Wherever you are in the world, a virtual private network (VPN) is a necessity. The reasons for this are plenty: online surveillance that often cripples freedom of speech; blocking and filtering of ISPs and URLs on arbitrary grounds; and the rising number of cyber attacks that are taking place worldwide.
Malaysia is no different. Over the past several years, online commentators have been prosecuted for political statements, particularly those that criticized ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Critical discussion of Islam and advocacy for the rights of indigenous and ethnic Malays can also be penalized. Furthermore, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the government’s regulatory body, has blocked close to 1,400 websites and is under fire for abusing its position.
Malaysian residents are not the only ones who ideally ought to invest in a VPN. The nation’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, is one of top ten cities for international visitors (and that’s excluding visitors from neighboring Singapore).
Quite simply, it’s always smart to have some awareness of your destination’s legal environment. However, a VPN remains the best method of ensuring your personal information remains under wraps and the websites you frequently visit remain uncensored.
In order to help you find the best VPN for Malaysia, we’ve assessed several VPN on the following criteria:
- Strong privacy and security
- Combination of price and features
- Location outside the 5/9/14 Eyes (surveillance groups of countries)
Top 7 VPNs for Malaysia
1. NordVPN ‣
- Location: Panama
- Pricing: starts at $3.49/month
- Features: military-grade encryption, massive server list, 24/7 live chat support
If you’ve ever searched the term “VPN” on Google, you’ll notice that your Facebook and YouTube ads are suddenly full of adverts for NordVPN.
This doesn’t mean the company is overfunded and spends way more on advertising than on developing the app; quite the contrary. The money NordVPN spends on its advertising is money it’s earned through years upon years of being one of the most trusted brands in cybersecurity!
It’s not hard to see why, either. For one of the lowest prices on the market, NordVPN offers military-grade encryption (AES-256-CBC), which ensures no amount of super-hackers can infiltrate your server connection.
As well as this, NordVPN also provides access to over five thousand servers in sixty-five countries. This is part of what makes it one of the best VPN for Malaysia, as most VPN server fleets tend to exclude or under-service Southeast Asia. With NordVPN, however, you needn’t worry.
Finally, NordVPN is registered in Panama, which is great news for its cybersecurity credentials as Panama has no data retention laws. For that reason, NordVPN can get away without logging your personal information, which is the cherry on top of its security features.
2. ExpressVPN ‣
- Location: British Virgin Islands
- Pricing: starts at $8.32/month
- Features: military-grade encryption, browser extensions, private DNS server
Although it certainly isn’t the cheapest option on this list, ExpressVPN remains one of the best cybersecurity tools money can buy.
Using the same encryption cipher as NordVPN – which is the same encryption cipher as NASA – ExpressVPN packs many of the same security features as our top pick.
Where it finds added value, however, is in its private DNS server, which makes doubly sure that your private information is never, ever leaked.
It also supports the largest range of browser extensions, which is perfect for users who only need a VPN for certain activities as it allows for easier toggling of your server connection.
As it’s located in the British Virgin Islands, furthermore, that means a lack of data retention laws to adhere to. Throw their strict no-logging policy into the mix and you can rest assured that ExpressVPN will keep your information tight under any circumstances.
- Location: Seychelles
- Pricing: starts at $8.33/month
- Features: military-grade encryption, obfuscated server, high-speed connections
Another pricey option, but Astrill fulfills everything we’re looking for in our search for the best VPN for Malaysia. It’s registered in the Seychelles islands, which does not have any intrusive data laws.
It also makes use of the coveted AES-256-bit encryption cipher and is thus impenetrable when it’s up and running. Better yet, it uses an improved version of the OpenVPN protocol: StealthVPN, which obfuscates your connection to enhance its security overall.
Astrill doesn’t scrimp on performance, either. Its server fleet is nothing compared to a VPN like Nord, but it arguably outpaces it. As such, a lack of servers in the Asia-Pacific region doesn’t prevent Astrill from being one of the best VPN for Malaysia.
- Location: British Virgin Islands
- Pricing: starts at$1.99/month (or $1.99 from affiliates)
- Features: great security, geo-unblocking, torrent support, download speeds
Another one of the best VPN for Malaysia is Surfshark, which is a relative newcomer that is very quickly proving its mettle in the VPN game.
Located in the British Virgin Islands (like ExpressVPN), Surfshark is under no legal obligation to share its server data with anyone. Better yet, it doesn’t store any of your personally identifiable information on those servers anyway!
As well as this, it offers military-grade encryption for reasonably low prices, especially if you shop through one of Surfshark’s affiliates.
For less than $1.99 per month, you can have some of the best server connection speeds the market has to offer, as well as more generalized support for P2P networking and torrents.
All of this is to say that Surfshark should not be underestimated purely based on its new-ness alone. Its developers are highly skilled and dedicated to giving your data the privacy it needs.
5. Ivacy VPN ‣
- Location: Singapore
- Pricing: starts at $1.33/month
- Features: military-grade encryption, high-speed connections, split tunneling, kill switch
A VPN registered in Malaysia’s neighboring Singapore sounds like it makes for a perfect match. However, as a disclaimer we’d like to own up to having reservations about this information, to begin with; Singapore is, after all, a known partner of the Five Eyes surveillance group.
Nevertheless, Ivacy VPN thankfully prevents the risk of this happening by adhering to a strict no-logs policy. This means that even if the Five Eyes alliance did manage to get hold of Ivacy’s server data, there’d be nothing worth finding about you or your activity.
Ivacy also benefits from low costs and high speeds. If your major concern is keeping your download speeds up to scratch but can’t stretch to Astrill’s prices, then Ivacy may well be your choice for the best VPN for Malaysia.
Of course, the encryption software is also tip-top, providing zero risk of anyone surveying your usage data while Ivacy is in full force. While its Singaporean registry may send up the slightest of red flags, then, Ivacy is still a worthwhile choice for users in Malaysia.
6. VyprVPN ‣
- Location: Switzerland
- Pricing: starts at $5.00/month
- Features: great security, server list, geo-unblocking, torrenting, download speeds
Swiss service VyprVPN benefits from its home country’s permissive data privacy laws, and also abides by a strict no-logs policy. For internet users in Malaysia, then, VyprVPN starts excellently in the race for the best VPN to use in keeping their information safe.
VyprVPN is also designed with torrenting in mind. To achieve these results, the VPN uses Chameleon, a protocol designed by parent company Golden Frog that can prevent anti-torrenting activities from your ISP (namely throttling and blocking). Be aware, however, that in the unlikely event that the company receives a copyright notice regarding your P2P downloads, your VyprVPN account might be suspended.
Of course, this is coupled with fantastic download speeds. This is partially thanks to the AES-256-GCM cipher, which is a faster, updated version of the -CBC model we’ve encountered thus far. It’s also just as secure.
7. PrivateVPN ‣
- Location: Sweden
- Pricing: starts at $3.82/month
- Features: great speeds, security, geo-unblocking, torrent support
At less than four dollars per month, PrivateVPN is a fairly inexpensive service that, like Ivacy and Astrill before it, provides fantastic connection speeds alongside the ability to unblock geo-restricted content without breaking a sweat.
PrivateVPN also maintains dedicated P2P servers that allow for easy access to torrenting. As well as this, it uses military-grade encryption to ensure nobody can spy upon your torrenting habits.
Our only issue with this VPN is the fact that it’s registered in Sweden, a Fourteen Eyes member state. This grants authority to any nation within that alliance to check up on your usage data without restraint.
As such, PrivateVPN may not be the best VPN for Malaysia overall, but it’s certainly worthy of consideration when you’re making the decision of which service to go with.
Whether you’re looking for a way around the MCMC’s draconian content filtering or simply looking for a way to express yourself online, the best VPN for Malaysia is NordVPN.
Its cost-effectiveness doesn’t mean it scrimps on quality features; it’s quite simply one of the most secure services of its kind, and it performs excellently under pressure.
If speed’s your game, however, you could try Ivacy. Or if you’re simply after another all-around experience, try Surfshark.
If you’re in Malaysia, which of these VPNs have you used before? Did we miss any great VPNs for Malaysia? Let us know in the comments below.