VanishedVPN takes a different approach to some features when compared to other VPN’s. Add to this; they are located in Australia, which is right in the middle of 5-eyes jurisdiction.
Since launching in May 2016, they aim to deliver security and privacy and to meet their customer’s requirements for streaming and other activities while online.
The company claim they are an Australia favourite VPN but is this enough to make them stand out against the vast competition.
Pros and Cons
When checking through all the plus points and the bad points, it is easy to see why so many individuals are drawn to this virtual private network solution.
The company claims they have a solution designed to protect streamers and torrenters.
With geo-restrictions, the company says they are the only one to guarantee access to US Netflix, and in testing, there was no problem with gaining access, even if they don’t go into much detail.
Torrenting is also catered for, so if users want physical copies of the latest TV shows or movies, they can download online safely, anonymously using this VPN connection.
Vanished VPN has been using the tagline from Lifehacker back in 2016 when they said they were their new favourite VPN.
It was then the company said they continued to innovate so they could respond to our customer requirements to deliver the best service.
With all this, there is one plan. This is, as you can see below, a monthly option or an annual option.
- Monthly plan: $7.99 (USD) per month
- Annual plan: $64.99 (USD) per month – Save $30.89 by annual billing.
There is no free trial, and there is only a 7-day money-back guarantee. It does state 30 days; however, in their terms and conditions. Payment options are just credit cards, with no other option available.
There is little information on the server locations, yet numbers are around 1300+.
Vanished VPN is a virtual private network service, which has continued to innovate and respond to the needs of Australian users. Because streaming is so popular and needs lots of bandwidth, the company only uses UDP 128bit for OpenVPN.
Other protocols include PPTP, L2TP. Apart from this, they are tight-lipped about full encryption and protocol used.
There is no DNS service from the company, yet they do have preferred DNS providers, which are Open DNS or Google DNS services.
There is lots of platform support, including iOS, Mac, Windows, Apple TV, PlayStation, Chromecast, and routers. However, this only comes with setup guides, as there are no client apps for this VPN service.
There are client apps for Android and Amazon Fire TV.
Users are allowed 3 connections per account.
Privacy and Security
While doing this Vanished VPN review, it was hard to find too much information regarding their take on privacy and user anonymity while online.
They do use OpenVPN, which is a good start, yet as there are no details of what levels of encryption they use, there is little to go on.
In testing, there were no DNS leaks. The question is raised about logging as not much about that is disclosed, and they are situated inside one of the founding five-eyes countries.
Aside from this, the VPN service is more toward bypassing geo-restrictions, so what they do to protect your data may be an assumption in the wrong direction.
Web analytics can be an issue as the website links to others, and they state they are not responsible for their actions.
Data is collected from user sessions and retained for 30-days. This includes the user IP address, connection start and stops times, and the bandwidth used.
They also claim there is no connection throttling or data limits, no device discrimination, and there are no deep or shallow packet inspections unless requested by a customer. Logging can appear to be a bit dubious because retention for 30-days is a long time.
Ease of Use
When signing up, the requirements to create your account are minimal. All they ask for is your first and last name, email address, and country. Add a password, and then you can create your account.
Setup and User Interface
Because there are no client apps for the majority of devices, this means users need to go to the OpenVPN website to download their app before they can configure any device.
Once this is done, there is a basic pop-up menu from the taskbar, which allows users to connect to countries of choice and to connect or disconnect.
The Android app is clean and shows if there is tracking protection, browsing protection, and connection protection enabled. Below the large connect and disconnect button that changes colour, you have the country you are connected to.
While this VPN is designed for use by Australian users and claims to keep them secure. There is a distinct lack of features at all, apart from the ability to bypass geo-restrictions.
There are no browser extensions available for this VPN.
Performance and Servers
The company has a limited number of servers that is just over 1,300. While not the largest, there are others with a lesser number.
The biggest issue is the company doesn’t openly broadcast where their servers are situated. While you can select from different countries in the small pop-up menu, there is no list, and the website doesn’t mention it at all.
Server numbers and locations are one thing many companies use as a marketing tactic.
When it came to testing the download speeds, this was well below average, considering they use to cut back encryption to make streaming a better experience.
With their claims of being safe, fast, and secure, there is not much in specific departments to back this up reliably.
When testing, the speeds were slow, yet whichever streaming service we connected to, these were able to play without too much interruption.
BBC iPlayer and any streaming service from the USA were accessed and delivered, as you would expect.
When torrenting, users may find they need to wait a little longer, yet as there are dedicated servers for this, there isn’t too much difference to other VPN services.
After connecting to services such as American Netflix, one of the best ways a user can determine how
good a VPN company will be by their customer support.
This company claims, “Since 2016, we have continued to innovate and respond,” Still, there is no live chat, and a support bot greets you.
A support ticket was answered in a reasonable amount of time, and the staff was able to resolve the issues without too much back and froing as you get with some other VPN providers.
There are many guides available that can help in all manner of areas, and using the support bot; you can find ways how to pay for US-based accounts. However, some of the links to sights they issue are broken.
Out of date information isn’t a good sign. One other thing, which was a little suspect, was the forums for the company.
There are several posts a few months ago, yet the majority are over twelve months old. No matter the topic, they are all dated as if there are no users asking questions.
Is this VPN Service for You? (Conclusion)
This virtual private network solution designed for Australian users and which guarantees access to US Netflix looks very tempting.
However, when you begin looking at what the company offers, there are some concerning matters, which you can’t clear up no matter how much you check. A lot of other VPN’s are much clearer with their information.
With this company sitting in one of the worst countries for mass surveillance and data retention, there is no compelling reason to choose a VPN, which uses cut back encryption.
Users who want to know their security will require more features, and a way of checking these features are working.
There is a minimal feature set, and the price for this isn’t much different from what you can pay for a fully loaded VPN provider.
In many cases, you may find cheaper whit another company, which can do everything Vanished-VPN offers, and more.
The very least they should be offered in all this time is client apps, even if they only have them for the leading platforms.