Egypt is not ranked well in terms of their Internet freedoms. In fact, Reporters Without Borders ranked them 159th out of 180 countries, and regularly reports on various journalists being arrested. Freedom House ranks Egypt as Not Free when using online services. With these tensions, it can be truly frightening trying to use the Internet within the country. Three of the largest drawbacks to their Internet are censorship, governmental surveillance, and eavesdropping by telecom companies. For years they have been trying to pass laws that would move them closer towards a more free and open Internet, but they still have a long way to go. Most of the issues seem to surround political and financial factors, and there is no way of knowing what will happen next. Back in 2011 citizens were shocked to find out that there was an Internet and mobile blackout initiated by the government.
Internet Censorship and Freedom of Speech
The political climate in Egypt heavily influences the Internet, and things have been chaotic in the last 5 years to say the least. Though many web critics have stated that there isn’t evidence of filtering techniques like there are in many neighboring countries, the reality is that their Internet is anything but free. A lot of information is heavily censored, but scariest ordeal is how closely the government monitors online activities on blogs and social media platforms. If the government deems a post to be offensive or they think it could sway the people, inflame them, or cause any amount of disruption, they act quickly. Many bloggers have been singled out and targeted by the government, many of them being arrested.
Protecting Yourself Online
Because the Internet is heavily controlled by the government, citizens and travelers need to exercise great caution when they are browsing the web. The last thing anyone wants is for their information to end up in the hands of the government, and you need to take great care to avoid posting offensive messages that are tied to your online identity. Furthermore, you’ll find that you won’t have access to a lot of services that you do in other countries. Though the Egyptian government may not filter these websites and services directly, many websites block incoming connections based on their IP addresses due to copyright laws and licensing agreements. Services like Hulu, Pandora, Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Spotify won’t be accessible.
Fortunately, the is a simple and cost effective solution that will solve all of these problems. All you need is a VPN service, which will help you in several different ways. First of all, note that a VPN tunnel will mask your IP address, allowing you to access sites that have been filtered or block incoming connections based on your IP address. Secondly, a VPN tunnel will encrypt your data so eavesdroppers like governmental organizations and hackers won’t be able to read your information if they intercept it. This will keep your data safe and prevent it from being seized by the government. However, note that if you post comments or messages on social media profiles that link your name, pictures, and other information to your identity, a VPN tunnel won’t stop the government from singling you out. Internet security is crucial in this part of the world, so let’s take a look at the best VPNs for Egypt.
VPN for Egypt – Top Picks:
VyprVPN is our first pick for Egyptian users for several reasons. First of all, they aren’t based in the US or the UK so you won’t have to worry about customer information being handed over to a foreign government. They are actually based out of Switzerland, and they have one of the most attractive zero-logging policies in the industry and are based in a climate that has extremely lax Internet laws. Furthermore, they offer a free trial of their service so you can test it out in Egypt before you make a purchase.
ExpressVPN is one of the highest quality provider on the market, and they have very reliable and fast VPN connections. One reason they outperform their competitors is because they have a complete, well-rounded service with servers in 78 countries. Other notable features of their service include a 30-day money back guarantee, extremely strong encryption algorithms, and fantastic 24/7 customer support. However, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay more – making their pricing model on the higher end of the spectrum.
IPVanish is another clear leader in the industry that has several benefits for users based in Egypt. Currently they have 400+ servers in over 60 countries that offer plenty of global connection options, and they also cover all of the major operating systems with leading industry encryption protocols. Though they do offer VPN connections in Cairo, you would most likely want to terminate your VPN tunnel in another country for greater security. They aren’t too costly, either. The monthly cost of an annual subscription is only $6.49.
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VPNArea offers a great service for users in Egypt that is moderately priced, and they even have a 7-day free trial to give you ample time to test out their service with your Internet connection. Plus, with servers in 51 countries, you will have plenty of options to choose from to secure your data from the prying eyes of the government. What’s even better is the fact they let you connect up to 5 devices per account, and they are reasonably priced at $4.92 per month.
ibVPN is a great choice for users in Egypt that are looking for a quality service that doesn’t cost too much. You can get their service for $3.08 to $4.84 per month, depending on which options you choose. They do offer a free trial as well, so you will have plenty of time to try their service out on your Internet connection in Egypt. Furthermore, they provide a 15-day money back guarantee and allow 3 simultaneous connections with their family plan.