If you are living or planning to stay in Oman, Internet censorship can be a problem. Leading social sites such as Facebook and Twitter are not banned in the country. But as of March 2007, the nation’s TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority) has blocked some VOIP services including Skype, Viber, and Google Talk. TRA insist that such services need a license first. However, some analysts believe VoIP was blocked in the country because it can greatly affect the profit of local telecom companies. But then, you can still unblock Skype in Oman using VPN (Virtual Private Network).
In case you are not aware, Oman also blocks sites that contain pornography, gay and lesbian content, illegal drugs, gambling, and those with anti-Islam materials. There is no proof that sites with political expression have been blocked, but you are not totally free of expressing yourself in a manner that is offensive to the government. The Sultanate of Oman is closely monitoring online activities of its people and tourists, including private communications such as forums and chat rooms. Although some proxy sites can also bypass Internet censorship in Oman, VPNs are much better and safer.
Both VPN and proxy server (or web proxy) hide your identity by replacing a new one so that you can visit sites anonymously. But in terms of security, VPN is much better simply because the encryption level is very high as compared to web proxy. This means that your data is safer from third parties and hackers. In fact, your IP address is not completely hidden via a proxy site. Some businesses and schools in Oman also block these proxy servers, which means you can connect but not for long. In addition, free web proxy sites will flood your browser tabs with tons of ridiculous advertisements.
With a reliable VPN, you can be sure of your online safety even if you are using mobile devices in a Wi-Fi zone area. VPNs work well in all kinds of tablets and operating software, including Android and Apple’s iOs. If you are using VPN in Oman, local Internet police can see you online but not as someone logging in from their country. Your ISP provider can also see you but cannot view your activities. This is also why the reason why many businesses and companies use VPN and allow their employees to have access to sensitive information in remote areas and at home.
There are free VPN services and there are paid ones. But the free ones are not that reliable in terms of providing fast Internet connection and excellent customer support, as compared to premium VPNs. You can just imagine how much money Oman has invested to block sites and monitoring the Internet. Therefore, you don’t expect free VPNs to beat them. And besides, paid VPNs are not really expensive. In fact, they are much cheaper than any traditional WAN (Wide Area Network). Adding users to a VPN server is also easy and does not cost much. So, there is no reason why you should not use VPN.