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3 Best VPNs for Bypassing Internet Censorship in Malaysia

As a cybersecurity geek and streaming enthusiast living in Malaysia, I understand how frustrating internet censorship can be. More and more Malaysians are turning to VPNs to bypass blocked sites and apps, unblock streaming services, protect their online privacy, and access all the web has to offer.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll equip you with in-depth knowledge on how VPNs work, top services to consider, and tips for staying secure in Malaysia‘s tightly-controlled digital environment. Read on to learn how you can gain internet freedom through informed use of a VPN.

Internet Censorship and Surveillance Rising Sharply in Malaysia

Let‘s start by examining the online censorship situation in Malaysia. Internet freedom advocates have flagged the country for increasing website blocking and online surveillance over the past decade.

According to Freedom House‘s latest reports, Malaysia blocks hundreds of sites including file sharing tools like torrent services, pornography, gambling platforms, and even social media networks and communication apps at times. High-profile examples of sites rendered inaccessible include:

  • Reddit – Completely blocked for over a month in 2019 over objectionable content.
  • Imgur – Access to the image hosting site was restricted starting in 2020 with no clear reason given.
  • Streaming sites – Sport streaming services and illegal movie platforms are frequently blocked.
  • Pornography sites – While not explicitly illegal, pornography sites are routinely blocked.

This broad internet censorship severely limits what information Malaysian citizens can access online. And it‘s not just site blocking – concerning cybersecurity laws enacted in recent years like the controversial Anti-Fake News Act have put user privacy and free expression further at risk.

According to research by the Centre for Independent Journalism, over 60% of Malaysians self-censor what they share and discuss online due to fears of government surveillance under vague "fake news" laws.

As you can see, censorship and surveillance threaten Malaysians‘ access to information, personal liberties, and right to free expression. So what can you do about it?

Fight Back with a Trusted VPN

This is where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) comes in. By routing your traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a server abroad, a VPN allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and access the open internet, while keeping your browsing activities private.

Whether you‘re a student activist, journalist, casual blogger or average social media user, a VPN service is essential for exercising your digital rights in Malaysia.

Let‘s examine the top options to consider in 2023:

VPNServersCountriesPricing (monthly)Unlimited Devices
ExpressVPN3000+94$8.325
NordVPN5500+60$3.296
Surfshark3200+100$2.30Unlimited
AtlasVPN750+49$1.39Unlimited

ExpressVPN – Fast and Reliable

With over 3,000 high-speed servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN is my top recommendation for consistently fast connections and access to any blocked site or service. While pricier than other options, you get superb reliability and speed with ExpressVPN.

NordVPN – Largest Network

Boasting over 5,500 servers worldwide, NordVPN offers an enormous network to connect through. Performance is great, and NordVPN works well for streaming and unblocking sites. Also one of the most affordable options.

Surfshark – Unlimited Devices

Surfshark grants an unlimited number of devices per account, making it a great value choice for families and groups. With robust speeds and over 3,200 servers, performance is solid too.

AtlasVPN – Budget-Friendly

If you‘re looking for an affordable basic VPN, AtlasVPN starts at just $1.39/month. While it has fewer features and servers than pricier competitors, it can still bypass censorship and geo-blocks.

I don‘t recommend free VPNs – they lack key features, have privacy risks, and face severe speed and bandwidth limits. Instead, take advantage of free trials from paid services like ExpressVPN, NordVPN or Atlas VPN to test them out.

Unblocking Censored Sites and Services with a VPN

Once you‘ve selected a suitable VPN for Malaysia, you may be wondering – what exactly can I access? Let me reassure you that major blocked sites and geo-restricted services can be unlocked with a VPN.

For starters, you can bypass blocks on sites like Reddit, Imgur, sports and movie streaming services, pornography sites, and P2P/torrent tools. A VPN also unblocks messaging apps like Telegram that get restricted.

Plus, you can finally view US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming platforms normally geo-blocked in Malaysia. For me as a streaming junkie, this alone makes a VPN worth it!

On top of bypassing censorship, a VPN will encrypt your web traffic over public WiFi, mask your IP address, and keep your identity private from ISPs, the government, and lurking hackers.

So don‘t wait – sign up for a trusted VPN now to start accessing the open internet and protect your online privacy.

Using Your VPN Safely and Responsibly in Malaysia

While a VPN grants digital freedom, it‘s important to use VPN services wisely, safely, and legally in Malaysia:

  • Only access content that is lawful in Malaysia. Avoid illegal streaming sites.
  • Be thoughtful about what you share online, even with a VPN cloak of privacy.
  • Enable your VPN tunnel before accessing any blocked or questionable sites.
  • Never use public WiFi without connecting your VPN first to encrypt data.
  • Configure your VPN app to auto-connect when your device starts up.
  • Use VPN browser extensions for quick access and an extra layer of protection.
  • If you face sluggish speeds, connect to a different VPN server location for improved performance.
  • Contact customer support if you have trouble connecting or experience any issue with bypassing blocks.

Take Back Your Internet Freedom

Rising censorship and surveillance threatens Malaysians‘ access to information, freedom of expression, and privacy. But VPN services offer a powerful solution to bypass blocks and retain your digital rights.

I recommend trusted paid services like ExpressVPN and NordVPN that provide blazing speeds, extensive server networks, and reliable unblocking capabilities. Avoid the risks of free VPNs for optimum security and performance.

Once you have your VPN setup, you‘ll be amazed by the breadth of content accessible to you. But remember to use VPNs legally and continue exercising good judgement in your online activities.

Now go forth through the open internet freely and safely! Don‘t let restrictive practices hinder your digital liberties. With informed use of a quality VPN, Malaysians can enjoy uncensored access that sadly remains inaccessible to many across the globe.

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Michael

Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.