Verdict: Ivacy VPN has most of the features that you would want from a VPN and has a very plan at only $1.16/month.
It’s 2020 now and we spend the majority of our time online. So unless the only thing you do online is search for cute cat pics, it’s about time you take your online privacy more seriously. This doesn’t mean just having a more secure password, not visiting malicious sites, etc. Sure, those things are important but they just aren’t enough. And if you are not using a VPN, then you sure are not doing it right. Having a good VPN now is like having a protective case for your phone. It might add a bit bulk to it ( slower speeds in case of VPNs, however not always the case), but it makes sure the device stays protected ( Security and Privacy ) even in extreme cases. And then there are many other benefits such as better grip and the ability to change the look ( Geo-Unblocking, Bypass ISP Throttling, etc in case of a VPN ). Coming to the point, in this article I will be reviewing a VPN provider that claims to be the “Best VPN Service of 2020”. In case you’re wondering, I am talking about Ivacy VPN. We will be looking at the different aspects of this VPN and how much truth is there to its claim. But before we begin, you must know why you need a VPN and what it’s advantages are.
Why Should You Use a VPN?
There are multiple reasons why one must use a VPN. These reasons aren’t just limited to privacy and security. Although these two are among the primary reasons to get a VPN. Let’s take a look at all the reasons why you should use a VPN.
- Hide Your Browsing Activity: Whenever you browse the internet, your Internet Service Provider can see what websites you are visiting and what files you are downloading. Not only this, but even other prying eyes will also be able to track your activity. This data can be sold to third parties who might use it for malicious activities. So if you want to hide your browsing activity from your ISPs and other third parties then you can connect to a VPN. Using a VPN your connection becomes secure and anonymous. On the local network only a single connection will be visible. All the other traffic that needs to be transferred will pass through the VPN connection. This way your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Governmental agency won’t be able to track you. They will not be able to link your session with your IP address. However one thing you should keep in mind is that VPN providers may still track and log your activity.
- Bypass ISP throttling: Most Internet Service Providers (ISP) intentionally slow down the speed of a user’s broadband internet connection. This is usually done by the ISPs to regulate a network’s traffic and to alleviate network congestion. While this is a common practice the result of this throttling is that users get a lower speed than they were supposed to. This throttling can be bypassed by using a VPN. A VPN routes your connection through their secure tunnel, preventing your ISP from throttling your connection.
- ●Unblock Geo-Restricted Content: Imagine these scenarios. You are someone who is traveling to a different country and want to access your native Netflix or Prime Video library. Or you are someone who wants to access the catalog of a different country because a particular title isn’t available in your region. Normally you would be out of luck in both these scenarios but using a VPN can easily solve these problems for you. A VPN will mask your location based on the server you are connected to. This enables you to access these region-restricted services from anywhere in the world.
- Bypass Internet Censorship: Many countries are known for notoriously censoring a majority of the online content as well as restricting access to many websites. China is one such country that comes to mind. In such cases you can use a VPN to gain access to these restricted contents. However one thing to note is that most VPNs aren’t capable of bypassing this.
- Downloading Torrents: Downloading torrents might land you in trouble in multiple countries. Even if it isn’t illegal, downloading a torrent can be painstaking because most ISPs throttle the speed. Some ISPs might even serve you notices for downloading torrents. Universities and other Institutes also block torrents. Using a VPN you can bypass these restrictions and also ensure that you don’t land in trouble.
What makes a good VPN?
There are a few aspects that every good VPN should have. The more a VPN performs in each of these aspects, the better it is considered. In this section we will establish a few of these criteria and in the coming sections we will see how good Ivacy VPN is in those criteria.
- Security: This is the topmost priority for most VPN users. The level of security a VPN can provide decides how effective a VPN is. A good VPN can be characterized by the following features: Level of encryption: A good VPN will use military-grade encryption like Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256). This is the most common type of encryption used by VPNs and is very effective in protecting your information. DNS leak protection: A good VPN should provide you protection from DNS leaks. Kill Switch: Another feature that most good VPNs should have. It prevents your traffic from leaving in case your connection is interrupted. These and many other features ensure your security is protected.
- Speed: What is the benefit of having a private and secure connection if there is no high-speed bandwidth to accompany it? This is the case with most free and low tier VPNs. Their speed is so slow that all you could do is barely browse a few sites or so. If you are someone whose primary reason for using a VPN is to stream and download content then this will affect you. To be able to stream contents without any buffering, then as per Lifewire your internet speed needs to meet these requirements:- 0.5 Mb/s to view standard definition movies on a laptop computer. While you can stream at speeds of 0.5 Mb/s, the quality is grainy on a large screen, much like watching an old VHS movie. Netflix recommends at least 1.5 Mb/s. 3 Mb/s to view standard definition video (480p) on a T. 4 Mb/s to view high definition video ( 720p, 1080p ). 5 Mb/s or more for the best 1080p experience. 15 Mb/s to stream 4K (but 25 Mb/s is preferred). Also recommended is a 4K Ultra TV with an HEVC decoder. So for a VPN to be considered a good VPN, it has to at least meet these above requirements.
- Logging Policy: Another primary reason people use VPNs is to hide their online activities and prevent ISPs from monitoring and tracking their online activities. The thing is even though the ISP and other third parties won’t be able to track users, the VPN provider will still possess this particular information. There is no guarantee what they will do with that data and nothing is stopping them from selling these data to third party buyers. Also if the VPN provider is based in one of the member countries of the 14 eyes, then there is a chance government surveillance officials might ask for these data in the guise of national security. This is especially relevant if your VPN provider is based in a 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance country. VPNs in these countries can be legally obligated to provide your data. For this reason a good VPN should not store any of your information at whatsoever. So a VPN is as good as its logging policy. Most good VPNs have a strict no-logs policy.
- Number of Servers: The number of servers a VPN has is also a great indicator of how good a VPN is. Having a large number of servers available has its advantages. Here are two such reasons why large no servers can be beneficial. First, more no of servers means that you can switch between servers in case one of the servers isn’t working. So you can find a server that best suits your requirements. Secondly, a huge no of servers would mean that there will be less congestion in a particular server. As a result you will get better speeds. So any good VPN should have a large number of servers spread across the globe.
- Location of Servers: Having a server in multiple regions and locations would mean that we can access unblocked content in all these regions. So along with having a large number of servers, a good VPN should also have these servers spread across more countries and regions.
- Pricing: Pricing is the final deciding factor for most people. After all the VPN that you decide to go for will largely depend on your budget. So it doesn’t matter how many features a VPN has if the pricing isn’t right a VPN won’t sell. So for a VPN to be considered good, it has to have the perfect performance to price ratio.
Now that we have looked at the primary reasons why a VPN should be used and what makes a good VPN, let’s dive deep into Ivacy VPN.
Ivacy VPN Review
1. Privacy And Security
Ivacy VPN is based out of Singapore which is not a member of any of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes Organisation. So, your data is secure up to some extent. But this isn’t enough and Ivacy VPN knows this. And these are a few of the features they have to ensure you get better Privacy and Security, which are the two most important factors of a VPN.
Using Ivacy VPN will mean that you get your dedicated IP address. Along with having a dedicated IP you can also Whitelist IP addresses. This will ensure that there is no unauthorized access to any of your data. This also keeps your online identity protected. Thus, having a Dedicated IP adds a layer of security.
Ivacy VPN uses advanced 256-Bit Encryption to encrypt all the users’ traffic data. 256-Bit Encryption is the standard encryption method which is very secure and almost impossible to decrypt. This ensures that the users’ data remains safe from the hands of government agencies, third parties like attackers and hackers. The 256-Bit Encryption makes sure that no one will be able to decrypt the encrypted data.
Public Wi-Fi Security
Public WiFis are great but they are often very insecure. Public Wifi is very vulnerable to different types of attacks, like a MITM attack. This means that attackers can see the packets you are transferring and even send malware to your devices. They can also take control of your devices remotely and turn them off. Using Ivacy VPN makes you more secure in such cases.
IPv6 Leak Protection
Your IP address is your digital identity. Using a VPN, you manage to hide your IP orignal address from the world. However, if the IP gets leaked then your identity may be compromised. To protect you from that, Ivacy VPN offers IPv6 Leak Protection. This prevents your online IP address from leaking and also keeps away third parties from tracking all of your activities. Ivacy VPN comes with IPv6 Leak Protection and makes sure your IP isn’t leaked.
A Domain Name System(DNS) is a kind of identity that every website has on the internet. A DNS is nothing but a string of numbers also called an IP address. Each IP address is linked to a URL which is easier for a human to remember. How this is relevant is that many VPN providers use third-party DNS. These 3rd party DNS aren’t encrypted. They are vulnerable to manipulation, and hence don’t provide the same level of security. Hence a DNS leak can occur which would compromise your identity. Ivacy VPN uses its own private and secures DNS that keeps you protected.
One way hackers attack you is by using DDoS attacks. These attacks can interrupt your traffic as well as overwhelm it completely. This will lead to bringing your whole network down. Using Ivacy will ensure that you are not vulnerable to DDoS attacks.
Thus with all these features, Ivacy VPN manages to not only make your connection more secure but also protect your privacy.
2. Logging Policy
A VPN might help keep your traffic and activities safe from your ISP but the VPN provider still has your data. There’s no way to verify what they can do with it. What if your VPN provider is tracking and logging your activities? What stops them from selling your data? Even if the provider isn’t using your data for other purposes, if they are still storing your data then they may be forced to give it to the government agencies in case of some emergencies. So, keeping no sensitive data is the ideal way to operate.
“Your Information Is Your Own
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.
Ivacy assures its users of collecting minimal data. Data collected is to keep Ivacy running smoothly and to make our services better. We do not keep any personal and sensitive user information. By design, Ivacy VPN has no sensitive data to share, even when legally bound to do so.
Note: Ivacy needs certain data to assist users in need of a dedicated IP. The information required is not sensitive, but it is required to be kept on file for troubleshooting if a problem arises. “
And here’s some info on the data IvacyVPN requires:
“What Information does Ivacy VPN Require?
During the signup process, the following information is required:
- Your Name
- Email Address
- Payment Method”
Finally, here’s how they use the information they collect:
“How is Collected Information Used?
The collected information assists Ivacy in the following ways:
- Your Name and Payment Method aids in the account creation process.
- Your Email Address aids allows us to contact you with discounts, surveys and offers. But you can opt for promotional emails at any time from the members area.
- Your Email Address is needed to resend username and password in case you forget or lose them.
- Your Email Address is needed to respond to generated tickets.
- Your Email Address allows us to keep you up-to-date about the latest developments.
Note: Information pertaining to inactive customers is removed after every 12 months.”
Overall, we can conclude that Ivacy has a strict logging policy and your data is safe with them.
3. Network Protocols
The protocols a VPN supports decides how effective the VPN is in terms of its privacy. These protocols enable the VPNs to safely send the user’s data through the internet. This is necessary for browsing websites, using social media, or doing just about anything else online. They make sure that the user’s connection remains private no matter what. A VPN protocol is different and has many extra functionalities. It performs end-to-end encryption and also authenticates traffic data. It also uses obfuscation of the data which helps in hiding the traffic that the VPN is serving. The following Protocols are supported by Ivacy VPN:
- OpenVPN (UDP, TCP),
Any of these protocols are more than capable of providing you with a secure connection. So as long as you use one of these protocols, you don’t need to worry about your privacy.
4. Geo Unblocking
With an increase in the number of streaming services available, the number of shows in each is decreasing. So as a result many shows now aren’t available to stream in a particular region but are available in some other region. This has given rise to a completely new use of VPNs. People have now started using VPNs so that they can unblock these Geo-restrictions and what shows and movies that are not available in their region. However, Netflix can recognize whether or not someone is using a VPN or not and hence will not serve them the blocked content.
With Ivacy VPN, you will be able to access the different services from different locations in multiple countries spread across the globe. I was able to successfully access multiple libraries of different regions. It managed to remove the geo-restriction of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC, HBO, etc. So, if streaming is what you are after, Ivacy VPN has got you covered.
5. P2P Support
P2P, also known as peer to peer connection, is what is used for downloading torrents. As most of you might know, downloading torrents can be tricky. You might get in trouble for this. It is illegal to download torrents in someplace. You might also get notices from your ISP for the same. So hiding your identity while downloading torrent can be considered a safe choice.
So using a VPN for torrenting is kind of a necessity. It helps you in keeping your connection anonymous while you are downloading or seeding a torrent. Some ISPs also throttle the connection speed if they sense that you are downloading a torrent or uploading it. Ivacy VPN does a very good job of downloading a torrent. Both the upload and download speeds were decent, and it supported most major P2P clients. This includes torrent clients such as uTorrent, BitTorrent, BitTorrent, Vuze, Deluge, and many other clients. It also has features such as VPN Kill Switch and Split Tunnel. This ensures that your network remains secure and private even when downloading torrents. So, neither your ISP or any other Government agencies will be able to see what you are doing, thanks to Ivacy VPN.
6. Bypassing Censorship in China
China has one of the highest amounts of internet restriction among all countries. It also has some good anti-VPN tech that mostly succeeds. Not all VPNs work in China. Very few VPNs can bypass this. Ivacy VPN manages to bypass this censorship put on by China. The anti-VPN firewalls of China weren’t able to detect the VPN and hence it managed to bypass it. So with the help of Ivacy VPN you can access the internet in China without risking giving away your identity as Ivacy VPN bypasses the Firewall of China.
Other than privacy and security, the other thing that we cannot compromise is Speed. No matter what purpose we use it for, we will need high-speed internet to get an uninterrupted connection. So even if a VPN is very secure, if it doesn’t have enough speed then it’s of no use. So we checked out the speeds that we got while using Ivacy VPN. But before that we measured our speed without a VPN.
We got a download speed of 48.29 Mbps and an upload speed of 45.97 Mbps. The response time we got was 2 ms. So this was our base speed without having a VPN. Now let’s see how a VPN affects the speed.
For our test we connected to three different locations: US (auto mode), UK, and Canada. On each of these servers we got at least more than 30mbps speed and a 25mbps+ upload speed. The US server had the highest speed and was followed by Uk and Canada. In terms of ping, only the US server had a decent ping of 55 ms. The other two were more than 100 ms. Ivacy VPN produced speeds that were fast enough for streaming, downloading, and other browsing activities. So if you have a high-speed connection, be assured that you won’t be limited by its server speed.
When it comes to the number of servers, Ivacy VPN has a good enough collection of servers. It consists of 2000+ servers in over 100 locations all around the globe. Most of these servers are Encrypted, support Streaming, and are P2P Friendly. All these servers are reliable and have complete security and protection.
9. Other Features
Not all applications and websites require you to use a VPN. For example, some web services from your local IP addresses. Some services might also require you to turn off your VPN. So what happens if you have to access both at the same time. This is where Ivacy VPN’s split tunneling comes into play. It lets you exclude certain traffic from the protection of your VPN. This will protect all connected devices or applications except for those specifically excluded. So, only those apps that require a VPN connection will have access to it. Hence using the SplitVPN feature you can access both local and foreign websites at the same time.
Network Lock kill switch
What happens if your VPN connection is ever interrupted or if the connection fails? In a normal situation, this would lead to your online connection being compromised. This would mean that your personal information including your IP address would be exposed. Your ISP or other prying eyes would be able to access these data. To protect you from this Ivacy VPN has an Internet Kill switch feature. The Internet Kill Switch features detect when your connection drops and immediately halts the Internet. This means no traffic enters or leaves your device. It ensures that you stay private at all times. So you don’t have to worry whether or not your VPN connection will fail. If it does then the Internet Kill switch will make sure that your security and privacy aren’t compromised. This is because it will immediately stop any kind of traffic from either entering or leaving your device.
When it comes to subscription plans, Ivacy VPN has three regular pricing options. All three plans come with the same premium features but differ only in their subscription period.
- Free Trial: Ivacy VPN has a free 7-day trial for 0.99 $ so you can try out the VPN and decide whether or not you like the VPN.
- 1 Month Plan: Like most other VPNs, this is its most expensive plan. It costs $9.95 which is still cheaper than what the other VPNs offer.
- 1 Year Plan: This is the mid-tier plan. It costs a total of $42.00 for its yearly plan. The cost per month for this plan is $3.50. This plan is billed once every year.
- 2 Year Plan: This is the more affordable plan. It costs a total of $54.00 for its yearly plan. The cost per month for this plan is $2.25. This plan is billed once every two years. At the time of writing this, you will also get 1 Year Premium Password Manager. subscription for free.
- 5 Year Plan: At the time of writing this, there is a limited 5 Years Plan with 88% OFF. The cost per month for this plan is $1.16 and the total billing is $69.60 for five years.
Ivacy VPN Review Verdict
Ivacy VPN may not be the ” Best VPN services of 2020″ as they claimed but it surely will give tough competition to the other providers. It is one of the most affordable VPNs and has all the great features one looks for in a VPN. So, if you are planning to buy a VPN, then Ivacy VPN is a great choice. It offers a free 7-day trial for 0.99 $ so you can try it out before you make up your mind.