5 Best VPNs Iraq - Fast & Secure Iraqi VPNs for 2019

In Iraq the internet is heavily censored. Websites are blocked and internet blackouts are common due to ongoing protests against the government. For these reasons alone, anybody living in or visiting the country can greatly profit from using an Iraq VPN. Using a VPN for Iraq will give you privacy - while also letting you access censored websites, news, and online services. 

Below, we have listed the best VPNs for Iraq alongside helpful tips for staying secure online in Baghdad or elsewhere.

 

Ongoing protests in Iraq have caused the government to enforce widespread internet restrictions and internet blackouts. And, the Iraqi government is attempting to pass a disturbing law that would impose lengthy prison sentences and large fines against peaceful protestors. 

Under these increasingly troubling circumstances, a VPN for Iraq is the only way to ensure you can stay active online - while unblocking censored news and websites that could get you in trouble with the law.


Essential features if you are using a VPN in Iraq

To ensure your online security and privacy, we recommend the following features if you are using a VPN in Iraq:

  • A zero logs policy - a no logs policy is essential to your privacy. If a VPN doesn't log what you do online - they have no data to hand over should the Iraqi government approach it with a warrant. See our no log VPN guide for an in-depth overview of VPN logs.
  • Obfuscated servers - This conceals OpenVPN encrypted traffic and disguises it as regular https. See our guide on Obfuscated servers for more info about how this works and why it is so important.
  • DNS leak protection - DNS leaks allow your ISP to know what websites you are visiting. Check out our DNS leak protection guide for more information.
  • kill switch - This blocks your internet if your VPN fails - to stop your ISP and the government accessing unencrypted data that would destroy your privacy.
  • OpenVPN encryption- Military-grade encryption that ensures your data is kept secure inside a robust VPN tunnel.

Best VPNs for Iraq

Below you will find the 5 best VPNs for Iraq. Our recommended VPN providers are secure and have all the features you need. However, they do differ slightly from service to service - so it is worth checking each one carefully. For a breakdown of each service scroll below to our Iraq VPN summaries or click through to the provider's website. 

  1. ExpressVPN - ExpressVPN has everything you need to browse the web in privacy and bypass censorship in Iraq
  2. CyberGhost - CyberGhost provides lots of server locations at an excellent price
  3. NordVPN - NordVPN is a cheap VPN that provides a lot of high-end features
  4. PrivateVPN - A popular VPN that is excellent for gaining more privacy online
  5. VPNArea - A Bulgarian VPN that proves time and time again to be an amazing all-rounder

5 Best Iraq VPN Services - Summaries

Listed below we are summaries for each provider, we explain why they are the best VPNs for Iraq. If you need more information about the services listed below, scroll down to for a summary of each provider or click through to the provider's.

1. ExpressVPN

  • Pricing

    From $6.67 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • Linux
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

ExpressVPN is a veteran of the VPN industry. It is a service that is strong on privacy and has the features to back it up. A zero logs policy means it has no data held on file to hand to the authorities - if it is ever approached with a warrant. And because it is based in the British Virgin Islands it is insulated from over reaching governments in the US and UK. A killswitch and obfuscated servers ensure that you never leak data and can use the VPN without your ISP finding out. Plus this VPN has servers in 94 countries - ideal for bypassing censorship and unblocking Netflix US or BBC iPlayer. This VPN can be used on 3 devices simulataneouly and the service provides 24/7 live chat to help you when you need it. Finally, you can test it risk free thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee.

2. CyberGhost

  • Pricing

    From $2.75 / month
  • Available on

    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Linux
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

CyberGhost is based in Romania, which means it is out of reach of invasive governments and mandatory data rention directives. The VPN has a no logs policy which means that it never stores records of what you do online. Features-wise, this VPN has DNS leak protection and a kilswitch, which means that you can use it to conceal your web browsing habits from your ISP and the Iraqi government. However, this VPN does not have obfuscation - so if you are doing anything really sensitive you may prefer to stick to a VPN that provides cloaking. With servers in over 60 countries, CyberGhost is great for bypassign most censorship - though as of October 2019 there have been some complaints that it is having trouble unblocking UK TV streams. Nevertheless, this is a cheap VPN that is worth testing - risk free- using its 45 day money back guarantee. That way you can see for youself whether it provides access to everything you need. 

3. NordVPN

  • Pricing

    From $3.49 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

NordVPN is a VPN provider that icks a lot of boxes. The service has had some bad press, but the reality is that it is still one of the best services in the world. This VPN is zero logs and it provides strong encryption for your data. In addition, it has a killswitch, double hop encryption, DNS leak protection, obfuscated servers, and even Tor through VPN. This is a lot of excellent features considering the cost of the VPN. While it is true that its Finland server was found to be badly implemented for a short period of time, that server has been fixed and it seems highly unlikely that this kind of setup mistake will ever surface its uggly head again. With so much available at such a cheap price - 24/7 live chat, a 30-day money back guarantee, and six simultaneous devices permitted - this VPN is an excelent option that is well worth considering. And, with servers in over 70 countries; this VPN is excellent for unblockign content including Netflix US. 

4. PrivateVPN

  • Pricing

    From $1.89 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • Linux
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

PrivateVPN is a service that is popular among its subscribers. This Swedish VPN stays true to its name thanks to its zero-logs policy and excellent privacy features. The VPN implements strong OpenVPN encryption which ensures that your data is always secure, and thanks to its DNS leak protection, cloaking feature, and killswitch - you can  use it securely without leaking data to ISPs in Iraq. When it comes to unblocking content this VPN is superb, it provides access to popular streaming services such as Netflix US - and it will enable you to bypass any censorship imposed by the government. What's more, this VPN has live chat that is manned around 18 hours per day, meaning that you can easily get help when you need it. Well worth testing thatnks to its 30-day money back guarantee!

5. VPNArea

  • Pricing

    From $2.99 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • Android
    • iOS
    • MacOS
    • Linux
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

This VPN service is impressive because it does everything at an excellent standard. Speeds are great which means it is good for streaming, and it provides access to all the most famous sites and services. When it comes to bypassing censorship this VPN has you covered, and thanks to its high end features you never need to worry about your privacy being compromised. With VPNArea you get live chat support, and it does have that all-important stealth feature for concealing VPN use. We really like this VPN and we think you will too. Test it thanks to its 14 day money back guarantee

Iraq VPN Considerations

The Iraqi government understands how citizens can bypass website restrictions. For this reason, it is important to get a VPN that can avoid detection. This is why it is so important to select a VPN with a killswitch, and obfuscation such as obfsproxy, stunnel, or XOR.

Using these kinds of features, citizens can use a VPN to ensure that they can access blocked news and services without being found out. Admittedly, the website blocks that Iraq has experienced have changed over time. 

In many Middle Eastern countries access to chat and internet telephony applications, like Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Skype is restricted. In Iraq, so far this isn't the case. However, this could change because internet restrictions are getting worse.

For this reason, it is a good idea to stay one step ahead by preparing for the worse. With a VPN you will be ready to bypass any blocks, while also protecting your privacy simultaneously.  

Iraq Protests

Since 2018, Iraq has been experiencing a wave of protests. Citizens are discontent with the existing political situation and they are working hard to pressure the government for change. Citizens are sick of the high levels of unemployment, poor public services, state corruption, and the ongoing energy crisis across the country.

In 2019, protests have continued to regularly cause havoc across Iraq's cities and towns, resulting in a dismissive crackdown from the government. However, in October, the protest led to Iraqi security forces killing over 100 people and injuring more than 6,000 more.

In addition to this violent response from the army, Iraqi authorities have begun implementing more internet blocks than ever before.

Over the last few years, the government has blocked access to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube at various times.

Internet Blackouts amidst violence in Baghdad

The blackouts that occurred in the early part of October 2019 were primarily designed to stop citizens spreading information about the level of violence experienced on Iraq's streets. 

During the clashes, Iraq's army admitted to using excessive force. However, reports have surfaced of unknown snipers taking out protesters and police. This has caused confusion over how and why violence erupted across Baghdad and in other locations.

However,  two anonymous Iraqi security officials have gone on the record claiming that Iran-backed militias deployed those snipers. This has led to backlash among protesters and has led to a massive surge of anti-Iranian sentiment, which has led to two leading commanders of an Iran-backed PMU group being dragged out of an ambulance and lynched by protesters. 

Internet censorship laws 

In order to keep control over the country, the government is planning to introduce new laws designed to stop citizens from expressing dissenting opinions. These laws will take away citizens' ability to express dissenting opinions and to organize protests against the country's corrupt government. 

Amnesty International is warning that the government is preparing to issue peaceful protesters with harsh penalties that will make it increasingly dangerous for citizens to express anger towards the government. The proposed cybercrimes law would impose lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines against any citizens who dare to criticize the government online. 

As a result of this law, it is becoming vital for citizens to be extremely careful when accessing or creating online content that is critical of the government. All attempts must be made to gain digital privacy, and to ensure that you cannot be tracked when you access and use services that could cause the government to arrest you.

With terrifying laws like this on the cars - and surveillance already becoming a massive problem in the country - there has never been a better time for citizens to get a VPN for Iraq.

Bypassing  Iraqi internet blocks

Anybody who wants to bypass restrictions imposed by the government must do so using a VPN. However, It is important to note that if you want to use a VPN to unblock YouTube videos, or to stream other content, a fast VPN service is needed.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that a VPN can only help with website blocks. If the Iraqi government turns off the internet - a VPN cannot help. 

Despite this, a VPN is the best way to gain privacy online and to bypass any social media or website blocks that might occur in the future. And, because VPNs are still currently available, it is better to seek out a good service now; before the government potentially decides to start blocking VPN websites. 

WiFi Security Weaknesses

If you rely on WiFi hotspots for access to the internet, you run the risk of having your web browsing habits intercepted or tracked. It is also possible to be hacked, which means that you could become a victim of cybercrime - or could end up being snooped on by the government. 

Anytime that you connect to public WiFi, the only way to ensure you cannot be hacked is to encrypt your data with a VPN. A VPN will ensure that you cannot fall victim to hacking, cybercrime, or government surveillance leveraged against that public WiFi hotspot. 

Iraq VPN for Streaming

A VPN's ability to unblock websites is useful for entertainment as well as for evading censorship. With a VPN, you can easily access video streaming services from overseas. That means you can watch US Netflix, or unblock BBC iPlayer

When you use a VPN, you can pretend to be in a different country to access services from around the globe. Depending what you like, be that sport, comedy, news, or movies; you can use a VPN to quickly unblock masses of content from around the globe. 

When you turn the VPN on, simply select a server location. As soon as it connects, you actually appear to live in that country and can access the internet as if you were really there! A VPN is also useful for torrenting. It will allow you to download content without your ISP finding out! For more information, please read our best VPNs for torrenting guide.

Best VPNs for Iraq: Conclusion

The internet in Iraq is not as restricted as it is in many places in the Middle East. However, the ongoing protests are changing things quickly, and due to the unrest - and mounting pressure the government is under - it seems probable that control over the internet will begin to be used to maintain the government's stranglehold over the nation.

The internet blackouts that occurred at the start of October are a worrying omen, and proposed cybersecurity laws could see citizens being arrested simply for being critical of the corrupt Iraqi government. 

This is extremely concerning because Iraqi forces are exerting disproportionate violence and are acting with impunity.  The VPNs in this list are the best way for citizens to prepare for any potential blackouts that might occur. With these services you can access foreign sites, access geo-restricted content, and access any restricted websites not currently available in the country: without fear of being tracked and punished. 

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. Ray is currently rated #4 VPN and #3 internet privacy authority by Agilience.com.

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