IVPN is an internet security company founded back in 2009 at the University of London’s Information Security Group. The company is registered in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and its team includes designers, developers, brand and product designers, who are led by the CEO Nicholas Pestell.
IVPN is devoted to providing net neutrality, security, anonymity and freedom. Its founders strongly believe that internet providers should allow access to all online content and that users have the right to express themselves without worries that they are being watched. That is why over 120,000 people use IVPN on a daily basis.
IVPN has servers in 29 countries which are strategically located to minimize latency, bypass georestriction and improve speed. The majority of servers are placed in the United States, while others are spread across the globe.
Locations include following countries:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
- United States
On IVPN’s website, you can find the list of servers, status and load for every location.
The company also offers a multi-hop feature, which allows you to hop through multiple servers to increase your security. This way you will stay safe even if one of those servers gets compromised.
Without encrypting your online traffic, you will be an easy target for hackers and other malicious online lurkers who want to gain insight into your personal information. On the other hand, if you use VPN service that encrypts your data, even if someone intercepts this information, they will not be able to read it.
IVPN utilizes 256-bit encryption with 4096-bit RSA keys. Available protocols include OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEv2, while PPTP or L2TP protocols are abandoned, which means the apps might not be compatible with older devices.
Kill switch is an essential part of every VPN service that pays attention to their users’ security. This feature disconnects you from the internet in case your connection to the server gets terminated for some reason. That way, your unencrypted data will not leak and will be covered even if something goes wrong.
IVPN is equipped with an integrated firewall that acts as a kill switch. This should not worry you at all, because it is the same thing with a different name.
If you are looking for a VPN service that will keep you safe while torrenting, we have good news. IVPN does allow this type of activity on most of the servers.
The company does not recommend using United States servers for torrenting because the upstream service providers in the U.S. have threatened to cut off the service due to received DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notices.
According to conducted tests, IVPN has not shown any WebRTC or DNS leaks. Also, IP addresses were in the locations the service claimed them to be.
When it comes to speed, it is always the best option to connect to the suggested server. In most cases, it is the nearest, less populated location. Some servers such as the ones in Hong Kong, the U.S. and the U.K. have shown a pretty good connection at 20Mbps, while a few of them were practically unusable at 3Mbps. Therefore, speed-wise, we have a mixed conclusion regarding IVPN.
IVPN offers apps for the following operating systems:
- Mac OS
You can also use the service on your router and NAS (network attached storage).
Setup guides can be found on IVPN’s website in the support section.
Additionally, clients can use the service on five different devices simultaneously, with only one subscription plan. That is convenient if you want to be protected everywhere you go because your mobile devices are covered as well.
Within the “knowledge base” section on the IVPN’s site, you can find setup guides, privacy guides, troubleshooting, frequently asked questions and billing information. If you cannot find the solution to the problem there, you can reach out to the support team by filling in the contact form. Clients can also get in touch with a support desk on Twitter or via live chat on the website, and resolve the issue in real-time.
If you want to activate a free trial, you will have to go to IVPN’s website and click on the Pricing section.
Scroll down and hit the Start Free Trial button.
Register for an account by providing an email address and password.
Select a billing cycle…
… and a payment method
…. and then click the Start Free Trial Now button.
To download the Windows client, go to the Apps section and select a version of the app you want to download.
When a download process is completed, open the wizard and click Next.
Agree to the Terms and Conditions and hit Install.
To complete the installation click Next and Finish.
Your IVPN Windows client is now ready to use. All you have to do is log in with your credentials.
The user interface of the IVPN Windows client is straightforward and easy to use, which makes it ideal for beginners and amateur users.
It contains basic information about your connection including duration, status and server IP address. In the top right corner, you can find a Settings section where you can turn the kill switch on and off. On the homepage, you can select a single or a multi-hop connection.
Security and Privacy
Security is one of the best features IVPN has to offer. It utilizes OpenVPN, along with 256-bit encryption, RSA-4096 handshake and HMAC SHA-1 authentication. The encryption key is being generated every hour. Perfect forward secrecy is also available.
As already mentioned, multi-hop will connect you to several servers to provide an extra layer of security.
Wi-Fi Hotspot protection will detect if your device is connected to the unsecured network and connect you to the service.
WireGuard is a protocol that is still being tested. It offers improved security as well as faster speed.
The company claims that they do not keep logs about their users’ online activity. Also, the service is registered in Gibraltar, which is not a member of 14 nor 5-Eye Alliance, even though it is under U.K. jurisdiction. That means that Gibraltar is reportedly not obliged to collect or share their citizens’ data.
IVPN offers three subscription plans:
- Monthly: $15
- Quarterly: $13.33
- Annual: $8.33
All three plans include instant activation of your account, access to all servers, seven-day guarantee, 24/7 customer support, apps for Windows, Android, Mac OS and iOS, as well as unlimited bandwidth.
The service is obviously not cheap, but the company does offer a three-day free trial, which allows you to try it before making a final decision.
IVPN users were mostly satisfied with IVPN’s security features including strong encryption, multi-hop and the fact that the company does not keep any logs about its clients’ online activities.
However, many reviews contain negative experience with canceling the service before a free trial expires. In order to start your three-day free trial period, you will still have to confirm a payment method. Moreover, canceling the service was impossible for some users. Submitting a ticket to the customer support or uninstalling the app did not work. The support desk, on the other hand, claimed that it is quite easy to cancel a subscription on the company’s website.
When it comes to speed, clients were mostly satisfied when connected to the recommended server.
If you are looking for the VPN service with more available servers or the unlimited number of connections, you will probably have to consider some of the following alternatives:
IVPN does not offer plans for business owners. Therefore, that might be another reason to consider an alternative provider.
Pros and Cons
|Strong encryption protocols||Speed can be improved on some servers|
|Allows torrenting||Have to verify a payment method if you want to activate a free trial|
|Headquarters are located in Gibraltar|
|No logs policy|
|Free trial available|
|Has a kill switch|
|Offers money back guarantee|
|Allows up to five simultaneous connections per subscription|
IVPN is a company founded back in 2007 that aims to provide online security and anonymity to their clients. There are apps available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Linux. Also, you can purchase the program for routers and NAS.
One of the most prominent features of IVPN is its security. It features a kill switch, multi-hop and a top-notch OpenVPN protocol along with 256-bit encryption. Unfortunately, the speed varies depending on the selected server, which can be an issue especially given the higher price.