Ivacy is a relatively new service that has come crashing onto the VPN scene looking to make an impression. It does this by offering a feature-packed, inexpensive servicer that gets you into Netflix. Downsides are slow speeds and an odd interface, but if you read our full Ivacy review, you'll quickly see those mightn't be huge problems.
Ivacy is an inexpensive virtual private network service that falls just short of our best VPN providers because of inconsistent speeds. Even so, the low price tag is more than justified with a robust feature set and excellent range of specialty servers.
In this Ivacy review, we’ll go over everything we liked and didn’t like after spending time with the service. We’re going to discuss features, pricing, ease of use, supported devices, server locations, speed, security and customer service before giving our verdict.
Despite a few issues, Ivacy is an excellent service that’s flown under our radar for far too long. It has a cheap price tag, many features and gets into Netflix. Though your speeds may vary depending on how much you have to play with, Ivacy is worthy of your consideration.
- Great for all streaming
- Highly secure
- Split tunneling
- Massive server network
- 3 simultaneous connections
- Well priced
- Highly secure
- Thousands of servers
- Six simultaneous connections
- Lack of detail on server location
- No split tunneling
- Gets into Netflix
- Updated interface
- Automatic killswitch
- Lackluster split tunneling
- No killswitch controls
- Spotty ad blocker performance
- Gets into Netflix
- Split tunneling
- No-logs policy
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Inconsistent speeds
- Strange interface
- Must disconnect to change servers
- Port forwarding is paid
Ivacy has a surprising number of features considering its modest price. Though it lacks proprietary protocols like VyprVPN has (read our VyprVPN review), Ivacy still has a nice feature set that even top-tier providers struggle to contend with.
It has the basics covered, including a killswitch that you can turn off in the application. The feature is turned off by default, though, so we suggest that you change that before making a connection. A killswitch will sever your internet connection if the VPN disconnects, ensuring that you’re never caught with your digital pants down.
Split tunneling is also supported, which only a handful of VPNs can boast (read our StrongVPN review for one of them). That said, just being there doesn’t mean it’s good — read our PureVPN review for an example of when it’s bad — but Ivacy’s implementation works well.
There are applications configured for split tunneling by default, but you can remove and add applications if you want, much like with ExpressVPN. Split tunneling gives you the ability to route certain applications through your normal internet connection while sending others through the VPN. That is useful for, say, running an online backup at full speed while browsing the web anonymously.
Ivacy has many dedicated servers for different tasks, too. Of the options, the streaming and secure download servers are most interesting. Streaming servers are optimized for particular platforms and Ivacy will keep changing servers in a location until you can access the platform you’re trying to.
The download servers are more than just centers optimized for peer-to-peer. Ivacy claims it uses server-side malware detection and removal to protect downloads. While comforting, we suggest using those servers along with the best antivirus software for maximum protection.
Ivacy Paid Features
Ivacy has paid features that may be enticing to some users, but aren’t necessary.
It supports port forwarding, which allows you to redirect requests from one port to another, for an extra $1 per month.
Another feature is a dedicated IP address, which should help bypass the strictest geoblocks and maintain a clean online reputation. Think of a dedicated IP as the VIP VPN experience, where you are given a single server for getting through even the strictest censorship.
Ivacy Streaming Performance
Ivacy has a dedicated list of streaming servers, though not all of them work. We tested U.S. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. We were able to get into all of them, but not always on the first try.
We’ll talk more about switching servers in the “ease of use” section below, but what you need to know now is that Ivacy will need to jump around to break through the dreaded proxy error. Because of that, it won’t be making our best VPN for Netflix guide.
Though it doesn’t make the ranks of those providers, Ivacy can still access streaming platforms. You’ll just need to do more work to make it happen.
Ivacy Features Overview
Ivacy has excellent pricing compared to other options on the market. Though the monthly rate isn’t as low as e-VPN’s, which isn’t necessarily a good thing as you can see in our e-VPN review, the one-year and two-year plans are excellent.
The price only changes with the length of subscription. Unlike Goose VPN, which you can learn about in our Goose VPN review, Ivacy doesn’t have a plan with limited bandwidth. All plans come with up to five simultaneous connections, unlimited bandwidth and extra goodies.
|Plan||One Month||One Year||Two Year|
$ 9 95monthly
$ 40 00yearly
$ 54 002 years
|Bandwidth||Unlimited GB||Unlimited GB||Unlimited GB|
Most notably, all plans come with a year-long subscription to Sticky Password, which is second in our password manager reviews. Despite a dated interface, Sticky Password made it into our best password manager guide and you can learn why it did in our Sticky Password review.
That’s an enticing offer, but it looks better on an annual or biennial plan than it does on a monthly one. Ivacy’s monthly rate isn’t as high as Astrill’s, though few providers are as you can read in our Astrill review, but it isn’t impressive, either. You’re better off purchasing a longer term upfront, especially with the steep discount Ivacy gives.
Thankfully, that discount follows you. Unlike most VPN providers, Ivacy doesn’t jump to a higher renewal rate. Whatever price you purchase the service for will be the price you pay upon renewal.
There’s little to worry about in terms of commitment. Saving 77 percent on the normal monthly rate with a two-year plan is an excellent deal and you can try it worry-free with Ivacy’s 30-day money back guarantee. If you purchase a month-long plan, though, note that the refund window shrinks to one week.
That somewhat replaces a free plan or trial, but it’s still disappointing not to see one. Even so, the worst free VPN providers prove that free doesn’t always mean good and Ivacy’s generous refund window is more than enough for us.
In addition to the core VPN service, you can also purchase a dedicated IP address and port forwarding functionality. No matter the duration you choose, though, the price of the add-ons is the same. Port forwarding, which is selected by default during checkout, is $1 more per month and a dedicated IP is $1.99 per month.
Payment options are about as robust as you’ll get from a VPN. Ivacy accepts credit cards, PayPal, bitcoin and Alipay, as well as a host of other cryptocurrencies. While it doesn’t accept cash like Mullvad (read our Mullvad review), Ivacy has almost every other payment method you could want.
Setup is simple, but strange. After clicking through to sign up from Ivacy’s homepage, you’ll be sent to a checkout screen to choose a duration and payment method. You can also add extras to your plan, such as a dedicated IP address and port forwarding.
After completing checkout, Ivacy will send you an email containing password creation information and redirect you to the download page. Click the platform you’re using, and you’ll be on your way.
The installer is simple. The biggest decisions you’ll have to make are whether Ivacy starts when your computer does and if you want it to create a desktop shortcut. The interface will open after installation completes, which makes it clear that Ivacy is most concerned about getting you connected.
It wants to get you connected to a fault, almost. Ivacy opens with a large “on” button and an automatic location selected, though the buttons have no functionality. You’ll need to click “login” in the top right corner before doing anything.
After logging in, you can choose one of the four subsections to connect. By default, Ivacy has its “smart connect” window pulled up, which is a general purpose VPN connection. There are also tabs for P2P connections, streaming and bypassing geoblocks.
The first and default tab will select a location automatically based on speed and server load. You can change where you’re tunneling by clicking the drop-down menu, filtering either by country or city. This is the main form of server navigation, which feels cluttered given Ivacy’s decent server list.
The other tabs don’t use the same method for server navigation. “Unblocking” only shows a list of servers and a search bar, while “streaming” only shows a list of services you can use. What’s stranger is that Ivacy shows a pop-up asking if your connection worked after it’s made.
After toying around, it became clear that the tabs have a lot of overlap and it seemed like Ivacy couldn’t make up its mind on how navigation should be handled. The streaming tab worked, which we liked, but the unblocking and P2P tabs just made navigation more confusing. If Ivacy wants to call those servers special, it should do so with an icon in a more traditional server list.
The only exception is the streaming tab, which is useful. You choose from a list of services, much the same way you do with CyberGhost (read our CyberGhost review), and Ivacy will automatically connect and ask if you want to launch that service. That said, the access to certain streaming platforms is spotty.
That’s where Ivacy’s strange “did it work” pop-up starts to make sense. It will cycle servers until one accesses the streaming platform you’re trying to reach. In that use case, Ivacy works excellently, providing intuitive pop-ups that almost any user can understand.
If you’re only concerned with streaming, you can set Ivacy to start in that mode from the settings. There are other start-up and exit settings, too, including launching the app on system start-up and disconnecting when the app is closed. You can change your protocol, configure the killswitch and set up split tunneling in the settings, too.
Despite a few strange design decisions, Ivacy has a lot of potential. In its current state, it feels as though some fat has not yet been trimmed. Even so, there’s an excellent system underneath that shows a lot of promise for the future.
Ivacy supports five simultaneous connections across all of its plans. That’s about what we’d expect, with providers like TorGuard also offering five connections. As you can read in our TorGuard review, though, that service lets you purchase more.
Even so, five isn’t bad, especially compared to ExpressVPN’s abysmal three. It’s still worth reading our ExpressVPN review, though, because that’s one of its very few flaws.
Ivacy’s application support is great. It supports the standard fare, including applications for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, as well as a dedicated app for Kodi. It can also be configured on Linux, BlackBerry, smart TVs, routers and game consoles, too, but you shouldn’t attempt those installations unless you know what you’re doing.
If you’re comfortable digging into the details with tech, though, those installations are fine. Ivacy has many setup guides with step-by-step instructions and screenshots to walk you through the installation process. We’ll talk more about those in the “customer service” section below.
Ivacy has over 450 servers in more than 100 locations worldwide. Most are in the U.S., as is expected, but there’s a decent range of locations around the world. For example, it has two in China — not just Hong Kong — which makes it a worthy consideration for our best VPN for China guide.
The only issue is navigating through the list. Ivacy doesn’t have a clear way to organize or filter its server list, meaning you’ll have to hunt to find the best location for you.
We tested Ivacy’s speeds differently than we normally do with VPN providers. It started with our unprotected baseline as usual, but we decided to test Ivacy’s connection modes instead of taking a random sample. We also ran a stress test to see how well it would hold up over long distances.
A quick look at our chart below will show that the results are inconsistent, though not bad. Oddly, the worst performer was our automatic connection, which decided that Australia was the best server location despite our testing location in the Midwest. We disconnected and reconnected using the automatic location 10 times to make sure it wasn’t just a slip.
Despite our high hopes, Ivacy consistently chose Australia, connecting to that location eight out of 10 times. The other two times it used the more reasonable location in Ashburn, Virgina.
Suffice it to say, you shouldn’t use the automatic mode.
|Location:||Ping (ms):||Download (Mbps):||Upload (Mbps):|
|Unprotected (St. Louis)||9||198.79||11.32|
|Secure Download (Belgium)||118||125.64||6.44|
Despite that misstep, Ivacy returned impressive results, though it won’t be making our fastest VPN guide because it lacks the consistency we like to see.
The “unblocking” and “secure download” modes performed best, but they still took around half of our unprotected download speeds. “Streaming” was the second worst performer, dropping our download speeds to only a quarter of the unprotected rate.
Our stress test in Japan held up surprisingly well, at least in the download and latency departments. The upload speed suffered, but 3.5 megabits per second is still a usable speed.
From a broad perspective, we were surprised at how well the latency held up, especially in the same continent. If you’re on the hunt for the best VPN for gaming, Ivacy is a decent place to start.
Admittedly, our unprotected speed is impressive, so your mileage may vary. Ivacy’s results are all over the place, suggesting that a lot of your speed comes down to server selection. Even so, the addition of split tunneling can help ease any speed concerns you may have, which is an upside few providers have.
Ivacy falls victim to the cheesy “military grade” encryption marketing point, but as long as it backs up that claim, we’re content. Thankfully, it does. It uses AES 256-bit encryption on your connection, providing the best in security.
That said, you may want to change what protocol. Ivacy is set to use IKEv2/IPSec by default, which is more likely to be blocked than OpenVPN because it encrypts at the IP level. Fortunately, OpenVPN is an option and you can use it with TCP or UDP as your transport protocol.
We ran DNS leak tests using OpenVPN and IKEv2 and Ivacy came back clean on both. We also tested WebRTC and IP leaks and, once again, it was clean.
For example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act section starts with “we cannot connect specific activities with specific users, since we don’t keep any logs or records at all,” which is comforting. It then says “appropriate measures” will be taken if a case is sent to Ivacy’s legal department.
That raises more questions than it answers. For example, what the measures are and how they impact the user. Ivacy could mean that it will try to resolve the issue with whoever put in the request or that it will attempt to tie the request back to a specific user. Clarification is needed.
Another example is from the “what encryption algorithm is used” section, in which Ivacy states that it “uses an advanced encryption system.” That’s about as bad as the stale “military grade” claim that Ivacy, and a slew of other providers, use as a marketing point.
As far as privacy goes, though, it seems solid. The vague wording is concerning, but it would be more concerning if Ivacy didn’t make it clear that it doesn’t keep logs under any circumstances. That part is covered, so you should be, too.
Ivacy has great customer service, both in terms of quality and ease of access. You can get to most support features from the application, including a brief FAQ, ticket request and feedback submission.
Having the ability to send a ticket request in the application is great. Ivacy will automatically use the email you signed up with for the request, as well as send a diagnostics log, so you never have to deal with the process of generating it. You can review the log before it’s sent, too.
The website has more robust support options. No matter where you are on the website, you can use Ivacy’s live chat, which runs 24/7 — we even tested it on Christmas. While the answers are surface-level, the live chat is useful for providing clarification and directing you to entries in the knowledgebase.
The knowledgebase is excellent. Ivacy divides topics nicely, including basic information in the FAQ, clarifications in the “getting started” section and deep troubleshooting in the “technical issues” area.
There are also many setup guides, which come with step-by-step instructions and plenty of screenshots. Thankfully, Ivacy doesn’t shy away from advanced installations, including guides for configuring the VPN manually on Windows, setting it up on your router and installing it on Chromecast.
The sign of a good support system is when you rarely need to use the contact options and, when you do, answers are clear and swift. Ivacy exemplifies this with a robust knowledgebase, plenty of contact options and speedy response times.
Despite a few missteps, Ivacy is an excellent service. It maintains a clear dedication to user privacy with a slew of features, all while keeping the price low. If you want to tunnel cheaply, Ivacy is among the best options on the market.
That said, it isn’t without flaws. Our speed results were inconsistent and, while it eventually got into them, it took finessing to access most streaming platforms it claimed to be able to. If you’re concerned about those areas, you may fare better with another option in our VPN reviews.
Do you plan to try Ivacy? Let us know what you like or don’t like in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.