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Top VPN services for bypassing censorship

The events related to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict have affected if not everyone, then the majority of us.

Censorship did not spare popular platforms, and now Facebook is blocked in the territory of the Russian Federation, followed by Twitter.

TikTok has suspended its operations in Russia due to new amendments in Russian legislation, and so on.

The response did not take long to arrive.
The demand for VPN applications has increased by 1268%.
Over the course of a week, users from Russia installed VPN applications through the App Store and Google Play more than 1.3 million times.

While previously people downloaded VPN applications around 10,000 times on average per day, on March 1st alone there was a surge to 500,000 installations.

Let's delve into what VPN services are available and how to use them, but first, a few words about VPN.

What is a VPN?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a virtual private network that utilizes an encrypted connection to provide secure access for users to a network.
VPN allows you to bypass local restrictions and maintain privacy.

What VPNs can be used

Let's go over some of them.

1 - VPN service

A free VPN. 🌐 Official website

This is a service from the DNS provider Cloudflare. does not slow down the connection speed but allows hiding the list of visited websites from the ISP and bypassing any blocks.


Install the application in a couple of clicks. In our case, for Windows.
After installation, move the slider to the right, and voila!
Now you can safely access blocked websites.

Twitter is working smoothly. Let's make a test tweet to assess the speed.
You can play around with the settings:

2 – Windscribe

🌐 Official website
Windscribe is a great VPN service with advanced functionality. They provide free GBs to every user.
You can install Windscribe as either an application or a browser extension.


Supported platforms:

  • iOS and Android
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Microsoft Edge

Terms and conditions.

By the way, they provide 10 GB for free on Windows, and 2 GB on iPhone (if you create an account, it's also 10 GB).
There is a relevant review on the App Store:

3 - Aloha Browser with VPN.


  • Downloads and private storage
  • Ad blocking
  • Includes free VPN and TOR

Cons: The download speed is not the highest with the VPN enabled.
Something similar was available on Opera.
They also have a separate VPN for iOS.

4 — AirVPN

🌐 Official website
A compact and functional VPN service.
AirVPN supports all standard security protocols (OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2).

You can connect to each server using the OpenVPN protocol through SSH, SSL, and Tor protocols.

It supports all major operating systems. 🔗 Download link
In terms of pricing, here's how it looks:
You can pay with both cards and cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Doge, Monero.

5 — Mullvad VPN

🌐 Official website

It resembles AirVPN.
5 simultaneous connections: suitable for the whole family.
  • Has applications for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android.
  • Browser extension available for Firefox.
What about the prices:
As for the prices:
One downside is the limited number of servers.

6 — Nord VPN

🌐 Official website

  • A good VPN provider with cool features:
  • No logs
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • 5404 servers in 60+ countries
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Dedicated IP addresses are available for $5.83 per month.
The current pricing is as follows:
Support for devices is one of the most diverse:

7 — Proton VPN

🌐 Official website
  • Countries: 63
  • Servers: 1,625
  • High-speed connections (up to 10 Gbps)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • All applications are open-source and have undergone audits

There is a free package, but naturally, there are limitations.

8 — Psiphon

🌐 Official website
This is a free open-source tool that specializes in bypassing web censorship.
It can be installed on Windows in a couple of clicks. It has a simple and user-friendly interface.
You can purchase boosters for turbo speed. Payment can be made through credit card or PayPal.
Now let's talk about how to get involved and set up your own VPN service.

How to set up your own VPN

Register on DigitalOcean.

🌐 Here is their website
After registering, request the payment method: either by credit card or PayPal.
They didn't accept the card from Russia. PayPal is fine.

Step №1

Next, in the upper right corner, there will be a green "Create" button. Click on it and select the first option "Droplets".
  • Choose the operating system on which the server will run. We recommend Ubuntu.
  • Select the droplet size. Choose the smallest tariff.
  • Choose the location where the VPN server will be located.
The closer the server is to your location, the faster the connection will be.
  • Click on "Create".
Click on "Create Droplet". We recommend selecting Ubuntu.
Choose the smallest droplet size. That will be sufficient.
Select the geography/location:
Leave the remaining fields unchanged. Click on "Create". Wait for a moment, and a new droplet will appear in the droplet list that we just created.
Check the email address you provided during registration. You will receive an email with the connection details to the server (IP, username, password). Save them for future reference.

Stage №2

Now we will install the software for VPN configuration and connection. We will need 2 programs:

  • PuTTY Client (a program for connecting to the console of the created server) DOWNLOAD
  • OpenVPN (OpenVPN client for connecting to our VPN server) DOWNLOAD

When installing PuTTY, select and download the .msi file - the Windows installation file, choosing the appropriate one based on your PC architecture.
❗❗ Windows 10 users have the unique ability to install the Ubuntu operating system on their computer. The mechanism that enables this capability is called WSL - Windows Subsystem for Linux.
Now let's configure everything.
  • Connect to our server using PuTTY.

Open PuTTY and enter the IP address of our server (from the email we received) in the "Host Name" field, then click "Open."
In the pop-up window, click "Yes."

If everything is fine, a console window should appear. Enter the login and password (FROM THE EMAIL). Enter "root" when prompted for "login as," and then enter the password provided in the email.

When you enter the password, you will be prompted to change it to a new one (for security reasons). Enter the new password in the prompted window and confirm it.

Stage №3

You need to execute commands in the terminal (right-click in PuTTY to paste the copied command into the command input window). Press ENTER after pasting the command:
sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get -y upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y linux-image-extra-uname -r
After that:
echo "deb https://apt.dockerproject.org/repo ubuntu-xenial main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list
sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install -y docker-engine
We have installed Docker on our droplet.

Stage №4


Let's use kylemanna/docker-openvpn to quickly set up an OpenVPN server.

Here we go.

Execute the following 3 commands (replace {YOUR SERVER IP} in the second command with your server's IP address from the email):
docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn --rm kylemanna/openvpn ovpn_genconfig -u udp://{YOUR SERVER IP}
docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn --rm -it kylemanna/openvpn ovpn_initpki
You should see a prompt asking you to set a password. SAVE IT.
Enter the password again.

Then simply press "Enter".

The server will start generating the private key. Please wait for a moment.

Enter the password once again:
You will see the following:
Execute the following 2 commands:
docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn -d -p 1194:1194/udp --cap-add=NET_ADMIN kylemanna/openvpn
docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn --rm -it kylemanna/openvpn easyrsa build-client-full MYVPN nopass
Enter the password you created earlier.

You will receive the following output:
Now we need to generate the configuration file to connect to the server from the VPN client:
docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn --rm kylemanna/openvpn ovpn_getclient MYVPN > MYVPN.ovpn

The installation process is complete. We have a few more steps before we can use our VPN. Now we need to copy the configuration file from the server.

To do this, we will use the PSFTP program (which was installed along with PuTTY), and in it, you need to execute the commands below:
Here, just like before, enter the IP of your server, then, in the window, specify "login as" as "root" and enter the password for your server.

To ensure proper functionality, PSFTP needs to be run as an administrator.
And the final touch. Execute the following command:
get MYVPN.ovpn
On your computer, you will find a new file located at C:\Program Files\PuTTY\MYVPN.ovpn.

Now, copy the MYVPN.ovpn file to the directory C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config.

You are now ready to use your VPN server.

Launch the OpenVPN GUI client, which will appear in the quick launch programs menu. Click on it and select "Connect".

To verify if everything was set up correctly, go to a webpage where you can see your IP address.


Your IP address should match the IP address of your created server, and the location should also be the same.
Note: If something goes wrong, refer to the guides provided by the respective platforms.