If you live in or travel to the United Arab Emirates you will encounter the harsh censorship and content restriction programs the government has implemented.
Government surveillance programs spy on UAE and Dubai citizens to determine if they’re accessing certain types of content that are restricted.
If the government figures out that you’re accessing content that is against their agenda or popular religions, you could find yourself facing prosecution in a court of law.
To keep yourself out from under the government’s watchful eye, you are going to need to connect through a Virtual Private Network service.
VPN services keep you safe, secure, and anonymous while you’re in the UAE and Dubai, so you don’t need to worry about getting in trouble for accessing certain types of restricted content.
VPN services will also keep you safe from hackers relying on your unsecured connection to steal the sensitive and personal information you send and receive while you’re online.
Why You Should Trust Us
The SecureThoughts team has combined their years of experience to stay at the front of the internet security industry, remaining anonymous online, and protecting netizens from the threat of hackers.
We’ve tested nearly every single VPN service that’s currently available to help find services that are worth spending your hard-earned money on, and keep you from wasting money with low-quality VPN service providers.
Table of Contents
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Testing Methodology
- How We Tested Each VPN Service
- VPN Services You Should Avoid
- VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
- VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
- Top 3 VPNs for Securing Your Connection in Dubai
- Wrapping It Up
There are quite a few VPN services currently available, and many people are going to subscribe to the first one that they come across. This is, unfortunately, a recipe for disaster.
Many of the VPN services that are currently available are not worth the money they’re charging, which is why we’ve tested them all, to find out which companies offer a quality service.
How We Tested Each VPN Service
To ensure that you remain safe, anonymous, and secure in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, we’ve tested more than 170 different VPN services that are currently available.
Our review process started with us eliminating services that are based in the UAE and other countries that can be forced to turn over your activity logs to the local government.
Then, we looked at the features that each of the remaining VPN services offer and eliminated those services that did not meet our minimum standard for the features we deem necessary to include.
We looked at reviews from past and existing customers to help eliminate services that have a reputation for providing low-quality customer service and network connections.
Finally, the remaining services were put through the paces in 5 different areas, helping us determine which services can keep you safe and secure in Dubai.
Those areas are:
There are too many VPN services available to overpay on a low-quality service provider. We verified that our recommendations offer competitive pricing.
We want to ensure that you can quickly and easily subscribe to the service and install their software, without getting frustrated in the process.
Ease of Use
We also tested their network to ensure you can get connected to, and stay connected to their servers without experiencing disconnections or reliability issues.
Connection speed is one of the most important factors in recommending a quality service, which is why we performed speed tests from 3 different parts of the world.
During our testing process, we submitted messages to each service’s customer support team on 3 different occasions, to determine how helpful they are.
Below are the results of our preliminary and extended testing.
VPN Services You Should Avoid
Starting with a list of more than 170 different VPN services meant we needed ways to quickly eliminate some of the services from our list, so we could efficiently test the remaining options.
One of the best ways to begin eliminating services is to look at an invasive surveillance program that’s being implemented around the world.
The “14 Eyes” program requires VPN services located in participating countries to monitor and log your activity while you’re connected to their network.
They can then be forced by their local government to turn over these logs. If the government thinks you’re committing crimes, the logs can be used to prosecute you in a court of law.
Of the original 170+ VPN services we began testing, we quickly eliminated more than 120 due to their participation in this invasive surveillance program.
IPPredator, GoVPN, and ChillGlobal are 3 different services that were eliminated due to their 14 Eyes participation.
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
After eliminating any services that are active participants in the 14 Eyes agreement, we began eliminating other services that do not offer what we consider to be a minimum set of features.
Going forward, we’ll break down each of the features that we looked for, and give you examples of services that were eliminated because they do not offer the features with your subscription.
Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support
Virtual Private Network services use a wide variety of protocols to manage your connection to their network, ranging from IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN, and others.
In general, OpenVPN is regarded in the industry as the best, most secure, and easiest to use protocol, which is why services that rely on OpenVPN to manage your connection were ranked higher.
AnonVPN and Betternet were both eliminated from our review due to their lack of OpenVPN support.
Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth & Data Transfer
The last thing you want happening when you’re using a VPN service is to find out that your account has been limited or suspended because of excessive data consumption.
Companies that have policies in place that will limit access to your account or throttle your connection speeds due to excessive use were eliminated from our review process.
Cloak and Celo have developed reputations for limiting accounts due to bandwidth consumption, and were eliminated from our review.
Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies
Data logging policies are invasive, and put you at risk for both hackers and local governments to spy on your activity.
Companies that track what you are doing while you have an active connection to their network have been eliminated from our review to ensure that you stay anonymous and secure.
Seed4Me and Hola!VPN are two examples of services that track your network activity that have been eliminated from our review.
Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems
When you connect to the internet with multiple different devices, you’re going to need a Virtual Private Network service that supports different mainstream operating systems.
Companies that do not offer support for some of the most popular operating systems have been eliminated from our review process.
Both HotVPN and IBVPN have been eliminated, along with numerous other services because they do not support multiple different operating systems.
Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections
You may also want to connect to the internet with each device that you use, which means that you need a VPN service that will not limit your account access or throttle your connection speeds when you attempt to connect with multiple devices at the same time.
VPN services that limit your access or become slow and unreliable when you open multiple active connections have been eliminated from our review process.
Both SunVPN and IntelliVPN are examples of some of the many services that were eliminated due to their failing to support multiple active connections.
Criteria #6: Free-Trials, Refunds, and Money-Back Guarantee
The last thing we want to do is recommend a service that isn’t compatible with your hardware or software, for whatever reason. We want to ensure that you can easily move to a new service if you encounter issues with our recommendation.
That’s why we’ve eliminated services that do not offer a free trial period, or give you a money-back guarantee when issues cannot be resolved.
VPNShield and VPNBaron were both eliminated, along with other services, because they do not offer free trial periods or a legitimate refund policy.
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
After working through our 5-part elimination process, we managed to remove quite a few different services from our list, but needed a way to continue dwindling down our list of eligible candidates.
To continue removing services from our list, we relied on reviews written by past and current customers of each service and eliminated any provider that has a history of receiving poor reviews.
Top 3 VPNs for Dubai
All the work that we’ve put in, up to this point, has helped dwindle down our original list of 170+ VPN services to a list of 3 that is substantially easier to manage.
Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
After an extensive elimination process, we’ve concluded that one service is amazing for protecting you in Dubai, while the second service may be a suitable alternative.
#1 ExpressVPN (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service for Dubai
When you want to keep yourself anonymous, secure your sensitive information, and access restricted content in Dubai, very few services can compare to the service that ExpressVPN provides.
ExpressVPN falls in the middle of the pack, offering competitive pricing. Their single month subscriptions cost $12.95 per month, and their 12-month subscriptions cost $8.32 per month.
It’s easy to see that ExpressVPN devotes a substantial amount of energy and financial resources into ensuring a smooth experience for their subscribers.
Downloading the software used to connect to their network and installing it on your machine is straightforward and easy to complete, and we were connected within a few minutes.
The ExpressVPN network is really where they shined and secured the top spot in our review. We did not experience any connection speed or reliability issues during our testing.
The ExpressVPN customer support team is, by far, the most helpful team we’ve had the privilege to work with. They answered relatively quickly and were happy to help.
In speed tests, ExpressVPN ranked #1 in tests performed through servers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and #2 in tests performed through servers in Australia.
One area that we would love to see them address is how quickly they respond to customer support requests. In some cases, we waited up to 3 hours for a response from their team.
Summary: When you want to protect yourself in Dubai, and keep yourself anonymous online, very few services can compare to the service you receive as an ExpressVPN subscriber.
Other services, in comparison, lacked the same features, customer service, and network strength, which helped ExpressVPN easily secure our top spot.
To protect yourself in Dubai with ExpressVPN, click here now.
#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You
Staying safe and anonymous when you’re in Dubai is easy with a service like ExpressVPN. If they’re not available for you, though, IPVanish may be a suitable alternative.
IPVanish provides a comparable level of service and network quality, though they did fall behind ExpressVPN in a few different areas.
They are one of the most competitive VPN services that we’ve tested, charging $7.50 for a single month’s subscription, and $4.87 for 12-month subscriptions.
The IPVanish software is simple to use, and we had it downloaded and installed, ready to connect to their network within a few minutes after subscribing.
The customer support team at IPVanish is helpful, but it did take them longer to respond to the requests that we sent them than the team at ExpressVPN.
Speed tests performed out of Australia showed IPVanish ranked #3 in our tests, with them ranking #2 in tests based out of the United States and the United Kingdom.
We believe that IPVanish could improve their customer support times, and the strength of their network if they wanted to ranked higher than ExpressVPN.
Summary: In most cases, ExpressVPN is going to be a better choice for protecting yourself in Dubai. They have a stronger network and better customer service team.
However, for times when ExpressVPN isn’t available, IPVanish could be a suitable alternative, and help you remain anonymous and secure while you’re online.
If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.
#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) (Not Recommended)
HideMyAss managed to squeeze by 170 other different VPN services, but them taking the third spot in our review doesn’t necessarily constitute us recommending them to our readers.
During the beginning of our testing phase, we didn’t experience many issues. Paying for our subscription, downloading the software they provide, and installing it didn’t cause many issues.
However, once we started putting their service through the paces, testing their network, and trying to stream video content and download large files, the problems began.
In speed tests that we performed, HideMyAss ranked #2 in tests performed in Australia, but finished in last place in tests performed in the United States and the United Kingdom.
While the connection speeds may suggest a quality service, we experience significant reliability issues while streaming video and downloading files, and were disconnected multiple times.
The customer support team at HideMyAss responded quickly before we became a subscriber, but once we paid we waited substantially longer to receive a response to our requests.
In terms of pricing, HideMyAss is also one of the most expensive VPN services we saw during our testing. They charge almost $17 per month, and $9.29 when 12 months are paid in advance.
Summary: HideMyAss surpassing 170 other competitors to claim our third spot in the review process gave us high hopes for their service.
However, once testing began, we were disappointed. In our opinion, ExpressVPN is a much better solution for keeping yourself safe and secure in Dubai.
If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.
NOTE: Dubai and the United Arab Emirates have harsh content restriction and government surveillance programs that could have you landing in hot water if you violate them.
Hackers also rely on you connecting to the internet with an unsecured connection, so they can spy on you and steal the sensitive information you send and receive online.
Virtual Private Network services make it easy for you to secure your connection and ensure the local government is unable to spy on your internet activity.
When you want the best of the best, to ensure that you do not find yourself in hot water with the government, very few services can compare to the service that ExpressVPN offers.
To protect yourself in Dubai while you’re connected to the internet, get ExpressVPN now by clicking here.
Wrapping It Up
Accessing content that has been restricted and preventing the UAE government from spying on your internet activity can make using the internet in Dubai less frustrating.
The best way to keep yourself anonymous and access restricted content when you’re in the UAE and Dubai is to connect through a Virtual Private Network service.
After an intensive review process and eliminating 170 other VPN services, we’ve concluded that ExpressVPN is the best option for Dubai citizens and travelers.
To learn more about ExpressVPN and protect yourself in Dubai, click here now.