Best VPNs for the UAE – 2020
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the most liberal nations in the Arabian Peninsula. As the nation tries to diversify its economy away from oil income, skills from abroad have become central to the national plan. You may be drawn to the UAE for its low tax regime, its stunning architecture and its good weather. However, the country is still a Muslim nation and also an autocracy. You will have to adjust your behavior to comply with local moral standards – that involves giving up porn, gambling, and dating apps.
You will also miss TV from home in the UAE and shockingly, you won't be able to use chat apps, such as Facebook Messenger or IP telephony systems, such as Skype. Web access restrictions in the UAE are usually implemented by internet service providers (ISPs) on the orders of the government. You can dodge these bans plus unblock overseas TV services with a virtual private network, also known as a VPN.
Here are five reasons why you need a VPN:
- Use VoIP services in the UAE
- Get access to chat apps
- Watch banned films by accessing them abroad
- Get TV from back home
- Block hackers and government snoopers
VPNs make it seem as though you are in a different place. This is because your internet connection gets included into a network and the source address that goes out on your requests is the address of that network, not your computer's address. So, if you join a network in the United States, anyone that checks to see where you are will think that you are in the United States and will not realize that you are really in the UAE.
If you seem to be in the United States, you get access to all of the websites and services that are only available to those who are in the USA. You also avoid the bans and restrictions that the government in the UAE imposes because the authorities there won't be able to see what you are doing. Effectively, you become invisible in the UAE and visible in the country of the network that you chose to join.
ExpressVPN is renowned for its high-quality service. This VPN has fast speeds that will enable you to stream video from many different countries, despite the attempts of those streaming services to block access from overseas. ExpressVPN uses the strongest encryption in the business, which is uncrackable. It has 4096-bit RSA encryption for session establishment and AES 256-bit encryption for the data channel. This ensures that the authorities in the UAE will never be able to work out which sites you are visiting and so won’t be able to block you.
This tool has VPN server locations in 94 countries and it can get you into streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Go from the UAE. It will also sidestep UAE government bans on Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Signal, and Twitter while you are in the country.
ExpressVPN delivers apps for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, Tomato routers, and Amazon Fire TV. Security features in the apps of Express VPN include a kill switch to prevent your device from communicating without the VPN being active. You also get DNS leak protection and IP address masking. ExpressVPN also provides browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
- Uncrackable encryption
- Live chat support
- No logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No free version
- Simultaneous connection allowance is for just three devices
NordVPN has an astonishingly low prices despite it being one of the best VPN services available. If you can catch one of the NordVPN three-year subscription offers, you can get that low price even lower. NordVPN protects internet connections from ISP snooping with 2048-bit RSA encryption for session establishment and AES 256-bit encryption for the main session.
NordVPN protects your privacy with a zero logging policy. You can avoid giving any personal data by paying with Bitcoin. When even the VPN doesn’t know who you are, you have total anonymity for your online activities.
If you are in Dubai and fancy watching restricted content, such as porn, or TV shows and movies that have a lot of bad language, then you can switch the VPN to any of its VPN server locations in 58 countries. The NordVPN service is good for unblocking Netflix, Hulu, Sky Go, ITV, and ABC.
The apps provided by NordVPN work on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android, and Android TV boxes. There are also browser extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox. The apps include extensive security features that include a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and IP address anonymity. Special features from NordVPN are its double VPN options and CyberSec, which scans all websites for malware before allowing them to load in the browser. It also has automatic protection when accessing wi-fi hotspots.
NordVPN is based in Panama and it has no problems with its users downloading files with torrenting. The VPN provider gives you a simultaneous connection allowance of six devices. You can try the VPN service risk free thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee. This is a good UAE VPN.
- Military-grade encryption
- Easy access to VoIP services
- Good for torrenting
- Cheap, but not a free VPN
- Some servers can be slow
VyprVPN runs more than 700 VPN servers in 64 countries. That gives you plenty of choice when you want to dodge the internet censorship in the UAE. Your ISP won’t be able to block your online activity, thanks to the special content masking system of VyprVPN, which is called Chameleon. This is able to dodge the detection methods used by the government of China, which is a very tough regulatory authority. This is one of the best VPNs for unblocking restricted content and evade controls by ISPs. It is based on the OpenVPN protocol and protects internet connections with AES 256-bit encryption.
VyprVPN offers fast connections, which are good from torrenting and watching streaming services. Its no-logs policy ensures that you can’t be traced. The VPN provider produces free apps for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, and Android TV. It is also possible to install the VPN service on your router manually. VyprVPN gives each VPN user an allowance of five simultaneous connections and a router install covers all of the devices in your home while only using up one of that allowance.
Security features in the app include IP address masking, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch to stop your real location being revealed. You can sign up for this VPN service risk free thanks to the VyprVPN 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Good connection speeds
- Server network covers 64 countries
- Based on the OpenVPN protocol
- Not a free VPN
- Customer support can take time to respond
IPVanish offers very fast connection speeds making it great for watching videos from streaming services all over the world – it can unblock Netflix location restrictions. Those speeds are also good for torrenting, using chat apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and using VoIP services, such as Skype. The VPN provider has server locations in 75 countries and offers an allowance of 10 simultaneous connections.
The VPN service includes apps for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Chrome OS. The user-friendly apps include IP address masking routines, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. This reliable VPN service never goes down and provides protection against, snooping, government controls and cybercrime with AES 256-bit encryption. Other security features include automatic protection for wi-fi hotspot connections.
- Best VPN connection speeds
- Connection protection for wi-fi hotspots
- Gets into Netflix
- Customer support can be slow
- Money back guarantee only for seven days
PrivateVPN offers fast speeds and includes a server network that spans 60 countries. The VPN service is great for torrenting, chat systems, such as WhatsApp, VoIP services, including Skype, and video streaming. The VPN provider can unblock restricted content and streaming services such as Netflix and the BBC iPlayer. Connections are protected by AES 256-bit encryption and they block internet service providers from tracking your online activities.
The user-friendly app is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. The VPN service can be set up manually on Linux, routers, and set-top boxes. Each VPN user gets an allowance of six simultaneous connections.
The Customer Service team is available via live chat, but only during Western European business hours. PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- No-logs policy
- Customer Support via live chat
- Gets into Netflix
- Live chat support not available around the clock
The server network of PureVPN extends to 140 countries and includes more than 2,000 VPN servers. The VPN service provides fast speeds that are good for torrenting and video streaming from a long list of streaming services – it particularly emphasizes the use of the VPN to unblock sports streaming restricted content. The fast speeds are also good for using Skype and other VoIP services and WhatsApp and similar chat apps.
The VPN provider built this service on the OpenVPN standards, using AES 256-bit encryption for protection. The VPN service has a no-logs policy and includes security features, such as IP address masking, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch.
The apps for VPN users operate on Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. There are also browser extensions available for Google Chrome and Firefox. The apps enable a concept called “split tunneling." This means that you can nominate some applications that will communicate without VPN protection, while others run internet connections with the full VPN service at the same time.
While most VPN services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee; PureVPN goes a little further – its refund period lasts for 31 days. Live chat support is available 24/7 and each VPN user can connect five devices to the service simultaneously.
- Split-tunneling feature
- Large VPN server network
- Fast speeds for torrenting and video streaming
- Interface not very user friendly
Surfshark gives its VPN users access to a server network that takes in 61 countries around the world. Surfshark has no problems with people using the VPN service for torrenting and its fast speeds mean that it is one of the best VPNs for access to streaming services. The VPN provider operates a no-logs policy to protect the secrecy of its users’ online activities.
The VPN is based on OpenVPN and protects internet connections with AES 256-bit encryption. The user-friendly app of Surfshark is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. The VPN can also be installed on Xbox and Playstation consoles and there are web browser extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox. There is no limit on the number of devices that a single account holder can connect to the VPN service at the same time.
Security features in the apps include a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and IP address masking. The system offers the option to channel a connection through two VPN servers, applying double VPN encryption. Another feature is CleanWeb, which is cybercrime protection. This blocks ads, popups, and trackers. It prevents web pages containing malware from loading and it blocks malicious links in phishing emails.
Surfshark apps include Whitelister, which is a split-tunneling mechanism that allows nominated programs to make unprotected internet connections even while the VPN covers all other traffic. Surfshark offers all of its customers a 30-day money-back guarantee and it even provides a free VPN for iOS, Android and Mac OS devices.
- Split-tunneling included
- Double VPN option
- Allows torrenting
- Setting all options can be complicated