Best VPN for Qatar in 2018
Qatar internet users face a whole host of blocks and censorship. The government blacklist covers sites of many types, which makes surfing the internet an arduous task.
Fortunately, if you live in or are visiting Qatar, you don’t have to succumb to the strict rules.
It’s easy to enjoy complete online freedom using a VPN in Qatar, as long as you know how to avoid being spotted by government tracking software!
We’ve compiled insider knowledge and expert advice, to guarantee a free and safe online experience for anyone in the country.
Qatar Internet Censorship 101
Qatar internet censorship is consistent with other countries in its geographical region. Like most of the Gulf States, it imposes stringent blocks based on religious, social and political motives.
However, it is the Qatar internet providers – not the government – who are responsible for banning specific web pages. Until 2006, Qatar Telecom (Qtel) held a monopoly on the web and was solely responsible for maintaining and monitoring the legal guidelines.
Today, Qtel (now called Ooderoo) and several other ISPs are in charge of imposing the Qatar censorship regime.
Fortunately, the situation is somewhat improving. The 2016 release of Netflix in Qatar showed a step towards a free web.
With a growing expat community and rising levels of internet penetration in Qatar, blocked sites are coming under increasing scrutiny.
While some domains are banned for a just cause, many reports have surfaced of websites unfairly falling victim to the blocks.
List Of Websites Blocked In Qatar:
- LGBTQ Content
- Sexual Health Information
- Dating & Escort Services
- Privacy Tools
- Sites Critical of Political Regime
- Skype & FaceTime
- WhatsApp, Google Duo
- Psychology Magazines
Furthermore, it’s common for journalists to self-censor, both online and on TV in Qatar.
It’s also been reported that Qtel has the means to monitor all messages – even those sent through other ISPs – which suggests a national online surveillance program exists, more info here.
Use a VPN in Qatar to Unblock Websites
Regular visitors to the Gulf States will already be familiar with using a VPN for Dubai VPN for Dubai internet restrictions.
With a long-standing expat community, the UAE capital is already awash with Virtual Private Networks.
If this refers to you, it’s simple to use the same client to bypass blocks in Qatar. However, if you’re new to this type of proxy service, here’s how it works:
- Once you’ve downloaded a VPN client, you click ‘connect’ to begin the process.
- This connection sends your traffic via an alternative server, based elsewhere in the world, and assigns you a new IP address.
- The initial tunnel is encrypted with a VPN protocol, so your original location and online activity are hidden from any tracking software.
- When you visit a domain, the website registers your location as that of the secondary server.
- As you don’t appear to be in Qatar, you are not subject to the country’s blacklisting policies.
Unlike other proxy services, the VPN encryption ensures that user’s identities remain safe so that no legal repercussions can occur, as many countries have banned the use of circumvention software.
Is using a VPN legal in Qatar? The short answer is ‘yes’; using a VPN isn’t illegal in Qatar, but there are a few caveats – we’ll cover these later, click here to jump to “Is Using a VPN Legal in Qatar?” paragraph.
Find the Best VPN for Qatar
Due to the precise Qatar internet rules, not every VPN will grant you both protection from surveillance, and the ability to bypass blocks.
We reviewed some of the industry leaders on the following factors, to establish the best VPNs to use on a Qatar IP address.
- Speed. Especially if you want to use your VPN to access more shows on Netflix and Hulu in Qatar, high speeds are essential. Many providers cannot stream in HD, and even standard quality videos can end up buffering endlessly.
- Reliability. To use Viber in Qatar – or any of the other blocked VOIP apps – you are technically breaking the law. While VPN encryption will save you from prosecution, this benefit is quickly voided if your connection drops out. Many low-quality VPNs struggle to retain an ongoing service, which both reinstates the blocks and leaves your identity visible to tracking software.
- Strong Encryption. AES-encryption is an essential feature of a premium VPN. While other protocols provide some protection, this military-grade iteration is the only one that ensures your data and online activity remains invisible.
- Additional Security. Due to the risk of potential surveillance in Qatar, added privacy features are a fantastic bonus to keep you safe while your browse freely. As well as avoiding government monitoring, they also increase your protection against cybercriminals and malware.
- Innovation. Many countries with high-censorship are cracking down on VPN use. Although the software isn’t illegal in Qatar, there is evidence that the government is attempting to impede their use. Similarly, popular sites – such as Netflix – are actively banning proxy users. Fortunately, many VPN providers are already employing innovative strategies to circumvent these issues. Choosing a company with these procedures already in place will undoubtedly save you hassle in the future.
- Customer Support. Particularly for new users, VPN technology can seem a tad complex. Even if you’re an expert, it’s common to experience faults or bugs. A responsive and convenient customer service is essential to ensure a seamless user experience.
Best VPN for Qatar
The following providers scored the highest cumulatively after we put them to the test.
#1 ExpressVPN – Simply the Best VPN for Qatar
ExpressVPN is the fastest, most reliable connection you’ll find with VPN software.
If you find your VPN not working in Qatar, you can be sure that this one will!
It has plenty of bandwidth, so you’ll be able to use everything from streaming services to communication software totally seamlessly, with no buffering or freezing to slow you down.
They also have a great customer service team, available 24/7 via live chat or e-mail to help you out.
Their average e-mail response time is less than 30 minutes, so you’re never waiting overnight for an answer to a question.
In addition, Express VPN works on all of your Wi-Fi enabled devices, and can even be used on more than one at the same time without purchasing an additional service plan.
This coupled with the fact that they have server locations all over the world makes ExpressVPN the best choice for circumventing content blocks in Qatar.
With content blocks in Qatar limiting access to the freedom of religious speech as well as watching porn, searching any form of nudity or even making calls via WhatsApp and skype, using Express VPN will give you the ability of using these services and browsing with total anonymity (that means zero logs!).
You can browse and surf to your heart’s desire without having to worry about the government watching over your shoulder.
- $12.95 for one month
- $9.99 a month – for a six-month plan
- $6.67 a month – for a 15-month plan (includes three months free!)
If you’re not sure about using a VPN, Express VPN has you covered with their 30 day money back guarantee.
Plus, if you decide you like the service and get a friend to sign up, you’ll both get a month of service totally free through their referral program.
#2 NordVPN – Totally anonymous
NordVPN is another great option for a using a VPN in Qatar, and is almost as good as Express VPN!
With a very secure tunnel to tunnel encryption, you can rest assured that your IP address will remain totally anonymous, allowing you to browse anything from politically sensitive material all the way to pornography and dating sites without having to worry.
With NordVPN you will be able to to connect to 6 devices at least, at one single time, meaning if you have a variety of devices in the house, or even other people that want to share the same VPN with you at home, you will all be able to connect at once.
The only issue with NordVPN is that occasionally you may find it to be a touch slow and find yourself connecting from server to server until you find one running at a good speed. For this reason we have given NordVPN 8/10 and knocked off a couple of marks.
- $11.95 a month
- $7.00 a month for a three-month plan
- $5.75 a month for a 12-month plan billed annually
Throw in a 30 day free trial and there’s not much to lose.
#3 PureVPN – High Performance VPN
PureVPN is also ranked relatively high specifically for use as VPN Qatar can work in. Their Gulf VPN server network delivers a particularly high performance, making speeds high.
Though it is not as consistent as some other VPNs such as Express VPN and NordVPN, it is still a very decent VPN service.
The app could do with a bit of jazzing up but overall PureVPN has impressive privacy features and is a reliable way of accessing sensitive information in Qatar.
- $10.95 a month
- $9.00 a month for a three-month plan
- $2.80 a month for a 24-month plan billed annually
PureVPN offers a 7-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can have a free trial for one week, risk free!
#4 HideMyAss – Servers in almost 200 countries including two within Qatar itself.
HideMyAss is a fast VPN that keeps you streaming and gaming without any lags or delays.
It’s important that a Qatar VPN protect you from surveillance and HideMyAss’ OpenVPN encryption protocols succeed in hiding your internet activity from the authorities and your personal details from hackers.
HideMyAss has fairly good customer service via live chat or email. With servers in almost 200 countries including two within Qatar itself, you can switch your IP address to almost anywhere in the world.
- $11.52 a month
- $8.33 a month – for a six-month plan
- $6.56 a month – for a 12-month plan
Plus, there is a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try it out and then see if you like it enough to continue.
#5 SaferVPN – it does it all at a cheaper price!
Another solid recommendation for using a VPN in Qatar is SaferVPN – and we think it’ll give ExpressVPN a real run for its money!
With a 256-bit encryption, a fabulous no-logs policy and unlimited bandwidth and speed, you can access pretty much anything and everything you could want to, for as long as you want to – no speed or browsing caps here!
The only downside is that you can only connect to 2 devices at a time on the simple plan – but if you upgrade to the premium plan, you can connect with up to five devices bat any one time.
However, with the 700+ servers, and 36+ countries available, we doubt you’ll be so hung up on the 2 simultaneous devices. It’s also pretty competitively priced compared to other VPNs on the market:
- $4.99 for a one month plan
- $3.49 for a 6 month plan (65% savings)
- $2.99 for a 12 month plan (75% savings)
There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Is a Free VPN for Qatar a Good Idea?
Although it’s possible to use a free VPN in Qatar, it’s not recommended. Speeds on these services are regularly lacking, and we’ve already covered why it’s essential to use a fast VPN in Qatar.
Similarly, their security leaves a lot be desired. As free services do not have the revenue to invest in their features, they often make their money by selling customer data. Alongside this, their reliability is poor, with regular connection drops.
If you want to use a safe VPN in Qatar, no-cost providers are far from the optimum choice.
If you’re looking for extended Netflix access, or the ability to watch any blocked online TV in Qatar, the culmination of poor speeds and lax security means you’ll experience ongoing problems – and could be prosecuted as a result.
Is Using a VPN Legal in Qatar?
Unlike Dubai VPN users, those in Qatar do not have to worry about prosecution for the software alone, as technically a VPN isn’t illegal in Qatar. However, it’s important to note that accessing illegal content is against the law.
This caveat covers all material banned by the government, as well as any attempts to breach geographical copyright limits.
Fortunately, the nature of VPN software means the risk is limited. All you need to do is ensure you install the software before you enter the country, and utilize the numerous customization options that confirm your traffic remains undetected.
If you’ve already found the best VPN for Dubai – where the software is illegal – then this it will also work to protect you in Qatar.
Use a Safe VPN in Qatar
As Qatar rises in popularity as a global destination, increasing pressure is growing to maintain the government’s online restrictions.
If you want to visit the country while retaining the freedom to browse the web, your only choice is to use a VPN. Since internal surveillance is an ongoing risk, your best bet is to use a VPN in Qatar, to keep your identity safe while you surf.
We recommend ExpressVPN احصل على as the best VPN for Qatar due to its premium encryption, anonymous sign-ups, and affordable price.