12th May 2015
Today I reviewed LiquidVPN to see what kind of features they had to offer with their service. Here’s what I found out.
- up to 10 simultaneous connections
- unlimited bandwidth
- great customer service
- fast connection
- not the simplest set up process
- only e-mail support available
- software isn’t very user-friendly
Overall Score: 80.5/100
LiquidVPN did pretty well, but lost some points for the nature of its software.
To get LiquidVPN, sign up here: LiquidVPN
VPNs are quickly taking the world by storm as one of the easiest ways to bypass content blocks and access all of your favorite sites and services.
This technology allows people in countries with restricted access like China to access all of the same content as their American buddies, and even prevents government snooping.
VPNs are also a great way to protect against security threats from hackers because they put you in an encrypted tunnel that keeps all of your information safe.
With such a versatile bit of technology though, the market has been flooded with companies selling these connections to consumers, all claiming to have the best and fastest.
I’ll help you sort through the white noise of marketing, and get down to what these guys really have to offer.
I’ll be reviewing LiquidVPN, to see what kind of features they have to offer, and how their service compares to some of their competitors.
Will LiquidVPN Work on My Operating System?
Okay, let’s begin the process of elimination. Before you look at anything, you need to make sure that the VPN you’re checking out is going to work on your operating system.
Keep in mind that you can usually use these connections on more than one device at a time, so make sure the software is going to work on everything from your laptop to your iPhone.
Unfortunately, LiquidVPN is only compatible with Windows and Mac systems. This is pretty limited compared to most other VPNs’ compatibility, so it’s not the best deal.
Rating: 2/5 – Only compatible with Windows and Mac
What Kind of Features Does LiquidVPN Have?
This category is pretty big, and can really vary a lot from company to company.
I’ll highlight what each feature means, what you can usually expect from the best VPNs out there, and then we’ll go through what LiquidVPN has to offer its customers. Let’s jump right in.
Feature #1: Multiple Connections
This feature refers to the number of devices you can connect the VPN to as the same time.
Since most people use at least two devices, you’re going to want a VPN that allows you to use their secure connection on a minimum of two of them simultaneously. And of course, the more the merrier.
With LiquidVPN it depends on your service package. The very minimum number of connections is two, and goes all the way up to ten, so they offer more than enough to cover all of your devices.
Rating: 5/5 – Up to 10 connections
Feature #2: Money Back Guarantee
This one goes without saying, except to really state the importance of being able to get a refund.
A lot of people get frustrated with technical problems, and if the company doesn’t have to worry about giving you a refund, they really have little incentive to keep you happy.
The longer the terms of the guarantee, the better, but the best ones are at least a week. LiquidVPN has a great refund policy, in writing on their site.
With these guys, you can get your money back within 7 days, or before you hit 5 GB of data – whichever comes first. No restrictions, no questions asked.
Rating: 5/5 – One week to get a refund
Feature #3: Number of Servers
The number of servers a VPN has to offer matters because it can really impact the quality of your connection (or in some cases, your ability to connect at all).
The more servers a VPN provider has, the wider the distribution of their customer base.
Also check their list to make sure they have one in your neck of the woods, so your connection is reliable. At minimum, they should have 50 servers to choose from.
LiquidVPN has about 50 servers total, with locations all around the world. It’s not a huge network, but enough to get you access, and hopefully to handle their customer load most of the time.
Rating: 4/5 – Good amount of servers
Feature #4: Referral Program
This is a pretty awesome feature, but one that you aren’t likely to see much of. However, keep your eyes peeled for it, because it could save you some serious dough.
A few VPN providers out there will actually give their customers free or discounted service for sending new business their way.
Despite their awesome money back guarantee, a referral program isn’t something LiquidVPN offers its customers at this time.
Rating: 0/5 – No kickbacks
Feature #5: Data Logging
This is the practice of taking and storing logs of your internet activity. What’s it doing in the features list? Exactly. No way should and VPN provider ever be storing any of your activity.
LiquidVPN is adamant about never logging any of their users’ data. Though you’ll need some basic information to set up an account with them, there will never be any record of what you do online.
Rating: 5/5 – No data logging, ever
Feature #6: Bandwidth
This refers to the data capacity of the connection, and the more you get, the more you can push through at a time. Netflix addicts and Pandora junkies, pay attention to this one.
Monthly bandwidth caps are maddening to say the least, so make sure whichever VPN you go with offers unlimited bandwidth with their service packages.
All of LiquidVPN’s service plans come with completely unlimited bandwidth, so you never have to worry about hitting a service limit.
Rating: 5/5 – No bandwidth caps
How Secure Is It?
Even if you’re just using a VPN to bypass content blocks, the added benefit of a secure connection is something you need to consider.
Make sure that you’re not just getting a shiny new IP address, but top of the line encryption, and options to customize your security for your own needs.
Encryption comes in a few different protocols, but two basic strengths. There’s 128 bit, which is strong, and 256 bit, which is military grade.
While both do a good job of protecting your connection, there’s no doubt that 256 bit is the most secure you’ll find.
No matter which VPN provider you choose, they should at least offer you the option of the best encryption money can buy.
LiquidVPN offers a couple of different options for security for its customers. In addition to basic encryption strength, they offer the best on the market with their OpenVPN application at 256 bit.
They also have some great features built in, like an automatic connection kill switch that terminates the session if the VPN fails. Overall, pretty well rounded security.
Rating: 5/5 – Strong encryption, great options
What’s the Set Up Process Like?
Not everyone’s familiar with what the heck a VPN is, and just how they work.
While the software is a simple way to anonymize your browsing, since not everybody’s used it before, it should take a software savant to set it up.
Some companies will have you manually configure their connections, but it should be as simple as downloading and installing with most of them.
While set up wasn’t too overly-complicated, it was still a bit more than your standard download/install procedure.
You have to download your compatible software zipfile from their site, then extract the files.
After starting the installation process by going into the file, you then have to use the license file in the zip file to complete set up.
Like I said, not crazy complicated, but not the simplest either.
Rating: 3.5/5 – Set up could be simpler
Is it Easy to Use?
Once you get it installed, it shouldn’t take any more to connect than to pick a server and go. If you’re having to jump into your network connection settings, you’re already working too hard.
Once you get LiquidVPN set up, using it isn’t too complicated. I’m not crazy about the fact that they don’t have a software dashboard, but it is nice that all of your protocols are laid out clearly.
On a Windows system, you just go into the notification icon in your panel, right click, and decide which protocol, and then which server you want.
As I said, this kind of makes for a crowded menu that isn’t the simplest to navigate, but it’s undeniably easy to use.
Rating: 3.5/5 – Crowded menu, no software dashboard
While you do have to log in to use LiquidVPN’s software, you can also check a box to have the program remember your credentials, should you have to restart your system or sign out.
Changing servers isn’t quite as simple as I’d like it to be with LiquidVPN.
This is mainly due to the fact that there isn’t a magic disconnect button – you have to go back through the menu to the server you’re on and disconnect by clicking on it again.
Not a total nuisance, but it’s a bit more roundabout a process than most.
What If I Need Help?
Customer service is second only to connection quality, so pay close attention to this one. If the company doesn’t care about helping you, then they don’t deserve your money.
This is no doubt the most important part of great customer service.
VPNs are used all over the world, in every time zone, so you need to be able to get prompt customer service regardless of what time it is, or whether it’s the weekend or not.
LiquidVPN may not have live chat, but their e-mail support is 24/7/365, so you should get a fast response no matter what day or time you’re sending it in.
Rating: 5/5 – Round the clock support
It helps to get things moving a bit faster if you have a few different ways to get in touch with customer service.
E-mail is the bare minimum to look for, but live features for instant support like chat and phone are the best.
LiquidVPN, as I mentioned before, only offers its customers e-mail support through a ticket system on their website.
While service is likely to be prompt, it won’t be instantaneous as with live chat and phone support.
Rating: 2.5/5 – Only e-mail support
Customer Support Test
What better way to see just how good LiquidVPN’s customer service really is, then to put them to the test?
I gave their support team a workout, making sure to contact them through all of their available channels, and both during peak and off business hours. Let’s see how they did.
E-mail Support Test #1 – Sunday/1:35 p.m.
I sent my first service inquiry in to LiquidVPN in the middle of the afternoon, in the hopes of catching them during their busiest time of day.
Still, I got a very fast response. In less than 15 minutes, I had an answer to my question – totally unheard of.
Result: 11 minutes
Rating: 5/5 – Incredible service
E-mail Support Test #2 – Monday/2:23 a.m.
The next response I got from LiquidVPN took a bit longer, but still only over an hour.
In my experience, you wait hours and even days, so I wasn’t too bothered with the longer wait in the wee hours of the morning.
Result: 1 hour 11 minutes
Rating: 4/5 – Still pretty fast
I was really impressed with LiquidVPN’s customer service.
Even though they don’t have live chat support, they’re true to their word of 24/7 support, with very fast responses, and professional customer service reps that get the job done.
Overall Support Rating: 9/10 – Fast, friendly, and on the ball
How Fast is LiquidVPN?
It’s really hard to know just how fast a VPN is until you give it a test run, but this is something that can really affect your connection quality, particularly if you stream a lot of movies and music.
I put LiquidVPN to the test, running a speed test on my own home connection, and then one with their VPN, to see how the two compared.
My connection with LiquidVPN was only marginally slower, even with their strongest OpenVPN security protocol.
Usually I see at least a 2 mbps difference, but with these guys it was only .02 – very impressive.
Rating: 5/5 – Almost as fast as standard connection
How Much Does LiquidVPN Cost?
Finally, you need to make sure that you’re not going to paying an unfair monthly rate once you’ve decided if they have enough features for you.
The most you should even consider paying is $15 a month – anything more than that, and trust me, you can do better.
LiquidVPN’s plans are pretty affordable, with rates starting at just $6 per month.
They have plans that escalate in price from there, though there are a couple of options in the lower price spectrum for the budget-conscious.
Rating: 4/5 – Affordable plans to choose from
The X Factor
This category refers to the overall impression you get from a company. Despite the vagueness of the x factor, it can really make or break the deal with a lot of customers.
Pushy marketing, lack of information, and poorly designed website can really turn some customers off.
I really got a good feeling from LiquidVPN. Their website had a lot of great information on it, though it would have been nice to have more of the important specifics on their services and network.
However, they really seemed to have an honest and upfront marketing style, and a well organized site that laid out the information nicely.
Rating: 17/20 – Organized and professional
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So that pretty much covers what you need to look at when you’re shopping around for a VPN. Let’s do a quick recap and see how LiquidVPN did.
- up to ten connections
- 7 day money back guarantee
- no data logging
- 50+ servers to choose from
- unlimited bandwidth with all plans
- great customer service
- 24/7 support
- reasonable monthly rates
- top of the line security
- very fast connection, even with 256 bit encryption
- professional website
- only compatible with Windows and Mac
- no referral program
- a little tricky to set up
- no software dashboard
- crowded menu
- only e-mail support available
Overall Score: 80.5/100
Overall, LiquidVPN is about a 50/50 split. If you’re confident that you can get their software set up with the help of their set up guides, I wouldn’t worry too much.
But if you’re running anything but Windows or Mac, that right there drops them out of the running.