When it comes to the Internet, the situation isn’t all that bright in Egypt — quite the contrary.
The country’s authorities have been harassing journalists and bloggers for years, and have even cut access to parts of the Internet.
That, at least, is the situation most people living there are experiencing on a daily basis. Except if they use a VPN, which can help them bypass all these restrictions and let them roam the world wide web like it’s nobody’s business. Cause it should be nobody’s business.
Out of many VPNs we had a chance to test, we have found the following 5 work the best in Egypt. Check them out…
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Good for both torrenting and streaming
- Works in China
- Solid network with servers in 60+ countries
- Easy to use apps on multiple platforms
- Live chat isn't always available
- Fairly pricey
Whether you need a VPN for watching Netflix shows or downloading files via BitTorrent, Astrill can help you out — all while keeping your identity under the radar. And this is especially true if you live or work in China when the company's stealth protocols will kick in to let you access all the popular sites that are by default blocked by the country's censors.
Astrill's apps are easy to use and available on all popular platforms. Nevertheless, they still manage to provide a host of advanced features tech-savvy folks are used to get. Highly recommended, again, especially if you're looking to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- Fast download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
- Great for torrenting
- Advanced privacy features (i.e. Tor over VPN)
- Relatively small number of servers
- There are no browser extensions
- Live chat support is not always available
Specifically, you can rely on PrivateVPN for both torrenting and streaming, without paying a premium. It is, in fact, one of the most affordable options in its league and we love it for that.
Customer support may not be on par with bigger players but it's not like you should experience many problems anyway. You will get the same level of security and privacy as with other services, and a single license will let you run PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices. Pretty cool.
- Works in China
- Many servers in Asia
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Advanced services like VyprVPN Cloud
- No browser extensions
- Torrenting could be better
It manages to bypass restrictions in high-censorship countries and elsewhere by relying on its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which can easily slide under the radar.
VyprVPN is also great for accessing video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and so on — delivering the true buffer-free experience every single time. It will also work with BitTorrent, and consequently - Kodi.
VyprVPN has a strict zero-logs policy. Period.
Internet Censorship in Egypt
Bloggers and journalists were never super-welcomed in Egypt, whose activities have been watched round the clock. Sometimes, the government even resorted to arrests.
Heck, we have even seen Egypt’s Ministry of Interior ordering Internet café managers and owners to record their customers’ names and ID numbers.
At all times, Egyptian ISPs were blocking access to adult content to limit what children could access online. At least, that’s what the government is saying.
And that, in case you wonder, was under President Hosni Mubarak, whose regime ended in 2011.
Once that happened, Reporters Without Borders moved Egypt from its “Internet Enemies” list to its countries “under surveillance” list.
Alas, the first anniversary of Egypt’s revolution was celebrated in a climate of uncertainty and tension between a contested military power, a protest movement attempting to get its second wind, and triumphant Islamists. Bloggers and netizens critical of the army have been harassed, threatened, and sometimes arrested.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has been leading the country since February 2011, has not only perpetuated Hosni Mubarak’s ways of controlling information but has strengthened them. As a result, numerous journalists and bloggers have been prosecuted before military courts, and sometimes jailed for several months.
It’s even worse today…
In December 2016, the popular secure messaging and VoIP app Signal had stopped working in Egypt — while digital security experts suggested they had faced similar problems months before.
It is suggested that Egyptian authorities were attempting to acquire technology that would allow them to collect information on specific users of interest through directed surveillance. And they have even managed to interfere with users’ SSH connections that enabled them to access remote servers.
According to the cloud service provider DigitalOcean, Egypt’s government has been performing DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) and is messing somehow with these secure connections.
In addition to disrupting the SSH protocol, HTTPS connections were also affected.
In June 2017, Egypt banned at least 62 websites in a crackdown, including Daily Sabah, Medium, Al Jazeera, The Huffington Post, and Mada Masr along with opposition websites, like El-Badil, for containing material that “support terrorism and extremism as well as publish lies”.
Many organizations condemned the crackdown, including the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), Mada Masr and the Index on Censorship. The ATFE stated that “the blocking of websites violates the Egyptian Constitution”.
By October, that figure had climbed to 434 banned websites, including the sites of many opposition organizations and activists.
Similarly, social media pages have been shut down or had content removed or their administrators arrested by the Egyptian government.
Like that’s not enough, in recent years – Egyptian police have been using social media, such as Grindr, to find and arrest homosexual men.
Yes, you need a VPN for Egypt
I’m sure you realize that you need a VPN even if you just plan to visit Egypt. No one can guarantee you will be able to access Facebook from the Land of the pyramids. And the same goes for many popular services such as Skype, Whatsapp and so on — as well as major media outlets.
But… you shouldn’t get a VPN only for Egypt. Instead, get the one that will ALSO work in Egypt while covering all your other needs as well.
In that sense a good VPN will:
- Protect your privacy from the government and big corporations
- Bypass restrictions imposed by the government or various organizations
- Change your IP address so you get unrestricted access to Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, HULU, and other video streaming services
- Encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals
The top contenders that check all these boxes include the following: