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India has emerged as one of the fastest developing countries in the past two decades. The country is now on its way to incorporating the newest pieces of technology for raising the standard of living of its citizens. But while the country has alighted on the bullet train of development, it still lacks in some things. Things like free access to the internet are still not given top priority in India, which has seen an increasing number of Indians opting to use a VPN. I will let you know the best VPN for India later in the article.
Internet Laws in India
India was ranked fairly liberal in the internet rankings of 2014 and 2015. It was ranked as a country where there are few restrictions on the internet usage of the citizens. However, that ranking has gone down since 2016, because there are cases when the government had to order telecom companies to shut down network services in particular areas to quell the rising public agitation.
Other cases involve controlling networking services in sensitive areas or where the public is dissenting against the government, as well as certain state governments using public posts to take action against citizens.
As for internet filtering, there are certain areas of India where access to the internet comes with some restrictions. While there is no particular ban on internet access, and there is no restriction on streaming content online, downloading copyrighted material is illegal in the country.
But there aren’t many cases in the country where the ISP or the government have sent notices to people indulging in copyright infringement. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the activity of the citizens is monitored to some extent, and the government can exercise its power to censor and restrict network services when it deems fit to do so.
Future Of The Internet In India
These are volatile times in India, where the public and opposition parties don’t waste a second to abuse their right to freedom of expression to throw dirt on the authorities and go out on rallies of protest or dissent. An increase in the government’s control over the internet is quite likely, if not certain.
As for the number of people affected with this, India has the second largest number of internet users in the world as of now. Despite only 35% of the population having access to the internet, staggering 426 million internet users come from India. This figure will definitely go up, given the growing access to smartphones and cheaper services for the underprivileged.
With the privacy and security of internet users under strain, the time to start using a VPN is nigh. Doing so will protect your online security and privacy, while also allow you to access websites like streaming services not available in the country. While Netflix has recently opened itself to India, the content varies drastically from the US version, as it is the case with Netflix all over the world.
Choosing The Best VPN For India
The underlying reasons for using a VPN in India are to preserve your privacy and security while browsing the internet. Therefore, you should choose a VPN that best fulfils these requirements. When opting for a VPN, you should do a complete check.
Servers – Check the number of servers the VPN has so that you know just how many connectivity options you have. More connectivity options mean you have better chance of finding servers with good performance and enjoy stable connections
Encryption – See what encryption is used by the VPN. OpenVPN is the standard encryption in the market today
Security – See if the VPN has extra security features like the kill switch, stealth servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, etc.
Free VPNs: An Option Worth Considering
The Internet in India is not in shambles. Users don’t have a lot of restriction on their internet usage, with only some pornographic and torrent websites blocked in the country. Some regions have restricted access to the internet, though. To handle all these issues, a free VPN could suffice. Free VPNs usually have a basic anonymizing and encrypting functionality. Beware that they are not good for privacy reasons so never use them if you want to protect your sensitive data.
Although there is a cap on the amount of bandwidth you can use, the number of servers available to you, the number of server switches you can make, etc., they still help you get the job done in India. So you can try free VPN for India as well.
However, if you care for high security level and good performances, there are always paid VPNs that offer a full service.
Best VPN for India
ExpressVPN is a service reputed all over the world. It is one of the favourite VPN for India. This is because of the outstanding service that ExpressVPN offers.
The connection speed and encryption, when using ExpressVPN, is one of the best in the industry. With OpenVPN and AES 256-bit encryption, you get one of the strongest encrypted connections to use. The internet speed is also a feature in ExpressVPN, allowing you to stream videos without any problem despite using a VPN.
It has more than 500 servers in over 145 locations all over the world, allows P2P downloading, and has one of the best customer support services you can find in a VPN. Basically, ExpressVPN provides everything you could expect from a VPN.
ExpressVPN is easy to use and the VPN has enough features to rank as one of the top VPN on the market. There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee with ExpressVPN, so you should definitely give it a shot.
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IPVanish comes a close second to ExpressVPN. Like the latter, it has made a name for itself due to its supreme service and reliability. IPVanish offers strong encryption, just like EpressVPN. The internet speed IPVanish offers is slightly better than ExpressVPN.
It’s what makes it one of the best VPNs for streaming content from anywhere in the world. The speed, and having more than 700 in over 60 countries of the world, make it the frontrunner in the streaming VPN business.
IPVanish has more than you could need to preserve your online security and privacy. You never have to worry about them. There is a small issue here because the service is based in the USA. The USA has a reputation of being unusually noisy in its citizens’ personal lives, and it requires VPNs to share data with the authorities. But IPVanish records absolutely zero data, so there’s nothing to share.
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LeVPN has become one of the reputed names in the VPN industry in the few years it has been operational. The service has made efforts to give users a good and satisfying VPN using experience, and it has succeeded in doing so.
LeVPN offers the standard encryption and protection to users. It offers good connection speeds and has servers in 114 countries of the world. As you can imagine, all the continents and major locations of the world are covered by LeVPN. The best part about it, though, is its HybridVPN service.
Using a VPN involves a speed reduction due to the encryption overhead, but SmartDNS services are faster since they don’t encrypt the entire connection. The HybridVPN service by LeVPN combines these two to pool their advantages and shatter their disadvantages, making for a unique service.
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NordVPN is the best VPN for India when it comes to privacy and security. It is tough to make such a claim about any VPN when there are more than 800 names in the industry, but this claim about Nord is true.
NordVPN uses a special double-encryption system to strengthen the user’s defence against any sort of privacy infringement. An extra layer of encryption keeps you absolutely safe.
Then there’s the option of VPN over Tor, which combines the security and anonymizing capability of VPN and the Tor browser to create a fail-safe service. With servers in 47 countries, zero logs policy, and a 30-day money back guarantee, you have every reason to be confident about your privacy and security when using NordVPN.
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PureVPN is a long-standing name in the VPN market. But despite all that, the Hong Kong based service does not enjoy the full backing from privacy enthusiasts and experts.
PureVPN has some good things, like good internet speed, a large number of servers available under its name, and really affordable prices.
On top of this, connection logs and the IP addresses users connect to the service to are recorded. While there is no instance of these being shared with the authorities, and since Hong Kong is fairly liberal with privacy laws, this isn’t a big concern. But it is a nagging doubt.
Like most top VPN services, PureVPN has servers in India as well, so you can enjoy good connection speeds and hide your IP when you use those servers.
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Private Internet Access standing last in our list of best VPN for India. It is a good pick for privacy hungry individuals. It is a safe option to go for if privacy and security are your only concerns. But if you want a smooth and simple-to-use service, then this might not be your cup of tea.
PIA has servers in only 25 countries, but the server count exceeds 3,000. So, despite having few locations under its name, it offers more connectivity options than other VPNs. The encryption is sound with your standard OpenVPN 256-bit protection. The connection speed offered by PIA is good enough as well, there is a zero-logs policy, and the service is quite cheap as compared to most other VPNs.
The issue with using PIA, though, is that the service is not simple to use. It is easy to handle for those who are knowledgeable in the field of computers and networks, but since the everyday internet user hardly ever belongs to this bracket, this is a serious pitfall for PIA. This issue is compounded by the fact that their support service is not as great as other VPN providers.
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Using a VPN in India is not as necessary as other countries where the internet is severely censored, filtered, or restricted. However, there are things that lack in the internet access people have in India, and using a VPN is the only choice people have. Using a VPN is legal, so you don’t have any trouble there.
If you are in a sensitive region of India where the internet might be restricted, then using a VPN for India is a must for you. But in this day and age, it’s always better to hide behind a VPN. You never know just how much your government knows about you and how closely it’s watching you.