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Ivacy VPN has a reputation for being the cheapest great VPN available. With the VPN industry prices going up and pricing plans shifting towards shorter-term deals, I’ve decided to find out whether this provider could be an alternative with the best bang-for-the-buck ratio.
To do so, I had to answer the following questions first: is Ivacy VPN safe to use? Can you stream Netflix with it? Does Ivacy VPN allow torrenting? And finally, does it really offer enough features to be considered among the best VPN providers?
Hopefully, my Ivacy VPN review will answer these and other questions, helping you to decide if this service suits your needs.
Security and privacy features
Not only Ivacy VPN is safe to use, it also makes your whole online experience secure and private. To protect the users and their anonymity, VPN services must have a bunch of features, and Ivacy happens to offer an almost full package. In this section, I’ll discuss it in detail, including encryption, protocols, kill switch, leak protection, and more.
Encryption and tunneling protocols
Ivacy VPN uses bank-grade encryption which is almost indecipherable. This means that your data is as safe as it can be even if someone intercepts your connection. Breaking such encryption would take billions of years, which usually discourages an attacker from even trying to do so.
When it comes to tunneling protocols, Ivacy VPN uses:
- OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
While most Ivacy users will be happy with either OpenVPN or IKEv2, some might be eager to try a less secure but faster L2TP option for certain activities or platforms that don’t support the other tw protocols. Unfortunately, one of those is the Mac app of Ivacy for which L2TP is the only protocol available. At least you can configure IKEv2 manually, along with the outdated PPTP.
All in all, IvacyVPN is easily amongst the top providers in terms of encryption and tunneling protocols, as long as we speak about Windows.
As you can see in the image above, Ivacy’s kill switch is called Internet Kill Switch (IKS) and can be toggled from the Settings menu. Disabled by default, the kill switch should be turned on to enable maximum protection in case of a VPN connection failure. Otherwise, you risk exposing your real IP address and location, which is probably one of the top reasons why you’ve decided to use a VPN in the first place.
Unfortunately, Ivacy VPN for Mac and iOS doesn’t have a kill switch. While Apple products are considered somewhat safer compared to Windows and Android, you’ll be putting your anonymity at risk without this important feature. Therefore I can’t recommend Ivacy VPN for Mac and iOS if you’re planning to do anything sensitive.
During my Windows and Android tests, I haven’t experienced any issues with the Ivacy VPN kill switch. It worked every time, disabling my internet connection just like a father disables wifi for his kid who’s yet to finish doing homework.
No IPv6, DNS, or WebRTC leaks
I was happy to learn that Ivacy VPN has no leaks. This means that your identity is safe while you’re connected to one of its servers.
Upon testing, I checked for IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, failing to find any. The image shows the same IP address that was assigned to me by my Ivacy VPN client.
The three crucial security features that protect from leaks are the internet kill switch, secure DNS, and the IPv6 leak protection. However, the former is not available for macOS and iOS users, leaving their identities more vulnerable.
While some older reviews may claim that the Ivacy Chrome extension had leaking issues, the Chrome extension is indeed equipped with its own advanced WebRTC protection feature.
Five Eyes-friendly location: Singapore
Ivacy VPN is owned by Gaditek, a Pakistani company that’s registered in Singapore and also offers two more services in PureVPN and Unblock. That causes some concerns as this country has a friendly relationship with the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
However, this shouldn’t be of concern to you if you’re not planning on doing something sensitive, like infringing copyright laws or doing some serious anti-governmental action.
In any case, no third-party will be able to obtain any information about you if your VPN doesn’t have it. Let’s see if that’s the case with Ivacy.
We strictly do not log or monitor, online browsing activities, connection logs, VPN IPs assigned, original IP addresses, browsing history, outgoing traffic, connection times, data you have accessed and/or DNS queries generated by your end. We have no information that could associate specific activities for specific users.
This is how “no logs” should work.
You can clearly see that Ivacy keeps no usage and no connection logs. However, your name, email address, and payment method you used to purchase a plan are collected.
In short, your identity and physical location can never be linked to any VPN traffic – even if the authorities were to demand logs. And since Ivacy VPN supports anonymous payment options, using a throwaway email enables you to go full incognito.
Other technical features
Ivacy was the first VPN service to offer the Split Tunneling feature. With split tunneling, you can decide what traffic to send through your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or a protected VPN tunnel.
Another great feature, especially for gamers, is DDoS attack protection. DDoS attacks can disrupt your internet connection and be a real nuisance so knowing that you’re safe from them really puts your mind at ease.
Finally, I want to mention Secure Downloading, which is a real-time threat detection technology. Using it, Ivacy client will scan your data that’s being downloaded and remove any suspicious malware before it can infect your device.
While all three features mentioned above are nice, I do miss something extra, like Tor over VPN or multi-hop. These could provide an additional protective layer for anyone who needs it.
Speed: just how fast Ivacy is?
Our speed tests show Ivacy to be relatively fast. The speeds are good enough for seamless streaming on video platforms as well. With this provider, two things are certain – it’s never the fastest but always among the fastest VPNs.
So, let’s see the numbers. Our baseline speeds right before connecting to Ivacy VPN from Europe were as follows:
Baseline, without a VPN
- Download: 223 Mbps
- Upload: 212 Mbps
- Ping: 3 ms
These were the results of our VPN speed tests using OpenVPN over UDP:
- Download: 140 Mbps (37% drop-off)
- Upload: 4 Mbps (98% drop-off)
- Ping: 57 ms
- Download: 54 Mbps (76% drop-off)
- Upload: 80 Mbps (62% drop-off)
- Ping: 165 ms
- Download: 57 Mbps (74% drop-off)
- Upload: 136 Mbps (36% drop-off)
- Ping: 305 ms
Please keep in mind that while Ivacy may have shown relatively fast speeds for us (if we don’t mind the upload inconsistencies), your experience may prove otherwise due to another location and ISP.
With 1000+ servers in 50+ countries, this provider offers decent global coverage, yet it cannot always compare with the competitors that boast five times more servers and a twice as long country list.
Does Ivacy VPN support my device?
It probably does – Ivacy VPN has apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, along with Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. Also, there are detailed guides on the website for configuring Ivacy on other supported platforms, such as smart TVs, Fire Stick, game consoles, or routers.
You’re allowed to use 5 different devices simultaneously with one Ivacy account. Even though this number is on the lower end among premium VPNs, you will still probably be able to share Ivacy with your whole family.
After using the service for a while, I can say that Ivacy VPN is ideal both for beginners and intermediate VPN users. Only those with years of experience might want an app with more freedom and more options for customization.
Ivacy VPN desktop apps: Windows, Linux, and macOS
The difference between the Windows and macOS versions of the Ivacy client is the number of options and features, which make the latter app less secure. Mac users will find the protocol selection, the kill switch, multiport, and split tunneling absent from the Settings menu. If that wasn’t enough, the protocol for macOS is the less secure L2TP.
Interestingly, you can run Ivacy without logging in. The app will only ask you to log in when you try to connect to a server.
Connecting to an automatic or optimal server is just a click away on the Smart Connect screen. All you need to do is click the Power button.
If you’d prefer a certain server, click the drop-down menu for more locations.
The Linux app is user-friendly, so even less tech-savvy users should have no problem with it. You can also configure Ivacy VPN manually on your Linux Mint, Debian, or Ubuntu. However, the latter supports the outdated PPTP protocol only.
Ivacy VPN mobile apps: Android and iOS
Both mobile apps of Ivacy resemble sleekier versions of their desktop counterparts that are as easy to use and have a nearly identical package of features.
The biggest difference between the Android and iOS app is security – the iOS version doesn’t have a kill switch. As for the tunneling protocols, Ivacy for iOS offers to choose between the IKEv2 and IPSec tunneling protocols. In the meantime, Android users will have OpenVPN at their service.
However, multiport and split tunneling features are absent from the iOS version and some users will surely miss them. The only thing that’s unavailable in Ivacy for Android is Manual Dialing. It allows entering your desired server’s hostname and connect to no other but it. This feature is handy for users with dedicated IPs and in cases of auto-connection failure.
Ivacy VPN for web browsers: Chrome and Firefox
Ivacy VPN has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. They can be downloaded from Chrome Web Store and Firefox browser Add-ons sites. The creators themselves stress the extension’s ability to quickly provide access to Netflix and many other streaming options by clicking Purposes > Streaming.
When it comes to customization, Ivacy extension only offers to turn WebRTC leak protection on or off. What I missed was some sort of ad and malware blocker to catch up with the top competitors.
Other platforms and Ivacy VPN
Ivacy VPN has an app for Android TV, but its free proxy version will get you nowhere – you’ll need a full VPN to access streaming platforms. The same goes for the FireStick TV app. Luckily, Ivacy VPN has a Kodi add-on that works on most devices.
You can also set up Ivacy VPN on a number of devices, including Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, Raspberry Pi, and routers.
Speaking of the routers, their dedicated setup page gave a 404 error and separate articles were at least three years old, talking about PPTP setup, with DD-WRT being the sole exception. After talking to the customer support, it turned out that Ivacy VPN supports more routers than advertised on the website, including Tomato and pfSense, but for some reason, they still lack setup guides.
Netflix and other streaming platforms
You can use Ivacy VPN for Netflix US (but no other libraries) and many more media streaming services, including ESPN US, Spotify, Hulu, Sky, Amazon Prime US, and BBC iPlayer. There are dedicated streaming servers for each one of them, so everything ran smoothly during my tests.
For those looking how to watch Netflix US with Ivacy VPN, here’s a quick guide: choose and connect to a dedicated server by opening the Menu on the left and going to the Streaming tab. If you’re using a browser extension, click Purposes and Start streaming.
The dedicated Netflix US streaming server proved to be fast. This is what the Netflix speed test (fast.com) showed:
60 Mbps is more than enough for seamless 4K streaming. I was quite satisfied with Ivacy on this front, but not about the fact that on their website they advertise unblocking “7 major Netflix regions” right below their pricing plans, which turned out to be quite the opposite.
Ivacy VPN also has a dedicated add-on for Kodi. You’ll find detailed setup guides on their website on how to install Kodi on different devices and how to install Ivacy VPN on Kodi.
Does IvacyVPN support torrenting?
Ivacy VPN supports torrenting and is indeed a good choice for it, offering optimized P2P servers in 50+ countries. This provider is secure enough, with built-in virus and malware protection, provided you use a client with a kill switch. Also, Ivacy VPN collects no usage or connection logs, meaning there’s nothing to hand over to law enforcement.
The speeds are also good – it’s not by mistake that Ivacy VPN is among the fastest VPN services.
Some subscribers might miss a free SOCKS5 proxy, but Ivacy’s split tunneling feature is a worthy alternative, allowing to protect only your P2P traffic. What’s more, it also helps you save bandwidth when needed.
Does Ivacy VPN work in China?
Yes, Ivacy VPN works in China and other countries with restricted internet access. You can use it to browse censored and geo-restricted pages, stream videos, play online games, and whatever else you want to do on the internet.
Keep in mind though that using Ivacy VPN in China requires manual configuration. But don’t worry, the configuration steps are quite straightforward for all clients. You can always contact their 24/7 support team to help you out with the process.
Support: live chat, email, and knowledge base
If you visit the Support Center page on the website or choose the Help menu in the Ivacy VPN app, you’ll find:
- 24/7 live chat
- 24/7 support ticket system
- Quick-Start setup guides
- A good knowledge base
- An extensive FAQ section
You can access the 24/7 live chat window through the official website if you click the hovering Chat button or Chat now window header in the bottom right corner of your screen.
While Ivacy has a good knowledge base and an extensive FAQ, there still are some glaring issues, such as the lack of router setup guides, which is one of the more popular things that new clients search for.
Pricing: any cheaper AND better VPNs than Ivacy?
Without a doubt, Ivacy VPN offers some of the best prices on the market right now. When writing this Ivacy VPN review update, I found the following pricing plans with 5 simultaneous connections allowed (10 devices cost a bit more):
- 1 month – $7.50/month
- 6 months – $4.33/month
- 1 year – $3.50/month
- 2 years – $2.25/month
- 5 years – $1.50/month
The extra 5-year plan comes as a pop-up a few seconds after you load the Pricing page:
Sadly, Mac and iOS apps suffer from the lack of a kill switch. Ivacy VPN has no free version but there’s a 1-day free trial available.
Ivacy has the 30-day money-back guarantee (7 days for the 1-month plan), but you should read the Refund Policy very carefully, though. I want to stress that refund is not possible if you pay using BitPay or Paymentwall.
Speaking of payment methods, Ivacy VPN offers plenty: credit card, PayPal, BitPay, AliPay, Perfect Money, Paymentwall, and loads of cryptocurrencies. It’s great to see this VPN providing anonymous payment options, which adds yet another layer of security.
You can also select optional add-ons, such as Port Forwarding for $1.00/month and a Dedicated IP for $1.99/month.
Ivacy VPN has a hidden free trial
Ivacy VPN also has a hidden 3-day trial, but it’s not advertised. You need to contact live chat support to get the link and information. Or, you can also find it through a Google search.
You’re eligible for this 3-day trial only if you pay the required $2.50. Read the small print though – you won’t be able to get a refund at all.
On the bright side, there are no bandwidth, speed, or any other restrictions to the 3-day trial version.
When you shouldn’t buy Ivacy VPN
There are only two scenarios when you shouldn’t buy Ivacy VPN. One – you’re a Mac user. Two – you have an iPhone.
The reasoning behind this is the absence of a protocol other than L2TP on Mac and the lack of a kill switch for both Apple products. While you can still find providers that offer no such protection for iOS, leaving macOS users without a kill switch and IKEv2 is unacceptable.
If I was hard-pressed for another reason to stay away from Ivacy VPN, that would be the lack of available Netflix libraries. I probably wouldn’t be writing this if they didn’t boast about unblocking 7 different libraries on their website and it didn’t turn out to be untrue, at least without a dedicated IP.
Despite these cons, Ivacy VPN certainly has good security and privacy features, including split tunneling, leak protection, and a no-logs policy. It also generally has fast speeds, unblocks geo-restricted websites, and allows torrenting. If you encounter any issues, you can always turn to the 24/7 live chat support for help.
Because of the generous pricing, a bouquet of features and ease of use, Ivacy VPN is a great choice for beginners and intermediate VPN users.