Qatar is a modern and progressive country but its culture is still very conservative. The country is positioned as being ‘information-free’ but the truth is that there is a lot of censorship and surveillance in this Gulf state. The government-sponsored ISP imposes firewalls on any content considered offensive to Islam or leading figures in the Mid-East. A VPN in Qatar is the only way to access the internet safely and privately in this country. So, find out which are the best ones.
Why Do You Need a VPN in Qatar?
We will look at some of the reasons why you should definitely arm yourself with a VPN if you are planning to visit this country.
By the way, if you are worried about using a Virtual Private Network there, you can rest assured that it is totally legal. For further reading, check out our article about the legality of VPNs to know more about the situation.
Overcome proxy firewalls
Qatar is a strict Islamic nation, therefore, many of the things people in the Western world take for granted are prohibited in this country. These include watching the news channels you wish, visiting just about any website, and using popular communication tools such as WhatsApp, Skype, and others.
As soon as you land in the country, you might find it difficult to access the websites you are used to accessing back at home. In particular, the government-sponsored ISP, Ooredoo, places proxy firewalls on adult sites, sexual education sites, even international news sites such as BBC and CNN.
A solid VPN is your only way out if you wish to unblock websites and use popular chat tools.
Use the internet privately
Freedom of speech is not a thing in Qatar either. Visitors who are unfamiliar with the cybercrime regulations can easily find themselves on the wrong side of the law. For example, negative commentary on the ruling family or insulting another person online can land you in big trouble.
Additionally, you cannot rule out the possibility of government surveillance in Qatar. In a country that severely restricts what you watch and say, it goes without saying that the government spies on people’s online activities.
Whether you want to torrent or visit hobby websites, you need a VPN to anonymize your activities. A VPN will not only hide your IP address. It will also mask your online traffic so that anyone who is looking won’t be able to see which websites you are visiting or what you are doing there.
You might be disappointed to learn that sites such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, HBO GO, and the likes are blocked in Qatar. However, all is not lost. If you want to catch up with your favorite shows while in Qatar, we recommend installing a Virtual Private Network on your chosen device before leaving for the Gulf.
Other than streaming sites, many foreign bookmakers such as 888sport, William Hill, 22bet, and BetNow among others are blocked in the country. The good news is that with the best VPN in Qatar, you will also be able to bet online while being abroad.
It hides your real IP address and gives you a new one so you can pretend to be in the UK, USA, or any other country. This way, you would be able to unlock streaming and betting sites that are only available in that specific country.
What to Look for in the Best VPN for Qatar?
Virtual Private Networks are not all the same. Some are better suited to bypass Qatari censorship than others. When choosing the best VPN for Qatar, keep these factors in mind:
Due to the extensive surveillance in Qatar, you need a VPN that prioritizes your online safety and anonymity. Look for a provider that offers military-grade encryption and standard security features such as DNS and IP leak protection, automatic kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy.
Opt for a solution that promises lightning-fast speeds. Fast connections are super important for buffering-free HD video streaming and peer-to-peer file sharing. Providers that offer unlimited bandwidth are the best.
Choose a provider with many servers in different countries. This will allow you to connect to the most appropriate server to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship imposed by the ISP.
It helps if the provider has servers in Qatar or nearby countries, so you can access locally-blocked sites.
Our Picks for the 3 Best VPNs for Qatar
Not all providers are suitable for use in Qatar. In a country with strict cybercrime and censorship laws, you need a solid provider that truly cares about your online safety and privacy.
Here, we present to you the top three best VPN to use in Qatar.
ExpressVPN tops the charts when it comes to optimal online privacy and security. With best-in-class military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch, you will have peace of mind knowing your online activities are completely safe at all times.
This provider also boasts a strict no-logs policy and TrustedServer technology. What this simply means is that the provider never stores your personal data and therefore, they will have nothing to hand over in case the authorities ask.
ExpressVPN is also one of the fastest VPNs we have tested. With unlimited bandwidth and lightning-fast connections, it is definitely a top choice for buffering-free streaming while in the country.
Another great thing about this VPN provider for Qatar is its wide server network. This means you can easily find the perfect server to connect to whether you want to stream Netflix, torrent, or browse anonymously.
At the moment, you qualify for a whopping 49% discount plus three months free when you sign up for the yearly plan. In total, you will enjoy 15 months of ExpressVPN for the price of an annual subscription!
- Perfect to avoid censorship
- Very good speeds
- 3,000+ servers
- No-log policy
- Kill Switch
- Allows P2P
- Prices are a little bit expensive
CyberGhost is our second choice for the top VPNs in Qatar for several good reasons. For starters, it is one of the few providers with servers in the Gulf region.
This means you can find nearby servers to connect to, to bypass censorship, and unblock local websites.
In addition to this, this provider offers the standard security features including AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN protocol, Kill Switch, and DNS leak protection. All these come in handy to keep your data safe from prying eyes.
If you are a torrenting buff, you should definitely bring CyberGhost along with you to Qatar. This provider outwardly supports peer-to-peer file sharing and it has dedicated servers for this activity.
Lastly, this VPN can connect to up to 7 devices, so this is a good choice if you are traveling in a group or you use several devices at once.
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Lots of servers (7,000+)
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Servers for P2P and streaming
- Can unblock Netflix US/UK
- Does not work in China
NordVPN comes in third among our top picks for Qatar. Like our other choices, this provider boasts thousands of servers across the world. So, whether you want to watch US Netflix or catch up with shows in Australia or the UK, you will find the perfect server in your desired location.
A super cool feature offered by this provider is Double VPN encryption. Yes, you read that right. Instead of hiding your online activity behind a single server, as is the norm, your data is hidden behind two servers.
Talk about layers of anonymity and air-tight online security!
What’s more, NordVPN does not keep any logs regarding what you’re doing online. This is particularly good news for privacy buffs in a country such as Qatar, where government surveillance is rampant.
Lastly, dedicated servers plus fast connection makes NordVPN one of the best virtual private networks for HD video streaming.
- Maximum security
- Does not keep any logs
- Company based in Panama
- 5,600+ servers and 60 countries covered
- Speeds are inconsistent
- No PayPal option for the payment
All three prioritize your online safety and privacy with top-of-the-class features such as military-grade encryption, automatic Kill Switch, and DNS/IP leak protection.
They also maintain a strict zero-logs policy, which is important in a country like Qatar. If the government asks for your personal data, these trusted providers will have nothing to hand over, thereby upholding your privacy.
Lastly, the fast speeds mean you can stream, bet online, and even torrent without limitations during your time in the Gulf state.
Worried about the legality of using a VPN in Qatar? Don’t be. You can safely use any of these providers without fear of repercussions, just because they are the best of the best.
To get the most out of yours, we recommend that you install the apps on your respective devices before leaving for the country.