Over the last few decades, the Middle East has become a popular travel destination for many tourists. Countries such as Egypt, Israel, and the Gulf states like Dubai and Saudi Arabia have undoubtedly attracted attention from many travelers. In the Middle East lies an exciting mix of ancient history and the luxurious big city life. However, there are some things to be aware of when traveling here.
Aside from the obvious security implications, issues with Sharia law, and so on, the Middle East contains many destinations where privacy is threatened. The biggest issue here is likely anonymity in surfing online. Many of the governments further restrict websites, and one could argue the Internet here is more closed up than anywhere else. That is why one ought to consider downloading a VPN before flying to countries like Saudi Arabia or Dubai with heavily restricted internet!
1. Keep Your Privacy
As mentioned in the introduction, privacy is threatened in many countries in the Middle East. This is however not just surveillance from the government. Internet service providers, employers, and others may have access to your log on the Internet. A VPN can hide up your IP address, making it virtually impossible to track your online behavior.
This is simply because the VPN routes your traffic through a different server, and only then communicates with the website you visit. Therefore, the visit you make to a website will catch your new IP address from the external server within the VPN. This keeps your privacy safe from any insight from the government at all.
2. Stay Secure on Public Wi-Fi Networks
As data rates for phones can become rather pricy internationally, many choose to connect directly to free Wi-Fi networks that are publicly available. While the networks are free, this might be at the cost of someone hacking your device. When you freely roam on a public Wi-Fi, your information is in no way secured in the same way as your home Wi-Fi.
With a VPN however, and a covered-up IP address, nobody can actually see that you are even connected to this Wi-Fi. Remember that for the rest of the world, it looks as if you are logged on to a network somewhere far away from the Middle East!
3. Gain Access to International Streaming Content
Much like Europeans, people in the Middle East use the VPN to gain access to content in the US. Streaming services in the US simply just offer more value in terms of content, where the library of TV shows and movies sometimes amount to over 5 times that of countries in the Middle East. Some streaming services might even be blocked completely here.
Of course, one can connect to whatever country they please, meaning they can access content from countries such as the UK, Australia, Germany, France, and many others as well. With a VPN in handy, you can gain access to international streaming content within seconds, even when you are in the Middle East.
4. Remove Restrictions on Social Media and News
Unfortunately, authoritarian governments in some Middle Eastern countries, will not accept certain social media sites and news sites. This means that you get a very restricted access to the content online. If you regularly use a specific social site, then you would probably want to use this for communication when you are abroad. A VPN allows you to do this, even in restricted zones such as some countries in the Middle East.
Furthermore, having news sites blocked can be extremely annoying when wanting to keep updated on current situations. With the freedom of the press, the West is used to getting the truth from their media outlets. Unfortunately, in the Middle East, news normally are geared towards protecting the current government from criticism, and therefore many news sites in the US for instance will be blocked.
5. Get the Cheapest Prices
There are big sums of money to save on using a VPN during online purchases. For instance, if you have not booked your flight home yet, then you can use a VPN to book this. Make sure to connect to a country where airlines offer steep geographical discounts, such as South East Asia, and you could save hundreds of dollars on flight tickets.
Furthermore, you can save money on many other purchases online as well. Whether it is movies, music, or video games for instance, a VPN can allow you to connect to the country where the product is the absolute cheapest. In terms of video games, you can save up to 80% for some titles!
Open the Internet With a VPN
There are few words that describe the Internet in the Middle East better than the word "closed". Authoritarian governments try to restrict content in order to control the population. As a tourist in the region, this can be extremely annoying, as someone coming from the West is used to an almost completely open Internet.
With a VPN however, one might unlock the capabilities of the Internet in the Middle East as well. Gain access to content, surf safely, and exploit the cheapest prices out there. A VPN is easy to install, and it is a must to bring with you on your trip to the Middle East. To get the most out of your vacation, open the Internet with a VPN today!
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