If you’re in Iran, chances are you’re very familiar with the strict internet censorship in the country. Thousands of international websites are restricted, including news sites and human rights organizations. The blocking extends to popular social media platforms and messaging apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Social media users and journalists alike have even been arrested and convicted for their online content, particularly if it opposes the government. Needless to say, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in Iran is essential.
A VPN lets you bypass censorship restrictions and do so securely with your privacy protected. Essentially, you connect to a server in a country outside Iran. In doing so, all of your data is routed through an encrypted tunnel, securing it from prying eyes such as your ISP and, of course, the Iranian government. You’re assigned a new, temporary IP address. This allows you to spoof your location and bypass blocks.
We’ll take you through the best VPNs for Iran so you can browse and stream with freedom. First, here’s a short summary of each in case you need to make a quick decision:
- NordVPN: The best VPN for Iran. 5,000+ servers available. Strong unblocking and fast server speeds. Double VPN and Onion Over VPN servers for extra security. Strict no-logs policy.
- Surfshark: Best value VPN. Servers in 100 countries. Works with 30+ Netflix libraries. Secure all of your devices simultaneously. MultiHop servers provide extra protection.
- ExpressVPN: Unlimited bandwidth and 3,000+ servers in 94 countries. Works well with popular streaming platforms, Netflix included. Highly secure and offers 24-hour support.
- CyberGhost: Huge network of 9,000+ servers in 90+ countries. Very fast speeds for streaming and torrenting. Strict no-logs VPN with extras including a Windows antivirus.
- IPVanish: High-speed servers for streaming Netflix US lag-free. Unlimited simultaneous connections per account. Secure with military-grade encryption and a no-logs policy.
- PrivateVPN: Excels at bypassing content restrictions. No bandwidth throttling and has easy-to-use apps. Strict no-logs VPN which offers free remote help and installation.
- Atlas VPN: Works with streaming services including Netflix. Fast and unthrottled connections. Includes MultiHop servers as well as a malware and tracker blocker.
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Although you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to VPN services available today, many simply aren’t suitable for use in Iran. We identified the best VPNs for Iran by seeking those that meet the following requirements:
- Consistent unblocking of censored websites and services
- Fast, unthrottled connections for streaming and torrenting
- Secures your data with the highest level of encryption
- Protects your privacy by not keeping any identifying logs
- Live chat and email support, preferably 24 hours a day
- Money-back guarantee so you can try it out risk-free
Best VPNs for Iran
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for Iran in 2023:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN lets you access a huge variety of content. It has a vast network that exceeds 5,000 servers in 60 countries. When you combine this with its very reliable unblocking, you have a VPN that’s highly suitable for bypassing Iran’s strict censorship. With it, you can access Netflix, Facebook, and WhatsApp with ease. Furthermore, NordVPN is known for its very fast server speeds. It offers unlimited bandwidth so you can stream and torrent without restriction.
If you’re worried about your online security in Iran, know that NordVPN provides 256-bit AES encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch. In fact, you can even connect to Double VPN and Onion Over VPN servers for an extra layer of protection while browsing. NordVPN operates a strict no-logs policy (independently audited by Deloitte) and provides 24/7 live chat and email support should you need it. It’s possible to secure up to six devices at once.
NordVPN’s apps are available for desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and mobile (Android and iOS). You’ll also find apps for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. NordVPN supports a wide range of routers but this requires manual setup.
- Large server network (5,000+ servers in 60 countries)
- Fast server speeds and unlimited bandwidth
- Strong unblocking for bypassing strict censorship restrictions
- Extra security in the form of Double VPN and Onion Over VPN servers
- No-logs policy that has been independently audited
- Includes 24/7 live chat and email support
- Fairly expensive monthly plan
BEST VPN FOR IRAN:NordVPN is excellent at bypassing content blocks. Over 5,000 servers available and very fast speeds for streaming. Highly secure with extras including Double VPN servers. Strict no-logs service with 24/7 live chat support. You can even try NordVPN risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark sets itself apart from most VPNs on the market with its server network that covers 100 countries. As such, it can access even more geo-restricted (or government-censored) websites and services. While most VPNs struggle with Netflix, Surfshark works with more than 30 libraries in all. This is a very fast VPN with unlimited bandwidth. Better still, it allows unlimited simultaneous connections, which is perfect if you have a lot of devices you’d like to secure.
When you use Surfshark, your privacy is protected thanks to its no-logs policy. All data is routed through a 256-bit encrypted tunnel. You can also expect a kill switch as well as protection from DNS and IPv6 leaks. If that’s not enough, MultiHop servers are available. Furthermore, Surfshark’s CleanWeb features protects you from a variety of threats including trackers and malware. This VPN offers 24/7 support and this is available via live chat and email.
Surfshark is accessible via apps for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. You also have the option of Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browser extensions. Manual setup is necessary to use Surfshark with compatible wifi routers.
- Provides servers in 100 countries worldwide
- Works with an impressive 30+ Netflix libraries
- Connect an unlimited number of devices at once
- MultiHop servers for an extra layer of protection
- 24-hour live chat and email support available
- Sometimes slow to connect when switching servers
BEST VALUE VPN:Surfshark has servers in 100 countries. Fast with unlimited bandwidth and with over 30 Netflix libraries. Connect all of your devices at the same time. MultiHop servers and a malware and tracker blocker for extra security. Include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is a strong all-rounder with more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. Whether you’re in Iran or traveling abroad, you’ll always be able to find a server close to your location for fast, unthrottled speeds. We’ve found ExpressVPN to be very consistent when it comes to unblocking government-censored content. Not only does it work with Netflix, it securely accesses Signal and YouTube. A single subscription allows five simultaneous connections.
Your ISP in Iran won’t be able to see your online activity while you’re connected to ExpressVPN. The reason for this is that all data is 256-bit AES encrypted, shielding it from prying eyes. Also included is a kill switch and DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep identifying logs of its users so data such as your IP address and websites visited remain private. The 24/7 support is impressive with fast response times regardless of whether you use live chat or email.
ExpressVPN provides apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. A Chrome browser extension is also available. This VPN is particularly router-friendly with custom firmware and an interactive setup guide for quicker and easier setup.
- More than 3,000 servers covering 94 countries
- Unlimited bandwidth makes it ideal for streaming
- Highly consistent unblocker of restricted content
- Doesn’t keep identifying logs of its users
- Quality customer support 24 hours a day
- One of the more expensive VPNs on the market
STRONG ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers covering 94 countries. Strong unblocking and fast, unthrottled connections. High level of security and privacy protection through encryption and a no-logs policy. Quality support, 24/7. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has the largest server network of any of the best VPNs for Iran. This consists of more than 9,000 servers in over 90 countries. Indeed, some two dozen servers are available in Tehran, Iran and these are P2P optimized for fast torrenting. This is one of the fastest VPNs, so it’s highly suitable for streaming and online gaming. CyberGhost is able to bypass content restrictions in Iran and this includes those surrounding Netflix US.
With just a single CyberGhost account you can connect up to seven of your devices at once. You’ll benefit from this VPN’s many security features including 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. Combined with CyberGhost’s no-logs policy, this serves to safeguard your identity in a country in which citizens have limited freedom. Windows users can benefit from a security suite complete with an antivirus.
To use CyberGhost, download an app for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, or Android TV. Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox, although these only secure your browser traffic and not that of apps. Use with compatible routers requires manual setup.
- Huge network of more than 9,000 servers
- Very good server speeds for lag-free streaming
- Compatible with the US version of Netflix
- Use it to secure up to seven devices simultaneously
- Windows security suite complete with antivirus
- Doesn’t work reliably in China
VAST SERVER NETWORK:CyberGhost has more than 9,000 servers in 90+ countries including Iran. More than fast enough for streaming and torrenting. Up to seven simultaneous connections. No-logs VPN with a Windows antivirus included. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish has more than 2,000 servers and 40,000 IP addresses in all. Servers cover dozens of countries and there’s a particularly strong US presence — ideal for securely accessing Netflix US, for example. We carry out speed tests in order to find the fastest VPNs. The good news is that IPVanish makes this particular list. Connections are fast and consistent thanks to the WireGuard protocol and unlimited bandwidth.
Want to share your VPN connection with family? IPVanish supports unlimited simultaneous connections per account. Your subscription also includes 24-hour access to live chat and email support. Strong security keeps you safe online in Iran and when you travel overseas. It includes 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. The no-logs policy is comprehensive in that IPVanish doesn’t even keep connection logs (this is not the case for many VPNs).
To connect to an IPVanish server, download and install an IPVanish app for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, or Amazon Fire TV. In order to use this VPN with Linux or a VPN-compatible router, you’ll need to configure this manually. IPVanish provides setup instructions to help.
- Growing network of 2,000+ servers
- Some of the fastest speeds we’ve tested
- Unlimited simultaneous connections per account
- Comprehensive no-logs policy (no connection logs)
- Headquartered in the US — a Five Eyes member
- No browser extensions available
UNLIMITED DEVICES:IPVanish has servers in dozens of countries and lets you secure all of your devices at the same time. Works with Netflix US and has very fast servers for streaming. Secure with encryption and a no-logs policy. 24/7 support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN has long been one of the best VPNs you can use for bypassing censorship restrictions. Its powerful unblocking lets you access streaming services, news sites, and social media platforms regardless of your location. Thanks to unlimited bandwidth, PrivateVPN has no trouble performing even during bandwidth-intensive activities such as streaming and online gaming. Servers are located in over 60 countries including the US, UK, and Australia.
Connecting to a PrivateVPN server is quick and easy. Once you are connected, data is secured with 256-bit AES encryption. Aside from DNS leak protection and a kill switch, PrivateVPN operates a strict no-logs policy. It accepts payment in Bitcoin which, when used in conjunction with a mixing service, allows for anonymous signup (providing you also use a throwaway email account). Live chat and email support is available, as well as free remote help and installation.
PrivateVPN has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. It can be manually configured to work with Linux as well as compatible wireless routers.
- Highly consistent unblocker of restricted content
- Servers available in more than 60 countries globally
- True no-logs policy with no connection logs
- Free remote help and installation available
- Small network of just 200+ servers
- Live chat isn’t available 24 hours a day
STRONG UNBLOCKING:PrivateVPN is highly consistent when it comes to bypassing blocks. Unlimited bandwidth and up to six simultaneous connections. No-logs VPN with user-friendly apps and quality customer support. Accepts payment in Bitcoin. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Atlas VPN is a reliable choice for use in Iran due to its combination of fast server speeds and strong unblocking of restricted websites and services. Whether it’s a streaming service such as Netflix or Disney+ or a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter, Atlas VPN allows you to browse and stream as normal regardless of whether you’re in Iran or abroad. It’s also one of the faster VPNs on the market so you won’t be limited as to what you can do while connected.
There’s no limit to the number of devices you can connect simultaneously with Atlas VPN. Connections are secured with 256-bit AES encryption and you’re protected from DNS leaks. In the event that the VPN connection drops, a kill switch cuts your internet traffic, preventing snoopers (such as your ISP in Iran) from seeing your data. The no-logs service additionally offers MultiHop servers and even a malware and tracker blocker.
You can find Atlas VPN apps for the following: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. It doesn’t provide any browser extensions, and there’s no support for routers either.
- Works with the likes of Netflix and Disney+
- High-speed servers and no bandwidth throttling
- No limit to the number of devices you can connect at once
- MultiHop servers for several layers of encryption
- Relatively small server network
- No support for routers
SECURITY EXTRAS:Atlas VPN is fast and a consistent unblocker of content. It works with many popular streaming services. Unlimited simultaneous connections as well as MultiHop servers. No-logs VPN with a malware and tracker blocker. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Atlas VPN review.
How to use a VPN in Iran
Despite the fact that Iran’s government has blocked thousands of websites and services over the years, you shouldn’t have any trouble downloading and installing a VPN. Unlike China, VPNs aren’t blocked in Iran. We recommend getting set up before any visit to Iran in order to be protected from the outset.
Here’s how you can use a VPN in Iran:
- Sign up with one of the best VPNs for Iran. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
- Download and install the VPN app that’s compatible with your device. You can connect multiple devices simultaneously with all of the VPNs recommended in this post.
- Open the VPN app and connect to a server in your preferred location (outside Iran if you want to bypass internet censorship within the country).
- You can now browse securely and access restricted online content regardless of your physical location.
- Is a website or service still blocked? Clearing your cookies should do the trick. Failing this, try another server or get in touch with your VPN’s support for further assistance.
How we found the best VPNs for Iran: Our methodology
There are so many VPNs to choose from that finding the best VPNs for Iran is something of a challenge. Our methodology allows us to narrow the options down by looking for specific features and running tests in areas including server speed and overall standard of security. Here’s what the best VPNs for Iran all have in common:
- Servers worldwide: It’s very important that a VPN offers servers in countries worldwide so that you can navigate the strict censorship restrictions in Iran (unblock content when you’re abroad on vacation). Connect to a server close to your physical location for a faster, more consistent connection.
- Speed: What separates the best VPNs for Iran from so many others is their fast server speeds. This allows you to continue streaming, torrenting, and playing online games without suffering performance issues. We ran speed tests to find the fastest VPNs, many of which use the WireGuard protocol and offer unlimited bandwidth.
- Unblocking: Content blocks are often due to copyright and licensing. However, restrictions in Iran are due to the high level of censorship in the country. A VPN changes your IP address and spoofs your location so you can bypass blocks. Indeed, the best VPNs for Iran work with the likes of Netflix, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
- Security: A VPN’s security is essential, particularly in a country like Iran where internet users have been arrested for what they say and do online. A VPN must use encryption to hide your data from authorities. We also look for VPNs to offer a kill switch and protection from DNS leaks. For extra security, select a VPN with Double VPN servers.
- Privacy: Using a VPN that keeps logs is damaging if you’re looking to protect your privacy and browse the internet anonymously. If those logs were to be obtained by your Iranian ISP or the government, the information could be used against you. We’ve studied 140 VPN logging policies to find those that allow you to maintain online anonymity.
- Ease of use: In looking for and testing the above, we have a lot of hands-on time with each VPN’s apps. As such, we can find those VPNs which are beginner-friendly. Signup and setup should be quick and easy. You should also have access to live chat and email support as well as setup guides and troubleshooting help sections.
- Value for money: There are VPNs that fail to offer much of the above yet work out to be more expensive. The best VPNs for Iran offer good value for money, particularly if you take advantage of our discount coupons in this post. These VPNs are also risk-free thanks to their money-back guarantees (all a minimum of 30 days in duration).
You can find more in-depth information regarding how we analyze VPNs in our VPN testing methodology post.
Best VPNs for Iran: FAQs
Why do I need a VPN in Iran?
There are two main reasons you need to use a VPN in Iran. The first is to bypass censorship. Iranian authorities block a huge number of websites and services. Using a VPN allows you to bypass the strict censorship restrictions and access online content as normal. The same can be said if you travel abroad and wish to unblock geo-restricted websites from back home in Iran.
The second reason to use a VPN in Iran is to stay safe online. A VPN encrypts your data, securing it from hackers. Although snoopers aren’t unique to Iran, the consequences of your ISP and the Iranian government seeing what you’re doing online can be severe. Indeed, internet users have been arrested and sentenced for the content they post online.
Can I use a free VPN in Iran?
There are many free VPNs available but we don’t recommend them regardless of whether you’re in Iran or not. The main reason for this is that a free VPN may not properly encrypt your data, leaving it vulnerable. Free VPNs also tend to keep logs which may be sold (or otherwise shared) with third parties. Needless to say, this is far from ideal if you’re looking to maintain online anonymity while browsing the web in Iran.
We should also cover the fact that free VPNs tend to offer fewer servers. As such, you may struggle to unblock content from certain locations. Too many users on a small number of servers can lead to performance problems. Free VPNs typically throttle bandwidth in an attempt to manage this but it makes bandwidth-intensive activities such as streaming and torrenting nearly impossible as a result. Needless to say, free VPNs are best avoided.
Are VPNs legal in Iran?
Only those VPNs which are government registered and approved are legal in Iran. That’s certainly not the case for the VPNs listed in this post which are not willing to comply with Iran’s strict logging requirements. This makes their use illegal in Iran and, as such, if you use them, you do so at your own risk. This is despite the fact that unlike in China, there’s not extensive blocking of VPN websites in Iran, making it easy to download and install a VPN regardless of its legality in the country.