Because Iranian ISPs completely block VPN access, you must use custom protocols specifically designed to hide VPN connection since additional obfuscation methods are required to bypass advanced filtering. To reiterate, OpenVPN will NOT work unless it’s obfuscated to look like normal HTTPS traffic. Please read our guide in full to successfully use VPN in Iran.
Additionally, even though VPN providers listed below can effectively bypass Internet restrictions in the Middle East, their websites and apps might be inaccessible from within Iran. This means that you won’t be able to download their apps from app stores. Thus, please setup VPN before you arrive.
Iran has one of the most restrictive governments in the world that limits access to a number of international websites. Along with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, in May 2018 Iran finally also blocked Telegram, the most popular messaging app in the country.
VPN is an excellent tool to bypass internet censorship, but Iran also blocks encryption protocols and VPN ports rendering most VPN services unusable. For this reason only VPN providers that offer advanced obfuscation tools to bypass even the strictest firewalls can provide a stable VPN service without interruptions.
In attempt to make Internet “more secure” Iranian authorities blocked Telegram, an encrypted messaging and VoIP service. But in case you wonder why Telegram, and not Whatsapp, Pavel Durov wrote an article explaining backdoors in Whatsapp and claiming that Facebook is “eager to trade user trust for an increased market share”.
Because Iranian government cannot gain access to Telegram users’ logs, the government decided to permanently block Telegram and replace it with their own messaging app, citing “national security” as the reason the messaging service will no longer be accessible.
Just a few weeks ago Russia banned Telegram as well, when Telegram refused to provide its encryption keys to the Russian intelligence agency (FSB). If Telegram decided to cooperate, Russian government would be able to decrypt and read all Telegram messages.
So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Iran would not only block an encrypted messaging app that refused to cooperate with them by compromising their user’s privacy, but also released their own supposedly secure app.
VPN is the best technology to circumvent government imposed blocking of apps and services such as Telegram, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. VPN can unblock access to YouTube videos, it may also improve download speeds because ISP can no longer selectively block only specific traffic.
But Iran not only blocks encrypted messaging app, the government also blocks VPN ports and uses DPI to block VPN. For this reason most VPN providers do not offer a reliable service in the country.
Only specific VPN providers listed above offer obfuscation tools that disguise VPN connection to look like regular https traffic. Obfuscation tools are generally undetectable so your ISP will not even know you are using VPN.
Breakdown of VPN providers and obfuscation methods that they offer:
Chameleon is offered by VyprVPN.
StealthVPN is offered by TorGuard.
Wasel Pro is one of the most popular local providers that also supports Arabic and Farsi.
We complied the list of VPN providers with advanced capabilities that are known to provide the best service in Iran.
ANNUAL PRICE: 3.49 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.50 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.95 USD
VyprVPN is a leading no logs VPN provider (independently audited) with over 700 ultra fast servers worldwide that support Google Fiber gigabit Internet connection (1,000Mbps). VyprVPN has done independent public audit by Leviathan Security to ensure that no Personally Identifiable Information is collected with respect to the use of the VyprVPN service. Unlike most VPN providers, VyprVPN doesn’t rely on 3rd party hosting – they own and manage their own VPN servers. VyprVPN infrastructure is amazingly fast offering ultra fast speeds and low ping times for high speed HD streaming. VyprVPN custom software is very reliable and protects users from various IP leaks. VyprVPN apps offer port forwarding to port 433 and ports 15000-20000. In addition, VyprVPN is an excellent provider to bypass even the strictest firewalls that block VPN connection. To read a full VyprVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 6.67 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.95 USD
ExpressVPN has one of the largest and fastest infrastructures with over 2,000 servers in 94 countries. Ultra fast ExpressVPN network supports gigabit Internet connection which makes it a perfect choice for ultra high speed streaming and torrenting. Besides, ExpressVPN aligns itself as one of the Internet’s leading advocates for net neutrality, for a democratic and open internet. Considering they have a no logs policy, accept Bitcoin and are located on the Caribbean Island, they are a great choice for privacy oriented customers who want to protect their data from surveillance, bypass censorship and access restricted materials. To read a full ExpressVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 4.99 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 9.95 USD
Based in Malaysia, Hide.me is one the most secure and fastest VPN providers offering ultra fast VPN servers that provide gigabit Internet connection. Hide.Me VPN is extremely reliable and very fast which makes it a perfect choice for security oriented users who would like to enjoy uninterrupted streaming and browsing experience. Hide.Me offers incredibly convenient custom apps for all devices with a number of advanced security features for maximum protection. Hide.me is a no logs company that has custom software with a built-in protection against IP and data leaks, obfuscation tools to bypass strict firewalls, dynamic TCP/UDP port-forwarding (UPnP) and SOCKS5 proxy that is especially useful for torrenting. To read a full Hide.me review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 4.49 USD/mo [promocode]
MONTHLY PRICE: 8.99 USD
Offering over 3,000 servers in 50 countries, all mainstream protocols and 5 simultaneous connections, TorGuard rightfully earned its place as a top VPN provider. No logs TorGuard offers a reliable, fast and secure VPN connection. Their SOCKS5 proxy is an excellent feature for high speed multimedia streaming and torrenting as it integrates with the main BitTorrent applications. TorGuard native apps offer advanced security features like Kill Switch to ensure no data leaks, even when the connection drops, and port forwarding to custom TCP/UDP ports. TorGuard’s StealthVPN protocol is an effective tool to bypass strict firewalls and VPN blocking. To read a full TorGuard review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 8.99 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.99 USD
Perfect Privacy is an ultra fast (gigabit servers) VPN provider with a heavy focus on advanced online security. Perfect Privacy integrated firewall enforces all traffic to be sent through secure tunnels thereby protecting their users from all known IP leaks when the app is running, it even prevents unencrypted online access after OS reboot. In addition, Perfect Privacy offers a unique Multi-Hop VPN feature that allows cascading over up to 4 OpenVPN servers at the same time along with SOCKS5 and Squid proxies. Perfect Privacy can bypass strict firewalls by obfuscating OpenVPN to look like normal HTTPS traffic with OpenVPN over SSH feature. For additional firewall penetration Perfect Privacy allows 5 custom port forwardings or 3 default random ports. What really separates them, though, is their ability to resolve .onion (TOR) addresses without the need for the Tor Browser. To read a full Perfect Privacy review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 10 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 5.83 USD/mo
StrongVPN is a no logs VPN provider offering OpenVPN, IPsec, PPTP and L2TP protocols along with OpenVPN obfuscation tools in order to bypass restrictions in countries like China, Iran, Syria. With almost 500 servers in 21 countries StrongVPN offers an impeccable speed for streaming Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Pandora, Amazon Video and many other services as well as torrenting. To read a full StrongVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 4.50 EUR/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 7 EUR
AirVPN is an Italian VPN provider created by privacy activists whose main goal is data protection. AirVPN has over 200 servers in 23 countries that have Perfect Forward Secrecy through Diffie-Hellman key exchange DHE. Essentially key negotiation is performed every 60 minutes to avoid data breach if the key is compromised. AirVPN offers OpenVPN dynamic port forwarding on 80 TCP/UDP, 443 TCP/UDP and 53 TCP/UDP. Additionally, AirVPN offers OpenVPN over SSH and OpenVPN over SSL that mask OpenVPN and make the use of encryption tools invisible to some of the most advanced firewalls. To read a full AirVPN review click HERE.