Over the past forty years, Dubai and the UAE have grown tremendously to become major economies in the Middle East. Unlike other countries, there is strict internet censorship that is meant to block certain sites and applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, Netflix, among others. It is because of these restrictions that have made VPNs to gain immense popularity in the recent past. So, if you are planning to visit these countries, or you are already living there, you should find the best VPNs for Dubai and UAE to bypass the censorship.
There were laws that banned the use of certain VPNs which were amended with more restrictions. The amendment laws threw VPN users into a limbo. Therefore, in this article, we are going to highlight some of the best VPNs for Dubai and UAE which are working effectively for internet freedom, privacy and also try to demystify some of the misconceptions about legal issues.
What are some of the factors to consider when looking for VPNs in Dubai and UAE?
Since there are very strict regulations, it is important to make sure you do not post anything that may be considered insulting or offensive. Still, to be on the safer side, it is imperative to ensure you choose a provider that offers good encryption. This will help to conceal your identity from authorities. So, if they try to trace your IP address, they can only access the network you used. Getting good encryption is an excellent way to hide from the constant surveillance and online policing. Additionally, you can also have a built-in kill switch. It will help to keep you safe at all times by severing your connection to the internet if the VPN fails.
Another important factor to consider is privacy. Even though security is imperative, privacy is just as important. You should ensure that the provider you choose does not keep logs. This means that your online activities will not be available even if authorities ask for them.
Even though the sites and applications are blocked in Dubai and UAE, they are accessible in other countries. Therefore, it is important to choose a provider that has servers outside these countries. This way, you will be able to access even some blocked sites.
Speed is another important feature to consider when selecting a VPN provider. A slow connection is very annoying especially when you are streaming or downloading. You should ensure that there are no bandwidth caps. Limitation on the bandwidth will make the VPN stopped working leaving you vulnerable.
Below are top ten VPN in Dubai and UAE
In addition to the kill switch and DNS leak protection, it has a stealth mode that helps to overcome bandwidth throttling. The stealth mode also helps to prevent ISPs from noticing VPN use. Also, the provider has a network of over 140 servers that are located in over 90 countries. The location of servers in different countries helps to keep the VPN more secure.
Each of the servers is configured for a fast connection. The desktop version of the VPN has a built-in speedometer that enables the user to manage the connecting speed. To increase the speed, the user has the option of changing the servers. Therefore, if speed is your top priority, you should consider the ExpressVPN.
One major advantage of this VPN is that it can be used on more than one device simultaneously. In addition, you access the VPN on all the popular platforms such as Windows, MacOs, Ios, Android, etc. What’s more, there is a 30-day refund guarantee. This means that you can try it risk-free to ensure it suits your needs before making a payment. For added privacy, there is an option of making the payments using bitcoins.
- Super-fast connection for streaming and downloading
- Incredible secure encryption
- 30-day refund guarantee
- 24/7 customer service availability
- Slightly expensive
NordVPN is famous for its extra amount of security. The providers have a double encryption process that enhances the safety of their clients. They use a 2048-bit SSL encryption code which is impossible to break even when using a supercomputer. For added security, the code is complemented with a zero-logging policy, DNS protection, and a kill switch. Also, the VPN comes with unlimited bandwidth on a network of over 950 servers in 57 countries. This is a massive network that is tailored for speed and privacy.
Another important feature that sets NordVPN apart from its competitors is the configuration of the servers for different types of traffic. For instance, if you are downloading a movie on torrent, the data will be passed through a server that is specifically dedicated to handling the traffic. As a result, there is more speed as compared to a multipurpose server. This will enable you to stream seamlessly in sites such as HBO and Netflix.
The VPN has a DNS leak resolver that helps to prevent DNS leak. Additionally, it has a process-specific kill switch to prevent any program from leaking data. Other data leaking protection features include the OpenVPN protocol, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec. Since the VPN does not have a dedicated obfuscation method, it supports Obfsproxy. The provider has provided an easy step by step process on their website on how to set the proxy.
The provider offers a 30-day guarantee refund which will give ample time to make a decision before making a purchase. In addition, the company also provides a full smart DNS service for absolutely free. You guaranteed to get a VPN that is privacy-friendly and incredibly fast.
- Based in Panama (enhances privacy)
- Double encryption
- Dedicated IPS
- IPv6 leaks concern on macOS
This is a high-end VPN service that provides everything you may need in a VPN. It has AES-256 encryption, an austere no-log policy, and over 500 servers that are located in over fifty countries. These features help to enhance security.
It utilizes the OpenVPN TCP/UDP protocols and also supports PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols. The VPN has a zero-knowledge DNS on each server. This means that your data will not be saved on any of the servers. Also, there is a kill switch and double VPN chaining to prevent leakage.
One major advantage of using the Surfshak VPN is the ability to use an unlimited number of devices. It can be accessed through major platforms such as Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android. Users are given the option of installing the service as Chrome or Firefox plugin to address your browsing activities.
- Great security
- Unlimited number of devices
- 30-day refund guarantee
- Slower speeds
The VyprVPN is provided by Golden Frog which owns the infrastructure of the servers. It is very secure since it is based on chameleon stealth mode. The VPN also features kill switch and DNS leak protection for added security even if the connection fails. Also, it does not save logs and therefore you will not need to worry about privacy.
Although it does not have a big network of servers as its competitors, it has enough that is spread in over sixty countries. However, unlike other VPNs, it has servers in Dubai. This means that you can access content in both UAE and Dubai. In addition, the bandwidth is unlimited meaning that you will be protected even if the connection fails.
If you are using a desktop, you can access the service through windows and MacOS and if you are using a mobile phone it is accessible through Android and iOS. Even though the desktop version does not have a prominent design, it is easy to set up and get connected within a few minutes. The provider has an FAQ section on their website to address some of the common issues raised by their clients. Though, if you need more technical assistance, you can access the customer care 24/7 through live chats or emails.
The payment plan is very flexible since you can choose between a monthly rate and a long term plan. You are more likely to get value for your money when you choose the longer plan. The downside of VyprVPN provider is that it does not offer refunds. Also, it only provides a 3-day trial while most of its competitors offer a 30-day trial.
- Strong encryption
- Extensive server network
- 24/ customer care
- Paypall payment method
- No refund
TorGurad is a good VPN for Dubai and UAE option when it comes to practicality. For instance, it offers decent security especially if you like to tinker. Furthermore, you can customize the VPN using the various protocols available. Also, it does not record your activity online and has a kill switch to prevent leakage.
It is based on an extensive network of servers that are distributed in over fifty countries. Some of the servers are located in Dubai meaning that you can access content even from UAE. However, one main disadvantage of this VPN is the poor geoblocks. This can be an issue especially when streaming is your main activity.
At an extra cost, you can get the option of a dedicated IP address for your location. On the other hand, there is no bandwidth limitation to worry about and the speed is fairly good. Desktop clients can access the service through windows and MacOS while mobile phones users can access it using either Android or iOS. However, setting up on the mobile devices can be a bit difficult. Nevertheless, it is simple to choose the particular server you want to connect to.
There is sufficient support from the provider. For example, there are online guides and forums that are meant to help users fix small issues on their own. If you need more assistance, you get help through a live chat. However, this is always not available but you leave a message and wait for a reply.
- Option for a dedicated IP address
- Decent security
- Customization option
- No bandwidth limitation
- Performance speed varies
The VPN provider based in Sweden is an excellent choice for UAE and Dubai for various reasons. Firstly, it won the best value VPN in 2018 on the BestVPN.com. Secondly, there is the option for the 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption, both of which offers exemplary protection and privacy. Thirdly, IPv6 and DNS leaks protection are in-built as well as a kill switch.
Despite a small server network of only thirty countries, it provides great speeds even better than VPNs with huge server networks. Furthermore, it has a good connection for US sites since the majority of the servers are located there. There is also a significant number of servers in the UAE if that’s your preference.
The VPN provider is an expert in unblocking geo-locked content such as Netflix, Hulu, Netflix, among others. In addition, the VPN has gained prominence because of its speed. This perhaps because of lighter encryption.
You can connect up to six devices simultaneously on a single account. The VPN provider offers a 30-day refund guarantee for unsatisfied clients. Also, the bandwidth is not limited making an excellent choice for streaming and downloading.
- Simple and fast server switching
- Strong encryption
- WiFi protection
- 30-day refund guarantee
- Poor customer service
The IPVanish emphasizes maximum security, super-fast speed, and zero logs. It is based on a network of over 750 servers that are spread in over sixty countries. The servers are secured with a 256-bit AES encryption and a tight logging in policy. In addition, the VPN comes with a kill switch and a DNS leak protection to enhance the security of users on blocked and censored websites.
Even though it does not feature a stealth mode, it has a SOCKS5 proxy that encrypts traffic as HTTPS. This is backed with a strong OpenVPN for added protection. Coupled with these strong security features, the VPN has extremely fast connection speeds making it an excellent choice for streaming and downloading. There is also unlimited bandwidth, no traffic restrictions, and limitless server switching. You can also connect up to five devices simultaneously without affecting the speed.
- Excellent connection speeds
- Strong OpenVPN encryption
- Unlimited bandwidth and server switching
- DNS protection
- Slightly pricey
PureVPN is designed to help individuals circumvent restricted internet policies. It comes with reinforced encryption that will keep your online activity private without compromising on speed. The service provider has invested in over 750 servers that are spread in over 140 countries. Each server has not only high-end encryption but also a zero-logging policy. Apart from the top-notch encryption, you will enjoy limitless bandwidth and no file type restrictions.
The VPN comes with a DNS leak protection and a kill switch that will ensure your privacy remains intact. PureVPN will be an excellent choice if you have several devices you need to connect to the VPN simultaneously. In addition, it has a virtual router that will help you turn windows computer into a wireless hotspot. This way, it will be easier to connect your devices without buying an extra router device.
- Massive discounts on a long term plan
- 31-day refund guarantee
- Fast connection
- Limitless bandwidth
- Slow download speed
In most cases, VPN providers market themselves with features and prices. However, AirVPN promises their potential customer with user-friendly services. The service provider is a real champion on the technical part of VPN connection. To stay on the safe side of censorship in UAE and Dubai, you can configure you AirVPN with an SSL tunnel. This will help to hide your activities from ISP and government interference.
- Decent choice of servers
- Reliable performance
- Flexible payment plan
- Does not provide free trial
It is almost a decade since Astrill VPN was launched. Over the years, the service provider has strived to improve on performance, speed, privacy and security features. First, the interface is very simple contributing to ease of use. Secondly, the service provider has a network of over 300 servers that are placed over fifty countries and six continents. Due to the huge network of servers, the speed is very reliable and often above average performance.
Compatibility is very important to consider when choosing a VPN for your needs. Astrill VPN is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Furthermore, you can use the VPN with as many as five devices simultaneously.
- Secure connection
- Multiple protocol option
- VPN sharing
- Mobile browsing security
- Internet communication protection
- Above average prices
VPN laws and regulations in Dubai and UAE
Censorship regulations and laws in Dubai and UAE are mainly based on religious principles and protection of businesses. In terms of religious principles, these two countries mainly rely on a Muslim belief system. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority, content that contradicts the ethics and morality of Islam is blocked. Some of the content includes pornography, gambling, anti-religious sentiments, VoIP sites and services such as Skype and Whatsapp, some Wikipedia pages, among others.
On the other hand, content blocking and censorship are meant to protect businesses. For instance, blocking voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and other apps such as Skype, Whatsapp and google hangouts is meant to protect the local telecommunication industry from competition. Therefore, if you are not using a VPN, communicating within the UAE and Dubai can only be accomplished using legally established means.
Individuals that defy these laws are often arrested, fined heavily or even sent to prison. In addition, people who also engage in discussions on the internet that seem like insulting the religious beliefs, offend the state or the rulers are also punished. Violators are warned that they can receive prison terms of up to 10 years, fines up to 2million dirhams or both. Tourists are advised to adhere to these regulations. Nevertheless, you have nothing to worry about if you are using a secure VPN and obfuscate your connection to the servers.
What VPNs can’t do
- Protect you from malware
Even though most VPNs has strong encryption, they cannot protect you from viruses. Therefore, it is recommendable to have antivirus software and firewalls even if you are using the best VPN
- Automatically protect your Devices
Using a VPN software on your PC does not keep your other devices safe. You should ensure that other devices that you use online are connected to the VPN software to be able to use encryption and IP masking. However, you can overcome this challenge by installing the VPN software on your router.
- VPNs do not guarantee total anonymity
Even though good encryption and IP masking help to hide digital footprints, they do not guarantee total anonymity. If you are not careful, government agencies and skilled hackers can still trace your online activities. However, it is difficult to trace you when the VPN is active.
- Beware of free VPNs
Free VPNs services are advertised everywhere on the internet. These VPNs are not secure and can expose you easily.
Although using VPN is a great way of bypassing certain censorship and content blocking, they can’t help you to get through every type of restriction. That said, you should choose a VPN that helps you to access as many blocked sites and VoIP services. Also, it is important to consider VPNs that have strong encryption to prevent data leaks that reveal your access. This way, you will be able to avoid getting into trouble with authorities. The ExpressVPN is a good choice but PrivateVPN and NordVPN are both low cost yet stronger alternatives, that will provide you with protection and privacy. In addition, it offers very fast connections compared to its competitors. While the information presented in this article is thoroughly researched, it should not be taken as legal advice. The content is only meant to provide information and solutions.