Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia: Privacy & Unblocking Websites

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NordVPN’s privacy, security, speed, and encryption make it the best VPN for Saudi Arabia residents and travelers. However, it doesn’t have local Saudi servers, while PIA and VyprVPN do.

After reviewing and testing 21+ VPNs, ExpressVPN and Surfshark make the final top 5 VPNs for Saudi Arabia.

While these VPN providers are great for unblocking content, protecting your online privacy, downloading torrents, and bypassing censorship, they’re unique in their service offerings.

So, continue reading to find which is the better VPN to choose in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Arabian government is no stranger to censorship, with thousands of websites blocked for criticizing the government or not fitting into some criteria it set. Bloggers aren’t spared either, with notable names like Raif Badawi handed lengthy court sentences for expressing their thoughts on their blogs.

Likewise, the country censors news websites like Fox, the Times, and the New York Post. In fact, local news websites (like arabnews.com) aren’t left out of this wave of censorship.

And until September 2017, the Saudi ISPs weren’t allowing users to enjoy the VoIP packages on their smartphone IM apps. Even Apple removed FaceTime from its devices. Otherwise, the Saudi government wouldn’t allow the brand to sell its phones in the region.

This was possible because the government had direct control of most ISPs.

This is a bigger problem, meaning the government also has access to data on what you do online from these ISPs.

Not anymore, with my top VPNs.

Besides unblocking content and using all app services reliably, you can escape constant online surveillance by the House of Saud.

If you’re in a hurry, check out a summary of my top 5 VPNs below to make the best choice.

Want to Bypass Censorship and Stay Private on Saudi Internet? Try My Top VPNs!

streaming arab news with nordvpn
Unblock and stream ArabNews.com with NordVPN

I ensured my top VPNs are reliable enough to encrypt your internet traffic so that the House of Saud or ISPs won’t see what you’re doing online.

Furthermore, they’ll unblock content and bypass censorship.

  • NordVPN – Browse the web securely, keep Saudi ISPs out of your online business, and unblock content with 5500+ servers in 59 countries.
  • PIA – Enjoy faster, reliable, and secure torrent downloads with P2P servers, SOCKS5 proxy, and native torrent support. Plus, get Saudi IP addresses to unblock local content.
  • Surfshark – Protect the devices in your household or office with a single Surfshark subscription. Also, unblock content and bypass censorship via 3200+ fast servers in 95 countries.
  • ExpressVPN – Get the fastest obfuscation speeds to disguise your VPN traffic from Saudi ISPs while comfortably unblocking content with ExpressVPN’s 3000+ servers across 94 countries.
  • VyprVPN – Retain access to local Saudi TVs and content over local IP addresses. Plus, there’s a Chameleon Mode to improve your privacy.

While these VPNs are impressive for the Saudi internet space, they excel in different areas. So, read my comparisons and mini-reviews for the best VPN to download torrents securely, unblock local content, secure your internet experience, or blog anonymously from Saudi Arabia.

Reviews and Comparisons of My Top VPNs for Saudi Arabia

I put 21+ VPNs through rigorous tests focusing on privacy, security, and reliability. Of the final five, some valuable comparisons expose what each Virtual Private Network (VPN) is suited for in Saudi Arabia.

So, let’s discuss how they compare.

NordVPN – Best Overall Value VPN for Saudi Arabia With 5500+ Servers

streaming arab news with nordvpn

I chose NordVPN first for its balance of price and function in Saudi Arabia.

It starts that impressive run with a massive 5500+ server count in 59 countries. While this isn’t the most significant country count on my list, NordVPN has the most extensive server count of my reviewed providers.

nordvpn server locations
Some NordVPN server locations

Thus, you can connect to appropriate servers and

  • Unblock access to news websites like Fox, CNN, BBC, and others blocked in Saudi Arabia.
  • Bypass intermittent ISP blocks to VoIP services like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Messenger.
  • Get region-specific access to app content unavailable in Saudi Arabia, e.g., Netflix US content.
  • Access streaming services like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Crave TV that are completely blocked in Saudi Arabia.

NordVPN also maintains a small list of obfuscated servers that’ll bypass firewalls and tougher content blocks.

locating obfuscated servers under advanced settings on nordvpn

However, VyprVPN and ExpressVPN manage considerably faster obfuscation speeds compared to NordVPN. Besides, ExpressVPN offers obfuscation on all servers and protocols.

Another massive blow for NordVPN is its apparent lack of Saudi servers. That makes it impossible to unblock Saudi 1 or SBC channels abroad, access local banking apps outside Saudi, or encrypt a local internet connection.

But you get split tunneling on the PC and Android app.

Even so, that leaves some of your internet activity unencrypted.

split tunneling settings on nordvpn

Moving on, NordVPN employs AES 256-bit protection on all servers and protocols. That makes it possible to:

  • Prevent the Saudi Arabian government, police, or ISP from hacking your live traffic.
  • Keep state-run ISPs (like Zain and Etisalat) and private ISPs out of your online business.
  • Protect the files you’re sending from falling into the wrong hands.
  • Safeguard your device against man-in-the-middle attacks, session hijacking, and malware when using public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Stay anonymous on the internet.

NordVPN also offers a kill switch to prevent accidental IP/DNS leaks if the VPN loses remote connection to a server.

internet and app kill switch settings on nordvpn

I’m equally impressed by NordVPN’s torrent support, underlined by its provision of specialty P2P-optimized servers for torrent downloads.

Since Saudi Arabia is in the same region as Abu Dhabi, which is covered by copyright trolls like OSN, you need a VPN for torrenting.

Otherwise, you risk arrest and jail time.

torrenting on utorrent using nordvpn
I use NordVPN to download torrents all the time

Fortunately, NordVPN isn’t in Saudi’s jurisdiction, either.

So, the House of Saud can’t force it to hand over data on what you’re doing online, torrent sites you visit, or content you download.

Moreover, Panama (NordVPN’s base) isn’t in any data-sharing alliance with Saudi. Thus, it can’t act on behalf of the Saudi government against NordVPN.

Thankfully, NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy.

So, it won’t have any data on you to hand over anyway.

If you’re choosing NordVPN, you can use a single plan on up to six devices simultaneously. You get the same fast speeds, premium features, and privacy for one price.

Plus, these NordVPN discounts help you save more and get a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee.

Pros

Cons

PIA – Get Local Saudi IPs and Servers in 84 Countries to Torrent Securely

streaming sbc channel on private internet access while connected to saudi arabia server
PIA unblocks SBC Channel via Saudi Arabia server

PIA doesn’t state its number of servers, but it covers 84 countries.

This is more than the country count on NordVPN, ensuring:

  • Travelers, students, and expats in Saudi Arabia stand a better chance of finding servers in their country to unblock local content.
  • Gamers can connect to local servers in more countries.
  • General internet users can unblock content like CraveTV, NRK TV, and France TV from more countries.

Luckily, PIA also provides local Saudi IP addresses.

Thus, you can:

  • Unblock SBC Channel, Alhurra, and other Saudi TV channels from abroad.
  • Use Emirates Bank, JP Morgan Chase, QNB, or other bank apps from abroad.
  • Secure your local Saudi internet experience without split tunneling.
  • Get lower ping and faster gameplay speeds without worrying about DDoS attacks.

Also, PIA takes a unique approach to obfuscation.

Combining multi-hopping and a proxy setup, PIA manages better obfuscation speeds than NordVPN.

multi-hop and obfuscation settings on private internet access

PIA also brings the industry standard AES 256-bit encryption on all servers and protocols. With this level of encryption, Netflix’s US servers don’t see that you’re streaming from Saudi Arabia, and your Saudi ISPs don’t see what you do online either.

It bolsters that with dual kill switches on the PC app and single (but effective) kill switches in the iOS and Android apps.

private internet access dns leak test results
PIA's reliable encryption prevent IP and DNS leaks

However, I’m not impressed that PIA is located in the USA, a 14 Eyes country, and it’s yet to be audited for its no-logs claims.

Considering US’ strong economic ties with the Saudi government, it’s not far-fetched to think that Saudi can ask the US to impose on PIA for user data.

Thankfully, PIA’s open-source code can be reviewed by anyone to confirm it doesn’t collect user logs. So, it won’t have any data for either government.

Perhaps the best selling point for PIA is its torrent support.

The VPN provider offers free port forwarding to improve torrent speeds and security.

Combine that with the SOCKS5 proxy and dedicated torrent client settings, and you get even faster speeds. So, you can download torrents from The Pirate Bay or other torrent sites currently blocked in Saudi Arabia.

On top of that, you can use PIA to seed torrents without leaking your internet activity to ISPs like Zain and Etisalat or copyright trolls.

Besides pulling in front of NordVPN with seeding support, you can also simultaneously use PIA on ten devices. And you don’t have to worry about bandwidth throttling or sub-par service on any connected devices.

Enjoy PIA discounts while they last and get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

Cons

Surfshark – Budget VPN for Saudi Arabia With 3200+ Servers

list of available us servers on surfshark app

Surfshark doesn’t have a local Saudi server either, so you’ll have to set up split tunneling to encrypt some connections while also using the HHR train app, Badoo dating app, or other local Saudi services.

Still, it made this list for its impressive security and privacy features on unlimited connections with unlimited bandwidth.

Thus, Surfshark is the best VPN if you’re looking for:

  • A reliable provider to encrypt your devices.
  • A secure VPN provider to share with family and friends.
  • An affordable VPN for more than 30 devices (which VyprVPN offers) that doesn’t compromise security.

The best part is that Surfshark doesn’t throttle your bandwidth across connected devices. In fact, you may bypass throttling to get faster speeds on Surfshark than Zain, Etisalat, NourNet, or other Saudi ISPs allow.

So, what do you get from Surfshark for this amazing promise?

available server locations on surfshark
Some Surfshark server locations

The VPN provider maintains 3200+ servers in 95 countries, making it the provider with the largest country count. It also offers AES 256-bit encryption on all servers and protocols for reliable internet security from your government/ISPs.

surfshark dns leak test results
Surfshark prevents IP/DNS leaks

These servers are suitable for unblocking censored and generally restricted content, such as:

Although Surfshark isn’t as fast as PIA or NordVPN, it’ll still unblock content in HD over its WireGuard protocol.

wireguard vpn protocol settings on surfshark

It steps up that online protection with a kill switch in its PC and mobile settings. Thus, preventing IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks that may have otherwise exposed your identity.

Like NordVPN and PIA, Surfshark only obfuscates your internet data over OpenVPN protocols.

openvpn protocols options on surfshark

Unlike NordVPN, Surfshark also offers obfuscation on its OpenVPN protocols to give you more connectivity options.

This comes in handy when accessing services like bet365, 888 Poker, pornography, or other banned services in Saudi Arabia.

Also, Surfshark allows you to multi-hop servers like PIA to prevent VPN IP monitoring and tracking. But it comes as a standalone setting with Surfshark rather than bundled with obfuscation.

locating multihop settings on surfshark

Torrent downloaders will like the torrent download support over Surfshark’s P2P servers. Compared to PIA, though, it offers neither port forwarding nor a SOCKS5 proxy for faster downloads.

torrenting on utorrent using surfshark
Surfshark pairs with uTorrent

It doesn’t offer seeding support, either. So, choose PIA if those torrent features are essential to you.

However, like PIA, Surfshark is also located in a 14 Eyes country – the Netherlands. Luckily, it’s an audited no-logs provider (unlike PIA).

So, it won’t have any data about your online activity for the Saudi police or anyone else.

You already know that Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections. You might not know it’s still an affordable VPN provider.

Even so, enjoy these Surfshark discounts to save on your preferred plans.

Pros

Cons

ExpressVPN – Enjoy Fast Obfuscation on 3000+ Servers to Avoid ISP Surveillance

streaming bet365 on expressvpn while connected to spain server
ExpressVPN unblocks gambling sites and other censored content in Saudi Arabia

ExpressVPN’s major selling point is its fast obfuscation on all servers and protocols. With that, you get to:

  • Bypass VPN traffic blocks while connected to its servers.
  • Hide your VPN traffic from the House of Saud or your Saudi ISPs.
  • Defeat strict censorship of specific news and non-news platforms.

Perhaps the best part of ExpressVPN’s obfuscation is the insane speeds it manages. In contrast, other VPN providers like NordVPN and Surfshark usually lose considerable speed over obfuscation.

available region location servers on expressvpn while connected to canada server

It’d be great if ExpressVPN provided a local Saudi server in its list of 3000+ servers across 94 countries, all obfuscation-ready.

But it doesn’t.

Thus, you’ll resort to split tunneling in the Android and PC VPN apps to retain access to local Saudi apps and services.

locating split tunneling settings on expressvpn while connected to venezuela server

Or, just get PIA to encrypt your local connections over a Saudi server.

Despite that, ExpressVPN is one of Saudi’s most reliable providers to unblock content. Whether you’re a Saudi resident or traveler, ExpressVPN gets you 4K streams of content, including:

ExpressVPN takes privacy seriously. So, using the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption on all servers and protocols isn’t surprising.

expressvpn dns leak test results
ExpressVPN's encryption is reliable against IP and DNS leaks

It also adds Network Lock, an exclusive kill switch, for IP and DNS leak protection if you randomly lose connection to the VPN server.

Otherwise, your ISP may briefly see that you’re accessing pornography, drug, nudity, or gambling-related content when the connection drops.

Furthermore, ExpressVPN is a twice audited no-logs VPN provider based in the British Virgin Islands. Thus, it’s beyond the Saudi royal family’s jurisdiction and doesn’t collect user data to hand over to the government.

Considering its fast obfuscation speeds, I wasn’t surprised that ExpressVPN extends its protection to torrent downloads. Luckily, its servers are P2P optimized for security and speed when downloading from your preferred torrent sites.

torrenting on utorrent using expressvpn

Also, ExpressVPN supports port forwarding like PIA.

But, there’s a catch. You can only get port forwarding on its router software.

Still, that’s a little better than NordVPN and Surfshark without the feature. Also, ExpressVPN supports torrent seeding.

For its offerings, ExpressVPN is slightly expensive. Of the listed providers, only VyprVPN costs more than this provider does.

So, it’s best to grab ExpressVPN discounts and enjoy its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

Cons

VyprVPN – Easy-to-Use VPN With Saudi Arabian Servers

vyprvpn ksa1 online channel
VyprVPN unblocks KSA1 online channel via Saudi Arabian servers

VyprVPN is a straightforward VPN with local Saudi servers.

This makes it suitable for users who don’t like the slightly complicated interface of PIA but need a Saudi IP address.

In fact, VyprVPN allows 3x the number of simultaneous connections as PIA, offering 30 VPN users a protected internet seat.

However, that reflects in the cost.

But before then, how else does VyprVPN protect you in Saudi Arabia or traveling outside the country?

vyprvpn server locations

For starters, you get 700+ servers offering 300,000+ unique IP addresses to:

  • Unblock content from abroad.
  • Bypass censorship and firewalls in Saudi.
  • Prevent Zain, Etisalat, ITC, Mobily, or other Saudi ISPs from seeing your live traffic.
  • Protect your data when connected to public Wi-Fi networks at the KD7 Gym or McDonald’s in Riyadh or anywhere else.

Every server you connect to also encrypts your live traffic, thanks to VyprVPN’s AES 256-bit encryption support.

Like the others, it also provides a kill switch against IP/DNS leaks if your connection to a remote server drops.

vprvpn dns leak test results
VyprVPN's encryption is reliable and wont leak your IP address

One of the most impressive VyprVPN features is its Chameleon protocol for obfuscation, which still retains fast speeds.

This in-house protocol mimics ExpressVPN’s Lightway, another ultra-fast protocol for obfuscation.

selecting chameleon vpn protocol on vyprvpn

Fortunately, Chameleon Mode is available over the Saudi servers too.

So, you can throw ISPs off your VPN scent while securely browsing the local web.

Also, VyprVPN is in the league of ExpressVPN and PIA by supporting torrent downloads. Likewise, it offers port forwarding on all apps and devices but compromises security.

You’ll have to turn off the NAT Firewall and open all inbound ports rather than specifying which ones you want. Thus, you may be open to attacks from other open ports, making it less than ideal.

activated nat firewall on vypervpn

Fortunately, the basic VyprVPN settings are enough to bypass ISP throttling and secure your torrent downloads for better speed and security.

VyprVPN also finds a home in Switzerland, a privacy-friendly country, and is an audited no-logs provider.

However, it’s the most expensive VPN listed here, costing more than ExpressVPN, which is usually the costliest.

vyprvpn subscription plans and pricing

Luckily, you get VyprVPN discounts to save more on your subscriptions and enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

Cons

The State of the Internet in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has one of the more accessible internet spaces in the Middle East. However, that’s highly misleading since this freedom is measured relative to other Middle Eastern countries with stricter censorship, online policing, and privacy invasions.

To date, the Saudi authorities block thousands of websites, censor specific pages on thousands more, arrest internet users for speaking against the government, and sometimes add internet throttling on top.

What Content Is Blocked in Saudi Arabia?

The Saudi Arabian government uses a wide net of terms to describe the content it blocks from the web space, namely anything:

  • Drug-related
  • Illegal
  • Harmful
  • Anti-Islamic
  • Offensive

As is typical with most governments that block and censor free speech, that list is ambiguous and is open to interpretation. Thus, the authorities can vaguely define any website as falling into those categories.

list of reasons why facetime is unavailable especially in saudi arabia
FaceTime and other VoIP services used to be unavailable from Saudi Arabia

This way, they can censor other online properties related to:

  • Iran
  • The Holocaust
  • Gambling
  • News websites like Fox News

The government shows its seriousness in censoring such content by routing all internet traffic requests in the country via the CITC.

This group implements a proxy system that filters DNS requests to blocked sites, showing an inaccessible page rather than a blocked one.

So, the government doesn’t just want to control what you see on the internet, but how you perceive it also.

tweet about saudi arabia demand on content censorship among companies
Saudi government also demands tech companies censor content on its behalf

Since your traffic passes through this proxy server farm, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) can also see websites experiencing a sudden spike in traffic. That way, it knows if users found a new source of reliable information, to which it quickly blocks.

In fact, one of the most notable examples of this came from Fox News’s censorship for reporting on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a BBC journalist, in 2018.

What Websites Are Blocked in Saudi Arabia?

There’s no way to get a complete list of the thousands of websites blocked in Saudi Arabia, but the numbers continue to grow. There’s also proof of blocking anti-filtering circumvention tools, one of which came to light with the ban on Google Translate.

tweet about pbs block in saudi arabia
Some or all PBS content may be unavailable in Saudi without a VPN

Wikipedia was also totally banned in the country before.

While you can access the broader Wikipedia page from Saudi today, some crucial pages remain censored.

This gives citizens a false sense of online freedom, but it’s controlled access.

Online Tracking and Arrests

The Saudi government has its hands on two of the largest ISPs in the country – Saudi Telecoms Company (STC) and Zain. This makes it easier to:

  • Implement censorship
  • Block websites at the ISP level
  • Induce throttling or internet blackouts
  • Track citizens online via unique IP addresses
  • Monitor and record your web activity
  • Find and arrest online users deemed against the law

The other ISPs not wholly or partially owned by the government can’t do anything against this either.

post about vpn characteristics to avoid in saudi arabia to avoid tracking and arrest
Avoid VPNs like this to avoid arrests and tracking

For example, the House of Saud threatens fines of up to $1.3 million on ISPs that fail to block sites identified by the CITC. Thus, it’s not far-fetched that the ISPs are also under an obligation to provide any user data the government asks from them.

Unfortunately, these online trackings play out into full-blown arrests and imprisonments. A notable example is Raif Badawi, who was monitored on social media and his blogs till he was caught and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Torrent Download Crackdown

Accessing your favorite torrent websites or content-downloading platforms may be impossible since the CITC blocks access.

As of 2018, the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) blocked no fewer than 231 music, movies, videos, and sports content sites.

news headline about criminal punishment faced by torrent user in saudi arabia

In fact, SAIP made it known that:

  • Users of such sites (e.g., torrent downloaders) could face fines up to $66,000.
  • Owners and managers of such sites (e.g., torrent seeders) could face up to six months in jail.

That alone tells you why you should never download torrents or stream sports online without a VPN. So, it’s best to learn how to test and choose your VPN for Saudi Arabia.

How I Tested and Chose the Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia?

I put an initial list of 20+ VPNs through strict privacy, security, and speed tests to get my top 5 VPNs for Saudi Arabia. Below, I discuss my test criteria and implications so you can use them for better decisions.

But you could just save yourself the time and choose NordVPN, which is my top pick.

Privacy

Privacy is a severe concern for Saudis since the government controls the ISPs and has access to your internet activity. It even tried to infiltrate Twitter some time ago, and there’s no telling what other popular platforms the House of Saud has secret spies in.

So, look for VPNs with

  • Obfuscation. This helps disguise your VPN traffic as regular traffic. Thus, you avoid anti-VPN firewalls, and your ISP can’t know you’re using a VPN.
  • No-logs policy. Better if it’s audited. So, you’re sure the VPN provider doesn’t have any data on you to hand over to Saudi authorities.
  • Zero ties to Saudi. This is best defined as a VPN provider outside Saudi’s jurisdiction. That way, it doesn’t have to comply with data retention or submission laws.

Security

Besides privacy, you also need a reliable VPN to secure your internet traffic.

Otherwise, it falls into the hands of your ISP, and it could report such data to the CITC.

activated kill switch feature on vyprvpn

Here, look for:

  • A Kill switch. The kill switch is the only thing standing between you and deanonymization if the VPN connection randomly drops. Ensure it’s always enabled.
  • Protocols. Your choice of VPN should offer at least WireGuard/NordLynx/Lightway and OpenVPN protocols. Learn more about VPN protocols and what they do.
  • Encryption. Don’t settle for anything less than AES 256-bit encryption. Your government doesn’t have the technology to hack your live traffic with that encryption.

Server Locations

Ideally, you need both local and global server locations.

Local Saudi servers are essential for:

  • Unblocking local online TV content like Ekhbariya TV, Alhurra TV, or other online content.
  • Accessing local banking apps from QNB, Emirates NBD, Deutsche Bank, or other banks in Saudi from abroad.
  • Browse local stores from outside the country.
  • Connect to local game servers for a lower ping and faster speed.

Likewise, Saudi residents can still connect to local Saudi servers to encrypt their local web experience. In this case, VyprVPN and PIA are recommended.

Even so, you need global servers to:

  • Reach censored content on the web.
  • Remove web filters set on Wikipedia, YouTube, and other platforms.
  • Access blocked websites and platforms.
  • Bypass ISP throttling from faster servers.
  • Unblock content in your country if you’re traveling to Saudi.

I recommend picking from one of my top VPN providers with their server reach summarized below.

VPN Provider Local Saudi Server? Server Count Countries
NordVPN No 5500+ 59
PIA Yes Undisclosed 84
Surfshark No 3200+ 95
ExpressVPN No 3000+ 94
VyprVPN Yes 700+ Undisclosed

Speed

Saudi ISPs are notorious for throttling internet speeds when you’re:

  • Downloading torrent files.
  • Streaming heavy content.
  • Using certain features (like video calling) on IM apps like Telegram.

You paid for the internet package, though, so you should get to use it.

So, take back that right with a VPN.

But not just any VPN. Since VPNs generally cause a connection drop, look for VPNs optimized for speed.

expressvpn vpn protocols while connected to norway server

Here, ExpressVPN takes the crown for its fast obfuscation on all servers and protocols. If obfuscation isn’t a core requirement, NordVPN is the best value provider.

However, if you want Saudi servers with speed and reliability, go with PIA.

Torrent Support

You don’t want to be the next person arrested and fined for downloading torrents from Saudi Arabia. However, you may not even get to download any content since the CITC blocks most notable websites.

So, here’s where a torrent-optimized VPN comes into the mix.

Fortunately, my top VPNs for Saudi Arabia carry varying levels of torrent support. I detailed these in the table below.

VPN Provider P2P Optimized? Supports Torrent Downloads? Supports Torrent Seeding? Extras
NordVPN Yes (on specialty servers) Yes No None
PIA Yes Yes Yes
  • SOCKS5 Proxy
  • Port forwarding
  • Native torrent app settings
Surfshark Yes Yes No None
ExpressVPN Yes Yes Yes Port forwarding on router app
VyprVPN Yes Yes Yes Supports port forwarding (unsafe)

Can You Use a Free VPN in Saudi Arabia?

You shouldn’t use a free VPN in Saudi Arabia due to their lack of reliable encryption and notoriety in collecting your internet data which they sell to third parties.

So, besides not protecting you from privacy invasion by the Saudi authorities and ISPs, they further expose you by selling your data to third-party bidders, including the government.

saudi arabia warning and investing on paid vpns

Furthermore, free VPNs often limit your bandwidth and massively impact your connection speeds. Also, they don’t offer robust obfuscation, making them useless against firewalls and VPN traffic blocks.

Thus, it’s best to choose NordVPN for its affordability and premium features.

Surfshark is a viable alternative that offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

So, the costs can be split between users to bring down individual monthly payments.

Which VPNs Should You Avoid in Saudi Arabia?

You should avoid free VPNs, paid VPNs with unfixed breach issues, VPN software from shady providers, and state-owned VPN services.

Likewise, avoid VPNs known to collect logs and collaborate with the government.

Some specific VPNs to avoid in Saudi Arabia include:

  • Hola VPN. Hola VPN is based in Israel, a country with strong data retention laws, and is known to collect user logs. Likewise, remember that Israel is a Middle Eastern country like Saudi.
  • HMA VPN. Has a history of collaborating with the FBI. Plus, it’s based in the UK, which doesn’t inspire confidence due to the data retention laws there.
  • CrossVPN. This VPN provider is accused of shipping malware, ad trackers, and trojans onto users’ phones.
  • OK VPN. OK VPN’s developers were also behind Easy VPN, and both VPNs are highly malware-infested. Safe to stay away from anything this developer puts out in the future.
  • Archie VPN. Archie offered itself as a free VPN which should be enough red flags. Littered with malware of different sorts, stay away from it altogether.
  • Tuxler VPN. Tuxler VPN openly collects your internet traffic data, isn’t reliable at unblocking, and fails at speed. On top of that, it makes your computer into a tunnel whenever you’re connected, so others can get your IP address.
  • Betternet VPN. Betternet blatantly allows third-party access to your data and embeds data trackers in its Android app. Moreover, it’s based in Canada – one of the 14 Eyes surveillance countries.

How to Setup a VPN for Saudi Arabia?

Always enable the kill switch before connecting, choose the suitable VPN protocol, connect to the correct VPN server, and test for leaks in Saudi Arabia.

Here’s how to set up your VPN properly in Saudi.

Enable the Kill Switch

Most VPNs don’t have a kill switch for their iOS apps, only automatically enabling it once you connect to any server. Likewise, others may automatically have it toggled on in their PC/Android apps where the kill switch is available.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to check and be sure.

  1. Choose a preferred VPN. I recommend NordVPN.
  2. Click on the Settings icon in the lower left.
locating settings icon on nordvpn app
  1. Click on Kill Switch.
nordvpn kill switch features
  1. Toggle the Internet Kill Switch.

Choose the Right Protocol

Unlike ExpressVPN, which offers obfuscation on all protocols, you usually have to choose OpenVPN (TCP or UDP) on other providers.

Except for VyprVPN, which uses Chameleon protocol instead.

Here’s a quick guide to the significant protocols you need.

  • WireGuard for speed and security.
  • Lightway for speed, security, and obfuscation. Exclusive to ExpressVPN.
  • NordLynx for speed and security, like WireGuard. Exclusive to NordVPN.
  • OpenVPN. Usually used for obfuscation. Present on Surfshark, VyprVPN, PIA and NordVPN.

Connect to the Right Server

Choose a preferred VPN location to unblock content, bypass internet censorship, access local content, or secure your internet experience.

You can follow this guide to decide the best server location for Saudi Arabia.

For now, here’s how to connect to any server location:

  1. Launch the NordVPN app.
  2. Click the “Quick Connect” button to automatically get the fastest server in the fastest location.
locating quick connect button on nordvpn app
  1. OR search for a preferred server location. I’ll use Norway for this example.
nordvpn location search
  1. Double click the location to get the best server there.
selecting and connecting to chosen server location on nordvpn
  1. Wait for the connection confirmation.
location server successfully connected on nordvpn

Test for Leaks

It’s crucial to ensure your online traffic is now encrypted via the VPN-assigned IP address. Thus, you’re not leaking IP and DNS requests to your Saudi ISPs or web servers you’re connected to.

Follow these steps to test for leaks:

  1. Connect to a preferred VPN server.
  2. Access ipleak.net in Incognito Mode.
  3. Check the returned IP addresses.

If the leak test website shows your actual IP address, your device is still leaking IP requests outside the VPN tunnel. In this case, reconnect to the VPN or follow the troubleshooting guide in later sections.

How to Get a Saudi Arabia IP Address?

You can get a Saudi Arabian IP address by connecting via a VPN that offers physical or virtual servers in the region.

Here’s how:

  1. Choose a VPN with Saudi IP addresses. I recommend PIA.
  2. Search for Saudi Arabia.
searching saudi arabia location on private internet access app
  1. Click the country.
  2. Click the ON connect button.
connect button on private internet access app
  1. Wait for the connection confirmation.
connection confirmed on private internet access app
  1. Test for leaks.

How to Download a VPN in Saudi Arabia?

You can download a VPN from your device’s official app stores, the provider’s official website, or alternative sources if the VPN provider’s website is blocked.

Here’s a summary of various ways to download a VPN in Saudi:

  • Go through official websites. The VPN provider’s official website should contain links to all platforms (mobile, PC, and router) you can use the native VPN app on.
  • Go through your official app stores. Preferred for supported mobile devices and smart TVs.
  • Use official mirror websites. If CITC or other Saudi authorities block access to the official VPN website, get mirror websites from customer support (via email).
  • Ask a friend. You can also ask a friend to send you the VPN program files to install. Works for PC and Android devices.
  • Use proxy servers. Proxy servers may not encrypt your IP address properly, but they may bypass mild blocks to VPN providers’ websites.
  • Use unregulated Wi-Fi networks. Suppose you’re visiting embassies, your workplace, or anywhere else with unregulated Wi-Fi. In that case, you can access VPN providers’ websites without hindrance.

How to Blog Anonymously in Saudi Arabia With a VPN?

Blogging anonymously in Saudi Arabia is vital to protect yourself from CITC bans, online tracking, or arrests owing to content you post online.

Here are a few considerations for blogging anonymously and safely from Saudi Arabia:

  • Register your blog anonymously.
  • Use anonymous payment methods.
  • Never disclose personal information.
  • Don’t share blogs on social media.
  • Choose a reliable VPN.
  • Enable a VPN before logging in.
  • Logout before disabling the VPN.
  • Enable the kill switch.
  • Be wary of linked accounts.

Frequently Asked Questions

You need a VPN in Saudi Arabia to defeat website bans and censorship imposed by the CITC, avoid internet tracking and censorship, and download torrents securely. Likewise, you can bypass speed throttling from ISPs like Zain, Etisalat, and NourNet while encrypting your internet traffic from the authorities.

NordVPN is the best VPN for WhatsApp calls in Saudi Arabia.

The VPN bypasses VoIP bans by Saudi ISPs, encrypts your communications over WhatsApp, and prevents the files you send in groups from getting intercepted.

PIA and VyprVPN are top VPN providers with Saudi servers for local IP addresses. They also offer obfuscation on these Saudi servers to bypass VPN traffic blocks and hide your VPN activity while unblocking local content.

Also, both VPNs have surprisingly fast obfuscations, ensuring you don’t lose too much speed on this protection protocol.

NordVPN is the best mobile VPN for iOS and Android in Saudi Arabia.

The VPN offers 5500+ servers across 59 countries to encrypt your internet connection, unblock content, bypass ISP throttling, download torrents and hide your VPN traffic.

However, if you’re looking for local Saudi IP addresses on mobile and torrent seeding support, choose PIA instead.

NordVPN is the preferred PC VPN in Saudi Arabia due to easy-to-use PC apps, dual kill switches for optimum protection, specialty servers to access better security, and premium unblocking activity.

NordVPN also encrypts your PC traffic with its AES 256-bit encryption technology, preventing online traffic leaks outside the VPN tunnel.

The CITC and Saudi ISPs can detect and block your VPN traffic with specific firewalls to prevent access to censored content.

This is because they see your online traffic as encrypted rather than regular when sniffing your data packets.

Thus, it’s best to choose a VPN that offers obfuscation, disguising your VPN traffic as regular traffic which passes through your ISP’s servers without detection.

ExpressVPN can be downloaded and used from Saudi Arabia to unblock content and bypass VPN traffic blocks. However, the CITC can sometimes order ISPs to block access to its website.

In that case, you can access ExpressVPN’s website through any of its official mirror websites, get the app from a trusted friend, or connect to unregulated Wi-Fi networks.

Saudi Arabia doesn’t crack down on VPN usage as authoritarian regimes do, and you’re free to use the VPN software in the country.

However, the CITC and ISPs may sometimes block access to VPN providers’ websites.

In that case, bypass the blocks with proxy servers, go through official VPN mirror sites, or get the VPN software file from a friend.

Using a VPN is halal as long as you don’t use it to commit any illegal activities online. However, it becomes haram if you use a VPN to unblock disturbing content like pornography or other content contrary to your faith and religious practices.

VoIP video calls used to be banned in Saudi Arabia, but they’re now allowed across Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, and other supporting apps.

However, this service may sometimes be throttled to make the experience unbearable.

Fortunately, you can use a VPN to encrypt your internet connection, hide your calling activity from your ISPs, and bypass the throttling.

The KSA authorities can spy on your Facebook activities if you put personally identifying and sensitive information on your account.

So, prevent CITC and authorities from spying on you by managing a private account, restricting the information you put online, and turning off your location data.

Netflix is available in Saudi Arabia, but you won’t get most of the platform’s content from the region. Thus, it’s best to download a VPN (like NordVPN) to unblock Netflix US libraries and stream your Netflix content securely in HD.

Get Online Privacy and Unblock Content!

My top VPNs for Saudi Arabia focus on unblocking content and securing your internet experience. They’re also great at bypassing censorship, defeating ISP throttling, and encrypting your local internet experience.

If hard-pressed for an option, choose NordVPN for its easy-to-use PC and mobile apps, reliable encryption, impressive unblocking speeds, torrent download support, and top-shelf online security.

Don’t forget to grab these NordVPN discounts, which offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free trial.

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