People in Malaysia know just how restricted access to the internet can be there. Despite the government’s claims that they promote a free and open internet, in fact there are large numbers of websites which are inaccessible due to government blocks. If you’re frustrated by the limited websites available for you to browse, then you can use a VPN to get around region locks and to access blocked websites. Below we’ll talk about how using a VPN can help you enjoy a more open internet, then we’ll talk about the best VPNs for Malaysia.
How To Get Around Region Locks With A VPN
One problem that many internet users in Malaysia face is not being able to access certain websites. Some popular sites, like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, or Spotify, offer only a limited service in Malaysia or are completely unavailable. This is due to the copyright agreements that these sites operate on – for example, for Netflix to be able to offer particular shows or movies on their site for streaming, they must arrange licensing rights in each individual country. Sometimes, Netflix will have the license to show a movie in the US but not in other countries like Malaysia. This is called region locking, as the content is only available in particular countries.
So what can internet users in Malaysia do if they want to access content which is not currently licensed in their region, or if they want to access content which is blocked? One option is for them to use a VPN to get around region locks and blocks. Using a process calling location spoofing, you can use a VPN to make it appear to websites as if you are accessing them from a different location. Here’s how to do that.
Location Spoofing To Unblock Websites With A VPN
When you connect your device to a network, it is assigned an IP address: that is, a unique string of numbers which represents that particular machine. When you send a request across the internet – for example, when you type google.com into your browser – your IP address is used to make sure that the correct data (in this case, the Google homepage) is sent back to your device.
Contained within your IP address is information about your physical location. This is because particular ranges of numbers are assigned to particular countries. If you look at an IP address, you can see which range it belongs to and therefore work out which country the address comes from.
All of this means that when you visit a website like netflix.com, the site can see which country you are browsing from and serve you different content accordingly. If you are visiting from Malaysia, you’ll be shown different content than if you were visiting from the US.
If you’re in Malaysia and you want to see the US version of a site, you can use a VPN. This is a small piece of software which is installed onto your device and which encrypts all of the data that you send over the internet. You choose a server in another country to connect to, and the encrypted data is sent to this server. At the server, the data is decrypted and it is sent on its way to its original location.
The advantage of this is that the data appears to originate from the server where it was decrypted. So if you’re in Malaysia and you connect to a server in the US, any website you visit will show you the US version. This means that you can access US-only websites and watch US-only content.
This works with other countries too – you can use a VPN to make it appear as if you’re browsing from the UK, the Netherlands, India, or any other country where your VPN provider has a server available.
Additional Reasons To Use A VPN
As well as location spoofing, there are a number of other reasons that internet users in Malaysia may want to use a VPN. A VPN can help to improve your security and to protect your privacy in the following ways:
- Access blocked websites. The Malaysian government claims to support free internet, but in practice they block many websites. These websites are often censored as pornography, but actually include news sites, social media profiles, and blogs. If you want to browse the internet freely, without the restrictions imposed by the government, then you can use a VPN to access these blocked sites.
- Protect yourself from government spying. The Malaysian government has a reputation for surveilling and monitoring its citizens by keeping a careful eye on people’s electronic communications. If you don’t want the government snooping on your emails or instant messages, then a VPN can protect you. Because a VPN encrypts all of the data which leaves your device, your communications can’t be monitored by your ISP or by government observers.
- Download safely. If you’re going to download content like music or movies off the internet, especially if you’re going to use torrents or other peer to peer download methods, then you need to be very careful. It’s extremely easy for ISPs to see when you are using a torrent, and they can investigate your internet use to see if you have been downloading illegally. If caught downloading, you could face a fine or even prosecution. A VPN protects you when you download by encrypting your web traffic. This means that your ISP can’t see whether you’re using torrents or downloading in some other way. The only information your ISP or any other outside observer can see is how much data you’re using, not what the contents of that data is.
- Improve your cyber security. You’ll find many places which offer free wifi in Malaysia, like cafes, airports, or libraries. But using these public wifi networks without protection can be dangerous. When you are connected to a public network, other people who are connected to the same network may be able to access your device and steal your personal data such as your emails, your credit card information, or your bank account details. To stop anyone else from accessing your data, you can use a VPN to encrypt everything which makes it impossible for others to steal this information. This keeps you safe when you’re using public wifi.
Choosing The Best VPN For Malaysians
From this, you can see why you would want to use a VPN when browsing the internet in Malaysia. But with so many VPN providers out there, it can be hard to know which one will meet your needs. Here are the factors that we consider most important when choosing a VPN:
- Excellent security. You want a VPN to keep you safe with strong encryption and a no logging policy.
- Fast connections. Using a VPN will inevitably slow down your internet connection somewhat, as the data has to travel further to the server. But a good VPN will be so fast that you’ll hardly notice that it’s there.
- A large server network. To take advantage of location spoofing, you need access to servers in many different countries. It also helps to have many servers in each location, so that if one server goes down then you can easily connect to another.
- Well-made software. You’ll usually connect to a VPN by using the software made by your VPN provider. This software should be easy to use, have helpful extra features like a kill switch, and support a variety of platforms.
We collected information about a ton of VPN providers, and based on these factors here are out top recommendations for VPNs for Malaysia:
ExpressVPN is our top choice for power users. If you want fast connections, top notch security, and a company which has a reputation for their reliability and excellent service, then this is the provider to check out. They offer a massive server network, giving you access to more than 1000 servers in 145 locations in 94 different countries. This means it’s perfect for location spoofing to let you access region locked or restricted content.
The security is strong, as they use 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data safe. The company has a no-logging policy to protect your privacy, so you can be sure that they will never hand over your data to another company of to the government. Finally, the software is dead easy to use, with extra features like a kill switch and a speed test to help you find the fastest server possible. The software supports Windows (including Windows RT, Windows XP, Widows Vista, and Windows 7, 8, and 10), Mac OS, Linux, and Android.
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For those who are concerned primarily with getting the fastest connections for downloading or streaming video in ultra high definition, the VPN provider to look into is IPVanish. This service is known for its lightning fast connections which you won’t even notice are running, letting you use the internet at the fast speeds that you’re used to.
The security is also good, with 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy to keep you safe. The server network is smaller than some of the other services we’ve mentioned, with 850 servers in more than 60 countries, but that’s still plenty to let you get around region locks and access content from all over the world. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android.
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If your main concern is security and you’re looking for the safest VPN out there, then we recommend NordVPN. NordVPN offers the ultimate in security with its double VPN service. This means that data is encrypted and sent to a proxy server, where it is encrypted once again and sent to another server before being decrypted. This double encryption is almost impossible to crack even using cutting edge technology, so if you want to keep your internet activities and communications private from the government, the this is the service for you.
In addition to first-rate security, NordVPN also has a large server network of over 1070 servers in 60 different countries, for all your location spoofing needs. The connections are not quite as fast as ExpressVPN, but they’re still plenty fast enough for tasks like streaming high definition video. The software supports a wide range of platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows Phone.
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If you travel often, especially if you do business in China, and you want a VPN that is as global as you are, then VyprVPN is our recommended service for you. VyprVPN has a special type of encryption called the Chameleon protocol which encrypts not only the data which you are sending, but also that data’s metadata. Metadata contains information about the origin and destination of data packets, and it is possible to monitor this and to therefore block VPNs from certain networks. This is what happens in China: many VPNs won’t work there because of the sophisticated VPN detection used. But the Chameleon protocol ensures that you can get around even these VPN blocks to browse in safety and privacy.
Naturally, the VyprVPN service also has strong encryption and no logging, with a provider-owned network of more than 700 servers in 70 different counties – so you can use this service all over the world, wherever you’re travelling too. The software supports Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android.
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If you’re fed up of restrictions and blocks on your internet and you want to browse freely and securely, then a VPN can be a big help. As well as keeping you safe from government observation, a VPN service can also help you to get around region locks and keep you safe when using public wifi.
For users in Malaysia, we recommend any of the VPNs above, depending on your needs. If you want top tier service and don’t mind paying a bit more, you can use ExpressVPN. If you want the fastest connections out there, try IPVanish. For best security, use NordVPN. And finally, if you travel often, then VyprVPN is for you.
Do you use a VPN in Malaysia? Which is your favourite service? Let us know about it in the comments below!