When it comes to internet freedoms in India, things aren’t quite as peachy as they could be. The local government performs regular blocking and restricts access in various parts of the country, and downloading copyrighted material is obviously illegal, but can also potentially land you with serious jail time.
Although streaming and merely visiting blocked sites isn’t necessarily illegal as such, it’s best to avoid any potential grey areas by staying protected. And when we say protected, we mean using one of the best VPN services which will not only keep you private and secure, but also allow you to bypass restrictions with ease.
How to choose the best VPN service for India
We have already established the two primary concerns in this matter – privacy and security. Whether you’re a local, expat or a visitor on business or otherwise, you’ll want as many local server locations as possible for a fast and reliable connection.
Ideally, a good VPN provider should offer quality customer support round-the-clock to address any issues swiftly and accordingly. Everything else is a bonus, although it’s always good to have straightforward and user-friendly native clients (and preferably strong mobile app support).
Without further ado, here are our five choices for the best VPN for India.
Best all-round VPN for India
Number of servers: 850+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: 40000+ | Maximum devices supported: 5
Lots of local servers
A bit more expensive than others
No free trial
IPVanish offers plenty of server coverage in India, with 25 servers in six locations which should guarantee a stable and good quality connection. In our performance testing, we certainly found download speeds to be excellent, and actually faster than our normal rates with the VPN turned off.
The dedicated Windows client is one of the best around with a wide range of settings that cover both basic and advanced features. The service allows torrenting and unlimited P2P traffic, which is doubtless a huge plus for some users.
On the security front, you get OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols, along with additional goodies like being able to set your IP address to automatically change after a certain interval. A strict ‘zero logs’ policy is in place with 24/7 customer support to deal with any problems.
IPVanish’s pricing is slightly higher than most other VPN providers, and there’s no free trial to test the service. However, the three available plans include a hassle-free 7-day money-back guarantee. The 1-year plan is your best bet as the most affordable option. The packages available are:
Number of servers: 300+ | Server locations: 64 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 2-5
Free 500MB trial
Overly basic clients
Monthly plan only offers 2 connections
This Slovakian VPN provider has servers in Chennai and Delhi. TigerVPN runs its own servers and network infrastructure, with our tests showing excellent results performance-wise. The service offers native apps for all the main platforms – iOS, Android, Windows and Mac – and these are very easy-to-use, if a little light on advanced options.
TigerVPN is P2P friendly, and in terms of protocols you get OpenVPN, IPSec L2TP, and PPTP support. Additionally, there’s a NAT firewall, and the service uses meshed IP addresses for enhanced privacy. TigerVPN doesn’t store any logs of your internet activity anywhere, and customer support is available instantly via email, live chat, a ticketing system or the native apps.
You can get a small sampler of the service with a free 500MB trial. If you want to sign up, in total, there are three pricing plans at your disposal. The monthly plan only supports two simultaneous connections, so your best bet is the 12-month plan that provides five connections and a cheaper overall price. The packages available are:
Number of servers: 1000+ | Server locations: 145 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 3
Wide choice of servers and locations
Superb mobile clients
No free trial
ExpressVPN boasts lots of local coverage with servers in Mumbai and Chennai, and furthermore it offers locations in almost all neighbouring countries to India. In terms of performance, this VPN gives you above-average speeds. There’s also an impressive variety of easy-to-use clients for all major platforms. The Android and iOS apps are quite intuitive and well-designed, offering an array of useful options.
Security-wise, ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols. There is no logging of network traffic, and 24/7 customer support is available via email or live chat. This provider supports P2P, as well.
ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free trial – but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. Subscriptions are a bit more expensive than many rivals (although you can get some money off via the firm’s referral program). Of the three plans, the yearly subscription is the most affordable, as usual; plus you get three months free. The packages available are:
Number of servers: 400+ | Server locations: 30+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 2-5
Easy on your wallet
No P2P support
Detailed session (not traffic) logging
This VPN provider has a total of nine servers in India, and manages its own server network. Our performance tests yielded generally very good results with only small drops in download and upload speeds. There are native apps for all the main operating systems, namely Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, and they’re nice and user-friendly.
The service supports IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP security protocols. There is no logging of traffic data but the provider does collect session data (connect and disconnect times, your incoming IP address, and so on). That’s more information than we’d ideally like – and another slight downer to bear in mind is that torrents aren’t supported here.
Customer service is available around the clock via live chat or email, and you can test this VPN out with a 24-hour ‘all-access’ trial. That’s backed up by a 14-day money-back guarantee. Among the three price plans, the 2-year option offers the most value-for-money. The packages available are:
Best VPN for responsive browsing
Number of servers: N/A | Server locations: 46 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
Impressive speeds and low latency
Good refund policy
No mobile clients
One of the pricier VPNs
This Hungary-based provider has decent local coverage for India, and offers excellent performance. We saw top-notch speeds and low latency in both short and long distance connections during testing, which made for very responsive browsing.
The service boasts solid desktop clients, but nothing on the mobile front when it comes to native software, sadly. There are instructions provided for Android and iOS involving the OpenVPN Connect app, but they could take you a while to get working.
Buffered VPN is not cheap, even if you opt for the year-long plan. However, the firm’s refund policy is a highlight of the service, and will be very useful for those who want to give this VPN a try, knowing they have a safety net to fall back on. You can get your money back as long as you haven’t used the VPN connection for more than 10 hours of time, 100 sessions or 10GB of bandwidth (whichever comes first). The packages available are: