The internet in Iran is highly restricted and controlled, with some services and content often being banned altogether. Several social media and messaging apps have been banned due to them being used to organize protests, as well as any organizations that report the news. To get around these restrictions, we’ve put together a list of the best VPN for Iran.

There are a lot of risks involved when going online in Iran. Trying to access illegal content is dangerous and can lead to punishment if caught. Punishment in Iran ranges from imprisonment to fines to floggings.

On top of that, people can be persecuted for being gay, for gambling and even using dating sites. Sharia law is strictly imposed all over the country and this defines the day-to-day life of citizens. Their laws are based on religious beliefs and infringing any law could end up with severe penalties.

Iran’s Committee for Promoting Virtue and Prohibiting Vice view social media as a bad influence and partial or total blocking of these services is becoming a common response. Plus, anti-government demonstrators use it to both organize protests and deliver messages to other citizens. Restricting access to such platforms is the Iranian government’s way of trying to stay on top of the situation.

To this end, Iran has set out to create what has been called a Halal internet. This is basically a localized network, disconnected from the global internet, excluding any content that the regime objects to and promotes the strict religious values of the Islamic Republic.

By having this domestic web, Iran can control the flow of information coming in from abroad. Authorities know users can get around the bans but they still throw up barriers as they know less savvy or more cautious people will not be a threat.

Iran’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology announced that China would help Iran in implementing the restrictions. China’s censorship program is the most rigid in the world and all these restrictions are bad for citizens and tourists, as well as businesses. Private sector businesses put pressure to try and open the internet back up as there is money to be made online.

If you’re traveling to the Middle Kingdom, you should check out our best VPN for China guide.

There are also reports of online censorship offices popping up. The Prosecutor General’s Cyber Division Rapid Reaction Center is a new state agency that monitors online content and censors it where it feels appropriate. It will also be able to identify users that try to access blocked content through encryption tools and send them a warning. Read our best VPN for UAE for a peek at another country that likes to monitor the online world.

The director of the cyber crimes division said that staff are able to identify individuals who try to access gambling sites. If the user persists after the initial warning, they will be traced via their IP address and prosecuted. That shows how important it is to use a secure VPN in Iran with the amount of online surveillance.

Other countries like to invade people’s privacy with intrusive surveillance. Our best VPN for the UK and best VPN for the U.S. are good examples.

Despite all this censorship enthusiasm, Iran’s de facto leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other Iranian officials often blast social media as a spying tool for the West, yet have verified profiles on many platforms including Twitter. Regardless of the contradiction, they use social media to reach out to their supporters and circulate propaganda.

Best VPN for Iran 2019

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What Makes a VPN the Best for Iran?

To ensure your safety online, it’s important to make sure that the VPN service you select has some specific features. Security should be your top priority, in this case, to keep you from being tracked. You should choose one with high encryption for the best protection. Not all of the providers in our best VPN reviews are secure enough to use in Iran.

Another crucial factor is privacy, and you need to make sure that the provider keeps no logs. This means that there is no record of what you have been up to online so, even if asked by the authorities, the company can’t give what they don’t have.

A kill switch is also essential for added protection. This will sever your connection to the internet should the VPN fail, stopping your data from being leaked to your ISP and the Iranian government.

Server locations also play a part in choosing a provider. The network needs to have servers located outside of Iran and other countries that are part of the Islamic Republic in order for you to access blocked sites and services. However, you also don’t want them to be too far away as this will slow down your connection.

To access content that’s restricted to Iran, you’ll need an Iranian IP address. Unfortunately, there are no servers located there, though.

All these features will keep you protected and stop ISPs, the Iranian government and hackers from snooping (the latter being a good reason to install a decent antivirus).

With that said, while you might be tempted to use a free VPN service, we wouldn’t recommend it. By using a free VPN you could compromise your safety as some log your activity and may sell your data. Make sure you know what you are signing up to or you run the risk of playing into the government’s hands.

There are other ways to stay anonymous online, too, but they’re not all risk free. Read our VPN vs Proxy vs Tor comparison to find out more.

Best VPN for Iran: ExpressVPN

Our top pick for Iran is ExpressVPN. It is often ranked number one here at Cloudwards.net due to its fast and secure service. Other VPN services come close but ExpressVPN just has them beat. It’s safe to use for everyone so you can relax in the knowledge that you are protected. You can read our full ExpressVPN review to find out more, or read why it’s our best VPN for Netflix.

ExpressVPN-Worldwide-Locations

It is one of the best providers for security with its 256-bit AES encryption, plus, it’s customizable, so you can increase it for added peace of mind. The company also has a strict no-logs policy so you don’t need to worry about anyone finding out what you’ve been up to, plus it has the much needed kill switch.

On top of that, it has a great network with plenty of servers to choose from. To keep speeds up you can find them close by in countries such as Israel, Uzbekistan and Armenia, so you should have no problem accessing the content you want. 

Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN

While its settings are tweakable for those in the know, ExpressVPN is great for people who have no idea how to use VPNs. It pretty much handles everything for you. The initial setup is easy, plus, once installed, it’s simple to use and gets you connected very quickly. All you need to do is make sure you choose the right server location, which is easy to do.

It has clients for Windows and macOS, as well as fully functional mobile apps for Android and iOS devices so you can be sure you’re safe on the go. Along with those it also offers browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome and Safari, too.

Customer support is not the quickest available, however, the staff are helpful and knowledgeable. The best way to contact them is via live chat and they will try to get you sorted as soon as possible. You can also contact them through email if you prefer, although this will take a bit longer. You can also use the handy knowledgebase online for self-help.

ExpressVPN is pricey compared to other providers, but it’s great value for money and we strongly recommend it to ensure you are protected in Iran. It does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out and see if you like it, which we are sure you will.


Pros:

  • Fast
  • Easy to use
  • Accesses all streaming platforms

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No ad or malware blocker
Starts from $ 666 per month
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NordVPN

A very close second to ExpressVPN is NordVPN. The services are comparable, as you can read in our head-to-head article. NordVPNs security is excellent and has the added feature of double-hop encryption, which basically means your data is encrypted twice over. It’s also more tweakable, however, we wouldn’t recommend this unless you know what you’re doing.

NordVPN has a no-logs policy to keep you even more protected from the authorities and also includes a kill switch for added peace of mind. Take a look at our NordVPN review for a more in depth look at the service.

It has a good network of servers and does have some located in neighboring countries including Israel and India. If connecting over a long distance it can be a little slow, which is why it misses out on the top spot, however, it is still decent. One area that it does beat ExpressVPN is its speed at switching servers.

Other Reasons We Like NordVPN

It’s quick to setup and you’ll be good to go within minutes. Its layout is simple too so it’s very easy to use. You can install it on Windows or macOS, plus it has an Android and iOS mobile app available too, so it’s great for traveling around.

If you run into any problems then support is helpful with live chat and email available. Responses are fast and thorough. It also has a handy knowledgebase available for the most common problems that may see you get sorted out yourself.

NordVPN is great value for money and has an affordable monthly price. However, to take advantage of its best prices you would need to sign up to the longer term plans. It offers a 30-day refund, just in case you decide it’s not right for you.


Pros:

  • Large server network
  • Specialty servers
  • Inexpensive multi-year plans

Con:

  • Inconsistent speed across network
  • No split tunneling
Starts from $ 299 per month
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VyprVPN

Third on our list is VyprVPN and, while not quite beating our first two choices, it does have great security to keep you safe. It has its own Chameleon protocol, which offers even more encryption to your connection and anyone looking at it can’t even tell it’s a VPN. We talk more about this in our VyprVPN review.

Privacy is good and you can rest assured no logs are kept by this provider either, so you can browse in confidence. Plus it includes a kill switch so you don’t have to worry about your data being leaked if the VPN fails.

Its speed is good and servers can be found not too far away in countries such as India and Egypt, so you won’t have a problem getting your connection out of Iran.

Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN

You can use it on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It doesn’t take long to set up and although it has a dated design, the client is user-friendly for both newbies and tinkerers.

Support, should you need it, is available as live chat or email. Live chat is quick but if your issue is more technical we recommend going through the email route as the help given is more in depth and it’s still pretty quick. It also has a FAQ section that may help you get sorted by yourself, although it’s not as good as other providers.

Pricing is affordable but VyprVPN doesn’t have a refund policy. It does, however, have a free three-day trial, which should give you enough time to try it out and see if you like it.


Pros:

  • Highly configurable
  • Chameleon Protocol
  • Gets into Netflix

Cons:

  • Subpar speeds
  • Small server network
  • Dated interface
Starts from $ 500 per month

CyberGhost

Next up on our list is CyberGhost. Along with our other choices it offers great security, although it isn’t as customizable as NordVPN. It ranks well with privacy as it keeps no logs whatsoever, so there’s no record of your online activity.

A kill switch is also part of the service and, for added safety, it can’t be turned off.

While it’s not as fast as ExpressVPN, it’s still pretty quick and has a great network with servers nearby in India and Israel, so you should have no problem finding one to suit. For more info on this service, be sure to check out our full CyberGhost review.

Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost

Installation and set up is easy and is available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. The interface has been updated and, while it can take some getting used to, it’s not difficult to use. You can connect up to seven devices simultaneously, too, which earned it a spot in our best VPN for multiple devices list.

Customer support is great and it has one of the best knowledgebases available. If, however, you can’t sort it yourself you can contact them through live chat or email. The live chat is the fastest route, but it’s best for simple questions. If you have a more technical problem you’d be better off emailing them.

CyberGhost is inexpensive, but the monthly plan isn’t great. By signing up for a longer term you can save more money. Before committing to something so lengthy you can take advantage of its seven-day trial and try before you buy. There’s also a money-back guarantee, of which the terms vary. The monthly plan gets 14-days, while longer ones get 45-days.


Pros:

  • Automatic kill switch
  • Fast
  • Updated interface

Cons:

  • No kill switch controls
  • Lackluster split tunneling
Starts from $ 275 per month
Save 79 %

TorGuard

Our final recommendation is TorGuard. This is another great provider that is highly secure so will keep you safe when browsing. It is tweakable for those in the know, however, the added security available comes at the cost of speed, so service can be pretty slow.

With that said, it has a massive network and servers can be found in Israel, India and Egypt enabling you to connect closely to help keep the service at a decent speed. Once again, it offers a kill switch, which is automatic, and has a no-logs policy so you don’t need to worry about your privacy.

Other Reasons We Like TorGuard

It is easy to install and use on Windows and macOS, plus has apps available for both Android and iOS. However, while the mobile app is ok to use, it can be a pain to set it up initially. We speak more about this in our TorGuard review if you’d like to know more. You can connect up to five devices by default, but more can be purchased at the cost of one dollar each.

Help is at the ready if you need it with online resources, a knowledgebase and a forum. There is no dedicated live chat, though. You’ll be connected to a basic customer support company called LiveChat. They’re helpful but it’s not good for technical problems. For that, you’d be better off using the email system.

TorGuards pricing is not bad but, as with most providers, the cost is friendlier if you opt for a long-term subscription. It also offers a seven-day money-back guarantee giving you peace of mind if you find it’s not right for you.


Pros:

  • Multiple protocol options
  • kill switch
  • No logs

Cons:

  • Blocked by Netflix
  • Difficult to switch servers
Starts from $ 391 per month

Final Thoughts

Hopefully our list of VPNs will help you choose a service that’s right for you. No matter what it is you want to look at online, your safety should be priority. You should choose a provider that offers top security and privacy, along with a kill switch. Plus, you will need it to have servers outside of countries that are run by Islamic laws.

ExpressVPN is a clear winner here as it ticks all the boxes. Great security and privacy, a kill switch and servers located close by but outside of Iran. It is good value for money and with its 30-day money-back guarantee you can’t go wrong.

Having said that, any of our recommendations will get your internet signal out of Iran safely, so choose one that suits your needs. Whichever service you choose you must always check that you’re connected via your VPN before carrying out any activity online, and don’t tell people you don’t know.

Have you used a VPN in Iran before? If you have any suggestions, we would love to hear them in the comments below. Thank you for reading and stay safe.

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