Iran is a beautiful country despite the negative western media coverage. However, the government has strict internet censorship and surveillance, blocking many famous sites and apps. While it’s troublesome for the citizens, these restrictions also apply to the visitors, making it inevitable to use a VPN for Iran.
Moreover, using a VPN in Iran is also necessary for your online privacy. That’s because the internet service providers (ISPs) are forced to collect data on internet usage. So, you can get into trouble for accessing unauthorized sites or publishing anything that may be immoral, or opposing the government.
Although, using a VPN is the best way to avoid such issues and access whatever content you want on the internet. However, finding a reliable VPN service isn’t easy to keep you safe. Therefore, after thorough research and testing, we have compiled top services list that will safeguard your data and internet traffic in Iran.
Best Iran VPNs – The quick list
Here are our quick summaries of the top VPNs for Iran if you are short on time:
- NordVPN – Our top choice VPN for Iran. It has an extensive server network, obfuscated servers, kill switch, and ad blocker.
- ExpressVPN – It has one of the fastest servers in the industry. Also, it has robust encryption, kill switch, DNS leak protection, and diskless servers.
- Surfshark – The best value-for-money Iranian VPN. It has all the necessary VPN security features and allows you to connect as many devices as you want.
- ProtonVPN – The provider offers excellent protection with features like AES 256-bit encryption, kill switch, DNS leak protection, and multiple protocols.
- Hide.me – Has a free plan that lets you connect to 5 servers. Also, there is an option to upgrade the plan to access more servers and features.
Why do Iranians need VPNs today?
The latest Freedom House report ranks Iran as ‘Not Free’ with an internet freedom score of 16/100 (0=least free, 100=most free). That is because the Iranian government controls the internet and restricts what citizens can and can’t do.
Numerous popular platforms such as Facebook, Telegram, YouTube, Twitter, and any website with foreign government links are blocked as authorities keep cracking down on local sites and media outlets deemed immoral or criticize the government.
Going against the restrictions can lead to severe punishment. For example, you risk penalties, fines, flogging, and incarceration if caught using gambling, porn, or dating sites. In addition, the government aims to create a ‘Halal’ internet so people can live by Sharia laws even online.
Making it worse, the government established Cyber Division Rapid Reaction Center to monitor online content and activities. A warning gets sent, but if the user is persistent, they can be traced via the IP addresses and arrested for prosecution.
At this point, using a virtual private network (VPN) is an excellent way to keep your online activities out of the radar. It will create an encrypted tunnel and mask your IP address, preventing authorities, ISPs, and third parties from snooping on your activities. The VPN will also come in handy to access censored websites and services, including streaming sites and social networking platforms.
Top 5 VPNs for Iran today – The detailed list
Keep in mind that a VPN is designed to protect your internet connections and help bypass geo-restrictions. It means that the tool cannot help you access the internet in case of a blackout, no matter how great it is. Nonetheless, the VPNs on this list will maintain your security without sacrificing speed.
The best Iran VPN that ensures thorough anonymity by offering some rare features like server obfuscation and anti-VPN detection technology.
- Great encryption
- Effective kill switch
- Affordable long-term packages
- Old-fashioned desktop app
NordVPN is one of the best Iran VPNs in the market for good reasons. Precisely, it comes with a lot of security features to keep you completely safe.
First, it utilizes the AES 256-bit encryption, which is strong enough to prevent government agencies from accessing your online activities.
Second, it has both the kill switch and DNS leak protection. Even with the best VPN service, your traffic and data can leak accidentally, exposing your identity. The kill switch will cut the internet connection when the VPN drops to prevent this from happening. On the other hand, the DNS leak protection will stop your DNS request from rerouting through your ISP’s servers.
On top of that, it uses a double VPN feature to add an extra encryption layer. It works by routing your traffic through two servers instead of one, although it may slow your speed slightly. Also, it has perfect forward secrecy (PFS) that changes the encryption key frequently to prevent unauthorized access.