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 its 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 70+ servers across 20+ countries – you’d expect rather more, even though all of them are bare metal. Our IVPN review tries to determine whether there’s anything to all those positives listed on the IVPN website.
Security and privacy
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.
This service also has IPv6 and DNS leak protection and offers OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard security protocols.
Finally, IVPN offers AntiTracker – their in-house ad and tracker blocker. Its “hardcore mode” can totally shut down all snooping attempts by Google and Facebook.
All in all, we like what this tool has on offer security-wise.
IVPN supports WireGuard
WireGuard could be the new OpenVPN. This 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’s the registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld from Edge Security, an information security research and consulting company of expert hackers.
What makes the IVPN WireGuard support any different than other competitors’? Well, for one, for the IVPN user it’s only one click away – 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.
Does IVPN log your data?
IVPN does not collect or log any personally-identifiable data on their users.
What’s more, IVPN has published an ethics manifesto of sorts – something we haven’t seen among VPN providers thus far. The statement calls for a fair and moral competition that doesn’t use trackers, pixels, surveillance ads, paid reviews or false promises and also encourages to avoid any type of interest conflict. Later, IVPN continues to lead by example and discloses that four of their seven main marketing methods are deemed as not acceptable. It will be interesting to see if this call to moral action will have any impact on other VPN providers.
Speed and 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 in 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 more than 70 servers in 20+ countries. Naturally, these numbers mean that some regions will be underserved and suffer in terms of speed, even though all IVPN’s servers are bare metal. So unless you’re located in North America or Europe, this provider might not be the best fit.
Ease of use and multi-platform support
IBVPN provides 2 or 7 simultaneous connections with a Standard and Pro membership respectively, also giving you apps for these platforms:
This tool can be also configured for Routers, Linus, and NAS. A pre-configured Vilfo router is also available.
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.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
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.
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.
P2P and 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.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
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.
Users of IVPN will find many methods of getting help:
- 24/7 Live chat support
- Email support
- Solid knowledge base
- Good list of FAQs
- Message boards
- Social media
The fastest way to get a hold of the staff at IVPN is through the 24/7 live chat function. 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 two pricing plans to choose from, each available on a monthly or yearly basis:
- Standard Monthly – $6/month
- Standard Annual – $5/month
- Pro Monthly – $10/month
- Pro Annual – $8.33/month
IVPN pricing plans differ in number of simultaneous devices allowed – that’s 2 for Standard, 7 for Pro. Also, Pro user get two extra features – port forwarding and multi-hop.
We believe that the Standard plan should be taken for no longer than a month or two when you know that you won’t miss the above-mentioned Pro features. Speaking of the latter, it’s either the annual plan or nothing, because you can get a much better VPN for a similar price per month. To be honest, even the Pro Annual plan is too pricey.
There is a 3-day trial which in fact is a money-back guarantee. Adding it to the “regular” 7-day refund gives you ten days to think about your relationship with IVPN.
IVPN is 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 online censorship 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! If only it was a bit cheaper…