. Proton VPN: The best free India VPN
- Free subscription option
- Strong privacy credentials
- Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, and Stealth
People often don’t want to spend money on VPNs, despite the security and privacy benefits they provide. Luckily, there are a few great free VPNs for India you can use. Even though we have not included Proton VPN in our table above, we had to give it a mention. The free version of Proton VPN is easily one of the best free VPNs on the market and deserves a spot on our list of the best VPNs for India.
Proton VPN currently has a small but expanding network of servers. On the free version, you’ll get access to about 100 servers in three countries. The closest one to India is Japan, which we recommend using. When we tested Proton VPN Free in India, our download and upload speeds were decent, but the ping was high at times. This isn’t unusual for a free VPN, and it may affect users’ gaming and streaming experience.
Proton VPN uses standard but industry-leading protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard. It also supports perfect forward secrecy, which makes it difficult for hackers to hijack your connection.
Since Proton VPN’s website and app are visually pleasing and well-designed, the app is pretty easy to use. This is a good thing, since Proton doesn’t have any live customer support. Instead, you’ll have to fill in a form and wait for them to reply. This reply usually takes between two and three business days, which is not ideal for situations that require urgent attention.
When looking at trustworthy free VPNs that work in India, Proton VPN doubtlessly is one of the best options, since it focuses on privacy and doesn’t come with data limits. Still, if you want more from your VPN, you can always upgrade. The paid version of Proton VPN offers 1,700+ servers in 60+ countries, including a virtual server in India.
- Free servers in the Netherlands, Japan and the US
- No datalimit
- Servers often slow and crowded
How We Picked the Best VPN for India
There are a lot of factors that go into determining which VPN is the best for India, since government surveillance and content geo-blocking are major concerns. We relied on the following factors to determine the best India VPN:
- Availability of virtual servers in India: Since most leading VPN providers no longer have physical servers in India, we gave particular importance to the availability of virtual servers. These servers let you use an Indian IP address and offer some of the fastest speeds we experienced during tests.
- Unblocking capabilities: As mentioned above, the Indian government blocks a lot of content and apps on the internet. VPNs that could unblock content, especially gaming apps, were ranked higher.
- Security and privacy features: Given the concerns over government and ISP surveillance, we gave considerable importance to the protocols a VPN uses to encrypt user activity. We also looked at the availability of additional security features, such as VPN obfuscation.
- Overall speed and performance: VPNs that slow down speeds lead to a sub-optimal browsing and streaming experience. Hence, we factored in a VPN’s performance on our speed tests when listing the best India VPNs.
Why Is a VPN Needed in India?
There are many benefits to using a VPN service, including improved online privacy and security. However, using a VPN in India is particularly important for several reasons.
Avoiding government surveillance
The Indian government is alleged to have used surveillance technologies, including Pegasus, on the devices of citizens. Journalists and opposition politicians have also been the target of government surveillance. On top of that, Indian internet service providers are more than happy to cooperate with the government and provide user browsing data when legally requested.
A VPN encrypts your browsing activity and hides your IP address, helping prevent such surveillance by the government and ISPs.
Unblocking and accessing content and sports streams
Websites and apps are frequently banned in India. Government reports have suggested that nearly 10,000 websites were banned in 2020 alone. Several Chinese apps, including TikTok, are unavailable to Indian users due to security concerns. Using a VPN allows you to change your IP address to another country’s and circumvent the website and app bans placed by the Indian government.
Protecting your data and privacy
India, Australia, and Japan are the three countries that faced the most cyberattacks in 2021. Hence, it’s vital that internet users in India take necessary precautions to protect their data and privacy.
A VPN and antivirus program can help provide a foundational level of safety and anonymity to your online activities.
VPNs to Avoid in India
Knowing which VPNs to avoid is almost as important as knowing the best ones to use. We strongly recommend avoiding the following India VPNs.
|VPN Provider||Why You Should Avoid It|
|VPN India – get Indian IP||When you search for a VPN on the Play Store, VPNs by AltApps usually show up near the top. However, we could not find a working website for AltApps, or the company their malfunctioning link seems to lead to: Tap2Free. Therefore, we also couldn’t find any details on the VPN’s security and privacy features. This means there is no way to verify that they actually offer what they promise.|
|VPN – Proxy Unlimited Shield||This is one of the most popular VPNs on the Indian App Store that also seems to be known as “VPN – Super Unlimited Proxy” elsewhere in the world. While showing up at the top of your VPN search, this VPN tends to be incredibly slow and serves ads. We also couldn’t verify the company behind it, Mobile Jump Pte Ltd.|
Conclusion: Protect Your Online Privacy With the Best VPNs for India
The best India VPNs will help you stay safe online and protect your private information. Online security is increasingly important today, especially in the case of India, where there are several instances of the government infringing on user privacy.
Surfshark is the best overall India VPN due to its speed, server network, and affordable price. ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are a close second and third. That said, you really can’t go wrong with any of the VPNs on this list. We’d advise you to dentify which one best suits your needs and try it out.
Of course, India is not the only country with concerns over surveillance. The following articles should help you bypass censorship and stay safe online globally:
- Bypass Online Censorship: How to Freely Access the Internet
- Accessing WhatsApp Abroad: How to Circumvent the Restrictions
- A Quick Guide to Protecting Your Identity and Privacy When Protesting
If you still have some questions related to the best India VPN, check out the FAQ section below!
Surfshark is the best India VPN, in our opinion. It is one of the fastest VPNs on the market and uses the latest protocols and encryption standards to keep user data safe and private. It is also one of the more affordable premium VPNs on the market and has virtual servers in two Indian locations.
Proton VPN is the best free India VPN. While its free tier doesn’t have virtual servers in India, it offers almost everything else premium VPN providers do, including unlimited browsing and streaming data. You can read more about Proton in our list of best free VPNs.
There are various VPNs that offer Indian virtual servers. Our favorite is Surfshark, since it has servers in multiple locations in India. These servers are virtual, since most premium VPNs have removed their physical servers from India. The Indian government published guidelines in 2022 that required VPN providers to store user information, including their IP addresses. As this violates the no-logs policy of VPN providers, most of them no longer have physical servers.