- Cheapest VPN Provider
- Strong Encryption
- Multi-platform compatibility
- Supports anonymous payment
- Split-tunneling route
- Minor-logging for dedicated IP
- TOR incompatibility
- Under five-eyes jurisdiction
Ivacy is a VPN provider based in Singapore. It operates under the jurisdiction of mass surveillance alliances. Founded back in 2007, Ivacy operates under PMG Private Limited company. Being one of the longest service providers in the market, Ivacy is not well-known as Surfshark who gained its massive popularity in a shortest period of time by placing itself on top-3 best VPN provider. On the other hand, according to their official site, Ivacy is an award-winning VPN provider. Claimed to have more than 2000 servers across 100 locations, based on my research, the provider has 838 of servers across 54 countries. What makes Ivacy is so unique compared to other VPN providers? Well, back in 2010, Ivacy is the first VPN provider that proposed split-tunneling technology before massively adopted by other VPN providers out there.
|Jurisdiction||Singapore (5-Eyes Alliances)|
|Logging Policy||Minor logging for dedicated IP users|
|Server Locations||838 servers across 54 countries|
|Encryption Technology||256-bit Encryption|
|VPN Protocols||OpenVPN (TCP, UDP)
IPv6 Leak Protection
|Number of Supported Device||5 per account|
Ivacy features p2p support and an additional port-forwarding service on a separate subscription-basis plan. Ivacy is one of very few provider that offers port-forwarding as a subscription-basis feature, although it is not recommended by the cyber-security experts since if it was improperly tweaked, it would expose the user’s real IP. Ivacy offers three-standard VPN protocols, L2TP, IKEv2 and OpenVPN with 256-bit of encryption technology. Each registered accounts only allows up to 5 devices to be connected at the same time.
Plans and Pricings
Ivacy offers three-standard plans which claimed, to be one-of-the-cheapest VPN provider in the market currently. Below are the provided choice of subscription:
The plans above can be bundled together with two selective security add-ons such as port-forwarding for $1/mo and $1.99/mo for dedicated IP with a few selective given IP server lists. To my surprise, Ivacy is one of a very few, if not the only VPN provider that offers 5-year subscription at a cheaper per-annual rate. Also, Ivacy offers a few major payment gateways and, supports anonymous payment, BitPay for the users who don’t wish to be traced during purchasing to the service.
prIvacy Application Walkthrough
For this review, I’ve used a Windows 10 Build 1909 machine and an iOS device as a testing environment. Based on VirusTotal result, the setup file is free from embedded malwares.
The process of installing Ivacy-client app on a Windows environment is pretty standard. It requires 2 to 3 minutes to completely set up. The desktop application is quite user-friendly based on my observations. It is not beautiful as CyberGhost‘s desktop app neither do appearing, practicing Surfshark‘s minimalist desktop-app design, Ivacy has its own identity. It offers four-selection modes, smart connect, secure download, streaming and unblocking.
An additional observation was made by me via trying out each feature and to my surprise, the DNS leak protection was left off by default. This is not a good practice as it would be pointless if you subscribe to a VPN service without turning on the DNS protection.
When I subscribe to a VPN service, the first thing I always do is to switch from the default VPN protocol (normally in automatic mode) to OpenVPN. Although the app doesn’t show the sign of OpenVPN protocol in general, selecting either TCP or UDP will do the trick. Generally, OpenVPN uses TCP and UDP connection-oriented protocols as standard. Based on my experience of using a VPN provider’s desktop app, Ivacy’s desktop app is the most buggiest application.
Ivacy VPN supports both iOS and android platform. The application is user-friendly and most of the features can be accessed easily. Also, the app enables DNS leak by default and offers IKeV and IPSEC protocol as standard.
Security Features Analysis
For this test, I’ve used OpenVPN protocol for three-separate standard test that will be carried out under a standard optimized browser without ads-on like Microsoft’s Edge.
DNS leak protection is one of a very crucial requirement of a VPN provider should provide by default. Unfortunately, Ivacy VPN leaks my actual DNS resolver from Cloudflare. This is not a good sign since the IP/DNS leak protection has been enabled. To ensure this is not a human-error, I’ve tested using NordVPN and the result comes out, clean. I proceed to reach their support site to complain about this. They do promise to rectify this issue as soon as possible.
UPDATE!!!: 07 May 2020
They send me an email to join their live-chat support using an uniquely generated link by them to once again engage in the discussion to test the IP/DNS leak once again.
I began to test and the result comes out clean. To further ensure the result is valid, I have run “ipconfig /all” in CMD to compare the result. Based on my observation, Ivacy finally passed the IP/DNS Leak test.
Last on the line is to test the web real-time leak test or WebRTC. Based on the test, no local IP leaks found.
Bandwidth and Torrenting Analysis
Generally, using a VPN service does reduce your overall bandwidth, depending on the currently connected server. This is due to all your traffic from your device to the server is routed through a secure encrypted tunnel. With that being said, not all VPN providers do offer a good speed when using any of their servers. The only VPN providers, that offers a good speeds are Surfshark and NordVPN.
|Country||Ping (ms)||Bandwidth (Mbps)|
I am currently using 800Mbps/200Mbps, a special-package from my country fibre internet provider, unifi. Based on the speed test tabulated on above, I can get a good speed on a Canada server over a TCP connection while United Kingdom records the slowest speed here. Next, I picked 4 countries personally, Canada, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States carry out p2p bandwidth analysis.
Recording an average speed of 12MiB/s, the total time taken to download the file is the second longest here.
To my surprise, the time taken for a complete download of the test-file using a server in Singapore and United States are similar with transfer rate locked at 18MiB/s or 144Mbps in general.
Last but not least, downloading the file using a server connected via a United Kingdom server record the longest time taken to complete with a below average of transfer rate clocked at 7.5MiB/s or 60Mbps.
Ivacy offers 24/7 customer service support. Their assigned service-agent responds to the query quickly. However, for a complicated problem, the process of receiving solution from their end is time consuming.
I’ve lodged a report over the problem/bug identified by me when using their service to carry out IP-Leak test back in 25th of April 2020 and the agent had assured me to submit my ticket to the development department to carry out the solving the issue. On May 7th, 2020, their support team reached me out and rectify that the problem reported prior to the leaks found, has been finally solved.
Ultimately, the name Ivacy extracted from the word privacy. Just like its extracted name, it servers a similar purpose to increase your privacy over the internet. The 5-year plan looks tempting for the individuals who are on a tight budget by looking for a suitable VPN provider and fortunately, Ivacy falls in this category. Somehow, Ivacy do lack another important feature, double-VPN that available both on Surfshark and NordVPN that servers to double your privacy over the internet. Overall, this Singapore-based VPN provider is only recommended for the individuals locked in a tight budget and the individuals looking for a VPN provider that offers more than 3-year commitment in a subscription basis at a cheaper rate.