Saudi Arabia is one of the countries in the world with the strongest internet censorship and most severe punishment for breaking the rules. It is, therefore, essential to protect yourself as well as possible, so let’s see what you can do to stay safe.
Saudi Arabia has turned into one of the countries in the world with the strongest internet censorship and probably is only surpassed by China when it comes to monitoring its citizens and the people staying in the country. The numbers of subjects they are monitoring is very broad and range from being critical to the ruling family over social and political issues to religion. No less than half a million websites and services are blocked by the Saudi government, and this includes sites that others would think of as very harmless.
Not only is there heavy monitoring and blocking of sites, but the punishments for breaking the rules are very strict and severe, so even a very thoughtless comment on a website or in an email can bring you in a lot of trouble.
The main thing is that even if you try to stay within the rules, you can easily get into trouble. Of course, if you are a local in Saudi Arabia, you will have a much better chance of knowing the limits, but it will always be hard to constantly be careful. If you are a foreigner, you can much more easily cross the limits and the further away you are from Saudi culture and religion the easier you risk crossing those lines without wanting to.
How Is a VPN-connection Working?
That’s why it is a wise decision always to use a VPN-connection even if you have nothing to hide, just to protect yourself from a moment of thoughtlessness.
So let’s briefly look at why a VPN-connection will add an extra layer of security. First of all, a VPN-connection will encrypt the data that is transferred from your computer, phone or tablet to a server somewhere else in the world. That means that if someone snaps up the data only will only see some gibberish.
The second thing is that the VPN-connection where the data comes from. Instead, it will appear as it comes from the servers of the VPN-provider.
That means you will access websites anonymously. Nobody can see which websites or services you access and nobody can see what you read or write on those sites or services.
The above also means that you will be safe from digital thieves, hackers and scammers, and if you want to learn more, you can read our article about using a VPN-connection for general online safety.
So you will be a lot safer with a VPN-connection, but a VPN-connection also gives you options like streaming from all over the world and getting access to resources that are not available locally.
Is It Legal to Use a VPN-connection In Saudi Arabia?
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN-connection but be aware that it is not necessarily legal to visit sites that are banned by the Saudi government and our recommendation about always using a VPN-connection is not to get into trouble if you inadvertently visit a site or expressing an opinion you shouldn’t.
Using a VPN-connection is a very wise choice when going online, so let’s look at how we get you started.
Is It Expensive?
No, it is one of the cheapest things you can do. You can think of it as insurance to stay safe, and if you pay monthly, the monthly payment will be around 10 USD/month, and if you sign up for a longer time, you can bring it down to half or more.
Also be aware that the suppliers below typical offer five simultaneous connections, but you can always buy extra. We suggest that you always buy enough to cover the entire family so that everybody will be safe. Also because if one in the family gets into trouble, it can easily bring the rest of the family, so educate your entire family to always use the VPN-connection to stay safe.
Choosing the right VPN-provider
First, we need to find a supplier, and we need suppliers that take security seriously and that understand your situation. This will rule out all the free suppliers, as they often lack the resources to be up to date when it comes to security.
The following VPN-providers offer high encryption and are easily to use. They have all the security features you will need to stay safe.
Is a European VPN-provider who takes security very seriously and they have servers all over the world. They constantly develop their business, and they accept a wide variety of payment methods.
This VPN-provider takes security very serious and has a vast network with servers all over the world. They also work hard to make their service available in countries with strong internet censorship. They are probably the provider with the largest selection of payment options.
Is also a great VPN-provider. They have a strong network and get great reviews from their users. They are a bit weak on the number of discrete payment options.
Grew out of the Torrent environment and takes security and privacy very seriously. They offer strong security and several anonymous payment methods.
The last one is a safer VPN who has a strong and secure global network. They accept traditional payments like credit cards, and PayPal but when it comes to the more anonymous payments they only offer Bitcoins.
1) Visit the different VPN-providers
2) Chose the one that fits you the best. Some offer a large selection of payment and, if you want to be discrete, you might prefer one who offers a more anonymous method of payment
3) Download their software for your computers and install their apps on your phones and tablets
4) Open the software or app and sign in.
5) Most will suggest a server to connect to by themselves, but you can always change the servers. Typically you will get a list of countries and a list of servers in that country. E.g., you might want to make it appear as you come from the USA, so you chose a server in the USA. Sometimes you might want to experiment a bit to see which one gives the best result.
Begin From Now
On a final note, we would like to say that the above is based on present knowledge. The Saudi government tries to block the VPN-suppliers, so you might want to start by choosing one that offers a trial or a money back guarantee in order to test that It works for you.
Also be aware that the list of banned sites and rules are constantly changing so the information you find online can already be outdated.
So the absolute safest thing to do is always to use a VPN-connection when you are online. We have compiled a list of the best above, but we do also have a general list of the very best VPN-providers you can take a look at.
The important is that you take action today.