- Table of Contents
- Ivacy VPN Review: Overview
- Ivacy Background & History
- Features: What Can Ivacy Do?
- Ivacy Pricing: How Much Does Ivacy Cost?
- Ivacy Apps & Support
- Ivacy VPN Server Locations
- Ivacy Speed
- Ivacy Streaming Performance & Unblocking Ability
- Security: Is Ivacy Safe?
- Privacy: Is Ivacy Private?
- Ivacy Customer Support
- User-Friendliness & Hands-on Testing
- Ivacy Reviews on Reddit & Social Media
- Conclusion: Is Ivacy a Good VPN Service?
- Alternatives: Ivacy vs Other VPN Services
Quick Summary: Ivacy Review
There are many things that make me not recommend Ivacy VPN. First, Ivacy refuses to answer basic questions about who owns it and where it’s located; it doesn’t appear to take user privacy concerns seriously.
Second, Ivacy is wildly different from one app version to another; almost all features are missing from the macOS and iOS versions. The best aspects of the VPN are Ivacy’s affordable pricing, strong worldwide download speeds and its ability to unblock streaming sites, but you’ll have to decide whether these justify the risks.
I’ve never kept much of an eye on Ivacy VPN. It rarely comes up when discussing the best cheap VPNs, even though it has a free plan and a five-year subscription for $1 per month. Every VPN deserves a chance, though, so I figured it was time for an in-depth Ivacy review.
My evaluation included testing several of Ivacy’s clients, much of its server network and all the features I could reach — and was disappointed every time. I won’t hesitate to say this is one of the worst VPNs I’ve ever used.
Ivacy passes basic security tests and is decent for streaming, but there’s little else to recommend it when there are other VPNs that perform so much better. You can save time by heading over to my top best VPN roundup to see which ones I recommend instead.
Ivacy VPN Review: Overview
- Free trialNoMoney-Back Guarantee30 days (7 days on monthly plan)Worldwide Server Amount88 locations in 61 countriesSimultaneous Connections10Streaming Access
- Cheap payment plans
- Unblocks streaming sites
- Servers in Africa, South America & Middle East
- Good download speeds & low latency
- IPv6 leak protection
- Lack of transparency
- No privacy or security audits
- High risk for router installs other than DD-WRT
- Extremely limited free plan
- Virtually no features on macOS or iOS
- Needlessly complex, often-broken apps
- Physical server in Russia
Ivacy Background & History
What Is Ivacy & Who Is It For?
Ivacy is a virtual private network (VPN) founded in Singapore in 2007. Its purpose is to protect users online by hiding their IP address and browser activity. Ivacy’s apps work on several platforms and aim to give users a wide selection of alternative IP addresses.
Who Owns Ivacy?
This is not a straightforward question. When I wrote my “Who Owns Your VPN” investigation, I was pretty confident that Ivacy was owned by Pakistan-based Gaditek, the same company that owns PureVPN. However, since then, Gaditek appears to have removed all traces of Ivacy from its website. Its current owner, “PMG Pte Ltd,” is a complete non-entity that LinkedIn describes as an advertising agency.
As a much redder flag, there’s the “transparency page” Ivacy published in 2019, which must be seen to be believed. It relates an obviously fictional conversation between a PR Manager named “Frank” and a journalist named “Journalist” about how incredibly trustworthy Ivacy is.
Despite rambling for paragraphs on end, “Frank” avoids relating any actual information. I’ll share some transparency of my own: this was the moment I decided I could not support this VPN.
Where Is Ivacy Located?
Ivacy claims to have been founded in Singapore and still lists an address there. However, most of the 11 employees it lists on LinkedIn are based in Pakistan, and it has a tenuous connection to China through sharing an office with LinkSure. All I can say for sure is that I have no idea.
How Safe Is Ivacy?
My tests didn’t reveal any DNS leaks, and it has no history of being hacked or compromised. Given all its evasiveness, it’s hard for me to call Ivacy safe, but it does at least appear to do the basic job of a VPN.
How Has Ivacy Changed Over Time?
Ivacy was founded in 2007. It claims to have invented split tunneling in 2010, but I couldn’t find any corroborating evidence. It also claims to have joined the VPN Trust Initiative in 2020, though the Initiative’s website does not mention Ivacy.
Features: What Can Ivacy Do?
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Split tunneling (Windows and Android)
- 88 server locations in 61 countries
- Browser extensions
- Router support
- WireGuard protocol
- Torrenting allowed
- Kill switch
- Live chat and email support
Ivacy’s Windows and Android apps have a reasonably extensive menu of features. In addition to table-stakes stuff like a kill switch and split tunneling, there are dedicated servers for different tasks, a download scanner, dedicated IP addresses (for an extra fee) and even forward-looking IPv6 support.
The big problem: The features are OS-dependent and poorly implemented, with macOS and iOS receiving almost none of the key features. I’ll describe this in more detail in the “ease of use” section below.
IPv6 Leak Protection
Although websites are slowly migrating to the new IPv6 standard, IPv6 retrofitting is expensive. Very few sites are currently hosted only on IPv6. If a site is updating, it’s usually hosted on both IPv4 and IPv6.
Most VPNs simply block IPv6 altogether to prevent a request from leaking outside the encrypted VPN tunnel, but Ivacy has built IPv6 protection into some of its clients, earning credit for addressing a problem before it hits crisis level.
Tragically, this leak protection is only available on the Windows desktop app. Let’s hope the other apps catch up before the IPv6 migration goes much further.
Multiport, also only available on Windows, is a feature intended to help you access networks with multiple ports. Using multiport, which most other VPNs call “port forwarding,” lets you cross network firewalls to access a specific port, such as a server at your office or a gaming server set up by a friend.
The strange part is that you can also have multiport select a port for you automatically — in fact, this is enabled by default. Since the main point of port forwarding is to specify destinations on a network, it’s hard to see the point of having your VPN do it for you.
Ivacy’s split tunneling feature is available on Windows and Android. Split tunneling lets you run some online apps through the VPN while others go outside. You can protect your most sensitive activities (like torrenting) while leaving out activities where a VPN might get blocked (like streaming or banking).
Go to the “split tunneling” tab in the Ivacy client settings. Add apps to the list that you want to have VPN protection.
When you turn on split tunneling, all the apps you’ve added will be protected by the VPN. No others will be, so take care when you turn on this feature.
Ivacy Pricing: How Much Does Ivacy Cost?
Ivacy is often affordable. In addition to a monthly plan that costs less than $10, it has one of the market’s only five-year plans. That gets you a VPN for $1 per month.
Pricing Plan Breakdown
All three Ivacy plans come with the same features, so the only difference is duration. The longer you pay for upfront, the more you save.
One month of Ivacy costs $9.95. If you sign up for a full year, you’ll pay $47.76, which works out to $3.98 per month (though Ivacy calls it $3.99, suggesting a math mistake). The five-year plan costs $60 upfront, working out to $1 per month. It comes with a premium subscription to the password manager Sticky Password.
Dedicated IP addresses are priced separately: an extra $9.95 for a month, $29 for a year ($2.41 per month) and $47.76 for two years ($1.99 per month). There’s no five-year dedicated server plan, so if you choose five years of the VPN, make sure to renew your dedicated IP after two.
Ivacy Free Plan & Money-Back Guarantee
Ivacy does have a free plan, though it’s hard to find. All you have to do is download the app and connect without logging in.
The free plan allows access to exactly one server (the Netherlands) and zero features, not even the kill switch. It also limits traffic to 2GB per month. On iOS, you’ll even be shown ads every 15 minutes. It’s so far behind the best free VPNs that Proton VPN is lapping it.
The one-year and five-year plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, but the one-month plan offers a refund for only seven days. This is buried in the refund policy; you will not be warned on the regular payment gateway.
Be careful if you try to seek a refund. When I asked for mine, Ivacy’s support team slow-walked me through ads and patronizing questions before they even looked up my account. If you want your money back, prepare for battle.
Ivacy Apps & Support
Ivacy is available on Windows, macOS and Linux for desktop users. Mobile users can install it on iOS, Android or Huawei devices. It has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Edge. There are apps for smart TVs and Firestick, plus the open-source media player Kodi.
One Ivacy account supports 10 simultaneous connections. You can stretch that farther by installing it on a router, but it’s only a simple process with a DD-WRT router. If your router isn’t running DD-WRT, you can update the firmware, but be careful: According to Ivacy’s instructions, “a slight carelessness in handling the process can ruin your device for good.”
Given that Ivacy’s entire website appears to have been written by Google Translate, I’d advise against trusting it when the stakes are this high. Look for the best VPNs for multiple devices instead.
Ivacy VPN Server Locations
Ivacy states on its website that it has “60+ countries” and “100+ locations.” The first part is accurate to the VPN app, but the second is mistaken. Based on the macOS app, Ivacy VPN offers servers in 61 countries, but well under 100 locations. I counted 88.
The website also claims that Ivacy has over 5,700 servers total. If that’s true, it would be great, nearly matching NordVPN’s 6,000 servers. However, since NordVPN’s speeds leave Ivacy’s in the dust, I’m inclined to think the 5,700 figure is exaggerated.
Global Distribution of VPN Servers
Most VPNs have servers in North America, Europe and East Asia. When judging a server network, I tend to look for the rarer locations: Africa, South America, Central Asia and the Middle East. Ivacy has real servers in all those places, which is one of its better points. Users from Brazil to Nigeria to Armenia can expect halfway decent speeds and performance.
Ivacy uses virtual servers in India to avoid complying with the country’s VPN reporting requirements. However, its server in Russia, which has equally draconian VPN laws, doesn’t appear to be virtual. This is a serious problem. Russia’s communication authorities require all VPN services to retain user information and install backdoors for government surveillance.
Despite a lot of bluster on its blog, there’s no indication that Ivacy has done anything to protect its servers from the Russian government. It’s yet another reminder to not trust this VPN service with any sensitive information, especially if you live in Russia. If you want a virtual Russian IP address that will actually foil Putin, try my CyberGhost review.
Ivacy does seem to have figured something out about VPN speed. Its VPN servers are fast enough that I initially worried it wasn’t actually encrypting my internet traffic. However, Wireshark tests showed it to be solid (see the “security” section), so I have to admit that Ivacy rivals the fastest VPN providers available.
Ivacy Speed Test Results
I tested several Ivacy servers around the world to evaluate the upload speed, download speed and latency, using a connection from Portland, Oregon in the United States.
|56.99 Mbps (100%)
|5.88 Mbps (100%)
|18 ms (100%)
|🇺🇸 Seattle, USA
|55.97 Mbps (98%)
|5.47 Mbps (93%)
|24 ms (133%)
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom
|48.66 Mbps (85%)
|5.24 Mbps (89%)
|331 ms (1,839%)
|50.30 Mbps (88%)
|3.89 Mbps (66%)
|355 ms (1,972%)
|45.20 Mbps (79%)
|5.11 Mbps (87%)
|408 ms (2,267%)
|🇿🇦 South Africa
|33.07 Mbps (58%)
|4.31 Mbps (73%)
|694 ms (3,856%)
|39.71 Mbps (70%)
|4.78 Mbps (81%)
|403 ms (2,239%)
|45.48 Mbps (80%)
|4.80 Mbps (82%)
|369 ms (2,050%)
The closest server retained about 98% of my unprotected download speed. The worst performance was in South Africa, offering just under 60%.
If you want to use Ivacy to stream in HD, you’ll need a maximum of about 9 Mbps. That makes this quite a good streaming VPN. That said, I wouldn’t use Ivacy for torrenting due to its privacy issues — try one of the best VPNs for torrenting instead.
As for latency, pings on the nearest location only increased about 33%, making Ivacy a decent VPN for gaming as long as you don’t care what server you’re on. Gamers who need an IP address outside their home country should try my best VPN for gaming list.
Ivacy Streaming Performance & Unblocking Ability
Ivacy includes streaming servers organized by channel, a nice touch that makes it easier to jump straight into your show.
When you connect to a streaming server, Ivacy automatically opens the relevant site, which is the kind of convenience I wish the rest of its UI displayed. Most importantly, though, all of these work. I had no trouble getting into local American servers or any destinations across the world.
Can Ivacy Unblock Netflix?
Ivacy can unblock Netflix on almost all its server locations. Other than the website shortcut, the streaming-focused links appear to be exactly the same as connecting normally.
Playback had no issues in 1080p. I skipped around to several places in the episode and saw no lags or buffering. My only complaint is that I can’t tell exactly which server the Netflix U.S. button connects to — despite my living in the United States, my content library changed.
Other Major Streaming Platforms
Ivacy’s servers unblocked every platform I tested, including all six in the table below, with no lag on any of them. If all you need is a quick way to watch Hulu from the U.K. or BBC iPlayer from the U.S., and you’re not concerned about privacy, Ivacy might be a good solution.
|Amazon Prime Video
Security: Is Ivacy Safe?
Ivacy VPN has never suffered a security breach that compromised user information. Nevertheless, there are a few reasons I’m not comfortable calling it a secure VPN. There’s its lack of transparency, discussed more in the “privacy” section below. The two strongest protocols, OpenVPN and WireGuard, are unavailable on half of its VPN apps.
Third, there’s the Bronze Starlight incident. Bronze Starlight is a hacker group believed to conduct cyberattacks for the Chinese government. In May 2023, researchers at Sentinel Labs discovered Bronze Starlight hacked gambling sites by disguising malware as legitimate traffic. The disguise? The same certificates used to authenticate traffic from Ivacy VPN.
There’s no evidence that Ivacy or its parent company (whoever that is) gave the certificates up on purpose, but either possibility looks bad. If Ivacy gave the certificates to Bronze Starlight, it directly colluded with hackers. If it didn’t, it allowed hackers to steal its assets and use them to commit crimes. Both are security risks in their own ways.
Ivacy Security Features
Ivacy’s main user-focused security features are IPv6 leak protection and an internet kill switch. Both of these can be toggled on and off by the user. All other security is enabled by default. There’s no ad or malware blocker.
Ivacy Leak Test Results & Detailed Security Analysis
I used Wireshark to test whether Ivacy was actually encrypting data packets on my WiFi connection. Testing a few different servers, I saw encryption every time. I’m convinced Ivacy’s security is sound when it comes to individual users. Its privacy is another matter.
Privacy: Is Ivacy Private?
I don’t trust Ivacy as a VPN to protect user privacy. It can’t be honest with its own users, it has ties to China and a physical server in Russia, and its assets have been stolen and employed by hackers at least once. Let’s explore Ivacy’s approach to privacy in detail.
The “about us” page on Ivacy.com states: “Audits are an excellent way to determine if a VPN provider’s claims are true. To ensure impenetrable security, Ivacy VPN undergoes regular audits.” You would expect this to include a link to any published audit results. Instead, there’s nothing.
Ivacy Customer Support
Ivacy’s macOS app comes with an insultingly useless FAQ section. This wouldn’t be so bad, except that there’s no way to get to the knowledgebase from the app. Even the website hides it at the very bottom of the page — scroll all the way down and click “support center.”
Most of the knowledgebase articles are informative if you can get past the broken English, but they aren’t organized in any sensible fashion. For example, troubleshooting articles are lumped in with “VPN Use Cases,” and the free plan isn’t even mentioned except in the setup guides. It’s all more or less random.
Customer Support Speed & Quality
Ivacy offers live chat and support tickets for more directed assistance. I checked in with the live chat to ask about the results of the regular audits Ivacy purports to undergo. My question immediately got kicked to email.
About an hour later, Ivacy replied with an entirely blank email.
When I finally got a real reply, it was vague and evasive, containing no useful information.
User-Friendliness & Hands-on Testing
Thanks to several unforced design errors, Ivacy’s apps range from ordinary to annoying. The experience is better on mobile, but still far behind any of the best VPNs for mobile.
How to Install Ivacy
Ivacy has a free plan, so you can download and install Ivacy without needing to create an account or provide a payment method. Here’s how to get started fast.
1. Go to the download page
Go to ivacy.com on any browser, then click on “download VPN” in the top-right corner of the screen.
2. Click your device of choice
Scroll down and click the device you want to install Ivacy on.
3. Click the download button
If you plan to pay for an Ivacy account, click “get Ivacy now” to create a login and add a payment method. Otherwise, click “download app.” Your download will start immediately.
4. Open the downloaded file
Find where the download was saved and click on the file. The Ivacy VPN client will install itself automatically.
How to Set Up & Use Ivacy
Ivacy requires very little setup. Once the VPN app is on your device, it works right out of the box. Just follow the few steps below.
1. Open the VPN app
Find the VPN client installed on your hard drive and open it.
2. Log in to your account on the app
If you paid for a premium account, go to the “my account” tab on the left side of the window. Click “login” and enter your username and password. You can now use the full set of Ivacy VPN features.
Ivacy on Desktop: macOS & Windows Apps
I first used the Ivacy macOS app, which had almost none of the promised features. There’s no VPN kill switch, no split tunneling, no IPv6 protection and only two protocols — IKEV (presumably IKEv2) and IPSEC (presumably L2TP/IPSec). Experts consider both of these inferior to OpenVPN and WireGuard, but macOS users are stuck with them.
Of the nine tabs on the left-hand side of the macOS app, three of them go to the same list of server locations. Another is for a quick VPN connection and one more for streaming servers. This means more than half of the tabs do exactly the same thing. I’m not a UI design expert, but that seems like something to avoid.
Worse, the app sometimes fails to work at all. Connections get hung up more often than they complete, even to the fastest server. More than once, I’ve opened Ivacy and been greeted with the spinning beachball of death.
Ivacy is clearly laser-focused on Windows, as the Windows app has far more features. You’ll be able to use the kill switch, split tunneling and all the perks I described above. However, it still has the same weird design flaws as the macOS app, along with the tendency to drop connections.
Ivacy on Mobile: Android & iOS Apps
Ivacy has mobile VPN clients, but both of them come off as afterthoughts. If you’re looking for a VPN for your phone, check out our best VPN for mobile roundup instead.
The iOS app is almost as restrictive as the macOS app, including the severely limited VPN protocol selection. It adds the kill switch, and that’s it. The best VPNs for iPhone leave Ivacy in the dust.
The Android app is a little better, as it includes split tunneling and more protocols. Even so, you can find much friendlier alternatives among the best VPNs for Android.
Ivacy Reviews on Reddit & Social Media
Looking on social media and reddit, Ivacy VPN is known among expats as a good VPN for China, but that’s about it.
I was curious about a claim I spotted on AirVPN’s forums that Ivacy and PureVPN used much of the same server infrastructure. This would be a serious charge, as PureVPN has handed user information to the FBI in the past — and brushed off user concerns in a very Ivacy-like fashion.
Following the claim to reddit, I discovered its source on an r/VPNreviews thread. The OP listed many of the same grievances I’ve raised against Ivacy, including how it incessantly and incompetently tries to pull the wool over users’ eyes. Most interestingly, they state that they caught Ivacy and PureVPN using the same Gaditek-hosted server.
It’ll be hard to prove this beyond a doubt, especially since Ivacy is working hard to scrub any trace of its connection to Gaditek. What’s not hard to prove: Social media really doesn’t like Ivacy. The vast majority of reddit mentions accuse it of not caring about users once it has their money. Trustpilot reviews charge Ivacy with failing to honor refunds and lifetime subscriptions.
Conclusion: Is Ivacy a Good VPN Service?
The worst thing about Ivacy VPN is not that it’s sloppy (though it is) or that it refuses to provide basic information. It’s how utterly cavalier the whole service is about its glaring flaws. The saga of Frank PR Manager and the complete lack of audit results prove Ivacy thinks its users are idiots.
Even leaving aside the privacy concerns (an awful lot to leave aside), I’m shocked that Ivacy is this bad. Practically every time this VPN reaches a fork in the road, it makes the worse choice. From its nonsensical, typo-riddled UI to its afterthought free plan to its decision to put a physical server in Russia, everything here is a head-scratcher.
Ivacy isn’t unsalvageable. Its speed and streaming ability show that there are glimmers of a good VPN. However, until it gets a lot more serious about protecting its users, I can’t recommend Ivacy. If you think I’m wrong, let me know in the comments — and thanks for reading!
Alternatives: Ivacy vs Other VPN Services
Ivacy’s biggest market advantages are its speed and unblocking powers. However, its lack of features and listless privacy are severe downsides. Here are some alternatives that offer better experiences.
- ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for almost all uses, especially for people new to VPNs. See my ExpressVPN review for the full story.
- NordVPN has some of the fastest speeds and best connectivity. Read my NordVPN review for more details.
- Surfshark is a solid VPN that can be packaged in a larger security suite. See my Surfshark review for more.
Is Ivacy Worth It?Ivacy isn’t a good enough VPN to justify its frustrating app or its complete lack of transparency. Try ExpressVPN, NordVPN or Surfshark instead.
Who Is the Owner of Ivacy?Ivacy is constantly evasive about who actually owns it. Its alleged parent company in Singapore has loose ties to a company run by a Chinese citizen, while almost all its listed team members are in Pakistan.
How Many Devices Can You Have on Ivacy?You can use Ivacy on 10 devices simultaneously.
Is Ivacy VPN Good for Gaming?Ivacy VPN keeps latencies low on nearby servers, so it may be a good choice for gamers as long as you stick close to home. International ping times were a lot higher.