Ivacy VPN Review: No Problem Except One
My Ivacy VPN review result is overall pretty positive. A Chinese friend of mine first recommended it to me, saying Ivacy is one of the virtual private network services that actually work within the GFW (Great Firewall of China), enables her to Google search and stay connected to her Facebook while she's back in her country. I've been using it for the past 4 weeks and it's been working great.
I see other VPN reviews and Ivacy never seems to be listed at the top. People seem to be generally unhappy with the level of support that Ivacy provides. Sadly, I have to agree on that one.
The price is good - one of the cheapest I've ever seen, and that's actually good enough for me. I guess what determines the best VPN service really, really depends on what you prioritise. I see many techies talk about things like '256-bit military grade encryption.' It means secure enough to protect information at a top secret level but, phew! Above my head! What on earth do they have so much to hide? From who?
I write VPN reviews myself from time to time because I use it for work, so I'm interested to search for the best VPN services. I live in the UK and I need a connection to some sites only accessible in the USA, Canada, Australia and places like that. So what I personally look for in VPN is (1) the reasonable speed and (2) the price.
My questions are, do you need a thousand server locations, and do you really need a Russian spy level of protection? Do you personally know somebody whose identity's been stolen because she/he used a wrong VPN? Aren't people a little too obsessed with cyber security in that respect?
Ivacy is based in Singapore, and has been in the business since 2007, so it's good to know the company is well established. Singapore is one of the countries who are partnered with Five Eyes (FVEY), the international surveillance alliances. So if you are a political activist or some extremist... or a pedophile... Be aware that Ivacy VPN will be obliged to pass on your information to an intelligence agency upon request. Having said that, the only information Ivacy will have is your email address. It swears to keep you secure and anonymous and no activities are logged. Apart from the no logs policy, it serves;
Available Apps, Extensions & Manual Setup
Ivacy VPN apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS (iPad/iPhone) and Android for easy download & install.
I'm a Mac & iPhone user and have Ivacy app on both devices. I also use an extension for Chrome browser as well as Firefox on my Mac. Super easy & handy. I find no problem as far as installation and connection are concerned.
Ivacy also supports other devices (manual installation) on Linux, Blackberry, Smart TV, Openelec, Kodi, various consoles and routers.
Pricing - $2.25 per Month
VPN service business has become pretty competitive in recent years and the prices are coming down. And the price range Ivacy is offering is definitely attractive.
*** October 2018 Update:
The most popular option right now is for 2 years contract. You pay $54 in advance for 24 months, i.e. works out as $2.25 per month.
1 year option is $40 ($3.33 per month), that's also a pretty good, competitive rate.
And there are even cheaper option; pay $80 for 5 years in advance, i.e. $1.34 per month. Sounds so great, though I wouldn't personally pay for services beyond 2 years. Who knows if a standard VPN price comes down even cheaper, or even becomes free everywhere in the near future? So my recommendation is definitely either 1 year option for $40 or 2 years option for $54.
Available Countries and Server Locations
Ivacy VPN confirms that it works (i.e. can be used) in the following countries;
- North America: Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, United States
- Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK
- Asia: Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE
- Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
- South America: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela
- Africa: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa
And it has over 450+ servers in 100+ locations across 33 countries. The countries you can connect to are;
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong (SAR), Italy, Japan, Korea, South, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, UK, and USA.
I've tested frantically like a hundred times, connected to all the locations. The results vary but fast enough; more than happy on home broadband.
Home broadband speed without VPN:
Ivacy connected to Washington DC, USA:
Ivacy connected to Tokyo, Japan:
Also tested on my phone, it's hard to judge from the 4G signal I was getting at the time in central London...but it's fast enough.
Help and Support
Email support is a huge letdown. It doesn't exist, I would say. I've sent 4 questions, all of which were ignored. So don't bother sending a support ticket.
Although I find most of the Live Chat agents extremely helpful. Always someone would appear and answer my question within a minute, literally. One of them was abrupt, took him ages to type, only to give me a three-word answer.
FAQ pages are rich in content (the best I've ever seen in VPN service websites) and you can easily find what you're looking for by inserting a keyword in the search bar.
In case you're wondering...you can watch US Netflix by using Ivacy extension for Chrome or Firefox.
This, I'm not a Netflix user and haven't tried it myself, but the support agent has confirmed it with me. If you want to be really sure of it, just ask them on live chat, available at the bottom-right corner of the Ivacy website.
Ivacy offers 30-day money back guarantee. Unless you've bought a one-month account, in which case 7-day money back guarantee applies.
An old refund policy that said "You must not have consumed more than 500 MB bandwidth limit nor have exceeded 30 sessions limit." to be eligible for money-back, no longer applies.
Ivacy VPN Review Summary
I would have given 5 stars if the email support wasn't so rubbish, though the live chat staff are generally helpful. Other than that, I would recommend Ivacy for the following main reasons;
If you are an Ivacy user, let me know of your experience by leaving a comment below.