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.
The Best VPNs for Iran in 2017
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
|1||ExpressVPN review||$6.67 / month||Visit Site|
|2||VyprVPN review||$6.67 / month||Visit Site|
|3||IPVanish review||$5.19 / month||Visit Site|
|4||NordVPN review||$3.29 / month||Visit Site|
|5||VPNArea review||$4.92 / month||Visit Site|
- Servers in 94 countries
- Strong encryption
- Stealth mode
- 24/7 live chat support
- Very fast connections
- Some connection logs kept (but only aggregated and can’t be attached to any one user)
Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting is permitted and this VPN will also keep you secure when you are on public WiFi. The software is available for all platforms, can be used on three simultaneous devices, and is extremely easy to use. Finally, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can test the service risk-free.
- Servers in over 60 countries
- Fast connection speeds
- Strong encryption
- Software for all popular platforms
- Chameleon (stealth mode)
- P2P not permitted
- A few connection logs kept
- Servers in over 50 countries
- Strong encryption
- Software for all platforms
- Socket Secure (SOCKS5) proxy
- Fast speeds
- 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.
- Zero logs
- Strong security features
- Excellent encryption
- P2P: yes
- Obfsproxy stealth mode
- 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 encryption. 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.
- Servers in over 60 countries
- Zero logs
- Stealth mode, kill switch, and DNS leak protection
- Strong encryption
- Fast speeds
- 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.
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 where 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.
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.
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 worlds 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.
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
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.