Ivacy VPN Review: Price, performance, features compared
We break down what Ivacy brings to the crowded market of VPN providers.
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The top two features on the mind of anybody wanting a VPN service are security and anonymous browsing. The Singapore-based Ivacy has been around since 2006 and gets off to a good start in both of these areas by being an official partner of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). But what's that when it's at home? Basically it's a non-profit founded in 2001 to promote cyber security awareness. (Founding members of the NCSA include Symantec, Microsoft and McAfee to name a few.)
From what we can ascertain based our experiences, Ivacy takes itself seriously. Privacy-wise the company keeps a bare minimum list of your logins – for troubleshooting or security purposes, it says. Beyond that fairly standard practice, you've got peace of mind to browse anonymously with a masked IP address.
Couple that with a reasonable pricing plan, a decent number of servers (450+) and a wider-than-usual array of apps, and you're looking at a VPN that's perfectly competent (but not “top tier” pricey). Ivacy more or less delivers on its mission statements. The only concern we have at this point involves middling speeds (owing to overcrowded P2P servers). That said, your mileage may vary depending on location and time of day.
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What features does Ivacy offer?
First off, Ivacy offers quite decent coverage with its strategic network of roughly 450 servers that are hosted in 100 locations around the world. You'll find a pretty even spread of 70-odd servers in the main areas of North America, Europe and Asia. Any area outside of those will be getting much smaller server numbers that are barely in double digits.
Fortunately, you're not left to wonder which ones are worth connecting to – Ivacy's Smart Purpose Selection is a nifty feature that allows you to auto-connect based on your browsing criteria. For example, if P2P is what you're about you will be diverted to Ivacy servers that are specifically optimised to give you the best speed for file-sharing. But, as we alluded to earlier, we personally found quite a number of these to be a bit too crowded for our tastes at the time of review.
If you're looking to stay off the grid you can rely on the always appreciated Kill Switch function and Split Tunnelling that allow you to prioritise and mask certain data and devices over others. Leaks can be avoided with Ivacy's DNS servers and the service also recognises the pesky vulnerabilities of Ipv6 and provides protection against it.
More advanced users will be happy to hear that Ivacy supports a fairly diverse range of protocols including PPTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP and L2TP. Advanced IPsec and IKEV protocol support is on the table here, too, and your Ivacy experience can enjoy the benefit of military grade 256-bit encryption with the much appreciated option to sniff out malware at the server level.
In terms of control and ease-of-use, the apps provided by Ivacy are no fuss and user-friendly. It's a cinch to mess with the main options of Smart Connect, Secure Download, Streaming and Unblocking. We encountered next to no log-in problems or any other technical issue while using the service.
Even though we had no problems to work through, we conducted a basic test of Ivacy's service department response times. The live chat staff responded more or less instantaneously and were quite lovely to deal with. Likewise, the email route logged service tickets immediately. The standard for most VPNs we've used is under 24 hours.
How much does Ivacy cost?
Taken in the context of its many, many competitors, Ivacy is modestly priced. 1 month is US$9.95 (with a 7-day money-back guarantee). You can save 67% by going a 1 year for US$3.33 (and the money-back expands to 30 days). The absolute best deal they're offering is a 77% saving if you commit to two years at US$2.29 a month (30 days guarantee again).
What payment methods does Ivacy accept?
The payment options here are broader than what's usually offered by your average VPN service. You can get your monies across via PayPal, a bunch of major and minor credit cards, Alipay, BitPay, crypto, PerfectMoney and a few Paymentwall options.
What devices does Ivacy support?
You can log up to five devices into Ivacy at any one time and the device support has a number of stand outs like Kodi, plus Xbox One and PS4 (which must be done at router level). Otherwise you get extensions for either Firefox or Chrome plus the usual suspect platform support for:
What servers does Ivacy offer?
You can choose to connect to Ivacy’s 450+ servers from 100+ locations. Worth noting: the server count here is made up of an unspecified amount of “virtual servers”, which isn't ideal. The global spread of Ivacy is as follows: North America (70+), Europe (80+), Asia (50+), Australia (12+), South America (5) and Africa (6).
What's the bandwidth like?
We tested the ping, download speed and upload speed of Ivacy using both Australian and American servers. The results are below, with each figure derived from the average of three individual tests:
|Control Ping||15.33 ms|
|Control Download||113.67 Mbps|
|Control Upload||28.97 Mbps|
|AU server Ping||14.67 ms|
|AU server Download||132.33 Mbps|
|AU server Upload||35.80 Mbps|
|US server Ping||103.33 ms|
|US server Download||47.40 Mbps|
|US server Upload||40.13 Mbps|
How does Ivacy VPN compare?
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