As long as censorship exists, solutions to this problem will endure as well. Ever since Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the country has been dealing with a decline in internet freedom as the government has had many websites blocked. This prevents its citizens from using them due to- as authorities say- potential terrorist threats. For those of you who are looking for ways to surpass these restrictions and enjoy worry-free and secure browsing, VPNs are the right solution.
However, as time passes, government censorship worsens. Following hundreds of new website blocks in 2017, in the following year Egypt ratified a new law that strictly forbids the use of these blocked websites. For those who do not abide by this rule, the penalties could result in a prison sentence. Basically, Egypt has ultimately formalized the ban, making it more difficult for its citizens to access sites belonging to critical media and human rights groups.
Internet censorship is nothing new, particularly in countries in the Middle East. However, strict Egyptian internet regulations came as a bit of a surprise, as they turned out to be exceptionally bad and regressive.
The problem deepened when authorities, among other things, banned some VPNs, as one of the best solutions to this problem.
So what are your options?
Lucky for you, some VPNs are powerful enough to prevail during such an attack on freedom and fundamental human rights. For those of you who are searching for the best way of accessing content in Egypt, here are our top five VPN choices that work in the country.
Best VPNs for Egypt
The following VPN choices are compatible with your every device and are a great addition to your PC, Mac, or iOS and Android phone. Some of them can also be used on Linux and other operating systems. That makes them applicable to every device in your home, including your router. Besides, thanks to their properties, they are great for streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
NordVPN has found itself on the list of VPNs that are forbidden to use in Egypt. However, the provider has not given up and it still presents its users with the opportunity to browse the internet anonymously, and without any restrictions. To do this more efficiently, Nord VPN has these so-called ‘obfuscated servers’ that are used to hide the fact that you are using a VPN. This, combined with their double security and zero logs policy, enables users from all over the world to enjoy in a perfectly secure internet. NordVPN supports many devices including computers, smartphones, routers, and allows up to 6 simultaneous connections.
With over 450 servers in more than 100 locations around the world, including Egypt, Ivacy is an excellent choice for users seeking a reliable VPN service provider. Despite not being as popular as other VPNs on this list, Ivacy excels in many aspects. One of the things that Ivacy can boast about is its security. Besides, the provider offers many other top-notch features, including fast speeds, split tunneling, a kill switch, secure DNS, and much more. The VPN allows you to connect up to five devices at the same time.
When it comes to VyprVPN, some things should not go unmentioned. For example, one of the reasons why this Virtual Private Network is considered to be a safe alternative for countries with strict regulations is their proprietary Chameleon protocol. What does this mean? It means that VyprVPN has an extra layer of protection, one that can go around any restriction no matter how advanced the ban is. Needless to say, that why it’s an attractive choice for Egypt. That and the other features of course, including speed, great server count and over 200,000 IP addresses, excellent privacy, etc.
Last but not least, we put HideMyAss on this list as it has proven to be a decent choice in unblocking content from all over the world. The provider has some seriously over-the-top features. For example, if you choose HideMyAss, you will get to pick from servers on 280 locations all across the world. This provider has servers in countries that other providers tend to avoid due to strict government regulation. One of them is precisely Egypt. However, be careful as there have been rumors that this VPN keeps logs of their users.
Why Use a VPN?
Virtual Private Networks have many uses. In this case, Egyptian citizens need a VPN mostly because of their government-imposed censorship. Through this network, the user can access blocked content and hide their identity along the way, making them the ideal solution in this particular case. A Virtual Private Network has servers in various locations. By connecting to one, you are assigned with a different IP address, one that hides your real location. For example, if you are located in Cairo and choose a server in Amsterdam, your IP address will no longer show that you are in Egypt, but in the Netherlands. Therefore, you will be able to access all the websites that have been blocked by your government or other organizations. Of course, as long as they are not blocked in the chosen server location as well.
When you content to a server, besides the previously mentioned, you also get your traffic encrypted by the provider. This means that what you do online will be incomprehensible to third parties, giving you online anonymity.
But this aside, a VPN can be beneficial in so many ways. The fact that it’s applicable to every device that can be connected to the internet, makes it a great addition to your smartphone, smart TV or game console. Sometimes we are not fully aware of every danger that is lurking in the online world we are a part of on a daily basis. We don’t know just how much a public Wi-Fi can be dangerous, or how third parties can get a hold of our sensitive data. Luckily VPNs can resolve these issues in seconds.
Last but not least, fighting censorship and online threats aside, VPNs are excellent for accessing entertainment content as well. For example, if you went to access Netflix’s unlimited content library, you simply need to connect to a US server and then connect to Netflix. The same goes for other streaming websites all across the world.
Egypt’s Censorship Background
According to the 2017 report conducted by the non-governmental organization Freedom House, when it comes to freedom on the internet, Egypt is not a free country.
More than 400 websites have been blocked in an aggressive wave of censorship happening in the past few years, and enhancing in 2017. Currently, the situation is even worse as a new cybercrime law was ratified by President al-Sisi. On August 18, 2018, the Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes Law came into force, allowing authorities to block every website they consider to be a threat to the country’s security or economy. Besides, the law allows authorities to punish those who will go against the law. For visiting the restricted websites, the accused can receive up to one year in prison. What’s even more worrying is that if someone is accused of managing a website that has been banned, they can be sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison.
Ever since the events in 2011 and the Egypt Revolution, the country has been going downhill in terms of freedom on the internet, making VPNs one of the few choices that can be used in order to avoid this.