If your ISP completely blocks VPN access, you must use custom protocols specifically designed to hide VPN connection. To reiterate, OpenVPN will NOT work unless it’s obfuscated (masked) to look like normal HTTPS traffic. Please read our guide to successfully use VPN in Saudi Arabia.
Best VPN with servers in Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Arabia is not simply one of the most restrictive countries when it comes to online censorship, the government is also heavily invested into mass surveillance. While blocking a number of political, religious websites and social media content, Saudi Arabia also monitors messaging, VoIP audio and video calling on WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, FaceTime, Facebook and other messaging apps.
Gambling, torrenting and adult content are completely blocked while a number of local resources are geo-restricted. The definition “inappropriate” for Saudi government is very broad, however. For this reason, Saudis may block any sexually unbiased website with some semi-nude content or pages that are rated 18+ or on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and the like.
Saudi VPN is a perfect tool to access restricted web content like adult content, political blogs and other government criticism. Saudi VPN also helps you stay anonymous while browsing the internet in Saudi Arabia. Once you are connected to a VPN server, VPN encrypts your data and masks your real location, thereby, hiding your browsing activities from Saudi authorities.
Thus, if you would like to prevent Saudi government from monitoring your browsing activities, access political, religious or pornographic content, the following VPN providers offer the best protection in Saudi Arabia. If you are on very restrictive networks that block VPN use altogether, we will discuss how to bypass restrictive firewalls in Saudi Arabia later in this article.
ANNUAL PRICE: 3.33 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 10.95 USD
Hong Kong based PureVPN is a no logs VPN service that was independently audited by Altius IT, a leading California-based independent Certified Information Systems Auditor. Altius IT team members are experts in higher-level network security audit, risk management, assessment, and security consulting services.
PureVPN has 2,000 high-speed VPN servers in 140 countries with over 50 servers located in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Oman. Hence, PureVPN is one of the best VPN services to get a Saudi IP address.
Secure high-speed PureVPN infrastructure offers advanced security features for anonymous Internet use. PureVPN custom apps have a built-in WebRTC, IP and DNS leak protection. Kill switch is feature that guards the users from unencrypted data leaks when the internet connection drops. PureVPN even has a DDoS protection add-on.
PureVPN can unblock restricted websites and bypass Saudi imposed Internet censorship.
Additionally, the provider considered the importance of uninterrupted streaming by introducing Dedicated Streaming add-on that will boost streaming speed and enhance performance. PureVPN optimized streaming servers are best to get a buffer-free streaming experience in Saudi Arabia.
PureVPN is also one of the few VPN providers that can effectively unblock Netflix. For this purpose PureVPN setup dedicated Netflix servers. At the moment the provider can unblock Netflix USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Japan.
In case you want to limit your VPN use to specific websites/services only, Split Tunneling feature lets you decide which applications to send through unencrypted channel and which one to secure with an encrypted VPN service.
Split tunneling is commonly used in case you need a Saudi VPN for torrenting only. More so, PureVPN offers over 60 dedicated torrenting servers and a port forwarding feature to maximize your upload and download speeds.
To read a full PureVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 3.49 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD
Panama based NordVPN is one of the best security oriented VPN companies with amazingly fast infrastructure. NordVPN is a no logs VPN service that was independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG based in Zurich, Switzerland (one of the Big 4 auditing firms) to back thef claims that they don’t log identifiable user information under any circumstances. Additionally, NordVPN offers a Double VPN – a privacy feature that sends your Internet traffic through two VPN servers, encrypting it twice.
NordVPN offers over 5,000 servers in 62 countries, dedicated & shared IP types, and 6 simultaneous logins. When it comes to the Middle East, NordVPN has servers in the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Turkey. So if you need a Middle Eastern IP address, NordVPN is a perfect choice as you can connect to one of these VPN servers.
NordVPN Obfsproxy servers not only unblock VPN on strict firewalls, they also hide OpenVPN and make your VPN use completely undetectable. Neither your ISP nor the Saudi government will know that you are using VPN.
NordVPN can, therefore, bypass Saudi imposed Internet restrictions, online censorship and network firewalls. NordVPN can unblock Telegram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other blocked websites.
Besides, NordVPN has a Smart Play technology offering an encrypted connection to access geo-restricted content on Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Spotify and similar services. If you are a torrenting user, NordVPN has torrenting VPN servers as well.
To read a full NordVPN review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.59 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 9.95 USD
Based in Malaysia, Hide.me is one the most secure and fastest VPN providers offering ultra fast gigabit VPN servers that deliver the fastest VPN speeds for users on gigabit Internet connection.
Hide.me is a no logs VPN service with gigabit VPN servers in UAE and Egypt. Hide.Me VPN is extremely reliable and very fast which makes it a perfect choice for security oriented users who would like to enjoy uninterrupted streaming and browsing experience. The provider can unblock censored content in Saudi Arabia and bypass local government restrictions.
Hide.Me custom VPN apps have a number of advanced features for maximum protection. Hide.Me VPN has a built-in protection against IP and DNS leaks. Kill switch is an excellent tool to shut down Internet access when the connection to a VPN server is dropped. Stealth Guard takes this even further by blocking access to predetermined apps even when the VPN is OFF.
For instance, once you add Chrome app to your Stealth Guard settings, Hide.Me app will block Internet access for Chrome browser unless the VPN connection has been established.
Hide.Me supports perfect forward secrecy, an advanced security feature that tells OpenVPN to regularly renegotiate encryption keys.
Hide.Me is one of the best VPN services to use in Saudi Arabia since it has advanced VPN masking tools to bypass strict firewalls and censorship. Hide.Me masks (obfuscates) OpenVPN traffic with TLS-Crypt so, if your WiFi network blocks VPN by analyzing traffic patterns, this methods can bypass the most advanced firewalls. The technology also encrypts every OpenVPN packet twice, sort of like Double VPN encryption.
Additionally, the provider offers a dynamic TCP/UDP port-forwarding (UPnP) with up to 10 TCP/UDP ports, a useful feature on WiFi networks that block VPN ports, to speed up torrenting or streaming.
More so, you can selectively tunnel only specific traffic via secure servers. Split tunneling feature allows this or, alternatively, SOCKS5 proxy can be setup on your browser/torrenting client and re-route only that traffic.
To read a full Hide.me review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 4.49 USD/mo [promocode]
MONTHLY PRICE: 8.99 USD
Offering over 3,000 servers in 55 countries, all mainstream protocols and top-notch security, TorGuard rightfully earned its place as a top VPN provider. To get a Middle Eastern IP address and access local content, TorGuard offers VPN servers in Israel and UAE.
No logs TorGuard is a reliable, fast and secure VPN service for Saudi Arabia. TorGuard desktop apps have a kill switch feature that actively monitors your Internet connection to protect you from accidental IP leaks when your WiFi is unstable.
Stealth VPN is a technology that TorGuard uses to bypass Deep Packet Inspection firewalls, such as those typically used by Saudi government to censor and restrict online content. Consequently, TorGuard is a highly recommended VPN service for users who live in the regions with particularly restrictive governments, and would like to unblock censored websites or services.
Besides a great number of security features and ability to unblock VPN on restrictive WiFi, TorGuard is also an ultra fast VPN service with gigabit servers (actually, 10 Gbps). This infrastructure allows the fastest VPN speeds with a reliable streaming and browsing experience.
Unlike most VPN providers, TorGuard VPN can bypass Netflix proxy error with their Netflix streaming IPs. TorGuard can unblock a number of Netflix regions (USA, UK, Canada, Italy, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and Singapore), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Spotify and virtually any streaming or social media service.
TorGuard is not only one of the best VPN services, it also offers OpenPGP encrypted email service with 2 factor authentication and up to 10Mb free storage.
To read a full TorGuard review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.45 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.99 USD
Romania based CyberGhost is a no logs VPN provider with over 6,500 ultra high speed VPN servers in 90 countries. CyberGhost VPN has servers in Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Iran, Israel and Turkey. The wide selection of VPN servers in the Middle East makes the service an excellent choice for VPN users located in Saudi Arabia. CyberGhost VPN is also one of the best VPN services to get a Saudi IP address.
CyberGhost is one of the most secure VPN services. The provider has a number of advanced security and privacy features that are not offered by competitors. CyberGhost desktop apps have DNS & IP leaks protection, as well as an automatic kill switch that guards your connection if VPN disconnects.
Anti-fingerprinting and tracking protection blocks websites from storing personally identifiable data. A built-in ad-blocker and anti-malware blocks annoying ads along with malicious websites. Automated HTTPS redirect forces unsecured websites to go to HTTPS, ensuring that you browse the most secure version of it.
Data compression is another interesting feature that compresses data to reduce your Internet usage.
CyberGhost, additionally, offers dedicated high-speed streaming servers to unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other multimedia services. You can also choose to connect to dedicated VPN servers optimized for torrenting.
Split tunneling is a feature that excludes specific websites from passing through the VPN tunnel. CyberGhost split tunneling only works to bypass predetermined websites, like Netflix.com, and cannot be used for other apps, like torrenting.
For faster streaming and torrenting, CyberGhost VPN allows switching between TCP/UDP protocols (UDP may be faster comparing to TCP).
If you are on a restrictive WiFi network, typically found at hotels, airports, restaurants and the like, desktop VPN apps can automatically test a wide range of ports and connect to the random VPN port that works. ISPs and various entities in Saudi Arabia tend to block VPN connection altogether by closing common VPN ports. For this reason, the provider is a great choice for Saudi VPN users to unblock VPN, bypass online censorship and unblock restricted content in Saudi Arabia.
To read a full CyberGhost review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.19 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD
PIA is a leading no logs VPN service with over 3,000 VPN servers that deliver great speeds and a reliable performance. Private Internet Access has Middle Eastern servers in The United Arab Emirates, Israel and Turkey. If you are in Saudi Arabia, connecting to one these servers will guarantee faster VPN speeds. UAE servers are best to browse local content in Arabic.
PIA offers an easy to install VPN app for all devices with security and privacy features that protect VPN connection from unexpected data leaks. PIA was once subpoenaed by the FBI and the only information they could provide is that the cluster of IP addresses being used was from the east coast of the United States. The FBI case confirms that PIA indeed does not log any user activity.
Their NAT firewall does a great job protecting from cyber attacks, built-in kill switch secures from unprotected data leaks. In addition, PIA apps have a DNS and IPv4/IPv6 leak protection.
PIA VPN service in one of the best choices for Saudi Arabia as the provider gives unrestricted and uncensored access to blocked or censored websites. Aside from various social media websites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, PIA also works with Netflix USA and Netflix UK libraries, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime.
For faster streaming and torrenting PIA software offers switching between different connection types and ports. The settings have UDP (faster) and TCP connections types that, depending on network, can speed up traffic. UDP is also greatly preferred for torrenting and streaming. Additionally, PIA allows port forwarding to 443, 80, 110, 53, 8080, 9201. Port 443 is the most widespread option because it is used to bypass strict firewalls when all the other ports are blocked. For instance, forwarding traffic through port 443 will likely bypass VPN block on most WiFi networks in Saudi Arabia.
Thus, PIA can bypass strict censorship and firewalls in Saudi Arabia, effectively giving you anonymous browsing experience by hiding your real IP address.
SOCKS5 proxy is another excellent feature that can re-route only certain traffic through VPN tunnel eliminating the need for split tunneling. SOCKS5 is widely used with torrenting software due to its convenience. Once installed on uTorrent, for instance, it works for p2p traffic only.
To read a full PIA review click HERE.
ANNUAL PRICE: 9.99 EUR/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.99 EUR
Perfect Privacy is an ultra fast (gigabit servers) VPN provider with a heavy focus on advanced online security. As the name suggests, Perfect Privacy VPN has some of the most secure VPN features for maximum anonymity in Saudi Arabia.
For the fastest browsing experience, you can choose between Egypt, Israeli or Turkish VPN servers. But like we mentioned above, the provider’s focus is not the amount of servers they own, it’s security, privacy and complete anonymity.
Perfect Privacy has one of the best and most advanced kill switch implementations. Their integrated firewall enforces all traffic to be sent through secure tunnels thereby protecting their users from all known IP leaks not only when the app is running, but also after OS reboot. Essentially, it prevents unsecured online access when you restart your device until the VPN is up and running.
In addition, Perfect Privacy offers a unique Multi-Hop VPN feature that allows cascading over up to 4 OpenVPN servers at the same time along with SOCKS5 and Squid proxies. So you can create a chain of 6 VPN locations at the same time which basically eliminates any possibility of tracking you down. While this setup surely provides more anonymity, it will dramatically slow you down, which may be an issue for some Saudi VPN users.
Perfect Privacy can bypass strict firewalls in Saudi Arabia by obfuscating OpenVPN to look like normal HTTPS traffic with Stealth VPN or OpenVPN over SSH feature. For additional firewall penetration Perfect Privacy allows 5 custom port forwardings or 3 default random ports.
Basically, if you are in Saudi Arabia and your WiFi network completely blocks VPN, Perfect Privacy can bypass firewall and unblock VPN on virtually any network.
NeuroRouting is an AI based routing that determines the most secure and fastest route through the Internet. It also automatically changes your external VPN IP address depending on the destination. Another fantastic anonymity feature is the provider’s ability to resolve .onion (TOR) addresses without the need for the Tor Browser.
Overall, Perfect Privacy VPN is a perfect tool to avoid mass surveillance, bypass Saudi internet restrictions, access censored websites, and securely stream multimedia content.
To read a full Perfect Privacy review click HERE.
Online Censorship & Liability in Saudi Arabia
The government in Saudi Arabia imposed harsh restrictions on online content. Saudi implemented a sophisticated filtering system that either completely blocks access to a website/service or selectively restricts access to specific pages. All Internet traffic in Saudi Arabia goes through the state-controlled servers managed by the Communications & Information Technology Commission. Additionally, Saudi government heavily relies on citizens who send thousands of requests a day to have websites blocked.
Heavily censored materials are blocked if they “disrupt” public order, religious values, public morals, privacy. Blocked content in Saudi Arabia roughly falls into one of the two categories:
- immoral, which mainly includes adult movies, nude or semi-nude adult content
- threatening national security, which is managed by the Security Committee that is a part of the Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia anti-cybercrime laws heavily censor online free speech. Restricted online content includes but not limited to religion, politics, al-Qaida and other Jihadi groups content, gambling, torrenting, drugs. The Ministry of Culture and Information requires media websites to have a license to operate.
Additionally, Saudi authorities use the Terrorism Law to silent people with opinions.
Breaking the law may lead to prison, abduction or death. Amnesty International reports that publishers, journalists, athletes, poets, bloggers, activists or any other social media users can be investigated, detained or arrested.
Raif Badawi, a Saudi poet, was arrested in 2012 for indirectly criticizing King Abdullah on Twitter. In 2014 he was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison.
Government Mass Surveillance in Saudi Arabia
All Internet and telecom communication is being monitored in Saudi Arabia. Emails, chats, text messages, phone and VoIP calls, forums, everything is being filtered and monitored 24/7.
Back in 2013, Yasser D. Alruhaily, Executive Manager of the Network & Information Security Department at Mobily, contacted Moxie Marlinspike, CEO of secure messenger Signal, to collaborate on Saudi efforts to build a telecom mass surveillance. Saudi representative explained that they had already found a way for WhatsApp interception, which apparently, was “extremely easy”. Yasser Alruhaily added that Saudi government needed to monitor mobile application data for popular messaging apps including Mobile Twitter, Viber, Line, WhatsApp etc.
Saudi authorities bought and employed surveillance technology against activists and journalists. Saudis use spyware and other tools to intercept communication, and deep packet inspection to monitor and filter “unwanted” traffic.
In 2017, BAE (British arms giant) sold mass surveillance equipment to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Algerian regimes. BAE sophisticated surveillance technology can be used to read encrypted messages. These kinds of tools are regularly used to suppress uprisings and track activists that are later detained or disappear altogether.
A former BAE employee gave BBC an example of just how capable the software is: “You’d be able to intercept any internet traffic. If you wanted to do a whole country, you could. You could pin-point people’s location based on cellular data. You could follow people around. They were quite far ahead with voice recognition. They were capable of decrypting stuff as well.”
In 2018, Saudi allegedly used Pegasus spyware to access private communication between the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the dissident Omar Abdulaziz. Khashoggi was ultimately killed inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey.
Anonymously Access Adult, Gambling and Other Censored Websites in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia completely blocks access to porn sites, gambling and betting websites, anti-Islamic religious and political content that goes against the accepted Saudi norms.
Even though Netflix is available in Saudi Arabia, it is being censored and select content removed. If you would like to access Netflix catalogue with uncensored content, you can do so with Netflix VPN. Depending on which Netflix library you seek, please refer to our Best VPN for Netflix guide since most VPN services cannot bypass Netflix proxy error.
Overall, Saudi VPN is a perfect tool to counter oppressive regimes and bypass online censorship. VPN services do not censor or monitor your browsing activities so when you connect to a VPN server, you can unblock websites and gain unrestricted Internet access.
Additionally, VPN assigns you a new IP address, encrypts all your data and re-routes your online traffic through a secure VPN server. Therefore, the best anonymous VPN services hide your browsing activities from ISPs, network admins and even governments.
Is VPN Legal in Saudi Arabia
Yes, simply because the businesses need it and there is no Saudi law that requires a legal entity to apply for a license to use a VPN.
Bypass Firewall and Unblock VPN in Saudi Arabia
If you are in Saudi Arabia and your ISP completely blocks VPN connection, you must consider advanced tools that hide VPN use.
VPN protocols have a specific signature and use designated VPN ports. Since Saudi can use deep packet inspection to monitor and inspect all traffic, the powerful spying tech can detect VPN protocols and block them. However, with the right tools, you can mask the fact that you are using a VPN and make your traffic look like regular encrypted browsing.
Essentially, only a few VPN services implemented advanced methods to hide OpenVPN and reroute your data through an open port (normally 443). The following are the best VPN services to bypass deep packet inspection in Saudi Arabia and unblock VPN even on the most restrictive networks.
Chameleon is offered by VyprVPN.
Obfsproxy is offered by NordVPN.
StealthVPN is offered by TorGuard.
SoftEther is offered by Hide.me
For more info please refer our Best VPN for Middle East article that provides more details on the subject.