best-vpn-for-al-jazeera

While there are many news outlets around the world, few are like Al Jazeera. It broadcasts stories without sugar coating them, which is what makes it so appealing. Some countries block access to it, though, so you’ll need to use one of our best VPN for Al Jazeera picks to watch it.

The media network is a state-funded, global news organization headquartered in Doha, Qatar. It has grown substantially since its founding in 1996 and has many bureaus around the world. Before it started broadcasting, Arab news was totalitarian rubbish that focused on what its rulers were doing and how lucky nations were to have them.

Al Jazeera changed that, often disrupting and challenging those in power. The organization promotes freedom of expression and says it provides a voice to people in some of the most underreported places on the planet. It is not like other press channels in the Middle East because it allows all kinds of voices to be heard and covers controversial stories.

It gained global attention by being the only channel to cover the war in Afghanistan as it happened, but its willingness to broadcast such news caused an uproar in some countries resulting in authorities blocking access to it.

Egypt is one of those countries, blocking Al Jazeera and other news websites. That’s because, in its view, they publish false information and support terrorism. Check out our best VPN for Egypt article for more details.

Falling Foul of the Neighbors

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates put blocks in place for the same reasons, but have other motivations, too. Since the start of Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s reign in 1995, Qatar has moved away from the shelter of the Saudi security umbrella. It has acted more independently and its foreign policy has different priorities from its neighbors.

Qatar established relationships with regional rivals and Islamist groups. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain have accused Qatar of backing terrorist groups and the Muslim Brotherhood. As Al Jazeera is funded by the state, it is also accused of favoring Qatar in its reports (read our article on the best VPN for the UAE if you’d like to know more about what’s going on in that country).

Al Jazeera presents itself as a neutral platform, covering news without bias, but there are still allegations that it supports extremism and Qatar’s foreign policy agenda. Given the many relationships Qatar has, it’s hard to define its foreign policy, but Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain have made it a goal to make Qatar a vassal state and stop its independence.

To do so, the four countries launched a blockade on Qatar, cutting diplomatic and transport links with it and presenting a list of demands it had to meet for the restrictions to be lifted.

Those included aligning with other Arab countries and shutting down Al Jazeera. Still, Qatar has not backed down and the conflict continues.

Al Jazeera and Israel

The Jewish state has also taken issue with Al Jazeera. It loathes the channel’s coverage of ongoing conflict with Palestine, accusing it of bias in favor of the Palestinians. Al Jazeera once had an on-air party celebrating the release of a member of the Palestine Liberation Front who had killed several Israeli civilians and a police officer.

Israeli authorities accuse the network of having ties to Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza and the West Bank. Read our best VPN for Israel piece for a better understanding of how the country tries to control the internet.

Given the possibility that you will not be able to access Al Jazeera where you are, a VPN can help. It will not only get you around those restrictions, but keep you secure, as well. All you need to do is select a server located in a country where Al Jazeera is available. That will make it look like you’re physically in that country and allow you to bypass the blocks.

Best VPN for Al Jazeera 2019

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What Makes a VPN the Best for Al Jazeera

The main issue is getting around blocks, whether they are the result of censorship or geoblocks that prevent you from accessing a version of Al Jazeera that’s not locally available to you.

To bypass either, you want to choose a provider from our VPN reviews that has a good server network. A decent amount of servers makes it easier for you to circumvent blocks, especially when those servers are spread across many countries.

You also want to pick a service with good speeds. A loading screen won’t keep you entertained for long. If you choose a service with servers close to a country where Al Jazeera is free to view, that will ensure the connection is as fast as possible.

If you are connecting from a country that is strict about what its residents can view, you want to make sure you are secure when crossing the line. Read our best VPN for Iran article for one good example.

A kill switch is another good safety feature, as it will disconnect you from the internet if the VPN fails, and a no-logs policy will keep your online activities secret. For an example of what can go wrong, read our PureVPN review.

Other factors you want to consider are its ease of use, what devices it supports and the quality of its customer service. Lastly, your budget may sway your decision.

The Best VPN for Al Jazeera: ExpressVPN

Often a winner here at Cloudwards.net, ExpressVPN offers excellent all-around service. It has an enormous server network that covers 94 countries and servers close to restricted places, meaning you can bypass blocks with ease.

Speeds are not an issue as ExpressVPN was named the winner in our fastest VPN piece. It also won the top spot in our best VPN for streaming article, so it is the best suited for watching Al Jazeera. The only thing that disappoints is its slow server switch time.

Its security is among the best available, with AES 256-bit encryption by default and the ability to increase it. There’s a kill switch for peace of mind and a strict no-logs policy ensuring that no record of what you’ve been up to will be kept. Read our full ExpressVPN review to get a better picture of the service.

Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for beginners as it basically does everything for you out of the box. All you have to do is select the server you want to connect to. You can use it on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS and an easy setup will get you connected in minutes. There are also browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Customer service is available 24/7 through live chat and email. Live chat will get you the fastest response, but you might have to wait longer for a response than you would with other providers. The staff is helpful with their answers, though, which is good.

ExpressVPN is quite expensive compared to its competitors. Even so, we recommend it for its all-around quality. To make sure you’re happy with it first, take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.


Pros:

  • 148 locations
  • Fast
  • Secure

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Slow switch time
Starts from $ 666 per month
Save 49 %

NordVPN

Next on our list is NordVPN, which is an excellent service that’s comparable to our first choice. Read our ExpressVPN versus NordVPN piece to see why.

It has many servers spread across 60 countries, with some located near those where Al Jazeera is blocked. Speeds are good, but slow down if you connect to a server farther away. It does have a fast server switch time, though.

Like ExpressVPN, its security is great and even has the added option of double-hop servers, providing more encryption to the VPN tunnel. A kill switch is included with the service, too, and it doesn’t keep logs. Read more about it in our NordVPN review.

Other Reasons We Like NordVPN

You can use NordVPN on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It is simple to install and the layout is good, making it a breeze to select the server you want.

There’s a handy knowledgebase that should be enough to resolve common problems. If you have a bigger problem, though, you can contact support via live chat or email. Live chat will get you the quickest reply, but you’ll receive a helpful answer either way.

NordVPN’s monthly price is affordable and you can save money by opting for a longer subscription. If you are worried about making such a commitment, you should know it offers a 30-day refund in case you don’t like it.


Pros:

  • Fast
  • Highly secure
  • Price

Cons:

  • Lack of detail on server location
Starts from $ 349 per month
Save 71 %

Private Internet Access

Another suitable provider is PIA. While its server coverage isn’t as good as our other choices, it has some located near countries where Al Jazeera is prohibited. Its speeds are good, though that is because it uses the lighter AES 128-bit encryption by default.

You can increase it to the recommended AES 256-bit, but doing so will slow the service down. There is a kill switch built in for added safety and no logs are kept, so you don’t need to worry about privacy. Take a look at our full PIA review for more information.

Other Reasons We Like PIA

It’s easy to setup and you can connect quickly. Clients are available for Windows and macOS and there are mobile apps for Android and iOS. Using them is simple and switching servers is fast and straightforward.

The service is let down by its customer support, though, as there is no live chat. There is a chat button but this just sends a message. Due to that, it’s not the fastest, but the staff are helpful.

One of PIA’s best features used to be its price. That was until it hiked them up, though. That said, it’s still affordable with a good monthly rate and you can save by signing up for a long-term plan. There is a seven-day money-back guarantee, too, so you can try before you buy.


Pros:

  • Easy server switching
  • Fast
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Mediocre server network
  • No live chat support
Starts from $ 333 per month
Save 52 %

CyberGhost

CyberGhost has many servers dotted around 58 countries, some of which are close to countries that block Al Jazeera. Its speed is good but can become slow if connected over a long distance.

Security is great, although not as customizable as some, in case that’s something you’re after. A kill switch is included with the service to keep you safe and it honors your privacy with a no-logs policy. Read our CyberGhost review for a more in-depth look at the service.

Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost

CyberGhost has clients available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Its interface was recently updated and, while it can take some getting used to, it’s much better than before.

Its extensive knowledgebase can help you fix most common problems. There’s also live chat and email support if that doesn’t work. Live chat is the quickest option, but either is helpful.

The price per month is affordable and you can save money by opting for a more lengthy subscription. There’s a seven-day trial for Android and iOS, too, which should give you enough time to test it out and decide if you like it. A money-back guarantee is also in place.


Pros:

  • Secure
  • Easy to use
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Can be slow
Starts from $ 275 per month
Save 79 %

TorGuard

Our last pick for Al Jazeera is TorGuard. There’s are servers in over 50 countries, with some located close to countries where you may encounter blocks. Speeds vary with TorGuard and it can get slow.

Its security is good and it’s one of the most customizable services around. There are different protocols to choose from, but selecting higher levels of encryption can slow it down. It also has a kill switch and, like the others, doesn’t keep logs of your activity.

Other Reasons We Like TorGuard

TorGuard can be installed on Windows and macOS. It also has apps for Android and iOS, but they can be annoying to setup. Our TorGuard review tells you more about that.

Handy guides and a forum are available, which may help you solve small problems. Live chat is an option, too, but it’s not always available so you might end up leaving a message that they will reply to via email. You can also just send them an email in the first place.

TorGuard’s pricing is much cheaper if you go for a long-term plan rather than its monthly one. If you’d like to make sure you’re happy with the service before signing up, you can use the seven-day money-back guarantee.


Pros:

  • 1,600 servers in 50 countries
  • Choice of VPN protocols
  • Simple & easy to use apps

Cons:

  • Performance speeds vary
Starts from $ 500 per month

Honorable Mention: VyprVPN

VyprVPN is another good choice for Al Jazeera, just missing out on our top five because it can be slow. It doesn’t have as many servers as the others, either, but covers over 60 countries, including some located near countries where Al Jazeera is blocked. Security is good and it has its own protocol, called Chameleon, for extra protection. It also has a kill switch and doesn’t keep logs.

You can use it on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, although the desktop client could be improved. Live chat and email are available if you have problems, but you’re better over using email if the issue is quite technical.

It is affordable, but cheaper over a longer period. There is a 30-day refund window, so you can test it before you subscribe.

Starts from $ 500 per month
Save 50 %

Final Thoughts

If you want your fix of unfettered news from the Al Jazeera network but can’t access it, using one of our best VPN providers will help. The most important factors to consider are location and speed. You want a service with servers close to your location, but in countries that don’t block Al Jazeera.

If the country you are in has strict rules for online content, you also want to choose a provider with good security and a kill switch. That will ensure you are kept safe from surveillance and other prying eyes. Make sure it doesn’t keep logs, as well, so there’s no record of what you’ve been up to.

ExpressVPN excels in all those features and more. We recommend it and are sure you will love it. Use the 30-day money-back guarantee see for yourself.

We hope this list has helped you decide on a provider. If you already have experience bypassing blocks to accessing Al Jazeera, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Take a peek at our other VPN articles, too. Thanks for reading.

Starts from $ 666 per month
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