I have been using LiquidVPN for a week now, a USA based VPN company with 40 servers across 6 countries: USA, Canada, UK, Romania, Netherlands and Germany. They don’t have an impressive number of countries in comparison with the biggest VPN services in the market but I was fine with it as I don’t normally use more than three different servers when surfing the Internet and I have no need for thousands of IPs, I care more about quality than quantity.
The choice of countries were enough for my needs. USA servers to watch US online TV like Hulu, UK servers to bypass the BBC iPlayer block and the other servers to provide protection from unfair DMCA lawsuits when you download P2P.
If you live in Asia the ping could lag as LiquidVPN has no servers there, it is best to try the service first before buying. It worked fine for me from Europe and the North American market is also well covered. On the positive side, LiquidVPN prices are affordable and speed quality did not suffer as result of low prices, I was able to get a consistent 5Mbps speed on the USA servers while connected from Europe, this is plenty of bandwidth to stream online TV which generally only requires 1Mbps.
LiquidVPN OpenVPN client is a customized version of Viscosity, a paid for OpenVPN program that you get for free with your LiquidVPN subscription. I wasn’t too impressed with it, I found Viscosity only slightly better than the standard OpenVPN client. The list of LiquidVPN servers can be accessed with a right click on the Viscosity icon visible in the Windows toolbar, it looks as cluttered as the regular OpenVPN client, but workable, despite not being eye candy, what was annoying was having to enter the username and password each time I switched to a new server for the first time, after that you can tell the client to remember your credentials.
The value of using Viscosity lies in being able to add automatic scripts from the LiquidVPN library, where you can download scripts to prevent DNS leaks or close a program if the VPN disconnects, two very important factors that lousy VPN providers do not protect you from.
I regard the way LiquidVPN exposes advanced features too frightening for new VPN users, for example, the options you are given when selecting a server allow you to have UDP or TCP, ports 443, 80, 1194, dynamic, shared or modulating IP and L2TP, PPTP or OpenVPN protocol, all of that from a single window. Not everyone is going to know what any of that means or have the time to look it up, there isn’t a ‘click here to start‘ button for noobs.
LiquidVPN also came up with this “modulating IP” term that nobody has ever heard about, I mistakenly thought that it was a feature to rotate your public IP address many times every session to make tracking on the Internet harder, something already found in other VPN providers, but LiquidVPN informed me via email that their “modulating IP” is different, it is something unique they invented and downloads the elements of a website using more than one IP, for example if a website has two photos, when visiting the site, each photo would be downloaded with a different computer IP.
The company logging policy states that the company does not keep user or session logs and only non identifiable information like total Megabytes downloaded per each account is saved, email address and Paypal transaction ID are also kept if you used it for payment. If abuse reports are received, LiquidVPN will block ports or even nodes, for example P2P is not allowed in their USA and UK servers and the torrent port is only open in European servers, another way LiquidVPN deals with abuse is by temporarily enable logging of timestamps, local and remote IPs and the company publicly posts all of the DMCA complaints they receive with the reply they give.
I liked that LiquidVPN is clear about what they keep and what they don’t keep, and this information is easy to find and understand, what I did not enjoy so much is their self-made “Code of Ethics” stating that you can be reported to an NGO if you break their code.
Are you kidding me LiquidVPN? Since when did NGOs got law enforcement powers and why would you pass on personal information to a third party that has zero accountability to anybody? But this gets better, in order for LiquidVPN to report somebody to law enforcement or an NGO, the complainant only needs to submit a letter from an attorney and another letter from an IT forensics specialist certifying that LiquidVPN “Code of Ethics” has been broken.
Maybe in cuckoo land attorneys are all genuine, sincere and impartial, but in the land of multinationals where I live attorneys can be corrupted if you have a fat cheque book. I was truly going to recommend LiquidVPN to others until I found that this VPN has a selfreporting “Code of Ethics” that no law out there requires them to have, and they grant themselves the power to report you, not only to law enforcement, but also to Non Governmental Organisations and all of it without nobody asking them to do it.
This was a promising a VPN service with good prices, accepting Bitcoins and cash for payment, but let down by what I consider the VPN company overstepping their functions, which should be protecting users privacy and taking action only when requested by the law.
LiquidVPN implementing their own “Code of Ethics” to try and catch bad people, in my view, it is not a job that belongs to a VPN service, it is a job that belongs to the police.