BolehVPN Review 2021: Is it worth the price?
Finding the best VPN for your needs requires careful analysis of various VPN providers. Fortunately, we have done the hard work for you, and this BolehVPN review lets you know everything you should above the VPN provider.
- Fast download speeds
- Works with Netflix & BBC iPlayer
- Allows torrenting
- Solid privacy & security
- Specialized servers
- Has a Kill Switch and DNS leak protection
- No iOS app
- Small server network
- Limited refund policy
- Support not available 24/7
BolehVPN is a Malaysia-based VPN service that has been around since 2007. The VPN service was established to provide privacy and internet privacy to users in Southeast Asia, but it has since grown to gain users from other regions. This is due to the VPN's great privacy and security and other functionalities such as working Netflix and other streaming services.
BolehVPN hasn’t managed to hit the levels of top VPN providers such as ExpressVPN, but it still offers a decent service, making it an option worth looking at. This BolehVPN review will explore the VPN’s strengths and weaknesses to help you decide whether it’s the VPN for you.
- Pros & Cons
- Quick Navigation
- What can BolehVPN do?
- Is BolehVPN Secure?
- BolehVPN Server Network
- BolehVPN Features
- Pricing & Plans
- Getting started with BolehVPN
- How fast is BolehVPN?
- BolehVPN Customer Support
Besides its goal to provide privacy and evade censorship, BolehVPN also provides some great functionalities.
You can use the VPN to access various streaming services that are not available in your region and unlock new Netflix titles. BolehVPN provides access to Netflix US through its dedicated Netflix servers, and we were able to stream in HD without any issues.
We also managed to unblock BBC iPlayer by connecting to the BBC iPlayer server.
Although BolehVPN doesn’t make it to our list of the best VPNs for streaming, the VPN is decent enough to provide the most in-demand streaming services.
Does BolehVPN support torrenting?
Yes, BolehVPN supports torrenting. The VPN’s website states that the VPN is optimized for P2P traffic, and it does not mention any restrictions in terms of servers or usage.
BolehVPN is a secure VPN. Here’s a look at how it handles both privacy and security.
BolehVPN is based in Malaysia, and their warrant canary (which is a good touch) states that the VPN “is subject to Malaysian law and not subject to laws such as the US Patriot Act." However, the VPN's Terms of Service states that “our services will be governed by the law of Seychelles.”
For the most part, the VPN claims to be based in Malaysia but incorporated in Seychelles, making it subject to Seychelles' law. Regardless, both are offshore countries, and their warrant canary keeps users updated with information requests.
As for logging, the VPN states that:
"We do not keep logs of user activity including user access, DNS requests, timestamps, bandwidth usage, or user's IP addresses."
This is quite a good policy, although the VPN further states that “we may turn on logs temporarily to identify abuse of our services.” This is usually done for the particular server being abused to kick out the offender.
To boost user privacy, BolehVPN provides a DNS leak protection feature to prevent exposure while you are connected to the VPN. We tested the feature with multiple servers, and we were glad to see that there were no leaks.
There's also a kill switch that helps prevent further exposure if your VPN connection drops.
BolehVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption with SHA-2 hashing and RSA 4096-bit key authentication. Perform Forward Secrecy is implemented through the Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange (DHE). Overall, this is solid security, and so you can send any data securely over the network.
In terms of protocols, BolehVPN provides both OpenVPN and L2TP. OpenVPN is the recommended protocol as it has a great balance of speed and security.
L2TP as the only alternative is not good enough as the protocol is both slower and less secure than OpenVPN. There are better protocols, such as IKEv2, which could provide better security and performance.
If you’d like more options, ExpressVPN provides Lightway (a proprietary protocol), OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP.
BolehVPN VPN doesn’t do well in terms of servers and locations.
The VPN provides a network of just 35 servers in 14 countries. These include the USA, UK, Germany, Canada, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, Hong Kong, France, Japan, and Finland. Overall, this is quite a small server Network, especially when you consider NordVPN offers 5,400+ servers in 59 countries.
Apart from the number of BolehVPN servers, the VPN does well to provide specialized servers on their network. On the app, the servers are listed according to their purpose:
Regular: These are either UDP or TCP, and they offer a general VPN connection.
Cloaked: These are servers with obfuscation capabilities.
Proxied: These are servers that allow HTTPS or Socks5 proxy connections.
Surfing and streaming: These are servers optimized for streaming. They include Netflix US and BBC iPlayer servers.
BolehVPN doesn’t boast a full-featured app. However, it still manages to cater to the needs of most users with the following functionalities:
Cloaking: BolehVPN provides obfuscated servers. These servers can disguise VPN traffic to make it look like regular traffic and avoid Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) blocking.
Kill Switch: BolehVPN has a kill switch known as "Lockdown." This feature disables all internet connections to prevent exposure whenever your VPN connection drops.
DNS Leak Protection: This feature comes in handy as it prevents your DNS from leaking out of the secure tunnel.
These are all decent features, although you can get more and better features. NordVPN more advanced features such as split tunneling, ad blockers, and SmartDNS.
BolehVPN offers multiple plans that users can subscribe to. All these plans offer the same functionalities, so the only difference is the subscription length. Here's a breakdown of the plans:
- 1 Month Plan: Costs $9.99.
- 2 Month Plan: Costs $8.50 a month, billed $16.99 every 2 months.
- 6 Month Plan: Costs $7.50 a month, billed $44.99 every 6 months.
- 1 Year Plan: Costs $6.67 a month, billed $79.99 every 2 months.
Apart from the above, there’s also a 1-week trial which costs $3.70.
Overall, BolehVPN price is on the upper end of the mid-bracket VPNs. Their 6-month and 1-year plans are even more expensive than Surfshark, which is one of the best overall VPNs. If you'd like to get more value at a better price, Surfshark VPN should be your go-to option.
Accepted payment methods
BolehVPN accepts payments through Paymentwall, PayDollar, PayPal, BitPay, and CoinPayments. You can also make bank transfers through a provided account and upload proof of payment. If you choose to pay through Paymentwall, there's a 10% discount code provided at checkout.
Does BolehVPN have a free trial?
BolehVPN provides a free trial. However, the trial is limited to only 2-3 servers. Getting it is also not a straightforward process as you have to provide your email and create an account.
Apart from that, the VPN states that “We reserve the right to decline to give free trials without assigning any reason in our absolute discretion.” This is not an easy process, and so BolehVPN doesn’t make it to our list of the best free trial VPNs.
Does BolehVPN have a money-back guarantee?
BolehVPN does not have a money-back guarantee, but they have a refund policy. We say refund because they state that: “A refund will be processed only if any problems with the service have been notified to us and we have been given an opportunity to troubleshoot and rectify your issues.”
Requests have to be made within 14 days or 2 days for the 7-day trial. Note that the VPN does not refund subscriptions made through cryptocurrency.
The BolehVPN website is easy to navigate, and we also didn’t have any trouble getting information about the VPN. To get started, you first need to create an account by providing your email address, a username, and a password.
From there, you will receive a link to activate your account, and you can then choose a subscription plan and a payment method. You can then download the VPN apps for your various devices.
Which devices & platforms does BolehVPN support?
BolehVPN provides custom apps for Windows, Mac, and Android. Unfortunately, there’s no BolehVPN iOS or BolehVPN Linux app. This means that if you use such devices, you will have to rely on manual configurations or use OpenVPN to set up the VPN.
Ease of use
To test the VPN’s performance and ease of use for this review, we installed it on a Windows 10 PC. The BolehVPN download file is quite small (about 7Mb), and so it downloaded in a couple of seconds.
Installing the app was also quite easy and only took about a minute. Here's how the VPN app looks like after the first login.
We found the app to be quite detailed, although this doesn’t make it hard to use.
You can customize your connection under the settings tab. Among the options are the kill switch (known as lockdown) and the DNS leak protection feature. It's important you activate the latter immediately as the VPN leaks when the feature is not activated. These leaks can affect your privacy as well as your ability to stream.
You can set up a proxy and ping the servers to find the best server depending on your location and the server's state on the other tabs.
Back on the dashboard, you can select your protocol (it's advisable to use the default OpenVPN) and select your server from the drop-down menu. These servers are labeled according to their specialty. In the case of TCP and UDP servers, it's advisable to go with the faster UDP version.
Once you select your server, you can then click the connect button. We were not impressed with how long it took to connect to a server. But other than that, we didn’t experience any major issues.
On the negative side, the VPN app lacks a quick connect button to connect you to the best server, depending on your location. You are also limited to just 3 simultaneous streams. If you’d like to use the VPN on many devices, Surfshark VPN provides apps for all VPN-compatible devices and offers unlimited connections.
Due to the small server network, we expected the VPN to have average speeds, but we were impressed with the performance.
To test the speed of the VPN, we used a stable Fiber connection with the speeds indicated below.
We then connected to several nearby servers, and here’s the average speed.
From there, we tested several distant servers, and we were surprised by the speeds.
Overall, BolehVPN proved to be super-fast, with the only significant drop being in the upload speeds.
Note: All tests were done using UDP servers.
BolehVPN support isn’t impressive. The VPN doesn't have live chat support or telephone support. The only way you can contact the team is through their Zendesk ticket system or by emailing them directly at [email protected]. Their representatives are not active 24/7, and we only got a reply after 6 hours.
Other than that, there are installation guides, FAQs, and a user forum.
BolehVPN is an average VPN provider with some real strengths and some serious disappointments. The VPN is mostly suited (and aimed at) users in the Southeast Asian region who would like to unblock streaming services and avoid ISP censorships.
However, its small server network doesn’t suit users in most regions, and its pricing is high for a middle-tier VPN service provider. You can get what BolehVPN offers and more at the same price using a top VPN provider such as Surfshark VPN.