Best VPN for Iraq

Best VPN for Iraq

Last updated on June 5, 2019 Views: 1480 Comments: 0

Iraq is a beautiful country with many glorious sights that will take your breath away, so it’s understandable that people want to go and visit. Their internet access, however, is something that needs a lot of work. When Hussein was in power, only the wealthy had access to the internet, and with the US invasion, things changed drastically. Suddenly the internet was accessible to the general population and not just a select few.

Sadly, this all changed back in 2011 when the US withdrew and the Iraqi government took measures to restrict the internet once more. If any of your internet posts or messages are found to be offensive whether in terms of political, religious or social values, you could face up to a year in jail. A VPN can change all this, encrypting your data and rerouting your IP address. Not all VPNs are created equally, so which is the best option for Iraq?

The best VPN to access unrestricted content in Iraq is Express VPN.

In this article

The Top VPNs for Iraq

#1 ExpressVPN

You want a good number of servers in various locations when you’re visiting a country with such high internet restrictions. ExpressVPN has over 2,000 of them in more than 500 countries, with as many as 30 being in the US. This means when you connect to one of these servers, your IP address will automatically look like you’re nowhere near Iraq, even to your ISP.

Security is vital and you can get into a lot of trouble for posting and accessing sites that you wouldn’t ever consider to be illegal. ExpressVPN has jurisdiction outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, with their headquarters being in the British Virgin Islands. This means your internet data and any of your logs will not be able to be accessed by anyone, authorities, third parties or otherwise.

Fast speeds are guaranteed with ExpressVPN with a constantly stable and fast connection being the norm, which is ideal for streaming and torrenting. Although a lot of other VPN companies claim to be the fastest in the business, they often struggle with consistency.

Getting around geo-blocked content is something ExpressVPN excels at, which means you will have no trouble using platforms such as YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV, iPlayer, ESPN, BBC and everyone’s favorite, Netflix.

Setting up your VPN will take just a few minutes and with a one-click startup, things cannot get much easier. Don’t consider yourself to be Bill Gates? Firstly, ExpressVPN is incredibly simple to use, so you won’t have to be, and secondly, you can chat with the ExpressVPN customer service team. They are available 24/7 and are willing to help you out whatever your problem.

In Iraq, your internet connection needs all the security it can get. Luckily, ExpressVPN offers military-grade protection, OpenVPN support DNS protection and a feature called Network Lock. This basically locks down your network if your VPN connection collapses, ultimately acting as a kill switch.

As you can see, ExpressVPN is undoubtedly the best choice for Iraq.

Here are some more features that we think make ExpressVPN unbeatable:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Ultra-fast streaming speeds
  • Compatible with Android TV (Box) and Fire TV
  • Apps available for every device
  • Hides your streaming activity
  • No connection logs
  • No activity logs
  • P2P possibility
  • Ping times that are minimally affected
  • ExpressVPN works extremely well in high censorship countries
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Large international server network
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Outstanding customer service
  • 99% uptime guarantee
  • Up to three simultaneous connections

ExpressVPN also offers a special deal, get 3 months free and 49% savings with their annual subscription plan!

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here.

#2 Surfshark

This VPN company hasn’t been around for that long, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t making waves in the industry. Now with 800 servers in 50 countries, they have become a force to be reckoned with due to their growing numbers.

It is not only their increasing server numbers that are impressive though as Surfshark are able to give you lightning fast speeds that put other VPN services to shame. In addition to that, you have guaranteed anonymity as they do not collect incoming or outgoing IP addresses, browsing activity, used bandwidth, downloads or purchasing information, VPN servers you use, session information or connection timestamps.

Their MultiHop feature allows you to connect to several servers in various countries at once which will help in camouflaging your location even more. Should your VPN connection drop, there is a kill switch that will end all of your internet activity as well.

Surfshark really is a great choice for Iraq, but one of the best features this company offers is to give you an unlimited number of simultaneous connections that you can take advantage of with the same subscription.

Here are some more reasons that got them to the top of our list:

  • Great download speeds
  • Zero logging
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited platform protection
  • Unlimited Server Switching
  • Some servers work with Netflix
  • Strong encryption
  • Torrenting allowed

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here

#3 CyberGhost

Having over 3,000 servers in around 60 countries makes CyberGhost an excellent platform to handle your internet connection while in Iraq. You can choose from 701 servers in the US to connect to, so connecting to one back home won’t be an issue.

Working on devices such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux and your router you can also piggyback off your CyberGhost connection from another device that is running the CyberGhost app, including devices like your laptop or smartphone.

They have headquarters in Romania which is well away from the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance so you can be sure no internet data will get back to your ISP or anyone else for that matter.

When it comes to your privacy, CyberGhost claims that they will log only the bare minimum in order to keep their service running optimally. Within their logging policy they state the following:

“WE DO NOT LOG REAL IP ADDRESSES, WE DO NOT LOG ASSIGNED SERVERS, WE DO NOT LOG LOGIN OR LOGOUT TIMES, WE DON’T MERGE ANY REAL DATA (like purchase data) INTO ACCOUNT DATA, WE DO NOT LOG TRAFFIC DATA (e.g. which website are visited) NOR ANY INFORMATION SENT VIA A CYBERGHOST SERVER.”

CyberGhost VPN neither observes nor records content like messenger chats, telephone calls, video chats, or other communication forms, nor stores IP addresses (not the ones the users are heading to, and not the ones users have, when logging into the CyberGhost VPN network). Furthermore, it’s not possible to record, which account logged into which server at what time or to connect a real person to a certain CyberGhost VPN account.”

If you are not sure about which VPN to choose or even if this is the right thing for you, CyberGhost allows you a 45-day money-back guarantee when you sign up with their three-year subscription plan. That means you can cancel anytime, no questions asked.

Here are some more reasons why we recommend CyberGhost for Iraq:

  • Strict No Logs Policy
  • High speeds
  • Automatic Kill Switch
  • Simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices
  • Easy to use
  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
  • OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols
  • Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here

#4 NordVPN

Making our list of great VPNs for Iraq is NordVPN. This is due to the great performance and fantastic features on offer. With Panama being their location of choice for headquarters, your online activity will always remain anonymous. They have 5,000 servers in 60 countries so you will always have a working connection on hand.

Having an extra layer of protection means a lot in places like Iraq, so their DoubleVPN feature is an added bonus. This will encrypt your internet traffic twice which is great for security, but it might just slow down your connection, so that is also something to keep in mind.

Taking your privacy extremely seriously, NordVPN’s privacy policy is very clear.

“We do not store connection time stamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic logs, IP addresses or other data. From the moment a NordVPN.com user turns on the NordVPN.com software, their internet data becomes encrypted. Any online traffic coming from their user’s device is no longer visible to ISP, third-party snoopers or cybercriminals.”

If you were thinking of purchasing your NordVPN subscription via PayPal, it might be a good idea to consider some of the other mentioned VPNs as Nord no longer works in conjunction with PayPal.

Here are some cool features NordVPN have on offer:

  • Over 5000 servers in 62 countries
  • IP Leak protection
  • Double VPN
  • CyberSec
  • Onion over VPN
  • Simultaneous connections on up to 6 devices
  • Automatic Kill Switch
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Set-up and installation takes just minutes
  • 24-hour customer support

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here.

Internet Laws and Regulations in Iraq

As with all countries in the world, Iraq has internet regulations set, but unlike many countries, their laws in this respect are very vague and give a notion that the internet is controlled and monitored whenever, wherever.

The Internet Legislation Atlas says that according to the Ba’ath-era Penal Code it is a crime to:

  • “Insult the Arab community, the Iraqi people (including any part of the population), the national flag or any state emblem (Article 202);
  • Publicly insult any public institution or official (Article 226);
  • Publicly insult a foreign country, flag or national emblem, or international organization with an office in Iraq (Article 227);
  • Insult a public servant or body in the course of its work (Article 229);
  • Attack the creed of a religious minority, or insult a symbol or person which / who is an object of sanctification, worship or reverence (Articles 372(1) and (5));
  • Defame another, and if the defamation is published in the media it is considered an aggravating offense (Article 433);
  • Insult another, including directing abuse which compromises their honor or status or offends them. Publication of such abuse in the media is an aggravating circumstance (Article 434); or
  • Insult a person in a personal meeting, telephone conversation or private letter (Article 435).”

According to Amnesty International, another internet law in the works called the Law on Information Technology Crimes could impose prison sentences as well as heavy fines for people critiquing the government.

“If passed, this draconian cybercrime law will be a devastating blow for freedom of expression in Iraq. The vague and overly broad wording of the law means it could easily become a tool for repression in a country where the space for critical voices is already severely restricted,” said Razaw Salihy, Iraq researcher at Amnesty International.

The proposed law would criminalize acts that fall under freedom of expression and give Iraqi authorities excessive powers to impose harsh sentences, including life imprisonment, for vaguely worded offenses such as undermining the country’s “independence, peace and political, military security and economic interests”.

Journalists are also under fire with the Law on the Protection of Journalists failing to protect both bloggers and ordinary citizens that engage in journalist activity.

The Internet Legislation Atlas found quite a few things that seem to be wrong with Iraqi internet laws including:

  • “Overly broad and vague definitions of crimes, including the violation of “religious, moral, family, or social principles or values” or promoting terrorist “ideas.”
  • Disproportionately harsh punishments: life imprisonment was imposed for using computers to “harm the reputation” or affect the “unity” of the country; “deal with the enemy” and expose the country to “dangers”; or publish information about human trafficking, or “mind-altering substances” and the like.
  • Lack of protection for the press, whistleblowers, and others: criminal sanctions were imposed for libel and “insults” of others, without exception.
  • Uncertainty and lack of privacy for website operators, ISPs, and citizen users: The Act made ISPs and intermediaries strictly liable for the content of their users, and mandated that data be handed over to authorities on request.”

Obviously, Iraq is not the place to take chances with your internet freedom and the only thing that can give you some protection in a country with such high restrictions is with a VPN. Many unsuspecting tourists unaware of the laws in the country could easily get into hot water due to these regulations.

It should be noted that although your privacy is protected you should never post anything that might be incriminating on your social media accounts. Even though you use a VPN tunnel to post on Facebook, the government can still track your messages to your account and your identity.

Streaming Services in Iraq

If you like to watch a variety of shows that you can only seem to watch from Iraq or other Middle Eastern countries, taking a holiday or moving to another country means you might miss out on your favorite shows. This doesn’t have to be the case, because with a great VPN you can tune into some of the best channels online including:

The Bottom Line

Traveling overseas is usually a delightful experience, but in countries with such intense internet regulations and such severe punishments, it can also be a very frightening experience. What you get up to online is pretty much guaranteed to be monitored, especially in regions like these. In order to protect your IP address, you can use a VPN and stay anonymous at all times, even in Iraq.

By encrypting and protecting your internet connection a VPN can secure your personal information or any of your corporate information if you are linking to your business intranet remotely. If you do travel to Iraq and plan on using the internet whilst you’re there, a VPN is the only way to do it.

In our experience, ExpressVPN will provide the fastest and most reliable service around which is something to consider when you’re in such sensitive surroundings.

For the fastest, most uninhibited browsing experience for Iraq, sign up for a VPN service plan through Express VPN.

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