The best VPN services are becoming more popular across the globe and have been for many years. However, few uses are more popular than the India VPN. This is due to increasing internet censorship and surveillance, the banning of popular websites and apps, and the rising popularity of streaming services. As of 2020, India is undoubtedly one of the largest markets worldwide for VPNs.
In this article, we’ll look at the most common reasons Indian residents and travelers alike might want to use a VPN, including streaming, privacy, and accessing blocked Chinese apps.
Streaming blocked content
Streaming geo-blocked content is one of the most common VPN uses worldwide, and in India it’s no different. A good VPN will enable you to watch content from overseas while in India. This might be US-only Netflix or Amazon Prime Video content, but also includes regional streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and Hotstar. The options are endless, with the top VPNs enabling access to thousands of servers in hundreds of countries.
VPNs are also increasingly used for streaming live sports. We all know how popular cricket is in India, but sometimes it can be hard to access international matches. Fortunately, a VPN can help you access Kayo Entertainment, an Australian-based streaming service with access to almost all domestic and international cricket matches – and Indian residents outside the country can also use the aforementioned Hotstar to catch up on plenty of matches, too.
A VPN can also help you access Indian content while overseas, which is ideal for people who want easy access to the Indian Premier League or the latest Bollywood releases.
We think enhanced online anonymity is the most important reason to use a VPN in India, despite the appeal of worldwide content streaming. This is because the internet in India is increasingly censored, and surveillance is on the rise.
Using a VPN enables you to hide your IP address from both your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the websites you visit, making it highly unlikely your identity will be compromised and ensuring you can surf the net with complete peace of mind.
Online anonymity also protects you from inquisitive authorities. This is important since Indian law enables government authorities to request identifying metadata from ISPs. So if you don’t want the government to know what you’re doing online, a top-quality VPN is your best bet.
Access blocked Chinese apps
When the Indian Government blocked access to over 200 Chinese-owned apps in mid-2020, it was a blow for the hundreds of millions of people in India who use apps such as TikTok, VivaVideo, or PUBG Mobile every day. (On that note, it's worth checking out the best gaming VPN to make sure your connection is more secure and speedy.)
Fortunately, a VPN may enable you to bypass these bans. A top-quality VPN will allow you to download these apps and continue to use them while in India. With the likelihood that more apps and websites may be banned in the future, downloading a VPN is a smart idea.
Access banned websites
In recent years, India has banned hundreds, if not thousands of websites deemed harmful to national security and harmony. These include websites containing separatist content or pornographic material, or even those that facilitate torrenting. A VPN will enable you to bypass the DNS filtering that makes this type of censorship possible.
However, we don’t advise users to use a VPN for these purposes in India. This is because accessing these types of content may be illegal, even if using a VPN isn’t a crime in and of itself. While a VPN will make it difficult for ISPs or the government to identify you, it’s not 100% certain. Proceed with extreme caution before attempting to view these types of content in India.
Which VPN do we recommend for users in India?
ExpressVPN stands out from the competition in terms of price, features, and value. With servers in nearly 100 countries, excellent censor-evading power, blazing connection speeds, and reliable access to multiple streaming services, ExpressVPN has everything that one would need from a VPN in India.
While some users may prefer certain features of other top VPNs, it’s the best overall option for most users – and now Tom’s Guide readers can claim three months absolutely free.
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Darcy is a freelance copywriter, and a candidate for the dual master's program between the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in France and Peking University in Beijing, China. His academic and professional areas of interest include human rights and development, sustainable agriculture and agroecology, Pacific Islands diplomacy, and Sino-Australian relations.