What Is The Best VPN for Malaysia in 2018?
NordVPN is the best option for protecting your online travels and personal information from outside observers. The service also proves to be a great way to break through roadblocks keeping you from your favorite content.
The fastest connections on this list, optimal customer support and comprehensive privacy protections make NordVPN the best VPN provider for use within Malaysian borders.
Internet Freedom in Malaysia
Internet penetration in Malaysia currently measures in at nearly 79% of the country’s total area. Penetration is high in urban areas, with rates nearing 100%. However, internet penetration in such undeveloped areas as Sabah (43.3%) and Sarawak (51.8%) lag far behind.
Freedom House reports that internet freedom in the country improved slightly in 2017, due to increased speeds and penetration of the web. However, it also notes that officials there continue to block websites, as well as prosecute and sentence critics reporting on government corruption.
The average internet speed in Malaysia is still comparably slow, and the country ranked 74th in the world in the internet speed category.
From June 2016 to May 2017 these key internet-related developments took place in Malaysia:
The constitution of Malaysia sets in place a unique system of dual laws, with both secular and Sharia laws in force. Complications have arisen in the past with the dual justice system, particularly in regard to freedom of religion.
Freedom House gives Malaysia an aggregate 2018 Freedom Score of 44/100 (0 = Most Free, 100 = Least Free).
Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in Malaysia
Why You Need a VPN in Malaysia
While Malaysian internet freedom improved, if only slightly, in 2017, users there are still faced with a large number of websites being blocked for various reasons. National internet regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), is run by the government.
In this area of my article, I’ll offer a look at what types of content are allowed in Malaysia, and more importantly, what content is blocked in the country.
I’ll also take a look at what types of possible legal and criminal ramifications users can face there, and explain how a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can protect users that engage in these online activities.
In 2016, the government was embroiled in a high-profile corruption scandal and began to block popular news sites and blogs in what was termed a combat against “fake news.” While no new website blocks were reported in 2017, the previously-blocked websites remain blocked.
The MCMC has been known to demand that websites remove content, including that which is critical of the government. Blog owners and Facebook users have been instructed to delete posts that discuss sensitive subjects such as religion, royalty and race. There are no avenues for appealing the orders.
Also blocked is content that violates national laws on pornography. Video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and others are not entirely blocked, but blocking does occur on a content-by-content basis. Netflix is available in the country. However, the Indonesian Netflix content is said to be heavily censored.
Voice Over IP
Voice over IP (VoIP) service is allowed in Indonesia. Of course, as an internet-powered service, VoIP is subject to the usual security issues faced by any internet service or other online activity.
None of the major social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Friendster and others are explicitly blocked by the Malaysian government. However, they are monitored, and users have been fined and imprisoned over posts or comments that are critical of the current regime.
The Malaysian government actively blocks connections to piracy-related torrenting sites, including The Pirate Bay, Mega Video, Depositfiles and many more.
The true extent of government monitoring of online activity in Malaysia is unknown. However, there are legal provisions allowing law enforcement and government agencies to intercept communications from mobile phones.
Since 2007, mobile phone owners are required to register with the government as part of an effort to reduce rumor-mongering. However, real names are not required to be registered to participate in the country’s blogosphere, or to use a cybercafé.
The Malaysian Personal Data Protection Act 2010, which came into effect in late 2013, prevents commercial organizations from selling personal information and from allowing third parties to have access to it.
It is believed that some Malaysian government agencies may have purchased equipment that allows them to steal passwords, monitor Skype calls, and record audio and video from other computers without the user’s permission.
As far as I can tell, ISPs are not required to keep logs of their customers’ online activities. However, the government reportedly uses deep packet inspection of online activity, allowing them to monitor your activities if they so desire.
As I have previously mentioned, non-pornographic video streaming content is not blocked inside Malaysia.
Netflix is available in the country. However, the service’s Malaysian content is heavily edited. In order to view Netflix content available outside of the country, users need a VPN to unblock Netflix’s own geographic roadblocks.
Hulu is a United States and Japan-only service, so the service is not available from inside Indonesia without using a VPN. The same holds true for U.K.-only BBC iPlayer content.
Legality of VPNs
Virtual Private Network (VPN) usage is allowed in Malaysia. However, while the usage of a VPN itself is considered illegal, its use for online activities that may normally be considered illegal is frowned upon.
Online gambling in Malaysia is a murky area. Gambling itself is technically illegal in the country, and it’s illegal to host an internet gambling website. However, it isn’t clear whether or not gambling on an out-of-country gambling site is illegal.
While the activity currently appears to be tolerated, there are increasing calls in the country to ban online gambling. Sharia law is growing in influence in the country every day, and gambling is frowned upon by Sharia law.
How a VPN Protects Your Internet Usage in Malaysia
Internet users who are looking for a way to keep their online activities safe from observation can easily take advantage of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep their activities, as well as their personal and business-related information, safe.
A VPN protects a user’s online travels from observation by outside parties by encasing the user’s internet connection in a layer of encryption. This prevents anyone who is monitoring their connection from tracking their activities or stealing important information.
A VPN also opens up a literal world’s worth of streaming, gaming and other types of content that might normally be blocked to a user due to government or geographically-based blockades. The VPN pulls this off by making it appear that a user’s internet connection is coming from another location. That location could be down the street or on the other side of the world.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Malaysia
There is an ever-expanding number of VPN providers available to protect a Malaysian user’s online activities. However, not all of those providers can offer complete protection for users and their important activities and data.
When narrowing down your VPN choices, look for a provider that offers comprehensive privacy protection, one that slows down your connection speeds as little as possible and that provides optimal global server coverage.
In this section, I’ll explain each service category, tell you why each feature is vital and provide a look at how well each VPN provider performed in the categories.
Privacy is always a top consideration when considering the protections provided by a VPN service. However, when you’re shopping for a VPN to use inside of Malaysia, it becomes even more important.
Any VPN you consider should be located in a privacy-embracing country and should not keep logs of your online activities while you’re connected to the service. Ideally, a provider should also protect your subscription payment information by allowing the use of a privacy-friendly payment method, like Bitcoin.
The providers below are listed according to the privacy protections they offer, sorted best coverage to worst.
Connection speed is one of the factors that can directly affect the satisfaction you’ll feel related to online activities. This is particularly true when your online activities include video streaming or online gaming.
When I test a VPN’s connection speeds, I first test my ISP-provided speeds, then I connect to the VPN and test the connection speed again. I repeat these steps over a few days, at various times of the day. This allows me to calculate an average connection speed. I then calculate the average speed percentage by comparing the VPN and ISP-provided speed averages.
The list below is sorted in order of fastest speeds to slowest.
Avg. DL Speed
Avg. DL Speed
“Kill switch” protection is a feature that can be activated in a VPN provider’s app that will automatically kill your internet connection if you lose contact with the provider’s VPN servers. This prevents anyone from monitoring your online activities if you lose your VPN connection.
The providers in the list below are listed alphabetically, with a notation of “Y/N” to indicate if the feature is offered by the provider.
Other Factors to Consider
Have you ever had a technical problem with any of your computers or other connected devices? Or, has everything gone perfectly, with no issues? The first one? Yeah, me too.
For this reason, customer support is an important consideration when researching VPN providers. Ideally, your VPN of choice should offer live support chat, a trouble ticket system and a searchable repository of information. (Hardly any VPN providers offer phone support.)
Providers listed below are ranked according to the types of support offered, as well as the speed and accuracy of their replies, best to worst.
If you’re a member of the “1%,” simply page down and go to the next section. But, if you’re in the other 99%, as I would venture to say most of us are, pay attention.
While it’s great to score a deal on anything, the lowest price isn’t particularly the best deal. However, you also don’t want to fall into the trap of “you get what you pay for.” That said, there are deals to be had when subscribing to a VPN service.
In addition to the price of a VPN service, also consider the level of service offered in each of the service categories we’re taking a look at in this article. Make sure the provider isn’t cutting corners just to cut down on expenses.
Also, look for deals on VPN subscriptions. Most providers offer special pricing that can greatly reduce the price you’ll pay for VPN coverage. Be advised though, that these deals may require you to commit to a longer subscription period than you might usually agree to.
If you can’t afford to pay up front for an extended period of time, you can opt for a month-to-month subscription period. If you decide to take this route, though, you’ll likely pay more for the service over time.