The world wide web was conceived as a place to be free from control, accessible to all. This isn’t the case in many parts of the world, however. Egypt is one of a growing number of countries where access to the internet is far from free. Hundreds of websites have been blocked by the Egyptian state, denying citizens access to a free and open web.
The good news is that it’s possible to bypass these restrictions by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN allows you to hide your own IP address and replace it with one from another country. If you travel to Egypt you can then use services that are normally inaccessible, such as voice and video calling apps. A VPN will also allow those traveling to Egypt to stay connected to their home streaming services like Netflix.
VPNs aren’t illegal to use in Egypt, but the state has recently begun to restrict traffic that’s found to be using VPN protocols. In this guide, I’ll look at some of the best VPNs for Egypt, which include features that are able to bypass these restrictions.
I’ll go into greater detail about the best Egyptian VPNs later in the article, but if you’re in a rush, take a look at my shortlist below:
- Surfshark: Best budget VPN for Egypt. Offering great value, Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections, making it the perfect choice for larger households. A NoBorders mode can bypass Egyptian restrictions.
- ExpressVPN: A high-speed VPN, ExpressVPN is secure, private, and simple to use. Its high speeds and dedicated streaming servers make a good choice for accessing geo-blocked content.
- IPVanish: A strong focus on privacy and unlimited simultaneous connections are just some of IPVanish’s standout features. Scramble mode allows you to bypass censorship.
- Hotspot Shield: Built around a proprietary VPN protocol that is not currently restricted in Egypt, Hotspot Shield also offers some of the best speeds out there.
If you’re unsure which is the best VPN for Egypt, I’ll take you through my top choices below.
Best VPNs for Egypt
Without a VPN, there are hundreds of websites in Egypt that you won’t be able to access. With Egyptian VPN traffic being restricted, not every VPN out there can help, however. Here’s my list of the best VPNs for Egypt.
The policy clearly states that NordVPN doesn’t log any connection data, session information, IP addresses, traffic data, or bandwidth usage. Since none of this information is stored, it’s impossible for it to be hacked or for the company to be compelled to disclose it. You can also opt to pay by cryptocurrency for added anonymity.
In addition, NordVPN also offers extra security features such as 256-bit AES encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch that continually monitors your connection to the VPN. If the connection ever drops, the kill switch blocks your device from the internet until the secure connection to the VPN is reestablished. Users can even access Double VPN servers, which send your traffic through not just one but two servers, meaning your data gets encrypted twice.
Egyptian authorities have been known to use something called Deep Packet Inspection to detect and block traffic using VPN protocols. NordVPN allows you to use obfuscated servers, which hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, allowing you to bypass these restrictions. There are more than 5,000 servers available in almost 60 countries, which can help you to access geo-blocked content such as Netflix US and BBC iPlayer for those traveling away from home.
NordVPN is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. It can also be configured to work with some routers. You can have up to six simultaneous connections at once.
- Obfuscated servers to bypass Egyptian restrictions
- Accepts cryptocurrency payments
- Fast speeds
- More than 5,000 servers to choose from
- Not all servers support peer-to-peer torrenting
BEST VPN FOR EGYPT:NordVPN is my number one recommendation if you’re looking for the best VPN for Egypt. It offers fast speeds and strong security. Plus, the inclusion of Double VPN and obfuscated servers mean that your online privacy is all but guaranteed. You can try it out with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark is another of my favorite options if you’re looking for a great VPN for Egypt. It offers strong security features, the ability to bypass national internet restrictions, and a great selection of servers, all for a highly competitive price.
You can choose from more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries. There’s a camouflage mode that disguises the fact that you’re using a VPN. This works automatically, but if Surfshark does detect restrictions on your network, it switches to NoBorders mode which provides you with a list of servers that can bypass these restrictions.
There are also great privacy features. Surfshark’s no-log policy ensures that it won’t monitor, track, or store any data about your connection or activity. It uses industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data safe from prying eyes, and you can use Double VPN servers if you want an extra layer of protection. There’s also a kill switch to cut your internet access if you’re disconnected from the VPN.
Surfshark offers clients for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. One of its biggest selling points is that there is no limit to the number of devices or simultaneous connections you can have. This makes it perfect for large households who often have multiple devices online at once.
- Unlimited connections
- Excellent value
- Double VPN for extra security
- NoBorders mode can bypass network restrictions
- Not as many servers as some VPNs
BEST VALUE PICK:Surfshark is my best value choice as you receive good speeds, robust security, and a zero-log policy for an excellent price. You also get unlimited connections and devices, which most rivals can’t match. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee included with all plans.
ExpressVPN, as the name suggests, has a reputation for offering some of the fastest speeds available. It’s also highly secure and easy to set up, so it’s one of my top recommendations if you’re looking for a VPN for Egypt.
Express VPN only stores minimal information, including an email address for account verification and your payment information. If you’re concerned about sharing payment details, you can opt to pay by Bitcoin for added privacy. There are no logs of your activity, browsing history, connection data, or IP address.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands which has no data retention laws. This means there is no legal obligation for ExpressVPN to keep any of your information. It’s also outside of the jurisdiction of countries including Egypt, which cannot compel any British Virgin Islands company to produce records about their customers.
There are servers in almost 100 different countries. Some of these are virtual servers, which are not physically based in those countries but can still make it seem as if you are browsing from that location. The majority are physical servers, which can allow you to retain access to geo-blocked services such as Netflix US or BBC iPlayer.
ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption and offers an automatic kill switch. It offers user-friendly apps for Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. You can also have up to five simultaneous connections.
- Fast speeds
- Able to unblock most streaming services
- Servers in 94 countries
- Easy to set up
- Not the cheapest option
IPVanish is another smart choice if you’re looking for a VPN for Egypt. As the name suggests, it has a strong privacy focus and offers good speeds which makes it a great option for streaming or torrenting.
It has fewer servers than some of my first choices, but IPVanish’s 1,600 servers are located in more than 75 countries worldwide. A simple setting allows you to turn on Scramble mode to obfuscate OpenVPN traffic, which disguises the fact that you’re using a VPN. This helps you to bypass VPN restrictions that countries including Egypt can employ.
IPVanish is highly secure, with 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, and an automatic kill switch. The kill switch is only available with the macOS, Windows, and Android apps, however, so you’ll need to be wary of losing your VPN connection if you’re using the Linux or iOS apps.
IPVanish also offers unmetered connections, meaning that you can have as many simultaneous connections as you want, something that only a few VPNs can match.
- Scramble mode to bypass VPN restrictions
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Fewer servers than some VPNs
- No kill switch on some apps
BEST VPN FOR LARGE HOUSEHOLDS:IPVanish offers good speeds, a strong privacy focus, and has a Scramble mode to help bypass restrictions on VPNs. Its unmetered connections make it a great choice for homes where multiple people are online simultaneously. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for annual plans.
PrivateVPN may offer by far the fewest servers on my list, but it’s still a great VPN thanks to its excellent speeds, good privacy, and ability to bypass Egypt’s online restrictions. There are just over 200 servers, although these are spread among an impressive 63 countries.
PrivateVPN uses industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data as it travels between your devices and its servers. There’s also a kill switch for the Windows app. You can also set this up to shut down specific apps, such as your torrenting app, if the connection to the VPN is lost. There’s no kill switch on the other platforms, however.
If you’re new to VPNs, PrivateVPN has simple-to-follow step-by-step guides that walk you through setting up the apps on all of the major platforms. If you get stuck, you can also access free remote support.
You can have up to six simultaneous connections, and there are dedicated apps for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS.
- Stealth mode to bypass restrictions on VPN use
- Bitcoin payments accepted
- User-friendly guides
- Far fewer servers than most rivals
- Windows is the only app with a kill switch
GREAT VPN FOR PRIVACY:PrivateVPN may not have the wide selection of servers that other providers can offer, but it still provides excellent speeds and useful privacy features. Bitcoin payments are accepted, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, although this doesn’t apply to Bitcoin.
One thing that sets Hotspot Shield apart from the rest of this list is that it uses its own proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol, rather than the OpenVPN protocol used by many VPN providers. Since OpenVPN is blocked in Egypt, using its own protocol allows Hotspot Shield to bypass government restrictions on VPNs.
There’s no option to switch to OpenVPN unless you’re installing Hotspot Shield directly on your router. You might not want to, however, since using Catapult Hydra offers impressive speeds that put it right up there with some of the fastest VPNs on the market.
The good news is that your usage and your personal details are never linked so there’s nothing to connect your device identifiers with the sites you visit. This means that even if the authorities were asked to provide information on your browsing history, Hotspot Shield would not be able to provide this information.
Hotspot Shield supports both 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption, although it uses 128-bit as standard. There’s also a kill switch for the Windows app, but it’s not included on other platforms. There are 1,800 servers in more than 80 countries, and it’s the only VPN on this list that offers a 7-day free trial.
- The proprietary protocol offers fast speeds
- Can bypass VPN restrictions
- 7-day free trial
- Does log some usage data although this is anonymized
- Kill switch only available on Windows
- No option to use OpenVPN
BEST VPN FOR BEGINNERS:Hotspot Shield is a great high-speed option for beginners since you don’t need to worry about any obfuscation settings in order to bypass Egypt’s VPN restrictions. It also allows you to try before you buy, with a 7-day free trial as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Can I use a free VPN for Egypt?
All the VPNs on my list require a subscription. Whilst it’s possible to use a VPN that doesn’t charge a subscription fee, there are a number of reasons why this isn’t the best idea. The question you need to ask yourself is how these companies are making money.
Some use advertising within their apps, whilst others may sell your data to third parties in order to make money. There are free VPN apps that route traffic through your IP address, effectively making you an unpaid part of their server network. Some free VPN apps have even been found to install malware on your devices or to use your computer to mine for cryptocurrency.
Another issue with free VPNs is that they often provide fewer features. You may struggle to find a free VPN that has the obfuscation required to bypass restrictions on VPNs in Egypt, which would make them effectively unusable in that country.
All of the VPNs in this list offer money-back guarantees and most regularly offer healthy discounts that make the monthly fees highly affordable. There’s no real reason to risk your security by using a free VPN that may not even work in Egypt.
Privacy and censorship in Egypt
The Egyptian state has a history of blocking websites in an attempt to stop people from accessing content that it believes supports terrorism. While this started with media websites, it soon expanded to cover a wide variety of sites. In the first quarter of 2020, more than 500 websites were reported as blocked.
In 2017, voice and video calls on popular messaging apps such as Skype, Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger were also blocked. The restrictions were limited to voice and video calling; text messaging using these apps is still possible.
In order to access restricted sites, many Egyptians turned to VPNs. However, in August of 2020, Egypt took the first step towards restricting the use of VPNs, by blocking PPTP and L2TP, two popular VPN protocols. In October, the even more popular OpenVPN protocol became blocked. The websites of many VPN providers were also restricted.
The three blocked protocols are used by the majority of the VPNs in this list. The good news is that all of these VPNs have ways to get around these restrictions. The majority use obfuscation to hide the fact that traffic is passing through a VPN. Hotspot Shield uses a proprietary protocol that currently remains unrestricted in Egypt.
If you’re looking for a way to access blocked websites in Egypt, then I recommend trying one of the VPNs in this list.
Are VPNs legal in Egypt?
VPNs are not currently illegal to use in Egypt. At the time of writing, if you download, install, and use a VPN in Egypt, you won’t be breaking the law.
This can be easier said than done, however. Many of the websites of the most popular VPNs are blocked, which leads to the slightly bizarre situation of not being able to access VPN websites unless you’re already using a VPN. If you’re planning to travel to Egypt, I recommend installing a good VPN before you travel, as you may not be able to access VPN websites when you arrive.
While using a VPN is considered legal and a legitimate way to protect your privacy, committing any unlawful activity is illegal regardless of if you use a VPN or not. I strongly advise you use your VPN for legal purposes only.
As ever, legislation is subject to change so please do you own research; this article is not intended as legal advice.