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Opera VPN not working in UAE

  • Opera VPN was working in UAE till last week. Now it is not working.

  • Did you check if it isn't being blocked?

  • A relative of mine works in Dubai, so I noticed the following articles about three years ago, which I drew his attention to at the time:

    So various media had described a law that came into force in 2016 which basically states that the usage of a VPN can result in high penalties if its use is intended to conceal a criminal offence. My relative is not a criminal, but the text of the law (or the reports about it) allowed so much room for interpretation that there was a certain concern. Later in the year it was made clear that VPNs should remain allowed for legitimate purposes.

    On Cloudwards, a web page mentioned recently by @blackbird71, a quite recent VPN recommendation for UAE gives no indication of a blockade of VPN services taking place in the meantime. On the other hand, VPN provider CyberGhost claims that the usage of VPNs in general is forbidden in the United Arab Emirates and advises to cancel subscriptions.

    Therefore, the question remains unclear to me whether in UAE Opera-VPN is currently only experiencing a temporary malfunction, or whether VPNs may be blocked in principle after all.

    In other threads on the topic Opera + VPN (+ UAE) it has been recommended to check if another of the Opera VPNs works, since several are provided.

    If a connection to each of the Opera VPN servers fails, I would install Opera as a portable version on a USB stick (your current installation would remain untouched) and then check with another Internet provider whether the Opera VPN works. This proposal also comes from this forum here.

    I'm not an Opera employee, but I think Opera wouldn't present VPN to you in its settings if it were blocked in general in UAE.

    Perhaps it would make sense to also mention the ISP in the case of VPN disruptions in the UAE, because different providers could act differently, and in this way problems could be narrowed down further.

  • @yanta With the uncertain nature of the governmental interpretation of the UAE laws (but the seriousness of its sanctions), there is most likely a natural variation in how ISPs react to users attempting to access VPN portals. Since the law seems to link VPN prohibition to concealment of criminal offenses, it introduces great uncertainty as to just what that means for 'ordinary,' casual VPN usage that may circumvent regional censorship... ie, is that in itself a crime, based on what is being viewed/accessed/communciated? ISPs may fear becoming an accessory to a crime of concealment by allowing their users to have VPN access. Moreover, the ISP reaction to the law may vary over time as various ISP personnel and the regional political/moral atmosphere ebb and flow.

    Because many international businesses use a VPN for protected access to their facilities, there may also be some counter-pressure to relax UAE's VPN restrictions for business-type users in order not to damage international trade and relationships. How that all would be determined or implemented by an ISP would also be subject to interpretation and variation. In other words, it's all presently a highly unclear situation, and it cries out for some significant clarification from the UAE regulatory authorities.

    This whole mess is the natural consequence of censorship, which always involves one party dictating what another party can see/say and the interpretational confusion and fear that always results.

  • For the last 4 days the VPN service is not working, I just get an 'orange' VPN and it just says 'connecting' - but it never does? I have cleared the cache, checked my virus software, cleared that as well amd done a re-install of opera - still no VPN?

    What is wrong?

    Anyone else experiencing the same issues?

  • @dennism said in Opera VPN Blocked in UAE:

    Anyone else experiencing the same issues?

    Complaints about Opera-VPN have been occurring more frequently for some time now. Especially the United Arab Emirates are mentioned in this context, but occasionally other countries as well.

    In terms of UAE, these are only two examples:

    As far as I understand, it is rather the exception that Opera employees comment in this forum on problems with the browser or with Opera services. It is therefore possible that the reason for these VPN problems remains unclear.

  • Merging topics.

  • @dennism said in Opera VPN not working in UAE:

    For the last 4 days the VPN service is not working, I just get an 'orange' VPN and it just says 'connecting' - but it never does? I have cleared the cache, checked my virus software, cleared that as well amd done a re-install of opera - still no VPN?
    What is wrong? ...

    I suggest directing your attention to an earlier post regarding VPN problems that I made in the https://forums.opera.com/topic/30470/vpn-not-working thread, copied below:


    Opera currently operates its own VPN servers; it used to use SurfEasy's when the VPN capability was first included in the browser. That change resulted in Opera offering only regional connections instead of country connections. In using a VPN, multiple steps (and factors) are involved. When you employ Opera's VPN option, the browser obtains proper credentials and talks to the IP of a specified Opera proxy server, using an https connection (which inherently includes https encryption). When a user makes connection to a website URL, Opera's browser VPN mode sends packets to the IP of the VPN server using proxy-authorization request headers over the https connection. The VPN server performs a DNS lookup of the URL to obtain the website's IP and contacts that site. Site data is received by the VPN server, encrypted by https, and sent to the user, who then views the site as if he were able to visit it directly.

    Things that might block the VPN from functioning would include:

    1. Defective/corrupted https certificates for the VPN server as accessed by the browser, or unavailability on the user's system of the necessary encryption protocols specified by the cert and/or VPN server.
    2. Blockage by the ISP or regional Internet backbone of the IP of Opera's VPN server.
    3. Interference by the ISP or regional Internet backbone with proxy-authorization request headers in general.
    4. Problems with the VPN server's DNS lookup of the user-sought URL.
    5. VPN server problems in general.
    6. Problems with a website responding to a particular VPN's IP (either intentional or accidental).

    For regional VPN problems, special attention should be paid to items 2 and 3. Problems from those two causes are outside of Opera's ability to unilaterally remedy, and can only be resolved by the user directly consulting his ISP and/or regional Internet authorities (if that is deemed to be personally safe in that locale). An alternative might be to try to get through using another VPN service - not all of them may be blocked at any given time.