According to Google Play’s Ranking, VPNs are in the top 10 most downloaded apps in Iran. Unfortunately, due to the internet censorship that started in 2012, this number increased in the country even more. Some of the main communication and news websites are not accessible in Iran today. The good news is that there is always a way around these sorts of problems. Knowing how to deal with internet limits in Iran can help you be prepared and let you stay connected to the world during your trip to this stunning country. Here is our full guide for VPNs and Filtered Sites in Iran and 13 applications that you can use to have access to the limitless internet.
Why Do You Need to Use a VPN App?
Today, we do most of our daily activities online, such as shopping, communications, and learning. Although using the internet makes all of these activities more accessible and faster, we are always concerned with our security and privacy. You can be in a cafe using public wi-fi and feel someone is spying on you and tracking your online activities. So what can you do to protect your information? By using VPN apps or Virtual Private Network apps available, you can cover your tracks and have access to censored and filtered sites as well.
What Are the Main Filtered Websites and Applications in Iran?
Iran’s government decided to block Iranians access to different groups of sites and applications due to security, cultural, and religious matters. By having an IP that shows you are connected to Iranian servers, you cannot have full access to the internet. This is not such a good experience when you know there is an unlimited online world that makes you improve in your life. To give you a general idea, some of the news, entertainment, learning, and communication websites are filtered in the country.
Basically, most of the international news websites such as BBC, CNN, and Washington Post are blocked in Iran, which means that you need to use VPNs if you want to open them. You may also have problems connecting to the world of social media in Iran since you cannot use YouTube, Facebook, Facebook Messanger, Telegram, and Twitter without using a VPN.
Note: Instagram and WhatsApp are accessible and wildly used in Iran, but WhatsApp Web got filtered recently. By using these applications, you can stay connected to locals when you need any help during your journey in Iran and stay connected to your family members and friends back home.
If you have traveled to Iran, you might find it surprising, but you may have difficulty finding some of the applications on Google Play or cannot connect to some other services occasionally. Also, you should keep in mind that Cloudfare is blocked in Iran as well.
A good aspect of the Internet is the ease and comfort that brings to people’s lives. Thanks to it, you can find your soulmate online too. So, if you are one of the people who use Tinder to find a date, you need a back-up plan in Iran because this application and most of the other adult applications are filtered in Iran.
Note: You cannot have access to adult websites without using a VPN in this country as well.
How to Download and Use VPNs in Iran?
After traveling to Iran and purchasing an Iranian sim card, which is highly recommended since they are easy and cheap to use, you will need to buy internet data packages to be able to surf the internet at a lower cost. But there is always a problem of facing a filtered site. To solve this problem, you need to check the app store if you have an iOS phone or play store if you are an Android user and type the word VPN in the search box. There will be a wide range of different VPNs available for you.
After installing a VPN app, the only thing you need to do is to tap on the connect button and wait for it to connect to a server. Although in some VPN applications, the process can be different. Sometimes you need to choose the optional server location that you want and then get connected. VPNs can encrypt your internet connection, which prevents Internet Service Providers or ISPs from detecting your activity. Then, you are free to use the internet without any limitations.
Note: Not all of the VPN applications are free to use; however, you can search for a free one on Google Play or App Store.
Will Your VPNs Always Work in Iran?
VPNs might constantly stop functioning, which means that there’s no guarantee you will have access to the internet with no limitation at all times.
If you don’t want to face any problems using VPNs in Iran, it is better to install two or three VPN apps on your phone before leaving your country to Iran, because some of the VPN websites are filtered too. Downloading a proxy beforehand, especially if you are going to use your laptop, is a must because most of the VPN websites are blocked in Iran as well. Obviously, the Iranian government tries to limit access to VPN apps since using them is against the government’s policies. But, you never hear anyone complaining about getting into trouble for using VPNs.
However, do not worry if you cannot find a working VPN. There are many young tech-savvy Iranians who can help you deal with this problem.
What Are the Best VPN Apps to Use in Iran
Choosing a VPN app is not easy since there is always a chance that some of them stop working after a while. But here are some of the most popular VPNs which are frequently used in Iran.
Shadowsocks: This VPN is a good option when you are struggling with opening a filtered website in Iran. The good thing about Shadowsucks VPN is the open-source and free service that makes debugging easy for people. By checking their website, you can find different versions of it for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, IOS, and Open WRT. Although learning how to use a server and making the VPN work might be a little bit time consuming, the fast internet that it gives you is worth it.
Windscribe: Another useful VPN for the time you want to hide your IP or travel to those countries that limit your access to the internet, including Iran, is Windscribe. There are plenty of servers that you can connect to for free, and you can buy a monthly or yearly plan to have faster and more stable access to the internet.
ProtonVPN: As ProtonVPN itself says, “to protect yourself online,” you should use this app. The free Proton VPN is available for six days as a trial, for Android, iOS, and Windows to offer you access to the internet. You can upgrade your account to get more servers to use and enjoy browsing the internet with no limitation.
Wireguard: The “Fast, modern, and secure VPN” is here to allow you to find whatever you want on the internet. You can download and use Wireguard for any platform that you want. So if you are a freelancer who wants to have it on your laptop to do your tasks, you can totally do it. The installation process is explained on their website. Therefore, you will face no problem while installing it.
Surfshark: Unlike the other VPNs, Surfshark does not have a free plan. But, there is always a discount on their website that you can use to buy this app cheaper. By using this VPN, you can enter any website that you wish for and have high-speed internet access. Your personal information and IP will be safe, so you can browse the internet with the peace of mind.
TunnelBear: By using TunnelBear VPN while you are in Iran, you can do your job and feel no difference internet-wise. You can find this VPN for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and as a chrome extension. TunnelBear will protect your information while you are online and saves you the trouble of dealing with the limited internet.
IPVanish: This VPN claims to give you 100% online security. Besides, IPVanish gives you a discount on their different plans, so you are able to save up some money. IPVanish lets you get a backup of your information and encrypts them to keep them secure. So, if anything happens to your system, you can access your files again.
StrongVPN: This VPN is available for you if you want to surf the internet with no limitation. By buying one of the offered plans and signing up on their website, you will have access to many servers in different parts of the world and hide your own IP completely.
Express VPN: This VPN works for both Android and iOS and can be a good option when you want to make sure all your online activities will be hidden. You can use ExpressVPN by purchasing it on their website and have good quality access to the internet.
CyberGhost VPN: By installing CyberGhost VPN on your Android or iOS phone, you will be able to use public networks without any worries as well as getting connected to the filtered sites.
NordVPN is another good VPN to use during your visit to Iran. By connecting to different servers from all around the world, your activity will be safe, and you can feel total security while using NordVPN.
VyprVPN: “Fast, secure and global access,” that is the company’s motto. Using this VPN, you can protect your privacy while surfing the web and feel no limits as well. No matter which device you are using, VyprVPN is available for you to try and enjoy the fast speed internet with no difficulties.
Hotspot Shield: This VPN allows you to have no limits using the internet in Iran. By installing it, you can hide your online activity and feel secure. Hotspot Shield is free to use, but you can always upgrade it to access the internet faster and better.
Pro Tip: A useful way to choose a good VPN is to check google play or App store and see which VPN has the best review. This way, you do not need to pay money, and if your VPN stopped working after a while, there are plenty of other apps to use.
Having one or more VPNs while traveling to Iran is like a backup plan for everyone these days. Although it is a good idea to enjoy the beauty of Iran more and limit your internet usage less, having a good VPN helps you keep your connection to the world.