All of this is important to point out because apart from VPN services, Liberty Shield also provides television and music streaming opportunities, but for UK shows only (with one exception). To further bring testament to the above intentions, these streaming services can also be brought to your own television and not just the computer with Liberty Shield’s own extra router. What creates the UK-focused atmosphere here is that shipping is free inside the Isles, but costs a hefty fee elsewhere.
Servers are situated mainly in Commonwealth countries, but Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland are also included. This makes up a total of 10 countries and 14 servers to choose from, with 2 available in Canada and the United States, and 3 in the United Kingdom – the rest of locations have one server to connect to each.
Finding Liberty Shield’s desktop client for Windows systems on the official website, downloading it and installing is an extremely easy and quick process. However, once the window is displayed, you might encounter some minor annoyances. If your desktop is set to have a notification area on the side of the tray, the client does not place itself on the main stretch of it, but rather straight into the latter, where you are forced to make additional clicks to display your connection preferences. Those are not too numerous, either.
Several useful functions are not included; there is no option to have the client start automatically, and there are no auto-reconnect or kill switch options, for example. You can also find four symbols possibly directing you to Liberty Shield’s various social media sites in the upper right side of the client window. However these symbols do not function as buttons; rather, they are there to merely signal their extended online presence. We were left longing for more features, though the ones that are included work fine.
There are a number of VPN providers that construct their websites (or get them constructed) using the same software for their client portals. Liberty Shield is not one of them: they offer products via their own platform, but in their case, this is not necessarily the best outcome. As far as functionalities, structure and the availability of information are concerned, Liberty Shield gets an A, the website works and informs you very well! It’s just the looks that are a bit discouraging, resembling the newborn child of Windows XP and a patriotic dentist’s waiting room. Of course, this is a minor argument and doesn’t take anything away from the value of service. We have encountered examples of the opposite after all – great looks, but nothing to offer inside. Liberty Shield is not the most beautifully presented VPN service, but they are a good one.
Speed is a positive side of Liberty Shield’s service. Though the number of available locations and servers are few, those are put to work performed very well. You can consider them to be well in the top half of providers in this matter. They do not throttle speeds, meaning that if you use fiber-optic internet, you will experience no speed loss. You will also be provided unlimited server switches by country, though since the company focuses on UK-based content, you might not find this part of their service relevant.
Despite the relatively poor selection at first sight, Liberty Shield has other ways to make up for their lack of extensive server list. With any purchase you gain access not only to regular VPN services, but also to their proxy server network – their previous name, UK Proxy Server might be a slight hint about the quality of this product. They are indeed reliable proxy providers, compatible with IE, Firefox, Chrome and Opera, even. Essentially, a UK IP address is assigned to your browser, and off you go with access to any content of the Isles right away.
Wellington Speed Test
Frankfurt Speed Test
Toronto Speed Test
Liberty Shield’s privacy is not the greatest, but rather mediocre. PPTP and L2TP/IPsec are available by default, a rather poor selection to begin with. Luckily, Liberty Shield claims that they have setup files for OpenVPN, so it available, though indirectly only. If you do need it – and it is not bad to have the best protection – it is not available directly from the main website. You must download a separate, open-source client and then contact their support staff if you wish to set an OpenVPN connection up. This might even strike you as intimidating, but it is safe to assume that Liberty Shield just wants to save their customers from a bit of headache; setting up OpenVPN is indeed difficult and a lengthier process with them.
The company practices an irregular log policy. There are a number of specific details to mention and therefore with are going to quote from the official statement released by Liberty Shield. Their logs “include internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type & version information, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the site, track users movement in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. This data however will not be used to identify individual users…” While your exact activities are not tracked, the information listed here means that they store more info than most VPN providers.
OS, Device Support
Liberty Shield offers custom-made software applications for a number of machines, though not many. Operating systems like Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP are supplied with one client that is compatible with all of them. The only other OS included in this list is Mac OSX. Linux Ubuntu is also supported, although you need to set your connection up manually in that case. Selection is short in the world of mobile devices, too; while iOS machines come with their free application, Android users require setting their connection up by themselves. Of course, this last statement is not entirely true: you just don’t get a program to do the hard work for you, but Liberty Shield’s website does offer guides for establishing VPN networks, regardless of a client being available or not.
Next to regular pricing models there is also a separate router available for purchase that helps you get even faster access to UK online content. It is a MikroTik router with the following properties: a 300MHz processor, offering faster VPN speeds in comparison to standard routers. When connected, the router is capable of matching up to 25MB/s over wireless signals and up to 30MB/s through a wired connection (depending on your original internet speeds). It also comes with a built-in antenna that supports 802.11b/g/n wireless AP. The routers can be ordered with a UK, US or a Euro power supply cable, depending on which country you will be using it in.
Liberty Shield offers a number of plans for purchase and also offers extra services. The Proxy package lets you assign a UK IP address to your web browser and is compatible with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera. Unlike VPNs, the proxy will not lead to any loss of connection performance. However, using a proxy does not come with encryption. If you have safety concerns, Liberty Shield offers the VPN plan. By default, it comes with a 30GB bandwidth limitation; its price is $6.99 monthly and $59.99 annually, a price tag which many other providers put on a service with unlimited bandwidth. With the full VPN package you can encrypt your entire internet connection, however. Liberty Shield also offers unlimited VPN bandwidth. This is a package that offers considerably more than the Proxy one, and thus begins at a price of a monthly $9.99. The VPN package is also available annually for $8.33/mo, bringing its overall fee to $99.99.
Interestingly, Liberty Shield has a well elaborated refund policy. First of all, you can cancel your payment at any time. For example, if you paid for a year but had enough after 6 months, you can get back the remainder of the money, effectively paying for a biannual service. And secondly, you can get a full refund if you decide to cancel your purchase within 24 hours of it happening. Payment options include Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, PayPal and the Switch and Solo debit cards.
Liberty Shield offers multiple ways to assist you. Their preferred forms of contact are their live chat and e-mail (ticket submission) systems. The former is not available at all times. Still, chat is directly accessible from the main page and when it is online, you are in for one of the most pleasurable customer service experiences. Help is quick, informative and is equally effective in sales and technical support. If you can afford a little wait, submitting a ticket is also a valid option. Response time is somewhat shorter, ranging from a couple of minutes to an hour, but the information you get is equally helpful and satisfying. Customer service is the greatest strength of Liberty Shield. Furthermore, the official website contains an extensive knowledgebase, named Helpdesk, functioning the same way and also including all other customer service options, complemented with an FAQ.
If Liberty Shield improves just one or two steps in all of the major parts of their service (except customer service, which is just right) they are in for great success. At the moment however, while all is well, the client could use a makeover with added functionalities. More safety protocols would also be welcome and the list of supported machines should be extended too. Connection speeds are great, but the number of servers supported is just a bit thin. We would also consider including other countries’ restricted content in their router program, though Hulu is available as the only US channel.
- Outstanding customer service
- Good speeds
- Proxy program
- Hard OpenVPN access
- Uncompetitive prices
- Few locations
- Few devices supported
- Average safety