Jio, also known as Reliance Jio, is a massively popular internet and 4G provider, and has been around since 2016. Fast forward to the end of 2019, and Jio became India’s largest mobile network operator with more than 400 million customers.
However, the service also has its fair share of privacy concerns. Jio is known to relentlessly throttle user bandwidth, prevent access to certain websites, and employ geo-restrictions, making the service unusable outside of India. How does someone navigate these obstacles? The answer: with a VPN for Jio!
In this article, we list the best VPNs for Jio and give you some top tips on the benefits of using a VPN.
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What are the best VPNs for Jio?
You’ll find our top five VPN picks for Jio in the list below. To learn more about any of the services we’ve featured, keep scrolling and check out our detailed summaries!
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To ensure you get the best VPN for Jio, all the services in the list above have the following features:
- Fast servers
- Strong encryption
- Compatible with popular devices
Best Jio VPN – an in-depth look
We take a closer look at the best VPNs for Jio below. You can learn more about the VPNs in this list by checking out our detailed review pages or visiting the provider websites.
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New to VPNs?
If you’re new to VPNs – or fancy refreshing yourself on just what they can do – we have a whole host of articles and guides you can check out!
Why are these the best VPNs for Jio?
A VPN has to meet some important criteria before they snatch a spot in our 5 best VPNs for Jio list. That criteria is as follows:
- Anti-throttling measures – Jio is notorious for monitoring and throttling user’s bandwidth if they begin streaming, downloading, or gaming. You’ll want a VPN that can put a stop to this!
- OpenVPN – OpenVPN encryption is the gold standard across the market, and allows users to browse the web securely, which is particularly important for folks living with oppressive internet laws.
- Server network – to be used with Jio, a VPN should have servers in India and other key locations around the globe. This means you’ll be able to check out streaming services wherever you actually are, and check out shows usually only available in the US or UK.
- Compatibility – nowadays, most people access the web on more than one device! Look for a VPN that offers apps for computers, mobiles, and routers if you’re interested.
Why do I need a VPN for Jio?
A VPN is the perfect tool for anyone looking to bolster their privacy – and there are myriad reasons to invest in one. First and foremost, however, they’re designed to keep you and your identifiable information safe online, and this is done with encryption.
The VPN establishes a secure tunnel connecting your device to the VPN server, and then to the wider web (and back again!). Your traffic passes through this tunnel and gets encrypted. As a result, nobody will be able to read it – not your ISP, not your government, and not any cybercriminals.
These measures come in particularly handy for Jio users, and below we take a closer look at three key reasons why you really should be using a VPN when connected to the network.
Censorship and privacy
It’s no secret that Jio restricts access to a number of sites and online services. This isn’t how the web was intended to be used, and if you’re interested in restoring free access to these pages, you’ll want a VPN. When a VPN encrypts your traffic, it renders it unreadable to your ISP. This means they won’t be able to monitor your online activity, and so can’t prevent you from accessing censored websites.
In order to preserve bandwidth and ensure that all customers experience a smooth connection, internet providers like Jio can slow down certain kinds of traffic – and this is particularly prevalent on its 4G network. This is called throttling, and it usually targets data-intensive tasks like HD streaming, online gaming, P2P activity, and large downloads. Because a VPN encrypts your traffic and cloaks your original IP address, your ISP won’t be able to see what you’re up to when you connect to one – thus, can’t tell if you’re streaming or not, and won’t be able to put the breaks on your activity.
Unless you’ve activated international roaming, you won’t be able to use or access the Jio network from outside of India. Additionally, some streaming services only make their content available for folks in a particular location – anyone outside of that country is out of luck, and won’t be able to tune in. Unless they have a VPN! VPNs use a technique called "geo-spoofing” to grant access to overseas streaming services. When you connect to a VPN server in another country, you’ll also be assigned a new IP address that fools the sites you visit into thinking that you’re physically located there, too. In this way, you can use the sites and services without any issues, because they won’t know your request originated from outside of the country!
So, a VPN is a one-stop-shop if you’re interested in a free, unrestricted internet. Your VPN will act as a shield between you and the sites you visit, and becomes a key you can use to unlock geo-restricted content. But that’s not all. With a VPN you can enjoy the following benefits:
- Hide your online activity from your ISP
- Prevent your ISP performing data retention on behalf of the government
- Bypass geo-restriction and local censorship
- "Spoof” your location to appear elsewhere in India, or the world
- Engage in P2P activity, safely
- Remain secure when using public WiFi hotspots – notorious hangouts for cybercriminals
Is JIO cracking down on VPNs?
Since early 2019, Jio customers have reported that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to access VPN sites and proxies when connected to the network. This isn’t the case with other internet providers in india – so why is Jio blocking access to VPNs?
India has already taken steps to regulate internet usage. Pornographic content has been targeted previously, and it now looks as though the Indian Government has now turned its attention to VPNs, hoping to redress the way its citizens use the web. It’s entirely possible that Jio has banned access to VPNs as a preemptive measure, so the company can ensure its toeing the line of any new government restrictions before they’re rolled out.
These actions raise the question of whether net neutrality is being targeted, too. Jio only has a small selection of apps available to download, and so the banning of VPNs doesn’t come as a total surprise – but it does make it more difficult for users to protect their privacy and ensure that their data isn’t being collected.
Can I use a free VPN with Jio?
There are hundreds of VPNs available on the market, and just as many "free” counterparts exist – particularly for mobile devices. You’ll want to exercise caution if you plan to use one with Jio, however. A free VPN service will typically be an offshoot of a larger, premium provider, and exist as a means to tempt you into purchasing a full subscription. Think of it like a sample!
But these free services often come with the following limitations:
- Bandwidth caps – most free VPN providers will saddle you with a bandwidth allowance, making it more likely that you’ll encounter lag and frequent buffering.
- Monthly data limits – generally, free services give their users around 500mb per month. This isn’t a lot of data by any means, and if you’re planning to stream, it won’t last you long.
- Reduced server availability – premium VPN services have dozens, even hundreds or thousands, of servers across the globe, but a free version of the same service might only let you connect to a handful.
There’s an even darker side to free VPNs, however. Services that claim to be "unlimited” should be avoided – sure, it might be tempting to think about getting all the benefits of a VPN without the cost, but it’s almost always going to be too good to be true. We’ve never found one of these providers that lives up to their "unlimited” claim. More often than not, they provide very little – if any – encryption, and log user data as a means to pay their bills in lieu of a subscription model. Users can also encounter malicious ads and ransomware as a result of installing a free VPN. This is the opposite of what you want!
If you’re looking for a budget option, we’d recommend putting one of our recommended VPNs money-back guarantee periods to good use. By doing so, you’ll have a month to trial the service without restrictions. We do also have a shortlist of trustworthy free services you can check out – though bear in mind they might be more suited to day-to-day browsing, and not extensive streaming or downloading.
Will using a VPN speed up my JIO connection?
Unfortunately not. It’s a common misconception that a VPN can increase the speeds you receive from your ISP. In fact, because a VPN encrypts and decrypts your data via an encrypted tunnel (extending how far it has to travel), you should expect a slight loss of speed when connected to a VPN server.
This loss should only ever be nominal, however, and never noticeable. If you’re experiencing real slow-down after connecting to a VPN, there are a few tricks you can try, but it’s also a good idea to reach out to your provider’s customer service team.
- Check if any special measures are toggled on – you may need to strike a compromise or make a sacrifice, as a VPN’s special features (like obfuscation measures and double encryption) can cause further slow-down. Switching off these features could free up some bandwidth, but you should only do so if it’s safe to access the web without them.
- Reevaluate your server location – if you live in India and are connected to a VPN server in the US, that’s a long way for your data to travel! Connecting to a VPN server that’s physically closer to you can reduce your latency and improve performance, and you might also escape congestion in your prior location, too.
- Check for specialized servers – a lot of VPNs now offer servers dedicated to activities, like streaming, stealth, and P2P activity. Try joining a streaming server if you’re having frequent buffering issues.
If you’re a Jio customer, a VPN is near enough a necessity – the service enforces stringent censorship, throttles traffic, and is seemingly opposed to net neutrality. This is a worrying precedent to have set, but using a VPN goes some way to future-proofing your privacy and ensuring that the web remains free and open.
Any of our top five VPN picks would be an ideal option for Jio, and just in case you need a reminder, here’s the rundown one last time!
We’ve hopefully covered all you need to know about why using a VPN with Jio is so important, but just in case, we’ll also tackle some additional queries.
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Are VPNs legal in India?" answer="They are, and VPNs have not been outright banned in India, either. You will need to pick a reliable, trustworthy provider, however, and avoid services that offer weak encryption. Luckily, all of the VPNs in this guide are more than capable of ensuring your security on a day-to-day basis. It’s also worth remembering that whilst VPNs themselves are not illegal in India, the things you do whilst connected to one can break the law – streaming copyrighted content, for example." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I use a VPN on my phone?" answer="Of course you can! The VPNs we’ve recommended are all compatible with Android and iOS devices, and support multiple simultaneous connections, too. You’ll simply need to download the VPN app from the Play Store or App Store, and run through a short installation process to get started." /]]
[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I unblock Hotstar with a VPN?" answer="You can, provided your VPN has servers in India. Our picks have multiple servers in India, so you’ll be able to access Hotstar without a fuss, as well as numerous other local streaming services!" /]]