NordVPN

5 Best VPNs for Iraq That Work in 2017

Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper

October 11, 2017

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, 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.

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.

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

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award
ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Deal: Save 49% 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.

Special Deal: Save 49% Today!

Visit ExpressVPN »30-day money-back guarantee

#2 Best VPN for Iraq: PrivateInternetAccess

PrivateInternetAccess Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Kill switch
  • P2P allowed
  • Allowance of five simultaneous connections
CONS:
  • Not as fast as ExpressVPN

Private Internet Access has servers in 25 countries. That gives you fewer options than ExpressVPN, but if you can see your home country in the PIA server list, this might be a better choice for you because it is much cheaper than ExpressVPN.

The Private Internet Access app includes automatic WiFi protection, so you can be safe from hackers when you connect to a hotspot. Another security feature of the PIA app is its kill switch, which prevents connections from your device if the link to the VPN server drops.

#3 Best VPN for Iraq: HideMyAss

HideMyAss Homepage
PROS:
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in more than 220 countries
  • P2P allowed
  • Kill switch
  • Automatic WiFi protection
CONS:
  • Only allows two simultaneous connections

HideMyAss has a very large server network, with a presence in 220 countries. The presence of so many servers means that the system is rarely overloaded and offers good speeds. You can access overseas streaming services with HideMyAss without experiencing dropped connections or pauses for buffering. The security features of the HideMyAss app include a kill switch and automatic WiFi protection, so you can use hotspots without fear of hackers. If you like to download files with peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, HideMyAss will provide good anonymity and protect you from the dangers of prosecution for copyright infringement.

#4 Best VPN for Iraq: AirVPN

AirVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Three-day trial for €1
  • No logs
  • Kill switch
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Gets around regional restrictions
CONS:
  • Difficult to use

AirVPN has very strong security. It's a good system to use for protection while downloading with torrents. The user interface of this system is not as straightforward as that of ExpressVPN. You might find it a little difficult to get it going. This VPN doesn't offer a free trial or a money-back period. However, you can take out a subscription for three days for just €1. That gives you the chance to try out the app without risking a long-term commitment. The app includes automatic WiFi protection and a kill switch.

#5 Best VPN for Iraq: PureVPN

PureVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Three-day trial option
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Gets into Netflix
  • Servers in 141 countries
CONS:
  • Some server locations slow down connections

PureVPN has the second largest network on this list, with locations in 141 countries. This is a great service for getting around the access restrictions of video streaming services. It's one of the few VPNs that can get into Netflix. You can take out the three-day free trial and give it a good test to see how the servers in your home country perform because not all of its servers are fast.

The company is fine with its customers using the network for protection while downloading with torrents. Security features of the PureVPN app include automatic WiFi protection and a kill switch.

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

Image Credit: kb-photodesign/Shutterstock.com

Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Enter your email address to receive your Beginner's Guide to Online Security for Free
You'll also receive great privacy news and exclusive software deals!
Enter your email to get the ebook:
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Enter your email address to receive your Ultimate Online Privacy Guide eBook!
You'll also receive great privacy news and exclusive software deals!
Enter your email to get the eBook:
Special VPN Deal
SAVE 49% TODAY
WITH OUR
Exclusive Offer
Get a Special Deal - 72% OFF!
With a biannual subscription
Exclusive Offer for BestVPN.com Visitors!
50% Off Annual Plan
Limited Time Only
Exclusive price of
$3.25/mo