As soon as I started testing Liberty Shield VPN, I understood why I’d never heard of this service. Before the company name change, it was known as UK Proxy Server and advertised heavily for unblocking UK-based streaming services, like BBC iPlayer.
To see if Liberty Shield is as effective at unblocking streaming platforms as its previous version, I decided to test out the VPN extensively. After testing, my results revealed that Liberty Shield comes up short compared to the top-recommended VPNs on the market. Though it provides high speeds with unlimited simultaneous connections, Liberty Shield has no kill switch and doesn’t allow users to change the encryption protocol. It boasts a no-logs policy but has no independent audits to verify the claim. Alongside this, the native applications are clunky and frustrating to use.
In addition to the VPN, Liberty Shield offers a proxy service, which is like a VPN but with higher speeds and no encryption. Considering Liberty Shield’s location in the UK (a 5 Eyes alliance state), an encrypted connection is crucial to stop the government from monitoring your activities. It also fails to work in China.
If you want to try the VPN before committing to a subscription, Liberty Shield lets you test its features with a 48-hour free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Liberty Shield focuses primarily on unblocking UK-based streaming platforms when you’re traveling or when your location is not being detected properly. However, during my tests, Liberty Shield also managed to unblock Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer.
The VPN failed to work with ITV Player and ESPN+ when my colleague in the UK and I tried to stream on these platforms. We could access the sites but weren’t able to watch anything. Because Liberty Shield focuses on unblocking UK-specific websites, I was surprised that it didn’t work with ITV Player, a popular UK streaming channel. If you want a VPN that can access all the streaming sites you subscribe to when you travel, get ExpressVPN and watch the content you pay for from anywhere.
My tests revealed that Liberty Shield VPN can successfully unblock Netflix US, while my teammate in the UK was able to unblock that country’s library, too. I connected using the “optimal server” option, which pairs you with the fastest available server, and watched The Office (US) without lag or buffering.
LibertyShield was only able to unblock Netflix when connected to the UK, USA, and Germany servers. All other servers, including Canada, could not unblock Netflix — my team and I received the Netflix proxy error message every time.
When trying to stream on Disney+, I had no issue getting past its tough geoblocks with Liberty Shield’s server in the US. I was able to watch hit shows like The Mandalorian buffer-free without any loss in quality.
I tried watching Hulu, and once again Liberty Shield accessed the site and gave me top-quality video. I streamed an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and didn’t experience any lag or pixelation.
Liberty Shield’s server in the US helped me access Amazon Prime Video, and I could watch Suits without interruptions or image quality problems.
The next platform I tried was HBO Max, and Liberty Shield allowed me to access its content library and stream Friends without any problems. I noticed some buffering at the start of every episode, but the image quality remained high throughout.
BBC iPlayer is the primary platform that Liberty Shield claims to unblock since it’s a UK-based streaming service. My colleague in the UK managed to stream His Dark Materials in full HD quality and reported no buffering while watching.
ESPN+ displayed constant errors as Liberty Shield failed to unblock the service. Even after changing servers, my repeated attempts didn’t give me access to the service.
My coworker in the UK couldn’t access ITV Player with Liberty Shield’s UK server. He got the same error message every time:
It looks as if there’s a problem. Please refresh your page or check out our ITV Hub Help.
If you travel outside the UK often, or a corporate firewall blocks your access to the ITV Player, I recommend using ExpressVPN instead. During my tests, ExpressVPN consistently unblocked all major streaming platforms and produced top speeds for lag-free HD streams.
Just keep in mind that while most streaming sites don’t prohibit using a VPN, you might violate their terms and conditions by watching content that’s not available in your location.
Liberty Shield provided top speeds on most server locations during my tests. The slowest speeds I encountered were still fast enough for browsing the internet, torrenting, and streaming.
That said, I observed a notable difference in speed between LibertyShield’s 2 server networks. The newer, Tier 2 servers in the US, UK, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Spain, and Germany produced excellent speeds. On the other hand, the older, legacy servers in Canada and France were a bit slower.
Liberty Shield caused a surprisingly minor speed reduction during my tests. With a 70Mbps home network, I ran tests on servers in London, Roubaix, Toronto, and Hutchinson. The servers in the US and UK — which are part of the VPN’s new network — produced a speed drop of only 3-15%, which is a fantastic result for a smaller-name VPN. The older servers in Canada and France, on the other hand, caused my network speed to fall by about 40%, which was a pleasant surprise for me.
Even with its outdated legacy servers, Liberty Shield managed to give me enough speeds for streaming, torrenting, and playing online games. However, keep in mind that your experience with this VPN may differ from mine, as there are many factors that determine the speed reduction caused by a VPN connection.
Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.
Liberty Shield’s network has 80+ servers in 8 countries and includes a selection of high-performing new servers, as well as an outdated legacy network.
The new “Tier 2” servers have sophisticated routing mechanisms that allow automatic reconnection, ensuring a smooth change between servers. The older legacy servers offer lower speeds and require manual reset after you reconnect. However, these are the only locations in France and Canada, so you may still need to use them if you have to access local content from those countries.
Luckily, even the legacy servers were relatively fast during my tests, so you should have no problems streaming, torrenting, or playing games while connected to them. It’s also neat that LibertyShield shows the location of all its servers so you can pick the relevant one when you need to access region-specific content. It also highlights the legacy servers in Canada and France that require a manual reset on your account. This way, you know in advance that it may take longer to start using these legacy servers.
Liberty Shield also offers a proxy connection, which is great if you prioritize speed over encryption. To use the proxy service, you select it from the dashboard on Liberty Shield’s website and reboot your software — you can’t make the switch in the app. I thought it was unusual to use a website dashboard to switch between the VPN and proxy service, with no option given within the application. Once rebooted, you can choose from the same locations as the VPN servers and start using the proxy.
The proxy service itself works as intended, meaning I was able to download files and stream Netflix with slightly faster server speeds (about 5Mbps faster). However, the proxy connection is unencrypted and open for anyone to monitor.
Liberty Shield uses SSL-secured 256-bit encryption for data protection but lacks other standard security essentials. Its military-grade encryption ensures that your data is securely transmitted. However, Liberty Shield does not employ perfect forward secrecy―a process that changes the encryption keys after every session. This means that if a browsing session gets hacked, there is a possibility for the hacker to get access to subsequent sessions.
Liberty Shield VPN doesn’t let you switch between tunneling protocols. While it advertises 3 different protocols, I could only use OpenVPN over UDP and TCP during my tests. After contacting customer support, I learned that the other 2 encryptions listed (PPTP and L2TP) were only available to customers who purchased Liberty Shield’s router and VPN service as a package.
All of Liberty Shield’s apps lacked a kill-switch feature, which prevents data from leaking if you were to get disconnected suddenly due to power failures or issues with the VPN. I ran a DNS leak test while connected to the VPN to see if my real IP address was exposed, and I’m happy to report that only the VPN’s IP addresses were visible.
Although Liberty Shield has a strict no-logs policy, it lacks an independent audit and the VPN’s location is worrisome if you’re a privacy-minded user. Being based in Scotland means that Liberty Shield is within the 5-Eyes alliance, an intelligence-sharing alliance between the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. If any countries within this alliance requested your data, Liberty Shield would have to comply, and it could be shared between all 5 nations.
This should mean your data is protected, but there aren’t any audits to verify if the claim is valid — you’ll have to take Liberty Shield’s word for it. For an alternative with a strict, independently verified no-logs policy, I suggest you use ExpressVPN and browse the web without worrying about your data being collected. The VPN’s no-logs policy was verified in the real world, too. When Turkish police seized ExpressVPN’s server in search of evidence in a murder investigation, they weren’t able to find any user logs.
Liberty Shield claims to support torrenting but doesn’t come with P2P servers — the industry standard for safe torrenting. It also doesn’t have a kill switch, which is an essential mechanism that prevents dangerous data leaks when the VPN connection suddenly drops.
That said, Liberty Shield gave me torrenting speeds that were only 10Mbps less than what I get from my ISP, and I downloaded a 1GB video clip in about 15 minutes. For even faster downloads of large files, enhanced security through a kill switch, and optimized servers for torrenting, you can try using ExpressVPN’s specialized P2P servers. Just remember that while torrenting itself is legal, downloading copyrighted files is against the law in most countries. To err on the side of caution, only torrent content that’s in the public domain.
I don’t live in China, so I wasn’t able to confirm whether Liberty Shield works there. That said, my teammate is based there and frequently runs tests to see which VPNs still function in China, and he couldn’t get Liberty Shield to bypass the country’s firewall.
If you do need a VPN while on a trip to China, make sure that you download and install the app before you arrive. That’s because Chinese authorities employ advanced technology to find and disable VPN connections in the country, and most VPNs are inaccessible there. That said, there have been no reports of Chinese law enforcement harassing tourists or visitors for using a VPN.
Liberty Shield lets you connect only one device for each license that you have purchased. To test simultaneous connections, I purchased 2 licenses from two separate accounts. The connection remained stable while I streamed Netflix and browsed on the two devices, with the speeds remaining fast.
Still, this limitation can be really annoying if you want to use multiple devices while connected to the VPN. Most premium VPNs offer 5 device connections or more, whereas IPVanish even lets you connect unlimited devices through a single account. I used 8 devices simultaneously with IPVanish, and still didn’t see any drops in speed or streaming quality.
Liberty Shield offers pre-installed router bundles. You can use these routers instantly on arrival and secure every device in your home, even those that don’t support Liberty Shield’s native app. Unfortunately, it’s quite an expensive and inconvenient option that forces you to use only Liberty Shield as your VPN. In addition to selling router bundles, Liberty Shield offers NowTV boxes that let you watch UK-based TV on demand and can be shipped internationally (along with the router).
Native applications are available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and you can find installation guides for all these on the Liberty Shield website. The Liberty Shield VPN app can be installed on all FireSticks with the Alexa feature. But I was disappointed to find that the VPN doesn’t work on first-generation FireTVs, as these devices cannot run Liberty Shield’s encryption protocols. If you use an older FireStick and need to stream with a VPN, I recommend you try ExpressVPN with its MediaStreamer feature, which allows you to unblock restricted content on most popular smart TVs and gaming consoles.
To access Liberty Shield, you need to create an account and sign up for its paid service. My overall experience with Liberty Shield on my computer was clunky. The installation seemed a little slower although the instructions were straightforward. Clicking the central shield didn’t give immediate feedback, and the user interface felt slow. I discovered the mobile version was more responsive to my touch, and the app installation took less time as well.
Liberty Shield has several support options, but none of these offer immediate assistance if you have a technical query. You can ask for help by submitting a ticket or emailing support between 9 am and 9 pm UK time, while the live chat option is only for sales-related queries. You’ll also find that Liberty Shield lists an impressive amount of tutorials and resources on its website.
I tested both the ticket and email options to see which one was more helpful. I sent an email to support with a query about the tunneling protocols and received a response in about 45 minutes. At the same time, I submitted a ticket with a question about installing the VPN (registered to my Liberty Shield account), and a customer representative got back to me in just over 2 hours.
We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.
You can choose from 4 different pricing options, all in British pounds. Additionally, you can opt for either a lower-cost plan with a 10 TB data limit per month or a higher-cost plan with no data caps.
All these options give you Liberty Shield’s VPN and proxy services. Liberty Shield’s pricing compared to competitors is expensive, especially when it offers only 1 license per account, no kill switch, no P2P servers, and limited security features. For a better-value alternative, you can use CyberGhost’s high-quality service at an affordable price. CyberGhost has optimized servers for streaming, reliable speeds, advanced security features, and a quick and easy process to cancel the money-back guarantee if you choose to do so.
LibertyShield offers a 48-hour free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Unfortunately, this free trial doesn’t provide enough time to test all the VPN’s features, so I couldn’t cancel my trial on time and ended up getting billed. If this happens to you as well, you can always use the 30-day money-back guarantee to get more time to test out the VPN.
I was happy to see that I could cancel my subscription through your Liberty Shield web account.
That said, getting my refund confirmation took long — 2 days passed before I heard back from Liberty Shield’s support team. When the agent finally answered, he attempted to troubleshoot issues before letting me have my money back. When I explained that I simply changed my mind, the agent processed my refund and the money was back in my account in 6 business days.
Liberty Shield is great for streaming on most major platforms, but lacks the security and privacy features that would make it useful for more sensitive tasks. There are no specialized P2P servers, malware protection, choice of encryption protocols, or even a kill-switch. Liberty Shield also fails to prove its no-logs policy with an audit, is situated in a 5 Eyes member country, and doesn’t work in countries with censored internet, like China. Without these security and privacy essentials, Liberty Shield is not worth the price you pay.
For a VPN that covers all these glaring weak spots, I recommend you try using ExpressVPN instead. It unblocks all major streaming platforms, has lightning-fast speeds across its massive server network, and uses top-grade security features to keep your online presence safe and anonymous.
Liberty Shield is great for streaming Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, plus its speeds are really fast. But it’s not the best option for security and live support. When it comes to speeds, Liberty Shield provided decent rates with slightly noticeable drops on outdated servers. It manages to unblock most streaming platforms, including Disney+ and Netflix. It did run into streaming lags a few times, but usually, you can easily fix this by changing servers.
Liberty Shield only offers a small network of 80+ servers in 8 countries, with 3 servers being part of an older system. This Legacy system runs on the France and Canada servers, which slows speeds down by 38%. With a small network server, you may experience slower speeds due to too many users connecting to the same server. Liberty Shield also lacks security features like a kill switch that can keep your data protected if you get disconnected unexpectedly. Lack of live support means that your waiting times will be longer than ideal. For a more secure VPN that can unblock streaming platforms with reliable speeds and provide instantaneous support, download Private Internet Access (PIA) and access its large network of 34400 worldwide locations.
You can test all of Liberty Shield’s features for free by signing up for its 48-hour trial. Liberty Shield does require payment details when accessing this trial, but you can easily cancel the subscription using your account’s dashboard before the renewal date.
It also offers a 30-day refund policy, so you can ask for a refund if you’re not happy with Liberty Shield’s service. I’ve tried this, and it took 2 days for its customer support to reply to me, and a further 6 working days until I received a full refund.
Yes, Liberty Shield uses OpenVPN and SSL secured 256-bit encryption, to ensure a safe connection. This keeps your data secure and away from anyone trying to monitor it.
However, Liberty Shield lacks a kill-switch, which prevents data leaks when the VPN connection suddenly drops due to server issues or power failure on the user’s end. Without this, it makes using the network risky, especially if you want to torrent. Though the service does state it has a no-logs policy, it fails to back up the claim with independent audits. On top of that, Liberty Shield states it uses third-party servers to store information and even collects a lot of personal information while claiming it’s to improve services.
I’m not a huge fan of these privacy leaks, especially since I use a VPN to remain anonymous and safe. For a VPN alternative that keeps you secure 100% of the time, you can get ExpressVPN for its strong no-logs policy, which is continuously audited by third parties.
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