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5 Best VPNs for Iran in 2017

Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

June 2, 2017

Iran is a nation that severely resticts access to the Internet. Websites that are considered to be in opposition to Shia Islam or the Iranian government are instantly blocked. For Iranian citizens – and people visiting the country – that censorship is a huge problem. The good news is that with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for Iran, anybody can easily pretend to be located outside of the country. With an Iran VPN, anyone can access any website they want, completely bypassing the government’s censorship.

For people who don’t agree with censorship, Iran’s restrictions on websites that criticize the government and religious beliefs and practices can be frustrating. Luckily, Iranians who want to read websites owned by opposition groups or political campaigners can do so with a VPN. In fact, it is easy to access all of the internet’s content without restrictions with a VPN for Iran, as you can pretend to be in any country that you wish.

In this article, we will explain exactly how a VPN for Iran works and what it can be used for. We will address all the important VPN concerns and will explain why it’s safe to use a reliable VPN for Iran. There are well over 800 VPNs on the market, but not all of them are secure enough to use in Iran. In this article, we’ve selected VPNs that are known for providing the best performance and security.

Best VPN for Iran: Summary

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award
VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Servers in over 60 countries
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Strong encryption
  • Software for all popular platforms
  • Chameleon (stealth mode)
CONS:
  • P2P not permitted
  • A few connection logs kept

VyprVPN is the best VPN for Iran because it has an excellent ‘stealth’ mode for getting around Iran’s VPN blockade. 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?

Get the best VPN for Iran now!

Visit VyprVPN »30-day money-back guarantee!

2. TorGuard

TorGuard Homepage
PROS:
  • Super fast
  • Excellent privacy policy (zero logs)
  • Military grade encryption
  • Lots of security features
  • P2P: yes
  • Stealth mode
CONS:
  • Not much

TorGuard is a superb provider that has everything you need in a VPN for Iran. The privacy policy is perfect: zero logs. Encryption is provided with strong OpenVPN - implemented to high standards. In addition, this VPN has 'stealth mode' which means it can get around firewalls imposed by the Iranian government.

This VPN is fast, which means it is useful. It can be used to watch HD streams or to do other data-intensive tasks such as gaming. In fact, this VPN has all the very best features that you are likely to need, and unlike VyprVPN it does permit P2P. In, fact, this VPN is so good for use in Iran that I don't consider it second - but rather joint first.

NordVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Zero logs
  • Strong security features
  • Excellent encryption
  • P2P: yes
  • Obfsproxy stealth mode
CONS:
  • Can get a bit slow using double hop encryption

NordVPN is an excellent VPN for Iran for those who want extra security features. It comes with a kill switch, DNS leak protection, stealth mode, auto-connect, VPN into Tor, and double hop. Of course, extra security features can and will slow down the VPN (if you use them). Servers are located in over 50 countries, and they are all in extremely useful locations. The software is outstanding, and is available for all popular platforms. Finally it has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

VPNArea Homepage
PROS:
  • Servers in over 60 countries
  • Zero logs
  • Stealth mode, kill switch, and DNS leak protection
  • Strong encryption
  • Fast speeds
CONS:
  • Not much

This Bulgarian VPN has absolutely outstanding 24/7 live chat support. It is a helpful and friendly VPN for Iran that has all the necessary features (including the recently launched Stunnel stealth mode). This VPN is going from strength to strength. The software is available for all popular platforms and can be installed on five simultaneous devices. It is easy to use, fast enough to stream in HD, and has a kill switch and DNS leak protection. All in all, this is a superb VPN for Iran that has a seven-day money-back guarantee. Excellent value for money and very secure.

IPVanish Homepage
PROS:
  • Servers in over 50 countries
  • Strong encryption
  • Software for all platforms
  • Socket Secure (SOCKS5) proxy
  • Fast speeds
CONS:
  • Based in US (but keeps zero logs)
  • Customer care could be better

IPVanish is a VPN that provides good value for money. It is fast and fully featured, with a kill switch and DNS leak protection. This VPN is no-frills compared to the ones above. However, the SOCKS5 option can be used to bypass VPN restrictions in Iran. Overall this VPN is great, and will certainly be good for those who want to stream. Finally, it has a seven-day money-back guarantee.


What Is a VPN for Iran?

A Virtual Private Network is an online service that allows people to securely pretend to be in a foreign country. By connecting to a server located abroad, VPN subscribers can conceal their real Internet Protocol (IP) address with that of the VPN. As soon as they are connected, VPN users appear to be in the country where the VPN server is located and can use the internet as if they were there.

In addition, a VPN encrypts all internet traffic coming and going from the user’s device. The best VPNs provide military-grade encryption, which means the data is completely secure from prying eyes. With a VPN, landlords, workplaces, universities, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and the government are unable to tell what you are doing online. This leaves VPN users free to visit any websites they want.

Is It Safe to Use a VPN in Iran?

The answer to this question is yes. However, it is very important to make sure you choose the right VPN for Iran. Not all VPNs are equal, so you must take into account a number of considerations.

Government-approved VPNs

Because Iran’s government is extremely efficient when it comes to blocking and censoring websites, you would think that VPNs would also be illegal in Iran. In reality, this isn’t the case – citizens are allowed to use government-approved VPN services operated from within the Islamic republic.

The trouble with those government-approved VPN providers is that they do not permit access to Facebook, Twitter, and other websites. Furthermore, they have to decrypt and hand over all traffic to the authorities (including usage logs).

This means that, despite using the VPN, the government knows everything that you do, thus rendering the VPN completely useless. Government-approved VPNs give users a false sense of security and should never be used.

Can I get a Free VPN for Iran?

The answer is yes. There are some trusted and reliable free services on the market. However, please bear in mind that those services are restrictive (download and bandwidth limits) because they are there as a loss leader that advertises the full premium service. For more information please look here.

Use a VPN Kill Switch

If your VPN connection drops out while you are on a restricted website, your data will be ‘leaked’ to your ISP and therefore the government. This is very dangerous, because if you are looking at certain websites you could get in trouble. All of the VPNs in this article have a kill switch. This technology blocks your internet connection if the VPN connection drops out. A kill switch works by not allowing any internet traffic to leave your device outside of the VPN tunnel. It is important that you never leak your web browsing traffic or metadata to your ISP, so please always use the kill switch.

What Can I Do with an Iran VPN?

The main justification that the Iranian government uses for controlling access to the internet is that it is its duty to preserve the moral standards of the nation. This moral campaign gives the government the right to ban access to social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter. YouTube is also on the blacklist, as is Google’s Gmail.

The Iranian government is very technologically advanced. In fact, in the league of those governments that quash freedom of speech, Iran is probably right behind China at the top of the list when it comes to stamping out dissent on the internet.

What Websites are Blocked in Iran?

Since 2012, it is believed that around 27% of the world’s websites are blocked in Iran. In addition, stats reveal that a whopping 50% of the world’s top 500 websites are blocked in Iran. That makes it very tricky to list every website that is currently blocked in Iran. However, I can tell you that YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus are all blocked. In addition, it is known that blocked sites are extremely eclectic and fall into a broad range of topics including news, science, health, sport, and shopping.

VPN for Iran: Considerations

With the government so keen to crack down on people with dissenting views, and moral standards so high in the nation, it can even be dangerous for people to watch certain US-made TV shows (such as Game of Thrones). For Iranian citizens who want to watch those shows or read censored news stories posted by the BBC or other underground news outlets, it is very important to be able to do so with peace of mind.

Privacy and Security

The VPNs in this article all have fantastic privacy policies that keep either zero logs or just a few connection logs (but never usage logs: those are the ones that could be used to look at what you do online). With no logs available to show what users do, even if the VPN provider is served a warrant by the authorities, there is nothing to hand over.

In addition, the five best VPNs for Iran that we have recommended all provide strongly implemented OpenVPN encryption (the best encryption protocol on the market). That means that your traffic can’t be hacked by anybody, no matter how much they want to know what you are doing online.

Connection Speeds

With privacy and security taken care of (and servers located all over the world for unblocking any censored or geo-restricted online content), the next big concern is connection speeds. Many VPNs slow down the internet so much that it is impossible to watch streaming videos.

However, one of the main reasons that people in Iran want a VPN is to unblock and watch YouTube. That is why all the VPNs for Iran in this article have been selected – because they provide the very best connection speeds available. Every VPN for Iran that we have recommended has a network of reliable and fast servers. As such, you will be able to perform data-intensive tasks such as gaming and HD quality streaming without any trouble.

Stay Secure at Home and on Public WiFi

Public WiFi hotspots are hugely beneficial. Not only do they allow people to access the internet for free, but they allow people to save their 3G allowance for when they really need it. However, despite how useful and prolific public WiFi has become, the reality is that it does have some dangers.

When connected to public WiFi, anyone else who is also connected to that WiFi can easily access your traffic and even ‘piggyback’ on your session. For hackers, public WiFi is a goldmine where they can easily steal passwords, credentials, and bank details. The encryption provided by a VPN connection means that all your data is securely scrambled, meaning that the hacker can’t access any of your data.

With the VPNs that we have suggested, your data will be secured and private both at home and when out and about, whether you’re living in Iran, traveling there for work or on vacation.

Detection Methods and Stealth Mode

The way that the Iranian government controls access to the internet is very common.

Most businesses and schools, for example, use proxy firewalls to block access to websites that they consider harmful, offensive, or potentially distracting. This is enacted using keyword filtering. If any web URL contains a blacklisted word, the firewall simply refuses to process the request. Likewise, if the incoming HTML contains blacklisted words, the proxy firewall doesn’t permit the code to show in the browser.

In Iran, ISPs are forced to install those filters and apply vast quantities of words to the blacklist. These include the names of politicians, political activists, ‘enemies’ of the state, freethinkers, and so forth.

VPNs are also victimized by the Iranian proxy firewalls, which look for signs of VPN use, by using deep packet inspection (DPI) to detect encryption protocols such as OpenVPN. DPI is usually used by ISPs to detect viruses and malware. However, it can be used in this more restrictive way as well.

The good news is that the VPNs in this guide all have what is commonly referred to as a “stealth” mode. Stealth modes disguise encrypted traffic so that it looks like regular HTTPS traffic. There are various methods for doing this, but the most common is OpenVPN Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) over port 443. SOCKS proxy and Obfsproxy are other common “stealth” methods. For a detailed look at methods for overcoming VPN blocks, look here.

All of the VPNs in this article have a stealth mode, so you are guaranteed to be able to use your VPN within Iran – despite the government’s best efforts.

Iran VPN: Conclusion

In this article, we have carefully explained everything that you might need to know about using a VPN in Iran. The VPNs that we have recommended are all trusted VPNs that provide the very best levels of security and privacy. Strong encryption, coupled with a reliable privacy policy and a working VPN stealth mode, means that these VPNs for Iran will provide peace of mind and ease of access.

Furthermore, all of the VPNs in this guide have an excellent network of servers, providing the very best VPN connection speeds on the market. As such, you will be able to do anything you wish online. Finally, don’t forget that all these VPNs have a trial offer, so be sure to test the VPN risk-free, to see if it does everything that you were hoping for. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave us a message below.

Best VPN for Iran: Summary

Ray Walsh

I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

11 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Iran in 2017

  1. Thanks for writing this extensive article. Unfortunately there are some underlining assumptions states here that are not applicable to the Iranian internet ecosystem.

    Apart form not being able to pay for VPN subscriptions, all of the stated criteria such as No logs, kill switch and DNS leakage are not as important to an average user. We should keep in mind that on a daily basis users are having issues accessing websites that are mostly open to the rest of the world. For them “access” comes first before anything else. A solution that implements:
    1- light-weight proxy chaining technology
    2- smart techniques of switching between different circumvention
    techniques
    3- geo optimized server assignment
    4- Localization of their app and provides user support in the native language
    Would be useful to an average Iranian user.

    All of the stated advantages of using tools “x”, seem to be a replication of western mentality of privacy and security online.

    Also if you are interested to know more about Iranian Internet Censorship Space, there is this thorough report by OONI (https://ooni.torproject.org/post/iran-internet-censorship/)

    Thanks again.

    1. As much as I completely understand that for most Iranians the main desire in a VPN is to access restricted content: privacy should also be a concern. Where you claim that DNS leaks are not a concern, in reality, there is always the danger that DNS requests occurring outside of the VPN tunnel could be processed by a DNS server that is run by your actual ISP. This would result in the ISP and therefore the government, knowing that you accessed censored websites.

  2. Greetings
    i have tested alot of local(iran) and forign sites too, the thing is these are important for most iranian users: payment method,services that wont stop(bypass dpi)
    and from my point of view in local sites the only site that has servers from different countries(25) and all type of vpns with latest technology (dpi bypass,ipv6) and easy user friendly (smart application) with 2 payments: 1-local(shaparak)2-paypal
    its turbovpn.me i have used it for 2 years and i should say in local sites they are the best
    and in forign sites i mostly liked hide my ass site 😉

    1. Hi shahab,

      Thanks for the information. I am aware that payments can be an issue throughout the middle east. I would have thought, however, that using an Iranian VPN service would not be ideal if privacy from the governmnet is your primary aim.

  3. I’ve tested a lot of VPNs and i live in Iran!! … so i ask the author of this article to let me share my experiences and make it more accurate 🙂
    for example i think payment method is also important just enough to know if you use your paypal in Iran paypal limits your account and freezes your assets for seven generations of your family!!!!!!!!
    But maybe the purpose of this article be only that what works and what doesn’t.
    Anyway i’ll be really glad to help and i love bestvpn.com so much that i read every article!

    1. Hi Mehrdad,

      Thanks for your input. We would love for you to share your experiences with using VPNs in Iran! We always strive to make our articles as accurate and useful as possible, and therefore welcome input from readers such as yourself. We will contact you on this email address shortly.

  4. Hi,
    There is interesting thing about VPN usage in Iran.
    VPN Apps typically connect to specific server to be ready for vpn session ( before you hit connect button ). In Iran many VPN vendors blocked to do this Connection so That’s done ! You can’t use this vpn :).
    There is a solution : Connect to a proxy server before lunch vpn app but some of them not recognize proxy settings.
    I’m use many VPN services and from your list Vypr ( the only vpn I use from this list ) fail to Establish Connection .
    So I don’t think there is such thing as best vpn for Iran – There is worked and not worked VPN !
    Thanks for this article.

    1. Hi Siavash,

      Thanks for the info. If the IP addresses of known VPN providers are blocked you can either try a lesser-known provider, or try using obfuscation technology. Anotrher optio is to roll your own VPN on a VPOS. Please see How to Bypass VPN Blocks for more details.

      1. Thank you for response.
        I’m check the link.
        I want you to know (That’s not a surprise) bestvpn.com is blocked in Iran 😀

        Keep Up the great Work!

    2. dadash vypr ke take namoosan vali…
      man taghriban bishtar e vpn haye maaroofo test kardam faqat nord vpn bood ke intori bood kolan in chizi ke gofti ro nadidam kheili vali kamelan doroste vaghti interface e narm afazar bala nemiyad nemitooni vasl shi!!!
      doostaye irani golam man be nevisandeh in matlab nazaratamo mifrestam monakes kone vali agar halesho nadarid be nazar man behtarin vpn faregh az bahs e gheymat Express vpn e bedoone shak faqat geroone digeh amma baraye har chizi yaani be maanaye vagheiee kalame har chizi awliye baraye gaming baraye dor zadan shiltering va va va …
      az nazar gheymat zaheran unlimitedvpn arzoon tarie man testesh nakardam vali agar test kardam behetoon migam

      1. Hi Mehrdad Dadash,
        At the moment Foreign Services in one hand ( Like Tresorit – Backblaze, etc ) limit their services for Iranian and in other hand our own government limit internet from every aspect. We can beat North korea in this field in near future :/
        anyway what can i say ? thank you for response

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