5 Best VPN Saudi Arabia – How to watch blocked content in KSA
If you live in Saudi Arabia, or are going to be visiting the country, you are going to need a VPN to keep you secure online. By using a VPN for Saudi Arabia you can unblock censored and geo-blocked websites by pretending to be in a different country. Due to the dangers associated with attempting to access censored content in the Middle East, your VPN must provide watertight privacy.
In this article, we list the best VPN providers for Saudi Arabia and give you some tips on how to stay secure and private online.
What are the Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia?
We have listed the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia below. If you want more information about these services, then be sure to take a look at our in-depth analysis of each VPN.
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[[post-object type=”gotolink” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary” provider=”expressvpn”]]Try ExpressVPN – Our #1 VPN pick for Saudi Arabia[[/post-object]]
Unblocking websites in Saudi Arabia can be dangerous. This is why all the services we recommend have the following features:
- Obfuscated servers
- No logs policy
- Advanced security tools (a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, etc.)
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Best VPN Saudi Arabia – In-depth Analysis
We take a closer look at the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia below. These are the best options for securing your online activity, and protecting your privacy, while you’re browsing the web in Saudi Arabia. If you want more in-depth reviews for any of these services, you can check out our detailed VPN reviews.
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How to use a VPN in Saudi Arabia
All of the VPNs we have recommended in this article have simple, user-friendly VPN apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. This makes them easy to use anywhere in the world (including Saudi Arabia).
It’s not illegal to install or use a VPN in Saudi Arabia, but the government takes steps to restrict their use and blocks many VPN provider websites, alongside other general methods of censorship.
With that said, bypassing government censorship in Saudi Arabia is riskier than in most places, and could get you in trouble with the law (though as of time of writing, nobody has yet been prosecuted for the use of a VPN). This means that you must use a kill-switch and obfuscation (advanced VPN features that ensure higher levels of privacy).
Below we’ve listed the steps you’ll need to take in order to set up your Saudi Arabia VPN and enjoy freedom online with peace of mind:
- Choose a VPN provider from this article and visit its website.
- Subscribe to the VPN plan that best suits your needs (longer subscription terms usually offer larger discounts).
- Download the VPN software from your VPN’s website.
- Install the VPN and login to the app using your credentials.
- Click on the settings icon and ensure that the kill-switch feature has been enabled.
- Turn on the VPN’s obfuscation features (stealth mode conceals VPN use from your ISP).
- Check the encryption settings and ensure that you are using a strong protocol such as OpenVPN or IKEv2.
- Connect to a VPN server in a country where you require an IP address (or anywhere outside of Saudi Arabia where they have strong privacy laws).
With the VPN successfully connected, your online habits are now much more private. Your ISP can no longer monitor what you do online and you can bypass local censorship without the Saudi government finding out. In addition, you can pretend to be in a different country to access different Netflix regions.
How to test your VPN before using it in Saudi Arabia
It’s always worth taking a moment to test your VPN connection to make sure it is working correctly. You can use our simple ProPrivacy leak test tool to check whether your IP address is being successfully concealed. This will inform you if the VPN is suffering from any critical DNS or WebRTC leaks.
A VPN that leaks your IP address is one that cannot be relied upon to protect your privacy. So be sure to check that the VPN has installed on your system as it is supposed to by checking for leaks.
To run the test, simply load the testing tool page while disconnected from the VPN and follow the instructions on-screen. The VPNs in this guide have been carefully tested by our team of experts to ensure they don’t have leaks of this kind, but it is always a good idea to double-check!
What VPN server should I connect to in Saudi Arabia?
To get the best connection speeds, you should always try to connect to a server that is close to you. However, it would also be a good idea to connect to a country that is not politically affiliated with Saudi Arabia.
We recommend choosing a country where it is legal to access the censored content that you wish to view. This will ensure your speeds stay consistently quick as well as make sure that VPN servers are not at risk of being raided by anyone working for the Saudi government.
On the whole, we do not recommend using VPN servers located within Saudi Arabia itself. These are at risk of government raids, meaning you could open yourself up to being discovered writing a blog (or doing anything else) that you wouldn’t wish to be caught doing.
Why you should consider using a VPN in Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Arabian government has imposed high levels of online censorship and surveillance. Any online content considered divisive or critical of the government, the monarchy, or the county’s religious and cultural beliefs is subject to strict control and blocking. ISPs in the country must ensure that any dissenting content is completely censored. And, any websites that carry information about gambling, alcohol, drugs, or nudity are also strictly controlled.
VoIP servers had been blocked in Saudi Arabia since 2013. At that time, the kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) blocked all VoIP services in an attempt to protect citizens against content they considered potentially blasphemous, or that would be damaging to national security and peace. Luckily, since then, the VoIP ban has primarily been lifted. However, you do still need a VPN to make Whatsapp calls.
In addition, there are fears that due to Saudi Arabia’s close links to the US – and its high levels of wealth – that the country has an invasive level of surveillance technology at its disposal. As a result, it seems likely that the government is placing citizens under constant and intrusive levels of surveillance.
This makes it both difficult and dangerous to evade the blocks that the Saudi government has imposed. This is why it is important to use a highly secure VPN with strong privacy and security features.
Internet restrictions in Saudi Arabia
The main obstacle you must contend with online while visiting or living in Saudi Arabia is internet censorship. Many sites and services are inaccessible, and you will need a VPN to unblock them. There’s also plenty of content unavailable inside Saudi Arabia due to copyright geo-restrictions.
The VPNs we’ve listed have servers in worldwide locations, and you’ll be able to pretend to be in any of them with just a few clicks. In this way, you can overcome local censorship and access sites hosted in other countries. For example, you can use a VPN for Netflix and access Netflix content from all over the world.
Saudi Arabia bans websites that are incompatible with their religious beliefs and therefore considered “immoral.” This includes any depiction or discussion about homosexuality, pornography, or prostitution.
“Immorality” in Saudi Arabia also stretches to women’s rights, which are severely restricted. Gambling websites are also off-limits. With a VPN, however, anybody in Saudi Arabia can securely unblock websites.
How to securely unblock websites in Saudi Arabia
Due to the politically restrictive nature of the Saudi regime, unblocking content could theoretically get you in trouble. Women, LGBT citizens, and other heavily marginalized groups are at particular risk, and could face corporal punishment if caught unblocking censored websites.
It is also important to guard what you write and say in Saudi Arabia. The country is immensely strict, and seemingly innocuous opinions could land you in serious trouble.
Also, Saudi Arabia has banned just about every online chat, voice, and video messaging service imaginable. The main motivation for these bans is to protect the profits of the state-owned telecom company.
Although Saudi Arabia doesn’t ban social media sites, it blocks VoIP apps that are integrated with social media services. This includes Facebook Messenger, which is not accessible from the Facebook site or via the app. WhatsApp, Hangouts, Line, Telegram, Snapchat, FaceTime, Team Speak, Wi-Fi Calling, Skype, and Viber are also under control.
With a VPN for Saudi Arabia, anybody in the country can unblock restricted websites and services and use them in privacy. However, because of the nation’s politically sensitive climate, you should use a VPN carefully. And if you choose to use a VPN, you do so at your own risk.
Features to consider when choosing a Saudi Arabia VPN
Though there are hundreds of VPNs on the market, not all of them will be suitable for use in Saudi Arabia. This is partly due to the delicate political situation, but also because plenty of VPNs simply don’t offer the security and privacy features you need.
To unblock content in Saudi Arabia without fear of punishment, your chosen VPN must provide certain security features.
A VPN is a versatile online service that allows access to censored or blocked website content and services. By allowing users to pretend to be in a different country, citizens living in (or visiting) Saudi Arabia can use a VPN to access websites that are supposed to be off-limits. Religiously contentious websites, blacklisted news sites, pornographic or sexually liberal websites, and geo-restricted foreign services, can all be unblocked using a Saudi Arabia VPN.
To keep you secure, a VPN will cloak your IP address and assign you a new one. Most also use military-grade encryption. This powerful combination of privacy tools will stop ISPs, the government, workplaces, and schools from keeping tabs on your online activity. And this is why a VPN is essential for people living in Saudi Arabia.
Which VPN features you need
Unblocking content in Saudi Arabia requires a top-quality VPN with advanced privacy features – not every VPN will offer the security you need. Our experts have picked VPNs that let you bypass censorship without being tracked by the government. This is important because using a weak VPN will get you in trouble. Here’s a quick list of the features you need to stay secure in Saudi Arabia:
- Properly implemented military-grade encryption: Different VPNs will provide different levels of encryption, and we’d recommend only the best to stay secure in Saudi Arabia. Go with OpenVPN encryption whenever you can.
- Kill-switch: A function that will terminate your internet connection automatically if it senses that your VPN has dropped out. This is a useful tool, as it prevents your data from accidentally leaking to your ISP.
- DNS leak protection: A DNS leak would also inform your ISP about the websites you are visiting. That would be a disaster in Saudi Arabia.
- Stealth mode/VPN cloaking: This is a feature that conceals VPN use entirely. It adds an extra layer of security by disguising OpenVPN traffic as regular HTTPS. This makes it incredibly hard for ISPs to detect that a VPN may be in use.
Can I use a free VPN in Saudi Arabia?
Although there are plenty of free VPNs on the market, it is important to remember that the vast majority of them will not protect your privacy. Most free services have dodgy privacy policies that allow them to harvest user data to sell it to third parties. This is the complete opposite of what you want a VPN to do. Some free services have also been found to lie about the encryption they provide, suffer from critical leaks, and even to contain spyware and adware. As a result, it is important to be very careful when choosing a free service.
The good news is that there are some free VPNs out there that are safe to use. However, it is important to remember that these services only provide a free version to advertise the full premium account. As a result, the free plan is a loss-leader that has been purposefully stripped back.
If you can’t afford a premium VPN, a free subscription can give you some limited use of a VPN. This can be very helpful, so feel free to check out our recommendations. However, before using one of these free VPNs for Saudi Arabia, remember that they have the following restrictions:
- Fewer server locations to connect to
- Limited connection speeds
- Monthly download restrictions
- No Netflix functionality on the free plan.
If you need unrestricted use of a VPN for free, we urge you to consider making use of the money-back guarantees and VPN free trials provided by the 5 best VPNs for Saudi Arabia in this article. That will allow you to properly experience an unrestricted VPN with vital features such as a kill-switch and obfuscation.
Are VPNs legal in Saudi Arabia?
Having a VPN and using it in Saudi Arabia is not illegal. We can say with confidence that it’s far more secure to use a VPN than a proxy in Saudi Arabia. It is also true that many people – including women – use VPNs to manage anonymous blogs from within the country. There is no doubt about it though: it’s risky! You should take care if you do decide to follow suit.
As long as you pick a reliable and trusted VPN from our list, you’ll be free to use the internet in privacy. Unblocking content or writing blogs could get you in trouble – so we strongly recommend staying away from untrusted VPNs. Even using one of the highly commended VPNs in this list is risky because of this delicate political situation.
How does Saudi Arabia monitor the internet?
Saudi Arabia uses several methods to monitor internet usage. They use technology to filter websites based on content, directing all international internet traffic through a proxy farm where a content filter is applied. This filter is based on software by Secure Computing and is managed by the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC). The government also infiltrates social media platforms to control information and monitor its use.
Below you can take a final look at our top 5 VPNs. Each of our recommended providers has a money-back guarantee – so that you can test them risk-free and in your own time:
Below we have included the answer to some of the most popular FAQs people ask about using a VPN in Saudi Arabia:
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”How can I get a VPN in Saudi Arabia?” answer=”To get a VPN in Saudi Arabia, all you need to do is to choose a VPN from this article. Following that click on the link and subscribe to the VPN service. Once you have subscribed you can download the VPN software and start using the VPN to gain privacy and freedom online.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”What sites and apps are banned in Saudi Arabia?” answer=”
In Saudi Arabia, any websites critical of the government or the monarchy are blocked. In addition, all nudity, pornography, gambling sites and casinos, sites that discuss alcohol and drugs, and sites that are considered blasphemous against the prophet Muhammad and Islam are banned.
Websites affiliated with Iran, Hezbollah, groups in Yemen, and websites associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria are also restricted, as are any sites that try to convert people away from the Islamic faith.
The Whatsapp calls feature is also completely blocked. And, websites for services that allow people to bypass this censorship – such as VPNs and Tor – are also blocked to ensure that people can’t easily access the tools they need to circumvent the blocks.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Will I get in trouble for using a VPN in Saudi Arabia?” answer=”
Using a VPN is not technically illegal in Saudi Arabia, and, while the country does intentionally block the servers and websites of popular VPN providers – many people do use VPNs to access regionally restricted content in Saudi Arabia.
With that said, anybody who is discovered accessing restricted content in Saudi Arabia is breaking the law and could suffer very serious ramifications. Thus, it is not having and using a VPN that is illegal – but rather what you choose to do with your VPN.
It is for this reason that it is vital to use a VPN that has a no-logs policy and advanced privacy features.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”How to get a Saudi Arabian IP address?” answer=”If you are looking to unblock content from Saudi Arabia, you can use a VPN to get a Saudi IP address. Just follow the steps below:
- Subscribe to the VPN that suits your needs best (make sure it offers servers in Saudi Arabia).
- Download and install the software/app from the provider’s website.
- Scroll through the server list and connect to a server in Saudi Arabia.
- Browse the internet!
Yes, it’s that easy to get a Saudi IP address. Now that you’re connected to a Saudi Arabian server, you’ll have a Saudi IP address and can access its regional content.” /]]