IVPN is a secure zero-logs VPN, offering high levels of privacy and loads of extra security features. It’s not the cheapest provider on the market, but it does boast decent upload speeds on local connections, even if international performance is far less consistent. P2P activity is permitted on most servers, making it a good choice for torrenters. Netflix is currently working but BBC iPlayer is unfortunately blocked. User-friendly are available for most popular devices and you can buy pre-configured routers to protect all others.
IVPN offers strong encryption and loads of extra security features, such as first-party DNS servers, a kill switch and IPv6 leak protection. This is also a genuinely zero-logs VPN, not even collecting any basic connection metadata. Customer support is quick and friendly, with a handy live chat feature and helpful online setup and troubleshooting guides.
Pricing & Deals
IVPN is by no means a budget VPN, but does offer a few different pricing plans to make choosing your ideal option simple. As is the case with most providers, the longer you commit to the service, the cheaper the monthly cost.
If you choose to pay on a month-to-month basis, you’ll pay an eye-watering $15 a month and committing to three months only drops the price by 11%, at $13.33 a month. Opting for the longest 12-month plan saves you the most money, but still comes in at a pricey $8.33 per month, which is more expensive than many of our top-tier providers.
Get 44% off IVPN's 12-month plan
IVPN Pricing & Deals
IVPN offers both a three-day free trial and a seven-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can thoroughly test out the VPN before committing to a paid subscription. Unfortunately, the free trial does require you to enter your payment details and you will automatically be charged if you don’t cancel within three days.
Fortunately the seven-day money-back guarantee is genuinely ‘no questions asked’ and you are automatically issued a refund once you submit a cancellation request, unless you pay in cash. IVPN may also extend the refund period to 30 days in exceptional circumstances, for example if you experience technical issues, however this is not guaranteed.
IVPN accepts the usual payment methods including most credit/debit cards and PayPal. You also have the option to pay with Bitcoin, but unfortunately no other cryptocurrencies are accepted at the moment. Some may also be put off by the lack of international options, such as Alipay or UnionPay.
IVPN is one of the only providers that gives you the option of paying in cash for anonymity reasons. They accept US dollars, euros and GBP, but it can take up to 10 days to process and you have to sign up to the annual subscription.
Speed & Reliability
IVPN won’t be troubling top-tier providers when it comes to performance, but speeds on local connections are more than enough for general browsing and buffer-free HD streaming, just not on multiple devices simultaneously. Speedy uploads make it a decent option for P2P users, though.
With peak local download speeds of 45Mbps connecting to London (where we test), IVPN is one of the slower VPNs we’ve come across. This level of performance was consistent throughout Europe, but unsurprisingly dropped to just 7Mbps when connecting to Japan. Unfortunately, connecting to the US wasn’t much better at 13Mbps, so if you’re looking for reliable international speeds, other providers do much better.
We experienced unacceptably high latencies on both local and international connections, with same-city connections coming in at a fairly laggy 10ms. This makes it hard for us to recommend IVPN to gamers, especially considering there are providers on the current market offering ping times as low as 1ms.
Connection times were quite long at around 15-20 seconds due to the fact that you have to disconnect from the VPN every time you want to switch servers. Thankfully once we were up and running, we found performance to be pretty reliable with no connection drops at all.
Upload speeds were a lot quicker than downloads, coming in at 95Mbps on same-city connections. Connecting to other European cities produced equally good performance. These speeds dropped significantly on long-distance connections, but this is to be expected and won’t affect most users. P2P is also permitted on most of IVPN’s servers, making it a good choice for torrenters.
If you are looking for a lightning-fast VPN, we’d recommend looking elsewhere, but if all you want to do if browse and stream, then performance is more than good enough on local connections as long as you aren’t doing so on multiple devices at once.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
IVPN has one of the most limited server networks we have come across, offering a mere 26 countries in total. Fortunately, most popular locations in Europe and North America are covered, however we recommend taking a look at the server list before purchasing to be sure. If you do need more choice, providers such as HideMyAss! offer up to 190 countries.
We are disappointed by the provider’s tiny number of individual servers – at just over 50, this is one of the lowest numbers we’ve seen in our tests so far. Each server has 3-5 IP addresses, meaning you may experience congestion and slower performance at peak times. Fortunately, this level of crowding does make it harder for third parties to attribute online activity to an individual user, which is great news for privacy.
Unlike many of our top-tier providers, city-level choice is limited to the US only, with 12 locations to choose from. Considering the network size, the server choice in this country is pretty impressive, but the ability to drill down to city-level servers in other popular locations would be welcomed.
As is the case with many providers, server coverage is centered around Europe and North America, with just three locations outside these two regions in Asia. There are no servers in Africa, South America or Australia, so if you’re located in these regions we’d recommend looking elsewhere.
You can find a complete list of IVPN server locations by country and status on their website below.
Platforms & Devices
IVPN offers slick custom apps for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android, which is great for VPN newbies. The provider’s generous limit of five simultaneous connections means you can protect your family’s devices as well as your own.
You can also install the VPN on a few different compatible routers, including DD-WRT, pfSense and Tomato, using the provider’s user-friendly setup guides. If you’re not comfortable with an element of manual configuration, you can also buy pre-configured routers through IVPN’s partnerships with Flashrouters and Vilfo.
Unlike some of our top-tier providers, IVPN doesn’t offer any browser extensions. This won’t affect the majority of people, but if you are a heavy browser user wanting a more lightweight experience, you should look for a provider that offers either a VPN or a proxy extension for your preferred browser.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
If you want to use IVPN with your games consoles and streaming devices, such as Amazon Fire TV Stick or Xbox, you have a few options. The simplest is to manually configure a supported router or buy one with the VPN software already installed, as this will protect all connected devices in your home. You can find informative setup guides on the provider’s website.
You can also manually configure some devices with the OpenVPN software, but IVPN only offers guides for Kodi and the Amazon Fire TV Stick. The final option is to piggyback off the VPN connection from another device running the software, such as a laptop, however this isn’t guaranteed to work for all devices. Other providers, such as ExpressVPN, offer much simpler one-click solutions for Amazon Fire TV Stick, Xbox and many more devices.
Streaming & Torrenting
IVPN is currently a decent choice for streaming, but due to a very limited number of IP addresses, this perk may not last for long. We had to try out a few different US servers until we could successfully watch shows on Netflix, but when we got it up and running, speeds were enough for buffer-free HD streaming. Access to UK Netflix is currently not possible.
Unfortunately, BBC iPlayer is also blocked and with just 2 servers located in UK, it doesn’t look like the situation will change anytime soon. Due to the BBC’s recent crackdown on VPN providers, you’ll have to look for providers that offer loads of UK IP addresses or dedicated streaming servers, such as SaferVPN, if you want to access this popular service.
Fortunately, IVPN allows P2P activity on all servers, but does ask that users refrain from torrenting on US servers, which may put some off. This, coupled with good upload speeds on local connections, makes IVPN a good choice for torrenters.
Encryption & Security
IVPN does very well for security, offering strong encryption and loads of extra security features. There is a choice of four protocols: OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec, and IKEv2. The latter two require some manual configuration, which may be frustrating if you want to easily change between them. WireGuard is a new protocol that’s still in development, and so IVPN ‘only recommend[s] using it for testing purposes and in situations where security is not critical’. It’s currently not available for Windows.
We recommend using the default protocol (OpenVPN) wherever possible, as it offers a good balance between performance and security. Encryption is via unbreakable cipher AES-256.
We like IVPN’s ‘firewall’ (kill switch) feature, a must-have tool that blocks all of your web traffic should the VPN connection be interrupted for any reason. As well as first-party DNS servers, which prevent your IP address from being exposed to third parties, IVPN also provides protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks.
The Multihop feature offers an extra layer of security by rerouting your connection through multiple servers in different countries. This means that even if the exit server were to be compromised, your online activity would remain private. We really like that the Android app allows for split tunneling, so you can route privacy-sensitive apps through the VPN and others through your general internet connection, improving performance.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- First-party DNS
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- Supports TCP Port 443
- VPN Kill Switch
- Split Tunneling
Despite China’s recent crackdown on VPN providers, IVPN may be a decent choice for use in the country. Customer support informed us that many are having success using the Obfsproxy tool, which masks VPN traffic, making it look ‘normal’ to the censors and therefore allowing you to access blocked content. The website isn’t blocked there either, which is a bonus. Unfortunately, it’s not guaranteed to work and the Obfsproxy tool isn’t available on either Android or iOS devices. There are other providers out there who provide a more reliable and comprehensive solution.
We can’t recommend using IVPN in other high-censorship countries, such as Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, due to the lack of server coverage in those regions, which will result in poor performance. Instead, look for providers offering servers located in nearby free-speech countries.
IVPN does monitor how many devices are connected per account at any given time, but the record of this is deleted as soon as the user disconnects, so this is nothing to worry about. They also monitor general server performance, including overall CPU usage and bandwidth, but this cannot be traced back to individual users.
A recent report conducted by the CDT (Center for Democracy & Technology) explains that even through IVPN’s servers aren’t under their “direct physical control”, they still implement a series of measures to ensure maximum security. This includes not creating any temporary or in-memory logs relating to customer connection or network activity, as well as monitoring all their servers 24/7 so they can be aware of any suspicious activity. You can read the full report on ‘Signals of Trustworthy VPNs’ here.
IVPN is incorporated in Gibraltar, which is a British Overseas Territory. While Gibraltar is autonomous and not technically a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, its ties to the UK have sparked debate about how privacy-friendly it really is, and whether the UK holds influence over Gibraltar. Nevertheless, IVPN maintains a strict zero-logs policy, which goes a long way to mitigate any potential murkiness relating to its jurisdiction.
Ease of Use
With simple setup on popular devices, IVPN’s range of easy-to-use custom apps are great for VPN newbies. The no-fuss main screen includes a big connect button and your chosen server location underneath. It’s annoying that you have to disconnect every time you want to change servers, but this is unlikely to be a problem for most everyday users. We like that the kill switch (‘firewall’) can be activated on the main screen with a simple slider.
You can find the settings by clicking the cog in the bottom left corner, which opens up into a separate box. This menu feels a little more clunky and old fashioned than the main screen, but is clear enough for even the most inexperienced user. Within the settings, you can choose your kill switch preferences, toggle between UDP and TCP and choose your preferred port. There is also a handy section for configuring OpenVPN parameters, ideal for the more tech-savvy user.
The Android and iOS apps are very user-friendly and modern-looking. Connection is quick and we like that the Android app gives you the option to route less privacy-sensitive traffic outside of the VPN tunnel to improve performance.
It takes a matter of minutes from purchasing the VPN to connecting securely to one of IVPN’s servers, requiring minimal effort and very little technical know-how to do so. On receiving your username in the confirmation email, all you need to do is download the relevant software from the website, following just a few simple prompts in the process. After that, you just need to log in and you’re a click away from connecting to the VPN.
Should you get stuck installing IVPN on devices with no native app, the website offers simple step-by-step guides to help you out.
IVPN does well for customer support, featuring live chat with friendly, helpful agents who are quick to respond to messages. They often direct you to the FAQs and guides, but are happy to go into more detail if asked. Although live chat isn’t available 24/7, we experienced speedy, comprehensive responses after filling in the email support form. Our only gripe is that live chat was occasionally turned off without warning in the middle of a conversation, which was pretty frustrating.
The support section of IVPN’s website also offers loads of setup and troubleshooting guides with a handy search function to make finding answers easy. Some of the setup guides include images and screenshots to make installation even simpler, but this is not widespread across all guides, which we’d like to see in the future.
The Bottom Line
- Peak local download speeds of 45Mbps
- Currently works to access Netflix
- Custom apps available for most popular devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Connect securely to 26 countries
- Slow speeds if connecting internationally
- Could be cheaper on longer plans
- Limited server network
IVPN is a good choice for those seeking high levels of privacy, even if it is quite pricey. It’s also a decent choice for P2P users due to speedy local uploads, but if you are looking for lightning-fast download speeds and low latencies, you’ll have to look elsewhere. You can currently access Netflix on a few of the US server locations, but BBC iPlayer is blocked.
With a strict zero-logs policy and a ton of extra security features, such as first-party DNS, IPv6 leak protection and split tunneling (latter is on the Android app only), IVPN does a lot right for privacy. The Multihop tool is good for those connecting to privacy-unfriendly jurisdictions and we like the VPN kill switch feature.
IVPN’s range of custom apps are ideal for VPN newbies, but offer enough configurable options for the techies. Customer support is friendly and helpful, with a live chat feature, quick email support and comprehensive online guides and tutorials. IVPN is not the fastest or the cheapest VPN out there, but if you are looking for top-notch security, it’s a great choice.