UAE: What are the most popular VPNs among residents?

VPNs for illegal means or to commit a crime is a serious offence under a law concerning combating rumours and cybercrimes


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 9:48 AM

Last updated: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 4:42 PM

Express, Nord and X were the most popular virtual private networks (VPNs) in the UAE last year, according to a study released by Digital Adoption.

Among the other top 10 most searched VPNs were Lantern, Proton, Master VPN, Urban, Free VPN for PC, U and VPN Master.

Over 28 per cent of people searched for Express VPN last year followed by nine per cent for Nord and eight per cent for X VPN.

The usage of VPN in the UAE is not illegal if it's used as per the guidelines of the UAE government and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA).

However, using VPNs for illegal means or to commit a crime is a serious offence under the UAE Decree Law No (34) of 2021 concerning combating rumours and cybercrimes.

Also, using a VPN by hiding the IP address to get access to websites/calling applications /gaming applications which are blocked by the UAE government is illegal.

Under Article 10 of the UAE Cyber Law, people misusing VPNs could face imprisonment and a fine between Dh500,000 to Dh2 million.

Among the most popular features people download VPN, around 50 per cent of people look for split tunnelling, 24 per cent for simultaneous device connections, 24 per cent for kill switch and one per cent each for encryption and data and bandwidth caps.


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