The United Arab Emirates is a country that borders Saudi Arabia and is located on the Persian Gulf. Interestingly, only 16.6% of the residents are citizens of the UAE. Despite having the 7th highest Gross Domestic Product in the world, it has strict laws. As in many Muslim majority countries, Sharia law is practiced there. Stoning and flogging are both legal punishments in the UAE. Activists attempting to change laws are often tortured, or forced to disappear. That said, online activities do not have such strict punishments, but the government does examine internet and voice communications for things it deems “in the public interest” or for national security. That sounds like a good reason to use a VPN.
Things the government considers to be in the public interest may include things seen as insults to Islam or public dissent. That being said, a VPN service would be extremely important in protecting your privacy. The virtual private network does this by adding encryption to your web browsing. Since the government monitors internet traffic for everything, it is better to secure your data and make sure your personal information does not fall in to the wrong hands.
In a country of about 5.6 million people, the internet usage is high. Over 71% of the population use the fixed fiber-optic integrated services. Internet speeds start at 30 mbps for residential areas, and 100 mbps for businesses. Additionally, cell phone saturation is over 200%, and many access online content via mobile. There are more than two phones for every man, woman and child in the UAE.
That makes it a perfect place to stream media online. Say you wanted to watch something like the premium streaming service, Netflix. None of the countries in the middle east offer Netflix, and it should not be expected any time soon. By using a VPN, you would be able to access Netflix in any region. Do you want to watch an American movie? Simply connect to a US server. Of course, you would need a paid subscription to Netflix to access content there. The same could be said for any other streaming service that may be geo-blocked.
What is geo-blocking? It is a technology that recognizes where you are located based on your IP address and it will block you if you are outside of the targeted area. VPNs allow you to connect to a server in whatever country you wish, and browse or view content as if you were in that country. Why miss out on great content just because of your location?
By now, we have made convincing arguments and you can see the reasons for using a VPN. There are many types of VPNs to pick, but we have some great choices on hand for the UAE. They all have custom clients, even on mobile, so you would just choose a country to connect to, push the button, and you would be safeguarded. These suggestions all use secure encryption levels, however, using the OpenVPN protocol will be your best choice whenever possible. If you are planning on using one of the many streaming services, OpenVPN (UDP) would be your best choice. To connect to a mobile network, you could also look to other protocols including IKEv2 and L2TP for privacy protection.
Let’s do a bit of analysis on the goals you want to accomplish with a VPN. If you want to protect your data or unblock content, we would suggest ExpressVPN. They don’t keep logs and have a kill switch feature, so it will insure your web surfing is safe. If you want to try streaming things online like music, premium movies, or other things, ExpressVPN again is the best choice. They manage a very large network, so you would be able to connect to markets that have the biggest collections, and stream from there.
If you just want to unblock geo-restricted content, we recommend ExpressVPN or PIA. Both encrypt traffic, but ExpressVPN includes MediaStreamer SmartDNS with their VPN which will help you unblock channels without the overhead of encryption. However, with the topics we have discussed here, we would recommend using encryption, especially within the borders of the UAE. With the speed of the internet there, we would encourage safety first.
For other options, please check out our top 10 VPN services. We do think you will be happy with any of the listings here though. We have hand picked these choices over other leading providers based on security, server locations, speed, and price. We also looked for services with a good network of VPN servers for your convenience.
Reliable VPN services help protect your online privacy, and have fast networks to stream HD content in other countries. Given those points, these are the best VPNs overall no matter what goals you have. Geo-blocked streaming services and many other popular channels would all be accessible from the United Arab Emirates with a VPN.