I am using ibVPN (along with other VPN services) for more than 5 years. There are many things to love about this VPN service that I consider one of the best. It offers great features, nice apps and fair pricing. Take a look below to my (ultimate) ibVPN review!
ibVPN review in a nutshell
|Headquarters & jurisdiction||Romania|
|Log policy||No logging.|
|Servers & locations||180+ servers, 57 countries.|
|Dynamic & static IPs||Both dynamic and static IPs.|
|Dedicated IPs||Yes, upon request.|
|VPN protocols & security||OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, IKEv2, SSTP, SoftEther.|
|Advanced VPN protocols||DoubleVPN, TorOverVPN|
|P2P & torrent policy||Yes, on certain servers.|
|VPN applications||Windows, MacOS, Android, Android TV, iOS.|
|Other devices (manual setup)||DD-WRT, Tomato, Sabai routers, Freebox, Raspberry PI, Boxee Box|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Opera.|
|Kill Switch||Yes, for the Windows and MacOS apps.|
|DNS leak protection||Yes, for the Windows app.|
|Automatically change IP||Yes, for the Windows app.|
|Proxy & SOCKS5||Yes, both HTTP proxies and SOCKS5.|
|SmartDNS||Yes, more than 300 channels.|
|Simultaneous connections / devices||Up to 5 depending on package.|
|Free trial||Yes, 24-hour trial.|
|Pricing||From $4.95/month, lower for annual plans.|
|Promos & discounts||Anniversary Promo, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Winter & Summer discounts.|
|Payment methods||Credit cards, Paypal, Bitcoin, Perfect Money, PaymentWall, other crypto currencies.|
|Moneyback||Yes, 15 days.|
|Support||24/7 email and live chat.|
|Performance/speed||Depends on the servers and locations.|
|User reviews||Mostly positive.|
|Pros/What I like||Top VPN provider with a lot of features and great support.|
|Cons/What could be improved||More servers in Asia and Eastern Europe.|
Headquarters & jurisdiction
As stated on their website, ibVPN operates from Romania, an East European country, member of the European Union. Romania is not member of the Forteen Eyes group of countries that share intelligence to avoid breaking domestic laws. Also, it looks to be outside of the influence of NSA and GCHQ. However, as a member of European Union, some retention laws may be implemented in the future. But, at this time, Romania seems to be a good place for running a VPN service with no logs policy.
ibVPN does not collect or log any traffic or use of its Virtual Private Network service. We cannot relate any specific activity with any specific user. If any legal notices are forwarded to our legal department we will comply with that notice. However, we cannot be compelled to hand over information which we do not have.
Servers & locations
ibVPN offers access to over 180 servers in 57 countries (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Slovenia, Portugal, Estonia, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Turkey, India, South Africa, China, Vietnam, Lithuania) for the Ultimate VPN package and lesser to the Standard VPN and Torrent VPN packages.
Dynamic & static IPs
Most of the servers have static IP addresses, only a few have dynamic IPs, namely: USA (Jacksonville), USA (Los Angeles 3), USA (Phoenix), USA (Denver 1), P2P – Netherlands (Utrecht), P2P – Netherlands (Amsterdam 3), P2P – Netherlands (Rotterdam), P2P – Netherlands (Amsterdam 2) . You may find the complete list of static and dynamic IPs in the ibVPN Client Area.
ibVPN does not have dedicated IPs in the standard offer, but you may get a custom offer by opening a support ticket. From my discussion with the ibVPN team I get that you can get a US, UK or Netherlands dedicated IP for about $10/month.
VPN protocols and security
A strong point of ibVPN is that it provides access to most of the available VPN protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, Softether. Thus, you may choose the one that suits you best. You may either setup the VPN connection manually or use the ibVPN applications. Take a look to the table below to see how you can use it (for the manual setup you may find detailed tutorials on the ibVPN site):
|OpenVPN (UDP & TCP)||Windows and Android apps or manual setup on Windows, MacOS using Tunnelblick, iOS using the OpenVPN app, Linux, routers, FreeBox, NAS Synology, Raspberry PI.|
|PPTP||Windows app or manual setup on Windows, MacOS, Android, Linux, DD-WRT, NAS Synology, Boxee Box.|
|L2TP||Windows app or manual setup on Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS.|
|IPSec/IKEv2||Windows, MacOS, iOS app or manual setup on Windows 7, 8, 10.|
|SSTP||Windows app or manual setup on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10.|
|Softether||Manual setup on Windows and MacOS.|
OpenVPN connections are secured with an AES-256 cipher, HMAC SHA384 hash authentication and RSA-2048 handshake encryption. Perfect forward secrecy is provided with Diffie-Hellman Exchange (DHE) keys. Thus, we can conclude that ibVPN now uses a very strong encryption suite.
Advanced VPN protocols
By connecting to a DoubleVPN server the Internet traffic is sent to the entry VPN server, then sent to the second VPN server (exit node). Thus, the traffic is encrypted and passed through two VPN servers.
TorOverVPN servers use VPN servers (Netherlands – tornl.ibvpn.com, Singapore – torsg.ibvpn.com, US – torus.ibvpn.com) to connect to the Tor network. They provide an extra anonymity layer, plus they allow you to access the .onion sites.
Both DoubleVPN and TorOverVPN can be accessed from ibVPN apps for those subscribed to the Ultimate VPN package.
P2P & torrent policy
Downloading torrents is allowed on certain ibVPN servers located in Netherlands, Canada, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Russia, Ukraine and Hong Kong. The servers are marked with the “P2P” string in front of the server name.
ibVPN is a good choice for those interested in torrenting and P2P downloading as:
- It offers KillSwitch and DNS leak protection.
- It offers a special package (Torrent VPN), that is cheaper and it provides access only to P2P-friendly servers.
- It offers access to SOCKS5 proxies.
- Fastest P2P server selection helps users to connect to the fastest P2P server available.
Must read: Learn how to torrent safely!
ibVPN review – VPN applications
ibVPN Windows app
I already presented the ibVPN Windows app in detail in a previous post, but I will also list here its main features. The All-In-One VPN application is quite complex, with a lot of options. In the same time it can easily used by those using the VPN for the first time.
From the Dashboard, you may easily Connect/Disconnect to a VPN server, turn the KillSwitch on/off or turn ibDNS on/off. Also, you see the latest connection log entries (the status of the VPN connection). The speedometer shows the download and the upload speed while connected to the VPN. Thus, there is no need to test the connection speed every time you want to check the quality of the server.
By default the Location is set to Fastest Server and Protocol to Automatic. To Connect the app tries to find the server that is able to provide you the fastest VPN connection. It usually selects a server close to your location. The Automatic protocol selects a VPN protocol appropriate for your connection. As far as I was able to observe, the app goes for IPSec, OpenVPN-UDP or OpenVPN-TCP.
A recently introduced feature of the Windows ibVPN app is the Connection Wizard. It allows you to select pre-defined settings for specific use-cases. At the time I tested the app for this ibVPN review, the following options were available:
- Setup the fastest connection
- US streaming
- UK streaming
- Torrenting and P2P File Sharing
- Bypass China Great Firewall
After selecting one of the options, the proposed settings are shown (KillSwitch, Auto-connect, Firewall, Fastest Server, Protocol) and you may apply them or continue with your manual settings.
The ibVPN Windows app has a lot of features for increasing the privacy and security:
- IPv6 leak protection
- DNS leak protection
- Ad blocking
- KillSwitch (Internet / Applications)
- Auto-reconnect on disconnect
To sum up the ibVPN review regarding the Windows application: easy to use, great features, nice privacy options, but it could be more stable.
ibVPN MacOS apps
ibVPN has two MacOS applications, one that is listed in MacOS App Store and the other one that can be downloaded from the ibVPN site. The main difference between the two apps is that the store app does not include the KillSwitch feature (it requires admin rights on your computer).
ibVPN OneClick for MacOS (App Store version) is a very simple VPN application that basically connects/disconnects to/from a certain server from the ibVPN server list.
There are several options in the server list that make the server selection easier: you may choose from Fastest Server, Fastest US Server, Fastest UK Server, Fastest EU Server, Fastest Asian Server, Fastest South America Server or Fastest P2P Server. Also, you may search for a specific location or a channel you would like to unblock.
A very useful feature: you may select several servers as favourites and then use the Fastest Favourite option. The app will connect to the fastest server from your favourites.
The available protocols for the ibVPN MacOS apps are IPSec and IKEv2. OpenVPN is also available from an older version (v), but it does not run on newer MacOS (above 10.11).
Another option available is the VPN OnDemand. When this option is activated the VPN is turned on as soon as your device connects to the Internet.
When you firstly download the ibVPN OneClick app from the Mac Store you may create a 24-h trial account. Further, you may subscribe from within the app to Ultimate VPN, the full-featured package, for $10.99/month or $59.99/year.
ibVPN All-In-One for MacOS (it can be downloaded from the ibVPN Client Area) looks very similar to the OneClick app. The only extra feature is the application Kill Switch. It automatically closes selected apps in the case of VPN disconnects.
ibVPN iOS app
The ibVPN iOS app exposes the same easy to use interface as the MacOS apps: select the desired location/server and connect/disconnect.
The Fastest Server, Fastest US Server, Fastest UK Server, Fastest EU Server, Fastest Asian Server, Fastest South America Server are available. Also, you may select several servers as favourites and then use the Fastest Favourite option. The app will connect to the fastest server from your favourites.
The available protocols for the ibVPN iOS app are IKEv2 and IPSec.
An interesting and useful option is the Auto-secure Connection. It automatically turns on the VPN when the device connects to untrusted Wifi networks. The list of Trusted Networks needs to be defined. You may enter you home and your office networks, for example.
When you firstly download the ibVPN iOS app you may create a 24-h trial account. Further, you may subscribe to a premium packages directly from the app. A special package (iOS VPN) is available for $1.99/month or $14.99/year. Also, you may subscribe to the full-featured package for $10.99/month or $59.99/year.
ibVPN Android app
The ibVPN Android app (it requires Android 4.0.3 or up) uses the OpenVPN protocol and you may switch between OpenVPN-TCP (default) and OpenVPN-UDP. The default port is 1197, but you may choose another one from the 55,000-65,000 range.
When selecting a server/location you may choose a certain server or go for the Fastest options: Fastest Server, Fastest US Server, Fastest UK Server, Fastest EU Server, Fastest Asian Server, Fastest South America Server or Fastest Favourite (you need to firstly choose several servers as favourites).
At this time, the ibVPN Android app does not offer any option to subscribe within the app. You may need to subscribe on the ibVPN site. Also, I would have liked to see KillSwitch available for the Android app and ibDNS.
The ibVPN Android can also be downloaded as apk file from the ibVPN Client Area.
ibVPN Android TV app
The ibVPN Android app also works on the Android TV devices. The simple user-interface is a perfect match to the TVs running Android. You may downloaded directly on your TV from the Android Play Store.
Other devices (manual setup)
ibVPN offers access to a lot of tutorials that allow manual VPN setup (PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, Softether) on different devices like: DD-WRT routers, Sabai routers, Tomato USB routers, Raspberry PI, NAS Synology, Boxee Box, FreeBox Revolution.
Browser extensions and add-ons
If you use ibVPN only for changing your IP address for your browser (unblock sites, access forums, bypass chatroulette ban) then you may use the browser extensions. It is important to understand that a browser extension does not set up a VPN connection, it sets up a proxy.
ibVPN provides access to browser extensions for Chrome, Opera and Firefox. It is one of the few proxy Firefox add-ons that still work on Firefox 57+.
Again, the user interface is very simple: select the desired server/location and turn the extension ON. The browser sets the proxy and connects to the server.
An interesting feature of the ibVPN extensions (that I discovered recently) is the Guest Mode. You may use the extensions without login and access servers located in Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom and Singapore. It is free to use, but it disconnects every 10 minutes, probably to prevents abuses.
Kill Switch is a fail safe mechanism that is a must for all VPN services. It cuts off the access of the computer to the Internet when the VPN connection drops accidentally.
Generally speaking, there are two Kill Switch implementations possible: application KillSwitch (selected applications, like Bittorrent clients, are closed in case of VPN disconnect) and Internet KillSwitch (the Internet access is completely cut off in case of VPN disconnect until it is manually restored or the VPN reconnects). Application KillSwitch may be more convenient as it does not completely close the access to the Internet, but Internet KillSwitch is safer.
ibVPN implements the KillSwitch feature for the All-In-One Windows and MacOS apps. The All-In-One Windows app offers both Internet and application KillSwitch, while the All-In-One MacOS app only application KillSwitch. As far as I was able to test they work well.
DNS leak protection
ibVPN provides strong DNS leak protection with the following options: use the ibVPN DNS servers while connected to the VPN and filter the DNS requests using the firewall, to avoid DNS leaks while connected to the VPN.
Generally speaking, it is advisable to use DNS services that do not log your activities.
Automatically change IP
A useful feature for those obsessed with online anonymity or for online marketers is the automatically change IP feature: go to Servers, select the desired locations/servers as Favourites and click on Rotating Favourites. Next, click Connect. The app will change your IP every several minutes (you may choose the time interval from Settings tab from predefined values: 5, 10, 15, 30, 60 minutes).
I recommend you to also turn KillSwitch (Internet KillSwitch) ON, as the IP switch requires between 5-30 seconds to complete.
Proxy & SOCKS5
ibVPN is more than a VPN provider as it also offers other anonymising services. By subscribing to Ultimate VPN plan you also get access to proxies that you can use to manually setup your browsers (Chrome proxy, Opera proxy, Firefox proxy, Edge proxy) or you may use in proxy in proxy switcher apps, like EliteProxySwitcher. The same proxies are used by the ibVPN browser extensions.
SOCKS5 are extremely useful for those interested in torrenting. Most of the Bittorrent clients can be setup to use SOCKS5 proxies and, the advantage is that the downloads automatically stop if the SOCKS5 connection drops. ibVPN provides SOCKS5 proxies on most of the servers and locations.
ibVPN review – SmartDNS
ibDNS is the SmartDNS solution from ibVPN. It is important to understand that SmartDNS is not a VPN. It only can be used to access/unblock certain online streaming channels. SmartDNS does NOT change your IP address, nor does provide any security or anonymity.
The SmartDNS solution from ibVPN unblocks over 300 channels from all over the World (United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Romania, Poland, Egypt, India, Brazil). A complete list can be found in the Client Area.
ibDNS/SmartDNS is available for the Ultimate VPN and ibDNS packages (see ibVPN Review – Pricing).
ibDNS can be setup automatically from the Windows app or manually on the following devices and operating systems: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7/Vista, Windows XP, MacOS, Linux, iPhone/iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, DD-WRT, Boxee Box, Cromecast, Apple TV, LG Smart TV, Sony Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, LG WebOS Smart TV, PS 4, Playstation 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One. On iOS, ibVPN provides a helper app to setup the ibDNS servers.
The Ultimate VPN package (see Pricing) offers access to 5 simultaneous connections, meaning that you can connect from 5 different devices at the same time. You may install ibVPN on how many devices you want but you can only connect to ibVPN servers from 5 devices.
The Standard VPN and Torrent VPN have only one concurrent connection. If you need more you may opt-in for the Family VPN packages (7 devices) or the Small Business packages (up to 200 connections).
Free trial is available for those interested in testing the service before subscribing, The available trial is for 24 hours from the time the account is created. It is full featured (equivalent to the Ultimate VPN package). If you need more time to test the service you may contact the support and they will extend it manually.
ibVPN is one of the few top VPN providers that still promote a pricing structure based on packages. Every package encloses a set of features suitable in certain scenarios. Take a look below to the available ibVPN packages and the pricing:
|Package||Main features||Regular prices|
|Ultimate VPN||Includes all the features presented in this review.||$10.95/month, $58.06/year|
|Standard VPN||Only VPN. No SmartDNS and proxy.||$4.95/month, $36.95/year|
|Torrent VPN||Access only P2P servers and SOCKS5 proxies.||$4.95/month, $36.95/year|
|ibDNS||Only SmartDNS and proxy.||$4.95/month, $36.95/year|
|Family VPN||Ultimate VPN with 7 simultaneous connections.||$13.95/month, $99.95/year|
|Small Business VPN||Ultimate VPN with 15, 20, 50 simultaneous connections.||Check the website.|
What package to choose? If you only need VPN on one device at a time, go for Standard VPN. It is a good deal. If you need the VPN for P2P downloads, choose the Torrent VPN package. For online streaming go for ibDNS package. The Ultimate VPN is the most complete and, probably, the best pick. This is the package I used for this ibVPN review.
Promos and discounts
I am a ibVPN client for more that 5 years and I noticed some patterns in the ibVPN marketing strategy. Thus, if you are waiting a good deal for the packages listed below here are the ibVPN main discount campaigns:
- Anniversary Promo – the end of January – 50% off everything.
- Summer Promo – during the Summer months – 50% off to the Standard VPN.
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday – last Friday from November – various discounts.
- Winter promo – from the middle of December to the beginning of January – different discounts and multi annual plans.
Are you looking for a VPN deal? Here is a site that lists active VPN promotions. If you know other ibVPN promotions feel free to share them in the comments below.
You may pay for ibVPN services using many methods: credit cards, PayPal, bitcoin, other cryptocurencies (Litecoin, Blackcoin, Dogecoin, Ripple), Perfect Money, OKPay, OOOPay, Payza, Webmoney, Credit cards, SMS, iDeal, AliPay, Qiwi Wallet, Openbucks, MOL.
15 days moneyback plus the 24-hour trial shows that ibVPN is confident in the quality of their service. Even if you have tried the service you may ask for a refund after subscribing.
The ibVPN team offers 24/7 live chat and ticket support. My experience with ibVPN support was always excellent, both on sales and tech issues. They are very friendly and try to find solutions to every reported problem. The only issue I noted is that the chat support is not live 24/7. Sometimes it goes offline for several hours.
ibVPN review – Performance/speed
It is important to understand that the speed of your Internet connection while connected to a VPN server depends on factors like: the speed of your regular Internet connection (without VPN), the connection from your location to the VPN server, the policy of your ISP (some may block or slow down VPN connections), the load of the VPN server (the number of users on the server), the available bandwidth for the VPN server. Thus, some factors may NOT be related directly to the VPN service.
Back to my ibVPN review: I have performed some speed tests in order see how the service behaves for some specific settings.
Firstly, I have tested my regular Internet connection and then compared it with the speed of the VPN connection (the test was performed using the Windows app, Setting the fastest connection from the Connection Wizard). I got connected to a Czech Republic server and the speed results were the followings:
Secondly, I selected a US server (for streaming). It worth mentioning that I am located in Europe.
Thirdly, I was curious to see the speed for the recommended P2P server and settings:
The ibVPN site looks nice (it could be nicer) and provides a lot of information and tutorials. It seems to be a little bit slow. As I navigated the site extensively for this ibVPN review I noticed that the loading time for certain pages, like the Reviews, is quite high.
Before subscribing to any VPN service it is advisable to look for real user reviews. ibVPN has a lot of such reviews on their site. As far as I am able to tell, they look real, but you could never know. They may be filtered and the “bad ones” may not be shown. You may also find several ibVPN user reviews on TrustPilot and on other ibVPN review sites.
ibVPN review – Pros – What I like about ibVPN
I have to say that I am a fan of the ibVPN service and I am recommending it when I have the chance. Here are some of the things I like the most about ibVPN:
- Solid VPN service, good security, no logging
- Fair pricing, great discounts during promotions.
- Great VPN apps.
- Lots of great features like Fastest server option, Double VPN, TorOverVPN, SOCKS5, etc.
- Includes access to ibDNS / SmartDNS.
- The support team is great. Every time they made me feel like an important client and I wrote the ibVPN review having this in mind.
- Works with Netflix.
ibVPN review – Cons – What could be improved
There is not much I can say bad about ibVPN. I would like to see more servers (including backups) in certain locations like the East European countries and Asia. Also, it would be nice to see a page with the live server status.
ibVPN review – Conclusion
This is my extensive ibVPN review. It is long, but not exhaustive, and, there are probably more to say about ibVPN. The conclusion is that ibVPN is a top VPN provider and you should consider it as your VPN solution.
What do you think of ibVPN? Have you tried it? What features should I add to this ibVPN review? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.