Ivacy is inexpensive and offers a compelling feature set, but the slow speeds, many Windows client problems, and the recent absence of substantial upgrades must cause concern.
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Privacy and logging
‘We do not track or monitor internet browsing activity, connection logs, VPN IPs assigned, originating IP addresses, or browser history.’
‘Also, not outgoing traffic, connection timings, data you have viewed, or DNS queries made by your end.’
We don’t have any data that would allow us to link specific actions to specific people.’
Ivacy collects personal data (name, email, payment options) and uses additional collecting techniques, according to the policy.
It isn’t optimal, especially because Ivacy’s apps don’t let you pick whether or not you want to submit crash data.
It isn’t unheard of; IPVanish, for example, utilizes crash reporting without asking you beforehand, while Ivacy, at the very least, enables you to request the erasure of your private information via the site’s Members Area.
However, there’s no way to validate any of Ivacy’s privacy claims. Other VPNs are progressively subjecting themselves to public security and privacy audits.
For example, TunnelBear currently conducts annual audits of its applications, infrastructure, website, and other services, but Ivacy has yet to do so. Hopefully, this will soon change.
Ivacy’s sign-up process was similar to that of any other VPN we’ve used. We selected a plan and payment option, paid with cash.
Ivacy issued us a Welcome email with a connection to establish our password and access to Ivacy’s several applications.
The Windows client was downloaded and installed in seconds, and it was ready to use.
There are no latency timings or server load numbers, nor are there any filters or sorting tools to guide you to make the best decision. T
he program does, however, provide a Search field (typing LON narrows the list to Thessaloniki and London), as well as a Favorites system for grouping your most often used options.
A left-hand toolbar aids in the selection of servers for specific activities. If you go to Streaming, for example, you may pick which platforms you want to unblock and watch (Amazon Prime Video, BBC, Hulu, Netflix, and many more).
That’s useful, and it’s a huge step forward from the “access to each US server in turn until you discover one that works” method that many VPNs need.
Other possibilities are less certain. An ‘Unlocking’ page, for example, provides you with a new list of locales to let you access geo-blocked sites.
Isn’t it what we’d expect from both the normal and streaming sections? What is the point of having a third?
A function called ‘Secure Download’ allegedly scans for viruses and malware in the content being downloaded and eliminates them at the server level.’
According to the website page, this function’ scans and eliminates such viruses and harmful files before they even reach your devices.’
That makes it sound like the service inspects the contents of the files you’re accessing, which isn’t the safest approach in terms of privacy.
Would you want the system to remove and check each Office document if you were browsing a zip file of them? Fortunately, it appears that Ivacy is exaggerating its capabilities, and our testing confirmed this.
Secure Download is most likely blocking unsafe URLs using a basic DNS blocklist.
In earlier assessments of Ivacy’s Windows client, we’ve mentioned many usability problems. Several have been addressed, but there are still several minor irritants.
For example, there’s a city list organized by country. OpenVPN connections might take a long time to set up at times (30 seconds and more.) When the VPN joins, you’ll get a notification, but not if it disables.
Changing locations is also more difficult than it should be because you can’t pick another server or even explore the location listing until the present connection has been terminated.
Starting with SpeedTest.net, TestMy.net, Netflix’s Fast.com, and others, we ran testing from a UK data center with a 1Gbps connection.
We conducted each test 5 times with an OpenVPN connection and five times with IKEv2, then evaluated the data and determined median speeds for early and nighttime sessions.
IKEv2 performed admirably, averaging 330 to 390Mbps in the best periods.
At 230 to 380Mbps, OpenVPN was less reliable, but it was still in the same ballpark as TunnelBear (290 to 370Mbps in our recent tests), ZenMate (290 to 300Mbps), and ProtonVPN (300 to 310Mbps.)
If you have any issues, the Ivacy help site is always available, with various installation, debugging, and other tutorials.
There’s some valuable information here, but most pages lack detail, and some are even confusing.
The page goes on to say that “the amount of encryption you get relies on the protocol you have chosen within the Ivacy VPN software” and lists your options.
Still, it doesn’t specify which protocol provides which level of security or clarify which is preferable.
A VPN beginner may legitimately believe that any one of these protocols has ‘zero encryption,’ but we can’t know for sure.
Ivacy has many complex capabilities for a really low price.
However, the speeds aren’t fantastic, and the Windows program has a lot of bugs.
Check it out if you’re looking for a good deal, but conduct some extensive testing beforehand.