The internet was conceived as a platform accessible to all and free from control. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many countries, including Egypt, where online censorship and surveillance are a major concern. The government has blocked and continues to block websites, including social media sites, news outlets, VPN services, and human rights organizations. In fact, Freedom House ranks the country as not free.
Fortunately, you can evade these restrictions by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It will hide your IP address and encrypt your web traffic to keep you safe and anonymous. This means that you will be able to access blocked websites and services in Egypt.
In this guide, we’ve compiled the best Egypt VPNs list, how to get an Egypt IP address, why it is essential to use a VPN, tips on avoiding censorship and staying private online, and more.
Best VPNs for Egypt – The quick list
We’ll get into expansive detail on each service later in the article, but here is our shortlist if you are in a rush.
- NordVPN – Our top pick VPN for Egypt. It has an extensive network of high-speed servers, solid security, unlimited bandwidth, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark – Has a growing server network, impressive unblocking capability, plenty of security features, and unlimited simultaneous connections.
- ExpressVPN – Fast speed servers, unblocks all the major streaming sites, allows torrenting and robust encryption.
- IPVanish – Bypasses geo-restrictions easily, unlimited simultaneous connections, a strong focus on privacy, and excellent 24/7 customer support.
- VyprVPN – Operates a server in Egypt, Chameleon protocol to disguise VPN traffic, great security, and privacy.
Why is it necessary to use a VPN in Egypt?
Censorship and surveillance
The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Egypt after the Arab Spring, which almost collapsed the country. After normalcy returned, the government went on a spree of imposing stronger restrictions on freedom of speech. For example, it has banned more than 24 news websites for allegedly inciting terrorism in the past few years.
Furthermore, the local media is highly controlled. So, any outlet that allegedly says anything contrary to the government is silenced, prosecuted, or completely shut down by force. Also, around 2015, Egyptian security forces assaulted dozens of journalists, and in 2017, a human rights lawyer was incarcerated for expressing dissenting political opinions.
Under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s regime, the country faces a bad economy, a high unemployment rate, and insurgent or ISIS-like groups. In addition, with a population of 104 million, a whopping 71.914% have internet access, which ironically is severely restricted.
Moreover, in 2014 the el-Sisi government introduced the High Council for Cybersecurity (HCC) to protect citizens against cybercrime. However, it was a ploy to monitor internet activities and conducted widespread surveillance on citizens. This is a major problem as many journalists have been arrested for reporting injustice.
As you can see, the political environment in Egypt is a bit strained, so it is essential to stay private with a VPN. Unfortunately, most VPN providers claim to be secure, yet they offer mediocre services and can even put you at risk. Therefore, ensure you get a dependable and trustworthy VPN for Egypt.
Freedom of speech
Egyptian political situation doesn’t seem to get better. The current regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is highly authoritarian and curtails freedom of speech and expression. For instance, in 2020, a woman was arrested for spreading fake news about COVID-19 on Facebook.
Further, more arrests have been made due to freedom of expression. For example, a website opened by Khaled Elbalshy to campaign for independent journalism was terminated after a month of operation.
That is why you need to use a reliable VPN service to protect yourself from government surveillance and limitations.