BolehVPN Review (2022): Many Server Options, Few Servers
A good VPN safeguards your personal data and privacy. A great VPN also manages to keep your internet connection fast and stable in the process. BolehVPN’s goal is to provide you with absolute privacy and security while ensuring that this doesn’t go at the expense of your internet speed. However, in practice, this turns out to be harder than it may seem.
This review looks at what BolehVPN can offer you as a client.
BolehVPN Short Review
|Many configuration options
|Activates logs for “unusual activity”
|Decent speeds for daily use
|Complex installation for certain features
|Small server network
|Possible to get an account anonymously
Although BolehVPN is a VPN service that uses strong protocols, encryption, and extra security options, they aren’t great at providing their users with ultimate privacy from themselves. They are able to turn on logs at will, meaning they could gather your data if they wanted to — and they admit they’ll do exactly that in case of unusual activity.
Unfortunately, BolehVPN has a small server network with various connectivity issues. The speeds that BolehVPN offers, aren’t very impressive either. Their local servers didn’t perform very well and actually gave us some problems while downloading and uploading files. Their dedicated Netflix server, however, reached very high speeds, which was a pleasant surprise.
BolehVPN is a relatively pricy VPN, especially when compared to our list of best cheap VPN services. It offers a lot of settings in its software, as well as different specializations and configurations for its servers, but isn’t a good option for beginners due to its technical interface.
- Torrenting allowed
- Works with Netflix
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is BolehVPN?
If you want to be able to enjoy your VPN to its full extent, you’ll need to be able to reach decent speeds. We’ve run BolehVPN through a couple of standard tests to assess its speed capabilities, as well as a manual test for daily use. BolehVPN offers specific servers to stream Netflix USA. We’ve included this server as well.
Overall, BolehVPN scores a 6.5/10 for speed. These are the things we noticed when using BolehVPN:
- BolehVPN works well during daily use.
- The Netflix USA server is a lot faster than the regular US server.
- It’s not possible to download or upload files when connected to the regular US server.
- Proximity makes a clear difference: the closer you are to a BolehVPN server, the faster your connection will be.
Speed tests results BolehVPN
You can find the results of our speed test here:
|US (Netflix server)
As you can see, we did a baseline speed test where we didn’t use a VPN at all. This gives us a benchmark result to which we could compare the other data. We have run the speed test on a local server in the Netherlands, which is where our office is located, as well as the United States server.
The downloading speed on the local BolehVPN server is considerably lower than our connection without any use of a VPN. Even so, the VPN functioned well enough. We barely noticed it running at all.
While the speed of the American Netflix USA server is somewhat lower than our baseline measurement, it doesn’t make much of a difference in actual use. We did, however, notice a clear speed reduction when trying to download or upload any files. On the regular US server, speed results were also slower, with the exception of upload speed.
In general, speed results are decent enough. If you consider the fact that all VPN traffic has to be routed across the Atlantic Ocean, some speed reduction is to be expected. Our benchmark results were also not that fast and stable, to begin with. Moreover, the Netflix USA server is specifically created for streaming; you won’t necessarily need fast upload and download speeds if you’re just watching Netflix.
Speed during daily use
For daily use, BolehVPN functions well. We didn’t notice any real delay when connecting to the Netflix USA server. We tested the VPN for browsing, gaming, streaming, and downloading. The results were good for all.
When connecting to the regular US servers, we did notice a difference in comparison to the Netflix USA server. Speed dropped quite significantly and the connection failed pretty often. Uploading and downloading files took a lot of effort. We had to pause the VPN connection to get any files onto our computer.
Using the Dutch server in Amsterdam, uploading and downloading was slow, but possible. Other activities, such as gaming, weren’t an issue.
Safety – How Secure is BolehVPN?
A strong VPN not only increases your online anonymity, but also keeps you protected against malware and cyberattacks. This is why it’s important to know how a VPN provider treats your personal information and to take note of the different protocols their software supports to secure your data traffic. In order to help you out, we’ve taken a close look at BolehVPN’s safety features.
BolehVPN scores a 6.5/10 for safety, based on the following security features and policies:
- BolehVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption and OpenVPN.
- They also offer a 128-bit lock for streaming.
- BolehVPN has a no-log policy, but they do keep general logs to optimize the system.
- In a monthly warrant statement, BolehVPN claims they have never been served warrants to share any user data with authorities.
- It’s possible to get a BolehVPN subscription anonymously.
For their encryption, BolehVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption with an RSA-2048 handshake. They also have a 128-bit lock that can be used for streaming or browsing.
BolehVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, which is considered very strong and leading in the industry. BolehVPN’s configurations are run on a standard UDP protocol. Additionally, they offer TCP. While UDP is generally a lot faster, it gets blocked more easily. Should this occur, BolehVPN recommends using a TCD protocol instead.
You can also select L2TP, but you do have to go through a separate installation process in order to use it.
Logging and privacy
BolehVPN claims to have an official no-log policy. However, they do keep logs on general server use to analyze the servers and prevent misuse, although this data is anonymized.
Unfortunately, there is something peculiar going on with this provider when it comes to privacy. Should BolehVPN find any unusual activity on one of its servers, the provider might decide to momentarily activate logs in order to identify the user in question. When this person is found, logs will be deleted. BolehVPN assures us that the general user should not need to worry about this. It’s a practice aimed at the optimization of the system. Still, it shows that BolehVPN could and will log your activity in some cases.
BolehVPN’s headquarters is located on the Seychelles islands. They have side offices in Hong Kong and Malaysia. None of these countries are part of the 14 eyes alliance, nor are they subject to mandatory intelligence retention laws. This means BolehVPN is not obliged to share data with authorities. Supposedly, with their no-log policy, they wouldn’t have any information to share either way — although their anonymized logs and ability to activate logs at will claim otherwise.
Transparency through the warrant canary
BolehVPN is open about its log policy. Every single month, the VPN provider publishes a warrant canary. The purpose of this statement is to protect BolehVPN users should the company be required by law “to be silent about any searches, seizures of data or requirements to log.”
The statement states that BolehVPN and its employees have never been served warrants. They list each of their servers to make the specific claim for each country they are located in. Finally, they include a couple of current Reuters headlines to prove the date of the warrant canary.
BolehVPN has a kill switch function. This is a security feature that works like a type of emergency brake on your data traffic. If your connection to a BolehVPN server suddenly fails, the kill switch will make sure that none of your data will be leaked or become visible.
The kill switch isn’t activated by default: you have to activate it yourself when you install the client.
What information does BolehVPN need?
When signing up for a BolehVPN account, you need to provide some personal data. BolehVPN stores the email address you sign up with, the date of your purchase, and the date and method of your payment.
Having said that, it is possible to pay anonymously, using cryptocurrency. If you use an email address specifically created to buy a subscription, you can stay completely anonymous.
The provider does state on their website that they use certain analytics to map where their users are from. According to BolehVPN, this data is anonymous. Even so, this is yet another way in which BolehVPN keeps tabs on users and lessens their privacy.
Usability – How User-Friendly is BolehVPN?
User-friendliness can make or break a VPN. Naturally, you want to be able to enjoy good customer service and easy-to-use features. We’ve tested out BolehVPN’s usability by having a look at the installation process, the look of the website and software, as well as customer support, prices, and methods of payment.
When it comes to usability, we gave BolehVPN a score of 6.5/10. Here are our conclusions:
- The BolehVPN website is well-organized, but not up-to-date.
- BolehVPN has clients for Windows, Android, Mac, and Linux.
- The interface is more complicated than that of most VPN providers, but you can customize many settings.
- BolehVPN offers seven-day, 30-day, 60-day, 180-day, and 365-day plans.
- There is no live support chat available.
BolehVPN website and installation process
The BolehVPN website is reasonably well-organized, although it contains some oddities and out-of-date pages. To purchase the VPN, all you need to do is click on the “BUY Now!” button at the top of the page. Scrolling down, you come across different information sections about the VPN. At the bottom, you’ll find plans and pricing.
Interestingly, the Blog tab doesn’t lead anywhere. Moreover, the terms of service haven’t been updated since 2017. We were somewhat worried the provider discontinued their VPN service, but we could still download and use the VPN. The warrant canary, as mentioned above, was also updated in the first week of the month, as promised by BolehVPN.
In order to purchase and install BolehVPN, you can follow these steps:
- Create an account via the official website. You only need to submit a name, email, and password.
- Log in on the website. You’ll see a page that shows the clients for various operating systems.
- Download the client for your OS and follow the steps to install it. You can install BolehVPN on Windows, Android, Mac, and Linux.
- Log in to the app with your account.
In comparison to providers such as NordVPN and Surfshark, BolehVPN’s installation process is slightly more challenging. The overview of operating systems, for example, has quite a tech-savvy vibe to it.
Installing BolehVPN on your smartphone also comes with some extra challenges:
- iOS: There’s no dedicated app for iOS. If you’d like to use BolehVPN on your iPhone, you’ll have to connect through the OpenVPN Connect app.
- Android: You can use the VPN directly on your device. The only thing you need to do is download the configuration files and open these in the program. This will allow the right settings to be transferred.
Under “Support” on the BolehVPN website, you can find installation guides for various operating systems. These will help you along in the download process. You can secure three simultaneous connections with one BolehVPN account.
BolehVPN appearance and ease-of-use
The BolehVPN interface, overall, is quite complex in comparison to most VPN providers. BolehVPN allows you to set the connection exactly to your own preferences, which is useful but can be confusing to beginning users.
We downloaded the client on a Windows computer, which is what this section will focus on. When opening the software, you’ll see your dashboard. On the main page, you can manage your connection and get an insight into all sorts of information related to your connection, such as your used bandwidth.
Additionally, you get access to a couple of useful features that can help you further protect your connection. Here are some of your options:
- Set an auto-reconnect.
- Enable DNS leak protection.
- Activate the kill switch.
- Access a log on your VPN connection.
- Create a proxy (additional software needed).
While it’s great that you can customize your settings, other VPN providers automatically activate functions such as DNS leak protection or a kill switch. If you’re not well-versed in VPN use, the default BolehVPN settings might not keep you as protected as you would like.
One final thing that stands out, is that you have to give permission for the app to make changes to your device every single time you start the software. If you want to avoid this, it’s easier to keep the app running in the background instead of closing it.
Pricing and payment methods
There are five different BolehVPN subscription plans you can choose from:
- A seven-day trial for $3,70
- A 30-day plan for $9,99
- A 60-day plan for $16,99
- A 180-day plan for $44,99
- A 365-day plan for $79,99
This makes BolehVPN a relatively expensive VPN. Its yearly plan comes down to a price of about $6,67 dollars per month, which is as high as the rates ExpressVPN offers, for example.
BolehVPN also offers a one-day free trial, which you can start here. Your account will be actived once you click the link you’ve been sent per email. After, you can get started right away. Keep in mind that you can only use your email address once. If you want to get another free trial account on the same email, you’ll have to contact customer service.
If you’re not satisfied with BolehVPN, you can request a payment return within 14 days after activating your account (two days if you choose the seven-day trial plan). You will have to indicate clearly what problems you ran into while using the VPN service and why you’re canceling your plan. That way employees will have the chance to fix certain issues.
BolehVPN offers many different payment options:
- Credit card
If you want to use a prepaid credit card from certain countries, you might run into issues, but you can contact BolehVPN, should this be the case. Because they take cryptocurrency, it’s possible to pay completely anonymously.
Once you’ve created a BolehVPN account, you’ll get access to a dashboard where you can place an order, download installation files, and ask for support. During an earlier assessment of this VPN, we could still access the blog, but that page seems to have been taken offline.
You can send a support ticket through the BolehVPN customer support desk. Unfortunately, there is no live chat function or possibility to talk to a BolehVPN team member on the phone. If you can’t find an answer to your question through the support desk, you could reach out to the VPN’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
When we sent out a ticket, we received a useful and supportive response within 24 hours.
Server Network BolehVPN
An extensive server network is certainly a benefit of any VPN service. The more options you have to connect to different servers worldwide, the more online content you can access. We had a look at all BolehVPN servers, but weren’t impressed by their offer.
For server network, BolehVPN scores a 6.0/10. This is based on the following findings:
- BolehVPN has a small network of just 35 servers across 13 countries. If you get a trial period, the selection is even smaller.
- We ran into connectivity issues while trying out their servers.
- BolehVPN offers interesting configuration options to optimize your VPN use.
Number of servers and locations
BolehVPN has a small network of 35 servers across 13 countries. All server locations are listed here:
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- United States
If you opt for a trial period, the selection of servers is a lot smaller: just five servers across four countries: Canada (two servers), Germany, Singapore, and Luxembourg. When we tested these servers, we ran into several issues. Canada and Singapore worked well, but the German server gave us an “unknown error.” Finally, it was possible to connect to the Luxembourg server, but we couldn’t go online.
The premium servers appeared to work better, although we also ran into errors on some of those. Most issues fixed themselves when we re-connected to the server. However, in some cases, our connections cut out completely. Sometimes, it took the software a while to properly connect to a server, sometimes minutes. Uploading and downloading files gave us trouble, too.
Dedicated IP address
BolehVPN doesn’t offer dedicated IP addresses. Instead, IP addresses are shared, which is better for your privacy. If you are looking for a VPN that offers a good dedicated IP option, you can check out NordVPN or CyberGhost. These providers also have much broader server networks.
One noticeable BolehVPN feature is that you can choose different server configurations to optimize your VPN use. With no less than six configuration options, BolehVPN tries to meet their customers’ different demands. There’s a video on the website that explains it all, although that seems to be somewhat outdated.
In terms of configurations, we had the following options:
- Surfing configuration: These servers are optimized for browsing purposes. BolehVPN claims they give you faster speeds.
- Streaming configuration: This feature allows you to unblock specific content and streaming services, such as libraries on Netflix or BBC iPlayer.
- Proxy configuration: This is an option used for split tunneling. You can use it when you want to run only part of your internet traffic through a VPN server. This will prevent delays when you use applications such as Skype or gaming. It’s important you install the proxy separately before you configure it. BolehVPN has instruction guides to help you along, but the process is quite complex.
- Cloak configuration: This configuration allows you to use multi-secured servers that use both standard encryption and obfuscation. It can be useful to apply this when you’re trying to get past advanced firewalls or imposed censorship. Do keep in mind that using it might slow down your speeds even more. It’s also not guaranteed that it will keep your data safe in ultra-restrictive countries that push back against such use.
We were unable to activate the other two configurations, “BolehGEO” and “Fully Routed.”
- Netflix works on most BolehVPN servers.
- If you get a free trial, you will not be able to watch Netflix USA or Netflix United Kingdom.
- Torrenting was not a problem with BolehVPN.
BolehVPN and streaming (Netflix and BBC iPlayer)
Sometimes, Netflix manages to block certain VPN providers. With BolehVPN, getting access was not an issue. We could easily unblock Netflix USA and BBC iPlayer and watch any content that is generally restricted from where we are located.
Because the free trial plans don’t offer you access to servers in the United States or the United Kingdom, we couldn’t activate these same streaming services. There are simply not enough servers included in the trial plans to properly test BolehVPN for Netflix.
BolehVPN and torrents
Torrenting allows you to share data online. You can download or upload files (usually books, music, or movies) by using a peer-to-peer network. We didn’t run into any issues downloading torrents while being connected to BolehVPN.
Keep in mind that certain countries push back against torrenting. While the practice itself is not illegal, copyright law restricts it.
Our Experience With BolehVPN
BolehVPN is a decent service. The special streaming servers are useful, as is the fact that you can pay for your plan completely anonymously. The VPN offers various configuration features. While it’s nice to customize, not all important features are automatically activated. The configuration process is quite complex and some of these features do cause delays.
Since renewing the registration system, getting an account is fairly straightforward. There is no live chat or support desk to call, but when submitting a ticket through the website, the response is reasonably fast and supportive.
Our BolehVPN review showed that this provider is transparent about its logging policy, but the fact remains that they gather quite a bit of (anonymized) information and will even start actively logging user activity in some cases.
On top of that, BolehVPN is a pretty pricey provider. Because the trial version is very limited and the server network small, we ultimately don’t recommend you use BolehVPN. If you want to find a better option, take a look at our VPN review page.
BolehVPN offers many customizable options, but leaves something to be desired in other departments. Are you wondering if this is the right kind of VPN for you? We’ve listed our most frequently asked questions below.
BolehVPN offers a lot of features to make its service safe. They use strong 256-bit AES encryption and OpenVPN, work with various several configurations to increase your online safety, and have features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection. However, you do need to activate these features manually, making this VPN a less secure choice for beginning VPN users. You can check out our full Boleh review for more information.
Yes, you can watch Netflix with BolehVPN. In fact, BolehVPN has special servers that are entirely dedicated to streaming. This makes it easier to watch shows that might be blocked from your location. When we tested a Netflix server for speed, the results were surprisingly good.
BolehVPN is one of the pricier VPN providers. They offer several plans:
- A 7-day trial for $3,70
- A 30-day plan for $9,99
- A 60-day plan for $16,99
- A 180-day plan for $44,99
- A 365-day plan for $79,99
They do have a money-back guarantee if you cancel within 14 days after activating your account.
BolehVPN offers many different configurations that can optimize your VPN use, which make it unique:
- A streaming configuration that gives you enough speed to watch your favorite shows
- A surfing configuration for daily use
- A proxy configuration that allows split-tunneling, so you can choose what part of your traffic runs through the VPN
- A cloak configuration that gives your encryption an extra security layer
Installing some of these configurations takes effort, however. But it does allow you to pick and choose exactly what you like.
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