Right off the bat, AnonVPN makes claims that it offers fantastic privacy features, unlimited bandwidth, and access to geo-restricted content.
Unfortunately, there’s little information available to back up these claims. Is the server performance good, does it allow streaming Netflix from anywhere? Very difficult to know.
After a bit of research on this tool we began questioning – is AnonVPN a genuine scam or just mired down by overall incompetence? Let’s see the evidence.
Security and privacy
AnonVPN’s security credentials are, to put it mildly, a mystery. While the website makes several claims towards protecting its users, there is no mention of security features anywhere.
The only thing we were able to gather about this provider is that it supports PPTP, a tunneling protocol that has many well-known vulnerabilities and is widely considered unsafe. PPTP offers weak encryption that hackers can easily brute-force. The very concept of VPN is to prevent malicious attacks such as these.
Alas, the lack of details relating to AnonVPN’s security features creates a poor impression of the provider. In fact, it arguably counts as evidence that AnonVPN has pitiful security capabilities.
Does AnonVPN keep logs?
As with many VPN providers, AnonVPN claims to never store any usage logs.
Let’s just say we’re skeptical of that claim.
The company, AnonVPN, LLC., is also registered in the US. This is a major privacy no-no as the US is an original member state of the Fourteen Eyes surveillance alliance.
Speed and performance
AnonVPN offers unlimited bandwidth as standard, which thereby promises unrestricted download and upload speed. However, in reality, connection speeds are always limited by any number of factors starting from your regular connection speed, the distance between you and the server you’re connecting to, and so on.
AnonVPN only offers five server locations. What’s more, these servers are located in:
- East coast of the US (presumably New York)
- West coast of US (presumably Los Angeles)
- Midwest America (presumably Chicago)
That means you won’t have great speeds unless you’re located in the US (or Europe, if we are to assume the service doesn’t have enough users to overcrowd one server location). Additionally, such a large concentration of servers in North America disqualifies AnonVPN.io from being used for sensitive activities – The Man would not find it very difficult to get to your data if it was necessary.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
AnonVPN is available on the bare minimum of platforms. These are:
- Windows (7, Vista, and XP)
Let’s begin by saying it’s not normal to stop developing the Windows app past Windows 7, especially when it’s your only app.
Setting the VPN up on iOS or Android is a little more complicated, but the website still takes you every step of the way – just note that there is no app, so you’ll be using the native way of setting up a VPN connection. That implies a serious lack of sophistication and security features.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
It’s unclear how reliable AnonVPN.io is when it comes to unblocking streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu. We wouldn’t bank on it. Moreover, due to its small-ish server fleet, it can only ever bypass geo-restrictions in the US, Canada, and the Czech Republic.
This completely negates the ability to unblock BBC iPlayer, for example, as that service is only available in the UK.
P2P and torrenting
AnonVPN does not appear to support secure torrenting, and nowhere on its website does it mention that a P2P connection is supported on any of its servers.
What’s more, the only cipher we’ve been able to confirm that AnonVPN uses is PPTP; there is no indication that it offers a SOCKS5 proxy, which is nice to have for torrenting.
As we mentioned earlier, AnonVPN likely lacks a kill switch in its arsenal, which would offer protection against unexpected connection losses during torrent downloads.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
Given the lack of information available about AnonVPN—and the amount information we can presume as a result—we can quite confidently say that it would be useless against the Great Firewall of China.
AnonVPN only seems to use PPTP, which is useless against serious deanonymization efforts. Moreover, it seems to lack support for any features such as a stealth VPN or obfuscated servers. These are necessary for bypassing deep packet inspection (DPI).
We’d also like to point out that there are no AnonVPN.io servers on the Asian continent, which would make the connection speeds terrible.
Ostensibly, there is only one customer support option, and that is through email-based ticket submission. There is no phone support or live chat support available.
Even then, though, AnonVPN’s customer support team, if it ever existed, appear to have packed up and left.
It’s been almost a week since we sent them some questions, and the user comments on their FAQ section suggest that our wait is in vain.
The FAQ section itself isn’t much help, either.
AnonVPN is available with the following subscription packages:
- 1-month: $9.00
- 3-month: $19.00 ($6.30/month)
- 1-year: $69.00 ($5.75/month)
- Lifetime: $199.00
Firstly, this is absurdly expensive for a VPN with no features. Secondly, any VPN provider offering a lifetime subscription should be viewed with scrutiny. The fact that there doesn’t seem to be anyone manning the controls, as we saw in the Customer support section, makes it even more untrustworthy.
Furthermore, there is no free trial or money-back guarantee of any kind. The terms of service also state that no refunds will be available for dissatisfied customers, ever.
The only real saving grace with regards to AnonVPN’s pricing is that you don’t pay for the service through the site itself, but rather you purchase a prepaid subscription card from a third-party website.
This is a smart privacy move, especially considering you don’t need to use your real email address to create an account with AnonVPN in the first place.
Frustratingly, though, nobody in the first twenty pages of our Google search for “anonvpn subscription card” seems to be selling it! What’s more, the website itself couldn’t even provide any retailers that sell AnonVPN subscriptions.
This seems like a dead VPN or a scam or both. If you do manage to find anywhere selling subscription cards to AnonVPN, we wouldn’t advise following through with your purchase.
Quite simply, this is a weak VPN provider that is severely hamstrung by its lack of available information. With that said, the information it does provide is severely disappointing.