LiquidVPN is based in Wyoming, USA.
Beautiful part of the country, Wyoming.
But with a questionable local jurisdiction, and only servers in 11 countries, the warning signs started to creep up.
Let’s give them a fair shot before completely writing them off
We’ll put them through their paces in this LiquidVPN review to see if their other aspects can make up for these initial red flags.
Get ready for a deep dive to answer that question.
LiquidVPN came out squeaky-clean in the quantitative portion of our review.
That means you can expect no leaks or viruses. And pretty decent speeds.
Check it out.
1. No Leaks or Viruses!
VPNs don’t always do what they claim.
ALL of them are supposed to hide your location from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), aggressive government oversight, and even the websites you visit.
But that’s not always the case.
Some VPNs are susceptible to DNS leaks that divulge your true location, right from under your nose.
Their app might tell you Paris, France. (Oui oui.)
While your ISP can clearly see you’re at your house in Cleveland, Ohio. (Non non.)
Not to worry with LiquidVPN, though.
You’ll be happy to hear that LiquidVPN passed each of the six DNS leak tests. So you can tell people with confidence that you are, in fact, at your holiday villa in the South of France. Commence #humblebrags.
- https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
- https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
- http://dnsleak.com/ (none found!)
Normally at this point, we have to insert an enormous “BUT” into the conversation.
“Things were looking so good,” we exclaim. “The picture was so rosy,” we declare.
And then we go on to elaborate about all of the viruses found in the VPNs install files.
But you’ll also be pleasantly surprised to hear that LiquidVPN came back completely clean, thanks to VirusTotal.
2. Reasonable Server Speeds
The extra security and privacy a VPN delivers comes at a cost.
Your connection speed always takes a hit.
The trick is to strike a balance. Can your VPN still deliver decent performance without sacrificing security?
That’s what we look for each in each speed test. We start by getting a read on our non-VPN connection.
SpeedTest gave us 97.00 Mbps download and 53.00 Mbps upload. Not too shabby.
Next, we connect to a few different LiquidVPN servers and repeat the process.
First up, let’s give the U.S. server in New York a spin.
- Ping: 189
- Download: 74.40 Mbps (23.3% slower)
- Upload: 19.04 Mbps (64.8% slower)
The download speed is pretty good. The upload speed is not so good.
That doesn’t put them on contention among the fastest VPNs we’ve reviewed, but it’s OK.
Let’s give them a second chance by connecting to a server across the pond in the Netherlands.
EU Server (Netherlands):
- Ping: 39
- Download: 46.66 Mbps (51.9% slower)
- Upload: 38.66 Mbps (27.6% slower)
Interestingly, the scores almost reversed. The upload speed is decent, while the download speed was around average.
We’ll give them the nod for consistency across the board.
Don’t expect miracles. But you can expect stability.
3. Supports Five VPN Protocols at Either AES-128 or AES-256 Encryption
LiquidVPN supports five different VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, SSTP, PPTP, OpenConnect, and L2TP/IPSEC.
In most cases, you’ll want to stick with the default OpenVPN protocol, though.
Your protocol options depend on a variety of factors, including your use case or device and network quality. And OpenVPN generally gives you the best of both worlds.
LiquidVPN also throws in the option to switch encryptions. You can stick with the bank-grade AES-256, or downgrade slightly to AES-128.
Why would you ever want to knowingly downgrade a security encryption?
See the last point: Speed.
AES-128 is still secure, but it also doesn’t consume as many resources. That means if you’re connected to a trustworthy network, you might want to drop a few percentage points for the sake of performance.
4. Customer Support is Fast & Professional
Customer service often makes or breaks your experience.
Security is critical. Speed is important. But a terrible customer service rep in your darkest hour can leave a lasting impression.
That’s why we test all VPN customer service departments before giving you a recommendation.
We reach out through live chat or email, grading them on both speed and quality.
It took LiquidVPN around an hour to respond to our email, which is actually pretty good. We’ve had emails go days before receiving a response.
Their answers were terse but sufficient. Each was in-line with the question so you knew exactly what they were responding to:
5. All Five Out of Five Servers Worked with Netflix
Strict licensing agreements have forced streaming services to step up their game.
Years ago, you almost never had a problem trying to watch geo-blocked content on Netflix, for example.
But today, that’s becoming pretty rare.
Many VPNs we’ve tested either don’t work or won’t support Netflix streaming. Others claim that they do work, only to be proven wrong when we actually test different servers.
LiquidVPN initially confirmed that all of their U.S. servers allow Netflix. Customer Support even assured us:
And sure enough, all five out of five servers worked!
That definitely puts LiquidVPN in contention among the best VPNs for Netflix streaming.
LiquidVPN also works with the Tor browser.
6. Torrenting Allowed on Any Server
Torrenting means many things to many people.
And it can land you in hot water if you use it to side-step copyrights.
That’s why some VPNs will completely block torrenting on their servers. They don’t want to risk getting into any potential legal battles.
Other VPN companies will only allow torrenting on specific servers. If there aren’t enough, or any close to you, this could prove problematic (see “Limited Country Servers” below).
Fortunately, LiquidVPN offers completely unrestricted access. You can use torrenting on any of their servers without any limitations.
We appreciated that LiquidVPN didn’t leak or include any viruses. Their speed was decent and customer support was relatively quick.
But their U.S.-based location is troubling. And there were a few other hassles we ran into.
Here’s a quick look.
1. Collects Some Logs
Truthfully, most VPNs will log your data.
Ideally, it’s only basic data to monitor the performance of their service or remove any bad actors.
Here’s what we found in the fine print of LiquidVPN’s terms of service:
Let’s break this down.
The good news is that they don’t reportedly collect browsing history or session data. The bad news, however, is that they will track when you log in and out, and how many active sessions you’re using at one time.
That’s not great.
The whole point of using a VPN is to avoid leaving behind a trail. And that’s more or less what this is.
Especially when you take their jurisdiction into account.
2. Is in the Five Eyes Security Agreement
At the end of the day, a VPN is only as trustworthy as its local government.
Pretty much all of them admit to willingly turn over data when warrants knock on their door.
And that’s an issue for LiquidVPN.
Let’s face it:
Intelligence agencies in the U.S. aren’t exactly shy. That’s been proven a time or two.
The trouble is that the U.S. is also a founding member of the original 5 Eyes security alliance. Decades ago, they partnered up with Canada, the U.K., New Zealand, and Australia to pool intelligence info.
Since then, the “5” part has expanded into “14.” Which means WAY more potential partners might get their grubby hands on your stuff when the CIA or FBI comes calling.
Because when they do, there’s literally no stopping them.
3. Costly Connections
LiquidVPN only offers two simultaneous connections on their cheapest plan.
You can get access up to eight connections. But it’s really going to cost you.
These month-to-month plans start at $7/month for the cheapest one. And the eight device one is going to cost you $18!
That’s insane, to be honest.
You can bring this number down by taking a plunge into the annual commitment. But still.
That’s almost double what other companies charge for five on their monthly plans.
4. Limited Country Servers
Unfortunately, most VPNs will lie about their servers.
They’ll overstate the actual number. They’ll claim certain locations, only to connect you somewhere else. And they’ll often rent access from third-party companies.
All that being said, you generally still want to go with a VPN provider that offers more servers. And not a limited one like LiquidVPN, who only offers access to 11 countries.
Your connection performance will be hamstrung by the distance between you and the VPN server.
So if you’re in a remote location, or if your VPN doesn’t offer wide support across all continents, you’re asking for trouble.
Your speed will almost always suffer, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. (Except to choose another provider.)
The second problem you’ll run into is overcrowded servers.
VPN companies make investments into offering a certain number of servers. That’s a fixed expense.
Their ROI goes up by limiting that number while increasing the number of customers they can bring in.
But if the ratio gets too far out of balance, the customer experience goes down the drain.
Too many people are trying to all suck up too few resources.
And once again, speed goes downhill.
Leaving you, paying customer, to deal with the consequences.
5. Unfriendly User Experience
Our entire experience using LiquidVPN was disappointing.
First and foremost, the user interface left a lot to be desired.
But that wasn’t even the worst part.
The client wouldn’t process our login info correctly. (We double-checked username and password multiple times.)
Once we were finally able to login, we couldn’t connect to a server. We tried different ones, ultimately settling on an LA for this attempt. But we had to shut down and restart multiple times before successfully connecting.
And there was misleading information that could hurt non-technical customers.
LiquidVPN Support told us that they will “support any device that can connect to a VPN.”
Somewhat vague, right?
But here’s the thing:
They don’t even have a mobile VPN client yet. Which means you’ll need to do a workaround to use it on your phone.
They have a kill switch to help protect your anonymity. But it’s only available on desktop. (See the last point about no mobile app.)
And mobile is one of the major use cases for a kill switch in the first place!
Tell me if this ever happens to you:
Your mobile settings will automatically connect to known WiFi points. But if those suddenly drop, it’ll either connect to another or your data plan will kick in.
Either way, that transition between networks will expose your browsing session data and IP address without a kill switch.
Plus, you’ll have to go into their downloads section and set up a .bat script to get it working on desktop. So less tech-savvy people are hung out to dry.
6. Limited Native Device Compatibility
LiquidVPN only has native apps for Windows, Android, and Mac devices.
That means iOS users are out of luck. Instead, they’ll need to go through the OpenVPN Connect app and customize a few advanced settings before use.
That also means there are no native configurations for routers, Smart TV’s, or game consoles. Again, you’ll need workarounds.
LiquidVPN recommends routers with DD-WRT firmware, and throws you an install video walkthrough to customize settings yourself.
They do, however, work with Tor. Good news for activists or journalists looking to double-up on privacy and escape retribution.
LiquidVPN Cost, Plans & Payment Options
I’ll come right out and say it:
LiquidVPN month-to-month plans are freaking expensive, ranging from $7 – $18/month.
Honestly, don’t even bother. You’ll never find them among the top ten cheapest VPNs we’ve reviewed. That’s for sure.
The annual plans bring this down to the $4.75/month to $8.83/month range. But those pricing tiers still stack up with the monthly pricing at most other VPN companies.
And if you remember, all you’re pretty much getting for that big plan is a few extra connections.
Assuming the prices haven’t scared you off, you can use common credit or debit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and surprisingly, cash.
Curiously, their address page says NOT to send cash to their main address. Instead, you’ll have to go through this one:
Unlike others, there is no free trial period at all.
They do offer a seven-day guaranteed refund if you are dissatisfied. However, not if you pay by cash or Bitcoin. I guess that’s the tradeoff for trying to pay anonymously.
Do You Recommend LiquidVPN?
No, we do not.
LiquidVPN is not that bad on the surface.
They came in 30th out of 74 in our overall rankings. Their speed results came in at 21st.
But there are a lot of questionable drawbacks, starting with:
- They’re based in the U.S., which means they are in the Five Eyes agreement.
- They collect some logs, some of which could be seen as a bit compromising if a government demanded them.
- There is no built-in default kill switch. There’s a script to do this, but no technophobe is going to touch that.
- They’re very expensive compared to the same features at other companies.
- You only get a measly two simultaneous connections on the cheapest plan.
- And their limited number of servers in different countries will be a turnoff to most outside the U.S.
Sure, they do work well with Netflix U.S.
But if that’s your main goal, there are many better Netflix VPN options to choose from.