Anonymizer VPN (review) was created in 1995 by Lance Cottrell.
Anonymizer acquired their own private proxy in 1997, making them a stalwart of the VPN space for twenty years.
And they have been operating as usual since 2010, once they were acquired by Ntrepid, which is the largest technology conglomerate that makes products within the privacy, security, information science, and knowledge management spaces.
But here is the important question:
In this Anonymizer VPN review, we’ll take a look at whether 20 years of experience has given them an unfair advantage or if they have been left behind.
Anonymizer VPN Overview
|OVERALL RANK:||#59 out of 78 VPNs|
|USABILITY:||Very slow server speed|
|LOG FILES:||Some Logging Policy|
|LOCATIONS:||2 countries, 2 servers|
|SUPPORT:||Slow customer support|
|NETFLIX:||Unblocks Netflix USA|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||AES 256-bit encryption; OpenVPN|
Anonymizer VPN Pros
This is not the first Anonymizer rodeo.
And you will know it by several of its software attributes.
First, no leaks or potential virus problems were found in our analysis. They also offer industry-standard protocols and encryption.
Also, Netflix works, and torrents are allowed. Impressive!
Latest Encryption And Protocol Options
By default, Anonymizer employs the most up-to-date protocol, OpenVPN.
You can see the connected protocol clearly in the VPN client settings.
OpenVPN works with an underlying technology equivalent to SSL certificates, which basically every website should now own.
Plus, being open-source actually means it’s more secure.
This is why.
Rather than being managed by one or two teams, open-source technology is continually maintained by a community. At any given time, there might be a large number of individuals working on your code.
That also means it is under more scrutiny. The whole community is constantly testing its limits, looking for possible gaps or loopholes.
But as of now, there aren’t.
In addition to OpenVPN, it will also change the VPN protocols to L2TP / IPsec.
However, those are the only two protocol options as of now.
IKev2 is not available for mobile devices. Mostly due to the lack of a mobile app client. (However, we’ll get to that in the Cons section below.)
Otherwise, your OpenVPN configuration file confirms that the encryption is AES-256-CBC bank grade.
It only took Advanced Encryption Standards (AES) to become the industry standard encryption for one year.
It supports the block cipher algorithm and would currently take billions of years to crack with most current hardware standards.
So breathe easy. You’re in good company every time you access a public Wi-Fi network.
No DNS Leaks Or Full Scan Issues
There is a reason we are critical of these VPN reviews.
It is not simply because we are idiots. (Well that’s not the only reason).
It’s because the stakes are so high when it comes to internet gaming. In addition, poor VPNs reveal their own users.
Suppose you are a journalist covering the atrocities of the government of an authoritarian regime.
For starters, they need you to use their “government-sponsored” VPNs. What will not happen?
So he signs up for additional information and thinks he’s free. Before investigating sensitive topics, you connect to a server in some neutral country.
Just one problem.
DNS leaks will alert the authorities. They expose your true location, even if your VPN connection indicates otherwise. which would seriously damage not only their reputation but also their livelihoods and physical well-being.
Sounds crazy? Unfortunately, it is not.
Eight of the 17 Chrome extensions we review filter your personal data. As a result, it is more prevalent than you may imagine.
Anonymizer came out clean in six different tests we ran:
- https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
- https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
- http://dnsleak.com/ (none found)
We found a potential problem within the Anonymizer installation files in the main round. But it seemed weird, so we ran again with VirusTotal.com and they came out clean.
We assume that the main notification was a false positive. Do not be afraid.
One Of The Two Netflix Servers Worked
Technically speaking, Anonymizer has nothing on its site about how to work with Netflix.
They don’t explicitly state that they work with it on their site, in their User License Agreement, Terms of Service, or FAQ section.
We were ready to successfully stream content on one of the 2 servers we tested.
Many VPNs no longer promote Netflix because streaming services have become so good at identifying (and blocking) their users.
And they are only on the mend by identifying large groups of people using VPN servers to unblock geo-restricted content.
That means that the people who visit abroad are usually SOL. Or US residents can’t get an equivalent early viewing of Sherlock that UK people enjoy.
With Anonymizer, though, there is still a possibility.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks connect people with everyone or anyone sharing a standard goal.
Usually, that means downloading massive files from various places.
Usually, it is related to the illegal downloading of music or movies. But that’s not all good.
Many large companies, like Blizzard Entertainment or perhaps Facebook, use it all the time to transport massive files across physical borders.
But due to its negative connotation, many VPN companies will reject it. Or they will only allow it on a select pair of servers.
The good news is that Anonymizer allows unlimited torrent downloading. So download!
Anonymizer VPN Cons
Anonymizer starts out strong with a solid protocol and encryption methods.
They follow you with a no-leak connection and no virus or malware issues in their installation files.
Add in Netflix unblocking and safe/free torrent downloading, and you have all the ingredients to be a winner.
Unfortunately, that was once we saw a couple of downsides. Here’s a quick look.
The Anonymizer website, like each of the 78 opposites we have reviewed, says that “they will not keep logs of their website activities.”
You don’t have to be concerned most of the time. A VPN just keeps track of data at the surface level, such as how much bandwidth each user consumes.
That way, they will keep a pulse on the performance of the VPN software.
But in other cases, you should be concerned. Or run for the hills.
Where does Anonymizer VPN’s logging policy fall?
Take a look at their terms for a moment:
I stopped there…
Five Eyes Local Jurisdiction
Anonymizer‘s US home base places them squarely at the center of the Five Eyes security alliance.
That’s not good.
Mainly for the rationale, we just highlighted in the last section.
The United States is not exactly known for its passive intelligence agencies. they will demand user data from companies for almost any reason.
And when that happens, the Five Eyes alliance features a built-in mechanism for sharing the collected information with law enforcement agencies in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the UK.
The relatively recent extension of 14 countries adds a slew of others to the list as well.
Wait, it gets better!
The 2013 NSA leaks also revealed that each of those nations is essentially spying on the citizens of the others.
Why would they do that?
Each country has its own laws that govern exactly how they will (and cannot) spy on their own people.
No problem! Just take your friend across the border to try the illegal things you can’t. Then gather your resources to determine what they came up with.
I wish I was kidding. I am not.
That is why these “Eyes” alliances are detrimental to your personal privacy. They open the door to all kinds of shenanigans that sound more appropriate in some dystopian sci-fi movie.
Slow Speed Tests
There is no sugar to cover it.
The anonymizer is slow. Really fucking slow.
It came in at number 67 out of 78 VPNs. That’s almost the bottom of the barrel.
This is how we climb the leaderboard.
We begin by measuring the speed of our non-VPN connection. This resulted in download speeds of roughly 97 Mbps and upload speeds of roughly 53 Mbps.
Next, we connect to a couple of different servers to determine how much those numbers have dropped.
Virtually all VPNs will slow you down. The trick is to balance minor speed reductions (~ 10%) for added security.
The first Anonymizer VPN server we tested was in the US This is what we saw:
U.S. Server Test:
- Ping: 289
- Download: 21.75 MBPS (Percent Change: -77.58%)
- Upload: 3.67 MBPS (Percent Change: -93.08%)
If we’re honest, anything between 70% and 90% slower is pretty bad.
But let’s give them the advantage of the doubt and check again on another server.
Maybe that was a nasty apple.
These are the results of the EU test:
EU Server Test:
- Ping: 37
- Download: 14.66 MBPS (Percent Change: -84.89%)
- Upload: 17.54 MBPS (Percent Change: -66.91%)
It’s okay. That was pretty bad too.
The performance of the anonymizer is constant. But consistently bad.
Extremely Limited Device Compatibility
Let’s start with the big news.
You can use Anonymizer on up to 6 devices. That’s quite a bit compared to most competitors that only allow three to five simultaneous connections at any one time.
Now for the bad.
They only have native applications for Windows and Mac devices. No mobile.
That means you will have to roll up your sleeves and go geeky just to use your iPhone or Android device.
There are also configuration files for Linux. So more manual work ahead.
It should probably come as no surprise that they aren’t compatible with smart TVs, game consoles, or routers.
I confirmed this with their support and therefore the result was quite funny. More on that below.
Well-Intentioned But Unhelpful Customer Support
On its website, Anonymizer has a FAQ area. They don’t have a live chat option or an email address.
Instead, to speak to someone in the company, you will need to create a “Create a Case” support ticket. With no other option.
To their credit, they responded fairly quickly. Your site indicates that the reaction time is around two hours. and they were far below that.
Instead, the issue was the answer itself.
My question was basically:
“Does it support smart TVs or routers?”
Simple enough, right?
It may seem that we are being tough. But this has to be a reasonably standard question.
Most of today’s VPNs have smart TV and router options. So my query shouldn’t be so confusing.
The User Interface Also Limited
Minimalism can be a good thing. Unless it’s too minimal.
We already complained about the fact that there are only Windows and Mac clients available. Nothing for mobile.
Beyond that, the app itself is pretty standard. But it is also very limited.
Here’s another look:
I would show you more pictures. Except there is nothing else to show!
That is literally it.
As a result, there isn’t much that can be done. The procedures will essentially be downgraded. In most circumstances, though, you would not want to do that.
Otherwise, most of the options are related to administration.
And you can’t even switch servers. This brings us to our final complaint…
Too Many Servers
Some VPNs offer thousands of servers in many locations.
NordVPN reportedly has 3,350 servers. It is not a joke.
Well, at least officially, anyway. Unofficially, that number could be lower. VPN server data is often misleading for various reasons.
How many server locations does Anonymizer have?
Yes, you heard me correctly.
One in sunny San Diego. Another in Amsterdam, a friend of marijuana. (Wait. Are there other things to try?)
Any positives? They probably own both in the company. Unlike other VPN companies that rent them to third parties (who could, in fact, log in and do all sorts of things together with your data).
But that’s too limited to be useful.
If you’re not on the edge of either place, your performance will almost always struggle.
It also indicates that each of your clients is scrambling for resources on just a couple of overworked servers.
Then no. You can’t always trust VPN server numbers. However, something greater than two may be worth a try right away.
Anonymizer VPN Cost, Plans & Payment Methods
Some VPNs offer you different prices and plans for monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions.
That’s in the middle of the road, to be honest. Some awesome ones, like ExpressVPN, are a bit higher at $ 99 / year. (However, it comes with more features, better customer support, and quicker speed.)
Anonymizer offers two great benefits for people still straddling the VPN fence. the primary can be a free 14-day trial. The second can be a 45-day money-back guarantee.
So even though you will need to buy a full year, you get around 20% of that point (~ 60 days) to make a decision whether or not you want a full refund.
That 12-month package may only be purchased with cash or a credit card. Neither PayPal nor cryptocurrencies are accepted. You know, that’s not very anonymous…
Card support extends to American Express, Discover, Diners, JCB, MasterCard, and Visa. will use gift cards or prepaid cards if they have one of those logos.
You may also send cash or a cheque via mail.
Do We Recommend Anonymizer?
Anonymizer flew out the doors with industry-standard technology and a leak-free connection and a built-in kill switch. We appreciate that they support both torrents and Netflix. (Even if they didn’t really fit in with the latter.)
However, the Cons piled up too much on top of the day.
Its logging policy and US jurisdiction were cause for concern. The speed tests on its only two servers were really slow. and it certainly won’t recover anytime soon.
They do not work natively on many devices or platforms. And while it was well-intentioned, customer support proved useless.
Anonymizer has been around for 2 decades. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like there have been many changes since then.
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