When living in or visiting a country where the government controls the Internet, it’s best to use a VPN when surfing online. Why? Well, a VPN hides your online activity and allows you to access otherwise blocked sites. It also lets you send and receive data online while preventing others from accessing that data. Since the data passes through a VPN tunnel, it is encrypted for anyone but you.
Even though the internet in Bahrain is censored, having a VPN is still legal, so there’s no need to worry about getting in trouble for using one. It will keep you safe from the authorities spying on you and let you enjoy your internet freedom.
Best VPNs for Bahrain
As mentioned previously, Bahrain’s government blockades can be avoided by having a VPN, which will provide you with encryption that’ll keep your data safe and secure your anonymity. Your traffic origin will not be able to be tracked by ISPs, and you won’t need to worry about surveillance or censorship.
Getting a VPN is very easy:
- Sign up for a VPN service of your choice
- Download and install it on your computer, phone or tablet
- Launch it, sign in, and then connect to a VPN server
- Once the connection has been established, surf the internet without restrictions
Below is a list of VPN services we recommend for Bahrain.
ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for anyone looking to add extra security to their online activity, as it provides military-grade encryption and has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. Its huge number of servers makes it very safe because it allows you to connect to servers which will make your IP address seem as if you’re not even close to Bahrain and thus let you surf without a care in mind.
Since ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, they are definitely nowhere near the 5/9/14 eyes alliance jurisdiction, keeping you safe from global surveillance.
They keep a strict no-logs policy, which means that they will never keep the IP address you connected to, your actual IP address, your browsing history, etc.
The service is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Chromebook and Linux, and can be used on up to 3 devices simultaneously.
In case you encounter any trouble, its agents are available on a 24/7 phone line.
Here’s a list of reasons why you should choose ExpressVPN for your VPN in Bahrain:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Ultra-fast streaming speeds
- Compatible with Android TV (Box) and Fire TV
- Apps available for every device
- Hides your streaming activity
- No connection logs
- No activity logs
- P2P possibility
- Ping times that are minimally affected
- ExpressVPN works extremely well in high censorship countries
- Military-grade encryption
- Large international server network
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Outstanding customer service
- 99% uptime guarantee
- Up to three simultaneous connections
CyberGhost is another great VPN option as it has over 5500 servers in 90 countries, with over 1000 servers being located in the USA.
With its headquarters in Romania, it promises its users complete anonymity, as the European Data Retention Collective cannot be applied in this country due to its laws being rendered unconstitutional.
It’s compatible with most devices, including Mac, Windows, Android, iOS and Linux, so that you can use it on your laptop or computer, but also your smartphone.
Like ExpressVPN, they also have a no-logs policy, meaning they will not record or observe telephone calls, messenger chats, IP addresses, login and logout times, etc. No one can connect you to your VPN account.
This service also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to cancel your subscription within that time period in case it’s not the right option for you.
A few more reasons why CyberGhost can be your Bahrain VPN:
- Strict No Logs Policy
- High speeds
- Automatic Kill Switch
- Simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices
- Easy to use
- 256-bit AES Encryption
- Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
- OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols
- Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers
Read our review to find out more!
Though it’s a newer name in the VPN circle, Surfshark is becoming popular for a reason, having more than 800 servers in over 50 countries.
What’s great about it is that you can sign in to your account on unlimited devices you own, so that your smartphone, computer, and tablet can all stay well protected.
Surfshark has a kill switch feature, which disconnects the user if the connection drops, ensuring your data stays safe. Another useful feature is its MultiHop feature, which lets you choose several servers across different countries at once, helping hide your location even better.
Here’s why Surfshark is also a great option for a VPN in Bahrain:
- Great download speeds
- Zero logging
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited platform protection
- Unlimited Server Switching
- Some servers work with Netflix
- Strong encryption
- Torrenting allowed
Find out more about its features here!
Another VPN service with a strict no-logs policy – ZenMate. Based in Germany, it has hundreds of servers across more than 30 countries. Despite its no logs policy, be aware that Germany does belong to the 5/9/14 eyes alliance.
ZenMate has a free seven-day trial, allowing you to see how it works before you decide to purchase it. If you do purchase it, but change your mind, it also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
With lightning-fast speeds, it will let you stream your favorite movie or TV show easily.
ZenMate is compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, and you can use it on up to 5 devices at a time.
In case you run into some problems, its responsive customer service is at your disposal.
Choose ZenMate as your Bahrain VPN for these reasons:
- Compatible with Snapchat, Twitter, Skype, Spotify, WhatsApp, Gmail
- No logs policy
- Unlimited data
- High-speed connection
- Always on switch
- Money-back guarantee
- Easy installation
- Browser apps for Chrome, Opera and Firefox
- Available for Mac, iOS, and Android
- Built-in DNS leak protection
Read more about it here.
With ProtonVPN, your data will be shielded with Swiss privacy laws, making it a great choice for keeping your online anonymity in Bahrain. Since it’s based in Switzerland, it’s outside of EU and US jurisdiction and not in a 14 eyes country. In short, they will not spy on their users.
ProtonVPN lets you connect to 474 servers in 36 countries.
They are known for providing full transparency, letting you know who’s working the service. Like with other VPN services mentioned above, you will leave no trace online when using it as they have a strict no-logs policy.
Moreover, its kill switch feature blocks network traffic when your connection drops, and its always-on feature re-establishes your connection automatically.
Another great feature is Secure Core which performs as a double VPN.
Giving it a try will cost you nothing at all, as it offers a free plan.
Here are a few more reasons why ProtonVPN is among the best VPNs for Bahrain:
- Strong encryption
- Forward secrecy
- All major platforms covered
- Strong protocols
- Swiss Based
- Strict no-logs policy
- DNS leak protection
- Kill switch
- Tor over VPN
- Easy to use
- Professional support
- P2P support
- Up to ten devices covered
- Quick country selector
- Quick connect
Learn more about it here.
Privacy Laws and Regulations
Bahrain Internet Censorship
Bahrain is one of the countries whose internet penetration rate is amongst the highest in the world. Due to the growth on the Internet and fixed telephone lines, Bahrain has become a regional leader in information and communication technology. What is the best internet provider in Bahrain? There are a few, like Batelco, Zain, and VIVA.
However, Bahrain’s government has been interfering with internet freedom there.
Bahrain’s government commenced a violent crackdown in 2011 on peaceful protests calling for more representatives of the Shiite majority in the Sunni-led government. Many people holding a different opinion (online or otherwise) have since then been suppressed with arrests, torture, intimidation, and censorship. The crackdown on the political opposition was renewed in 2016.
Since then, hundreds of websites have been blocked, while the number of topics banned in online discussions has increased. For instance, banned topics involve criticizing the royal family or showing support for Qatar, a country with which Bahrain has severed diplomatic relations.
While the people in Bahrain still point out human rights abuses on social media, media coverage of human rights has been greatly restricted by the government. For example, the country’s sole independent newspaper has been suspended for two years now, making people rely on foreign sites.
Users have also been forced to change the tone of certain posts, delete content, or even flee the country.
Bahrain Internet Laws
Although internet freedom has improved a bit since 2018, human rights defenders, opposition websites, and online journalists are continually being censored, some even jailed. One internet user was handed a six-year prison sentence simply for retweeting a tweet that was allegedly an insult to Bahrain’s king.
According to Freedom House:
‘’There is no law guaranteeing freedom of information. The Information Affairs Authority (IAA) has the power to censor and prevent the distribution of local and foreign publications, close newspapers through court proceedings, ban books and films, block websites, and prosecute individuals. Under the 2002 Telecommunications Law, the government has considerable authority to regulate internet activity. All websites are required to register with the IAA, and religious and political content is heavily censored. Website administrators are responsible for all content posted on their sites and are subject to the same libel laws as print journalists.’’
Moreover, there’s evidence of the government spying on its dissidents. According to Freedom on the Net:
‘’Several reports have documented the government’s use of spyware against dissidents. In November 2015, new evidence showed that Bahrain had used the Remote Control Systems (RCS) from the Italian cybersecurity firm Hacking Team. The spyware allows remote monitoring, including recording phone calls, logging keystrokes, taking screenshots, and activating cameras, among other functions. Malicious links are often sent from Twitter and Facebook accounts impersonating well-known opposition figures, friends,151 or the accounts of arrested users. In October 2015, at least four cases were recorded in which opposition members received emails containing malicious spyware. ‘’
Although Netflix has been launched in Bahrain, its offer of movies and TV shows seems to be a disappointment as compared to others, like the US Netflix. Less than a third of the content available in the US version can be accessed in the Bahrain version of Netflix. However, there is a way for you to be able to access more content, and the hack is: use a VPN service.
By installing a VPN service and connecting to any location within the US, you’ll be able to access the US version of Netflix and thus, have a greater array of content available for streaming. Of course, you may also connect to a location within some other country, such as the UK, and access UK Netflix that way.
Why miss out on the news or your favorite TV show when traveling? With a VPN, you can continue to keep up with the latest news in Bahrain. The geo-blocked content will be available to you with a VPN, whereas you would otherwise not be able to access it.
Here are some of Bahrain’s streaming channels you can tune into:
The Bottom Line
Due to the censorship regime in Bahrain, browsing the Internet has its restrictions. However, these can be solved by installing a VPN service which would allow you to access blocked sites and use blocked applications. With a VPN encryption to your data, you won’t need to worry about being tracked by ISPs, Bahrain’s authorities surveilling or censoring you, nor about how to unblock sites in Bahrain.
Having a VPN will allow you to avoid internet shutdown, access blocked VoIP apps such as Telegram, and avoid content removal.
When choosing which VPN to pick, take into consideration how many devices it supports, how many server locations there are, whether it is user-friendly, how strong is its security, does it keep a no-logs policy and how fast it is.
The above-mentioned VPN services are certainly amongst the leading options to choose from when it comes to deciding about the best VPN for Bahrain. It’s up to you to see which one suits your needs the best.