Iran counts over 40 million internet users, but it’s far from being open. For years, Iranian citizens have been subject to various forms of online censorship, from sites being completely blocked, such as social media, to services like Skype, and even complete Internet blackouts during or nearing political election times.
Back in 2006, Internet Service Providers we’re forced to slow internet download speeds to a slow 128Kbps, and things unfortunately got worse. 2009 marked the year all ISPs faced a new data retention law, requiring all inbound and outbound subscriber traffic to be logged for a minimum of 3 months.
At this time, most U.S. based social media sites are restricted, including YouTube, and the only way to get around it, is by using a VPN server connection. To make things worse, the Iranian government is now attempting to circumvent VPN services, by filtering the internet data itself before it enters the Country’s servers. Tehran has been developing and expanding their ‘smart’ internet censorship by running a pilot test on Instagram, lifting the block, but censoring the content instead.
This means Iran will be controlling what content can be displayed from any given website, censoring anything they see fit, no longer needing to block websites. It’s very unlikely that all sites will get unblocked, and considering the state of affairs, it remains of great value for Iranians to take advantage of encrypting their online data, and retaining a minimum amount of privacy. Other advantages to keep in mind are blocked services like VOIP, ISPs slowling down speeds, or monitoring of P2P traffic. Let’s have a look at the best VPN services for Iran;
VyprVPN – Full Review
VyprVPN runs, owns and operates their own tier-1 international network that includes 700+ servers across 45 countries and counting, covering 5 continents. Speeds are almost always amazing from our long-time testing. Plenty of U.S. high speed servers allow for streaming and gaming at good rates for Iran. The list of European and Asian servers is also very impressive. The shorter routes help improve speeds, and negate any ISP throttling. Another important need for Iranian internet users is secure, encrypted file hosting, and something to consider with VyprVPN, is the 50gig Dump Truck encrypted cloud storage included on Premium packages. If that happens to be a need for better securing your data, than VyprVPN makes a perfect choice for Iran. They offer a free trial, so you can test the product risk free before committing.
Private Internet Access – Full Review
Private Internet Access is another very large provider in terms of global coverage. They offer straight forward service including firwall protection, without offering any costly extras, and the service price is very competitive, making it one of the best valued VPN services available. For Iran, PIA can provide 2000+ servers across 13 countries, although not a large number of countries, they provide coverage for the most important spots; U.S., Canada, U.K., Switzerland, and so on. The sheer amount of servers ensures you don’t end up stuck on overcrowded servers. Iranian internet subscribers can count on Private Internet Access as a best valued, low priced service, with little risk of disappointment. With a yearly package priced at $39.95 and five simultaneous connections, it’s hard to pass by.
ExpressVPN – Full Review
ExpressVPN regularly features in our lists due to the effective combination of security and speed that this provider has achieved. It is fast and also protects your online traffic with strong encryption. It has thousands of servers in more than 90 countries, which gives you many options to overcome restrictions and enjoy online freedom. ExpressVPN is a great choice for users in Iran due to the powerful unblocking system that its network supports, the high security used to protect your activities and the fact that no logs of your traffic are kept, making Expressvpn a secure, solid choice for Iranians.
Surfshark – Full Review
Surfshark is another solution that will allow users in Iran to overcome censorship in a secure and effective manner. This provider offers a mode known as No Borders, which is designed to help you to bypass restrictions and get access to the content that you want. Thanks to the Camouflage mode, the fact that a VPN is in use will be concealed, which is handy in countries where VPNs are blocked. Surfshark has more than 800 servers in over 50 countries and it doesn’t keep logs of your online activities.