Ivacy Review (2020)
Ivacy was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Singapore. Ivacy claims its mission is to create a completely free internet environment for everyone. To accomplish this, resourcefulness is key, Ivacy states. Ivacy especially enjoyed praise and recognition in 2010, when they became the first VPN provider to offer a split-tunneling feature. This development has had a positive impact on the speeds VPN providers could reach. In 2015 they managed to add another milestone to their list of achievements. It was this year when their user base hit the 2 million mark.
It’s not difficult to understand why a lot of people go with Ivacy, since it’s a very user-friendly VPN provider which offers a lot of extra features and options. Furthermore, installing Ivacy is very easy and just one subscription allows you to connect five devices at a time. However, many will agree, the best part about this VPN provider is its very affordably price point. Their most affordable subscription will only set you back $1 a month (billed as 60$ every five year). Does this sound to good to be true? We’ll let you be the judge of that. Read on below for all of Ivacy’s features, options and specs.
- Simultaneous connections: 5
- Operating systems: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
- Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2, PPTP
- Logging policy: Connection logs
- Servers: 450+ servers in 100 locations
- Price: From $0.99 a month
- Money-back guarantee: 30 days
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. To see if Ivacy’s speeds are up to par, we extensively tested their VPN service’s speed. You’ll find the results of these speed tests down below.
Ivacy speed test results
Below you will see the results of different speed tests we carried out to test Ivacy’s connection speeds. We used speedtest.net to conduct these tests. The tests were carried out from our office in the Netherlands.
Without a VPN (speedtest.net):
Above you can see the speed of our connection when we’re not connected to a VPN at all.
Server in the Netherlands (speedtest.net):
These are the speed test results when we’re connected to an Ivacy server in the Netherlands. We used the automatic server selection function, which connected us to the fastest server in the Netherlands. As you can see, our download speed has decreased, but only marginally. The upload speed has decreased quite a bit. This might cause some issues if you frequently upload content onto the internet (such as YouTube videos or torrents). Our ping has hardly increased at all (an increase of 8ms is very little).
Server in the United States (speedtest.net):
Here you can see the speed test results of when we were connected to an Ivacy server in the United States. Since our test location (our office) was in the Netherlands, 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 or are. As was to be expected, the ping has increased quite a lot. However, this is completely normal when connecting to a server on the other side of the world. The download speed however, quite impressively, is still quite good. The upload speed unfortunately, has plummeted quite a bit. However, these results are not necessarily something to worry about a great deal if you mainly use your VPN for “conventional activities”, such as browsing, streaming and downloading, as we’ll see later on.
Speed during everyday use
Overall, for most real-life purposes Ivacy offers good speeds. We tested Ivacy’s speeds during a wide range of online activities and overall the VPN performed well. We examined Ivacy’s speed during online tasks such as browsing websites, streaming videos (on Netflix eg), downloading torrents and playing online games.
When browsing the internet Ivacy proved to be very fast. In fact, we simply 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 we noticed a minor delay. This delay hardly lasted for more than a second, however. Furthermore, we were able to comfortably use Netflix and Spotify with Ivacy running without any delay.
Moreover, downloading files also proved to be fast. We noticed a minor difference in speed as opposed 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 well-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 gaming while using Ivacy VPN, you will definitely be able to have a good online gaming experience, provided you don’t choose an Ivacy server that is very far away from where you are geographically (think different continents, mainly).
Conclusion Ivacy’s speed
Our final verdict about Ivacy’s speed is as follows:
- For a VPN provider Ivacy offers above average speeds.
- According to our speed tests Ivacy does cause some speed loss.
- The delays that Ivacy causes are so small that you can still comfortably browse, stream and download with Ivacy running in the background.
- Gaming wasn’t an issue either, although you should make sure to connect to an Ivacy server that’s not too far away from you. Otherwise the increased ping could cause some issues.
Security – How Safe is Ivacy?
Security and privacy might just be the most important aspects of a VPN. People, especially after investing in a VPN service, want to be safe online. That’s exactly why we thoroughly examine the security of all VPNs on our website.
Ivacy claims its security to be “rock-solid”. Ivacy’s mission, they state, is to create a safe digital world, accessible to anyone. Ivacy say they help create this world with their VPN service and its unique extra features and options.
Ivacy offers its users excellent security, partly thanks to their great encryption: Ivacy offers AES-256-bit encryption. Generally, this is considered a very safe type of encryption, which is very difficult to crack for governments or hackers. Ivacy offers the following encryption protocols:
Of course, each of these VPN protocols comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Generally, OpenVPN is considered the safest of these (and often even all) VPN protocols, but theoretically some of these protocols, such as PPTP and IKEv2, might be able to 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.
Logging policy and privacy
A few months ago, we noticed something unusual Ivacy did not mention anywhere on its website or anywhere else: they were 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/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 we received was a while back when we contacted an Ivacy representative and she mistakenly seemed to believe we were PureVPN users and addressed us as such.
In any case, it should be clear that the particular server that we tested was, at that time, owned by PureVPN/GZ Systems. We did try to verify if Ivacy is currently still using servers belonging to GZ Systems Ltd. We contacted Ivacy’s customer support to inquire about this. The Ivacy representative that we were chatting with asked us to wait for a brief moment, before he answered the question, after which he stated that “Ivacy does not use servers belonging to GZ systems”. Our second reviewer was not able to verify this, due to a technical issue he encountered with Ivacy’s app. However, the fact remains this whole (past) situation does bring up some questions and unfortunately serves to somewhat undermine Ivacy’s claims of a “rock-solid security”.
What information does Ivacy need?
Needless to say, 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 kind of 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 of, 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 which cannot be traced back to you.
Conclusion Ivacy’s security
After conducting our research, we concluded the following about Ivacy’s security:
- Ivacy offers solid AES-256-bit encryption.
- They offer some great extra safety features, such as a NAT firewall on their servers and extra well-secured download servers.
- 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 on their users.
- Ivacy may have quite a serious safety risk, as far as its servers go.
Ivacy is a very user-friendly VPN provider. Ivacy clearly had the main functions of a VPN provider in the back of their mind when designing their app. 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.
Ivacy’s website is clear, well-designed and contains all of the information (prospective) Ivacy users require. On its home page you’ll find general information about Ivacy and why a VPN is an important and valuable tool to protect your privacy. You’ll also find more in-depth information about Ivacy itself, such as its different subscriptions and prices. The website is very well-designed and navigates in an intuitive way. It even has a live chat window where you can type any question you may have, after which you’ll soon be assisted by an Ivacy representative (more on this later). The only real downside we could think of is the fact that Ivacy’s website is a bit advertisement-heavy.
Once you log in on the website you’ll have access to your account settings and options. Like the rest of the website, this members 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. Furthermore, if customers navigate to the “port forwarding” option in the main menu, they will get some information about the optional NAT-firewall and the possibility to add this extra safety feature to their subscription.
Ivacy’s installation procedure
Installing Ivacy on your device is very easy. After all, this VPN provider offers software for all major devices and operating systems (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux). It’s very easy to download all these different applications. You can install Ivacy on most devices in 6 simple steps:
- Go to Ivacy’s website.
- Click on “Get Ivacy” or scroll down to choose a subscription and select any desired add-ons (NAT-firewall and/or dedicated IP) and pay with your preferred payment method.
- Download the right application for your operating system.
- Log in with your log in details (which will have been emailed to you).
- Choose a server and connect to it.
- Enjoy safely and freely browsing the web!
As you read above, in 6 quick and easy steps you can install Ivacy on your device. On mobile devices it gets even easier, since they allow you to simply download the Ivacy app from the AppStore (on iPhone) or Google Playstore (on Android phones). Ivacy’s mobile applications offer all of the features and options which are offered by the Desktop version. We’ll discuss this in more detail in the next section of this review.
Appearance and user-friendliness of Ivacy’s software
We cannot stress enough that Ivacy is a very user-friendly VPN provider. Especially for “VPN-beginners”, Ivacy’s apps are great. The app is very intuitive and has a separate sub menu for every different function, such as streaming, downloading and unblocking websites and content. This means Ivacy caters well to the main groups of people who use VPNs and the reasons they use a VPN.
Undoubtedly, Ivacy’s application appears very professional on both desktop and mobile. Both versions allow you to quickly connect to a VPN server with one press of the big white on-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.
Ivacy seemingly spent a lot of time and effort on creating an application that’s as user-friendly as possible. They clearly did a great job.
Prices and payment mothods
Ivacy is a very affordable VPN provider. The longer you buy a subscription for, the more affordable the monthly rate will get. If you get a subscription that can be cancelled every month, this will set you back $8,95 a month. A 1-year-plan costs $3 a month. If you commit to a 2-year-subscription, this will cost you $1.99 per month. However, if you are looking for a truly affordable subscription, you can’t go wrong with Ivacy’s 5-year-plan, which costs only $1 a month. This really makes Ivacy one of the most affordable VPNs on the market.
Unfortunately, Ivacy does not offer a free version of their VPN. Nor do they offer a trial version. However, luckily 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. If you go with the 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 very useful and extensive “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) page on their website. Needless to say, we also 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 about if they have any other office besides the one in Singapore (they do not) and they replied to us very fast and efficiently. The way they addressed us was very polite and each time they inquired whether their response addressed our questions accordingly.
In order 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 some more information about Ivacy before even 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 also nicely feeds into the idea of being as anonymous as possible, even when contacting customer support.
Conclusion user-friendliness Ivacy
Based on our experience of using and testing Ivacy, these our conclusions regarding its user-friendliness:
- Ivacy is very user-friendly
- Both Ivacy’s desktop and mobile apps are intuitive and very easy to use
- Ivacy’s website is clear and well-designed, but quite advertisement-heavy
- Creating an Ivacy account is fast and easy
- Getting an Ivacy subscription is convenient, since they accept many different payment methods
- Unfortunately, Ivacy does not offer a trial or free version
- Ivacy’s customer support is very easy to reach and very helpful
Ivacy’s Server Network
Ivacy’s server network is quite big, especially for a VPN that’s not one of the biggest players (yet). They offer 450+ servers in over 100 countries. Most servers are located on the two continents which have most Ivacy users, which are North America (the U.S. specifically) and Europe. Below you will read more about Ivacy’s servers, server locations and server options and possibilities.
Number of servers and locations
Ivacy has servers in over 100 countries. On average, they’ve got 2 server locations per country, although bigger countries Like Russia and the U.S. have more servers. In fact, the U.S. has 18. In any case, Ivacy offers more than enough servers and server locations to make geo-unblocking a very viable option with this VPN. Below, you will see the number of servers Ivacy offers per continent:
For just browsing websites you can use any of Ivacy’s servers, 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 that make downloading (torrents) very convenient. You can connect to these servers by selecting the download function in the Ivacy app. These download servers are spread out over the world.
Ivacy also offers dedicated IP-addresses. There are several reasons why you might want to use a dedicated IP-address. For instance, dedicated IP’s are less likely to be blocked by Netflix and other (streaming) services than “normal VPN IP’s”. Normally a single VPN server is used by a very large 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 log in attempt from a very different IP address. Often, in order 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 (although very important) a bit too much hassle, you can simply get a dedicated IP.
Ivacy offers their users all of the aforementioned 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.
Conclusion server network and locations
After our extensive tests and research into Ivacy, this is our final verdict about Ivacy’s server network:
- Ivacy has a reasonably large server network, with 450+ servers in over 100 countries.
- Ivacy’s server network is spread out well over all continents.
- This VPN also offers special streaming and download servers.
- Ivacy also offers dedicated IP-addresses for an additional $1.99 a month.
Ivacy’s Options and Features
Ivacy offers all standard options you might expect from a modern VPN, but it doesn’t stop there. They also have a lot of extra features, some of which are quite unique.
Ivacy offers a kill switch. This is a functionality which essentially shuts down your internet connection if you’re 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.
Furthermore, Ivacy offers the possibility of using their NAT-firewall. This is a firewall on the server level (on Ivacy’s servers) which essentially functions as an extra layer of protection between you and viruses and other malware. After all, this firewall can filter out a lot of malware before it even reaches your network’s firewall, and therefore your network or device. Moreover, often times a normal firewall on your router might not even work in this situation, because many of these firewalls cannot successfully read the information which is sent between your computer and the VPN server (because of encryption). That’s why we would suggest making use of the NAT-firewall that Ivacy offers.
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 that’s sent to and from you computer via the VPN-connection, meaning your VPN connection will likely speed up (a bit).
Ivacy and Netflix
Ivacy works well with Netflix. Ivacy’s dedicated streaming servers will give you access to the popular streaming service. In order for this to work, you do have to use the app’s special streaming function, meaning you cannot get access to every single country-specific version of Netflix that exists. Moreover, during our tests we noticed that while the U.S. streaming server works fine, the others do have some issues. However, seeing as the U.S. version of Netflix is by far the most popular and largest, we don’t see this being a big issue for a lot of people.
Ivacy 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’s got a decent number of servers that support (P2P) downloading.
Conclusion Ivacy and its Features
|Easy to use||On some devices Ivacy only offers the IPSec protocol|
|Lots of extra features and options||Possible security risk: unclear whether they manage their own servers|
|Easy to install||Streaming servers in Europe don’t always work (well)|
|Fast and friendly customer support|
|Very affordable (from $1 a month)|
|U.S. Netflix compatible|
|Offers dedicated IP addresses|
|Offers many different protocols|
All in all, Ivacy is an excellent VPN provider. They provide fast, stable connections and very user-friendly software and apps. Moreover, this VPN allows users to choose from a wide selection of different protocols and extra features and options.
Case in point: Ivacy offers split-tunneling, a NAT-firewall, dedicated IP addresses and a kill switch. The Ivacy application is very intuitive. You can simply select the option and type of servers you want to use in the app. Using the streaming option, you easily get access to the U.S. version of Netflix and using the download functionality you can download torrents at impressive speeds.
Unfortunately however, Ivacy sells itself short when it comes to security. Although Ivacy uses solid AES-256-bit encryption, it is unclear if their VPN connection used/uses servers that are not theirs: servers belonging to PureVPN. Also, Ivacy does seem to store connectivity logs. In other words, Ivacy is a very user-friendly VPN with a lot of extra features and options, but does have some flaws when it comes to privacy and security.
We mainly recommend Ivacy to people who have very specific “VPN-demands” that one of Ivacy’s many extra features might fulfill or to first-time VPN users, due to its user-friendliness. However, to people who are looking for a VPN that shines when it comes to privacy and security, we would probably be more inclined to recommend PIA or ExpressVPN.