Qatar is home to a large population of foreigners who cannot seem to wrap their heads around the heavily censored Internet. On the other hand, Qataris are not surprised for they are accustomed to these restrictions. It would be nice though, for the government to grant its people a bit more Internet freedom. American, British, Australian, and Indian expats are hoping their increasing and dominating presence would be strong enough for the Qatari authorities to make an exception. Qtel and Vodafone are Qatari Internet Service Providers that block users’ access to websites and services that conflict with government’s guidelines and regulations. Qataris are not the only ones suffering restrictive Internet laws, UAE citizens have most of their websites and (VoIP) services blocked. However, the same solution applies to both countries, and that solution is a VPN. With a virtual private network, you can unblock restricted websites from anywhere in Qatar including Doha, Al Rayyan or Al Wakrah using any of these devices PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android.
How To Unblock Websites In Qatar
Internet Censorship In Qatar
Internet penetration in Qatar has witnessed a rapid growth in the past few years reaching up to 90 percent of Internet users. Despite Qatar being one of the most connected countries in the Gulf region, Internet filtering is not taken lightly there. According to Reporters Without Borders, Qtel (Qatar Telecom – government telecommunications service provider ) “has the means to spy on messages sent through the other ISPs.” A report by U.S. State Department Human Rights stated that “the government of Qatar censors the Internet through a proxy server that monitors and blocks Websites, e-mail, and chat rooms through the state-owned ISP.”
VPNs in Qatar, How To Use Them?
Internet censorship is mainly based on one’s IP address. If you connect to the Internet in Qatar you’re most likely going to have to abide by the restrictions the Internet Service providers have set for Internet users. This is because your IP address reveals your location (where in Qatar’s case restrictions apply), and the only way to hide it is by changing your IP address using a VPN. A virtual private network encrypts and secures your connection, keeps your traffic data private, and prevents ISPs from viewing your online activities. Here’s how you use a VPN:
- First, you sign up for a VPN (we highly recommend ExpressVPN based on experience).
- Download and install the app from the VPN service provider.
- Connect to one of the many servers the VPN has to offer.
- Now that you have connected to a different server, your IP address no longer reveals your current location. Your location is based on the server you’ve chosen to connect to.
- You can freely browse the Internet and access restricted content as you please.
ExpressVPN are the best VPN service provider you can use in Qatar due to their excellent customer support and robust VPN network. There are other VPNs you might want to check out as well.
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Forbidden Online Activity In Qatar:
- Create or manage a website to spread false news in order to jeopardize the safety of the state, its general order and its local or international peace (penalty: up to three years in prison and/or a maximum fine of QR 500,000);
- Spread, air or publish the false news with the same intentions (penalty: up to one year in prison and/or a maximum fine of QR250,000);
- Violate any social values or principles, or publish news, pictures, audio or video recordings related to the personal or family life of individuals – even if it is true (penalty: up to a year in prison and/or a maximum fine of QR100,000);
- Libel or slander another person online or by using IT equipment (penalty: up to a year in prison and/or a maximum fine of QR100,000).
- Service providers must also “block any websites or links when asked by judicial entities.
Qataris Can Unblock Restricted Websites
Blocked websites should no longer be a problem for Qataris who have been presented with a solution that guarantees their Internet freedom. It would be grand for Qataris to be able to surf the Internet without getting penalized by means of the Qatar CyberCrime Law. Whether it’s a privacy-related issue or a website that needs bypassing, a VPN can do it all. Seems like a VPN is the answer to everything, isn’t it? Let us know in the comment section below what have you used a VPN for.