What Is Ivacy? What Do They Offer?
Headquartered in the weird and wonderful island-nation of Singapore, Ivacy VPN has been protecting their customer’s online experiences since early 2007.
Despite their impressive decade-plus tenure in the VPN marketplace, Ivacy is still a relatively unknown brand. Operated under the umbrella of PMG Private Limited, Ivacy is an understandably secretive company.
And this surprises me…
In fact, in 2010, it was Ivacy’s technology team that was responsible for unveiling the revolutionary concept of split tunneling, a technology which allows users to decide what traffic is sent through an ISP and what traffic is protected by their VPN.
So with all of this in mind, I decided to review Ivacy for myself to see whether or not this relatively unknown VPN could play in the “Big Leagues”.
Ivacy offers a VPN services that is compatible with almost every device on the marketplace including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, smart TVs and even your Xbox.
While Ivacy offers an admittedly sparse network of only 200 servers across 50 countries, the servers in question are highly optimized for the price that you are paying (as you will see in a minute).
They make torrenting a breeze with P2P optimized servers in the USA and Canada and also allow their customers to connect to their VPN service using all major protocols including OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2.
And, luckily they offer all of these features (plus many more that we will discuss in a moment) for about the same price as a cup of coffee.
How Much Does Ivacy VPN Cost?
One of Ivacy’s biggest selling points is their ultra-affordable 24-month pricing package.
Here’s how it all breaks down.
- $8.95 per month
- $107.4 per year
- 0% Savings
1 Year: $36
- $3.00 per month
- $36 per year
- 66% Savings
24 Month : $48
- $1.99 per month
- $24 per year
- 78% Savings
With the exception of their monthly pricing package, Ivacy offers one of the most competitively priced VPN services that I have ever seen. I was also pleased when I saw just how many different payment methods Ivacy allows potential customers to use.
Whether you want to use your MasterCard, PayPal account, Bitcoin, or Paymentwall, they have you covered.
Like several of their competitors, Ivacy technically offers a 7-day money back guarantee, however, as you will see later in this review, it’s not quite what it seems. For the time being, however, I digress.
With such affordable pricing plans, many of you are probably wondering how Ivacy’s services match up to their more steeply-priced competitors.
Much to my own surprise, the answer is… Pretty well.
Pros of Using Ivacy
1. Good Speeds (for the price)
In order to ensure the accuracy of this review, I conducted a couple of simple speed tests at speedtest.net to determine just how quick Ivacy really is. Here are the results.
US Server (New York)
- Ping: 115ms
- Download: 45.86mbps
- Upload: 43.92mbps
EU Server (Amsterdam)
- Ping: 42ms
- Download: 53.04mbps
- Upload: 25.39mbps
Asia Server (Hong Kong)
- Ping: 261ms
- Download: Test Failed
- Upload: Test Failed
UK Server (London)
- Ping: 50ms
- Download: 53.24mbps
- Upload: 33.36mbps
*As always take these speed tests with a grain of salt since they rely on so many different variables and can change from person to person. However, we have tested over 30 VPNs for this site so we have a baseline that we can compare every VPN against.
All in all, Ivacy’s speeds are solidly middle of the road.
Although I was disappointed to find that their Asia servers were completely unusable, at 53.0 Mbps for an EU server, Ivacy’s speeds are up to par with competitors like ExpressVPN and SaferVPN.
If you are a seasoned VPN user, Ivacy’s speeds are nothing to get excited about, and if you are in need of a faster VPN, you should check out our reviews of VyprVPN and Zenmate.
However, at only $2.04 a month, their speeds far exceed the expectations set by their nominal price tag.
2. A True No Logging Policy (That’s Actually Upheld)
One of my biggest pet peeves when reviewing any VPN provider is a falsely advertised “Zero Logging” policy, and unfortunately, this trend seems to become more and more pervasive by the day.
While I was reviewing Ivacy’s VPN, I did indeed scour through the fine print in great detail and quite frankly… I was shocked. Ivacy actually upholds it’s advertised zero logging policy, and they do it better than just about any other VPN that I have reviewed.
Here’s their logging policy.
This means that the only data that Ivacy keeps about their customers is the email address associated with each account.
That’s it. No traffic logs, no bandwidth logs, and no duration logs. Just pure, unadulterated privacy.
3. Good Customer Service
I’ll be the first person to admit it…
I did not have high hopes about Ivacy’s customer service. Forgive my cynicism, but after reviewing more than 15 VPNs, I’ve learned to have exceptionally low expectations when reviewing the customer service offered by a budget-friendly provider.
After all, companies have a limited number of resources. If they offer high-quality services at a budget-friendly price (as Ivacy does) it’s typically safe to assume that they had to cut back on another area of their business in order to do so.
And the customer support team is typically the first casualty…
However, with Ivacy, I was pleasantly surprised to find that their customer service agents were quick to respond and extremely helpful. Although I would like to see more detailed and thorough responses from their agents, I’m hard-pressed to complain considering the rapid response times and efficient support that I received.
Here are a few screenshots from one of my conversations with Ivacy’s support (all questions were answered within minutes of being sent).
I submitted several other queries designed to gauge the knowledge and efficacy of the team (all of them were submitted at similar times) and all of these queries were answered in a similarly timely (and brief) manner. To ensure that my experience was an accurate representation of their customer support team, I also reviewed their social media accounts to see how well they handled other customer complaints and questions.
Again, I was impressed to find that their team was extremely effective and knowledgeable and nearly every issue that arose was the fault of a customer and not Ivacy.
Although ExpressVPN still offers the best customer service that I’ve ever experienced, Ivacy is a close contender in the race and I was both surprised and impressed by the quality of their support.
4. Available Protocols: OpenVPN, SSTP, PPTP, L2TP and IKev2
“What could go wrong?”, you think.
“It’ll only take a second”, you claim.
So you whip out your mobile while waiting for that vanilla latte. The problem, is that the network you’re about to connect to might be an ‘evil twin’.
Here’s how it works.
Someone turns their computer into a network access point, and gives is a real-enough sounding name (often imitating popular, well-known ones like “T-Mobile” for instance). When you connect, you’re actually connecting through their computer. And they now will gain access to all of the information you used to login, as well as your browsing activity.
That means when you pull out a credit card or run a few quick transactions, all of that data gets logged because the connection is unencrypted. Unfortunately, this example of ‘WiFi’ eavesdropping is one of the most common (and oldest) tricks in the ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack playbook.
Now compare that to a normal web session on a legitimate network. You pull up a bank’s website and all of the activities during your entire session will be encrypted by an SSL certificate. These create special keys on each access point, so that no one else can monitor or gain access to what’s happening after you get on the site.
The same underlying SSL technology is used to power OpenVPN, which is the go-to protocol for all major (and legitimate) VPN providers. Ivacy is no different, defaulting to OpenVPN whenever possible.
If you’re unable to use OpenVPN for some reason (like device restrictions), Ivacy also has other common protocol options available, including PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, and IKEv2.
Some of these other protocols, like IPv6 for example, have known security vulnerabilities. In this case though, Ivacy attempts to fix this issue by sending that data and traffic through a VPN anyway.
5. 256-Bit Encryption
Public WiFi networks are some of the most common places that people can gain access to your online activities.
Even hotel and airport WiFi’s, which you would think were rock-solid, are often susceptible to attacks. (In some cases, these institutions are the worst offenders – tracking every single action you make on their networks and often selling your information to third-parties.)
Many public networks though are susceptible to bad behavior. Hackers can run automated systems on these networks to monitor and attempt to ‘brute-force’ their way into your accounts.
Brute force attacks will target a specific website’s login page and attempt to crack the username and password combinations by running through endless variations until they eventually land on the right one. They test one letter or number at a time, and continue cycling through, adding more digits until they eventually figure out how to gain access.
These attacks are the culprits in some of the most common you hear about every single day on the news. For example, brute force attacks are one of the leading ways people gain access to WordPress websites (which is the single biggest platform on the internet). They’re also the method that’s commonly used to hack into celebrity iCloud accounts and leak… well, private, photos and videos.
Brute force attacks work well when encryption is weak.
In other words, when there are only so many possible combinations of letters and numbers, it’s only a matter of time it takes to break. Generally speaking, the weaker the encryption, the faster it can be cracked.
All encryptions can eventually be cracked. But if they’re strong enough, it might take decades (or centuries) to do it. That’s why 256-bit encryption is considered the strongest possibly available on the market today. It’s so strong, that it’s used by government agencies and the cream of the crop security companies.
Ivacy prides itself on their use of 256-bit encryption, which means your connection through them should be nearly impossible to hack.
Cons of Using Ivacy
1. Singapore Has Been Confirmed as a “Five Eyes” Partner
If the above headline is making you scratch your head in confusion and softly mutter “What is he on about?” under your breath, it’s ok.
The term “Five Eyes” is not something that is commonly understood or discussed in the general public… And with good reason. When Edward Snowden executed his now-notorious security breach, he published more than 1.5 million classified NSA documents.
Among the information included in this leak was a document revealing the details of a security operation known as “The Five Eyes”, an information and resource sharing partnership between the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand that allows each government to locate and spy on “anyone, anywhere, anytime.”
In other words, the Five Eyes partnership is a privacy advocate’s worst nightmare.
By tapping fiber optics cables at more than 20 locations worldwide, the governments in question can access personal data and the real time location of just about any person they so choose.
Unfortunately for Ivacy, other leaked documents have shown that South Korea and Singapore (the location of their headquarters) are partners in the “Five Eyes Agreement” and regularly provide these other governments with access to sensitive information and resources.
While this shouldn’t have any direct effect on Ivacy’s security since they keep 0 logs, you should still be cognizant of the political landscape surrounding the company’s headquarters.
2. No TOR or Proxy Compatibility
While this is a minor annoyance for most VPN users, I was disappointed to see that Ivacy is not compatible with the TOR network or any other third party proxies.
Although this will not affect the VPN experience for most users, the added layers of security provided by TOR and other proxies can quite literally save your life in some of the more Draconian countries.
For example, TOR compatibility is included in NordVPN.
3. 7-Day Money Back Guarantee Has a BIG Catch
One of the only problems that I had with Ivacy’s pricing package is that they are not up front about the stipulations for their 7-day money back guarantee.
It’s a pretty common practice for a VPN provider to set limitations on how many gigabytes of service you can use before you forfeit your money back guarantee. However, in most instance, this is very well advertised and the customer understands the limitations of the guarantee.
With Ivacy… This isn’t quite the case.
After doing some digging through their various policies and legal disclaimers, here’s how the money back guarantee actually works.
- You claim for a refund within 7 days of your subscription date
- Your account has not already been suspended by Ivacy for breach of any clause mentioned in the terms of service
- You have not consumed more than 7GB of bandwidth, which includes both upload and download activity using Ivacy; or you have not exceeded 30 sessionsi.e. the number of times you connected to Ivacy services, whichever occurs first
- You previously have not claimed a refund under this policy
- You have not used BitCoin or Paymentwall as your payment method
Personally, I think this is a pretty fair agreement.
However, I also think that the clauses in their refund policy should be stated much more obviously. I mean really… How often do customers take the time to review the ToS before making a purchase? You, me, and the folks over at Ivacy all know that the answer to that question is a resounding “Never!”
Although I won’t blame Ivacy of intentionally lying to their user base, I will say that the conditions surrounding their money back guarantee should be spelled out on their sales page, not buried in their legal disclaimers.
Do I Recommend Ivacy?
At the end of the day, Ivacy is a quality VPN with acceptable speeds, unbeatable prices, and high quality customer service.
They offer an easy to use platform with an abundance of settings and features to play with and while they are far from perfect, the “Pros” in this case, far outweigh the “Cons”.
What’s good about Ivacy?
- Cheap ($2.04/mo)
- Secure and safe
- True no-logging policy
- Easy to install and use
- Good customer service
What’s bad about Ivacy?
- No TOR compatibility
- Sketchy “money back guarantee”
- “Five Eyes” jurisdiction
I do recommend Ivacy’s VPN to anyone who is looking for a budget friendly VPN with good speeds, a great logging policy, and plenty of features. But for more serious use, consider choosing one of the best VPNs here.