David Balaban

David Balaban

David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 15 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. He has published his articles on such online media as Hackernoon, Tripwire, Infosecinstitute, and Cybrary.

The 5 Best VPNs for the UAE

Last updated: August 13, 2019

It is very difficult to protect your privacy online. It’s the case of all the countries in the world including the UAE. However, with the help of a VPN service provider, you will be able to protect yourself from illegal snooping.

Thus, it is a good practice to have a closer look at the best VPNs for the UAE:

  • Express VPN – more than 2000 servers together with 5 tunneling protocols will make your web browsing not only unrestricted but secure as well. Going through our link, you get extra 20% Off.
  • Nord VPN – being compatible with all popular OSes, Nord has over 5100 fast servers that can be used for both streaming and torrenting.
  • CyberGhost VPN – it is possible to protect a big family by means of this VPN provider, as it allows 7 simultaneous connections.
  • IPVanish VPN – its 1100 high-speed VPN servers. But it has US jurisdiction
  • VyPr VPN – with the servers placed in 70 regions of the world, you will unblock any website even in such a strict country like the UAE.

You can also use our list of the 10 best VPNs.

According to Google Trends, the most popular VPN service in the UAE is ExpressVPN.

The United Arab Emirates is one of the few places that restrict most of the content offered on the Internet. If you are an expat from the USA, the UK, Australia, etc., then you will find that you are not able to access most of the popular websites and services that you used to access freely in your motherland. In the UAE, blocks are in place for all materials like pornography, sex, dating, gambling, etc and hence websites that carry such explicit content are completely banned.

There are many people working in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai find it difficult to access Skype, gambling, and dating websites. Despite the blocking of the sites, there are many people who have access to these websites without any problems. How are they able to get around the blocking of certain websites and accessing information?

The simple solution is that they are using a VPN or Virtual Private Network service. The VPN will be offering you an alternate IP address that will help you to unblock regional website content.

It got about that the president of UAE has endorsed a new law this year considering VPN usage. Using a VPN or proxy server today is known to be illegal. As a punishment a VPN user can be fined ($136 000-$545 000) or even imprisoned. Previously a VPN usage was legal for average users unless a felony commitment was covered up. But this is not the only problem a user from Dubai can come across. 

It was not long until internet users, including those in Dubai, experienced problems like being a victim of hacking, online identity theft and the like. It felt like there was a need for users to become anonymous to avoid falling victims to various schemes done by some people that take advantage of the desire of people to use the internet.

Because of this, there was a strong clamour to have the perfect VPN for Dubai to protect those people who actively use the internet.

Internet freedom in the UAE

According to the latest estimate, the UAE makes the first ten countries with the most restricted internet access. Thus, the status of the Internet in the country is stated as NOT FREE, as long as there have been detected obstacles to access (13/25), limits on content (23/35), violations of user rights (33/40).

In such a way, a full picture of the internet status there can be seen from the diagram below:

Internet freedom score in the UAE

According to the received data, it can be assumed that the country remained highly restrictive in internet freedom notwithstanding quite a high percentage of Internet penetration – 90.6%. Therefore, having decided to travel there for business or vacation, you definitely need a good VPN for the UAE. 

However, the Internet is overloaded with multiple VPN outputs. That’s exactly why you should rely on experts’ opinion only.

What websites are blocked in the UAE?

It is not a secret that VPNs unblock banned websites. This is very advantageous for the UAE residents, as the country is very strict towards the content posted online.

What content is banned in the UAE?

The authorities of the United Arab Emirates limit the access to the websites, which:

  •  contain erotic and adult material (pictures, videos, texts);
  •  serve to find partners (dating websites);
  •  neglect local values (moral, ethic, religious);
  •  promote gambling, illegal things like arms, drugs, etc.;
  •  serve to bypass restrictions;
  •  are at variance with UAE laws and rules.

The websites that underwent blocking in the UAE:

  •  archive.org;
  •  couchsurfing.org
  •  donotflyemirates.org;
  •  facebook.com;
  •  flickr.com;
  •  gretnaweddings.com;
  •  localnewsuae.com;
  •  mafiwesta.com;
  •  orkut.com;
  •  secretdubai.blogspot.com;
  •  skype.com;
  •  uaehewar.net;
  •  uaeprison.com;
  •  uaeuniversitywatch.net

NB! It is interesting to know that some websites and services may undergo blocking. For example, Skype was unavailable in the UAE. However, it became accessible again in the year 2012.

5 Best VPNs to unblock any site in the UAE

Here are the best VPNs for the UAE:

How a VPN works for the UAE: quick guide

A VPN is a private network that will make use of a public Internet network to easily connect to remote sites. Many of the people make use of the VPN service so that their data is not compromised and no one gets access to their Internet privacy.

It is important to choose a VPN service in the UAE that offers top end, multi-layered security, and advanced privacy protection. A reliable VPN service will mask your real IP address with one of the IP addresses and by doing so it will keep the websites and the Internet service from tracking your web browsing activities.

As every data to and from your system to the VPN service passes through a secure VPN tunnel, you don't need to worry about anyone looking to monitor what you are searching and where you are located. After a secure connection is established through the VPN security layer, you will be given a new IP address which will substitute your location. This is very useful when you are trying to beat a location-based restriction of popular websites.

Is VPN legal in UAE?

Some countries pass laws, according to which, it is strictly prohibited to use VPN services. The fines and other penalties are presupposed for law-defying people.

Notwithstanding the fact that the UAE is a very strict place in terms of Internet freedom, the attitude to VPNs in UAE is ambiguous. VPNs are not illegal to use, but they are forbidden to use to commit crimes.

In case a person is suspected of illegal activity by dint of VPN service, he/she will be jailed or it will be required to pay $500.000.

Anonymous browsing with the best VPN for UAE

If your identity is easily revealed online, then, there are chances that your data and other vital information are soft targets for hackers and cybercriminals. The government agencies and the snoopers will also be able to know what you are doing online and the websites that you are visiting.

A VPN service will help you from being exposed online as you will be browsing the websites on anonymous IP address. You don't need to worry about data mining and identity threats when using a VPN.

Who will benefit from anonymous browsing?

  • people who want to surf the Internet securely;
  • family abuse victims (they will have a chance to get a professional counseling);
  • workers who are to exchange secret messages.

Unblocking websites

Came to the United Arab Emirates and couldn’t access favorite websites?

There will be no problems if you subscribe for a VPN (a worthy privacy tool).

By making use of a popular VPN service that has servers strategically located all over the world, you will be able to enjoy everything on offer on the net without any interruptions. This service will bypass all firewalls and censorships of your ISP and provide you instant access to all sites.

Change your IP and see what will happen…

You can make use of IP addresses and servers of any country to easily access blocked web content. For example, if you find that you are not able to watch your favorite TV shows offered through Hulu in the UAE, you can get unrestricted access to the content by making use of the United States IP address and server access offered by the VPN. This way, you can watch American content sitting in your home in Dubai.

State-of-the-art technologies

Accessing the Internet through shared routers, public Wi-Fi hotspots or even through your ISP provider puts your privacy, files, data and sensitive information at great risk. But, using a VPN service will ensure that your data is transmitted through high-grade encryption protocols. The best VPN services will be offering you military-grade data protection through VPN protocols like OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/ IPSec technologies. You can easily defend yourself from eavesdropping and data monitoring by Internet hijackers.

How to choose the best VPN for the UAE?

Having decided to make your network free and protected in the UAE, you need to keep in mind several essential characteristics a good service should perform:

  • a vast variety of server locations;

If you want to achieve a free internet access in the UAE, you should have a wide list of servers placed all over the globe. Providing that you have established an internet connection through one of the US-based servers, you will be able to watch Netflix, Hulu, Freeform, and use other censored services like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. Once you are connected through one of the US servers, you will be visible for other online users as a US customer.

  • strong encryption protocols;

Besides, all the other features, protocols play the main part in the process of your confidential data securing. If you need a VPN for streaming heavy traffic and enjoying multi-player games online, you’d better use PPTP, as long as it doesn’t reduce an average speed a lot. When top-notch protection is required, you should rely on OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec protocols. However, the idea can be losing if your average upload and download speeds are low even without a VPN. 

  • unlimited bandwidth and speed;

If you want to maintain online negotiations, as well as watch streaming services in a high quality, you should pay attention to the feature. Providing that a service offers limited bandwidth and speed, you won’t be able to watch any video content without lags, hits or technical delays.

  • a free trial version or a money-back guarantee;

In case your service offers a free trial version, you will have a possibility to test the app before subscribing for it. Besides, many paid VPNs suggest using a money-back guarantee, which is to make your budget insured against extra expenses.

  • support of different payment methods;

Having a possibility to pay with cryptocurrency, you’d better jump at the opportunity, as long as your banking data will be gathered and stored by a VPN company on its servers.

  • 24/7 professional technical group assistance;

Being an average customer or even a tech-savvy user you should know that some cases require professional intermediation. Therefore, before subscribing for a service you need to make sure the technical group works fast and efficiently.

  • kill switch facility;

It is significant for netizens to be protected even in case a VPN has lost its connection. It may last a couple of seconds, but this time is enough for adversaries to steal your sensitive data and use it against you. Kill Switch function will help to prevent such problems and be protected 24/7/365.

  • unlimited server switching;

The facility to change virtual location makes it possible to be untraced on the Internet. Besides, it becomes possible with this function to access any content being in the UAE.

  • support service;

Having subscribed for a VPN service, one may face troubles with the account, installation and what not. Customer support service helps to overcome such difficulties. In case a VPN offers live chat communication, any problem will be solved in a matter of minutes. Guides and video tutorials are also very helpful.

  • absence of logs;

Some of the VPN providers do keep logs, which is quite negative for its subscribers’ security. In case a VPN stores data on their users, they are vulnerable. Free-log VPN policy makes its clients safe while browsing the cyberspace.

Attention! Let me tell you a story… It will not take much time, but teach you one important thing! The head of a big corporation (let’s call it “A”) interviewed potential employees. He gave them books and left. No one of them was hired. Do you know why? The phrase “Here is my phone number. Contact me if you’ve read till this moment.” was at one of the last pages of the book. Here is the conclusion: read everything till the end. The last sentence may contain the main idea. I guess you have understood that it is essential to read all the documents before subscribing for a VPN service for the UAE.

If all the fundamental features are proposed by a service for the UAE, you can subscribe to it without any doubts.

Opt for the best

Are you looking for the best free VPN for UAE 2019?

It is not bad, but you may be disappointed in its work.

There are many free VPNs out there, but you would encounter:

  •  unstable connections;
  •  slow Internet speeds;
  •  no secure protocol;
  •  third-party advertising.

Opting for a paid VPN service ensures:

  •  more bandwidth;
  •  high-level encryption;
  •  fast Internet connectivity;
  •  great diversity of IPs and server locations;
  •  several connections per account;
  •  additional features of the kill switch, NAT firewall, and what not;
  •  premium customer service.

So what VPN service for UAE to prefer?

Choose a VPN service that offers a host of security features at an affordable price.

Besides, when talking about such restrictive in terms of internet country as the UAE, you need to take into account all the possibilities the best VPN for the UAE should give.

As long as not all the companies presented on the market today are customer-oriented, more often than not users face such problems as ill-timed customer support assistance, a low variety of defensive protocols in use, limited bandwidth, and speed, unfair privacy policy, lack of money-back guarantee, etc.

All the nuances may influence the operation of your future VPN service for the UAE, which can result in dissatisfaction with the service, data exposure, inability to stream heavy traffic over the network and even fines imposed on you.

That’s exactly why we have decided to assist you in the issue and made up a list of the best VPNs, which meet all the basic demands and offer special possibilities, such as a money-back guarantee and a free trial, kill switch, and warrant canary.

In case your budget is too small for subscribing for NordVPN or ExpressVPN for the UAE, for instance, you can look at some cheaper variants. However, as it has been already mentioned, you shouldn’t alter your choice for the worse while subscribing for a free service.

Unluckily, most of the free outputs are lack of essential characteristics and can make money on your confidential data, such as logging credentials or metadata, which can be further passed to some interested third parties. Therefore, you need to come down to the point bindingly.

Being the UAE citizen you may wait for better improvements in the sphere of internet freedom. However, as the recent statistics has demonstrated the situation changes for worse from year to year. This is why you should understand that life is not rainbows and unicorns will NOT care for your online safety before something bad happens to you.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or corrections, please, contact us via the email or just leave your comment below. We cherish our followers and will definitely try to make the best for your online safeness.

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