Ironsocket is a security-centric VPN service that offers powerful encryption paired with every protocol under the sun to give you a customizable VPN experience like no other. They have a staggering server presence in a huge number of countries, and a comprehensive list of features designed to bring you the security you need from your VPN service.
The question is: do they deliver?
There’s a lot of information to digest on Ironsocket VPN. A lot of dedicated users online swear by their services for a number of uses, from torrenting files to unblocking the Great Firewall. Their encryption levels are solid and transparent, which is always a good sign off-the-hop when it comes to VPNs.
Their speed stats check out, with minimal slowdowns across the board. And they provide a fairly straightforward user experience, from download to install to first connection. The Ironsocket VPN app as a whole is known for its ease of use and effectiveness.
In terms of pricing, Ironsocket VPN has a fairly standard structure and they take all major forms of payment, including some lesser-used ones that may come in handy. Their prices are reasonable and they provide 3+ device connections with all of their plans.
There are some other cool things to take note of when it comes to Ironsocket, which we can go over below. Among some of the other advantages they offer are accessing content from China, global access for Amazon and Hulu, as well as other services.
Is Ironsocket Safe To Use?
Ironsocket Is built to be a robust and versatile VPN service. They use AES 256 bit encryption with SHA 256 and offer their services through every protocol under the sun. They also offer shared IP services for added security.
The protocols and proxy services they offer include:
- HTTP proxy
- SmartDNS proxy
Their encryption and protocols are solid. Their service seems to stand up under scrutiny, as well; performing well when tested for IP leaks, DNS leaks, and WebRTC leaks. None of this information was compromised, showing that Ironsocket’s features are effective for protecting your activity online.
One unfortunate drawback to using Ironsocket is that their service features no kill switch to disable the connection in case of VPN failure. This is a really crucial component of protecting the most sensitive users from having their activity or identity compromised.
As for legal considerations, Ironsocket is based in Hong Kong, a place where VPNs are legal, and there are no extended intelligence alliances in place to share your sensitive data or usage stats with other countries. That being said, Ironsocket has a warning on their website that they will comply with any lawful request for information by the Hong Kong legal authorities.
- Upon visiting the site, the following is recorded:
IP address, browser, OS, time, pages viewed, and how you came to the site.
- When registering, the following is recorded, as well:
Email address, referral, and coupon codes, subscription choices, payment details, and all customer communications
- When using the service, the following is recorded:
Time and date, IP address, a server used, total bytes transferred
Speed and performance
First of all, Ironsocket has 68 servers in 36 countries, allowing you to get optimized servers based on where in the world you are, and where you want to connect from. Our tests for the service return very good speeds with all of their services.
Torrenting, in particular, seems to be quite effective, with Ironsocket having a faithful little following in the P2P file sharing community. Since the security features and extensive location and protocol support are ideal for file sharing, this doesn’t come as too much of a surprise.
How to download and install it
When you head over to the Ironsocket website, you’ll be met with a fairly standard homepage:
The website has a familiar layout if you’ve been to any VPN webpage recently. Links are provided for translating the page, as well as navigating to the different areas to access support, client downloads, and pricing information.
When you navigate to the download page, you’ll be able to download their client to start installing right away.
They have links to download installers for Windows 7 through 10. They also have some important information on their support for iOS, macOS, and Android devices. The installer itself is fairly standard and doesn’t have any sketchy packaged software or stupid mailing list sign-ups or anything like that.
Once you’ve got the client installed, you will have to register an account and pay for at least a month before you’ll be able to log in and start using their services. They do offer a 7-day money-back guarantee if you really want to make sure that their services are right for you before purchasing.
How to use it
For Windows users, the client is fairly straightforward. There is some manual file installation that you will probably need to deal with to configure the client to connect through Ironsocket but the process is quite straightforward. Ironsocket actually provides comprehensive guides for its users on how to get themselves set up, which should help for more inexperienced users to get started on their network.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there’s no native EasyVPNConnect solution available for the iOS, macOS, and Android platforms. This basically just means that you need to go through OpenVPN’s client to connect using those platforms instead of Ironsocket’s EasyVPNConnect client.
This isn’t a huge drawback and is actually kind of promising in terms of future device support expansion.
Apps and extensions
Ironsocket VPN has support for Windows 7 through 10, as well as iOS, macOS, and Android. This is a fairly standard lineup as far as device support goes, and it’s a bit disappointing that Ironsocket isn’t able to bring their security and versatility to more platforms such as routers or Linux.
Still, supporting fewer platforms over an open source client is a huge plus for focus, and this shows through with Ironsocket’s dedication to security and functionality.
Ironsocket and Netflix
Unfortunately, for all the good qualities Ironsocket brings to the table, they aren’t able to unblock Netflix geo-blocking. This is becoming more and more common nowadays, as Netflix gets wise to the various ways in which VPNs sneak through their locking, but a few good VPNs still offer this feature. Ironsocket, unfortunately, is not one of them.
Although not useful for unlocking Netflix, Ironsocket does boast on its website the ability to “unlock global access to Amazon, Hulu, and others”.
Ironsocket and torrenting
Ironsocket makes no explicit mention of file sharing in its terms of service, which is usually a good sign. Significant amounts of user reviews claim that the service is very effective for torrenting. The versatile protocol options, a wide variety of regions, shared IP support, and other features are essentially tailor-made for file sharing.
Another added bonus to keep in mind is the fact that the company doesn’t log specific usage data, and Hong Kong isn’t a member of any sketchy intelligence alliances that might land you in hot water.
Ironsocket and China
Being based in Hong Kong, Ironsocket is in a unique position to provide secure connectivity from behind China’s Great Firewall. User reports online show that the client is actually effective in unblocking many kinds of content from inside China.
The Ironsocket VPN client has support for a wide range of VPN protocols, giving it incomparable versatility when dealing with the sneaky data blockers working for the Chinese government. This is a huge plus for Ironsocket since this means that their robust and versatile network is available to one of the largest digital markets in the world.
Ironsocket offers FAQ pages, blogs, guides, and comprehensive information on their server network on the support section of their website. They also provide some extended support resources for registered members, such as support tickets and a guide to Ironsocket’s VPN channels.
This is a fairly straightforward support setup, with a nice pile of passive support literature. The lack of live chat support is a bit of a letdown, but the service is straightforward enough that support shouldn’t be that much of an issue, even for inexperienced users.
In terms of the actual skills of their customer support team, they seem to be a very competent group, giving prompt responses and good answers to their questions.
The pricing structure for Ironsocket is a bit cheaper than the competition, with nice discounts on their 1-year plan. All of the plans come with a 7-day guarantee, allowing you to cancel the service for a refund if you’re not satisfied.
One big drawback in this department is the lack of a free trial service to test the VPN out for yourself. Having a guarantee is nice for risk mitigation, but it’s kind of a roundabout way to test a service you’re unsure about.
An interesting thing to note about Ironsocket’s pricing is their payment options. They accept any major form of payment, including:
- Anonymous gift cards
This variety of payment options is a nice touch, as it includes some anonymous options that would allow you to pay for their services without compromising your personal information.
The bottom line of Ironsocket VPN review
Ironsocket seems like an effective VPN for a wide variety of uses. Although it can’t break Netflix, it’s effective for accessing content in China, as well as unblocking other streaming services like Hulu worldwide.
Their security features are solid, and they provide all of this in an easy-to-use package. It’s a bit of a shame that there’s no free trial and that some standards like kill switch functionality are surprisingly lacking. That being said, overall, Ironsocket is a an above-average VPN service for the price you end up paying.