The team behind Ivacy stepped into the VPN industry in 2007. They have grown steadily since that time. In 2010 they introduced a new split tunneling feature to allow members to decide which apps pass through the secure tunnel. In recent years the team has added new protocols, DNS leak protection, and an Internet kill switch. All features that help protect user’s privacy. The Ivacy network has grown to include servers in 50+ countries.
Before I dive deeper into the Ivacy review I would like to examine the cost of the service. At the time of this review Ivacy was offering a Winter special. You may notice different pricing based on the current promotion. Let’s take a look at the pricing being offered in January 2017 along with payment options.
As you can see the price of Ivacy is deeply reduced based on the sign up term. While Ivacy costs $11.95 if paid on a monthly basis, the service is available at a discount of up to 86% off. I went with the 24 month plan which cost $39.95. The cost worked out to just $1.66 a month which is a great value.
After you select a VPN plan the next step is to set up your credentials. The Ivacy team makes sure to mention that they do not share your information with anyone. The personal information is minimal. You will want to enter your name, email address, and the password you would like to use to log in.
When it comes to payment options the Ivacy team has you covered. We signed up using PayPal. It’s a good option for those who want a secondary location to manage your subscription. You can also sign up using credit card, bitcoin through bitpay, CoinPayments, Perfect Money, WebMoney, and Paymentwall.
After signing up I immediately downloaded the Ivacy VPN client for Windows. The app only took a minute to download and install. The first time you launch the app it will ask for your credentials. You will want to enter the email address and password you chose during the sign up process. You can have the app save the credentials for future logins.
The Ivacy app is well designed for new and experienced users alike. You can simply connect to the recommended server or select from over 100 locations. I started by connecting to a server in the United States. This automatically connected me to a server in Houston that was quite slow. The speed test results were coming in at under 1 Mbps. This was a concern so I went into the app and chose a different server location.
After connecting to a server in New York I was able to bring the speed up to 26 Mbps which is far more reasonable. I suggest you test several locations to find the best performing servers. Rather than use the default country view go ahead and select the city view. This is shown in the third image above. From here you can select a more exact server location. As you can see Ivacy has servers in several American cities.
I performed the speed tests from the US east coast so it was interesting to see how each location performed. You might think that connecting to the closest server is best but in this case the fastest server was in Toronto, Canada. Overall Ivacy was slower than other VPN services I normally use but servers in NYC, Toronto, and London were fast enough to suit my needs.
Let’s hop back into the VPN app and take a look at the available settings.
When you first open the settings you will notice that none of the options are checked. I recommend you enable the following features:
- Redial automatically after connection drops
- Switch to secure DNS
- IPv6 leak protection
Torrent users may also want to activate the Internet kill switch. You also have a number of protocols to choose from. The client defaulted to PPTP which provides minimal security. I tested the service using the automatic setting for the best speeds. OpenVPN UDP is a good choice. Windows users might consider SSTP. You can also choose OpenVPN TCP, L2TP, or IKEv2.
Want to decide which applications use the VPN? If so you can enable the split tunneling feature. This will allow you to set the exact apps that will pass through the secure tunnel. This can be quite useful for those who want to use a VPN to secure a specific program without impacting the performance of other online activities. I don’t use split tunneling as I want my connection fully secured when using a VPN but its nice to know the option is there.
My experience with Ivacy was mixed. As I mentioned earlier in the review, the default server was slow. Changing server locations helped performance but the network was still slower than others I use on a daily basis. The VPN also dropped a few times during my testing. Those problems were distracting but once I changed server locations and protocols the experience was much better. I recommend testing several servers to find the best speed and reliability. Don’t assume it will be the closest location.
The Ivacy team has put together a nice, affordable VPN. While I wouldn’t pay $11.99 a month for the service, even with the issues it was still well worth the 24 month price of $1.66 a month. I won’t use Ivacy as my primary VPN but it’s nice to have a backup. If you are looking for a VPN that will minimize your speed loss and stay connected for hours then Ivacy is not be the best option. However, if you want a VPN for occasional use with advanced features like split tunneling and Internet kill switch then Ivacy is good choice.