This Ivacy review takes a look at a VPN service which is based in an area, unlike many others. The company is located in Singapore, while many VPN users may not know of this service, it has been around since 2007.
The company was, in fact, responsible for the split tunneling concept, so they are not a small fish when it comes to technology.
But does some innovation do them good service in other areas, or are they still a regular VPN under the surface.
This is what we will hopefully find out when we put it through its paces.
- Plenty of features
- Live customer support
- Low-cost 2-year sign up plan
- Unblocks Netflix
- Zero logging policy
- Some connection issues
- Various Windows client problems
- Inconsistent speeds on some servers
- Won’t unblock BBC iPlayer
- Singapore not outside jurisdiction (5-eyes partner)
- Not clear on the 30-day refund they offer
When looking at the pros and cons of Ivacy, they do on paper have some things going for them. They also put some larger VPN providers to shame in some areas.
During testing, we took a look at the key areas users often look for when using VPN services.
First up has to be Netflix and if Ivacy VPN can do what a lot of other providers can’t, and that is to reliably connect to this streaming service.
There seems to be a little contention on the internet regarding Ivacy, and some Ivacy VPN reviews claim the service doesn’t unblock Netflix.
However, the blog post they relate to is a blanket ban on VPN’s by Netflix and not a ban against Ivacy.
With this in mind, we were able to access the service, and also spoke to their help desk who provided a list of US servers to use. As for long term access, this isn’t so clear.
As a side note, Ivacy couldn’t unblock the BBC iPlayer, and there might be other streaming services that have connection issues.
Torrenting is next up, and the service does allow this, in fact, it is quite torrent friendly. But, with Singapore being seen as a 5-eyes partner, you never know if they ‘Will’ ever retain enough data to hand over if requested. As it stands, you can torrent with optimized servers in the US and Canada.
One area that is rare for VPN’s is that Ivacy comes with a dedicated app for the Kodi media player. This can entice a lot of users who use this for free movies and TV shows.
When it comes down to pricing Ivacy appears to be excellent value when you lock yourself in for an extended period.
However, if you take a look at their month plan, they are the same, if not more expensive than other VPN companies.
While much of this may be a marketing ploy, it is still there that they look costly for month by month basis.
- Monthly Plan: $9.95
- 1 Year Plan: $3.33 per month: Billed as $40 once per year
- 2 Yearly Plan: $2.25 per month: Billed as $54 every 2 years
For this, Ivacy offers a 30-day money back guarantee, but with there, there are some limitations.
- You must claim your refund in the specified period
- You must not be suspended by Ivacy
- You have not consumed over the agreed data limits
- You have not paid via Bitcoin, BitPay, Paymentwall or Coin payments.
While most appear to be fair, the company should make it more transparent as users are thinking of signing up.
When you look at the payment methods, Ivacy accepts a lot, you can pay with credit card, PayPal, Crypto, Alipay, Perfect Money and a host of Paymentwall options.
While the company states they have 1000+ servers that cover 100 locations, there are not many review sites that substantiate this and the majority come up with 450+ servers in 55 countries. Aside from this, not all locations allow the use of OpenVPN.
While this is the de facto VPN standard, it is a shame if it isn’t fully supported across their network.
Support for PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols make this highly secure. Encryption is taken care of with industry standard AES-256 encryption which is military grade.
When you sign up for Ivacy, you have the chance of a couple of add-ons. One is a dedicated IP address in specific countries, or you can add-on their Secure DNS.
This will route all data through the Ivacy a secure VPN server and help prevent DNS leaks.
Ivacy supports a wide range of platforms. This includes Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Xbox, Smart TV’s and routers. Apps are available for most of the popular platforms, and there is dedicated setup instruction for the others.
When you sign up with Ivacy, there are 5 simultaneous connections allowed
Privacy and Security
When it comes to both privacy and security, Ivacy details everything in plain English.
On the side of logging, here is one of their paragraphs as they explain logging of what they do, and what they don’t retain.
‘We strictly do not log or monitor, online browsing activities, connection logs, VPN IPs assigned, original IP addresses, browsing history, outgoing traffic, connection times, data you have accessed and/or DNS queries generated by your end.
We have no information that could associate specific activities to specific users.’
Further to this, they go on and explain more about what they do keep. The company will retain your name, email address means of payment, app crash reports, and info related to diagnostics of their service. It should also be noted, any email addresses are automatically deleted if there are 12-months of inactivity.
While it doesn’t allow for total anonymity, it is better than some major VPN’s out there. One good thing was they will enable you to request the deletion of your data if you head into the member’s areas.
IPv6 is known to have security issues, and because of this, any internet connection where this is found, it is automatically sent through the VPN connection.
The major flaw in their attempt at being secure and private is they are based in Singapore. This has been shown to side with the 5-eyes jurisdiction.
This allows the world’s governments to tap into any of the major connections and spy on whoever they so wish.
Although they claim zero logs, this 5-eyes companionship may force them to comply at some stage. So far, they do uphold what they say of a ZERO log policy.
Ease of Use
This is very simple to do and once you select your plan, and payment option, you are taken to the next screen where you enter your name, email and email confirmation.
From this, it is a matter of agreeing to the terms and conditions and hitting the large green icon at the bottom of the screen.
Once you have your confirmation email, you will have the link to the apps.
Setup and User Interface
An Ivacy download and Installation is the same as any other application, but once it loads you select the protocol you want, and then you input your username and password. You then select the purpose, and once you are connected, the button turns green.
The main clients are very easy to use, and when you first open them, you are greeted by a clean interface of different shades of blue.
On the left bar from top to bottom, there are all the options you need.
These include Smart Connect, Secure Download, Streaming, Dedicated IP and Unblocking. You can also access your account and further system settings and their support section.
The Smart Connection is where you choose your desired location, or there is the option to choose specific cities. This is where you can bypass streaming service restrictions.
Ivacy comes with a Kill switch which is a nice gesture, and also they have a secure download
option. This includes security scanning at the server level. This will consist of any P2P file transfers you make.
Malware scanning is also included which also includes anti-virus. The unblocking feature is used to bypass firewalls which is useful in some countries.
As they are the company that introduced split tunnelling, they obviously have this feature.
Ivacy has extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
Performance and Servers
While they do have a small number of servers, the speed tests were quite surprising. However, it should be noted, they do use virtual server locations as well as a physical VPN connection in all of their locations. They have 25 servers that spoof their location.
We saw earlier they have 450+ servers, which is small, but as you can see, this wasn’t too much of a hindrance.
The fastest areas were the UK, USA, Japan, and Germany. Far off regions such as Australia didn’t fare so well.
All in all, through the test, they were slightly better than average. This might not sound exciting, but when you consider their small network, they perform as well as some VPN’s with thousands of servers.
Ivacy really shines with their customer service, and a lot of other VPN’s should take note. The staff was fast to respond with their live chat, and even some companies don’t have this.
The only downside is the technical knowledge of the staff. There are also plenty of help guides and various other areas users can get help, so they don’t lack in this area at all.
It was evident that Ivacy puts customer relations high on their list.
Is this the VPN service for you?
As good as the service is, we still found some slight problems here and there. There were some quirks with the Windows client, and speeds were not always consistent, especially when it comes to Australia.
If all you need is security, then it is easy to recommend Ivacy, but when you get past this, they do let themselves down, but not by much. Maybe in time, they will up their service, and then it may be a different answer.