Most of our tests are done on Windows. This article is no different: we are going to elaborate on the client available for Windows.
Probably their sole shortcoming, LiquidVPN does not have their own client. Instead, they require you to set up open source software for OpenVPN connections. This setup process is nothing extremely difficult. While the usual rundown would be an installation and then off you go, in the case of LiquidVPN you must first download the client suited for your computer. Afterwards, you must generate the configuration files necessary to access LiquidVPN’s network. This is a great idea, as usually you are required to download them. By generating them through your user page on LiquidVPN’s official site, you can very specifically customize what kind of connections you would like to use with what device, and so on. The .zip file you are provided with at the end of the process will contain the configuration files you selected. You are then needed to extract and place these files inside the config folder of the client you downloaded. And then, off you go. Keep in mind thought that you can only activate a connection from the tray of the desktop.
There is no need to be discouraged; all of this is explained in detail in one of the many guides of LiquidVPN’s knowledgebase. For Windows and Mac users, you also have access to Viscosity VPN software that offers more automated features. To list some additional features, all VPN software makes P2P usage possible. Their own Zero Log DNS service is essentially a built-in encrypted zero logging smart DNS service. This service serves as a catalyst: the DNS information of your computer is kept safe by not sending it directly to the domain you access, but rather first to this, the company’s LiquidDNS service. Your data traffic is further concealed by a shared IP system and uses a NAT firewall to protect it.
In this section, we are going to highlight LiquidVPN’s tunneling option, as uniquely, they offer four different ways to establish your VPN connection. They are available as the following: the Dynamic VPN Tunnel, the Shared VPN Tunnel, the Modulating VPN Tunnel and the Static VPN Tunnel.
The dynamic tunneling option assigns you a random IP address. It is recommended for everyday, casual internet usage. However, the NAT Firewall does not support this mode, so utilizing it on smartphone and tablet is not the best idea. The Shared type connection is your standard PPTP/L2TP/SSTP/OpenVPN dose of private networking. We would like to point out though that the IP address you are assigned to will be shared with other users. Therefore if someone misbehaves using this IP, you and all other users on that address will suffer the consequences.
Modulating IP addresses are not available on all servers; they are mostly present on US and European locations. Available only on OpenVPN, its asset is that every time you make a new connection, your IP traffic exits will modulate. This will make you extremely hard to track. And lastly, the Static VPN tunnel assigns you a public IP address. This will make you traceable, but to counteract this, LiquidVPN helps you hide your presence in another way: port forwarding. The company recommends using this solution as a last resort as it is the least safe of the four.
We encountered mixed experiences with connection speeds. Areas closer to us were flawless, but as we tested further and further away, we were met with less successful results, average at best. They are not bad by any means, though. However, speeds are not outstanding either.
Depending on which tunneling option you choose, you get access to a different number of safety protocols. By default though, OpenVPN is available across the board. This is the standard protection for VPN, with 256 bit encryption. For mobile devices, L2TP is recommended by the company, as it uses AES. In all other cases, it is for the best to use OpenVPN, which to be more clear runs with the following set of protocols: AES-256-CBC, with SHA2 cryptographic hash functions. SSTP is recommended when you intend to access restricted content on the internet, but PPTP is considered obsolete, because it is less safe compared to is counterparts.
OS, Device Support
LiquidVPN’s selection of devices is rather average, or perhaps slightly above it. Most of the mainstream devices used are welcome. Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP all come with either Viscosity or the open source client mentioned earlier. Mac OSX is available with a built-in dialer on L2TP and PPTP. It is also accessible via Liquid Viscosity, Tunnelblick. Linux Mint is usable with PPTP and OpenVPN. Ubuntu (GUI) is good to go with these also.
As for mobile devices, Android is available with a built-in dialer on PPTP and L2TP, and with OpenVPN via the separate open source client fitted for mobile devices that needs to set up. The iPhone and iPad are similarly supported, with the same preferences as Android machines.
As for other devices, the DD-WRT router is open for OpenVPN usage but requires a separate setup for port forwarding (it also needs an active LiquidVPN connection). PFSense is a rare sight among VPN providers; it is usable on OpenVPN, or OpenVPN User/Pass Text File settings.
LiquidVPN’s pricing structure is a hybrid one. On the one hand, they offer packages, with different characteristics, this is a common trend. On the other hand, separately from these, there are two more customized options available: one exclusively directed towards businesses (we recommend further consultation with LiquidVPN’s staff in this case) and one where instead of a subscription model, you purchase VPN for fixed terms. The latter comes in one-time payments.
The SideKick package costs $6 month-to-month, but you’ll pay just $4.5 per month if you choose for annual payments. Choosing this plan provides access for two connected devices at the same time. The Road Warrior option fares at $10 monthly and $84.00 per year, with four devices. Investing in the Ultimate plan will free your wallet from $18 every 30 days, but less than that if you sign up for a year, $144.00. Here you can connect the most devices simultaneously, eight of them. And lastly, Purchasing a Static IP plan costs $25 per month, while $156 is needed for a year’s Static IP VPN plan with a dedicated IP for two devices connectible at the same time. The high price is a bit odd, since it provides less protection by default, though you do gain access to port forwarding.
Overall, we must point out that there a great selection of plans to purchase under various terms, therefore make sure to inform yourself properly before deciding next to one. Refunds are available within the first 7 days of your purchase, if you have not surpassed 2000 megabytes of bandwidth usage. Sadly, there is no free trial available. Payment options include Bitcoins, PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.
This is probably the most photogenic side of LiquidVPN, and we dare say this even with e-mail based support being the only option. You can either send in a ticket via the official website’s ticket submission system or just contact them directly through their email address. We encountered a number of issues during the setting up of our OpenVPN network. We were glad to see that response was very quick – we got replies within minutes, with detailed information about the possible causes of the problem and what might solve it. Later on, when more complication arose, another member of the staff joined the conversation to further assist us. Though ultimately we were rather led to a solution rather than provided one, we were satisfied with what we experienced. LiquidVPN has ample social media presence, with substantial activity on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, a blog and a YouTube channel for tutorials.
LiquidVPN is a good company. They make serious efforts for their business to work, and despite not having their own client, the depth and variety of features that come with the similarly great selection of pricing plans puzzled us. Yes, you should think twice before making a decision, but not because there are concerns to bother you. The sheer variety of their plans is the reason, and unfortunately there isn’t a free trial available that helps you in figuring out your preferred setup. If you have a very specific setup in mind for your casual or business VPN activities, then you will most certainly enjoy the good amount of choice offered and the advanced features available.
- Plans selection
- Networking solutions
- Safety options
- Customer service
- Client solutions
- The setup process