Which of the Top-Rated Free & Paid VPN Works in Qatar for 2018?

Top VPNs are reviewed in Qatar

Censorship and privacy intrusions by government agencies but also private companies are a rising issue all over the world.

The more influence the online world gains over the real one the more it creates the want to control the information and data that is transmitted. And Qatar is not an exception to this. 

How restricted is the internet in Qatar?

For 2018 Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index ranked Qatar 125th in the world and a 70/100 in the Freedom of the Press Score by Freedom House - 100 being the worst.

As Freedom House further states the ISPs of Qatar direct any traffic “to a proxy server that maintains a list of banned websites and blocks material deemed inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political, and moral values of Qatar.”

This means you won’t have access to content concerning: Sexual topics, political criticism, certain minority topics, sexual health resources, and dating services.

Like in many non-democratic countries politically or culturally sensitive content is blocked, no matter if you are just visiting or a citizen. There have been a few prominent cases of interference with international press coverage but for most people, it will be more interesting to know what you can or cannot use online.

The TOP 4 VPNs:

How well do VPN’s work?

While the arms race between government agencies and VPN services is speeding up, blocking VPN servers has never been successful for an extended period of time.

They still remain an efficient way to protect your privacy and access content that has been blocked by censorship or regulations.

That’s why we will take the time and look into the best VPNs that are available out there for users from and in Qatar. 

What VPN provider to choose?

The landscape of VPN providers has exploded recently and many offer great services with server capacities of 500-4000 servers around the world.

Therefore we don’t think classical rankings will do you any good. While the issue for Qatar is mostly censorship and blocked services there are other things you might want to consider:

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    You need to unblock geo-restricted content? ​Look for a provider with servers in many countries.
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    Protect your Privacy? Make sure the provider sits in a country with strict privacy laws and little cooperation with foreign governments.
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    Torrent downloads and peer-to-peer file sharing? Check the Terms of Service to make sure and pick a VPN-service in a location with good privacy laws.
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    Online business? High security and a stable connection are a necessity!
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    Online gaming? Look for a good ping and stable connection!
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    Streaming? Look for high download rates and a reliable connection!​​​​

We picked only VPN services with competitive prices and unlimited bandwidth and traffic.

Almost all of them offer a zero-logs privacy policy, which means that they don’t save any of your online activity that authorities could access in a case of persecution.

Many providers offer discounts on a regular basis so the prices vary frequently.

The Reviews

They are based in the Caribbean and therefore a good choice for privacy-concerned people living or traveling in Qatar that want to avoid surveillance or censorship.

ExpressVPN logo

Overview

Pros

Cons

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    A kill switch feature
  • DNS leak protection
  • Stealth mode that prevents IPSs from noticing VPN usage
  • Zero-logs privacy policy
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    Strong 256-bit encryption
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    24/7 customer service
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    Great speed with 1500+ servers in 94 countries
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    Optimized infrastructure for HD streaming and torrenting
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    30 days money back guarantee
  • Pricey compared with the competition
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    Only 3 Multi Logins
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    Connection is often slow right after login

CyberGhost from Romania has probably the biggest arsenal security features and its basic version is free to use.

CyberGhost VPN logo

Overview

Pros

Cons

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    Biggest arsenal security features: NAT Firewall, DNS Leak and Tracking Protection, Anti-Fingerprinting, Ad-Blocker, Anti-Malware as well as a Kill Switch
  • No-Logs policy and high-end 256-bit AES encryption
  • 1300+ servers in 59 countries
  • 7 Multi Logins
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    Free use of basic VPN services
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    30-day money-back guarantee
  • Comparatively higher priced
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    Lacks some advanced features

IPVanish has teamed up with Lag Assasin to enable minimum ping times, which is great for circumventing VOIP bans.

Also, it’s a perfect VPN for people who like gaming, torrenting and streaming.

IPVanish logo

Overview

Pros

Cons

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    High security with:
  • Socket Secure (SOCKS5) proxy
  • Kill switch and port forwarding
  • IPv6 Leak Protection
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    Strong encryption​​​​
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    Zero-logs privacy policy
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    1000+ servers in 60+ countries
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    Minimum ping times and high speed
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    Build in connection analytics
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    Great for gaming and, torrenting
  • Based in US (but keeps zero logs)
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    Customer care not as good as other VPNs
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    No stealth mode
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    Lacks support for Hulu and sometimes struggles with Netflix

NordVPN is based in Panama and like ExpressVPN a great choice for a privacy-conscious user in Qatar.

Overview

Pros

Cons

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    Tunnel to tunnel double data encryption (IKEv2/IPsec protocol with AES-256-GCM)
  • Zero-logs privacy policy
  • Automatic kill switch feature
  • DNS leak resolver
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    3000+ servers in 59+ countries
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    SmartPlay to unblock streaming worldwide
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    Great customer service
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    Minimum ping times and high speed
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    Build in connection analytics
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    6 Multi Logins
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    30-day free trial
  • Not always as quick as advertised
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    Less diversity in terms of location of servers
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    Pricier than some competitors

Pure VPN is a big and provider and offers a great variety of locations which is great for hiding properly, but they can have issues with DNS security and therefore we don’t wholeheartedly recommend them for use in Qatar.

PureVPN logo

Overview

Pros

Cons

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    NAT firewall
  • Kill switch
  • Tilera & Arbor DDoS protection
  • 256-bit encryption
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    Zero-logs privacy policy
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    750+ servers in 140+ countries
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    Great network of servers in neighboring countries
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    5 Multi Logins
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    7 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Average speed performance
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    Problems with DNS security

The Swiss based company has great speed and good security but keeps some connection logs. For the usage in Qatar they offer more than enough protection as Switzerland has good privacy laws.

vyprvpn provider

Overview

Pros

Cons

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    Chameleon (stealth mode)
  • Kill switch and DNS leak protection
  • Strong encryption protocols
  • No usage logs
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    Protection for public WiFi hotspots
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    Have their own servers and infrastructure
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    700+ servers in 50+ countries
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    High performance with high download speed
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    3-Day Free Trial
  • Peer-to-peer (torrenting) not permitted
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    Some connection logs kept

Which services are blocked in Qatar?

The most surprising might be that VOIP services are not accessible in Qatar. As ZDnet laid out this is due to the telecommunications regulations that forbid anyone but licensed entities to provide telecommunication services without a license. This affects many popular services like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, FaceTime, and Duo.

The only two providers for telecommunication services of any kind are therefore state-owned Ooredoo (formerly Qatar Telecom) and Vodafone Qatar with government funds being the majority shareholders. Consequently, the government of Qatar has also finical interests to keep free VOIP out of the market.

Are VPN’s illegal to use in Qatar?

VPN services act somewhat in a grey area. In theory, VPNs are completely legal, though, the usage of VPNs to circumvent government regulations might be considered illegal.

In Qatar, however, it seems to be deemed not punishable for users to access VOIP via a VPN.

Bottom line:

As you noticed there are a lot of choices when picking your VPN provider and many offer a decent service.

Yearly subscription vary between 4$ and 7$ per month while fees for a single month sit around 10$..

 All VPNs we listed here offer good privacy and encrypted communication. Many providers offer free trials or money back guarantees.

Therefore we would recommend to try different ones before you you decide for sure.

Making sure also has the advantage that you can be less hesitant when choosing a long-term subscription plan. But look out for special offers that oftentimes offer a significant discount.

After all is said and done it comes down to your preferences of use. 

All security tools won’t help if the rest of the package doesn’t suit your needs.

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