Internet Censorship in Oman

oman-MMAP-mdOman is one of the countries in the Middle East that imposes very strict Internet censorship. Besides blocking sites that contain pornography and promotes gay and lesbian content, gambling, as well as illegal drugs, bloggers are not also allowed to post contents that are against their religion and government. In addition, no one is allowed to use VoIP services such as Skype, Google Talk, and Viber. But if you really want to unblock restricted sites in Oman, the best way to do it is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

But first, you must understand how a VPN works. Once you are connected to a VPN server, the service provider will hide your IP address by providing you a new one. Your geo-location is also hidden, which allows you to browse the Internet anonymously. This means that even if you are in Oman, the country’s TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority) will see you as a user from a different country, say Canada. This is also the same principle being used by proxy sites and other similar services.

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But with a VPN, your web traffic is highly encrypted. This is so far the best security measure to hide you from the eyes of the Oman Internet police, and also makes you less prone to online intruders or any other third party. Now, you can easily visit any website in the country and use any VoIP services you like. And yes, VPN is not illegal in Oman. Unlike many proxy sites, VPNs are not usually blocked in schools and universities which many human rights activists take advantage of.

In fact, many businesses around the world use VPN to protect their sensitive information. Through a VPN client, employees can browse them at home or wherever they are. Business owners also save a lot money because they can get rid of the traditional, expensive WAN (Wide Area Network). And because VPN is also available in iOS, Android, and other operating software, smartphone users can easily access data in a public Wi-Fi zone without worrying about their safety.

But before you try using any VPN in Oman, you should realize that their government is investing a lot of money for their Internet censorship. Although you can save some money from using a free VPN, it is highly recommended to use the paid ones. Besides being very affordable, premium VPNs are more secured and faster than the free ones. Not to mention, you will also not be distracted by tons of ridiculous ads. And obviously, you cannot expect excellent customer support from a free service.

However, not all paid VPNs are the same. Some of them might not be capable of immediately providing you an alternative IP address in case the first one was blocked. There are also those that keep logs, which can make you less secured. You should also know the type of security protocol and capacity you only need. Otherwise, you will be paying for bandwidth that you will never use. Lastly, make sure you read some online reviews and understand their services they offer before you pay them.

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