The number of expats (or expatriates) in the Middle East is considerably high, which is being brought about by the attractive employment and investment opportunities. In UAE (United Arab Emirates) alone, the percentage of expats is around 91% of the total population. These foreigners came from different countries around the world, including Britain, USA, and France. So far, the major challenge they are facing is the strict Internet censorship. But thanks to VPN (Virtual Private Network), problem is solved.
But first, you should understand that different countries in the Middle East have different Internet policies. Any form of VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service is not allowed in UAE and Oman. Violators will be fined or jailed, or even both. Viber was banned in Saudi Arabia in July 2013, with the country’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) saying that it failed to comply with their unspecified regulations. Nevertheless, Skype, Facebook, and Twitter are all allowed in Saudi.
If you are an expat in the Middle East or planning to be one, VPN helps you unblocked restricted sites. Once you have signed up on a VPN, a new IP address will be assigned to you. Therefore, your real IP address will be hidden as well as your geo location. This means that you will be seen logging in as someone from another territory other than anywhere in the Gulf region. In addition, your web traffic is highly encrypted, making you safe from any third party including the governments in the Middle East.
With a reliable VPN, you can visit restricted sites, watch TV streaming, and talk to your family and friends using VOIP services such as Skype and Viber. You can do all of them anonymously without worrying about your privacy. And yes, you can also use VPN on your smartphones even if you are in a public Wi-Fi hotspot. However, make sure you choose a VPN with a higher level of security protocol so that you will not be worried that you might be blocked, and your personal data will not be stolen.
For many expats, they also use VPN for their business communications. VPN operational costs are significantly cheaper than any traditional WAN (Wide Area Network). Most VPNs are scalable, which means they have the ability to handle large amount of work once your business continues to grow. Once the VPN network is properly set up, you can also save money. However, the effectiveness of the system will not depend on you but rather on the quality of service your VPN service provider can offer.
VPNs come in free or paid services. At first glance, you will think that it is better to use a free VPN. But do you think a free service can beat the highly invested enforcement of the Gulf countries? Besides, do you think you can expect an excellent customer service that you did not pay for? If your answer to both questions is no, then you should be willing to pay in exchange of your online security. After all, VPN service fees are very affordable, not to mention that employers in Middle East offer reasonable salaries.