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The Best VPNs To Use In Saudi Arabia

by Grey One •

Saudi Arabia has very strong internet filtering and blocking. However, it is possible to bypass these blocks with a VPN or “virtual private network”. This is a service that encrypts and redirects all your internet connections.

Here are my recommended VPN providers for Saudi Arabia:

  • ExpressVPN (fast, excellent customer support) — uses a confidential method of packet obfuscation
  • VPN.AC uses TLS-authentication to mask OpenVPN handshake packets (thus hiding it from Deep Packet Inspection). Provides a self-hosted DNS (domain name service)

Some tips:

  • Don’t use a Saudi DNS service on your computer (see details below for more information).
  • If you find you are still being blocked, despite using a VPN, try changing your VPN protocol and trying using different ports (your VPN customer support should be able to help).
  • Saudi Arabia may also be using Deep Packet Inspection — I have an article with details on avoiding it.

The Details: VPNs For Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia internet filtering is one of the strongest in the world. Saudi Arabia directs all international internet traffic through a proxy farm located in King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology. Since October 2006, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has been handling the DNS structure and filtering in Saudi Arabia.

Mostly the restrictions apply to adult, gambling websites, social and news sites. The authorities claim to have blocked some 400,00 sites — you can read more details in this recent news story.

The latest target in the Saudi authorities’ sights is the video platform YouTube, which has been blocked since last December. Six months earlier, the Viber messaging service was cut off.

Use A VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) is a service encrypts and redirects all the internet connections on your computer. This means all the data leaving your computer is encrypted, which adds a layer of protection against censors and other eavesdroppers. It is also very difficult for your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to monitor you or block your connections. A VPN service will also allow your to computer to appear to be Europe, the USA, or other countries at will. This is helpful if you want to access blocked media like streaming videos.

VPNs differ from web proxies because VPNs encrypt and redirect all of your computer’s outgoing network connections, whereas proxies will only usually only redirect particular protocols within an application.

Use External DNS

Don’t use a Saudi DNS server (i.e. your local ISP provided DNS server) — it’s often part of the filtering and gets blocked.

You can check what DNS servers you are using here:

If you’re still using a Saudi DNS, change your DNS settings to use either the servers provided by your VPN, or one of the many public DNS servers.

I recommend the following:

Google DNS:

  • 8.8.8.8
  • 8.8.4.4

Open DNS:

  • 208.67.222.222
  • 208.67.220.220

Comments 9

  1. When it comes to browse anonymously or block restricted websites, I always rely on the cheapest alternatives like Hide My IP. It comes with a super fast smart proxy service, which is something that many proxies don’t offer.

  2. YouTube is not blocked in Saudi Arabia, nor any of the major news networks.
    Blocked sites are manly sexual content sites, torrent websites, and terrorist controlled websites .
    A list of main reasons for blocking a website should be like:
    1 sexual and porno sites.
    2 terrorism related sites .
    3 copy right related issues like movies and books downloading for free.

    And I agree with all these reasons to block acsses to any website .
    Maybe there are other reasons that i’m unaware of and if there are any i would like to learn about and discuss .

  3. I have tried many ways, free and paid ways to open blocked websites, I think vpn works better than others, this is what I can recommend,try the service before you pay for it!
    I ordered my account from http://saturnvpn.com the price is great. 1Months $3.3 , 3Months $7 and 12 Months $16
    It has free test account and you can try the service for free.
    http://saturnvpn.com/free-test-account/
    It supports all protocols(PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN,CiscoVpn), And you don’t have to buy different accounts for different devices(use 1 account to connect on your computer and your mobile at the same time)

  4. The best way to access blocked websites is to use a vpn service,
    saturnvpn.com is the best you can get,
    1Month only $3.3 | 2Months $5 | 3Months $7 | 6Months $10 | 12Months $16 |
    It has totally FREE test account.
    http://www.saturnvpn.com
    Works on: Windows, iPhone, Android, Mac, Linux

  5. Hello there,

    First of all thank you for all your posts they are both interesting and informative.

    I have a question for you, I am looking for a VPM for Saudi Arabia. I looked at the two you recomend, but sadly they dont have servers in Spain and I´m interested in watching stream media only available there… What would you recomend for my situatio?

    Thanks a lot!

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