Internet freedoms in Jordan are less than ideal, with various restrictions on how the internet can be used within the country in place. Some examples include a near-complete ban on VoIP apps, as well as the 2015 blocking of instant messaging and social media sites (in an attempt to prevent high school students from cheating on their exams). More recently, the Jordanian government enacted cybercrime laws allowing online defamation to be punished with prison time. Unfortunately, such measures have been used to detain, prosecute, and imprison journalists and other individuals accused of criticizing public officials or Jordan’s foreign relations.
These various concerns means that internet users in Jordan need to be careful. If you live in or are travelling through Jordan and you want access to the free and open internet, you need a virtual private network. In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of using a VPN, then share our recommendations on the best VPNs for Jordan.
Get Around Website And App Blocks With A VPN
When a government decides to block a website or app, here’s what happens: they decide which specific sites or apps will be blocked, then they send a list of these blocks to all of the internet service providers in the country. These ISPs are then legally obliged to prevent any user on their network from accessing the blocked content.
Usually, the ISP will redirect all requests that users send for the blocked content, either to a blank web page or to a page stating that the site is blocked. Apps will simply stop working. And because this happens with every ISP in the country, the content remains restricted no matter whose internet connection you try to use.
Fortunately, there is a way to access sites and use apps even when they have been blocked. You can use a VPN, which is a piece of software that you install onto your device. This software encrypts all of the data that your device sends over the internet, preventing any third party from seeing what sites you’re visiting.
What’s more, when you use your VPN to connect to a proxy server in another country, your data appears to websites to originate from that location, rather than your own. So, if you connected to a Canadian server, you’d be able to access all the same internet content as a resident of Canada. This tactic effectively bypasses most forms of website filtering, as all your activity technically takes place outside of Jordan.
Protect Your Anonymity With A VPN
In addition to letting you get around website blocks, there are important security advantages to using a VPN. Due to the strict laws about online defamation, it is a good idea to keep your views anonymous when you post online. This is especially true if you make comments about the government or politics, even if you are only doing so casually on a social media site. With a VPN, you can be confident that your anonymous posting won’t be linked to your real world identity.
Normally, when you go online you are assigned an IP address by your ISP, which is a unique string of digits. This IP address is visible to all of the sites that you visit and is linked to your real world location. This means that your online activities can be tracked through your IP address. When you use a VPN, however, you are assigned a new IP address by the server that you connect to. So, websites see only the details of your VPN’s server and not the details of your real-world location. This makes a VPN an essential part of staying private online.
As well as this, a VPN can help to protect you from other security threats too like phishing, vishing, and smishing, or hackers who operate on public wifi networks to intercept your data and perform identity theft. By encrypting your traffic and hiding your real location, a VPN makes you invisible to ISPs, hackers, or any other third-party.
Our Recommended VPN Providers For Jordan
With all these security advantages to using a VPN, you can see why this is such a necessary tool for using the internet safely and freely in Jordan. Now you just have to choose the right VPN provider for your needs.
You might be tempted to try a free VPN provider in order to save some money, however, we strongly recommend against this as free VPNs have been found to take part in shady practises like selling off their user data, using poor levels of encryption, and even selling off access to their users’ devices to be part of a botnet which is a major security risk.
We recommend that you choose a reputable paid VPN provider that meets the following criteria:
- High level of security to keep your data safe and private, such as the use of strong 256-bit encryption which is practically impossible to crack, and a no logging policy so you can be confident that your VPN provider will not keep any records of your internet use.
- Fast connections so that your internet doesn’t get slow and laggy. Because data has to be sent through an extra step of encryption when using a VPN, it will always slow down your internet to some extent. But a good VPN provider will minimize slowdown to the point where you don’t even notice it’s there.
- Plenty of servers available around the world so that you can get around any website blocks or censorship that you come across by connecting to a server located in another country. The more servers that are available from your VPN, the more choices you have to find the right server for you.
- Software available for all the devices that you use so you can protect all of your gadgets at once. For example, with a single VPN subscription, you can install software onto your phone, your tablet, and your computer and keep all of them safe at the same time.
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for Jordan:
ExpressVPN is the VPN industry’s gold standard, with its threefold focus on speed, security, and ease of use. True to its name, ExpressVPN delivers connection speeds unencumbered by the encryption process, allowing seamless streams and fast downloads. Of course, speed is secondary to security, which is backed by unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, an IP address checker, as well as an automatic kill switch. Rounding out the package is minimalist user interface that even the most novice user can operate with confidence.
With a massive network of more than 2000 servers in 94 countries, Jordanian users will have plenty of connection options to unblock the free and open internet. Dedicated software is available for just about every device, including those running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS and many more.
Read our full ExpressVPN review here.
CyberGhost is the VPN that we recommend if you haven’t used a VPN before and you would like a simple, user friendly software with no technical knowledge required. When you open up the CyberGhost software, you see a list of options for functions like “torrent anonymously”, “browse anonymously”, or “unblock streaming sites”. You just click the option that you want, and you’ll automatically be connected to an appropriate server with all the settings you need already applied for you. No need to worry about security either, as the service uses strong 256-bit encryption and the company has a no logging policy so they won’t save any data about your internet activities.
Of course, you’re fully free to manually choose your server as well, which is particularly useful when trying to unblock a specific country’s internet content. With 2700+ nodes across 60 countries, CyberGhost’s worldwide network is perfect for blasting by Jordanian internet restrictions. What’s more, these connections are optimized for speed, ensuring that your experience online is always a smooth one. Dedicated software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS and many more.
Read our full CyberGhost review here.
No matter what you’re trying to accomplish online, NordVPN will help you do it better. Under the hood of this high-powered VPN is a tinkerer’s paradise, with over 4800 proxy servers to connect to in 62 countries. Included in this network are application-specific nodes optimized for things like anti-DDoS, onion over VPN, double VPN encryption, P2P, and more. You can even get a dedicated IP address for evading bans of shared IPs.
All of these features are backed by the industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption, with your choice to connect via UDP, TCP, L2TP, PPTP, and SSTP. No matter how draconian the Jordanian government’s internet censorship becomes, you’ll be able to get through to the free and open internet with NordVPN. Furthermore, your privacy is guaranteed by one of the most comprehensive no-logging policies on the market. Dedicated apps are available on multiple platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android and even Windows Phone.
Read our full NordVPN review here.
PrivateVPN is a strong choice if you are someone who likes to watch a lot of shows and movies online. Major streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu have begun blocking off VPN traffic in earnest, usually by blacklisting shared IP addresses commonly employed by VPN services. PrivateVPN bucks both trends with their unique dynamic IP servers, which allocate a unique IP address to each user. Backed by a strict no-logging policy, your privacy and anonymity are all but guaranteed, allowing you to bypass geographical content restrictions of all kinds.
PrivateVPN employs 256-bit encryption as standard, though you have the option to downgrade to 128 bits when you want a boost in connection speed. It’s rare that you’ll need to do that, though, as their small-but-dedicated network of servers (numbering 100 nodes in 56 countries) is well-known for its fast and stable connections. The software can be installed on devices running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire Stick, or as a browser extension for Chrome.
Read our full PrivateVPN review here.
PureVPN includes a whole suite of security software in addition to its core VPN service. All the usual top-tier features are present, including 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logging policy, fast connection speeds, and a large network encompassing 750 servers in 140 countries. Further rounding out the VPN package are options like DDoS protection, app filtering, a kill switch, a dedicated IP address, and a NAT firewall.
Your PureVPN subscription also includes anti malware software to protect your device from malicious software, an anti spam filter to keep spam out of your email inbox, and an ad blocker to stop annoying ads from appearing in your browsing. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Android TV devices, plus there are browser extensions available for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
While not quite as bad off as some countries, Jordan seems to be moving towards a more restrictive internet experience for its citizens. So far though, there are no countermeasures in place sophisticated enough to stop you from using a VPN to unblock the internet. Whether you’re trying to access social media, make VoIP calls, or simply bypass geo-restricted streaming content, a virtual private network guarantees fair and private online access.
What do you think about the state of internet freedom in Jordan? Have you or someone you know ever been the target of anti-defamation laws? How will you use your VPN? Let us know about it in the comments below!