Internet Restrictions in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is one of the least free countries in the world, according to Reporters without Borders. All internet use there is filtered through government-controlled entities that enforce their censorship. Websites banned in Saudi Arabia are those viewed as immoral, including not just pornography and alcohol and drug use but also anything advocating sexual education, women’s rights, freedom of religion or thought, and homosexuality. Sites that present religions other than Islam or even other branches of Islam are also among websites banned in Saudi Arabia.
Internet restrictions in Saudi Arabia extend to social media, as well as the banning of social messaging apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, FaceTime, and many others. If you’re using a Saudi Arabia IP address, you know that everything you do online is watched, including your social media comments and blog posts. Anything that criticizes the government or Islam is also blocked, which makes many foreign news sites unavailable. Posts that are deemed blasphemous to Islam could be punished with lashes or even the death sentence.
Use a VPN in Saudi Arabia
Given Saudi Arabia’s repressive internet censorship, using a VPN is almost vital. A VPN hides your Saudi Arabia IP address so that you appear to be surfing from a different location. By replacing your location with somewhere like the USA or the UK, for example, you can get around geo-restrictions and copyright infringement laws that prevent specific content from being available in certain countries.
VPNs also protect you from the government’s watchdogs by hiding all your personal details along with your country’s IP address. By encrypting your data, they safeguard it from the eyes of anyone else so that the government cannot discover what you are doing online.
Best VPN in Saudi Arabia
It’s clear that internet restrictions in Saudi Arabia are no laughing matter, so when you look for a good VPN for Saudi Arabia, you need to be certain that you can rely on it. We searched for the best VPN for Saudi Arabia and found that it needs to include these features:
- Industry-standard encryption to make sure that your personal details and IP address cannot be accessed by the censoring authorities.
- Zero logs about your web activity, personal identity, and location. This way, even if someone did legally force the VPN provider to share your details with them, the company would not be able to tell them anything.
- Nearby servers so that you can access fast and speedy internet without any lags or buffering time.
- Unlimited bandwidth that permits you to use P2P sharing and torrenting to stream HD movies and other entertainment content fast.
- Bitcoins as a payment option instead of a credit card or PayPal, to gain an extra layer of anonymity since the virtual currency can’t be traced back to you.
Here are our picks for the best VPN for Saudi Arabia.
#1 ExpressVPN – Our Top Pick
145 servers mean that there are enough nearby to keep you surfing speedily, as well as a speed test so that you can choose the fastest server available. Expats can use ExpressVPN to keep up with their favorite TV shows or read the news on any site by switching IP location to one of its 94 countries, while unlimited bandwidth gives you access to P2P sharing and torrenting to your heart’s content.
- $12.95 a month
- $9.99 a month for a 6-month plan
- $6.67 a month for a 15-month plan
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 Cyberghost VPN – The Web Freedom Advocates
CyberGhost’s 256-bit AES encryption technology, strong privacy DNS and IP leak policies, and kill switch protect your anonymity by keeping your details firmly hidden from anyone who might want to find them. Zero logs help make it even more certain that no one but you knows about your internet usage.
You can replace your IP location with that of one of CyberGhost’s 1,056 servers in 38 countries worldwide to access the full range of movies and TV shows on sites like Netflix or keep up with news on foreign news sites. Unlimited bandwidth lets you enjoy P2P file sharing and torrenting, as well.
- $11.99 a month
- $5.99 a month for a 1 year plan
- $3.50 a month for a 2 year plan
For more information on Cyberghost Pro features, read our extensive Cyberghots VPN review.
#3 NordVPN – Solid, Reliable & Secure
Double encryption through two servers using 2048-bit SSL hides your IP address so you can make full use of any website without geo-restrictions. NordVPN’s total zero logs guarantee and kill switch keep you anonymous online, while over 1,000 servers in 59 countries bring you fast browsing without lags or buffering.
P2P file sharing and torrent protocols are open to you with unlimited bandwidth, and the VPN can be installed on as many as six devices. NordVPN is also easy to use, making it simple to work out how to unblock Facebook Messenger in Saudi Arabia as well as other social messaging applications.
- $11.95 a month
- $5.75 a month for a 1-year plan
- $3.29 a month for a 2-years plan
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#4 HotSpot Shield – US Based Service
HotSpot Shield brings you fast internet speeds so that you can watch movies and shows, enjoy online gaming, and browse sites without waiting for them to load or buffer. It offers high level encryption and doesn’t hold any logs about your internet activity or personal identifying information so that you can remain anonymous and protected from surveillance.
- $12.99 for a monthly plan
- $8.99 a month for a 6-month plan
- Premium plan: $5.99 a month for a 1-year plan.
For more information on HotSpot Shield features, read our extensive HotSpot Shield review.
#5 ZenMate – Not Just For English Speaking Users
Although Zenmate has a disclaimer that it cannot guarantee that its VPN will work in Saudi Arabia, there are hundreds of thousands of internet users who utilize it. Zenmate has servers in over 30 countries so that you can browse the web at high speeds without lag times.
Its industry standard encryption hides your IP address as well as your personal details so that you can get around both geo-restrictions and government surveillance.
- $4.99 a month
- $7.49 a month for a 3-month plan
- $8.99 a month for a 12-month plan billed annually
For more information on ZenMate features, read our extensive ZenMate review.
Why You Need a VPN for Saudi Arabia
It’s clear that you need a VPN for Saudi Arabia if you want to have any freedom online. Here are some of the reasons:
- Watch your favorite movies and TV shows that are hidden behind geo-restrictions
- Escape government surveillance
- Express your opinions freely online without fear of being arrested for blasphemy or acting against the government
- Read the news on foreign news sites
- Communicate with friends and family using social messaging apps
- Use P2P file sharing and torrents
- Protect your personal details and data from hackers and thieves who try to access it
Now, you just need to choose the best VPN for Saudi Arabia that suits your needs.