We ought to communicate. It’s in our DNA: whereas every species existing on planet Earth can’t successfully establish conversations, the human kind not only can but needs to do it with the intention of avoiding isolation and mental illnesses. It is one of the requisites for survival: if you don’t believe that, ask Tom Hanks!
As the world becomes a globalized place in which traveling and trips are frequent, tech companies have developed apps and platforms in which we can communicate even despite being thousands of miles away. First, it was the phone. Mobile devices then took over, but before that, the Internet began its rise to stardom.
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VoIP services: voice over the Internet!
Incorporating both web and phone technologies, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services allow us to exchange messages with our peers via text, sounds, or even video, no matter how far the two (or more) parties are.
WhatsApp calling, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber, and other qualify as VoIP services. Unfortunately, censorship has also experienced growth in the last few years. Some government and political forces believe that if the citizens have access to those apps, they can use it against the interest of the state.
China, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates block access to the mentioned VoIP services and website content of other social media outlets, such as YouTube and Facebook.
The challenges of Internet censorship
Global censorship is a disgrace that has been preventing regular, ordinary, and harmless people from communicating with their family and loved ones while also finding entertainment ways in a stressful planet. Studies have reported that, by 2013, 27 nations banned VoIP services and almost 40% of the world was unable to use them.
The United Arab Emirates considers that VoIP services provide unlicensed and unauthorized communications, or how they like to call it, “prohibited contents as per the UAE regulatory framework.”
Facebook Messenger and the UAE situation
Facebook Messenger calling falls under the category of VoIP services. It is a cool app managed by the social media giants, and it is good for voice calling anyone within the world’s largest social platform. Users around the globe can access it in iOS and Android. However, people in the UAE can’t enjoy it because of a silly regulation.
What is behind the regulation? The government controls all communications within the UAE territory, and the only two telecom companies that are allowed to offer VoIP calling services are Etisalat and DU. They are incredibly expensive.
So there you go. It is all about protecting the interest of the two most prominent telecom companies functioning in the nation. However, thousands of expats living there can’t hear the voice of their loved ones.
Other popular VoIP services and social media platforms blocked in the UAE
- Facebook Messenger
- Kik Messenger
- KakaoTalk Messenger
- BBM (BlackBerry Messenger)
Surviving with a VPN
The UAE government blocks any user’s attempt to visit the mentioned websites and download the apps in their devices because it can recognize when a person in the country tries to enter them. How? Well, because of their IP address. The Internet Protocol (IP) number functions as the online identity of every device connected to the web.
If the state-controlled Internet Service Provider sees that a citizen tries to enter one of these services from inside the nation, it will automatically restrict access. However, if customers find a way to hide their real IP address and acquire one from another country, then the possibility to use Facebook Messenger in the UAE exists.
Virtual Private Networks represent one of the most convenient ways to hide your IP address and replace it with another one at your convenience. If you are in the UAE and want to unblock Facebook Messenger calling, you need to hire a VPN and connect to a server from another nation, thus obtaining an IP address that the ISP won’t recognize as local.
VPNs encrypt all the user’s data and traffic in addition to their IP address. That is why it provides anonymity and security, because hackers, malware developers, and other Internet-related threats will have a much harder time inflicting any damage. To achieve robust encryption, VPNs use protocols to create a virtual tunnel in which all the detailed information will travel.
How to unblock Facebook Messenger calling in the UAE
- Choose a VPN service provider with virtual servers in various locations outside the UAE
- Go to that VPN’s website
- Register for the VPN service. You will have to provide a payment method as well as personal information
- Create a username and a password or use the credentials that the VPN provider sends you
- Download and install the VPN app or client on your device
- Launch the VPN app
- Log in to your recently created VPN account
- Connect to a server from a different country than the UAE
- Once connected, open Facebook Messenger
- Call a friend, a loved one, or a relative and talk for hours!
Use TorGuard to bypass UAE censorship
Although VPN is a relatively new technology (it has been around since 1996, but its popularity rose not long ago), there are already dozens of apps populating the market. One of the top alternatives to unblock Facebook Messenger calling in the UAE is TorGuard.
TorGuard has a strong track record of privacy and security management, and its reputation is among the best in the industry. It has a broad network, with more than 3,000 servers in 55 nations, so you can choose which one to connect to call your favorite contacts via Messenger.
It has other exciting features, such as availability of OpenVPN and other protocols, AES 256-bit encryption, a live chat service, five simultaneous devices, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and P2P activity allowance, all for $10 per month.
In conclusion, Internet censorship is a shameful act by governments because they restrict services for their citizens without an understandable reason. People in the UAE can’t use VoIP apps such as Facebook Messenger, so they can’t call anyone without hassle. It is unfair.
However, and thanks to the existence of VPN apps, people living in the Emirates can obtain IP addresses from different countries to bypass the Messenger calling block. TorGuard is the most recommended VPN service in the market to unblock Facebook Messenger calling.