VPNs allow users from any country, organization, or public network to bypass various restrictions. This includes blacklisted websites, connection speed throttling, and services that might be unavailable in your location.
This article is aimed at readers from Brunei or travelers to the country.
Why use a VPN and how we rank them
Given that the internet in Brunei constantly ranks amongst the five most expensive in the world, it stands to reason that users should get what they pay for.
What’s more, Brunei’s Internet is also one of the slowest, with studies revealing that the average speeds fall way below 5Mbps, which is less than half of what’s considered the global minimum to keep up with.
Brunei is a monarchy notorious for mowing down dissent and an overall draconian profile. Thus not using a VPN seems like a massive oversight on the part of virtually anyone. The Sedition Act of Brunei regulates what can and cannot be said online, but there’s also evidence of surveillance outside the scope of this piece of legislation.
But worry not, we can get around this using a VPN.
Thus, for a VPN to use in Brunei, we will consider:
- VPN security: secure protocols and advanced anti-censorship features to protect anonymity
- Reliability against firewalls, censorship, and online surveillance
- Performance and speeds (given the already-slow Brunei Internet)
- Unblocking geo-restricted content and torrents
Go-to VPN for censorious Asian countries. Makes up for its cost with the high speed; ideal for Brunei, where connections are already slow to start with.
- Pros: Works where VPNs are banned, wide range of protocols, pre-configured routers, minimal loss in speed, strong encryption, P2P-friendly, No-logging
- Cons: Pricier than the average, no free trial in certain countries
- Price: From $8.33
- VPNpro Rating: 8.9
Astrill VPN ranks towards the top of highest connection and upload/download speeds and, housed in The Republic of Seychelles, keeps no traffic logs, as well as allows you to remove connection logs manually (which most VPNs do not let you do) – and these are cleared from their side every month, in either case.
Servers are spread out over 64 countries, you can even get a private, non-shared IP for an extra 5 dollars a month (with port forwarding) or a VIP server (with multi-hop ability) for a 10-dollar premium.
Astill VPN is clearly focused on providing exclusive security to their customers and justifies their high price with good long-term deals and some of the best speeds we’ve ever seen.
Still, the price might be what keeps some away from this, especially given how expensive the internet is in Brunei to begin with. However, if you can afford it, this is your best option and will cover all your needs from P2P, unblocking Netflix and other streaming services, protecting your privacy and identity from the state, as well as from hackers.
We feel that the peace of mind far outweighs the cost. If you’re worries though, give the 7-day free trial a shot.
2. NordVPN ‣
A sturdy combination of pricing and security in one convenient package.
- Pros: Reliable speeds, affordably priced, considerable server fleet, independently-reviewed no-logging policy
- Cons: No router app
- Price: From $3.49
- VPNpro Rating: 9.5
NordVPN hails from the land of Panama – both famous and infamous for its lack of laws pertaining to things such as data retention. This guarantees a strong no-logging policy which, at the price NordVPN is available at, is surprisingly good.
There are more than 5,000 servers available, with many close to Brunei, such as seven in neighboring Malaysia. This is a high number that ensures a reliable connection. Indeed, the connection didn’t drop even once during our tests – even with the Double VPN feature enabled.
Security is further guaranteed through their use of a kill switch, which means that even if your VPN connection suddenly drops, you won’t be left with your actual identity exposed since the kill switch will automatically cease all incoming and outgoing traffic.
While not all of the servers support P2P traffic, the ones that do hold consistent speeds.
Ultimately, NordVPN is an all-around solution with one real flaw being the lack of a router app.
A truly anonymous VPN that focuses more on user security than casual browsing.
- Pros: Military-grade encryption, good speeds, anonymous browsing, anonymous sign-up, anonymous payment
- Cons: Geo-unblocking is weak, no phone apps, no live-chat
- Price: From $5.71
- VPNpro Rating: 8.2
Known as one of the most anonymous VPNs, Mullvad doesn’t compromise in any way and keeps your identity a secret even for itself.
There’s no need to provide any information at sign-up and even the payment can be done in Bitcoin (at a 10% discount!), cash in the mail and prepaid cards, in addition to the usual PayPal, bank transfer, and credit cards.
Speeds may be unstable in some regions, but user reviews from Brunei rate the speeds really well.
On the security end, there’s DNS and IPv6 leak protection, Shadowsocks, SSH, and split tunneling, military-grade encryption, tunneling protocols including OpenVPN (considered one of the strongest), making it virtually bulletproof when it comes to security.
The various stealth options, such as Shadowsocks and Obfsproxy, ensures that you can use the VPN even in a country like China, let alone Brunei.
The downside, unfortunately, is in the form of the fact that it’s not very good for unblocking streaming services such as Netflix. It’s not half-bad for torrenting though!
Ultimately, this is a VPN worth considering, but only a user’s specific needs can speak to whether it’s the one for them, or not.
4. VyprVPN ‣
A VPN that owns all of its servers, boasts an exclusive stealth protocol and some of the most transparent policies you’ll ever encounter.
- Pros: Based in Switzerland, strong geo-unblocking, 3-day free trial/refund policy, strong multi-platform availability, independently audited no-logs policy, AES-256 cipher, special Chameleon feature to protect against censorship
- Cons: Chameleon protocol and VyprVPN Cloud only on Premium plan, limited choice of payment plans
- Price: From $5.00
- VPNpro Rating: 8.3
Given the level of censorship in Brunei, the powers of VyprVPN should be very much in demand. The proprietary Chameleon protocol masks the VPN in a way that makes it hard to see a VPN is even being used in the first place. This means you can unblock and unlock whatever content and services you want, regardless of your location.
Considering the features, the pricing of VyprVPN is very reasonable: 700+ servers in 70+ countries, an independently-audited no logging policy, slick apps, and great support are not something you can easily buy.
VyprVPN is also quite fast and perhaps the only real knock against it is the provider’s negative attitude towards copyright issues and P2P.
5. ExpressVPN ‣
A great all-rounder, but somewhat expensive and has no stealth mode.
- Pros: Latest VPN protocols and encryption, one of the fastest VPNs, user-friendly support, free Smart DNS, P2P-friendly, no-logging, kill switch
- Cons: Expensive, no free trial, no stealth mode
- Price: From $8.32
- VPNpro Rating: 9.6
Chances are you’ve already heard of ExpressVPN in some way or form, given the wide brand recognition and positive buzz around it.
ExpressVPN’s no-logging policy is strong (with the VPN being based in the British Virgin Islands), servers span over 90 countries, and it offers unbreakable encryption.
One of the best parts, of course, is that it offers a virtual server in Brunei by way of Singapore. ExpressVPN is known for its high speeds, but this proximity makes the situation even better for Brunei users specifically.
Ultimately, ExpressVPN is the ultimate package that’s held back by the steep price and lack of a stealth feature, which would be great for a censorious country like Brunei.
Is it safe to use a VPN in Brunei?
As of the time of writing this article, VPNs are not outlawed in Brunei. However, there are nevertheless some risks involved.
That’s why it’s important to select a VPN with a proven track record of no-logging (some VPNs claim no-logging, but news reports and court cases say otherwise!) and solid security. Even better, a VPN with multi-hop would be ideal.
Blocked apps and websites in Brunei
Given the country’s application of Sharia Law, it’s unsurprising that the top pornography sites are blocked, as are some torrent websites and the social media platform ASK.fm.
Other than this, however, most international websites go unblocked in Brunei – with the interesting exception of Gizmodo, which has been banned ever since running an article critical of the monarchy.
Free VPN for Brunei
The best VPN for Brunei wouldn’t be a free VPN, given the risks associated with these. It’s often said, “if you’re not paying for it, you are the product.” A lot of free VPNs’ business model hinges on selling the data of their customers. At best, these VPNs would be slow and disconnect often.
A good option is Tor. While not exactly a VPN, it’s built for making the Internet a safer place. Alternatively, Windscribe gives you enough data to last a month for absolutely no money.
If you’re in Brunei, which of these VPNs have you used before? Did we miss any great VPNs for Brunei? Let us know in the comments below.