Wherever you are in the world, a virtual private network (VPN) is a necessity, and 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.
A VPN can keep you hidden from surveillance as well as serve the function of a great entertainment tool. With a good VPN service, you’ll be able to unblock Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming platforms in Malaysia.
In order to find the best VPN for Malaysia, we evaluated services based on the following criteria:
- Strong privacy and security
- A combination of price and features
- Location outside China or the 5/9/14 Eyes for maximum privacy
1. NordVPN ‣
- Location: Panama
- Pricing: starts at $3.49/month/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 have noticed that your Facebook and YouTube ads are suddenly full of adverts for NordVPN. This reflect’s the company’s rightful place in the industry.
For one of the lowest prices on the market, NordVPN offers military-grade encryption (AES-256-CBC), which ensures no super-hackers can infiltrate your server connection.
As well as this, NordVPN also provides access to over 5,000 servers in 59 countries. This is part of what makes it one of the best VPN services 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 user privacy 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/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 military-grade encryption cipher as NordVPN, and ExpressVPN packs many of the same security features as our top pick.
Where it finds added value, however, is in its Split Tunneling feature, which allows users to choose which traffic goes through the VPN tunnel, and which doesn’t.
It also supports a wide 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: British Virgin Islands
- Pricing: starts at$1.99/month (or $1.99/month from affiliates)
- Features: great security, geo-unblocking, torrent support, download speeds
Another one on the best VPN for Malaysia list is Surfshark VPN, 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 a reasonably low price, 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.
4. VyprVPN ‣
- Location: Switzerland
- Pricing: starts at $5.00/month/month
- Features: great security, server list, geo-unblocking, torrenting, download speeds
The Swiss VyprVPN service 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 the goal of beating censorship in mind. To achieve this, the VPN uses Chameleon, a protocol designed by parent company Golden Frog that can prevent advanced censorship measures used by your ISP (namely, Deep Packet Inspection).
The one thing VyprVPN is not great for is torrenting. Be aware that in the unlikely event that the company receives a copyright notice regarding your P2P downloads, your VyprVPN account might be suspended.
5. PrivateVPN ‣
- Location: Sweden
- Pricing: starts at $3.82/month/month
- Features: great speeds, security, geo-unblocking, torrent support
At less than four dollars per month, PrivateVPN is a fairly inexpensive service that 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 – a potential privacy hazard, albeit not one Malaysian users should necessarily worry about.
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.
- Location: Seychelles
- Pricing: starts at $8.33/month/month
- Features: military-grade encryption, obfuscated server, high-speed connections
Another pricey option, but Astrill VPN fulfills everything we’re looking for in our search for the best VPN for Malaysia. It’s registered in the Seychelles islands, which do not have any intrusive data laws.
It also makes use of the lauded AES-256-bit encryption cipher, which is impenetrable even with a great deal of computing power. Better yet, Astrill offers an improved version of the OpenVPN protocol: StealthVPN, which obfuscates your connection to enhance security and bypass Deep Packet Inspection.
Astrill doesn’t scrimp on performance, either. Its server fleet is nothing compared to a VPN like NordVPN, but its performance is still quite good. As such, a lack of servers in the Asia-Pacific region doesn’t prevent Astrill from being one of the best VPNs for Malaysia.
7. Ivacy VPN ‣
- Location: Singapore
- Pricing: starts at $1.33/month/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.
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.