Saudi Arabia has quickly become known as one of the harshest countries in the world, implementing strict content restrictions and prosecuting citizens that break the government’s laws.
If you live in Saudi Arabia, or are planning to travel there soon, you could find out that some of your favorite websites have been blocked.
When this happens, you will need a way to bypass the restrictions that the government has put into place, so you can continue accessing your favorite websites.
A Virtual Private Network service subscription is one of the best ways to bypass the restrictions that the Saudi Arabian government has imposed on its citizens.
VPN services allow you to connect to a server outside of Saudi Arabia, so the Saudi Arabian government cannot track what you’re doing online.
This helps you stay anonymous and gives you access to the sites that the government has deemed inappropriate. It also encrypts information you send and receive so it’s safe from hackers.
To stay anonymous and secure, and access restricted content in Saudi Arabia, click here to get ExpressVPN.
Table of Contents
- Best VPN for Saudi Arabia1
- Why You Should Trust Us1
- Table of Contents1
- Testing Methodology2
- How We Tested Each VPN Service2
- VPN Services You Should Avoid3
- VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features3
- VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews7
- Top Three VPNs for Securing Your Connection in Saudi Arabia7
- Wrapping It Up11
Why You Should Trust Us
The SecureThoughts team have devoted their careers to staying at the forefront of internet security and the latest in government surveillance and censorship programs.
Our goal is to help our readers stay safe from hackers, and out from under the watchful eye of invasive surveillance programs, like the programs the Saudi government has implemented.
When you want to keep yourself safe and anonymous in Saudi Arabia, the last thing you want to do is rush out and sign up for the first VPN service you come across.
Not all VPN services are created equal, and some services can be forced to turn over your activity logs to the Saudi government, which puts you at risk when you think you’re safe.
How We Tested Each VPN Service
To ensure that you are safe, anonymous and secure while you’re living in or traveling to Saudi Arabia, we’ve tested more than 170 different VPN services using a three-step process.
To skip the methodology and go straight to our recommendations, click here now.
To begin our elimination and review process, we began removing services from our list that are based in countries that can be forced to turn over your activity to the local government.
Then, we poured through the features that the remaining services offer, to ensure that they meet what we consider to be a minimum feature set that most subscribers will require.
We also read reviews from both past and current customers, to determine which services have developed a poor reputation in the industry.
To complete our review process, we put each remaining service through tests using five different criteria to determine which services are worthy of receiving our recommendation.
Those criteria are:
Price – Price is one of the most important factors to consider, especially with many of the VPN services on our list providing a similar set of features and customer service experience.
Setup Process – We downloaded the software provided by each service to determine how easy it is to install and get connected to their network.
Ease of Use – We also tested each service to verify that getting and staying connected to their servers was easy and didn’t create frustrations.
Speed – We put each service through rigorous speed tests to determine their upload and download speeds, and ensure they’re sufficient for most internet uses.
Customer Service – We submitted multiple requests to each service’s customer support team to determine how quickly they respond and if they’re helpful in their responses.
Below are the results of the tests, our elimination process and the services that we believe are worthy of a recommendation.
VPN Services You Should Avoid
To begin our review, we needed a way to quickly eliminate services and dwindle down our list of 173 VPN service providers.
The quickest way to work through the list was to remove any services that are active participants in an agreement between many different governments, known as “14 Eyes”.
If you’ve never heard of the 14 Eyes program, it’s an agreement between governments that can force ISPs and VPN services in those countries to turn over your activity logs.
This invasive program puts you at risk, and we found that 123 of the services on our list were actively participating in the program, or were based in countries that were forced to participate.
ChillGlobal, IPPredator and GoVPN are three examples of services that were removed due to their participation in the 14 Eyes agreement.
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
To continue working through our review process, we focused on eliminating services that do not provide what we consider to be a minimum feature set for keeping you safe and secure online.
We’ll cover each of the services that we believe are a requirement for a service to receive a recommendation, and give you examples of services we’ve eliminated.
Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support
Every VPN service uses specific protocols to help manage your connection to their network and encrypt the information you’re sending and receiving.
In general, OpenVPN is regarded as the safest, most secure protocol and one of the most common. Services that do not offer OpenVPN support were eliminated from our review.
AnonVPN and Betternet are two examples of services that do not offer OpenVPN support and which were eliminated.
Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer
When you spend time on the internet, you are consuming bandwidth, or data, as you send and receive information, access websites, check your email and do other things.
Some VPN services will limit your account access if they believe you are consuming too much bandwidth, which is why they were removed from our list of eligible candidates.
Celo and Cloak are two examples of services that we’ve removed due to their bandwidth consumption and account limiting policies.
Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies
Data logging and tracking what you’re doing while you are connected are invasive policies that can put you at risk, and are no different than the policies the Saudi government uses.
To make sure that you are not putting yourself at increased risk of being spied on, we’ve eliminated services that have active tracking policies and store logs of your network activity.
Seed4Me and Hola!VPN are two examples of services that we’ve removed due to their data logging practices.
Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems
When you connect to the internet, you likely use multiple devices, each with their own separate operating systems, which means you need a service to support those systems.
We’ve checked each service on our list using different operating systems to ensure that you can connect to their network with every device that you own.
SunVPN and IntelliVPN are two examples of services that have been eliminated due to their lack of support for major operating systems.
Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections
You also likely connect to the internet with multiple different devices, which is why you need a VPN service that supports multiple concurrent connections.
Some VPN services have a reputation for limiting your connection speeds when you attempt to connect to their network with multiple devices, which is why they were eliminated from our review.
IBVPN and HotVPN are two examples of services that limit your connection speeds when you open multiple connections.
Criteria #8: Free Trials, Refunds and Money-Back Guarantee
Our readers are important to us, which is why we want to ensure that any service we recommend has a valid money-back guarantee or offers a free trial period to ensure your hardware is compatible.
If services on our list do not have a valid refund policy or offer a free trial period, we have eliminated them from our review to ensure you do not waste your money.
VPNBaron and VPNShield are two examples of services we’ve eliminated because they do not have refund policies or free trials.
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
After eliminating services due to missing features, we needed another method to quickly work through the list of services that remained.
To do this, we checked reviews from past and existing customers, and eliminated any services that have developed a reputation for providing poor customer service and network connections.
Top Three VPNs for Securing Your Connection in Saudi Arabia
After making our way through the original list of 173 VPN services, we’ve narrowed the list of eligible candidates down to just three.
Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
Putting each of the remaining three services through their paces helped us figure out that only one of the services is the clear winner in our review process.
#1 ExpressVPN – (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service for Saudi Arabia
When you’re looking for the best VPN to keep you protected and anonymous while you’re in Saudi Arabia, we’ve found that ExpressVPN is at the top of the list.
ExpressVPN’s pricing keeps them in the middle of the pack. They charge $12.95 for a single month’s subscription, and $8.32 if you pay for 12 months up front.
Getting connected to ExpressVPN with the software they provide is relatively simple and intuitive. We had it installed within a few minutes of paying for our subscription.
During testing, we found that they have one of the strongest networks that we’ve logged into. We didn’t experience any reliability or disconnection issues.
When we performed speed tests, ExpressVPN ranked at the top of the list in tests performed through servers based out of the United States and the United Kingdom, and ranked second in Australia.
We submitted multiple requests to their customer service team, and received helpful responses, though we did have to wait longer than we’d like to, in some cases.
While they managed to rank #1 in tests performed out of the US and the UK, they did only land second place in Australia. This may be attributed to the time of day we ran the test.
We would love to see ExpressVPN improve their customer service response times. While they responded within 60 minutes in most cases, some responses took up to three hours.
Summary: When you’re being stifled by the harsh content restriction and government surveillance programs in Saudi Arabia, you need a method for keeping yourself anonymous and secure.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN service you’re going to find. They offer a strong network, good customer service and are perfect for keeping you out from under the Saudi government’s prying eyes.
To protect yourself in Saudi Arabia with ExpressVPN, click here now.
#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You
If you happen to find yourself in a position where you’re unable to subscribe to ExpressVPN or your experience with their service doesn’t match ours, you need an alternate solution.
IPVanish may be the solution you’re looking for, with decent network strength, helpful customer support and the features that you need to stay safe and anonymous in Saudi Arabia.
IPVanish is one of the most competitively priced VPN services we’ve tested, charging only $7.50 per month and $4.87 when you pay for 12 months in advance.
The IPVanish software is simple to download and install, allowing us to connect to their network within a few minutes of subscribing to their service.
The customer support team at IPVanish is helpful, but it took them longer to respond to the requests we submitted than the team at ExpressVPN.
When we performed speed tests in the United Sates and the United Kingdom, IPVanish ranked #2. However, in tests based out of Australia, they ranked #3, suggesting room for improvement.
Summary: While IPVanish does provide similar network strength to ExpressVPN, the delays in customer service response times and network connect speeds make ExpressVPN a better option.
However, if you’re unable to subscribe to ExpressVPN’s service and still want to stay safe and anonymous in Saudi Arabia, IPVanish may be a suitable alternative.
If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.
#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) – Not Recommended
While HideMyAss ranked third in our list of recommendations, their ranking doesn’t necessarily constitute us recommending them as a viable VPN service.
We didn’t experience many issues while downloading and installing the software that allows you to connect to their network, but we did experience problems in other areas.
For instance, while trying to download large files and stream high-definition content, we were disconnected from their server multiple times and experienced slow connection speeds.
The random disconnections from their network and slower connection speeds made it difficult to run speed tests.
HideMyAss is also one of the most expensive VPN services that made it onto our list, charging $16.99 per month for a subscription, and $9.29 when 12 months are paid up front.
Summary: The random disconnections, slower connection speeds and delays in customer support mean HideMyAss is hard to recommend as a viable VPN service for Saudi citizens.
If you’re looking to stay safe and secure in Saudi Arabia, ExpressVPN, and even IPVanish, are both much better solutions.
If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.
Wrapping It Up
Connecting to the internet and visiting your favorite websites when you’re in Saudi Arabia can present a wide range of problems, from having your access blocked to ending up being prosecuted.
The best way to ensure you’re safe from the Saudi government’s harsh content restriction and surveillance programs is to connect through a Virtual Private Network service.
After extensive testing of more than 170 different VPN services, we’ve found that ExpressVPN provides the strongest network, fastest speeds and best customer service.
To learn more about ExpressVPN and protect yourself in Saudi Arabia, click here now.