WannaFlix is run by a virtually unheard-of company out of Hong Kong. There isn’t a whole lot of news about this VPN, and digging around for it hasn’t exactly been the most productive thing I’ve done recently.
What I do know is that they have a handful of servers – around 20-odd of them. The number is a little deceptive though, but more on that later. Going into this review though there’s a need to manage expectations.
WannaFlix is among the best of the VPNs that works reliably in China. The service alone would be invaluable to a certain group of users. And, their Netflix access list is by far the most comprehensive I've seen.
The majority of companies in the VPN space tend to start single-month subscription prices high. However, most maintain it at around the region of between $11 to $13. The reason for this is to discourage short-period customers.
Most services go all out to fight for extended-subscription package customers, many hoping for those who are willing to pay for anything between one year to five years at a go. For that, they’re willing to slash prices considerably.
While this may not seem a very practical business model in the long run, it seems to have worked for many top names in the business such as NordVPN and CyberGhost. Wannaflix takes its own unique position on price though.
For single-month users, their cost of entry is a bit lower at $9.97. While this may still seem a bit steep, it is considered on the lower end of the scale for VPNs.
2. Money-back Guarantee on All Plans
WannaFlix comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its plans. That’s right – inclusive of the one-month package. Essentially, they’re giving everyone a free trial. Again, while this may not seem significant, it is a bit out of industry norms.
Most VPN services will come with extended money-back guarantees only on their longer subscriptions, and then offer a three to seven day trial for other categories of users. Obviously, WannaFlix has the upper hand here.
3. Very Responsive Support Team
One of the things I liked the most about WannaFlix was their very courteous and responsive customer support team. I had a real reason to get in touch with them and was impressed at how they handled it.
The query by support ticket was quickly responded to by a real front-liner. None of that automated messaging that’s so common today. That person did an initial assessment, decided they could not resolve the issue and let us know that it had been handed over to the technical team.
From start to end, the issue I faced was resolved within 24 hours. To me, that kind of turnaround is pretty good, especially on a technical issue.
4. WannaFlix Works Reliably in China
The performance of VPNs in China is something that the majority of the world don’t really care about – until they have to visit the country. China heavily censors the Internet and many popular international sites are banned.
If you’re a Facebook or Youtube junkie stuck in China for any period of time, that might result in you crawling the walls. That’s where VPNs come in. Unfortunately, many VPNs don’t work well in China, even among the top names in the business.
WannaFlix does. Let’s consider some performance figures I managed to gather over a period of time:
The figures in the table above are for connection attempts using those VPNs from within China. As you can see, the usual top performing NordVPN and ExpressVPN produced some mixed results.
WannaFlix, despite the variation of speeds that it produced, was the only service to connect consistently while actually allowing usability on the service. This is extremely impressive since China is a notoriously difficult place to connect a VPN from with any measure of confidence.
5. Extensive Netflix Region Support
Having gone through so many VPN service providers, it doesn’t surprise me that the majority will aim to make Netflix US content available to their users whenever possible. It’s a matter of demand – if there’s enough to make it viable, the provider will do so.
This leads to the small question about who’s serving the niche markets. Well, WannaFlix, for one. Despite its relatively unknown status, WannaFlix has gone all out on Netflix and makes it run where not many VPNs will bother.
WannaFlix works to unlock the following Netflix regions; United States, Hong Kong, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Russia.
Although not complete, this is by far the most comprehensive access list I’ve seen to date.
WannaFlix Cons: What I Dislike About WannaFlix
1. Speed is Not its Strength
WannaFlix Speed Test
Baseline Speed Test (500Mbps Advertised)
For the purpose of these tests, I used WannaFlix Eclipse, which is their version of OpenVPN. In fact, it uses the OpenVPN GUI as well, not their native app.
WannaFlix Singapore Server Speed Test
The speed test result that WannaFlix produced came across as a bit of a shock. While I wasn’t expecting anything fantastic, the Singapore test stunned me with how high latency was shown.
Just to be sure, I ran the test a number of times, all getting similar results to the one shown here. Even with a VPN active, it is normal for a connection to Singapore (from my location) to show a latency of not more than 20ms. In fact, even 20ms would be considered excessive.
WannaFlix German Server Speed Test
While speeds on the German server were usable (for lack of a better word), they were barely so. Again, I observed the unusually high latency.
WannaFlix US Server Speed Test
Honestly, speeds to the US are usually not that great for me since I live on the opposite side of the world. However, the speeds shown on WannaFlix were almost hopeless in this case. Definitely not sufficient to be streaming Netflix with.
2. Setting Up Can Be a Nightmare
For those new to VPNs, getting WannaFlix to work can be a bit of a nightmare. I’ve been using VPNs for a long time now and have routinely run tests on many brands. Without a doubt, this one has the worst onboarding I’ve encountered.
There seems to be varying versions of documentation, some of which are old, some of which are supposedly current (but aren’t completely current) – with incorrect links or links that are supposed to be there but aren’t.
Here’s a tip;
Download and install the OpenVPN GUI on your own, then download the WannaFlix Eclipse configuration files from your account dashboard. Then import them and run them with the ID and password that’s found under ‘Eclipse’.
Alternatively, you can try and struggle through what you can find (or ask their great customer support) how to use their other protocols.
3. Uncertainty on P2P
P2P is one of the loves of my life and I have no idea how it works with WannaFlix. Their Terms of Service claim that they have specialized P2P servers. Usage of P2P outside of those specialized servers will result in account termination. The problem is, there isn’t a list I could find of which servers support P2P.
The way this is handled is also curious. Most VPNs who restrict P2P simply don’t allow it to work on other servers. There’s certainly no need to terminate a user’s account, especially if he has no idea where he can Torrent!
Verdict: Is WannaFlix Worth the Money?
By right, I should be giving a resounding ‘NO’ as my answer. However, there are mitigating factors which rule heavily in their favour. The first and most important is the China issue. As I mentioned, getting a VPN to work in China is no easy feat, much less work reliably.
WannaFlix is among the best of the VPNs that still try to offer users based in the country a fighting chance at overcoming censorship. For that along, they would be invaluable to a small segment of users.
Secondly – their comprehensive Netflix access capability. At the speeds they display, the experience won’t be great. But if you MUST watch a certain few movies, then this is one way of doing it.
Earning disclosure – We use affiliate links in this article. WHSR receive referral fees from companies mentioned in this article. Our opinions are based on real experience and actual test data.
About Timothy Shim
Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.