Best VPN Saudi Arabia

Have you ever wondered why over 30% of netizens in Saudi Arabia rely on VPNs? With the nation’s internet freedoms drastically curtailed, numerous essential sites and VOIP communication apps like Skype, WhatsApp calling, and FaceTime are inaccessible. It’s not just about accessing your favorite content; bloggers and voices of dissent face real risks, with many facing severe penalties for merely expressing their views online.

Freedom House categorizes Saudi Arabia’s online sphere as ‘not free’, emphasizing the government’s relentless efforts to curb online expression and content accessibility. Through extensive research and testing, we’ve found the optimal VPN solutions that stand tall in Saudi Arabia, ensuring you can safely navigate the web and communicate without barriers.

However, not all VPNs work in Saudi Arabia. We will highlight the ones that do in this article. If you don’t have the time to read the whole article, here’s our list of recommended VPNs:

We found these to be the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia:

  1. NordVPN: The best VPN for Saudi Arabia. Zero-logs policy and strong security. Unblocks streaming sites and platforms blocked by the Saudi Government. Great privacy features for online security and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for Saudi Arabia.
  2. Surfshark: Best budget VPN for Saudi Arabia. Works great on popular streaming services. Unlimited connections, fast speeds, and impressive unblocking capabilities.
  3. ExpressVPN: Proven no-logs policy and best-in-class advanced security features. Fast speeds for streaming Netflix and other geo-blocked sites from abroad.
  4. PrivateVPN: Excellent security with strong encryption protocols and top-notch ability to thwart geo-restrictions on streaming content sites.
  5. Hotspot Shield: Works in Saudi Arabia. Provides servers in 80 countries. Fast, unthrottled speeds and 24/7 support. Doesn’t keep identifying logs of its users.
  6. VyprVPN: Good speeds and solid security features for digital privacy. Works with major streaming platforms and has plenty of international servers.
  7. PureVPN: An affordable and very efficient Saudi Arabia VPN. Some of the fastest speeds we have encountered.
  8. ProtonVPN: An advanced VPN with plenty of security and privacy features. Comes with 256-bit encryption.

Using a VPN keeps you safe and secure on the web. The software masks your true location by encrypting all the traffic to and from your device and routing it via an intermediary server outside your current location. That means it’s tough for hackers or surveillance agencies to pry.

A VPN is also an excellent choice for foreign expatriates living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wishing to access local content from back home, like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Sky Sports, or BeIN sports.

WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?

NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for Saudi Arabia with no restrictions for a monthgreat if you want to unblock your favorite content and ensure your online security while traveling.

There are no hidden termsjust contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia – Our hands-on review

We’ve tested and compared the most important features of the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for Saudi Arabia.

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNPrivateVPNHotspot ShieldVyprVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comPrivateVPN.comHotspotshield.comVyprVPN.com
Ranking for Saudi Arabia123456
Streaming servicesNetflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
YouTube TV
Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
YouTube TV
Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
YouTube TV
Netflix
BBC iPlayer
Hulu
Netflix
BBC iPlayer
Netflix
BBC iPlayer
Avg Speed (Mbps)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps39 Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TVWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, RoutersWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TVWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Chrome, Smart TVs, RoutersWindows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, Android, QNAP, Anonabox, Blackphone, Routers
Total number of servers6,000+3,200Undisclosed200+1,800700+
Popular Sites Unblocked95%88%86%85%85%90%
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free
$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free
$2.99
SAVE 77% ON THE 3 YEAR PLAN
$5
SAVE 50% on the annual plan

Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia

Our list of the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia is based on the following factors:

  • Speed and stability of service
  • Large network of servers across the world for expatriates to unblock banned content
  • Strong encryption parameters to maintain online privacy and anonymity
  • Ease of use
  • Apps for Android and iOS

Based on the above criteria we recommend the following VPNs for Saudi Arabia.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN May 2024 Works in Saudi ArabiaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Best VPN for Saudi Arabia

NordVPN has been in existence for over a decade and has used its experience to build up a loyal legion of fans across the globe. The app may come across as clunky and cumbersome, but that doesn’t reflect on its core product – which provides impeccable speeds and security parameters. Long-term internet users of NordVPN swear by it.

NordVPN continues the trend of adopting a zero-logs privacy policy. This means it simply does not have any information about user sessions, traffic, or timestamps.

The company has received official requests for user data by government surveillance agencies. But the policy meant it couldn’t comply and user information remained hidden. Servers were confiscated in one instance for agents to scrub them thoroughly, but they were unable to glean any information. Privacy advocates will be pleased. NordVPN is also incorporated in Panama, meaning it’s out of the reach of any data retention laws – so the policy is unlikely to change.

The company operates 1081 servers in 61 countries making it a handy option for the entire gamut of web activity. It’s one of the few VPN providers that sorts servers for specific requirements such as anti-DDoS, video streaming, double VPN, Tor over VPN, or dedicated IP.

NordVPN works with most online streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. It supports torrenting.

The company encrypts internet traffic via the 256-bit AES protocol by default and uses 2,048-bit SSL keys. DNS leak protection is enabled. The specifications propel it into the top-tier of VPN services so you should rest easy if you’re worried about online privacy or anonymity.

Apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android are available.

NordVPN speed test data

No valueNordVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)354 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)262 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)284 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE

Pros:

  • Military-grade encryption at 256-bit for great privacy
  • Great VPN for torrenting and streaming
  • Unparalleled network – 5,000 servers across 63 countries
  • Strict no-logs policy ideal for privacy-conscious users
  • Access complete anonymity with cryptocurrency payments

Cons:

  • Some servers take longer to connect to

Best VPN FOR SAUDI ARABIA:NordVPN is our top choice. A great choice for security and privacy and works reliably in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East. Use up to 6 connected devices at once with great VPN connection speeds. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here’s our review of NordVPN.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark Works in Saudi ArabiaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Great for Netflix and other streaming platforms

Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN scene, but it’s been creating quite the buzz. It has great unblocking capabilities as well as top-notch customer service.

This provider has around 3,200 servers covering 60+ countries. Some locations near Saudi Arabia are included, such as Turkey and Israel.

Surfshark can circumvent geo-restrictions around a plethora of streaming sites, including Netflix.

The security features Surf Shark provides are top-tier. 256-bit encryption is included by default, as well as DNS, WebRTC, and full IPv6 DNS leak protection. An internet connection kill switch is on offer, and you can further set up dual VPNs along with ad and malware blocking. What’s more, this provider has a policy of not storing any personally identifiable information.

Customer support is available around the clock. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire Stick. Customers will enjoy the fact that you can have an unlimited number of connected devices with a single account.

Surfshark speed test data

No valueSurfshark
WebsiteSurfshark.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)521 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)702 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)561 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free

Pros:

  • Takes privacy and security very seriously
  • Great at unblocking popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
  • 24/7 live chat
  • Decent speeds for downloading and streaming

Cons:

  • The server network is smaller than most other VPNs
  • Has the occasional slow server

BEST BUDGET OPTION:Surfshark is affordable but offers military-grade encryption and privacy standards that will keep your online travels hidden. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our in-depth review of Surfshark

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Works in Saudi ArabiaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Solid all round VPN for Saudi Arabia

ExpressVPN is a fast, easy-to-use VPN that doesn’t compromise on encryption protocols. The server network itself is robust, with over 3,000 spread across 94 countries, including locations in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Europe. Foreign expatriates living in Saudi Arabia will notice that ExpressVPN gives them many options to stay in touch with local content from back home.

Online privacy and anonymity are essential factors when choosing to use a VPN in Saudi Arabia. Users should rest assured that ExpressVPN has their back because it has a transparent policy of not storing any user data. There is only a sliver of metadata retention that analyzes the time users connect to the service, the servers they prefer, and the total bandwidth utilized. Your individual IP address won’t be logged. The company says it retains this bare minimum data to improve service levels – and so far we haven’t come across any complaints of privacy infractions.

If you’re still feeling queasy, it’s possible to register for the service via a burner email account and pay with Bitcoin. The already low threat of privacy invasion will be further reduced.

ExpressVPN’s encryption protocols are tough. It uses 256-bit AES-CBC with the utilization of both HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch temporarily halts all web traffic if the encrypted connection drops unexpectedly, keeping your connection strong and secure.

The service unlocks geo-restricted content on Netflix without breaking a sweat and is similarly compatible with both Hulu and BBC iPlayer. It supports torrents.

There are apps for Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

ExpressVPN speed test data

No valueExpressVPN
WebsiteExpressVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)319 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)303 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)278 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free

Pros:

  • Strong privacy and security features make this a natural choice for Saudi Arabia
  • Accepts Bitcoin and anonymous registration possible
  • Keeps no traffic logs of any personal data
  • Breakneck download/streaming speeds

Cons:

  • Simultaneous connections of only five devices

SECURE AND RELIABLE:ExpressVPN is a privacy-first provider. Reliably unblocks content in Saudi Arabia and unblocks all major sites and apps. Excellent security, online protection, and privacy, it offers extremely fast connections and server locations in a huge range of countries. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our review of ExpressVPN.

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4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN Works in Saudi ArabiaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Good value VPN with fast speeds that works well in Saudi Arabia

PrivateVPN is well-known for its blazing speeds and impressive ability to unblock geo-restricted content. While it has only 88 servers in 59 countries, this provider punches above its weight when it comes to delivering a solid VPN product that’s safe, secure, and speedy.

PrivateVPN can unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. It uses 256-bit encryption, an internet kill switch (for the Windows app), WebRTC, DNS, and full IPv6 leak protection.

It doesn’t store any user logs, including IP addresses. Privacy-conscious users can also sign up with burner email addresses and pay with Bitcoin.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. A single account allows for 6 devices to connect at the same time.

PrivateVPN speed test data

No valuePrivateVPN
WebsitePrivateVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)94 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)57 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)62 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free

Pros:

  • No issues getting it working in Saudi Arabia
  • Gaining a solid reputation for unblocking geo-restricted content, including from the UK
  • Our tests revealed strong connection speeds

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
  • A small number of servers

STREAMING VPN:PrivateVPN is incredibly fast and unlocks several geo-restricted streaming sites. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our review of PrivateVPN

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5. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield Works in Saudi ArabiaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.

Hotspot Shield offers cloaking technology, which means that it works not only in Saudi Arabia but China. Its network consists of some 1,800 servers which can be found in 80 countries worldwide. Connections are more than consistent enough for streaming and torrenting thanks to unlimited bandwidth. Some of the popular streaming services this VPN can unblock include Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

With your Hotspot Shield subscription, you’ll have access to 24-hour support via live chat and email. You’ll also be able to use Hotspot Shield on up to five devices at once. Once connected to a server, internet traffic is routed through a 256-bit AES encrypted tunnel. Aside from DNS leak protection and a kill switch, you’ll have access to a password manager. Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep any identifying logs.

Hotspot Shield apps are available for desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and mobile (Android and iOS). You can also find apps for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV, there’s even a Chrome browser extension. Use with routers requires manual setup.

Hotspot Shield speed test data

No valueHotspot Shield
WebsiteHotspotshield.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)207 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)195 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)189 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE 77% ON THE 3 YEAR PLAN

Pros:

  • Able to bypass VPN blocks in Saudi Araba (and China)
  • Server network covers some 80 countries worldwide
  • Use it to stream Amazon Prime Video and Hulu from abroad
  • Keeps you safe online with encryption and auto wifi protection

Cons:

  • Monthly plan is slightly expensive
  • No option to pay in cryptocurrency

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

Bypass VPN Blocks:Hotspot Shield has a server network covering 80 countries. Unlimited bandwidth for lag-free streaming. Highly secure thanks to encryption, auto wifi protection, and even a password manager. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Hotspot Shield review.

Hotspot Shield Coupon
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6. VyprVPN

VyprVPN Works in Saudi ArabiaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.VyprVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Top-level security, keeps no logs, and works well in Saudi Arabia

VyprVPN is a favorite with people who value privacy and online security as its proprietary tech is world-class. The company itself has been around for over seven years, making it a mature service that skirts government blockades at will.

However, it does have a logging policy – specifically “the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time and total number of bytes used.” Some users might be concerned about that. However, the company insists all data is kept on servers for a period of 30 days and is used for troubleshooting. The content of communications is not logged.

Your private data is unlikely to ever be exposed or exploited by hackers. As we mentioned earlier, VyprVPN’s encryption standards are incredible – it’s popular in China where it easily unblocks the Great Firewall. This means that the company can outwit thousands of state-appointed government engineers who work around the clock to keep sites out of the reach of people accessing the web in China. That’s impressive.

A premium version of the package will allow access to the Chameleon™ protocol. This feature scrambles OpenVPN metadata so deep packet inspection cannot recognize it.

It maintains its server connections with a great degree of caution, too. VyprVPN is one of the few internet services that runs entire data centers. This stands in contrast to other services that mainly outsource or rent. It’s in control of all the traffic flowing through the system, ensuring stringent privacy, minimal downtime, and great speeds.

VyprVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, 256-bit AES encryption, 2,048-bit RSA keys without perfect forward secrecy, and SHA256 authentication. There’s an internet kill switch included. It’s also able to unlock content on Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

There are over 700 VyprVPN servers spread across the world.

Apps are available for both Android and iOS, and there is desktop support for Windows and MacOS.

VyprVPN speed test data

No valueVyprVPN
WebsiteVyprVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)373 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)192 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)79 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$5
SAVE 50% on the annual plan

Pros:

  • Great unblocking capabilities, works well in Saudi Arabia
  • Stable and speedy connections with secure apps
  • Owns and manages its entire network of servers

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than some VPNs
  • Other VPNs have more options for advanced configuration
  • Doesn’t accept Bitcoin

User friendly Apps:VyprVPN achieves good speeds. Great uptime as all servers are owned by VyprVPN. Pricier than others on the list. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of VyprVPN.

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7. PureVPN

PureVPN Works in Saudi ArabiaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PureVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 31 DAYS

PureVPN is a fantastic option for internet users in Saudi Arabia in search of an affordable yet efficient VPN. It boasts servers in over 65 countries, allowing you to bypass censorship and blocks imposed by the Kingdom easily. However, it does not have servers in Saudi Arabia, so please bear that in mind if you specifically want a VPN to access Saudi services from abroad.

On the plus side. the VPN is extremely effective for accessing international streaming services such as Netflix US in Saudi Arabia, and it also works to bypass blocks on VoIP apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Viber.

PureVPN’s implementation of the WireGuard protocol ensures fast speeds, perfect for HD streaming, gaming, torrenting, and making secure video calls. Its robust AES encryption, strict no-logging policy, kill switch, DNS leak prevention, and obfuscation allow anybody living in or visiting KSA to bypass blocks without the threat of government oversight. Its encryption also protects you against hackers on public wifi networks.

Our experience with the live chat support wasn’t the best. The agents were very slow and often disappeared for a while. However, considering the low cost of a subscription this VPN is still extremely impressive. You can see for yourself using its 31-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Fast WireGuard protocol is ideal for streaming
  • Independently audited no-logging policy
  • Servers in 65+ countries
  • User-friendly apps for all platforms
  • 31-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Customer support is slow
  • Port forwarding costs extra
  • No servers in KSA

Our score:

4 out of 5

AMAZING VALUE:PureVPN is a cheap and reliable VPN to bypass blocks and gain privacy in KSA. It works to access popular international streaming services like Netflix USA, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, ESPN, and many others.

Read our review of PureVPN.

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8. ProtonVPN

Proton VPN Works in Saudi ArabiaTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN is popular with tech enthusiasts. It is a highly advanced and reliable VPN for people in Saudi Arabia, thanks to its rock-solid no-logs policy, and apps for all devices that include obfuscation, multi-hop connections, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch This makes it an excellent choice for Saudis who prioritize privacy and wish to avoid government surveillance.

The VPN comes with many useful security features including watertight AES encryption. This makes it a reliable option to bypass government censorship or safely access restricted content at work in KSA. It also works to use VoIP apps in Saudi with complete confidentiality.

While ProtonVPN doesn’t host servers within Saudi Arabia, it can let you get an IP address in 85 different countries. What’s more, in our tests it worked to access popular international services like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. This makes it an excellent option for anybody living in or visiting KSA who wants to enjoy international streams.

ProtonVPN supports split tunneling and port forwarding, which makes it a decent option for torrenting. The only real issue is that it is a touch expensive However, if you don’t mind paying a few bucks more for an incredibly fast, advanced, and reliable VPN – ProtonVPN is almost impossible to beat. You can see what the fuss is about with this advanced VPN by using its 30-day risk-free trial.

Pros:

  • Fast servers for HD streaming and torrenting
  • Works to watch multiple Netflix regions
  • Robust encryption and strict no-logs policy
  • Packed with advanced features
  • Servers in 85+ countries

Cons:

  • A touch expensive
  • May not be the most user-friendly option for beginners
  • No servers in KSA

Our score:

4 out of 5

FULLY FEATURED:ProtonVPN has apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux that come packed with advanced features. It is a highly trusted VPN that has completed a full third-party audit. Servers are available in over 85+ countries.

Read our full ProtonVPN review.

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Our Saudi Arabia VPN testing methodology

There are more than 100 VPNs to choose from, and it is becoming harder and harder for consumers to find a reliable and trustworthy VPN. Many VPNs exaggerate how good their service is, make wild claims about being ‘the fastest’, or claim to be secure when in reality they lack encryption or suffer from terrible leaks.

At Comparitech, we have perfected a VPN testing methodology that allows our experts to test and compare market-leading VPNs. This gives us the distinct advantage of being able to pick out VPNs that are better for specific use cases.

In Saudi Arabia, where bypassing government censorship could potentially get you in trouble with the authorities, it is vital for a VPN to have strong security, a no-logging policy, and important security features such as a kill switch and obfuscation.

Below, we have included some of the important features we looked for when recommending VPNs for Saudi Arabia, you can find out more about our detailed review process by following the link to our guide.

  1. Strong security. We only recommend VPNs that provide strong AES encryption, DNS leak protection, a kill switch to prevent you from leaking data outside of the VPN tunnel, and obfuscation to conceal VPN use from local networks and ISPs.
  2. Reliable apps. We recommended VPNs for Saudi Arabia that have strong security and apps that are free from vulnerabilities. We tested each VPN for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, and checked the encryption implementation to ascertain that it is truly secure. Plus, our top three choices all underwent third-party audits from a reputable company.
  3. A no logging policy. The best VPNs never monitor the data that passes through their servers and never retain usage logs or user data that could be used to tie their subscribers to their online habits at a later date.
  4. Large server network. Whether you want to access British TV services like BBC iPlayer or want to use VoIP services like Whatsapp, you will have more freedom when you have a VPN with a wide choice of servers. We recommend VPNs that let you get an IP address in many different countries around the world.
  5. Accessibility. Not all VPNs work with Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BeIN Sports, and other popular services. We test the market and try to recommend VPNS that offer true value for money with easy access to popular services from all around the globe.
  6. Excellent customer support. We understand that beginners don’t always know how to use a VPN’s features. That is why we recommend VPNs that make things easy by providing excellent setup guides and live chat support that allows users to ask questions at any time of day.

What about a free VPN?

It’s tempting to opt for a free VPN because you don’t have to sign up with a credit card and there usually isn’t any cash transaction at all. But forget about receiving the same speeds, encryption standards, or customer service.

Free VPNs are in the business of making money. They’re registered companies that have to pay for staff salaries, office space, server maintenance, and other overheads. So when the product itself is free, you end up becoming the product.

There have been multiple instances of free VPNs transgressing their power by tracking and stealing your data, selling it to 3rd-party advertisers, and bombarding you with invasive advertisements. Because you’re connected to a weak network, there is also the threat of a malware infection. Your device can also be unwittingly used as a pawn in a massive botnet army (more on this later).

If you’re unsure about whether you need a VPN, check out our list of the best VPNs with a free trial. It’ll help you test out the service for a few days and analyze whether the software works for you or not. But we recommend you avoid the random ones that exist on the interwebs. There’s more than what meets the eye.

Some VPNs to avoid

One of the reasons people opt for a VPN is so that their privacy and anonymity are guaranteed. We’ve discussed this at length throughout the article – VPN providers have a similar commitment that they respect the wishes of their users and don’t try to pull a fast one. Unfortunately, some companies have a history of not caring at all. In this section, we’ll tell you about two VPN services that willingly sold or handed over user data. We believe that’s a major ethical violation and a red flag to avoid them in the future.

1. PureVPN

There’s evidence to suggest that VPN provider PureVPN collaborated with law enforcement agencies to help identify one of its users.

PureVPN and the FBI joined forces after an unnamed 24-year-old woman filed a complaint about falling prey to an online blackmailing plot. She suspected her roommate, Ryan Lin, to be culpable.

The FBI traced the online activity back to PureVPN, who then used its logs to identify the culprit. Ryan was arrested. PureVPN insists that it didn’t record the content of communications, but it did have a ‘no-logs’ policy in place. There’s a real question mark on how ethically they might have behaved.

2. HolaVPN

Israel-based Hola, which developed and operated a popular VPN extension for the Chrome browser, built up its user base to a staggering 50 million. Unfortunately, it wasn’t content with further engendering the community. Instead, it chose to decimate its image and goodwill by unethically leveraging the user base by making them pawns in a massive botnet army.

What this meant was that Hola users, without their knowledge or consent, had a part of their internet bandwidth siphoned off for coordinated attacks on other sites, illegal promotion of copyrighted content, and possible distribution of pornography.

We’ll leave the rest to you.

It’s important to note that under no circumstances do we condone the use of VPNs to commit acts expressly forbidden by a country’s laws. However, we maintain that VPN providers need to be open and transparent with users. If it tracks user data, even under certain circumstances, it needs to be open and upfront about it. Violating this trust, handing over data, or hijacking HTTP requests is unacceptable.

How do I blog anonymously in Saudi Arabia?

Liberal Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was arrested five years ago for promoting free speech and questioning the direction his country was taking. He remains behind bars to this day with his wife and child now in Canada.

In another case, Abu Sin, a teenage vlogger, was arrested after videos of him chatting online with a female friend in California went viral. Local police said the behavior “was unethical”, and stated that to be the reason behind his arrest.

Law enforcement agencies in Saudi Arabia don’t take kindly to chatter that deviates from state-sanctioned policies. Any supposed transgressions from the devout Islamic way of life are also looked down upon. We recommend you use a VPN to protect your identity if you are looking to start a blog in Saudi Arabia.

Related: How to blog anonymously, a guide for activists, whistleblowers, and journalists.

Please note that Comparitech does not condone the violation of local laws, whether by using a VPN or not. Please research the possible ramifications of your behavior before deciding to continue on this path. If necessary consult a lawyer who might be able to provide in-depth advice.

Will the internet ever be free in Saudi Arabia?

More than 70 percent of Saudi residents in the country are connected to the web. That’s an impressive number, catapulting it into one of the most digitally connected countries in the world.

Unfortunately, locals can only access a mere fraction of the web. The Guardian says Saudi Arabia leads the region in internet censorship with sophisticated filters in place to block content and keep tabs on online behavior.

Freedom House adds that sites which are deemed to contain “harmful”, “illegal”, “anti-Islamic”, or “offensive” material are likely to be blocked. Other parameters include web pages promoting extremist ideologies or criticism of the Saudi royal family.

A new anti-terrorism law passed in 2014 has resulted in greater caution for online activity as well. Citizens can be censured for merely liking or commenting on posts that might be construed as damaging to the state.

Pro-government websites and publications are routinely patronized by the state – with generous assistance provided to such journalists. On the flip side, any hint of criticism is met with severe financial pressures, with the Saudi government doing its best to restrict the publication’s source of revenue.

To browse the web safely and securely in Saudi Arabia, we recommend you use a VPN.

VPNs for Saudi Arabia FAQ

Are VPNs legal in Saudi Arabia?

VPNs are not illegal in Saudi Arabia. However, using a VPN to commit an illegal act is definitely not legal. You can read more on the legality of VPNs in Saudi Arabia here.

Is it safe to video call in Saudi Arabia?

VoIP services, which include voice and video calls made over the internet, were banned in Saudi Arabia in 2013. Those restrictions were later lifted in 2017. You can now use WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, and other internet calling apps in Saudi Arabia with or without a VPN. Note that KSA authorities can still monitor when and where you use VoIP apps, so if you don’t want to leave any trace of a call, a VPN is still necessary.

Is Facebook private in KSA?

It would be difficult to describe Facebook as private under any circumstances, whether in Saudi Arabia or not. Obviously, anything you post on Facebook should be considered public.

Additionally, Facebook will hand over data in and about accounts in Saudi Arabia in response to a valid legal request.

According to Facebook, the KSA government has filed three requests for data since 2013, and Facebook complied with one of them. The KSA also filed six “preservation requests” for a total a ten accounts. When a preservation request is made, according to Facebook, “[…] we will preserve a temporary snapshot of the relevant account information but will not disclose any of the preserved records unless and until we receive formal and valid legal process.”

Can I use my phone in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you can and may use your phone or smartphone in Saudi Arabia.

If you are traveling from another country, you will probably need to get a SIM card from a local operator unless you’ve set up international roaming with your existing operator. That means you’ll need an unlocked phone that works on a GSM network.

You may need to provide identification and five fingerprints to register a new SIM card in the KSA.

How do I use a VPN in Saudi Arabia?

Using a VPN in Saudi Arabia is easy. However, we recommend you sign up and download the VPN app of your choice before making the trip in case they are blocked once you arrive.

Once you’ve signed up and installed your VPN provider’s app on your device, just open it, select a location, and connect. After a few seconds, your connection to the VPN server will be secured, and you can access the internet privately and view blocked content.

Would you recommend KSA VPN?

No, we don’t recommend KSA VPN or, indeed, any free VPN service. In the case of KSA VPN, you’re likely to be spammed with plenty of ads. In fact, some free VPNs make money by logging and selling your personal information! This even includes your browsing data. It’s also worth knowing that KSA VPN has a lot of users and very few servers or server locations. The result is slow speeds, which makes it highly unsuitable for streaming.

Is it legal to stream music in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, it’s perfectly legal to stream music in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, some of the most popular music streaming services are available in the country. This includes Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer. Of course, if there are any streaming services that are geo-blocked due to copyright and licensing, you can always use a VPN to bypass the restrictions. This involves connecting to a VPN server in another country, such as the US.

Can I use my Netflix account in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you can use your Netflix account in Saudi Arabia. However, due to the nature of Netflix’s business model, there are some copyright restrictions that apply in certain countries. However you can use a VPN from our list above and access international versions or your home library of Netflix.

Can I be punished for using a VPN in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you can be punished for using a VPN in Saudi Arabia under certain circumstances. While using a VPN itself is not illegal in the country, the context in which you use it can lead to severe penalties. The Saudi government has implemented strict laws regarding internet usage, and the use of VPNs to bypass censorship or access banned content can result in harsh consequences.

According to recent reports, the Saudi authorities have announced a ban on the use of VPNs to access restricted websites and services. Violations of this ban can lead to significant fines and imprisonment. For instance, accessing such sites or services can result in a fine of up to 1 million Saudi Riyals and up to one year of jail time. In more severe cases, penalties can include deportation or being blacklisted from entering the country.

How will I know if my IP address has been changed to Saudi Arabia?

In order to get a Saudi Arabian IP address, you need to connect to a server in Saudi Arabia. You will then be able to see the location and IP address in question within the VPN app itself. To verify that the IP address has been changed, you can visit our IP Address Check tool or whatismyip.com. In both cases, you’ll be able to see your current IP address and an approximate location. All being well, this location should be in Saudi Arabia.

Do I need to download my VPN before traveling to Saudi Arabia?

VPNs aren’t actually illegal in Saudi Arabia, but the government does block access to most major providers’ websites. As such, you will have to install your VPN before arriving in the country. Some providers operate mirror websites that work in places with strict online censorship, but this is far from the norm, and you’ll need to know the address ahead of time anyway. We’d also recommend keeping a copy of the service’s manual setup instructions, just in case you experience connectivity issues during your visit.

Disclaimer: Although we’ve spent hours researching this topic, we are not legal experts. As such, nothing we’ve said above should be taken as legal advice. If you’re unsure about their legality, we encourage you to consult local laws or perhaps even seek a professional’s opinion before attempting to use a VPN in Saudi Arabia.