Skip to main content

12VPX review

A straightforward and simple VPN well suited for users in China

21:9 Hero
(Image: © Wanwire)

Our Verdict

12VPX is a good choice for users in China that need specialty servers for getting around geo-blocking and other restrictions. However, the lack of native mobile apps, relatively small network and limited features don’t justify its high monthly price. Could be worth a look if you're in China but you’ll likely find better service at a cheaper price elsewhere.

For

  • Easy to use
  • Detailed setup guides
  • Speciality servers and connection types for China

Against

  • No mobile apps
  • Didn’t unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, Disney+
  • Expensive
  • Kill Switch only works with OpenVPN

12VPX is a Hong Kong-based VPN service that has just over 30 servers located in 20 locations around the world. The company promises high speed access to help users secure their connections and get around internet restrictions. 12VPX is aimed at expats and travelers, especially those in China, that need unlimited downloads and all-inclusive plans without add-ons or hidden fees.

The service allows users to connect multiple devices simultaneously, change servers for free and torrenting is supported, though usually only on one server location.

Let’s take a closer look at 12VPX’s apps, network, servers, pricing and support to see whether this VPN is the right choice for you. If not, you can always check out our best VPN buyers guide.

Pricing

(Image credit: Wanwire)

Pricing

12VPX offers several plans for users interested in signing up for its services. These include a 1-month plan for 10.99, a 6-month plan for $53.96 ($8.99 per month) and an annual plan for $71.88 ($5.99 per month). The price of the company’s monthly plan is quite high and for just a bit more, you could get a subscription to Private Internet Access or NordVPN for $11.95. If you do want to sign up for 12VPX though, the service’s annual plan is the best deal and there is also a 14-day money back guarantee available.

When it comes to payment methods, 12VPX supports PayPal, Credit Card, Alipay, UnionPay and BitPay. However, the company doesn’t accept refunds for payments made using BitPay.

Unlike other VPN providers which advertise or explicitly state how many simultaneous devices can be connected at one time, we had to search through 12VPX’s FAQ page to find this information in the answer to the question “Can I connect multiple devices at the same time?”, which reads:

“Yes. As long as these are your personal devices that's no problem. In some cases it may be necessary to connect each device to a different server to avoid conflicts.”

Alternatives

12VPX doesn’t offer the native apps, performance and network size that other premium VPN providers do as it is clear the company’s service is aimed at expats and users living in China. If you’re looking for a VPN that works in China, you’ll find ExpressVPN, HotSpot Shield, Surfshark and others in our best VPN for China guide.

Streaming

(Image credit: Netflix)

Streaming

On its webpage, 12VPX doesn’t make any big claims about unblocking streaming services and instead the company says that its service can help users “secure your connection, improve your privacy and break free of restrictions!” 

We decided to see if 12VPX could give us access to a number of popular streaming sites to be sure though. Unfortunately in our tests, the service was unable to give us access to US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video or Disney+. If accessing streaming sites is one of the main reasons you’re considering getting a VPN, then you should check out some of the providers in our best streaming VPN guide instead.

Website

(Image credit: Wanwire)

About the company

12VPX and 12VPN are trademarks of Wanwire B.V. which is a privately held company that was founded in 2013 and is incorporated in the Netherlands. Before 12VPN was owned by Wanwire, it was previously a trademark of Anuson Limited which is incorporated in Hong Kong. Currently Anuson Limited only processes payments on behalf of 12VPN.

12VPX/12VPN has been providing VPN services since 2009 while the people behind the company have been doing so since 1996 according to a company representative we spoke with.

The 12VPX website is regularly updated with news about the service and the company also maintains an active Twitter account which it uses to inform users about new servers, locations, fixes and more.

Connection Types

(Image credit: Wanwire)

Privacy and encryption

12VPX offers a number of different connection types depending on the content you’re trying to access and your physical location. These include WEB which is the default, WEB and GMAIL, WEB for China, WEB and GMAIL for China, OpenVPN w/Stealth, OpenVPN TCP w/Stealth and Shadowsocks. 

Essentially the service’s WEB connection and WEB for China make traffic sent over the VPN appear as if you were browsing the web normally. 12VPX’s Shadowsocks connection on the other hand, aims to accomplish the same thing but tries to be unidentifiable which makes it harder for sites to automatically block your connection. When it comes to protocol support, the service supports OpenVPN using the TCP and UDP protocol though there are guides available on its site to use WireGuard.  

Kill Switch

(Image credit: Wanwire)

In a document on its site explaining the types of encryption its service uses, 12VPX explains that the WEB method in its VPNGUI app for Windows and Mac defaults to ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA while its OpenVPN method uses AES-256 bit encryption for the data channel and ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384 for the control panel. There is a kill switch to secure your data if your VPN connection suddenly drops but it is only available when using OpenVPN.

12VPX provides more details on the data and logs it keeps on users in its privacy policy. For starters, your email address and other information used to process your payment is “kept for a minimum of 7 years and available to our tax accountants, as is required by Hong Kong law”. If you’re using 12VPX’s VPNGUI for Windows or Mac, the client allows users to optionally share their app log data with the company and these logs are kept for up to 90 days. It’s worth noting that while sharing these logs is optional, this setting is checked by default when you start the app for the first time.

Support

12VPX offers support for Windows, macOS, Linux, ChromeOS, Android, iOS, browsers and even routers. However, the company only provides native clients for Windows and Mac. This means that you’ll need to follow one of its setup guides if you want to use 12VPX on your mobile or other devices.

Setup

(Image credit: Wanwire)

After signing up for the service, you’ll be redirected to 12VPX’s web dashboard where you’ll be able to download its native clients, find links to its browser extensions and read through its setup guides. 

If you run into any problems downloading its clients or setting up its VPN service, 12VPX can be contacted by email directly and the company says that it will respond as soon as possible. Alternatively, users with an active VPN subscription, can log on to its web dashboard and click on the Support button to send a message. While 12VPX doesn't offer phone support, the company says on its support page that users can leave a message for its support engineers via the telephone.

We sent 12VPX an email asking a question and promptly received an automatic reply that our email had been received and that someone would get back to us within 48 hours. We would like to see the company implement a live chat feature on its website in the future but our dealings with its support staff were quite positive.

Locations

(Image credit: Wanwire)

Speed and experience

To test the performance of 12VPX, we ran some speed tests using our 500Mbps connection and connected to the closest US servers in New York and Miami. In these tests we saw speeds between 300-350Mbps which is really good. We also saw similar speeds when connecting to servers in the UK and other parts of Europe. However, when we ran the tests while connected to servers in Asia our speeds dropped significantly, falling to 26.2Mbps in Seoul and 72Mbps in Tokyo. One other peculiar thing we noticed while running our speed tests was that 12VPX’s New York 1 server was actually located in Secaucus, New Jersey. However, the other servers we tried were all in the locations they should be which was reassuring.

Downloading and installing 12VPX’s VPNGUI software was simple and straightforward and it took very little time to establish a connection. To finish our performance tests, we checked for DNS leaks on IPLeak, DNSLeakTest and DoILeak. We found no DNS leaks or WebRTC leaks in any of these tests and our actual IP address was never exposed online.

Final verdict

12VPX provides users with a VPN service that is fast, free of restrictions and accommodating for users living in China. The company’s setup guides are detailed and the service works on a large number of devices. We would like to see Wanwire develop its VPNGUI for mobile so that Android and iOS users can just download an app instead of having to set up the service manually. 12VPX performed well in our experience and gave us excellent download speeds but the lack of native mobile apps could be a deal breaker for some.

If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to a VPN that also works in China, we recommend checking out ExpressVPN instead.