Ivacy VPN Review
Ivacy has been around for some time now (since 2007), and we love to see the new improvements to this VPN. The Singapore-based VPN comes with everything you need: good security and encryption, a kill-switch, servers in 100 locations, access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and dedicated servers for torrenting and Kodi. In addition, Ivacy provides excellent customer service that’s available 24/7. The new (lower!) prices give users the options of subscribing for different periods of time, and with a 7 and 30-day money-back guarantee (depending on whether you buy the one-month or year plan).
Ivacy provides a price range of monthly and yearly. Details are list below:
- Monthly: $9.95
$9.95 per month
$119.4 per year
- 1 Year: $40.00
$3.30 per month
$40.00 per year
- 24 Month (Get 12 Month free): $54.00
$2.25 per month
$18.00 per year
Privacy and Security
For all intents and purposes, Ivacy is zero logs, collecting only the bare minimum of connection metadata needed in order to maintain ‘smooth software functionality’. The data collected doesn’t contain any personally identifiable information or user data including “DNS requests, traffic details or IP addresses”, so there is no way that anything you do online can be traced back to you as an individual. The only information Ivacy collects is the country you connect from and the amount of bandwidth you use, which again yields no information of any value to third parties. It’s good to see a provider that acknowledges the benefits of minimal logging but doesn’t feel the need to collect unnecessary amounts of personal data.
Ivacy is based in Singapore, a major privacy plus, as this means it isn’t subject to intrusive data laws or intelligence-sharing agreements with other countries. In the case of a third party or law enforcement agency requesting your data, Ivacy states that “appropriate measures will be taken to address the issue promptly”, but ultimately no information can be handed over, as they cannot connect specific activities with specific users. This is a huge bonus for those seeking the closest possible thing to online anonymity.
Number of servers
Ivacy maintains a mid-sized server network with over 100 locations on offer. Most popular countries are covered but we’d recommend checking the server list to make sure the locations you need are on there, as there are providers offering over double this amount should you need more choice.
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Ivacy operates a fairly high number of servers with over 450 spread across the globe. After speaking to a member of their customer support team we also discovered that each server hosts between 120-140 individual IP addresses, meaning there are almost 50,000 in total. This massively reduces the chance of server congestion, even at peak times.
You can drill down to city-level servers in a handful of countries, including those not usually well-represented such as Hong Kong and Malaysia, as well as the usual UK, USA and Australia. Coverage is best in Europe and North America but recent network expansion has seen Ivacy introduce servers in more African and South American countries, including Chile, Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya, Panama and many more. We were excited to see mainland China represented with a Beijing server amid solid coverage in Asia. You can find the complete list of Ivacy server locations by country and purpose on their website.
Number of simultaneous connections
You can also connect up to five devices simultaneously, and since it works on so many platforms, we’re sure you will use all five.
Ivacy offers dedicated custom apps for the usual range of devices including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. There are user-friendly set-up guides for these platforms on the support section of the website, as well as information on how to install the VPN on those devices lacking native apps. This includes devices such as Linux, Kodi, Roku, Xbox, PS4 and many more.
If you want to protect all of the connected devices in your household without installing individual apps on each one, you can also install Ivacy at router level. You can either buy a pre-flashed router from a company such as FlashRouters, or alternatively manually configure your existing router to support the software. Again, you’ll find detailed instructions on how to do this on the support section of the site.
As for streaming, Ivacy can access Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer among other streaming sites, which is no small feat. The speed is definitely enough to stream without lag or buffering. In addition, Ivacy allows torrents on dedicated P2P servers. They also have dedicated servers for Kodi, and since there are no bandwidth restrictions, you can torrent and stream as much as you want.
Ivacy offers a 3-day trial for just $2.50 and includes all the features of the regular service. But you have to do some extra searching to find it.
The trial is not openly advertised on their site and you’ll need to talk to their customer service to set one up.
Supporting kill switch
Ivacy has a kill-switch, which will cut your internet connection if there is a leak. While the kill-switch tends to work, we have experienced a few instances in the past where it didn’t. Ivacy also does not store logs; they only keep a track of the login attempts made to their servers.
You can purchase a one-month, one-year, or two-year plan. And best of all, you get a 30-day money back guarantee for the year plans, and a 7-day money-back guarantee for the one-month plan.
For the 7-day guarantee, you'll get a refund if you claim it within 7 days and you haven’t breached any terms, you haven’t used more than 7GB, or run more than 30 sessions. This also works for users who accidentally paid extra because they didn’t turn off the auto-recurring option.
Refunds generally take 48 hours but if payment was made with a credit card, it may take up to 40 days.
Browser extension supported
Ivacy offers extensions for both Chrome and Firefox browsers. These are incredibly simple to use and can be installed and added to your browser in a few seconds if you already have the main app up and running. You can choose from the same list of countries available on the desktop app, and we love the added bonus of protection against WebRTC leaks, which prevents third parties from seeing what you’re doing online in case of an IP leak.
It’s important to bear in mind that while these are great added bonuses, they are only proxy extensions, and will therefore only encrypt your browser traffic. This is great news for heavy browser users who are only concerned about this, however we’d recommend running them alongside the main app for the highest possible level of protection.
Ease of use
The design of the Ivacy desktop app is rather unpolished but does the job once you have got used to its numerous quirks. The main screen is stripped back to just the basics – chosen server location and connection time (we would have liked a little more info here, such as your new IP address or chosen VPN protocol). The most optimal way to connect is to use the ‘Smart Connect’ option, which selects the best-performing server closest to you.
You can find connection settings behind the cog icon on the left-hand side of the app. There aren’t many on offer in comparison to top-tier providers, but we love the contextual help that comes with the VPN killswitch feature and split tunneling. You can also select a VPN protocol or connect to a manual server. More general settings can also be found here, such as the option to launch the app on startup, as well as an on/off toggle for IPv6 leak protection.
Our one major gripe was the amount of failures we experienced when trying to connect to a handful of servers, especially when using the preferred OpenVPN protocol. There are providers out there offering a much slicker, click-and-forget experience that Ivacy is still yet to achieve.
Whether you want to use your MasterCard, PayPal account, Bitcoin, or Paymentwall, they have you covered.
I did not have high hopes about Ivacy’s customer service. Forgive my cynicism, but after reviewing more than 70 VPNs, I’ve learned to have exceptionally low expectations when reviewing the customer service offered by a budget-friendly provider.
After all, companies have a limited number of resources. If they offer high-quality services at a budget-friendly price (as Ivacy does) it’s typically safe to assume that they had to cut back on another area of their business in order to do so.
And the customer support team is typically the first casualty…
However, with Ivacy, I was pleasantly surprised to find that their customer service agents were quick to respond and extremely helpful. Although I would like to see more detailed and thorough responses from their agents, I’m hard-pressed to complain considering the rapid response times and efficient support that I received.
Here are a few screenshots from one of my conversations with Ivacy’s support (all questions were answered within minutes of being sent).
I submitted several other queries designed to gauge the knowledge and efficacy of the team (all of them were submitted at similar times) and all of these queries were answered in a similarly timely (and brief) manner. To ensure that my experience was an accurate representation of their customer support team, I also reviewed their social media accounts to see how well they handled other customer complaints and questions.
Again, I was impressed to find that their team was extremely effective and knowledgeable and nearly every issue that arose was the fault of a customer and not Ivacy.
Very unreliable server performance
Clunky, unresponsive desktop app
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