Qatar has one of the toughest and strictest online restrictions and surveillance in the world. Qatar’s ISP, Ooredo, enforces strict online restrictions and has banned several sites including popular VoIP apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, and others.
Qatar’s Emir holds all the legislative authority. One cannot discuss politics on social media websites or there would be consequences. Freedom House rates Qatar 25/100 – labeling it as a “Not Free” country.
Using the best VPN for Qatar is the safest and easiest way to bypass government censorship in the country. A VPN masks your IP address and encrypts your data to help you safely circumvent internet censorship in Qatar.
After testing 150+ VPNs, we bring you the 6 best VPNs for Qatar that offer the best security and unblocking ability.
6 Best VPN For Qatar (September 2021 In-Depth Analysis)
Unfortunately, not all VPNs work in Qatar as most offer poor services. For this reason, we have tested over 150+ VPNs to find the 6 best VPN for Qatar. These VPNs have been tested on various performance criteria like server network, security, speed, geo-blocking, device compatibility, money-back guarantee, and more.
1. The Best VPN for Qatar – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Qatar offering the best security features, unblocking ability, and lightning-fast speeds. It offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries across the world.
However, there are no servers in Qatar, but it does have servers in the Middle East. ExpressVPN’s offshore servers are more than enough for unblocking and bypassing government-imposed restrictions on the internet.
ExpressVPN works exceptionally well with VoIP apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Telegram, and other social media apps.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming and works exceptionally well with platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc. in Qatar. You can easily unblock these services and gain access to their complete content libraries by switching to the relevant server locations.
ExpressVPN offered a fast speed of 88 Mbps on a 100 Mbps base connection. It is perfect for streaming 4k videos without buffering or lags.
The provider is based in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction that allows it to operate freely and far away from the domain of Five Eyes intelligence-sharing countries.
Other than that, ExpressVPN also adds nifty features such as split-tunneling, AES 256-bit encryption, and Network Lock (kill switch).
It also offers DNS and IP leak protection that we tested to confirm by connecting to its US server, and found no leaks. These features will keep your information from leaking to the web and being exposed in Qatari cyberspace.
ExpressVPN supports 5 simultaneous connections and is compatible with Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, FireStick, routers, and more.
It is available for $6.67/mo and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test the service risk-free in Qatar.
For more information, see this ExpressVPN review.
2. Budget-friendly VPN for Qatar – Surfshark
Surfshark is the most budget-friendly VPN for Qatar that comes at a super-affordable price of $2.49/mo . That’s not it, you also get support for unlimited device connections on a single account.
Surfshark offers 3200+ servers across 65 countries. It does not offer servers in Qatar, but there are servers in Middle Eastern countries like UAE.
However, its offshore servers are capable of helping you unblock restricted sites in Qatar. Apart from unblocking VoIP apps, Surfshark can also give you access to geo-restricted streaming sites in Qatar like HBO, Hulu, Netflix, DC Universe, The CW, and more.
During testing, Surfshark managed to deliver a reliable speed of 75.12 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. It is more than enough for 4K Netflix streaming as its minimum speed requirement for Ultra HD or 4K is 25 Mbps.
It uses strong 256-bit encryption for data protection. You can surf the web anonymously with no trackers, ads, or malware with its CleanWeb feature. It also offers additional features like split tunneling, NoBorders, and MultiHop for boosting your online privacy.
Surfshark is based in the safe jurisdiction of the British Virgin Island, so you don’t have to worry about data logging. 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.
Surfshark is compatible with a wide range of devices including Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, routers, and more. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test the service risk-free for 30 days. Read our Surfshark review for more information.
3. Secure VPN for Qatar – NordVPN
NordVPN is the most secure VPN for Qatar offering some of the industry’s-best safety tools for privacy, security, and data protection in Qatar. Some of its notable security features include Double VPN, CyberSec, Onion Over VPN, and Obfuscated servers.
NordVPN offers a huge network of 5200+ servers in 60 countries. Although it has no servers within Qatar, you can utilize the UAE servers which are nearest to Qatar.
The core strength of NordVPN is its unblocking ability for streaming websites. With NordVPN you can easily unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. From Qatar, you can access the entire content library of these streaming services with NordVPN’s international servers.
NordVPN also managed a fast speed of 82 Mbps on its US server. It is more than enough for data-intensive tasks like streaming, gaming, and downloading large files.
In addition to the above-mentioned security features, NordVPN also offers IP and DNS leak protection that we tested. During the test, there were no data leaks detected.
Furthermore, NordVPN adheres to a zero-logging policy and is based in a safe jurisdiction of Panama, so you can rest assured that none of your important information will be stored by the provider.
NordVPN comes at a price of $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE) with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and supports 6 simultaneous connections.
For more information, read our NordVPN review.
4. Fastest VPN for Qatar – IPVanish
IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs for Qatar. During testing, it managed to deliver a high speed of 91 Mbps on a base connection speed of 100 Mbps, which is more than enough for streaming, gaming, and other data-intensive tasks like torrenting.
IPVanish is a popular VPN for Qatar that offers 1900+ servers in over 75+ countries. It doesn’t have servers in Qatar. But with its international servers, you can easily unblock streaming websites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and others.
It has a comprehensive list of security features such as kill switch, split tunneling, 256-bit encryption and much more making it another secure option for Qatar.
IPVanish also offers IP and DNS leak protection. We also ran IP leak tests by connecting to IPVanish’s Singapore server and found no leaks.
IPVanish supports unlimited device connections on a single account with apps for all major platforms like Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more. It also offers a Kodi VPN addon so users can enjoy streaming on Kodi in Qatar.
5. User-friendly VPN for Qatar – CyberGhost
CyberGhost is the most user-friendly VPN for Qatar. It offers easy-to-use apps for various platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and more. CyberGhost also offers dedicated servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming – making it a great choice for beginners in Qatar.
With 7000+ servers in over 90 countries, CyberGhost can unblock all websites in Qatar. Just connect to any of its servers and regain your internet freedom.
CyberGhost also has 14 servers in Qatar, meaning if you want to watch Qatari TV, news, or sports online abroad, you can connect to these local servers. These servers can help you access local channels like Al Jazeera, Al Kass, JCC, and more from outside Qatar.
CyberGhost delivered a high speed of 71.4 Mbps on its US – New York server. It is optimal for streaming, gaming, and even torrenting.
It is based in Romania that does not have any data retention laws – thus offering a true no-logs policy. With a single CyberGhost account you get to use 7 different devices at the same time.
CyberGhost offers security features like a kill switch, split tunneling, and OpenVPN protocol. It also offers protection against IP and DNS leaks. We ran an IP leak test by connecting to its server in Japan and detected no data leaks.
Cyberghost is also an affordable option. Its subscription plans start from $2.25/mo and comes with a 45-days money-back guarantee.
Read more about this VPN in our CyberGhost review.
6. Best VPN for Torrenting in Qatar – PIA VPN
Private Internet Access (PIA) is the best VPN for torrenting in Qatar, offering advanced security features like SOCKS5 proxy and a kill switch to make sure you are safe online while torrenting in Qatar.
It offers 11 virtual servers in Qatar and has a total network of 35500+ servers in 78+ countries. With its servers in Qatar, you can access local Qatari channels like JCC – Baraem TV, Libya TV, Al Rayyan, Jeem TV, and more abroad.
Other than that, PIA also offers powerful unblocking ability and can unblock geo-restricted streaming websites including Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, CraveTV, and more in Qatar.
PIA managed to deliver a reliable speed of 64 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. It is more than enough for bufferless streaming, and lag-free torrenting.
PIA is based in the US but it doesn’t keep any logs so all your web browsing history remains hidden. It also offers 256-bit encryption, an ad-blocker called MACE, and IP leak protection.
We ran an IP leak test while connected to PIA’s Australia – Victoria server, and it did not leak our real IP address.
Testing Methodology: How we tested the best VPN for Qatar
Because of strict online laws in the country, not every VPN works in Qatar. We have tested 150+ VPNs to bring you the best for your privacy needs in Qatar.
We tested the VPNs on the following criteria to find the best VPNs for Qatar:
- Encryption: All the VPNs mentioned above offer strong AES 256-bit encryption for data protection to ensure your online activity remains secure.
- Advanced security features: The VPNs listed above offer a kill switch so your internet activity remains hidden in case of sudden connection drops. They also offer IP and DNS leak protection.
- Speed: If you want to have a bufferless streaming experience, it is important that the VPN offers fast speeds and it should not decrease your speeds by more than 30%.
- Servers: The best VPN for Qatar should offer a large server network across the world so you can unblock content in Qatar easily. Our 6 recommended VPNs offer thousands of servers worldwide.
- Support: All the VPNs mentioned above offer 24/7 customer support and a live chat feature in case you need immediate assistance.
- Money-back guarantee: The VPNs we chose for Qatar offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can give it a test risk-free. CyberGhost offers the most extensive money-back guarantee i.e. 45 days.
3 Reasons Why You Need a VPN in Qatar
Here are three major reasons why you need a VPN in Qatar in 2021:
1. Freedom Of Speech
Qatar is a suppressive state where freedom of speech still remains threatened. According to Freedom House, Qatar has the status of a “Not Free” country due to restrictions on the press and media outlets.
In 2016, the ISPs of the country were ordered to ban Doha News on grounds of publishing “prohibited content”.
Measures like these show the totalitarian stance of the Qatari government and an environment that breeds self-censorship among bloggers, journalists, and activists.
Therefore, if freedom of speech is something you value, you definitely need a VPN to protect your freedom and online privacy in Qatar.
A VPN will help you mask your IP address and give you a fake IP address of the server you connect to. This way no one can track your online activities.
2. Online Security and Privacy
If you want to protect your online privacy, you will need the best VPN for Qatar. Qatar has some of the strictest online laws with hefty penalties for lawbreakers. Social media offenses and sharing “vulgar” pictures can lead to legal troubles in Qatar.
If you break the law, you will get a penalty of three years in jail, and a hefty fine of QR500,000 (USD 137,325).
This law doesn’t only apply to social media sites alone, as communications apps like WhatsApp also come under the umbrella. A Qatari woman was convicted for insulting her landlord on WhatsApp in 2015. She was sentenced to 6 months in jail and was required to pay a fine of QR20,000.
If you use a VPN, you cannot be tracked online and can avoid such legal consequences in Qatar.
3. Access Blocked Content
The official authorities have blocked a list of informative and social media services to curb the online freedom of their citizens. These are the same restrictions that are faced by the majority of the population living in the United Arab Emirates.
The law prohibits and blocks sites that:
- criticize the royal family
- LGBTQI+ content
- dating apps
Here is the list of blocked services in Qatar:
- Google Duo and others
Owing to these heavy internet restrictions, you would need a VPN in Qatar to access these banned sites.
FAQs – Best VPN for Qatar
Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding VPNs in Qatar.
Yes, it is perfectly legal to use a VPN in Qatar. VPNs mask your IP address and make you anonymous online so no one can track you. However, keep in mind that using a VPN to commit fraud is considered a crime in Qatar.
No, we don’t recommend using a free VPN in Qatar. Most free VPN providers are dangerous to use. They log user activity and sell it to third-party advertisers. Free VPNs also fail to protect your internet activity because they don’t offer the best encryption protocols. That is why we don’t recommend using a free VPN in Qatar.
Moreover, free VPNs also offer a limited number of servers that are congested with users, thus offering extremely slow speeds. And, most free VPNs cannot bypass censorship and allow you to access blocked sites in Qatar, thus defeating the purpose of a VPN.
Instead, we recommend sticking to paid VPNs like ExpressVPN that offers the best performance and security for users in Qatar.
Yes, ExpressVPN does work in Qatar. You can use its 3000+ servers across the world to access blocked sites and services in Qatar like WhatsApp, Skype, Netflix, and more.
WhatsApp voice calling does not work in Qatar. In order to use WhatsApp in Qatar, you will need a VPN to connect to a server location where WhatsApp is available, like the US. This way you can unblock WhatsApp calling in Qatar.
Follow these steps to unblock WhatsApp in Qatar:
- Subscribe to a VPN (we highly recommend ExpressVPN)
- Download the app on your device
- Open the app and log in to your ExpressVPN account
- Connect to a US server (or any other location where WhatsApp is available)
- Head over to WhatsApp and start using it in Qatar without any restrictions.
Qatar bans dating, pornographic, LGBTQ, and websites that are critical of the government. However, you can access these websites with a reliable VPN.
VPNs Guides for Other Countries
Online restrictions and censorship are prevalent in many parts of the world. Here are a few guides to deal with privacy/censorship issues specific to certain countries:
- Best VPN for Lebanon
- Best VPN for Bahrain
- Best VPN for UAE
- Best VPN for Austria
- Best VPN for Oman
- Best VPN for Jamaica
- Best VPN for Egypt
Qatar’s government has done a lot to increase internet penetration in the country, but it greatly lacks when it comes to internet freedom and freedom of speech. Many popular websites are still blocked by the government. The press also remains particularly suppressed, owing to the strict cyber laws in the country.
For these reasons the use of the best VPN for Qatar, such as ExpressVPN, has become extremely important in 2021. This VPN also offers robust security features and a true zero-log policy to ensure security and anonymity online in Qatar.
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 Qatar.