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Ivacy is a Singaporean VPN that, according to its website, is "the award-winning best VPN" offering almost every feature you might need with little or no cost . Right, or just a marketing ploy? As usual, a little of both.
On the page " Servers" on the website states that, for example, invited more than 3,500 servers in over 100 locations in more than 50 countries around the world. But on the buy page, the header contains 2000+ servers, followed by 1000+ servers, and at the time of writing, there are only 766 servers listed in one location table, so we're not entirely sure about the numbers. However, there are a really decent amount of locations out there, and most users will have plenty to choose from.
The wide range of apps covers you on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux, there are extensions for Chrome, Edge and Firefox, and the support site has instructions on how to manually configure the service on routers, Kodi, consoles and more.
Ivacy supports torrents (we tried P2P on three typical servers and it works great), malware blocking, no registration, the service supports up to ten simultaneous connections, plus apps have an emergency switch to protect your privacy, the connection drops.
Protocol support spans L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 (no WireGuard yet), split tunneling lets you choose what traffic you route through the VPN tunnel, and the list of features goes on.
If the service isn't working as expected, 24/7 support via email, ticket and live chat is always on hand to point you in the right direction.
Prices are generally low. The monthly bill is $ 9.95, but for the two-year plan, which drops to $ 2.45 (currently no annual option), and for the five-year subscription (not on the regular pricing page, but you'll find it here.) cheap 1.33 dollars a month.
For comparison, subscribe to HideMyAss for one year! plan and you pay $ 60 straight away, another $ 60 per year and every other day: $ 120 . Spend $ 80 at Ivacy and it's enough for five years. Even if you've only been using Ivacy for a couple of years, you will pay off with interest.
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Reasons to use Ivacy VPN
Ivacy VPN offers advanced features that give you the peace of mind you need to stay online with complete privacy and anonymity.
3500+ servers worldwide
Connect to over 3,500 servers anywhere in the world.
Ultra fast speed
Enjoy superb download and upload speed forever.
Connect to public Wi-Fi without fear.
10 Multiple login support
One subscription can be used simultaneously on 10 devices.
Internet Kill Switch
Always stay private even if the VPN connection is down.
There is support for multiple payment methods including card, PayPal, Alipay, Paymentwall, PerfectMoney, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via BitPay or CoinGate.
As we write, Ivacy is also adding 2TB of Internxt encrypted cloud storage at no additional cost (big surprise as it only starts at € 10 per month on the Internxt site). Iwashi says this is a limited offer, so by the time you read this it probably won't be there, but if any big holiday or other event is coming up (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, Easter), take a look at site, maybe it (or something like that) will come back.
Several trial versions available. You can get one day for free or weekly for $ 0.99. However, be careful: the 7-day trial automatically renews as an annual trial unless you cancel it. Luckily, even if you sign up and regret it, you're additionally protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee (or 7-day for monthly bills).
Signing up with Ivacy worked just like any other VPN we've ever used. We selected a plan and payment method, deposited cash, Ivacy sent us a welcome email with a link to set our password, and the website had links to many of Ivacy's apps. We downloaded and installed the Windows client and it was ready to go in seconds.
The client interface is similar to many other VPN apps. There is a large button on the home screen that automatically connects you to the nearest server, or you can choose your location from the list.
Privacy and registration
We do not strictly record or monitor internet activity, connection logs, assigned VPN IPs, source IPs, browsing history, outgoing traffic, connection times, data you accessed and / or DNS queries generated by from your side. We do not have information that could associate certain actions with specific users. "
The policy details the personal data that Ivacy collects (name, email address, payment methods) and other collection methods (app crash reports and diagnostics via Firebase and Crashlytics, Google Analytics on the website). This is not ideal, especially since Ivacy apps don't give you the option to choose whether you want to send this crash information. However, this is not unusual - IPVanish also uses crash reports without asking you first, and at least Ivacy allows you to request the deletion of your personal data through its website's Personal Area.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to verify any of Iwashi's privacy promises. Other VPNs are increasingly subject to public safety and privacy audits - TunnelBear now conducts annual audits of its apps, infrastructure, websites, and more - but Ivacy hasn't done so yet. Hopefully this will change soon.
This list can be displayed as countries or cities. This seems like a good idea, but even if you choose the City option, the app will still display them in country order. Sequences like Perth (Australia), Vienna (Austria), Brussels (Belgium), Sao Paulo (Brazil) make it difficult to scroll directly to where you want to go.
There are no ping times or server load metrics, no filters or sorting options to help you make the best choice. However, the app has a search field (entering LON shortens the list to Thessaloniki and London) and the favorites system can group the most frequently used parameters.
The left toolbar helps you select servers for specific tasks. For example, click Streaming and you can select the platforms you want to unblock and watch (Amazon Prime Video, BBC, Hulu, Netflix, and many more). This is really useful and greatly improves the "connect to every server in the US in turn until you find one that works" strategy that you will need for many VPNs.
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Other options are more dubious. The unblock page gives you a different list of locations, for example, obviously to help you access geo-blocked sites. Isn't that what we expect from regular and stream scopes? Why do we need a third?
It appears that the Secure Boot feature "checks the downloaded data for viruses or malware and removes it at the server level." The website's page about this feature states that it "scans and removes such viruses and malicious files before they reach your devices."
It looks like the service is checking the content of the files you upload, which is not the best privacy practices method. For example, if you needed to access the zip file of Office documents, would you really want the system to extract and check each of them? Fortunately, it looks like Ivacy is a little over-rated, and our Secure Boot tests are likely using a simple DNS blacklist to block dangerous URLs.
The settings allow you to choose your preferred launch mode, such as opening with a streaming page. There is an option to switch protocol (OpenVPN UDP or TCP, L2TP or IKEv2, but no WireGuard yet), split tunneling (unusual for desktops), an emergency switch, and a multiport option that allows you to scan for open ports to help bypass VPN blocking.
Desktop clients usually offer many more features than their mobile counterparts, but the Ivacy Android app is surprisingly capable of handling the same connection modes (streaming, downloading, unlocking), connection list displayed by country or city, emergency switch, split tunneling and multiport connection. mode. The settings are a bit simpler, in particular, it only supports the OpenVPN protocol, but otherwise it's a decent application, easy to use but with a reasonable feature set.
It's the same with the iOS app, which besides using IKEv2 rather than OpenVPN is very closely related to other Ivacy offerings.
If there is a problem, it is obvious that it is the slow pace of software development. The Ivacy apps haven't added any significant new features for a while, and if you're hoping for major improvements like WireGuard support, that suggests you can wait a bit.
We've reported several usability issues in previous Ivacy Windows client reviews. Some of them have been fixed, but there are still many minor inconveniences and inconveniences.
For example, there is a list of cities sorted by country. Establishing an OpenVPN connection can sometimes take a very long time (30 seconds or more). Notifications alert you when VPN connects, but not when disconnected. And switching locations is more of a hassle than it should be, since you cannot select another server or even view the list of locations until you close your current connection.
In the last review, we noticed that choosing the L2TP protocol only gives us IKEv2 connections. The good news is it didn't happen this time. The bad news is that when we selected L2TP, the client didn't connect at all.
Non-technical inconveniences included regular requests for service evaluation after disconnection. We expect this from a free VPN, but not when we pay for a commercial product.
The client did a good job of setting up the VPN tunnel securely. It configured IKEv2 connections with IPv6 disabled, with mandatory encryption (although not maximum encryption), and did not store our credentials locally. He configured OpenVPN with AES-256-CBC encryption (OpenVPN complained that the remote server prefers AES-256-GCM) and the kill switch was enabled by default.
The emergency switch worked well enough. However, we closed the VPN (OpenVPN or IKEv2), the client noticed, blocked our internet, alerted us and reconnected. This is great, but we noticed another problem.
After the connection was dropped, the client reconnected but switched protocols without informing us about it. For example, when an OpenVPN connection drops, it reconnects using IKEv2, but still displays OpenVPN as a protocol. When the IKEv2 connection drops, it reconnects to OpenVPN, but displays the active protocol as IKEv2.
This was not a disaster. An emergency switch protected us under all circumstances, and OpenVPN and IKEv2 are more than powerful enough to keep hackers at bay. However, displaying false information to the user is never good, and if the client thinks they are using one protocol when in fact they are using another, this can lead to unknown problems later.
Our performance tests began with validation with SpeedTest.net, TestMy.net, Netflix 'Fast.com and others from a UK data center with a 1Gbps connection. We ran each test five times with an OpenVPN connection, five times with IKEv2, repeated the full set for morning and evening sessions, then analyzed the data and calculated the average speeds.
IKEv2 performs well with an average best session speed of 330-390 Mbps. OpenVPN was less consistent at 230-380Mbps, but it's still in the same area from manufacturers such as TunnelBear (290-370Mbps in our latest tests), ZenMate (290-300Mbps) or ProtonVPN (300-310Mbps.)
We repeated the full suite of tests from a US office at 1 Gbps. This time, the results were significantly slower: 110-120 Mbps with IKEv2 and 180-190 Mbps with OpenVPN.
Thus, Ivacy is powerful enough for many tasks, but results can vary significantly depending on your location. It also lags far behind providers that support WireGuard or their proprietary high-speed protocols, including Hotspot Shield (360-380 Mbps in the UK and US), NordVPN (up to 240-480 Mbps), and ExpressVPN (490-630 Mbps). )). ... )
Netflix and streaming
The Ivacy website boasts of allowing us to “stream anything, anytime, anywhere” that we love. And this isn't just vague marketing chatter - the apps have dedicated streaming spots that are meant to unblock Netflix and many other streaming platforms.
To try this out, we launched the Windows client, chose the streaming mode and Netflix channel, and watched the client connect. The customer then asked if we wanted to watch Netflix in the US, and when we clicked Yes, it opened our default browser on the Netflix website. This was not only convenient, but also unblocked the site and we were able to stream the content.
Streaming platforms can sometimes partially block VPNs (they detect some IPs, not others), so we check each site three times with three different IPs to make sure everything is still working fine. And so it was; we got access every time we connected.
This was good news, and as our trials continued, the situation only got better. We switched back to the client, went over to checking out BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney +, and Iwashi introduced us to all four.
The main streaming platforms are constantly working on blocking VPNs, so there is no guarantee that this situation will last long. However, if you're out of luck with a primary customer of Ivacy, the company has another option.
Ivacy also provides extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Edge browsers. Like apps, they also support many streaming platforms, and in previous reviews we found that they can unblock some sites when the main apps crash.
The Ivacy support website is always available if you run into problems with a number of installations, troubleshooting, and other guides. There is helpful content, but most articles have little detail and some can be confusing.
For example, " What level of encryption does Ivacy VPN provide?" The document explains that "Our VPN supports encryption levels from zero to the highest encryption level SSL or AES 256 bits." Zero encryption? Sounds alarming. How is this possible?
The document then states that "the level of encryption you get depends on the protocol you selected in the Ivacy VPN app" and lists your options, but does not tell you which protocol offers which level of protection, and does not make any effort to explanation as best. A VPN newbie might unreasonably assume that one of these protocols has "zero encryption", but you have nothing more to say.
There are dedicated articles on some protocols, but they are also not entirely useful. Here's what Iwashi says about PPTP , for example: “Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is the fastest protocol and does not affect your internet speed. But on the other hand, it lags a little behind in terms of security when connecting via PPTP. " This is not an excerpt: this is the whole article.
Luckily, the site also has 24/7 live chat support. After about a minute when we asked a test question, we got a helpful answer - much better than what we've seen from most competitors.
Ivacy's email support is a little slower, which is unsurprising, but still acceptable. We usually get helpful answers within two to three hours, the fastest response is about 30 minutes; also better than you will see from many of the more expensive competitors.
Ivacy Review: Final Verdict
Ivacy offers many advanced features at a very low price, but the speed is slow and we noticed a few issues with the Windows app. Bargain hunters may want to test this, but do thorough testing before buying.