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Vanished VPN Review – Questionable Speed and Security
VanishedVPN is an Australia-based VPN service that has only been around for just over a year.
As such, they are fairly untested and haven’t exactly penetrated the marketplace the way that other VPN service providers have.
Their big claim to fame was a plug by Lifehacker who called them their “favourite VPN for accessing US Netflix.”
While a handful of companies live up to the hype, and more often than not, a majority of them don’t. VanishedVPN has been in the spotlight since this plug from Lifehacker. Let’s jump into it to see if they live up to the hype!
Let’s take a closer look! or visit VanishVPN’s website.
Vanished VPN Overview
|Usability:||Easy to use|
|Logging Policy:||Ambiguous no logging policy|
|Server Size:||1300++ servers|
|VPN protocol and encryption:||Undisclosed|
What is VanishedVPN?
VanishedVPN is a little more than the average run of the mill VPN. The VPN service itself is advertised as being ideal for overseas shopping, online gaming, sports and streaming. The service is a virtual private network solution out of our favorite place in the world, Australia.
If you’re all about that straya pride then sit down, immerse yourself kookaburra laughter, get on the internet, and start surfing with VanishedVPN.
Besides being an Aussie VPN, VanishVPN isn’t just a VPN. It also has created the Invizbox.
The Invizbox is a mini router enables users to connect their Smart TV, Playstation or Xbox to the VPN’s server. It’s a pretty ingenious device that takes this VPN service from a normal VPN based in Australia to one that is thinking outside of the box.
Keep reading to learn more about the Invizbox and what the implications are when it comes to being based in Australia.
The Pros of VanishedVPN
VanishedVPN is far from a perfect VPN service. There are three main aspects that headline the positives of VanishedVPN: Geo-unblocking, the Invizbox, and ease of use. They also have over 1300 servers and allow torrenting with up to 3 simultaneous connections
Geo-blocking refers to sites blocking people in other countries from viewing restricted content.
If you have lived in Australia for any amount of time you will know that geo restrictions are a real killer for enjoying content the rest of the English speaking world has easy access to. For Aussies eager to watch their favourite American TV shows, VanishedVPN seems to be a viable option.
With VanishedVPN, you’ll be able to catch up on the newest episodes of Game of Thrones and enjoy old faves like Dexter, Breaking Bad or the Netflix show Orange is the New Black (see best VPNs for Netflix). VanishedVPN is able to gain access to BBC iPlayer, ITV, Hulu, Crackle and other geo-blocked streaming services.
This is meant to be all about the VPN service of VanishedVPN but the Invizbox is too cool not to go into a little bit. Personally, this is our favorite thing about VanishedVPN. It almost seems like the creators of VanishedVPN created the Invizbox then created the VPN service to go along with their piece of hardware. With everything they’ve gotten right with the Invizbox, I have faith that VanishedVPN will correct the issues I’m going to get into later on.
All you have to do with the Invizbox is connect it to your router. Once it’s connected to your router you can start using your devices like normal. Just by plugging in the Invizbox, all of your internet traffic is encrypted.
The way the device works is pretty cool as you can use 4 different VPN servers at once. This is very good for streaming different content.
The Invizbox isn’t perfect but it’s rather innovative and definitely worth checking out.
How to Use VanishedVPN
One of the good things we can say about VanishedVPN is that they are pretty informative in terms of configuration. They offer detailed setup guides for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, Android, ATV, PS4, PS3, Sports, Chromecast, Surface, Routers and more.
If you’ve decided to go with VanishedVPN, the signup/setup process is rather simple. You just register your account by providing your email address and creating a password. Once you’ve completed signup, their setup guides will walk you through the process of accessing their interface on a range of compatible devices.
For those using Windows, you will have to download the OpenVPN app and apply the VanishedVPN openVPN configuration files. This will take about five minutes.
From there, it’s really quite easy.
- Download and install the OpenVPN software from openvpn.net. Make sure to allow the TAP drivers to install when you receive the pop-up later on during the installation.
- Download the VanishedVPN OpenVPN config file from here for the Server that you want (i.e. usa.ovpn for the USA VPN to watch US Netflix).
- Move the file that you downloaded (USA.ovpn in our example) to your OpenVPN config folder at (C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config). Click continue when asked for administrator access to continue.
- Right click on the OpenVPN GUI shortcut icon on your desktop, and choose ‘run as administrator’.
- Right click on the OpenVPN icon in the taskbar at the bottom of your screen.
- Select the connection that you want (USA in our example), and select ‘connect’ from the drop down menu.
- Copy and paste your VPN username (your email address) and password that you can see on the ‘my account’ dashboard on our site. These are case sensitive.
- The icon should turn green to show that you’re connected.
- To test that you’re connected, try and play some content from the location that you are now connected to (for example if you are connected to USA, navigate to netflix.com and you should see the US catalogue).
You’re all set, mate!
The Negatives of VanishedVPN
We want to love VanishedVPN more than any other VPN because it’s based in our home country. However, it still has a lot of issues that need resolving. It must be said that the service is relatively new so they still have some time to establish themselves as a big player.
Being based in Australia is great and all but it doesn’t exactly bode well for us Aussies because Australia is a member of the Fourteen Eyes, a multinational cooperative who collect signal intelligence and share it with one another. This means that your sensitive data will never truly be safe, regardless of whether you are using a VPN or not.
The vast majority of reputable VPNs maintain a strict “no logs” policy which assures users that their sessions will not be recorded nor sold to third parties. VanishedVPN openly admits to saving your data for a period of 30 days. This includes your source IP address and your connection start and stop time. Read more about VPN logging here.
Although VanishedVPN claim to never log a user’s traffic or the content of said user’s communications, but is that really a claim they can make in good conscience?
Under the UKUSA Agreement and all related amendments, the Australian government can serve VPNs with subpoenas or search warrants, and that VPN would be obliged to share their users’ logs.[
What’s the Cost of VanishedVPN?
There are only two pricing options with VanishedVPN, neither of which is very exciting.
They offer a standard plan or their “best offer” plan (annual).
The Standard Plan
- Billed every month
- 3 simultaneous connections
“Best Offer” Plan
- Billed annually as $99.99
- $43.89 in savings
- 3 simultaneous connections
Honestly, we’re not so keen on the Standard vs. Best Offer packages since we like to “pay as you go”, and we can’t really trust a VPN that doesn’t offer a money back guarantee or a free trial.
Even some of the worst VPNs around give you a minimum 3-day free trial so you can acquaint yourself with their service and tell if they’re legit.
Cancelling VanishedVPN Service
We’re not saying you would want to cancel but this is how it works if you ever do.
All users are able to cancel their service at any time, but it is important to bear in mind that no refunds are issued. Since VanishedVPN does not issue refunds, users who have purchased a yearly subscription will not be compensated for the portion of time left on their account.
The only way to get a refund on a yearly subscription plan is to cancel within the first 30 days of service. Cancellation goes into effect as soon as VanishedVPN is notified that you want to cancel.
Is VanishedVPN Safe?
VanishedVPN’s “Features” page appeared blank last time we used it. Therefore, there was no way for us to confirm that their service is a safe and secure one. Unlike virtually every other VPN available, they make no mention of their precise protocol or encryption.
Only a real drongo would feel like they could roam the web freely using a VPN that doesn’t disclose its method of cryptography. That’s a surefire way to get caught in yer grundies.
VanishedVPN Speed Test
Personally, this is my biggest problem with VanishedVPN. They just don’t have any speedy servers.
For the sake of ensuring the accuracy of this review, we decided to run a speed test using Speedtest.net on a 100 Mbps server in the AU. To put this in perspective, we were in Sydney at the time. So performance was not affected by rugged conditions or anything.
Here are the results of the test:
AU Server (Sydney)
- Ping: 49 ms
- Download Speed: 9.37 Mbps
- Upload Speed: 0.47 Mbps
US Server (New York)
- Ping: 140 ms
- Download Speed: 29.74 Mbps
- Upload Speed: 2.07 Mbps
It’s obvious from these findings that speed is not VanishedVPN’s strong suit. In fact, the speed appeared to have “vanished”. Nowhere on their website do they let potential customers know anything about their servers or protocol(s). They opted to go with the most opaque details. You might also say, it “vanished”.
Most VPNs pride themselves on listing their multitude of server locations. VanishedVPN doesn’t disclose any of this information.
Customer Support Quality
VanishedVPN does not offer 24/7 live chat like some of the better VPN solutions on the market. On the contrary, you are limited to an email only option for filing a complaint or asking any technical questions.
Their customer support team are knowledgeable enough, but this is nowhere near as great as services like NordVPN or Surfshark. Some sites rely only on a ticket system while others are there online to help you in real time. Sadly, VanishedVPN is not one of the latter.
Do We Recommend VanishedVPN?
VanishedVPN is far from the worst or most expensive VPN. In fact, many reviewers praise the price, even though we’ve seen much better offers elsewhere. However, we would recommend this VPN if you’re only looking for something that can get around geo restrictions or if you are really into the idea of purchasing the Invizbox.
There is a relative dearth of price options to this one. Many VPN sites offer free trials and 3-month packages. VanishedVPN only offers a monthly or annual billing plan, neither of which is particularly remarkable in terms of price point. There are certainly more affordable VPNs on the market, many of them with solid reputations and a track record of transparency.
By contrast, VanishedVPN provides minimal information on their practices and policies. But while the scarcity of advanced features is a drawback in this seasoned VPNer’s eyes, We can see how that might appeal to the less-experienced user who just wants the privacy and security of a VPN for casual surfing or intermittent streaming.
For all other users, we would strongly suggest that you opt for a more established and fully-featured services like NordVPN. If you want the cream of the crop, then you’re in luck. We’ve reviewed over 80 different VPNs situated across different parts of the globe and have filtered them down to the gold nuggets. Here are our top picks for the best VPNs.