ibVPN is one of the few Romanian VPN service providers that does not keep any logs.
This ibVPN review will show you what else is great and not so great about ibVPN.
Overall though, ibVPN has quite a few things going for it.
The first of those things is the fact that it is cheap.
Moreover, the software the company offers has a lot of features.
And customers who are willing to the pay the price will get a free SmartDNS service in their package as well.
The downsides of ibVPN are rather obvious as well. It doesn’t do well when it comes to speed and that will concern users who can compromise on anything but speed.
As has become the norm in the industry, ibVPN too offers three subscription plans.
But it, sort of, tries to go a step further by offering a fourth plan which consists of just a SmartDNS service.
So, in reality, it isn’t really a VPN service plan.
Let’s talk about the individual plans then.
The most expensive ibVPN plan is the Ultimate plan.
This costs users about $10.95 per month.
If you subscribe to ibVPN for about a year then you can have the same Ultimate plan for around $4.83 per month.
That is quite a saving if you’re committed enough.
The rest of the plans aren’t that different from each other.
Because they all cost the same.
Which is $4.95 on a monthly basis and $3.08 on a yearly basis.
There is also a business plan.
It is different from the Ultimate plan in the sense that if offers more simultaneous connections.
The business plan starts at 13.95 per month.
Again, if you pay for this plan on an annual basis then you only have to pay $8.32 per month.
The business plan will grant you five simultaneous connections.
Which isn’t a lot but at least it crosses the VPN industry standard.
For people who want more than five simultaneous connections, say like twenty, then ibVPN offers them the same business plan for $44.95 per month on a monthly basis.
That price comes down to $33.32 if the user wants to pay on an annual basis.
What About The Free Trial?
ibVPN does have a free trial.
But it lasts a total of six hours.
The only positive aspect of the free trial is that it offers all the features you will find in the Ultimate plan.
This means that ibVPN wants to show you what the company has in store for those willing to pay the premium.
Apart from that, ibVPN also has a money-back guarantee which lasts a total of 15 days from the date of purchase.
As far as payment methods are concerned, ibVPN has the following:
Users have to pay a recurring fee but they can also pay via a big one-time payment.
Again users will have to pay a recurring fee or a one-time fee.
Both methods will require the user to pay either via credit card or PayPal
- Credit card
- Perfect Money
- Western Union
- Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins, Litecoin, Ripple, Dogecoin, Blackcoin
The last option of Bitcoin is especially noteworthy.
Because this payment method is perfect for users who want extra privacy and anonymity.
Let’s have a look at a little list of features you will enjoy when you sign up for the ibVPN Ultimate subscription plan.
- You will have VPN servers located in over 47 countries
- No one will stop you from downloading file via P2P
- Each user will get three simultaneous connections per account
- ibVPN has proxy servers for all locations
- The company also offers Socks$ proxy
- All major VPN protocols are supported such as OpenVPN, SSTP, IPSec, SoftEther, PPTP, L2TP
- The Ultimate plan also unlocks complete access to ibVPN Smart DNS service
- ibVPN will give all Ultimate plan users access to its advanced features such as Double VPN and Tor over VPN
We have ignored the cheaper plans till now.
So it is only fair that we talk about them now.
In terms of features, the cheaper plans do not have much to offer.
Let’s start with the fact that all cheap plan are restricted to a single simultaneous (which isn’t really simultaneous since there is only one device) connection at any given time.
Cheaper plans also do not get access to all ibVPN VPN servers.
The number of countries comes to around 44 for the Standard ibVPN subscription plan.
While if you sign up for the Torrent subscription plan, you are down to just nine.
Non-ultimate subscribers do not have access to the Smart DNS service.
They don’t get those sweet proxy servers either.
But subscribers to Torrent subscription plan are allowed to use socks5 proxies.
Remember when we told you that ibVPN allowed P2P?
That isn’t available for users of the Standard subscription plan.
The Torrent subscription plan users can engage in P2P though.
More About The Double VPN Feature
Double VPN is nothing complicated.
Think of it as a chain.
This feature allows ibVPN VPN servers to chain with each other and enable user data to go through two and sometimes even more VPN servers while it moves between the wild internet and your computer machine.
It goes something like this:
Data from your device first goes into the first ibVPN server.
Then it goes through the second VPN server.
After that, it is released to the worldwide internet.
And that’s it.
As you can probably imagine, such an arrangement drastically improves your security.
But it comes at a massive cost.
That cost is a significant loss of speed.
In our ibVPN review research, we have found that the Double VPN feature is not worth the decrease in speed.
The Double VPN feature does improve your security.
But the benefits are rather limited.
Of course, there are users who want extra security no matter the cost.
And for such users, Double VPN can prove to be quite useful.
ibVPN also has multiple Double VPN servers.
And we’ll talk about those a little later in this ibVPN review.
More About The Tor Over VPN Feature
Tor over VPN is another advanced feature that is offered to ibVPN subscribers.
What does it do?
Let’s start our discussion by saying that this feature, just like the Double VPN feature has its own advantages and disadvantages.
You can read more about those here.
How does it work then?
When you enable this configuration, your computer first connects to a given ibVPN VPN server.
Then it connects to a Tor network.
If the previous two steps are successful, your machine sends data to its destination by accessing the internet.
In short, your computer first connects to the VPN then to Tor and then to the internet.
How does ibVPN achieve this?
It “achieves” it through transparency.
And a lot of data routing from the VPN tunnel to the related Tor network.
In other words, the whole of your internet connection gets extra padding of security because of Tor over VPN.
This arrangement, just like the previous one, does have its benefits.
It increased privacy and general security.
But again, it’s nothing special.
You can achieve the same configuration by simply downloading the Tor Browser, then turning on the VPN service and then browsing via the Tor browser.
Moreover, the Tor Browser setup is more secure than ibVPN Tor over VPN method.
But no matter which method you follow, such an arrangement will hit your internet speed in a massively negative way.
Plus, your internet speed will drop further because of the Tor network.
Tor network is slow because of the way it works.
While a VPN service always decreases speed because of its own shortcomings.
Combine them both and you’re looking at a mess.
Perhaps that is the reason ibVPN only offers Tor over VPN for VPN servers which are located in the US, Singapore, and Netherlands.
The Smart DNS Feature
We have already commented on how the Ultimate subscription plan comes with a Smart DNS service of its own.
Let’s talk about that for a moment.
The first thing you should know about this Smart DNS service is that it doesn’t boost your privacy or your security.
It does help you spoof your location though.
How does it do that?
It resolves the user’s DNS requests at a particular location.
A Smart DNS service, hence, is ideal for users who only want to stream and don’t care much about security and anonymity.
A Smart DNS service does not encrypt user data. It doesn’t get involved in decryption either.
It does though, instantly translates the DNS.
With a Smart DNS service, you are likely to experience fewer buffering issues.
A VPN service is generally slower than a Smart DNS service.
And the reasons for that are obvious too.
A VPN service also required a software installation process.
Whereas a Smart DNS service can work on any device that can connect to an internet connection.
A Smart DNS service can work with your gaming console as well as your Smart TV.
It even works with devices such as Roku.
Not all Smart DNS services unlock Netflix but ibVPN’s does.
It also unlocks BBC iPlayer
The Browser Extension
If you like to install VPN browser extensions then ibVPN has got you covered.
The company has extension for browsers such as,
The browser extension also protects users against DNS leaks.
It doesn’t, however, protect against WEbRTC leaks.
Also, you can’t unlock Netflix with the browser extension.
It does work with BBC iPlayer though.
ibVPN Security and Privacy
According to an official source, ibVPN does not collect any traffic data.
It does not log any information either.
Hence the company can’t really relate any given online activity with a particular user.
However, if ibVPN does receive a legal notice, it says, it will comply with the legal requirements of the country within which it operates.
Of course, the company will not hand over information to authorities which it isn’t supposed to.
The company is based in Romania and hence it doesn’t come under EU data Retention Directive.
Because Romania rejected this proposal a while back.
It is another matter that recently the European Court of Justice did the same.
The other benefit of signing up with a VPN service that is situated in Romania is that you’re least likely to be tracked by the likes of NSA and GCHQ.
As far as privacy is concerned, it doesn’t get any better than ibVPN.
What About Security?
ibVPN can use the OpenVPN connection for its VPN apps if you want it to.
The OpenVPN connections are great for security.
Because they are protected with an AES-256 cipher and an HMAC SHA384 hash authentication.
During our research for this ibVPN review, we found that ibVPN had actually improved its encryption technologies.
Now the company uses RSA 2048 for its handshake encryption.
The encryption for data channels has also improved to AES-256 thanks to ibVPN efforts.
This basically ensures that ibVPN has a solid security foundation.
ibVPN encryption site also consists of Diffie-Hellman Exchange keys.
This allows ibVPN to have near-to-perfect forward secrecy.
The Official ibVPN Website
Official websites have become very important nowadays.
And there are two main reasons for that.
First, the official website is the only way VPN services can interact with potential users.
Second, if the official website does not have sufficient protection, it can get hacked. And that means customers will not trust such a VPN company.
ibVPN’s official website looks reasonable.
It keeps it simple.
And doesn’t make any claims it can’t back up.
Sometimes VPN services make inaccurate claims to lure new users and that’s unethical.
ibVPN doesn’t try to overwhelm new and potential users with technical details on its official website.
As mentioned before, it tries to keep things as simple as possible.
Most of the information that new users may require is readily available in sections such as,
- A separate knowledge base page
- And a dedicated forum
These three sections ensure that no new user has to contact customer support (not that ibVPN representatives would mind) for basic information on how to subscribe to the service and use it.
As mentioned before, ibVPN offers VPN servers in more than 45 countries.
The countries included in the list is impressive.
And it is useful at the same time.
All provided IP addresses are shared ones.
ibVPN has different servers for different types of user addresses.
To put it another way, the VPN service could connect you with a static IP or a dynamic depending on which server you have chosen to connect to.
Both documents are clear and concise enough.
Most of all, both are written in simple English and hence new users should have no problems in reading the document and understanding how ibVPN operates.
ibVPN Customer Support
If there is one thing that separates a good VPN service from a great VPN service then it is customer support.
A VPN service must first take care of things such as speed, VPN server location, and security before it can even begin to talk about customer service.
But when we’re talking about the top VPN service provider, they really have to be excellent in all department in order to have a chance of attracting more customers.
Again, ibVPN performs well in this area as well.
The company offers a 24/7 live chat support for all its customers.
As you probably know, live chat is a must when it comes to good customer service.
Our research for this ibVPN review has lead us to believe that ibVPN customer support is helpful and surprisingly knowledgeable.
There is also a ticket system in place for users who want to go that route.
Apart from that, you can contact an ibVPN representative via email swell.
In fact, ibVPN also gives users the option of scheduling an appointment with the VPN company if they feel like it.
ibVPN has a dedicated remote assistance team to support customers who can’t solve their problem via other methods.
In the real world, you’re going to have to try out the service for yourself in order to fully understand how it suits your tastes and requirements.
ibVPN Installation And User Interface
The installation process, for us, does not begin when you run the installation process.
It begins the moment a user logs in to a VPN service’s official website and tries to sign up for the VPN service.
ibVPN makes sure that it does not require more information necessary from the user.
Therefore, you can sign up for ibVPN right now with just an email address and information regarding payment details.
Apart from there, ibVPN does not want any of your personal information.
Which is great.
Because now you can sign up for ibVPN in a completely anonymous manner.
You can even use a disposable password.
To pay for the service, it is ideal that you use a method such as Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrencies are great if you want to make sure that your anonymity is preserved through every step of the way.
There is a caveat though.
It doesn’t matter if you use Bitcoin to sign up for ibVPN.
And hence the real you.
That shouldn’t’ scare you or anything because that is the norm in the VPN industry and nothing to get worried about.
As mentioned before, if you feel like it then you can sign up for a full six hour trial period.
Again, ibVPN does not want any payment details from the users who want to try out the service.
Once you consume your six hours free trial period, the company will send you an email.
This email will ask you to upgrade from the free trial version to the premium version by purchasing a premium plan.
Of course, it is totally up to you if you want to sign up for ibVPN or not.
ibVPN User Interface
As indicated earlier at the top of this ibVPN review that ibVPN VPN app is smart not only because of its interface but because of its features as well.
It isn’t perfectly coded though.
What do we mean by that?
We mean that sometimes when you change VPN servers, ibVPN VPN app crashes.
To get around the problem, you can just disconnect to the current VPN server and then connect to a new server.
The VPN app has a separate list f double VPN servers.
So that is a bonus feature as well.
The ibVPN VPN app selects the VPN protocol for users automatically.
But you can change it if you want to.
If you study the log files closely enough, you will also come to the conclusion that the PPTP VPN protocol is very insecure now.
And even worse, this is the VPN protocol that ibVPN uses by default.
Other VPN protocols such as L2TP and IPsec aren’t much better either but at least there are options available.
As always, recommend that you should always use OpenVPN connection.
So change it to OpenVPN as soon as you install the ibVPN VPN app.
ibVPN also offers VPN connections over UDP and TCP.
Here is the interesting bit though.
By default, the ibVPN VPN app disables the DNS leak protection.
Why does it do that?
We don’t know.
Perhaps ibVPN wants to speed up its app but we can’t be sure as we don’t think it affects the speed that much.
Anyway, you should just go ahead and enable it as soon as you install the VPN app.
The Kill Switch
The ibvpn kill switch is another one of its advanced features.
But ibVPN’s kill switch is different from other kill switch features in other VPN services.
Mainly that it can work on a per app basis.
It can also work on a per process basis.
In other words, it can kill anything. But it will kill only what you want it to kill.
Of course, you’ll have to get your hands dirty with the settings but that’s no trouble.
Because for a little extra effort you get a Kill Switch that is very considerate in what it does.
Other VPN services have general purpose Kill Switches and they break everything’s internet connection in an instant which can be good or bad depending on your situation.
How does the Kill Switch actually work?
It’s simple really.
All it does is close application when the VPN connection drops.
Of course, this is no match for a firewall but it does work.
A Firewall is better than a Kill Switch for the sole reason that it can prevent any and all connections outside the VPN route.
The ibVPN app also has a lot of customization options so check those out as well when you get the opportunity.
Speaking from an overall perspective, the ibVPN app is a feature laden client.
Why does it default to insecure VPN protocols is something that troubles us the most.
And there is no explanation as to why it does not have DNS leak protection enabled by default.
As mentioned before, you can change all the settings and turn them on if you want to.
We will review ibVPN speed with an OpenVPN over UDP protocol.
Because we think this is the best combination.
You should use it.
There is a very easy way to measure how fast a VPN truly is.
You just have to perform a lot of tests.
And then perform some more tests.
After that, you need to average your results.
So first, connect to VPN servers which have no load.
Then test servers which are under some load
And then connect to the ones under heavy load.
After that average the speeds.
Our research tells us that, ibVPN is a rather slow VPN service provider.
Its results for downloading speed, uploading speed and latency rates are, at best, below average.
Some reviewers have even reported that they experienced a lot of VPN disconnections while they tried to test the service.
This is never a good sign.
What About DNS Protection?
As alluded to before, the ibVPN app does protect you against DNS leaks but not be the default.
The VPN app also protects users against IPv4 leaks along with WebRTC leaks.
This is all great.
Does ibVPN work with Netflix?
Yes, it does.
But not on all servers.
You’ll have to consult the list via the VPN app to know which ones can you use for streaming.
Does ibVPN work with BBC iPlayer?
Currently, ibVPN has native apps for the following platforms,
- Mac OS X
ibVPN has the standard all-in-one VPN app for the Mac.
Additionally, it also has the quick connect VPN app.
This quick connect VPN app is a lighter version of the full app.
It has fewer features but is fast and easy to use.
If you want to use ibVPN for a platform that is not listed above then don’t worry.
ibVPN has comprehensive tutorials on its official website for a variety of platforms and devices.
You can read these guides to manually set up ibVPN for those devices and operating systems.
More About The Android App
The strange thing about the ibVPN Android app is that it requires the user to grant the app access to the user’s photos, media, and files.
Why would a VPN service want that?
Again, we’re not sure.
The Android app uses OpenVPN and that is comforting to know.
There is also a provision for port selection and that further boosts customization options.
The Android app does not have a kill Switch though.
Which is sad, to say the least.
However, the Android app does protect users against IP leaks.
- It does not keep logs
- Low prices
- Smart DNS service
- Good number of VPN server countries
- Live chat support
- VPN app is fully featured and has a deep kill switch
- P2P is allowed
- Number of simultaneous connections is three
- Socks4 proxy available
- Works with Netflix
- Unlocks BBC iPlayer
- Mobile apps are sturdy
- Double VPN
- Tor over VPN
- Insecure default VPN protocols and no DNS leak protection.
- Tor over VPN is slow
- Slow speed
- Windows VPN client sometimes crashes
ibVPN is a very likable VPN service provider.
It offers its services at low cost and has a VPN app that has a lot of feature in it.
The Ultimate plan comes with a SmartDNS service and that is just great.
Its VPN applications protect against IP leaks as well as DNS leaks so they’re golden as well.
Of course, a firewall is always the better option than feature such as Kill Switch.
But ibVPN’s kill switch is better and more specific than a lot of other VPN services.
With that said, ibVPN’s downfalls are glaring, to say the least.
First of all, it is slow.
Which basically kills off any other good features ibVPN may or may not have.
Secondly, the Windows VPN client is not stable.
Which is, again, bad.
ibVPN applications to work with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer and that holds true not just for the VPN service but also for the SmartDNS service.
If you are serious about getting the best value for money VPN then you should check out IPVanish. They are our top ranked VPN provider. Read the IPVanish Review here.
- no logs
- low price
- smart dns service
- number of VPN server countries
- feature laden VPN app with kill switch
- slow speed
- performance issues
- strange permission requirements on Android
- weak VPN protocols by default
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