Istanbul, Turkey is one of the top ten most populous cities in the world. With just over 15 million people, it is the largest city in the country. Istanbul’s history is quite long because of its location. If you are going to travel there, you will have plenty to do. However, you won’t want to use public WiFi networks without connecting to a VPN first. This will help protect your privacy and unblock restrictions. We will explain more in a moment, but first, take a look at our list of the best VPNs for Istanbul.
Though pottery dates back to 5500 BCE, ancient Greeks from Megara officially settled the town as Byzantium in 660 BCE. Almost 1000 years later, the Roman Emperor, Constantine, decided to build a Christian city to replace the original one. Though he called it Nova Roma, most people called the city Constantinople. In the mid-1400s, the city became known as Istanbul. However, many people still called it Constantinople into the 20th century.
These days, the city has a major and diverse industrial economy. There are many things that bring people to the city. Those include major companies, museums, architecture, high-end shopping, and more. No matter what reason you are there, there is not a shortage of things to do or see.
With all the industries and attractions in Istanbul, many local establishments offer free WiFi to their patrons. While that may be a great thing, it is also good for cybercriminals. The first reason to use a VPN is to protect your privacy. Whether the threat comes from thieves or from the Turkish government, you will want to use one while there. Simply connect to the secure and encrypted server of your choice, and you are ready. Without doing so, you are vulnerable to prying eyes.
Another good reason to use a VPN while in Istanbul is to help you get around censorship. Turkey has quite a few regulations about what you can and can’t view. They will not hesitate to stop you from seeing anything that they feel is not appropriate. By connecting to a VPN server located somewhere else, you can make the software think you are not in the country.
Those are the two best reasons for using a VPN while in Istanbul. That said, you may discover others when you sign up for the service. Whether you want to get around censorship or protect your actions from prying eyes, a VPN has you covered. Now that you understand why it is important, there are several options you can choose from.
Because VPNs operate by using encryption protocols, there are many options to choose from. The best available protocol to use is OpenVPN. It has a great mix of speed and security. If you are given an option between a TCP and a UDP version of that protocol, UDP is the fastest. You will want to choose the TCP version, though, if you are having connection issues. It is slower but more stable.
ExpressVPN brings together fast VPN access with MediaStreamer which acts as a Smart DNS service to unblock access to geo-restricted content. The VPN service will help encrypt your connection and unblock live sporting events. You will even find a list of the latest live entertainment and sporting events on their website.
As you can see in the table above, ExpressVPN manages a very large VPN network. ExpressVPN network boasts hundreds of servers in key locations to help protect their user’s privacy. That includes locations like Istanbul. You can use their network to protect your privacy, unblock censorship, and enjoy the content you are used to seeing.
The ExpressVPN app allows you to select a server location down to the city but you can not choose a specific server. Instead, the client will select a server in your chosen location. You will want to select the “All” tab, open Europe, and then open Istanbul. At this point, you can select the servers located there. As you can see, we tested a server in Istanbul and the speed came out to be 62.56 Mbps.
While ExpressVPN is sold at a higher price point than the other services in our list, the value is high given the size of their network and service features. You can connect a computer, handheld device, router, and game console (SmartDNS) with a single VPN account for just $6.67 a month with a 30-day money back guarantee.
NordVPN is based in Panama which some users prefer to using a VPN company that’s actually headquartered in the United States. You will find that NordVPN has a strong presence in the US with servers located throughout the country. Members have full access to their network in the UK and beyond for a very good price.
You will find that NordVPN has perhaps the best mix of services for the price if you subscribe to a longer term account. All users have full access to their network and custom software. You can connect using the VPN client for Windows or Mac. They also have an easy to use mobile app for both Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad) devices.
NordVPN hosts a number of servers in Istanbul. From the console, clicking on the 3 horizontal dots to the right of the country, you can locate the server area and see the percentages of the servers available. We tested the a server in Turkey and the download speed was 110.22 Mbps.
Want to access streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world? If so NordVPN is a great choice. They are one of the only VPN services that can still unblock Netflix. You can sign up for unlimited VPN and SmartDNS service from just $2.99 a month with a 3-year membership.
Private Internet Access (PIA) gives users a few different options. Unlike in the past, you no longer have to set up a profile for each VPN server. Now, you can connect to any of their server locations in 25 countries. As you can see below, the PIA team has organized their servers by region, country, and city. The server locations are listed in alphabetical order by country. Once you select a location, you can connect easily to locations in Istanbul.
There are a lot of torrent users who love Private Internet Access. The service includes a feature that will stop your system from communicating if the connection to their service drops. Meaning if your encrypted VPN access is dropped for any reason it will keep you safe.
PIA’s Windows client is very straightforward. You won’t find much to it as far as usage and set up goes. However, you won’t want to underestimate it. PIA offers different levels of privacy protection depending on your needs. You can control encryption levels and find the right balance between privacy and speed. As you can see, our speed test showed that PIA was running at 30.20 Mbps while connected to Istanbul.
When it comes to their Windows client the PIA team has included an Internet kill switch. The kill switch will kill your Internet connection anytime the VPN fails. That can really come in handy for those wanting to ensure anonymity in Istanbul. Private Internet Access offers VPN from just $2.50 a month.
We feel we have already given you the best options to use if you are traveling to Istanbul. However, you are welcome to take a look at our top 10 VPN list. Just be sure the provider you choose has servers located in Istanbul. Our decisions are based on security, speed, reliability, and price. We also looked for providers with servers in Istanbul. That way, the best speeds are available to you. If you want to stream content, good speeds are very important. Because our choices have solid networks, there are no bad choices to make. Our guide will help you make the right decision.