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IVPN Review

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IVPN, who parents company is Privatus Limited, was founded in 2009 in Gibraltar. They highly emphasise their dedication to privacy and security, and claim to not log any of your data. Their website is sharply designed, easy to navigate, and makes them look quite professional.

Two unique quirks make IVPN private in ways that other VPNs are not. First, they don’t require any personal information to sign up for their service, which can be a big help for those who truly want anonymity online. Second, their location in Gibraltar means that they are under the 2004 Data Protection act, which states that businesses must respect user data, and also allows people to request the data which is being collected about them.

We’re not going to say that IVPN reviews poorly, but they do come across as average despite these two quirks. Their server network is very limited, and only really covers North America (focusing heavily on the USA) and Europe. This makes it less than ideal for geo-unblocking, or finding a local server if you’re not from these areas. They have also been found to have speed issues, especially outside of the USA and Europe. If they fix these issues they could see themselves ranked highly in our list of the Top 10 VPN providers.

Features

IVPN has some decent features for a smaller provider, which we believe could help them grow:

  • Multi-hop VPN service, which further obscures a user’s location
  • IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection
  • Support for Windows, Mac, iOD, Android, Linux, Routers, and NAS
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • An integrated firewall/kill switch
  • OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEv2 support
  • AES-256 encryption, 4096-bit RSA keys
  • Torrent support

These are the features which are usually associated with larger providers, so it’s possible that they could grow at some point soon. It’s also impressive that they support NAS, Linux, and routers. Their allowance of torrents further indicates that they are truly a private VPN with no restrictions.

Servers & countries

This is the area where IVPN really needs to improve if they want to be competitive with larger providers. They currently only have around 39 servers in 28 countries, with more than their fair share of servers in cities across the USA.

They do cover some of the more desirable countries for geo-blocking, but they lack the numbers of bigger providers who can offer more options to expatriates from anywhere in the world trying to experience their home Internet’s unique content. With one server in Australia, those living down under will want to choose a better VPN for Australia from our list.

Speed & reliability

IVPN have an entre page dedicated solely to their claims for how fast their VPN service is. Their biggest claim is being able to optimize their servers to the point of offering gigabit connections. They claim to do this with ‘enterprise level’ servers which can handle the loads of multiple connections going through heavy encryption. They do this with no speed throttling as well.

Independent testing has shown that their server speeds can be a bit hit or miss. While you’re sure to get decent speeds from VPNs nearby, particularly in the USA and Europe, those who need to connect to a distant VPN are going to be frustrated. Considering that they have 3 servers for all of Asia, none in Africa, and one in all of South America, this could be a very real issue.

Pricing & payments

We have found IVPN to be a bit more expensive than other VPNs, and think they’re currently overpriced for their size:

  • One month: $15 per month, billed monthly
  • Quarterly: $13.33 per month, $40 billed quarterly
  • One year: $8.33 per month, $100 billed yearly

These plans are all far above the costs of those on our cheapest VPN providers list, and even more than the top providers we review. This is an issue which we feel they must address as they just don’t offer the best service around, yet they’re charging more than most providers.

What really go to our attention here was their payment options. You can pay with PayPal, Credit Cards, BitPay (for Bitcoin), and cash. We can only think of one other provider which allows you to pay with cash, which is the most anonymous way to pay for, well, anything.

Support

We were excited when we read on their homepage that they offer 24/7 support, but simply contacting them ourselves proved that this isn’t the case. Their live chat was not available at the time of testing this feature, which was 11:30-11:30am EST on a Thursday, so we sent a message via the live chat box and did not get a reply for several hours. We checked in later in the day and they were available for live chat

IVPN offers the following support options:

  • Setup guides
  • Privacy guides
  • General FAQs, along with billing and troubleshooting FAQs
  • Contact form

Their homepage made some big claims about their support, but we found it to be pretty average when we tested it. We would be more impressed if they lived up to their 24/7 support claim.

Policies & logging

Given the nature of their no logging policy, we gave a read of their Terms of service. Amidst all the standard talk of not using it to hack, infiltrate networks, spam, or distribute viruses, we found this:

  • “You will not use our service for receiving and distributing pirated copyright materials.”

We spoke with their customer support staff once they logged on to the live chat, and they stated that torrenting is only allowed on non-US servers. Given how few servers they have outside of the US, this limits users considerably.

Their privacy policy seeks to address these issues with language which states:

  • There is no traffic, IP address, or DNS logging
  • No connection timestamps are taken
  • No bandwidth logging

They claim that they only log your number of simultaneous connections. We genuinely hope that they were talking about torrenting pirated material in an effort to protect themselves, and that they remain true to strict no-logging.

At the end they state that the only piece of information they store is your email address, which is used for password resets. You can use a temporary email service if you so choose. With a little more work on their server list, we may soon list them on our Top 5 No Log VPNs.

Their refund policy covers the first seven days for full refunds. They go on to state that offering 30 day refunds in the past lead to abuse by those who would be around for 29 days, use a lot of bandwidth, and then get a refund.

Expert recommendation

IVPN doesn’t do anything wrong, they have a good no logging policy and average customer support. We also liked their features and their wide variety of supported operating systems. Paying with cash may be a big push for some users to choose them as this is rare.

However, IVPN is too small and too expensive to be taken seriously amongst the best VPNs in the business. We’ll review them again soon to see if they have grown enough to warrant their price, or have lowered their price slightly. Until then, we recommend reviewing cheaper VPN options which are just as high-quality.

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How Do We Rate VPNs?

Our ratings for ivpn review are based on our professional experience and extensive tests with VPN providers between April 2014 – July 2014, taking into account user feedback and reviews we receive. As a friendly disclosure, some VPN providers do compensate us for customers we refer them, but this in no way effects their ranking on our website, nor our reviews.

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