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Best VPN for Saudi Arabia (KSA) in 2018

Last updated on June 21, 2018 Views: 2013 Comments: 22

Saudi Arabia is known for its strict online censorship.

The country operates an extensive blacklist, and punishment for subverting can be severe.

If you want to know how to open blocked sites in Saudi Arabia, while staying safe from persecution, we have the answer!

Learn how to regain control of your online experience by using a VPN in Saudi Arabia.

If you want to unblock websites in Saudi Arabia, sign up with ExpressVPN today!

In this article

About Saudi Arabia Internet Censorship

Many restrictions fall on those accessing the internet from a Saudi Arabia IP address.

In 1982, The Royal Decree on Press and Publications gave authorities complete control over media.

Today, all internet traffic is diverted via a proxy farm located in King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Saudi_Arabia), maintained by the Communications and Information Technology Commission.

Many reasons have been cited for the choice of domains blacklisted:

  • Content viewed as ‘sinful’ is filtered out to protect the moral fiber of society.
  • Any information questioning Wahabism, or promoting other faiths, is blocked to protect the national religion.
  • Hate speech towards the government or Royal Family is already a crime punishable by death; the censors ensure no content of this sort is visible online.
  • In 2014, the scope increased to include any material deemed ‘terrorist’ in nature, to protect public order.

Government ministries directly monitor all traffic, leaving little wiggle room for citizens and visitors to enjoy a free web. Many areas of the internet are unfairly targeted and banned.

List Of Websites Blocked In Saudi Arabia

If you’re visiting Saudi Arabia, it’s likely that some of your favorite sites and content will be blocked. The blacklist changes regularly, but here are just a few examples:

Popular Websites Blocked in Saudi Arabia

*UPDATE: Saudi lifting ban on Skype, WhatsApp calls, but will monitor them, source: reuters.com (September 21, 2017)

Fortunately, a possible workaround does exist.

Our guide will show you how to open blocked sites in Saudi Arabia while protecting you from the stringent surveillance tactics.

Is it Safe to Use a VPN to Unblock Sites in Saudi Arabia?

Using any circumvention tactic to access blocked content comes with a certain level of risk.

Since many sites are seen as illegal for those using a Saudi IP address, added levels of privacy are needed to keep you safe.

The following factors are all requirements for a VPN that works in Saudi Arabia.

  • Strong Encryption. Since it’s illegal to access blocked sites in Saudi Arabia, you need a VPN strong enough to protect your identity.
  • Vast Server Network. Due to the number of websites blocked in Saudi Arabia, a VPN with numerous server locations is required to guarantee access to them all.
  • No Bandwidth Caps. Some VPN providers limit data allowances, which is not only frustrating but also risky – your identity will be revealed once you hit the cap and the protection ceases.
  • Kill switch. Since the use a VPN in Saudi Arabia comes with significant risks, a kill switch is essential to cut your internet connection if ever the VPN should fail.
  • DNS leak protection. DNS leaks are a common way for authorities to spot VPN use. Many providers now offer specific protection to counteract this: DNS leak tester.
  • Fast Speeds. Internet restrictions in Saudi Arabia often include data-heavy sites – such as streaming services. To ensure a seamless experience, a speedy VPN is required.
  • No-Log Policy. It’s been known for VPN providers to hand over customer information to authorities on request. Choosing a company with a strict no-log policy circumvents this risk.

Best VPN for Saudi Arabia 2018

We tested industry leaders to find the best VPNs to protect privacy and unblock sites in Saudi Arabia. The following scored the highest:


#1 ExpressVPN – The Best VPN for Saudi Arabia

We rated ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Saudi Arabia for its premium speed, security, and reliability.

Their trusted service is used by many and offers comprehensive customer support to all users.

  • Server network spans 94 countries, which increases the scope for accessing banned content.
  • Live chat customer support is fast and responsive, to overcome any problems quickly.
  • 99.99% uptime guarantee ensures you remain protected while browsing the web.

Price:

  • $12.95 per month.
  • $6.67 per month with an annual membership – plus, an extra three months free!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

Sign up with ExpressVPN here

You can Check ExpressVPN’s Arabic site version here: احصل على ExpressVPN


#2 NordVPN – Fast VPN for Saudi Arabia

NordVPN is the best VPN to use in Saudi Arabia for security, as it boasts numerous additional privacy features.

  • Dedicated servers provide auto-configuration for specific activities, such as streaming, torrenting or enhancing security.
  • Double VPN diverts traffic via two additional servers to reduce the risk of connection drops.
  • Allows six simultaneous connections, which is ideal for families or small businesses.

Price:

  • $11.95 per month.
  • $5.74 per month with an annual subscription.
  • $3.39 per month for a two-year package.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

Sign up with NordVPN here.


#3 PrivateVPN – Secure VPN Service for Saudi Arabia

PrivateVPN is popular VPN in Saudi Arabia. Alongside its reputation for customer security, the client is quick to install, and the 55 server locations are proficient to bypass blocks.

  • You can sign-up completely anonymously, so the account can’t be tracked back to you.
  • Based in Sweden, your data is protected by strict privacy laws.
  • Currently offering 25% off all of the available price plans.

Price:

  • $8.21 per month.
  • $4.15 per month with an annual subscription – plus, an extra month free!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

Sign up with PrivateVPN here.


#4 SaferVPN – Proven professional in Internet Privacy and Security

SaferVPN is another VPN that works in Saudi Arabia. Its server network is fast and efficient, and it offers additional privacy features to enhance safety.

  • Supports multiple protocols that disguise your VPN data as alternate forms of encryption.
  • Torrenting is supported on all servers, which is becoming an increasingly rare feature to find.

Price:

  • $9.99 per month.
  • $4.49 per month with an annual subscription.
  • $2.49 for a two-year package.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

#5 HideMyAss – If you like working with established companies.

Although HMA is not the best VPN to use in Saudi Arabia, its relatively good speeds and strong encryption provide proficient protection.

However, you can’t select protocols and logs are kept – so it’s wise to be cautious when using.

  • Servers available in nearly every country, for unlimited access to any content imaginable.
  • Dedicated BusinessVPN available, offering bulk coverage for numerous devices.

Price:

  • $11.99 per month
  • $6.99 per month with an annual description
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Sign up with HideMyAss here.


Should You Use a Free VPN for Saudi Arabia

Using a free VPN in Saudi Arabia is an attractive option to keep costs low, but comes with notable risk. No-cost clients are often lax in security, offering no additional privacy measures.

Similarly, their core service tends to drop in and out, leaving your data unprotected. Since using a VPN in Saudi Arabia has potential legal repercussions, using a service that can’t guarantee your safety is not recommended.

If you want to use a free VPN that works in Saudi Arabia, then you can take advantage of the free trial and money-back guarantee periods offered by premium providers.

Is a VPN Legal in Saudi Arabia?

VPN use in Saudi Arabia is not altogether illegal, as no specific law forbids the software. However, with active blocks on the sites of VPN providers and vagueness in the legislation regarding censorship, it’s evident that the government is not happy about their existence.

Furthermore, as accessing blacklisted content by any means is illegal, many VPN users are breaking the law. We recommend extreme caution whenever you bypass blocks.

Get the Best VPN to Use in Saudi Arabia

Using a VPN in Saudi Arabia is the perfect solution to bypass censorship in the country.

However, only the very best clients will guarantee your privacy against government monitoring and regulation.

We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Saudi Arabia, due to its strong encryption, fast speeds, and reliability.

Article comments

22 comments
Abdul says:

Great article, However, it has a lot of false information, I’m from Saudi Arabia, and all social media websites are not blocked and not throttled.

Sacha - Security Expert says:

After checking again we found that Saudi lifting ban on Skype, WhatsApp calls, but will monitor them, source: reuters.com (September 21, 2017)
The list of blocked website constantly changing, thank you for the input, i have included this info in our new review.
——————————————–
We did check as well from someone that live in Saudi Arabia and is a tech person, Blocked content is called in Saudi Arabia filtered content, all Saudi Arabia traffic goes “through a proxy farm located in King Abdulaziz City”, this has serious privacy issues, more info:

“Saudi Arabia directs all international Internet traffic through a proxy farm located in King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology. A content filter is implemented there, based on software by Secure Computing.[5] Since October 2006, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has been handling the DNS structure and filtering in Saudi Arabia in the place of KACST. Additionally, a number of sites are blocked according to two lists maintained by the Internet Services Unit (ISU):[6] one containing “immoral” (mostly pornographic or supportive of LGBT-rights) sites and sites promoting Shia Ideology, the others based on directions from a security committee run by the Ministry of Interior (including sites critical of the Saudi government). An interesting feature of this system is that citizens are encouraged to actively report “immoral” sites (mostly adult and pornographic) for blocking, using a provided web form, available on the government’s website.”
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Saudi_Arabia

Other interesting articles:
https://www.justice.gov/eoir/page/file/917391/download
https://opennet.net/studies/saudi

If you have more details, please let us know, we will be more then happy to improve our content, you can contact me at info@securethoughts.com.

Coka says:

Popular media sites like Yahoo messenger and Skype are blocked in Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, VPN service is legal in Saudi Arabia, so if a user wants to unblock banned sites or access the list of blocked sites there, he needs a VPN.
Saudi Arabia is stated to be one of the most censoring countries. Thus, internet status is reported not to be free there. There are such violations as obstacles to access, limits on content, and violations of user right.
ExpressVPN is unanimously selected as the best VPN service out there. They have managed to garner praise with their top quality service consistently over the years. If a user is seeking simplicity and security, then they provide both. They have servers all over the world to give uninterrupted service to their clients. The registration process is really simple when it comes to ExpressVPN. Their customers appreciate their 30-day money-back guarantee scheme provided by them. Hence, ExpressVPN is a very popular VPN service in Saudi Arabia.
However, as ExpressVPN permits simultaneous connections to at most 3, a user might be bothered by the frequent reconnects to the server which he might not have been aware of.

Mohammed says:

Great article! I make use of NordVPN it’s really great and easy to use. It’s what I recommend to my family and friends. The costs of their services are pretty moderate costs! It’s really good.

Steve says:

Any idea if any of these VPN services will support P2P (ala torrenting) from Saudi Arabia? I work as a developer and we use a P2P program to transfer files. We had problems with it the last time we were in Saudi Arabia and we were recommended to use a VPN but we didn’t get a chance to test them at the time.

Recommendations?

ST Editor says:

Hi there, and hopefully you’re enjoying your adventure! Unfortunately, a large part of your internet connection is determined by the local ISP, so there’s only so much you can improve. However, there are some small hacks you could try to help get a little boost! First, try to look for networks that are password protected. They tend to have lower traffic, and thus offer better speeds. Additionally, try to reserve your heaviest browsing and streaming for periods when you know your local network is experiencing its lowest traffic. Finding wired connections may also help give you a more reliable streaming experience. Let us know if these strategies work for you! 

Amir says:

Countries Like Saudi Arabia has many limitations on the Internet.Many social media sites are also banned in these countries .So to access these Sites VPN is a very secure and easy way for accessing the blocked content.

Anonymous says:

Anyone know if there is a difference between connecting from Riyadh and the rest of SA? Going to be staying mostly in the city but might have to leave once or twice on business and need to know if I’ll still be able to get access to everything I use day-to-day.

ST Editor says:

Hi, There should be no issues, but it also depends on how strong the internet service is in the areas you are visiting outside Riyadh.

Amelia says:

Saudi Arabia is a nice place to roam for most of the tourists like me. I love exploring the world, know the unknown and see the unseen with my own eyes. It’s also a pleasure to keep in touch with loved ones when away from them. I started planning to visit Saudi Arabia this spring. The only problem here was FB blockage. Luckily, I’m a PrivateVPN user and with more alternatives from this page, I’m free from all the anxieties. Great job, Bryan.

Smith says:

Hi, can you tell me if it’s safe to purchase a VPN subscription while in Saudi Arabia using a credit card issued by a local bank? Can I get around this by using PayPal (never used it before)?

ST Editor says:

Hi! While the Saudi government is not very big on VPNs, they haven’t made any official moves to ban their use or purchase in the country (though they do block many VPN websites). However, if you’re concerned that you may be flagged if you use a local card, PayPal is definitely an option, as you don’t need a credit card to use it. Another solution may be to use cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to pay for your services. Many companies accept them, and they offer a more anonymous way to purchase services. Hopefully, this helps! 

Sahahveer Ali says:

Can I use this VPN service for Egypt too? I am soon going to Egypt and I am concerned if I will be able to access my FB in Egypt. I have heard that FB is banned there. Please guide me in this regard.

ST Editor says:

Hi, and safe travels! The great thing about these VPNs (and others) is that they’re designed to work across borders. Because one of their biggest functions is to provide unrestricted access to the web and bypass censorships, most of these companies offer thier products anywhere in the world. They also should give you free access to blocked websites, though it’s important to learn about local laws and understand them before making any decision. If you do choose to use a VPN, the services on this page are all great options for you!

LIZZY says:

To get unrestricted access to websites in Saudi Arabia, use Express VPN today! It is network friendly and reliable.

Srikanth Abib says:

My VPN rocks here in Saudi Arabia. When I first subscribed, I though it would not work but I was wrong. I enjoy ExpressVPN

Alli says:

Great article. About to subscribe for a month on ExpressVPN so That I can use Skype. Hope it’s very fast and has a stable network?

Jeffrey says:

NordVPN has flawless connection and speed. A few minor problems with captcha and logins to various
sites.Part of the game though, I guess.

Alfie Cumming says:

I just downloaded Express VPN to use in Saudi, parted with $12.95 for the privilege of looking at the usual BBC statement that “Content is not available in your area”. I have also selected the area to emulate as being the UK. I have contacted the company for explanation. Just thought I’d let you know!

I know its not your fault but you are promoting this supplier as one that can be used successfully in Saudi. I have had other issues with other suppliers too, in not even being able to login. IPVanish was one. SuperVPN (Free) works perfectly on my android phone. Cannot install on my laptop though.

ST Editor says:

Hi Alfie, I contacted the brand through their customer support live chat and here are the steps they provided. While this is likely to help, if you still need support, they will be more than happy to assist you. Please contact them at the bottom, right corner on this page.
1. Turn off the ExpressVPN app.
2. Click on the “choose Location” button.
3. Go to ALL tab.
4. Click on the arrow before Europe.
5. Click on the arrow before United Kingdom.
6. Choose either East London or Berkshire – 2.
7. Try BBC iPlayer.

I hope this helps you from Saudi Arabia.

zakir khan says:

i need reentry papar

RC says:

Thanks for the info, I’ll be off to the KSA soon.

How does Express compare with VYPR?