BolehVPN Review – A Malaysian Based VPN Provider offering Privacy, Security and Anonymity for a better Internet Experience

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BolehVPN

RM 260.00 ($79.99)
6.6

Jurisdiction

4.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Anonymity

7.5/10

Security

7.0/10

Privacy

7.0/10

Value

5.5/10

Advantages

  • Cyrptocurrencies supported
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • DNS Leak Protection
  • Kill Switch
  • Multi-Platform compatibility
  • Easy to use
  • Feature packed

Disadvantages

  • 1-Day trial requires registration
  • No iOS application
  • Limited number of servers
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BolehVPN – Source.

BolehVPN is a Malaysian based virtual private network service provider. The service initially founded by Reuben Yap, 12 years ago. According to BolehVPN, the service provider claims that they don’t practice logging (no log). However, in the recent times, only a few VPN providers did prove their claims of being a no-log policy VPN provider by undergoing a third party audit. So, we still have trust issues with this provider. Apart from that, BolehVPN also provides an unlimited amount of bandwidth allocated for p2p activity, streaming and gaming activity.

BolehVPN offers several features such as:

  • Ability to obfuscate VPN traffic to mask VPN use
  • Supports multiple devices with one account – 6 clients to be specifically
  • On demand choice in Fully Routed or Proxied VPN services
  • No bandwidth limitations

BolehVPN employs the latest hashing algorithm, known as SHA-2, a 256-bit AES military grade encryption that has proven virtually to be defensive against brute-force techniques. It also features a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) build that supports up to 4096 bits to secure the network from cyber-attackers. BolehVPN uses the latest VPN protocol, which is highly recommended by the cyber-security analysts, OpenVPN. In addition, BolehVPN also offers L2TP support for the older generation device (backward-compatible), however, they’re not secure enough to protect you. BolehVPN doesn’t offer IKev2 for mobile platforms, although currently, providing an .apk file for android users and forcing them to use OpenVPN protocol instead.

Subscription Pricing’s

BolehVPN offers one day free trial for new users. However, the free-trial is only possible when you registered an account. According to the source, BolehVPN only offers only 3 selective servers for trial users. – Subscription Packages – BolehVPN.

Package Price (USD) Price (MYR)
Free 1 Day Free Trial – Each registered account
7 Days 3.70 10.00
30 Days 9.99 30.00
60 Days 16.99 50.00
180 Days 44.99 140.00
365 Days 79.99 260.00

Based on the plans offered, we personally feel that, for the number of servers offered by them, the pricings are quite expensive. From our point of view, BolehVPN may be one of the expensive VPN providers with a limited number of servers offered.

Supported Payment Gateways

BolehVPN supports Mo-Pay that features major Malaysian-based bank gateway for Malaysians. International users can purchase the subscription through PayPal, Bitpay and PaymentWall.

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BolehVPN – Payment gateway.

BolehVPN also includes Manual Payment Proof Upload (MEPS) where the users can opt to do real-time cash payment instead of online banking to the given account credentials to increase your payment and subscription privacy. Once the payment has been made, the service will be automatically activated and you can directly proceed to use the service.

Jurisdiction

A brief research has been conducted to dig into the company’s profile. Based on our research, the company headquartered in Kuching, Sarawak located in East Malaysia. Although the company located in non-fourteen eyes alliance, their service is actually under the Seychelles jurisdiction.

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BolehVPN – No log policy.

Quoting, “being a company operating outside of the jurisdiction alliances“, adding the salt to the injuries, the service was governed by the law of Seychelles. However, their warrant canary states that, BolehVPN is a subject to Seychelles law and not subject to laws such as the US Patriot Act, in the interests of transparency and accountability, the provider will issue a monthly warrant canary in the first week of the month, the users remains protected.

Server Locations

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BolehVPN – Number of servers offered.

The source claims that, a total of 35 servers located in the 12 strategic locations offered. If we proceed to crack up the servers jurisdiction status, three of the servers located in five-eyes alliance i.e. Canada, United Kingdom and USA. Next, another two servers located in the nine-eyes alliance, i.e. France and Netherlands. Finally, another two servers located in the fourteen-eyes alliances, i.e. Germany and Sweden. Totaling up the fourteen-eyes alliances servers (five-eyes + nine-eyes), about 7 of them located in the mass surveillance countries out of 12 offered servers. The status of these servers somehow appeared to be obscure.

Compatibility

We’ve uploaded the BolehGUI.exe file to the VirusTotal website to undergo security testing before being verified that the file is secure to be installed.

What we liked about BolehVPN is, it is multi-platform compatible. Currently, major operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS and Linux are supported as standard.

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BolehVPN – Web Dashboard.

Wait, there is more, as BolehVPN is compatible with Linux-based router firmware such as Asus-Merlin, DD-WRT and Sabai Technology-based routers.

Feature Walkthrough

Desktop (Windows 10 1903)

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BolehVPN – BolehGUI Welcome Screen.

Setting up the BolehGUI for first use is rather similar to the other windows standard installation. Once the installation process finished, the BolehGUI app can be launched. Before accessing to its features, the user has to enter their login credentials by using the exact credentials entered during the registration process of BolehVPN account.

The BolehGUI is feature-packed desktop application. The user-interface is rather simple and easy to be accessed. The panels are well mapped. Over the dashboard, VPN protocol and selective server are offered in the form of a drop-down menu selection. Looking at the VPN protocols offered, sadly, only L2TP and OpenVPN given as an options. We don’t really recommend L2TP as per current time instead suggesting OpenVPN instead. The servers can be selected depending on your requirements. You can get to know the purpose of each servers with a weird naming scheme by BolehVPN here.

Next, moving into the Settings panel, this is where the important process takes place. We would highly recommend you to enable the DNS Leak Protection feature and the Enable Lock Down feature that act as a Kill Switch if the VPN route/service goes down. Other than these features, a pinging feature were present as well to ping out all the servers at once and we personally consider this is a great alternative over testing the stability of each servers via the speedtest to know the result.

Wireless Router (Asus-Merlin environment)

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BolehVPN – ASUS AC68U VPN Client setup (BolehVPN Singapore).

We extend our testing by integrating the BolehVPN OpenVPN configuration into the built-in VPN feature in our ASUS AC68U wireless router that currently running on a stable 384.13 firmware version by Asus-Merlin. BolehVPN provides a tutorial of how to integrate the files in the built-in VPN client of your ASUS routers that runs only with Asus-Merlin. Do not worry as, BolehVPN generously provides tutorial for other supported router platform as well.

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BolehVPN – AC68U’s VPN status.

We only able to integrate up to 5 different servers, i.e. IPv4 servers specifically. We take an extra precaution to further customize the VPN settings like enabling the DNS request to Exclusive and enabling kill switch function for only selected device. You also can further setup 6 client devices for each server. In addition, we’ve disabled ASUS’s AiProtection to further improve the bandwidth speed testing.

Anonymity Testing

A good VPN can’t promise you 100% anonymity. But, it does reduces the chances of getting traced by your ISP’s or cyber criminals.

DNS Leak Test

We begun our testing with DNS leak test and surprisingly, BolehVPN did pass the test. We further extend the testing by switching over the servers and we’re still welcomed with positive results from our testing.

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC)

We did run through WebRTC test and found that no leakage was found. We recommend Firefox browser for its customization features and TOR Browser borrows code from Firefox.

IP Leaks

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BolehVPN – IPLeak test.

No IP leaks encountered while testing the servers. The tests summarizes BolehVPN as the one of the reputable VPN providers out there until they’ve proven their no log audit sometime near in the future to earn more trust from the users.

Bandwidth Speed Testing

Encryption reduces the bandwidth utilization. BolehVPN suffers heavily from this situation. We’re currently engaged with our local ISP provider, UniFi by Telekom Malaysia with subscribed package, 800Mbps (Download) / 200Mbps (Upload). We did run through all the available servers and to our surprise, the outcome was quite average.

Server Location Ping (ms) Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps)
Canada 248 13.65 9.56
France 277 18.85 31.85
Germany 197 36.71 10.41
Luxembourg 278 15.38 9.50
Netherlands 348 5.45 10.97
Singapore 11 45.59 38.61
UK 247 14.16 5.24
US 250 12.90 8.81

Each server selection only provides one dedicated server to be used. In other word, if a server A located in Singapore, and the server A only has one server, then that one server is the only best selection you can use at the moment. We aren’t really satisfied, really.

p2p – Torrenting

BolehVPN does not support port-forwarding on its major servers, or rather limited to two selected servers, IPv4-Fully-Routed-Dedicated-Switzerland and Luxembourg servers. The result from torrenting is not really up to the standard, especially if you opt for the server that doesn’t offer port-forwarding features. BolehVPN does support p2p file sharing, but don’t really expect a high speed bandwidth when torrenting.

Support

They’re reachable through their email and forums provided, officially. For unofficial purpose, you can reach to them easily via their dedicated facebook page to keep in touch and know the recent cyber-security news from them. They do have their recently implemented life-chat support over their site. BolehVPN also have their own community site and the moderator seems to be unresponsive as most of the questions posted, remains unanswered.

Their self-tutorial article published really helpful, especially if the first time VPN-subscribers who wish for an easy maintenance on their side. BolehVPN did improve a-lot in recent years. Well done, BolehVPN members.


Why we didn’t test the streaming compatibility?

We haven’t subscribed to any online media streaming platform such as Netflix, hence, we skipped the part and focus more on the privacy and security of a virtual private network“. – Arun.


Conclusions

From our perspective, BolehVPN need to revise their current pricing plans and increase their available number of servers, especially with the servers that aren’t located within the fourteen-eyes alliances. Next,  we didn’t mention BolehVPN performed poorly, we’re just saying, the service provider should improve their services, and as an example, one of their competitors that currently rising up to the top place in the VPN market, SurfShark. BolehVPN certainly pass through the tests with flying colors and their speed performance is quite average. Being supported on multiple platforms is an additional plus-point of the service provider especially with TOR compatibility.

The question we ask to our self is, “Can we recommend BolehVPN as a trusted VPN provider out there?“, and our answer is, “Yes, partially“. Our supportive points would be, the service is really great, we rarely faced zero-downtime, but we’re aren’t really satisfy with the limited number of servers offered. If you’re looking for a VPN service provider that offers more servers and more countries, particularly outside of fourteen-eyes jurisdiction, sadly, we can’t really recommend any trusted VPN’s at this time. But, as long as you didn’t really do any illegal activity and wish to stay away from being monitored by your ISP‘s, then any VPN service will be an excellent choice for you. We can recommend BolehVPN to the users who wish to maintain their privacy and security while browsing through the internet and with a minimal torrenting activity, but not for the hardcore users.

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