In 2012, Russia came up with an internet blacklist, which is maintained by the federal censorship body, Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor). That is when the country started to restrict access to certain types of content and websites.
Russia enacted a law to block harmful content and prevent its residents from viewing such content. This is done to prevent children from viewing obscene content, to protect national security, etc. Some websites are blocked for violating Russia’s data retention laws. Likewise, the government also has the authority to block websites that promote content that is politically sensitive. Russia’s censorship laws have resulted in many websites and apps being blocked in Russia. This includes popular video platform Dailymotion and messaging app Telegram.
Though the restrictions began in 2012, it increased in 2014. When it comes to censorship in Russia, all websites and services must comply with Russia’s data retention and surveillance laws. Russia does not want any data from the country to go out of the country. This makes it tough for Russians to achieve internet freedom and stay private online. Russia blocks services when it detects a breach of its laws.
The only way to access a website blocked in Russia is by connecting to a VPN. The VPN you choose must not be the one that only promises to help you achieve complete online freedom, but it must really be able to bypass Russia’s internet censorship.
To know more about the best VPNs for Russia, you can check out our detailed article on 5 Best VPNs to Stream Anything in Russia 2020.
How Will a VPN Help You Access Blocked Websites?
Any website that is found to breach the laws of the country will be blocked by the ISPs in Russia. When this happens, residents in Russia will not be able to visit such websites from Russia. But they can access those websites from abroad. To access blocked websites from Russia and bypass all restrictions, while you travel to Russia, you will need a VPN.
VPNs offer secure and anonymous connections and will allow you to connect to the internet securely. You will be able to stay private with a VPN. Likewise, it is the easiest way to access all the websites blocked in Russia. VPNs encrypt their users’ internet traffic by routing their traffic through its servers located abroad. Likewise, VPNs also mask their users’ IP addresses and their locations so that no one will be able to see their original IP address or the location from where they are accessing the website.
Using a VPN in Russia
To use a VPN in Russia, you will need to be subscribed to a VPN service. Make sure the VPN service has a good server network so that you can access blocked content from anywhere in the world. There are premium and free VPNs but to ensure complete online security and privacy, we recommend going for a paid VPN service. That is because paid services are reliable, unlike free services that often sell their users’ data to earn money.
Likewise, if you wish to use a VPN in Russia, make sure you subscribe to one even before you travel to Russia. We recommend doing so because you might have trouble activating a VPN while in Russia.
List of Blocked Websites in Russia
Here is a list of a few websites that are currently blocked in Russia. This list may not remain the same as Russia keeps blacklisting websites. Some of the websites listed below may be accessible later.
- Exmo: exmo.com/en
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/
- Cloudbet: cloudbet.com/en/
- DailyMotion: dailymotion.com/
- Rutracker: rutracker.org
- ProtonMail: protonmail.com
- Bitcoin: Bitcoin.org
- Tutanota: tutanota.com/
- Mailfence: mailfence.com/
- Lurkmore: lurkmore.to/
How to Access a Blocked Website in Russia?
- Choose a VPN provider like NordVPN that has servers in multiple locations globally.
- Subscribe to the VPN based on your needs. As most VPN services offer one month, three months, one-year plans, etc., you can choose the one you need.
- Once you subscribe, you can download the VPN app for the device you wish to use.
- Launch the VPN app and log in.
- Now, you can connect to a server in the country of your choice and access websites blocked in Russia.
Russia blocks websites it thinks are harmful to the people, which includes websites related to piracy, drugs, and other illegal stuff. A whole website could be blocked just because one page of the website has something about drugs. This includes video games, as well. Unauthorized games that involve drugs and other illegal stuff are blocked in Russia. Some Ukraine based websites are blocked for political reasons. So it is important to make sure you are not doing anything illegal by connecting to a VPN.