Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper

May 1, 2018

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The Iraqi government knows how individuals get around bans and blocks of individual websites, or whole sectors of the internet. The governments of other Middle Eastern countries block access to chat and internet telephony applications, such as Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram and Skype. The government of Iraq doesn’t do this.

Perhaps the Iraqi authorities know about Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). With a VPN, you can get around just about any ban that a government tries to impose. The VPN disguises the traffic it carries. As such, the methods that governments and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use to identify specific sites or service types don’t work. If you want to use WhatsApp and the government bans that application, you just need to route your WhatsApp traffic through a VPN. Then you can carry on using it.

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
From
$6.67
/month

9.8

Our Score
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ExpressVPN review »
Special Offer: 49% off today!
2 CyberGhost review »Visit Site »
From
$2.75
/month

9.4

Our Score
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CyberGhost review »
3 NordVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$2.75
/month

8.8

Our Score
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NordVPN review »
4 PrivateVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$2.73
/month

8.6

Our Score
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PrivateVPN review »
5 VyprVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$4.17
/month

8.0

Our Score
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VyprVPN review »

The Iraqi authorities have implemented specific blocks in the past. An example of this occurred in June 2014. The government blocked access to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in the face of ethnic instability in the north of the country. People got through to those applications anyway, thanks to VPNs. The government has learned from its mistakes. Now, when the government of Iraq wants to stop its people from getting internet access, it does just that – it turns off the internet. There’s no getting around that!

Freedom advocates and technical experts are at a loss to think up answers to the Iraqi methodology of blocking the internet. Carrier pigeons aside, there really seems no way to get through the total internet blackout.

The last time the Iraqi government switched the internet off was in July 2016. The internet was off from 05:00 to 08:00 every day for a week to prevent students using internet resources to cheat in exams. Iraq is not the only place to have blocked the internet to prevent cheating. Circuit court judges in India regularly order this action during exam times. Compared to India, where the exam-justified blocks operate around the clock and “until further notice,” the Iraqi three-hour blackouts seem relatively constrained. For more information about connecting a VPN to India, take a look best VPN for India guide.

An upside to the government’s plug pulling is that there is very little internet censorship in Iraq. You either get unrestricted access or you get no access at all.

You’ll need a VPN in Iraq if you’re there briefly on business, or if your job gives you a long-term placement there. If you take advantage of WiFi hotspots in hotels, cafes, and at transport hubs, you definitely need to amp up your internet security. You’ll also need a VPN in order to get into overseas video streaming services back home.

You can read more about how VPNs can help you in Iraq below. First, read through our recommendations of the five best VPNs for Iraq.

Best VPNs for Iraq: Summary

9.8/10.0

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Gets into video streaming services, including Netflix
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Kill switch
  • Strong encryption
CONS:
  • Quite expensive

ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries. Just about all VPNs have servers in the US, Canada, and the UK, but nationals of other countries have fewer options. The wide server network of ExpressVPN means you still have a good chance of getting into your home TV services from Iraq, even if you're not from one of those better-served countries. ExpressVPN is adept at getting past the VPN detection systems of video streaming services, including those at Netflix.

The ExpressVPN app is very well organized and easy to use. You can also download a version that works on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers. The app has automatic WiFi protection. There's also a kill switch, which will block the apps on your computer from connecting to the internet if the connection to the VPN gets lost.

Try the best VPN for Iraq now!

Visit ExpressVPN »30-day money-back guarantee

9.4/10.0

CyberGhost Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 77% off 1-year plan!
  • Servers in over 50 countries
  • Fast for streaming
  • P2P: yes
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Great customer care
CONS:
  • Some aggregated connection statistics only

This excellent VPN provider from Romania is fantastic for use in Iraq. It has a large choice of servers worldwide that all provide lightning fast speeds. This makes it perfect for streaming content from around the globe. The VPN is secure thanks to strong encryption, and it keeps zero logs.

The software is easy to use and is available for all platforms. It also implements all the advanced VPN features you are likely to need, including a killswitch. We think this VPN is outstanding and because of its 30-day money back guarantee you can test the service risk-free!

8.8/10.0

NordVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 77% off today!
  • No logs
  • Based in Panama (great for privacy)
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Great customer service
  • Servers in 58 countries
  • P2P: yes
CONS:
  • Not much

NordVPN is undoubtedly a very fully-featured service. The fact that it is based in Panama and keeps no logs at all is also a big draw for those who care about privacy. Its software looks good, and works well. Speed performance is now very impressive.

And a three-day free trial, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee give you plenty of opportunity to ensure that everything works for you as it should.

NordVPN permits torrenting, works with all major streaming services (including US Netflix and BBC iPlayer), and has servers in 58 countries. It even throws in a full smart DNS service for free! What you get with NordVPN is a very fully featured, privacy-friendly VPN service that is also very fast.

8.6/10.0

PrivateVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Loved by consumers
  • Super fast for streaming
  • Zero logs
  • Fully featured for security and privacy
  • Fantastic customer care
CONS:
  • Not much

PrivateVPN is an amazing service from Sweden that users praise regularly. It is a superb choice for use in Iraq. It is fast, efficient, easy to use, and extremely reliable. It also provides lightning fast speeds for streaming in HD. PrivateVPN truly is a pleasure to use and has all the important security features you might need. It also has servers in over 50 countries.

Encryption is military grade OpenVPN and this VPN keeps zero logs. Amazingly, this fantastic VPN is also super cheap. Why not try the 30-day money-back guarantee to see why this VPN is proving so popular?

8.0/10.0

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Three-day free trial
  • Servers in more than 70 countries, including Indonesia
  • Private DNS system
  • Proprietary cloaking technology
  • Gets into Netflix
CONS:
  • Not good for P2P

VyprVPN is an excellent VPN for Iraq because it has an excellent ‘stealth’ mode for getting around firewalls. Furthermore, because it is run on Golden Frog’s proprietary network of servers, speeds are incredibly fast. Encryption is strong OpenVPN and the privacy policy is solid (though P2P is not recommended on this VPN). VyprVPN is available for all platforms and is very easy to use. It also has all the necessary security features you would expect from a leading VPN. Finally, it offers a three-day free trial – so why not give it a go for yourself?

Best Iraq VPNs : Considerations

WiFi Security Weaknesses

If you rely on WiFi hotspots for access to the internet, you run the risk of being victim to a type of hack called a “man in the middle attack.”

Not all WiFi hotspots are genuine. Anyone with a device that can connect to a network via WiFi can also create a WiFi hotspot. These WiFi hackers create a hotspot and give it a name related to the establishment. The hotspot may be named after the place you’re in and have the word free in its name. This means you may connect to it without thinking. In fact, you may have just connected to someone else’s computer.

The WiFi hotspot will seem genuine. It will enable you to get out onto the internet. This is because the fake WiFi hotspot connects to the real WiFi router that the establishment provides and passes your traffic through. The benefit of this setup to the hacker is that your connection is protected by encryption as it travels over the WiFi. However, if the hacker has provided the encryption key, he/she can easily decrypt it.

Many websites that take your bank details or require a log in use a secure system of transmission, called HTTPS. This means that the communication between your computer and the website is encrypted and should be secure. However, as all of your traffic travels through the hacker’s computer, he/she can easily substitute a fake version of a website. This allows him/her to gather all of your login credentials and bank account details.

VPNs for Iraq

VPNs that offer automatic WiFi protection defeat man-in-the-middle WiFi attacks. This is because the client program on your computer only accepts incoming webpages that the corresponding VPN server has processed. The server encrypts all of these pages. The VPN won’t accept an unencrypted version that the hacker has substituted. Similarly, the hacker doesn’t know the encryption key that relates to the communications between your computer and the VPN server. Even though the hacker can unpick the WiFi transmission encryption, he/she won’t be able to get through the VPN encryption that lies beneath.

Your mobile devices will search for available networks constantly and try to connect to them. They do this even if you’ve stored them away in a bag or in your pocket. Automatic WiFi protection from a VPN blocks any access to your device over a WiFi connection without your consent. This added protection stops hackers from sneaking viruses and controlling programs, called Trojans, onto your computer via a fake WiFi hotspot.

VPN Protection in Iraq

Your VPN gives you an extra bonus when you’re in Iraq. Entertainment in Iraq isn’t that great. However, you can access video streaming services overseas via the internet. That includes the websites of TV stations in your home country. The only problem is that the contracts those video streaming sites sign bind them to only show videos to people in their home territory. Thus, they block access from other countries.

When you use a VPN, you make it seem that you’re in a different location. This is because all of your contact with websites goes through the VPN server. Each VPN company has servers in different countries. When you turn the VPN on, you have to select a server location. The server location becomes the place where all websites think you are. Thus, if you select a VPN location in the same country as the video service you want to access, instead of blocking you, the service will allow you to watch its videos.

Unfortunately, video streaming sites know about VPNs and they try to block them. The best VPNs can disguise themselves and avoid detection. The VPNs in our list fit into that category. They can get you into the video services of your home country while you’re in Iraq. You just need to check the list of server locations of each VPN company to make sure that it can get you into the video sites you need.

Best VPNs for Iraq: Conclusion

The internet in Iraq is pretty open, as long as the government doesn’t turn it off. When you’re in Iraq, you just need to make sure that you protect yourself from fake WiFi hotspots and that you can access overseas video streaming services.

The providers in this list of the five best VPNs for Iraq all have top-quality WiFi protection. They can get around the access restrictions of overseas video streaming services. Enjoy your time in Iraq and stay safe with a VPN.

Best VPNs for Iraq: Side-by-Side Summary

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
From
$6.67
/month

9.8

Our Score
Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
Special Offer: 49% off today!
2 CyberGhost review »Visit Site »
From
$2.75
/month

9.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
CyberGhost review »
3 NordVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$2.75
/month

8.8

Our Score
Visit Site »
NordVPN review »
4 PrivateVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$2.73
/month

8.6

Our Score
Visit Site »
PrivateVPN review »
5 VyprVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$4.17
/month

8.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
VyprVPN review »

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