Online freedom is in constant peril in Turkey. Freedom House gave the country a Freedom on the Net 2021 score of 34/100 (0 = least free, 100 = most free).
Turkish Content Lockdown
Turkish authorities continued to increase their lockdown on content in the country during 2019. Blocking is continuing to increase in Turkey, with over 114,000 websites inaccessible from inside the country. Over 90% of the blocked sites were blocked due to “obscenity.” Websites that are deemed to be defamatory of Islam are blocked out of hand.
Access to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and WhatsApp have all been temporarily suspended at one time or another. Internet access to Wikipedia has been permanently blocked. The Turkish government has blocked music streaming service Tidal and told Netflix to remove several TV episodes, due to LGBT+ content.
Can a VPN Help Me Avoid Turkish Blockades?
This is why a VPN is needed so you can perform your online activities privately. A VPN is also great for accessing streaming content from around the world.
Netflix is available in Turkey but is censored, and the content is limited to that which is licensed for viewing in the country. The content will most assuredly be different from that of a visitor’s home country. Hulu is restricted to the United States, while U.K.-based BBC iPlayer is restricted to United Kingdom viewers.
However, Turkish internet users can put all these restrictions behind them by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to evade Turkish roadblocks and open up access to all that the internet has to offer.
A VPN encrypts your internet connection, preventing the government from monitoring and blocking your online activities, and also preventing any other nosy parties from watching what you’re doing online.
A VPN can also make it appear as if you are located in another country, opening access to the geo-blocked local content in that country.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the top seven VPN providers that still work inside of Turkey, providing the best online protection for your Turkish online activities.
How to Use a VPN in Turkey
Just do the following to easily use a VPN inside Turkey:
- Subscribe to a VPN provider. (NordVPN is my #1 recommendation.)
- Install the provider’s app(s) on your device(s).
- Sign in to the VPN service.
- Select a VPN inside of Turkey to protect your internet activities while inside the country or to access Turkish content from outside of the country. To access content in another country, select a server in the country of your choice.
- Enjoy your newfound Turkish internet freedom!
Best VPN Service Providers for Use in Turkey
Please note: While VPN use is not illegal in Turkey, the government there does block some VPN providers. The following seven VPN providers still worked from inside Turkey at the time of writing this article. Things can change at any time. So, be sure to check with the VPN provider you are considering to ensure their service still works in the country.
The following seven VPN service providers offer the best protection and enhancement for your online activities while residing in or visiting Turkey.
Best VPNs for Turkey:
- NordVPN: Best VPN for Turkey. This top VPN provider delivers reliable protection for all of your online activities on all of your connected devices. Offers lightning-fast connection speeds and optimal privacy protections. Comes with a no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Budget-minded VPN protection. Budget-minded Turks who are looking for excellent VPN protection at a reasonable price will want to take a closer look at this low-price leader. It offers comprehensive online protection and an unlimited simultaneous connections allowance without breaking the bank.
- ExpressVPN: Premium VPN for Turkey. ExpressVPN’s high-speed connections, powerful content-unblocking ability, and extensive global server coverage make it a great option for streamers who want to access international content.
- CyberGhost: Good VPN option for first-timers. This VPN provider is an excellent option for rookie VPN users or users in search of an easy way to protect and enhance their online activities.
- Private Internet Access (PIA): Reliable Turkish VPN protection. PIA’s well-protected, fast connections provide access to geo-controlled content around the globe.
- PrivateVPN: Mighty-mite VPN. This provider’s global server network is a bit small when compared to many other VPN services. However, its speedy connections do a reliable job of delivering any type of online content.
- Atlas VPN: Limited, but improving. This provider’s global server network could use a bit of expansion, as could its app and browser support. However, it provides reliable access to content in countries where it has servers.
When ranking the top seven VPN providers, I considered the following factors:
- Hasn’t been blocked in Turkey
- Global server locations with servers in Turkey
- Strong security and user privacy protections
- Connection speeds
- Native app support
- Customer support features
If you’d like to learn more about the criteria I used, then you can do so by checking out the methodology testing section in this article.
Here is my list of the seven best VPN service providers for Turkish residents and visitors:
NordVPN delivers the top online protection and enhancement for online users in Turkey.
NordVPN’s global server network of 5,500+ servers in nearly 60 countries (including 14 servers in Turkey) provides reliable access to geo-blocked content in many locations around the world. The provider is currently in the process of moving its global server network to a completely owned-and-operated model.
Online security is well-covered thanks to the provider’s use of military-grade encryption, as well as a kill switch and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. Malware and ad blocking are also available in many of NordVPN’s apps. A Double VPN feature can route your connection through two VPN servers, doubling your anonymity.
Privacy protection at NordVPN is also top-notch thanks to its proven no-server-logs policy and an uber-private cryptocurrency subscription payment option.
All NordVPN servers are run only from RAM, with no data whatsoever being written to a physical hard drive. This means all data is completely wiped from the server whenever it is rebooted or shut down. The provider’s owned-and-operated servers mean no third-party contractors are around, keeping them from your personal data.
Depending on your usual speeds, you’ll be able to enjoy HD videos, online gaming, file sharing, and more with NordVPN’s connection speeds, which are some of the fastest I’ve ever seen. And, you never have to worry about data caps of any kind.
App support is a high point for this VPN, with offerings for Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS (with native M1 Mac support), and Windows device platforms. Protection options also include Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions, as well as compatibility with numerous routers. Up to six devices can connect at once on the same login.
Customer support is available around the clock thanks to 24/7 live support chat, email support, and a support library.
- Servers in close to 60 countries, including Turkey
- Super-fast speeds
- Supports many popular devices
- Bargain multi-year subscription options
- Comprehensive online security and privacy
- Apps are not as user-friendly as some competitors’ apps
BEST VPN FOR TURKEY:Turkish residents and visitors will appreciate NordVPN’s industry-best online protection. The provider’s speeds are the best around and will give you fast access to content around the globe. A risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
This is the “budget” VPN option on this list thanks to the provider’s budget-friendly multi-year subscription options.
Surfshark offers 3,200+ servers in 95+ countries, including Turkey. The provider claims it offers access to 30+ Netflix libraries around the globe.
Surfshark protects its customers’ online activities with banking-grade advanced encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. Ad and cookie blocking can also be enabled. In addition, a “Multi-Hop” server option routes your internet connection through two VPN servers to offer double encryption and anonymity.
Privacy protections include a private Bitcoin subscription payment option and a strict no-server-logs policy.
Surfshark is tops in the download speeds column, providing more than enough bandwidth for HD streaming, gaming, and downloading large files. No data caps, more fun!
The provider has most popular devices covered thanks to app offerings for the Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS (native M1/M2 Mac support), Windows, and Amazon Fire device platforms.
Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions are also available, as is router protection. A somewhat unusual unlimited simultaneous connections allowance should prove attractive to small businesses or heads of Brady Bunch-like families.
In addition to top-notch VPN protection, Surfshark also offers antivirus protection, truly private search, and alerts when data breaches include your personal information.
24/7 live agent chat, a contact form, and a searchable knowledge base make up the provider’s around-the-clock support.
- “MultiHop” VPN option for double anonymity protection
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Fast connections
- Apps lack some advanced options
BEST FOR BUDGET:Surfshark's low-priced multi-year subscription options will make the provider an attractive option for many users. In addition to a low price, the provider offers an unlimited simultaneous connections allowance and above-average security and privacy protections. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN performs at a reliably high level in multiple areas at once: wide-ranging global server network, speedy connections, and above-average content-unblocking power, which make it a solid option for Turks who like to stream international content.
The provider’s comprehensive global server network offers more than 3,000 servers located in Turkey and 94+ other countries. The servers offer reliable access to geo-blocked local content around the globe. The servers work great from inside Turkey.
Online travels are kept undercover by the provider’s military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. A split-tunneling feature allows users to select which apps will use the provider’s encrypted tunnel of protection. The provider’s proprietary Lightway protocol offers improved security and performance.
As for privacy, a strict no-server-logs policy and a Bitcoin subscription payment option have things covered. Plus, the provider’s “TrustedServer” technology writes data to the server’s RAM, never the hard drive, so all data stored on the server is completely wiped each time the server is rebooted.
This provider supplies more than enough speed for HD streaming, online gaming, and sharing of large files. (Your speeds will vary according to your usual connection speeds.) No data caps to ruin the party here.
You can use just about any connected device with ExpressVPN, as the provider offers apps for Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS (including native Apple Silicon support), Linux, Chrome OS, and Windows devices.
Browser sessions are well protected due to the provider’s Chrome, Edge, and Firefox extensions. Plus, comprehensive router compatibility keeps all of your other connected devices protected. Up to five devices can connect at once on a single set of login credentials.
Always-available customer support includes 24/7 live chat, a trouble ticket system, email support, and a searchable knowledge base.
- Servers around the globe and inside Turkey
- Fast download speeds
- Reliable access to geo-controlled content
- Complete online privacy and security
- More expensive than other providers
- Limited to five simultaneous connections
OPTIMAL FOR STREAMING:ExpressVPN boasts fast connections, the ability to unblock streaming services around the globe, comprehensive app support and a large server network, making it a great choice for streaming international content. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost will be an attractive option for users that have never used a VPN to protect their internet activities. The provider is also an excellent option for experienced users looking for one-click online protection.
The VPN provider’s global server network consists of more than 8,800 servers stationed in 90+ countries, making it one of the most impressive in the industry. That large network provides reliable access to geo-controlled content around the globe.
CyberGhost’s use of military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, IP and DNS leak prevention, and automatic kill switch protection keep your online travels undercover. Also available are ad and tracker blocking, malware protection, and a feature to force websites to serve up secure versions of their pages if they are available.
A no-server-logs-ever policy and cryptocurrency subscription payment option have things covered on the usage and payment privacy side of things.
CyberGhost’s fast connections are perfect for video streaming, gaming, and other popular online pastimes. No data caps or bandwidth throttling to worry about here.
The provider’s easy-to-use app offerings include options for the Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, Windows, and Amazon Fire device platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, along with comprehensive router compatibility, are also present and accounted for.
Up to seven devices can be connected simultaneously on a single account.
Customer support is always available and includes 24/7 live chat, email support, a trouble ticket system, and a support library.
CyberGhost also offers other privacy and security services, including alerts when a data breach exposes your personal information, a password manager, and virus and malware protection for Windows users, as well as much more.
- Easy-to-use one-click apps
- Large global server network
- Blazingly fast connection speeds
- Streaming- and downloading-optimized servers
- Doesn’t work well in some restrictive regions
- No router apps or firmware available
ATTRACTIVE OPTION FOR VPN ROOKIES:First-time VPN users will appreciate CyberGhost’s easy-to-use yet powerful VPN protection. The provider delivers fast and well-protected access to geo-controlled content. A 45-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
5. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a well-known VPN service, providing fast, well-protected access to content around the globe.
PIA global server network is larger than average, with 3,300+ servers located in 80+ countries. The network provides access to geo-fenced content from most areas of the world.
Banking-grade encrypted connections, IP/DNS leak prevention, and kill-switch protection keep your online antics incognito. Ad, tracker, malware, and malicious website blocking is also available.
The provider follows a strict no-server-logs policy so no records are kept of your online activities. Meanwhile, a cryptocurrency payment option keeps your payment information incognito (for even more privacy, subscribe using a disposable email address).
PIA’s download speeds are slower than the other VPNs on this list. However, it should provide more than enough horsepower for your favorite online activities. The provider never spoils the fun with data caps or bandwidth limitations.
Android, Android TV, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux apps are available. Chrome, Opera, and Firefox browser extensions are also ready and accounted for. PIA is also compatible with numerous routers.
Up to 10 devices can be simultaneously connected on a single account.
Live chat, a trouble ticket form, and a searchable support library are always available to assist you.
- Apps for popular devices
- Large global server network
- Comprehensive online security and privacy
- No streaming or downloading-optimized servers
- Issues working in some restrictive areas
RELIABLE VPN PROTECTION:The large Private Internet Access server network provides well-protected, fast connections to geo-controlled content. The provider’s comprehensive security and privacy protections protect your online activities from being monitored. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Private Internet Access.
PrivateVPN is a study in highs and lows. While the provider performs quite well in many service categories, it comes up short in others.
Global server coverage is one of the lows when it comes to this provider, as it has only 200+ servers in action. It should be noted that the provider does a good job of spreading the servers around, as it has them placed in 58+ countries, including Turkey.
A strong point for the provider is its maximum security protections. PrivateVPN uses government-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. In addition, a proprietary “Stealth VPN” option disguises your VPN activity, making it hard for restrictive countries like Turkey to detect your VPN usage.
Privacy is also a high point thanks to the provider’s no-server-logs policy and a private Bitcoin payment option.
PrivateVPN scores well in the connection speeds department, providing high-speed connections suitable for HD streaming, fast-moving online games, and sharing large files. No data caps to worry about with this provider.
App support comes up a bit short, but it may be enough for many users, as apps are available for the “big four” platforms, with offerings available for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Manual setup instructions are available for using the service with Linux devices.
Browser extensions are not available, but you can use router features to protect all of your connected devices. Up to 10 devices can connect concurrently using the same login credentials.
Although the provider claims that 24/7 support chat is available, I have often visited its website only to find the chat balloon is red, indicating no one is manning the chat function. However, you do always have the option of email support and an FAQ help section.
- Stealth VPN feature disguises your VPN usage
- Speedy connections
- Up to six simultaneous connections
- Servers are a bit thin
- App support could also stand to be improved
THE “STEALTHY” VPN PROVIDER:PrivateVPN absolutely offers highs and lows when it comes to VPN service, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. The provider’s Stealth VPN feature and fast connections offer reliable protection for all of your online activities. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
7. Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN keeps your online activities undercover, while also providing reliable access to content in countries around the globe.
While the provider’s global server network coverage (750+ servers in 43+ countries) is certainly not the largest around, it offers reliable access to geo-fenced content wherever it has servers.
The provider’s fast connections are well-protected with government-grade encryption, a kill switch, and other protections. Safebrowse and Safebrowse Plus protection keeps you away from online dangers and pesky ads.
Atlas VPN servers are run free of usage logs, so there is no evidence of your online antics. Unfortunately, no cryptocurrency payment option can be found.
It delivers plenty of bandwidth, easily handling any online activities. No data caps or bandwidth throttling to spoil the fun here.
Native app support options include Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV applications. At the time of this article, the provider does not offer support for Linux, browsers, or routers. However, Atlas says all three features are being developed.
Atlas VPN allows users to connect an unlimited number of devices to its servers.
Live support chat is for paying customers only. However, all users have access to support via email, a contact form, and a support library.
- Fast, well-protected connections
- Reliable access to geo-fenced content
- Blocks ads and other online nasties
- Lacks router, browser, and Linux support
- Global server coverage could be better
UNLIMITED VPN CONNECTIONS:Atlas VPN provides protection for an unlimited number of connected devices. The provider’s somewhat modest server network provides reliable access to geo-controlled content wherever it has servers. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Atlas VPN.
Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Turkey
Not just any VPN can provide comprehensive online security and privacy while inside Turkish borders. There are several key features to consider when picking a VPN for use in Turkey.
The most important factors to consider when choosing a VPN for Turkey are:
- Connection speeds: No matter where you’re located and no matter your favorite online activity, a fast connection makes your online experience better. The VPNs included on my list all provide fast connections.
- Server network: A provider with a large global server network provides access to content in other regions of the globe. Providers with more than one server located in a single country are a definite plus, as that helps make sure that an individual server won’t be overloaded by too many users.
- Value: A VPN is good value if it provides a high level of services for its asking price. Every VPN I include on my list offers excellent value for money.
- Ease of use: A VPN’s apps should be intuitive to use and available for most popular platforms. All of the VPNs I recommend offer easy-to-use apps.
- Security and privacy: Comprehensive online security and privacy protection are a must. Banking-level encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection are just a start. Also, a provider should never save logs of your online activities. All of the VPNs I recommend offer all of this and usually more.
- Streaming: The VPNs I suggest offer reliable access to popular streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
While the list above is exhaustive, my research doesn’t end here. This is just a small part of my overall VPN testing methodology. This data-driven approach provides a deeper understanding of these providers and their services, allowing me to recommend only VPNs that are a good fit for my readers’ needs.
Why Not Use a Free VPN?
Using a free VPN is a bad idea in any country, but in a country like Turkey, where the government frowns on VPN use and blocks numerous VPN providers, using a free VPN is downright foolish.
Free VPNs simply do not offer sufficient online protection for use in Turkey. There is little that is private when using a free Virtual Private Network.
Free VPNs monitor their users’ online travels. They do this because even a free VPN needs to keep the lights on, and information about online activity is a valuable commodity they can sell to advertisers and other nosy parties. (This could include the Turkish government, so there goes your privacy.)
Other free VPNs have been caught inserting tracking cookies and ads into their users’ browsing sessions. (And those browser cookies stick around even after you’re disconnected from the VPN’s network.)
You’re also going to be disappointed with a free VPN’s convenience and performance.
When you first connect to a free VPN, you may find yourself cooling your heels with other free VPN users in a virtual waiting room (six virtual feet apart, of course), waiting until you’re given the green light to connect to a server.
Once you’re given the high sign to connect, you may then find that your selection of VPN servers is severely limited, or even worse, that you’re automatically assigned to a server of your provider’s choice. (So much for internet access to geo-blocked content around the globe.)
Once you’ve fought your way through the above virtual hazards, you’ll likely find that your connection speeds are suffering greatly. That’s because VPN providers throttle free users’ connections to preserve bandwidth for paying users. They also place daily or monthly data caps on free use, making a freebie VPN a bad choice for streaming and gaming.
Does any of this sound like a good idea? I’d rather spend a few bucks per month and not worry about any of the issues I’ve listed above.
What Advantages Does a VPN Provide?
A Virtual Private Network is absolutely the best way to protect and enhance all of your online activities.
A VPN protects your internet travels by encasing your connection in a protective tunnel of strong encryption. This hides your online activities from the prying eyes of the government, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and hackers, all of which would love to see what you’re up to online.
VPN encryption protects you when you’re connected to an unprotected public WiFi hotspot like those found in hotels, airports, coffee shops, and other public locations. Most public hotspots don’t require a password to connect, making it easier for users to connect. Unfortunately, this means there is a lack of encryption, making it easier for hackers to monitor you.
This makes public WiFi users an enticing target for the bad guys, as they can silently watch while you shop and bank online, giving them the chance to harvest valuable personal information, such as credit card and bank account numbers. By using a VPN, no one can observe your online activity, protecting you and your personal info.
That same protective layer of encryption prevents your ISP from watching you online and from throttling or blocking your connection if they discover you’re engaging in “unapproved” activities like sharing files via P2P or viewing video from certain streaming services.
A VPN also opens access to literally a world of great content that you might normally be blocked from. A VPN does this by “spoofing” your geographical location.
A device’s IP address identifies it on the internet, much like your home address identifies it for the mail service. And, like a mailing address, an IP address can also be used to identify the device’s geographical location.
A VPN can temporarily assign a new IP address to your entire device, making it appear as if it is in another region of the world, opening internet access to geo-blocked local content in that area.
Residents of Turkey as well as visitors to the country will appreciate a Virtual Private Network’s ability to protect and enhance all of their online travels while inside Turkish borders.
My #1 choice for optimal VPN protection is NordVPN.
NordVPN offers excellent performance in every important VPN service category.
A comprehensive global network of servers delivers speedy, well-encrypted connections that provide reliable internet access to geo-blocked content around the globe. The provider offers apps for all popular device platforms, and their 24/7 customer support is always there if you need it.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
Turkish VPN FAQs
Will I Get a Local IP Address From Turkey With a VPN?
You can get a local IP address from Turkey by subscribing to a VPN service that has not been blocked in Turkey and that has servers located inside Turkish borders, like the ones in this article. Then you simply need to start up the VPN app and connect to a VPN server inside of Turkey. This will open access to geo-blocked local content.
Is a VPN Easy to Set Up in Turkey?
Yes. When you subscribe to a VPN provider, you’ll have access to their app downloads. As long as your VPN of choice offers a native app for your favorite device, you simply download and install the app on your device, run it, enter your username and password, and you’re ready to go.
Can I Keep My VPN On All the Time When I Visit Turkey?
In a country like Turkey, where the government continues to crack down on internet freedom, I strongly suggest leaving your VPN connected at all times. That way, you won’t forget to turn it on and risk leaving your online travels open to monitoring, and you won’t reveal your true IP address.
- Turkish Content Lockdown
- Can a VPN Help Me Avoid Turkish Blockades?
- How to Use a VPN in Turkey
- Best VPN Service Providers for Use in Turkey
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. Private Internet Access
- 6. PrivateVPN
- 7. Atlas VPN
- Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Turkey
- Why Not Use a Free VPN?
- What Advantages Does a VPN Provide?
- Turkish VPN FAQs
- Will I Get a Local IP Address From Turkey With a VPN?
- Is a VPN Easy to Set Up in Turkey?
- Can I Keep My VPN On All the Time When I Visit Turkey?