Riseup VPN

What is a VPN?

Riseup offers Personal VPN service for censorship circumvention, location anonymization and traffic encryption. To make this possible, it sends all your internet traffic through an encrypted connection to riseup.net, where it then goes out onto the public internet.

Unlike most other VPN providers, Riseup does not log your IP address.

Riseup offers two different VPN services: Black and Red.

VPN Black

The VPN Black uses the “Riseup Black” accounts and requires the Bitmask application. Please download it and install it to continue.

Bitmask VPN is easier to use and has greater security than traditional VPNs.

To sign up for Black services, visit black.riseup.net.

For more information on how to use the Bitmask application, see bitmask.net.


The VPN Red uses the “Riseup Red” accounts and requires that you configure an OpenVPN client manually.

This approach works on all platforms, but is more difficult to get working and offers fewer guarantees about potentially leaking traffic.

To sign up for Red services, visit account.riseup.net

To configure your client, see our VPN Red documentation.

Where do I send the bugs I found?

Why would you want to use the Riseup VPN?

At Riseup, we believe it is important for everyone to use some technology like VPN or Tor to encrypt their internet traffic. Why? Because the internet is being broken by governments, internet service providers (ISPs), and corporations (read more). Riseup VPN will fight that, providing:

  1. protection against ISP surveillance: Riseup VPN eliminates the ability of your ISP to monitor your communication. They have no meaningful records which can be used against you, either by marketers or the state.
  2. bypass government censorship: Riseup VPN can entirely bypass all government censorship, so long as you still have access to the internet. Note, however, that careful analysis of your traffic could reveal that you are using a VPN, which may or may not be legal in your jurisdiction.
  3. access the entire internet, regardless of where you live: Riseup VPN allows you to pretend to live in any country where we have a VPN gateway server. This gives you access to restricted content only available in those countries. Riseup VPN also allows you to use services that may be blocked in your country.
  4. break free from a corporate firewall: So you work for an evil corporation and you try to waste as much time as possible surfing the web? Unfortunately, the corporate firewall probably prevents you from visiting many websites (riseup.net is on the list of banned sites for many corporate firewalls). Riseup VPN will let you entirely bypass these restrictions and gives you access to the whole web.
  5. secure your Wi-Fi connection: Any time you use a public Wi-Fi connection, everyone else using that access point can spy on your traffic. Riseup VPN will prevent this.

Read more

Limitations to using the Riseup VPN

The Riseup VPN shares some limitations common to all personal VPNs:

  • legal warning: If you live in an non-democratic state, it may be illegal to use a personal VPN to access the internet.
  • location info: Using a VPN on your mobile device will secure your data connection, but the telephone company will still know your location by recording which towers your device communicates with.
  • Device Security: A VPN helps secure your information while in transit on the internet, but it does not secure your information while in storage on your computer or on a remote server.
  • An insecure connection is still insecure: Although Riseup VPN will anonymize your location and protect you from surveillance from your ISP, once your data is securely routed through riseup.net it will go out on the internet as it normally would. Therefore, you should still use secure connections (TLS) when available (ie https over http, imaps over imap, etc).
  • VPNs are not a panacea: although VPNs accomplish a lot, they can’t fix everything. For example, it cannot increase your security if your computer is already compromised with viruses or spyware. If you give personal information to a website, there is little that a VPN can do to maintain your anonymity with that website or its partners. For more information, see VPN anonymity.
  • The internet might get slower: the Riseup VPN routes all your traffic through an encrypted connection to riseup.net before it goes out onto the normal internet. This extra step can slow things down. To minimize the slowdown, try to choose a VPN server close to where you actually live.
  • VPNs can be difficult to configure: Although we have taken steps to make it as easy as possible, any VPN introduces extra complexity to your networking setup.

Read more