Internet access is Malaysia is good. The country has embraced open access to most content sites outside its borders. And there is fast Internet available for homes and offices.
We moved to Bangsar and rented a condo first in the Bukit Bandaraya. On move in we were referred to a telecom agent who helped us select a home Internet service and a choice of two companies that could install the service.
- Time Fibre
- TM UniFi
On move in we were offered an install appointment with Time Fibre 10 days out. When we said we needed it sooner they said for “an emergency” installation (eye roll), they could get TM Unifi in 8 days later.
So we took that. We were given a morning installation window of 9AM to 2pm. And the installers showed up at 2:11pm. There was no courtesy call to let us know they would be late. This is simply way it is with Malaysian service calls. If you make yourself available in a particular time window you can expect the service person to be late or cancel 50% of the time, and that may be generous. Expect them to blame the rain*, the traffic, or other customers for the delay. There is no accountability.
(*In the wet season, summer through fall, it rains pretty much every mid-afternoon for an hour or so.)
Here are the rate structures we were offered:
We took the 100Mbps option. The fee of RM129 (129 ringgits) converts to about US$32 per month (EU$27, GBP£24, CAD$41), which compared to slower equivalent service (85 Mbps Internet) in the USA is about one quarter the price, so affordable by comparison.
We had to pay a RM500 installation fee. But we got a wireless phone handset, a WiFi router and high-speed Internet modem as part of that deal.
The phone installation came with a local phone number.
The rates at Time Fibre were slightly different but comparable. However, the speeds offered were 500 Mbps or 1 Gb.
Is the web censored in Malaysia?
As a strict rule web is not censored in Malaysia. However, you may encounter adult content sites that are blocked. It is not illegal to browse adult content site, per se, however it is illegal to possess adult content, so don’t download it. (Or keep it offline in magazines or DVDs etc.) And as a precaution, if you do visit porn sites, clear your browser cache regularly and employ VPN technology (see below) to maintain Internet privacy. The Malaysian government does scan for child porn consumption and arrests perpetrators. More on Malaysian porn laws here.
Is Malaysia web traffic blocked by other countries?
The biggest challenge you are likely to run into is being blocked by your home country when surfing sites at home. If you are from a western nation like the United States, Canada or the U.K, etc., you will most certainly run into this when you try to access financial or banking websites back home. This is because Malaysia is on a watch list due to concerns that cybercrime originates from the country.
Accessing your bank accounts online will trigger all kinds of security and validation features set up by banks and financial institutions to protect their online services. Even our electricity utility and bug spraying service in Florida blocked us. Without a VPN we would not been able to pay some of our bills back in the U.S.