Internet here in Riyadh, K.S.A.

Written by | Internet, Saudi Arabia

I’ve been here in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) for two weeks now and there’s so much I need to learn, plus I’m still in the process of getting my own Internet Connection, so for now I’m using this free wifi/neighbor’s wifi. 🙂

For the past 2 days the Internet was down, though I’m just enjoying the benefit of a free internet, I did try to find out what was the caused the down time. It appears that there was a system upgrade being done by the ISP.

I also learned that here in K.S.A. (Saudi), they’re implementing a content filtering system, which block web sites that are related to drugs, alcohol, gambling, terrorism and bomb-making, account theft, and copyright infringment.

Here’s one of their FAQ from

3. What kind of content is filtered?

The vast majority of the web pages that are blocked by the filtering system (95 %), are pornographic. In addition to that also pages that are related to drugs, alcohol, gambling, terrorism and bomb-making, account theft, and copyright infringment are blocked, as well as limited numbers of websites containing extreme cases of slander or abuse directed towards the Islamic religion or Saudi laws and regulations.

You can read the complete FAQs here.

Anyhow the connection is back up with occasional hiccups here and there but immediately restored. Just to see how is the connection speed of the ISP, I performed a speed test via and You can see the results below.

The ISP is Saudi Telecom ( and from the two (2) speedtest result, it looks like that I have a decent connection speed, however doing a benchmark test and real world test are two different thing.

Both my web access and download time tells me otherwise, when I access web sites like,,,, it took me at least 3 minutes to completely load the web site; while it took me 15 mins or more to download a 5MB to 10 MB of file attachment. So there is definitely an issue with the connection.

The connection may be slow, but it’s better this than no connection at all. Hopefully this connection speed will be more stable in the coming days.

Btw, this post may sounds like a complain, but it’s not. How can you complain if you’re getting it for free. 🙂

Last modified: August 2, 2010

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