Country of incorporation:
IVPN is a pretty old online security provider founded in 2009 in Gibraltar. Its full name is Privatus Limited (which sounds like a Harry Potter spell), and it has a very good reputation on the web. Supposedly, it’s a very secure and privacy-oriented VPN.
We’ll see about that later on. Many VPNs promise to keep your confidential data safe but they’ll sell it to the highest bidder behind your back. The internet is filled with such scamming companies.
Let’s talk about the most important features that an online security provider should excel in and see if IVPN rises to the challenge.
While solid encryption and complex security protocols are indeed the very backbones of any good VPN, its performance is also quite essential. This is to say, the speed of its servers directly impacts the quality of its services.
And IVPN is a bit difficult to define in this case because it has very different scores depending on the servers.
For example, the US server had the following results:
- Ping – 178 ms
- Download speed – 32.20 Mbps
- Upload speed – 18.66 Mbps
The Netherlands server looked like this:
- Ping – 38 ms
- Download speed – 63.89 Mbps
- Upload speed – 17.66 Mbps
And the Hong Kong server had some of the worst results I’ve ever seen:
- Ping – 341 ms
- Download speed – 17.66 Mbps
- Upload speed – 0.94 Mbps
While the results are relatively decent for the most part, the Hong Kong server could easily give you some form of cancer. I don’t even know how a VPN’s server can go so low. I honestly suspect it’s being run from a cave by a pack of almost-extinct humanoid primates.
However, the vast majority of users have said that the European servers are somewhat better and that there were no fluctuations or sudden interruptions either.
But, apparently, you can’t use Netflix with IVPN. At least, the following servers won’t be of any help in this sense:
- The US – New York
- The US – California
- The UK
- Hong Kong
Honestly, I’m not surprised that the Hong Kong server isn’t able to connect to Netflix. From the speed results, it seems as though it could barely load up the Google front page, let alone stream any video content.
If you’re an avid Netflix fan, then I suggest looking towards NordVPN. This Panama-based VPN is among the very few online security providers that still provide access to the popular streaming website.
IVPN has 57 servers in 27 countries. They are strategically placed in Europe, Canada, the US, and Hong Kong.
If you’re familiar with the other premium VPNs on the market, the world-leading online security providers, then you know this is an extremely low number, far from being satisfactory.
If you want a more expansive coverage and a much greater choice when seeking to access geo-blocked content or access the internet from hard-to-reach locations, then set your sights far away from IVPN.
As I said earlier, there are many servers that don’t work with Netflix no matter what you do. Instead, the streaming website will immediately notice you’re using a VPN and restrict further access.
The privacy and security chapter, this is where IVPN gets to flash his muscles and impress the ladies. The official statement is enough to get you wet in an instant.
IVPN stops the snooping so you can connect to the Internet and browse privately. Moreover, they’re saying they don’t require any personal identifying information to signup.
However, this is still far from enough. We’re going to need to take a closer look at their encryption protocols, whether they allow torrenting, and most importantly if they keep any sort of logs.
The company enforces the so-called paranoid encryption. It’s based on the AES-256 cipher combined with the RSA-4096 handshake and HMAC SHA-1 authentication. Moreover, it also has the DHE perfect forward secrecy which generates a new encryption key every single hour.
If you know even the most basic things about online security, then you also know that this paranoid encryption is state-of-the-art. It can also be called military-grade, and even if it’s not as good as NordVPN’s, it comes infinitely close.
No one was able to brute-force crack it, and there were plenty of attempts.
For the connection protocols, IVPN uses OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec.
With regard to its jurisdiction, the mother company is based in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory. You’ll be glad to know that it features absolutely no data retention laws. This allows it to maintain a true no-logging policy.
However, it’s a matter of debate and uncertainty whether Gibraltar falls under the jurisdiction of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. The UK doesn’t have any influence on the internal affairs of the country, but it still falls under its sovereignty.
Also, torrenting is indeed allowed on all of IVPN’s servers. And looking at the general situation of the servers themselves, the performance seems to be enough to make torrenting liable as well.
Concerning the logging policy, IVPN clearly states that it retains absolutely no logs or data from its users. However, many online security providers say the same thing, and then they double-cross you when you’re not looking.
However, after a little digging around, it seems as though the privacy and no-logging policy are crystal-clear, with no confusions or double meanings. At least I can’t interpret it any other way when they say that We do not store any connection logs whatsoever. In addition, we do not log bandwidth usage, session data or requests to our DNS servers.
The only thing they do keep is your username, password, and payment information. And these are retained on their encrypted servers. This type of information is pretty basic, to be honest, and it poses absolutely no risk to your personal integrity.
Ease of Use
As for the general overview of the client itself, it takes only a few minutes to download. Once you’ve finished, select the device type, and the following window will appear.
Enter in your username and password and you can start using the service.
From the list at the top of the software, choose a server to connect to.
When you manage to connect to the server, IVPN will notify you automatically, and it will also start tracking the duration of your connection.
As you can see, you can disconnect from the server at any time, and also turn off the IVPN Firewall. But it will automatically turn off once you disconnect from the server, so you don’t have to worry.
In the settings menu, you can, well, work your way around the settings, and choose your preferences.
The interface itself is very minimalistic and intuitive, giving you information about status, connection duration, entry and exit servers, and your client/server IP address. It’s perfectly suited for VPN beginners and novices.
The firewall that I talked about earlier is the substitute for the kill-switch that other VPNs have. It also protects against any and all DNS leaks. Moreover, you can leave the firewall on even when you’re not using the VPN.
This is extremely helpful because it will offer you protection if you somehow connect to the internet without turning on the VPN.
As for compatibility, IVPN is available on:
- NAS and DD-WRT routers
Overall, IVPN is relatively easy to use, and I would rank it in the top 10 VPNs on the market. But it’s nothing spectacular or astounding, just the clarity and simplicity you would expect from a paid service.
The official website features a live chat customer support. To access it, look towards the bottom-right corner of the screen, and you’ll see the online support section.
Once you do that, a window should pop up where you can type out your message. You’ll also see the staff member’s name and email.
The replies are very fast, minutes apart, and so this is a very swift and prompt customer support we’re talking about here. Unfortunately, it’s not available 24/7 but during the normal working hours only.
Moreover, the website has plenty of FAQ articles and guides with plenty of information and how-to tutorials if you’re confused about any of their features.
The pricing options are as follows:
- $15.00 per month for a one-month plan, which comes around at $180 per year. This plan is good for testing the terrain but if you’re planning to use their services for a longer period of time, I suggest going for longer subscriptions, as you’ll save money
- $13.33 per month for a 3-month plan which comes out as $160 per year
- No 6-month subscription plan exists so far, unfortunately
- $8.33 per month for a one-year plan – $100 per year. Out of all others, this is by far the best-priced plan
- Again, there is no 2-year plan available
You’ll also benefit from a 3-day free trial period and a 7-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with their services in any way. Moreover, you have access to 5 simultaneous connections regardless of your chosen subscription.
There are plenty of payment methods to choose from:
- Credit and debit cards
- No American Express or other prepaid cards are supported
The prices are a little too steep when compared to plenty other premium VPNs out there that have almost the same degree of quality and professionalism.
Let’s do an overview of all the advantages and disadvantages of IVPN:
- Good download speed. Except if you’re using the Hong Kong server. Don’t use the Hong Kong server, ever.
- Very good encryption
- Good customer support but they’d surely need to make it 24/7
- Torrenting is allowed
- Doesn’t work with Netflix
- If I forgot to mention, the Hong Kong server is trash
- Extremely few servers that don’t give you many options
- Quite pricey
- Gibraltar is under the jurisdiction of the UK, so we don’t know if they can be forced to hand over any data
While IVPN is good, it’s not that good to recommend it wholeheartedly. There are many other VPNs out there that do a much better job overall, and they have lower prices.
Take NordVPN, for example. Take a look at the prices, and you’ll see what I’m talking about:
- $11.95 per month for a one-month plan as opposed to $15.00 per month
- $5.75 per month for a one-year plan, when IVPN charges $8.33 per month
- 30-day money-back guarantee as opposed to the 7-day one that IVPN offers
Moreover, NordVPN is miles ahead of IVPN in pretty much all other aspects. It has true military-grade encryption that’s literally unbreakable, it offers access to Netflix, even the US ones, the speeds are lightning-fast, and the 24/7 customer support is extremely professional and responsive.
There is absolutely no reason why you would choose IVPN over NordVPN if you value your money and time, and also if you want to better protect your service with a high-quality online security provider.
IVPNis extremely fast, simple and private: a truly standout VPNGo to NordVPN Instead