BolehVPN offers loads of extra security features and decent enough performance for HD streaming on local connections, but Netflix and BBC iPlayer are currently blocked. Custom apps for Windows and MacOS are fairly confusing for beginners but simple enough to use once you’ve gotten used to them. Manual configuration is necessary for all other devices. The amount of configurable settings makes for a highly personalized experience.
Pricing & Deals
BolehVPN offers a few different pricing plans to make finding the right one for you simple. Each plan offers the same features but you pay less on a monthly basis the longer you subscribe.
A single month costs the most at $9.99, which is pretty standard compared to other providers. Committing to the annual plan gets you a 33% discount, bringing the monthly price down to $6.67.
Get 33% off BolehVPN's 12-month plan
BolehVPN Pricing & Deals
BolehVPN offers a one-day free trial, which gives you an opportunity to test out the service before commiting to a paid subscription- you don’t even need to submit payment details. Annoyingly, you do have to email support in order to request a free trial, so be prepared to wait a while for a response. There is also a 7-day commitment-free trial for $3.70, which you can purchase directly from the website.
If you choose to skip the free trial and just sign up straight away, BolehVPN does offer a 14-day money-back guarantee. However, a refund is only issued if you give them the opportunity to troubleshoot and resolve issues before the 14 days are up. Refunds are processed within seven days and those paying with cryptocurrencies are considered on a case-by-case basis. There are other providers on the current market offering risk-free, no questions asked guarantees with no hidden caps or restrictions.
BolehVPN accepts a decent range of payment methods including most credit/debit cards, PayPal, and a few different cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Dash, Monero, Zcoin and Zcash. You can also pay through a couple of international online payment gateways, such as PayDollar and MOLPay.
Speed & Reliability
BolehVPN won’t be troubling top-tier providers in this department, but it offers decent local speeds that are more than good enough for general browsing and HD streaming on one or two devices simultaneously.
Download speeds peaked at 40Mbps on local connections, which is quick enough for everyday users, but there are providers offering upwards of 300Mbps should you need those kinds of speeds. Unfortunately, we received an error message each time we tried to connect to US servers, which could be due to server maintenance, but isn’t a great sign for those wanting to stream country-specific content. We found performance to be quite slow connecting to Singapore, at just 12Mbps, but it’s still good enough for general browsing and, at a push, streaming.
We found latency to be unacceptably high, with even same-city connections coming in at a pretty laggy 11ms. This probably won’t be much of a problem for the majority, but serious gamers may want to look into our top-tier providers, some of which boast super-low latencies of 1ms or even less.
One major gripe was Boleh’s connection time, taking around 20 seconds since we had to disconnect before changing servers. This is one of the slowest connection times we’ve seen so far, and while it may not be a problem for many, it will get frustrating if you need to switch servers regularly.
Torrenters will be happy to know that upload speeds are quick on local connections- up to 90Mbps – and consistent throughout Europe, where the majority of P2P servers are located. Performance is slower on international connections, but this is to be expected and is unlikely to affect most.
If you’re looking for lightning-fast speeds, BolehVPN may not be the best option for you, but it’s more than good enough for general browsing and buffer-free streaming on local connections, just not on more than a couple of devices simultaneously. Speedy local uploads are great for torrenters, but if you need reliable performance internationally, there are other providers offering a much more consistent service.
To find out about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
BolehVPN has a tiny server network of just 12 countries – by far the smallest we’ve come across. Fortunately, it covers the most popular countries, with the majority of servers in Europe and North America, plus a few in Asia. However, if you need greater coverage, there are providers out there such as HideMyAss! that boast up to 190 countries.
Customer support weren’t willing to give us the exact number of IP addresses they have, but state that it’s ‘a lot more than 35’. However, with just 35 individual servers, users may experience congestion at peak times. As the customer base grows, BolehVPN will need to add more servers to ensure that performance remains acceptable.
You can only drill down to city-level servers in the US, with a choice of three locations. This seems fair for a server network of this size, but our top-tier providers offer far more city-level choice if you need it. The servers in Asia are located in Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.
Unfortunately, there are no servers located South America, Africa and Australia, so if live in any of these countries, you’ll want to look into other providers.
Platforms & Devices
BolehVPN offers custom apps for Microsoft Windows and MacOS, but all other devices (including Android, iOS and Linux) require some element of manual configuration. In most cases, this involves installing the OpenVPN software and setting it up with configuration files that can be found on BolehVPN’s website – this isn’t too tricky but could be off-putting for VPN newbies. Those looking for one-click solutions for their mobile devices will definitely need to consider other providers.
You can also install BolehVPN on your router in order to protect all connected devices in your home, but again this requires manual configuration. There are easy-to-follow installation guides on the support section of the website, but if you aren’t comfortable with flashing your router, you can purchase one from Sabai Technology that has the VPN software pre-installed, so all you have to do is plug it in and you’re good to go.
Unfortunately, BolehVPN doesn’t offer any browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari, which is unlikely to affect most, but may be an issue for heavy browser users. If you are looking for a more lightweight experience, many providers offer at least a proxy extension, if not a full-featured VPN extension such as those offered by ExpressVPN.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
If you want to use BolehVPN on any other games consoles or streaming devices, such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick or PlayStation, you have a couple of options. Firstly, you can configure a compatible router, which will protect all connected devices in your home. BolehVPN offers setup guides for Tomato, Asus-WRT Merlin and DD-WRT routers on their website.
With a stingy limit of just three simultaneous connections, you’ll be able to protect some of your own devices, but probably not your family’s as well. Our top-tier providers offer up to 10 connections, so there are definitely more generous options out there should you need them.
Streaming & Torrenting
At first glance, it seems that BolehVPN offers a decent solution for watching your favorite shows on popular sites due to its optimized streaming servers. However, these servers are proxies rather than full VPN connections, which means your traffic won’t be encrypted. What’s more, we actually found that the dedicated US proxy server, ‘BolehFlix’, didn’t even work to change our IP address despite telling us that we were connected, meaning we couldn’t access US content anyway. We also tried to connect to the actual VPN servers located in the US, but these didn’t work to unblock Netflix either.
Unfortunately, watching BBC iPlayer was no better. This time the dedicated streaming proxy did change our IP address but we found iPlayer to be blocked. This was also the case when we connected the other UK servers. This is a common issue at the moment due to the BBC’s recent crackdown on VPN providers, however there are definitely other providers out there, such as SaferVPN, offering a more reliable solution if streaming is a priority.
BolehVPN may be a decent choice for torrenters since it allows P2P activity on a number of different servers in the majority of its locations, clearly marked as ‘FullyRouted’. Unfortunately torrenting is not permitted on any servers in the US, so P2P users in this country may want to look elsewhere. The tiny server network means that congestion could also be an issue at peak times, so that’s something to bear in mind.
Encryption & Security
BolehVPN offers some great security features and solid encryption. You can choose between two protocols, OpenVPN and L2TP, but we’d recommend opting for OpenVPN whenever possible as it offers the best balance between performance and privacy. Encryption is via AES-256, a cipher considered unbreakable.
BolehVPN includes a kill switch and, even though customer support state that it’s not a ‘traditional’ one, it still functions to block all of your web traffic should the VPN connection drop unexpectedly, preventing your true IP address from being exposed. BolehVPN also offers first-party DNS servers and DNS leak protection, both of which prevent your ISP and any other third parties from getting hold of your private browsing history.
BolehVPN also features split tunneling, which allows you to route privacy-sensitive data through the VPN, and other traffic outside the VPN tunnel, improving performance. You can also configure the VPN client to work with Tor, providing you with an extra layer of encryption, which is great for those seeking the highest levels of privacy.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- First-party DNS
- VPN Kill Switch
- Dedicated IP
- Split Tunneling
- TOR via VPN Server
Despite China’s recent crackdown on VPN providers, BolehVPN has confirmed that users in the country are currently able to bypass the Great Firewall by using the xCloak configuration, which scrambles OpenVPN packets to make it look like normal traffic to the VPN censors. However, a lack of nearby servers could mean that you experience slow speeds and there are other providers out there offering much greater coverage in the region- our roundup of the best VPNs for China includes some great examples.
Due to a lack of servers in Africa and the Middle East, we’d hesitate to recommend BolehVPN to those living in other high-censorship countries, such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, should they add servers in those regions, the xCloak service may be a decent way to bypass censorship there.
- User access
- DNS requests
- Connection timestamps
- Bandwidth usage
- IP addresses
Overall server traffic, including bandwidth performance and CPU usage, is monitored for maintenance purposes, which is a sensible policy. They also log the number of connections per server, however, this is nothing to worry about since the logs aren’t personally-identifiable.
What is a little more concerning, though, is the fact that BolehVPN states that they ‘may from time to time turn on logs temporarily if [they] are attempting to troubleshoot a performance issue or locate a user abusing [the] system’. They claim that logging isn’t usually enabled for more than a few hours and that they are deleted once the culprit is found.
The fact that BolehVPN is willing to ‘turn on’ user activity logs, jeopardising the privacy of many, is troublesome. It’s also worth noting that the phrase ‘turning on’ logs is a little misleading, as they already log certain things mentioned above. Instead, BolehVPN is expanding the breadth of what they do log during these occasions.
However, we do like that they publish regular warrant canaries to keep users updated on any information requests made by official authorities, which shows a great level of transparency. The most recent one from September 2018 states that no warrants have ever been served to BolehVPN and no searches or seizures of any of their servers has ever been performed, which reassures us that confidential user data remains safe.
Ease of Use
BolehVPN’s Windows app is accessible enough but could do with a makeover to bring it up to date. The main screen is too cluttered for our liking, and it took us a while to actually find the button to connect to the VPN, which isn’t ideal.
There are two drop-down menus: one to choose the VPN protocol and the other to change server location and configuration options. The sheer amount of choice may seem intimidating to newbies at first but there is a handy guide on BolehVPN’s website that lets you know about the function of each setting.
You can find various settings and preference options behind the tabs along the top of the app. Within these you can switch DNS leak protection and change your proxy settings. We received a few ‘unknown errors’ when attempting to connect to certain servers, which was fairly frustrating, and slow customer support meant that we were left in the dark for a while.
Downloading the Windows and MacOS clients is relatively simple and takes just a few minutes. The software can be found by logging into your account on the website.
The general installation process is to download the relevant software and follow a couple of straight-forward prompts. All that’s left is to log in – just remember to use your username and not your email address. There are user-friendly installation guides on the website should you need them and these also include setup instructions for devices lacking native apps.
BolehVPN’s customer support leaves a lot to be desired, but is enough to get you up and running relatively quickly. We were initially pleased to see a live chat-like feature on the website, but disappointed to find that there were never any support agents online to speak to. Instead, we were prompted to ‘leave a message’ or email support directly. Unfortunately, it took hours, and sometimes even days, to receive a response to even the simplest of questions, which could be frustrating if you need an answer immediately.
We did come across some really useful support content on BolehVPN’s website, however resources were scattered all over with no real sense of organization. We would like to see a more user-friendly support section that brings everything together in one easy-to-navigate place. Thankfully, the simple installation guides are easy enough to find and we like that they come accompanied with helpful screenshots. If you know where to find it, there is also a really great video explaining the basic functions of the service.
The Bottom Line
- Local download speeds of up to 40Mbps
- Custom apps for Windows and MacOS
- Loads of advanced security features
- Connect securely to 12 countries
- Extremely limited server network
- iOS, Android and Linux require manual config
- Inconsistent access to some servers
- User activity logged in some circumstances
- Slow customer support
BolehVPN is a fairly quick and secure VPN that’s good enough for everyday use, including general browsing and HD streaming, however Netflix and iPlayer are currently blocked. Dedicated P2P servers and zippy uploads also make it a viable option for torrenters, but serious gamers will want to look elsewhere due to high latencies.
BolehVPN offers solid encryption and other essential security features, such as a VPN kill switch, DNS leak protection and split tunneling. However, we don’t like the fact that they admit to logging user activity occasionally when they suspect that someone is abusing the service. For this reason, we’d suggest looking elsewhere if you want guaranteed privacy.
Custom apps are available for Windows and MacOS and are a little old-fashioned and confusing at first. The configuration options may be confusing for some, but are great for a tailored experience. Manual configuration is required for all other devices, so VPN newbies who want to protect their mobile devices may want to look at other providers offering native apps. Customer service is below par, with no live chat feature, disorganized online support and slow email responses. If you don’t need lightning-fast performance, BolehVPN is a decent choice for browsing, streaming (but currently not Netflix or iPlayer) and torrenting securely.