On July 30th, 2017, Vladimir Putin signed a law that banned Russian citizens from accessing blocked websites by using a VPN. Interestingly, the government does not explicitly ban VPN, only accessing banned content when using one. Most people know that the Russian government engages in surveillance. However, it would surprise some that it goes so deep. The Kremlin states they won’t target law-abiding citizens, but you can bet they won’t hesitate to change the rules. The previous year, some of the VPN countries pulled all of their servers from Russia. That was was because of the privacy restrictions in the country. In this post, we will show you some VPNs that still work with the Russian VPN ban.
What Is Banned Content?
In case you are curious, the Russian government content restriction includes sites related to radical religion, drugs, suicide, anything related to the LGBT community, political dissent, pages related to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, and more. Some specific blocked items include Linkedin.com, Reddit, rutracker.org, Children-404, Telegram, Bitcoin-related websites, extremism as deemed by the government, Twitch, and a few more. As you can see, it does not take much to equal banned content. If you want to access any of the content we just mentioned, you can either wait until you get to a place that is less restrictive, or use a VPN.
China Is the Most Restrictive
While Russia has cracked down on VPN usage, China has as well. In fact, you probably already know that China has one of the most restrictive internet policies in the world. Since they have banned VPN usage except for those that are approved by the government, they are effectively banned.
How Do You Bypass This Restriction?
Though the bans allegedly make anonymizing technologies illegal, there are typically still loopholes in the legislation. Additionally, some VPN providers have special methods you can use to get around these types of blocks. The ones in the table above are the best options to help you. A word of caution, though. Even if you may be able to get around these types of blocks, using a VPN to access restricted content is still illegal. If you are caught in Russia breaking that law, you could end up in Siberia. Seriously though, you could definitely get into trouble under some circumstances. Here are some steps you can take first.
- Sign up for your VPN service first – If you are going on a trip to Russia or China, we suggest you open the client and get it set up first so you won’t have any issues with the program while in the country.
- Choose a reputable company – Again, using the wrong VPN can be a bad thing if the Russian or Chinese government catches you. Additionally, the bigger providers usually have big teams behind them. That means they have the resources to help you get around the blocks in even the roughest conditions.
- Assess your goals – Before taking any trip, you need to determine your VPN goals. Are you using a VPN to protect your privacy in a foreign country? Are you planning on viewing restricted sites? Is your plan only to get around normal geo-restricted content? Those are all questions you need to ask yourself when considering a solution.
We have just mentioned some good things to look for in a VPN provider. We also provided you our top choices to help you get around the Russian VPN ban. Just remember, your best option is not to put yourself in danger of breaking the law. However, if you need to access blocked material, this post should help you.