While security is one of the main reasons why many internet users opt for VPNs, the fact that these services help you to unblock international content is also very attractive. Using a VPN covers your internet traffic with additional protection thanks to the encryption that is applied. It also lets you enjoy a more versatile browsing and streaming experience because you can change your virtual location and enjoy content that is available in other countries.
Some of the most popular streaming services operate from United States and United Kingdom, which is why these two countries are key locations for people who want to watch a wider variety of TV series and movies. iPortal is a British provider focused on offering users the chance to access content that is only available to audiences in the US and the UK. Although iPortal is no longer open to new users, it continues offering support to existing customers.
Privacy and Security
This is not an area in which iPortal exceeds but that doesn’t come as a surprise given that the service is mainly designed to bypass geographical blocks. The protocols supported are L2TP and PPTP, which are not exactly the most secure options available. PPTP is considered as a weak protocol and it is likely that it has already been compromised by the likes of the NSA. L2TP is slightly better when it comes to protecting your online traffic from threats, but it is not as strong as OpenVPN. On the bright side, these protocols can offer good speed so they are suitable options for streaming and other activities that require fast performance.
If you only want to bypass geo-restrictions in order to access popular services like Hulu and BBC iPlayer, which are only available in the US and the UK respectively, the lack of strong encryption would not be a major concern. However, if security is important to you, you need a provider that supports OpenVPN. While iPortal doesn’t keep activity logs, the fact that it is based in the Uk means that it is more likely to be intervened by the GCHQ. The lack of support for Bitcoin as method of payment is other downside in terms of privacy.
Compatibility is another important aspect for any VPN service. iPortal kept this in mind to make things convenient for its users. The service is compatible with popular platforms like Windows, Mac, Android, Linux and iOS. The service was designed with ease of use in mind and the set up process is also very simple. However, it is only possible to use the service on one device at a time. There are servers only in the United States and the UK, which would be enough if you only want to access content that is available on these two locations. Overall, the service is fairly simple and it offers limited functionality. While it offers the necessary features to disguise your IP address and unblock American and British websites and services, there is no strong security available, or additional features that could make iPortal stand out.
Plans and Customer Support
As mentioned before, it is not possible to subscribe to iPortal at the moment. The provider was charging $5 per month and €50 per year for access to the US server, while access to the UK server was priced at €5 per month or €50 per year. This means that offering good value for money was seemingly not a priority for iPortal, unfortunately. Other services offer a wider network of servers and higher security for less, which may explain why iPortal is no longer available. Existing customers can still contact iPortal via email for technical support.
There is a lot of competition in the VPN industry and providers need to continuously step up their game to ensure that they can attract customers, and be recognized as a reliable solution. Although iPortal aimed to offer a simple way to bypass online restrictions to access content available in the UK and the US, it didn’t manage to offer something unique that could keep the service afloat. It is difficult to say if the company will make a comeback, but it seems like it is just supporting existing customers and once their subscription plans expire, they won’t be able to renew.