The 4 Best VPNs for Qatar in 2022
Although Qatar doesn’t openly censor the internet it does practice censorship. Certain sites are inaccessible, journalists have to self-censor and citizens and visitors know to watch carefully what they say online. A VPN for Qatar gives you freedom from all restrictions and you can access any website without repercussions. Read on to find out the best VPN for Qatar, how to choose and how to use.
Qatar, like many countries in the region, dictates what its citizens and press can do online. Censorship isn’t explicit but it is well understood that certain actions can get you imprisoned, fined, or worse.
Websites that contain “sensitive material” are blocked at the drop of a hat, sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently. The government can track down users who post anything that’s considered “unacceptable”.
Although the press in Qatar isn’t directly censored, journalists practice self-censorship to avoid repercussions that may come with speaking freely.
Sites that contain “sensitive material” are blocked at the drop of a hat, sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently.
Whether you live in Qatar or are visiting for a while you can avoid all forms of censorship and go online without any worries if you have a VPN.
This post will tell you the best VPN for Qatar (and Saudi Arabia), how to choose a VPN service that works and also how to install and get it to work.
A Brief History of Censorship in Qatar
Qatar is officially listed as a constitutional monarchy, although in reality, it is an absolute monarchy.
The country’s leader, the Emir, holds all legislative and executive authority and the only elected officials belong to a small advisory council.
Qataris enjoy some of the highest standards of living in the world. The country is oil-rich, and citizens enjoy the wealth generated from oil sales to the west.
Unfortunately, citizens make up only 12% of a population of about 2.9 million people.
The rest are short and long-term expatriates and migrant workers. According to the constitution, they cannot vote, own property and they don’t enjoy labor rights.
When it comes to online surveillance and censorship, Qataris certainly enjoy more freedom than citizens in other Gulf States.
However, certain restrictions apply, and online restraint is expected of everyone in the country.
Websites that contain pornography, LGBT, sexual health, dating and escort services, and circumvention tools such as VPNs are banned. Websites that criticize Islam are also banned.
Below is a government announcement about what Qataris can and cannot do online:
Journalists practice self-censorship to avoid treading on sensitive topics that may upset the authorities.
Services like Skype, FaceTime and Duo are also restricted because the companies aren’t licensed to operate in Doha.
Why Use a VPN in Qatar?
Virtual private network software allows you to circumvent online restrictions.
If you choose the best VPN for Qatar you’ll be able to visit any website, publish comments on whatever topic you like and you don’t have to worry about the authorities coming after you.
A VPN in Qatar allows you to do several things that would otherwise be difficult to do:
- It encrypts your data
The internet does very little, if anything, to protect users online. Anyone with the right tools can track your activity.
They can see what sites you visit, how long you spend on them, what material you download, and even private information such as banking details and chat messages.
A VPN uses sophisticated encryption to eliminate this risk. All data coming to and from your devices is encrypted, or “garbled” so that it doesn’t make sense to anyone who may be tracking it.
They cannot see what sites you visit or what material you download, and you’re therefore free to visit any website you want at any time.
- A VPN assigns you a new IP address
Every VPN has servers, and all servers contain random IP addresses. Whenever you go online using a VPN, its server assigns you one of its IP addresses and to anyone looking at your activity, it appears as if you’re located where the server is.
In case you’re wondering, an IP address works much like your actual address. It points to your device and your location and if someone has the right tools they can use it to track you down right up your front door.
A VPN service stops this from happening because it hides your actual location.
- You can bypass geoblocks and bypass censorship
Geoblocks work by blocking out IP addresses in certain locations. Streaming services use them all the time.
In many parts of the world, streaming platforms block access to content by tracking IP addresses.
If you try to access shows or movies you’ll get an error message letting you know that the content is not available in your area.
Governments also use this tactic to stop citizens from accessing certain websites.
You can access geo-restricted content with the right VPN for Qatar.
- A VPN helps you stream from your favorite platforms
If there are platforms you’d like to watch that are not available in Qatar try using a VPN service.
You can watch Netflix, and Amazon Prime and also access any websites that may otherwise be out of reach.
After you install VPN software you’ll be asked to choose a server. Choose one in a region where the content you want is available. You’ll be connected and can start streaming right away.
- A VPN service keeps you safe on public networks
For many of us, using the Wi-Fi in the library or the local coffee is a no-brainer. What you may not realize is that every time you do this you expose yourself to potential attacks.
Hackers use public networks to infiltrate devices all the time, and they can cause all kinds of havoc.
At the very least, they’ll spy on what you do online, but even worse, they could steal your bank or credit card details and empty your accounts.
A VPN eliminates this risk. All your data is encrypted so hackers cannot do anything with it.
How to Choose the Best VPN Service for Qatar
Unfortunately, a search for “the best VPN for Qatar” or “best VPN in Qatar” will throw up numerous options, and narrowing it down to one that suits your needs can be difficult.
Before you embark on your search it pays to familiarize yourself with the qualities of the best VPNs. Here’s what to look for:
- A wide server network
A wide server network means that the VPN service has a presence in many different countries.
Not only can you enjoy entertainment content from those countries, but you’re able to access news platforms, sports channels and other websites that may be out of reach.
A vast server network also means less congestion and faster connections.
- Robust security features
Security features should be one of your foremost considerations. Choose one that uses AES-256 bit encryption, has a kill switch and DNS leak protection and can protect you from hackers and malicious third parties.
You should also check whether the company keeps user logs. The best VPNs in Qatar have a strict no-logs policy. They only collect basic information and they purge it every few weeks.
Check where the VPN service is registered. Many countries are members of alliances that allow them to compel companies for data that can be used to prosecute users.
You want a VPN in a country that is located in an information haven such as the British Virgin Islands or Panama.
- Fast speeds
Any VPN will slow down your connection. What matters is by how much. A fast VPN will not slow down your device, but if you choose one with slow speeds it will affect performance significantly.
You can improve VPN speeds with the following tips:
- Ease of use and well-designed apps
This is especially important if you are new to VPNs. Choose one that comes with detailed installation instructions and that allows a connection with the click of a button.
Check whether it works with your device platforms. A good Qatar VPN should be able to work with a variety of platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS and macOS.
- Price and money-back guarantee
Can you afford the VPN on a long-term basis? Also, do you get your money back in case you try it and it doesn’t work for you? Look for a VPN that offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
How to Use a VPN
Now that you know how to choose the best VPN for Qatar let’s look at how to install and get it to work.
The method varies depending on the VPN service you opt for and the device you’re using, but these are the general steps you should follow to install a VPN:
Step 1: Choose a VPN and download the app
Using the above guide choose a VPN that meets your needs. Find the app and download it onto your device. You can find it either in the Google Play Store or on the VPNs website.
Step 2: Log in to the app
Log into the VPN using the same user name and password that you used to register for the app.
Step 3: Choose a server
After you log in you’ll see a prompt asking you to choose a server. Think about the content you’d like to access and choose a server in that country.
If, for example, you’d like to see a movie on Netflix UK choose a server in the United Kingdom. It allows for a faster and more stable connection.
A frequently asked question is whether any server will work. It depends on the VPN you choose. You can try connecting through different servers to see which one works best.
Step 4: Go to any website
You can now visit any site you want without worrying about Qatari authorities spying on your online activities.
4 Best VPNs for Qatar
Surfshark is considered an all-around best VPN for Qatar because it’s fast, affordable and highly secure. You can use it to access any website without worrying about online snoops spying on your activity.
You can use it to stream from platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO, BBC iPlayer and others. It is also an excellent choice for those looking for news platforms like BBC, CNN, VOA and DW.
If you love sports Surfshark will give you access to different platforms where you can stream live matches.
The company uses the gold standard when it comes to user security. You get AES-256 military-grade encryption, a kill switch and a range of other features to keep your activity anonymous at all times.
The service is cheap compared to others that have similar features, and you can connect unlimited devices simultaneously on a single subscription. You also get your money back within 30 days if you’re not happy with what the software has to offer.
|It's a fast service that's recommended for gaming and streaming
|The one-month package is expensive
|You can use it to watch Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, news platforms, sports and more
|It doesn't have a one-year plan
|Surfshark is secure with AES-256 bit encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection and a host of additional security features
|Some servers are slow
|One license allows for unlimited simultaneous connections
|Fees are high if you buy using bitcoin
|The software has well-designed apps, is easy to use and comes with detailed installation instructions
|It is compatible with Windows, Android, iOS and macOS
|Surfshark has a strict no-logs policy
|The software supports P2P
|The company has 3,200+ servers
|It is in the British Virgin Islands
|You get a 30-day money-back guarantee
NordVPN is another excellent VPN for Qatar. It is highly secure, offers fast speeds and has one of the biggest server networks. It is considered one of the most advanced VPNs and works well for Qatar and other countries in the Middle East.
Its security features include AES-256 military-grade encryption, DoubleVPN, CyberSec, Onion Over VPN and obfuscated servers. It also has a kill switch and DNS protection.
Although the VPN service doesn’t have servers in Qatar, you can connect through nearby countries.
The service is fast, and you can use it to stream from platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney+, BBC and thousands of others. You can also use it for news platforms and to watch sports from any part of the world.
Although NordVPN isn’t as cheap as Surfshark it is affordable and users get a money-back guarantee.
|It is fast and you can use it to game and stream
|It offers fewer simultaneous connections than Surfshark
|NordVPN works for Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Disney+ and thousands of other streaming platforms
|You have to pay extra for a dedicated IP address
|You can use it to watch sports from local and international channels and it is recommended for news platforms
|Buying with bitcoin attracts high fees
|The service uses AES-256 military-grade encryption, Onion Over VPN, a kill switch, DNS leak protection and a host of other security features
|Buying with PayPal is a convoluted process
|Users get 6 simultaneous connections
|The company has been publicly audited
|It comes with easy-to-use apps and detailed installation instructions
|The service has a strict no-logs policy
|NordVPN has 5,500+ servers
|It is in Panama City, Panama
|Users get a 30-day money-back guarantee
VyprVPN is a good choice for Qataris who are looking for a European VPN service. The company is based in Switzerland and offers a service as good as any.
This VPN is fast and is a good choice for those looking to watch shows and movies from platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. It is also a good choice for gaming and gives you access to servers around the globe.
VyprVPN is secure, with a host of features to ensure your data is always safe. It uses AES-256 military-grade encryption, Zero-Knowledge DNS, Chameleon Protocol and also has a kill switch and DNS leak protection.
|A fast service that you can use for gaming and streaming
|The company has a small server network
|You can use it to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney Plus and many other platforms
|It's basic plan doesn't have Chameleon protocol
|It is a good choice for streaming live sports from any part of the world
|Some servers are slow
|The company uses AES-256 military-grade encryption, Chameleon protocol, a kill switch and DNS leak protection
|The company doesn't accept bitcoin payments
|You get 50 GB of cloud storage
|It has well-designed apps, is easy to use and comes with detailed installation instructions
|It works for all common platforms
|The company doesn't keep user logs
|It has 700+ servers
|The service is located in Switzerland
|Users get a 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN has long been considered a top-of-the-range VPN. It experienced connectivity and speed issues during the pandemic but it recovered, and it remains one of the best VPNs for Qatar today.
The service uses AES-256 military-grade encryption, TrustedServer Technology, Lightway Protocol, Network Lock, DNS leak protection and other features to ensure your data is always safe.
ExpressVPN is fast and a good choice for streaming from popular services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. You can also use it to watch news and stream sports from anywhere in the world.
You can use ExpressVPN on Windows, Android, macOS, iOS and several other platforms. It comes with a well-designed app and is easy to install and use.
|It's fast and you can use it to game and enjoy streaming services
|It's an expensive VPN; others with similar features cost less
|The service works for Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, BBC iPlayer and many other platforms
|You only get 5 simultaneous connections
|It is a good choice for those who love to stream live sport
|Users can only choose a location, not a specific server
|The VPN works with Windows, Android, iOS and macOS
|It has been independently audited
|The apps are well-designed and easy to use and they come with detailed installation instructions
|It doesn't keep user logs
|The company has 3,000+ servers
|It is in the British Virgin Islands
|You get a 30-day money-back guarantee
- How to watch Qatar World Cup?
If you’ll not be going to Qatar to watch the World Cup you can still watch every match in the comfort of your home. All you need is the right VPN. A VPN allows you to access platforms that stream live sports from any part of the world.
Any of the VPNs discussed in this post will give you access to all World Cup matches.
If you’ll be in Qatar for the World Cup it is a good idea to arrive with a VPN already installed on your devices. Remember, the country blocks some messaging and chat apps and accessing websites that contain certain types of content may get you in trouble.
- Are VPNs legal in Qatar?
No, they are not. If you are having difficulty accessing a VPN site you can ask someone outside Qatar to buy one and send you the login details. If you are visiting Qatar it’s a good idea to arrive with a VPN already installed.
- Should I use a free VPN in Qatar?
You can, but it’s not a good idea. Free VPNs come with limitations. They are often slow, they have bandwidth caps and they are not usually designed for long-term use.
Additionally, free VPNs aren’t as secure as some users think. They often collect and sell user details and they don’t use the best security protocols.
Although Qatar is a relatively free country when it comes to online censorship there are restrictions in place for some sites and for what users can say online.
Some commonly used communication apps don’t have a license to operate in Qatar, and some media houses have been banned for discussing sensitive topics.
You can access any website you want if you have a VPN. Choosing the right one isn’t easy, but if you use the tips provided here it becomes easier to choose the best VPN for Qatar.