Freedom House gave Ukraine a “partly free” Freedom on the Net 2019 score of 56/100 (0 = least free, 100 = most free). Online freedom in the country has plummeted in recent years.
While the Ukrainian government hasn’t been known for online censorship with widespread blocking of websites, it did block approximately 100 websites for spreading “Russian ideology.” Meanwhile, existing sanctions against Russian and separatist online resources were extended.
The government ordered ISPs to block Russian social media platforms, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, which were both popular in Ukraine. ISPs also blocked Russian search engine Yandex, and mail.ru, a popular Russian mail service. Despite those crackdowns, other social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, are still available.
Pressure from countries like the United States has led to Ukraine’s cyberpolice beginning to crack down on copyright violations in recent years, including popular pirating sites.
YouTube and other video streaming sites are available inside Ukraine. A Ukrainian version of Netflix is available, but as can be expected, the content is different depending on the local flavor of the service due to content agreements.
Ukranian residents and visitors to the country can rest easy, never worrying if their online activities are being monitored or that their entertainment choices might be blocked, as long as they use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
In this article, I’ll provide a close look at the top 5 VPNs for use inside Ukraine. All of the VPNs we’ll be looking at offer excellent online security and privacy, while also unblocking geo-blocked streaming media sites worldwide.
How to Use a VPN To Protect Your Online Activities in Ukraine
To use a VPN from inside Ukranian borders, follow these steps:
- Subscribe to a VPN provider. (ExpressVPN is #1 on this list.)
- Install the provider’s app(s) on your connected device(s).
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server located outside of Ukraine to access geo-blocked local content in other countries, or connect to a server inside Ukraine if you are just looking to protect your online activities or if you are outside of Ukranian borders and are looking to access content from inside of the country.
- Enjoy your new online anonymity and improved content access!
Best VPNs for Use in Ukraine
The 5 top VPN services listed below are the best providers for Ukranian internet users:
- ExpressVPN: The #1 provider on this list offers optimal online privacy and security features and top-notch access to geo-blocked local content worldwide. The provider delivers fast, well-protected connections to all of today’s most popular device platforms.
- NordVPN: This provider has gained a good reputation over the years as a low-cost VPN service that delivers excellent online protection. The provider is still striving to serve its customers better, having improved its connection speeds in recent years.
- CyberGhost: First-time VPN users or those who are looking for an easy-to-use way to protect and enhance all of their online activities are strongly recommended to check out this provider. The provider’s easy-to-use apps provide access to a comprehensive global server network that includes streaming- and file sharing-optimized servers.
- IPVanish: While this provider offers protection and enhancement on a level comparable to other VPNs on this list, it also provides an additional layer of privacy protection thanks to its top-tier proprietary global server network.
- Surfshark: This provider is a relatively recent addition to the VPN industry, but it has quickly gained a favorable reputation. The provider’s fast-expanding global server network, fast speeds and somewhat unusual unlimited simultaneous connections allowance will make this an attractive VPN option for business users.
I used the following factors to rank these top 5 VPN providers:
- Global server coverage (including servers in Ukraine)
- Online security and privacy protections
- Connection speeds
- Multi-platform app support
- Level of customer support
The 5 best VPNs for use in Ukraine are:
ExpressVPN provides the best VPN protection for users located inside and outside of Ukraine.
This provider’s global server network is one of the best in the business, with 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries, Ukraine included.
All of those servers deliver well-protected connections thanks to the provider’s use of strong encryption, an internet kill switch, and IPv6/DNS leak protection. The provider also offers a split-tunneling feature that allows the user to select which apps will use the encrypted connection.
Keeping your online identity private is a common reason to use a VPN, and ExpressVPN is one of the best providers to supply true online privacy.
They provide optimal privacy protection thanks to its solid no-server-logs policy, as well as its TrustedServer technology that performs all server operations from RAM, never writing any user data to the server’s hard drive. This means all data is completely wiped from the server every time it is rebooted. A Bitcoin payment option is also available.
The provider’s connection speeds are easily up to handling all of your favorite online activities, be it streaming media or high definition video, playing fast-moving online shooters, or sharing and downloading large files. No data or download caps to worry about, either.
This provider’s multi-platform app support is also some of the best around, as it offers native app support for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Chromebook, Linux and Windows device platforms.
Chrome and Firefox browser users will find extensions for their favorite browser, and comprehensive router support protects all of your connected devices. Up to 5 devices can connect concurrently using a single set of login credentials.
Always-available customer support includes 24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket system and a searchable support library.
- Fast, no-data-cap connections
- Excellent online security protection
- Comprehensive global server coverage
- Reliable access to geo-blocked local content
- Top-notch privacy protection
- Priced higher than some other competitors
TOP VPN FOR UKRAINE:Users searching for a top-notch VPN provider will want to consider the services that ExpressVPN offers. Despite a somewhat pricey subscription structure, the provider’s excellent global server coverage, content-unblocking power and high-speed connections all add up to a great value for the money. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
If you’re looking for comprehensive VPN protection that won’t break the bank, you’ll want to take a closer look at NordVPN.
While the provider’s global server numbers (5,600+ servers in Ukraine and 57+ other countries) may lag slightly behind most of the other providers on this list, those servers do an above-average job of unblocking local content.
A strict no-logs policy and a privacy-protecting cryptocurrency subscription payment option keep things covered on the user privacy end of things.
NordVPN’s download speeds have improved recently, and provide more than enough bandwidth for streaming media sites or HD video, playing fast-moving games, and downloading and sharing even the largest files.
The provider has you covered in the app support department thanks to native app offerings for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS and Windows platforms.
If you’re looking for protection for your browser sessions, you can take advantage of the provider’s Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. The provider’s excellent router support can protect all of your internet devices via a single point of access. Connect up to 6 devices at once using the same login credentials.
Always-available customer support includes a 24/7 support chat option, a searchable support library and email support.
- Servers in 57+ countries, including Ukraine
- Excellent app support
- Low-priced multi-year subscriptions
- Top-notch user privacy and security features
- Apps’ user interface could be cleaner
BEST VPN FOR BUDGET:If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll appreciate NordVPN’s low-priced extended subscription offers. Don’t worry about sacrificing protection or performance though, as the provider offers fast, well-protected access to geo-restricted content in most of the free world. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Novice VPN users and folks who are looking for an easy-to-use VPN provider that offers comprehensive VPN protection are advised to investigate CyberGhost.
The provider’s global server network is one of the best around, with over 6,400 servers stationed in 89+ countries, including Ukraine. Plenty of those servers are optimized for file sharing and streaming video.
CyberGhost’s online security protections are industry standard, as it uses military-grade encryption, an internet kill switch, and IPv6/DNS leak protection. Ad and tracker blocking are also available, as is the ability to force websites to serve up secure versions of their pages if available.
Your privacy is also covered thanks to the provider’s no-server-logs-ever policy, as well as its privacy-protecting cryptocurrency payment option.
CyberGhost not only offers comprehensive connection protection, it does so without greatly slowing down your connection speeds. The provider delivers more than enough no-data-cap speed for streaming HD video, online gaming, and sharing and downloading files of any size.
App support is another high point with this provider thanks to easy-to-use app offerings for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows device platforms.
Chrome and Firefox users can protect their browsing sessions by using the provider’s browser extensions, and you can protect all of your connected devices by accessing CyberGhost’s router features. Up to 7 devices can connect simultaneously using the same user credentials.
Customer support is always available, with always-on support chat, a trouble ticket submission system and a searchable support library.
- Servers in over 89 countries
- No user data caps on its fast connections
- Easy-to-use, one-click protection
- Streaming- and file sharing-specialized servers
- Lacks advanced options, bells and whistles
BEST VPN FOR NEWBIE USERS:Users with little to no experience using a VPN, or users who simply prefer one-click access to protection, will appreciate CyberGhost’s easy-to-use yet comprehensive VPN service. A wide-ranging global server network delivers access to streaming- and downloading-optimized servers. A 45-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish provides VPN protection on par with the other providers in this top 5, and then offers an extra bit of privacy that no other provider on this list can match.
With 1,400+ servers located in Ukraine and 57+ other countries, the provider’s entire network measures in at below most of the other providers in this roundup. That said, that server network is completely owned and operated by IPVanish, providing an extra layer of privacy by keeping third-party providers away from your personal information.
Online security is never an issue with IPVanish thanks to its use of government-grade strong encryption, an internet kill switch with auto-reconnect, and a proprietary “scramble” function that disguises your VPN internet traffic as normal browser activity.
While the provider protects your privacy via a strict no-server-logs policy, you’ll need to pin your payment privacy hopes on PayPal and your credit card company, as IPVanish does not offer a cryptocurrency payment policy.
IPVanish’s no-data-cap connections provide more than enough speed for viewing HD video, sharing large files and playing fast-moving games.
Your favorite connected device is likely supported by IPVanish, as the provider’s app offerings include options for the Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, ChromeOS and Amazon Fire device platforms. Manual setup instructions are available for the Linux and Windows Phone platforms.
Unfortunately, no browser extensions are available. However, router support is available to protect all of your connected devices. The service allows up to 10 concurrent connections to connect simultaneously using a single set of credentials.
Customer support is always available, offering 24/7 support chat, a searchable support library and email support.
- Self-owned and -operated global server network
- Around-the-clock customer support
- Up to 10 devices can simultaneously connect on a single login
- No browser extensions available
- Short-term single subscription options are high-priced
ADDITIONAL LAYER OF PRIVACY:IPVanish owns and operates its global server network, which keeps third-party contractors away from your personal information. The provider also offers fast connections for all popular devices, as well as around-the-clock support. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of IPVanish.
Surfshark is the most recent addition to the VPN ranks of any provider on this list, and it has quickly established itself as a provider to be reckoned with.
The provider hosts a fast-growing global server network, with 1,700+ servers stationed in 63+ countries, including Ukraine. That server count is double what it was last year.
All of those servers provide well-protected connections thanks to the provider’s use of military-grade encryption, an internet kill switch, and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. A proprietary “Multi-Hop” server option routes your internet connection through two VPN servers, providing double encryption and added anonymity.
Your privacy is well protected thanks to a strict no-server-logs policy, as well as a private Bitcoin payment option.
No matter which online activity you enjoy most, Surfshark’s no-data-caps connections provide more than enough bandwidth. Whether you enjoy online gaming, watching HD video, or you need to download large files, Surfshark can handle it.
No matter your favorite device, Surfshark likely has it covered. The provider’s offerings include native apps for the Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows and Amazon Fire device platforms.
Chrome and Firefox users are protected by the provider’s browser extension offerings, while its extensive router support protects all of your connected devices.
You may have noticed that the first 4 providers on this list all had limits to how many devices you can connect on a single account. Surfshark has no such limits. The provider allows you to connect all of your devices at once if that is what you so desire.
24/7 support chat, a contact form and a searchable support database add up to always-available customer support.
- “Multi-Hop” protection offers double encryption and anonymity
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Top-notch online security and privacy
- Still limited but fast-growing global server network
- Regular monthly subscription price is a bit expensive
BEST FOR BUSINESS USERS:Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN scene, but it has quickly established itself as a respectable player. The provider offers support for most popular devices, provides plenty of connection speed and doesn’t care how many devices you connect to the service at once. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
Will a Free VPN Work in Ukraine?
While I am certain you can find a free VPN that works inside Ukraine, I am equally certain that the overall free VPN experience will be less than satisfying and less than private.
Have you ever heard that if an internet service is free, then you’re probably the product that the company is selling? That’s never more true than when you’re referring to free VPN services.
Even a freebie VPN provider needs to keep the lights on some way, and many do so by recording their users’ online activities and then selling that information to interested parties, like advertisers.
Other free VPN providers have been found to be inserting unwanted tracking cookies and ads into their customers’ browsing sessions (which keep tracking you with your current IP address, even after you’ve disconnected from the VPN provider’s servers).
In addition to lacking privacy, free VPNs also lack convenience and speed.
When you connect to a free VPN, you may be forced to cool your heels in a virtual waiting room. Then, once you’re allowed to connect, you’ll likely find that your server selection is severely limited, and that’s only if you’re not automatically connected to a server of the provider’s choosing.
Once you’re connected, you’ll notice that your connection has slowed considerably. Free VPN providers do this to preserve their bandwidth for their paying customers. Plus, you’ll likely see your usage restricted by a daily or monthly data cap.
Does any of this sound like a good thing? That’s why I suggest paying a nominal fee each month for a reliable, private VPN service.
What Does a VPN Do For Me?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the best way to enhance and protect all of your online activities.
A VPN enhances your online activities by temporarily assigning a new IP address to your device, making it appear as if you are in a different country. For example, although you are located in New York City, you can connect to a VPN server located in Germany, making it appear to the rest of the internet that you are physically located inside Germany.
Since IP addresses are used by streaming services, gaming servers, financial services and other sites and services to identify your location, this can open access to the services’ content, greatly enhancing your online possibilities.
A VPN encrypts your internet connection, ensuring no third parties can monitor your online activities. This includes Internet Service Providers, which may throttle or block your connection if it observes you sharing files or viewing video from an “unapproved” streaming source. A VPN’s encryption blocks your ISP from monitoring you, and they can’t stop what they can’t see.
That same encrypted connection protection also protects your online activities from being monitored by hackers when you use an unprotected public WiFi hotspot. Hackers love public WiFi, as it is usually unencrypted, allowing them to monitor your online activity, which can include online shopping, banking or other sensitive activities.
Ukraine residents and visitors are strongly advised to investigate the protective features of a Virtual Private Network, such as the optimal services provided by my top pick, ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN’s comprehensive global server coverage delivers reliable access to geo-blocked local content around the globe. The provider’s fast and well-protected connections provide optimal online protection for all of your connected devices. The provider’s knowledgeable customer support agents are available around the clock.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.
VPN FAQ for Ukraine
⭐Is VKontakte Still Accessible in Ukraine?
While access to VKontakte has been banned in Ukraine since mid-2017, VPN users can still access the Russian social networking service.
⭐How Can I Watch BBC iPlayer From Ukraine?
BBC iPlayer fans need not miss their favorite shows simply because they’re visiting Ukraine or any other part of the world. By using a VPN, like ExpressVPN, a user can blow through the BBC’s geographic content blocks, restoring access to the streaming service.
⭐Is Ukrainian Internet Monitored by Russia?
While Ukraine internet is not managed by the Russian government, it is highly likely that Russian monitoring is going on. (The internet is a global network, allowing for monitoring of this type.) However, by using a VPN, Ukranian visitors can prevent monitoring by the Russians, or anyone else, for that matter.