Is VPN Allowed in Saudi Arabia? and Why?

Is VPN Allowed in Saudi Arabia? is one of the most common questions being asked by expatriates and visitors in Saudi Arabia. It becomes difficult for newly entered people in Saudi Arabia to keep VPN apps on their mobile phones and laptops or not.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people seek to protect their online privacy and security. However, the legality of VPNs varies from country to country, and in some places, their use is strictly prohibited. One such country is Saudi Arabia, where the government has taken a hardline stance against VPNs.

Before reading this article please note that,

Using VPN apps to bypass Saudi government content restrictions and monitoring is completely illegal. 🚫

VPNs for business network infrastructure connectivity purposes with configured devices inside the enterprise are allowed. ✅

In this article, we will explore the legality of VPNs in Saudi Arabia, and address some frequently asked questions about their use in the country.

Is VPN allowed in Saudi Arabia?

The short answer is no, VPNs are not allowed in Saudi Arabia. The government has banned the use of VPNs in the country, and anyone caught using one can face severe penalties. The ban on VPNs is part of a wider crackdown on internet freedom in Saudi Arabia, which has seen the government block access to a range of websites and social media platforms.

In fact, even top VPN service providers’ websites and server IP addresses are blocked by Saudi ISPs.

Is VPN Allowed in Saudi Arabia
VPN Regional Restriction Message in Bit Defender VPN

Even if you try to install and use newly launched VPN apps on your mobile, it is highly possible that compulsory government apps on your phone such as “Abser” will identify and report to the government database that you are using VPN.

So, it will be always a smart and beneficial decision to immediately uninstall apps and stop the use of all kinds of bypassing VPN services

Why are VPNs banned in Saudi Arabia?

The Saudi government has banned VPNs in an attempt to control the flow of information within the country. By blocking access to VPNs, the government can monitor and control what its citizens can access online.

Saudi government controls, monitors, and aggressively filters websites or content available on the internet. They do this to control the social, cultural, moral, and political damage that could happen by specific types of content easily available on the internet.

To understand this ask yourself why the majority of countries banned websites and content that serve child pornography, drugs, and terrorism. In a similar way, Saudis are very sensitive to some kinds of content that are dangerous in their definition.

The use of VPN services undermines efforts to combat anti-social or anti-kingdom content, hence VPNs are not allowed in Saudi Arabia.

What are the penalties for using a VPN in Saudi Arabia?

saudi ani cyber crime lay article 3
Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law Article (3)

As per Saudi Cyber Crime laws, anyone caught using a VPN in Saudi Arabia can face severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The exact penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense, but they can be as high as 500,000 Saudi riyals (approximately $133,000) and up to one year in prison or both.

👮🏼 Also Read: Can Saudi Police Track You Using VPN?

Can tourists use VPNs in Saudi Arabia?

Tourists are not exempt from the ban on VPNs in Saudi Arabia. Anyone caught using a VPN, including tourists, can face the same penalties as Saudi citizens. However, the government is unlikely to actively monitor tourists’ internet activity, so the risk of being caught is lower.

No, there are no legal VPNs in Saudi Arabia. Except for company IoTs configured for business purposes. The government has banned all VPN apps and services, regardless of their purpose or origin. This means that even VPNs services that are legal in other countries are not allowed in Saudi Arabia.

How do I access blocked websites in Saudi Arabia?

Using proxy servers

If you are in Saudi Arabia and want to access blocked websites, there are a few options available to you. One option is to use a proxy server, which can help you bypass the government’s internet filters. However, proxy servers are not as secure as VPNs, and they can be easily detected and blocked by the government.

Using smart DNS services

Another option is to use a Smart DNS service, which can help you access blocked websites without the need for a VPN. Smart DNS services work by redirecting your internet traffic through a server in a different country, which can help you bypass the government’s internet filters. However, Smart DNS services are not as secure as VPNs, and they do not encrypt your internet traffic.

VPNs are not allowed in Saudi Arabia, and anyone caught using one can face severe penalties. While there are ways to access blocked websites in Saudi Arabia, such as using a proxy server or Smart DNS service, these options are not as secure as VPNs. If you are in Saudi Arabia and want to protect your online privacy and security, it is best to avoid using VPNs and other tools that are banned by the government.

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