Technology

Top 5 VPNs In The UAE For 2021

Story Highlights
  • ExpressVPN
  • NordVPN
  • Surf Shark
  • VyprVPN
  • Hotspot Shield

In general, people believe ‘using the internet’ means being able to access everything that is online. But it is not so in all the parts of the world, including the United Arab Emirates, unless you have a proper VPN service. Various restrictions imposed by the authorities of the UAE limit people living in the country over the utilization of full-fledged internet service. So, to expand the utilization, people living in the UAE go the other way around – through VPNs.

VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’. A VPN encrypts your internet use and makes your internet usage anonymous. This also makes you able to access restricted sites without being noticed. 

In the UAE, the government has forced considerable censorship on the internet. The country has a score of 29 points out of 100, considering internet freedom, as per the data revealed by Freedom House. Furthermore, the UAE is also considered as one of the least free countries in the world, with a score of 17 points out of 100.  VoIP services like Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger and FaceTime are blocked along with streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and iPlayer. 

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Not just the citizens are affected by the strict regulations on internet usage, but the expats and tourists also have to deal with the inconvenience. Therefore, people get prompted to use a VPN to access what is not accessible as per the government regulations.

Statistics reveal that the use of VPNs is very high in the Arab countries, among which the UAE has the highest VPN-usage. According to a report by Atlas VPN, 3.82 million people in the UAE downloaded VPN in the first half of 2020 with a penetration rate up to 38.7%. 

According to GlobalWebIndex, in 2020, the UAE had one of the highest use rates of VPN in the world after Indonesia and India. The UAE had a 42% use rate of VPN whereas Indonesia and India had 61% and 45% respectively. 

The ban on various sites and services which are very much the most attractive features of today’s internet makes VPN an essential tool, and also popular, to the people in the Emirates. So, if you are looking for the best VPNs in the UAE, here we have a list of the top five VPNs you need. 

5 Best VPNs in the UAE

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the best UAE VPN you can get today with more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. It provides excellent privacy with AES-256 encryption along with great connection speeds on servers all over the world. It also consists of IPv6 leak protection and a kill switch.

ExpressVPN is an excellent tool to unblock geo-restricted streaming services so using it you will be able to access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iPlayer, and more. It doesn’t maintain logs of any data that could be used to track down your identity or internet activity.

The VPN service can be used on five devices at a time and the service comes in a very simple and easy-to-use package along with a 30-day money-back guarantee trial offer. 

Pros

  • Secured privacy
  • Fast speeds
  • Unblocks most of the streaming sites 
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than other VPNs

Rating on App Store: 4.6 out of 5

Rating on Google Play: 4.3 out of 5 

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN in the world. In 2020, it was the most downloaded VPN app in the UAE with a total of 953,980 downloads. It has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, including some in the UAE too.

NordVPN is known for its superb encryption service (256-bit encryption) and very fast speed. Its features include DNS leak protection, two kill switches and Onion over VPN, to ensure excellent security. Also, it enables its users to browse most of the streaming sites such as iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Pros

  • Excellent speeds
  • Strong security and privacy
  • Access to streaming sites
  • Plenty of servers

Cons

  • Connecting to servers via desktop can be slow

Rating on App Store: 4.6 out of 5

Rating on Google Play: 4.3 out of 5

3. Surf Shark

As compared to the former VPN giants, Surfshark has a smaller network (over 1,700 servers in more than 60 countries), however, it has got a high reputation for its reliable connection and unblocking sites like Netflix, iPlayers and many more. 

It’s a simple and easy-to-use app and it comes at a cheaper price. However, its service is of high standards with AES-256 encryption, double-hop and split tunneling. Surfshark also keeps the user logs private and untraceable. 

Pros

  • Relatively cheaper
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Unblocks Netflix and iPlayer

Cons

  • Fewer server selection

Rating on App Store: 4.4 out of 5

Rating on Google Play: 4.1 out of 5

4. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is one of the most reliable VPN vendors for the users in the UAE, though it is a smaller provider. Its Chameleon protocol enables accessibility to restricted contents. It also avoids censorship. Users can easily access sites like Netflix and iPlayer.

Vypr has a very good security service and keeps the identity of the user anonymous. It has 256-bit encryption security, a kill switch and leak protection features.

Pros

  • Verified zero-logging
  • Reasonable price
  • Access to restricted contents

Cons

  • Fewer servers 
  • Not as polished as other providers

Rating on App Store: 4.6 out of 5

Rating on Google Play: 4.1 out of

5. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is a very popular VPN provider in the UAE, and across the globe, for its free version. It has over 1,800 servers in more than 80 countries.

It provides service at a very high speed as it uses its own protocol – Catapult Hydra. It also provides a kill switch feature along with a location selection option. Furthermore, the streaming sites can be unblocked by using Hotspot Shield. 

Pros

  • Excellent connection speeds
  • Very easy to use
  • Reasonable price (free version also is available)

Cons

  • Not supported on some devices

Rating on App Store: 4.5 out of 5
Rating on Google Play: 4.1 out of 5

Image: Pixabay

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