Alex Grant

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Le VPN Review – 2020

Le VPN Review - 2020

Le VPN is a Hong Kong-based Virtual Private Network provider that has a focus on providing all of the standard VPN security and privacy features.

Why Choose Le VPN


There are two things that made me especially excited to try it out: Le VPN has servers in 114 countries, as well as easy switching between different security protocols for different purposes. Since I’m always on the road, and I tend to do a lot of different activities from both PCs and mobile devices, LeVPN sounded like a great fit.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Routers


Pros:

  • Global server network in 114 countries means you can connect virtually anywhere
  • A lot of security options and configurations
  • HybridVPN setting for unrestricted streaming
  • Annual subscription of $4.95/month is cheap for such a robust product

Cons:

  • Speed and performance are mediocre
  • Keeps basic logs
  • Customer support not available 24/7

Pricing and Plans

With so many VPNs now offering daily rates, tiered systems with different features, and other pricing mumbo jumbo, Le VPN is a breath of fresh air. There is only one type of plan, available in 1-month, 6-month, or 12-month subscriptions. Like most other VPNs, the year-long plan is steeply discounted, coming in at $4.95/month (the 1-month and 6-month are $9.95 and $7.50 per month, respectively). 

I also noticed that they give you more ways to pay than a lot of other VPNs. Credit cards, Paypal, and Bitcoin are all fair game, as well as more uncommon payment methods like Openbucks and Boleto.

Le_VPN_pricing

Features

One of Le VPN’s biggest draws it its global network of servers that allow consistent access from almost anywhere. On top of that, it also allows users a lot of flexibility to connect using different protocols - each server location allows OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP protocols with a choice between a TCP or UDP port. If this just looks like alphabet soup to you, don't worry; their website not only provides detailed instructions on how to configure Le VPN, but also what these different configurations can do for you.

Le VPN also has a unique HybridVPN protocol, which is designed to allow access to content that is typically geo-restricted (things like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and so on). When you add in Le VPN’s support across several different platforms and devices, it starts to look like the VPN that can do everything, from everywhere. I had to read over the details about this a few times to figure it out - basically, what it does is intelligently route your activity through either a VPN or a SmartDNS system. SmartDNS traffic does not have the security of a VPN network but is the best way to stream content from around the world with no restrictions. While the HybridVPN protocol is active, all of your online activity remains VPN-secure except for certain types of media that get routed to the SmartDNS side instead. Make sure you use this correctly, because it does give you less security - but can also be very useful.

Le VPN’s client interface is pretty user-friendly, all things considered. There is no way to jam all of these options and settings into a truly simple interface, so for someone who plans on using these features sparingly or not at all, it can feel a bit excessive. To Le VPN’s credit, the website contains a lot of guidance on where to find things and how to use them - it is probably the most informative VPN site that I have come across. Their live support isn't 24/7, but their ticketing system is easy and gives fast responses.


Tests

Even if your VPN can do it all, it is still important to make sure that it does it fast enough. Once I got Le VPN set up and ready to go, I went to www.speedtest.com to do a simple before and after.

These were my results before:

After turning on Le VPN and connecting to a local server:

While the latency was a little high, these are about average results among current VPNs. Browsing and streaming speed felt a little bit slower but hardly debilitating. For intense online gaming and rapid torrenting, LeVPN probably won’t give you the best results, but for daily use should be just fine.

A test on www.dnsleaktest.com showed that I was connecting from Le VPN’s server located in San Jose, and no problems were detected.


Privacy

On the privacy front, the company’s policies and procedures are a little underwhelming. It was difficult to find information about this on their website - which is usually a sign that they aren’t showing off how awesome their policy is - but I eventually discovered that (see bottom of their site under "Terms of Use"), while they do not keep “direct logs” on users web traffic, they do not have a zero log policy. This means that even the most basic details on connection times, session length, and data amounts may be kept.


Security

Le VPN boasts a wide array of privacy settings, all of them using AES-256 encryption. While OpenVPN is regarded as the most secure, users can quickly switch over to L2TP or PTPP protocols to give enable better performance or bypass network restrictions. This also comes in handy for mobile use, as some older or more obscure devices are not compatible with OpenVPN (or if they are, setting it up can be a major pain).


Final Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed using Le VPN and was impressed by how it packs so many configurations into a relatively easy to use client. The HybridVPN setting does not have the full security settings of a normal VPN but is a nice option to have. For someone like me, who has become pretty savvy with VPNs and spends a lot of time in different parts of the world, LeVPN fits like a glove. For someone who doesn’t need consistent global access and never plans on customizing their VPN, there are probably some faster and cheaper options out there.

hide.me Review – 2020

hide.me VPN Review - 2020

hide.me is an excellent VPN provider that can confirm its commitment to zero logs storage, gigabit speeds, and simplicity clearly sets it apart in the industry.

Why Choose hide.me VPN


Based in Malaysia, hide.me is a VPN provider that boasts unmatched security, speed, and ease-of-use. Started in 2012, the company currently has more than 5 million users from around the world. It has more than 30 servers spread in more than 25 countries across five continents, which provide complete anonymity for your online activities.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux

Routers


Pros:

  • Lifetime free plan available
  • Port forwarding available
  • Certified zero logs
  • Independent from any government interference
  • Supports modern security protocols
  • Outstanding speeds
  • Applications for mobile devices available
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons:

  • Complexity in setting up simultaneous connections
  • Number of servers may not sufficiently handle heavy traffic

Pricing and Plans

For making payments, hide.me provides a wide range of secure and easy to use options, including the major credit cards, PayPal, and various e-payment methods—even Bitcoin!

If you make full payments of at least one year in advance, you’ll get discounts of up to 45%. Also, if you’d like to cancel your subscription, you’ll need to notify hide.me within the initial 14 days of your contract, and you’ll get a full refund in case you’ve not surpassed 500MB in terms of bandwidth usage.

Free Plan

With this plan, you can access most of the hide.me services without paying any money, for as long as you want. However, the services are available in a limited capacity, which may not sufficiently meet your VPN needs.

If you do not have enough money or you just want to try out hide.me services, the Free Plan could be great for you.

Premium Plan

According to the hide.me website, this plan is the most popular. It starts at $5.41 per month, and comes with comprehensive features that suits heavy VPN users, especially businesses. Some of its additional features include ability to carry out unlimited data transfer and port forwarding.

All plans are covered by 30-day 100% Money-Back Guarantee.

hide.me_pricing

Features

The website is properly designed and free from unnecessary clutter. I was able to quickly navigate the website and find the information I was looking for. Signing up is fast and straightforward. You only need to provide your email address and you’ll be sent a link to activate your account and install the application. It’s that simple.

Whereas I’d an enjoyable overall experience using hide.me, I experienced one big issue with it: setting up the OpenVPN is not easy. Even though it provides guides on how to setup OpenVPN on various platforms, I found it difficult to smoothly sail through the installation process. It could have been much better if it were in-built into the main hide.me client.

To enhance the user experience, hide.me offers 24/7 support via live chat, support ticket, email, community, and FAQs. So, you are sure of getting a prompt feedback to address any issue you’re experiencing.


Tests

A good VPN provider is capable of sustaining the primary Internet speed without any serious downturns. 

Here’s is a screenshot of my network speed without connecting to hide.me:

Here’s is a screenshot of my network speed when I connected to a VPN server in Canada using hide.me (on Free Plan):

DNS test

This VPN incorporates DNS leak protection on its features. You can easily activate this setting and keep yourself secure on the Internet. I carried out a DNS test and the results revealed that all the DNS servers are associated with hide.me.

WebRTC test

When using a VPN, have you bothered to check if it’s leaking your real IP address? I checked if hide.me’s assigned IP address was susceptible to leakage and confirmed that it ensures users are invisible on the Internet and does not leak their assigned IP addresses.

Furthermore, hide.me prevents outgoing IPv6 connections, which automatically blocks any IP leaks.​

Testing on mobile

This VPN works well with mobile devices, just like its desktop client. The company has applications for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. I downloaded the Android app from Google Play Store and tried using it on my phone. Surprisingly, I didn’t notice any performance issues or stretched mobile data usage. And, while I was on the move, I found the IKEv2 connection to be more resilient than the other protocols.


Privacy

They take the privacy of users very seriously. Importantly, the company affirms that it doesn’t keep any customers’ data or logs on its servers. It has also published an audit report from independent security experts that certifies its commitment to customers’ privacy.

Furthermore, since the company is located in Malaysia, far away from any Western government jurisdiction, hide.me is not legally obligated to store users’ Internet session logs or hand them over to any authority. Therefore, you can rest assured that your online privacy will not be compromised.

Apart from supporting a wide range of secure payment methods, hide.me also allows customers to use Bitcoin for making anonymous payments.


Security

To enhance users’ security, hide.me uses top-notch servers that live up to its superior privacy standards, without any hanky-panky involvements. The VPN servers, which are completely access controlled and operated only by the company, support all the modern protocols, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, PPTP, and SoftEther. The company follows the latest cryptographic standards to ensure the servers are correctly configured to support the encrypted and unobstructed flow of data.


Website Blocking

A good choice for those who want to celebrate freedom of speech and access the Internet without any restrictions. If you are living in a country that restricts access to some websites or online services, you can easily bypass such restrictions and enjoy using the Internet.

I tried accessing Netflix using hide.me’s Canada VPN, and I was amazed how it worked well without experiencing any blockage issues. I also signed on to the VPN and I comfortably used BBC iPlayer, as if I was from the UK.


Final Thoughts

Reliable and secure, with fast service that can sufficiently meet your VPN needs, especially if you can afford the Premium Plan at $5.41 per month. However, the VPN provider’s server network is limited, and may not guarantee optimal up times during peak traffic seasons.

Nonetheless, you can opt for the forever Free Plan, and give them a try before spending money on the other plans. You can also opt for the Premium Plan, and try for 14 days. If you think it’s not delivering on its promises, you can request a refund.

HideMyAss! Review – 2020

HideMyAss! Review - 2020

HMA is a VPN with a great name and fun graphics, but if that’s your favorite thing about it, you may want to look for different software.

Why Choose HideMyAss!


Hide My Ass! (HMA) is a VPN from the people at AVG. AVG Technologies was founded in 1991 by Jan Gritzbach and Tomáš Hofer; it is a security software company based in the Czech Republic. The offices of HMA are located in London, Kiev, and Belgrade, and employ over 100 staffers. HMA has more than 930 servers, in more than 350 locations, in nearly 200 countries.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux

Routers


Pros:

  • The name! I love the name “Hide My Ass!” It makes me laugh every time.
  • Very granular control over Location Mode in desktop version
  • Amusing UI graphics
  • Supports OpenVPN

Cons:

  • Speed: I experienced a 50% loss in download speed
  • Located in a Five Eyes country
  • They log your IP
  • Failed with Netflix and BBC iPlayer

Pricing and Plans

HMA offers three different service plan options. You can purchase a 12-month plan for $6.99 per month, prepaid annually as $83.88; a 24-month plan for $5.99 per month, prepaid every 2 years as $143.76; or a 36-month plan, which is the best value, at $4.29 per month, prepaid every 3 years as $154.44.

You can pay with credit card, PayPal, cash at 7-Eleven/Ace, bank/wire transfer, Diner’s Club, check, or Union Pay. HMA also offers a “Pay with Gift Card” option that allows you to trade gift cards for account credit.

HideMyAss_pricing

Features

HMA offers three different connection modes: Instant, Location, and Freedom. Instant Mode is, essentially, exactly what it sounds like. You click and it connects.

Location Mode allows you to select the location of the server you want to use. You can choose by country, by city, or from a list of any favorites you may have saved. I really like how granular the location mode is. It’s nice to be able to choose exactly where you are connecting. Once you make a selection, I used a favorite of Zurich in this example, the software will ask you to confirm your choice. Next, it will connect to your chosen server and then return to the main screen and show your connection. A desktop notification will also appear and show you your public IP address.

Freedom Mode allows you to connect to the nearest free-speech country. That’s not such a big deal for those of us in the States, but for users elsewhere in the world, who want a quick and clean connection option, or if you are traveling the world, this is an excellent way to go. Freedom Mode automatically connects to the fastest server in the closest free-speech country. Once it has connected, it returns to the main screen, shows your connection, and the desktop notification appears and shows you your public IP address.


Tests

The speed test results were interesting. You can see a comparison of speed without HMA (top) and with it (bottom). While I did get a faster ping time, my download speed was cut in half; that’s not what you want to see. I didn’t notice any effects on my use, but that’s not to say you wouldn’t see an impact. A 50% drop in download speed is very significant; by contrast, upload speeds only took a 3 Mbps hit.

All the servers that appear in the test are used by HMA, so that all checks out. Nothing unusual popped up in the WebRTC test either. The IPv6 Test also showed no leaks. More good news.

Testing on mobile

The Android app weighs in at less than 13 MB which is typical of other VPNs I’ve seen. The experience on the mobile app was rather different from the desktop version, however. First, you can get a free 7-day trial on Android (if you haven’t already signed up and purchased the desktop version). Second, the options for choosing servers are buried behind the “HELP ME CHOOSE” option on the main screen.

Once you click that, you are given four choices, “SECURE MY CONNECTION”, “CHOOSE A COUNTRY”, “PARANOID MODE”, and “ANTI CENSORSHIP”. Clicking each of these pops up a request to do a speed test-- an option that I was unable to disable and quickly found tedious. Once you’ve dismissed that question, the app moves on and chooses a server for you in all options except “CHOOSE A COUNTRY” in which you scroll through and choose your own. (Clicking the LOCATION option on the main screen will also bring you to the country page AND enable you to choose favorites which, for whatever reason, they didn’t include under the “CHOOSE A COUNTRY” menu. Again, odd difference from the desktop version.)​

Once you’re connected, if you click on the IP option, it will display the difference between your public and private IP addresses and offer you the option to change IP again, if you wish.

The key icon, familiar to most VPN users, appears at the top of the mobile screen when the VPN is in use. Clicking the key icon will open a screen that is meant to allow you to cancel or disconnect. On Android 6.0.1 and disconnect and cancel worked as expected.

I didn’t experience any issues at all with speed or performance while using the mobile app for HMA. My biggest complaint, honestly, was that the mobile UI was clunky and not the same as the desktop version.


Privacy

HMA does keep some logs. They don’t log traffic but they do log timestamps, bandwidth, and your IP address-- which makes them a little more log-happy than some other VPNs. With a London office, they are also in a Five Eyes country-- another potential reason to be wary.

I think the gift card option could probably be employed to pay anonymously. I’ve also seen it reported that they accept Bitcoin, but that was not offered as a payment option on their site.

They’ve also been dinged for falsely claiming to be “100% effective”.


Security

HMA supports three sets of security protocols each with different encryptions. Their OpenVPN uses OpenSSL with algorithms 3DES, AES 256, RC5, 256 bit encryption. Their PPTP uses MPPE protocol for encryption, with RSA RC4 algorithm and 128 bit keys. Their L2TP uses IPSec with 256 bit key encryption and 3DES/AES algorithm.


Website Blocking

Many people use VPNs to access blocked content from other countries; HMA failed that test for me. Netflix and BBC iPlayer both refused to play content despite that fact that I was logged into US and UK servers respectively.


Final Thoughts

I think the HMA is a good VPN, but it’s not my favorite. While the name and UI graphics are amusing, my download speed took a 50% hit and the mobile app was not the same quality of experience I would have expected after using the desktop version. HMA operates in London, inside a Five Eyes country, and they log IP addresses--something other VPNs don’t necessarily do. The price point for HMA is lower than some other VPNs, but you will get what you paid for.

ExpressVPN Review – 2020

ExpressVPN Review - 2020

ExpressVPN offers anonymous and secure web browsing in an affordable, clean, and user-friendly package.

Why Choose ExpressVPN


ExpressVPN is one of the veterans in the VPN space and has been consistently the most reliable VPN I've tested.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux

Routers


Pros:

  • Access to blocked content
  • High-level encryption
  • Supports OpenVPN
  • Geo spoofing

Cons:

  • Typically more expensive than others

ExpressVPN was founded in 2009 and is an award winning VPN service provider based in the British Virgin Islands. They operate over 1,000 servers in 136 cities in 87 different countries and continue adding to that list. They are advocates for internet privacy and provide financial support to Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Internet Defense League, Fight for the Future, and Access. They have apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Android, and more, with best-in-class security and encryption so users, worldwide, can browse the web in anonymity.


Pricing and Plans

ExpressVPN offers three different service plan options. You can purchase a 1-month plan for $12.95, billed monthly; a 6-month plan for $9.99 per month, billed as $59.95 every 6 months; or a 12-month plan, their most popular option, at $8.32 per month, billed as $99.95 annually. You can pay with credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, or Paymentwall and all three plan options include a “no-hassle” 30-day money-back guarantee.


Features

ExpressVPN claims that the five top benefits of its service are to stay private, save money, defeat censorship, encrypt everything, and extend your coverage.Those are basically the same claims made by VPNs across the board. They offer VPN split tunneling so you can choose to route some of your device traffic through a VPN while letting the remainder access the internet directly. They offer 24/7 live tech support and apps for every device.

ExpressVPN also provides Smart DNS which allows you to use geo-spoofing to resolve your DNS requests at the location of your choice. Smart DNS will function on any internet-ready device, regardless of whether it can run VPN software. You can anonymize your browsing and “spoof” your location on any streaming media player, smart TV, game console, or e-reader, and access content that may have been denied to you based on your physical location.


Tests

In a speed test with and without ExpressVPN and the differences were within 3 Mbps-- relatively insignificant if you’re on a high-speed connection but, on slower speeds, that could affect your ability to work, stream content, etc.

Every time you manually configure a VPN connection, you run a higher risk of a DNS leak. Using an app like ExpressVPN can protect you from that. ExpressVPN performed well across multiple leak tests, demonstrating that they do, in fact, deliver secure connections.

Testing on mobile

The experience on the Android mobile app was, more or less, the same as the desktop version. The app weighs in at less than 12 MB so you won’t take a hit to your mobile memory. You see a similar connection screen, and location interface and choices: Smart Location or Choose Location. You can open the menu in the upper left corner to access settings, your account, Help & Support, or information on receiving 30 days free, for you and a friend, via ExpressVPN’s referral program. Once you tap the power button, the familiar green shield will appear indicating the VPN is active.


Privacy

Privacy is becoming an increasingly valuable asset and it’s nice to know you can protect yourself from prying eyes. ExpressVPN will scramble and encrypt your internet traffic so your ISP can’t read it or log your activity. Most major VPN protocols are supported, including OpenVPN. ExpressVPN also allows you to choose your server location or use their smart location option to locate the server nearest you. ExpressVPN does not log traffic, DNS requests, or IP addresses, but they do log timestamps and bandwidth. Since they’re based in the British Virgin Islands, they are in a territory/commonwealth of a Five Eyes/Enemy of the Internet Country, so that’s something to consider as well.

You can pay them with Bitcoin if you wish to create a completely anonymous account.

I was unable to find any data breaches that had occurred at ExpressVPN, however, in 2016 they made some interesting, and almost prescient, predictions regarding security elsewhere: https://bestvpn.org/go/expressvpn/blog/2016-predictions-follow-up/


Security

ExpressVPN supports multiple protocols: OpenVPN, TCP, L2TP and SSTP. They use SSL and have an A+ rating. They secure data using a zero-logging policy for traffic data, DNS queries, or any identifying data. Express VPN also uses AES-256, 256-bit military-grade encryption, the most trusted encryption standard in the world. They employ IP address masking so you can obscure your true location. Every ExpressVPN server has its own private, encrypted DNS. You can also use Tor to browse their hidden .onion site.


Website Blocking

One of the nice advantages to using a VPN is that you can access content that you may not be able to access due to geographical restrictions--similar to region-restricted DVDs. Using ExpressVPN and a server in Chicago, I accessed Netflix and had no trouble browsing or streaming content.

Next, I switched to a server in the UK and attempted to run BBC iPlayer. That also worked without any problems. Logging in from the USA would usually yield the error you see in the second image here.


Summary

Overall, ExpressVPN seems like a solid choice if you’re looking for a good solution to amping up your online privacy. Customer service was fast and friendly using their Live Chat option; they answered all questions and even offered to help me set up the software. The software is easy to use on both desktop and mobile versions despite some minor bugs. The service is competitively priced when you purchase the 12-month plan; at 30 days for free service for you and a friend, their referral program seems generous. Thanks to their 30-day money-back guarantee, you really run no risk if you just want to try out their service and canceling was, indeed, “hassle-free."

Ivacy Review – 2020

Ivacy VPN Review - 2020

Ivacy is a VPN service based out of Singapore, and comes choc-a-bloc full of useful features, making it a stellar purchase for most people and for most reasons.

Why Choose Ivacy VPN


For starters, this VPN has more than 200 optimized servers in over 50 different countries – France, Germany, Ireland, Australia, and the US being a few of them. No matter where I am in the world, using Ivacy is a breeze thanks to its wide protocol support features. I’ve not faced any trouble running torrents on this VPN and the company has a strict zero log policy in place.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux

Routers


Pros:

  • Over 200 servers in 80+ countries
  • Sleek, easy to use UI
  • Customer support via email, Skype, and ticketing
  • 5 multi-login feature for one account
  • 7-day money back guarantee

Cons:

  • No free plan
  • Connection speed may vary

Pricing and Plans

You can get Ivacy VPN service at a reduced price of $1.99 a month if you subscribe to the 24-month plan. Monthly and yearly plans are also available at $9.95 a month and $3.33 per month, respectively.

When it comes to refunds, Ivacy does provide a 7-day money back guarantee on all plans. But I read through the refund policy and found some important conditions. While it’s true that the company offers various payment options, including PayPal, credit and debit cards, Perfect Money, Bitcoin and Paymentwall, customers who press the key (pun intended) for the last two methods cannot apply for refunds. Users also can’t get a refund if they’ve connected over 30 times or have used up more than 7 GB of bandwidth.

Ivacy is a solid VPN – fast and efficient with numerous advanced features. While there are a couple of areas that need improvement, the overall user experience has been terrific for me. I would suggest signing up for a month and testing it out to see whether it meets all your requirements. But from what I’ve experienced myself, you won’t regret it.

Ivacy_pricing

Features

I found Ivacy offers convenient features targeted at general and hardcore VPN users.

Over 200 servers

When you want to use a VPN, it is better if the company has servers in multiple locations. This actually helps in improving access speed. You will be glad to know Ivacy offers 200 servers for its users and those are spread over 100 countries.

Nonstop server switching

Sometimes, you may find your VPN has slowed down considerably, and this can be caused by lots of users accessing the same server, leading to bandwidth congestion. At such times, switching the server is the best option. Ivacy enables you to switch servers without restrictions, and so a speed bottleneck is not a problem.

5 multi logins

At times, you may need to use VPN on more than one device, both at home and work. Ivacy offers a unique 5 multi login’s feature. You can connect 5 devices using one Ivacy account simultaneously. Not a bad deal!

No data cap

If you want an unlimited data upload and download through this VPN, Ivacy is a solid choice. The company has put no capping limit on data transfer. You can also resort to P2P transfers with its optimized servers without any issues.

Speed

The speed of the VPN is a concern for many users, but I did not have any problems whatsoever. In fact, some functions worked blindingly fast thanks to unlimited speed and 99 percent uptime. I’m sure the unlimited bandwidth and server switching capabilities helped as well. I have no complaints about the overall speed and performance. Latencies proved to be better than average with almost every server in every country delivering an average download speed of 30Mbps.

Simplicity

The first thing that struck me about Ivacy is how simple the signup process is. Installation on my devices also went off without a hitch thanks to the clear instructions and apps provided by the company.

I use Microsoft Windows OS on my system, and Ivacy’s Windows client first asked me to choose from a list of ‘purposes’, including Netflix UK, VoIP Services, Hulu, Unblock Websites, Torrenting, etc. I basically had to select what I wanted to do or search for it online. However, I didn’t mind as it helped the company choose the right location and protocol, alter the settings accordingly, and ensure I could get online quickly.

The whole process was extremely simple and I think is intended to help beginners who’re unsure about what they want to do on the Internet as of yet. For users who have a specific goal in mind, there’s the Personalized Selection panel. This section works like another VPN client, displaying a list of services and protocols, and allowing you to choose whatever you require.

I was impressed to see some advanced features here. For example, Split Tunneling lets only some apps go through the VPN. Other features of note include IPv6 leak protection, a secure DNS option, and a kill switch that prevents any Internet connectivity as soon as the connection drops.

Compatibility

One of the reasons why Ivacy has gained so much popularity among online users is its compatibility with virtually any platform or device. I’ve found that other than the common platforms (Windows, Android, Linux) and devices (Mac, iPhone, routers, smart TVs), Ivacy also supports some uncommon platforms (Kodi, Roku) and devices (PS4, Xbox, Blackberry).

This level of compatibility is unusual in a VPN but I’ve found it useful to log in from work, home, and on-the-go. Plus, the 5 multi-login feature means users like me can connect with five different devices for complete freedom and convenience.

The first thing that struck me about Ivacy is how simple the signup process is. Installation on my devices also went off without a hitch thanks to the clear instructions and apps provided by the company.

I use Microsoft Windows OS on my system, and Ivacy’s Windows client first asked me to choose from a list of ‘purposes’, including Netflix UK, VoIP Services, Hulu, Unblock Websites, Torrenting, etc. I basically had to select what I wanted to do or search for it online. However, I didn’t mind as it helped the company choose the right location and protocol, alter the settings accordingly, and ensure I could get online quickly.

The whole process was extremely simple and I think is intended to help beginners who’re unsure about what they want to do on the Internet as of yet. For users who have a specific goal in mind, there’s the Personalized Selection panel. This section works like another VPN client, displaying a list of services and protocols, and allowing you to choose whatever you require.

I was impressed to see some advanced features here. For example, Split Tunneling lets only some apps go through the VPN. Other features of note include IPv6 leak protection, a secure DNS option, and a kill switch that prevents any Internet connectivity as soon as the connection drops.


Tests

I tested Ivacy for speed, and the results were pretty good. I first tested without logging in:

Then I used a US server, with automatic protocols in effect:

After this, I tried testing the UK server:

Testing on mobile

Ivacy is compatible with a lot of OSes and devices, and I checked out the compatibility. I checked out the Windows client first, and the experience was pretty good. The UI is neat and displays all the options and data you might need. I was able to select the server and set the encryption status without any hassle.

Then I checked out the Ivacy Android app. Even here the experience was glitch free. The app has a neat UI and configuring the setting is simple. You just download the app from Google Play and install it. After that, enter your login data and select the server. Then you click on the Connect button, and it starts working as it should.​


Privacy

One major reason behind using VPN is privacy and Ivacy scores well in this regard. You will be glad Ivacy does not keep track of or store your profile data. Like most VPNs, it masks your device or computer’s real IP ID. Owing to 256-bit encryption, data theft risk is nearly nonexistent.


Security

Ivacy focuses on keeping its members safe and secure, which I think is a poignant aspect. The company uses advanced 256-bit encryption to protect users from snoopers, hackers, viruses, government surveillance, and other spyware. I conducted privacy tests and found that Ivacy effectively blocks WebRTC and DNC leaks, preserving the user’s anonymity. The VPN also guards users against ISP tracking.

Unlike other VPNs I had used in the past, Ivacy’s policy pages had well-organized text with the key points highlighted. The legal jargon was also kept to a bare minimum, and so I had no trouble understanding the company policy.

Basically, what it says is that the company does not monitor or log your online activities. Your session data is not recorded, which means a particular user can never be connected to a specific activity. I found this works like a charm when trying to preserve my online anonymity.

From my experience, Ivacy has no records or details of you other than your email address, and even that isn’t sold, shared, or rented to others. So, you need not worry about your digital identity making its way to the Internet. However, keep in mind that the company removes any account that has been inactive for 12 months.

My only gripe with this service is a minor one – the company does not host its own analytics service like some others; instead, they rely on Google Analytics. However, this is no cause for concern as the core service remains unaffected.


Website Blocking

You might be wary about finding newer ways to access territory restricted content. Not all VPNs can be useful in these cases. But with Ivacy, you can access the content of streaming services such as BBC Player and Netflix. I found out using mobile apps yield better results than OS specific versions of Ivacy in this regard.


Final Thoughts

Overall, I found Ivacy to be a feature-rich VPN with an impressive performance. It comes with support for multiple platforms, and mobile app versions are there too. Setting up the service is simple, and you get oodles of servers to pick from. Not bad!

While server speed may vary, that is one issue nearly all VPNs suffer from. I personally liked its robust customer support and zero data logging policy. Its multiple pricing plans will appeal to different types of customers and the money back guarantee option is basically icing on the cake.