Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

March 14, 2018

If you are going to Saudi Arabia, or are there already, you are going to need a VPN to unblock restricted websites. A VPN for Saudi Arabia will unblock censored and geo-blocked websites by letting you pretend to be in a different country. Due to the dangers involved in unblocking censored content while in the Middle East – a good Saudi VPN must also provide watertight privacy.

List of VPNs for Saudi Arabia

We’ve reviewed over 150 different VPNs in the last 5 years – searching for the best Saudi Arabian VPN server. Here is a quick look at our expertly selected 5 best VPNs for Saudi Arabia:

What is a VPN for Saudi Arabia?

A VPN is a versatile online service that permits people to unblock censored and blocked website content and services. By allowing users to pretend to be in a different country, citizens living in or visiting Saudi Arabia can use websites that are supposed to be off-limits. Religiously contentious websites, off-limits news sites, pornographic or sexually liberal websites, and geo-restricted foreign services, can all be unblocked using a Saudi Arabia VPN.

A VPN also provides privacy by concealing the users real IP address. In addition, a reliable VPN for Saudi Arabia provides a strong layer of encryption. This stops ISPs, the government, workplaces, schools, landlords – and other local network administrators – from being able to tell what the VPN user did online. This privacy is a vital part of a VPN for Saudi Arabia.

Unblock Websites in Saudi Arabia

Due to the politically restrictive nature of the Saudi Arabian regime, unblocking content can get you in trouble. Human rights are very low for many classes of people in Saudi Arabia, including women and LGBTs. For this reason, certain people may be at severe risk of corporal punishment if they are caught unblocking censored websites.

It is also important to guard what you write and say in Saudi Arabia. The country is immensely strict and again even opinions could land you in trouble. In addition, Saudi Arabia bans just about every online chat, voice, and video messaging service imaginable. The main motivation for those bans is to protect the profits of the state-owned telecom company.

Although Saudi Arabia doesn’t ban social media sites, it blocks their integrated chat systems. This includes Facebook Messenger, which is not accessible from within the Facebook site or via the app. WhatsApp, Hangouts, Line, Telegram, Snapchat, FaceTime, Team Speak, Wi-Fi Calling, Skype, and Viber are also blocked.

With a VPN for Saudi Arabia, anybody in the country can unblock restricted websites and services and use them in privacy.

However, because of the nation’s politically sensitive climate, great care should be taken about what VPN is used! 

Saudi Arabia VPNs: Considerations

Due to the political situation in Saudi Arabia, not every VPN is suitable. There are hundreds of VPNs on the market and the vast majority are insecure and inferior. To unblock content in Saudi Arabia without fear of getting caught it is important that the VPN has certain features. In addition, to enjoy your VPN experience the VPN must provide certain things…

Internet Restrictions in Saudi Arabia?

The main thing you will have to contend with while visiting or living in Saudi Arabia is censorship. Many sites and services are blocked and you will need a VPN to unblock them. Much content is also unavailable from within Saudi Arabia due to copyright geo-restrictions.

The VPNs in this article have lots of servers located around the world that will allow you to pretend to be in a different country. This will overcome the local censorship and let you access other counties website services: such as US Netflix.

Saudi Arabia Censorship

Saudi Arabia bans websites that are religiously incompatible and therefore considered “immoral.” This includes any depiction or discussion about homosexuality, pornography, or prostitution. “Immorality” in Saudi Arabia also stretches to women’s rights, which are severely restrictive. Gambling websites are also off limits. With a VPN, anybody in Saudi Arabia can unblock any of these websites in privacy.

KSA VPN Security & Privacy – WARNING

In order to use a VPN securely in Saudi Arabia, you are going to need to use a VPN with strong security features. Otherwise, you could be caught unblocking censored material: which could land you in prison or worse. Here is a list of features that a VPN must have in Saudi Arabia (please make sure you use these features):

  • Well implemented military-grade encryption. VPNs all provide different levels of encryption. To be secure in Saudi Arabia we recommend only the best: OpenVPN encryption implemented to the highest standards.
  • A Killswitch. A kill switch will cut your internet if the VPN connection drops out. This will stop you from accidentally leaking data to your ISP should the VPN connection drop out. This is vitally important because without a killswitch your ISP will know what website you are visiting if the VPN drops out: and you could get in trouble.
  • DNS leak protection. A DNS leak would also inform your ISP about the websites you are actually visiting. This would be a disaster in Saudi Arabia.
  • Stealth mode/VPN cloaking. This is a feature that conceals VPN use. It adds an extra layer of security by disguising OpenVPN traffic as regular HTTPS. This makes it very hard for ISPs to even detect that a VPN may be in use and stops your home ISP being flagged up as a possible censorship avoider.

How to use a VPN in Saudi Arabia

Using a VPN in Saudi Arabia is not a difficult task. However, you must make sure that you set the VPN up properly if you don’t want to get in trouble. Here is a quick checklist to make sure you get everything right:

  • Select a VPN service from this list and subscribe.
  • Download the VPN software: make sure you get the right software for your platform.
  • Install the VPN and log in using your credentials.
  • Select OpenVPN encryption in settings
  • Turn on DNS leak protection and the killswitch. If it has auto-connect select that too. If no DNS leak setting is available (but the VPN is on this list) then it is implemented automatically by the software.
  • Turn on stealth mode if you want an added layer of security.
  • Select a server and click connect.

As soon as the VPN connects you appear to be in the location that you selected. You are also protected with the VPNs encryption, which means that your ISP and the government cannot detect what you are doing online. In addition, the kill switch will ensure you never leak unencrypted traffic to your ISP.

Best Servers to Connect to in Saudi Arabia

To get the best speeds, it is always best to connect to a server that is close to you. However, you should connect to a country that is not politically affiliated with Saudi Arabia, and where it is legal to access the censored content that you wish to view. This will give you good speeds but will also ensure that VPN servers are not raided by political allies working for the Saudi government.

On the whole, I do not recommend using VPN servers within Saudi Arabia as these could get raided by the government and you could open yourself up to being discovered writing a blog (or doing anything else) that you don’t wish to be caught doing.

Are VPNs Illegal in Saudi Arabia?

Having a VPN and using it in Saudi Arabia is technically against the nations cyber laws. This is pretty crazy considering that many businesses use VPNs in the country. What we can say confidently, is that using a VPN for Saudi Arabia is much more secure than using a proxy in Saudi Arabia. It is also true that many people – including women – do use VPNs to manage anonymous blogs from within the country. There is no doubt about it though: it is risky and great care should be taken if you do decide to do it.

Unblocking censored websites and gaining privacy in order to anonymously write politically contentious content (the things you might want to do with a VPN) is also illegal. For this reason, it is vital that your Saudi VPN has a strong privacy policy and excellent software that provides the highest levels of encryption and advanced VPN features (such as a killswitch, DNS leak protection, and stealth mode/cloaking).

Are VPNs Safe in Saudi Arabia?

As long as you get a reliable and trusted VPN from this list you will be able to use the internet in privacy. Unblocking content or writing blogs in privacy (anonymously) could get you in trouble – so we strongly recommend staying away from untrusted VPNs. Even using one of the VPNs in this list (which are the best) is risky: because of the political situation.

Some VPNs, such as PureVPN (and many others), are known to suffer from DNS leaks. A DNS leak would allow a Saudi Arabian ISP to know what censored websites were being accessed. This could get you in a lot of trouble with the law. For this reason, we always recommend using a VPN with DNS leak protection, a killswitch, and stealth mode (also known as VPN cloaking) to stop ISPs being able to detect VPN use. Please don’t use a VPN without setting up these features and strong OpenVPN encryption.

How to Test a KSA VPN

Once you have got your VPN up and running it is worth checking to make sure it is working. To do so head over to testmy.net. On that website, you will be able to make sure that your IP address is properly showing up as a location outside of Saudi Arabia. You can also check for DNS leaks and WebRTC leaks. The VPNs in this guide, however, have been carefully tested by our team of experts and are recommended because they do not have leaks of these kinds.

Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia (KSA): Summary

9.8/10.0

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Lightning fast
  • p2p: yes
  • No logs
  • Unblock everything securely
CONS:
  • Some anonymous statistics stored (aggregated only and very secure)

ExpressVPN is an outstanding option for people in Saudi Arabia. It keeps no logs and implements the highest standards of OpenVPN encryption. It also suffers from no leaks whatsoever and is based in the British Virgin Islands: which is great for privacy.

The software is super easy to use and is fully featured with a killswitch and stealth mode for evading VPN blocks and firewalls. Speeds are excellent with this world-class VPN, and it unblocks US Netflix. If you want an all around option that does everything right, ExpressVPN is for you. Finally, it has servers in 94 countries and provides a 30-day money back guarantee.

A very very good all rounder for Saudi Arabia that should be strongly considered above the others, becuase it does everything.

Check out the best VPN for Saudi Arabia

Visit ExpressVPN »Thirty-day money back guarantee

9.6/10.0

PrivateVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 55 countries including Sweden
  • No logs
  • P2P allowed
  • Up to six simultaneous connections allowed
CONS:
  • No Cons

PrivateVPN is a great choice for KSA, military grade strong encryption, super fast connection and an excellent privcacy policy. Based in Sweden PrivateVPN has servers in 56 countries including USA, Canada and The UK. This VPNs Encryption policy is excellent, PrivateVPN uses the same security as the american government so you know that your data will be secure. PrivateVPN can unblock US Netflix and with the great speeds from this VPN, you will have no problem streaming your favourite TV in HD.

9.2/10.0

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Three-day free trial
  • Servers in more than 70 countries
  • Up to five simultaneous connections allowed
  • Proprietary cloaking technology
  • Good speeds
CONS:
  • No money-back guarantee

This VPN is perfect for Saudi Arabia as long as you don't want to do torrenting with it. It is fast thanks to a proprietary network of servers. The VPN has both a killswitch and stealth mode (chameleon). It also keeps no usage logs and implements strong encryption.

Servers are located in over 70 countries, and this VPN is good for unblocking most things you might be interested in (but not US Netflix). The software is easy to use and can be installed on 5 simultaneous devices. It also provides software for all platforms. Finally, this VPN provides a 3-day free trial: so why not test it to see if it suits your needs?

8.4/10.0

IPVanish Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 60 countries
  • Up to five simultaneous connections allowed
  • Gets into Netflix
  • Fast speeds
CONS:
  • Customer support is slow to respond

IPVanish is also a good bet for getting through detection in Saudi Arabia. Since our original IPVanish review they have been great at dodging VPN detection systems on streaming services and can get into Netflix, which has some of the most thorough procedures to identify and block VPN traffic. IPVanish is also known for its great speeds. This is important if you want to use video calling, because the interactive nature of video chat systems requires a very fast connection.

8.0/10.0

PrivateInternetAccess Homepage
PROS:
  • P2P: yes
  • Servers in over 50
  • Up to five simultaneous connections allowed
  • Great for streaming
CONS:
  • Some servers might get a bit slow

This VPN is renowned for providing watertight privacy. It keeps zero logs and has strongly implemented OpenVPN. It suffers from no DNS leaks or IP leaks, meaning that you will be secure using this excellent VPN. Speeds are good, and this VPN will be good enough to stream in HD.

The software is easy to use and installs quickly, it is also available for all platforms. It can be used on up to five simultaneous devices and has a killswitch to guarantee your protection. A string VPN, let down only by slightly inferior customer support (that it is improving and has got better recently).

Saudi Arabia VPNs: Conclusion

In this article, we have recommended the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia. These VPNs provide strong privacy and let you unblock all censored and geo-restricted content from in Saudi Arabia. As well as being reliable and trustworthy, these VPNs are fantastic value for money and provide trial periods or money back guarantees. That means you can test these VPNs risk-free. If you have any questions about using these VPNs please leave us a message below.

Finally, please look at this article thoroughly and please be sure to use all the most important advanced VPN features in Saudi Arabia: because VPN use can get you in trouble with the law.

Best Saudi Arabia VPNs: Side-by-Side Summary

IMAGE CREDIT: Olena Hromova/Shutterstock.com
Ray Walsh
April 10th, 2018

I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

12 responses to “5 Best Saudi Arabia VPNs – KSA VPNs That Work in 2018

  1. Moe Aniee says:

    Hi Sir,
    I Have ExpressVPN is this good if i use it in KSA ?
    Tnx

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Moe,

      Yes. To the best of my knowledge ExpressVPN is a good choice for Saudi (but please bear in mind that none of BestVPN.com’s staff are actually based in the KSA).

  2. waqar.m says:

    Hi everyone
    I will be moving to KSA soon and would like to know about a good vpn service (UK) to use hulu/Netflix/sky go (UK)

    thanks for recommendations

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi waqar,

      I’m pretty sure AirVPN works for those. Given current attempts to block access to streaming services via VPN, do take advantage of free trials etc. to check that a service works for what you want before laying down cash (and only pay for a month at the time, as the situation can change quickly).

  3. Des says:

    Anyone I know, and there are quite a few of them, that is using Cyberghost in Saudi is being blocked, me included. I was successfully using it on both Win and Mac but about 2 months ago it stopped connecting.

  4. Valentin says:

    Hi, can you tell me if it’s safe to purchase a VPN subscription while in Saudi Arabia using credit card issued by a local bank? Can I get around this by using PayPal (never used it before)?

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Valentin,

      Please let me start by stressing that I am not a lawyer or an expert on the censorship situation in Saudi Arabia. I worked hard to research this article well, but when it comes to readers’ safety, please approach with caution.

      Baring this in mind, as I understand it, VPN use in Saudi is not illegal (and is in fact very common). You should therefore not encounter any problems paying for it through your Saudi credit card. If you are still worried, then paying via PayPal will add an extra layer of distance between you and the purchase, although paying by Bitcoin would be even (much) more private.

      If you are this worried then you should consider using a VPN that offers ‘stealth servers’ to obfuscate your VPN use. (see 5 best VPNs for China). If you are not doing anything that is likely to piss off the Saudi government, however, I would have thought paying using your local bank card is fine.

  5. saleh says:

    hi, I live in saudia Arabia what you think is better for me to stream movies online such as hulu plus or Netflix other than vyprVPN ? btw I tried and it was super fast but it has a high price and I tried pureVPN and its slow !

    thanks.

    1. Peter Selmeczy says:

      Hi Saleh
      Try I’d recommend trying IPVanish, Cactus or VPNArea. I’m not sure if a SmartDNS service would work but that’s the cheapest way of getting Netflix abroad but it does mean there is no encyprtion.
      Here’s some links for you to look at: BestVPN for Netflix, Best SmartDNS,
      Peter

    2. Fahad .M says:

      Hi Saleh

      I live in KSA too, I’ve good experiences about VPN providers globally
      since 2008 I’ve began using VPN whether free or premium.

      Netflix and Hulu are in USA, so choose a VPN provider
      can give you many servers (more servers = more options) in USA, at this
      point nothing like HMA (Hide My Ass https://www.hidemyass.com)
      I’m using it currently, it offers about 300 servers in
      USA (not including the virtual ones), plus
      you can do test (for Ping & Speed) all of its servers then
      select what you want of them to connect
      with, manually!!, so you have the option to select the less-latency (ping)
      server to get best streaming experience for your living place.

      Finally you should read this review: https://bestvpncom.wpengine.com/blog/9287/hidemyass_review
      to get HMA pros & cons before getting your step ahead.

      Good luck!

  6. Tom Bissell says:

    i will be living in Saudi Arabia (Eastern province) and i want to get the best VPN for me. My main usage will be streaming video such as Netflixs. Based on your article vyprvpn is the best. However my concern is they will detect my use and then slowdown the transfer rate so stream video will be difficult. So based on my planned usage, which do you think is better vyprvpn or Airvpn?? I will purchase the vpn before going to Saudi. Thank you

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Tom,

      To our knowledge VPN traffic is not throttled in Saudi, so you shouldn’t have any problems. Even if it were, is is possible to hide the fact that you are using a VPN (see https://bestvpncom.wpengine.com/blog/5919/how-to-hide-openvpn-traffic-an-introduction/). For your purposes VyprVPN is a good choice. Note that the US is a long distance from Saudi, so you may experience less lag by using the UK version (if that wasn’t what you were planing in the first place).

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