Bahrain is a country in which the majority of the population has access to the Internet. With over 98% Internet penetration, citizens enjoy fast speeds and country-wide connectivity. Unfortunately, in spite of the outstanding penetration percentage, the country is quite backward when it comes to online freedom. The antidote to this problem can be found in a Bahrain VPN.
In this article, I will focus on the state of the Internet in Bahrain as a whole and discuss the role that a VPN can play in breaking the fence of censorship. Alternatively, you can read our comprehensive article on the best VPN services for general use.
What is a VPN?
VPNs or Virtual Private Networks are not that difficult to understand. Put simply, a VPN is a kind of digital tunnel running all the way from your PC or other device to the server you wish to communicate to.
This private tunnel is made of encrypted walls (figuratively, of course) that keep your traffic safe from the prying eyes of cybercriminals, agencies, or any unintended third party. An added advantage of a VPN is that the process of changing your traffic entry and exit points effectively changes your visible IP address.
The upshot of all this background technical wizardry is that the user is granted access to sites that might otherwise be blocked and the security of users’ online activities is increased. In short, a VPN is quite a nifty little thing to have fellas.
Best VPN Service Bahrain
VPN services are highly sought after in countries with limited online freedom and persecution of bloggers. Censorship and government monitoring of users’ activity is performed tenaciously in Bahrain. Citizens naturally have strong reasons to take measures for safeguarding their own privacy online.
A simple solution to the aforementioned problems is to use a VPN in Bahrain. The immediate follow-up question that arises then is, “which VPN should I use”? Read the list below to find the answer to this.
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PureVPN is one of the pioneers of the VPN industry. It has been offering VPN services for over a decade. I have personally seen considerable improvement in this VPN over the years. To be honest, I was not a fan of PureVPN when I first tried it out about three year ago.
At that time, it had some 700 servers, many of which were frequently down. Suffice to say, PureVPN frustrated me enough that I was surprised at my patience for allowing it to take up a few bits of my measly 250 GB HDD for a few days.
Nonetheless, three years hence, I noticed PureVPN receiving a lot of praise from reviewers and tech websites. And since it is kinda my job to test and review VPNs, I gave it another chance.
The first thing I noticed is that the server list has increased from 700 to 2,000 servers since the last time I used it. What pleased me most was that most of these servers were actually working this time. Through PureVPN, I gained access to websites that I could not open on the regular Internet and with surprisingly fast speeds.
The encryption and security of PureVPN is fairly strong and it supports safe torrenting. With no-logging policy and advanced encryption protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2, PureVPN has easily become my top choice as the best VPN to use in Bahrain.
Pros of PureVPN
- Vast server network present in 141 locations
- No-logging policy
- Advanced tunneling protocols
- 31-day money-back guarantee
Cons of PureVPN
- Some servers can take long to connect
I doubt it is possible to talk about VPNs without mentioning NordVPN. This VPN provider has a giant network server, the largest of any VPN I have ever come across. In addition, it is one of the fastest VPNs that consistently delivers fast speeds, making it perfect for Netflix and streaming in general.
NordVPN also uses unique features such as double VPN which encrypts your traffic not once, but twice. For users that are neurotic about their online security, this is the perfect feature to put your mind at ease.
The fact that NordVPN is based in Panama is one of its notable USPs. The highly privacy-friendly country allows this VPN to stay out of reach of governments with data retention laws. Therefore, NordVPN is a great choice for VPN use in Bahrain that will offer the perfect combination of speed and security.
Pros of NordVPN
- 4,600 servers in over 60 countries
- AES 256 encryption
- Strictly zero-logging policy
- 6 simultaneous multi-logins
Cons of NordVPN
- Limited geographical reach in servers
If you are familiar with the VPN industry, then ExpressVPN needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular VPN providers in the market, albeit a bit higher-priced than alternatives. The server range of ExpressVPN includes 94 different locations, consisting of 2,000 servers in total.
ExpressVPN has a light VPN application that is extremely easy to use. The main window allows users to choose a server and then click the connect button. The whole process takes only a few seconds and it is remarkable how quickly ExpressVPN forms a connection with your desired server.
In terms of security, ExpressVPN uses the modern day industry standard AES 256 bit encryption: an extremely strong cryptographic technique. However, the main attribute of ExpressVPN that I recommend it for is its trustworthiness. ExpressVPN has successfully guarded the privacy of its users since day it started.
The best VPN in Bahrain must ensure the privacy of users more than anything else. This is why ExpressVPN is a VPN you can rely on.
Pros of ExpressVPN
- Strict adherence to no-logging policy
- Fast server speeds
- Compatible with most devices
- Military-grade encryption
Cons of ExpressVPN
- Slightly more expensive than other VPNs
IPVanish is a renowned US-based VPN provider that is one of the best-rounded service out there. It has a moderate network size of 1,000 servers geographically distributed in 60 countries. It uses AES 256 bit encryption to secure user traffic from snoopers.
What I personally like most about IPVanish is its user interface and the level of control it provides to the user. You can filter servers by country, city, ping levels etc. Most VPNs that I have used simply display a list of available servers. IPVanish stands quite unique in this department.
IPVanish wastes little time connecting to any server of your choice, which certainly contributes to user satisfaction with the smoothness of the app. There is one serious drawback for streaming enthusiast, however: it cannot bypass geo-restrictions on Netflix. For more information about IPVanish, Read our IPVanish Netflix blog.
Another category of users that might shy away from IPVanish include torrent downloaders. Since it is US-based, a notoriously anti-piracy country, it is best not to rely on it for keeping your pirate activities a secret.
Pros of IPVanish
- Provides 40,000 different IP addresses
- Unlimited server switching
- DNS leak protection
- 10 simultaneous multi-logins
Cons of IPVanish
- Based in the US
This Singaporean-based VPN provider is quite impressive in its range of features. Ivacy is not as widely known as the other VPN providers in this list, but it is surprisingly effective for a variety of purposes. It can bypass Netflix geo-restrictions and I’ve never encountered any difficulties trying to access any site or service with Ivacy’s range of 450+ servers.
I do not recommend free VPN services since these almost always operate on ulterior motives such as running data mining software in the background and selling user information to ad agencies. However, if you are looking for the best free VPN for Bahrain, I would rather suggest a cheap alternative.
Ivacy is one of the cheapest VPN service that offers all the features the leading providers are known for. It works well with torrents as well, which should instantly attract pirates looking for a wallet-friendly method of safe downloading. As such, at this price bracket, Ivacy is one of the best VPN service for Bahrain.
Pros of Ivacy
- 450 servers distributed In 100+ locations
- DNS leak protection
- Support for anonymous torrenting
Cons of Ivacy
- Connecting to desired server can take multiple attempts
Online Privacy Laws in Bahrain
The online activities of users in Bahrain is not protected by any official laws. The government takes advantage of the lack of any legal barriers to prevent it from spying digital activities of citizens. In fact, since 2016, Bahraini government has been taking measures on social media to promote pro-government views while suppressing critical viewpoints of activists and citizens.
The lack of privacy laws that protect freedom of speech and user privacy is a serious problem for Bahraini governments. Naturally, citizens search for a way to get under the surveillance radar of the government and freely speak their minds. A Bahrain VPN presents itself as the most convenient way to enhance security and lay down hurdles against government spying on user activity online.
Bahrain and Internet Censorship
The government censors various content, sites, and services in Bahrain. If you are unable to access a certain page on social media or a video on YouTube, chances are it is banned by the Bahraini government.
In addition to websites, some messaging apps such as Telegram are blocked in the country. Certain religious and political sects encounter face censorship more persistently than others. Journalists, bloggers, and activists critical of the Bahraini government are particularly targeted. Simply put, internet censorship is a serious obstacle to freedom of speech in Bahrain.
Key Attributes of the best VPN Bahrain
The VPN you choose for Bahrain should have some essential features. These are as follows:
- Server locations: The more servers a VPN offers, the merrier. A large network of servers reduces chances of any single server being overcrowded. Moreover, it allows you to bypass restrictions placed on different geographical regions more easily.
- Download speed: All VPNs cause a drop in your Internet speed to some extent. However, it is the mark of a good VPN if your speeds before and after turning the VPN on are affected only to a small degree.
- Encryption: For surveillance states like Bahrain, strong encryption is extremely important. Therefore, make sure you consider encryption as an important factor when purchasing a VPN.
Finding the best Bahrain VPN
The main purpose of this blog post is to help you find the best VPN for Bahrain. The list of VPN providers above are all tried and tested VPNs that will enhance your privacy, security, and help you circumvent blocked content.
A few simple things that you should keep in mind during your VPN search:
- Number of servers
- Geographical spread of server network
- Encryption techniques
- Tunneling protocols
- Legal jurisdiction of the VPN provider
- Money-back guarantee
- Device compatibility
Streaming Apps and Services Accessible in Bahrain
It is hard to list down all the streaming services available in Bahrain. I will list down the popular services that are not available in Bahrain, so you can have a better idea whether you should get a VPN and gain access to these.
These popular streaming apps and sites are not accessible in Bahrain:
- Amazon Prime
- BBC iPlayer
The streaming service giant Netflix is fortunately available in Bahrain, but it only offers a limited library as compared to Netflix US. You will need to use a Bahrain VPN with US servers if you want to access Netflix US from Bahrain.
Bahrain offers its native VPN server to citizens, Iflix which is owned by the largest telecom provider in the country, Zain Bahrain. It is basically following the footsteps of Netflix, featuring Hollywood and Bollywood movies for local subscribers in the country.
The Safety of Free Bahrain VPN Proxy Services
It is a common question in the minds of most interested users if it is safe to use a free VPN service. You should bear in mind that free VPN services usually track and sell user data to other companies and may even provide it to governments.
As such, using a free VPN can defeat the whole purpose of why you want to use a VPN in the first place, which is to maintain your privacy. If your own privacy is something of value to you, then you should not risk it by opting for free services.
This is why I do not recommend a free VPN and encourage you to do your research and get a premium VPN that you can trust.
Is it Legal to Use a VPN in Bahrain?
The law of Bahrain is quite underdeveloped when it comes to the Internet. There is no law that prohibits the use of VPN in the country. Keeping in mind the rigid censorship and persecution of critical voices in the country, I would say it is safer to use the Internet through a VPN in the country.
So, yes it is legal to use a VPN in Bahrain and also a safer method of surfing the web.
Bahrain VPN has become a sort of necessity for citizens stifled by oppressive government surveillance and censorship in the country. The VPN providers listed above offer users the ability to stay safe online and obtain the freedom on the Internet which is their right to have.
I hope this article proved helpful to you. Share your feedback or anything you have in mind in the comments section below.