Using a VPN in India is quite tricky. The government of India implemented a new legislation in April 2022, mandating VPNs to gather and retain user data for at least five years. As predicted, this directive has sparked numerous inquiries: Are VPNs secure in India? How to access blocked sites in India using a VPN?
In this guide, we’ll dissect the implications of the new data retention law in India and assist in identifying VPNs that ensure safety in India. The cybersecurity experts at BestVPN.co emphasize using a premium VPN in India that comes with a strict No-logging Policy.
The primary concern with the Indian data retention law is that it directly negates the main purpose of VPNs: safeguarding user privacy. Should VPN providers adhere to this law, it implies that the personal information and online activities of internet users will be accessible to the Indian government.
The 2022 Indian Data Retention Law
The latest VPN data retention regulation in India has made it mandatory for all VPN providers to retain and record the following information for a minimum of five years:
- Personal details of users like name, phone number, and email address
- The user’s intended use of the VPN
- IP addresses utilized by the customer upon registration and those allocated by the VPN provider
- Details including timestamps, usage duration, subscription frequency, and online habits of the user
VPN services are obliged to furnish these records to the Indian government as and when required. Additionally, VPN providers are required to report cybercrimes like data spoofing, identity leaks, phishing attacks, privacy breaches, and unauthorized usage of restricted social media platforms.
Failure to comply with these regulations may lead to punitive actions by the government, which could range from financial penalties and canceling of licenses to legal implications.
Is it Legal to Use a VPN in India?
As of now, VPNs are legal to use in India, and the government has not enforced a complete prohibition on their use. Nevertheless, the recent legislation mandating VPN providers to log user information raises concerns about the potential future restrictions the government might impose on VPNs.
Response of VPN Providers to the Indian Data Retention Law
As anticipated, VPN providers showed resistance toward the Indian data retention regulation and raised their concerns. All the premium VPN providers have maintained their stance: refraining from collecting data logs. They are adopting a wait-and-see approach until the next step of the Indian government.
If the VPN providers are forced to collect user data by the Indian government, we might see the top VPN providers closing their businesses. Several VPNs, such as ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN have already started closing down physical servers in India to avoid against their No-logging Policies.
How to Access Blocked Sites in India Using a VPN
If you are in India and want to use the internet freely, you can follow the steps given below and access blocked sites in India.
- Sign up for a premium VPN with a strict No-logs Policy, such as ExpressVPN.
- Download the VPN on your device and configure it accordingly.
- Open the VPN and sign in with your credentials.
- Connect to any remote server provided by the VPN.
- Get access to blocked sites in India.
Is it Safe to Use a VPN in India?
Yes, it’s safe to use a VPN in India as of now. There isn’t an official ban on VPN usage, so utilizing one doesn’t violate any regulations. However, it’s crucial to avoid using servers based in India to prevent the VPN from logging your information as mandated by the law.
It’s essential to note that premium VPNs are inclined to shut down their servers in India rather than collect and store user data. For added security, it’s advisable to opt for a premium VPN equipped with the latest encryption techniques and a No-logging Policy.
Recommended VPNs to Use in India
If we talk about the best VPN to use in India, it’s ExpressVPN. This VPN is fast, secure, and most importantly a No-Logging VPN. ExpressVPN uses server obfuscation technology that hides your VPN traffic. Moreover, it comes with the latest AES 256-bit Encryption, a Network Kill Switch, Private DNS, and other features to ensure the privacy of your online traffic.
Previously, ExpressVPN had physical servers located in Mumbai and Chennai. However, in the wake of the Indian data retention law, the provider now operates two virtual Indian servers from the UK and Singapore. Furthermore, ExpressVPN users can access servers in 93 other countries, including those bordering India like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Bhutan.
If you are looking for alternate options, Surfshark, NordVPN, and CyberGhost are a few other top-notch premium VPNs with industry-leading security features. Although we don’t recommend using free VPNs in India due to their vague data logging policies, Windscribe is a decent option for those looking for a free VPN to use in India.
The Indian government has introduced a new law mandating VPNs to gather user data, sparking public discontent. In response, VPN companies have threatened to leave the country unless the government reverses its decision.
Thankfully, there’s no outright usage ban on VPNs in India as of now. You can still use a premium VPN to access blocked websites, web services, and streaming services in India. We recommend getting a top-tier VPN in India for the ultimate privacy and security of your sensitive data.