Saudi Arabia is a country with the highest level of internet censorship and controls against freedom of expression. Comments against the government/royal family or criticism of religious beliefs are punishable offenses and many critical bloggers/activists have been detained by the authoritarian rule.
So, if you want to open blocked sites in KSA and maintain your anonymity to freely express yourself online without fear of backlash from the government, you need the best VPN for Saudi Arabia.
6 Best VPNs for Saudi Arabia
The following services are some of the best VPNs in the industry, containing features that will enable users in Saudi Arabia to keep themselves protected online and access restricted websites with ease:
ExpressVPN’s network includes 94 different locations and 3,000 servers in total. None of these servers are in Saudi Arabia, but the offshore servers are highly efficient for bypassing geo-restrictions and censorship that is common within Saudi Arabia.
The provider is based in the British Virgin Islands. The VPN takes full advantage of its jurisdiction to guarantee a completely log-free service to the privacy-conscious users in Saudi Arabia.
The service is exceptional for a wide range of tasks from streaming to torrenting. Since many TV shows and movies on Netflix are geo-restricted in Saudi Arabia, you can use ExpressVPN to gain complete access to Netflix’s library of content. Such strong unblocking ability makes it one of the best VPNs for streaming movies.
Besides Netflix, you can also unblock other streaming services in Saudia Arabia using this VPN service. For example, you can watch Hulu in Saudi Arabia using ExpressVPN and other popular services.
The only negative aspect of this VPN is the high subscription cost of $6.67/mo . However, you can demand a full refund within 30 days of subscription if you are not satisfied with the service. Overall, ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable providers, which is reflected in its positive reputation among VPN reviewers.
- Best VPN for Saudi Arabia
- 3000+ servers worldwide.
- Can unblock all popular streaming services.
- Compatible with Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc.
- Pricier than all other VPNs.
- Offers 5 simultaneous connections.
Surfshark is a fast VPN, owns a respectable network of 3,200+ servers in 65 countries. Although it has no servers in Saudi Arabia, that’s not a problem since you won’t be needing these due to the restrictions that all Saudi Arabian IP addresses have to face. You can utilize the overseas servers to evade geo-restrictions and grant access to censored content in Saudi Arabia.
The provider is based in the British Virgin Islands. In this country, the laws protect the online privacy of users and thus data retention is not a legal requirement. This is why personally identifiable information of users is completely safe with Surfshark, a key benefit for users in Saudi Arabia.
You can instantly access US Netflix in Saudi Arabia using Surfshark by connecting to its American servers. In fact, it is a very powerful VPN for accessing US Netflix. On top of this, the service offers great features like CleanWeb, WhiteLister, and MultiHop to enhance your online privacy. Considering the cost $2.49/mo , unlimited simultaneous connections and 30-refund policy, Surfshark is a valuable online privacy solution to have. No wonder, Surfshark has many positive reviews in its favor. It is also the best VPN to use in Kuwait.
- An affordable VPN for Saudi Arabia
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more.
- Offers unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Offers a 30-day refund policy to users.
- Slow speed on a few servers.
NordVPN is another best VPN for KSA. It has the largest network of servers in the VPN industry with 5,500+ servers distributed in 59 countries. This provider also lacks Saudi Arabian servers, but the offshore server strength can unblock everything on the web from torrents to streaming sites.
The provider is headquartered in Panama and it is thus highly focused on user privacy, taking advantage of the country’s data protection laws. This makes it appealing for bloggers and online activists in Saudi Arabia who want anonymity and to stay protected from government control.
NordVPN also features technologies like DoubleVPN, CyberSec, Onion over VPN, kill switch which can significantly boost your anonymity on the web. This is really useful if you are a journalist/blogger in Saudi Arabia and want to keep your identity under wraps. NordVPN is also one of the best Lebanese VPNs.
The higher price of NordVPN ( $4.13/mo ) is almost justified by this strong combination of features and the 30-day money-back guarantee that comes with all packages. This is why NordVPN is rated highly by reviewers.
- Speedy server connections
- Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and more.
- 5500+ servers in the world.
- Compatible with all major devices, Smart TVs, and gaming consoles.
- Unlabeled streaming servers.
- Outdated app for desktop
PureVPN consists of 6,500+ servers in 140+ countries, including 6 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The offshore servers are what you will be using mostly since these give Saudi Arabians the ability to change their virtual location online. This not only benefits users in terms of protecting their identities on the web but also enables access to restricted sites, considering heavy censorship in Saudi Arabia.
The provider is situated in Hong Kong, where no data retention laws are mandatory on ISPs/VPNs. This allows PureVPN to ensure zero-logging of your data to preclude the Saudi government from keeping track of your online activities.
Furthermore, with features like split-tunneling, kill switch, and ad-blocker you can further consolidate your online security/privacy to stay safe from government surveillance in Saudi Arabia.
As icing on the cake, it is a good cheap VPN, giving a 30-day money-back guarantee and 10 simultaneous connections for an affordable cost of $3.33/mo . These elements make PureVPN a solid privacy solution, leading to reviews full of praise for this service.
- Offers 6 servers within Saudi Arabia.
- Cheap VPN for Saudia Arabia
- Offers kill switch, zero-logs, and more.
- Compatible with all popular devices.
- Slow download speeds
- Not too great customer support
- Connection problem with some servers
CyberGhost offers a remarkably large network of 6,600+ servers distributed in over 89 countries. 24 of these servers are housed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. You can use these servers to watch local channels like Al Arabiya and Al Akhbariya.
The majority of the overseas servers are compatible with torrenting as well as Netflix. So, users in Saudi Arabia looking for a way to remove censorship on entertainment services can take advantage of this VPN service.
CyberGhost is based in Romania where censorship is pretty lax and no mandatory data logging regulations apply. As such, it is an excellent choice to have for Saudi citizens concerned about the vulnerability of their privacy.
Besides, the service offers 45-day money-back guarantee and 7 simultaneous connections on the same VPN account. This will cost you $2.25/mo , a pretty reasonable price for a decent VPN like this. For its strong performance, this provider enjoys a good reputation and favorable reviews in the industry.
- Multiple servers in Saudi Arabia.
- Offers high-security features like no-logging.
- Compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, etc.
- Doesn’t work in countries like China
- Not compatible with routers.
Private Internet Access offers 15 dedicated servers in Saudi Arabia and 23,000+ servers in 77+ countries overall. After connecting to its Saudi Arabian server, you access famous local channels be it Al Arabiya, Al Akhbariya, ART, and others from anywhere. Although PIA hails from the USA, which is part of the five eyes alliance, it offers a zero-log that secures your online activities from ISPs and hackers in the right way.
Furthermore, you can use different privacy features like internet kill switch, DNS or WebRTC protection, split tunneling, and port forwarding that protect you from accidental leaks. This is the main reason, different reviewers have appreciated PIA VPN in general.
You will have to pay only $2.69/mo to avail of PIA VPN along with other features such as 10 multi-logins and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Servers present in Saudi Arabia
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Offers 10 simultaneous connections
- Large server network in the world.
- Works with limited streaming services.
How we selected the best VPN for Saudi Arabia?
We set a particular criteria to select the best VPN for Saudi Arabia. We tested each VPN’s features including their kill switch, thoroughly read their no-logging policy, their encryption, and more, before selecting these VPNs and calling them the best for KSA.
We tested the VPNs mentioned above using this criterion:
1. All the VPNs mentioned above can bypass geo-restrictions to access content across the world. Some of these VPNs also offer servers within Saudi Arabia which is a plus for all outsiders wanting to stream local Saudi channels.
2. We also took servers into concern. All VPNs listed above offer a vast range of servers in the world. The servers they offer are not just the best in number but also in speed.
3. We further checked whether these VPNs are compatible with all major devices or not. You can use these VPNs on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Fire Stick, Smart TVs, Kodi, Roku, PS4, and more.
Once all these VPNs passed these tests, we listed them as the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia in our guide.
Free VPNs for Saudi Arabia
There’s no shortage of free VPN for Saudi Arabia out there. They are certainly very tempting, but it’s a bad idea if you want to entrust your privacy to a free tool. This is because many of these “free” apps are shams that will steal your information and make a profit off it by selling it to advertising agencies.
That is entirely opposed to what VPNs are needed for in the first, which is to enhance privacy rather than destroying it completely. Furthermore, the few legitimate VPNs available for free come with severe limitations, so much so as to make them pretty much impractical.
If you’re still wondering which free VPN works in Saudi Arabia and want to acquire them, then here are a few best free VPNs for Saudi Arabia to try out:
While the idea of using a free VPN is very tempting, we would highly recommend against it in countries like Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, and especially in Pakistan, where the government is constantly involved in mass surveillance. Any remarks made about government or religion can seriously put you in the trouble and you may find yourself against legal action. Therefore, the only way to ensure your complete and secure online privacy and protection especially in Pakistan is by using the Best VPN for Pakistan.
To learn more about these services, you can read this article on truly free VPN providers.
VPNs you should Avoid in Saudi Arabia
Some VPNs are simply red flags for some countries. Either these VPNs do not have good reputations or have ruined it sometime in the past. While they claim to offers amazing services, their claims do not match their actions at all. Here is a list of the VPNs you need to avoid in Saudi Arabia:
This VPN took VPN users towards it by offering them the best services and used their data without their consent. Yes, it’s true. This Israel-based VPN collected user data and used it in illegal activities, like the promotion of pornography and copyrighted content, attacks, and so on. With a reputation like this, we do not recommend this VPN to be used in Saudi Arabia or any other country at all.
This is one of those services that shouldn’t be used if you’re concerned about your privacy and security. This VPN always claimed to offer a no-logs policy to users but in a piece of evidence handed over to the court, it was clear that HMA keeps meta logs instead that includes users’ actual IP addresses. We all know we wouldn’t want that at all and should definitely avoid this VPN in KSA.
Why you need a VPN in Saudi Arabia?
The greatest problem in Saudi Arabian cyberspace is that of censorship and heavy regulation. Here is a brief overview of the situation in KSA:
Censorship and Internet Freedom
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman takes an oppressive stance on freedom of expression. The internet is tightly regulated by authorities and any activity, message, or post on social media critical of the Crown Prince is considered a criminal penalty. This totalitarian treatment of critical voices compels journalists/bloggers/reporters towards self-censorship, stifling freedom of speech.
Furthermore, VoIP services like WhatsApp, Skype, and FaceTime are blocked though some of these have recently become accessible. FaceTime and WhatsApp are still, however, not fully functional in the country which remains a cause of great inconvenience for the people.
Therefore, people traveling to Saudi Arabia have no choice but to resort to VPNs if they want access to the normal web apps and deal with other online restrictions.
However, keep in mind that most proxy websites, as well as VPN official pages, are blocked in the country. So, don’t forget to download and install a VPN on your PC/devices before you travel to Saudi Arabia.
Accessing Geo-restricted Websites
Geo-restrictions can be quite frustrating for people in Saudi Arabia. For instance, many streaming platforms only work within the US or have only censored versions of a limited amount of shows. This is true for services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
You can gain access to these services using one of the VPNs mentioned above. All you need to do is connect to a US server to enable access to these servers and watch all the shows that you normally wouldn’t be able to while in KSA.
Stay safe over public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is notoriously unsafe because it lacks any password or other forms of protection. As such, hackers on the same network can very easily breach the privacy of other users connected to the Wi-Fi.
VPN services can protect you from being targeted by a hacker because it makes your data encrypted and invisible to other users on the same network. In addition, the IP-changing effect of VPNs further improves your privacy and keeps your tracks hidden from anyone that might be interested in intruding on your privacy.
Blogging anonymously in KSA
Censorship of free speech remains a significant hurdle for bloggers, activists, journalists, as well as the common man in Saudi Arabia. The totalitarian policies of the government even led to the arrest of a young man for video chatting with a woman from California. The activist Raif Badawi who was a vocal critic of government oppression and anti-liberal policies in KSA was imprisoned for his dissident views and insulting Islam.
It goes without saying that KSA is not a place that appreciates criticism of state elements and people voicing their opinions if they don’t agree with the views of those in power. A similar sort of situation can be seen in other Muslim majority countries, where the government in power is trying to oppress the individual’s right to freedom of speech. A recent example of this would be Turkey, where people are forced to rely on the best VPNs for Turkey, bypass different restrictions, and attain completely online privacy and freedom.
It is therefore extremely important for activists and anyone wishing to stay safe from government retribution in Saudi Arabia to use a VPN and online aliases to keep their real identities hidden. This can make it tougher for agencies to track your location and find out who you really are if they don’t like reading what you have to say on the web.
The legality of VPNs in Saudi Arabia
VPN services are not legal to use in Saudi Arabia. But even with these restrictions, many people and businesses use VPNs to continue accessing geo-restricted content. While it’s a risky practice, it’s way safer than using a proxy in Saudi Arabia.
If you require a VPN while being in Saudi Arabia, then you need to make sure that it’s one of the best VPNs for Saudi Arabia. Only the best VPNs in Saudi Arabia will offer you high security and encryption that will not let your IP address leak to the Saudi government.
Some Tips to Maximize Online Privacy In Saudi Arabia
You need to make sure that you’re taking all the measures to keep yourself secure in Saudi Arabia. When you enter the country, make sure you have enabled all security features of your VPN like Double VPN, kill switch, OpenVPN protocol, and more.
You can also download a Tor browser and completely avoid using public wifi networks to remain anonymous and secure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make Video Calls in Saudi Arabia?
Yes, you can video call through Whatsapp, Skype, Facetime, and other services in Saudi Arabia without being afraid of anything. But there’s a catch to this. The Saudi government can still monitor you on the app as you use the Voice over IP apps.
Can I use my smartphone while traveling to Saudi Arabia?
Yes, you can easily use your phone while traveling to Saudi Arabia. You might need a local SIM card to make calls within the country. But if you’ve set up international roaming with your existing operator, then that’s ok too. You will definitely require an unlocked phone that is able to work with the GSM Network to use in Saudi Arabia.
I live in Saudi Arabia, so is my Facebook data private?
Your Facebook data isn’t private within Saudi Arabia or in any other country of the world. Social media applications barely keep anything private. Furthermore, Facebook does hand over data to Saudi Arabia in case of a formal request.
Why is my VPN not working in Saudi Arabia?
VPN apps often face some issue that needs to be taken care of. Some issues may be as simple as updating the VPN app. Use the following troubleshooting tips to make your VPN work again:
1. Refresh your internet connection.
2. Connect to a different server location.
3. Uninstall the VPN app and install it again.
VPNs Guides for Other Countries
Online restrictions and censorship are prevalent in many parts of the world. Here are a few articles to deal with privacy/censorship issues specific to certain countries:
- Top VPN for Kuwait
- Top VPN for Bahrain
- Top VPN for UAE
- Top VPN for Iran
- Top VPN for Austria
- Top VPN for Sudan
Bypassing geo-restrictions is risky, but VPNs have actually made this extremely easy for all of us. To ensure our privacy, security, and anonymity while accessing geo-restricted sites in Saudi Arabia is only possible with the right VPN. Choose the best VPN for KSA listed above to enjoy everything on the internet that the world has to offer in Saudi Arabia.