The Internet was never 100% open in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with the authorities blocking access to parts of the Internet that doesn’t praise (to say the least) the main political figures in the country.
Furthermore, the UAE also has what we think are ridiculous limitations on the use of VoIP services. Such moves are justified by the country’s intention to help its local operators thrive — and VoIP would definitely make a dent in their (fat) profits.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many other reasons why would you want to use a VPN in the UAE. For instance, you may want to access the US “version” of Netflix which has the biggest catalog of movies rather than the one the streaming service provides locally.
So without further ado, here are the best 5 VPNs for the United Arab Emirates:
- 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 the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) censors the Internet using Secure Computing’s solution, allowing the country’s ISPs Etisalat and du (telco) to easily ban pornography, politically sensitive material and anything against the perceived moral values of the UAE. This includes parts of Wikipedia, as well as some social networking services like hi5, Friendster, and all dating sites like Yahoo! Personals and Match.com.
Also, most VoIP services are blocked in the country and that includes calling functions of such popular apps as WhatsApp and Snapchat. However, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the government of UAE introduced a partial relaxation of the ban on VoIP services to ease communication during the lockdown.
In August 2009, the OpenNet Initiative listed Internet filtering in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as pervasive in the social and Internet tools areas, as substantial in the political area, and as selective in the conflict/security area. Another organization, Reporters Without Borders, listed the UAE as “Under Surveillance” since 2008.
Why do you need a VPN for UAE?
With a VPN, you get to access the Internet in its entirety without anyone knowing what you’re reading, listening and watching online. And that’s the main point of a VPN — to give you that extra dose of anonymity.
In other words, with a VPN – you get the freedom we (all of us) deserve. With privacy having a premium these days, a VPN lets you get it for just a few dollars per month.
Furthermore, a VPN will also keep you safe while accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots, encrypting all data traveling to and from your devices and the rest of the Internet. This in turn protects you from so-called “man in the middle” attacks that have been growing in popularity in recent years.
Finally, you get to stream movies and TV shows from services such as Netflix and Disney+ as if you were in the US, Germany or any other country. Just connect to the appropriate server and as far as those services are concerned, you’re not in UAE – but in the land of the server you’ve just selected. It’s actually that easy.
However, you should know that in March 2015 – the Dubai Police declared the usage of VPNs illegal, saying that “tampering with the internet is a crime”. And although the action may not be taken against an individual for simply using a VPN, the usage of a VPN combined with other illegal acts would lead to additional charges.
Get a VPN for all your needs!
You should get a VPN that could be used all across the world for many other things, including:
- Accessing content that could otherwise be restricted in your physical location.
- Preventing tracking and minimizing your digital footprint so that no one can track you online (at least not that easily).
- Avoiding throttling from your ISP – which is known to happen when you’re torrenting or accessing video streaming services.
- Bypassing firewalls in a workplace, university, school and so on.
- Bypassing censorship in places like China, North Korea, countries in the Middle East, and even Turkey and Russia.
- Securely connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots – with a VPN encrypting all the traffic coming to and from your devices.
The bottom line is – get a VPN that fits all your needs. The top contenders include the following: