Test if a site is blocked in Iran

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The easiest way to access blocked websites, apps, and services in Iran is to use a VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts your internet connection and routes all of the traffic through a remote server in a location of your choosing. When using a VPN, ISPs and authorities in Iran can only see that data is traveling to and from the VPN server, but not the data’s final destination nor what it contains. By installing a VPN app on your computer and connecting to a server outside of Iran, you can bypass government censorship and freely access the web.

Iranian authorities block websites and other content on the web to enforce the law and to suppress dissent. While Iran officially does not practice sharia law, multiple aspects of sharia law are observed in the legal system. Speech that is considered to be blasphemous, vulgar, or pornographic are censored from the web. Art, politics, and news websites were also heavily censored. Most western social media sites are blocked.

Both Iranian internet service providers and government authorities are responsible for maintaining the content filtering mechanisms that scrub, throttle, and block Iran’s internet.

Comparitech maintains an updated list of VPNs that work in Iran here. Sometimes VPN servers get blocked, especially during times of social unrest and international conflict. That’s part of the reality of living in Iran, but for the most part the VPNs in that list are the best options.