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Missing Your Favorite Russian TV Shows? Watch Them Abroad with this Hack

John Bennet
Last Updated by John Bennet on June 22, 2022

Whether your favorite Russian television show is “Evening Urgant”, “The Method”, “Interns” or “Catherine”, you hate not watching them when you’re out of the country. There are 3,300 TV channels spread across Russia with 74% of the population watching the national television channels routinely.

When Russians want to binge watch their favorite shows, they turn to Netflix like most of the rest of the world. Netflix came to Russia in 2016, part of a 130-country expansion by the online services giant.

But Netflix has strict rules about where you must be in order to watch each country’s version of its programming.

This article will detail the history of Netflix in Russia and how to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to watch your favorite Russian shows when you’re away from Mother Russia.

Netflix’s History in Russia

In January 2016,the CEO of Netflix proudly announced the “birth of a global TV network” as 130 countries including Russia joined its empire. The largest country in the world by land mass, Russia was a particularly good get for Netflix with its 84 million Internet users coming along for the ride. The reception has not been overwhelming, but it is still one of the top streaming services in the country.

Netflix’s biggest rival in Russia
Netflix’s biggest rival in Russia is https://www.ivi.tv/, which has tons of TV shows from across several different eras. Both streaming services are only available if you are in Russia at the time.

Websites to Watch Russian TV Internationally

If you don’t want to invest in a VPN, there are a few websites available that can be stopgaps to get you watching your favorite shows, or at least some of your favorite networks. They include:

  • Moskva TV: Russia 1 and Kino are available, as are sports channels including NTV Football, Sports 1, and Nash Football.
  • Russian TV Company: The Russian TV Company is a paid service that boasts more than 200 channels from Russia and other countries in the region. You can pay monthly for about US$17 or a premium subscription with equipment will run you around US$360.
  • Streema: Streema has more than 90 Russian channels available with content from its own website and from network websites. Highlights include the children’s channel Barbariki and news channel Russia 24.
  • FreeInterTV.com: This website live streams channels from all around the world. Among its Russian offerings are children’s network Yeralash and music channel Russia Music Box.
  • Russian Translation Pros: Used largely for helping people learn the Russian language, this service provides live streams to 20 Russian networks.

How a VPN Works With Russian Streaming Services

If the previously mentioned websites don’t seem like the best solution for you when you’re trying to watch Russian TV abroad, consider employing a VPN instead.

Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN hides your real IP address so you can access Russian streaming services through an encrypted internet connection. Your internet activity is encrypted to help maintain your online privacy and security.

This means that you can access content you rightfully paid for, even when you’re traveling abroad for work or a holiday. For example, if you pay for a Russian Netflix account, you can use a VPN to access Netflix’s Russian library when you’re traveling outside of the country.

Check out reviews for VPNs to see which ones have the best speeds and most available servers before downloading a proper client.

When you’ve got the VPN that best suits your needs, open up a new connection and find a remote server located in Russia. Servers will have different qualities based on where they are and how dedicated they are. Pick the best one for your needs and connect to it.

When you do this, an encrypted tunnel is established between your computer and the remote server. The encryption is absolutely necessary to access your Russian TV streaming accounts while traveling abroad. Your requests don’t travel straight to the website, but rather to the remote server located in Russia. There, your requests are decrypted and assigned to a Russian IP address. Then they are sent to the Russian streaming website.

Once the handshake is made, you can begin streaming TV shows through the third-party server back to your own device. You’ll need a quality VPN to handle this task.

1. HMA

  • Over 1,000+ servers worldwide and 13 in Russia
  • AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy ensures privacy when you browse
  • Unlimited bandwidth for high-speed streaming
  • Up to 5 connections at the same time
  • Torrenting supported but no dedicated torrenting servers

I like HMA because its IP Shuffle feature helps prevent you from being recognized while connected by randomly and regularly changing your IP address. This makes it even easier to connect to Russian servers and stream content.

Try HMA risk-free

2. PrivateVPN

  • 150+ server locations worldwide and 3 in Russia
  • AES 256-bit encryption and a strict zero-logs policy for data security
  • Unlimited bandwidth means your speeds will never be capped
  • Up to 6 connections at the same time
  • Supports torrenting with P2P servers

PrivateVPN is a good option for accessing Russian TV shows due to its strong encryption and availability of servers. PrivateVPN has 3 Russian servers located in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Krasnoyarsk. While I had no issue connecting to any of them, I found that the Moscow server offered faster speeds for streaming.

Try PrivateVPN risk-free

3. ZenMate

  • Over 3,600+ servers worldwide with 9 in Moscow
  • AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy to mask your identity
  • No data limits for high-speed streaming
  • Supports up to 5 connections at the same time
  • Servers specifically for downloading and torrenting

ZenMate is an excellent VPN for Russia, with 9 servers located in the country for you to choose from. In addition to malware and tracking protection, ZenMate offers fast streaming speeds. In my tests, I was able to reliably connect to Russia1 and stream Ekaterina in HD.

Try ZenMate risk-free

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John Bennet
John Bennet is an experienced data and communications engineer and cross-platform copy and content writer and editor with a keen interest in cybersecurity. He has been working with and researching, VPNs and other online privacy tools for many years.