The team behind IronSocket started in the online privacy space in 2005 when they launched HideMyNet (HMN). After running HMN for eight years the team decided to build on the foundation of the service and launched IronSocket. As an old-timer in the VPN space it has been interesting to watch the transition of HMN into IronSocket and the continued growth of the service. So far the team has done a fine job of building on their previous HMN experience.
IronSocket’s pricing is simple. They offer a single plan that includes unlimited bandwidth and data transfer. That’s not to say you can expect your full connection speed through the service. We experienced a significant decrease in performance while connected to the network. However, you can connect to any server location and switch between them anytime. You can also use the service as much as you like without any overage charges.
As you can see, you have the option of signing up for 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year of access. You can expect the same level of service regardless of which term you select. The only difference is price. Like most VPN providers, IronSocket discounts their prices based on the term chosen. You can always switch terms so I suggest you sign up for a month to test. Then you may consider switching over to the annual plan for maximum savings.
Sign Up Process and Payment Information
IronSocket accepts a wide range of payment options. You can pay using PayPal, credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover), or Bitcoin. They also have an option to pay anonymously using a gift card from popular retailers like Starbucks and Walmart. The amount of personal information required to sign up is based on your method of payment. PayPal and Bitcoin requite very little info, while credit card payments require billing address.
IronSocket Risk-Free Trial Period
After you sign up, the IronSocket support team is there to answer any questions you might have about the service. Even so, they understand that new customers need time to test their network. In response they offer a 7 day money back guarantee. While it’s not a free trial, you’ll notice that most providers shy away from trials to avoid fraud. The money back guarantee doesn’t have any connection or usage limitations. If you are unhappy with the service for any reason simply contact their support for a refund. Note that refunds are not offered for those who pay using Bitcoin or gift card.
Key VPN Service Features
Here are a few of the reasons that users choose IronSocket VPN:
- Internet Privacy – when you connect to their network, the service will assign you a shared IP address. This will help ensure your online privacy.
- Secure Online Communications – IronSocket supports a wide range of protocols and encryption levels to secure your online communications.
- Dedicated P2P Servers – the network includes several server locations that support file sharing.
- Unblock Geo-Restrictions – connect to a server in another country to access content as if you were physically there.
VPN Server Locations
This is an area where the original HideMyNet (HMN) project helped the team plan for the future network of IronSocket. Members can connect to any of their 65 VPN servers in 38 countries.
- Server locations – Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.
- P2P allowed – Argentina, Brazil, Cyprus, Egypt, Iceland, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine.
Security and Privacy
IronSocket supports a wide range of protocols. We recommend using OpenVPN whenever possible. The IronSocket team understands your need for privacy. In response they have config files for both 256-bit and 128-bit OpenVPN connections. The difference is the level of encryption. The higher the encryption, the more impact it will have on performance. The service also supports L2TP and PPTP protocols. They offer HTTP and SOCKS proxy connections. They also have DNS proxy to help you access geo-restricted content without the overhead of encryption.
- We DO NOT LOG or record in any manner the content you access while using our Services.
- We DO NOT USE your information for purposes other than those to which you have consented.
- We DO NOT SELL or trade personal information for commercial purposes.
From our experience, you can expect a fast response from IronSocket when you have questions. They have a support section of the site that will help answer common questions. You will find a full range of setup guides on their site. From there you can login to the site and submit a support ticket. Their turn around time is good so don’t hesitate to contact them for help.
IronSocket Performance Testing
- United States speed test – after connecting to a VPN server in Atlanta we tested our Internet speed and found it to be 10.04 Mbps download and 7.96 Mbps upstream.
- United Kingdom speed test – we also tested a connection to a VPN server in London and our Internet speed was 9.09 Mbps download and 3.81 Mbps upstream.
- Conclusion – IronSocket performance was a bit slow in both our US and UK speed tests. Note: you can expect any VPN to slow your connection some as the traffic is being encrypted.
The IronSocket team has come a long way since their original launch of HideMyNet (HMN) in 2005. They continue to add server locations and work to ensure member’s privacy. They allow P2P in several server locations which helps the service stand out. We like that they support a wide range of protocols and encryption levels. It would be nice to see them add a custom client, but they make it easy to connect using the open source OpenVPN client. All in all we were impressed with IronSocket and suggest you test out the VPN and Smart DNS services for yourself. Prices start at $4.16 a month and all new members are covered by their 7 day money back guarantee.