Ivacy VPN review: Stay anonymous, fast and safe
Ivacy VPN has been on the market since 2007, which is surely a plus as it has stood the test of time and now is more trustworthy than some new product. The main office is located in Singapore, so the company itself is subject to the Singapore jurisdiction. This VPN is a nice example of its kind - it protects user data, preserves anonymity and offers lots of extra features, e.g. many locations and servers, killswitch, NAT firefall, split tunneling, no logs etc.
There are 5 languages to choose from: English, German, French, Spanish and Russian, although only English works properly for some reason, other versions certainly require revision. Ivacy supports the following operating systems and browsers: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome and Mozilla. It also works on the following devices: Blackberry, Smart TV, Openelec, Kodi, wi-fi routers and gaming consoles. Here is a brief overview summary.
|Windows||✔️||Eye Countries||No||Netflix||✔️||Credit card||✔️||Download||60 Mbps|
|Mac||✔️||Logging||✔️||BBC iPlayer||✔️||PayPal||✔️||Upload||25 Mbps|
|Android||✔️||Firewall||✔️||24/7 Support||✔️||Money refund||✔️||HTML5 Geo (%)||55%|
Servers and locations
It should be mentioned, that even though Ivacy advertises 50+ countries / 100+ locations / 1000+ servers on their website, that’s not quite true. We’ve been using Windows desktop VPN version, and as of February 2019, there was access to 54 countries and 73 locations. Not to be precarious, we’ll list them all, and we should also add that all locations work with good speed and stability.
|1||Australia||Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth||28||Malaysia||Johor Baharu, Kuala Lumpur|
|4||Brazil||Sao Paulo||31||New Zealand||Auckland|
|5||Brunei||Bandar Seri Begawan||32||Nigeria||Suleja|
|7||Canada||Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec||34||Pakistan||Islamabad|
|9||Costa Rica||San Jose||36||Peru||Lima|
|17||Hong Kong||Fanling, Hong Kong||44||South Africa||Benoni|
|26||Latvia||Riga||53||USA||Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Houston, Georgia, Washington, San Francisco, Ohio, Seattle|
Encryption is a reliable tool to ensure data security and an obligatory feature for any VPN these days. Ivacy VPN offers 256-bit AES encryption standard, working through various encryption protocols.
Some important information about the protocols. The most secure protocol is Open VPN, it provides high level of security and allows to see digital certificates. SSTP and L2TP are also secure - the first is able to connect to HTTPS sites through 443 port with encryption, the second encrypts user data twice. PPTP protocol is the fastest but because of lower level of encryption. IKEv2 and L2TP protocols are considered the most stable. L2TP has a compatibility mode with devices that support NAT. The smallest amount of resources is used by the SSTP protocol, but also encryption is minimal.
Moving on to the issue of jurisdiction. As we mentioned, Ivacy HQ is in in Singapore. There are several international organizations for collecting and sharing Internet users’ data: 5 Eyes (Australia, Canada, USA, UK, New Zealand), 9 Eyes (5+ Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway) and 14 Eyes (9+ Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden). Fortunately, Singapore is not a member of any of these alliances, so no need to worry about such legal matters.
Internal security. Ivacy VPN has NAT firewall settings (network address translation method) as one of inside user security tools. Basically, this means you a free to choose specific settings for VPN sessions, up to re-mapping (hiding) your IP address. Also, there’s a killswitch function. It is useful for instances, when unexpected disconnections happen, even few seconds of which could endanger your data for tracking it down. Turn on the Killswitch and in case you lose connection, all Internet activities will get shut down forcefully and immediately. Unfortunately, killswitch only works in Windows version of Ivacy VPN.
Static IP (dedicated) is the feature that could provide access to closed networks. Its advantages are: remote access security, online banking security, FTP security, database server support. Using special Ivacy subscription, users can select IP addresses from 7 countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong (SAR), Singapore, United Kingdom, United States. Note, that it is only available as an extra feature to main program ($1,99 per month).
There’s also split tunneling aimed at dividing traffic between VPN connection and local Internet/LAN at the same time. Find out how to configure this feature and more details about it on this page.
Torrent VPN, Netflix VPN and other services
Unlocking restricted content is crucial for any VPN software. Ivacy is no exception, and so it provides access to 82 services. Let’s test the most popular ones:
- Netflix: works just fine with Ivacy VPN;
- BBC iPlayer: no problems either;
- Tor browser: works steadily, no errors;
- Torrent: works well, the download speed a bit decreased, but connection is stable.
Installation & interface
The file size for installation on Windows is 22 MB, the size of installed program is 88.4 MB. Installation process is typical: accept license terms, choose destination folder, confirm … in few clicks you will have VPN ready to launch.
Windows & Mac. It should be noted, that Windows and MacOS interfaces have no differences. The interface itself is quite compact and comprehensive both for beginners and advanced users.
Android & iOS. Ivacy VPN Android app is free to download in the Play Market. With regular updates, high connection speed, feature set, visually pleasant interface, one can say Ivacy is a solid VPN app. It contains tabs like Internet Killswitch, Split tunneling, Multi port, Protocols, About, App Feedback, Share Now, TV Login, Log out. Ivacy VPN for iOS/iPhone/iPad version follows the classic Ivacy template: same style, colors and the main panel layout.
Ivacy VPN: performance testing
Following our routine checklist for testing VPN services, we conducted a series of tests, connecting to every single 73 locations available and measuring the results. Let’s summarize.
Speed tests. To determine how the connection speed varies depending on a server, we used Speedtest.com. As our location is Europe, the more remote locations tested, the slower speeds we got, this is normal. To ensure correct data, we painstakingly repeated each measurement 5 times for each location and then calculated the average result. In that manner, we measured ping, upload speed and download speed. Let us give a short excerpts to prove the point.
Once again we remind that we did the same for all 73 locations. Total average speed results you will find below in a final summary.
HTML5 Geo tests. A set of standard tests to determine user’s geolocation. Ivacy VPn demonstrates rather mediocre results in these tests. In most cases, IP address changes and the real one cannot be tracked, but sometimes we receive inadequate results. Let’s highlight three of the most frequent scenarios we faced conducting geolocation tests.
1 - Islamabad, Pakistan was chosen from the list of connections in VPN. As you can see, it failed as Dubai, UAE was the detected location for unspecified reason.
2 - Houston, USA was selected but Dearing, Kansas, USA was detected, a location that is not even on the list of locations provided by Ivacy.
3 - We selected Warsaw, Poland to connect from, and the same location was shown in the test - a positive result. The same happened in 55% of all geo-tests.
DNS leak tests. All available servers passed DNS tests successfully, except for some errors in establishing connection or undetected locations.
IP address tests. A basic test to check if user IP address - the one selected in a VPN - is properly certified and really registered in respective location. 11 out of 73 were not, which tells us about 75% positive results.
IP blacklist test. A common test that runs an IP address through 70 known databases and determines whether it is "clean" and won’t be banned by providers or other 3rd parties. So, according to this Blacklist check service by Whatismyipaddress, IP addresses by Ivacy were not detected in 69 lists on average, which is very good.
To finalize results for all 73 locations, here’s an excerpt of results from 5 locations (to illustrate our process), and average results of all conducted tests and average connection speeds.
|Country||City||DNS Leak tests||IP address tests||HTML5 Geo tests||Speedtest / download (Mbps)||Speedtest / upload (Mbps)||IP blacklists check|
|3||Brazil||Sao Paulo||Pass||Pass||Kansas, USA||92,96||8,36||69|
|4||Canada||Toronto||Pass||Montreal, CAN||Kawartha Lakes, CAN||104,37||26,70||69|
|5||Indonesia||Jakarta||Pass||Pass||Central Kalimantan, IND||3,01||1,88||69|
|Total / Average||98%||75%||55%||60 Mbps (avg)||25 Mbps (avg)||98%|
1-year use of Ivacy VPN will cost you $40, which is a fair price among competitors. Note: there’s no trial, only 30-days refund guarantee if you’re not happy with the product. Their pricing policy is the following:
- 1 month: $9,95
- 1 year: $3,33 per month = $40
- 2 years: $2,25 per month = $54
So, the idea is to sign up for 1 or 2 years right away and save money. Business VPN version price is by request. Generally, all prices are loyal, and the longer period, the cheaper it is. Although, few users’ feedback points that things might not be so bright in this area. Several payment options are allowed to purchase: credit card, PayPal, Alipay, Bitpay, cryptocurrencies, Dotpay, Neosurf, etc.
In addition to help materials and guides online, available channels to communicate with Ivacy team are: email, live chat and social networks. Live chat works all the time 24/7. Technical support responds quickly (up to 5 minutes) and tries the best to help you solve user’s problem. Positive impression is left by the Feedback tab within VPN program, a proof that company cares about their product. For many, a drawback is the fact that there is no account management on the website. On the other hand, communicating in live chat is fast, clear and productive.
To conclude, this VPN is a highly-performing, well-designed and stable product. Considering the wide range of functions, no logs, high speeds, multiplatform and affordable price, it leaves a positive impression and can be recommended for anyone searching a VPN service. And although we wish there would be less pop-up banners, the app is absolutely worth its money.
Pros: low prices, no logging, availability on all OS versions and many devices, data encryption, emergency disconnect feature.
Cons: refund issues, differences in product information on website and reality, fewer functions for MacOS.