Established in 2009 by a team of IT professional focused on security technologies, IVPN is a provider that offers effective technology, remarkable speeds and strong encryption. While they started as a VPN solution that could be considered as “good enough”, their latest improvements have turned them into a great option to protect your privacy and unlock restricted content. The provider operates from Gibraltar, which is not subject to mandatory data logging legislation. To find out if IVPN fulfills all the requirements to be a leading VPN service, we’ll take a look at aspects like features, security, servers and more.
The encryption applied for the data channel is AES 256-bit keys and for HMAC authentication, SHA-1 is used. To encrypt the control channel, IVPN uses 4096-bit certification with SHA-1. The security implemented by IVPN will help you to keep your data private and to prevent attacks, which are more likely to occur when you use public Wi-Fi. Port forwarding is available and the protocols supported are OpenVPN (recommended due to its security) and L2TP/IPSec, which is a convenient option for mobile devices.
As previously mentioned, IVPN is based in Gibraltar, which means that is not subject to strict data retention laws. IVPN is an ideal solution for users who want to protect their privacy because there are no usage or connection logs kept. They are committed to change their location if the situation changes in Gibraltar at any stage. By now, the company aims to keep data collection to a minimum, which is why they don’t ask for personal information like your name and address when you sign up. Only your email address is required and you can use an anonymous email for this purpose.
The fact that IVPN doesn’t keep any logs, means that even if they receive a request from authorities to hand over data about a customer, they wouldn’t be able to provide information. They allow P2P in their network, except in users located in the United States. Bitcoin and payment in cash (for annual subscriptions) are supported, which is another good indicator that IVPN takes your privacy seriously.
IVPN supports an extensive selection of platforms and devices including popular options like Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, as well as DD-WRT and Tomato routers. Their dedicated clients for Windows and Mac OS X offer a straightforward interface. You can easily locate all the necessary features to get the most out of the VPN protection. Killswitch, multi-hop connection for enhanced privacy and auto-boot are some of the functions that you can find.
The connection settings can be adjusted as needed and if you need to bypass censorship (for instance in a country like China), obfsproxy or other similar options can be used. They also offer several alternate ports including TCP/80, TCP/443, UDP/53. Shared IPs are supported in order to enhance the protection to your privacy and you can connect up to 3 devices at the same time.
The website also includes practical guides to help users to setup the service manually on the platforms that are compatible with IVPN. In terms of speed, IVPN offers great results, although if you use multi-hop, you can expect a slower connection. The DNS leaks test showed that IVPN offers effective protection against them.
At the moment, IVPN has servers in 12 countries including Germany, Sweden, Canada, United States, Iceland, Romania, Hong Kong, Netherlands and United States. While the list is limited and it is mainly focused on Europe, locations that are P2P friendly (Netherlands and Romania) are covered and UK/US are also included, which means that you can access applications like Hulu, US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
One month of IVPN is priced at $15, but you can get a reduction on this monthly cost when you subscribe for three months or one year. Three months cost $40, which means that the monthly price is $13.33. An annual subscription costs $100, making the price per month $8.33. The high prices are probably the main downside of IVPN, particularly considering the limited number of servers. Still, all the plans are covered by a 7-day money back guarantee and there is a free trial that allows you to use the service for three days.
The website has a knowledgebase where you can find information about the service, setup guides and much more. The FAQ section includes the most relevant details that you need to keep in mind about IVPN and the information is presented in a clear way. There are also convenient privacy guides that will help you to safeguard your personal information when you are using the service.
If you need help from their customer service, you can contact them via email. We’d like to see a live chat option (particularly at the price that IVPN charges), but the wide selection of helpful information on the website still deserve recognition.
IVPN offers an impressive client that supports the main features needed to ensure that your information is secure and that you can disuse your location effectively in order to access content from around the world. Unfortunately, the selection of servers is quite limited and the prices are considerably high when compared to other options. However, in terms of protection for your privacy, the provider offers a solid alternative and we hope that in the future, they add more servers and mobile apps to justify the price.