BolehVPN in a nutshell:
- P2P permission: Yes
- Business premises: Malaysia and Seychelles
- Number of servers: 35
- Number of countries: 12
- Cost: $ 80 all year
- VPN protocol: OpenVPN and L2TP
- Data encryption: AES-256
- Data authentication: SHA2
- Handshake Encryption: RSA-4096
Many VPNs right now are trying to be as user-friendly as possible with a simple connect button and a simplified list of server locations. Not so with BolehVPN. This Malaysia based VPN is not focused on ease of use, but at the same time there may not be enough to satisfy experienced users.
It has some interesting features that savvy users will appreciate, like an obfuscation technology designed to make your VPN traffic similar to normal traffic. You can selectively direct traffic from certain programs through the VPN and use the perfect secrecy for more privacy.
BolehVPN is also based on the so-called Five Eyes jurisdiction (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) sharing intelligence, which some users might appreciate. While BolehVPN has its offices in Malaysia, the company is officially incorporated into Seychelles.
Note: this review is part of our summary of the best VPNs . Go there for details on competing products and how we have tested them.
Features and services
When you first start BolehVPN on Windows, you can immediately see how its complexity may not be suitable for inexperienced users. There are too many buttons and panels, none of which is large enough to attract the user's attention. The program has five tabs, with the Dashboard as the default. Under Connection you can choose to use one of the two protocols: OpenVPN or L2TP.
The drop down menu that contains all the various servers available for connection and list is also complex. BolehVPN offers only connections to 12 countries from 35 servers, but has all kinds of different options for each country. There are BolehFlix and BolehGEO servers for using Netflix from specific regions around the world. Subsequently, "fully addressed" servers direct all traffic through the VPN instead of selectively routing the bits.
BolehVPN also offers xCloak connections that obscure traffic so that it does not seem like you are using a VPN. You can also choose "proxy" servers that only route specified traffic via VPN as a torrent app or web browser. "Proxy" options require users to configure their own applications. Finally, BolehVPN offers "streaming streaming" servers for this. These do not work with Netflix, but they should unlock generic content like the main networks.
The rest of the section Dashboard is largely informative. You can view the public IP address of the PC and the server's IP address. There are also statistics on the number of bits used with the VPN on a daily and monthly basis.
The next card is VPN Register that can be used for troubleshooting purposes. The Settings tab allows various options such as running the system, automatically reconnecting if the connection is interrupted and enabling DNS loss protection.
There is also a tab Proxy Settings and a tab Service Status where you can ping each server to see how it is currently running. Strangely, this final tab requires manual ping of the BolehVPN servers instead of running it automatically.
BolehVPN is available for Windows, Mac and Android. The app for Android is not available on Google Play. Instead, you download the APK directly from the service client's login area. This means that Android users will have to set up their phones to accept access from untrusted sources.
BolehVPN has several price options. You can get a one-week subscription for $ 3.70, 30 days for $ 10, 60 days for $ 17, six months for $ 45 or a full year for $ 80. The company accepts a wide variety of payments , including regular credit cards and PayPal options. You can also pay with Bitcoin via Bitpay (or via Bitcoin directly) and a number of other cryptocurrencies via CoinPayments.
Overall, BolehVPN's performance was on average 35 percent of the basic download speed based on five locations around the world. The US connection – we used the BolehFlix test option – was exceptionally fast, with the United Kingdom, Germany and Singapore doing quite well.
Privacy, anonymity and trust
The business address of BolehVPN is Reddi Building, 393 Jalan Datuk Abang Abdul Rahim, 93450 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. The founders of the company include Reuben Yap and Roselyna Abdul Latiff.
Registration is a measure of "last resort" and has happened very rarely, according to the company. However, registration has taken place and the company is willing to do it again if it deems necessary.
BolehVPN is a competent service that some experienced users can appreciate. Its speed is good, but the user interface has a level of complexity that seems useless. The BolehVPN offers payment options are extensive and varied, although it would be nice to see it add a cash option.
The big critical point, however, is that BolehVPN is willing to activate its recording capabilities when needed. This is a major disadvantage in terms of privacy, even if individual users will have to decide for themselves whether to trust BolehVPN on this issue or not. Please note that technically any VPN service can start recording at any time. At least with BolehVPN the company is in the front row.
Editor's Note: Because online services are often iterative, with new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to order changes to accurately reflect the current status of the service. Any changes to the text or our final review verdict will be noted at the beginning of this article.