VPN use in Russia becomes extremely relevant today, considering Russia’s existing restrictive policies and legislation concerning online data accessibility and use. In order to freely exercise their right to internet freedom and expression, Russian citizens and residents alike take the use of VPN as a viable step towards its realization.
Internet Freedom in Russia
Russia’s continued restrictions on online anonymity and increasing censorship clearly show that the country deflects is not an avid supporter of internet freedom. While the country has made internet access affordable to all, state-owned internet service providers still dominate the market, making the information and communication technology (ICT) concentrated, if not monopolized. And with the rise of protesters against these measures and that of Russia’s impending “security bill”, it is pretty obvious that its citizens are not happy about these.
First, Russia blocked from operating throughout the country a communication app named “Telegram,” including all the websites this app used. This was when the app refused to provide Russia’s Federal Security Service with encryption keys. Feeling threatened and thinking that the internet was “under attack”, Russians staged massive protests throughout the country.
Incidentally, what experts call as “collateral blocking” is another indication that internet freedom is a big NO in Russia. As Russian authorities continued to block websites, the government likewise designated certain media outlets as “foreign agents”. This tagging was merely based on the fact that such media outlets receive foreign funding.
Next, Russian lawmakers placed restrictions against online anonymity by enacting a law that restricts the use of proxy avoidance tools and Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Generally, this law imposes a duty among VPN providers to closely cooperate with a designated Russian government media watchdog. It also requires messaging apps or platforms to link to their users’ personal information.
How could the world forget when the Russian Government blacklisted certain content from and threatened to shut down Instagram and YouTube? This was after a heated face-off between one of its country’s opposition leaders and a lucrative businessman over an alleged corruption controversy.
Additionally, Russia told the world in 2019 that it is considering to pursue a net independence plan, which will enable its government to take over and control online life. This impending desire to “disconnect” from the cyber world is Russia’s way of testing its cyber-defenses. Through this test, all data sent among and between Russians shall be forwarded to government-controlled destinations or routing points, while those meant for foreign computers or devises are to be discarded.
Russia, whose land area spans 17,098,242 km², is considered the biggest country in the world by landmass. It is way larger than Canada, which measures only about 2.8 million square miles. It encompasses considerable regions in Asia (known as Siberia) and Europe (called Eurasia).
As of 2019, Russia is estimated to have a population of 143,900,597. This is based on Rosstat’s (Russia’s official statistics agency) 2011 census whereby the country’s population was reckoned to be around 141.8 million.
Given its large land area, Russia has relatively few habitats. The 143.9 million 2019 figure or population count is actually lower from the estimated 146 million figure culled in 2015. Consequently, world reports deduce that Russia has a negative population growth rate.
So how many of Russia’s populace are using the internet? Statista.com reported that Russia had 87.55 million internet users in 2016. Among these are mobile device users, which constitute 76.53 million of the total number. Consequently, this statistics website predicts an increase in the number of said online and internet users to 91.46 million in 2022.
Interestingly, the vast majority of Russia’s online and/or internet users reside in urban areas. This is perhaps because there are more e-commerce opportunities to seize in these places.
Reports also reveal that 85% of Russia’s population uses the World Wide Web every day. In terms of gadgets or hardware, 68% of Russians use a desktop when going online, while 28% of them access the internet through tablets and smartphones.
As to retention time, Russians are reported to stay online within an average period of 6 hours and 29 minutes every day, regardless of device or gadget used. Notably, such a period is actually two minutes less than the time an average U.S. citizen would spend on the internet.
Finally, the shift to voice search is the most significant trend happening in Russia at the moment. Although the country is still way behind the global average of 21%, voice search is projected to become prevalent as more Russian-language recognition software is being developed.
7 Reasons to Use a VPN in Russia
Russia’s imposition of web restrictions doesn’t mean everyone has to be in hiatus. By using a credible Russia VPN, you can freely enjoy the following benefits:
- Bypass geographical limitations
With a competent VPN, you can still live a life of unrestricted browsing experience. While it is true that Russia has started banning or blocking access on certain websites, these can still be accessed by using virtual private networks.
- Protect your privacy online from spies and the like
VPNs work by encrypting your data and re-routing them to a secure tunnel. This ensures that every connection you make is private. Such a mechanism also provides a difficult obstacle for third parties to penetrate your data traffic and security.
- Have online access with anonymity
Online data gathering can expose you to some security risks and compromise your online connection. Accordingly, a Russia VPN changes your IP address to a different one. In effect, your online identity is likewise changed, giving you a reasonable degree of anonymity.
- Ensure a safe internet connection
Current VPNs ensure secure and unrestricted connectivity on the part of their customers. This way, they may browse the web without any reservation.
- Get a better gaming experience
If you are a certified gamer, you know for a fact that online gaming exposes you to high risks of DDoS attacks. Using a VPN is the surest way to shield you from these. After all, gaming and having fun should always be safe and free from compromise.
- Get free access to premium digital services or content.
When you need free yet premium content online, paying for it is not always the solution. Sometimes, a VPN can give you the quick fix you need to get through the site you’ve always wanted to access. If you’re in Russia, using a VPN does the trick.
- Connect and socialize freely online and without any reservations.
Despite the Russian government’s imposition of policies contravening internet freedom, one may freely build and maintain ties with friends, relatives, or their significant other through the use of a VPN. Consequently, you can use Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter without running the risk of getting all your personal information compromised.
Get the security and peace of mind you’ve always wanted by using Russia VPN. This is something you would surely be thankful for in the long run. Go ahead and check out your options for the best Russia VPN today.