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5 Best VPNs for Iran in 2021 for Security, Streaming, and Speed

The internet in Iran is heavily censored — social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are blocked while blogging platforms WordPress and Blogger are banned. The government continually collects information on your internet use, and you can get into serious legal trouble when publishing content regarding what is happening in the country. On top of that, the government is known to intentionally slow down internet traffic during political protests.

Finding a secure VPN that can reliably bypass ISP throttling is difficult. The country also has notoriously tricky geoblocks, and getting through anti-VPN technologies is no easy feat. After testing dozens of VPNs, I found a few that can safely access international websites and services without being detected or reducing your speed.

My top choice for Iran is ExpressVPN. It offers fast-speed servers in 90 countries to reliably bypass geo-restrictions. Plus, ExpressVPN comes with strong security features and is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get the Best VPN for Iran Today!

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Iran in November 2021

  1. ExpressVPN — My number #1 pick for Iran with fast servers that use high-level privacy features to protect your identity and data. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free (it’s supported by a 30-day money-back guarantee).
  2. IPVanish — Owns and runs its server network for added security and has a Scramble feature to cloak your VPN traffic.
  3. CyberGhost — Has servers in Iran to offer you an Iranian IP address, but monthly plans are expensive.
  4. Private Internet Access — Vast server count makes it easy to unblock global services, but not all servers are reliable.
  5. PrivateVPN — Great for torrenting as P2P is supported on all servers, but the network is small.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today!

Best VPNs for Iran — Full Analysis (Updated in 2021)

Before I get started, it’s important to note that no matter how great the VPNs on my list are, none of them can help you if the government imposes an internet blackout. That said, provided the internet works, a VPN can be your best friend when living in or visiting Iran.

My recommended VPNs keep you safe online without sacrificing speed and are easy to set up and use. Plus, you can try them with confidence as a money-back guarantee backs each one.

1. ExpressVPN — Military-Grade Encryption to Protect Your Identity and Online Activity

  • Server speed and location: The fastest VPN for Iran with 3,000 servers in 90 countries
  • Security capability: AES 256-bit encryption, Stealth Mode, and Perfect Forward Secrecy
  • Data privacy: No-logs policy and a kill switch
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: YouTube TV, IRIB TV3, Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, iFilm, Hulu, ESPN, and HBO Max
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox
Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021 Deal: Get ExpressVPN now at 49% off + 3 months completely free!

ExpressVPN prevents ISP tracking and government monitoring. Your online activity becomes unreadable to third parties as the VPN sends your data through a secure tunnel using military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and the OpenVPN protocol. For an additional layer of security, the VPN’s automatic kill switch disconnects you from the internet in the rare chance that the VPN fails. To further prevent accidental data exposure, ExpressVPN includes IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC protection.

No one can see or alter your DNS requests to limit or filter your internet activity, thanks to ExpressVPN’s Private DNS automatically authenticating and encrypting your connection. The VPN also supports Perfect Forward Secrecy — you get a new encryption key every time you end a session, connect to another network, or every 15 minutes. Even if a hacker somehow gained access to one session, any session before or after remains safe because the encryption keys are constantly changing.

To increase your online anonymity, you can sign up for ExpressVPN using a burner email account and pay using cryptocurrency or Paypal. The VPN follows a strict no-logs policy, which means it doesn’t collect, store, or share your information. If that wasn’t enough, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, well outside the 5, 9, and 14-Eyes Alliances that work together to monitor and collect online data from you.

For the speediest connections, use the VPN’s Smart Location feature — it automatically connects you to the fastest available server based on your location. So, you can get right to gaming, streaming, or torrenting without delays. I also tested ExpressVPN’s speed by connecting to servers far away in the UK, and I barely noticed a speed reduction. Plus, with the VPN’s unlimited bandwidth, P2P support, and Lightway protocol (ExpressVPN’s fastest security protocol), you can upload large files and enjoy some online gaming without latency issues.

With ExpressVPN’s extensive global network of over 3,000 servers in 90 countries, you can easily unblock VoIP and social media services, as well as access your paid-for streaming accounts (including Netflix US and BBC iPlayer) from Iran. This VPN also features Stealth Mode to make your VPN traffic look like regular traffic, so you can easily bypass tough geo-restrictions without anyone knowing.

ExpressVPN apps are super easy to set up, especially when using the video guides. It’s also compatible with all major operating systems and Amazon Fire and Android TV. Plus, you get up to 5 simultaneous device connections per license. The one-click connect button makes using the VPN very straightforward. If you have questions, the customer support team can help 24/7 via live chat or email. ExpressVPN’s site also has an extensive FAQ section and plenty of troubleshooting guides.

You can try ExpressVPN risk-free, and if you’re not 100% happy with it, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested it for myself and got my refund in 3 days.

Try ExpressVPN Today!

2. IPVanish — Privately-Owned Network for Extra Security

  • Server speed and location: Fast speeds for Iran with 1,900 servers in 70 countries
  • Security capability: AES 256-bit encryption, Secure DNS, and a Scramble feature
  • Data privacy: Kill switch, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and a no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: YouTube TV, IRIB TV3, Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, iFilm, Hulu, ESPN, and HBO Max
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Chrome
Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021 Deal: Get IPVanish now at 73% off and save up on your subsciption!

IPVanish offers incredible privacy and security features. Aside from AES 256-bit encryption, its OpenVPN Scramble feature disguises your VPN traffic using obfuscation technology. I found this a valuable tool in Iran — I remained undetected while testing IPVanish. The government can’t block or reject your OpenVPN traffic because their Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) can’t detect it. Not only that, but the VPN owns and operates its network for better control over server access.

Even though the VPN is located in the US, your actual IP address and DNS requests won’t be stored or shared thanks to IPVanish’s proven no-logs policy and DNS/IP leak protection. Your personal information and online activity is further protected against spies or hackers with the VPN’s kill switch disconnecting you from the internet if the VPN should fail (although failure is very rare).

IPVanish has a global server network of over 1,900 servers in 70 countries to unblock VoIP services, streaming platforms, and social media sites. You can even filter servers by location, latency, and speed to get the best picture quality when streaming live sports in HD. However, save yourself some time by automatically finding the fastest server near you when using the VPN’s Best Server feature.

If you’re more into torrenting, IPVanish also provides unlimited bandwidth and dedicated P2P servers. Plus, its SugarSync cloud storage gives you a place to store all your videos, photos, and music safely.

IPVanish is great for multi-device households or small businesses, as you can connect an Unlimited number of devices simultaneously and only pay for one subscription. The VPN is compatible with all major operating systems and devices, including routers and Amazon Fire. I found the setup super fast and easy. Even VPN newbies will be able to start using it right away. IPVanish offers 24/7 customer support and an extensive knowledge base with a FAQ section if you do get stuck.

With its 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try IPVanish risk-free. I requested my refund via email, answered a few questions regarding my cancelation and received my money back after 5 working days.

Try IPVanish Today!

3. CyberGhost — Get an Iranian IP Address to Access Local Content From Anywhere

  • Server speed and location: Fast speeds with 14 servers in Iran and over 7,450 servers in 90 countries
  • Security capability: AES 256-bit encryption and an ad blocker
  • Data privacy: DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leak protection, NoSpy servers, and a kill switch
  • Money-back guarantee: 45 days
  • Can stream local and global content: YouTube TV, Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, iFilm, Hulu, ESPN, and HBO Max
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox
Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021 Deal: Get CyberGhost now at 83% off! You'll pay only $2.17/month! 

With 14 servers located in Tehran, CyberGhost can offer you an Iranian IP address so that you access local content (like Setayesh or Sime Akhar) when abroad. I tested most of CyberGhost’s Iranian servers and could live stream regional sports without buffering.

CyberGhost can also easily access global content with over 7,450 servers in 90 countries. Not only that, but you can avoid tedious server searching with the VPN’s optimized servers list for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. With a few clicks, you can unlock your HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix US accounts.

While performing various online activities, your identity is safeguarded using 256-bit AES encryption through OpenVPN protocol. Plus, CyberGhost is located in Romania — which isn’t obligated to retain users’ records — and the VPN has a strict no-logs policy.

CyberGhost prevents your personal information from falling into the wrong hands with a kill switch and DNS/IP/WebRTC leak protection. Plus, you can upgrade to the VPN’s NoSpy servers (only the CyberGhost team has access) for extra security.

Most servers offer blazing-fast speeds so that you can play Fortnite without lag. CyberGhost also comes with an ad blocker that includes a data compression tool that can potentially increase gaming speeds on mobile devices, as it prevents large images and ads from slowing you down.

Installing and using CyberGhost takes less than 5 minutes. With one subscription, you can connect and use 7 devices at the same time (it’s even compatible with FireStick). If you need to connect more than 7 devices, CyberGhost can be manually configured on your router to protect all the devices on your home network.

CyberGhost’s monthly plans are a bit expensive, but long-term subscriptions offer great savings and come with an extended 45-day money-back guarantee. When I requested a refund, the money was back in my account within a week.

Try CyberGhost Today!

4. Private Internet Access — Huge Server Count Reduces Overcrowding

  • Server speed and location: Fast speeds with 29,650 servers in 70 countries
  • Security capability: Built-in malware blocker and 256-bit AES encryption
  • Data privacy: DNS/IP leak protection and a no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: YouTube TV, IRIB TV3, Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, iFilm, Hulu, ESPN, and HBO Max
  • Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox
November 2021 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 84% off!

Private Internet Access (PIA) has the largest number of servers on the market, with more than 29,650 in 70 countries. Such a significant server count helps evenly distribute traffic and reduce congestion, which means faster website loading.

The majority of the PIA servers I tested were fast enough to stream videos buffer-free and game without latency. With unlimited bandwidth and all servers being P2P-friendly, you can also torrent at breakneck speeds.

PIA helps you unlock a world of content, including local content like IRIB TV3 (using a server in the UEA) for Iranian residents and global services for visitors, like your banking apps and Netflix US account. While not all PIA servers are reliable for accessing geoblocked sites, you’ll eventually find one that works because the VPN has so many servers.

PIA doesn’t slouch on security either. It has an all-in-one ad, malware, and tracker feature called MACE to help prevent any sneaky third-party software from embedding itself on your device. On top of that, you can choose between the faster 128-bit encryption or the more secure 256-bit.

The VPN’s no-logs policy has been proven iron-clad, and it comes with DNS/IP leak protection and an automatic kill switch to prevent any data leaks. PIA also offers split tunneling, so you can run trusted apps outside of the VPN (for a speedier connection) and those you want to keep private through the VPN.

Setting up and using PIA is effortless, and you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. So, it’s great for multi-device households and larger families.

Try PIA risk-free for 30 days using its money-back guarantee. I contacted its 24/7 customer support and was surprised at how fast I got my refund.

Try PIA Today!

5. PrivateVPN — P2P Activity Allowed on All Servers for Secure Torrenting

  • Server speed and location: Excellent speeds on all 200 servers in 60 countries
  • Security capability: 256-bit AES encryption and Stealth Mode
  • Data privacy: Perfect Forward Secrecy and a no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: YouTube TV, IRIB TV3, Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, iFilm, Hulu, ESPN, and HBO Max
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux

PrivateVPN is great for torrenting as it supports P2P on all its servers. While testing PrivateVPN, I discovered it also offers unlimited bandwidth so that you can download as much as you want without having to worry about getting cut off.

Despite having a smaller network of only 200 servers, PrivateVPN’s network is spread out over 60 countries. I was surprised to find I could bypass geo-restrictions in most areas, including the UK and the US — so, you can access your BBC iPlayer and Netflix US accounts when visiting Iran.

Your personally identifiable information remains private as PrivateVPN follows a strict no-logs policy and uses DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leak protection. Although the VPN’s automatic kill switch is not available for iOS devices, you can activate this data protection feature on Windows, Mac, and Android. For added anonymity, pay for your subscription using cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin. On top of that, the VPN’s Stealth Mode masks your VPN traffic to help you fly under the radar.

You have control over your level of protection and can choose between 128-bit or 256-bit AES and multiple security protocols (including OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKeV2, and IPSec). PrivateVPN also offers Perfect Forward Secrecy, which means your encryption keys are changed regularly for added security.

PrivateVPN apps are lightweight, and the interface is easy to use on all 6 devices you can connect simultaneously. If you have questions regarding setup or feature activation, contact the VPN’s developers via live chat.

Use PrivateVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to try out all its features for yourself.

Try PrivateVPN Today!

Quick Guide: How to Setup A VPN for Iran

  1. Download a VPN before visiting Iran. I recommend using ExpressVPN; it has strong security and privacy features perfect for remaining anonymous online when in Iran. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and has a global network for bypassing geo-restrictions.
  2. Connect to a server. Select the country you want to access content from. For instance, if you wish to access your Netflix US account, choose a server in the US.
  3. Start browsing. Your connection is now secure, and you can access sites anonymously.

Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for Iran

When testing the best VPNs for Iran, I used a specific list of crucial features. Feel free to use my criteria to help you find your perfect solution.

  • Strong encryption. Choose a VPN with military-grade 256-bit encryption, which is virtually impossible to decrypt. I wouldn’t recommend anything under 128- or 256-bit AES for Iran, considering how the government spies on its internet users.
  • Global server network. An extensive international network will allow you to access content in other countries like Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, or YouTube.
  • Fast speeds. If you can’t find a VPN with servers in Iran, look for ones that offer servers in nearby areas like Turkey, Israel, or Cyprus for the best speeds. Not many VPNs offer servers in Iran, apart from a select few like CyberGhost.
  • Obfuscation features. Obfuscation features help prevent the government from tracking the sites and services you visit. A majority of the VPNs on my list use some form of obfuscation.
  • A kill switch. A kill switch disconnects you from the internet if the VPN fails, effectively preventing the government from tracking your true IP address, thus hiding your identity. All of the VPNs I recommend for Iran have a kill switch.
  • No-logs policy. If a VPN doesn’t keep logs, there will be nothing to share when the Iranian government requests personal information about your VPN use. The VPNs on my list won’t put you in a sticky situation because they won’t have any information to hand over.
  • Trusted money-back guarantee. With a money-back guarantee, you don’t need to worry about trying a VPN and being stuck if it doesn’t fit your needs. All the VPNs on this list offer tried-and-tested money-back guarantees.

Try ExpressVPN for Iran Risk-Free Today!

FAQs on VPNs for Iran

Are VPNs legal and safe to use in Iran?

Technically VPNs are legal in Iran. The catch-22 is that only VPNs registered and approved by the government are truly considered legal, which means citizens who use any other VPN could land in hot water unless choosing an undetectable VPN.

Using VPNs with obfuscation technology like ExpressVPN will hide the fact that you’re using a VPN not approved by the government. Plus, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Why do you need a VPN for Iran?

Iran is under heavy censorship and internet restrictions, and the flow of online information gets slowed down due to ISP throttling. In addition, citizens can be jailed or heavily fined if going against the government’s online publishing rules. One of the essential features of a VPN for Iran is the ability to go undetected without slowing you down. For that, you need a global network, strong encryption, cloaking features like Stealth Mode, and a no-logs policy.

I recommend ExpressVPN as it offers lightning-fast servers, robust security and bypasses even the toughest of geoblocks.

Which free VPNs are best to use in Iran?

I don’t recommend using a free VPN for Iran. ”Free” services still need to make money — some sell your data to third parties, while others force you to upgrade to their paid plans by limiting data, speed, bandwidth, server selection, or all of the above. Most free VPNs can’t even unblock streaming services, so there’s a slim chance they’d be able to bypass the anti-VPN technologies used by the Iranian government.

It’s better to sign up for a premium service like ExpressVPN that comes with a 30-day refund policy and won’t limit servers access, speeds, or data like a free VPN does.

How does the Iranian government censor the internet?

There are a few ways Iran stifles internet freedom: 

  1. Limiting information from external sources: The government focuses on building a centralized “intranet” that will provide citizens with only those web services deemed appropriate. This is known as SHOMA — the National information network. 
  2. Tracking and surveillance: Your online activity is continually being monitored and analyzed. If found guilty of accessing forbidden content or publishing content against the country’s political views, you could face harsh penalties (including fines and jail time). 
  3. Filtering information:  Access to “forbidden” content gets blocked using various techniques. For example, blacklisting URLs, using DNS redirects, and limiting broadband speed. 

Using VPN with obfuscated technology and a global network, like ExpressVPN, can help you unblock the content you should rightfully be able to access. 

The Bottom Line

While a VPN can’t help you during Iran’s frequent internet blackouts, it can provide access to blocked news sites, social media, and streaming services you should rightfully have access to. A VPN can help you contact your friends and family back home through Skype or even post to your blog abroad.

I recommend ExpressVPN because it has military-grade encryption, 3,000 fast servers worldwide, and obfuscation features for unblocking your favorite services while keeping your online activity private. Plus, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To summarize, here are the best VPNs for Iran

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

About the Author

Kristin is a Multimedia Visual Communications entrepreneur who is experienced with identity access management and online security.

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