Why Porn Websites Are Blocked in Qatar (and How to Unblock them)?

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)
If you've tried to access a porn website while in Qatar/Doha, you've probably been seen the following message:
"The webpage you are trying to access has been blocked by Internet Qatar as the content contains materials which are prohibited in the State of Qatar"
This is actually part of a government effort to prevent Qataris to be exposed to obscene or indecent content. Considering Islam is the official religion of the country, it is hardly surprising they don't want you their citizens to access the thousands of adult sites available on the World Wide Web in just one click.

Unfortunately, some regular and inoffensive websites are also blocked, usually for political or religious reasons. For instance, if they criticize the government or if they promote atheism.

Finally, it might be difficult to access online gambling websites, torrent websites, as well as escort services.


How to Unblock Porn Sites in Qatar?
In any case, you should know that it is very easy to unblock them.

The solution is to simply use a VPN. Some are available for free, but they are slow and full of ads. Instead, I really recommend using a paid VPN. The price has become so cheap that you can buy one for as little as US2$ per month (PureVPN for instance).

If you are not sure about how a VPN works exactly, I will guide you step by step here. You only need 5 minutes to install one, and then you'll be able to surf the web freely and anonymously, just like in your home country.

What is a VPN?
A VPN is a software that you can download from the internet and install on your phone or computer. After you've launched it, you can simply connect your VPN to a server in a different country, and access any websites that are allowed in this country.

For instance, the VPN on my computer looks like this:
Picture of my VPN on my laptop (I'm not connected yet)
By clicking on the "connect" button, my internet connection will transit anonymously to a server in France (or another country if I want to). From this moment on, blocked websites will be reachable as if I was physically located in France and using a French Internet Service Provider (ISP). Also, as the connection is encrypted by the VPN, your ISP in Qatar (usually state-owned Ooredo) will never know which websites you visit and you will be totally anonymous.

Choosing a VPN
Personally, I've been using VyprVPN for a few years already and I'm very happy with it.

I've tried maybe 5 other VPN brands before that which were OK. What really made the difference with VyprVPN is their proprietary Chameleon Protocol technology. This allowed me to surf the web normally even when I was in China, and also to use Netflix US from anywhere in the world.

The price is also reasonable in my opinion (US$3.75 per month for the yearly plan).

If you are not planning to visit China, you can consider the following cheaper options as well:
IPVanish is very fast, perfect for streaming, and it costs only 3.25$ per month. Excellent support too.
PureVPN is a great value VPN that costs only 2$ per month (2-year plan). I had it for a while and I never had any issues with it. It doesn't work well in China, though.

If you are not sure, just try them first for free. VyprVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, PureVPN a 31-day money-back guarantee, and IPVanish has a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Installing and Using VyprVPN
If you choose VyprVPN, here is a step-by-step guide on how to install it and use it. Honestly, it is very easy, even if you are not good with computers.

Step 1: Pay and Register (30-Day Free Trial)
After you've chosen your VyprVPN plan* and paid, you will be able to create an account on the VyprVPN's control panel. There, you can update your personal or your billing information. You can also contact the support team and read tutorials about VyprVPN.

* Note: If you plan on watching Netflix US in Qatar/Doha, or if you often go to China, you should choose the Premium Plan as it includes the Chameleon Protocol.

Step 2: Install VyprVPN on Your Laptop or Phone
The second step is to download VyprVPN on your laptop or your phone. All you need to do is click on "Download VyprVPN" as in the following photo:
- If you have a PC, click on VyprVPN for Windows.
- If you have a Mac, click on VyprVPN for Mac.
- If you have an iPhone, click on VyprVPN for iOS
- If you have a Samsung, a Huawei, an HTC, or any phone running with Android, click on VyprVPN for Android.

Step 3: Connect
After your VPN is installed on your computer or your phone, launch it and you'll be asked to enter your login/password.
Just enter the same email and password you used before to connect to VyprVPN's control panel.

You will now be able to connect to any servers you choose. By default, it is better to select "Fastest Server" but you can choose a specific country if you click on "Servers".

Changing servers can be useful if you want to watch Netflix US from Qatar for instance. In that case, you will have to choose a server in a city like New York or San Francisco. You can learn more about this by reading my article: How to Watch Netflix in Indonesia.

Step 4: Enjoy 100% Privacy When Surfing the Web

When you see that the dashboard says "Connected", you are now able to access any blocked websites in Qatar, especially porn. Moreover, you are totally anonymous and nobody will know what you are doing online (this includes your internet provider, your boss, your landlord, your hotel, your wife, etc).

Step 5: Customize VyprVPN (Optional)
Most people won't need to customize their VPN. Personally, there are two features that I use sometimes:

The Kill Switch feature allows you to remain completely anonymous in case your VPN connection is lost.

The Chameleon Protocol is a more secure way to encrypt your connection. With it, it is harder for websites, governments, or Internet Service Providers to know that you are using a VPN. This is particularly useful when using the Internet in China or to watch Netflix US (because Netflix doesn't allow its members to use a VPN).

Is it Legal to Use a VPN in Qatar
You could think that it would be illegal to use a VPN in Qatar, considering the government is so keen on controlling its citizen's use of the Internet.

And yet, as of today it is totally legal. In fact, the country has one of the largest numbers of VPN users in the world. Among expats, almost everyone I know has one installed.

2 comments to '' Why Porn Websites Are Blocked in Qatar (and How to Unblock them)? "

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  1. Is it allowed to watch porn in Qatar even with VPN? I am afraid that my hotel will know which website I visit and denounce me.

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    1. The VPN allows you to open the blocked porn websites, and it also hides your activity from your hotel (or you employer, or your family, etc). So don't worry about it.

      And anyway, I'm pretty sure your hotel wouldn't denounce you for watching porn in Qatar.

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