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Best VPN for Iran

Rebecca Duff
By Rebecca DuffUpdated
Illustration of the flag of Iran

As government censorship measures in the country continue to intensify, using a VPN in Iran has never been more important.

Without one, not only will you be subject to constant monitoring and surveillance, you also won’t be able to access sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Gmail.

We’re constantly testing all of the VPNs we recommend so you can rely on them to provide reliable internet access in Iran, whether you live there or are just visiting.

The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for Iran

  1. Will bypass censorship with obfuscation tools
  2. Server locations in nearby countries
  3. Useful security features
  4. Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
  5. Reliable and fast speeds
  6. High quality customer support

Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs

Read More Information on Our Top 5 Best VPN Services for Iran

Ranked #1 out of 99 VPNs for Iran

Works with

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Servers in nearby countries
  2. Unrivaled speed and consistency
  3. User-friendly custom apps
  4. Stealth protocol adds obfuscation
  5. Top-class customer support
  1. Pricey compared to other providers
  2. Limited to three simultaneous connections
The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN remains our top pick for Iran due to sheer reliability, even during censorship crackdowns.

The large server network has options in nearby Istanbul and plenty in Europe and Asia – crucial for performance in Iran. The propriety stealth protocol adds a layer of obfuscation to help you beat the censors, too.

ExpressVPN is user-friendly and available across multiple devices, packed with lots of advanced security. A minimal logging policy is a privacy plus. The site is inaccessible in Iran without a working VPN, but get around that and you have an excellent choice.

Ranked #2 out of 99 VPNs for Iran

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Server choice in Turkey and Israel
  2. Excellent local performance
  3. Dedicated obfuscated servers
  4. Zero logs policy
  5. Great value on longest plan
  1. Some protocols require manual config
The Bottom Line

NordVPN is a good budget option for Iran even if it doesn’t match up to the reliability of ExpressVPN.

Obfuscated servers hide your VPN connection and make accessing blocked content a breeze, and with choices in nearby Turkey and Israel, your performance won’t suffer.

NordVPN’s zero-logs policy is good news for privacy, as are all the advanced security features that could come in very handy during more aggressive crackdowns.

Ranked #3 out of 99 VPNs for Iran

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sky, Now TV, HBO, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Chameleon protocol works in Iran
  2. Lots of nearby server options
  3. Reliable local speeds
  4. Independently audited zero-logs policy
  5. User-friendly custom apps
  1. Less reliable than our top picks
  2. Limited online resources
  3. Inconsistent international performance
The Bottom Line

VyprVPN makes third place thanks to its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which works to overcome censorship blocks in Iran and other countries.

The server network includes lots of options in nearby countries such as Israel and Turkey in order to get the best possible speeds.

Jurisdiction is also in privacy-friendly Switzerland along with independently audited zero-logs policy that makes this a top choice for security. This is a solid bet for Iran.

Ranked #4 out of 99 VPNs for Iran

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Works in Iran with stealth protocol
  2. Lots of European server choice
  3. Strict zero-logs policy
  4. Compatible with a range of devices
  1. Small number of individual servers
  2. Mobile apps lack some advanced options
  3. No browser extensions
The Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is a good choice for Iran thanks for the stealth protocol that masks the fact you’re using a VPN – switch it on and bypass censorship.

Nearby servers in Eastern Europe is a major selling point, as is the fact that this widely-unknown service is yet to attract the attention of Iranian censors.

Software is modern and user-friendly, and comes with a zero-logs policy to boot. One downside is a small server network, but we haven’t encountered any problems. PrivateVPN is a reliable, effective solution, especially for streamers.

Ranked #5 out of 99 VPNs for Iran

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Consistently good local speeds
  2. Innovative custom apps
  3. Zero-logs policy
  1. Very few nearby servers
  2. No additional obfuscation tools
  3. App won't always work
The Bottom Line

CyberGhost is the best budget VPN on the market, but missed out on top spots due to lack of obfuscation tools, making it less reliable against aggressive censorship.

It’s extremely quick locally but as there are no servers in Iran’s neighboring countries, users will be forced to connect over longer distances – this isn’t ideal for performance.

CyberGhost is a top pick for privacy, however, with a strict zero-logs policy and loads of additional features to protect your confidential data, such as first-party DNS servers. The native app may not always work in Iran, but manually configuring the L2TP protocol should do the trick.

Are VPNs Legal in Iran?

The VPN situation in Iran is complicated, but currently only ‘government-approved’ VPNs are permitted for domestic use.

This means that you need to choose your provider very carefully, as using an unofficial VPN may be punishable by up to a year in prison, although the government only tends to prosecute people who are actively speaking out against it.

In other words, it’s pretty safe using a VPN to protect your privacy and stream Netflix – many Iranians use ‘illegal’ VPNs every day. Just don’t do anything that could attract large amounts of unwanted attention, such as posting about politics or religion, as this could get you into trouble.

How We Picked the Best VPNs for Iran

Our top priority for VPN users in Iran is consistent access to the open internet, so we ensure all of our recommendations will work to bypass government censorship measures.

We also look for server availability in nearby countries as this means you’ll get the best possible speeds. Some VPNs on this list will even work with popular streaming sites such as Netflix.

Another important factor we consider is security, as this will ensure your chosen VPN has the necessary technology to prevent you from being tracked and monitored by the Iranian government.

We’re constantly testing all of these VPNs so you can be sure you’re getting the most up-to-date information on the market.

Do I Need a VPN in Iran?

Using a VPN in Iran isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity.

The harsh censorship measures imposed on internet users in the country make it impossible to access sites like Facebook and Twitter. All too often expats are caught out and find themselves unable to sign in to their social media accounts upon arrival.

Even if you’re not bothered by censorship, the surveillance laws imposed by the Iranian government are another major concern. Not only can your ISP monitor everything you do online, including any messages you send, it’s also required to store this information in case it’s needed at a later date – the only way you can avoid this is by using a VPN.

How to Choose a VPN for Iran: 6 Tips

With the VPN situation in Iran becoming increasingly complex, the list of providers refusing or unable to provide a service in the country is getting longer, whether that be for technical or legal reasons.

All of our top picks have good track records of providing consistent access to users in Iran, so you can’t go far wrong if you opt for one of the providers on this page.

It’s vital that your chosen provider offers some kind of additional obfuscation tool to hide the fact you’re using a VPN, otherwise it’ll be near impossible to access blocked content.

For most providers, this comes in the form of some sort of ‘stealth’ protocol, which will mask your VPN connection as regular browser traffic and make it far easier to beat the censors.

Ideally, you’d want to connect to a server in the same country in order to get the best possible performance, but this won’t work for overcoming Iranian censorship.

Look for VPNs with servers in neighboring countries such as Israel, as well as lots of choice in Eastern Europe and Asia.

If you enjoy streaming content from popular sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, you need to be particularly careful when choosing a provider, as not all of them will work.

We run regular tests on all of the VPNs featured on this page to check whether they’re working with streaming services, and share the results in our independent VPN reviews.

Most providers claim to be totally zero-logs, but unfortunately that’s rarely the case. Usually some basic usage stats are required to maintain a decent level of server performance.

Look for a provider that doesn’t collect any personally identifying information (such as your IP address) or preferably one that doesn’t log anything at all.

Even the most expensive VPNs can be brought down to a more affordable price by option for a longer subscription. Annual plans typically offer the best value for money.

Choosing a provider with a money-back guarantee is another good idea, as it gives you anywhere from seven to 30 days to change your mind.