Saudi Arabia is a desert country that takes up most of the Arabian peninsula. It is known as the birthplace of Islam, and contains the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina. In 1938, oil was discovered there, and it is the world’s largest oil producing country. Despite the money and the beautiful beaches, Saudi Arabia has some strict laws that seem unusual to those in the western world. Therefore, we suggest if you plan to travel to Saudi Arabia, you should sign up for a VPN before leaving home.
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Saudi Arabia is a beautiful and historic place. However, the first reason to use a VPN while there is to protect your privacy. You probably know there is quite a bit of business done there. Because of that, you are likely to encounter cybercrooks. You can guess that there are people just waiting to take advantage of vulnerable users and steal their data. On top of that, you have to worry about the prying eyes of the Saudi Arabian government. They make no bones about the fact that they monitor internet traffic. By using a VPN, you create a secure and encrypted connection so you can prevent crooks from stealing your personal information.
The second reason to use a VPN has to do with it’s unblocking abilities. In this case, the connection you create may be to a server in another country. It is known that Saudi Arabia blocks websites that it feels are offensive to Islam. If you connect to a different country, you would not encounter the same restrictions. That is great if you want to stream media from YouTube or any other website. In cases like Netflix, there are different libraries all over the world, and connecting to a different country would allow you to see the library from whatever region you wish. Another reason for using a VPN may be for work purposes. Sometimes people that work remotely need access to documents on the company’s network, or even their own machines. Because of the secure tunnel created, the only way you would be able to accomplish that goal is by using a VPN.
Those are two of the best reasons to use a VPN while in Saudi Arabia. However, you may find there are other reasons as well. Whether you want to unblock banned websites, protect your privacy from the government and crooks, or other things, using a VPN is a good idea. Now that you see why it is important to do so, let’s take a closer look at the providers and criteria we use for our list.
What is the best VPN for Saudi Arabia?
There are several factors to consider look at when trying to answer the question. Here are some of the big ones we looked at to determine the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia:
- Strong encryption for good user privacy protection
- Providers that offer a no logs policy
- A large network of servers to help you lessen or eliminate disconnects
- Ability to unblock geo-blocked or banned content
- Multi-platform mobile device support including Amazon Firestick
- Fast servers in the Saudi Arabian region that perform well on speed tests
Let’s jump right in and take a look at the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia.
ExpressVPN brings together fast VPN access with MediaStreamer which acts as a Smart DNS service to unblock access to geo-restricted content. The VPN service will help encrypt your connection and unblock live sporting events. You will even find a list of the latest live entertainment and sporting events on their website. Being in the British Virgin Islands puts ExpressVPN outside the 5 eyes and 14 eyes countries. They maintain a no-log policy that has been verified through high profile legal requests over the years.
ExpressVPN manages a very large VPN network. Beyond the USA, the ExpressVPN network boasts thousands of servers in key locations to help protect their user’s privacy. You can use their network to protect your privacy, unblock censorship, and watch your favorite streaming services from anywhere.
The ExpressVPN app allows you to select a server location down to the city but you do not need to choose a specific server. Instead, the client will select the fastest server in your chosen location. You also need to know that some cities are not shown on the recommended tab inside the client. You may find that issue with the cities we mentioned. Simply select the “All” tab, open Europe, and then open Tukey. At this point, you can select the server there. We selected a server in Turkey and the speed was 60.24 Mbps.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of using ExpressVPN is their support for a wide range of devices. ExpressVPN offers custom VPN software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Connect from your desktop and mobile at the same time with up to 3 simultaneous connections. You can also install the ExpressVPN web extension for Chrome or Firefox. Want to protect your entire home network with a single VPN account? If so you can use the ExpressVPN router app to get all set up. The MediaStreamer feature adds Smart DNS support to devices like game consoles (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, etc.), media boxes (Apple TV, Roku, Nvidia Shield TV, etc.), and Smart TVs.
ExpressVPN performed very well in our speed tests. They are a great choice for privacy and to unblock geo-restrictions. Customer support is available 24/7 to provide assistance and answer any questions. Enjoy the best VPN for less with confidence as ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money back guarantee.
HideMyAss was brought to life in 2005 when Jack Cator, a 16-year-old student in England, decided that he wanted to create a service to help people avoid censorship. Specifically, Jack was unable to access social media sites and online games because they were blocked on the school network. HMA added hundreds of thousands of users the first month and has since grown into one of the largest VPN services in the world with over 350 server locations. Privax, the parent company of HMA Pro VPN, joined the AVG team in 2015.
If your goal is to find the VPN with the most server locations, then HideMyAss is your best choice. Just keep in mind that HMA logs user activity which is a concern for some VPN users. HMA hosts a number of servers in the Saudi Arabian region, including some in Riyadh. To connect to a server there, you need to choose the “Location Mode” and select “Change Location” to get started. Then click on the “Cities” tab and search for Riyadh. From there you can select the Saudi Arabia, Riyadh server location. We connected to a server in there to test and found the speed to be 26.20 Mbps.
In 2016 HMA and a few other leading VPN providers led the way in simplifying their custom client software. The result is a full set of custom apps that make it easy for any user to connect to the HMA network and encrypt your connection. They have software available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can also connect to HMA through your router. HMA offers unlimited VPN access from just $4.99 a month and offers all new users a 30-day risk-free money back guarantee.
Private Internet Access (PIA) gives users a few different options. Unlike in the past, you no longer have to set up a profile for each VPN server. Now, you can connect to any of their server locations in 33 countries. As you can see below, the PIA team has organized their servers by region, country, and city. The server locations are listed in alphabetical order by country.
There are a lot of torrent users who love Private Internet Access. The service includes a feature that will stop your system from communicating if the connection to their service drops. Meaning if your encrypted VPN access is dropped for any reason it will keep you safe.
PIA offers a Windows client and other apps that are simple and easy to use. However, you won’t want to underestimate it. PIA offers different levels of privacy protection depending on your needs. You can control encryption levels to help you find the right balance between privacy and speed. As you can see, our speed test showed that PIA performs well in Dubai, UAE (the closest location). When we connected to a server there, we got a speed of 108.86 Mbps.
When it comes to their Windows client the PIA team has included an Internet kill switch. The kill switch will kill your Internet connection anytime the VPN fails. That can really come in handy for those wanting to ensure anonymity. Private Internet Access offers VPN from just $3.49 a month.
Saudi Arabia is home to many people, and many VPN services have servers there. That includes IPVanish. We can tell you from personal knowledge that it will work well, no matter what area of the area you are in. You can expect fast servers and more server locations in the region than almost anyone else. Because of those reasons, we choose IPVanish as one of our go-to options to use while in Saudi Arabia.
As well as coverage in Eurasia, IPVanish hosts servers in every continent other than Antarctica. The network produces great speeds in the region when we perform our speed tests. You will find multiple server locations all over the region. You can select a location or an individual server from the drop-down menu.
IPVanish hosts a number of servers in the locations in the area and you can choose to connect to any of them. If you see servers that have the letter “a” in the server name, those are the fastest. For example, you would look for one labeled similarly to dxb-c01.ipvanish.com. (located in Dubai). In this case, however, you will find a single server. We tested an IPVanish server there, dxb-c01, and found the speed to be 24.93 Mbps.
When it comes to value IPVanish is hard to beat. They offer unlimited access to their VPN network and custom software for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Firestick and more for $7.50 a month or $58.49 a year. That works out to just $4.87 a month on the annual plan. A 7-day money back guarantee covers all new members.
CyberGhost was founded in 2001 by 7 enthusiastic young team members in Bucharest, Romania. Since that time the company has grown into one of the largest VPN services in the world. The team of 50+ members is focused on protecting users privacy. Robert Knapp, co-founder and CEO, continues to lead the team even after they joined the Crossrider group in 2017. Since that time the CyberGhost network has expanded quite a bit.
CyberGhost offers a nice mix of server locations, strong encryption, and the ability to unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube Red, and Amazon Prime. Some of the channels even let you unblock geo-restrictions for multiple regions. For example, you can access Amazon Prime video content in the US, Germany, or UK. The Windows client also gives you the option to surf anonymously, protect WiFi, torrent anonymously, unblock basic websites (Google, Facebook Instagram, etc.), and choose a server.
Since we wanted to test a server in Israel (the closest location), we opened the Windows client and expanded the interface. From there you will want to click on the “All Servers” tab if it isn’t already active. Scroll down to Israel and click to the right of the star. This will bring up a full list of servers there. The CyberGhost network includes servers in the country. We connected to a server there and got a speed of 99.83 Mbps.
The CyberGhost VPN client is one of our favorites. It is very easy to use and includes a number of advanced features to help protect your online privacy. They have a development team in Germany that is continually adding features to the client and mobile apps. You can sign up for full access to the CyberGhost network from just $2.75 a month during their current promotion.
Above, we have given you the best options to use while in Saudi Arabia. However, you can always have look at our top 10 VPN services for different choices. That said, the providers in our list are the best overall for the region so they are sure to meet any goal you have. we used security, regional locations, speed, and price as the factors for picking these selections. In addition, we also picked the ones with large networks of servers you may wish to connect to. Fast networks for streaming HD content and protecting your privacy are marks of reliable VPN providers. Of course, our choices do both. No matter your reasons, hopefully, we have shown you why you should use one. We are confident that you will be happy with any of the options we recommend in this post.