With all the natural beauty and culture of South-East Asia, the region’s governments online censorship of websites like Facebook, Youtube, and Google is truly a headscratcher. Whether it is Singapore, Vietnam, or Malaysia, countries in this region are notorious for limiting Internet access. This is where Seychelles-based BolehVPN comes into the picture, offering a great solution for those looking to fully unblock the Internet. Keep reading this BolehVPN Review to find out for yourself!
BolehVPN offers a single plan with pricing starting at $3.70 for a seven-day trial. Further pricing starts at $9.99 month-to-month while purchasing annually knocks off a third of the price to just $6.67 a month.
A free, one-day trial is available to test out BolehVPN’s service, although this does (somewhat annoyingly) require a sign-up and e-mail to their sales team to get going. They do not offer refunds or a money-back guarantee for their service, so make sure to take full advantage of their trials before signing up long term.
BolehVPN accepts Bitcoin and Dash mobile payments in addition to the usual credit and debit card payments. Bitcoin is also a welcome option for those looking for increased anonymity on the Internet. BolehVPN does not recommend using prepaid cards with certain country restrictions, as these might experience issues when signing up.
BolehVPN is a Seychelles incorporated company which enjoys freedom from any mandatory data retention logs. They do have offices in Hong Kong and Malaysia, although this is strictly for business purposes and doesn’t affect their logging policy.
BolehVPN has the advantage of being a company local to the S.E Asia region, with company founders and leaders present on their support team to answer any questions. They have nearly 10 years of experience in industry, having been founded in 2007.
BolehVPN has servers in 13 countries all over the globe, with their most popular locations being the U.S, U.K, and Switzerland. They also provide game server hosting in the South-East Asian region.
You can have up to two simultaneous connections on a single IP address when using BolehVPN. This isn’t as impressive as IPVanish (up to five) or ExpressVPN (three), but should be enough for the typical user.
BolehVPN has six different configurations available for their VPN client, with Proxied, Fully Routed, and Streaming configurations some of the options available.
Tor users will also appreciate BolehVPN’s support for VPN through Tor, offering increased anonymity and privacy.
BolehVPN users have the option to choose between using the OpenVPN or L2TP protocol (we recommend OpenVPN!). P2P connections and proxy servers (HTTPS and SOCKS) are also available if needed.
As mentioned already, BolehVPN is registered in the Seychelles but operates out of Malaysia. This means that they are subject to Seychelles laws regarding data retention and logging. Luckily, this means they are exempt from a silly U.S Patriot Act or EU law regarding data retention.
BolehVPN’s commitment to privacy is strengthened by their use of 256-bit (128-bit for surfing/streaming servers) AES OpenVPN encryption with RSA-2048 handshake encryption and SHA-512 hash authentication. Perfect forward secrecy is provided by a Diffie-Hellman-4096 key exchange. If you don’t understand what all this means, please check out VPN Encryption: The Complete Guide (TL:DR BolehVPN uses very strong OpenVPN encryption).
It also has a nice “xCloak” feature which further scrambles Internet traffic to make it even harder for ISP’s to recognize VPN traffic.
Although a no logging policy is in place, Boleh does state that they may temporarily use logging to identify unusual activity on their servers (high bandwidth, an excessive number of connections, etc.). While this isn’t too worrying, those seeking complete anonymity might be better served looking elsewhere.
Those looking to engage in any P2P activity will be happy to see that BolehVPN offers fully support for P2P connections, with unlimited bandwidth also in place for big downloads.
BolehVPN’s website underwent a recent renovation, with their new layout giving simple to navigate and easy on the eye. You can access order history, profile details, and submit support tickets from their account area.
They also have a blog that has a lot of valuable information for BolehVPN users as well as tackling real-world issues related to VPNs.
BolehVPN also has a warrant canary visible on their website. While a warrant canary seems nice on the surface, they are nothing more than a flawed idea which serves more promotional value than actual confidence. Read more about the influence of warrant canaries in this excellent post.
Newcomers and veterans to VPNs alike understand how important support can be. BolehVPN takes customer support seriously, with company founders and leaders being available to answer your questions. You have the option to either submit a ticket through their Zendesk support system or e-mail them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were somewhat disappointed by the absence of a live chat or telephone support feature with BolehVPN, as these can be lifesavers when an urgent issue arises.
In the process of signing up BolehVPN’s free trial, we contacted their sales department to request the trial after signing up. While e-mail response times can be extremely long, we were happy to receive a reply to our email in just over an hour. Very impressive.
BolehVPN also has a Twitter and Facebook profile, which might result in a quicker response. Helpful articles and guides related to VPNs are also published on these networks daily.
Signing up to BolehVPN’s service is quick and easy, while also not requiring any payment information during sign up. You will need a working e-mail address and name to sign up, with referral incentives also available.
Upon registration, they send an e-mail with your account number and username, which is necessary in order to sign up for their one-day free trial. Once your account is setup, you can download the app for your specific platform.
The BolehVPN Windows VPN client
After you create an account, you can download the BolehVPN client for your platform. The Windows client file size is only 6.9 MB, which makes for a quick download even on slow connections.
The Windows client is pretty standard when compared to other VPNs, as it is largely easy to use and configure based on your needs. The main dashboard allows you to manage your connections, view daily and monthly bandwidth statistics, and view your current connection details.
The client also comes loaded with features such as auto reconnect, DNS leak protection, and a VPN kill switch that can make your life a lot easier. You can also view a detailed VPN connection log from the main interface.
Proxy settings can also be managed from a separate part of the client, although keep in mind that any proxy setups will require you to set up the specific software prior to connecting.
In order to get a better idea of how BolehVPN performs, we conducted a few simple speed tests on their German, U.K, and U.S servers.
As you can see, the speeds we reached were pretty solid with the exception of their UK servers, where we got some pretty poor results. We were, however, impressed by the performance of their Germany location.
DNS and IPv6 leaks (check here for more information on these terms) didn’t show up either, but don’t forget to check this yourself through ipleak.net.
BolehVPN has support for iOS through OpenVPN Connect, in addition to standard clients Windows/Mac/Linux operating systems. Android users have access to BolehVPN’s slightly custom version of the VPN for Android app.
We gave BolehVPN a whirl on an iPhone to see how quick we could setup our device. Setting up the service through OpenVPN Connect was relatively easy, although it did require us to seperately download and transfer BolehVPN’s configuration files.
DD-WRT users are also given an exclusive guide and support for setting up BolehVPN on a DD-WRT router.
In addition to their VPN services, BolehVPN also offers game hosting for popular online games such as Counter-Strike and Minecraft. There is light mention of this on their website, so it seems game server hosting doesn’t seem to be a priority selling point for them.
Tor users will also appreciate BolehVPN’s support for VPN through Tor, giving extra anonymity and privacy to your Internet activity. It is important to remember that this will result in a further decline in connection speeds, however.
Those looking to unblock streaming services such as Youtube and Netflix will enjoy the BolehGEO servers (Asia, E.U, and Canada) that are also offered. These work in a similar way to a SmartDNS service, making bypassing silly geo-restrictions much easier.
BolehVPN Review Conclusion
One day free trial
VPN through Tor
I wasn’t so sure about
Claiming free trial can be time-consuming
No money back guarantee
Poor speeds on U.K servers
No live chat or telephone support
Simply put, BolehVPN is one of the best VPN services out there. They don’t collect logs, use awesome encryption, and plenty of extra features without emptying your bank account. VPN through Tor, BolehGEO, and their impressive software all make great additions.
The speeds (especially on their U.K servers) give some reason for worry, but other locations we tested were pretty standard. Head on over and take advantage of their one-day free trial for yourself!