IVPN is a small service located in Gibraltar that has been operating since 2009. At a glance, their website looks great and the services seem good, plus the promise of “[controlling] who has access to your private data” is music to our ears.
Is everything as it may seem, though? It’s not uncommon for VPN services to sugar-coat their website and dupe even the savviest of people.
Let’s find out the truth in our comprehensive review of IVPN.
Netflix Test: All systems go on that binging!
We are happy to report that IVPN worked when we were connected to all the U.S. servers that we tested. Netflix did not manage to figure out that we were accessing U.S. content from a different country.
This is great news—many VPNs are starting to struggle with Netflix cracking down on services that enable users to bypass their geo-blocking and only the very best VPNs are able to consistently provide access to it.
Torrenting Policy: It’s allowed, but kindly follow their rules
IVPN has confirmed that torrenting is allowed through their service. So, if you’re looking to download large files or participate in other P2P activities, you are in luck.
All IVPN asks is that users avoid using U.S. servers for P2P as the company has received threats to have their servers disconnected due to a large volume of DMCA notices.
Payment Methods: They take cash!
IVPN’s payment methods are extensive:
You have a choice of credit or debit card (including JCB, MasterCard, and Discover), PayPal or BitPay (Bitcoin) and regular cash if you want to remain fully anonymous.
It’s great to see IVPN offering cash as a payment method; only a few VPNs offer this, and it is by far the best way to retain anonymity as it does not leave a paper trail.
The downside to this, though, is that they can take up to 10 working days to process.
Device Compatibility: Just about everything supported
IVPN offers native support for a range of devices:
As you can see, native support includes Windows, MacOS, iOS devices, Android, and Linux. By installing IVPN to your router, however, you will protect every single device that connects to your network by default.
Any good VPN service now offers router support, and this is just another sign that IVPN is a serious contender.
By installing IVPN on your router, you can protect all your devices without installing and configuring native apps for every device. Plus, it only counts as one device connection.
Sign-Up Process: Very easy indeed
Signing up is super easy. Like most VPNs, it is a case of signing up with an email address and password.
We do prefer it when there’s a truly anonymous sign-up method (e.g. like Mullvad’s), however, you can easily use a throwaway email address and then pay with either BitPay or cash for true anonymity.
Once you have selected your plan, you can then download your app of choice. You get 3 days’ worth of access to IVPN when you sign up and your payment method will not be billed until this time.
If you don’t like it, simply cancel your subscription before the free trial is up and you will not be charged.
Once you have downloaded and installed IVPN—something that takes seconds—you simply need to sign in and away you go. IVPN will provide you with a username and you use the password that you registered with.
Product Interface: It’s clean, it’s light, it’s modern – and it’s a pleasure to use
IVPN has a clean, light, and modern product interface that is a breeze to use and has lots of functionality. After installing IVPN and signing in, you’re greeted with this screen:
From here, you can connect to the best server for you as determined by IVPN or choose one for yourself by clicking on the location name, in this case, “London, UK”.
You can choose either single-hop or multi-hop. Single-hop is a connection to a single server whereas multi-hop routes your traffic through two servers.
Under settings on the bottom left-hand side, you can choose your IVPN firewall settings (togglable with the “Firewall” switch) and which tunneling protocol you want to use.
All in all, we are impressed by how much control you have.
Customer Support: Is there such a thing as too much support?
IVPN provides multiple levels of customer support through their live chat, help center, ticketing system, and their setup guides.
Overall, they are a fantastic company who make great efforts to provide quality customer support. That’s all there is to it.
Product Documentation: You’ll learn a lot
We were pretty impressed with how much IVPN has invested in its Help Center documents, setup guides, FAQs, and blog.
You’ll find all the info you need on how to use IVPN. Not only that, you can browse through their blog and read some in-depth content about privacy if you’re into it!
Logging Policy: Absolutely anti-logging
They don’t even collect cookies or log session data for “user experience” optimization.
Encryption and Protocols: The latest in digital security
According to IVPN’s website, the service uses AES-256 encryption and 4096-bit RSA keys that are generated hourly for ultimate protection and secrecy.
Alongside this encryption method are IPSec using IKEv2 and OpenVPN.
Some end-user setup is required, but IVPN provides help guides.
IP and DNS Leak Tests: Absolutely no leaks, just the way we like it
We were not surprised to find that IVPN did not leak anything when we tested it.
Kill Switch: Yes, kind of
IVPN does not have a kill switch per se. Instead, they have a firewall that acts as a kill switch and protects against leaks. This technically does the same job, so we can tick off the kill switch box.
IVPN Neutral Points
VPN Speed and Performance: Some reduction, but no biggie
Is the lack of servers made up for in terms of speed? Let’s find out.
This was our download speed at the time of testing when not connected to a VPN:
Then we connected to their Atlanta, U.S. server:
This isn’t a terrible result, but it’s not the best either. A ~30% reduction in speed is pretty average. Still, you should expect some speed loss when using a VPN. The better the service, the less speed lost.
Pricing & Plans: Affordable?
IVPN didn’t exactly outdo the competition with their pricing:
Their premium service costs $8.33 per month (billed at one payment of $100.00 annually) which is a decent deal by anybody’s standards.
It’s not as cheap as others we’ve seen, however.
You can opt for quarterly ($13.33 per month billed at $40.00 every 3 months) or monthly ($15.00 per month flat rate) so it is entirely up to you what IVPN is worth.
We are going to say right now that IVPN is a pretty solid service and if you are going to subscribe to it long-term, you may as well save some money.
Refund Policy: The standard affair, with some measured generosity
IVPN has a pretty standard refund policy.
If you are dissatisfied with the IVPN service, you can request a full refund within 7 days of purchasing your subscription.
If there are exceptional circumstances such as a technical issue that prevents you using IVPN, this refund policy extends to 30 days at the discretion of IVPN.
Why is their standard refund policy only 7 days, I hear you ask? Well, their website provides this answer:
“As much as we would like to extend the unconditional refund period to 30 days, in our experience this opens the door for abuse by freeloaders who consume an extraordinary amount of bandwidth affecting our ability to provide a high-speed service to our paying customers.”
There we have it. Sounds reasonable.
Servers and Locations: Few servers to boast about
IVPN currently offers 38 different servers across 27 countries.
Still, it’s all about quality over quantity. See our section on speed and performance for more details there.
IVPN as a Business
Founded in 2009, IVPN has a reputation for really going to town so far as user privacy is concerned. We just saw for ourselves why that is.
The founder and CEO, Nicholas Pestell, has an extensive background in IT security in the United Kingdom. So you can rest assured they know what it takes to build a secure VPN.
It’s a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)—a non-profit digital rights group based in San Francisco that promotes civil liberties online. The core mission of IVPN is “enabling humans with the power to control and secure their private information online.”
We certainly believe them after taking their VPN product for a spin… if it weren’t for the small number of servers, it would be a VPN service that could rival the biggest names such as ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.
Still, as the saying goes, it’s “quality over quantity.” On this point, IVPN delivers.
IVPN is based in Gibraltar. Gibraltar, although a British Overseas Territory, falls outside the scope of any international agreements between countries for the sharing of intelligence and information such as the Five Eyes Alliance.
This means that foreign governments can’t demand information from IVPN’s parent company.
IVPN Conclusion: A very impressive offering
It goes without saying that we are impressed… we have very few negatives to say about IVPN overall.
The only thing that stuck out to us the most was that our download speeds were reduced by around 30% when connected to both the U.S. and European servers.
This isn’t a huge problem because a) we have good download speeds already and b) some speed loss is to be expected. But we mention it because we can’t disregard it.
All in all, IVPN is very, very good. It is very safe, cheap, packed full of standard features, and has a good, responsive, and helpful website. The app installs quick, is easy to use, and looks nice.
Netflix works, torrenting is allowed… what more could you want (aside from maybe some extra servers and locations)?
If you’d like to see some good alternatives with more servers and faster speeds, we highly recommend you check out our top 10 list.