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IVPN review

Privacy-focused provider is impressive – but don't expect Netflix

IVPN on a laptop
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

This VPN offers an independently audited no logging policy for ease of mind but also sports some powerful features and speed worth paying for.

Pros

  • +

    Audited no-logging

  • +

    Great WireGuard speeds

  • +

    Bitcoin and cash payment

  • +

    No email needed to sign up

Cons

  • -

    Won't unblock Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon or Disney

  • -

    Expensive compared to rivals

IPVN is a Gibraltar-based VPN provider which is not only in a good placement geographically for security but also uses an independent audit of its no-logging policy. The end result is a very private and secure service which features on our best VPN guide.

The features go beyond security, too, with WireGuard delivering impressive speeds on most of the the service's servers. This is available on its clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux, and with up to 7 devices supported at the same time, IVPN is a compelling choice for groups and families – or those that want VPN security across all their devices at once.

Torrenting is supported across all 45 locations this service spans, which are spread across 32 countries. Owned DNS servers are worldwide, adding another layer to that security which means no third-parties are involved as potential weak points. 

On the downside, IVPN is very poor for streaming with no support to unblock Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video or BBC iPlayer, and it's clear this isn't a priority for the developers. 

Want to learn more? Just keep reading our full IVPN review for the full breakdown – either by clicking through to a section by using the navigation bar up top, or simply scrolling down.

IVPN on paper

Number of servers: 77
Number of countries:
32
Platforms supported:
 Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, Linux
Simultaneous connections:
7
Split tunneling:
Yes
Kill switch:
Yes
Supported protocols:
OpenVPN, WireGuard
Country of registration:
Gibraltar
Support:
Email with 24-hour reply

IVPN pricing plans

(Image credit: IVPN)

IVPN price: how much is it, and is there an IVPN free trial?

There are two pricing plans for IVPN, which break down into IVPN Standard and IVPN Pro. There are various payment options for each depending on how long you want to commit but savings can be made when you pay upfront for a year or longer. There is also the option to switch between the two services of Standard and Pro, anytime you want.

For IVPN Standard you get all the protocols, up to two devices at once and an anti-tracker.

Go for IVPN Pro, you're getting all the above but with access for seven devices, port-forwarding as a feature and a multi-hop option too.

Prices for Standard are $2/week, $6/month, $60/year (saving $12), $100/2 years (saving $44) and $140/3 years (saving $76).

Pricing for Pro stands at $4/week, $10/month, $100/year (saving $20), $160/2 years (saving $80) and $220/3 years (saving $140).

All options come with a money-back guarantee for 30 days, effectively allowing you to try out the service without paying anything if you decide to cancel.

How private is IVPN, and does it keep logs?

When it comes to privacy, IVPN really impresses. The company's privacy policy is clear and simple, which in itself is a refreshingly open and honest way for a VPN company to work.

In that document you can see that this VPN will not record the likes of connection timestamps, DNS requests, traffic, session lengths, IP addresses and more. What it does collect is very minimal, like payment details, and is clearly stated so there's no ambiguity. But with the option to pay using Bitcoin and even cash, and to not give an email address, even this can be minimized.

The annual audits are another big appeal for the company. Some companies do the odd audit and many don't even bother, but IVPN commits to doing these yearly so you know you're always in the most private of care. In April 2022 the last audit was carried out by Cure53 which you can see here.

Vulnerabilities were found, as is to be expected, though these were fixed – making it more secure than ever.

IVPN windows app

(Image credit: IVPN )

How fast is IVPN?

Connection speed is a crucial aspect of a VPN service, and if it slows your internet to a crawl, all the privacy in the world will be useless. Thankfully, IVPN delivered excellent speeds.

To start we tested in the US using WireGuard and saw speeds averaging an impressive 730-810Mbps. That puts it up there as one of the fastest VPN services, alongside the likes of NordVPN (730-760Mbps), Surfshark (720-790Mbps) and Mullvad (740-820Mbps).

OpenVPN testing was a little less inspiring, with average speeds of 140-180Mbps in the UK and 180-240Mbps in the US. OpenVPN is now an older protocol so these are perhaps to be expected, but most VPNs do deliver over 200Mbps, and Hide.me managed 550-580Mbps, so it can be done. The only time you're likely to be restricted to using OpenVPN is if you setup on a router, so if that's not you then you can stick to those high-speed WireGuard connections.

How good is IVPN for streaming and torrenting?

Streaming is an area where IVPN really falls down. In fact if you're looking for a streaming VPN, then you will want to look elsewhere. 

In our UK testing, IVPN failed to access BBC iPlayer, which is locked to the UK. It also couldn't get onto US Netflix, Disney Plus or Amazon Prime Video.

The company clearly states on its website that some unblocking may work, but it doesn't guarantee this. Its focus is on security and privacy with unblocking very low down on the priorities list.

If it's unblocking you want then you may benefit from a service like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, NordVPN, Hotspot Shield, ProtonVPN, Surfshark and others.

As a torrenting VPN, the service will theoretically work across any of its servers. Again, this isn't something the company is focused on or talks about a lot, as is the case with many VPN providers. It simply asks politely for users to avoid using torrents on US servers.

IVPN torrent policy

(Image credit: IVPN)

How good are IVPN's desktop apps?

The IVPN Windows 10 VPN app starts up in map mode, displaying where you are currently and your IP address. One click gets you on the nearest server for a quick start, or you can pan and zoom to find another. Alternatively, you can simply pick from a list. 

IVPN's map is one of the best we've used, and avoids some of the awkwardness other providers struggle with. The server latency times being shown is another helpful feature that is ideal if you're looking for the best speeds.

You have a firewall, which is essentially a kill switch, to block your internet connection should the VPN drop, which worked well in our tests. However, a lack of notifications on connection or drop-out was a bit of a missing feature.

Settings are plentiful with options to use custom DNS servers, block ads, pick protocols, block trackers and malware, auto connect on trusted Wi-Fi and more. You can also use Obfsproxy to help you connect in anti-VPN countries. There's also split tunnelling to let certain apps connect to the VPN only.

Over on Mac it's quite similar, which is somewhat rare for a Mac VPN – they usually lack features that Windows offers. Here, the two are virtually identical, which is refreshing stuff. The only thing you don't get is split tunnelling, which is a beta feature on Windows. The Mac version performs well with fast responses and showed no signs of leaks or issues.

How good are IVPN's mobile apps?

The IVPN mobile VPN apps also start on a map, but you have the list option to see servers with their latency times usefully laid out. There's also a Favorites section which is great for coming back to those servers you use regularly.

Across both apps the connection times were quick, speeds were above average, and we had no dropout or connection issues at all.

As you might, expect the mobile apps lack some of the desktop features so you don't get ad, tracker and malware blocking. But on the plus side, in the Android VPN you get an extra feature called Mock which lets you set your GPS location to match your current VPN server.

The iOS VPN helpfully keeps the tunnel open even when your phone sleeps, ready for when it wakes. Useful for speed, but of course this can impact battery life, so you can deactivate that if needed.

IVPN help centre

(Image credit: IVPN)

What customer support does IVPN offer?

While the IVPN website has some useful information there isn't any speedy way of getting in direct contact. It lacks the 24/7 live chat features that a lot of its VPN competition offers. 

Instead there is an email style form to fill out on the website. In fairness to the company it does promise 24-hour replies.

This is one of the areas that IVPN falls down compared to rivals, and it's also evident that it's not nearly as large an outfit as, say, ExpressVPN or NordVPN, who have the capital to pay staff around the clock to assist users.

IVPN: Final verdict

IVPN is a very secure and private VPN choice which manages to offer lots of detailed features across both its Apple and Windows clients, both desktop and mobile. Speeds are excellent with WireGuard, and connections were stable in testing.

However, for casual users that think they'd want to unblock streaming sites at any point, IVPN simply doesn't fit the bill – the company knows what it does well and has stuck to those guns, but considering the high price, a more well-rounded provider like ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) offers quite a lot more for the money.

So, IVPN is a somewhat niche choice, but we certainly recommend it if privacy and anonymity are your sole reasons for using a VPN.

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.