Moscow is the capital and largest city in Russia. With a population of 17.1 million people located in its urban area, it is the 15th largest city in the world. Moscow is an interesting place to visit for quite a few reasons. If you are going to travel to the area for business or pleasure, you won’t want to use public WiFi or even the internet there without using a VPN. Doing so will leave you at risk to surveillance and censorship. We’ll go into more detail in a moment. First, take a look at our list of the best VPNs for Moscow.
In 1147, Yuri Dolgoruky and Sviatoslav Olgovich met at Moscow on the Volga River. That was the first reference to the town. In 1156, Knjaz Yury Dolgoruky fortified the town with a timber fence and added a moat. The fortifications held until Ghengis Khan’s grandson, Batu Khan burned the city and killed its inhabitants in 1237.
Since those times, there have been many things to happen in the city. Those include being the capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R), protests, revolutions, and many more. After the fall of Communism in 1991, Moscow went into a tailspin economically. However, it has mostly stabilized and is now doing quite well. People visit the city because of business opportunities, museums, historical landmarks, fine arts, architecture, and more.
In 2012, Moscow launched its’ free WiFi system. It became available in many places from trains to parks to local businesses. While that may sound great, cybercriminals and the Russian government (called the Kremlin) monitor internet activity. By creating a secure and encrypted connection, you also make it much more difficult for thieves to compromise your data. Without one, you are vulnerable to attack. However, you may not be completely safe from other sources under some circumstances.
The second reason to use a VPN while in Moscow is because of censorship. It is well known that the Kremlin censors the internet, and you may have an issue trying to view some of your favorite sites. When using a VPN for that reason, you will connect to a server in another country. That will help you get around the censorship found in Russia.
Those are two very good reasons to use a VPN while in Moscow. However, you may realize other reasons after you sign up for service. Whether you are trying to keep yourself safe from prying eyes or want to defeat censorship, a VPN will have you covered. Now that you know why using one while in Moscow is very important, let’s take a look at what you should look for.
The way that VPNs operate is by using encryption protocols. Most services will offer you a number of protocols to choose from. The best available protocol to use is OpenVPN. That is because it has a great mix of speed and security. If you are given an option between a UDP and a TCP version of that protocol, UDP is the fastest. If you are having connection issues, the TCP version is your best choice. Though it is slower, you are less likely to have connection issues.
Moscow is a big city with many opportunities. However, their rules on privacy and censorship have caused nearly all providers to pull any servers out of the country. Because of that, ExpressVPN has servers located in Kiev, Ukraine. The servers located in Kiev are fast and should do the job well. Their speed makes ExpressVPN our top choice of services to use while in the city of Moscow.
With ExpressVPN, fast VPN access and MediaStreamer act as a Smart DNS service to unblock access to censored content. The service will help encrypt your connection and get around the Russian censorship rules. It is easy to see the benefits of using one while in Moscow.
ExpressVPN network boasts hundreds of servers in key locations to help protect their user’s privacy. That includes locations in Ukraine (since it is the closest to Moscow). You can use their network to protect your privacy, unblock censorship, and enjoy the content you are used to seeing.
The ExpressVPN app allows you to select a server location down to the city but you can not choose a specific server. Instead, the client will select a server in your chosen location. You will want to select the “All” tab, open Europe, and then open Ukraine. At this point, you can select the servers located there. As you can see, we tested a server in Ukraine and the speed came out to 121.01 Mbps.
While ExpressVPN is sold at a higher price point than the other services in our list, the value is high given the size of their network and service features. You can connect a computer, handheld device, router, and game console (SmartDNS) with a single VPN account for just $6.67 a month with a 30-day money back guarantee.
NordVPN is based in Panama which some users prefer to using a VPN company that’s actually headquartered in the United States. You will find that NordVPN has a strong presence in different parts of the world. Members have full access to their network in the region and beyond for a very good price.
You will find that NordVPN has perhaps the best mix of services for the price if you subscribe to an account for a longer term. All users have full access to their network and custom software. You can connect using the VPN client for Windows or Mac. They also have an easy-to-use mobile app for both Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad) devices
We tested the speed in Ukraine and, as you see below, the numbers are good with a download speed of 99.45 Mbps. You should have no problem doing whatever you want to do while using a server there.
Want to access streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world? If so NordVPN is a great choice. They are one of the only VPN services that can still unblock Netflix. You can sign up for unlimited VPN and SmartDNS service from just $2.99 a month with a 3-year membership.
CyberGhost was founded in 2001 by 7 enthusiastic young team members in Bucharest, Romania. Since that time the company has grown into one of the largest VPN services in the world. The team of 50+ members is focused on protecting users privacy. Robert Knapp, co-founder and CEO, continues to lead the team even after they joined the Crossrider group in 2017. Since that time the CyberGhost network has expanded quite a bit.
CyberGhost offers a nice mix of server locations, strong encryption, and the ability to unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube Red, and Amazon Prime. Some of the channels even let you unblock geo-restrictions for multiple regions. For example, you can access Amazon Prime video content in the US, Germany, or UK. The Windows client also gives you the option to surf anonymously, protect Wi-Fi, torrent anonymously, unblock basic websites (Google, Facebook Instagram, etc.), and choose a server.
Since we wanted to test a server in Kiev, we opened the Windows client and expanded the interface. From there, you will want to click on the “All Servers” tab if it isn’t already active. Scroll down to the Ukraine and click to the right of the star. This will bring up a full list of servers in the country. We connected to one of them and tested the performance. As you can see, our download speed was 5.33 Mbps.
The CyberGhost VPN client is one of our favorites. It is very easy to use and includes a number of advanced features to help protect your online privacy. They have a development team in Germany that is continually adding features to the client and mobile apps. You can sign up for full access to the CyberGhost network from just $2.75 a month during their current promotion.
The options we just gave are the best choices for Moscow, but you are welcome to take a look at our top 10 VPN list if you would like to see more options. Just be sure the provider you choose has servers located in the area. We made our decisions based on security, speed, price, and reliability. We also looked for providers with servers in the same region of the world as Moscow. That way, you can get the best available speeds. Since they all have good networks, you can’t go wrong with any choice you make. If you want to stream content, good speeds are very important. You can make the right decision for your needs by using our guide to help you.