If you’re trying to access Telegram in Russia, Iran, India, or other parts of the world where it is blocked, your best bet is to log in via a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A VPN encrypts all the traffic flowing to and from your device and tunnels it via an intermediary server of your choice. The encrypted tunnel also makes it very difficult for ISPs, hackers, and surveillance agencies to monitor your internet behavior.
By using a VPN, you can obfuscate your location, thereby tricking state authorities in Russia by making it impossible for them to detect that you’re based there.
In this article, we’ll show you how to access Telegram in Russia, Iran, India, or anywhere else with a VPN and the best providers for this purpose.
We get into plenty of detail on each of the VPNs that we have made this list for Telegram, but if you are short of time and can’t read the whole article, here’s a brief breakdown of our top picks:
Best VPNs for Telegram:
- NordVPN Our #1 choice for Telegram. Unblocks Telegram from just about anywhere that restrictions are in place. Has some of the fastest streaming and downloading servers that we’ve tested. Excellent privacy and security features. Includes 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark A great budget contender for a Telegram VPN, Surfshark is well-priced and delivers reliability, security, and more.
- ExpressVPN Solid all-rounder with a vast server network that unblocks most geo-restricted sites and services, including Telegram. Easy to use and has great privacy features.
- CyberGhost Reliable provider with a huge server network dotted around the globe. Good for beginners and advanced users. Privacy and security are solid.
- IPVanish Security and circumventing blocked sites are their top features. Good speeds, but look elsewhere if you also want to watch Netflix and Hulu.
- PrivateVPN Newest provider on this list, with a growing network of servers. Impressed by their speeds and unblocking capabilities.
- AtlasVPN over 31 servers capabale of unblocking Telegram from anywhere, offering fast and reliable connections.
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The best VPNs for Telegram – At a glance
We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for Telegram.
|Website||www.NordVPN.com||www.Surfshark.com||www.ExpressVPN.com||www.Cyberghost.com||www.IPVanish.com||www.PrivateVPN.com||Ranking for Telegram:||1||2||3||4||5||6||Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Avg Speed (Mbps)||100+ Mbps||323.6 Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||71 Mbps||Popular Sites Unblocked||95%||88%||86%||85%||70%||85%||Activity logs||None||Some||No identifying data||No identifying data||No logs stored||No logs stored||Total number of servers||5,100||3,200||3,000||9,000+||1,900||200+|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.99|
SAVE up to 68% + GET 3 months FREE
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SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months FREE
SAVE 77% on the 2 year plan
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The best VPNs for Telegram
For a VPN to make our shortlist, it had to meet various criteria. Below are just some of the minimum standards that a VPN needs to meet before we recommend it for use with Telegram:
- Robust security parameters so that your location is guarded at all times
- Apps for Android and iOS
- Large range of server locations in Europe and North America
- No traffic logs
- Ease of use
- Unblocking content
Based on the criteria above we’ve put together a list of the best VPNs for Telegram below. You can read more about our testing methodology below. Read on to find out more about the top VPNs and how to use them to access Telegram abroad.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top choice for a Telegram VPN. It is an example of a completely logless VPN and doesn’t record any user data whatsoever.
The provider has been in the VPN business for over a decade — helping it build a robust product along the way. It offers over 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries with a large variety in the West. This ranks as the fastest VPN in our speed tests.
Encryption standards are hardy and will keep you protected at all times. NordVPN uses the 256-bit AES protocol by default coupled with 2,048-bit SSL keys. In addition, DNS leak protection is enabled.
Apps are available for Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
- Unblocks Telegram and a ton of other sites
- Great for privacy-conscious users with no logs and Bitcoin payments
- Blazing fast speeds
- Six simultaneous connections keep all users and devices protected
- 24/7 support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- The desktop app is a bit clunky compared to other providers
BEST VPN FOR TELEGRAM:NordVPN is our top pick. Excellent speeds. Works well with Telegram. Solid security and privacy performer. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee making it risk-free.
Here’s our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a budget-friendly, privacy-focused VPN that keeps no logs of user information and comes with lots of security features.
It has a growing network of just over 3,000 servers covering more than 60 countries. There are a ton of European locations as well as a good spread in the Americas and Asia Pacific region, along with a few Middle East and Africa locations.
You can expect tight security from this VPN. It boasts 256- bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol, along with SHA512 authentication and a 2,048-bit key exchange. Apps include a kill switch, leak protection, and automatic wifi protection.
Mobile apps are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- Works with Telegram everywhere
- Allows an unlimited number of connections
- Has easy-to-use apps
- 24/7 live chat available
- Accepts cryptocurrencies
- A few slow speeds recorded
TOP BUDGET CHOICE:Surfshark packs a ton of security features, doesn’t log user information, and allows an unlimited number of connections. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN guards your data zealously. Military-grade encryption protocols are in place; specifically, the service leverages 256-bit AES-CBC as the default encryption standard as well as HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch is included, which ExpressVPN refers to as a ‘network lock’.
The company doesn’t store any detailed traffic logs but does retain a bit of metadata in order to improve the service. It’s incorporated in the British Virgin Islands which means it’s out of the jurisdiction of government authorities in both the US and the UK.
When you sign up, you’ll find over 3,000 server locations spread across the world. There are plentiful options in Europe and North America.
There are ExpressVPN apps for Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
- Unblocks Telegram effortlessly
- Best-in-class encryption makes for solid security and privacy
- Fast servers are great for streaming HD content
- DNS leak protection, shared IP addresses and keeps no traffic logs
- Apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux
- Not the cheapest choice on this list
GREAT ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is fast and reliable. Confidently unblocks Telegram. Also solid for all major streaming services. Great privacy features and keeps no logs. 30-day money back guarantee.
Here’s our in-depth review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is based in Romania and is not subject to any mandatory data retention laws. It doesn’t record any user activity on its servers, either. The VPN company offers a varying range of privacy and security features.
All traffic is secured by 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default along with perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch is included.
The company has a huge choice of servers online at the moment, with over 7,000, the majority of which are housed in Europe and North America. It should be relatively straightforward to find an adequate connection to unblock Telegram.
Additional security features include an ad blocker, anti-malware defense, and anti-tracking. Apps for Windows and macOS are available, as well as Android, and iOS mobile devices.
- Unblocks Telegram with ease
- Keeps no user activity logs and provides strong encryption to bypass activity detection
- Plenty of servers in Europe and North America
- Some of the fastest servers we’ve tested
- Power-users may lament the lack of advanced configuration options
SOLID SECURITY:CyberGhost is our #1 Choice. Reliable for unblocking Telegram. We’d recommend CyberGhost to beginners who are looking for a fast, reliable connection, an easy-to-use interface, and a decent selection of server locations. It’s also ideal for torrenters. Stores no logs and streams HD video reliably. Try it risk-free with the 45-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our extensive CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish doesn’t store user data of any nature so that should ease privacy concerns.
It offers over 1,300 global servers spread across 75 countries. The US occupies the bulk of this list and there are more than enough options in mainland Europe, too.
Encryption standards are top-tier. It uses 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2,048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy.
You’ll find apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
- No issues with unblocking Telegram
- Keep no logs on user activities and have solid security settings
- Impressive server speeds
- Handles simultaneous connections well
- Doesn’t reliably work with Netflix or Hulu on all servers
PRIVATE VPN:IPVanish offers strong privacy and security that works well with Telegram. Has a huge number of IPs and servers plus additional protection against DNS leaks. Struggles with Netflix and doesn’t work in China. 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN popped up quite recently but that doesn’t mean its product is sub-par by any standards.
It’s based in Sweden and offers features and performance on par with the other providers on this list. 256-bit AES encryption is included along with perfect forward secrecy on the OpenVPN protocol. A kill switch is offered, too.
PrivateVPN doesn’t store any user logs, so any record of trying to access Telegram in Russia is scrubbed from sight.
At the moment, a little over 80 servers are spread across 56 countries. This seems tiny as compared to the gargantuan options offered by other providers, but the range of locations in Europe and North America should do the trick.
- Keeps no logs whatsoever
- Very fast speeds
- Accepts Bitcoin
- May need support assistance in locating the best server to choose
- Newer network with a smaller number of servers to choose from
GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Unblocks Telegram. Also good for secure and private browsing and torrenting. Lacks 24/7 chat support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our review of PrivateVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
AtlasVPN makes accessing Telegram from anywhere effortless. Its apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS combine with an unlimited connection limit, allowing you to enjoy Telegram on multiple devices simultaneously.
It uses AES encryption, offers a breach tracker, and doesn’t keep logs and operates on the OpenVPN protocol. This is backed up by its base of operations in Panama following Nord Technologies’ acquisition. For context, Panama is outside of any surveillance operations, meaning AtlasVPN is not required to hand over logs by law.
AtlasVPN has servers in over 40 locations, offering rapid download speeds. It unblocks many streaming services like Disney plus and Netflix from abroad and supports P2P activities. It gives users 30 days to try its service with a money-back guarantee.
- Prioritizes user security
- Servers in 40+ countries
- Faster than many of its rivals
- Cancelling could be much easier
- No Linux or router support
EXCELLENT UNBLOCKING:AtlasVPN unblocks Telegram with ease from abroad, and offers apps for all major platforms without a connection limit. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our review of AtlasVPN.
While there are plenty of VPNs to choose from, not all are ideal for use with Telegram. We were able to narrow down the options with our methodology. This takes the following into account:
- Servers worldwide: Telegram is available in most countries with a few exceptions including China and Iran. Having access to a VPN with servers in dozens of countries worldwide means you can access the messaging service with ease. It also means you can find a faster server close to your location!
- Speed: We conduct speed tests on each VPN. This helps us find the fastest VPNs for use with Telegram as well as for streaming and torrenting. Indeed, most are fast enough for 4K streaming without lag or buffering. Furthermore, all of the VPNs included in this post offer unlimited bandwidth
- Unblocking: Aside from Telegram, many websites and services may be geo-blocked due to copyright or censorship. This may be anything from a news site to a streaming service, to another messaging service such as Signal or WhatsApp. Whatever the case, the best VPNs find ways around such blocks.
- Security: While Telegram provides end-to-end encryption if you activate it in settings, there are some slight concerns. For example, it uses its own proprietary encryption protocol. A VPN encrypts all of your internet traffic and protects you from leaks. In fact, some VPNs even have Double VPN servers.
- Privacy: We’ve explored 140 VPN logging policies, finding those that best protect your privacy. This is particularly important while using messaging services such as Telegram for which you have to provide your phone number and which even record some data such as your IP address.
- Ease of use: A VPN needn’t be difficult to use. In fact, you should be able to connect to a server in a matter of seconds (adjusting your settings can usually be done in just a few clicks too). In particular, we look for beginner-friendly apps as well as live chat and email support (preferably available 24/7).
- Value for money: Even some of the most expensive VPN providers lack some of the above features. Fortunately, we’ve found a number of VPNs that offer all of them while remaining value for money. All include at least a 30-day money-back guarantee while VPN discount coupons allow you to save even more.
Our VPN testing methodology goes into further detail about how we test VPNs by looking at key criteria including speed, security, and even customer support.
Should I consider a free VPN to access Telegram?
The first and foremost consideration of users trying to access Telegram where it is blocked should be the guarantee that their private data is protected at all costs. That’s because you’re trying to circumvent government restrictions, which puts you directly in the crosshairs of the state. And that’s no trifling matter.
Unfortunately, free VPN services carry the inherent risk of poor encryption and pitiful speeds. The fact that they’re free should be a dead giveaway—such services aren’t charities and are definitely in the business of making money. Many of them have been caught inserting tracking cookies in order to mine their users’ data and sell it to third-party advertisers.
If you opt for a free VPN, it’s unlikely that you’ll receive a premium experience. Expect frequent disconnections and a lingering concern that your digital footprint is being monitored.
For peace of mind, we advise you not to use a free VPN.
How to Unblock Telegram with a VPN
Although Telegram is blocked in certain countries it is fairly simple to regain access with the help of a VPN. Just follow the simple steps below to set up a VPN for Telegram on any PC, Windows, Android, or IOS device.
Here’s how to change the download location and unblock Telegram with a VPN:
- Sign up with a VPN for Telegram. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
- Download and install the VPN app or browser extension for your device.
- Open the VPN app or browser extension and connect to a server in your home country (or any country in which Telegram is not blocked). This will provide you with a new IP address.
- Download the Telegram App for your device.
- Log in to Telegram and you should now be able to send and receive messages! If you’re still encountering restrictions, try clearing your browser’s cookies.
VPNs for Telegram: FAQs
What else can I do with a VPN?
Popular encrypted chat and VoIP application Telegram has been under fire in Russia with the Kremlin demanding that its encryption keys be handed over to state security agencies.
A refusal to comply with these directives has resulted in an outright ban on Telegram in Russia, with authorities seemingly blocking 16 million IP addresses in order to stymie access to the service.
Internet users in Russia are under direct attack as the country slides towards authoritarianism and the muzzling of free speech. Rights activists have taken to the street in order to demand freedom of expression online, but it’s not clear whether such steps are leading to any noticeable change of stance by Russian authorities.
Telegram’s blockade is probably an indicator that such restrictions will only continue to get worse.
Tip: You can use this tool to check websites blocked in Russia.
Using a VPN to access the internet will help you obtain a version that’s free of all sorts of restrictions and barriers. It can also be used to blog online safely and access geo-restricted streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
Our guide to the best VPNs for Russia is a useful starting point.
Is Telegram better than other messaging apps?
While Telegram is one of the most popular messaging apps, it's not necessarily better than the likes of Signal or WhatsApp. Indeed, it really depends on what's being measured. Take security, for example. Signal collects the least data while WhatsApp collects the most. However, while Signal and WhatsApp offer end-to-end decryption by default, Telegram's need to be activated via the app's settings. All of these messaging apps have their own pros and cons.
Is Telegram safe?
Telegram is relatively secure although it's debatable as to whether it protects your privacy better than Signal. While Telegram offers end-to-end encryption, it's important to note that this needs to be switched on in the app's settings. However, one advantage of Telegram is that you can set messages to self-destruct after a set period of time.