What it is Liquid VPN? Liquid VPN is a company based in United States that offers VPN services. This company is not so large but it has good prices and interesting services. Also, Liquid VPN has some very useful particularities that differentiate it from other company: if you use their services you will be well secured because change your IP constantly. If your IP address is changed continually, you can`t be find and your identity is safe. Another big plus is represented by the prices for packages. You can buy a package with a very low price. However, they have some issues, so we can’t say that they are perfect. However, it’s a decent VPN company that can be trusted.
Pricing and Package Features
As we said, LiquidVPN has a low price for a package. If you want to use their services, you have two options: for first you need to pay $4.99 per month and for second you need to pay $9.99 per month. First package is the Personal Service. Of course, if you purchase this for the whole year, you will benefit of a discount. With Personal Service package, you can use what protocol you want between PPTP, L2TP/IPsec or OpenVPN. They offer you three options: dynamic ip address, shared ip address and static ip address. For static ip address you need to pay some extra money but not very much. For the second package, Pro Service, as we already said, you need to pay $9.99. There’s also a discount if you go for the annual option. With this package you have all the services like for the first, but one extra feature in addition: you can connect 4 devices in the same time. With the Personal Service, you are limited to one. If you want more active connections you need to pay some extra money but not very much.
With this company you can P2P download as well. The ToS don’t allow you to download documents, movies, music or something else if you don`t have copyrighted for them. However, LiquidVPN doesn’t offer any information about their clients. This company explained to School of Privacy that they are just a VPN company; they don’t store any data therefore they can’t be responsible for what clients do on the network. They don’t monitor anything. If they receive a DMCA letter, they respond with these words. Also they don’t forward the letters to users. If a customer doesn’t use the same email address as they entered in the payment process, it’s all safe. That’s a tip for you. Another important point is that they don’t oversee their own network. So, as you can see, you can be sure of your safety.
The 10Gbps servers are located in the US Coast and Czech Republic, the 1Gbps servers are in Netherlands and Dallas and the 100Mbps servers are in UK and Kansas. All of them are accessible to all customers.
The port forwarding feature is also available and can be found in the User Control Panel.
The thing that makes LiquidVPN interesting is that if you use their Modulating IP connection services you can be 99% sure of being anonymous – not 100% because nothing is perfect. Your IP Address is continuously changed while you surf the web. They say that in a single user session the IP can be changed somewhere around 100 times. In this way you are totally safe and your identity is protected. We have to admit that we never saw that before. It’s a unique feature that bring Liquid VPN a big advantage.
Liquid VPN says about this service that surfing on the internet has never been safer. This is the best way to remain anonymous on the web. You can download documents, movies, music or anything else and nobody can`t find you, nobody knows what you do or what you download in your pc. Your identity and your activity is safe. It’s even safer than the normal shared IP.
However, because of the fact that the IP address suffers constant changes, you might have some problems on particular websites. We tested it, but we didn’t encounter major issues. The website, however, has some issues.
The website and customer support
The Liquid VPN has a nice website with cute animations and videos. In the video you get an idea of how the Modulating IP function works. You can also check the forum if you’re interested in a particular question. There is an active community which constantly gives answers to all the asked questions. It’s a good idea to check it before going on to the customer support. You can also check the FAQs section located in the Knowledgebase.
The support for the customers is fair enough. It works under the ticket system, so you might be forced to wait several minutes. But, when your turn comes, your questions will be answered very fast. It’s an effective system overall.
What about the control panel? The control panel is such a big hit. It just looks and does what a UCP has to do. From control panel you can see the settings you have, you can change them if you like or you can see some private details and change them. However, the big surprise came when we tried to access the UCP several times while under the Modulating IP service. The account was blocked constantly so we were unable to log in. We had to turn off the Modulating feature in order to log in to the UCP. Annoying.
Their website is not perfectly structured, as we encounter difficulties in finding the terms of service. Also they have a section with a blog. On this blog you can read very interesting articles and maybe you will clarify some things.
The company doesn’t keep log files which may record your activity on the web. However, it is required to keep some system log files. These record things like the duration of your connection, the time when you logged in and out, the number of bytes transferred and the IP addresses used by you while surfing. These logs are constantly deleted. We were ok with this, but the fact that the company requires a lot of information when signing in is not something we like to see very often.
As for security, there are a lot of things to be said. The Modulating IP feature is just one of the things that need to be explained in detail. You also have the possibility of going for the shared IP feature which improves the performance of the service.
They use OpenVPN encryption on 256bit AES with 2048bit RSA key encryption. This is the most advanced type of security at this moment, so we are happy with it. LiquidVPN started to focus on the testing of Elliptic curve DH – they said that they will get it on all the OpenVPN servers if the test go well. As far as we know, there are some security vulnerabilities here, so we can say that we’re anxious to see how this process will go.
The PPTP is 128bit based and the L2TP/IPsec relies on the 256bit encryption. However, judging by Edward Snowden’s statements around NSA attempts to break VPN encryption standards we reckon that you should rely mostly on OpenVPN.
We must mention again that the company is based in the United States, so there might be some NSA interference around it. However, we think that Liquid VPN is a safe company to use because it’s new on the market. We are thinking that NSA has better things to do with larger VPN providers. We don’t want to be mean but if you’re concerned about NSA snooping it’s better to avoid US based companies completely.
Now we get to the problem of signing in. The process itself is not much of a deal, but there’s a lot of information involved. Judging by the fact that they approved the Bitcoin payment method, we expected a bit more anonymity. We were not happy with such a large personal information demand.
Too much personal information, according to us.
As we proceed to paying with Bitcoin, it seemed like we had to receive a code on our mobile phone in order to complete the process. Again, too much personal information required.
Other payment methods include PayPal and Credit Card. As you probably know, we love using the Bitcoin service because it gives you anonymity. Not the case here. Really disappointed about this.
The windows client
It’s good to see that the company has its very own personalized client. The install process is straight-forward. It can be easily accessed from the notification bar.
To connect, all you have to do is choose a server after clicking the icon in the bar.
You have a nice graph with a lot of information about the server.
In the preferences section you have your everyday settings – even some customization.
Remember that if you disable the IPv6 you can prevent the DNS leakage.
Judging by all these features we can say that it’s complete client. As we were surfing on the website we discovered a scripts library that makes the client run even better. You can increase the functionality simply by adding these scripts. Here’s a list: Start Application on Connect, Close Program, DNS leak prevention, Fix DNS leaks, VPN Check, Disable Internet on VPN Disconnect – and enable it on VPN connect. It’s quite a useful set of features. It’s definitely the best client we ever seen, especially if you include the scripts.
It may seem a bit tough to add the scripts, but the process is well explained.
Let’s say that we want to close the uTorrent when VPN disconnects
As you can see, there’s need to do a little editing job, but it’s not tricky. Some other scripts may run as you download them from the website, without the need to edit them.
Sure enough, we did test the script and our application closed.
We also tested the Modulating IP feature. The results were great. It turned out that about every 10 seconds a new IP address was assigned to us.
You can also get this fancy client if you’re running OSX. The scripts that run are: Start Application on VPN Connect, kill application on VPN disconnect, quit transmission, start and control VPN & Transmission.
In terms of other platforms things are not that clear. You are forced to search in the Knowledgebase in order to find something. Even if you do find instructions, there’s no guarantee that they are complete. We tried to find instructions for Blackberry devices. After 30 minutes of searching we gave up. Same story for the iOS devices. We expected to find at least instructions for L2TP/IPsec on Android, iOS or Ubuntu, but nothing.
However, Android users get detailed instructions on how to set up the Feat VPN application. If you’re running Ubuntu you can access the OpenVPN via Network Manager setting up guide. You can also find instructions on how to set up DD-WRT routers. We can say that in this category things could be better. You could probably get your answers from the customer support section, but you’ll lose more time than you normally should. It’s room for improvement here.
It was time to perform our regular tests. 20MB broadband connection.
With VPN and Modulating IPs feature on CZ server.
Without VPN on the same CZ server.
With VPN and Shared IP on UK server.
With VPN and Shared IP on NL server.
We performed the third test just to make sure that our connection to the Czech server was fine. Unfortunately, the test was accurate enough and it turned out that it was VPN’s fault. Other than that, good results.
We still thought that the Modulating IPs service could do better so we repeated the test next day. We got a maximum 6.15MBs, but the results were fluctuating. We were disappointed since the security offered by this service is really high, but it seems that it sacrifices too much speed for that. We also did tests while connecting to servers in US, but we were almost unable to use the internet at all. Same story for all the other servers in Europe. It’s another category in which Liquid VPN has to do better.
At least the DNS results were good.
- Static IP feature available
- Port forwarding
- Cheap service
- Top level encryption methods
- P2P download fair enough
- Up to 4 devices at the same time
- A complete client with great add-ons
- Modulating IP feature
- No log files which record user activity
- Shared IPs feature
Still to improve
- Bitcoin payment requires too much information, although it is designed to keep you as anonymous as possible
- The company is based in the US
- The amount of personal information required upon sign up is too high
- Weak test results which reflect a poor service in terms of connection speeds
- Website is not structured well enough. Information can be hard to find
The company started to improve the use of VPN service while under the Modulating IPs. According to our latest results, we hit little under 10MBs download speed while connected to a Romanian server and under the Modulating IPs. It’s an encouraging sign and we have to admit that the web surfing experience has finally become practicable and enjoyable. As we mentioned before, we will be constantly testing the speed in the near future to seek for improvement.