The United Arab Emirates can be a great place to visit and even live, but there are some subtle differences to the west that do become apartment when staying here. If you are in the UAE for any more than a couple of days, you will realise that the internet is heavily filtered.

If you wish to access Skype in UAE or any of your social media applications, then you may run in to some obstacles. Skype and all other VOIP services are banned in the United Arab Emirates. There are official reasons for this, but in reality the main reason is that most of the people living in the UAE are poor migrant workers from India and the rest of South Asia, who wish to speak to relatives back home regularly. There is on one main telecoms company in the UAE (Etisalat) and it is owned by the Royal Family of the country, and so they do not want people using Skype to call home for free.

There is however a way around this, if you use a VPN then these restrictions will be lifted. Not only will this allow you to access Skype, Twitter, Youtube and any other service that may be blocked will start to work again. This is because VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology switches your IP address to that of one overseas, so that you may appear to be in New York or London when in fact in Dubai.

PRIVATRAX (https://www.privatrax.com) is popular among British expats living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as it unblocks all of the popular British TV apps such as BBC & ITV as well as Skype and Social Media apps.

The great thing about VPN use is that not only does it unblock your social media applications but it also gives you both security and anonymity. When you are connected to a VPN, no one can see what you are either browsing or downloading.

There have recently been stories about the UAE government cracking down on westerners using VPN connections, however this is actually technically near on impossible for them to detect. When you are connected to the Internet via a VPN, you may access and download freely without any restriction due to your Internet traffic being ‘tunneled’. This same tunneling effect also gives you security. When connected to the VPN, you will be safe on public WIFI networks from anyone who could potentially be hacking into your data packets to steam your information. If you are staying in a huge hotel complex like so many westerners are in this country, then quite literally hundreds of people are using the same public WIFI network, that is hundreds of potential hackers who can intercept you.

All in all using a VPN is something that if you are spending more than a week or so in the Middle East, will be very much a part of your online experience. Installing a VPN on most devices is pretty simple, simply enter a username, password and server address in the VPN area of your network settings.

Many people are now installing VPN connections on local routers and router repeaters so that any devices connecting to that to gain access to the internet, do so via a UK, US or European IP address. This is a great way to get TV apps such as BBC iPlayer running on your TV sets, a far cheaper alternative for Western TV content than subscribing to local Satellite and cable services.

WANT TO PAY JUST £2.49/$2.99 PER MONTH FOR YOUR VPN? Then click the link below, select annual billing and pay just £29.99, which works out to just £2.49 per month instead of £6.99. All you have to do is enter the promo code CHEAPYEAR4U and this will switch that £59.99 down to £29.99. This is an industry beating deal that none of our competitors will ever offer you

Select Annual & Enter Coupon: CHEAPYEAR4U