The Middle East is a vast region, encompassing many diverse countries with different laws and attitudes regarding internet use. However, in late 2021, many Middle Eastern countries began to restrict online freedoms to prevent the spread of misinformation about Covid-19.
Not only do some Middle Eastern countries restrict access to sites, including social networks and news websites, but surveillance is also rife, especially in countries such as Saudi Arabia. This means, without a Middle East VPN, residents in the region can be watched online.
A Middle East VPN is a Virtual Private Network that will help users living in Middle Eastern countries overcome tight internet censorship; VPNs allow Middle Eastern residents to enjoy more internet freedom and access streaming services, social media platforms, and news sites.
As well as the above, a VPN for the Middle East hides internet data, protecting it from the prying eyes of Middle Eastern governments, network providers, and hackers. This means users don’t need to worry whether or not their internet traffic is being watched by third parties, removing anxiety while surfing the web.
A VPN for the Middle East also enables users outside the region to access geo-blocked local content or find lower online prices for hotels. By connecting to servers in the Middle East, users can change their IP address and, subsequently, their virtual location.
So essentially, a Middle East VPN is like any other VPN service except that it offers specific features to aid Middle Eastern internet users in terms of online security and freedom.
We’ve compiled a list of the best VPN providers for the Middle East. The following VPN services offer exceptional online privacy protection and other essential tools for a freeing and safe internet experience.
|Max Speed:||115000 Mbps|
|Type of IP offered:||Dedicated|
|Simultaneous connections / Users:||6|
|Number of Netflix Libraries:||12|
|OS support:||Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows|
Top of the list of best VPNs for the Middle East is NordVPN, a firm favorite of ours at VPNSurfers. NordVPN offers excellent security features making it an ideal option for users who want to browse the web anonymously in the Middle East.
First of all, all web traffic is hidden with military-grade encryption, and users can choose from a wide choice of VPN protocols to secure their VPN connection. We recommend OpenVPN or Nord’s proprietary NordLynx protocol for super secure and fast VPN connections.
Other security features include DNS leak protection on all servers, Double VPN servers, which enable users to change their IP address twice by sending traffic via two VPN servers, and an automatic kill switch. The kill switch ensures no internet activity is exposed should the VPN server connection drop.
To ensure that its users are protected even once the VPN connection has ended, NordVPN operates a strict no-logging policy. The no-logs policy doesn’t collect any data related to VPN use, just disconnection times that are removed from the servers after a short time. Better yet, NordVPN is incorporated in Panama, meaning it doesn’t have to abide by strict data retention laws.
Security isn’t the only area where NordVPN performs well; it is also a great choice for people who want to browse the internet freely. The VPN uses obfuscated servers to hide VPN traffic and provide access to blocked websites worldwide.
There are easy-to-use apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux devices, and every NordVPN plan comes with six simultaneous connections. Manual configuration on routers is also possible if you wish to protect your entire household’s internet connection.
With a 30-day refund policy on all plans, NordVPN provides users with the opportunity to try out the VPN software and get their money back if they aren’t fully satisfied with the service.
|Type of IP offered:||Shared|
|Simultaneous connections / Users:||Unlimited|
|Number of Netflix Libraries:||15|
|OS support:||Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows|
Surfshark is one of the best all-around Virtual Private Networks since it helps users living in the Middle East to have a more private online life. With an encrypted connection secured by the best VPN protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2, your browsing data will be 100% hidden with Surfshark.
Alongside excellent encryption, Surfshark offers a customizable kill switch that can be switched on and off in the VPN app, as well as DNS and IPv4 leak protection. There is also MultiHop, a Double VPN-esque feature that allows users to change their IP address twice, obfuscation to hide VPN use, and the NoBorders mode that will help people in the Middle East region bypass internet censorship.
With Surfshark, VPN users can unblock encrypted messaging apps in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Middle Eastern countries. Surfshark VPN is also a great VPN for accessing many streaming sites; it can unblock 15 Netflix libraries as well as platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+.
If you want internet protection but still want a Middle Eastern IP address, then you can have both with Surfshark VPN. The VPN offers servers in Israel and the United Arab Emirates, offering users local IP addresses.
Every Surfshark VPN subscription comes with unlimited simultaneous connections meaning there are no limits to the number of devices you can protect. Surfshark comes with native apps for many devices, including Mac and Windows platforms and Android and iOS mobile devices. There are even browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox if you want to solely protect the data in your browser and not encrypt all device activity.
Finally, all Surfshark VPN usage remains private thanks to the zero-logs policy. Surfshark states that it doesn’t monitor its subscribers’ activity, nor does it share this data with any third parties. Like NordVPN, Surfshark also operates from a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, the British Virgin Islands, which bodes well for its users as no customer data needs to be legally retained.
So, if you want a secure VPN service that can unblock websites and provide safe internet access, Surfshark is an obvious choice.
|Max Speed:||10000 Mbps|
|Type of IP offered:||Dynamic|
|Simultaneous connections / Users:||10|
|Number of Netflix Libraries:||Not available|
|OS support:||Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Boxee Box, Chromecast, FreeBSD, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Roku, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One|
Since many VoIP apps and encrypted communications platforms are banned in Middle Eastern countries due to online censorship, many people living in the region are restricted from communicating with others. Fortunately, PureVPN is an excellent VPN service since it provides secure access to voice calling platforms.
Be it Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Skype, users living in the UAE can talk to others around the world without worrying that third parties are listening in on their private conversations. This also allows people to save money as they don’t need to make phone calls solely via telecom networks.
Not only are there excellent VoIP protocols on offer for seamless and secure connections, but PureVPN also offers the highest bank-grade encryption to ensure all data is transferred via a super-safe VPN tunnel. There is also an internet kill switch, as well as IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leak protection.
Additional features include split tunneling, which makes it easy to decide which data you want to go through the VPN tunnel and your regular network, as well as a dedicated IP address add-on. The dedicated IP is a great option for users who want a VPN for the same activities, such as securely accessing bank accounts or avoiding having their IP address blocked for being recognized as a VPN IP.
If you decide a dedicated IP isn’t for you, then you’ll have plenty of shared IP addresses to choose from. PureVPN has more than 6,500 servers on its VPN network,
PureVPN provides ten simultaneous connections and supports over 20 devices, including Smart TVs and Amazon Firestick TV. You can even connect the VPN to your router, ensuring all systems connected to your home network enjoy VPN access.
A 31-day money-back guarantee is available for new users upon signing up for a plan. This provides Middle Eastern users with a free trial that allows them to test the service and make sure it offers exactly what they need.
|Type of IP offered:||Dedicated|
|Simultaneous connections / Users:||7|
|Number of Netflix Libraries:||4|
|OS support:||Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows|
Another one of the best VPNs for the Middle East is CyberGhost. This VPN service provider is excellent at bypassing internet censorship in the Middle East. It unblocks countless streaming services, including many Netflix libraries, live sporting events on international networks, and Amazon Prime Video.
There is unlimited bandwidth which bodes well for streaming blocked media content, as well as for gaming. CyberGhost is an excellent VPN for gaming since it works on gaming consoles if connected to a home router and can prevent bandwidth throttling from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
CyberGhost has more than 7,400 VPN servers in its network with many server locations in the Middle East itself. There are servers in the UAE, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. While not all of these servers are physically located, they still offer users a way to get a Middle Eastern IP address.
If you like to use torrent sites, then you’re in luck since many of CyberGhost’s servers support P2P networking; this means that if you’re based in the Middle East, you can securely download and share files with other users, safe in the knowledge that no governments or others can see what you’re up to on the web.
Security and privacy features that CyberGhost employs to protect your data include AES-256 bit encryption, strong tunneling protocols, and a kill switch to cut off your internet access if the VPN server drops. There is also a no-logs policy, and CyberGhost benefits from being based in Romania, which is a privacy-friendly country and operates friendly data laws.
CyberGhost comes with a whole host of excellent features such as split tunneling and the ability to launch a VPN connection automatically. Apps are easy to install and use, and there are seven simultaneous connections per plan and support for almost all popular operating systems.
Unlike most VPN service providers’ regular monthly refund policy, CyberGhost comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee. This is exceptionally long and ensures that all new users can assess whether or not the service is the right one for them.
|Max Speed:||58000 Mbps|
|Type of IP offered:||Dedicated|
|Simultaneous connections / Users:||5|
|Number of Netflix Libraries:||12|
|OS support:||Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows|
ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for the Middle East for several reasons. Firstly, it is a Stealth VPN, meaning it hides VPN usage with obfuscation and allows you to browse the web anonymously. The VPN provider also offers military-grade encryption and private DNS on all of its servers.
Other excellent security features include the Network Lock, ExpressVPN’s kill switch, and RAM-only servers. RAM servers are far safer than hard drives since all data can be removed from them in an instant when they are switched off. A no-logs policy that has been audited several times also ensures that user data is not stored on the servers.
Another security feature is the VPN’s proprietary protocol Lightway. Not only does Lightway create a secure VPN tunnel, but it also creates a high-speed connection. As well as this, all of ExpressVPN’s servers are physically located where Express claims they are. Combined with the Lightway protocol, this results in ultra-fast VPN servers and reliable connection speeds.
ExpressVPN is a great VPN provider for unblocking restricted content outside of the Middle East. The ExpressVPN server network has 3,000 servers worldwide, offering thousands of IP addresses and enabling users to unblock streaming services, social media networks, and more.
ExpressVPN doesn’t offer as many device connections as other Middle East VPNs, with just five simultaneous connections per plan. However, unlike the other VPN providers on this list, ExpressVPN comes with a router applet that allows you to manage the VPN easily without opening up the router settings.
When using a VPN for the Middle East, you may require customer support. Fortunately, ExpressVPN excels in this area, offering 24/7 customer support in the form of a live chat, email support, and an extensive help section on the website.
Finding VPNs for the Middle East that operate servers in the region can be difficult. Due to geopolitical and attitudes towards internet use and censorship in the area, many VPN providers have refrained from setting up servers in certain countries.
However, most VPN services have servers in the UAE and Israel. Some others, such as CyberGhost, offer better server coverage for the Middle East.
If you don’t see the country you live in on this list, this doesn’t mean that VPN usage is out of the question for you. You’ll still be able to use a VPN and browse the web, albeit under an IP address from a different country than where you’re based.
If you want to change your VPN location to the Middle East, you need to find a VPN service with servers in the region. We recommend one of the services from our best VPN list above. Once you have chosen a VPN provider, download the necessary apps and configure the settings.
You can then browse the VPN server list and connect to a server in a Middle Eastern country. In doing so, your traffic will appear to be coming from this region, and your IP address will also reflect this change.
NordVPN, CyberGhost, and Surfshark offer servers in Dubai. Not all VPNs operate in Dubai since the UAE has strict rules regarding the use of VPNs.
While it is not illegal to use a VPN in Dubai and the rest of the UAE, there are strict rules regarding VPN usage and which services are used, and for what purpose. We advise that you use VPN services with caution when in the UAE since you may get into legal trouble if found to be using one in the territory.
The best VPN services should work in UAE, even if they don’t operate servers in the region. For example, although ExpressVPN only has servers in Israel, the VPN service should still work in the UAE and help residents access geo-blocked websites while avoiding surveillance.
There are many convincing reasons to use a VPN for the Middle East. Here is why we think you should start using one immediately:
Nothing is perfect, and there are some cons of using VPNs for the Middle East:
Without a Middle East VPN, you expose yourself to many third parties who can learn a lot about you from your online activity. As well as this, you may endure censorship and be unable to share your thoughts freely online or read specific articles. With a VPN for the Middle East, these roadblocks are removed.
I’m Madeleine, and I'm a writer that specializes in cybersecurity, tech products, and all things related to the internet.
I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I wr...
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