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LiquidVPN Review

Our summary

Read this LiquidVPN Review to find out about the pros and cons of this US based provider.

What is LiquidVPN?

LiquidVPN is a VPN provider that has been operating from its base in the US since 2013. It was started by a networking engineer called Dave Cox. Mr Cox is still the owner of the company and he runs the service in a very hands-on manner. The depth of Mr Cox’s technical knowledge ensures that this tech-led company delivers the best quality service available at a marketable price.

Mr Cox is the inventor of a method of address usage, which he terms “modulated IP.” This is an unusual method for obscuring the identities of the company’s customers. You will read about this phenomenon later on in this review. However, the main body of the review will focus on the shared IP address service of the company, which equates closely to the services offered by competing Virtual Private Network (VPN) companies.

PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Choice of two, four, or eight simultaneous connections
  • Highly competent customer support team
  • Free Smart DNS
  • Accepts Bitcoin
CONS:
  • Small server network

Visit LiquidVPN »

LiquidVPN Pricing and Plans

LiquidVPN has a pool of 2,168 IP addresses. The cheapest of LiquidVPN’s three pricing plans only gives access to 564 of these. The concept of shared IPs is that the VPN server allocates you one when you log in. That IP address goes on all the data packets that leave the server for their final destination. The address is entered as the source address of each packet. Thus, when you try to access a streaming service, it will believe it is connecting with a computer in the country that the IP address indicates. It won’t realize that you’re the real originator of the request.

The number of IP addresses available to you is important because many web access control mechanisms try to stop VPN traffic. If one of these “proxy detection systems” works out that the request it received came through a VPN, it bans that IP address. Therefore, if the VPN company has few IP addresses available and doesn’t renew them frequently, you could soon find that the services you want to get into have locked out just about all of the available IP addresses.

The only other variable between the three pricing plans at LiquidVPN is the number of simultaneous connections that it allows you. You can download the VPN software onto as many devices as you like. However, you may only connect a certain number of them to the VPN service at any one time.

LiquidVPN price list

If you cancel the service within seven days, you’ll get a full refund.

You can pay for your LiquidVPN subscription with credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin.

LiquidVPN payment methods

LiquidVPN Features

All plans have the following features:

  • Servers in 11 countries
  • Proprietary app for Windows, Mac OS X, and Android
  • Third-party app for iOS
  • Script installation for routers, set-top boxes, and Linux
  • No activity logs
  • P2P allowed
  • 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps servers
  • A combined kill switch and firewall, called “Liquid Lock”
  • Domain Name System (DNS) and IP leak protection
  • Choice of OpenVPN, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP), Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), and Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP)
  • Server speed tests

The company’s server network is probably the biggest weak point of this service. There are plenty of servers in the US and also some in Canada. The other countries that host LiquidVPN servers are the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Singapore.

LiquidVPN server locations

Address Configurations

Most VPN companies offer a system of shared VPNs. They temporarily allocate you an address for each session. Some VPNs also give you the option of buying your own dedicated IP address, so you have the same IP address for every session. LiquidVPN offers both of these options, calling them “public” and “private” IP addresses.

LiquidVPN also offers a “modulated” IP address. This changes your IP address constantly throughout your connection. That’s exactly what an IP switcher does. However, the modulated IP address takes the idea a few steps further. An IP switcher gives you a different address at a stated time period – for example, every five minutes. The modulated IP gives a different IP address to a web server for every element of a webpage.

Each webpage is actually made up from many different files. When code for a page arrives at your computer, your browser interprets that code and presents the finished page. However, the different elements in a page are held in different files, so when the browser reaches a point in the code that includes the content of another file, it has to send out a request for that file. The LiquidVPN modulated IP service sends the new request with a different source IP address in it.

You would expect that this unusual behavior would alert proxy detection systems that its correspondent is a VPN and block all requests from those IP addresses. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ve tested the modulated system for access to Netflix and I got to watch the video that I requested. Netflix has one of the most thorough proxy detection systems in the world. Thus, if LiquidVPN can get around that, it can probably evade detection everywhere on the internet.

Want to know more about Proxy Servers? Click the link!

Visit LiquidVPN »

Is LiquidVPN Secure?

Although the company states that it’s fine with customers using the service for P2P downloads, the location of LiquidVPN is not ideal for those who want to get copyrighted material for free. The company’s head office is in Michigan in the US. There are no data retention laws in the US that pertain to VPNs. However, US copyright holders and government security agencies have been known to lean on US companies with threats of court action in order to force them to assist in identifying the activities of individual users.

LiquidVPN states that it does not retain activity logs. According to the company’s privacy policy statement, transaction records are deleted from memory as soon as the customer disconnects from the server. As there is no activity information kept on file, there is nothing that a copyright lawyer could force the company to disclose.

Security

OpenVPN Encryption
Cipher
AES-256
Data Auth
HMAC SHA1
Handshake
RSA-4096
Control Auth
HMAC SHA512
Forward Secrecy
DHE-4096 every 30 minutes
Logs & Legal
Connection
None
Traffic
None
Country
USA

Users of the custom app for Windows, Mac OS X, and Android can select a preferred VPN protocol from within the interface. This gives a choice of OpenVPN, SSTP, PPTP and L2TP with Internet Protocol Security (IPSec).

Customers who want to use the VPN on an iOS device have to download a standard OpenVPN client, which is available free of charge from the website of the organization that runs the OpenVPN protocol. This is a little more difficult to set up, and doesn’t give you the option of trying other protocols, such as SSTP.

The key distribution and session establishment security of the OpenVPN implementation are some of the strongest in the industry. The encryption keys for the AES cipher are renewed every 30 minutes.

The Website

The LiquidVPN website begins with a long, scrolling homepage, which has most of the company’s sales information on it. The top menu stays visible as you scroll. Above the menu bar, you’ll see a statement that shows your IP address and a “Control Panel” button, which takes you to the client area dashboard.

LiquidVPN Review

The Client Area includes access to download files and the support system.

LiquidVPN Client Area

You will also see a link to the warrant canary. This is a system used by a number of VPNs to let their customers know if the VPN has received court orders demanding information on user activities. It is a standard condition of court orders that those receiving them aren’t allowed to publicize the existence of the warrant. The warrant canary system posts regular statements that no warrants have been received. If a standard period statement is missing, the reader knows that there was a warrant served on the company during that time.

LiquidVPN Support

You can leave a message with the support team from within the app or at the dashboard in the client area of the LiquidVPN website.

In the app, click on the cog symbol at the top right of the interface and select Support from the drop-down menu.

LiquidVPN support access from the app

After you send a message through a standard web form, LiquidVPN will inform you by email that your support ticket has been raised. You can look at the current status of your request by clicking on “My Support Tickets” in the dashboard.

LiquidVPN support ticket access

Whenever you get a reply from the support team, it will appear in this screen. You’ll also receive an email with the help desk message in it.

The Process

You have seven days to try out the VPN and still get your money back if you change your mind about it.

Signing Up

Click on the “Sign Up” button beneath your preferred plan in order to pay for the service. It will present you with the option of subscribing for one month or one year. You get a lower price per month if you take out the annual subscription, but you have to pay for the whole year up front.

LiquidVPN sign up page

This agreement commits you to recurring billing, so you’ll automatically be charged again at the end of your subscription period – unless you hurry up and cancel the agreement before your current plan expires.

After your payment clears, LiquidVPN will take you to the client area of the site. You usually have to log in to this area, but after signing up, you’ll be logged in automatically.

You will find a download section in the dashboard. This has the software that you need to install in order to get the VPN working on your computer.

LiquidVPN app download

The LiquidVPN Windows VPN Client

When the app opens there will already be a server selected. This may not necessarily be the location that you want to use. You can change the location by clicking on the marker symbol next to the current server location.

LiquidVPN app

Switching VPN protocol is very easy with this app. You select a different protocol in the server listing screen.

LiquidVPN protocol options

You don’t have to sign in to the app until you select a server and try to connect. The username and password for the app aren’t the same as the log-in credentials for the client area at the website. You can access the app log-in credentials in your user account details at the LiquidVPN site.

Be careful about the Liquid Lock. This is a very useful feature. It will block your computer’s internet connection if the VPN isn’t turned on. If you forget this feature, you may panic to see that the internet isn’t working. If you want to use the internet without the VPN, you have to turn Liquid Lock off.

LiquidVPN Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 Tests)

For speed tests, I connected to New York in the US from the Caribbean without the VPN turned on. I then tested a connection to the same destination, but with the LiquidVPN server in Florida, and then with the LiquidVPN server in New Jersey mediating the connection.

I also tested a connection to London in the UK without a VPN and then with the LiquidVPN UK server applied to the line.

In each case I tested the connection five times, using the website testmy.net.

LiquidVPN download speed test

LiquidVPN upload speed test

Graphs show highest, lowest and average speeds for each server and location. See our full speed test explanation for more detail.

The VPN made slight improvements to the speeds for both download and upload. However, these variations in speed were not that great and could just have been caused by the variable performance of the underlying Internet service.

When you mask you computer’s IP address, with a VPN , you expect that your real address won’t ever be revealed during a connection. If that real address does become visible, the situation is termed an “IP leak.”

BestVPN tests for IP leaks involve the services of several websites. These are ipleak.nettest-ipv6.com , IPv6 leaks and doileak.net. I accessed all of these servers while I had an OpenVPN connection to London the through the LiquidVPN UK server. The service passed all the tests that were possible. My Internet service provider doesn’t include IPv6 translation, so those tests weren’t possible.

Other Platforms

The LiquidVPN app is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Android. Users with iOS devices have to download a third-party app, called OpenVPN GUI, and then go through some manual set up procedures to get the addresses of all of LiquidVPN’s servers into the system. This isn’t an ideal situation. It also limits your choice to just OpenVPN, without the option of STTP or L2TP that users of LiquidVPN have access to. Scripts are available at the LiquidVPN site to get the VPN installed on routers, set-top boxes, and Linux machines.

LiquidVPN Review: Conclusion

LiquidVPN works very well. It can even get around the proxy detection systems of Netflix. However, users of iOS devices don’t get the full benefits of the custom app that LiquidVPN provides to other operating systems.

I liked:

  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Clever modulated IP mode
  • Great kill switch and firewall combo
  • Easy to use app
  • Gets into Netflix
  • Competent support staff

I wasn’t so sure about:

  • Small server network

I hated:

  • No LiquidVPN app for iOS

The small server network may be the one factor that puts you off signing up for the LiquidVPN service. If you want to get around regional restrictions on streaming services, you have to connect through a VPN server in the same country as your target website. As such, if you want to get into servers in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, or South Africa, LiquidVPN will be no use to you. If the company has a server in the country you most want access to, then LiquidVPN will serve you well.

Visit LiquidVPN »

Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper is a techy geek with a social edge. Downshifting from a successful IT career in Europe, Cooper moved to the Caribbean and now keeps up to speed with Internet technology poolside.

16 responses to “LiquidVPN review

  1. Liquidvpn does not work as advertised. I am a programmer and a digital nomad. When I traveled both South America and Asia, the service simply didn’t work. I had to use another service. Getting my money back took weeks and weeks, and I only got a partial refund after nearly a dozen emails. It is a nice service – when it works…. Which is almost never

    This is my first vpn review but I found a way to get netflix working and wanted to share it with others.

    Originally I signed up for 6 months. I was not able to cast netflix to my TV with my tablet like I used to be able to do in 2015 (last time I traveled) I canceled and they sent my refund within a couple hours.

    This morning one of their technicians emailed me and explained that Netflix has blocked phones and tablets but not desktops. He told me if I had a wifi doodad I could cast netflix to my TV via my desktop instead. I had to purchase a wifi to usb adapter but as soon as I plugged it in, connected to one of their servers and cleared my browsers history I was able to watch wifi on my TV again!

    1. Hi Gloria,

      The thing with mobile apps is that they can collect data other than just your IP address to determine your location (such as your GPS location and mobile carrier information). As long as your provider’s IP addresses are not blocked by Netflix (many are, though), you should be able to access Netflix using your desktop or laptop PC. I am somewhat unclear, however, about exactly what this USB to WiFi doodad that you refer to actually is. A Chromecast or Mirrorcast device can certainly be used to “cast” your PC’s screen to your HDMI TV.

      1. Douglas,

        The tech I spoke with said something about Netflix forcing my device to use Google dns instead of their special dns. I had to buy a USB wifi dongle… I think that is what they called it. Anyway it is for the laptop I am using. They set it up so it connects directly to my TV while still being connected to the internet with the built in adapter. I didn’t even know this was possible before. There is a lot of old (and no longer working) information out there when it comes to bypassing the USA Netflix ban.

        1. Hi Gloria,

          Ah.. ok. So that means your TV has WiFi capability built-in? That’s a neat setup.

    Its funny that I found these guys in the best USA VPN column and not in the best UK VPN column. They have ultra fast UK servers and they all still work with the iPlayer. I would recommend them to anyone wanting to stream bbc content.

    Super happy with the LiquidVPN. Tons of server locations/options, auto mapped ports on Dynamic servers, auto close torrent app upon disconnect, and has a kill switch option. Excellent speeds and priced down to $4.50 a month if you pay for the year. Viscosity app is a nice feature, they also support OpenVPN, works with DDWRT too.

    Support responds quickly to any needs.

    I contacted them about horrible connections. Dropping, extremely slow speeds, not even connecting in the first place. They made no effort to look into it and blamed it on me, so I essentially told them to eat it and switched to private internet access. Very rude customer service, and I’m never dealing with this company again, and I suggest no one else does either. Private internet access is better in every way, and comes out almost $3 cheaper a month if you pay a year at a time.

    1. Hey Rob, Sorry if you felt someone was rude to you. Feel free to get in touch with me and let me know who it was you spoke with and I will investigate the incident. The last thing we want is our users to feel someone is being rude to them. What the person should have done is linked you to the knowledgebase article that describes exactly what we need from you to investigate the issue. Usually when there are connection problems to multiple servers as you seem to hint at then the issue is going to be on your end somewhere. Think about it. If you are having problems staying connected to 10 different servers in 10 different datacenters around the world is the issue more likely be with your single network or the 10 different networks in question?

    Great VPN Services, SPEED, Trust, Fanatical SUPPORT. @;) 100 % satisfied.

    I signed up for 1 month in June. So far it has saved me from at least 4 DMCA notices. I like the fact that they publish them. I signed up for their IPS system. It was hard to tell if it was working or not so I decided to run some tests. I setup a server on one of their public IP connections and then attempted to exploit it, DDoS it, send infected files to it and so on. It works but its a bit different then I had expected. I expected something like an antivirus at the network level but it let the viruses and malware get through. What it did do is block me from exploiting the server with shellcodes, and stopped the DoS attacks I tested. I attempted to test some client side attacks to simulate a virus or trojans payload and it was able to stop these attacks as well.

    On a side note towards the end of my testing when I was testing client side attacks I got an email from one of their support reps suggesting I run Malwarebytes. I knew my activities would be noticed because I was not on a shared or modulating IP when I tested so your milage may vary but in my case it was nice for them to try and warn me about a possible malware infection trying to take over my device.

    If you are a gamer like me that hates being booted by a kid hitting the DDoS button the IPS enhancement could be a good fit.

    I was complaining an issue with LiquidVPN and I can’t believe how Dave (The owner or the Staff) replied:

    ———-
    So you can connect to 1 location but then cant connect to another? This is happening on Mac and Windows or just Mac?

    It is possible that your configs have not updated yet if you just installed the mac version. There does not seem to be an error in the logs. The servers are all online and users are on every server. If this is happening on windows as well we can do a remote session and I can most likely fix it. Macs OS is more locked down so there is less that we can do. When did you install viscosity? The configs can take up to 72 hours to update (24 if you leave the VPN connected)

    Regards,
    Dave
    ———-

    So, I replied with:

    ———-
    I can connect to all servers, yet I cannot browse the Internet using other servers. To make it easier to understand and for you to see everything that happened, I made a video about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq119u4A-G0

    Remember the thing that I told you that I was amazed because I imported the new VPN settings into the VPN client and I was so amazed that it organized everything automatically? That’s what I did after the installation of the VPN client. I imported the VPN configurations properly. Anyway, you’ll see everything in the video.
    ———-

    I can’t believe HE replied this way. Makes me feel stupid:

    ———-
    Im watching it now but it looks like everything is working. What do you mean “I cannot browse the Internet using other servers” What other servers? Is it a certain port that is giving you trouble? The only thing I am seeing is after you disconnect sites dont open right away because your adapter is being reset.

    What do you mean you imported the configs? They should be there when you install. You should not need to import any servers.

    Regards,
    Dave
    ———-

    So I replied with:

    ———-
    Everything is working? Nah, I don’t think so. Watch it in HD and in full screen. Also, the California servers aren’t going to be available if I haven’t imported the VPN settings. Importing means like downloading the latest VPN configurations for Windows and Mac (just like what you always suggested). Of course I HAD TO WAIT FOR THE ADAPTER TO BE CONNECTED before I access any website. Seriously? I had to focus on the resetting process. Holy crap, you thought I keep on accessing websites while the adapter is being reset? Are you serious??
    ———-

    Holy crap.

    Hi Andy,

    Well, I used the Zlin server because it by far the closest one to me. However, LiquidVPN has advised me that it has been working hard to improve its rolling IP speeds, so I plan to re-run some speed tests just as soon as I have the time…

    I am currently using liquidvpn and get great speeds. You tested rolling IP addresses on their worst server which is a bit unfair. I have been on the Ziln server before and it is on an oversold network. I asked liquid support about it and apparently IP addresses in Europe are very hard to come by now and they have to have have 256 IP addresses on a server to do IP modulation. Ziln was the only place they could go. The rest of the EU servers are all pretty fast especially Germany which amazingly gave me a better speed test connected to it then not connected to it when using the same server.

    They have the best support I have ever experienced. One of their techs setup my firewall for me with teamviewer, their client is by far the best Mac client I have ever used. The windows client has to rank in the top 5 especially with paranoid people like myself. It opens my poker app on connect and shuts it down if the net crashes and I get all this for 4.99 per month? Yes please…

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