Best VPN for the UAE

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Looking for the best VPN to use in the UAE? Looking to unlock you favourite online content such as Netflix & BBC iPlayer? Need a VPN to bypass UAE censorship laws and stay safe online? Then you need the best VPN for the UAE!

The UAE VPNs explained

The best UAE VPNs are popular amongst both residents and UAE tourists. The monarchy imposes strict censorship laws and limit online activity across the region. Particularly political, pornographic and gambling websites are firmly banned in the UAE and should never be accessed without a secure VPN. Unblocking certain content in the UAE is high risk and using illegal applications can land you in serious trouble with the authorities. Therefore, a VPN in the UAE needs some specific security features not found on all VPNs. A Dubai VPN is recommended for tourists to ensure you don’t unknowingly fall foul of local laws. A UAE VPN will encrypt your online activity allowing you to safely access blocked websites and content privately by disguising the true location of your IP address.

What do you need from a VPN in the UAE?

A VPN for the UAE needs to be able to bypass the states censorship, the most important features for UAE VPNs are online safety ensuring that your activity cant be tracked back landing you in trouble with the authorities. Our best UAE VPN review covers:

  • Enhances security features such as stealth mode and DNS leak protection
  • Kill switch (just in case your VPN loses connection you won’t leak your activity)
  • Servers located in nearby countries
  • Transparent and strict logging policy
  • Ability to safely unblock restricted content
  • Well designed, easy to use apps with great customer support

Melvyn's top 5 VPNs for the UAE

Numbers(One)(7)

NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the best and most popular VPN providers out there. It strikes the perfect balance for privacy concerned users and those looking for lightning fast speeds. It’s great for unblocking content such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer and also supports P2P and torrenting. Add to this its no logs policy and impeccable security, Nord sure does tick all the boxes! 

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Outstanding speeds, zero logs, and award winning 24/7 customer support… NordVPN is up there with the very best in the VPN market!

Our score:

4.9

4.9/5

Price from:

$2.99

per month

Pros
  • Super-fast reliable servers with up to 226Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 5,100+ servers spanning 60 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • Double VPN security feature for extra protection
  • One of the most popular VPNs available
Cons
  • Alternative security protocols need manual configuration
  • Speeds can be compromised on some distant connections
Numbers(Two)

CyberGhost

CyberGhost are an exceptional VPN provider with industry leading levels of privacy, worldwide server locations ideal for torrenting with user friendly applications that flawlessly unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming services. If you want a super-fast, zero logs, easy to use VPN… then look no further! 

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Super-fast, zero logs, easy to use apps and friendly 24/7 customer support… you can see why it’s our number one recommended provider!  

Our score:

5.0

5/5

Price from:

$2.75

per month

Pros
  • Super fast, reliable servers with up to 265Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 3,700 servers spanning 59 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed
  • Protect up to 7 devices with one account
  • One of the best value VPNs available
Cons
  • Servers focussed around Europe & North America
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting not available on North American servers
Numbers(Three)

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN are one of the most recognisable names on the market, offering best-in-class zero logs privacy, fantastic speeds, awesome features and easy to use applications. ExpressVPN is a true market leader, and whilst it comes with a premium price tag (compared to others), users are rewarded with an outstanding product! 

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Blazing-fast speeds, exceptional app usability and 24/7 customer support… ExpressVPN is a real force to be reckoned with! 

Our score:

4.8

4.8/5

Price from:

$8.32

per month

Pros
  • Blazing-fast servers with up to 170Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 3,000+ servers spanning 94 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and great for HD streaming
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • Defeats content and government censorship
  • One of the most trusted names out there
Cons
  • Only allows you to protect 3 devices
  • Premium brand so you pay a premium price
Numbers(Four)

VyprVPN

VyprVPN is a remarkably secure, zero logs VPN provider that sets out to keep its users safe and secure online with an array of great features. For those locked out in areas of high government censorship, their proprietary chameleon protocol overcomes censorship barriers anywhere in the world which ideal for users in China, the UAE and India etc. And with servers in 70+ worldwide locations, decent speeds can be achieved whilst doing so.

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Unprecedented focus on user privacy, great speeds and competitively priced… if you’re looking to get around government censorship, look no further!

Our score:

4.7

4.6/5

Price from:

$3.75

per month

Pros
  • Zero logs (verified by third party audit)
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • High-end encryption/NAT firewall
  • Chameleon technology works well for users in China, the UAE, India etc
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • One of the best for bypassing government censorship
Cons
  • Top features only available on premium plan
  • Middle of the road speeds
Numbers(Five)

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN are a first class, zero logs VPN provider and are one of our top picks if you’re concerned about online privacy. Combining market leading security with excellent speeds produced from its global network of servers, you can safely enjoy torrenting or stream HD content from all the popular providers such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer with ease. Private by name and private by nature… this VPN is hard to beat!

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Exceptionally privacy focused, ultra-quick download speeds and ridiculously competitively priced… you don’t want to overlook PrivateVPN!

Our score:

4.7

4.6/5

Price from:

$1.89

per month

Pros
  • Fast reliable servers with up to 323Mbps download speeds
  • 2048-bit encryption with AES-256
  • Kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites
  • Zero logs policy
  • Full 30-day money back guarantee
  • One of the cheapest VPNs available
Cons
  • Server choice could be larger
  • Currently no web browser extensions
  • Live chat directed us to email in testing

UAE VPN FAQs...

Do I need a VPN in the UAE?

Yes. Using a VPN in the UAE is an essential tool for protecting your online activity and privacy. The best VPNs in the UAE will ensure your privacy is fully protected as many websites are blocked. You can of course browse the internet without a VPN however; all of your activity will be monitored and if you attempt to access banned content that information is logged by ISPs. Many sites in the UAE are blocked or restricted including YouTube, dating sites, gambling, pornographic and all voice over IP applications.

What are the best UAE VPN features?

The best UAE VPN features need to be more security conscious as it’s such a sensitive jurisdiction. Apart from the VPN being easy to use, fast, reliable, have great customer support as well as offering good value, we are looking for:

  • A kill switch which ensures that if your VPN connection drops for any reason, your unencrypted activity isn’t then made available to ISPs
  • A strong military grade VPN encryption for the UAE is essential as this encrypts your IP address and keeps you safe from being monitored by the authorities
  • A stealth mode which prevents ISPs knowing that a VPN encryption is even taking place (also known as obfuscation)
  • DNS leak protection
Are UAE VPNs fast and reliable?

When selecting the best VPNs in the UAE, speed is an important factor as many users want to unblock streaming services such as US Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc. We look for VPN server locations located in neighbouring countries as generally speaking the closer you are to the server the better the speeds. Also the more choice of servers reduces congestion and the best VPNs in the UAE will automatically detect where the fastest servers are and connect to automatically.

Is it legal to use a VPN in the UAE?

Yes having a VPN installed on your device is totally legal in the UAE. We recommend you adopt a cautious approach when using your chosen VPN as if you are caught, then this may be enough to raise suspicion and you should always comply with local laws.

Should I use a VPN in the UAE as a tourist?

We are often asked if when visiting the UAE do you need a VPN? We recommend you download a VPN before you arrive in the country because as soon as you connect, ISPs can track your online activity. Many tourists flock to Dubai and other popular destinations. so a VPN will help individuals on holiday from unknowingly falling foul of any local laws. Also for business it helps keep your data encrypted and away from prying eyes or hackers.

Can a VPN in the UAE unblock Netflix?
Yes. If you are in the UAE and want to watch blocked content such as US Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc, one of our recommended UAE VPNs will unlock such geo-restricted content. All our top 5 VPNs for the UAE have strong server coverage allowing for high speeds and smooth streaming. Please visit our Best VPN for Netflix page by clicking here for more information.
What content is blocked in the UAE without a VPN?
The UAE impose some tough censorship laws which limit residents and visitors from accessing them. If you unblock VoIP applications, this is against the law in the UAE and therefore its essential your VPN has the strongest security features and a kill switch! Some examples of what is blocked without a suitable UAE VPN are:
  • Anti-government websites
  • Anti-religious websites
  • Gambling websites and applications
  • Pornographic websites
  • VoIP applications such as Skype and FaceTime
Should I use a free VPN in the UAE?
Yes. You can download a free VPN to use in the UAE, however, there aren’t any free VPNs that we would endorse. You really do need some advanced security features and the technology doesn’t come cheap for the VPN companies. We only therefore recommend the premium VPN suppliers as you need 100% reassurance that your encryption is secure, reliable, privacy friendly and has additional obfuscation tools. The best UAE VPNs represent great value and the minimum cost outlay is certainly worth it. If you want to know more about free VPNs in the UAE, please visit out free VPN guide here.

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