Ivacy Review (2021): Affordable, User-Friendly VPN with Privacy Issues
Ivacy VPN was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Singapore. In 2010, it became the first provider to offer a split-tunneling feature. This development has had a positive impact on the speeds that VPNs can offer. Ivacy claims its mission is to create a completely free internet environment for everyone. So we decided to test out this VPN service and see how it performs during everyday use. Read our full Ivacy VPN review below to know about its speed, usability, pricing, features, and more.
Ivacy VPN Short Review
|One subscription works on up to 10 devices||Connection failures at times|
|Easy to install and use||Privacy concern regarding Ivacy’s use of PureVPN servers|
|Easy to install||Mac app does not offer secure protocols and lacks a kill switch|
|Lots of choice in servers|
|Lots of features and options|
|Fast and friendly customer support|
|Relatively affordable pricing (for long-term plans)|
|Works with U.S. Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services|
|Works for torrenting|
|30-day money-back guarantee|
|Offers dedicated IP addresses|
Ivacy VPN is quite reliable, safe, and affordable. However, it sometimes has low speeds that can affect your browsing or streaming experience. It offers pretty good privacy since it’s based in Singapore, which is not part of any surveillance alliances like the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes. Moreover, it has a strict no-logging policy and only collects your name and email address.
Ivacy offers several security protocols on Windows. The Mac app, on the other hand, is somewhat lacking, with just one protocol and no kill switch feature.
Once you subscribe, you can use the VPN on up to 10 devices. For our Ivacy VPN review, we’ll focus on the PC and Mac apps. Keep reading below to learn more.
- Torrenting allowed
- Works with Netflix
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is Ivacy?
One of the most important aspects of a VPN provider is its speed. Of course, you don’t want a VPN to be so slow it negatively impacts your streaming, downloading, and overall internet experience. That’s why, although virtually every VPN will slow your connection down to some extent (at least on paper), it’s important to choose a VPN with decent speeds.
Our overall verdict about Ivacy’s speed is as follows:
- Ivacy offers decent speeds.
- You can browse and stream without interruptions most of the time, but this might vary according to region.
- For gaming, make sure to connect to a nearby server. Otherwise, the increased ping will slow you down.
Ivacy speed test results
Below you can see the results of speed tests we carried out to test Ivacy’s connection. We used speedtest.net to conduct these tests. The tests were carried out from a server in our office in the Netherlands. Note that factors like your internet provider and data limit can also affect your connection speed.
Without a VPN (speedtest.net):
Above, you can see the speed of our connection when we’re not connected to a VPN at all.
Speed with a local server (speedtest.net):
These are the speed test results when we’re connected to an Ivacy server near our real location. We used the automatic server selection function, which connected us to the fastest server in the Netherlands. As you can see, our download speed decreased, but only marginally. The upload speed decreased quite a bit, which might cause some issues if you frequently upload content onto the internet (such as YouTube videos or torrents).
Server with a faraway server (speedtest.net):
Here, you can see the speed test results of when we were connected to an Ivacy server in the U.S. The above results are probably a decent indication of what would happen if you connect to a server that’s very far from where you live.
As was to be expected, the ping has increased significantly. However, this is completely normal when connecting to a server on the other side of the world. The upload speed, unfortunately, has plummeted. However, the download speed is still quite good despite the server’s distance from our location.
Speed during daily use
Overall, for most real-life purposes, Ivacy offers good speeds. We tested Ivacy’s speeds during a wide range of online activities, and the VPN performed well. We examined Ivacy’s speed during online tasks such as browsing websites, streaming videos (on Netflix, e.g.), downloading torrents, and playing online games.
When browsing the internet, Ivacy proved to be quite fast. In fact, we didn’t notice any difference between browsing with or without the VPN. All websites loaded fast, and we managed to log in on any websites and platforms we wanted. Also, we were able to check our email and download attachments without any difficulty or noticeable delay.
Streaming videos, too, proved to be an easy task for Ivacy, and we didn’t notice our connection slowing down at all. Only when we opened a new video overview page on YouTube did we notice a minor delay. This delay hardly lasted for more than a second, however. Furthermore, we were able to comfortably use Netflix and Spotify using Ivacy VPN without any delay.
Downloading files also proved to be fast. We noticed a minor difference in speed when it came to downloading torrents and other files without a VPN. However, this wasn’t a serious issue in the least. What’s nice about Ivacy is that it offers a feature for downloading files on an extra secured server.
While gaming, we also noticed a remarkably small difference in speed between using Ivacy and playing without a VPN connection, at least when using a server in the Netherlands (where our office is located). When we tried a few different games on an Ivacy server in the United States, we did notice quite a large decrease in speed. This tells us that it’s preferable to connect to servers close to you when gaming.
Security – How Safe is Ivacy?
Security and privacy are the most important aspects of a VPN. That’s why we thoroughly examine the security of all VPNs that we review. After conducting our research, we concluded the following about Ivacy’s security:
- Ivacy offers solid AES-256-bit encryption.
- They offer some great safety features, such as a kill switch, split tunneling, dedicated IPs, and port-forwarding. Some of these require an additional fee.
- This VPN offers a lot of different encryption protocols (Note: Not all of these are available on all devices).
- Ivacy does not keep any logs of its users.
- Despite its seemingly robust security, Ivacy’s servers may pose a privacy risk. This is explained below.
Ivacy VPN protocols
Ivacy VPN offers pretty robust security, partly thanks to its great encryption: It uses AES-256-bit encryption. Generally, this is considered a highly secure and “bank-grade” or “military-grade.” So, it’s tough to crack for governments or hackers.
Ivacy offers the following encryption protocols on Windows:
Of course, each of these VPN protocols comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Generally, OpenVPN is considered the safest of these. But theoretically, some of these protocols, such as PPTP and IKEv2, may offer (slightly) higher speeds.
Please note: On some devices (such as Mac), Ivacy only supports the IPSec protocol (without L2TP). This protocol is considered quite unsafe.
Ivacy offers a kill switch. This functionality shuts down your internet connection if your connection to the VPN server is lost for whatever reason.
This is a safety measure to prevent your privacy and security from being compromised in case of an unlikely connection loss. Your internet connection will be restored as soon as your VPN connection is up and running again.
Note, however, that the kill switch is not available on the Mac version of Ivacy.
Logging policy and privacy
However, we noticed something unusual that Ivacy did not mention on its website or anywhere else: it was using servers belonging to GZ Systems Ltd. This company owns PureVPN, another popular VPN provider.
Potentially, this could mean that PureVPN or even GZ Systems Ltd. had or has access to Ivacy users’ data. We also checked this claim using a DNS leak test. These were the results when we were connected to an Ivacy server in the U.S.:
Another indication of the truth to this claim is that when we contacted an Ivacy representative, she mistakenly seemed to believe we were PureVPN users and addressed us as such.
We tried to verify if Ivacy is currently still using servers belonging to GZ Systems Ltd. We contacted Ivacy’s customer support, after which an Ivacy representative asked us to wait for a brief moment before he answered the question with “Ivacy does not use servers belonging to GZ systems.”
In any case, it should be clear that the particular server that we tested was, at that time, owned by PureVPN/GZ Systems. While Ivacy remains mostly safe to use, the entire situation does seem to undermine Ivacy’s claims of “rock-solid security.”
What information does Ivacy need?
Ideally, you want to give as little information about yourself as possible when creating your VPN account. Giving a lot of personal information when creating an account for a privacy solution defeats the purpose. That’s why we examine how much information all of the VPNs on our website need when creating your account.
To create an Ivacy account, there are a few personal details you need to give.
First, you have to get a subscription, which entails giving Ivacy a name and email address. Depending on your chosen payment method, you will also need to give up certain payment information. If you want to remain as anonymous as possible, we recommend using Bitcoin to pay. Bitcoin is one of the most anonymous payment methods and grants you virtually complete anonymity.
Finally, to complete your account creation, you will have to fill out an account name and a password. If you want to remain anonymous, it’s obviously best to choose an account name that cannot be traced back to you.
Usability – How User-Friendly is Ivacy?
Ivacy VPN is very user-friendly, and its apps are intuitive to navigate. When you’re connected with one of Ivacy’s servers, you will immediately see the location of the server you’re connected to and for how long you’ve been connected. Furthermore, the app has dedicated options for downloading, streaming, and unblocking geographically restricted content.
Based on our experience of using and testing Ivacy, these are our conclusions regarding its user-friendliness:
- Both Ivacy’s desktop and mobile apps are intuitive and very easy to use.
- Ivacy’s website is clear and well-designed but has too many annoying pop-ups.
- Creating an Ivacy account is fast and easy.
- Getting an Ivacy subscription is convenient since they accept many different payment methods.
- You can try out a very limited free version of Ivacy VPN.
- Sometimes, there are connection failures, which can be annoying.
- Ivacy’s customer support is straightforward to reach and very helpful.
Ivacy’s website is simple, well-designed, and contains all of the information that users require. At the top of the homepage, there’s an offer to purchase Ivacy. When you scroll down, you can find general information about why you should use a VPN and more details about Ivacy, such as its features and pricing options. Everything is well-laid-out and easy to navigate.
However, one annoying aspect of the Ivacy website is the consistent pop-ups offering you a discount on buying a 5-year subscription. You can close it, but it keeps reappearing every few minutes, which disrupts user experience.
Once you sign up for a plan and log in to the website, you’ll have access to your account settings and options. Like the rest of the website, this page is user-friendly and makes it easy to configure your account. On this page, you will immediately see all your past correspondence with Ivacy’s customer support and any unpaid bills.
From here, you can also open a new ticket with Ivacy’s customer support for any questions you might have.
Installing Ivacy on your device is very easy. After all, this VPN provider offers apps for all major devices and operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. It can also be installed on your router, and it has browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
Here’s the general installation process:
- Go to Ivacy’s website.
- Go to the Pricing page, select a plan, and then click Buy Now.
- Fill up your personal information like name and email address.
- Opt into any add-ons such as port forwarding or dedicated IP if you want.
- Complete the payment with your preferred payment method.
- Download and install the right application for your device(s).
- Log in to the Ivacy VPN app on your device with your log-in details (which will have been emailed to you).
Ivacy VPN appearance and ease of use
Once set up, Ivacy’s interface is pretty straightforward to understand and use. Its app on any device is very intuitive and has a separate sub-menu for every different function, such as streaming, downloading, and unblocking websites and content.
You can quickly connect to a VPN server by clicking the big white button. As you can see in the screenshot to the right, it’s easy to switch between different options and server locations, even in the mobile version. However, in our Ivacy VPN tests, we encountered connection failures several times, which can be quite inconvenient.
Prices and payment methods
Ivacy is quite an affordable VPN provider. Any subscription you take lets you use Ivacy on up to 10 devices, so you can browse securely anytime. The longer the subscription you opt for, the cheaper the rate you can get. Here’s an overview:
- Monthly subscription: $9.95 a month
- 1-year-subscription: $3.66 a month
- 2-year-subscription: $2.45 per month.
- 5-year-subscription: $1.33 a month.
The cheapest 5-year subscription is only available through a deal on the Ivacy homepage or the promotional pop-up that appears when you’re browsing the website. It does not appear among the options on the Ivacy VPN pricing page, as shown in the screenshot below:
Additionally, it offers two add-ons, namely:
- Port forwarding for $1.00 a month
- Dedicated IP at $1.99. You can choose from seven countries, namely, Singapore, Hong Kong, United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, and United Kingdom. If you opt for dedicated IP, you get port forwarding bundled with it for free.
Ivacy does offer a free VPN, but this is highly limited and not of much use. You cannot use the free version for streaming or accessing geo-blocked content.
If you want a free Ivacy experience, all subscriptions which are for one year or longer come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. In effect, this means you can try out Ivacy for 30 days before committing to a long-term subscription.
Note that if you opt for a 30-day subscription, you only get a 7-day money-back guarantee.
To buy your Ivacy subscription, you can choose from the following payment methods:
- Credit/Debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Network, JCB, Diners Club)
- Paymentwall (Ideal, Neosurf, Clickandbuy, Dotpay, Onecard, Mobiamo)
- Cryptocurrency (several options, including BitCoin)
Ivacy works hard to answer your questions as fast and well as possible. There are different ways to contact Ivacy’s customer support. You can send them an email, start a live chat on their website, or even visit them in person at their office in Singapore.
Also, they have a handy and extensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on their website. Needless to say, we contacted Ivacy ourselves to test their responsiveness and the quality of their customer support.
We contacted Ivacy several times using the handy live chat function on their website. For instance, we asked them questions about their servers and whether they have any other office besides the one in Singapore (they do not), and they replied quickly and efficiently. The way they addressed us was very polite, and each time, they inquired whether their response addressed our questions accordingly.
To start a chat and ask a question on Ivacy’s website, you don’t need to fill out any information. You don’t need to be an Ivacy customer, either.
This is a great way to get more information about Ivacy before committing to the 30-day money-back period you get on all subscriptions over one year. Also, if you’re not logged into their website and connected to a VPN server, it nicely feeds into the idea of being as anonymous as possible, even when contacting customer support.
Ivacy Server Network
Ivacy’s server network is quite extensive. They offer 3,500 servers in over 100 countries. Here are our overall observations about the Ivacy VPN server network:
- Ivacy has a reasonably large server network, with 3,500 servers in over 100 countries.
- Ivacy’s server network is spread out well over all continents.
- It offers special streaming and download servers.
- Ivacy offers dedicated IP addresses for an additional $1.99 a month.
Number of servers and locations
With over 3,500 servers in more than 100 countries, Ivacy offers a good network for users worldwide. This is more than enough servers and server locations to make geo-unblocking a very viable option with this VPN.
You can use any of Ivacy’s servers for just browsing websites, but Ivacy also offers some special servers for specific purposes. For instance, they offer special streaming servers, which you can navigate to by clicking on the streaming function in the menu on the left side of Ivacy’s app. When you’re connected to these servers, you’ll immediately get access to your favorite streaming services. This makes Ivacy a very user-friendly option for people who like to use Netflix, for instance.
Furthermore, Ivacy also has a set of special P2P servers for conveniently downloading torrents. You can connect to these servers by selecting the download function in the Ivacy app.
Ivacy offers dedicated IP addresses. There are several reasons why you might want to use a dedicated IP address. For instance, dedicated IPs are less likely to be blocked by Netflix and other (streaming) services than “regular VPN IPs.”
Normally, a single VPN server is used by an extensive group of VPN users. This means that streaming services like Netflix will notice they are getting a lot of traffic from the same IP address. A dedicated IP address is unique for every user who has one, which means you don’t run into this problem and are much less likely to be blocked by websites and apps.
Since a dedicated IP address is just for you, this means that, if you want to, you can always use the same IP address, even though you’re using a VPN. This can be very useful since some online services (such as online banking portals) take extra safety precautions when they get a login attempt from a very different IP address.
Often, to let users log in from a different IP address, these services require additional verification, such as filling out a security code the bank sends to your phone. If you travel a lot, for instance, and you consider these safety measures a bit too much of a hassle, you can simply get a dedicated IP.
Ivacy offers its users all of the above-mentioned advantages with their dedicated IP addresses. These dedicated IPs cost $1.99 extra per month. If you compare this to many other VPN providers, this is quite affordable.
Ivacy has a few servers that support dedicated IP addresses. These servers are located in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the U.K.
Ivacy VPN’s Options
Ivacy offers all the standard options you might expect from a modern VPN, such as anonymity while browsing, a kill switch (on Windows only), and unblocking streaming services. In addition, it offers add-ons for dedicated IP and port forwarding. These are discussed below.
Ivacy VPN and Netflix
Ivacy works well with American Netflix but not so much with other regional versions of it. But this is not such a big deal since the US version has the most extensive catalog.
The Ivacy VPN app has a special streaming section that lets you access popular services across the world like Hulu, HBO Max, etc. This means you can access dedicated streaming servers that are optimized for a smooth viewing experience. We were able to access and stream American Netflix without any problems. Of course, you will need an active Netflix subscription for this to work.
Ivacy VPN and torrents
Ivacy works well when it comes to downloading torrents. It was easy for us to download all sorts of different torrent files with Ivacy. If you navigate to the dedicated download option in the Ivacy app, you can easily choose between the different servers that support P2P downloading. Ivacy has a decent number of servers that support P2P downloading.
Ivacy offers port forwarding for an extra $1.00 a month. This allows the P2P network to connect directly to your device, which increases the speed and efficiency of downloads. If you’re a heavy torrent user, this can be a nifty benefit. Furthermore, if you opt for Ivacy’s dedicated IP add-on, you get port forwarding as a free benefit.
Lastly, Ivacy offers a split-tunneling option and was, in fact, the first VPN to do so in 2010. With this option, you can choose which data you want to be sent over a VPN connection and which data can just be sent “as usual” (not encrypted and protected by a VPN).
The main advantage here is that you can cut down on the amount of data sent to and from your computer via the VPN, meaning your connection will likely speed up (a bit).
Conclusion: Our Experience with Ivacy VPN
All in all, Ivacy is an excellent VPN provider. It offers fast, stable connections and user-friendly apps for almost any device. Moreover, it has a good selection of extra features and options for enhanced privacy and security. This includes a kill switch, split tunneling, dedicated IP addresses, and port forwarding.
Furthermore, the app has different sections that help you achieve the purpose you want. This includes streaming Netflix and other services, plus downloading torrents. We were able to use Ivavy VPN efficiently for both these purposes and experienced decent speeds.
However, the downside is that we could not always connect easily to Ivacy’s servers. The connection failed several times, which indicates that it may not be the most reliable VPN.
Another concern is privacy. Although Ivacy uses solid AES-256-bit encryption, it is unclear if their VPN connection once used or still uses servers belonging to PureVPN.
To wrap up: Ivacy VPN is an affordable choice with many different options for smooth streaming and downloading, but it is not foolproof when it comes to security. You can try our top five VPNs for the best security and features.
Got a question about Ivacy VPN? Check out the frequently asked questions below. Click a question to read the answer.
Ivacy is a cheap and efficient VPN for streaming, downloading, and browsing anonymously. It has apps for almost any device but sometimes it fails to connect. Also, the Mac app lacks some features. Read our full Ivacy VPN review for all the details.
Ivacy does have a free version but it is very limited. You cannot stream Netflix or download using the free Ivacy app. However, a full subscription is pretty cheap, starting at $1.33 a month for the 5-year plan.
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