The VoIP ban in Qatar has affected millions of people. Residents of the country as well as travelers suddenly found themselves unable to access basic services in apps like FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. The government-level censorship went into effect in 2017, and there are no signs it’s going to be lifted any time soon.
Fortunately, anyone visiting, living in, or working in Qatar have a few options at their disposal. The best of these are VPNs, or virtual private networks. These handy tools encrypt data before it leaves your device, making it possible to surf the web with full anonymity. With the right VPN service you can even unblock WhatsApp calling in Qatar, and best of all, it’s incredibly easy to do.
Follow our guide below to find the best VPNs that will help you bypass the VoIP ban in Qatar to use WhatsApp calling–and any other communications or social media service you like.
- 1 Finding a VPN to unblock WhatsApp calling
- 2 Best VPNs for unblocking WhatsApp in Qatar
- 3 How to unblock WhatsApp calling in Qatar
- 4 VoIP and VPNs in Qatar
- 5 Conclusion
Finding a VPN to unblock WhatsApp calling
If you’ve never used a VPN before, the prospect of getting one may seem like an impossible feat. How do you make sense of all the technical jargon to find a service that’s fast, easy to use, and affordable? Instead of spending weeks catching up on your computer science terminology, simply use our list of criteria below, followed by several recommendations for the best VPNs to unblock WhatsApp calling in Qatar.
- Device compatibility – WhatsApp works on multiple devices, but its main platform is iOS and Android smartphones. Make sure your VPN supports these devices, otherwise you’re out of luck.
- Fast speeds – VoIP services are surprisingly bandwidth heavy. If your VPN isn’t fast enough to keep up, you’ll get poor call quality every time.
- Server distribution – The more servers a VPN operates, the higher your chances of finding a fast connection.
- Traffic restrictions – Some VPNs block certain kinds of traffic, including P2P downloads, torrents, and even VoIP services.
- Zero-logging policy – If a VPN company keeps traffic and user histories, that can instantly destroy your online security. Always go with VPNs that have a strict zero-logging policy.
Best VPNs for unblocking WhatsApp in Qatar
We analyzed the fastest, most reliable, and most popular VPNs on the market to find out which one was best suited for unblocking WhatsApp calling. Our results are listed below.
True to its name, ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs around. The service delivers impressive speeds to users around the world thanks to an amazing network of 2,000 servers in 94 countries. All of these servers are accessible from intuitive software that runs on iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, PC, and tons of other devices, many of which have built-in speed test software to find the fastest connection each time you log in. To secure your connection, all you need to do is sign in and click a single button, then you’re safe and sound.
Every piece of data that passes through the ExpressVPN service is protected with 256-bit AES encryption, making it impossible for unauthorized parties to spy on your activity. Information is also backed by a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses for even better privacy. Both DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch features create a reliable safety net in case of an accidental disconnect, as well. ExpressVPN also delivers unlimited bandwidth and unlimited server switching for everyone, making it ideally suited for VoIP calling on WhatsApp.
Check out our full ExpressVPN review for more information!
NordVPN operates one of the largest networks of servers in the industry, delivering incredibly fast speeds and reliable connections around the world. NordVPN users currently have access to over 5,000 servers in 62 different countries, more than twice its competitors, and with new nodes added almost every day! There’s also a few unique services only NordVPN offers, including protection against DDoS attacks, double encryption, and onion over VPN routing, all of which are available by connecting to the right server.
For privacy, NordVPN provides a thorough zero-logging policy that covers everything from bandwidth to time stamps, traffic to IP addresses. Your activity is never recorded or shared with third parties, which helps keep your privacy intact, even in restrictive, surveillance-heavy countries like Qatar. Backing these features is 256-bit AES encryption on all data, an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a host of customizable encryption features.
Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.
CyberGhost is a fast, reliable, and safe VPN that offers a perfect mix of speed and security to its thousands of users. It’s one of the easiest to use VPNs on the market, as well, allowing anyone to sign up and connect with a minimum amount of fuss. You can use CyberGhost to securely chat on VoIP apps from around the world, stream HD videos from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and other services, or just surf the web with complete privacy. CyberGhost does this with an amazing network of 3,000 servers in 60 different countries, along with mobile and desktop apps that make it easy to enjoy a secure internet experience.
CyberGhost’s foundation of strong privacy keeps you safe with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP addresses, and both DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch features built into its apps. With CyberGhost on your device, you can use the internet safely and securely from any country in the world. You can even use it for secure WhatsApp calling in Qatar!
Learn more about CyberGhost’s great features in our complete CyberGhost review.
How to unblock WhatsApp calling in Qatar
Once you choose a VPN, what are the next steps you should take to start making VoIP calls securely? We’ve got all the information you need in our guide below!
Unblocking WhatsApp with a VPN
VPNs are the best way to unblock WhatsApp calling in any country around the world. After choosing the right service for your needs (see above), all you need to do is get things set up by installing the VPN and connecting to a reliable server.
- First, go to your PC or a laptop, open a web browser and sign into your VPN account. You’ll need to download the app for your mobile device (iOS or Android) before you can begin. Sometimes the VPN offers apps on Google Play or the iTunes App Store, but to make sure you install the right software, it’s best to go through the VPN’s official pages, just to be on the safe side.
- Download and install the VPN app to your device, launch the software, then sign in using your account details. Most apps will automatically connect to the fastest server as soon as you open the app. This will take a few seconds to complete, but once it’s ready, the app will show that you’re connected and safe. It doesn’t really matter which server you connect to, either, just as long as it’s fast and secure.
- Before you start using WhatsApp, it’s a good idea to run an IP address leak test to make sure the VPN is actually keeping you safe. Open a web browser and visit ipleak.net on the same device you installed your VPN. The page will automatically run an IP address lookup. When it completes, you will see a box near the top that says Your IP addresses. Below it should show a country that isn’t the one you’re currently sitting in, which means the VPN is ready to go.
- Now it’s time to run WhatsApp and start calling your friends! Get the app from your device’s app store and complete the sign up process if you haven’t already. Make sure the VPN software is active and connected, running securely in the background, then launch WhatsApp and place your secure call. It’s that easy!
Advanced techniques to unblock WhatsApp
VPNs provide a quick and easy solution to most of your unblocking needs, even in areas like Qatar. If, after completing the steps above, you still can’t use the VoIP calling feature, you might need to make some software tweaks or try alternate methods to unblock WhatsApp. Only try these if your VPN doesn’t do the trick, however, as some can take a little bit of time to set up properly.
- Switch data ports – Areas that block WhatsApp often do so by filtering out traffic through certain ports. You can easily bypass this by changing ports on your VPN software. We recommend switching to TCP port 80 or 443 for optimal results. Check with the VPN’s support pages to make sure it offers this feature or to learn how to change ports on your local software.
- Change encryption protocols – Most VPNs use the standard OpenVPN protocol to encrypt data. It offers the best balance of speed and privacy and will provide optimal results for the vast majority of users. It’s easy to detect and block this traffic, however, which is why switching encryption protocols may be useful. Check your VPN software to see if it offers the option of using L2TP/IPSec or PPTP modes. They aren’t as all-around useful as OpenVPN, but they can usually unblock WhatsApp in a pinch.
- Try an SSH tunnel – Using an SSH tunnel requires a little more technical knowledge than most methods, but it’s an extremely effective way to hide your WhatsApp calling traffic. Download SSH Tunnel for iOS (limited use free version) or SSH Tunnel for Android (root required for advanced features) to get started.
- Use an SSL tunnel – Similar to the SSH tunnel method, SSL tunnels offer a higher degree of privacy than a standard VPN. The best way to use an SSL tunnel is to download stunnel on your mobile device and set it up to run in the background while you use WhatsApp. It’s not easy to use, nor is it entirely free, so think of this as a last resort.
VoIP and VPNs in Qatar
The state of VPNs and VoIP services such as WhatsApp is a little uncertain in Qatar. Below we dispel some of the common myths associated with online access in the Middle Eastern country.
Qatar’s VoIP ban
The government crackdown on VoIP apps like Skype, Snapchat, and WhatsApp took a lot of people by surprise. It happened almost overnight, and it affected everyone currently residing in the country, regardless of their origin. Worst of all, there was no explanation behind the ban, and it’s not clear if it will ever be lifted.
The good news is that bypassing this unfortunate blockade is relatively easy to do. VPNs are extremely popular in Qatar, and they make getting through this censorship firewall as easy as downloading and running an app. It doesn’t matter if you’re making video calls, voice messaging, or texting, with a VPN active you’ll be safe and secure every time you connect.
Does this mean it’s illegal to use VoIP services in Qatar, especially banned apps like FaceTime, Skype, or WhatsApp? Not exactly. The current consensus is that local regulations simply forbid access on the level of the ISP, not the user. This means many people in Qatar successfully use VPNs to access WhatsApp calling features from behind the blockade.
Is it legal to use a VPN in Qatar?
As is the case with most countries, it’s perfectly legal to use a VPN in Qatar. The local government censors a lot of content from the general web, including sites featuring profanity, obscenity, or offensive propaganda. The laws state that ISPs should block this from local access, but they do not say that users can’t use a VPN on their devices.
It is always your responsibility to ensure you adhere to local laws when using the web, especially when it comes to running a VPN. Virtual private networks do not give you license to break or bend regulations, nor can they fully protect you if you’re caught violating these laws.
Many benefits of using a VPN
VPNs have an undeserved reputation for being tools favored by law breakers. The truth is there are countless legitimate uses for virtual private networks, everything from offering better personal privacy to breaking through unfair censorship blockades. Below are some of the best uses of a VPN, all of which are applicable no matter where you live, work, or travel.
- Safely access censored websites – Censorship is a growing problem in the world, especially in places like China, Iran, Qatar, and the UAE. It can often be circumvented with a good VPN, so if you can’t get to Google, Facebook, or another website, try logging into a VPN first.
- Encrypt data for privacy – Encryption is the backbone of internet privacy, as it makes regular online data impossible to read. This means cyber criminals, government agencies, and even ISPs can’t see what you’re downloading when you connect to the internet.
- Hide your IP address – When you log into the internet your ISP assigns your device a unique IP address. This can then be used to track your activity and location with relative ease. VPNs hide your local IP and exchange it with one from their anonymous servers, making you anonymous online.
- Stop mass surveillance efforts – It’s not uncommon for governments to launch mass surveillance programs on their internet. If you use a VPN, your personal information won’t be included in those surveillance programs simply because it’s encrypted.
- Watch videos from other countries – Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and other streaming services restrict content based on location. If you live in Qatar, you can only watch content approved for distribution in Qatar. If you run a VPN, however, you can switch virtual locations with a few clicks and watch movies from anywhere in the world.
Free VPNs can’t unblock WhatsApp
Most people searching for a quick and easy solution to unblock WhatsApp calling in Qatar stumble across free VPNs right out of the gate. These services are everywhere, including mobile app stores and browser extension marketplaces. They’re extremely tempting, too, as who wouldn’t be wooed by the promise of VPN protection without paying anything?
The bad news is that free VPNs rarely deliver on their promises. Most feature intense bandwidth restrictions that throttle maximum speeds or cut off downloads once the monthly limit has been reached. Some even block torrent, P2P, and even VoIP traffic, making them practically useless for WhatsApp calling.
Worse than the issues above is the fact that you simply can’t trust free VPNs. These companies have been caught collecting and selling user data to advertisers and other third parties, all in an effort to make up lost revenue. They have no incentive to actually protect your information, which means there’s the very real possibility of having your identity sold to the highest bidder simply because you connected to a no-cost VPN.
Even if a free VPN does unblock WhatsApp, you can’t be sure it’s keeping your information secure. Always choose a reliable and safe service with a low monthly fee to ensure your data really is safe.
Now you’ve got all the tools you need to unblock WhatsApp calling in Qatar. With the right VPN you can keep your data private and secure with ease, all you need is a reliable connection and you’re good to go. Best of all, VPNs are incredibly easy to use and work on just about any modern device. If you can use WhatsApp on the hardware, chances are you can run a VPN, too!
Got some big WhatsApp calling plans in store once you’ve unblocked it? Or do you prefer other VoIP apps to use in Qatar? Share your thoughts in the comments below!