Are you looking for a VPN to use in Istanbul? Whether you want to be secure online, watch programs from your own country, or access websites from other countries, a VPN may help. We reveal the best VPN for Istanbul, along with instructions on how to get started, even if you’ve never used a VPN before.
If you’re on vacation in Turkey, you may realize that some of your typical services are unavailable. This is because the government prohibits large swathes of content, including websites that provide gambling services, pornographic content, and information that paints a negative picture of the government. Turkey also controls social media extensively, accounting for 10% of worldwide Twitter takedown requests in the second half of 2020 and previously blocking the service entirely.
Fortunately, staying safe online and regaining access to your usual services is simple and quick with the right VPN. To begin with, these services will encrypt your communication, making it unreadable to snoopers such as the government. Following that, the data is routed via a server located elsewhere in the globe, allowing you to overcome regional limitations and access the web freely.
Due to Turkey’s far tougher internet restrictions than the majority of other countries, you cannot just use any old VPN to protect yourself when there. Indeed, a large number of services would cease to function entirely, since the government has already restricted several of the most popular. To guarantee that you get a service that is acceptable, dependable, and adaptable, we checked for the following:
- The ability to circumvent Turkish internet censorship and browse freely in Istanbul.
- Servers with a high degree of reliability and speed situated outside of Turkey.
- A robust suite of security technologies, including almost impenetrable encryption.
- A no-log policy that ensures your actions remain anonymous.
- Applications for every major operating system.
Best VPN for Istanbul
NordVPN is our recommended VPN for anybody visiting Istanbul. It offers over 5,000 servers, some of which are set specifically to circumvent nationwide internet restrictions. Additionally, this is one of the quickest providers we’ve tested, and although your base speeds will be a limiting issue, the majority of people’s connections should still be fast enough to stream, download, and browse uninterruptedly. At any one time, multiple devices may be linked.
Users have access to a variety of security features, ranging from 256-bit encryption to a configurable death switch. Additionally, there is security against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leaks, as well as a CyberSec feature that automatically prevents advertisements and malware, as well as NordLynx, this provider’s own protocol. NordVPN adheres to a stringent no-logs policy and recently transitioned to RAM-only servers to ensure that no user data is saved. Customer service is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by email or live chat.
NordVPN offers applications for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. If you want to safeguard all of your devices concurrently, you may install this service manually on a suitable router.
How to surf anonymously in Istanbul using a VPN
Don’t worry: although VPNs may seem sophisticated at first, they are really fairly simple to use. Simply follow the instructions below and you’ll be safely surfing in no time, regardless of where you are.
How to configure a VPN for Istanbul:
- To start, you’ll need to sign up with an appropriate VPN service. While we suggest NordVPN, all of the options listed above are excellent alternatives.
- Following that, install the VPN app on any device that you use regularly. While most carriers offer up to five simultaneous connections, there is no restriction to the number of devices on which the app may be installed.
- Log into the app and navigate to the settings page to see if your provider offers stealth, cloaking, or obfuscated servers. If this is the case, activate it.
- Establish a connection to a server located outside of Turkey. This will alter your IP address and enable you to access the same services as if you were at home. Alternatively, while going the other way, you may utilize a Turkish server to get a Turkish IP address.
- Finally, attempt to access a website that was previously unavailable. You should have no difficulty seeing it. If not, we recommend trying another server or contacting your VPN support staff for personalized help.
Not sure if you’ll be able to utilize your preferred service while in Istanbul? We’ve developed a tool that rapidly determines whether a website is restricted in Turkey.
How we discovered the best VPN for Istanbul
As previously stated, many VPNs are incapable of circumventing Istanbul’s internet limitations. Indeed, there are just a few providers that function consistently when it comes to circumventing severe national restrictions. To ensure that the services we promote are really capable, we have developed a set of criteria that each must meet:
- Unblocking capability: This should come as no surprise: the VPN must be capable of bypassing Turkey’s internet restrictions. There may be brief interruptions as the government improves its VPN detection tools, but the services listed above should be back up and operating within hours. Additionally, you should be able to watch your favorite stations from home or on Turkish television when traveling.
- Security: At the very least, our VPNs must include 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and security against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Advanced features like stealth modes, custom protocols, and split tunneling are always welcome.
- Privacy: Privacy is critical, given that the Turkish government has already imprisoned individuals for publishing dissident thoughts on social media. None of the VPNs we suggest store any records that may be used to identify you personally, and several allow you to sign up anonymously using prepaid cards or cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
- Speed: Even if your VPN is not banned in Turkey, it would be ineffective if it is too slow for daily activities. That is why we do speed tests on applicants to ensure they are capable of streaming, normal surfing, gaming, and torrenting.
- Server selection: While a VPN should ideally include servers in dozens of countries, the quantity of available servers is also critical. We favor bigger network providers since they make it simpler to select a low-load server during peak hours.
- Ease of use: To qualify on our list, a service must be simple enough to use for a total novice. Ideally, it should work in Turkey as well, but you may need to activate the parameter in the options menu first.
Will a free VPN service safeguard my privacy?
We normally do not recommend using free VPNs for daily work, since their performance often leaves a lot to be desired. However, if you live in a nation such as Turkey, where digital privacy is even more critical, free VPNs are an abhorrent option. To begin with, many will simply not work since they have been banned by the government. Additionally, those that do will almost certainly have low monthly bandwidth restrictions, severely restricting how often you may comfortably access them.
Choose badly and you risk exposing your gadget to a myriad of issues. Previously, analysis of some of the most popular free VPNs indicated that many providers mislead consumers about their security, with flaws remaining undetected and traffic often traveling entirely unencrypted. While price is a significant consideration when selecting a VPN, it should not be the only one; we highly advise you to research a provider’s reputation, logging policy, and support for open-source protocols prior to making a decision.
Using a VPN in Istanbul: FAQs
Are VPNs legal in Turkey?
Germany’s government cautioned visitors in 2019 that using a VPN in Turkey might attract unwelcome attention from law enforcement officials. Despite this, VPNs are not banned in Turkey, but the government has restricted access to some of the most popular providers.
Important: Digital privacy regulation is incredibly complicated and varies significantly across countries. If you have any doubts regarding the legality of using a VPN while on vacation, we highly advise you to familiarize yourself with the applicable local legislation.
How is the internet in Turkey?
Simply stated, Turkey practices some of the world’s most restrictive cyber monitoring. According to Freedom House, the Turkish government and security agencies monitor and collect people’s online activities without a warrant, and social media firms are compelled to establish local offices, increasing their vulnerability to state influence.
Additionally, individuals have been imprisoned for petty offenses such as opposition or criticizing the country’s government. Indeed, journalists have faced harassment, imprisonment, and monetary penalties for criticizing the administration. If you’re traveling to Turkey for vacation, it may be prudent to act under the presumption that your browsing habits are being monitored and to avoid posting anything harmful on social media until you return.
Which websites are not accessible in Turkey?
It’s difficult to determine precisely what is and is not restricted in Turkey, since limitations are regularly imposed only to be lifted soon thereafter. Additionally, the government has already banned all CDNs, thereby shutting down hundreds of websites. Nonetheless, current sources claim that around 470,000 websites have been blacklisted since 2006, with almost 60,000 banned in 2020 alone.
However, some sorts of sites are more likely to be unavailable than others. This includes websites that promote illegal gambling, pornographic content, or the open and impartial exchange of information. Notably, Turkey previously prohibited access to Twitter, Wikipedia, and YouTube, to mention a few prominent services.