Thursday, May 19, 2022
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Ivacy VPN review: A competent VPN that doesn’t mind cryptocurrencies

Ivacy in brief:

  • P2P allowed: Yes
  • Business location: Singapore
  • Number of servers: 459+*
  • Number of country locations: 55
  • Cost: $40 (billed annually)
  • VPN protocol: IKEv2 (default)
  • Data encryption: AES-256-CBC
  • Data authentication: MS-Chap v2
  • Handshake Encryption: SHA-II

* Includes virtual server locations

When you look at VPN services for regular users, you don’t often see purpose-based server recommendations, such as “use this server for streaming and this one for downloading.” Ivacy VPN, a 10-year-old service officially based in Singapore, stands out by doing just that. (It’s not the only service to take this tack—CyberGhost has a similar purpose-based approach—but it’s still rare.)

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When I first opened Ivacy’s Windows app I was struck by its cleanly designed interface, which is somewhat reminiscent of HotSpot Shield. Both apps use a theme that relies on various shades of blue and very clean icons and text.

The Ivacy app’s left rail has seven options for navigation. The primary VPN options are Smart Connect, Secure Download, Streaming, and Unblocking. There are also options to access your account, the program’s settings, and a help and support section.

Smart Connect is just a basic VPN connection. You can choose your locations by country or drill down to specific cities within each country. There are 12 city locations to choose from for U.S. connections with one to three options for most other countries.

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Ivacy’s secure downloading option with integrated security scanning at the server level.

Secure Download is for peer-to-peer downloads as well as just general file and program downloading. This section has a security option that applies malware scanning at the server level to help avoid any problematic downloads. I didn’t have the chance to see how effective this secure download option is.

Streaming lets you choose your connection by country or by activity—dubbed “channels.” The latter has an option called US TV Watching that goes through Venezuela to work. That suggested (and I later confirmed with the company) that Ivacy is using virtual server locations. This is a not an uncommon practice, where a server claims to be in one physical location but is actually somewhere else. An Ivacy spokesperson told me that out of its 459 servers only 26 are spoofing their location.

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Regardless of where the US TV Watching servers are based, in my tests the feature didn’t work particularly well. I wasn’t able to watch anything on the major networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—though it looked like AMC might have worked if I had a cable account to sign in with. YouTube Red worked just fine on this server, but Netflix did not. Ivacy says its service works with Netflix, but in my experience it never worked and I tried U.S. servers in all parts of Ivacy’s app.


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