Ivacy Review

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

September 23, 2020

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Features

4/5

Speed & Performance

3.5/5

Ease of Use

4.5/5

Mobile App

4/5

Customer Support

4.1/5

Pricing

4.5/5
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Ivacy Pros:

Ivacy Cons:

Ivacy has been around since 2007, and so you would have thought that it would have quite a dominant reputation in the industry by now, right? 

Most people haven’t heard of Ivacy, but is that purely because of poor marketing, or is it because of a low-quality service? Read on to discover my thoughts about Ivacy.

Overview

Ivacy is a company that is based in Singapore, operating under PMG Private Limited, which is its parent company. Singapore is not a great location for VPNs. This is because Singapore has a track record for handling over sensitive information and collaborating with the Five-Eyes surveillance network. In fact, this is so much so that Singapore has earned the nickname of the “sixth-eye” because of its continued cooperation with the intelligence alliance. 

Perhaps they should change their name to evasive, though, as that’s exactly what they appear to be. The PR manager of the company has stated that there is no ethical obligation for the company to disclose who the people working behind it are. This statement alone caused me to raise my eyebrows.

So, I decided to do a bit more digging. It seems that Ivacy and PureVPN may as well be the same company. There is nothing wrong with being owned and run by the same parent business; this is the case for a lot of VPN providers. However, the fact that they were so secretive about this and even went as far as to deny a connection for quite some time is quite concerning. Why lie?

Personally, I would feel incredibly nervous about choosing a company like this. Your relationship with a VPN provider is largely based on trust. How can you choose a company and trust them with your sensitive data if they won’t tell you who they are? It’s not a great start, is it? Still, I decided to try out the VPN in full so that I could give you a full review of the features and to determine whether Ivacy can make up for this shaky start. I must admit, things get a lot better. The only way is up, right?

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Speeds

The speeds are a bit hit and miss with Ivacy. Decent upload and download speeds are present on local servers. However, when connecting to the international servers, I did notice quite a considerable reduction. 

I would describe Ivacy as pretty much middle-of-the-road in this area. 

One thing I was disappointed with was the servers in Asia. They are pretty much unusable, in my opinion.

For good speeds, I would not look past the likes of ExpressVPN and Surfshark. I have reviewed both in detail so you can get a better understanding. 

Where are Ivacy servers located?

In terms of server allocation, there are servers in 57 different countries. Coverage is best in North America and Europe. However, Ivacy has recently started moving into areas that have been traditionally underrepresented, such as Panama, Kenya, Ghana, and Costa Rica. This is a wise move, as it helps to set Ivacy apart from the other VPN providers out there at the moment.

One thing I did notice, though, is that a lot of the server locations are actually virtual servers. This means that masking techniques are used. For example, the server claiming to be in Turkey is actually in New York. The server labelled as Luxembourg is in Atlanta, US.

Security

Internet protocols determine how information packets are transmitted over a network, determining the protection of VPN services and their speed. Certain protocols sacrifice protection for speed, and the other way round. I was pleased to see that Ivacy VPN makes it simple for users to transition between protocols based on whether they wish to prioritize security or speed. I am going to talk you through some of the different protocols and security features that are available so that you can get a better understanding.

TCP

Transmission Control Protocol is actually comprised of seven layers that transport information and make certain it gets to the appropriate spot by breaking it into smaller sized packets. It is powerful when combined with UDP, as it is able to make sure the information is actually put back together in the correct order.

UDP

UDP, User Datagram Protocol, transmits messages known as datagrams, which do not require virtual circuits to transmit information. The main benefit of UDP is it calls for lower bandwidth, leading to less delay. Its disadvantage is that packets might be lost or perhaps out of order.

IKEv2

Internet Key Exchange version two is a commonly used VPN protocol, which instantly re-establishes the connection with your VPN after you are disconnected from the web. This will come in useful when switching between mobile hotspots and Wi-Fi, which occurs all of the time when using a smartphone.

L2TP/ IPsec

The Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol functions with IPsec to make an extremely secure VPN client. While the tunnel is created by L2TP, the encryption is handled by IPSec, as well as the channel security. Additionally, it makes certain the data’s integrity has not been compromised.

OpenVPN

OpenVPN is often deemed the gold standard when it comes to VPNs. Why? Because it provides a good mixture of performance, quickness, and security. This protocol is actually open-source and supported by a group of people who improve the code continually to prevent surveillance firms from tampering with VPN services. OpenVPN is a possibility with Ivacy VPN, though you’ve got to install it manually. 

Does Ivacy have a kill switch?

A kill switch will cut Internet access should you lose your VPN connection momentarily. So why do I suggest selecting a VPN with a kill switch? Because otherwise, privacy might be compromised. 

Without having a kill switch, a server resetting or temporary Internet failure might result in your public IP address being leaked. 

Unfortunately, Ivacy VPN just provides a kill switch for Android and Windows, so if you use an Apple product, I would not advise using this VPN. There are other VPNs that have a kill switch across the board, including the likes of IPVanish, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN.

Logging policy

There is a minimal logs policy in place at Ivacy. This means that the company does not gather any data that could be used to identify you. 

Therefore, Ivacy will not collect any DNS queries generated at your end, connection timestamps, IP address, duration logs, or connection logs. 

Ivacy will collect information regarding the country you are connecting from.

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Ease of use

It is really straightforward to download the app.

However, the usability of the app could do with a bit of improvement, as the features are labelled rather ambiguously. 

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Torrenting

There are some VPNs that are ideal for torrenting, and Ivacy is one of them. There are dedicated servers purely for P2P traffic, which is exactly what you want when searching for a VPN for torrenting specifically. 

I know a lot of people do find it difficult to locate these servers, though. What you need to do is head to the ‘Secure Download’ section of the Ivacy app, and you will be able to find the servers from here.

By having servers that are for P2P activity exclusively, the risk of speed bottlenecks and congestion is reduced considerably, even during peak hours. 

Personally, I would only recommend Ivacy for torrenting if you are going to be using it on a Windows or Android device. The reason for this is that there is a kill switch on these operating systems, yet there is not a kill switch for iOS and Mac users. 

As there is no kill switch for iOS and Mac users, I would not recommend this VPN. Without a kill switch, there is always the risk that your true IP address could be exposed if your Internet connection drops out. I am sure most people reading this have experienced their Internet connection drop out before, and so you know that not having a kill switch is a big issue.

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Unblock streaming services

Ivacy has proven to be a good choice for anyone seeking a VPN for the purpose of unblocking streaming services. 

I tested out Ivacy with all of the main streaming services, and I have nothing but success to report. I was able to unblock both BBC iPlayer and US Netflix. Anyone with a bit of experience in VPNs will know that BBC iPlayer is notoriously difficult to connect to, so this is a big plus point!

You can easily see the servers that can be used for streaming purposes, making it a lot easier to use Ivacy for streaming.

However, not all streaming services can be unblocked, as I was not able to access Disney+, meaning there is still a bit of work to be done in this department.

I should note that it is possible to have buffering problems because of the mediocre performance Ivacy offers in terms of speed.

Does Ivacy bypass the Great Wall Of China?

Yes, I am pleased to say that Ivacy is a recommended choice if you’re looking for something to use in China. It has an app, which is called Ivacy Prime, that has been designed for use in China specifically. 

You don’t need to pay any extra for this app, as it is tied to your standard Ivacy subscription.

However, this is only available on Android and Windows, so do keep this in mind! It does seem that Ivacy is very much tailored to these platforms when you consider that the kill switch feature is only for Android and Windows as well.

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Compatibility

Ivacy can be obtained for iOS, game consoles, Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, and other platforms too. The set up is quick and simple. Simply go to the download page to receive the edition of the platform you would like to use.

Besides the committed apps for a lot of different platforms, there are teaching manuals for Linux, consoles, Kodi, OpenElec, Smart TV, Blackberry, and routers. Each part of the process is explained in a clear manner, with screenshots to guide users. You contact the team on live chat for direction if you are still struggling.

You can check out my “reviews by device” if you would like more information on the best VPN for a specific device.

Games consoles and streaming devices

I would say that Ivacy is definitely a VPN worth considering if you are a gamer. When using a local connection, latency remained fairly low, so I am sure that you would have no trouble using this VPN for gaming purposes.

Browser extensions

There are browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. As is the case for other browser extensions, they just work as an Internet proxy. 

Customer support

My experience with customer support was pretty positive. They answered all of my queries, and I found them to be extremely helpful. They were fairly quick to respond as well. Plus, I am always happy when I see that a VPN provider offers live chat!

Pricing

There are three different pricing options for anyone looking to join Ivacy. The first is the seven-day trial, which is $0.99 for seven days, after which you will be billed at $3.99 per month.

The monthly plan is $9.95, so it really makes no sense to go down this route.

The cheapest option is the two-year plan. You will pay $54 up-front, which renews every 24 months, unless you cancel. This equates to $2.25 per month, meaning you will save 77 percent. Of course, the downside is that you’re tied into the contract for two years and the payment is upfront, so I would either go for this or the seven-day trial option.

There are many payment methods to choose from, including PayPal, card payment, and even cryptocurrency. 

Port forwarding is an extra feature, which costs $1 per month. 

Summary

To summarize, Ivacy is certainly an interesting contender in the VPN market, and it has some features that make it stand out from the rest. It’s exciting to see a VPN provider branch into new territories, but the gloss is taken away when you see that a lot of the servers are virtual servers.

I would not recommend Ivacy for Apple users; it is very much catered to Windows and Android users, with features like the kill switch and bespoke app for China only available to Windows and Android audiences. 

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