VPN (Virtual Private Network) is known to be the best way to protect your privacy while browsing the web. With a VPN, users can enjoy a secure Internet connection due to very strong encryption being used while sending and receiving data. This secured tunnel hides the real IP address and geo-location of the users, allowing them to access sites anonymously. There are many different types of VPN based on protocol, and it is important that you understand them. Here are some of the most common ones.
OpenVPN is an open source implementation that supports different kinds of encryption from the OpenSSL library and SSL v3/TLS v1 protocol. However, you need third party software no matter which platform you use. Nevertheless, it can bypass HTTP proxy and offers high level of security, even against the NSA (National Security Agency). It is fast and reliable, but it quite harder to set up than the others.
PPTP (point-to-point tunneling protocol), which was developed by a consortium founded by Microsoft, relies on various authentication methods to provide security. But despite being widely supported protocol before, it is now considered as not being totally secured because of its low, 128-bit encryption. However, it is relatively fast and very easy to set up because no additional software is required.
L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol) is considered as an extension of PPTP, but does not provide encryption. Instead, it relies on the security protocol as it passes through the tunnel while protecting the privacy of users. Therefore, it is ideal for not so critical use. This is also why it is usually being implemented with IPsec, which uses cryptographic security services as protection to its users.
SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol) is basically an L2TP protocol over SSL connection. But because it a proprietary standard owned by Microsoft, it is applicable to Windows platform only. However, it is highly secured and can bypass most firewalls. In short, it offers almost all the advantages of OpenVPN, except that it cannot be independently audited for back doors or similar cases.
The above explanations might look so technical and therefore can be confusing. But if you want to know the best VPN for you, check the offers of various VPN protocols. Then, compare them to what you really need and how you will use VPN. Know where the VPN service provider is based, the number of simultaneous connections it can serve, their log policy, and of course, the bandwidth. But more importantly, you should know which countries the service can cover or the location of the servers.
The different VPN protocols mainly differ on the level of security they can provide. In that case, OpenVPN could be the best option so far. The availability of mobile apps is an added advantage since many people are now using mobile devices. And although L2TP/IPsec also works well in public Wi-Fi hotspots, OpenVPN is highly configurable and very scalable, making it efficient for businesses.
Material from Sahrzad Blog
These days, having a smartphone is very common. Besides the convenience, there are many brands competing against each other, and therefore prices become lower. Features range from simple to sophisticated, and there are also different designs to choose from. The battle between operating software (OS) is tough, allowing customers the freedom to choose which among those OS are efficient for them. In short, mobile devices now play a vital role in daily social life and businesses as well.
Nonetheless, a lot of ordinary smartphone users tend to ignore online safety. This is why identity theft is rampant, as well as scams. As a countermeasure, various security measures are being developed and this includes VPN (Virtual Private Network). Some people use VPN to access restricted websites if they are in a country where Internet censorship is very strict. Likewise, some businesses use VPN to make sure that their sensitive information on their website is protected from hackers.
But do you still need VPN if you are not making business transactions online? What is the use of VPN if you are in a place that allows you to access any website you like? Note that VPN is a service created not only to protect you when you are doing business online. VPN service providers do not only help you visit a banned website in your area. VPN in general, protects you while you are online especially if you are in area where your online activities are not secured.
VPN is not the only way to hide your IP address so you can browse the Internet anonymously. But with VPN on your smartphone, your traffic is encrypted and is therefore safe from identity theft. And because smartphones are designed for use in public places, it is very important to use VPN. In Wi-Fi zones such as airports, train stations, and coffee shops, your communication can easily be tracked and intercepted, and the job of VPN is to make sure no intruder can pass through.
However, choosing the right VPN is also important. Free VPNs services may look good because they are effective and you don’t have to hurt your wallet. But with paid VPN, you can be sure of more reliable, faster, and safer connection. Customer support is also better because it is part of the services you are paying for. In addition, some VPNs may work for iOs phones but not for Android. So before you pay, make sure the VPN is compatible with the features of your smartphone.
Recently I read a story about a man from Saudi Arabia who was arrested by police directly in mobile phones shop for having adult materials in his laptop.
Surely, pornography is very sensitive topic all around the world. But in Gulf countries this is especially important. Any kind of adult content is strictly prohibited in the Middle East.
So somehow police found adult content in that man’s computer and post him under arrest immediately.
Lately his was released after paying a fee.
So that poor man is hiding from police during the last 9 months and he is afraid he could not leave the country now…
This is very sad situation.
I we highly recommend you using vpn as the best method of personal safely and security!
Whether you are a techie guy or not, downloading a software program can sometimes be scary. Without your knowledge, it might contain viruses that can harm your device. But there are times that you feel you are obliged to, just like when you need to access blocked sites. But no, you can still open restricted sites without using any software. There are actually many effective techniques that you can try, including VPN(Virtual Private Network). However, you need to clearly understand them first as well as their pros and cons.
Using Proxy to Open Blocked sites
The first and most common way is by using a proxy site, which acts as the third party between your computer and restricted site. There are a lot of free and paid web proxies to choose from as you browse the Internet. With a proxy server, your IP address is hidden and no one can see you as you try to open blocked sites. Generally speaking, proxy servers are fast. However, some offices and schools block these proxy sites. But more importantly, traffic is not encrypted so the safety level is not really that high. What is the difference between proxy and VPN? Read here.
Access blocked sites by ip address
Another way to access blocked sites without any software is by using its IP address, instead of its web URL. On your computer, click on Start then CMD and press Enter. On the command prompt, type ‘ping sitename.com and press Enter. There, you will then see the site’s IP address which you can copy and paste on your browser. In some cases, the site is hosted in a VPS or Dedicated Server Environment (DSE), and is using an unverified SSL. You can still proceed but your security will be at high risk.
Use shortening URL tool to open blocked sites
Using a URL shortening tool such as tinyurl.com and bitly.com can also unblock restricted sites. Instead of using the site URL directly, convert it first to another URL, usually a shorter one, and then place it on your browser. But of course, this method is not always effective because your real IP address is still exposed. This is not advisable to use if you are in a country with strict Internet censorship policy.
Using translation service
You can also use a language translation tool such as Google Translate, which also acts like a proxy.
Using VPN to access blocked sites
There are other methods to have access on restricted sites without using software, such as by using mobile browsers as proxies, or by converting your IP into a decimal IP. However, the safest way is by using a VPN. Although some of them may require you to download software, there are others that allow you to use their service without downloading or installing anything. You can actually set up your VPN yourself on your computer at home. This procedure is not very complicated.
How to setup vpn on iPhone without any application
To make a new vpn connection in your iOS device you need to do the next:
- 1. Go to Settings > General > VPN
- 2. Click Add VPN Configuration
- 3. Choose PPTP VPN and enter you VPN account data. You will receive your VPN server, username and password in the e-mail
Server address must be exactly as in your account data (without http://, www or any other symbols)
- 4. Save your VPN configuration. Once you have created VPN connection you can switch it ON and OFF on the main settings screen
Once you have created vpn connection you can switch it on and off on the main settings screen.
But why use VPN instead any of the ones mentioned above?
The quick answer is security.
Although VPNs work almost exactly like proxy sites, your data via VPN is highly encrypted. This means that you are absolutely safe, even if you are in Wi-Fi hotspot are in strict countries in the Middle East. Different VPNs also have different security protocols to choose from. And yes, there are also free VPNs. But for obvious reasons, paid VPNs are
- more reliable
- provide excellent customer service.
Apple has various ways to protect users of iPhone or iPad from identity theft. The electronic giant said that the iOS platform is designed with security at its core, and that all their devices have very high level of security. But sad to say, the risk is always there. We have heard sad stories of famous celebrities whose photos were leaked online. In fact, various flaws targeting Apple users in public Wi-Fi have been discovered. So far, VPN (Virtual Private Network) is still the most reliable way in terms of online security.
1. Use the latest version of iOS on your iPhone or iPad
But first, make sure that you are always using the latest version of iOS on your iPhone or iPad. However, there were reports that some users had a hard time installing the latest update. In some cases, the device requires to be reset because it has no enough space. This means you have to erase some files or store them in iCloud. Using an alternative web browser is not also the best option. So if you cannot get the updated iOS or your device is not eligible for the upgrade, don’t use it in a Wi-Fi zone.
2. Choose strong passwords
Second, choose a very strong password. Use upper and lowercase letters, characters and numbers. Have a unique password for every service you access. If you have problems memorizing many passwords, there are now services that can generate passwords for you. Also, avoid opening emails or clicking any links that looks so tempting. Sometimes, these links appear to be coming from your friend or someone you know, but not really. In short, be a keen observer especially when you’re on Facebook.
3. Consider iOS security applications
In addition, there are tons of free and paid iOS security apps available at the Apple iTunes store. And remember, don’t ever jailbreak your iPhone or iPad although it allows you to install apps that are blocked by iOS. This is simply because you are removing the safety features that Apple has installed in your device, besides the fact that you are invalidating its warranty. But while there are many other ways to protect your privacy when using an Apple device to browse the web, VPN is still the best method.
4. Use VPN for iPhone and iPad – recommended!
With a VPN for iOS, a new IP address will be assigned to you and hide your real IP address and geo-location as well. Browsing the web anonymously also allows you to have access on restricted sites. Different VPNs have different security protocols, which you can choose from depending on your needs. But more importantly, your web traffic is highly encrypted. This means no authorized third party can read your data, not even hackers. Well, they still can but only if you visit a compromised website or a spam link.
How to select a good VPN for your requirements
Original post: http://sahrzad.net/blog/how-to-be-safe-online-using-your-iphone-or-ipad/
During the last five years Sahrzad helps people to bypass Internet censorship in the Middle East and access blocked. The problem of on-line restrictions in the Gulf countries was discussed several times.
What is new in 2015?
! UAE blocks more sites are services in the Internet
! Most public proxies and free vpn services are blocked
! On-line restrictions became more serious
What is good?
! Wi-fi Internet access is available in many public places including beaches and parks.
So as we can see with the time Internet limits in United Arab Emirates are not disappear but censorship became only worse.
With the time the number of tourists and workers in Dubai is growing rapidly. All people who visit Dubai meet Internet censorship, on-line limits and blocked sites.
How to avoid Internet censorship in UAE?
Well, as before there are many solutions to enter blocked sites in UAE.
I will not discuss all these methods – you can read more about them here .
I would only stop at VPN or Virtual Private Network. You can read what is this on our website or in Wikipedia.
VPN service is one of the most reliable methods to access blocked sites in UAE and others countries because it hides your real IP address and location letting you enter blocked sites, it is also encrypts all your traffic, making you completely anonymous and secure in the global network.
This is very important if you are using public Wi-Fi Internet spots. VPN protects all your data which can be easily stolen in public WiFi.
With Sahrzad vpn you can visit any site you want and be 100% sure that you are anonymous. Nobody can review your Internet activity.
You can use VPN on any device which has Internet connection.
It is easy to setup VPN connection in Windows, Android, Mac OS, IOs and others operational systems.
Another advantage of vpn is that it is not necessary to setup any additional software. All you need is just create new vpn tunnel in your device following our simple setup instructions.
Mobile gadgets are extremely popular today.
Ensure your security with our vpn service.
Sahrzad guarantees :
- The best service
- Technical support
- Adequate price
- Fast and stable vpn connection.
Also please find out why vpn is better than proxy?
Read our article Proxy VS VPN.
When you are connected to vpn all your programs work through this secure tunnel.
So you can unblock Skype and Viber in Dubai, watch USA TV, open any blocked site safe and easy.
Also VPN guarantee you full protection and security in the Internet.
If you are still not sure if it will work for you – please contact us and we will provide you free trial VPN account and help you to setup secure vpn connection!
We are doing our best to provide you professional service for affordable price!
From Sahrzad Blog: http://sahrzad.net/blog/how-to-open-blocked-sites-dubai-2015/
Viber is a great application that can help you to save a lot of money on communications. You can use it for International calls and text messaging via the Internet. Viber lets you to call for free from any country wherever you are.
Unfortunately due to some reasons Viber is blocked in some places like Dubai UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and others. But this problem can be easily resolved with vpn service. Probable, you have already known what vpn is. This is a secured tunnel inside network connection that masks your IP and also encrypts all your traffic. VPN is easy and reliable solution for using Viber if it is blocked.
To use Viber on Andoid you need to setup vpn connection from your Android device.
It is not difficult and will not take you a lot of time.
- Click Settings icon
- Select Wireless & Networks and tap on VPN
- Tap Add VPN Network
- Input connection name (Sahrzad VPN), select the type of your VPN connection – PPTP VPN, input VPN server address from your account data.
Please be carefully – don’t use any additional symbols like spaces, http://, www, / …etc in the server address.
- Input your Username and password that you received from VPN account service in e-mail.
Save it and tap Connect
For connection to vpn server:
- Select Home > Menu > Settings
- Tap Wireless & networks
- Tap VPN settings
- The VPN connections you have added are present in the list
- Tap the VPN you wish to connect to (Sahrzad VPN)
- A dialog box will open asking for your credentials, enter them and click connect
When you are connected to VPN, you will see an ongoing notification in the Status bar on your Android device. If you are disconnected, you will receive a notification and an option to go back to the VPN settings section.
Once you have created vpn connection you can switch it on and off on the main settings screen.
When vpn connection is made on your device you can use Viber from any place of the planet (where Internet is)!
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has said that the Viber, which offers free internet call service to users, was never licensed in the UAE, media reports said.
“We have recently seen local newspapers and social networks publishing news with regards to the ‘Viber’ service being blocked in the UAE. We would like to clarify that the service was never licensed in the UAE,” the telecom regulator agency reportedly said.
The VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol) regulatory policy of the country has only licensed etisalat and du to provide telecommunication services in the UAE, it said.
“This policy still exists and has not been amended.”
Although officially blocked, UAE residents have been able to access Skype on du, and last year, Etisalat announced that it would also unblock the service.
However, Apple devices including iPhones and iPads do not come with the FaceTime app, which allows for free video calling services between Apple product users.
Meanwhile, reports have also emerged that popular mobile messaging service provider WhatsApp is soon planning to introduce free voice calls for its users, the reports said.
“The leaked images of the upcoming user interface show that the app has been enabled with other language translations which will be displayed at the time a person receives a call via WhatsApp,” the gaming site The Fuse Joplin reportedly said.
Read also how to unblock Viber in UAE.
Original source: http://sahrzad.net/blog/viber-is-blocked-in-uae-unblock-it-with-sahrzad
If you’re now in Dubai and you want to open the blocked websites, there are many ways to do so. All these techniques are effective, but they have certain disadvantages. We all know that United Arab Emirates (UAE) has very strict Internet censorship, along with other countries in the Middle East.
The country’s TRA (Telecom Regulatory Authority) has already blocked lot of sites that did not comply with their rules. So, before choosing any kind of method of unblocking those restricted sites, you must understand how it works. Then, choose the one that offers the best solution. Here are two of them:
VPN (Virtual Private Network) hides you identity and geo-location by replacing your real IP address with the new one. Therefore, you can now browse the Internet anonymously wherever you are. Depending on the VPN protocol you choose, you can enjoy a certain level of online security. The best advantage of using VPN is that your traffic is encrypted, which also hides your activities. With a trusted VPN, Dubai Internet police will see you as someone outside UAE. They will not also see what you’re doing online.
Most VPN providers today provide services to mobile devices such as iOS and Android. Many businesses in Dubai prefer VPN over the others because of its higher level of security. They allow their employees to open sensitive information through a VPN server, even if they are at home or in a Wi-Fi hotspot. You can choose either a free VPN or a paid VPN. But of course, you would prefer a premium VPN if you are a serious user. You cannot expect a free service to win against Dubai’s strict web filters.
Web proxies work the same as VPNs in many ways. You are also provided with a new IP address, so you can open blocked sites in Dubai anonymously. A web proxy site serves a middle man between your server and the Internet. Your visit request will be sent to the proxy, instead of sending it directly to the restricted website. But unlike many VPNs, you don’t need additional software, which makes it easier to install and use. In some cases, a web proxy site can also be faster than VPN because of its simplicity.
However, traffic via web proxies is not encrypted just as much as in VPNs. Therefore, the level of security is very low and may not be ideal against the strict Internet filters of UAE, or any country in the Middle East for that matter. You might be able to connect at first, but you can easily be detected and blocked eventually. In fact, many schools and offices also block these proxy sites. There are also a lot of free web proxy services, but expect them to be worse than the paid ones.
Based on the comparison above, VPN is far better than web proxy in terms of unblocking sites in Dubai. In fact, VPN is the method so far. But then, choose a VPN provider that offers services and features you only need. Paid VPN services are affordable, but you still don’t want to pay for something you will not use.
Original source: Sahzrad Blog – http://sahrzad.net/blog/how-to-open-blocked-sites-in-dubai/
What is Internet censorship and how it works in UAE? Are the most popular myths about Internet filtering in United Arab Emirates true or not? Is it possible to bypass filters in UAE and is it safe?
What Internet censorship is?
Before talking about Internet censorship in UAE let’s clarify what Internet censorship is?
According to Wikipedia,
Internet censorship is the control or suppression of what can be accessed, published, or viewed on the Internet. It may be carried out by governments or by private organizations at the behest of government, regulators, or on their own initiative. Individuals and organizations may engage in self-censorship for moral, religious, or business reasons, to conform to societal norms, due to intimidation, or out of fear of legal or other consequences.
In others words this means that somebody decides what you can read and watch in the net and what you cannot access.
On my personal point of view this is the limitation of freedom – freedom of reading, freedom of speech, freedom of getting information you need.
Internet censorship is limitation of our freedom.
This is a violation of one of the basic human rights – freedom of information.
Why people from Australia can access some websites but people from UAE cannot?
What if I am a voyager?
And I used to start my morning from surfing some of my favorite sites?
I cannot do this is UAE? Why?
And there are lots of such questions about this problem.
UAE is among Internet emenies
Reporters Without Borders (RWB
) include United Arab Emirates in the list of Internet enemiesThat means that UAE is one of the countries with the most severe and strict on-line filtering and monitoring.
Myth 1 about Internet censorship in UAE
“My Dubai’s Internet provider blocks my favorite Internet websites.“
1. Telecom companies in UAE (Etisalat and Du) are responsible for Internet filters in Dubai, Abi Dhabi and others emirates.
This is NOT TRUE
Internet in United Arab Emirates is controlled and supervised by Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) not any of Internet service provides (ISP).
This organization was established in 2003 under UAE Federal Law and it is responsible for Internet filtering in UAE.
The main categories of prohibited content in UAE
- Internet Content that violates the ethics and morals of the UAE including Nudity and Dating.
- Internet sites that have material which expresses hate to religions.
- Websites that is not inline with UAE Laws.
- Sites that allow or assist users to access Blocked Content.
- Internet Content that directly or indirectly constitute a risk on UAE internet users such as Phishing websites, Hacking tools & Spywares.
- Gambling websites
- Sites containing any information about purchasing, manufacturing, promoting and using illegal drugs.
Myth #2 About Internet Censorship in UAE
2. It is impossible to open any blocked site
IT IS NOT TRUE
Despite severe Internet restrictions in UAE there are various methods to avoid Internet restrictions, such as:
– Proxy sites
– Google cache
– VPN Services
– Translation services
There different ways to open blocked sites.
Myth #3 About Internet Censorship in UAE
3. Skype is blocked in UAE
According to TRA there is not ban on Skype in UAE however VoIP through Skype still unauthorized in UAE.
So it is hard to say if this myth is true or not.
Some people can use Skype in UAE while others cannot.
Myth #4 About Internet Censorship in UAE
4. You can use Viber in UAE
The same thing that with Skype. Generally speaking, Viber is blocked in UAE as the others VoIP services.
Myth #5 About Internet Censorship in UAE
5. You can write what you want on your blogs and social networking pages even from UAE
It is strange to realize that this is not true.
You don’t have absolute freedom of speech in United Arab Emirates.
As you read before there are several categories of prohibited topics, such as gambling, adult, against religious topics and others which you cannot discuss.
Myth #6 About Internet Censorship in UAE
6. Nothing bad will happen if authorities find out that you are spreading prohibited info in the Internet.
And it is not worth to try. Of course, all depends on the violation – if it is serious.
If it is in political or conflict/security areas you can even be arrested. So it is better to avoid such thing if you are using insecure Internet connection and do not mask your IP address.
Myth #7 About Internet Censorship in UAE
7. It is not safe to use vpn
Well, vpn connection is absolutely safe and secure. All the traffic sent via vpn is encrypted and nobody can check what you are doing on-line under the vpn connection.
Also vpn masks real IP address and makes it impossible to track.
BUT! Many vpn service providers keep log files and if you are doing something illegal they can easily find out this.
Also, they will provide your real IP if police asks…
So VPN is not the way for some seriously illegal actions.
Myth #8 About Internet Censorship in UAE
8. It is dangerous to use vpn in public wi-fi
VPN is a great tool for keeping your privacy and security in public wi-fi zones.
It let to protect personal and business data from being intercepted.
VPN makes your wi-fi connection secure and safe.
So of course, it is better to use vpn in Public wi-fi.
Myth #9 About Internet Censorship in UAE
9. You can be caught even if you are using vpn
YES and NO
It depends on your vpn service provider. Some of that keep log fines others – not.
Some of that will keep your info private, others will not.
Myth #10 About Internet Censorship in UAE
10. Internet censorship is a myth.
Unfortunately, IT IS NOT TRUE!
On-line limits in United Arab Emirates are present. Internet censorship exists. So it is not a myth but a reality.
To summarize all above I must say that Internet censorship in UAE exists and it serious. However there are some ways that might help to avoid on-line restrictions and access blocked sites.
It is all up to you to decide if you will use these methods or not.