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Ivacy acts as your bodyguard online. Just as a bodyguard keeps all the nonsense away from you and will jump in front of any would-be attacker, so too does Ivacy. You see, Ivacy is a VPN, which means that it encrypts your online traffic and helps protect the data you transmit back and forth online. Ivacy guards you against shady public Wi-Fi connections, bad actors who are tracking your traffic online, and even completely legal ad-tracking schemes. Today, we’re looking at Ivacy to see what it does well, where it falls short, and whether or not it’s ultimately worth its subscription price.
Before all else, a VPN has one job to do and it needs to do it well: it needs to keep you and your data secure online. Most, like Ivacy, do this by connecting you to a remote server and encrypting all of the internet communications you send and receive. In this area, Ivacy meets the most basic function of a VPN and, in our opinion, does it pretty well — check out the section on security below for more of the high-tech details.
VPNs are also useful for spoofing your location for various reasons. Say you’re in a foreign country and your bank won’t let you log on because you aren’t in the United States. Yes, this is a thing that happens! If you use a VPN to connect to a server in the United States, your bank will likely stop hassling you and let you sign in to your account. A VPN can come in handy in the strangest ways sometimes.
Location shifting can also be helpful when streaming. What, you? You wouldn’t try to stream from a region you’re not actually located in, right? Look, everyone gets why the regional streaming restrictions exist, but there’s no use denying that VPNs are popular among streamers because they let you access foreign streaming libraries — or the streaming library in your own country while you’re far away from home. VPNs can work with Netflix and — more rarely — with Amazon Prime, Disney+, and live TV streaming services like YouTube TV. Ivacy, with its dedicated streaming servers, makes this incredibly easy.
In our tests, major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video worked without a hitch. And while some VPN providers play coy about the ability to stream from abroad using their services, Ivacy actually lets you connect to a server based on which streaming platform you want to use and will helpfully redirect your browser to that platform’s login page upon connecting. Ivacy clearly wants to be friendly to streamers.
VPN providers differ quite significantly when you get past the VPN part and look at extra features. Some VPNs are chock full of bells and whistles that give you some additional peace of mind when using the internet. Others are more bare-bones, simply offering you the basic VPN stuff and leaving the rest out.
On a scale that goes from “no features” to “lots of features,” Ivacy sits somewhere in the middle. The service does have some things other VPN providers don’t, like split tunneling (which lets you use the VPN only with certain programs) and categorized servers for downloading, streaming, and unblocking censored websites. There are apps on many different platforms. What you won’t find, however, are ad blockers, malware detectors, password managers, or any of the other goodies found with some other VPN services.
For many of us, the number of servers a VPN provider has — and where those servers are located — is a big deal. After all, you don’t want to be connecting to clogged up servers full of other users. You want lots of sparsely populated servers so that your connection stays fast and you can choose from dozens of locations.
Ivacy claims to have 3,500 servers in over 100 locations. That server count isn’t bad; just like with its feature set, Ivacy lands in the middle of the pack when compared to other VPN providers. Those 100 locations, though? That means 100 cities, not 100 countries. By our count, Ivacy has servers present in a little over 50 countries — a pretty low number.
If server location will make or break Ivacy for you, you might want to check out the full list so you can see if Ivacy has a server in the place you need it. If not, that might be a problem.
A good user interface can really make the difference when using a VPN service, and I’m going to be straight with you: I don’t think Ivacy’s UI is that great. I am a fairly seasoned VPN user, but I still found navigating the Windows and mobile versions of the app a little bit difficult. Ivacy doesn’t do the best job explaining what the various tabs are in the app. On top of that, switching servers requires you to manually disconnect yourself, then choose the new server you want. The app won’t do that for you, though most competing apps do.
I didn’t experience any issues once I connected, which was good. Everything seemed to work as expected. There was one instance, though, when Ivacy seemed to pop up an advertisement for some kind of search engine. When using a paid subscription to a product, these types of ads are not really the kind you want to see. Hopefully, this was just a hiccup with the Windows app, and not a practice Ivacy takes part in on a regular basis.
A VPN’s job is security. Those who use them may also want to keep their online activities private. And for heaven’s sake, a VPN customer doesn’t want to trade internet protection for the speeds they’re used to. What good is broadband if a VPN ends up making everything slower? These are three crucial pillars in what makes a VPN service succeed or fail.
As far as security is concerned, you should be pretty happy with what Ivacy has on tap. The service boasts 256-bit encryption and supports a number of different encryption protocols, including OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEV, and IPSEC. In addition, there is a “kill switch” that will disable your internet connection should Ivacy disconnect from its server briefly. Ivacy sticks the landing on the security side, and that is great news.
On the privacy side, things are also looking pretty good. Ivacy is based in Singapore, which should ease any concerns you have about data retention or any sort of information sharing. Ivacy also has a strict “no logs” policy, which means Ivacy isn’t keeping files of what you were doing, where you connected from, and so on.
Finally, Ivacy is okay when it comes to speed. As mentioned before, Ivacy has several categories you can use for whatever activity you are taking part in, whether it is streaming, downloading, or trying to get a website unblocked. To be honest, I didn’t really notice a difference between them all, nor did Ivacy impact anything I was trying to do. In our speed tests, connecting to the VPN resulted in a drop of about 5-10 Mbps. That's very respectable. While it doesn't quite measure up to our testing of Hotspot Shield, it puts Ivacy in the same ballpark as solid performers like NordVPN — and well ahead of what we saw in our Norton Secure VPN review. Ivacy also seemed to be a little more consistent with its speeds, which is a plus — we saw wild gaps in speed between domestic and international servers in both our VPNSecure review and our Windscribe review, but that difference was a little less pronounced in our testing of Ivacy.
I was impressed with Ivacy’s prices. Ivacy can be insanely cheap if you are willing to pay for a very long subscription. The service is already cheaper than other competing VPNs for just one month, but wow: If you pay for five years upfront, your effective monthly rate drops to something simply unbelievable.
For one month of Ivacy, you’ll be asked to pay $9.95. That is not far off from competitors, though it is a bit cheaper than the average. For a one-year subscription, which is paid upfront, you’ll pay a total of $42. That makes your effective monthly rate $3.50. For five years of Ivacy, however, the discount gets even deeper. Your total bill will ring up at just $60. Over the course of five years, that is an effective monthly rate of $1.
This makes Ivacy a great value. Though its feature set isn’t mind-blowing, Ivacy delivers core VPN services at a price that’s really tough to beat. Ivacy isn’t flawless, but it may offer one of the best dollar-for-dollar values in the VPN space.
When you factor in server count, server locations, feature set, app experience, and other key factors, I think you’ll find that Ivacy is pretty middle-of-the-pack. It won’t blow your mind, but it does everything it should do, and it offers a little bit extra on top of that.
The pricing for Ivacy really helps lift it up, though. When you look at cost, the amount you’ll pay takes this VPN from being one you might want to pass on to one you should seriously consider. You’ll still need to take everything else into consideration; a cheap VPN may not be useful, after all, if you can’t find a server in the country you need. But if Ivacy meets your requirements and fits into your particular use case, it’s definitely worth a look.