Online freedom and censorship are still a problem in Bahrain, as the government controls the internet and practices surveillance. The high level of control is easily exercised in the country as there is only one ISP – the Bahrain National Broadband Network (BNET). Similarly, numerous websites are blocked in the country.
Considering this current level of government surveillance and deteriorating online privacy, it is essential to use a VPN to protect your online privacy.
ExpressVPN is our #1 recommendation as to the best VPN for Bahrain due to its high-level security, extensive 3000+ server network, and ability to access censored and blocked content within the country.
After testing 150+ VPNs, we bring you the 6 best VPNs for Bahrain that offer the best security, encryption, and unblocking ability for users in Bahrain.
6 Best VPN For Bahrain (August 2021 In-Depth Analysis)
Unfortunately, not all VPNs are a great choice for users in Bahrain as most offer poor services. For this reason, we have tested over 150+ VPNs to find the 6 best VPN for Bahrain. These VPNs have been tested on various performance criteria like security, speed, geo-blocking, money-back guarantee, and more.
1. The Best VPN for Bahrain – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Bahrain. It offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries across the world. However, there are no servers in Bahrain, but it does have servers in other Middle Eastern countries. ExpressVPN’s offshore servers are efficient at unblocking and bypassing geo-restrictions that is common in Bahrain.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming as it works with all major platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, and more in Bahrain. You can have unrestricted access to the internet with ExpressVPN.
Apart from streaming, it also works with VoIP and other platforms including Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.
ExpressVPN also offers super-fast speed on all its servers. During testing, on a base connection of 100 Mbps, it managed to output 88 Mbps speed on its US – New York server.
ExpressVPN supports 5 simultaneous connections along with compatible apps for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, FireStick, routers, and more.
The provider is based in the British Virgin Islands (one of the safest VPN jurisdictions) and has a strict privacy-focused logging policy that promises zero customer data retention.
ExpressVPN also offers multiple security features like a kill switch, AES 256-bit encryption, split tunneling, and OpenVPN protocol. It also offers DNS and IP leak protection that we tested to confirm by connecting to its US server, and found no leaks.
All of these features come at a price of $6.67/mo with a 30-day money-back guarantee making ExpressVPN the best tool that can effectively guard users’ privacy against authoritarian government surveillance in Bahrain.
Read our ExpressVPN review for more details.
2. Budget-friendly VPN for Bahrain – Surfshark
Surfshark is the most budget-friendly VPN for Bahrain that comes at a super-affordable price of $2.49/mo . With affordability, you also get support for unlimited device connections on a single Surfshark account.
Surfshark has a network of 3200+ servers in 65 countries, but none of these are in Bahrain. Still, it’s the offshore servers that should concern you, since these are the servers that will help you bypass geo-restrictions and access censored websites within Bahrain. Since censorship is a common issue in Bahrain, this makes Surfshark quite useful for people in the country.
The provider is also quite efficient for unblocking US Netflix in Bahrain or to gain access to content only available within America like HBO, Hulu, NBC, DC Universe, The CW, and more.
During testing, Surfshark managed to deliver a fast speed of 75.12 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. It is more than enough for high-speed HD quality streaming and other data-intensive tasks.
Surfshark is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which is a country that does not impose any data logging laws on VPNs/ISPs. This is why the provider guarantees zero-logging of any personally identifiable information of users.
It also offers IP and DNS leak protection, as you can see from the screenshot below, it masked our real IP and there were no leaks.
In addition to this, the VPN offers a variety of features such as CleanWeb, WhiteLister, and MultiHop to boost online privacy.
With support for unlimited simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee, Surfshark is one of the most affordable options available for Bahrain citizens.
Read the full Surfshark review for more details.
3. Secure VPN for Bahrain – NordVPN
NordVPN is the most secure VPN for Bahrain. The provider offers some of the industry-best safety tools for the most optimized privacy, security, and data protection in Bahrain. Some of its notable features include Double VPN, CyberSec, Onion over VPN, and Obfuscated servers.
NordVPN has a huge network of 5200+ servers in 59 countries with none of these in the country of Bahrain. The overseas servers are quite powerful and are built to bypass firewalls and all sorts of censorship on the web. This makes NordVPN great for the heavily regulated internet of Bahrain.
It also works with all major platforms such as BBC iPlayer, BT-Sports, UKTV, Amazon Prime Video, TVNZ, ESPN+, and Comedy Central in Bahrain. NordVPN also offered a fast speed of 82 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection, more than enough to enjoy Ultra HD streaming.
The provider is based in Panama and strictly follows a no-logging policy, taking advantage of the privacy-friendly laws of its jurisdiction. This makes this VPN particularly efficient for Bahrain where censorship from the government is a persistent issue.
Finally, it offers features like Double VPN, CyberSec, Onion over VPN, kill switch for added anonymity. It also offers IP and DNS leak protection that we tested. NordVPN passed our IP leak test as there were no data leaks detected.
NordVPN is available for just $3.30/mo and offers a 30 day money-back guarantee.
Find out more in our NordVPN review.
4. Fastest VPN for Bahrain – IPVanish
IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs on this list of best VPN for Bahrain. During testing, it managed to deliver a high speed of 91 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection, which is more than enough for streaming, gaming, and other data-intensive tasks.
If we talk about servers, IPVanish sports a smaller server network as compared to other VPNs offering 1600+ servers in 75+ countries. It doesn’t offer a server in Bahrain, but it does have servers in UAE.
With IPVanish’s international servers, you can unblock sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and VoIP apps along with social media platforms in Bahrain.
It follows a zero-logging policy, so you can trust this VPN with your private information. If you need better privacy protection and prevent the Bahrain government from tracking your online activities, you can rely on IPVanish.
IPVanish also offers advanced security features including 256-bit AES encryption, internet kill switch, DNS leak protection, and more. We also ran IP leak tests by connecting to IPVanish’s Singapore server and found no leaks.
Apart from that, it also supports unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can connect as many devices as you want on a single account. IPVanish is compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and even routers. Best of all, it comes with 24/7 live chat support to help you in case you face connectivity issues.
You can get this speedy VPN at a price of just $2.67/mo with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our IPVanish review for more information on this provider.
5. User-friendly VPN for Bahrain – CyberGhost
CyberGhost is the most user-friendly VPN for Bahrain. It offers easy-to-use apps for various platforms with dedicated servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. So, you can quickly choose a server according to your requirement.
If we talk about its servers network, then CyberGhost offers around 7000+ servers in 90 countries. It does not offer servers in Bahrain, but there are plenty of servers in UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
It offers dedicated servers for various streaming apps like Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Rai TV, CrunchyRoll, ESPN+, and more. So, you can unblock all international sites in Bahrain with its thousands of international servers.
CyberGhost also offered a fast speed of 71 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection for bufferless streaming, lag-free gaming, and browsing.
It also offers security-boosting features like a kill switch, split tunneling, and OpenVPN protocol. CyberGhost takes a step further to boost your online security by offering protection against IP and DNS leaks.
We ran an IP leak test by connecting to its server in Japan and were more than satisfied with the results as there were no data leaks.
In addition, the provider allows 7 simultaneous connections and is compatible with all major devices. For $1.99/mo with a 45-day money-back guarantee, privacy-conscious users in Bahrain will find CyberGhost an attractive option.
For more information, read our CyberGhost review.
6. Best VPN for Torrenting in Bahrain – PIA VPN
Private Internet Access (PIA) is the best VPN for torrenting in Bahrain, offering advanced security features like SOCKS5 proxy and a kill switch to ensure online safety while torrenting online.
PIA VPN offers 35500+ servers across 78 countries. It doesn’t have servers in Bahrain, but there are plenty of servers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern countries. Its international servers are more than enough to circumvent social media censorship and strict online regulation in Bahrain.
The provider also works extremely well for accessing streaming platforms. You can use its US servers to access the Netflix US library within Bahrain. PIA also works with other platforms like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.
PIA allows 10 simultaneous connections and is compatible with a wide range of devices. Its apps are available for Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, FireStick, and you can also configure PIA on routers.
Furthermore, PIA VPN ensures user privacy by following a trustworthy no-logs policy and 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data. To further enhance user privacy, it uses features like DNS Secure, IPv6 leak protection, and kill switch.
We ran an IP leak test while connected to PIA’s Australia – Victoria server, and it did not leak our real IP address, as can be seen from the screenshot below:
Testing Methodology: How we tested the best VPN for Bahrain
When you are choosing the best VPN to use in Bahrain, make sure to consider the following 6 important criteria:
- Server locations: The more servers a VPN offers, the merrier. A large network of servers reduces the chances of any single server being overcrowded. Moreover, it allows you to bypass restrictions placed on various streaming sites and apps.
- Fast speed: All VPNs cause a drop in your internet speed to some extent due to encryption. So, make sure to choose a VPN that offers fast download speeds so you can enjoy a smooth, bufferless experience. A good VPN will not result in a speed drop of more than 30%.
- Robust encryption: For states with heavy surveillance like Bahrain, strong encryption is extremely important. Make sure the VPN you choose offers 256-bit encryption and offers additional security features like a kill switch and IP leak protection.
- Fool-proof security: The best VPN for Bahrain should offer security features like kill switches, and leak protection against IP and DNS. It will ensure your online privacy.
- Money-back guarantee: It’s best if the VPN offers at least a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test the service risk-free before subscribing. Among the VPNs mentioned above, Cyberghost offers an extensive 45 day refund period.
3 Reasons Why You Need a VPN in Bahrain
VPN services have a number of benefits for users in Bahrain. Here are a few reasons why you need a VPN in Bahrain:
1. 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 and Skype are blocked in the country. Certain religious and political sects encounter censorship more persistently than others.
Journalists, bloggers, and activists critical of the Bahraini government are particularly targeted. Reporters without Borders ranks Bahrain 168 out of 175, thus rating it as a “Not Free Country.” Bahrain is notorious for jailing cameramen, journalists, and reporters. Simply put, internet censorship is a serious obstacle to freedom of speech in Bahrain.
2. Online Surveillance
The online activities of users in Bahrain are 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, the Bahraini government has been taking measures on social media to promote pro-government views while suppressing the critical viewpoints of activists and citizens. In 2013, the government announced the establishment of the Cyber Security Directorate to monitor social media platforms and websites to “ensure they are not used to disseminate lies and fallacies that pose a threat to the kingdom’s security and stability.”
A VPN for Bahrain is the most convenient solution to enhance security and ensure anonymity online. A VPN encrypts your online traffic, passing it through the VPN tunnel, which makes it untraceable online, protecting you against ISP snoopers.
3. Unblock Streaming Sites
Most popular streaming sites are not available in Bahrain due to geo-restrictions and licensing agreements. The following popular streaming apps and sites are not accessible in Bahrain:
To access these sites, you would need a VPN. With a VPN, you can change your IP address to any country like the US and get an American IP address. This way you can unblock all the sites listed above and VoIP platforms like Skype in Bahrain easily.
VPN Guides for Other Countries
Online censorship and privacy is an issue for users in most countries like Bahrain. Here are our dedicated VPN guides for other countries with similar restrictions:
- VPN for Kuwait
- VPN for Saudi Arabia
- VPN for UAE
- VPN for Qatar
- VPN for Oman
- VPN for Panama
- VPN for Sudan
- VPN for Hong Kong
- VPN for Lebanon
Best VPN for Bahrain FAQs
Now, let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding VPNs in Bahrain.
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN in Bahrain. In fact, it is recommended to always connect to a VPN in Bahrain. It is better to stay safe than sorry, considering how strict the Bahraini government is against free speech on the web. Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN as it offers the best security features and is a reliable option for bypassing geo-blocks.
No, it is not safe to use a free VPN in Bahrain. Free VPNs are known to track and sell user data to other companies and may even provide it to governments without your permission.
As such, using a free VPN can defeat the whole purpose of why we need VPNs in the first place, which is to maintain your privacy. If your privacy is something of value to you, then you should not risk it by opting for free services. Free VPNs also offer limited servers that are congested with users, thus offering extremely slow speeds. And, most free VPNs cannot unblock major streaming sites and apps for you in Bahrain.
No, WhatsApp is not blocked in Bahrain. You can easily access it in Bahrain as the VoIP app is not banned by the government.
Best VPN for Bahrain – Wrapping Up!
The current online landscape has made VPNs a necessary tool to ensure online safety and to obtain freedom on the internet in Bahrain. This situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, we have VPNs to rely on.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Bahrain to bypass geo-restrictions and maintain online privacy effectively. It also offers robust security features and a true zero-log policy to ensure online security and anonymity in Bahrain.
ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 12 months + 3 months free offer so you can test the service risk-free in Bahrain and decide for yourself.