5 Best VPNs for Qatar - Get Unrestricted Internet

Using a VPN in Qatar will allow you to bypass censorship and keep your online data secure and private. A VPN service encrypts all of your online traffic, meaning that your hackers, the ISP, and the government cannot find out what you are doing online. VPNs also change your IP address, this allows you to unblock websites and services that aren't available in Qatar. This will allow you to unblock online banking services or access Netflix libraries from around the world, including US Netflix content.

In this article, we take a look at the best VPNs for Qatar and why it's so important to have one in the country.

What are the best VPNs for use in Qatar?

We have listed the best VPNs for Qatar below. All of these services have the features you need to stay secure online, but if you need more information about any of the services below, scroll below the list for an in-depth look at each section.

  1. ExpressVPN - allows you to connect to servers across the globe, stream in HD and torrent safely.
  2. Surfshark - makes a huge splash, with unlimited connections and compatibility with nearly every device.
  3. VyprVPN - offers advanced cloaking, secure DNS, and IP protection, as well as additional security for your Cloud servers.
  4. IPVanish - adheres to a strict no-logs policy and offers OpenVPN encryption and a kill-switch to further secure your data.
  5. PrivateVPN - fast connections with apps for all platforms and servers in over 60 countries.

Why do I need a VPN in Qatar?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a versatile tool that provides a wealth of benefits – and we’ve taken a look at four of the most pertinent below, particularly for residents of Qatar.

Encryption

We live in an age where our digital privacy is under constant threat – cybercriminals and hackers target your identifiable data to collect and sell, and your traffic is monitored by your ISP as well as the government. Luckily, a VPN’s primary use is in shoring up your online security.

This is done through a VPNs encryption. Your VPN will connect to a server run by the provider, and any information that passes to and from your device is routed through this secure tunnel. As a result, the VPN server acts as a barrier between you and the wider internet, preventing any third-parties from snooping on your online activity.

Anti-censorship

Internet censorship is particularly stringent in Qatar, and citizens will encounter restrictions when attempting to access the following content online:

  • Pornography
  • Criticism of Gulf countries
  • Anti-Islamic sites
  • Gambling websites
  • LGBT content
  • Sexual health resources
  • Online dating services
  • Privacy tools

Qatar is home to an autocratic monarchy where political opposition isn’t tolerated. Despite that, the country’s government hasn’t gone to the same lengths as other Arabian nations in controlling internet access. Freedom House doesn’t feel that the state of internet access controls in Qatar is severe enough to merit its attention.

Journalists in Qatar have been self-censoring stories that cover the above topics to avoid fines and any law breaking. However, 2016 saw independent Qatari new site, Doha News, blocked throughout the country.

Political tensions with other Middle Eastern states in 2017 have made the government of Qatar extremely sensitive to criticism. However, local news sources are unlikely to report on opposition to the government. The external opposition to the Qatari regime actually threatens those who are most likely to protest against government controls more than their near-benevolent government does.

Folks living in Qatar will also struggle to access VoIP services like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Duo and Facetime.

Streaming

Qatar is probably one of the most liberal nations in the Middle East. However, you may find yourself bored by the heavily edited entertainment that the country’s board of censors approves for public display. A VPN can unblock content from around the globe, however.

Sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer use your IP address to determine which content you can watch. If you’re in the UK, you won’t be able to check out any content in the US Netflix library. By connecting to a VPN, however, you are assigned a new and temporary IP address based in the same location as the server. So, to watch those US shows, you’d simply need to connect to a US server.

5 best VPNs for Qatar – In-depth Analysis

With Qatar’s strict approach to internet censorship and restrictions on VoIP and streaming services, a VPN is a vital piece of kit – and can restore some freedoms to folks looking to access the wider web. A VPN encrypts your data, keeping you secure when using public WiFi or browsing at home, and comes with a long list of features to ensure your connection and identifiable information remains private. You’ll also be able to bypass geo-restrictions to check out sites and services from overseas. For more information on any of the VPNs below, head on over to our reviews page.

ExpressVPN balances powerful unblocking capabilities with security measures that ensure a fully private browsing experience.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN is our top pick for a Qatar VPN, with 3,000 servers across 94 countries. These servers are lightning-fast and eliminate data risk by never writing to the hard drive. What’s more, Express is an audited zero-logs provider that owns all of its own server DNS, meaning you won’t need to worry about activity or connection logs. The security-conscious will also appreciate Express’ kill-switch and split tunneling features.


OpenVPN is the protocol of choice for Express, and you’ll be able to share your subscription across 5 devices simultaneously. Express is compatible with Mac, Windows, Android and iOS devices, as well as routers, and has no trouble accessing the world’s most in-demand streaming services. If you need help, you can rely on a 24/7 customer service team as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark offers a fast and well-rounded service, with plenty of privacy features.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.49 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

All of Surfshark’s 1,700+ servers are 100% RAM-only, and boast unlimited bandwidth, making the provider a great pick for anyone wanting to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer or Prime Video. When it comes to security, Surfshark makes use of OpenVPN, and has had its no-logs policy independently audited. In addition, Surfshark also offers a Smart DNS service and stealth servers, which can come in handy for Qatari users, particularly.


Impressively, Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous, and you’ll be able to install the provider on most devices. A Cleanweb feature banishes ads, trackers and malware from your browsing sessions, and a kill-switch ensures that even if your VPN connection drops, you’ll stay secure. A 30-day money-back guarantee comes in handy when trialing these features before subscribing, and a 24/7 expert support team is on hand to answer any questions that might arise.

VyprVPN offers a wide network of servers and handy anti-censorship tools that are perfect for Qatari residents.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.50 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

VyprVPN offers users a huge pool of IP addresses to utilize, with upgraded servers in more than 70 countries, including Qatar. These servers are owned entirely by VyprVPN, and are more than capable of handling HD streaming or online play. Users will also benefit from OpenVPN encryption, secure DNS, and IP Address Protection. For those looking for an extra layer of security, VyprVPN’s Chameleon protocol comes in handy for accessing geo-restricted content, and you can rest assured that the service abides by a no-logs policy.


Apps are available for all operating systems and devices, and up to 5 simultaneous connections are permitted. VyprVPN also packs a personalized kill switch, and you can put these features to the test yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support.

IPVanish is great for Netflix, and is compatible with all devices and offers an astounding unlimited simultaneous connections.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.49 - $10.00
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Based in the US, IPVanish banished concerns over its security with a zero-logs policy and obfuscation features, including DNS leak protection and P2P support. IPVanish makes use of OpenVPN, and its SOCKS5 web proxy is particularly useful for torrenting and VoIP activities. There are over 1,500 available servers in 75 global locations, and all boast unlimited bandwidth – so you’ll be able to stream Netflix without buffering interruptions.


IPVanish is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and routers, and users can enjoy unlimited simultaneous connections – meaning the whole family can shore up their security! If you run into trouble, customer support is available 24/7, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.

PrivateVPN is a Swedish service that is highly praised by consumers due to its superb apps, private features, and cheap prices.

  • Pricing

    From  $1.89 - $7.12
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

PrivateVPN is an established VPN based in Sweden. It is a secure service with a bespoke client that can be used on up to six devices simultaneously. It is a no-logs VPN service that has 100+ servers in 60 countries around the world. That is a huge amount of servers that it is increasing regularly. We love that this VPN has a kill-switch and OpenVPN encryption, it also has a stealth feature that ensures that your ISP can't detect VPN use.


Overall, we think this VPN is incredible value-for-money. It is fast, it provides superb privacy, and it can unblock more Netflix catalogs than just about any other VPN. A great all rounder that works excellently on all platforms and can be tested risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

A VPN for Qatar – what to consider

We’d recommend any of the VPN providers highlighted in this article – however, if you’re going to be paying for a subscription, you might want to compare your options. If so, we’ve pointed out some of the most important features to keep an eye out for when shopping around.

How to install a VPN for Qatar

Regardless of whether you’re a VPN veteran or entirely new to the technology, getting a VPN set up is quick, easy, and only takes a few moments. We’ve outlined the steps in full below.

  1. Subscribe to one of the best VPN services for Qatar – all of our recommendations come with money-back guarantees, so you can test them risk-free!
  2. Download and install the VPN software from your chosen provider's website – this will only take a few moments.
  3. Log in to the VPN and manage your VPN settings – make sure your kill-switch and obfuscation are activated.
  4. Connect to a VPN server – where you connect will depend on what you want to do. But for the best speeds, choose the closest physical server.
  5. Access content, stay secure, and prevent third-party snooping – you're good to go!

Can I use a free VPN in Qatar?

Theoretically, you could use a free VPN in Qatar… but we would advise against it. Free services are usually the offshoots of premium providers, and exist to tempt you into purchasing a full subscription. As such, you’ll likely encounter the following limitations:

  • Limited servers – a free plan will typically only offer access to a handful of server locations, which isn’t ideal for anyone looking to stream media or access specific content outside of Qatar.
  • Monthly data limits – could you get by with a minuscule allowance of 500mb per month? Well, most free plans offer data limits in this range!
  • Bandwidth caps – downloading and streaming will be more difficult with a free plan as they often cap your bandwidth. You’ll also be more likely to encounter lag spikes and buffering streams than if you were using a premium service.

And that's just the good ones! Free VPNs are notoriously insecure. They often lack the encryption necessary to provide effective online privacy, and regularly come with invasive and counterproductive privacy policies that mean your data could be at risk – letting the company monitor and sell on your internet usage and personal information.

The shadier free services have no real reason to protect your information, and as such, can sell your it on to third-parties. This is not what you want from your VPN, free or otherwise.

If you’d still like to check out some free options, there are a number that’d we recommend, and you can check out our free VPN page for a list of secure free services.

Want a premium VPN for free?

Take advantage of our chosen providers' money-back guarantees to test the best services without risking your cash!

 

P2P downloading – is it legal in Qatar?

The 2014 cybercrime law is concerned more with the dissemination of "false news" than with matters of copyright infringement. The law obliges local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to keep connection and content logs for 90 days. A prosecutor can order the extension of this period.

The main problem with the law in Qatar is its loose phrasing. The only risk that the cybercrime law might pose to those who access foreign entertainment relates to torrenting. There haven’t been any prosecutions for copyright piracy with peer-to-peer (P2P) downloads in Qatar. However, the cybercrime law does define distributing offensive material as a crime. Unfortunately, the nature of file sharing protocols means that, while you are downloading a file, you’re also making segments of that file available to others. Therefore, if the Qatari censors haven’t approved the movie that you’re downloading, the authorities could prosecute you for "distributing" that file.

When you access foreign video streaming services, make sure that you don’t copy those movies or shows on to DVDs for others to watch. That could also get you a conviction for distributing restricted content.

Check out our VPN for torrenting page for more information about this topic.

Accessing streaming services with a VPN

The complexities of copyright agreements and national laws prevent video streaming services from making their content available worldwide. The internet is an excellent medium for distributing entertainment. However, video sites have to restrict access to specific countries because they only pay for the right to show content in the locations they agree with copyright holders.

The importance of complying with local censorship standards also means that video services have to restrict cross-border access. A movie from the US may be available in Qatar, but it will be heavily edited to remove dialog and sights that are unacceptable under local laws. Online video sites in Qatar have to ensure that you can only watch Qatari-approved edits of those shows.

The Qatari government won’t bother you if you access a US streaming site in your own home, for immediate viewing. The video streaming site will try to stop you though. That’s why you need a VPN. If you want to watch US entertainment over the internet from Qatar, install a VPN that includes a server in the US. Fortunately, just about all virtual private networks have US-based VPN servers. Once you have installed the VPN, you can easily American streaming services. If you are interested in accessing Netflix, take a look at our Netflix VPN guide.

How to access foreign streaming services?

First, access the VPN app, select a US server, and turn the VPN on. Once it’s running, you will appear to be in the US. Now navigate to the US entertainment site of your choice. All of your communications pass through the nominated US server. It will put its address on all outgoing communications rather than your own.

When you connect to United States VPN server, US video services should let you watch their content. However, video streaming services realize that people use VPNs to get around their regional restrictions. They try to block requests that are made through VPNs. That is why it’s essential that you choose an excellent service because not all can get around these VPN detection systems. If you have a Netflix subscription and want to get into the entertainment catalog for another country, rather than the Qatari version, you’ll be up against some of the most comprehensive detection systems in the world.

Unblocking Skype, Whatsapp, and other VoIP services in Qatar

Residents of Qatar are currently unable to make free calls from a number of VoIP apps, including Skype, FaceTime, Discord, and WhatsApp. The reason for this is murky, with the country’s primary telecom provider, Ooredoo, claiming to have no hand in the issue. The Qatari government states that VoIP technology is not illegal in the country, but that it is illegal to provide this service without a proper license.

You can unblock free VoIP services with a VPN today!

Unsurprisingly, only two companies have the license to provide VoIP services in Qatar: Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo. 68% of Ooredoo is owned by the Qatari government, and so it’s speculated that the restrictions on VoIP services exist as a means to protect the government’s commercial interests.

As a result, Qatari residents will need to rely on expensive international calls to keep in touch with friends and family – which is especially egregious during the current COVID-19 outbreak. So, whilst a VPN subscription does come with a monthly fee, it can actually save you money in the long run by unblocking these free VoIP services!

All of the VPNs in this guide can unblock WhatsApp, Facetime, Discord, and more, regardless of the device you’re using. By connecting to a VPN server outside of Qatar, you’ll be able to bypass these strict VoIP restrictions and contact friends and family, at home and overseas.

Conclusion

If you want to access content from around the world, a VPN is a vital privacy tool to have. More importantly, whichever VPN you choose, it must have obfuscation and kill-switch functions to keep you protected in Qatar. Fortunately, all of our choices come with this functionality. Here's a reminder of the best VPNs for Qatar:

  1. ExpressVPN - allows you to connect to servers across the globe, stream in HD and torrent safely.
  2. Surfshark - makes a huge splash, with unlimited connections and compatibility with nearly every device.
  3. VyprVPN - offers advanced cloaking, secure DNS, and IP protection, as well as additional security for your Cloud servers.
  4. IPVanish - adheres to a strict no-logs policy and offers OpenVPN encryption and a kill-switch to further secure your data.
  5. PrivateVPN - fast connections with apps for all platforms and servers in over 60 countries.

FAQS

Written by: Hannah Hart

Originally hailing from Wales, Hannah Hart graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a 1:1 in Creative Writing, going on to work as an Editor across a number of trade magazines. As a professional writer, Hannah has worked across both digital and print media, and is familiar with collating news pieces, in depth reports and producing by lines for international publications. Otherwise, she can be found pouring over a tarot deck or spending more hours than she'll ever admit playing Final Fantasy 14.

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