AnonVPN Review 2018
VPN, or Virtual Private Network services, are extremely popular today with consumers of all different tech expertise levels. These services offer privacy, protection, security, and anonymity to users when they browse the internet or use web-enabled computer services. This is accomplished through encryption of traffic between the user and the VPN provider’s servers, meaning government monitors and ISPs can’t view the traffic.
At the same time, the VPN server obscures the user’s IP before sending the traffic on to the destination, giving you anonymity. These services also often have servers in multiple countries, allowing users to bypass geo-restrictions on content.
What is AnonVPN?
AnonVPN is a newer VPN provider, that is not nearly as large or well-known as some of the major industry players. It was founded by a group of developers, with the first focus being security and anonymity. However, we call this VPN “somewhat enigmatic” because there really is a limited amount of information available on their website, or elsewhere online.
While most VPN providers have long lists of features, testimonials, and technical information, AnonVPN has very little information available on their site. However, we have done as much research as possible to provide you with our comprehensive AnonVPN review.
One of the best ways to evaluate any service provider is to look at the different categories of their services, and how they stack up against the competition. For this review, we’ll look at the overall specs of AnonVPN, privacy and encryption information, the interface, performance, ease of use, and customer support options that they offer.
AnonVPN is based in the United States, with servers in the US, Toronto (Canada), and Prague (Czech Republic). The exact number of servers isn’t disclosed anywhere on the website or in their promotional materials. As mentioned above, information about the specs of this VPN is somewhat limited.
They use a SmartDNS system to geo-spoof your location, regardless of which server you might connect to. They also have a wide range of connection protocols available. P2P filesharing/torrenting is allowed, as is streaming and geo-unblocking of various services like Netflix (with varying degrees of success). Each account supports only 1 device/connection.
Privacy & Encryption – Is AnonVPN Safe?
The website interface isn’t great, with a lack of meaningful information. While the VPN service itself works with iOS and Android-based phones, there is no app. Rather, you have to set it up through the native VPN setup options on either mobile device. There is a Windows and Mac client/AnonVPN download which is essentially a “lite” client, a modified version of OpenVPN, with few options that can be configured in any meaningful way.
The speed of the service is fairly good. On average, latency increases from 30 to 40 ms, which is fairly typical. Download speeds take a hit of 20-30%, which is a bit below the top-tier providers but pretty good compared to many of the mid-tier VPNs. There are occasionally some connection issues or dropouts, however, and the lack of options or configurability is frustrating, as in theory you could change servers manually and get better performance when you run into an issue.
Ease of Use
AnonVPN is not the easiest to use, with a very basic client for Windows and Mac, and no app at all for iOS or Android. Their barebones website may be easy to use because there is a dearth of content there. There are not really any advanced configurable features or bells and whistles here, at least not which are visible to consumers.
It is also a bit difficult (compared to other services) to pay for an account since there is no direct sale to consumers. Rather, you have to buy a payment voucher from a real-world or online retailer, and redeem it. This is done for safety and anonymity but adds an extra step that can detract from overall ease of use.
The customer support for AnonVPN, like their website as a whole, is not great. There is no knowledge base and no phone number for support. There is no live chat option, either. The only way to get support is through a ZenDesk-based e-mail ticket system, which can leave you waiting days or weeks for a reply. This is truly one of the areas where AnonVPN is very much below the competition.
AnonVPN Prices and Packages
As mentioned above, the only way to pay for AnonVPN is through prepaid subscription cards, which are available at both real-world and online retailers. There is no AnonVPN free plan option. The standard rates, as published, vary based on the subscription term, though nothing else. All features are available in all subscription terms/plans.
The plans that are available include 1 month at $9 ($9/month, $108/year), 3 months at $19 ($6.33/month, $76/year), 1 year at $69 ($5.75/month, $69/year), or a lifetime membership at $119.
3 Months Plan
While the speed and performance of AnonVPN are decent, we’re troubled by the lack of configurable features, the lack of an app for iOS or Android, and the overall barebones nature of their website. Coupled with poor customer support, and a single device allowed per account, the price just doesn’t make sense for us – even if the underlying service quality justifies the price.
There are too many unknowns and a lack of good technical information. While the unique payment system is great for true anonymity, the limited number of server countries, the undisclosed number of servers, no FAQ or knowledge base, limited clients and features, among others. are just too many red flags for us, when you can spend the same elsewhere with much greater transparency.
Pros and Cons
- Connection speeds are decent to good
- Multiple connection protocols and standard AES-256 bit encryption
- A unique and novel payment system to protect anonymity
- Zero logs policy
- Very little technical information or FAQs available
- Limited customer support and slow to respond
- No apps available, and limited desktop/laptop clients
- An unknown number of servers and limited country options