In recent years, the freedom of speech in Egypt is going through hard times. A great number of websites have been shut down under the pretext of fighting terrorism as well as many political and social activists have been eliminated. Even such innocuous apps as Skype and Facebook Messenger are in the doghouse with the Egyptian government. No wonder that Reporters Without Borders ranked Egypt 161st out of 180 countries.
The people of Egypt, as well as tourists, were deprived of true news about what was happening in this country. Usually, when authorities censor the Internet space so ruthlessly, help comes from VPN services. However, in Egypt, many VPNs are blocked too. If you want to regain access to any media resource or content to your liking, here is a list of the best VPN for Egypt. They are proven to work in this country.
The 3 Best VPNs for Egypt That Still Work
When you select a VPN to circumvent restrictions and stay anonymous on the web, you need to look closely at services that offer serious security tools as well as decent selection of encryption protocols. The following VPN providers will cope with any digital hurdles you may encounter while being in Egypt:
For these VPN providers, your safety is a priority number one. That’s why they designed several levels of security to ensure that neither government nor hackers can get their hands on your data. Read on to find out how these VPN services for Egypt will take care of your privacy.
NordVPN made a name for itself as a security-focused service. Perhaps, no other provider offers as many security features as NordVPN does. At your disposal, there are many cutting-edge protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP / IPSec, IKEv2 / IPsec, and SSTP. In addition, the company lends access to specialized servers designed for greater security. For instance, DoubleVPN servers will cater for your protection by encrypting your traffic twice. Onion Over VPN joins forces of two popular security tools to ensure maximum privacy and anonymity. Obfuscated servers will become your salvation if OpenVPN protocol is blocked in Egypt.
The service never keeps the history of your browser and does not retain any logs. NordVPN is registered in a country that never requires collection of information on Internet users. Even if such a situation happens, NordVPN will not be able to provide anything since all data about the online resources visited and other information of this kind is immediately deleted.
NordVPN is compatible with any type of devices and operating systems. You can set it up on your phone, computer, PlayStation and even a router. The service allows connecting up to 6 devices using the same account.
ExpressVPN will also take care of your online security but foremost the service is known for its fast connection speeds. No matter what server you are going to connect to, you will experience unparallel VPN-supplied speeds and consistent performance across the board. The server network covers 94 countries, so whenever you want to get access to blocked websites in Egypt, you can do it.
Various encryption protocols will enable you to surf the web anonymously. ExpressVPN supplies OpenVPN, PPTP, TCP/UPD, L2TP/ IPSec protocols. So, even if the authorities block some protocols, you are always able to pick a different one and enjoy the internet without restrictions.
The company doesn’t keep any logs or records of users’ online travels. ExpressVPN is protected by the laws and regulations of the British Virgin Islands that do not envision collecting and retaining any data regarding clients’ activities on the web.
Finally, ExpressVPN works on any gadget supporting Wi-Fi connection. No matter what you prefer, iOS or Android, ExpressVPN will protect your mobile device as well. You can simultaneously connect up to 3 devices.
PureVPN manages its own server network meaning there are no third-parties involved in dealing with your data. And this a great benefit for security. Although PureVPN has a rather modest server count (currently they own 750 servers), their network span is great, covering more than 140 countries.
As any respectful service, PureVPN doesn’t keep your logs. Moreover, any sensitive information is reliably encrypted thanks to 252-bit protocols, among which you will find OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2.
PureVPN also claims it can enable VoIP services (many of which are banned in Egypt or have a limited functionality) and encrypt your communication via VoIP.
The service is tailored to any device and operating system you can possibly imagine. From one account PureVPN allows establishing up to 5 connections, so you can indemnify your whole family.
Egyptian Government Tightens Its Grip on the Web
Egypt has never been particularly free when it comes to the Internet. However, under the rule of Hosni Mubarak, the Internet was at least available. But everything changed in 2011 after the revolution. The government began to intensively monitor and ban disagreeable media and a certain type of content. At the moment, authorities have already banned over 500 sites. Basically, these blocks have touched news portals that criticize the country’s leadership and try to objectively describe the situation inside the country. The government bans these resources on the pretext of incitement to terrorism.
Not only websites suffer because of suspicions of aiding terrorists. According to the new law, anyone who uses websites to promote terrorist ideas, raise funds, provide weapons, ammunition or explosives for terrorist purposes will face life imprisonment.
Addition, if the authorities consider that you by your actions or statements have damaged their reputation, you may face a prison term as well. So it happened with an Egyptian lawyer sentenced to 10 years in prison after he allegedly insulted President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Moreover, after that, a ban on Facebook use was imposed for 5 years.
Not only politically-oriented sites and social media got suppressed by the government. Many others resources suspected of spreading child pornography and promoting gambling business have also fallen victims of the brutal information policy.
Why it is Important to Use a VPN in Egypt
Ancient Egypt left a stunning heritage that lures millions of tourists from all over the world. After the coup in 2011, the situation within the country has slightly improved and many tourist centers are considered to be safe to visit. But if you as a tourist want to keep in touch with loved ones in your home country, you must be ready for some serious hurdles.
After the terrorist attack that took lives of 47 people, the government began blocking voice and video calls via VoIP as well as messaging tools such as Skype, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, and WhatsApp. It is said that text messages through these apps are still available but no one knows how long this situation will last.
According to the Emergency Law, authorities can monitor and shut down online communications and media without judicial supervision. However, there are rumors that restrictions imposed on popular messengers are not solely motivated by considerations of national security. Many believe that authorities have taken such measures under the pressure of Egyptian telecommunications companies that lose profits when people use free messaging tools instead of their phone networks. But who said that you should endure all these restrictions? With the help of a reliable VPN, you can unlock your favorite instant messenger or social media.
Some social networks continue working without VPN connections. However, since the beginning of 2017, the government forces users to use their real names, email addresses, and other confidential data when registering. In case of non-compliance, an offender is fined $280 or imprisoned.
So, after all that has been said, do you still have questions about why you should use a VPN in Egypt?
Is It True that VPNs are Blocked in Egypt?
At the moment, there are no laws prohibiting the use of VPNs in Egypt. However, the authorities by all means try to complicate life for those who want to have recourse to these services.
In December 2016, they attempted to block tools for data encryption. Thus, the Signal was inaccessible in Egypt. Many VPN providers were under attack as well. Websites of some VPN services were not available from Egyptian IPs. For example, TigerVPN, HotspotShield VPN, TunnelBear and ZenVPN don’t work in Egypt.
Moreover, since August 2017, the government has started blocking security protocols. The first victims were PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols. The situation aggravated when later in the same year the authorities made their first attempts to fight against using OpenVPN by the means of deep packet inspection.
VPN service providers did not turn a blind eye to this situation. They are trying to find ways to get around all these restrictions. The government has not yet blocked the download and installation of VPN software and it became a loophole providers make use of. If a VNP’s site is blocked, you can ask them to send the corresponding software via e-mail. Then you can easily install a VPN app.
As for security protocols, VPN vendors offer various solutions. For example, you can always use TLS / Secure Socket Layer (SSL) tunnels to hide OpenVPN traffic. TLS/SSL encryption is used in the HTTPS protocol that makes sites secure. Even the Egyptian government does not have arms long enough to block HTTPS.
Another way to bypass OpenVPN blocking is through Obfspoxy. It is used to obfuscate the OpenVPN traffic. In this case, such traffic is placed in the obfuscation layer, protecting it from deep packet control.
Does Free VPN actually Work in Egypt?
Many free VPN services claim that they work in Egypt. But let’s face the facts. Even if renowned VPN providers can find themselves blocked and their top-of-the-line protocols are being cracked down, then how will free services work? As you know, it is impossible to get quality services without paying a cent. Accordingly, free services will not be able to offer either advanced encryption protocols or high-quality user support. Most likely, their sites will also be among the banned, and even if by some miracle they are still on the line, their apps will be simply useless.
In conditions when authorities do not block VPN services, free providers never have good speeds. And now imagine what will happen when such VPNs try to bypass all the restrictions imposed by the Egyptian government. The connection speed will drop so dramatically that it won’t allow you to do anything. Moreover, you won’t be able to escape obtrusive advertising posted in the apps of free VPNs that will eat up the traffic and slow down the speed even more. So, even there are some free services that survived after the government sweeps, they will be absolutely unusable.
Paid VPN providers, on the other hand, will try to do everything possible to deliver their services to you. They offer a variety of security protocols that have not yet been blocked by the authorities. Do not play Russian roulette with free VPNs when your privacy is at stake. Trust only those VPNs for Egypt that can really protect you on the net.