Are VPN legal Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a reputation for poor internet freedom, with many sites and social media apps blocked for residents throughout the country. For this reason, many people in Saudi Arabia use VPNs to access restricted content securely. This includes content censored by government authorities as well as region-locked content from other countries, such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. VPNs are also used by journalists, businesses, and individuals in the country to safeguard data in transit and prevent snooping by internet service providers, spies, and hackers.

In an attempt to limit the use of VPNs, the government of Saudi Arabia blocks access to many VPN providers’ websites and servers. However, using a VPN is not illegal in the country, and the Global Web Index estimates that 29% of people in Saudi Arabia accessed the internet through a VPN sometime in the past month.

We’ll go into more detail about the legality of VPNs in Saudi Arabia, but if you’re just looking for one that works, here’s a summary of the five best VPNs for Saudi Arabia.

Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia

  1. NordVPN: Our top choice VPN for Saudi Arabia. Works with a lot of streaming services, has strong security and privacy protocols, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly.
  2. Surfshark: Best value VPN for Saudi Arabia. Fast and reliable with unlimited simultaneous connections.
  3. ExpressVPN: High security without sacrificing speed. Works with Netflix and other streaming services.
  4. PrivateVPN: Strong security, fast speeds, and a no-logs policy. Ideal for use in Saudi Arabia.
  5. Hotspot Shield: An easy-to-use VPN that works well in Saudi Arabia. Fast, unthrottled speeds and 24/7 support. Doesn’t keep identifying logs of its users.
  6. VyprVPN: Secure VPN that works with a few popular streaming sites. Good speeds and solid security features.

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Are VPNs legal in Saudi Arabia?

Although the government of Saudi Arabia blocks access to many VPN providers’ websites and servers, using a VPN is not illegal in the country. Many people in Saudi Arabia, both citizens and visitors, use VPNs every day to access censored or region-locked content. There is no precedent of anyone being charged with a crime simply for using a VPN.

However, we do recommend signing up for and downloading the VPN you want to use prior to traveling to Saudi Arabia, as some VPN websites are blocked within the country even though the VPN app will work.

Please note that this article is not professional legal advice and engaging in illegal activity while connected to the VPN is still illegal. Although a VPN can protect your privacy, we do not encourage using them to carry out illicit activity online. A VPN is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Legislation changes and you should always do your own research to stay up to date on the current laws. 

Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia – at a glance

We’ve 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
Total number of servers6,000+3,200Undisclosed200+1,800700+
Popular Sites Unblocked95%88%86%85%85%90%
Best deal (per month)$3.39
Up to 72% off + a Saily eSIM data gift
$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

There are plenty of VPN providers on the market, but they don’t all provide the same level of service. And since the authorities in Saudi Arabia blacklist many VPN servers to prevent users from connecting, you’ll need to ensure you choose a VPN that stays one step ahead of restrictions. To find the best VPNs for the job, we looked for ones that met the following criteria:

  • Works in Saudi Arabia
  • Can help you securely access censored and region-locked content
  • Fast speeds
  • Strong security and privacy protections
  • Live customer support

This is just a summary, but you can learn more about how we test and rank our recommended VPNs further in this article. But for now, let’s take a closer look at the ones that made the list.

We found these to be the five best VPNs for the KSA:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jul 2024

Apps Available:

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

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our top recommended VPN in Saudi Arabia that doesn’t skimp on privacy and security. The company keeps zero logs about its users and their online activity. It uses industry-best encryption standards backed by good leak protection and a kill switch in case the connection is disrupted. These specifications propel it into the top tier of VPN services, so you can rest easy if you’re worried about online privacy or anonymity.

Speeds are fast enough to stream video in HD. NordVPN works with a wealth of streaming sites, including Netflix, BeIN Sports, BBC iPlayer, and Sky. NordVPn has a wide network of 5,400+ servers spread across around 60+ countries, so finding a server for your needs should be no problem.

Live chat support is available around the clock, and you can connect up to six devices at once on a single plan. NordVPN makes apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Amazon Firestick.

Pros:

  • Works well in Saudi Arabia
  • Wide network of global servers
  • Excellent security and encryption standards
  • Great speeds for streaming and torrenting
  • 24/7 live chat support is available
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever

Cons:

  • Some servers take longer to connect than others

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

TOP VPN FOR SAUDI ARABIA:NordVPN includes industry-leading security features including military-grade encryption, a kill switch, strong obfuscation, and a strict no logs policy. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free trial.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN that doesn’t compromise on service or security. This VPN is tailor-made for streaming region-locked content from abroad and keeping your activity private. It offers strong encryption, an internet kill switch in case of dropped connections, and protection from most data leaks. The company keeps no logs of your activity or other metadata that could identify you.

Surfshark has over 3,200 servers in 100+ countries, and it works with Netflix, BeIN Sports, Sky, BBC iPlayer, and much more. Speeds are suitable for streaming in HD. Best of all, you can connect an unlimited number of devices at once, which makes this a great option for a family or group of housemates.

Surfshark apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • 3,200+ servers in over 100 countries
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever
  • Allows unlimited simultaneous devices
  • Great for streaming
  • Strong security features

Cons:

  • Has the occasional slow server

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:Surfshark is a great value VPN that allows you to connect all your devices at once, great for protecting the whole family. Ideal for streaming. Strong security. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is an ideal VPN for users in Saudi Arabia. It keeps no identifying logs and employs best-in-class security. That includes unbreakable encryption, data leak protection, and a kill switch that stops all internet traffic if the connection to the VPN server drops. It’s possible to pay with cryptocurrency without revealing any personal information to the company.

It’s the fastest VPN we’ve tested. ExpressVPN can help you securely stream a wide range of high-definition streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky Sports, and BeIN Sports.

Live chat support is ready to help 24 hours per day, every day. You can connect up to five devices at once. Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and certain wifi routers.

Pros:

  • Works in Saudi Arabia
  • High speeds for downloading and video streaming
  • Comprehensive security and privacy features
  • Securely access a large range of geo-locked sites
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Slightly more pricey than other services
  • Streaming servers aren’t labeled

Our score:

4 out of 5

ROBUST SECURITY:ExpressVPN has premium security features. It comes well-equipped for bypassing censorship, protecting privacy, and accessing your usual sites from the KSA. It comes with a 30-day, risk-free, money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN is a newer VPN with a smaller server network, however, it offers all the speed and security of a veteran provider. Military-grade encryption, data leak protection, and an internet kill switch ensure your data is never exposed to third parties. It even comes with a “Stealth mode” that can prevent snoopers from seeing that you’re using a VPN.

PrivateVPN doesn’t disappoint on the streaming front, either. It works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Sky. Its blazing speeds ensure you can stream without worrying about lag or buffering.

It doesn’t store any user logs or IP addresses, and privacy-conscious users can sign up with burner email addresses and pay with Bitcoin. You can connect up to ten devices at once. Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV.

Pros:

  • Works with a wide range of streaming services
  • Very good at getting around online censorship
  • Fast and reliable servers provide consistent connections
  • Connect up to 10 devices
  • Keeps no logs

Cons:

  • A small but growing network of servers
  • Live chat support is not 24/7

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BYPASS CENSORSHIP:PrivateVPN is a simple VPN that comes with everything you need to access the open web. Allows ten simultaneous connections. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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5. Hotspot Shield

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 makes our list thanks to its ease of use combined with speed and security. The simple interface is novice-friendly and doesn’t leave much room for error. HSS keeps no identifying logs saved for your IP address, which is deleted when you end your session. 256-bit AES encryption is combined with perfect forward secrecy to ensure third parties cannot snoop on your connection.

Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more can be securely accessed with Hotspot Shield. Speeds are fast enough to let you stream HD video from abroad. Torrenting is permitted, and a kill switch will halt your internet connection if the VPN drops for any reason.

Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. You can connect up to five devices at once. Servers are spread across more than 80 countries.

Pros:

  • Works in Saudi Arabia
  • Decent speeds
  • Works with major streaming services
  • Strong security and privacy protections

Cons:

  • No live chat support
  • Some past privacy concerns

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

NOVICE FRIENDLY:Hotspot Shield packs speed and security into an easy-to-use app. Keeps no logs. Has strong encryption. Comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Hotspot Shield review.

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6. VyprVPN

Apps Available:

VyprVPN guarantees its user’s privacy by owning and operating its own servers and data centers. Whereas most other VPNs rent servers from third parties, VyprVPN uses its own infrastructure. The apps use strong encryption and a kill switch to keep your data private. An optional “Chameleon” mode further disguises your VPN traffic as normal web traffic.

VyprVPN can help you securely access Netflix and a handful of other streaming sites. You can connect up to five devices at once. 24/7 live chat support is ready to assist with any issues. The company doesn’t store traffic or connection logs.

Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Great unblocking capabilities, works well in Saudi Arabia
  • Excellent security and privacy features
  • Owns and manages its servers

Cons:

  • More expensive than some VPNs
  • Has fewer options for advanced configuration than other VPNs

Our score:

4 out of 5

GREAT UNBLOCKING:VyprVPN is a solid choice for users in Saudi Arabia. Owns and manages its own servers. Has strong encryption and keeps no logs. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full VyprVPN review.

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The best VPNs for Saudi Arabia – methodology

Selecting the best Saudi Arabia VPN can be challenging, but we’ve done most of the hard work for you by following strict testing criteria. Check out some of what we look for below:

  1. Server locations: a VPN server location closest to your physical location will offer the fastest possible connection speeds. It’s also an obvious choice if the VPN has servers in Saudi Arabia.
  2. Unblocking ability: VPNs are well known for accessing geo-restricted content like Netflix and sports broadcasts. But not all VPNs work in the same way, so we test how well each one can access websites from around the world – no matter what device you’re using.
  3. Privacy features: A great VPN will almost always protect your privacy by using strong encryption to guard your data. We look for a dedicated privacy policy, no usage logs (which would be a risk if they were stored on the VPN’s servers), a kill switch, and DNS leak protection as standard – so you can rest assured that your online activities will remain private at all times.
  4. Customer support: a 24/7 live chat customer service option is always a sign of excellent customer service, as are multiple ways to contact them, such as email and phone.
  5. Value: a great VPN shouldn’t only be cheap, it should offer excellent value for money too. That means a useful number of simultaneous connections, an intuitive and user-friendly app or software suite, good speeds, and plenty of extra features. Many of the VPNs we recommend offer free trials, and all of them have a money-back guarantee, so you can try them out risk-free. 

If you’d like to know more, we’ve detailed more about what we look for in a VPN in our VPN testing methodology article.

Can I use a free VPN in Saudi Arabia?

We do not recommend using a free VPN for Saudi Arabia. Free VPNs often lack the privacy and security offered by paid providers.

Some don’t employ sufficiently strong encryption, while others don’t encrypt anything at all, allowing third parties to monitor your online activity. They might leak sensitive info that could be used to identify you, such as an IP address.

Free VPNs still need to generate revenue, and this often happens through ads. The VPN might inject ads into websites that you visit, collect personal info from your connection to sell to ad networks or both. Some VPNs have even been caught distributing malware.

Being able to securely access services like Netflix, Hulu, Sky, BeIN Sports, and others is much less likely with a free VPN. Their servers are usually blacklisted by these companies, preventing you from watching. They have fewer server locations and often throttle speed and data.

A paid VPN has the necessary resources and support to make sure you can bypass censorship and access the content you want with privacy and security. Free VPNs just don’t get the job done.

See also: Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia