ibVPN is a solid budget VPN with lots of impressive privacy features. Speeds are good enough on local connections but nothing to shout about, however torrenters will love the servers optimized for use with P2P traffic. Streaming fans will be pleased to know that ibVPN is currently working to access Netflix. Custom apps are available for the usual range of popular platforms, however the Windows app is pretty clunky and not the most user-friendly we’ve seen.
Pricing & Deals
ibVPN offers a larger than usual range of pricing options, making it very easy to find the ideal option for you. As is the case with most other providers, the longer you sign up for, the less you pay on a monthly basis.
The great thing about ibVPN’s packages is that they’re tailored to suit different use cases such as torrenting or streaming. The Ultimate VPN ($4.83 per month on the 12-month plan) gives you access to all 180 servers, allows P2P traffic and five simultaneous connections. The Standard VPN ($3.08 per month on the annual plan) gives you access to 140 servers but doesn’t allow P2P traffic, whereas the Torrent VPN ($3.08 per month on the annual plan) does allow torrenting but you’re restricted to 21 servers. Both of these plans also only permit one simultaneous connection to the VPN.
Get an extra 25% off any annual ibVPN plan
ibVPN Pricing & Deals
ibVPN offers both a 24-hour free trial and a 15-day money-back guarantee. The free trial allows you to test out the full functionality of the service for 24 hours, including access to all 100+ servers in 55 countries. You do have to sign up and provide a name, email address and password in order to use the service, however we love that you don’t have to provide any payment details, meaning you can’t be automatically upgraded to a paid subscription.
ibVPN users can also take advantage of a 15-day money-back guarantee. This is genuinely “no questions asked” with no hidden data caps or restrictions, simply contact the support team within 15 days if you aren’t 100% satisfied with the service. Outside this period, if you have any technical issues that can’t be solved by the technical team within seven days, ibVPN will process a full or partial refund, which is not something you see from many other providers.
ibVPN accepts a broad range of payment methods including most major credit and debit cards, several different cryptocurrencies and lots of international options such as Webmoney, Alipay and Qiwi Wallet.
Speed & Reliability
ibVPN isn’t the quickest VPN on the current market but it’s definitely fast enough for everyday users. It will give you performance just about good enough to stream normal HD video on most popular servers, just don’t expect to have enough bandwidth to download a game, stream a movie and download torrenters all at the same time. Low latency of just 4ms means it’s a popular choice with online multiplayer gamers.
ibVPN offers good enough speeds on local connections for everyday users, reaching 59Mbps in Germany and 52Mbps in the UK. Connecting out to the US from the UK you can expect reliable speeds of around 38Mbps, a vast improvement on results from our previous tests – this is fast enough for HD streaming and speedy multiple file downloads. Performance on distant servers was not good at all, with Australia and Singapore struggling to reach far above 10Mbps.
On the plus side, we found latency to be pleasingly low on the UK server at around 4ms, which is great news for online multiplayer gamers. There are providers out there with lower ping times, but for the majority of people 4ms will be more than quick enough.
One downside was connection time, which was quite slow at 15 seconds on average, however unless you frequently switch servers it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. We also experienced quite a few dropped connections so we recommend using the killswitch to protect your privacy.
We actually found upload speeds to be quicker and more consistent across the board, with the UK coming in at 70Mbps and the rest of Europe and the US at 50Mbps+. This makes ibVPN a good choice for users of P2P software, especially on the Torrent VPN package, which gives you access to 21 P2P-optimized servers.
If you need super-fast speeds across international connections, ibVPN definitely isn’t the best choice for you, however it will be more than quick enough for most everyday users. Gamers and torrenters will love the low latency and reliable local upload speeds.
To find out more about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
Considering it’s a budget VPN, ibVPN offers an unexpected amount of choice in its server locations with 55 countries in total. This is a large enough amount that you shouldn’t struggle to find a suitable location, however there are providers out there offering more choice should you need it.
ibVPN also operates a small number of individual servers at just over 200, and customer support weren’t willing to tell us the number of IP addresses, which leads us to believe that there aren’t many, meaning you may experience server congestion at busier times. However, we love the server list on the website that makes it easier to choose your ideal location by displaying the % of total capacity and whether or not torrenting is permitted.
We were pleasantly surprised by a choice of 20 US cities in a server network this size, with a good spread of locations covering the length and breath of the country. City-level choice is also available in several other countries including the UK and the Netherlands, as well as locations that are often overlooked such as Israel, Russia and Switzerland.
As is usually the case, Europe and North America have the best level of coverage, and the Asia-Pacific region is also fairly well-served with some interesting options including double VPN and Tor over VPN servers in Singapore. We like that there are servers located in China, which is something that not all providers offer. Users looking for something similar in Africa and South America will be disappointed, with just a handful of locations between them.
You can find the complete list of ibVPN server locations by country and purpose on their website below.
Platforms & Devices
ibVPN offers the usual range of custom apps for various devices including Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. The setup section of their website is incredibly helpful and provides detailed instructions (including video presentations) on how to install these apps.
They also provide a series of in-depth manual set-up guides for those devices lacking native apps, such as Linux, Raspberry PI and FreeBox. You can also manually configure your router to work with the VPN software – a list of supported routers and configuration instructions is available on ibVPN’s website.
ibVPN offers proxy extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera browsers, both of which can be downloaded and added to your browser in a matter of seconds if you already have the main app running. The extensions allow you to access blocked content, keep you safe from third-party tracking cookies and protect you from WebRTC leaks, which isn’t something offered by many other providers.
It should be noted that whilst these extensions are good for changing your IP address and preventing you from being tracked by unknown sites, they are proxies rather than VPN extensions. This means that while they do encrypt your browser traffic, they don’t offer the same level of security as the desktop apps, so should be seen as useful bonus features rather than complete substitutes.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
ibVPN can be used with a range of different games consoles and streaming devices by connecting them to a manually configured router. This includes devices such as Xbox, PlayStation, Apple/Android TV, Roku and many more. However, there are currently no native apps for any of these devices, which is something that rivals such as ExpressVPN currently offer.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to manually configure the VPN on any individual devices (other than Boxee Box and FreeBox) so you need to make sure you have a compatible router. You can find loads of support both on the website and ibVPN’s customer forums if you have any issues.
Streaming & Torrenting
ibVPN claims to offer access to most major streaming services, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer, through the ‘Wizard’ section of the desktop app. In theory, this configures the app depending on your preferences, including US and UK streaming options.
Unfortunately neither the US or UK options worked to unblock Netflix or BBC iPlayer, which is a shame. We were able to get Netflix working on a handful of the normal US servers though, although we didn’t have any luck with iPlayer.
ibVPN is a very good choice for torrenters due to its Torrent VPN plan, which is optimized for P2P traffic. This means very little server congestion and speedy file uploads, as well as the option to use Socks5 proxies to make your connection even more secure.
Encryption & Security
ibVPN is a pretty good choice if pure privacy is your priority. OpenVPN (the most secure protocol) is available on all of the apps, although you can set it to another option if you’d prefer. In terms of encryption, they use AES-256 which is considered ‘unbreakable’.
The VPN kill switch is very important as ibVPN’s connections aren’t always the most reliable, and this prevents your true IP address from being exposed by blocking all web traffic should the VPN connection drop for any reason. ibVPN also operates its own DNS servers, so you don’t need to worry about your traffic being routed through less secure servers operated by third parties. You’re additionally protected from DNS and IPv6 leaks, a useful feature not offered by every other provider.
Another feature we love is the servers optimized for Tor over VPN, or those that offer double encryption. These are only available for Ultimate VPN customers but it’s definitely worth paying that little bit extra for added peace of mind.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- First-party DNS
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- VPN Kill Switch
- WebRTC Leak Blocking
- Ad Blocker
- Double VPN
- Smart DNS
- TOR via VPN Server
Due to China’s recent VPN crackdown, it’s become harder to recommend ibVPN, depsite its proprietary Stealth protocol. Many users in the country are currently experiencing issues connecting to the VPN. Customer support told us that some users are connecting successfully using the Shadowsocks proxy, but there are other providers out there, including Astrill and PrivateVPN, that offer a much easier and more reliable service for those located in China.
Fortunately, ibVPN’s Stealth protocol may work for users in other high-censorship countries that are not quite as strict as China, such as Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. A decent-sized server network also means you’ll never be too far from a server in a free-speech country, enabling you to beat the censors and access the websites you want without any restrictions.
What’s less reassuring is just how short the logging policy is, with just a couple of lines stating that they don’t log anything, omitting anything about how they maintain the service’s performance, such as monitoring servers. Upon contacting customer support we were told that they don’t share that information. Other providers offer a much higher level of transparency in their privacy policies, and ibVPN’s unwillingness to share certain information prevents us from calling it zero-logs. Nevertheless, coupled with some great security extras, we are confident that ibVPN provides a level of privacy that is more than good enough for most.
ibVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Romania, a potential red flag, as this means it’s subject to EU data retention laws and invasive intelligence-sharing agreements with the US. However, the fact that it doesn’t collect any personally-identifiable data does well to mitigate this.
Ease of Use
Most people will find ibVPN’s Windows app very dated and cluttered, however as VPN fanatics we have a soft spot for its crazy, overcrowded dashboards as they have tons of settings to fiddle with and more connection info than any other provider we’ve seen. The main screen displays your chosen server location and new IP address, VPN protocol, toggles for the kill switch and DNS leak protection as well as some basic performance stats.
You can find the settings menu along the left-hand side of the app. They’re fairly well-organized but would perhaps benefit from being separated into individual tabs, as right now feels like a little bit of an information overload. However, we do really like having all the options to play with and the flexibility to choose protocols, connect to servers with extra encryption or access to streaming services or configure the kill switch.
We love the traffic light system in place on the server list, which lets you know which locations are almost at capacity. The search feature is also really helpful, as it means you don’t have to scroll through the entire list to find the country you’re looking for. The only major downside is the design, which is pretty awful and would benefit hugely from a complete overhaul to make it more streamlined and accessible to VPN newbies. It’s worth noting that the MacOS, iOS and Android apps are much sleeker, but as a result lack the configurable elements of the Windows app.
Downloading and installing ibVPN is an incredibly simple process, even if you’ve never done it before. All you have to do is go to the setup section of the help center and click the download button for the platform on which you’re planning to use the VPN. You can even watch a video presentation that explains the process in detail.
Once you’ve clicked download, an installation wizard will pop up and prompt you to click next to finish the process. This is pretty self-explanatory so you shouldn’t run into any major issues here. Once this is done, you’ll be taken to ibVPN’s main screen, and all that’s left to do is log in and begin using the software.
ibVPN does a good job of providing resources and support for its customers. Live chat is advertised as being available 24/7 however we found responses to be slow on occasion. Despite that, it’s a pleasant surprise to have live chat at this price point, and responses are informative and above all friendly. We also love the comprehensive knowledge base that covers manual set-up and troubleshooting for a very wide range of devices.
A recent website makeover has improved the quality of the FAQs and support pages, but the lack of a search function makes finding the relevant resource a little tricky. We love the recent edition of video tutorials too. Email support is speedy but made up mostly of copy-and-pasted answers which can be frustrating if you’ve already tried to solve the problem by yourself. Overall, support has improved a fair bit – it’s not quite up there with our top providers but it’s good enough.
The Bottom Line
- Reliable performance, with local connection speeds of up to 59Mbps
- Currently working to access Netflix
- Easy setup on popular devices
- Good-sized global network - connect securely to 55 countries
- Proxy extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera are added bonuses
- Clunky, overcrowded Windows app with some stability issues
- Not the fastest VPN on the current market
If you’re looking for solid privacy features and don’t mind an app that’s a bit rough around the edges, then ibVPN could be a great choice. The annual plans offer good value for money and we love that you can choose a package that’s specific to your needs. Performance in most popular locations will be good enough for everyday users, and streaming fans will be pleased to read that ibVPN is currently working to access Netflix. Servers optimized for P2P traffic will make it very appealing to torrenters.
Despite having a suspiciously short logging policy, ibVPN is one of the more secure providers we’ve seen, offering features such as a kill switch, first-party DNS servers, and protection against WebRTC leaks. The proprietary Stealth protocol means ibVPN also works really well to overcome government internet blocks in many high-censorship countries, although currently not in China.
The main thing that lets ibVPN down is its Windows app, which is in dire need of a modern makeover. Experienced VPN users will love having so many settings to play with but it could be a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure what everything means. The rest of the custom apps are much simpler to use. Customer support has improved with the recent website makeover, and we love the 24/7 live chat. Overall ibVPN does offer pretty good value for a budget VPN even if it’s not in the same league as its more premium rivals.