Certain countries are real enemies of the internet. They completely block global access for their citizens or filter content in a variety of ways dependent on the country’s particular policies. Iran is one such country, holding one of the most strict approaches to internet control. In fact, the country’s oppressive regime tries to dissuade users from typical internet use and arrests loose-tongued bloggers. Content is often blocked, and the country even has its own network (intranet), a fact that has accounted for the Freedom of the Net report from Freedom House to rate Iran as “not free” since 2009. Although VPNs are forbidden in Iran – making it one of the countries where VPN providers rarely hold VPN servers in – it is still possible to find the Iranian flag on a few VPN companies’ maps.
Best VPN Services for Iran of 2018
The Stress of Using an Iranian IP
An Iranian IP address is difficult to obtain since there aren’t many servers offered by VPN providers in the country. Additionally, services such as Netflix and Spotify have their own share of struggles within the territory, as they come with a couple of frustrating limitations for Iranian users. In addition, Iran has its own domestic versions of the world’s most major streaming services: Aparat is Iran’s YouTube, Filimo is Netflix while CafeBazaar and Sibche are the local versions of Google Play and the App Store.
However, Iranian blocks can change over time, and not always only on foreign content either; some of these Iranian streaming apps – in particular Aparat, Filimo and Aparat Kids – have also been removed from their respective online stores. Fortunately conditions of internet access have been improving, granting more than half of the country’s population a connection – although the government still tries to limit the access by censoring content and regulating prices.
Internet Censorship in Iran
Online privacy in Iran is therefore one of the highest, as well as being subject to a huge amount of limitations courtesy of the country’s own intranet that requires the use of an Iranian email client. Censorship has been a big problem with the country for years, and Iran is in fact looking to expand its online technical filtering system, which is already one of the heaviest in the world. ISPs are known to filter and control all kinds of content that might be related to: criticism of the government, religion, women rights and political websites, not to mention the usual targets of adult content and more. Bloggers are often arrested and popular social media sites – Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – are often blocked. YouTube in particular was once unavailable for about three years, between 2006 and 2009, before protests during 2009’s election managed to remove these blocks indefinitely.
In 2013, Reporters Without Borders listed Iran as one of the enemies of the internet, due to the creation of its intranet (which was created a year earlier). This is in addition to the government’s intrusive surveillance of the news media, resulting in severe violation of “freedom of information and human rights”. Despite the latest improvements, the government still tries to persuade users against accessing the web, throttling speeds and setting high prices for internet plans, offering disappointing speeds (128KB/s and lower) and limited bandwidth. VPNs and HTTPS use is disabled in the country, since these provide encryption and help overcome the government’s monitoring. Other foreign security software has also seen its end when reaching the country’s borders.
Streaming Services in Iran
While worldwide streaming services like Netflix and Spotify are also present in Iran, they are – Netflix in particular – very limited in terms of their library size, and we also have to count with the everlasting presence of censorship that restricts content availability also. In addition to all this, we must not forget that Iran has its own home made alternatives for the majority of these services, which makes it harder for foreign companies to set up shop in Iran. More than this even, Netflix does not have dubbed or subtitled series or movies, something that its internal rival Filimo offers for many Iranian movies, while also providing dubbed titles – making its content more suitable and likely to be chosen for the majority of the population.
Copyright laws are not taken very seriously, either. It is common to find pirated DVDs in local markets for as little as $1, even the most recent and well-received titles. This even includes geo-blocked content, such as Hulu or BBC iPlayer.
Free Iran VPN Trials
If you’re an Iranian living abroad or you’re just curious about some of the country’s prime entertainment, you must know that getting an Iranian IP address is a hard task as there aren’t very many VPN options. Also, VPNs are banned in the country due to their encryption connections, which makes using one for accessing foreign content an even harder task. Nonetheless, there are a few options that might work out for you on a range of different devices.
HideMyAss will probably be your first choice to consider when looking for a fairly decent provider offering servers in Iran – it is one of the few that actually does. Fortunately it is quite a good choice, as HMA’s service is notable and the prices are affordable. You’ll experience unlimited bandwidth servers in around 200 countries, including many of the surrounding Middle East countries. HMA offers a client with configuration guides for computers, mobile devices and routers to assure a fast and reliable connection to overseas servers. Make sure to use of the full 30-day money back guarantee so you can enjoy a month of risk-free HMA protection.
Despite the fact that ExpressVPN does not include any Iranian servers, we still recommend the provider. It is one of our preferred services that still has its own share of strategically placed servers: 136 in 87 countries, including some in nearby Arab countries, all with unlimited bandwidth and consistent speeds. Just like the former option, ExpressVPN has dedicated apps and clients for computers, smartphones, tablets and routers. And again, this is another provider offering you access to risk-free use of the full program without any restriction to features. To utilize this simply make the most of the 30-day money back guarantee and the added bonus of another full month of free service for each friend you get to subscribe to ExpressVPN.