How to Unblock LinkedIn From Russia in 2022: A Full Guide

Broken padlock, LinkedIn logo, Russian flag and a keychain
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How to Unblock LinkedIn From Russia in 2022: A Quick Guide

LinkedIn has been banned in Russia since November 2016. If you’re looking for a safe and easy way to get back on the professional networking platform, we recommend using a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between you and the web. You can circumvent censorship by connecting to a VPN server in a country where LinkedIn is not blocked.

Here’s how:

  1. Find a VPN that’s still available in Russia, for example, Surfshark. Go to the website and choose your plan.
  2. Purchase a subscription. Since major credit card companies might be blocked, you might have to use cryptocurrency to buy your VPN.
  3. Connect to a server outside of Russia, in a country where LinkedIn is not blocked.
  4. Use LinkedIn. You can now freely access LinkedIn from Russia.

Considering the current political climate in Russia, there are some safety measures to keep in mind. In this article, we give you tips and tricks for unblocking LinkedIn in Russia, including other censorship tools you can use when a VPN is not an option.

LinkedIn is a wildly popular networking platform. Since entering the market in 2003, it has quickly become one of the best professional networks in the world.

People use LinkedIn for various reasons: to connect with others, find job offers, and progress in their careers. Currently, there are more than 810 million active users on LinkedIn across 200 countries.

In Russia, however, LinkedIn has been banned for many years. In October 2016, there were still 3.5 million Russian users on the app. But just a few months after the official ban took effect in November 2016, this number declined by 71%.

The current conflict in Ukraine has made it even more difficult for LinkedIn users in Russia to get around censorship. Using a VPN (virtual private network) is a reliable way to circumvent censorship in Ukraine.

Below, we discuss which VPNs are best to use in Russia, what to do if your VPN is blocked, and how to get back on LinkedIn safely and securely.


Using LinkedIn in Russia

Russia is not the only country where LinkedIn is banned. Iran and North Korea are two other examples, as is China, which banned LinkedIn recently.

There are various reasons why a platform like LinkedIn may be banned, including political and religious reasons. However, in Russia, the networking app has been blocked because it is unable to comply with the government’s data retention laws.

The institution responsible for monitoring Russian media, is the Federal Service for Supervision of Telecommunications of Russia, or “Roskomnadzor.”

This is a state-owned media watchdog that decides which companies are allowed to operate in Russia and how. They’re effectively responsible for all internet censorship in Russia.

Back in 2016, the Roskomnadzor gave orders to block LinkedIn because the company uses servers outside of Russia to store personal user information. This is prohibited under Russian law, which requires all data storage servers to be on Russian territory.

After a year of unfruitful negotiations, the Russian government reaffirmed the ban in November 2017. LinkedIn has been permanently banned ever since.

While there are LinkedIn alternatives that are accessible in Russia, such as Xing and Skillsnet.ru, they are nowhere near LinkedIn in terms of size or user engagement.


Why You Need a VPN to Access LinkedIn in Russia

Many websites or social media platforms are blocked by the Russian government. If Roskomnadzor decides a site should be banned, they will blacklist the webpage.

Subsequently, internet service providers (ISPs) are ordered to restrict people’s access to these platforms. They do so by blocking users’ IP addresses. If the ISPs refuse to comply, they can lose their operating licenses.

A virtual private network provides you with a new IP address from anywhere in the world. By using VPN software, you connect your device to a VPN server that’s located elsewhere. Once you’re connected, your real IP will be hidden in favor of the IP of the VPN server. For internet companies, you’re virtually located in a different country.

The trick to bypassing censorship and unblocking LinkedIn, is by choosing a server in a location where LinkedIn is not censored. Because a VPN encrypts your data traffic, your ISP will not be able to trace your activity back to you.

You’ll be able to go online and network as you please, despite the fact that you’re physically located in Russia.

Is VPN legal iconSince 2017, the Russian government has placed an indirect ban on VPNs. What this means, is that it’s legal to use a VPN in Russia. However, Roskomnadzor has essentially blocked all VPN providers for being unable to comply with official laws and regulations regarding data retention.

This is why, it can be difficult to access a VPN’s website from Russia. However, it’s still possible to use one, if you know where to look and how to go about it.

In a country like Russia with strict censorship laws, a VPN is still your best bet if you’re looking to access BBC News or other foreign news sites, or get on international social networks such as Facebook or TikTok.

Below, we will discuss how to go about this in more detail.


How to Unblock LinkedIn From Russia

Get around censorship iconA VPN lets you change your location and hide your private information, which is great if you want to access LinkedIn from Russia. On top of that, a VPN is a great tool to push back against a censored internet.

However, with Russia’s strict laws on VPN use, it can be difficult to get your hands on the right VPN provider. This is why we’ve listed the VPN providers that still work in Russia.

Which VPNs work in Russia?

Even premium providers such as NordVPN are blocked in Russia. However, our tech experts confirm that the following VPNs are still active and accessible at the moment:

There’s something Russian users should keep in mind when looking for a VPN: it’s not always possible to purchase your VPN with a credit card or PayPal.

This means that it’s often safer to buy a VPN subscription using cryptocurrency. This will not only make you more anonymous but also let you easily choose from various VPN providers in the country.

Dangers of using a free VPN

Free VPN icon with question markSome VPNs can be costly. That’s why you might be tempted to look for a free VPN, instead of getting one you have to pay for. However, there are several risks associated with using a free VPN:

  • A free VPN’s privacy policy is usually weak. This means your data can easily be exposed or end up in the wrong hands.
  • Free VPNs might sell your data to third parties. Since users don’t pay for the VPN service, a provider will seek out other revenue streams, including selling your data to advertising and analytics companies.
  • Free providers’ server networks tend to be small. The servers that are available can easily get crowded and over-used, which makes your connection slow or unstable.
  • There are often speed or bandwidth limitations. Using a free VPN can be quite restrictive.

For this reason, we recommend you use a premium VPN service.


The Top 3 VPN Providers to Unblock LinkedIn in Russia

Here are the top three VPN providers that you can use to unblock access to LinkedIn if you’re in Russia.

1. Surfshark

Surfshark VPN provider website homepage with added logo to the corner

Surfshark is a very trustworthy and affordable VPN provider that still works in Russia.

At the moment, Surfshark has a server network of over 3,200 servers across 65 countries. On top of that, you can use your Surfshark account on an unlimited amount of devices.

Surfshark supports advanced VPN protocols, including WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. It uses the latest AES-256 encryption, so your data is completely safe. On top of that, Surfshark also has a no-logs policy, so they don’t log your data at all.

Since Surfshark uses a RAM-only server network, no data is stored on any hard drives: instead, it gets automatically deleted with every server reset.

In the VPN world, Surfshark is particularly well-known for its capability to easily unblock all websites. It’s one of the few VPNs that manages to push back against even the strongest forms of censorship.

For people in very restricted areas, like Russia, Surfshark offers its NoBorders mode. These are specialized servers that are designed to unblock websites in censorship-heavy regions.

If you’re looking to unblock LinkedIn, Surfshark is our top choice because of how it protects your data and its ability to unblock LinkedIn from Russia, and other sites.


2: CyberGhost

Screenshot of CyberGhost VPN, homepage with logo

CyberGhost has even more servers than Surfshark: over 7,600 servers around the world. While it’s a bit more expensive, this reliable VPN provider deserves a spot in our top 3 for its secure privacy policy and the sheer choice of servers it offers.

With CyberGhost’s 256-bit AES encryption, your data will be safe. This, too, is a no-logs VPN provider that won’t hand over any private information to the Russian authorities, because it doesn’t store any. It also offers a choice of five different VPN protocols, WireGuard, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2.

On top of that, the provider is very transparent: it’s one of the few providers that successfully complies with the European GDPR privacy standards.

CyberGhost is accessible in Russia, and you can easily download and use it on any device. It’s a great choice for unblocking LinkedIn from Russia. The provider also offers various optimized servers for streaming or torrenting.


3: ProtonVPN

Screenshot of ProtonVPN, website homepage

Our final recommendation is ProtonVPN. This VPN is currently active in Russia and offers high security and strong encryption. It’s available for download on all major operating systems.

While the availability of certain features differs per plan, ProtonVPN does offer support for the latest VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2.

ProtonVPN doesn’t have as many servers as Surfshark and Cyberghost (about 1600 across 63 countries). However, ProtonVPN does offer a free version. However, the free version only gives you three server locations (Japan, the Netherlands, and The United States), but has no data cap.

You could use the free version of ProtonVPN to unblock LinkedIn in Russia if you don’t want to purchase a paid alternative.


What to Consider When Choosing a VPN in Russia

Best VPN iconAt the moment, the political climate in Russia means you have to pay extra attention to your VPN’s privacy and security settings. Try to keep the following elements in mind when choosing a VPN to use in Russia:

  • It’s essential that the provider you choose offers the latest VPN protocols. To make sure your data is optimally encrypted, we recommend VPNs that use OpenVPN or WireGuard.
  • To prevent data from leaking through, your VPN should have a kill switch that automatically disables your internet connection if your VPN fails. Check whether the kill switch is enabled by default or not.
  • Naturally, you want your personal information to be safe. Therefore, it’s important that you choose a real no-log VPN. These VPN services don’t log your data at all.
  • It’s also important that you choose a VPN that is capable of unblocking websites from Russia. Many free VPNs, for instance, won’t be able to unblock certain websites at all.

How to Download a VPN in Russia: Step-by-Step

Generally, the steps for purchasing and installing a VPN are all the same. While there might be some small differences, the process generally follows the same six steps.

Infographic showing steps of getting a VPN

To make things easier for you, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide for purchasing, downloading, and installing Surfshark, our top choice to access LinkedIn in Russia in 2022.

  1. Go to the VPN website. On the Surfshark website, you will find information on the different plans and payment methods. If you’re unable to reach the website directly, read our next section for tips and tricks.
  2. Choose your subscription and create an account. With Surfshark, it’s possible to pay with cryptocurrency, as well as more conventional methods like PayPal and credit cards. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try out the service before committing fully.
  3. Download the VPN Software. Make sure you pick the right software for your operating device. You can install a VPN on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, or even your router.
  4. Install the software. This is often a quick and straightforward process. It might take a minute, but you’ll soon be ready to go online.
  5. Once your installation is completed, log in with your account. You will now be able to see an overview of servers to connect to. You can also go into the settings and enable any extra features.
  6. To get access to LinkedIn or any other platform, connect to a server outside of Russia. Since there are only a handful of countries that have completely banned LinkedIn, it should be easy to find a location that gives you access.

You can now head over to the LinkedIn website or download the app. Just like that, you’ve got access to your LinkedIn account again.


What if My VPN is Blocked in Russia?

With Russia’s crackdown on VPNs, it could be difficult to find a reliable VPN provider. Luckily, there are many different ways to bypass censorship. These are several options you could try:

  • The Opera browser has a built-in VPN. Try using this VPN to get access to the website of a premium provider an go from there.
  • Alternatively, look for a free VPN that’s not blocked and try downloading a safer VPN with it. Do make sure you delete the VPN again and don’t keep using it, since this can put you at risk with the Russian authorities.
  • If you’re still struggling to find a VPN, try using a proxy or change your DNS settings instead.
  • You can try using a website’s IP instead of its URL. You can find the IP by entering the hostname in your Command Prompt (Windows) or Network Utility (Mac). Then, just enter it in your browser bar.
  • Finally, you could use an alternative browser like The Onion Router.

However, all of the options that we’ve listed above are readily accessible from Russia, so you can download any of these VPN providers to unblock LinkedIn in Russia.


Final Thoughts

Russia is known for its strict internet censorship and increasing restrictions on social media platforms since the conflict in Ukraine began.

Using a VPN is the easiest and most secure way for Russian users to get back to using LinkedIn. Because Roskomnadzor actively blocks VPN websites, it can be difficult for Russian citizens to find one that’s accessible.

For unblocking LinkedIn, we’ve found you’re best off trying purchasing one of the following VPNs:

How to Unblock LinkedIn From Russia: Frequently Asked Questions

Would you like to know how to unblock LinkedIn from Russia? Do you have questions about VPN use? Check out our FAQ below for some answers.

No, LinkedIn is blocked in Russia and has been since November 2016 because the company is unable to comply with Russia’s data retention laws. Luckily, you can unblock LinkedIn in Russia in a few steps.

The safest and easiest way to get access to blocked or banned content in Russia is by using a VPN:

  1. Purchase a VPN such as Surfshark.
  2. Download and install the software.
  3. Connect to a server outside of Russia where the website you want to reach is not censored.
  4. Your device will take on the IP of the VPN server and virtually locate you in a different country. You can now visit the website of your choice.

Yes, a VPN is an easy and safe way to access LinkedIn from Russia or other places where it’s blocked. All you need to do is connect to a VPN server in a location where LinkedIn is not censored. This will allow you to get around restrictions.

While VPN use is not illegal in Russia, it can be difficult to use VPN software or access a VPN’s website in Russia. At the moment, the following VPNs are still available:

  • Surfshark (our top choice)
  • CyberGhost
  • ProtonVPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • PrivadoVPN
International Censorship & Security Journalist
Lauren Mak is an internal censorship and security-focused journalist with a keen eye for how technology affects society. With a background in International Relations and North American Studies, Lauren brings a unique perspective to the VPNOverview team. Lauren has a passion for helping others understand the importance of privacy, freedom, and internet safety and brings that passion to VPNOverview.