Ivacy VPN Overview
Ivacy VPN is a VPN service which is registered in Singapore. It has been introducing innovations in the VPN industry since it started operating in 2007. It was the first to offer split tunneling. It is also one of the few which offer purpose-based server recommendations.
The VPN service is considered one of the best in the world because of its innovative offerings. This Ivacy VPN review takes a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the service for readers to decide whether it fits their needs.
Ivacy VPN Pros
Ivacy VPN is noted for its innovation. It was the first VPN service to offer split tunneling, where data can be sent through both the ISP server or at the VPN server. This technology also allows a user to decide whether to send data in the clear or via the secure encrypted VPN tunnel.
Security and Privacy
VPN provides a service where a customer’s data is encrypted the moment it is sent from his computer and then is decrypted at the VPN server.
When it leaves the VPN server, there is no way that any snooper would know which computer is accessing what information. All the internet traffic passing through the server is anonymized and has the VPN IP address instead of the client IP address.
Ivacy VPN uses the latest encryption technology and the most secure protocols. The service is on par with the rest of the world.
The main draw of a VPN is the security afforded by a private tunnel. The data is secure from one end of the tunnel to the server. Individuals have the same level of private communication as companies.
This protects the individual against snooping, spying, and identity theft. It also ensures that financial information like credit cards, purchases, and banking transactions are secure from anyone who wants to steal this data.
Ivacy VPN is one of the least expensive VPNs on the market today. It not only offers some of the lowest-priced VPN services, but the clients are also protected against any price increase.
When a customer buys a plan, the subscription payments will stay the same for succeeding renewals. This is a future saving for those who wish to avail of the Ivacy VPN service for a long time to come.
Ivacy VPN Cons
Lack of Transparency
Privacy is secretive about its management structure and ownership. A VPN service is a matter of trust. A customer would want to know who they are giving their private information to.
Instead, there is no mention of who or what owns the Ivacy. Unfortunately, there is a trend in VPN companies to keep their management and ownership structure secret.
Number of Servers
It has a thousand servers in 100 countries. This is a relatively small number compared with other VPN companies. Users would want to have a larger number of servers in more server locations.
This would help to increase the flexibility of the network in terms of servers in use. At the same time, it would also allow users to have more choices in locations.
Use of Virtual Server Locations
Ivacy uses both actual server locations and virtual server locations. It means that some servers show a different location than their actual physical location. This is done to minimize the cost of maintaining servers in another physical location. They don’t need to deploy and pay for server space in other countries.
Ivacy VPN Features
Ivacy uses multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSEC, and IKEV. This helps to provide maximum protection for users.
It uses secure military-grade 256-bit encryption. This is the highest-level encryption currently available. Data is encrypted from the client computer to the VPN server. Snoopers and hackers would not be able to decrypt or otherwise read the information being sent on the internet.
Public Wi-Fi Security
While accessing the internet from any public location, turn on Ivacy VPN for secure traffic in accessing websites, or when using passwords or financial information. Hackers can deploy malware without the user knowing.
With Ivacy VPN, the client device is secure and hackers cannot attach themselves to any data stream.
No Logs Policy
Ivacy VPN only notes the times that a user logs in using the data for monitoring the VPN performance. The only information about the user that Ivacy keeps is the username, email address used to subscribe and the login times.
Up to 5 Simultaneous Devices
Up to 5 devices can log in at the same time for each account. It is not uncommon for a single user to have multiple devices running at the same time.
These would include the desktop or laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone. There is no need to logout one device for another device to use the VPN.
Smart Purpose Selection
Privacy features Purpose Selection as part of its menu. The user chooses the purpose of the VPN connection. It can be set to Secure, Download, Streaming, and Unlocking.
Protection from IPv6 Leaks
IPv6 is the next-generation IP addressing system and it runs side by side with IPv4. However, using IPv6 can leak the client’s online IP which would allow third parties a peek at the user’s activities. Ivacy VPN protects against any potential IPv6 leaks.
Domain name service (DNS) is the lookup service for identifying a website’s IP address. ISP’s have a DNS. By default, the computer or online device would use the ISP’s DNS.
This breaks the security for internet traffic. Instead, a client’s DNS requests would be sent to the VPN server preventing any information to be sent to the ISP.
A distributed denial-of-service attack can be prevented with the use of Ivacy VPN. With IP masking, any attempts to flood and drown a website or an IP address with a DDoS gets foiled every time. Without knowing the client’s real IP address, the attack would be blocked at the VPN services.
Freedom to Access the Internet
There are websites which only allow users from a specific location. Connecting to a server among the countries allowed to access a website is a VPN workaround to geo-restrictions. Geo-restricted sites include streaming services and gaming sites.
Some ISPs prioritize data traffic from important big clients, this results in other data being relegated as second class traffic. For regular customers, this leaves their streaming service buffering while waiting for the rest of the media.
With anonymized data via Ivacy VPN, ISPs don’t know where the internet data comes from, and cannot decide on the priorities. They can’t throttle the streaming data because the ISP doesn’t know where it came from.
Support for Multiple Operating Systems
Ivacy VPN is one of the few VPN services which support a full range of platforms. The client can use Ivacy VPN with an OS X computer, an iOS iPhone or iPad, Android smartphones, Windows devices, Blackberry devices, Linux computers, Kodi media player, Roku, Smart TV, Raspberry Pi, Xbox, PS4, and routers. Ivacy VPN helps protect these devices from access by unauthorized devices. Ivacy also has extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
Ivacy VPN uses IP masking for the client device. This results in ISP’s not knowing where data is being sent by a computer. Some ISPs use data throttling to control the amount of data being sent to a particular IP address.
With IP masking, the ISP does not have any idea where the data is headed and cannot throttle or limit data to and from the client device.
The customer can sign up for an optional dedicated IP address. This allows the company to use an IP Whitelist. The company can allow the IP addresses within the Whitelist to access internal resources. This adds an extra layer of security for the company knowing that only those in the Whitelist have internal access.
Ivacy VPN was one of the first VPN services which offered split tunneling. The user has a choice of where an app will send data. It can use the VPN service for foreign content while using the WiFi or local LAN for local website access.
Internet Kill Switch
Internet access over public WiFi is not secure, and it sometimes drops. While using the VPN, it also closes the internet access on the client’s device when the VPN service or connection drops.
This ensures that no data will be sent in the clear. The internet service only continues once the VPN is up and running.
Ivacy has 24/7 support on the website. Support tickets can be sent via email, but the primary access is with Live Chat on the website. The customer can also contact support via the contact form on the tech support.
Ivacy VPN Pricing & Plans
There are three basic plans:
1 Month plan – also called the “monthly” is worth $9.95 per month, billed monthly.
1 Year plan – The subscription is billed at $40 per year paid up front. This is equivalent to $3.33 per month.
2 Years – The two-year subscription is billed at $54 paid upfront. This is equivalent to $2.25 per month.
5 Years – For a limited time, get IvacyVPN for 87% OFF. This is equivalent to $1.33 per month.
Ivacy VPN Speed Test
The speed test on the Ivacy servers shows a noticeable speed degradation compared to them using the internet without a VPN. This varies according to the location and the farther away the server is located, the slower it gets.
Connecting to servers in Australia and New Zealand is slow. Connecting to VPN servers in Taiwan is worse as it usually results in a connection time out error message.
However, we noticed that the speed was great if you use the locations based in the North America. Your mileage may vary.
Ivacy VPN Servers
There are more than 2000 Ivacy VPN servers spread out over more than 100 locations in more than 100 countries. The default location is the United States, but you can choose any other server from a dropdown menu.
Ivacy also uses virtual server locations for about 25 servers. This means that the servers are located in a different location, instead of where they are reported to be. This does not interfere with the way the server works. It is also getting to be a common practice among VPN companies.
Does Ivacy VPN Work With Netflix?
Yes, it works with Netflix but not always. Users can be outside of the United States or their home countries and they can use Ivacy VPN to access Netflix, as well as other streaming services. The only thing that the user needs to do is to set the VPN server to the streaming location. The streaming service will read the VPN server’s location as the client’s.
However, the problem with Netflix, and with other streaming services is that they block VPNs. Netflix has been actively restricting the use of VPNs to access its US service.
Netflix blocks these IP addresses and the user has to search the VPN server list for one which would allow access to Netflix. The user has to go through the various servers, checking out the servers one by one until access is enabled. Some users are not able to access Netflix, and some cannot.
It may be necessary to contact support for assistance in connecting to Netflix.
Ivacy VPN Privacy & Logs
According to Ivacy VPN, they do not keep user logs. However, it keeps records of the number of times a user logs in to the service. Logs are files that keep a record of the websites or URLs that a user accesses. VPN services normally do not keep logs, unless it is mandated by law. Singapore law does not require Ivacy to keep logs.
Without the logs, the only information that the server keeps is the list of clients, in the form of email addresses. This is the only information that is required from users to subscribe to the service.
Singapore is not a member of the SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR), it does not share spy on the traffic going through the servers. The SSEUR is also called the “Fourteen Eyes” which share intelligence information among the member countries and which uses signal intelligence for its data gathering.
Part of the data gathering is by spying on SMS and public internet traffic. Since Singapore is not part of the data gathering of SSEUR (“Fourteen Eyes”, as well as “Nine Eyes” and “Five Eyes”), the data through Ivacy VPN servers are secure from any legal request for access.
Ivacy provides 24/7 customer support over different media. It has live chat via the website, which is the primary support it provides. It also has a contact form on the support page. Ivacy also provides support via Facebook messaging, and email. The support is prompt and professional.
Ivacy Refund Policy
Ivacy has a subscription refund policy that is clear, concise and conditional on several things. The refund is only allowed if it is applied within 30 days of the subscription, or 7 days for the monthly plan. The refund is allowed only for new subscriptions. Refund conditions include:
Refund claim within 30 days of start of subscription.
It is not a “monthly account”. The one month plan has a 7-day money-back guarantee.
The account is active and has yet been suspended for a breach of any clause in the terms of service.
- No previous refund has been applied for the subscription.
- The payment was not in Bitcoin, BitPay, cryptocurrency nor in Payment Wall.
Full refund is applied if the subscription complied with the above requirements. A refund request is included when canceling the subscription. To cancel, the subscriber-only needs to send an email to [email protected]
Is Ivacy VPN Recommended?
Yes, Ivacy VPN is recommended. Technically, the service is secure and has plenty of advanced features. It is relatively cheap and provides the adequate speed. The only point which may give the user pause is the lack of transparency regarding the owners.
There is no mention of any names of the management and owners. Additionally, it is registered in Singapore which has strict censorship rules. If the lack of management and ownership transparency is an issue, then you can pass on Ivacy VPN and try something else.
This Ivacy VPN review is an in-depth look at this service from Singapore. They are fast-growing, innovative, inexpensive, and aims to keep their clients for the long haul.