A VPN routes your internet data through an encrypted connection, which hides your activity from your ISP and makes it harder for spies and advertisers to track you online. IVPN is an affordable VPN with billing cycles as short as one week and as long as three years. Its app is simple (if a bit sparse), but it packs the most versatile multihop connection feature we’ve tested and uses the latest WireGuard technology. Most impressive is IVPN’s commitment to transparency and privacy, which more than outweighs the drawback of its comparably small server network. For all that and its affordable pricing, it’s an Editors’ Choice winner.
How Much Does IVPN Cost?
Not long ago, IVPN had the highest monthly fee of any service we had reviewed. The company has thankfully overhauled its pricing structure, and the result is more wallet-friendly. Its subscription system does reserve some features for more expensive tiers, but even those plans are affordable. IVPN is also one of the few VPNs to offer weekly subscriptions, which add flexibility and are useful for travelers.
The industry average for simultaneous VPN connections is five, so we used the Pro plan in our testing. While it’s the company’s priciest tier, it still compares favorably with the competition. The average monthly price of a VPN we’ve reviewed is $9.96, and the average annual cost is $71.31. In that light, the IVPN Pro plan is just under average for monthly costs but doesn’t discount its longer-term plans as heavily as others do.
IVPN’s VPN Protocols
Virtual Private Networking is not a new technology, and there are several different ways to set up a connection. We’re pleased to see that IVPN provides a useful primer on the difference between protocols. More companies should offer this sort of helpful guide to customers.
WireGuard is the new hotness for VPN protocols. This protocol is open source, meaning that it can be picked over for potential vulnerabilities. It also uses the latest encryption technology and is remarkably fast. OpenVPN, another open-source protocol, is still our preferred protocol, but WireGuard is likely to become a new standard.
IVPN currently supports WireGuard and OpenVPN in its Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows apps. IVPN’s iOS app also supports the excellent IKEv2 protocol. Note that IVPN has open-sourced the code of its apps, and it has made its Android app available on the F-Droid open-source app repository.
IVPN Servers and Server Locations
IVPN provides servers in 44 locations across 31 countries. That’s well below the industry average of 51 countries. ExpressVPN has the most impressive roster of servers we’ve seen, offering them in 94 countries worldwide. A larger, more diverse collection of server locations gives customers more choices for location spoofing and means it’s easier to find a nearby server wherever you are.
Like most VPNs, IVPN ignores the continent of Africa. It does, however, offer one server in South America. We’d like to see IVPN work to expand its global footprint. IVPN has servers in Hong Kong but not in some of the regions known for repressive internet policies such as Russia, Turkey, and Viet Nam.
Virtual servers are software-defined servers hosted on a physical server that can run many virtual servers. Virtual locations can be configured to appear somewhere other than where they are physically located. Neither is necessarily problematic, but we prefer VPNs that make it clear where your information is headed. This is not an issue with IVPN. A company representative tells me that IVPN only uses “bare metal” (that is, not virtual) servers, and all of them are located exactly where they claim to be.
IVPN leases all its servers, but the company assures me they are rebuilt from scratch on installation and access requires hardware token authentication. Other companies tout their physical security as potential benefit. NordVPN and ExpressVPN, for example, eschew writing data to hard disks, eliminating opportunities for tampering.
Your Privacy With IVPN
The company says it does not log the content of your traffic, a connection timestamp, DNS requests, user bandwidth, or IP address. Thanks to its unusual Account ID system (more on this later), IVPN does not even need contact information—though providing it allows you to receive customer support. Anonymized crash logs are sent with user approval on desktop devices and can be opted out on mobile. That’s all excellent. In addition to confirming all this information, an IVPN representative stated further that the company does not sell any customer data.
Read More: https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/ivpn