It's 2022, and this needs to be stated. Women deserve equal rights.

While there are many examples over the past year that showcase the need to make this statement, we want to highlight the current protests in Iran.

September 16, 2022

On September 16, 2022, Mahsa Amini died after being beat and detained for three days by Iranian morality police. Her crime was failing to wear a hijab properly in public.

For this, she was murdered.

Following her funeral, many Iranians have joined together and protests have begun to spread across the country. They have been met with live ammunition, tear gas, beatings, and arrests. Hospitals have been forbidden from attending to protestors. Internet access has been heavily censored and power has been shut-off in cities where the protests are occurring.

Over 70 people have since died, protesting for better rights for women.

Our hearts go out to the victims of these crimes. To the protestors and demonstrators; you are our family, our friends, and our neighbours. While we are not there, we stand beside you.

Censorship in Iran

At TunnelBear, we do our best to monitor censorship events worldwide, using public data provided by wonderful organizations such as the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) and Internet Outage Detection and Analysis (IODA). Combining the data provided from these institutes with our own internal analysis on VPN censorship, we are able to see that networks in Iran are heavily restricting access to not just the internet, but VPN services as well.

While it's not possible for our team to circumvent every type of network censorship employed by ISPs and Governments, we do work hard to keep TunnelBear available where needed the most.

With a considerable uptick in censorship coming from Iran, we're happy to share that TunnelBear VPN is still effective on most devices, with thousands of connections coming in from Iran every day.

Remaining connected

Amidst the strict internet censorship coming from the Iranian Government, it's important for people in Iran to know what they can do in order to maintain access to a free and open internet.

A couple of years ago, we created what we call our TunnelBear Bandwidth Program. As part of this program, we determine countries most at risk of severe internet censorship, and add additional service or bandwidth to all users connecting from that country - free of charge. Iran was the catalyst for what started this program, and will remain a member for the foreseeable future. This means that...

...TunnelBear is entirely free to use in Iran.

If you are in Iran, you will have 100GB of service for free applied to your account every month. Simply sign-in to TunnelBear and connect, the data will be added automatically. No need to pay. Just stay safe.

To gain access to TunnelBear in Iran, you can use the following options:

Tips for staying safe online

  • If using a VPN, enable obfuscation features. For the TunnelBear app, this means turning on GhostBear. This will help make it more difficult for networks to know whether you are using a VPN.
  • Ensure that your VPN is using OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols (which are more resilient against certain forms of censorship). Many VPNs will allow you to select the protocol you use; you can read about which protocols we support here.
  • Download and install the Tor browser. Make sure to also enable Snowflake circumvention when using Tor.
  • Use messaging apps that are heavily encrypted (Signal, Telegram) or apps that don't rely on a persistent internet connection in order to communicate with others (Briar, Berkanan, Bridgefy).

TunnelBear stands with the people of Iran and we send our unyielding support. Please stay safe.


the TunnelBear Team