Surfshark is the best VPN for India, decidedly better than the rest after testing 21+ VPNs for 37+ hours (spread over two weeks).
The no-logs VPN provider offers virtual servers in India, thousands of global servers, decent streaming and unblocking speeds, bypasses throttling, and isn’t expensive.
They all work with Indian ISP services, protect your online data from the government, offer torrent download support, and don’t cost too much.
So, I put this guide together to discuss my tests and how to set up these VPNs for India.
Top 3 VPNs for India
NordVPN excels at unblocking content unavailable in India from over 5400+ servers in 59 countries. Thanks to its no-logs policy, robust encryption, and jurisdiction, it’s your key to internet data privacy.
Surfshark is a highly affordable Indian VPN service that doesn’t cut corners to save costs. You get the best value with unlimited simultaneous connections with speed, security, and privacy features over 3200+ servers.
PrivateVPN excels at hiding your VPN traffic to bypass DPI packet filtering and firewalls without losing connection speed. It backs that up with 200+ servers in 73+ locations, reliable unblocking, and top-shelf security.
Indian internet users complain of speed throttling from Jio, Airtel, Vi, and other ISPs.
On top of that, there’s already server congestion on most network IP addresses, contributing to slower speeds.
It’s also shocking that the Indian government is mandating companies to collect and retain data about your online activities. So, your ISPs, VPN providers, hosting companies, social media websites, and other data centers can invade your privacy (legally) to collect your data and share it with the government.
As if that’s not enough, you lose access to some websites banned in India.
In most cases, it’s the government that bans these websites.
But I’ve also encountered instances where website admins/content creators ban Indians from their platform.
These situations are less than ideal, and that’s what my top Virtual Private Networks solve.
You no longer have to worry about speed throttling, data logging, geo-restrictions, and online privacy invasions.
Ready to get started? I’ve summarized my top 5 VPNs for India below.
Ready to Bypass Jio/Airtel Speed Throttling and Download Torrents Privately? Try My Top VPN Providers
My top VPNs were carefully chosen to bypass internet restrictions in India, access banned games, improve your internet download/upload speeds, and ensure your privacy.
Here’s how they fare:
- Surfshark – Offers Indian VPN servers for local connections/unblocking and 3200+ global servers to surf the web from anywhere. It also packs unlimited simultaneous connections to make it the most affordable VPN listed.
- NordVPN – Excels with 5500+ servers in 59 countries, unblocking access to region-locked content and HD content streams.
- PrivateVPN – Get the fastest obfuscation to disguise your VPN traffic as regular traffic while bypassing firewall blocks and throwing your ISP off your VPN scent.
- PureVPN – Add an extra layer of VPN protection with quantum-resistant servers, un-hackable by any known technology. Still, enjoy 6500+ servers globally to unblock content and stay safe.
- AtlasVPN – The best free VPN alternative for Indian users. It’s limited in server reach and bandwidth, but it’ll get you a premium experience at zero cost.
After my tests, I compared how these VPNs fare against one another.
Thus, I recommend you continue reading the comparisons below to make a better choice.
Reviews and Comparisons of the Best VPNs for India
I tested a larger selection of 20+ VPN services over two weeks in India to find those that performed best for security, privacy, speed, and relevant servers, among other things.
Of the five VPNs that made the final cut, here’s what makes them unique and how they compare.
Surfshark – Virtual Indian Servers & 3200+ Global Servers With Unlimited Connections
Surfshark showed commitment to user privacy and security by exiting India rather than submitting to the new digital ecosystem rule in the country.
Otherwise, according to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) in India, Surfshark would have had to:
- Collect personal data such as your full name, address, email address, etc.
- Log your connection timestamps to know when you used the VPN and for how long.
- Record your actual IP address.
- Record the IP addresses assigned to you.
- Invade your browsing session to collect data about your online activity.
As if that wasn’t enough, CERT-in also required companies like Surfshark to keep this data for five (5) years. In this time, the government could ask for it anytime, and Surfshark MUST oblige.
Since Surfshark is an audited no-logs provider, it commits to never collecting such data about you. So, it left the country to ensure it’s not bound by those laws.
But does that mean you don’t get Indian servers anymore? Quite the opposite!
Surfshark maintains virtual servers in India, which allows:
- Indian residents to secure their local web connection on public Wi-Fi networks, shared Wi-Fi networks, or mobile networks.
- Indian citizens traveling abroad to unblock Indian banking apps and access Indian streaming services like Voot.
- Everyone else to connect to an Indian VPN server for any number of reasons.
This virtual server means that the server isn’t placed in India (like physical servers) but in another country, even though it’ll get you an Indian IP address. I like this idea because:
- The Indian government doesn’t have jurisdiction over that server anymore.
- Virtual servers are usually faster than locally-placed servers in congested regions (like India).
Besides the Indian server, Surfshark boasts 3200+ other servers across 65+ countries to unblock content anywhere. To be sure, I tested Surfshark’s content unblocking, and I got access to streaming services like:
I could also access blocked torrent websites like The Pirate Bay and the Internet Archive. Thankfully, Surfshark also provides torrent download support. So, it protects your downloads/torrent activity from your government, ISP, and copyright trolls.
However, it doesn’t support torrent seeding – which is where you’d be better off with PureVPN.
But there’s something more interesting!
Surfshark works smoothly on mobile devices, especially over the mobile-friendly WireGuard or IKEv2 protocols. You also get all the servers, privacy, and security features on the mobile version.
Thus, you can unblock and enjoy:
In short, every banned game, website, and social media platform is now within your reach again.
Considering how vital connection speed is to content streaming and gaming, I ensured Surfshark isn’t a slouch. During my tests, I bypassed ISP throttling and got better speeds than I’d have usually obtained from Jio and Airtel.
Perhaps the second-best thing about Surfshark is its no-logs policy.
This ensures none of your data won’t be written to a hard drive, hacked, or intercepted.
Likewise, it’s based in the Netherlands, outside the Indian government’s jurisdiction. So, your ISP or police can’t request that it turns over your data.
So, what’s the first best thing?
Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections across your mobile and PC devices, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and supported routers.
It’s also a highly affordable VPN.
Get more value with these Surfshark discounts + a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN – Best Indian VPN to Unblock International Content
NordVPN beats Surfshark with a higher server count (5400+) across 59 countries. However, the major gripe I have with NordVPN is the lack of an Indian server.
To be fair, NordVPN used to have servers in India. The VPN provider had to pull those servers so that it doesn’t conform with the new, draconian data collection law.
Still, it could have gone the virtual server way like Surfshark.
Thus, you can’t:
- Encrypt your local internet connections when connected to public Wi-Fi at Evening Star in Mumbai, Saini Enclave in New Delhi, or elsewhere.
- Unblock Indian services over local servers when traveling abroad.
- Maintain a connection to local services like your banking apps and other region-specific apps, whether from India or abroad.
The best alternative for those living in India is to set up split tunneling on NordVPN to bypass the VPN traffic on sensitive apps like PayPal, banking applications, etc.
Even so, this leaves the data from those other apps unencrypted.
And you only get split tunneling on NordVPN’s PC and Android app, leaving iOS users out to hang.
If that isn’t a dealbreaker, NordVPN’s massive server reach makes it the best for unblocking international content. In fact, it boasts the most extensive US server count (at 1970+), ensuring access to some of the most exclusive content on the web.
I ran some unblocking tests, and NordVPN gave me smooth access to:
During these tests, I compared speeds, and NordVPN manages better than Surfshark. Besides bypassing throttling from Vi, Jio and Airtel, it also unblocked all the content in HD without lag.
So, I tested it for gaming too. This is important since the Indian government banned some titles, and game creators may limit India’s access to others.
Thankfully, NordVPN’s Smart DNS ensured easy setup on my Xbox and a friend’s PlayStation console. Thus, I could unblock games, play with peers over foreign servers, and encrypt my online gaming activity.
Furthermore, I tried unblocking and playing some games on my phone. Fortunately, I had zero issues and lag when playing:
Like Surfshark, NordVPN provides DDoS protection on all servers and VPN protocols. Add that to its low lag, low ping, high speed, and reliable server unblocking, and you have the recipe for a good mobile or console gaming session.
Another area where NordVPN’s speeds count is with torrent downloads.
In fact, it offers specialty, P2P-optimized servers to deliver the fastest torrent download speeds and security against your Indian ISP, the government, and copyright trolls like Star India Pvt. Ltd.
When you’re ready to download torrents safely, check these guides:
- Use NordVPN to download torrents anywhere
- Setup NordVPN with uTorrent
- Setup NordVPN with qBitTorrent
- Use NordVPN with BitTorrent
What might have been a dealbreaker is NordVPN’s data logging policy.
I checked, and the provider maintains an audited, no-logs policy.
It’s even based in Panama, a data privacy-supporting country, and out of Indian jurisdiction. In other words, NordVPN isn’t legally obligated to cooperate with the Indian police or your government.
Given the impressive run of features, NordVPN is still an affordable VPN software. However, it only offers six simultaneous connections, nowhere near the unlimited offer you get from Surfshark.
Still, a single user can secure all their devices with one account.
In fact, NordVPN is shareable with family if you don’t exceed the six simultaneous connections.
These NordVPN discounts help you save more with a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN – Fast Stealth VPN + Dedicated Indian IP Address for Top-Level Privacy
- The only listed VPN provider with servers in multiple Indian cities
- The only listed VPN provider with an Indian dedicated IP address
- The only listed VPN provider with FREE dedicated Indian IP addresses
This makes PrivateVPN the most ideal for:
- Unblocking Indian PayPal, financial services, and other region-specific websites without risking VPN traffic blocks
- Connecting to the closest Indian servers for low ping and faster speed
- Switching around preferred Indian servers, depending on availability and speed
I tested the Indian servers, which reliably unblocked region-specific Indian streaming services and content like Voot. However, it’s sometimes tricky to connect to one, taking multiple tries to get the Indian servers working.
I also tested the international servers on PrivateVPN, granting me access to:
Now to the best part!
PrivateVPN offers a Stealth Mode to bypass VPN traffic blocks set up by your internet provider, employer, school, or network admin to specific web content. This also bypasses firewalls by disguising your VPN traffic as regular traffic.
So, what makes PrivateVPN’s alternative special?
NordVPN and Surfshark suffer a significant connection drop when obfuscation is enabled. With PrivateVPN, you barely feel the difference.
Thus, you continue to enjoy stellar speeds on a negligible connection drop while bypassing harsh internet censorship!
This dedication to speed already shows you that PrivateVPN is fast enough to play resource-intensive games like PUBG and Fortnite without lag.
Unfortunately, you don’t get smart DNS with PrivateVPN.
That makes it unsuitable for unblocking and playing games on your PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles.
In this case, go with NordVPN or Surfshark’s Smart DNS solution.
Luckily, PrivateVPN can be installed on some routers to connect to devices that can’t download a native VPN app.
Lest I forget, PrivateVPN performed well in torrent tests, landing ultra-fast download speeds while keeping my connections encrypted.
It also makes up for the lack of Smart DNS with torrent seeding support.
Even so, I’m concerned that PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, a 14 Eyes member country. We could argue that the same is true for Surfshark, but Surfshark has a third-party audit to prove its no-logs policy.
Whereas PrivateVPN doesn’t.
Still, PrivateVPN maintains it uses no-logs systems and has never been involved in any data scandals.
Likewise, it beats NordVPN with 10 simultaneous connections, tying with PureVPN. And you won’t have to pay through the nose to get these extra connections either.
While you’re here, enjoy these HUGE discounts on PrivateVPN while they last.
PureVPN – 6500+ Servers in India and Abroad to Unblock Content Anywhere
PureVPN boasts the largest server count on this list across 78+ countries. But I’m most impressed by the virtual Indian server routed through Mumbai.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use the server anywhere in India.
So, you get access to local Indian content, unblock Indian financial services, and encrypt your local connection over public Wi-Fi.
The rest of PureVPN’s 6500+ servers are reliably secured for data privacy and content unblocking. I tested this across platforms, helping me to unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and DAZN in India.
During the unblocking tests, I noticed there was hardly a severe connection drop on PureVPN. So, I tested its speeds, and it reliably bypassed throttling from Airtel and Jio.
That explains why I consistently get HD streams across mobile, PC, and smart TV devices without lag.
Likewise, PureVPN’s speeds were sometimes on par with, or higher than, NordVPN’s.
Where PureVPN shines best, though, is with its obfuscation speeds.
Like PrivateVPN, it also bests NordVPN and Surfshark when bypassing VPN traffic blocks without losing speed.
I carried on the speed tests to torrent downloads, and PureVPN didn’t disappoint. I was even pleased to find specialty, P2P-optimized servers like NordVPN offered.
These gave me the fastest speeds and privacy while also unblocking torrent sites blocked in India.
To cap it all, PureVPN supports seeding. Simply leave the torrent client active after downloading, and you can seed privately without leaking data to your Indian ISP, peers, or copyright trolls.
Given that PureVPN still has servers in India, I was concerned about its data logging policy. Fortunately, it’s been audited twice for its zero data logging claims. Likewise, it’s based in the data-friendly British Virgin Islands with no ties to the Indian government.
Luckily, PureVPN doesn’t cost an arm and a leg for these unblocking, security, and privacy offerings. Despite that, you can use the service on ten devices simultaneously, only behind Surfshark.
Before you go, save more with these PureVPN discounts for a better deal.
AtlasVPN – Best Free Secure VPN Service for Indian VPN Users
AtlasVPN provides the best free VPN for India if you don’t want to pay for a Virtual Private Network service. I chose AtlasVPN because it solves some of the common issues on other free VPN providers, namely:
- Poor encryption. This means your data is visible to your Indian ISP and government, you can’t unblock content, etc.
- Intrusive ads. AtlasVPN doesn’t pepper you with ads, which could be malicious and track your data, for using its free service.
- Poor data integrity. AtlasVPN doesn’t log your data to sell to third parties because you’re using the free version.
Even so, the free version is greatly limited. For example, you only get:
- 3 servers. And none of them are in India.
- 5GB bandwidth. So, you can’t stream as much content, download as many torrent files, or surf resource-intensive platforms like your social media.
- Poorer speeds. AtlasVPN only allows high connection speed and 4K streaming access on its premium servers.
These caps limit your VPN security and might force you off VPN connections for some apps. Thus, losing data protection and access to unblocked content.
That’s not to mention possible account bans on sensitive apps that may think you’re server hopping.
However, I observed that Atlas VPN lacks an Indian server, even in the paid version. So, it’s best to unblock international content rather than securing local web access (in India) or accessing Indian services (from outside India).
Thankfully, AtlasVPN provides two free US-based servers.
While these get you access to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other content streams, you won’t enjoy them as much.
After all, a ton of other free users can only access these servers, too, leading to:
- High ping
- Server overloads
- Slow speeds
- Unreliable connections
- High chance of IP blocking
- Unlimited Captchas
- And more undesirable scenarios
Luckily, AtlasVPN protects your online torrent activity, granting P2P access on its free servers. While you may not get the best speeds, you’re always covered on the freemium plan.
Aside from the obvious, the biggest concern I have with Atlas VPN is that it’s based in the heart of the 14 Eyes countries – the USA.
Even though it claims to be a no-logs provider, it doesn’t have a specific audit. In fact, the only audit I found was on its iOS app, and it didn’t focus on data logging either.
Still, it doesn’t have any data scandals under its belt.
So, it can be trusted to stay true to its word.
Finally, Atlas VPN supports unlimited simultaneous connections on the free and paid plan.
If cost drives your choice of a free VPN, know that the premium Atlas VPN plan with more features isn’t expensive either.
Also, these AtlasVPN discounts will help you save more on a choice plan.
The State of Internet Freedom & Privacy in India
India isn’t as heavily censored as other countries in the Asian region.
Still, it doesn’t enjoy a free internet service either. From government-sponsored website bans to internet blackouts and geo-restrictions, Indians deal with it all.
Here’s an overview.
Government-Sponsored Internet Censorship
The government-sponsored online censorship in India has been around since as far back as 1999. Then, the government restricted access to Dawn, a Pakistan newspaper, via the monopolized, state-owned ISP of the time.
With different private ISPs in the market, things have changed now, but that doesn’t bring down the influence of the government’s censorship.
For example, the government targeted 17 sites for blocking in 2006.
However, ISPs blocked these sites’ domains, limiting access to thousands (if not millions) of sites.
Although the ISPs restored access after about a week, this shows how much the government can wield its influence on them.
Furthermore, the 2001 IT Rules strong-armed internet companies into censoring content that the government deems objectionable. The issue is that the government and its authorities can choose any content as objectionable.
Thus, stifling free speech and limiting what Indians/India residents can see on the web.
On top of that, the government has once tried to pressure tech companies like Facebook and Google into pre-screening the content posted on their platforms.
Even as early as 2021, the Indian government threatened Twitter staff with up to 7 years in jail if they didn’t ban thousands of accounts around the farmer’s protest.
The country also wanted the social media platform to scrub the protest’s incidences, making it seem like they never happened.
While the company didn’t fully yield, it gave in after a while and restricted more than 500 user accounts.
Website and Content Blocks
Censorship is usually in the same league as website and content blocks.
However, in this case, the government isn’t only to blame.
It’s not uncommon for content creators, website admins, product developers, and copyright holders to exclude Indians from accessing their services.
This broad internet ban usually catches people traveling to India too – students, expats, tourists, and business people.
In this light, some of the most popular websites banned in India include:
- Torrent sites like The Pirate Bay
- Social media platforms like TikTok, Weibo, Mi Community, and WeChat
- Cloud storage websites like Google Docs
- News websites from brands like ABC, Al Jazeera, WN.com, etc.
- Entire domains like Blogspot, Blogspot.in
- Pornography websites
- Online gambling websites
Besides these sites, the Indian government has also banned the PUBG mobile game.
Going over to content creators and platforms, some implement total Indian bans or partial restrictions. For example:
- Partial restrictions: You can’t get services like Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video (US), and other region-specific content from India.
- Full restriction: You don’t get services like Hulu (US-only), BBC iPlayer (UK-only), Crave TV (Canada-only), and NRK TV (Norway-only) from India.
It goes without saying that these restrictions limit the extent of the web enjoyed in India.
That’s why I ensured my top VPNs for India are reliably encrypted and great at unblocking content. Plus, they offer servers in tens of countries to access almost any online content.
Draconian Data Retention Laws
As if the censorship and website content blocks aren’t enough, India introduced a new draconian data law chasing reputable companies out of the country.
Introduced by the CERT-in, the laws require tech and data companies to collect invasive user data, store it for up to five years and hand it over to the government whenever it asks.
Some companies are staying and complying for lack of better options, while others (like my chosen VPNs) are leaving. That way, they ensure your data remains safe and uncompromised.
This is yet another reason to be careful of what kind of VPN you choose.
During my tests, I stuck with proven no-logs VPN providers since they don’t collect any data about your internet activity. I also preferred those VPN companies that left India (Like NordVPN, Surfshark, and PureVPN) to prevent complying with these laws.
ISP Speed Throttling
Amid everything happening, it’s sad that the likes of Airtel, Jio, BSNL, and Vi are throttling internet speeds.
Understandably, India has a large user base. But since you paid for a promised service, it’s on them as service providers to make it available.
Otherwise, they’re just leveraging on lies to collect your money.
The speed throttling issue in India is so poor that users sometimes get up to 20x less than the speeds they paid for. This affects the quality of streams, downloads, gaming, and other resource-intensive online activities.
With that in mind, I chose VPNs optimized for speed.
Even though VPN service providers are known to cause connection drops, my top VPNs for India will bypass ISP throttling to give you better speeds.
That’s not cheating the system. It’s unlocking the promised speeds you paid for!
How to Setup a VPN for India?
The best way to set up a VPN for India is to enable the kill switch, choose the correct protocol, and connect to a suitable server. The kill switch prevents your data from falling into the hands of big tech companies, your ISP, government, or authorities if the VPN connection drops.
Here’s a stepwise guide to setting up your India VPN service:
- Purchase a suitable VPN service. I prefer Surfshark for India.
- Login with your account credentials.
- Enable the kill switch. Go to Settings > VPN Settings > Kill Switch (toggle).
- Choose the right protocol. Go to Settings > VPN Settings > Protocol > WireGuard.
- Go to the VPN home and search for a preferred server. I’ll use Canada for this example.
- Click the server to connect. Wait for the connection confirmation.
- Test for leaks (www.ipleak.net).
- Enjoy the free, private, and safe web.
WireGuard and IKEv2 are the fastest protocols on PC and mobile (respectively) over Surfshark.
Likewise, check this guide on how server locations matter if you are in doubt about what server to connect to.
You’ll also learn why an Indian server may be your best bet.
Should You Use a Free VPN Provider in India?
You shouldn’t use a free VPN in India as it won’t protect you against CERT-in’s draconian data laws, ISP speed throttling, and other privacy concerns.
Free VPNs are also notorious for intrusive ads containing trackers that further destroy your online privacy journey.
Finally, it’s almost impossible to find free VPNs with reliable Indian servers and a good selection of international servers. Thus, you’re stranded for reliable content unblocking and suffer degraded connection speeds.
That’s why you should choose an affordable VPN like Surfshark offering premium privacy, speed, and security benefits on unlimited simultaneous connections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Surfshark is the best VPN for Android and iOS devices in India, offering unlimited simultaneous connections to mobile users.
The VPN promises decent content unblocking speeds, supports mobile gaming over popular titles, and offers Indian servers to encrypt local connections.
Likewise, Surfshark’s feature-packed Android and iOS mobile apps are easy-to-use with zero technical knowledge requirements.
Surfshark is the best VPN for PCs in India. Its intuitive PC app has security, speed, and privacy features.
The Surfshark PC app provides local and international servers to unblock content, encrypt your internet connection, download torrents, protect your data from the government and stay private from your ISPs.
VPNs aren’t illegal in India. However, VPN companies in the country are legally required to collect user data, store it for up to five years and hand it over to the government upon request. Thus, it’s best to choose a no-logs VPN provider based outside India’s jurisdiction for the best shot at data privacy and security.
Surfshark is the best VPN to unblock and play PUBG with low ping from India.
The VPN provider has robust mobile device support, US servers to unblock PUBG, and 1Gbps speeds (at least) on every server to guarantee faster speed.
Surfshark is the best VPN for TikTok, unblocking the social media platform and granting users access to all its features from India. It’s also fast enough to stream TikTok videos without lag while secure to prevent your government and ISP from knowing you’re using the app.
However, PureVPN is the better bet for TikTok in India if your ISP has set up VPN traffic blocks to the platform, requiring fast obfuscation to get access.
Beat the CERT-in and Indian ISPs
You don’t have to live at the mercy of the CERT-in having access to all your online data. Likewise, your ISPs shouldn’t see all you do online, throttle your internet speed, or block access to your favorite online content.
Thanks to Surfshark’s fast servers, reliable unblocking, robust encryption, and improved privacy on thousands of servers, you’re back in control of your internet experience.
Don’t forget to grab these Surfshark discounts for better value and a 30-day money-back guarantee.