BolehVPN might not be a power player or one of those providers that immediately ring a bell every time you hear their name, but nevertheless it’s on our list and we’ll give it the same treatment as we have with other similar VPN services.
During our review process, we’re going to dig around for a bit, trying to find some relevant information about the company behind the project, analyze their policies to see if they play dirty or not, give the service a spin, test its security and speed, determine its reliability and grant it a rating at the end of it.
Yes, we understand that just by the looks of it, this review is going to be a fairly long read, but for all that it’s worth, we’ve thought about that and included a table of content for your convenience. That way, if you want to skip some parts that just don’t get you all excited, you can click whatever chapter seems to be resembling your cup of tea. Sounds good? Let’s begin.
- Company information
- Malaysia Jurisdiction
- Terms of service analysis
- A quick introduction to BolehVPN
- Creating an account
- Downloading the app on your device
- Checking the installer for malware
- Installing the application
- Running BolehVPN on your computer
- Several features
- Changing the settings
- List of servers
- Services unlocked
- TOR and torrenting support
- Customer support
- Security check-up results
- Speed test results
- Pricing plans
According to the official website, BolehVPN was initially started as a private project, arising from the need of freeing the Internet, after the founders’ local ISP started restricting content and throttling connections. The solution to the obvious issue was to create a service that would eliminate (or rather bypass) the restrictions and also provide the user with anonymity.
The company’s name is BolehVPN Sdn Bhd and it’s located in Reddi Building, 393 Jalan Datuk Abang Abdul Rahim, 93450 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, but there is a mention that these details shouldn’t be used for support and other similar inquiries.
On an ending note, there is a statement that BolehVPN values privacy a great deal and that a strict policy of no-logging is enforced. Furthermore, offshore jurisdiction and “high encryption options” are mentioned.
“Privacy is also our top priority and we maintain a strict policy of no-logging, maintain an offshore jurisdiction and have high encryption options.”
As you can see from the above section, BolehVPN is located in Malaysia, so this is the time to include some information about Malaysian jurisdiction so that you can understand better how your data will be handled and the level of responsibility your privacy will be treated with.
First things first, VPNs are perfectly legal in Malaysia, so there are no repercussions if you decide to use one in this country. Aside from a cloudy part of this country’s Internet usage history, Malaysia enjoys relatively unhampered Internet usage, as the government doesn’t enforce mandatory data retention laws, has a stand-in preserving the civil liberties of Internet users and keeps from censoring online content.
Malaysia is also not a member of the 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances, so there’s little to no chance that your data will be seized by another member country if such circumstances ever occur.
Terms of service analysis
It’s not that you would’ve gone there by yourself since we all know how trigger-happy we all tend to be when it comes to licensing agreements, terms of service documents and policies (e.g. clicking Next until exhaustion), but the policy pages are impossible to access directly from the website.
And it’s not because they’re hidden, either. The current design of the website has been poorly executed so that almost everything in the footer can’t be accessed via clicking. What happened there is that an IPv4/IPv6 test has been placed directly on top of the footer so that everything underneath became unclickable, including the “About Us,” “Affiliates,” “Privacy,” “Terms of Service” and the “Warrant Canary” pages.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t get creative in our research, so we’ve searched for the pages and reached them via Google’s popular engine. As usual, we’re going to extract the essentials and bring them back to you. For your convenience, of course.
- The terms of service document were last updated on February 3rd, 2017, so you might want to check if this date changes, as it might be a good indicator that some modifications have been made to the document;
- It goes without saying that if you use BolehVPN’s services, you automatically agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the said agreement;
Not a lot of terms of service have this (none, if I recall correctly), but BolehVPN comes with a changelog that briefly mentions the changes that have been made since the latest update.
- You are not allowed to use BolehVPN’s services to perform illegal or criminal activities, especially if those are related to terrorist activities, blackmail, child pornography, online bullying and/or harassment and/or other activities that threaten others’ safety or ruin their lives;
- You are not allowed to violate the laws of any jurisdiction that you might be originating from while using the service;
- You understand that it’s your sole responsibility to be aware of the laws of your location’s jurisdiction;
- You are not allowed to engage in any sort of activity that might resemble or be related to hacking, scanning ports, denial of service (DoS) or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, spamming, unsolicited communication or the such;
- BolehVPN is not to be held responsible for any of your actions;
- You will indemnify BolehVPN fully for damages, losses or liabilities that are incurred by BolehVPN as a result of your actions;
- BolehVPN does not impose strict limitations on their speed or bandwidth, but those are subject to fair usage and should be kept within reasonable limits of normal residential usage;
- General traffic throughput and server speeds are monitored, but individual usage and bandwidth are not;
- Unusual loading or abnormal traffic patterns will be investigated and if excessive bandwidth usage is discovered, the corresponding users’ accounts might be terminated;
- Although consistent high-bandwidth use of the service for more than 12 hours is considered to be excessive use, BolehVPN reserves their right to determine at their own discretion what excessive usage is;
- You can use a maximum of three (3) simultaneous connections on the same BolehVPN account;
- It is your sole responsibility to keep your username, password, keys and certificates secure, as well as prevent third parties from accessing and using them;
- BolehVPN states that it doesn’t log any of your activity or access, but that if they notice any unusual activity going on in their servers, they may turn on logs temporarily to identify abuse, identify the abuser, terminate its account, issue him an email with the reason of termination and wipe the logs;
- A refund can be requested within fourteen (14) days from the activation of your account if you’re not satisfied with the service or if it doesn’t work for you. Refunds won’t be given outside of this window;
Here’s an interesting find: using BolehVPN will be governed by the laws of Seychelles, even though the company is located in Malaysia. However, this doesn’t change things: using a VPN is legal in Seychelles and this country is not a member of the 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances.
- The only personal details that are required from you during sign-up are a username and a valid email address, but it still depends on the payment method of your choice;
- You can provide them with any additional piece of information if you want to (such as your name);
- BolehVPN’s customer database keeps your email, your order date, the date and method of payment as well as any other piece of information you willingly provided them with;
- Your personal information won’t be sold or redistributed to anyone unless required by law;
- BolehVPN’s website uses analytics to help them understand the location of their customers, but no personally-identifiable information is captured;
- BolehVPN doesn’t condone criminal or illegal activities;
- Seychelles, much like Malaysia, is not subject to any mandatory data retention laws;
- BolehVPN states that there’s not much data to share even when requested since they claim not to be keeping logs. However, if law enforcement agencies request your data while the logging window is active, then the data they’d receive is much more relevant than they’d hope;
If you’re not familiar with the term, a warrant canary acts like a silent notification that BolehVPN’s servers have been seized. Usually, during a seize, companies receive a gag order which prevents them from letting anyone know about what’s going on, so a canary is used instead.
A quick introduction to BolehVPN
BolehVPN is, as its name strongly suggests, a VPN service that’s meant to protect your online privacy and boost your connection’s security by routing all your traffic through one of their servers (one at a time, obviously), thus creating a tunnel connection.
Judging by the information we stumbled upon on the product’s official website, BolehVPN stands out from the VPN crowd by selectively routing traffic through the VPN, hide the fact that you’re using a VPN by relying on obfuscation technology, having an offshore jurisdiction outside of Five Eyes and using decentralized servers with PKI (Public Key Infrastructure).
Well, if we were back in time 10 years or so, then yes, the service would’ve been completely different from everything already available on the market, but none of the features listed there are actually innovations or different from the competitions. But let’s proceed with our review, remove our expectations altogether (so we can be surprised) and see what BolehVPN really has in store for us.
Creating an account
Registering for an account is more often than not the first step you’ll take if you consider using a VPN, since most of them are premium services, and not necessarily because of their top-notch quality, but because they don’t offer their service for free, meaning that you have to pay for it.
Don’t fret, since we’re here to guide you through the entire process. What’s that? You’re a pro and don’t need our help? Then feel free to skip this step, but don’t come back running if you messed up something along the way. Here’s what needs to be done:
- Head over to BolehVPN’s landing page;
- Locate the “Get A Free Trial” or the “BUY Now!” buttons on the top menu;
- Click either of them;
- On the right side of the screen, notice the “New User” section;
- Fill your credentials in the fields;
- Click the “Get a Free Trial” or “Register” buttons, depending on your preferences;
- Choose your preferred payment method if needed;
- Fill your payment details if needed;
That’s it! You now have a BolehVPN account that you can use to download the application to your device, log into the service and start anonymizing your connection by routing your traffic through its servers.
Downloading the app on your device
The next step in your exciting BolehVPN-discovery journey would be retrieving the backbone of the service on your device. Well, not the backbone per se, but it’s still as important if you come to consider that without the app it’d be much more harder to use BolehVPN, so it’s quite close.
So, without further ado, we’ll guide your steps, as we did before, through the “whole” process of downloading BolehVPN on your device (we’ll download it on our Windows computers, so you know):
- Navigate to the product’s landing page;
- Hit the “Buy Now”, “Get A Free Trial” or “Login” buttons;
- This time, spot the “Login” section of the screen;
- In this section, type your credentials (username and password);
- Optional: Tick the “Remember Me” checkbox if you want the website to remember you;
- Hit the “Login” button below the “Remember Me” checkbox;
- In your user dashboard, spot the “Download Client” pane;
- Click the hyperlink according to the device you want to download BolehVPN on;
Note: You can choose from Windows, Mac and Android clients.
Congratulations! You’ve retrieved the BolehVPN app on your device with minimum efforts. Now, for the next step.
Checking the installer for malware
You thought the next step was simply installing the application on your computer, didn’t you? Well, if you’re the type of user who doesn’t care about the wellbeing of their computer, then go ahead and install it as hastily and haphazardly as possible.
However, if you’re a cautious user like I am, you’d want to perform a malware check on the file you’ve just downloaded from the BolehVPN website. It doesn’t matter that the source seems safe, credible and whatnot, nowadays cyber attacks are targetting virtually anyone, so you can’t be too sure when it comes to your own security.
That being said, we’ve performed an online check of BolehVPN’s installer on VirusTotal. The reason why we preferred this service to a single, local antivirus solution is that this one comes with a huge collection of antivirus engines, all working at once to provide you with the ultimate malware scan: one that has a thumbs up (or down) from all its antivirus engines at once.
Although no engines actively detected anything wrong with the installer file, the social segment of VirusTotal (its community) had something to say about it, and there were reports that indicated that BolehVPN’s installer had some hacking tool embedded within it, as you can see from our results and the screenshot that we’ve attached below.
Installing the application
Finally, the installation part of our review has come and we must say that the previous malware report made us not-so-eager about it. However, we’ll soldier through the process so that you can know whether or not it’s safe to deploy BolehVPN on your device.
While we’d love to run you through the whole setup gig, we couldn’t even bring ourselves to realize what was happening, since it was over so quickly. That being said, know that installing BolehVPN on your PC doesn’t require you to do literally anything, as simply launching the installer performs everything (we’re not even exaggerating, the installer does everything for you) that needs to be done.
That’s right, there’s no additional configuration or complicated step that you need to take, just lay back and relax while the installer does its thing.
Running BolehVPN on your computer
After the installation process comes to an end, BolehVPN will be automatically launched, so there is no need for you to explore various locations on your computer searching for a way to run the app. However, Start Menu and Desktop shortcuts are automatically created as well, so it shouldn’t take you long to find it anyway.
On the main screen of the app, you should be able to see a login menu, where you can type your credentials and start using BolehVPN. The main window of the app is noticeably larger than that of other VPN services, but also holds several more features, which gives it a cluttered feel.
However, the purpose of each of the features available directly in the main window is highly intuitive, as they’re also accompanied by some brief descriptions, so that you can’t possibly go wrong.
Without further ado, if you want to connect to a server quickly, just select one from the “Connection” section and hit the “Connect” button. You can check the status of your connection in the “Current Link State” bar.
As we’ve mentioned above, BolehVPN has a generous amount of features. Well, maybe not exactly features, but the main window is rich in sections, as it provides you with several panes holding your transfer statistics, current session details, account details and also various menus that you can navigate through.
For instance, you can view a VPN log, access the status of the service, perform speed tests and adjust various settings by using the features encompassed by these menus. But configuration stuff is to be discussed in the next chapter.
Changing the settings
We’ve mentioned above the configuration possibilities, but now it’s time to get a little bit more into detail. As you can see in the app’s main window, our screenshots and the section above, the app has two configuration menus, one for app-related settings and another one strictly for proxy-related stuff.
The “Settings” menu lets you hide the app’s window whenever a connection is successful (automatically), connect to a chosen server upon booting, disable the sound, enable a lockdown mode, run the app at system startup, automatically reconnect if the connection is lost and enable a DNS leak protection. You can also check for updates and update the app from the same section.
The “Proxy Settings” section is a little bit more rudimentary, as in it only lets you select a proxy protocol type (between HTTP and SOCKS), define a proxy address, type a proxy port, enable proxy authentication and type your credentials.
However, the configuration menus are by no means complicated or ones that require a degree in rocket science so you can operate them. Most of them are easily reversible, too, so go ahead and adjust them until the preset looks just about right.
List of servers
While BolehVPN doesn’t have a complete list of servers available on their website, we made some efforts to extract all the servers from the application and put them in a list, so you can see exactly what you can connect to.
Boleh GEO – Asia – SG
Boleh Geo – EU – Netherlands
Boleh Geo – NA – Canada
Fully Routed – Canada
Fully Routed – France
Fully Routed – Germany
Fully Routed – Luxembourg
Fully Routed – Netherlands
Fully Routed – Singapore
Fully Routed – TCP – Canada
Fully Routed – TCP – Germany
Fully Routed – TCP – Singapore
Fully Routed – TCP – UK
Fully Routed – UK
IPv4 – Fully Routed – Canada
IPv4 – Fully Routed – France
IPv4 – Fully Routed – Germany
IPv4 – Fully Routed – Luxembourg – Dedicated IP
IPv4 – Fully Routed – Netherlands
IPv4 – Fully Routed – Singapore
IPv4 – Fully Routed – Sweden – Dedicated – IP
IPv4 – Fully Routed – Switzerland
IPv4 – Fully Routed – TCP – Canada
IPv4 – Fully Routed – TCP – Germany
IPv4 – Fully Routed – TCP – Singapore
IPv4 – Fully Routed – TCP – UK
IPv4 – Fully Routed – UK
IPv4 – Surfing Streaming – TCP – US
IPv4 – Surfing Streaming – US – KS
IPv4 – Surfing Streaming – US – LA
IPv4 – Surfing Streaming – US – NY
IPv4 – xCloak – Surfing Streaming – US
IPv4 – xCloak Routed – Canada
IPv4 – xCloak Routed – France
IPv4 – xCloak Routed – Germany
IPv4 – xCloak Routed – Singapore
IPv4 – xCloak Routed – TCP – Canada
IPv4 – xCloak Routed – TCP – France
IPv4 – xCloak Routed – TCP – Germany
IPv4 – xCloak Routed – UK
Proxied – Canada
Proxied – Germany
Proxied – Netherlands
Proxied – Switzerland
Proxied – TCP – Canada
Proxied – TCP – Germany
Proxied – UK
Surfing Streaming – Japan
Surfing Streaming – Malaysia
Surfing Streaming – TCP – Japan
Surfing Streaming – TCP – US
Surfing Streaming – UK
Surfing Streaming – US – KS
Surfing Streaming – US – LA
Surfing Streaming – US – NY
Surfing Streaming – US
xCloak – Surfing Streaming – Japan
xCloak – Surfing Streaming – US
xCloak – TCP – Surfing Streaming – Japan
xCloak – TCP – Surfing Streaming – US
xCloak Proxy – Canada
xCloak Proxy – TCP – Canada
xCloak Routed – Canada
xCloak Routed – France
xCloak Routed – Germany
xCloak Routed – Singapore
xCloak Routed – TCP – Canada
xCloak Routed – TCP – France
xCloak Routed – TCP – Germany
xCloak Routed – UK
As you can see, the server network still has a long road ahead of it before it becomes impressive, but what it does have is a lot of variety. You have IPv4, xCloak, streaming, proxied, surfing servers and even more, so make sure to give them a try before judging.
Fortunately, BolehVPN is the kind of VPN that is capable of unblocking various entertainment (and not only) services for you, including but not limited to Netflix along with its U.S. version, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify and BBC iPlayer.
If a certain service doesn’t work for you, just select another server from the list and try again. If it still doesn’t work, try getting in touch with the BolehVPN customer support crew and ask them for a server recommendation.
If it still doesn’t work, well, it’s worth mentioning that Netflix along with most of the power players in the entertainment industry have waged war against VPN services and their users, in an attempt to prevent them from accessing geo-restricted content freely. While BolehVPN unblocks these services without a hiccup for now, this convenient situation might suddenly come to a halt, and you should be prepared for that.
TOR and torrenting support
We’ll begin with the least obvious service, which is TOR. Well, long story short, you shouldn’t be using TOR in conjunction with any VPN service, let alone BolehVPN, mainly due to the speed penalty, which is enormous, but also due to some privacy issues which might arise as a direct consequence of landing on a malicious TOR node (unencrypted, often monitored traffic).
Now for all of you torrent enthusiasts out there: BolehVPN can handle torrenting just fine, as everything went without an issue during our tests. We’ve connected to a server, fired up our torrenting clients and downloaded something from the Internet (legally, of course). No throttling, no slowdowns, and no spikes were noticed.
However, we must mention one of our findings that was somewhat unsettling. We didn’t notice it before, but after logging into your account and reaching the dashboard, you can notice some sort of partnership going on between BolehVPN and IPT (also known as IP Torrents), which is a tracker website, much like the infamous ThePirateBay (TPB). BolehVPN not only sends invites to this tracker website but also has some sort of free leeching deal going on.
Note that FindYourVPN doesn’t endorse piracy, but it seems that BolehVPN does, even though their terms of service documentation is overflowing with advices on not engaging in any illegal activities.
While BolehVPN does have a live chat option on their website, we haven’t seen it as being online yet, as it always seemed to be accompanied by the same “We are offline – Leave us a Message” combo. While we tried being reasonable and consider it merely a glitch of some sort, we did leave them an offline message hoping for a reply. The result? It’s been two days and no reply yet.
On the other hand, their support section has a bunch of self-help articles that could help you troubleshoot some issues, set up the service and also answer some of your inquiries such as what’s the difference between OpenVPN and L2TP or if there’s any prohibited activity while you’re connected to the service.
Last, but not least, if you’re not exactly a huge fan of live chatting, you can start a thread on the forum, which might receive a reply even from other BolehVPN users.
Security check-up results
There comes a time in each of our reviews when the VPN (in this case BolehVPN) is put under a magnifying glass and we try to find anything that even resembles a kink in their armors.
In this section, we’re going to run a battery of security tests against this service in an attempt to find if there are any major leaks occuring during its usage, which might jeopardize your online privacy.
The tests will take place exclusively on a U.S. server as we’ve described in this comprehensive article. The reason why we don’t switch servers during our tests is that we’re also checking for any location inconsistency. That being said, let’s begin.
Conclusion: As you can see, no major data has leaked, so after performing our security tests, we can safely conclude that BolehVPN can keep your security intact. No IP, Flash IP, DNS and WebRTC data have leaked during our security tests.
Speed test results
Now that we’re past security tests, we can start focus on things that you might find a bit more exciting, such as speed tests. The reason why we don’t prioritize speed over security is that you can use your default connection (which has a greater speed) if you don’t care much about security.
However, this time things will be a bit different (we mean compared to the security tests) since we’ll pick several servers to perform our tests on.
The reason why we select and use multiple servers for the speed tests section is that we’re trying to see if location has a negative impact on speed (which is totally understandable, by the way), but we’re actually trying to see how much speed you lose if you connect to a “less-than-convenient” location.
|Location||Internet Speed||Latency||Upload Speed||Downloaded||Uploaded|
|U.S.A.||14 Mbps||169 ms||180 ms||37 Mbps||20 MB||150 MB|
|Germany||30 Mbps||29 ms||49 ms||61 Mbps||90 MB||240 MB|
|Singapore||6.9 Mbps||194 ms||229 ms||49 Mbps||10 MB||220 MB|
The speed test results weren’t even close to being satisfying, but considering the narrow network of servers BolehVPN holds, it’s somewhat understandable. However, we couldn’t help but notice that connecting to some of the BolehVPN servers took an awfully long time.
Well, that’s about it, since we couldn’t find any servers in South America, South Africa, and Australia, so we had to settle with these three locations for our tests.
The list of subscription plans that BolehVPN has to offer can be considered at least weird, considering that the trial plans come with money-back guarantees, which means that those trials need to be purchased, which means they’re not exactly trials. Not cool, BolehVPN.
Without further ado, here is the list of subscription plans, along with their prices and features.
|Plan type||Free 1-day trial||7 Days||30 Days||60 Days||180 Days||365 Days|
|Money-back||2 Days||14 Days||14 Days||14 Days||14 Days||14 Days|
|Features||Only works on 2-3 servers||A registered company located outside of FVEY countries
Access to all 35 servers from 12 strategically located countries around the world (Canada,
France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden,
Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA)
Accepts Bitcoin and anonymous cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Monero, Zcash and Zcoin
Supports custom and standard user interface for ease of use.
On demand choice in Fully Routed or Proxied VPN servers
Ability to obfuscate VPN traffic to mask VPN use
No bandwidth limits
No logging of user activities on the VPN
Support multiple devices with one account
Supports Windows, MacOS, Android, Linux and OpenVPN supported Routers for e.g. (DD-WRT/AsusMerlin-WRT/Tomato)
24×7 Online Customer Help Desk
Established history and operating since 2007
To wrap things up, BolehVPN is a modest VPN service provider that’s meant to protect your privacy, enhance your connection’s security and let you access geo-restricted content without the slightest difficulty, but in reality, things are somewhat different.
The company behind the BolehVPN project is located somewhere in Malaysia but there are some official claims in the Terms of Service documentation that state that BolehVPN is subject to Seychelles’ jurisdiction, so things can get a little confusing even for veteran users.
BolehVPN’s Terms of Service clearly state that they are against logging and as a result they won’t be keeping logs of your activity while you’re connected to their service, but they also admit that they sometimes turn logging on to catch their users red-handed, which means that at some point, if one of their customers does something worth turning on those logging systems on for, everybody that’s currently connected will be logged. This alone is enough reason for concern, but if you add the fact that they will gladly hand your data to the authorities, it gets even more worrisome.
Creating an account can be done quickly, downloading the application is just as easy and installing it is the icing on the cake. However, note that although our VirusTotal scanning results showed that BolehVPN is clean as a whistle, it has a very low community score (-34. That’s negative 34, mind you) and also some mentions about a Metasploit tool being bundled within the installer, which is extremely severe.
The app can handle torrenting, works with TOR (although we highly recommend that you don’t use it with TOR), can unblock various entertainment services such as Netflix and Hulu and came clean after our security tests.
However, it bothers us that the live chat available on the BolehVPN website always seems to be offline and our inquiries remained unanswered, even after a few days have passed. More so, most of the pages on their support center seem to be dead. Also, the speed tests have yielded some unsatisfactory results and their server network misses some very major areas worldwide (South Africa, Australia, South America).
Last, but not least, their subscription plan list came out as a bit weird, since it appears that their “free” trial has a money-back guarantee, which means that you have to pay for it, which means that it’s not free, which means that it’s not a trial, either.
Do we recommend BolehVPN? Absolutely not. Everything about the service seems sketchy, from the claims within its Terms of Service to the inconsistency between the company registration address and the jurisdiction that BolehVPN is subject to. Although it can unblock Netflix, works with torrents and has a good level of security, we’d suggest that you stay away from BolehVPN.
+ Can unblock Netflix; (5)
+ Works with torrenting; (5)
+ Good security; (5)
– Sketchy Terms of Service claims; (0)
– Admit to be recording logs from time to time; (0)
– Inconsistency regarding company location and jurisdiction; (0)
– Reports of hacking tools embedded within the installer; (0)
– A narrow network of servers; (2)
– Has a partnership going on with IPT, a popular torrent site; (0)
BolehVPN receives a 1.88/5 rating.