Egypt is a country in northeast Africa that is the 15th most populous country in the world. It is also home to one of the oldest and most famous cultures in the world. The capitol city of Cairo, founded in 969 AD, is the 13th largest city, worldwide. Despite the recent wave of attacks, tourism in Egypt makes up more than 11% of their GDP. In addition, Egypt has had a lasting effect on popular culture including the universities that offer degrees in Egyptology.
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As it stands currently, the Egyptian government has no online data retention policy for keeping track of it’s citizens. Also they have no definition of sensitive personal data. That means the government may not be monitoring you if you are there, but there are plenty of other people with nefarious ideas that would be more than happy to steal your information. It may not be sensitive to them, but to most of us, it is. You will want to use a VPN.
As far as internet goes, there is widespread broadband access via ADSL. There is also nearly 100% saturation for mobile internet. That is because in a country of nearly 87 million people, there are 96.8 million cellphones. That said, all ISPs have capped their unlimited ADSL accounts with speeds ranging from 256k to 24mb to a maximum of 150GB per month, calling it a fair usage policy. ISPs stated that the 150GB quota was huge and users could download up to 60 large movies, 10,000 large songs, browse endlessly and send up to 2 million e-mails a month. Going above the monthly quota would result in throttling speed of 64kbit/s for the rest of the month. For those of you that are unaware, 64kb/s is basically the same speed as an old technology called dial-up. Interestingly enough, most providers deny the existence of a fair usage policy in fear that users will cancel their account.
Additionally, the Egyptian government remains partly free. That means that there are a few sites online that it will block. Though you would think that would include discourse websites or blogs, surprisingly most of them are not. That would not stop you from being arrested because of internet activity, but they are accessible. Explicit websites were blocked because they were deemed offensive to religion and society’s values.
A good VPN service will help you in two ways. First of all, it will provide a layer of encryption to your web browsing, even when using a mobile device. Though there is quite a bit of usage of the net, it is limited because of the fair usage policy. High numbers of residents are using their phones to browse the web and do traditional things. In that case, privacy becomes an even bigger concern.
So if you are traveling to Egypt, or you have relocated there, you would want to protect your sensitive data. Currently, there is no data retention policy in place for government monitoring. However, with nearly 100% of the Egyptians having mobile coverage, there are plenty of opportunities for thieves that would love to get your data.
The second way a VPN will help you is by unblocking content. With some sites being blocked because of religious reasons, if you wanted to view specific sites or perhaps stop yourself from getting arrested, a VPN is the way to go. Say that you wanted to watch Netflix or one of the other popular streaming services while in Egypt? Unfortunately, they do not offer any version of Netflix, nor is one expected any time soon. You would be blocked from seeing any region without a VPN. That may not be an issue at times because of the limit, but if you were going to do so, this is how.
Many streaming services use a technology known as geo-blocking. Geographical restrictions recognize where a user is based on their IP address. If you were to try to access any of the streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or even Pandora internet radio, you would receive a message that the service was not available in your area. As usual, you would need a paid subscription to view or listen to premium content, but you would actually be able to enjoy those services from there by using a VPN.
You may say “I believe you, but what VPN should I choose?” There are many choices in the types of VPNs to pick, but thankfully we have some great selections for Egypt. All of them have custom clients so you would simply pick the country you want, hit the connect button, and enjoy all the benefits we have talked about. These suggestions all use secure protocols and encryption levels, so using the OpenVPN protocol will always be your best option.
If your primary goal is online privacy or content streaming, we would suggest ExpressVPN. They offer no-logs and a kill switch feature in some of their clients, thus adding an extra layer of protection to your browsing. For streaming things online, say from a premium streaming service like Netflix, ExpressVPN is still the way to go. They have a fast, reliable network so you would be able to easily connect to those libraries of content and enjoy them. Of course, you would need to have a paid subscription if you plan to access any of the premium channels as well as a VPN.
If you are traveling outside of Egypt and you want to be able to see some of your favorite shows, we recommend the ExpressVPN MediaStramer feature. It will help you unblock channels without the overhead of encryption.
You are welcome to read over our list of the top 10 VPN services if you’d like other suggestions, but we think you will be pleased with any of the VPNs in this post. We have selected them over other leading VPN services based on privacy (log policy and encryption), availability of server locations, speed, and price. We also looked for services with a good network of VPN servers in the region. You’ll want a reliable VPN provider to help secure your online privacy, and a fast network to stream HD content in other countries if you have Internet access without a quota. The services we have shared in the post are the best VPNs for privacy and to unblock geo-restrictions for popular streaming sites. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and many other popular channels would all be accessible from Egypt.