Lantern is a censorship circumvention tool available for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS that delivers fast, reliable, and secure access to censored websites and apps.
Lantern believes access to the uncensored internet is a human right. We are committed to providing private, fast, reliable, and secure access to the free and open internet so that our users, no matter where they are on the planet, can freely seek information and share their stories with the world.
Lantern works using a dynamic infrastructure of circumvention tools in order to proxy users traffic and allow connection to otherwise censored areas of the internet. Once downloaded and installed on your device, simply toggle the Lantern button on to begin your uncensored use of the internet.
Lantern, our core product, is often referred to as a VPN for ease and translation; however, it operates with much more sophistication. VPNs use standard protocols and server infrastructure, rendering their website traffic obvious to network observers. This makes it relatively easy for censors to detect and block connections. Lantern uses a wide range of techniques and protocols to stay undetected, unblocked, and seamlessly connected.
In addition to its circumvention tool, the Lantern application also offers its censorship-resistant, privacy-protected public content storage feature called Discover. Lantern will soon launch Chat, its secure, private messaging service with built-in censorship circumvention.
Lantern is available in every country on the globe, with a strong presence in Iran, Russia, China, and other countries experiencing state-sponsored internet censorship. With 150+ million downloads to date, Lantern continues to give access to the open internet in the face of heavily restricted free speech.
As a U.S.-based organization, Lantern openly and freely shares its application with every corner of the globe.
There are many ways that those in the uncensored world can support those in the censored world!
Donate to support millions of free users. For every $10, you can provide 100 people with access to free and uncensored internet for a month. Donate here.
Spread the word. Follow our social media channels and telegram groups and share Lantern with those who need it most.
Privacy and Security
With over a decade of experience and 150 million downloads to date, Lantern is a stalwart of Internet circumvention and is motivated solely by its mission to provide private, fast, reliable, and secure access to the free and open internet so that people, no matter where they are on the planet, can freely seek information and share their stories with the world.
Lantern collects diagnostic information when users share feedback for debugging purposes and anonymous usage analytics of our apps and website to offer you a better user experience, but we do not retain this information any longer than necessary.
If you choose to send Lantern diagnostic and usage data, we will never share, sell or lease this data to third parties or use it for any other purpose than making our services better for our users. The Lantern settings allow you to configure this according to your personal preferences.
Lantern encrypts the traffic it sends to our servers to protect your data and privacy.
Lantern has two modes. By default, it will only send traffic through our servers if that traffic is censored, while it sends other traffic directly.
If you select "Proxy All" in Lantern settings, however, Lantern will send all of your traffic through our servers.
By default, Lantern only proxies blocked traffic for optimal performance. If you would like to enable proxying for all traffic, navigate to the Lantern homepage, open the menu in the top right corner, select Settings, click Show Advanced Settings, and enable “Proxy All Traffic.”
Downloads & Installation
Lantern can be downloaded in many ways as we strive to make our application as accessible as possible to our global userbase. At the top of this page is a large "Download" button that will direct you to a page with specefic download instructions depending on your device and Operating Software. You can also simply click here, to view this page! You may also prefer to receive a direct download link via email. To do so, simply send a blank email to any of the emails listed below, and you will receive a reply with device specific download links! (If you are downloading Lantern on an iOS device in a restricted location, follow these instructions).
Downloading Lantern for iOS requires an AppleID based in an unrestricted country or region. If you currently have a valid payment method with a billing address in an unrestricted location, you may simply follow Apple's instructions for updating your AppleID location to that country or region. Otherwise, it will be necessary to create an alternate AppleID using the steps below.
Setup New AppleID in Unrestricted Country or Region
Sign out of iCloud (Data and funds may not transfer to the new account.)
Create a new account
Verify with unlinked email
Choose an unrestricted country.
For more details, see this article from CNET.
Note: An address is required for “billing details,” but you may choose any public address (such as a library) in your new Country or Region to proceed. Payment method is not required.
As Lantern users continue to grow, maintenance costs increase significantly each month. To maintain and innovate our product, we need to support our operations by charging a small fee for unlimited service. While all users can use Lantern free of charge, there is a daily bandwidth limitation. When the bandwidth limit is reached, the connection is slowed and Lantern Free users are prompted to upgrade to Lantern Pro. Free users in certain heavily censored regions are exempted from this cap, and may use unlimited data.
Desktop: Once you download and install Lantern, the Lantern icon will appear in the system tray on the lower right of your screen (on Windows) or in the menu bar at the top of your screen (on macOS). As long as the icon is there, Lantern is running, and you can automatically access blocked sites in any browser or application. You can stop Lantern anytime by clicking the Lantern icon in the system tray or menu bar.
Mobile: Simply download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to begin your Lantern experience. Once downloaded, open the app and flip the switch to turn Lantern on or off!
Desktop: Once Lantern is downloaded on your desktop, open the application and the Lantern icon should appear in your system tray on the lower right of your screen (on Windows) or in the menu bar at the top of your screen (on macOS). Clicking on this icon will allow you to choose to “Show Lantern,” opening up the Lantern homepage on your device's preferred browser. The homepage allows you to access Lantern’s Discover feature, customize your settings, and report user feedback.
Mobile: On Android and iOS, the Lantern app will open to display a switch that toggles Lantern on and off. To report user feedback or customize your settings tap on the gear icon in the lower left corner of your screen. To link your mobile device to Lantern Pro follow these instructions
Because the world of censorship requires constant change and adaptation, we at the Lantern team release new versions of our application quite frequently. It is for this reason, that our users should make a conscious effort to stay up to date by checking what version of Lantern they are running and then ensuring that this matches the current version of Lantern displayed on our Status Page. If you are having trouble identifying your own Lantern version, follow the instructions below.
Desktop: To identify the version of Lantern that you are running on your desktop device, first open the Lantern homepage. Once you are viewing your homepage, you will see the version identified in the bottom right corner of your screen as shown in the image below.
Mobile: To identify the version of Lantern that you are running on your mobile device, first open the Lantern App. You will then need to open the settings window of the application by naviagting to the account window and then hitting the settings option. Once you are in the settings window, the Lantern version will be displayed at the bottom of your screen as show in the image below.
Currently, neither Lantern Free nor Lantern Pro support customized server location. Because of Lantern’s large user base and limited server space, users are automatically assigned to specific servers to increase efficiency across our entire user base.
Discover allows users to easily search for and upload media content. It allows access to censored content from popular sites like YouTube, while enabling anyone to safely and anonymously upload content. Discover promotes global content distribution without capturing any metadata that might compromise anonymity.
It bolsters Internet freedom by offering a wide range of searchable decentralized censorship-resistant content uploaded to the Lantern network.
It lets users stay anonymous: Often described as a decentralized SecureDrop, Lantern’s Discover protects the privacy and security of its publishers and users by working over a reliable and untraceable BitTorrent connection.
Discover uses the BitTorrent protocol to enable a peer-to-peer decentralized transfer of files over the Internet. Blocking this protocol is computationally very expensive, given the widespread use of BitTorrent for software updates and other functionalities across the Web.
Knowledge of how BitTorrent works is not required: we don't ask end-users to install BitTorrent clients. Furthermore, Lantern replicates content in case other peers are not reachable or are blocked, so that access to content is always available.
Users may upload any content: text, images, videos, apps, pdf files, and so on, and share Lantern links through social networks. Users can also easily delete their uploaded content.
Note: Discover is currently available on Desktop and Android.
Lantern Pro offers all the features of our free version and more:
Faster speeds: Lantern Pro gives you the fastest connection to the open internet by using optimized servers that are less crowded than our free servers to offer you the best speed possible.
Better performance:With servers distributed globally, Lantern Pro’s dynamic server allocation is constantly looking to connect you to the best-performing server, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted connection. If one server is not performing, the user is transferred to another, ensuring a steady connection. This allows for improved defense against censor interference with your connection.
Unlimited data: Lantern Pro provides unlimited data to browse the web, stream videos, and download content so that you will always have a fast, unblocked connection.
Three devices: With a Pro account, you can use Lantern Pro on up to three devices and enjoy the benefits of Lantern Pro on your desktop and mobile devices.
You can purchase one year of Pro for $48 (USD), or two years of Pro for $87 (USD)
To switch from the free version to Lantern Pro, simply download Lantern on your desktop, navigate to the Lantern homepage, and click on the “Upgrade to Pro Lantern Pro” in the center of your screen. After entering your email and payment information your account will be automatically upgraded to Lantern Pro.
For instructions to link additional devices to your Lantern Pro account click here. For instructions to activate Lantern Pro with an activation code click here.
Lantern Pro Activation Codes are used when a Pro subscription is purchased via the Lantern Reseller Program, or if you are provided a code directly from the Lantern Team. Otherwise, your Lantern Pro account will be directly upgraded once completing the payment process, and you should not require a code.
If you already have an activation code you would like to use to upgrade to Lantern Pro, navigate to the Lantern console, click the “Have a Lantern Pro activation code” button which is located directly below the “Upgrade to Lantern Pro” button in the center of the Lantern homepage screen. You will then be prompted to enter your Activation Code and your email address, and upon doing so you will be upgraded to Pro!
Yes! Every user gets a unique referral code that can be shared with friends. You get two free months of Pro for each friend who signs up for Pro using your referral code. Start inviting!
An individual Lantern Pro account can be linked to up to three devices. Users may link additional devices following these instructions.
To find the indication that your Lantern Pro subscription has been activated, look for the "Lantern Pro" icon in the top left corner of your Lantern homepage on desktop. Additionally, to check if additional devices have been properly linked to your Pro account, navigate to the “Pro Account Management” window in your account drop down menu. This page will list the current devices connected to your Lantern Pro account.
Desktop: To recover your account or add another desktop device to your Lantern Pro account, navigate to the “Authorize Device for Pro” window from your account drop down menu. Then click “Email Linking,” and input the email associated with your Lantern Pro account. You will then receive a code via email. Enter this code on the Lantern homepage of your desktop to connect to Lantern Pro. Additionally, you may choose to link you desktop device with a linking pin. To do so, you will need a device on which your Lantern Pro account is already active. From the already active device, find the "Authorize Device for Pro" button and enter the linking pin to complete the authorization process.
iOS: To connect an iOS device to your Lantern Pro account, first find the unique 6-digit device ID on your iOS device, found in Settings. Next, navigate to the “Authorize Device for Pro” window on your desktop device and hit the “Device Linking” button. Once you enter your device ID here, your iOS device will be connected to your Pro account.
Android: To connect an Android device to your Lantern Pro account, first find the unique 6-digit device Linking code on your mobile device, found in Settings. Next, navigate to the “Authorize Device for Pro” window on your desktop device and hit the “Device Linking” button. Once you enter your device ID here, your Android device will be connected to your Pro account.
Lantern Pro offers users the ability to access Pro benefits on up to three devices. If you have linked a device to your Lantern Pro account, and would like to remove it, navigate to your “Pro Account Management” window from your account drop down menu. This page will include a list of the current devices linked to your Pro account. Next to each device is the option to “Log out” or “Remove Device.” Simply click on this option next to the device you wish to remove.
To enable more people to access Lantern, we offer the Lantern Reseller Program. Individuals and organizations can become a Lantern Reseller by bulk purchasing Lantern Pro account activation codes and distributing or selling them to those who need Lantern Pro.
When your bulk purchase is complete, you will receive a Lantern Pro Account Activation Code for each account you have purchased. These codes will appear in the "Past Purchases" tab, and are the codes you can distribute. A user with a code can login to Lantern Pro and link up to three devices (Desktop/Android/iOS). Lantern Pro Account time begins when the end user activates their account. You are responsible for helping end users use the activation key, but the redemption process is documented here. The activation key has the format of: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.
All Sales are final. If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up here
Circumventing censorship is challenging because state sponsored filters change frequently. These changes are sometimes temporary and political, while in other cases they come in the form of new technologies, deployed to promote blocking.
To maintain the best in censorship circumvention, the Lantern team continually tests, monitors, and updates the Lantern application. Ensure that you're using the latest version of Lantern for best results. Our updated download links can always be found here
You may encounter some sites that remain blocked despite your Lantern connection being otherwise stable. Some sites have self-imposed measures against the use of the proxies that Lantern affords users as a means of circumvention. The Lantern team is continually ensuring that our infrastructure is updated to provide access to as many blocked sites as possible.