IVPN Review (2022): Very Safe But Expensive
In 2009, several cybersecurity specialists of the Information Security Group at the University of London developed IVPN. This origin is evident in the consistent focus the provider places on safety and privacy.
The VPN service is located in Gibraltar. Currently, this location is somewhat questionable, since Gibraltar is technically part of the United Kingdom, and therefore of the 5 Eyes Alliance. However, IVPN is a very transparent and safe VPN that doesn’t keep any logs of your data traffic.
Note: at the moment, IVPN is offering free accounts to citizens and residents in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.
IVPN Short Review
|Connection speed stays stable||Relatively expensive|
|No-log policy||Website and software only available in English|
|Very transparent privacy terms||Live chat unavailable|
|Multi-Hop and kill switch||Small server network|
|Well-organized website and interface|
|Quick and expert customer support|
|Anonymous payment possible|
|Torrents and Netflix USA accessible|
|Additional privacy features|
IVPN’s standard functions are well-organized and easy to navigate. In terms of speed, the VPN does pretty well. Additionally, the provider takes user privacy and security very seriously.
The biggest disadvantage of IVPN is its price. Relatively, the cheapest option for an IVPN Pro subscription (which provides you will the complete set of features) is a three-year plan of $6,10 a month. In comparison to other (premium) VPNs, this is quite expensive.
Taking everything into account, we give IVPN a score of 7.8 out of 10.
- Torrenting allowed
- Works with Netflix
- Zero logs
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is IVPN?
Naturally, speed is a very important factor when choosing a Virtual Private Network. Initially, you might be drawn to a certain VPN for its privacy and safety features, but you don’t want these to slow down your connection too much. Moreover, if you want to use your VPN to download torrents or enjoy streaming services, speed might actually be the most important part.
In its terms of service, IVPN explicitly states that it can’t guarantee good VPN connection speeds. Due to the encryption layers of a VPN, it makes sense that speeds are not always 100% stable.
When it comes to speed, we ended up giving IVPN a score of 8 out of 10. This is based on the following conclusions:
- Speed test results were decent for both the local and the distant servers we tested.
- During browsing, downloading, and gaming, speed delays were slim to none.
- The local server gave us some buffering issues when trying to watch YouTube or stream Netflix. Once a video had loaded, though, the VPN didn’t cause any delay.
Speed test results IVPN
Connection speed, with or without the use of a VPN, is generally dependent on different factors. Location, internet provider, type of connection (broadband or WiFi), and even time of connection can all play a part.
To make sure we only test the effect of a VPN on our connection speed, we include test results without a VPN. This function as a baseline used to compare VPN speed tests. We’ve run all tests on the WireGuard protocol (UDP port) from the Netherlands, where our VPNOverview office is located.
|Server||Download (MBPS)||% Download||Upload (MBPS)||% Upload||Ping (MS)|
|United States (Ashburn)||41,29||43,27%||28,63||101,3%||102|
|United States (Los Angeles)||52,70||55,22%||26,13||92,46%||154|
As you can see, IPVN keeps steady VPN connection speeds when connected to the local server in the Netherlands. Looking at the American servers, we do notice a significant drop in download speed. Even so, these results are very decent. Notably, the upload speed remains stable across servers.
The ping does increase the longer the distance between the device and the VPN server. However, considering the fact that all VPN traffic has to be routed across the Atlantic Ocean, this is to be expected.
Speed during daily use
Contrary to what we expected, we noticed the most significant changes in speed when connected to a local server in the Netherlands. In comparison to the American server, as well as the connection without a VPN, pages took longer to load. It also took more time to load a YouTube video. Once buffered, though, the clip ran without issues.
We’ve primarily tested gaming and downloading on the East Coast server of the United States (Ashburn). We didn’t notice any lag or delay. It was easy enough to play games and download torrents. We even got access to the Netflix USA library without any issues.
Safety – How Secure is IVPN?
Safety is likely the most important feature of a VPN service. Most people start using a VPN to increase their online privacy. Security naturally plays a huge part.
When it comes to safety, IVPN is very transparent about their policies. They appear to be doing everything within their power to ensure their users’ data and online activity remain private.
We award IVPN a 9 out of 10 for safety. Here’s what we found:
- The VPN service supports strong protocols, including OpenVPN.
- IVPN has a built-in firewall/kill switch.
- The logging policy is transparent and clear: IVPN does not keep any logs.
IVPN supports the following encryption protocols: OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IPSec/IKEv2 (only on iOS). Below are the main characteristics of each protocol:
- OpenVPN is a very transparent protocol because the code is open source. This means everyone can continuously inspect it. IVPN offers seven variants of the OpenVPN protocol: four versions of the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and three versions of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). UDP protocols generally guarantee higher speeds, while TCP protocols offer even more security and reliability.
- WireGuard is also open source. This protocol is faster and more secure than OpenVPN and is generally seen as the next step in the evolution of VPN protocols. IVPN gives you the option to choose from eight different UDP protocols.
- IPSec/IKEv2 can be selected in the iOS app on your iPhone. This protocol offers strong security and is useful when you’re on the go, but experts generally favor the OpenVPN protocol.
Logging and privacy
As stated, IVPN is very transparent about their privacy and logging policy. This is always a good sign. IVPN does more than just claim they’re a no-log VPN. The privacy statement lists exactly which information they do and do not have access to or store.
The provider refrains from keeping the following information:
- Which websites you request and visit
- Timestamps for IVPN use
- How much data (bandwidth) you use
- Which IVPN server locations you’ve connected to
- Your real IP address (even when you visit the IVPN webpage, it anonymizes the last digits of your IP)
IVPN does keep temporary logs of your account ID when you’re connecting to the VPN. This is done to ensure you don’t exceed the maximum of simultaneous VPN connections. The moment you log out, this data gets deleted.
The VPN service is also very clear about copyright claims filed against them, for example when a user downloads illegal content. Because the provider doesn’t keep logs on user activity, they won’t be able to submit information to official authorities upon request. Should this happen, IVPN will notify all users of the situation and do everything within their power to safeguard privacy.
Even if privacy regulations in Gibraltar were to change or IVPN would adapt their policies, they will inform users prior to changes coming into effect.
Besides strong encryption and a transparent no-log policy, IVPN also offers its own equivalent to a kill switch. This is not a traditional kill switch, but rather an integrated IVPN firewall. Once enabled, it filters all network packets. The notable thing about this firewall is that it can be operated independently of the VPN, which will allow filtering to continue uninterrupted, even when a component of the VPN client unexpectedly fails.
You can customize the settings of the firewall yourself. Do you want absolute safety? Then we suggest using the always-on function. This allows the firewall to protect the system at all times, even before you’ve activated your operating system. It won’t allow any unsafe internet traffic to come through. The only data coming through the firewall is data sent directly through the VPN tunnel.
Do you find the firewall too limiting? You can adapt the settings to activate the firewall only when you’re connecting through the VPN. This will mimic a regular kill switch.
What information does IVPN need?
When you create an IVPN account, the provider only stores the following:
- Your account ID
- Timestamps for the moment of subscription
- The plan you’ve chosen
- The number of devices connected simultaneously
- Your payment details
It’ll be difficult to link any of this information to your personal identity, depending on your payment method.
As soon as you’ve got an account, you can choose to work only with an email address and password combination, instead of an IVPN ID. This also allows you to activate two-factor authentication.
Of course, IVPN has to process your payment details. As with other VPN providers, you can choose to pay anonymously, using cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. If you do so, IVPN will only store your transaction ID, since it uses its own BTCPay server.
When using PayPal, the provider logs your payment or subscription ID, the amount paid, the valuta used, and the payment time stamp.
If you choose to pay by credit card, Braintree, the payment processor that IVPN uses, will also collect your card details. These won’t end up with IVPN, however.
Usability – How User-Friendly is IVPN?
For many people, using a VPN is part of daily life. This is why usability is an essential factor to assess. When it comes to user-friendliness, we give IVPN an 8 out of 10. After testing, these are our conclusions:
- The IVPN installation process is easy and fast.
- The software is well-organized: IVPN’s app can be navigated intuitively.
- IVPN is relatively expensive.
- There are several payment options, including anonymous payment.
- IVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- The website and software are only available in English.
IVPN website and installation process
The IVPN website holds a lot of information. Since most details can be found on the homepage, you don’t have to search the entire site or navigate different menus all the time. The downside to having a lot of text on the homepage is the lack of visual elements (tables and illustrations). Unfortunately, the website doesn’t have a search function either.
At the top of the homepage, you can find an extensive menu. With a single click, you can get to “Pricing,” “Guides,” or read about the provider’s policies under “Privacy.”
Installing the VPN on your device is easy and quick. To make things even easier, you can follow the steps below to get IVPN installed right away:
- Visit the IVPN homepage.
- Go to “Pricing” to select the subscription of your choice.
- Follow the steps of the payment process.
- Download the software compatible with your device and follow the installation steps.
- Open the IVPN app. This will happen automatically if you check this option in the installation wizard.
- Use the account ID you received when getting the subscription to log in.
- Click the slider next to “Disconnected” to connect to the fastest VPN server. You can also select a different server by clicking “Connect to” and choosing an option from the list.
You’re now connected to an IVPN server and ready to browse the web safely and anonymously.
IVPN appearance and ease-of-use
The IVPN app is easy to navigate and works well. On the left side of the interface, you can activate the IVPN firewall/kill switch feature, as well as the Anti-Tracker. You can also select which protocol you wish to use and check if the network you’re using is safe.
On the right side, you’ll see a map of the world. Besides using the “Connect to” function you can also connect to a location on the map by clicking it.
If you want to change any of the other settings, click the cogwheel in the top right corner. This is where you’ll find additional features such as split tunneling and custom DNS servers.
Pricing and payment methods
It’s clear that IVPN is not a cheap VPN provider. There are two different plans you can choose from: Standard and Pro.
The IVPN Standard plan gives you access to all VPN protocols, the Anti-Tracker feature, and will allow you to connect two devices at the same time. For IVPN Standard, the costs are as follows:
- One week: $2.00
- One month: $6.00
- One year: $60.00
- Two years: $100.00
- Three years: $140.00
The cheapest option would be the three-year subscription, which comes down to $3.89 per month.
The IVPN Pro plan allows for seven simultaneous connections and offers all VPN protocols and available features, including Multi-Hop. These are the prices:
- One week: $4.00
- One month: $10.00
- One year: $100.00
- Two years: $160.00
- Three years: $220.00
For a Pro subscription, your best option would be to get a three-year subscription at $6.10 a month.
IVPN gives you four different payment options:
- Credit card
For the highest level of privacy, we recommend Bitcoin. For all subscriptions, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. When we asked customer support about this, they confirmed that this is also the case for the one-week subscription. In order to allow for this 30-day money-back guarantee, IVPN saves your transaction ID.
IVPN’s customer service is very fast: the first time we asked a question, we got a reply within five minutes. Unfortunately, you can only get in touch with IVPN’s customer support via email or social media. The website shows a live chat icon, but we’ve never found this function to be responsive.
Questions we asked per email were answered within ten minutes. Responses were clear and accurate. We found no flaws here, though it surprised us that the live chat function appears to be unavailable while someone is clearly quick to answer emails.
As a final note, it’s good to know that IVPN’s customer service is only available in English.
Server Network IVPN
Besides security and privacy, the size and quality of a VPN provider’s server network can give you a good idea of what kind of VPN you’re dealing with. A wide range of VPN servers gives you much better chances at unblocking geo-restricted content.
When it comes to its server network, we give IVPN a score of 6.5 out of 10. Here’s what we came across:
- Unfortunately, IVPN’s number of servers is pretty small.
- Multi-Hop VPN connections are possible.
- IVPN has obfuscated servers.
- IVPN does not offer dedicated IP addresses.
Number of servers and locations
IVPN’s number of servers is low. They only have 77 server locations across 30 countries. Of those, 26 servers are located in the United States.
If you compare this to gigantic networks of VPN services like CyberGhost (7500+) or NordVPN (5000+), the size of IVPN’s network is next to nothing. However, IVPN also doesn’t have as many users as premium VPN providers, which means it doesn’t need the largest network to support its user base.
Unfortunately, IVPN only has server locations in a limited range of countries. This knocks off points for internet freedom, since you won’t be able to circumvent all blocked websites or access a wide variety of foreign streaming platforms.
You can find an overview of server locations below.
- Asia: Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.
- Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
- North America: Canada and the United States.
- South America: Brazil
- Oceania: Australia
To provide you with extra security, IVPN offers Multi-Hop. This is a function that allows you to connect through two different VPN server locations at once, making it even more difficult for others to connect your activity back to you. The system reroutes your VPN traffic through various points in order to protect your data with an extra layer of encryption.
With IVPN’s Multi-Hop feature, you can select an “entry server,” the first server you connect through, located in a country with better security and privacy protection laws. For example, you might want to access a news page from a country that experiences high levels of surveillance, but do so with an extra server in the US as a buffer.
The great thing about Multi-Hop is that it doesn’t slow down your VPN connection much. Even if you connect to servers that are geographically far apart, your speeds will stay the same as when you connect to only one server.
When you’re in a country that blocks VPN use, such as Vietnam, you might want to use an obfuscated server. These VPN servers are better protected and prevent your traffic from being detected even in places with high levels of censorship. This is done by making it look like you’re not even using a VPN client at all.
Here’s how you can connect to an obfuscated IVPN server:
- Click the cog to go to settings.
- Click “Connection.”
- Select OpenVPN as your encryption protocol.
- Choose “Obfsproxy.”
Dedicated IP address
Conscious of security and privacy considerations, IVPN does not offer the option of a dedicated IP address. This means that it’s not possible to get your own, personal IP address to browse the web.
There are advantages and disadvantages to a dedicated IP address. On the one hand, having a set, personal IP address makes it easier for others to track your activity. On the other hand, the chance that your IP will be blocked by streaming services such as Netflix is significantly smaller.
Are you looking for a VPN provider that offers dedicated IP addresses? A VPN like Private Internet Access (PIA) is a good option.
Besides strong encryption and its built-in firewall/kill switch, IVPN offers some additional security features. Most of these are aimed at increasing your online privacy. It’s also possible to safely download torrents and unblock Netflix USA with IVPN.
IVPN and Netflix
On its website, IVPN states that streaming services like Netflix are putting more and more energy into blocking VPN and proxy users from their platforms. This makes it more difficult to get around geo-blockades. Because IVPN doesn’t offer dedicated IP addresses, Netflix might be able to detect VPN use more easily.
Having said that, we didn’t experience any problems streaming Netflix with IVPN. Both local and foreign Netflix libraries, including Netflix USA, were available. The quality remained optimal, too. Loading a film or show took a couple more seconds than usual, but we didn’t experience any delay when streaming.
IVPN and torrents
IVPN’s terms of service clearly indicate that the VPN is not to be used for downloading and uploading illegal torrents on platforms like The Pirate Bay. This is primarily a legal disclaimer to avoid liability.
In practice, IVPN can’t stop you from downloading torrents. They also don’t keep logs of your activity. Even so, we recommend you don’t take part in illegal torrenting and always take the downloading laws in your country into account.
In practice, torrenting with IVPN is easy enough. We managed to (legally) download a 1.4 GB file through a local VPN server within five minutes. While IVPN does not have specialized P2P servers, we didn’t experience any issues with torrenting.
Extra options IVPN
It won’t come as a surprise that most of IVPN’s extra options are focused on additional safety:
- Split-tunneling (beta): Split-tunneling makes it possible to route only certain applications through the VPN, while the rest of your traffic moves through your regular connection. This allows you to browse safely, but won’t slow down your connection.
- Custom DNS: By using a different DNS server than the one your Internet Service Provider offers, you become more anonymous online. Moreover, you can unblock certain content and might even improve your connection speeds.
- Anti–tracker: This IVPN function combats online tracking. It works well, especially in “hardcore mode.” We haven’t seen this unique feature with other providers. The anti-tracker will block any domain connected to Facebook and Google (including YouTube), which are known for intense surveillance and tracking.
Our Experience With IVPN
IVPN is a transparent, honest, and very safe VPN provider. With its clear policies, strong no-log commitment, excellent VPN protocols, and special safety features, such as Multi-Hop and Anti-Tracker, IVPN is one of the safest VPNs we’ve tested.
Unfortunately, due to its small server network and other shortcomings, IVPN can’t compete with VPN services like NordVPN. They don’t offer dedicated IP addresses and experience some delays in comparison to fast providers. Finally, IVPN is certainly not a cheap VPN. On that front, you are much better off with a provider like Surfshark.
Do you have any questions about IVPN? Check out our FAQ below.
Yes, IVPN uses the safest encryption protocols. The provider does not keep any logs and takes user privacy very seriously. Read our full review for more information about IVPN’s safety, speed, and options.
Yes. During our extensive testing, we were able to watch Netflix USA with IVPN. We managed to get access to both local and foreign libraries.
Keep in mind, however, that Netflix consistently pushes back against VPN use. If the IVPN server you’re using doesn’t work with Netflix, you can always try a different one. For more information, read our step-by-step guide to watching Netflix with a VPN.
Yes, it is possible to download torrents anonymously with IVPN. You can get access to The Pirate Bay and the process is fast and easy. IVPN does urge its users not to use their services for illegal downloading.
IVPN is not free. The VPN provider offers two different types of plans (Standard and Pro) for different durations. Your cheapest option is the three-year Standard plan at $3.90 per month.
Free VPN services have advantages and disadvantages. Check out our recommendations for the best free VPN if you want to read more about it.
IVPN offers different plans at different rates. You can choose between the following options:
- IVPN Standard: your cheapest option is the three-year plan for $3.90 a month.
- IVPN Pro: your cheapest option is the three-year plan for $6.10 a month.
The Pro subscription offers additional security and privacy features.
Personal opinions experts VPNOverview.com