Best VPNs for Iran in 2023
If you’re an Iranian or currently staying in the country, you should definitely get a VPN for online privacy. Considering the current events, the government is actively tracking user activities and blocking access to various apps, websites, and services. A VPN, in this case, can help you get a free flow of information and prevent data tracking.
Taking into account how sensitive the situation is, we’ve compiled a list of the best VPNs for Iran to help people get Internet freedom. Our chosen providers offer strong security and privacy features and are capable of unblocking restricted access to online content and services. Below, you will find reliable VPN products that you can get in both – paid and free versions.
5 best VPNs for Iran – our shortlist:
- NordVPN – overall best and the most secure VPN for Iran
- Surfshark – best Iran VPN for unlimited devices
- PureVPN – top VPN to improve privacy in Iran
- ExpressVPN – great VPN for safe and fast connection
- CyberGhost – privacy-minded VPN to use in Iran
Why do I need a VPN in Iran?
Whether you’re an Iranian or just visiting the country, your activities on the Internet will be limited. If you want to get Internet freedom and online security, a high-quality VPN for Iran is essential. Here’s a full list of reasons why you need a VPN in Iran:
- Bypass Internet censorship. Since early 2022, the Parliament has been discussing The Protection Bill which attempts to isolate the country from the Internet. A VPN, in this case, can help you bypass any restrictions and enjoy Internet freedom.
- Access global social media platforms. The Iranian government is known to be blocking access to social media and some western sites which they consider to be anti-Islamic and counter-revolutionary. This includes Instagram or WhatsApp. A VPN circumvents such digital blocks and lets you use site in Iran freely.
- Protect your privacy. Beware that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Iran can monitor your frequently visited websites and even search queries that can give up private information. VPNs can block ISP tracking by encrypting your data and making it unreadable to anyone.
- Avoid deliberate Internet speed slowdowns. As of 2021, the Iranian government has full control over the Internet infrastructure in the country. Unfortunately, they can also deliberately slow down your Internet connection. A VPN is also capable of stopping ISP Internet throttling so that you could enjoy speedy services in Iran.
- Unblock geo-restricted content. The government in Iran is also blocking the usage of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other global streaming platforms. By connecting to a secure VPN server, you can change your virtual location and watch popular streaming content even in Iran.
The best paid VPNs for Iran – our detailed list:
Below you’ll find a list of best paid VPNs for Iran. We examine them in detail by taking into consideration the security and privacy features, unblocking capabilities, pricing, and more.
1. NordVPN – the best and most secure premium VPN for Iran in 2023
|Servers/countries:||5,800+ servers in 60 countries|
|Free plan:||7-day free trial (on Android)|
|Current deal:||🔥Get NordVPN with 68% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
All things considered, NordVPN is the best VPN for Iran. It offers strong security, values user privacy, and can help you bypass restrictions. In addition, its price is reasonable given the high quality of provided services.
Security and privacy: with NordVPN, you can get complete privacy when using the Internet in Iran. It encrypts your traffic using the unbreakable XChaCha20 encryption and doesn’t collect any user-related data that could personally identify you.
Servers and apps: this VPN has a massive server fleet and servers close by to Iran. You can connect to one in the UAE, Turkey, Israel, or Georgia for the best speed and performance. In addition, there are user-friendly apps for all major devices, like Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
Features: NordVPN provides all the necessary features to stay secure and private in Iran. There are obfuscated servers to help you hide the fact you’re using a VPN and a reliable kill switch. You even get some extras, like the Threat Protection feature to block potentially dangerous websites that could lead to malware infections or steal your private information.
Unblocking capabilities: since there’s obfuscation, this VPN can easily bypass restrictions and help you unblock social media apps, like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, and others. During our tests, it also allowed us to access popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and more.
Price: the subscription prices of NordVPN start from $3.19/month for 6 simultaneous connections and you can pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee and can even try it beforehand with a free 7-day trial on Android.
Read more about this product in our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – best paid Iran VPN for unlimited devices
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Free plan:||7-day free trial (on macOS, iOS, and Android)|
|Current deal:||🔥Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥|
Surfshark is another best paid VPN for Iran, especially if you want to use it on multiple devices. It has strong security features, great unblocking capabilities, and gives unlimited simultaneous connections.
Security and privacy: this VPN is not only based in a privacy-friendly location but also operates under a strict no-logs policy. Meaning that it neither monitors nor collects information about your private online activities. On top of that, all data is encrypted with an advanced XChaCha20 cipher so that it wouldn’t be accessible to outsiders.
Servers and apps: among a huge number of servers in different locations, you can easily find some in the neighboring countries of Iran, like Azerbaijan, Armenia, UAE, Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, and Egypt. Also, we’ve tested Surfshark dedicated apps and they’re very easy to use and set up on any mobile or desktop device.
Features: you get the fundamental basics for strong security, including a kill switch to prevent accidental data leaks and obfuscation to remain undetected. Plus, there are some extras for additional protection, like an IP Rotator which regularly assigns you a new IP address without disrupting the secure connection.
Unblocking capabilities: Surfshark offers the Camouflage Mode which helps to make your VPN traffic look like regular Internet traffic. During our tests, it helped us to unblock social media apps, news websites, and streaming platforms without any issues. So you can count on it to provide you with a free flow of information in Iran.
Price: you can get a Surfshark subscription from as low as $2.30/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee included. The provider accepts crypto payments via CoinGate or CoinPayments. What’s even better is that you can also enjoy a free 7-day trial on Mac, iOS, and Android devices before committing to a long-term plan.
3. PureVPN – privacy-focused and secure VPN for Iran
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||6,500+ servers in 78 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get PureVPN, now 83% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
PureVPN is also among the best VPNs for Iran, especially since it’s the first VPN provider that’s always on audit. Its main focus is helping users remain anonymous and protect their sensitive information.
Security and privacy: for ensuring that your data couldn’t be tracked, this VPN encrypts it using the unbreakable XChaCha20 algorithm. In addition, its no-logs policy can also be independently audited at any time and without prior notice to verify compliance.
Servers and apps: you can use this VPN on any device since it’s compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android gadgets. The apps are intuitive and there are 6,500 servers in 78 locations to choose from. However, the best PureVPN servers for Iran are the ones that are close by – Afghanistan, UAE, Turkey, and Georgia.
Features: in terms of usability, this provider offers a reliable kill switch and obfuscation. The former feature is useful for Iran since you can avoid data leaks if you accidentally disconnect from a VPN and the latter one – makes it look like you’re not using a VPN at all.
Unblocking capabilities: during our tests, PureVPN unblocked geo-restricted streaming content on Netflix and Hulu. Especially since it has obfuscation, you can also use it to bypass specific blocks on social networking apps and websites.
Price: the prices of PureVPN plans start from $2.08/month for 10 devices and you can pay in cryptocurrencies. It even offers an extended money-back guarantee of 31 days that you can always use to get a full refund.
Read more about this product in our PureVPN review.
4. ExpressVPN – great VPN to ensure security and privacy in Iran
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,000 servers in 94 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan!🔥|
ExpressVPN is one of our top choices for Iran. Its impressive connection speeds and an independently audited no-logs policy, allows it to bypass restrictions with ease, while keeping you safe and anonymous online.
Security and privacy: Since ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, it is not subjected to any data retention laws. As a result, the provider imposes a strict independently-audited no-logs policy. Independent security audits have proven that ExpressVPN can guarantee you full peace of mind from government intrusion.
On top of that, ExpressVPN comes with both AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption ciphers. They provide the highest level of encryption and will secure data no matter your device.
Servers and apps: ExpressVPN comes with a nice fleet of servers. They are scattered around the world, or 94 countries, to be exact. Other than plenty of server locations, the provider also ensures cross-platform compatibility. You can get Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire apps. Plus, browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox as well.
Features: The provider offers a solid kill switch that won't expose your data if the connection drops. Also, it has a Threat Manager, a tool that protects you from malware and phishing scams.
Unblocking capabilities: While ExpressVPN has many security features, it lacks server obfuscation. However, it doesn't get in the way of unblocking content in Iran. The provider efficiently bypasses firewalls and protects from DPI. As a result, ExpressVPN works well with popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Price: ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) may not be as cheap as Surfshark ($2.30/month), but it comes with a 30-money-back guarantee, so you can test the waters before committing. Of course, you don't have to pay with your credit card only. ExpressVPN also accepts payment via PayPal, Bitcoin, and other options like UnionPay.
5. CyberGhost – a good VPN for Iran with versatile security features
|Servers/countries:||9,600+ servers in 91 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 2 months FREE🔥|
Security and privacy: The provider operates in Romania, which is known for refusing to implement the EU's data retention laws. As a result, CyberGhost does not log any of your private data and has independent audits to prove it. Furthermore, CyberGhost boasts AES-256 encryption — the highest standard of protection.
Servers and apps: CyberGhost has one of the largest fleets of servers — over 9,600. On top of that, it also offers NoSpy servers. What's great about them is that they're not accessible to any third party and are managed fully by CyberGhost.
When it comes to apps, there are plenty. The VPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux and offers well-developed Android and iOS apps. The only thing to be noted is that the kill switch doesn't always work well on macOS.
Features: The provider comes with a reliable WireGuard tunneling protocol. It is exactly what makes CyberGhost so fast and secure. In addition to that, the provider offers an ad blocker. This feature removes intrusive ads, increases loading speed and saves data on your mobile device.
Unblocking capabilities: CyberGhost is capable of unlocking various types of content. It works well with most popular streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu. It also works with social media platforms like Telegram or Facebook.
Price: CyberGhost is a budget-friendly provider. The price starts at $2.19/month. You can pay with a credit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, or cryptocurrency.
The best free VPNs for Iran – our detailed list:
For users on a budget, we researched and evaluated the free Iran VPNs and their security, privacy measures, server fleet size, unblocking capabilities, and more. Here are the detailed results of our best free picks:
1. Atlas VPN – the best free VPN for Iranians in 2023
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||1,000 servers in 1,000 countries|
|Free locations:||The US and the Netherlands|
|Current deal:||🔥Get Atlas VPN, now 85% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
Atlas VPN is a functional freemium VPN with numerous advanced security features, good connection speeds, and an independently audited no-logs policy – all to keep you safe and anonymous online.
Security and privacy: Atlas VPN uses ChaCha20 encryption for securing your traffic and hiding your data from third parties and unauthorized access or tampering. Additional security features include a tracker blocker and a kill switch. Atlas VPN also has a strict no-logs policy which has been independently audited – whatever you do online will remain totally anonymous.
Servers and apps: all of the major operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS are supported by Atlas VPN – you can download dedicated apps. Atlas VPN also has 1,000 servers in 42 countries.
Features: the features of AtlasVPN include the previously mentioned kill switch and tracker blocker. Besides them, there is also an IP rotator feature for extra security, as well as a safe browsing feature that blocks malicious websites and ads. The data breach monitor will scour the internet for your compromised personal information and will alert you if any is found.
Unblocking capabilities: Atlas VPN is able to provide access to such news and social media sites as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many others. You will be able to safely use these sites for communication and to keep up with the latest news.
Free vs paid: The free Atlas VPN version has limitations – you get a 5GB data limit per month, as well as only three server locations in the US and the Netherlands. The paid version prices start at $1.82/month, and there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can upgrade by paying with cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, and others.
Learn more about the best free VPN for Iran in our Atlas VPN review.
2. Proton VPN – feature-rich free VPN for Iran
|Servers/countries:||2,970 servers in 68 countries|
|Free locations:||The US, Japan, and the Netherlands|
|Current deal:||🔥Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN!🔥|
Focused on security and bringing the best experience to its users, Proton VPN is one of the best freemium VPNs. Advanced security features, excellent unblocking capabilities, and good compatibility with a variety of devices make it a near-perfect VPN for those with a tight budget.
Security and privacy: Proton VPN employs both ChaCha20 and AES-256 encryption for securing your traffic. Both ciphers are considered industry standards and differ very little from each other. Security features of Proton VPN include a kill switch and DNS leak protection – your real IP address and all online activities will remain anonymous at all times.
Servers and apps: you can use Proton VPN with all common devices – there are apps for Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS. With the paid Proton VPN version, you also get to choose between 2,970 servers in 68 locations all across the world.
Features: Proton VPN has a lot of features dedicated to safer and more accessible browsing. For example, you can use the Tor over VPN feature for more secure access to the Tor browser. The alternate routing feature will automatically kick in once the app detects that your connection is subject to VPN blocks and will try to find alternative routes.
Unblocking capabilities: Our research team tested Proton VPN with various social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and even streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. We found that you won’t have trouble accessing any site.
Free vs paid: the free Proton VPN version offers only three server locations in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands. With the paid plans, you’ll get access to 2,970 servers worldwide. Prices for the paid Proton VPN version start at $4.99/month and you can pay in cryptocurrencies. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Learn more about this product in our ProtonVPN review.
3. Windscribe – good free VPN for privacy in Iran
|Servers/countries:||480 servers in 69 countries|
|Free locations:||11 locations with Turkey being closest to Iran|
|Current deal:||🔥Get 55% OFF with a 1-year plan!🔥|
Windscribe is a good VPN for Iran with a security and privacy first approach. With excellent security features, transparency reports, and a functional and convenient free version, it is one of the best options for Iranian users.
Security and privacy: like many other VPNs, Windscribe uses ChaCha20 encryption, known by now as one of the most secure ciphers. Security features include a firewall (which is superior to kill switches), split tunneling, obfuscation, and ad and malicious site blocker. The no-logs policy hasn’t been audited, but Windscribe regularly publishes transparency reports – they do not log any user data.
Servers and apps: Windscribe has 480 servers in 69 countries, and is compatible with the most common operating systems, including macOS, Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android.
Features: the features of Windscribe VPN include a double VPN which makes tracing your IP address more difficult. There is also a secure hotspot option on Windows – you can share the secured VPN connection from your computer with other people. A safe browsing feature called R.O.B.E.R.T. blocks ads, trackers, and malicious websites.
Unblocking capabilities: Windscribe is known to be fairly good at unblocking streaming services. In our testing, it managed to unblock social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others as well.
Free vs paid: the free Windscribe version offers servers in 11 countries, including Turkey. There is also a 10GB per month data limit. The paid version prices start at $5.75/month and the provider accepts crypto payments; unfortunately, the money-back guarantee is only three days.
Learn more about this product in our Windscribe review.
How to download NordVPN without an app store and pay for it with crypto?
First, here are the detailed instructions on how to download the NordVPN app without the app store:
- Head over to the official NordVPN site
- Click on the burger menu icon and find Download VPN. Click on it
- You’ll see a page with bullet point text. Don’t click the Download App button – this will redirect you to the Google Play store. Instead, find the blue link to the APK version of the NordVPN app. Once it downloads, click Open.
- Follow the installation instructions and log in or sign up for your account
- The NordVPN app is now set up
Moving on, here are the instructions on how to buy your NordVPN subscription anonymously using Bitcoin:
- On the same page where you downloaded your NordVPN APK file, there’s a Get NordVPN button, click on it
- You will be redirected to the payment page. Select the last option to pay with crypto (CoinGate)
- Select Bitcoin as your cryptocurrency
- Select how you’ll transfer the funds and provide the needed information
How we selected and tested these Iran VPNs
The best VPN for Iran should remove Internet restrictions and protect your privacy. Here’s a list of criteria that we’ve used for selecting the best VPNs for Iran to help you achieve exactly that:
- Privacy-focused features. In order to help you protect your online privacy, we’ve picked VPNs that have a strict no-logs policy as well as DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection. This way, you can be sure that you’ll remain anonymous when using a VPN in Iran.
- Robust security. All of our selected VPNs employ advanced encryption ciphers, such as AES-256 and/or XChaCha20. They are known to be unbreakable and provide top-class security.
- Unblocking capabilities. The Iranian government is actively trying to restrict access to global streaming platforms, social media apps, and popular western sites. So we chose VPNs that can easily bypass all restrictions.
- Obfuscation. Internet censorship in Iran is becoming quite similar to the one in China. As a result, we’ve tested whether VPNs have obfuscation to allow you to hide the fact you’re using one in Iran.
- Fast speed. Internet speed in Iran is already exceptionally slow so you’ll need a fast VPN to not deteriorate it even more. All of our selected providers employ the fastest tunneling protocol, WireGuard, so that you could enjoy speedy services.
- Compatibility. When it comes to devices, none of them are immune to tracking or geo-blocks. That’s why we picked VPNs that have dedicated apps for both mobile and desktop devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android gadgets.
- Price. Our aim is to help users get a chance to protect their sensitive data and use the Internet in Iran freely. There are plenty of cheap VPNs (or even free ones) that do the job just as well. So we included options for every budget.
Internet censorship in Iran
The Freedom in the World 2023 report by the Freedom House shows that the results in Iran are even worse in terms of censorship than last year. The global freedom status score reduced by two points, now being only 12 out of 100. That also includes Internet freedom, meaning that Iranians cannot access everything that’s available in the digital space freely.
For example, the government blocks some western websites which they consider to be anti-Islamic and counter-revolutionary. Also, people can’t access Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and other social media and networking sites/apps in Iran.
Following the recent events of the brutal death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s Morality Police, the US Department of the Treasury announced its plans to support Internet freedom in Iran by bringing more sanctions on the government and encouraging the provision of communication software for Iranians. A VPN, in this case, is one of such tools that can help get a free flow of information as well.
Is it illegal to use a VPN in Iran?
Yes, currently, it’s totally legal to use a VPN in Iran. However, the government is actively trying to ban certain VPN service providers so that citizens couldn’t circumvent Internet restrictions.
Additionally, introduced in 2022, The Protection Bill suggests criminalizing the distribution and sale of VPNs. At this time it’s still not approved but if so happens – VPN users could face up to 2 years in prison.
How to safely use a VPN in Iran
Even though VPN usage in Iran is not technically illegal, it’s important that you’d do that safely. Here’s a simple guide explaining how to use a VPN in Iran:
- Download a VPN for Iran from a trusted provider. Our top pick is NordVPN (7-day free trial available).
- Install the VPN app and register an account.
- Enable security features – obfuscation, the kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
- Connect to a server in a location close to Iran.
- Now your connection is secure and you can start browsing.
Can I use a free VPN for Iran?
Yes, you can use a free VPN for Iran but we strongly advise against it. If you get one from an unreliable source, it may end up selling your data. It can even be malware in disguise. This defeats the purpose of a VPN in the first place.
Alternatively, you can try out freemium VPNs – free introductory services of premium providers. They’re limited in terms of features and servers and won’t be able to bypass geo-restrictions. Yet, if you’re in need of basic data protection, it’s better than nothing.
The best option is getting a premium VPN and making use of its free trial and money-back guarantee. This way, you’ll be protected and will be able to access all types of sites and platforms without batting an eye.
- NordVPN – try out the best VPN in Iran for free with a 7-day trial on Android (can be used on other devices after initial setup) and a 30-day money-back guarantee on top of it.
- Surfshark – enjoy the VPN that works in Iran without issues using the free 7-day trial on macOS, iOS, and Android devices as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Since the Iranian government is forcefully trying to control the flow of information, a VPN becomes an essential tool to regain Internet freedom. All things considered, we recommend NordVPN as the best VPN for Iran. It can help you bypass restrictions on apps and websites to access all information.
Additionally, with strong security features – like advanced encryption, an independently audited no-logs policy, and a reliable kill switch – this VPN is especially useful for protecting your private data from tracking.
All in all, we support and encourage free access to information as well as believe in the right to privacy. An Iran VPN can help you achieve exactly that but it’s essential to follow the latest updates regarding the VPN laws to avoid legal repercussions.
Best VPN deals this week:
More VPN guides from Cybernews:
What is the best VPN for Iran?
Based on our research, the best VPN for Iran is NordVPN. It offers essential security features, like a kill switch and a strict no-logs policy to help you avoid government surveillance in Iran. In addition, it has obfuscated servers that you can use to circumvent Internet censorship and access social media apps.
Is it legal to use VPN in Iran?
Currently, using a VPN in Iran is not illegal but the government is actively blocking access to certain VPN services. In addition, if the proposed Protection Bill is approved – using a VPN in Iran will be criminalized leading to up to 2 years in prison. You can read more about Internet censorship in Iran.
How do I get an Iranian IP?
You can get an Iranian IP address by using the best VPN for Iranian users with servers in neighboring countries of Iran, such as NordVPN. It provides you with servers in UAE, Turkey, Israel, Georgia, and more.
Which VPN app has Iran IP?
There aren’t many VPNs that have servers in Iran due to strict restrictions. However, CyberGhost has 14 servers in Iran as well as over 9,600 in 91 countries in total. So, you can get both an Iranian IP address and any other country IP address with this VPN.