Hotspot Shield not working in SAudi Arabia

If you’re using Hotspot Shield in Saudi Arabia and it suddenly stopped working, Hotspot Shield is no longer staying one step ahead of the VPN blocks imposed by KSA government authorities.

Unfortunately, this can be significantly difficult to get around, not just for you but for Hotspot Shield as well. Basically, if Saudi Arabis is able to block Hotspot Shield, you’ll need to upgrade to a different VPN in order to use the internet anonymously in the country.

In this article I’ll explain why this has happened and the VPNs I use in Saudi Arabia without issues.

How to fix Hotspot Shield not working in Saudi Arabia

To fix Hotspot Shield not working in Saudi Arabia, you need to upgrade to a VPN that can provide IP addresses that authorities can’t identify and block.

To do that, follow these simple steps:

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN

    Hotspot Shield not working in SAudi Arabia

    Register for an account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN. If you want the very best, these VPNs have been setting the standard in the industry for years. They’re the best VPNs on the market for reliably streaming content.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are renowned for their reliable and fast connections, which is crucial for streaming high-quality content without buffering or interruptions. You can get 3 months of an ExpressVPN subscription for free here. And similarly, you can get 3 months of a NordVPN subscription for free here.

    If you don’t like the looks of ExpressVPN or NordVPN, and opt for a different VPN, the process will be very similar, simply continue following the steps below.

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

    Hotspot Shield not working in SAudi Arabia

    Once you’ve signed up for a VPN you can install it on nearly any device.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are available on Mac, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Kindle, Amazon Fire Stick/TV, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Android TV and more.

  3. Open your VPN and connect to a server

    Hotspot Shield not working in SAudi Arabia

    When you open the app, you’ll need to log in with the credentials you created. Once logged in, select a server, this will give you an IP address from that country. Essentially making it look like you’re connecting to the internet from within the country.

    This will allow you to use the internet anonymously in Saudi Arabia.

Why isn’t Hotspot Shield working in Saudi Arabia?

Hotspot Shield and other VPN services may encounter issues working in Saudi Arabia due to the country’s strict internet censorship policies and the use of sophisticated technology to block VPN traffic.

The Saudi government controls and monitors internet usage, actively blocking access to certain types of content, including political, social, and religious material, as well as VPN services that enable users to bypass these restrictions.

As a result, VPNs like Hotspot Shield may be specifically targeted and blocked, making it difficult for users within Saudi Arabia to establish a VPN connection or access restricted content.

Additionally, VPN services must continuously update their methods to circumvent new blocking techniques, which can be a challenging and ongoing process.

How do Saudi Arabian State Authorities block Hotspot Shield?

Saudi Arabian state authorities employ several sophisticated techniques to block Hotspot Shield and other VPN services, aimed at enforcing the country’s strict internet censorship regime:

  1. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI): This technology allows authorities to analyze the data and type of traffic passing through their networks in real-time. DPI can identify and block VPN traffic, including Hotspot Shield’s, by detecting patterns or signatures typical of VPN use.
  2. IP Address Blocking: The authorities maintain and regularly update a blacklist of IP addresses known to belong to VPN services. By blocking these IP addresses, they can prevent users from connecting to VPN servers, including those of Hotspot Shield.
  3. Port Blocking: VPNs use specific network ports to establish connections. Saudi authorities can block these ports, making it difficult for VPN services to communicate with their servers.
  4. Blocking VPN Websites: By restricting access to websites where users can download or subscribe to VPN services like Hotspot Shield, authorities limit the ability of individuals to obtain and use VPN software.
  5. Protocol Filtering: Specific protocols are used by VPNs to encrypt data. Saudi authorities can filter and block these protocols, disrupting VPN connections.

Do VPNs still work in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, VPNs can still work in Saudi Arabia, but you need a VPN that offers advanced obfuscation techniques to disguise its traffic as regular internet traffic, effectively bypassing deep packet inspection (DPI) and other blocking methods used by the authorities.

Additionally, the VPN should have a dynamic IP address system to avoid IP blacklisting and provide regular updates to stay ahead of new blocking techniques.

The VPN services we recommend for Saudi Arabia

1. NordVPN

An excellent, affordable, and fast VPN option for 2024

  • Affordable pricing
  • Effective streaming access
  • Diverse server types
  • Solid speeds
  • Useful add-ons
  • Strong security
  • Limited server locations
  • No virtual servers
NordVPN

Streaming: NordVPN stands out with its Double VPN feature, which routes your internet traffic through two different servers, adding an extra layer of encryption and significantly increasing the difficulty for Saudi authorities to detect and block the VPN traffic. Moreover, its obfuscated servers are specifically designed to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, making it a strong option for bypassing internet censorship in Saudi Arabia.

Servers: NordVPN’s network encompasses more than 5,500 servers worldwide, with strategically placed servers in countries near Saudi Arabia, providing users with multiple options for reliable and fast connections to circumvent censorship. Its specialized obfuscated servers are designed to mask VPN traffic, making it challenging for DPI technologies used by Saudi authorities to detect and block VPN use, ensuring consistent access to restricted content.

Privacy: NordVPN’s secure connection and no-logs policy have been verified via three independent audits, including one by Deloitte. The audits have confirmed NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy, ensuring user privacy.

Price: NordVPN offers three pricing plans: Complete, Plus, and Standard. The 2-year plan for the Standard package is priced at $3.19/month, the 1-year plan at $4.99/month, and the monthly plan at $12.99/month. It accepts major credit cards and various payment systems.

Speeds: Below is a table showing the speeds tested for NordVPN. From our tests in New Zealand, NordVPN displayed very good speeds, although slightly behind ExpressVPN, but significantly faster than many other VPNs on the market.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)937.07520.93
NordVPN US server710.906.98
NordVPN UK server531.123.73

Read our full NordVPN review.

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(30-day money-back guarantee)

2. ExpressVPN

The fastest and most reliable VPN of 2024

  • Physical servers in 104 countries
  • Brilliant for unblocking streaming services
  • Very high-speed Lightway protocol
  • Available on almost any device
  • Very secure
  • Pricey
  • Only 8 simultaneous devices
  • No addons
ExpressVPN

Streaming: ExpressVPN is highly effective in Saudi Arabia due to its proprietary Lightway protocol, which offers both speed and security, making it difficult for censorship measures to detect and block its traffic. Additionally, its server locations in 94 countries, including server options close to Saudi Arabia, ensure reliable and fast connections for users looking to bypass local internet restrictions.

Servers: With a global network of over 3,000 servers, including locations in the Middle East and around Saudi Arabia, ExpressVPN ensures users can find a high-speed server close by, minimizing latency and maximizing speed for bypassing local restrictions. Its TrustedServer technology also ensures that all data is wiped with every reboot, enhancing privacy and making it more difficult for Saudi authorities to track or block connections.

Privacy: ExpressVPN’s privacy measures include passing independent audits by cybersecurity firms like Cure53 and F-Secure, ensuring a strong level of security and no significant weaknesses in its macOS, Linux, and Windows apps. More details can be found in the audit reports available online.

Price: ExpressVPN offers three payment plans: a 1-month option at $12.95/month, a 6-month option at $9.99/month, and a 12-month option at $6.67/month. Payment methods include major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other systems, accommodating a wide range of users.

Speeds: ExpressVPN maintains high download speeds with minimal drop-off, ensuring efficient performance. Tests showed a slight decrease in upload speeds, but download speeds remained fast across various server locations, including the US, UK, and Vietnam.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off937.07520.93
ExpressVPN US server824.626.96
ExpressVPN UK server794.953.70
ExpressVPN Vietnam server761.903.81

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

Will a free VPN work in Saudi Arabia?

A free VPN might work in Saudi Arabia, but its effectiveness and safety are often questionable for several reasons:

  1. Limited Obfuscation Technologies: Free VPNs typically lack advanced obfuscation technologies, making it easier for sophisticated DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) tools used by Saudi authorities to detect and block VPN traffic.
  2. Restricted Server Options: Free VPNs usually have fewer servers, which can be quickly overwhelmed or blocked, reducing reliability and speed, crucial for streaming or browsing in a country with strict internet censorship.
  3. Security Risks: Free VPNs may not offer the same level of security as paid services, potentially exposing your data to third parties or even the authorities, which is a significant risk in a country with strict surveillance.
  4. Data Limits: Many free VPNs impose data limits or bandwidth caps, restricting how much you can stream or browse, which can be problematic for regular internet use.

Hotspot Shield not working in Saudi Arabia: FAQs

Q: Why is Hotspot Shield not working in Saudi Arabia?

Answer: Hotspot Shield may not work in Saudi Arabia due to the country’s advanced internet censorship techniques, including deep packet inspection (DPI), which can detect and block VPN traffic. The government’s efforts to control internet access and block content deemed inappropriate or contrary to local laws often result in VPN services like Hotspot Shield being targeted and blocked.

Q: Can I do anything about my current VPN not working with Youtube TV?

Answer: Absolutely! First, ensure your VPN is connected to a UK-based server. If that’s already the case, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. Occasionally, switching the VPN connection protocol can also help. If all else fails, consider contacting your VPN provider or switching to a more reliable one known for bypassing geo-restrictions effectively.

Q: Are there specific VPNs known to work best with Youtube TV?

Answer: Yes, some VPNs have been consistently successful with Youtube TV, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. They often have dedicated servers or features designed to bypass geo-blocks.

Q: What should I do if only one of my devices can’t access Youtube TV using the VPN?

Answer: If Youtube TV works on one device but not another, it likely means there’s a device configuration issue. Check VPN settings on the problematic device, clear its cache, and ensure location services are off (for mobile devices).

Q: Why does Youtube TV block VPN services in the first place?

Answer: Youtube TV is available only for US residents due to licensing agreements. To ensure compliance with these agreements and to restrict viewership to the US, YouTube TV actively tries to detect and block VPN services that are used to bypass these geographic restrictions.

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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