What Is The Best VPN for
UAE in 2018?

UAE

NordVPN is the best VPN around to keep your online antics in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) undercover. The provider supplies high-speed encrypted connections, full privacy protection and excellent customer support, making it the best VPN option available to protect your UAE online sessions.

NordVPN Logo
  • Fast Connections
  • Optimal Customer Service
  • Kill Switch Protection
  • Full Privacy Protection

NordVPN’s encrypted connections offer all-around connection protection, whether it’s in your hotel room, at an open Wi-Fi hotspot in a coffee shop or anywhere else. Total kill switch protection ensures your internet connection won’t be exposed, leading to possible consequences from the UAE government.

About the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an absolute monarchy located at the southeastern end of the Arabian peninsula on the Persian Gulf. The country is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. The federation was created in December 1971.

Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language. However, English, Urdu and Hindi languages are widely spoken, and English is the language of business and education. The UAE’s oil reserves ranks as the seventh-largest in the world; its natural gas reserves rank as the seventeenth-largest in the world.

Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in the UAE


Provider

Price

Link

1

NordVPN Logo

$6.99

per month

2

Vypr VPN

$5.00

per month

3

PureVPN Logo

$4.95

per month

4

PrivateInternetAccess Logo

$3.33

per month

5

IPVanish

$6.49

per month

Why Do You Need to Use a VPN in the UAE?

The United Arab Emirates is strict when it comes to online censorship. Websites that are considered immoral based on local religious beliefs are actively blocked. The government makes use of keywords to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to websites and other online services.

This causes access to streaming video and audio providers, gambling and gaming sites, and other “immoral” sites to be blocked. By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), users can appear to be located in a different country, where the content isn’t blocked, allowing access to the content. A VPN also encrypts your connection, preventing the UAE government from monitoring your online activities.

It should be noted that the use of a VPN service from inside the UAE is technically illegal. However, it isn’t likely that the government there will crack down on a user simply for using a VPN. While the government could tell if you were using an encrypted connection, they won’t take action unless you’re found to be using it to conduct illegal activities.

If a VPN is used in the commission of illegal activities, additional charges can be brought, resulting in fines of 500,000 AED to 2,000,000 AED ($136,000 USD to $545,000 USD, at current exchange rates). Illegal activities can include cyber crimes, such as data and identity theft, bank fraud and other nefarious schemes.

While, hopefully, the information above discourages you from using a VPN in the UAE in the commission of any heinous plots you might have, rest assured that local law isn’t likely to come knock down your hotel room door for streaming a movie or TV show from Hulu via a VPN connection.

Choosing the Best VPN for Use in the UAE

When considering which VPN you should opt for to protect your connection and open up access to the internet from the United Arab Emirates, there are a number of categories that bear consideration before making a final decision.

You’ll want to look for a provider that offers strong privacy protections, fast connection speeds and comprehensive customer support.

In this section, I will list each category that you should consider, and explain why it’s an important consideration. I’ll also include a table in each category listing my top 10 VPN providers, ranked according to how well they perform in that particular category.

1

Privacy

While privacy is always an important consideration for any VPN-related uses, it’s an especially important consideration when finding a VPN for use inside the United Arab Emirates, as the country’s government frowns on VPN usage within its borders.

While the UAE likely won’t bring charges against you or charge you a fine for using a VPN unless it’s used in the commission of an illegal act, reports vary as to what might be considered an “illegal act.”

When I say privacy, I’m not referring to the layer of encryption that VPN providers add to your connection, or even kill switches, or shared IP addresses, and all that. Instead, I mean whether a provider is located in a privacy-friendly country, if they save any logs related to your online activities, and if they offer privacy-enhancing subscription payment options, like Bitcoin.

I’ve ranked the 10 VPN providers in the table below, listed in order of best protection to worst

2

Connection Speed

Connection speed is always a consideration when deciding on which VPN service to subscribe to. A fast connection can improve the quality of any online activity, but particularly when you are enjoying your favorite streaming video or music content, or when you’re competing in an online gaming arena.

The list below ranks the VPN providers by connection speed, fastest down to slowest. The rankings were calculated by first testing my usual ISP speed and then connecting to the internet via each VPN service. I then calculated the speed percentage by comparing the two speed readings.

3

Kill Switch

When considering a VPN for use in the UAE, always make sure any VPN provider you’re considering offers a “kill switch” that will disconnect your internet session if your VPN connection fails.

A kill switch prevents any server or other online service you’re connected to from detecting your actual IP address and also protects your personal data from the prying eyes of hackers, ISPs and the UAE government.

Since “kill switch” is a binary, “yes/no” type of feature, I’ve listed the providers alphabetically in the table below. 

Provider

Kill Switch?*

Link

CyberGhost
check-circle-o
ExpressVPN Logo
check-circle-o
HideMyAss VPN
check-circle-o
IPVanish
check-circle-o
NordVPN Logo
check-circle-o
PrivateInternetAccess Logo
check-circle-o
PureVPN Logo
check-circle-o
Tunnelbear VPN Logo
check-circle-o
VPN Unlimited
check-circle-o
Vypr VPN
check-circle-o

 = “Yes” Offers Support, x = “No,” No Support Offered.

4

Other Factors to Consider

Customer Support

Only in a perfect world can a VPN user expect their online experience to be trouble-free. As you might be aware, we do not exist in a perfect world, so you’re likely going to need to contact your VPN provider’s customer support department for help.

The providers listed below have been ranked from first to worst in the customer support category. I ranked the companies according to what types of support is offered, as well as the timeliness and accuracy of their answers.

Note: None of the VPN providers listed below offer support over the phone.

Price

While the price of a VPN subscription may not be an important consideration for all prospective users, folks on a budget will want to take the price of a subscription into account before opting for a particular provider.

No matter what your financial situation, it doesn’t make good sense to pay more for a VPN provider than you really have to. When looking at a VPN company’s pricing, make sure they aren’t offering a low price simply by cutting corners on important features like connection speed, global server coverage and customer service.

I do want to note that many providers offer special deals on subscriptions from time to time. These deals can substantially reduce your out-of-pocket costs. However, you may be required to commit to an extended subscription period. Always visit a provider’s website to view current pricing and deals.

Also, most companies offer a month-to-month subscription payment option, which can be attractive to users on a tight monthly budget. Be warned though that opting for the month-to-month option will almost always cost you more over time. 

*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)

Global Server Coverage

If you’re using a VPN in the United Arab Emirates, global server coverage might be a secondary consideration for you. However, keep in mind that a VPN service that provides comprehensive global server coverage can open up a “world” of online content.

A VPN, while protecting your internet connection from prying eyes, can also help you break through geographical restrictions that governments and content providers place on some streaming and gaming content.

Look for a provider that has a large number of VPN servers distributed strategically around the globe. The screenshot below is a great example of comprehensive global server coverage.

VPN Global Server Coverage

The Best VPNs to Use in the UAE

#1 - NordVPN

NordVPN Site Features

PROS

  • check
    Great Customer Service
  • check
    Top-Notch Privacy Protections

CONS

  • Second-Highest Price in the Top 5
  • Global Server Coverage Could Be Better
  • Second-Slowest Provider on the List

1

Privacy

You can put your privacy fears to rest when using NordVPN. The Panama-based provider isn’t required by the government to retain any logs related to a customer’s online travels, and they take full advantage by following a strict “no logs” policy.

The provider also accepts the anonymity-enhancing Bitcoin cryptocurrency as payment for their VPN services, adding another level of privacy for your protection.

2

Connection Speed

NordVPN’s connection speeds rank near the bottom of my top 5 list. However, at speeds coming within 10% of my usual ISP connections, you’ll still likely have a more-than-satisfactory experience while