Last update: 01.22.2019
IVPN is a solid, fast and dependable VPN service that comes with a lot of excellent features, checking all the right boxes.
IVPN starts off great – with an excellent pricing plan and the promise of some secure connectivity. The software comes from Privatus Limited and was created back in 2009, so it’s been around a while.
Things continue to look good when you head to their nice and easy to use website. The company once again extolls their own safety levels, being at pains to point out that there is no need to provide any personally identifiable information during the sign up process – a big plus. They provide a range of security options, reliable security protocols, and encryption. There is a refreshing focus on privacy, as evidenced by the company’s location of Gibraltar.
Other areas that it is proud to boast about include having no leaks, keeping no logs, offering fast servers, and a myriad of other features. However, they do only have 37 servers across 14 countries – you’d expect rather more. Our IVPN review tries to determine whether there’s anything to all those positives listed on the IVPN website.
Is IVPN safe to use?
This tool takes security seriously. All of their connections are encrypted with some of the highest levels of encryption available, which means that all traffic running through their networks is virtually impossible to hack.
The AES-256 encryption with 4096-bit RSA keys is so strong that even governments cannot decrypt it.
IVPN also offers a kill switch, something they claim is one of the most secure around. Kill switch is essential to any VPN service – connections inevitably drop, potentially broadcasting the user’s IP address over the web. A kill switch prevents that by stopping all traffic.
IVPN also has IPv6 and DNS leak protection and offers OpenVPN plus IKEv2/IPSec – both great security protocols. All in all, we like what this tool has on offer security-wise.
Speed & performance
Speed is touted as one of the strong suits here. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a VPN service promising better speeds. However, “promising” is the key word here.
They have done several things to keep their speeds up, including investing into some of the better DNS servers on the market, optimizing their firmware and software for use on their own, native systems. Of course, having server locations all around the world is useful too. However, our tests for this IVPN review have discovered some rather slow download speeds, particularly from the Hong Kong server. Having said that, with a small network they’re bound to be hit and miss, especially compared to some of the top providers. This means that some servers can become overcrowded and thus slow you down.
At the time of writing, IVPN has a total of 38 server locations worldwide. There are 10 located across the United States, from coast to coast, to give users of the service plenty of options when they desire to connect from a specific region or state. There are more than 20 spread throughout Europe, and one ensconced in Hong Kong. In other words, some regions are underserved and will suffer in terms of speed.
How to download and install it
The download and installation process takes just minutes to perform. Heading straight to their homepage is the best way to get the process started – once you’ve navigated the various questions on the required settings, operating systems, and devices being used, you’ll be greeted by a simple download button.
After downloading, launch the executable to get the installation process in motion. This will take you through a series of steps until the installation is complete. To finally get online and secure, all you need to do is enter your username and password (the one you used to create your account in the first place).
How to use IVPN
Using IVPN is incredibly straightforward. Once in the app, you just need to select the server you wish to use. Each of them is clearly labeled with the current speed. Hitting “Connect” gets you online and you’ll be notified upon connection.
You can turn the Firewall on and off yourself if you choose to, but for the most part, it switches off automatically when you disconnect from IVPN servers.
There are plenty of extras in the preferences section, which you can have a look through and include things like having the VPN connect automatically from login, connections to specific servers, port selection, firewall settings, OpenVPN protocol preferences, and more.
In fact, the interface is one of the easier to use out there, putting it high on the list of usability and functionality.
IVPN apps and extensions
For a service that provides 5 connections with each membership, it’s a good thing that there are plenty of client versions to go around.
We haven’t tried all the software for this IVPN review, but they provide quite a few apps for professionals, including ones that work with routers, Linux and NAS. They also provide easy-to-use apps for the everyday user on a variety of platforms. With apps designed for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, just about everyone should be able to enjoy the simple setup and connectivity that comes with them.
IVPN for Netflix
With so many servers in the US, you would imagine it would work for Netflix. Sadly, tests for this IVPN review show that’s not the case. Some users report success with Netflix but this is certainly not a reliable solution – hardly a surprise with their low number of servers.
You won’t be able to use it to watch Netflix content.
What IVPN excels at is providing a set of tools that all work together to keep users safe while online and streaming platforms don’t come into that vision. Netflix has become very savvy at blocking VPNs. In fact, there are really only a few tools out there that will let you view and stream content from Netflix.
The popular streaming service is trying very hard to keep their copyright holders happy, which is why they have gone to such lengths to apply robust VPN blocking measures. If you’re looking for a VPN that can help you gain access to Netflix from a country other than the US, it may be better to look beyond IVPN.
IVPN for torrenting
There are a few things to know before you use this VPN for peer-to-peer sharing.
The first thing to note is that downloading torrents is not illegal, and for that reason, IVPN is happy to allow its users to use torrent clients. Some issues surface, though, due to the fact that users tend to share copyrighted content. Apparently, IVPN gets a lot of legal notices from US lawmakers regarding their policy to allow P2P sharing.
To avoid problems, therefore, the owners of IVPN ask their users to utilize servers that are based outside the US.
Is it good for users in China?
The short answer is that IVPN can be used in China, despite the Great Firewall – though it sometimes requires a bit of a workaround. In general, customers from China can use the VPN service without issue by simply using either a US West Coast server or by employing the multihop feature. The multihop system that this VPN uses enables users to decide which country to send their requests to and which country to receive their information from.
Customers from China can use the VPN service by simply connecting to a US West Coast server or by employing the multihop feature.
In some cases, China’s Great Firewall gets the better of this network. When this happens, users have the opportunity to take their privacy a step further by enabling obfsproxy from either the Windows app or the Mac OSX app. This setting obfuscates all traffic that is going to and coming from IVPN’s servers. In short, it means that the encrypted information is scrambled even further to hide the fact that it has been encrypted by the VPN service. Unfortunately, it is not possible to enable this feature on a smartphone.
IVPN to support WireGuard
WireGuard could be the new OpenVPN. This new open-source application and protocol is a next-generation secure network tunneling solution that’s supposed to replace IPSec and OpenVPN in the future. It is the registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld from Edge Security, an information security research and consulting company of expert hackers.
WireGuard is claimed to be the fastest, most secure, and easiest-to-use network tunnel. However, it’s not a finished product yet. Here’s what the developer team says about this: “WireGuard is not yet complete. You should not rely on this code. It has not undergone proper degrees of security auditing and the protocol is still subject to change.”
Currently, there are available clients on the official WireGuard installation page for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Ubuntu, Linux, Debian, Fedora, and so on.
What makes the IVPN WireGuard support any different than other competitors’? Well, for one, for the IVPN user it’s only one tap or click away. Yes, it’s that simple. No cumbersome manual configuration required. You simply need to select WireGuard as your preferred protocol.
There is, of course, a warning below the WireGuard option explaining that this protocol is still under development and experimental. So it’s not recommended for any critical situation when security is vital.
Although IVPN isn’t one of our favorite VPNs, we surely appreciate the effort to stay up-to-date and innovative.
Users of IVPN will find many methods of getting the help they need, when they need it. Some issues require direct help from a live human while others just need a solid list of FAQs and knowledge bases. Luckily for users, all of these solutions are provided. The fastest way to get a hold of the staff at IVPN is through the live chat function, which is manned 24/7, all year round. We tried the chat for this IVPN review and the experience was overall positive.
Another way to make inquiries is to use the message board on the company’s website, and finally, IVPN operates a lively Twitter account where questions can also be asked. For general topics, it’s a good avenue of inquiry. For very specific guides and walkthroughs, users can find some options right on the website.
There are setup guides for all the available operating systems and apps, there are privacy guides, and there is a long list of frequently asked questions.
There are three tiers of membership that new users can choose from, ranging from monthly to quarterly and then to yearly. The prices are surprisingly high and range from:
- $15/month for the monthly plan
- $13.33/month for the quarterly plan
- $8.33/month for the yearly plan.
Even when users are attracted to the extra savings that an annual membership brings, it can, of course, be difficult to make that kind of long-term arrangement without getting a feel for how the service works.
For that reason, there is both a 3-day trial and a 7-day money-back guarantee (we have, unfortunately, not tested it in our research for this IVPN review) that can help give potential users of the software some peace of mind.
Bottom line of our IVPN review
IVPN is indeed a noteworthy VPN service. While small and low on servers, the VPN boasts some great security credentials and ideals. They are located in a VPN-friendly jurisdiction and don’t keep much in the way of logs.
The service has apps for all the main devices and can help users in many important ways, such as providing security while torrenting or bypassing the online censorship deployed in China. That said, IVPN is not the most versatile service around – it won’t let you stream Netflix US, for example, but it certainly has its place!