What are the best VPNs for India in 2021?

Are you looking for a cheap, fast and secure way to avoid online surveillance? Perhaps you live abroad and want a VPN to connect to India to unblock content from there or other countries? A VPN can do all of this and more! In this guide, we show you the best VPNs to use in India and why.

These are the best VPNs to connect to India

Here are our top VPNs to connect to India and around the world:

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See full list & analysis

A VPN for India is a cheap way to escape ISP and government surveillance. With a VPN, citizens can bypass website restrictions, access censored content, and unblock geo-restricted services such as Hulu or the US Netflix library. It also happens to be the best way to gain digital privacy when browsing the internet. 

For a VPN to be considered one of the best for India, it should have all the features you need to gain privacy, security, and online freedom. On top of this, the best services have servers located all over the world, so that you can unblock anything you want from wherever you may be. What's more, it will also provide IP addresses in India so you can access local services while still making use of the VPN’s encryption.

Now that we have covered exactly what we're looking for, let's take a look at the best VPNs we recommend using in India.

The best VPN for India to use in 2021

We recommend using one of the VPNs below in India.

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What is the fastest VPN to use in India?

Whether you're a gamer or an avid streamer, fast VPN servers are going to be one of your primary concerns when picking a VPN. In order to provide a glimpse of the speeds you can expect from our recommended providers, we run tests on them three times a day – and you'll find an average of the results in the table below.

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Check out our speed testing tool for more information about how we test VPN speeds.

Will a VPN improve my speeds?

Sadly not! This is a rather common misconception, though. Because a VPN must encrypt and decrypt your traffic, you should expect to experience a slight loss of speed when connected to a server. This loss should only ever have a minor impact on the speeds provided by your ISP, however. What's more, the VPNs we've hand-picked in this guide are all fast enough to minimize this impact to where you'll hardly notice it at all!

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Why do I need a VPN in India?

In India, technology and surveillance go hand in hand. India has one of the most invasive biometric databases in the world: the Aadhaar card system. Around 90% of Indian citizens are enrolled in Aadhaar, which forces people to give up their biometric data. The data citizens must hand over to the government includes photographs, fingerprints, and iris scans. Furthermore, it is common for Indian ISPs and the government to snoop on citizens online.

On top of all this, many websites are blocked in India for religious or political reasons, and local network administrators such as schools, workplaces, landlords, and public WiFi hotspots can snoop on internet users.

How does a VPN help?

A VPN encrypts all your internet traffic. This stops your ISP and other entities from tracking your web browsing habits. It also stops your ISP from retaining your web history and metadata on behalf of the government.

How a VPN works

By using a VPN for India, your IP address will be concealed from the sites you visit, meaning they won't be able to track you. In addition, by geo-spoofing your IP address you can pretend to be in a different country – which lets you bypass local censorship or access foreign content like PornHub, BBC iPlayer, or Netflix US.

What can I use a VPN for in India for?

A VPN is a versatile tool that allows you to gain online freedom, secure your data, and unblock thousands of geo-restricted websites. Here is a list of some of the most useful things an India VPN can do for you:

What makes a VPN good to use in India?

Regardless of whether you'll be using your VPN to check out what's new on Netflix, shore up your security when on the go, or access the net without censorship, you'll first need to decide on a provider – and there are hundreds to choose from. We've put together a list of the more important factors to keep in mind when making your mind up:

VPN servers in India

Given the population density of India, it is often one of the key locations that many of the better providers choose to situate their VPN servers. However, the same cannot be said for smaller, less capable, providers. As such, if you want a VPN to connect to India, you will want to stick with our list of recommended VPNs, or do your research to ensure that your chosen provider can offer VPN servers in India.

VPN server locations in India

Server location is particularly important in India, where regional content can only be accessed by connecting to VPN servers in that specific region of the country. All of our VPN picks have servers in India, as well as dozens more locations overseas.

Picking a server

Picking the right server is essential for getting the best out of your VPN. If you want to unblock content that is exclusive to a specific region, then your choice of servers can become limited to ones based in that location. However, if you just want a VPN to connect to India, then we recommend you pick a server that isn't overloaded with other users and is geographically located closest to you.

For example, if you are connecting from Europe, you will want to pick a server in Mumbai or New Delhi, rather than Kolkata on the other site of the country. Fortunately, many VPN clients can make server recommendations for you based on speed, location and server load.

If you would like to learn more about using your VPN to connect to India from abroad, check out our How to get an Indian IP address guide.

Can I get a free VPN for India?

Yes, but be careful!

Free VPNs do exist, but the vast majority of them are dangerous services that you are much better off avoiding completely. Free services will typically make money by collecting and selling their users' data. Obviously, this is the exact opposite of what a VPN is supposed to do. A VPN should enhance your privacy; if a service is collecting user data and selling it off to the highest bidder, then it's a terrible service!

A lot of free services use data to serve ads or will sell your data to marketing firms to create a revenue stream. On top of this, some free services have been caught red-handed lying about the encryption they provide, and some are even flat-out scams that are filled with nasty spyware.

The good news is that there are some trustworthy, free VPN services on the market. These VPN providers offer a limited and free service that allows customers to shore up their privacy and freedom during emergencies, or put security features to the test.

The best free VPN for India: HotSpot Shield (free)

If you are set on using a free VPN, we recommend trying [[post-object type="gotolink" provider="hotspotshield"]]HotSpot Shield free[[/post-object]]. It features on our best free VPN list and offers free local servers to connect to India and a large network outside of India. Unfortunately, the data cap on the free plan is a bit low at only 500MB per day. So, if you are looking to stream or game online with your VPN, you're going to have to consider a premium option.

Remember, any reliable free service is going to be pretty limited, even if its privacy measures are robust. The provider wants you to pay for the full subscription, ultimately. These free services are a great way of checking out what a VPN can do, however. To get access to a VPN with all the features and none of the restrictions, we'd advise that you take advantage of a VPNs free trial or money-back guarantee.

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VPNs for online gaming in India

In 2021, there was a reported 365 million online gamers recorded in India. Whether you are playing PUBG on your phone, Fortnite on a console, or CSGO on a PC, a VPN can help you broaden your online horizons, play against the best of the best from other countries, or even snag a bargain on Steam or other online gaming storefronts.

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Optimise your VPNs online gaming performance

We all know that when gaming online, speed is everything. So, you will need a top of the line VPN that can keep up with the competition. Fortunately, all our VPN recommendations are more than capable of supporting online gameplay, if you set them up correctly.

To get the best performance out of your VPN, we recommend following the advice outlined above in the VPN servers in India section. But, to boil it down to its key points, you should:

For more information about using a VPN for this purpose, check out our VPN for gaming guide.

Bargain hunting with your VPN

That's right, it is possible to use your VPN to connect to Steam and other online stores around the globe to get cheaper prices on the games you play. The price you pay for a particular title will vary from country to country so you will need to shop around, but we have heard reports that many online gamers use their VPN to connect to Argentina for lower priced games.

For more information on getting the most out of your VPN for online gaming, check out the guides below:

VPNs for safe torrenting in India

Torrenting is an incredibly popular way to get your hands on the latest media releases – whether they're films, TV shows, music from your favorite band, or even games. It won't cost you a penny – and so it's not exactly legal. As a result, in India, more people than ever are turning to VPNs to help protect their identity when torrenting.

Each time you connect to your favorite torrenting site, like ThePirateBay, MovieRulz or Tamilrockers, you run the risk of your IP address being leaked to other users and copyright holders around the world. This can lead to cease and desist letters, expensive fines, or even jail time. 

A VPN can help protect against this by providing you encryption for your connection and masking your IP. This means that your ISP cannot tell what you're doing, because all your traffic is encrypted until it reaches you. It also means when you connect to a P2P site, your fellow peers and copyright holders will only see the IP address of the VPN server, making it hard to trace what you are doing online back to you.

If you partake in torrenting, we strongly recommend you make the minor investment into a VPN to avoid any legal issues down the line. If you would like to know more about torrenting with a VPN and staying safe, check out the guide below:

Proxy services or VPNs?

It is possible to use Proxy websites and browser extensions to bypass website restrictions and censorship in India. Unfortunately, many popular services now implement proxy blocks – meaning that few proxies actually work.

Another great option for unblocking content is by using Smart DNS. Many popular VPN services such as [[post-object type="gotolink" provider="expressvpn"]]ExpressVPN[[/post-object]], now throw in a smart DNS service for free, which means that you get both a VPN and Smart DNS as part of your subscription.

No matter whether you use Smart DNS or a proxy extension, it is worth noting that neither of them is as secure as a VPN. This is because a VPN provides strong encryption inside a VPN tunnel, to stop your ISP tracking your browsing habits. In order to unblock content and gain digital privacy, a VPN is always going to be the best option.

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Simply put, no. Having a VPN and using it is perfectly legal. In fact, there are countless businesses that use them on a daily basis – both inside and out of India. It's what you do whilst connected to a VPN server that can break the law and get you into trouble. For example, downloading copyrighted content remains a crime whether you're using a VPN or not.

The Indian government has taken to blocking certain popular websites, and at one point even the Google Play Store, in an attempt to make it harder for people to gain access to VPNs and circumvent state-imposed content blocks.

The good news is that VPNs in this guide all provide watertight privacy features so that you can do what you want without fear of being monitored.

A change in regulations – 2021

In November 2021, the Indian Government relaxed its tech regulations and allowed businesses to run their own VPN services.

Previously, companies in India were not able to use VPNs that were not expressly provided by Telecos – or make international calls via a VPN. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the government to relent, however, and now the Indian Department of Telecom (DoT) has moved to relax these guidelines, making it much easier for people to work remotely from home. The DoT previously relaxed the guidelines in March and April 2021, but it was a temporary measure – the recent relaxation of regulations is permanent.

Dropping these regulations is expected to take the pressure off of India's IT enabled Services (ITeS) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). Members of Indian Industry associations relayed to the Government that the regulations were harmful to the IT sector, and felt outdated considering the actions being taken by other nations to facilitate safe working during the pandemic.

VPNs to avoid

We've been careful to only include the best of the best when picking out our top VPNs for use in India. For this reason, we'd recommend sticking to them – especially if you're worried about accidentally picking a dodgy provider.

Alternatively, if you're looking for a free VPN, follow the link to check out some secure options. The article also points out which free VPNs you should avoid at all costs – if you value your online privacy!

If you're in need of a completely unrestricted VPN with no limitations and unlimited downloads, but you're strapped for cash, we'd recommend that you take a gander at the world's best cheap VPNs. These lists will be a huge help to anyone deciding on a secure and trustworthy service.

However, to help rule out some of the more malicious options, we've listed the VPNs that are known to be dodgy. Don't give these providers a second glance!

  • Hola. This VPN is known to collect data from users to serve personalized adverts. It also sells user data to third parties. The software suffers from concerning leaks that destroy your privacy. And the VPN has been found to be fraudulently stealing and reselling its users' bandwidth.
  • TurboVPN. This provider is not as bad as Hola. However, it has a highly questionable privacy policy, which means this VPN can’t be trusted to protect your data properly.
  • VPNMaster. This VPN is known to contain spyware and tracking libraries. This is the exact opposite of what you want – a VPN is supposed to be a tool for privacy, not corporate espionage.
  • TouchVPN. This is a highly dubious service that provides even worse security than many free VPNs on the market. The VPN stores logs and IP addresses, meaning that the VPN is providing no privacy and is snooping on its users.
  • IndiaVPN. This Android app VPN is known to be insecure and provides poor privacy levels due to a bad privacy policy that allows user data to be retained and resold.

FAQs

[[post-object type="accordion" question="Are any VPNs banned in India?" answer="VPNs are currently legal in India, yes. The government hasn't outright banned VPNs in the country, but it's still important to choose your VPN provider wisely. Never opt for a service with weak encryption or one without a no-logs policy. We'd recommend sticking to one of the quality VPN services we've featured in this guide. You can't go wrong with them, and they all offer exceptional privacy features and top-of-the-chart speeds." /]]

[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I use a VPN to unblock TikTok in India? " answer="You certainly can! India has blocked access to TikTok, though a VPN allows you to pretend to be in a different country and bypass these restrictions. You'll simply need to connect to a VPN server outside of India to check out what's new on the popular app. Check out our guide to the <a href='/vpn/comparison/tiktok-vpn'>best TikTok VPNs</a> for information on the providers that work best with the platform." /]]

[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I unblock Hotstar with a VPN?" answer="So long as you pick a VPN that has servers in India, yes, you can <a href='/vpn/comparison/unblock-hotstar'>unblock Hotstar</a>, Star India as well as any other Indian TV channels you're interested in. A few of the free services we mentioned earlier can also access Hotstar, but remember that the data and bandwidth limitations of these services make them pretty unsuitable for streaming." /]]

[[post-object type="accordion" question="Can I download a VPN in India from an APK file?" answer="An APK file is the format for all <a href='/vpn/comparison/android-vpns'>Android VPN apps</a>. All of our recommended VPNs have Android apps that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. These APK files act as the installers for the VPN apps, and can be installed on your mobile device or tablet in just the same way as other Android APK files." /]]

[[post-object type="accordion" question="Will a VPN let you bypass internet restrictions from Jio?" answer="Jio has recently left people wondering why it's blocking websites and services – and it's primarily to stop people from accessing VPN websites and other proxies. A VPN could feasibly bypass these restrictions, but it's difficult to get your hands on a VPN in the first place if Jio is already preventing access to these web pages!

For this reason, it may be necessary to use a proxy or VPN to access the VPN website in the first place to subscribe and download the VPN. If you are a Reliance Jio subscriber and you have trouble accessing any of the VPNs in this article, we recommend going to a public WiFi hotspot to subscribe and download the VPN software there. Then when you go home, you will already have the software and will be able to bypass all Jio blocks." /]]

[[post-object type="accordion" question="Is it safe to use a VPN Chrome extension in India?" answer="Many <a href='/vpn/comparison/best-vpn-google-chrome'>VPNs have extensions for Chrome</a>, however not all of those VPNs are secure. A lot of the VPNs you'll come across when searching for Chrome extensions are unreliable VPNs. So, if you want a Chrome extension, we'd recommend sticking to one of the trusted VPNs in this article. All our recommended VPNs have extensions for Firefox and Chrome. Or you can check out our dedicated <a href='/vpn/comparison/best-vpn-google-chrome'>Chrome VPN extensions guide</a> or our <a href='/vpn/comparison/5-best-vpns-firefox'>Firefox VPN extensions guide</a>, for more information." /]]

[[post-object type="accordion" question="Are smart DNS services useful for VPN users in India?" answer="Absolutely! A Smart DNS service comes in handy for anyone looking to bypass online restrictions, and some of the VPNs in this guide even have a free DNS service baked into their subscriptions. If you're interested in this feature, opt for a provider that offers it at no extra charge!" /]]

Conclusion

Now that we have covered all you need to know, let's review our top picks:

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