This guide will show you the top VPNs services that still offer Indian servers and don’t track their users. We will also show you how to easily set up a VPN for India to browse the internet with more privacy and access blocked content.
Having an Indian VPN has a ton of advantages. For one, you will be able to access geo-restricted content from streaming platforms like Hotstar or India TV. You can also unlock cheaper subscriptions for services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Unfortunately, the Indian government decided to start regulating VPNs. They are demanding that providers store user data for a period of five years, which would completely undermine the privacy aspect. Because of this, a lot of VPNs decided to stop focusing on India and removed all of their servers.
However, there are still some high-quality services that refuse to back down. After extensive testing, we have identified the three best VPNs for India.
- Surfshark – A premium and affordable VPN for India that provides high speed, unlimited connections, and rigorous security. (Use our coupon for 80% off).
- ExpressVPN – Safe Indian VPN with plenty of servers and reliable connections.
- NordVPN – VPN service with a healthy and fast server network and consistent performance.
We will provide you with an overview of each service below. For now, let’s see how you can quickly set up an Indian VPN.
How to begin using a VPN in India
VPNs offer complete privacy by encrypting user data and then sending it to a remote VPN server. In this case, we are talking about virtual Indian servers. Once you connect, you will get a unique IP which will make it seem like you are from India. This will unlock all geo-restricted content and let you freely browse the Internet. You can do this in four steps:
- Subscribe to a premium VPN service
You will get the best results with Surfshark (with an 80% off coupon).
- Install and start a VPN
- Connect to an Indian VPN server
Surfshark offers 50 virtual servers for India, with two different India locations. Alternatively, you can also connect to neighboring countries and access from there, although your speed will probably be affected.
- Start browsing!
Why to use a VPN in India?
If you’re still not convinced why you should get an Indian VPN, here’s a list of all the benefits you’ll get by subscribing.
- Regain privacy – The Indian government is known for monitoring its citizen’s online history. A premium VPN with a no-logs policy and obfuscation will let you slide under the radar, as no one will be aware that you are using a service like NordVPN or Surfshark
- Access restricted websites and platforms – You can use a VPN to access sites that are only available in India. The inverse is also true, as you can unlock content that’s censored or blocked in India by connecting to servers in different regions. This includes platforms like Reddit and Streamable, and news sites like Times of India. Torrenting is also heavily monitored, but you can use a VPN for torrenting with P2P servers to safely continue file sharing.
- Improved security – A premium VPN comes with AES-256 encryption that will stop third parties from accessing your outgoing information. You will also get leak prevention features (WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS) along with a VPN kill switch that protects your identity if something goes wrong.
- Unblock games – Even some games, like PUBG, were at some point unavailable in India. By using a VPN you can make sure that you’ll have access to popular titles even if they get banned.
Top Indian VPN criteria
With hundreds of services on the market, it can be challenging to find the ones that are worth your time. These are the guidelines we’ve followed to locate the best Indian VPNs:
- Top speeds – We were focusing on VPNs that use advanced protocols like NordLynx, Lightway, and WireGuard. They’ll let you get the best performance, especially if you are connecting from the United States, Canada, or Australia.
- Servers in India – Make sure that your premium VPN has Indian servers or servers located in nearby countries. These include Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan. This will guarantee that you can use the service to access geo-blocked websites and platforms.
- Obfuscated servers – Obfuscation allows you to conceal that you’re using a VPN. This is incredibly useful when opening restricted websites, as you will be completely anonymous.
- Military-level security – Each app has 256-bit AES encryption, real-time scanners, and other advanced features that will keep you completely safe.
- Complete privacy – NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN implement a no-logs policy that makes sure your data isn’t being collected. This is evident from the servers which operate only in RAM mode.
- No data limits – These services don’t put a cap on your monthly usage or slow your speed at any point.
- Instant access – Every app has an impressive network that includes many virtual Indian servers and servers in neighboring countries.
- Easily unblock websites – These premium VPNs quickly unlock Hulu and other popular streaming sites, by bypassing geo-restrictions.
Surfshark – Best overall VPN for India
Surfshark is a premium yet affordable VPN service. It has 50 virtual Indian servers that are physically located in London, Singapore, or the Netherlands. This will make it appear that you’re connecting from India and effectively bypass India’s restrictions and allow you to stream shows on India TV, Hotstar, and much more. All of their servers run exclusively in RAM mode, making Surfshark a reliable no-logs VPN.
Surfshark uses an advanced WireGuard VPN protocol, which will provide you with cutting-edge speed. In our NordVPN vs Surfshark showdown, we found that its performance was indistinguishable from NordLynx. You can expect between 20 to 30% speed reduction, but it may also improve if your ISP is slowing your connection. Below is a speed test from Surfshark where we hit download speeds over 750 Mbps.
WireGuard is also a great choice from a security standpoint since it uses 256-bit AES encryption. This feature was the subject of a pen test performed by Cure53. It found that Surfshark’s app offers airtight security.
The company has always been transparent with its users, which is why it published a warrant canary. This is a statement that tracks secret warrant requests and similar methods for extracting users’ data. So far, Surfshark has received none of them.
Surfshark advanced features
- NoBorders – Allows you to safely use Surfshark in countries that restrict VPN usage.
- Clean Web – A scanner that blocks malware, trackers, and ads, and prevents phishing attacks.
- Surfshark One – A bundle that includes VPN, antivirus, alert tool, and a search engine.
- VPN proxy extension – A lightweight version of Surfshark that you can run directly from the browser. Allows you to use a VPN for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.
- Dynamic multi-hop – An improved version of double VPN servers that gives you complete customizability while adding another level of encryption.
- Obfuscated servers – Transform your VPN traffic to HTTPS so that your ISP doesn’t know you are using Sufshark. This is important if you want to use a VPN for UAE or a VPN for China.
- Split tunneling VPN – Allow some apps to bypass Surfshark and connect directly online. This can improve your security in some cases.
- Smart DNS – Unlock streaming sites on gaming consoles and similar devices that don’t support VPNs. This doesn’t provide encryption.
- VPN Kill Switch – This serves as your last line of defense. In case of a dropped connection, it will exit the app or block your internet to protect your privacy.
Surfshark is easy to use, thanks to its minimalistic interface. It’s available on a variety of platforms, including smartphones, PCs, and smart TVs. With it, you can easily unlock streaming sites like Peacock TV, Netflix, Hotstar, or HBO Max. And with a large network of global servers, Surfshark is also a top VPN for Netflix.
This is the best cheap VPN, as it will only take $1.99/month to get an unlimited subscription. Basically, you’ll be able to connect and secure every device in your household. This makes it ideal if you need a VPN for multiple devices.
You will also get 24/7 access to customer support. If you try it out and find that you aren’t impressed, you can get a refund based on their 30-day money-back policy.
- Unlimited connections
- User-friendly apps for all devices and operating systems
- CleanWeb feature to block ads, trackers, and malware
- Works great with Netflix and many other streaming services
- 24/7 live chat support
- Strong encryption and security features (audited)
- Limited support for VPN routers
- Above average monthly prices
Our complete Surfshark overview will answer all of your remaining questions.
ExpressVPN – A reliable Indian VPN
ExpressVPN has a strong reputation as one of the safest VPN apps. Its network consists of 3,000+ servers operating in 105 countries. While it pulled its servers from India, there are virtual locations set in the UK and Singapore from which you can reliably access Indian content. While ExpressVPN has a large number of servers, it does not offer an P2P servers like we find with ProtonVPN and NordVPN.
On top of that, ExpressVPN still has a strong network in surrounding countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Every server uses TrustedServer technology that ensures user data is never stored. This means that ExpressVPN also adheres to the no-logs policy.
ExpressVPN offers an advanced VPN protocol called Lightway. In our tests for the ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison, we found it to be slower than NordVPN. Below is the ExpressVPN app we tested out.
Luckily, the situation is better when we talk about security. In fact, ExpressVPN is one of the most inspected VPNs and has successfully completed 11 external audits. Most important was a pentest performed by Cure53, which tested its 256-bit AES encryption. We’ve seen similar audits with IPVanish and NordVPN.
ExpressVPN premium features
- Device groups – Gives you the ability to connect every platform to a separate server in real time.
- Threat manager
- Smart DNS
- Kill switch (Network Lock)
- Split tunneling
- Browser extension
ExpressVPN can easily unlock various gambling and streaming sites. It is one of the best VPNs for Firestick with a dedicated app. You also have the option to install VPN directly on your router by using their own firmware. This way, you can quickly create a VPN network without manually setting it up on each device separately. A single subscription lets you connect 8 devices simultaneously.
If you are not tech-savvy, you can always follow one of the many guides on their website or contact ExpressVPN’s 24/7 customer service. All of these features will cost you at least $6.67/month. Additionally, there is a 30-day refund guarantee which gives you the time to thoroughly test the service. If you cancel within 30 days, this makes it similar to a free trial VPN.
- User-friendly and secure apps
- Split tunneling feature (for macOS, Windows, and routers)
- Works with Netflix and most streaming services
- 24/7 live chat support
- Passed independent third-party audits for security and no-logs
- Very large server network
- Above average prices
- Fewer features than other leading VPNs
Learn more by checking our full ExpressVPN overview.
NordVPN – A reliable and fast VPN alternative
NordVPN stands among the best VPNs on the market. Although it isn’t available in India, NordVPN has servers in neighboring countries like Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia. This makes it still suitable for users who want privacy but don’t require an Indian IP address. You can also use it to stream Hotstar by connecting to Thailand and Malaysian servers, although the content will be somewhat limited.
NordVPN uses various protocols including NordLynx, a unique implementation of WireGuard. During our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison, we found that it is one of the fastest protocols to date. In ideal conditions, we easily broke through the 750 Mbps barrier. In short, if you’ve got a decent base connection, you won’t experience any problems regarding speed.
This VPN also has airtight security, thanks to a few important factors. First, we have AES-256-GCM encryption which makes sure your data remains protected at all times. Secondly, all NordVPN servers follow a no-logs policy and operate only in RAM mode (with no hard drives). Since your data isn’t stored at any point, it’s highly unlikely that it will become compromised.
NordVPN went through numerous external audits, which raised its credibility. These audits included an infrastructure audit, pen testing, and also no-logs audits (conducted three times).
NordVPN premium features and tools
- Onion over VPN – Servers that combine NordVPN and Tor network for ultimate protection. While safe, they are super slow, so you should use them in extreme cases, like for browsing the dark web. This also makes it a great VPN for the Dark Web.
- Threat Protection – This is a VPN ad blocker that also blocks trackers, malware, and phishing domains.
- Dedicated IP servers – You can get the dedicated IP VPN option if you want your very own IP address, but this is a paid add-on.
- Obfuscated servers
- Double VPN serves that provide two layers of encryption.
- Split Tunneling
- Kill Switch
NordVPN has one of the most intuitive apps, making it a perfect choice if you don’t have experience with VPNs. It is also available on every platform you can think of. Subscription is reasonably priced and will allow you to connect six devices simultaneously.
There’s also professional live chat customer support, that has your back 24/7. In case that’s not enough, you can test it and get a refund in the first month if it doesn’t match up to your expectations. This is explained more in our NordVPN free trial guide.
- User-friendly and reliable apps
- Double-VPN and Tor-over-VPN servers
- Passed numerous 3rd-party audits
- Strong encryption standards with full support for WireGuard
- Works with Netflix and many streaming sites
- Threat Protection feature to block ads, trackers, and malware
- Professional 24/7 live chat support
- Consistently fast speeds
- Dedicated RAM-servers with 10 Gbps bandwidth channels
- Big discounts only available with 2-year plans
Find out more by reading our in-depth NordVPN review.
Navigating the Legal Landscape: VPN Compliance in India
While selecting a VPN service in India, it’s important to take the legal landscape and local regulations into account. Although VPNs are legally allowed in India, recent regulatory amendments have sparked concerns over user privacy and security.
In 2022, Indian government passed a Digital personal data protection bill that infringes on individual privacy. It states that every VPN that operates in India has to store the following information for a period of five years:
- Real IP address
- Email address
- Home address
- Other user data
This has raised concerns about the potential misuse of user data and the impact on privacy and security for VPN users in India. Since VPN providers have no option but to comply with these demands, many services, like NordVPN, started shutting down all of their servers in India. Some, however, started using a legal loophole to provide virtual Indian servers located in other countries.
Virtual vs Physical Servers in India: A Comparative Analysis
One vital factor to consider while choosing a VPN for India is the type of servers they use. VPNs can utilize either virtual or physical servers, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we’ll compare their pros and cons and look at how they impact VPN performance and user experience.
- Virtual VPN servers are not physically located in the specified location but still provide the correct IP address. They offer increased privacy, enhanced security, the ability to bypass geo-restrictions, and access to blocked or restricted websites. However, virtual VPN servers can have potential drawbacks, such as decreased internet speed, lower reliability, and compatibility problems.
- Physical VPN servers offer improved and consistent performance, along with heightened security. However, they are expensive, which makes them limited in scalability. Like India, there are other countries that restrict or outright ban VPNs, so building servers there is simply not an option.
Ultimately, the choice between virtual and physical servers will depend on your individual needs and priorities when using a VPN in India.
How to fix a VPN for India
Have you finally set up your VPN only to find that it doesn’t work? This quick troubleshooting section will focus on the most common problems and how to solve them.
1. Is your real IP leaking?
To confirm this, you can run this speed test, as it will always show your location. If this is indeed the case, simply go to VPN Settings > Leak protection and turn it on.
If that doesn’t help, the next step is to clear out your browser’s cookies. While they can be useful, they store information about your whereabouts which won’t let VPN do its job.
Note: Clearing cookies and cache will also remove your preferences and passwords. We recommend that you write everything down before proceeding.
2. Is your new IP address and GPS location synced?
Note: This will be relevant if you are using a VPN for India on your smartphone.
If you are using Surfshark, you will need to go to Advanced Settings > Override GPS location. ExpressVPN or NordVPN will do this on their own, but other VPNs will require some tweaking depending on your device.
In the Google Play Store, move to Settings > General > Account and Device Preferences > Country and Profiles.
Select Indian App Store from the drop-down menu. To confirm the changes, you’ll have to put in an Indian address. Luckily, you can extract it from this generator.
Go to Settings > Profile > Media and Purchases > View Account > Country/Region > Change Country or Region > India.
Scroll past the terms and conditions and put in the Indian telephone number and address. Click on Done to confirm and exit.
I can’t install a VPN on my device
There are still some platforms that don’t support VPNs. In this case, you have to create a VPN network and connect to it. This can be done in two ways: by installing new firmware on your router or by getting a VPN router.
We recommend buying a new one since firmware installation can get messy and actually damage your router if done incorrectly. You can find recommendations in our VPN router guide article.
If none of these solutions worked, we advise that you do a comprehensive VPN test and contact your VPN customer service. In the worst-case scenario, you will have to switch to a different VPN provider.
Shows you can watch with an Indian VPN
With hundreds of shows to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to narrow your choice. Here are some of our recommendations that will get you going.
Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Good Luck Jerry
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story
Laakhon Mein Ek
Bad Boy Billionaires: India
Using a free VPN for India
There are hundreds of VPN apps that seem to offer similar security and privacy for free. While they are very tempting, we can’t recommend them wholeheartedly as they carry a lot of inherent risks. Specifically, we are talking about …
1. Terrible download speeds
A majority of free VPNs use OpenVPN, which is a much slower protocol than NordLynx or Lightway. With it, you will likely experience pages that load slowly and constant buffering when streaming shows.
2. Limited server networks
Premium VPNs spend a good chunk of resources on developing and maintaining their servers. Since this is expensive, free services simply cut corners by offering fewer locations. Combine this with high demand, and you get frequent traffic congestion, which will affect your speed and even your ability to connect. That is, if your app even offers servers in India …
3. Data Caps
Free services usually have a monthly bandwidth limit that is set between two and 10 GB. If you want to stream shows, you can easily blow through this before the month is over. This would get you cut off, maybe even mid-episode, which is quite annoying.
4. Weak capabilities
Many websites are actively developing algorithms that detect unusual traffic and block suspicious IP addresses. While premium VPNs can easily bypass them, the same can’t be said for free services. Their servers frequently get blacklisted, so you may need to frequently switch between the apps, which gets tiring.
5. Problematic security
You might be surprised to know that for most of the free VPNs, security is practically nonexistent. This was shown in a recent study of free mobile VPNs, along with other problematic areas.
- A third of the apps contained some form of malware
- 85% had weak encryption or none at all
- ¾ of mobile VPNs contain trackers designed to monitor your activity
These statistics don’t paint a pretty picture for mobile users, and it’s best to conclude that the situation is similar across all devices. Unfortunately, most of the free VPNs prioritize making money by selling user data to advertising agencies. The safety and privacy of users is actually counterproductive to their real goal.
However, not all of them are useless. We managed to find a few reliable free VPNs that work as intended. While these may not be ideal Indian VPNs, they are the best that you can get without paying.
Beyond VPNs: Alternative Methods to Obtain an Indian IP Address
VPNs serve as an effective way to secure an Indian IP address, but alternative methods are also available for those who prefer not to use them. These include proxy servers and Smart DNS and the Tor browser.
- Proxy servers and Smart DNS services can help users obtain an Indian IP address by redirecting their internet traffic through a server located in India. While these methods can provide access to geo-restricted content, they may lack the security features and encryption offered by VPNs. This can potentially leave users vulnerable to online threats.
- Tor browser allows you to route your web traffic through the Tor network and anonymize your online activity, making it appear as if your IP address is located in India. However, using Tor may result in slower connection speeds. This service may also be incompatible with certain websites and services.
Indian VPN Conclusion
While VPNs are still technically legal in India, many providers started removing servers due to its stringent retention laws. Luckily, you can still find premium VPNs for India that do their job correctly. Selecting the best service is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your online privacy, security, and access to geo-restricted content.
For this purpose, we highly recommend Surfshark. This is a top Indian VPN with excellent speed, strong cross-platform support, and plenty of Indian servers. Surfshark can also easily unblock every website you wish to access, no matter your location. Use this 80% off coupon for maximum savings.
Best VPN for India FAQ
What is the top VPN for India?
The best service currently is Surfshark. It offers 50 ultra-fast servers, airtight security, and unlimited connections at a really affordable price. Alternatively, you can try ExpressVPN.
Is it legal to use a VPN in India?
Yes, although the government has imposed new regulations stating that they must collect and store user data for up to five years. To combat this, many premium VPNs have begun using virtual Indian servers, where users can enjoy complete privacy.
Is NordVPN safe to use in India?
While NordVPN doesn’t offer Indian servers due to the new data protection bill, you can still use it in India and connect to neighboring countries.
What are the alternatives to VPNs for obtaining an Indian IP address?
Alternative methods to obtain an Indian IP address include using proxy servers, Smart DNS services, or the Tor browser for secure and anonymous internet access.
The “Best VPN for India” article was last edited on January 21, 2024.