Top Level Overview
Based out of Romania, ibVPN offers a logless VPN service with reasonable speeds and a nice mix of servers.
ibVPN has over 100 servers in 47 countries, which include places like the Middle East, Central America, Oceania, Africa and Asia.
I’m pleased to see that these locations are represented because they offer much more security and versatility for users.
ibVPN’s customer support is pretty comprehensive, as they offer 24/7 support in the form of a ticketing system, an email system and a live chat operator.
Whenever I reached out, response times varied from 10 minutes (LiveChat) to an hour (by email). These are great response times. Hooray for quick resolution!
ibVPN offers a trial period of 24 hours, which is short but not uncommon. I am not alone in noticing the shift to shorter trials in the industry over the past 18 months, and this is most likely to restrict dark web users piggybacking on the service for too long under a free trial.
ibVPN does offer a 15-day money-back guarantee, though, which is pretty generous.
Let’s move onto pricing and see what that throws up…
ibVPN offers a passel of different plans for users that includes three VPN plans in addition to a Smart DNS only parcel.
Straight off the bat I’ll say that the Ultimate Plan is the only one I’d consider, purely on the basis that the others offer only 1 simultaneous device connection. Ultimate offers 5. I need 3 to keep me happy!
- Standard plan: $4.95 per month, or if paid annually $36.95/yr ($3.08/month).
- Torrent plan: $4.95 per month, or if paid annually $36.95/yr ($3.08/month).
- VPN + SmartDNS + Proxy (Ultimate VPN) plan: $10.95 per month, or if paid annually $58.06/yr ($4.83/month)
- SmartDNS + Proxy / No VPN plan is $4.95 per month, or if paid annually $36.95/yr ($3.08/month).
Every plan includes all of ibVPN’s features:
- Logless connection
- 5 simultaneous devices (on Ultimate Plan. 1 on other plans)
- AES 256 bit encryption
- RSA-2048 handshake
- Smart DNS
- Multiple security protocols (OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, etc.)
- Multiple device compatibility (Mac, PC, iOS, Android)
- Auto reconnect
- Customizable Kill Switch
I really like the ibVPN desktop program. I thought it was nicely laid out and quite visual, which is important for me.
Stats are organized nicely in a way that makes sense and all servers are listed with their little country flags. Switching security protocols on and off is also quite easy.
Note that PPTP protocol and L2TP/IPSec are the default security settings, so your first order of business should be to switch to OpenVPN to lock all of your info down. Not sure why this is the case.
Another feature of ibVPN that I like a lot is the customizable Kill Switch. You’ll note from my other reviews that I won’t consider a VPN without one because it secures me on unsecured public networks.
But I love even more that ibVPN has a customizable option, where you can specify which programs you’d like to be frozen in the rare event that your VPN connection drops.
This is so much better than having to restart all of your programs if the connection goes down. So I can freeze Google Chrome while continuing to watch Netflix, boom!
Security & Privacy
Let’s talk location: ibVPN is based out of Romania. Great for the privacy concerned because Romania is far far far away from any EU Data Retention rulings. So you can rest assured that this VPN company is actually completely logless.
The official line on their logging policy is as follows:
NO, we do not keep logs with our users’ activity. ibVPN respects each individual’s right to personal privacy. The information collected through our web site will be used only to contact users regarding products and services offered by us.
Seems legit to me.
Like most VPN providers, ibVPN offers military grade security with 256-bit AES encryption. OpenVPN connections are secured with an AES-256 cipher and HMAC SHA384 hash authentication. ibVPN now uses a an RSA-2048 handshake.
ibVPN also offers Smart DNS, but they don’t recommend using it at the same time as VPN because of the risk of speed and reliability loss. That said, please note that Smart DNS does nothing to improve your security or privacy, but enables geo-spoofing by resolving your DNS requests at a specified location.
In a nutshell, you can stream geo-blocked content at a high speed.
If you don’t know what Smart DNS is…
It is a sophisticated technology which allows Internet users to unblock Geo-restricted (or Geo-Blocked) websites like Netflix, Hulu, WWE Newtork, BeInSports.net, BBC and many more popular websites which contain regional-restricted content.
Speed & Performance
Let’s talk speed.
During my testing I experienced average download speeds that were on occasion disappointing. That said, not on all servers. Servers located in Netherlands, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Russia and Sweden seemed to do best.
This is good news for those who use torrents and P2P applications, as these servers are featured on the Torrents plan.
I experienced one drop in connection during testing, but the Kill Switch kicked in and cut out my internet – so at least it proves that works!
The good news is that both US Netflix and BBC iPlayer work when connected to suitable servers. And I did not detect any IPv4, DNS or WebRTC leaks (when DNS protection was enabled).
As previously stated, ibVPN’s customer support is one of the high points of the service. They offer a variety of options to get in touch with their customer support team, including a ticket system, Live Chat and an email system.
Answers were returned promptly and efficiently. I rarely waited over 10 minutes on LiveChat! The team is available 24/7.
The refund policy is a 15-day money back guarantee, which is great. They offer a 24-hour free trial too, which is a bit stingy, but what are you going to do?
Signing Up & Getting Started
Signing up is a doddle. You do need an email and a password and of course- a payment method.
ibVPN accepts Bitcoin, Alipay, WebMoney, iDeal, PayPro, Paypal, Western Union and of course, credit cards. Payment complete, you’ll receive a confirmation email, as well as instructions and links on how to download and launch the client.
ibVPN has gone from average to good over the last year. They have upgraded to better security with the RSA-2048 handshake, and introduced a customizable Kill Switch, which takes this feature to a next level.
Smart DNS is a nice feature if you need it, but note that using it at the same as your VPN will slow things down.
Generally speeds aren’t bad but there is room for improvement, which I’m sure will happen. VPN services are like cars; they need tuning and the more a company matures the better things get. So you may need to switch servers here and there.
They are logless though, and that is great news. Because of the Bulgaria location you can rest assured the FBI won’t kick your door in.
Pricing is reasonable and not out of touch with similar competition.
- Based out of Romania = logless and safe
- Solid security protocols
- Customizable Kill Switch
- Modest pricing
- Great customer service – 24/7
- Some of the server speeds can be temperamental
- Tor over VPN (use the Tor Browser over VPN. It’s safer)
- Defaults to weak VPN protocols (change yours to Open VPN)
- Mobile client could do with a bit of a better design
- Windows desktop client is not very attractive