Best VPN for Malaysia 2023: Censorship and Politics
In Malaysia, you can feast on street food in Penang, visit the world’s oldest rainforest, Taman Negara, and gaze in wonder at the iconic, 451-meter-tall Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. It is a beautiful and varied place, but you can’t escape the need for security when online. We’ve put together a list of the best VPNs for Malaysia, so you can stay safe in the sun.
There are many reasons that make using a virtual private network a good idea. While not as bad as some countries, such as China, Malaysia is subject to some censorship online (read our best VPN for China). According to Freedom on the Net 2020, Malaysia is partly free, so you may find websites that have been blocked.
Some blocks, such as online gambling and pornography, are legally justified under Malaysia’s laws and regulations, but the blocking of an Instagram-style website called Jinggo Fotopages, which specializes in Malaysian politics, and others of a similar nature, demonstrates that such censorship is politically motivated.
In 2015, the government blocked some news websites due to their coverage of a graft scandal in which ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak was accused of transferring millions from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund to his personal bank account. He has been charged for his involvement.
Many of the political websites that can’t operate in Malaysia have moved their addresses to the UK, making it harder for authorities to prosecute them. They’re still blocked in Malaysia, but a VPN can help you access them.
Other blocks include blogs, torrent websites, a dating website called Adult Friend Finder and websites involved in online fraud. They are enforced by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. There isn’t an official list of websites, but blocks come up often in these camps.
The MCMC can instruct websites to remove content, especially if it’s critical of the government. Even though social media is free to use, some blog owners and Facebook users have been told to remove posts of a sensitive nature.
Malaysia’s Sedition Act, which was updated in 2015, can be used to declare publications seditious and have them blocked, too.
Citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression, but, with the Sedition Act, there are limitations. The law bans anything that brings contempt against Malaysia’s rulers and forbids incitement of hatred between races and religions.
If found guilty of sedition, you could face a fine or up to seven years in jail, which can be raised to a maximum of 20 if you’re found to have caused bodily harm or property damage.
Sections 499 to 520 of Malaysia’s penal code make defamation a criminal offense. The media has more freedom, granted under the Defamation Act of 1957, as long as it can prove the content is accurate and published without malice.
On top of all that, there have been many cases of people being arrested and prosecuted for online speech, including a man in 2016 who was sentenced to a year in prison for insulting a royal family on Facebook.
Singapore has similar issues, which you can read about in our best VPN for Singapore guide.
Your Privacy in Malaysia
The extent of government surveillance in Malaysia is unknown, but privacy protections are generally poor and even mobile phone owners are required to register. University of Toronto-based research group Citizen Lab reported that it detected software known as FinFisher on servers around the world, including in Malaysia.
FinFisher is an intrusive surveillance software distributed by Gamma International that enables government law enforcement and intelligence agencies to tap into communications and steal passwords. Citizen Lab’s findings suggest that it’s being used more broadly, though. Read our piece on surveillance for more insight.
The Malaysian Personal Data Protection Act of 2010 makes it illegal for commercial organizations to sell personal data or let third parties use it. Penalties for doing so are fines up to 100,000 Malaysian ringgit ($23,850) or jail time. Federal and state governments are exempt from the law, though.
Along with protecting your data from surveillance, you should keep cybercrime in mind, including fraud and online scams. It’s on the rise in Malaysia and the public’s concern over cyberthreats outweighs physical ones. Check out our best VPN for Thailand piece for another look at online threats.
Now that you know why you need to use a VPN in Malaysia, let’s take a look at how we made our picks.
Best VPN for Malaysia 2023
Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency3 ms$3.49 / month(save 70%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
- : 6
Average speedDownload Speed91 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency4 ms$6.66 / month(save 48%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, PaymentWall
- : 5
Average speedDownload Speed71 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency37 ms$2.37 / month(save 81%)(All Plans) 45-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Amazon Pay
- : 7
$5 / month(All Plans) 7-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 8
$5 / month(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 30
What Makes a VPN the Best for Malaysia
While there are many factors to consider when choosing a provider from our VPN reviews, some are more important than others in Malaysia. Government surveillance is a big issue there, as is cybercrime, so you want to make sure you pick one that has great security. That will keep you hidden from authorities and protect your data from online threats.
A secure antivirus doesn’t hurt, either.
Along with those, a kill switch is a good idea for even more protection. It will ensure that you are disconnected from the internet if the VPN fails, preventing your details from being leaked.
Your privacy is just as important, so the VPN provider should have a strong no-logs policy, which means there won’t be a record of your online activities.
You want a good server network, too, as this will help you circumvent any blocks you come across. That includes geoblocks, which stop you from accessing streaming services in different regions. More servers gives you a better chance of getting past them.
If you want content restricted to Malaysia, though, you’ll need servers located there. We also have a piece on how to get a Malaysian IP address.
Speed is also important, especially if you want more stream than stutter. You can read our best VPN for streaming piece for more recommendations. Unlimited bandwidth is a good idea, too, as you won’t have to worry about any data restrictions.
You also want to consider ease of use and what devices it supports, as well as the quality of customer support the provider offers. Lastly, your decision may be influenced by price, which varies by service. That said, those are secondary concerns for our guide.
1. Best VPN for Malaysia: NordVPN
NordVPN is one of our best VPN providers. Its security is top-notch and includes the option of double-hop servers, which encrypt your connection twice over.
It has a kill switch to keep you protected if the VPN fails and you can be sure your privacy is honored with its no-logs policy.
NordVPN has many servers spread over 60 countries, so you should have no problem accessing the content you want. There are seven in Malaysia, too, if you want content restricted to it. You can read our NordVPN review for a more in-depth look at the service.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
NordVPNs speeds are good, but it can be slow when connecting over long distances. It has a fast server switch time, though, and unlimited bandwidth, meaning you don’t need to worry about hitting a limit.
Installation is simple and will get you connected quickly. Clients are available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, which are easy to use and have a good layout.
A useful knowledgebase is available, as well, so you can try to fix minor issues yourself. If a more technical issue arises, you can contact customer support through live chat or email. Live chat is the fastest of the two, but, whichever you choose, the staff are helpful.
It has an affordable monthly rate, but you can save cash by subscribing to a longer plan. NordVPN offers a , too, so you can try it without risking any money.
- Priced well
- Lack of detail on server location
We recommend ExpressVPN about as often as NordVPN, and for good reason. It has great security to keep you safe and a kill switch for more protection. It ranks well in privacy, too, as it has a strict no-logs policy.
ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, which is more than NordVPN. That said, it has fewer in total, but the count suffices. Some are in Malaysia, as well, if you need them. Read more about the service in our ExpressVPN review.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN came in first in our fastest VPN services piece and there are no bandwidth limits. It is let down by its slow server switch time, though.
It’s easy to use and great if you want something that works out of the box. Once installed, it does most everything for you. All you need to do is choose a suitable server and make sure you’re connected to it. You can use ExpressVPN on Windows, macOS, Android or iOS and download the browser extension for Firefox, Chrome or Safari.
Customer support is available 24/7 by live chat and email. For the fastest response, we recommend using the live chat, but the email route is best for more technical queries. That said, the staff is helpful either way.
A downside to ExpressVPN is its price, as it’s one of the most expensive VPN options. Still, it’s worth the cost for the service you receive. You can save money by opting for a longer plan and it offers a for peace of mind.
- Easy to use
- Slow switch time
CyberGhost is next and, while it can’t beat our first two choices, it offers a good service. It has great security, but it isn’t as customizable as some, and a kill switch, to boot. You don’t need to worry about privacy, either, as it doesn’t keep logs.
It has servers covering 58 countries, 10 of which are in Malaysia, giving you plenty to choose from. Read our full CyberGhost review for a better look at the service.
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
CyberGhost has good speeds, but, like NordVPN, it’s not great over long distances. There are no bandwidth caps, so you don’t need to worry about how much data you’re using.
You can use CyberGhost on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. The interface was recently updated and, while it can take some time to get used to, it’s easy to use.
If you run into problems you can make use of the extensive knowledgebase, which should help with minor issues. If you need more assistance, you can contact customer support through live chat or email. We found that live chat is the most efficient option.
CyberGhost’s monthly price is affordable, but you can commit to a lengthier plan to save money. A seven-day trial is available for Android and iOS, so you can try it first. Plus, there’s a money-back guarantee, which applies to all platforms. You get 14-days with the monthly plan and 45-days with longer ones.
- Easy to use
- Can be slow
TorGuard is another good choice for Malaysia. It has decent security and lots of customization, which we like. There are many protocols to pick from, but make sure you know what you’re doing first. It provides a kill switch, too, along with a strict no-logs policy.
It has servers in 55 countries, including Malaysia, giving you enough to choose from to circumvent blocks. Look at our TorGuard review for more information.
Other Reasons We Like TorGuard
Speeds are decent, but they can vary. Thankfully, there are no bandwidth caps. Clients are available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. The mobile applications can be a pain to set up, though.
If you have problems, you can use the handy guides and forum. They should be enough to fix minor issues. If you need extra help, though, you can contact support. Live chat is offered, but it’s run by a general customer service company. For that reason, email support is the best option for more technical issues.
Just like the others, you can save money by selecting an annual plan instead of a monthly one. It has a , so you can try it before committing.
- kill switch
- Dedicated IP address option
- Performance speeds vary
Last up is VyprVPN. Despite ranking fifth, it’s a great service. It has good security and its own encryption protocol, called Chameleon, which basically adds protection to the VPN tunnel. The VPN has a kill switch and you can be sure there is no record of your activities as it doesn’t keep logs.
It has servers in more than 60 countries, but the total amount is lower than those of our other recommendations. Still, some are in Malaysia, if you need them. Read our full VyprVPN review for more details.
Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN
Its speeds are okay, but it can be slow at times. There’s no limit on how much bandwidth you use, though, which is a plus. You can install it on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and its interface is easy to use.
Support is available if you need it. The FAQ section can help you solve most problems on your own. Failing that, you can contact a member of the staff through live chat or email. Live chat is faster, but you will be better served using email if the issue is complicated.
VyprVPN’s monthly rate is pricey, but opting for the annual plan will be better for your wallet in the long run. You can make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee, which should give you enough time to make up your mind.
- Chameleon protocol
- kill switch
- Disappointing network
Those are our picks for the best VPN for Malaysia. You should pick one that has good security to keep you hidden from surveillance, online policing and cybercrime. A kill switch will help with that, too. You also want to use a VPN that has a wide server network, as that will give you the best chance of getting past blocks.
While any of our recommendations will suffice, the best VPN for Malaysia is NordVPN. It has great security to help keep you shielded and thousands of servers, to boot. With the 30-day refund, you’ve got nothing to lose.
If you’ve been to Malaysia and used a VPN, let us know about your experience in the comments below. Check out our other VPN articles, too. Thank you for reading.