Ivacy is a VPN company that was established in 2007 and is based out from Hong Kong. It has been in operation for almost a decade, but it has only recently started to attract attention because of its revamping of its service to provide better functionalities to the customers. Ivacy also claims to be the first VPN service to offer Split Tunnelling back in 2010. We provide a detailed review of their service below.
Ivacy has three pricing plans to offer to their customers. The plans are for periods of one month, 12 months, and 24 months. Customers can enjoy huge discounts on the annual and bi-annual plans. The monthly plan costs $11.95 per month, the 12 month plan costs $2.50 per month with users having to pay $29.95 up front for the entire year, and the 24 month plan costs $1.66 per month with users having to pay $39.95 up front for two years of service.
All these plans include all the features offered by Ivacy. There is no free trial offered by Ivacy, and payments can be made using different options like PayPal, credit cards, WebMoney, or anonymously using Bitcoin. There is a 7-day money back guarantee as well, but it requires that users don’t exceed more than 500MB usage or more than 10 sessions.
Security and Encryption
Ivacy offers all VPN protocols to its users. Users can choose from PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP). While having different options is always a good thing, it is recommended that you use OpenVPN for the best possible protection. OpenVPN was not earlier available in Ivacy’s Linux VPN, but it is now available in that as well. The protocols are only as good as the encryption algorithm used to make the connections secure. Ivacy uses the standard military-grade 256-bit AES encryption for all its connections to provide users with good level of security against data snoopers and trackers.
Speaking of security and privacy, Ivacy completes respects customer privacy and does not record any sort of logs. The few connection timestamps it does keep are kept only for a period of 24 hours. Apart from that, nothing is stored which could be shared with authorities. It is not even required to share anything with the authorities as it is based in Hong Kong where there are no data retention laws to adhere to.
Ivacy is still a relatively small VPN service, but that has not deterred it to provide its users with a good server pool to choose from. Currently, Ivacy offers more than 250 servers in more than 44 countries across the world. The servers offer good connection speeds and use their 256-bit encryption to provide users with good protection. These servers cover all the major locations of the world like USA, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Germany, France, New Zealand, etc. They also offer servers in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, etc. to provide users with as many connectivity options as possible. This particularly comes in handy when users wish to access services like Netflix which are available in some parts of the world.
Ivacy is a service that has good cross-platform compatibility. It has dedicated VPN clients for Windows and Mac OS as well as VPN apps for Android and iOS devices. Users can simply download these clients and start using Ivacy on these devices. For other operating systems like Linux or devices like routers or gaming consoles, Ivacy provides detailed setup instructions on its website. Users can either follow them to install their service on these devices, or request the support staff at Ivacy for help in the matter.
Speed tests with Ivacy yielded decent results. Ivacy claims to provide good connection speeds that make it possible to stream content without a worry and browse the internet with no noticeable lag. These claims were not false, as we were able to browse the internet and stream content without any problem while using Ivacy. Speed Tests showed that the download speed reduced a little when we connected to their US or UK server, but the drop wasn’t considerably high, which is always good. DNS and IP leak tests also returned positive results.
For all the features Ivacy offers and the revamping it has done to make its service better, it still needs to work on its customer support service. The support staff can be contacted via email, ticket system, Skype, or chat during office hours. The responses can wary from being really courteous and detailed to short and imprecise statements. Response times are as variable as their responses in general, which gives a bad impression to customers.
Ivacy offers many different features to customers in addition to the VPN service. It provides protection against DDoS attacks, offers an NAT firewall to fend off malicious traffic, and provides an internet kill switch to disable the internet whenever your VPN is disconnected. As mentioned in the beginning, it also offers Split Tunnelling to users, which is something that many VPN providers still don’t offers. Split Tunnelling allows the VPN to work better as you can manage the load better by choosing what traffic to pass over the VPN server and what not. It should be said that you must only do this if you are sure what you need protection for and what not, otherwise you could compromise your sensitive data. It also allows up to 5 simultaneous connections and supports P2P.
Ivacy indeed offers many features despite its relatively small stature. It has been in operation for over 9 years but is still trying to break into the top level of the VPN rankings. The good points are that they offer quite a cheap service for longer periods of subscription, have good cross-platform compatibility, good amount of servers, and accept Bitcoin. The bad things are their slow and irregular customer support service, and their somewhat unreliable service. Many customers have complained that over time, Ivacy’s service deteriorates quite quickly. However, all in all, we can say that it is a service that is on the right track to being a big name, even though it still has a long way to go.