Heidi Finigan | 13 May 2017
Reporters Without Borders described Saudi Arabia as an internet enemy in a report published in 2012. This didn’t surprise anyone. Saudi Arabia doesn’t get much respect for press freedom. They are open about their internet censorship policies. All the internet traffic from the 25 licensed ISPs of Saudi is routed to KACST, an organization entrusted with the job of monitoring the cyber sphere. They also have a content filter that blocks numerous websites.
The Saudi administration blocks websites on two grounds – moral and religious. Websites that are thought to promote immoral content and those that are blasphemous in nature are banned. Not only pornographic sites, but websites related to family planning, sex education, and gay and lesbian relationships are also banned.
Social media sites are blocked in Saudi Arabia. Besides blocking various websites, the Saudi administration monitors people’s internet activity. Anyone who is caught indulging in immoral or anti-religious activities on the web faces serious consequences. Websites that criticize Islam or the Prophet are also blocked. Committing blasphemy is a crime that can invite death penalty in Saudi Arabia. Why make such mistakes when you can protect your internet freedom and security by simply using a VPN?
If you live in Saudi Arabia or are planning to visit that country, you need a VPN connection to enjoy unlimited access to all the content you want. In Saudi, you cannot speak your mind out safely. Even online platforms are not safe.
A VPN is the easiest and most popular means of getting around Saudi Arabia’s draconian censorship and surveillance rules. A VPN routes your traffic through an encrypted tunnel. Spammers or government agencies cannot decode it even if they manage to intercept. Popular VPN networks use the powerful 256-bit encryption.
Using a VPN is not illegal in Saudi Arabia and when you use one, Saudi authorities cannot see what you are doing online.
While choosing a VPN company, you should ideally choose one that does not keep logs. Even if they do keep logs, you do not have to worry about the VPN sharing those details with the Saudi Arabian administration. As long as you do not break the laws of the country where the VPN is located, you do not have anything to worry about. If you are damn sure that your internet activity will get you into trouble, choose a VPN that does not keep any logs. Political activists who are against the Saudi regime, for example, need to choose a service that does not keep any logs.
So, without further ado, here are our current favorite picks for the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia:
VyprVPN has dedicated apps for Android and iOS users. Their Pro version comes with 256-bit encryption. You can use their connection on up to 3 devices at the same time. VyprVPN connections are fast and ideal for streaming. They offer a 7-day money back guarantee. VyprVPN does not keep any logs. While it is true that their prices are on the higher end, they have their own data centers and hence they can offer excellent speeds. Vypr also supports P2P downloading.
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PureVPN supports P2P downloading on some of their servers. PureVPN has servers in countries like Romania and Turkey and throughout Europe. They are a Hong Kong based VPN. They do keep logs but that shouldn’t be a cause for concern because Hong Kong is not notorious for strict cyber policies and laws.
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IPVanish provides amazing download speeds. Their VPN client has a neat and intuitive interface. They are a US based company. While they insist that they do not keep logs, some users have questioned that claim. Even so, there have been no instances when they shared information of their users with the Saudi Arabian administration.
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Tags: Saudi Arabia
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