Despite being small in size, Qatar is an influential country. This is mainly because of the country’s oil and gas reserves, but when we think about internet and internet freedom in Qatar, these are factors hardly ever present. Rather, it is worth highlighting the fact that Qatar has been prone to assist many affiliations and groups of people; even some that opposed each other simultaneously. This concept of seeking influence over affiliation is a phenomenon of the Qatari internet. Furthermore, the country is a monarchy that acts in coordination with the Wahhabi Islam religion and the Sharia law. Both of these affect the nature of online workings.
Best VPN Services for Qatar of 2018
Using a Qatari IP
It is important to note that Qatar hosts more expats than naturalized citizens. Most of these are peoples of other Islamic cultures or countries, but various other groups reside there. As you will observe below, the Qatari internet is nevertheless a more or less enclosed domain that only respects the interest of one particular group. Therefore for the many expats, this makes the country a suitable candidate to rely on a VPN to get a chance to connect with those still in their respective home soils. From an even more technical perspective, it is important to note that the television company that is now spread quite a bit in the Arab world – Al Jazeera – has its headquarters in Qatar.
Qatari Online Privacy Laws
Qatar acts according to the Sharia law. This is a legal system based on the religious texts of Islam. However, while internet law does conform to this, you will not find punishment like lashes in this case. It is quite silly thinking about how someone would have to travel to Qatar just to receive lashes for committing cybercrimes. However, using a VPN is not criminalized in Qatar, and you are at liberty to connect to or from the country with the help of it. From a legal standpoint, anything that does not conform to the Sharia law’s somewhat vague sentiments results in some form of online restriction.
Internet Censorship in Qatar
Speaking of which, there are quite a few of these restrictions. But beforehand, we must also call attention to the fact that according to Reporters Without Borders, the monarchy “has the means to conduct surveillance” across the country. Therefore, we suggest employing the services of a VPN so that your traffic is encrypted and your actions online are much, much harder to trace. Similarly to this attitude, while Qatar enjoys good internet availability, the content itself that can be found online is often subject to restrictions. The basis of this is the aforementioned religious and legal background.
This means that topics such as political criticism of the monarch are not allowed online, for example. Most Islamic countries ban non-heterosexual pornographic content, and Qatar is no exception. Self-censorship is also present in the country, affecting journalism to a higher degree. And lastly, articles such as this might also not be allowed in Qatar, as this set of words too are aimed at offering help for you – to gain access to a freer internet.
Streaming Services in Qatar
Streaming availability in Qatar is not good. The vast majority of music and film broadcasting services are not available online. Qatar’s leadership is intent on establishing a sense of national identity, despite the fact those who are actually Qatari in the country are in a minority compared to expats. This results in Al-Jazeera becoming the main media presence online. Some universities, like the Carneige Mellon, also host streams in selective topics. Otherwise, the more commonly known companies of the “western” world such as Spotify or Netflix, or even Google and Apple are not allowed in Qatar.
Free Qatari VPN Trials
Overall, Qatar’s main problem online is the amount of restrictions imposed, at least from the perspective of internet freedom. To offer a remedy, we would like to suggest three VPN companies that we think are suitable for work or whatever you would like to and from Qatar.
First, we would like to recommend a few words about VyprVPN. Thriving both in safety and bypassing restrictions, this company is favorable for Qatari users. On the side of the latter, you have VyprDNS, their own brand of SmartDNS proxy. For safety, you can also utilize the NAT Firewall VyprVPN provides, along with secure messaging service Cyphr. Needless to say, all of this comes on top of the best encryptions of today. The company is based in Switzerland, meaning that they have less responsibility towards the state. For you, this means that you personal data is enclosed in safer palms.
Secondly, we would like to mention ExpressVPN. Often hailed as the fastest VPN today (along with many, many others), this company actually has the grounds to make such a claim. It is true thought that they a bit more pricy than most; in return, you get service that rightfully places ExpressVPN among the very best providers of today.
Lastly, read a few words about HideMyAss. The company’s name is an intentional pun, as they have a donkey theme. However, what they offer you is by no means silly: with a network of over 180 countries, HideMyAss is one of the VPNs today with close to global presence. Next to this great selection of locations, you also have additional safety support next to the top encryptions of the day. They too are definitely worth considering, as HideMyAss has traits just as unique as the rest.