ibVPN Review

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

We buy, test and compare different VPN services. This time we’re reviewing ibVPN towards other 73 VPNs we’ve already tested…

ibVPN reviewibVPN, or the Invisible Browsing VPN, is operated by Amplusnet SRL.

ibVPN has been around since 2003, and is headquartered in Romania, Tirgu-Mures.

As of April 20, 2018, they have 100+ servers in 63 locations across 47 countries.

In addition to their VPN product, they also offer a smartDNS solution, similarly called ibDNS, that unblocks restricted websites without using a VPN.

We’re going to focus exclusively on this ibVPN review today.

“Invisible browsing” sounds like the perfect moniker for a suite of privacy apps. It’s comforting to know the company behind your product has deep expertise in one specific area.

But at the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing:

Experience.

In this review, we’ll show you everything from their product security (we tested it), the speed and usability (we tested those), and dealing directly with their customer service team (we also tested that).

Let’s get into it.

What Does ibVPN Do For You?

  1. ibVPN will mask your public IP while relocating you to another country of your choice.
  2. It will safely tunnel your Internet connection through the default OpenVPN protocol and a strong AES256 encryption.
  3. Become fully anonymous while doing your daily activities on a public/private WiFi. (browsing the web, torrenting, online banking)
  4. Gives you access to geo-blocked content. (Netflix, Hulu, HBO)

That makes them the perfect solution for the 90% of Americans who fear for their online information.

Hopping on the hotel WiFI seems harmless enough. Until you realize that (a) their terms of service don’t protect you, and (b) that hotel WiFis are a common target for hackers.

VPNs help you protect yourself. They create a secure tunnel around your connection so that no hackers or bad actors can snoop on what you’re doing, or what you’re typing in.

That means your passwords, credit card information, and more are locked-down from prying eyes.

VPNs protect you from all of this. But here’s the real question:

Who protects you from the VPN companies, themselves?

Because they can (and frequently do) collect data on websites you visit or where you’re logging in from.

Fortunately, ibVPN draws a hard line here.

Strict No-Logging Privacy Policy

  • No logs according to their logging policy

ibVPN claims a “strict no-logging policy” on their website.

But literally, every single VPN company we’ve reviewed says the same exact thing.

So how do you know if they’re legit or not?

Well, you drink a ton of coffee and pour through their boring terms and privacy policy.

According to their terms, ibVPN does not collect any specific user activity. That’s important because many VPNs do track some of this data.

And most of these companies still need to abide by their countries laws. If their government forces them to hand over data, and they have activity information logged, you’re screwed.

This very reason is why your VPN’s home jurisdiction is such a huge deal.

Jurisdiction

  • Romania (outside 14 eyes)

ibVPN is owned and operated by Amplusnet SRL, who’s out of Romania.

Believe it or not, that’s great news.

Romania is NOT on the list of governments included in the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance.

Why does this matter?

Because several governments around the world have aligned their espionage efforts.

That means if one country collects sensitive information on their people (Hi, NSA!), they can and will share it with countries around the globe to support World Peace. (Or something.)

The unofficial 14 Eyes allegiance includes most developed nations in the free world.

But Romania’s position outside of this alliance means that the chances of ibVPN turning over personal data to the world are slim to none.

Is ibVPN Safe?

  • According to our tests, we consider ibVPN to be safe

ibVPN uses the industry leading 256-bit AES encryption standard. This is as secure as it gets.

ibvpn encryption graph image

No known supercomputers have been able to get anywhere close to cracking it. So your connection is virtually impenetrable.

ibVPN also defaults to the OpenVPN protocol to create each connection. This standard is also state of the art, recommended by most security experts and used by the best VPN companies in the market.

There are two reasons, however, where you’d want a different protocol.

The first is your mobile device. OpenVPN works flawlessly on Androids, but not so much on iOS devices.

The second reason is for older computers or connections. Depending on your setup, OpenVPN might not cut it.

That’s why ibVPN offers several different protocol options you can switch to, including PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)/IpSec (Internet Protocol Security), and SSTP.

ibVPN also provides simple explanations and setup guides for each if you do need to switch away from OpenVPN.

openvpn protocols explained

No Leaks or Malware Issues

  • We didn’t detect any IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks

VPNs are supposed to create secure connections. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

A little “VPN” icon or green check mark often shows up when you connect through their servers.

So you think you’re golden.

However, DNS leaks can undermine your security without you even noticing.

Your ISP will be able to pick up on which sites you’re visiting or which files you’re downloading.

And many times, those helpful little ‘extras’ you use are among the worst offenders.

For example, up to 70% of Chrome extensions from VPN providers leak your DNS. That’s more than two-thirds!

Every VPN we review gets the same treatment. After purchasing and signing up, we’ll connect to their servers. Then, we’ll use six different tests to triple-check that none of your data might leak.

We put ibVPN through the same routine, and we’re pleased to say that it passed with flying colors.

  • https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
  • https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
  • https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
  • https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (none found)
  • https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
  • http://dnsleak.com/ (none found)

Next, we’ll also take their installation files and run it through a malware check to make sure they’re also squeaky clean.

VirusTotal.com came back with green “Cleans” across the board.

ibvpn virustotal scan

Is ibVPN Fast?

  • ibVPN slows down your Internet connection 33%

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice performance for security.

A leak-free connection is awesome. But you also can’t afford to wait three minutes for a simple page to load.

So post-virus scan, we next conduct a series of speed tests. Every VPN will inevitably slow you down a little bit.

“A little bit” is tolerable. It’s worth the extra security.

Too much, though, and your entire internet session can go down the drain.

ibVPN came out somewhere in the middle of the pack. They weren’t fast enough to make our Top 12 fastest VPNs list. But they were a little better than the slugs at the bottom.

Performance did vary wildly, though.

The EU test we conducted wasn’t so bad. It only came out around ~20-30% slower than our normal connection.

ibvpn eu speedtest

EU speed test:

  • Ping: 41ms
  • Download: 64.66 Mbps (33% slower than 97 Mbps benchmark)
  • Upload: 41.06 Mbps (22% slower than 53 Mbps benchmark)

But our US test on a server in New York was a nightmare. Download and upload speeds here dipped to 75-85% slower.

ibvpn us speedtest

U.S. speed test:

  • Ping: 147ms
  • Download: 15.70 Mbps (84% slower than 97 Mbps benchmark)
  • Upload: 13.44 Mbps (75% slower than 53 Mbps benchmark)

Overall, these results put them at only 47 out of 74. Not great.

Does it Work with Netflix?

  • Most servers we used worked with Netflix

Switching your server locations with the click of a VPN button used to be one of the best ways to stream content from different countries.

That way, you could bypass licensing restrictions and watch any country’s content from the comfort of your couch.

But then Netflix started cracking down on this workaround in the last few years.

ibVPN passed again with flying colors, though. We tried five different servers and found that each one worked flawlessly:

  • Canada – works
  • US Chicago – works
  • NL – works
  • US NY – works
  • US Miami – works

netflix homepage

US Miami & NY Servers work with Netflix (last test: April 2018)

Is Torrenting Allowed?

  • Yes, torrenting is allowed with ibVPN

Torrents allow you to download massive files at lightning speeds.

They’re not just for illegitimate uses, either.

Torrents can also carry their own risks. Connecting to a VPN, first, before accessing them gives you an extra layer of security to keep your private information to yourself.

However, not all VPNs support it.

While others have restrictions that force you to use specific servers.

ibVPN has 35 servers that allow torrenting. The good news is that you can set their desktop application to automatically connect to torrenting servers every time you use the service.

These torrent and P2P applications are available in Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Russia, and Sweden, according to their website. Here’s a quick set-up guide for getting started.

Please just be advised that you’ll need their Premium Torrent VPN or Ultimate VPN packages.

You can also check out our top torrenting VPNs to narrow down the list.

What Devices Are Supported?

  • ibVPN is compatible with most of devices and operating systems

ibVPN supports almost every device imaginable.

They cover the basics like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. But they will also connect with both major Smart TV’s and even game consoles, too.

  • Kindle Fire
  • Boxee Box
  • Chromecast
  • Apple TV
  • LG Smart TV
  • Sony Smart TV
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • LG WebOS Smart TV
  • PS4
  • Playstation 3
  • PS Vita
  • Xbox 360

If you’re trying to connect a few of these devices at the same time, you can even arm your DD-WRT VPN and Tomato USB routers. Both OpenVPN and PPTP protocols work on these.

They’ve also helpfully assembled setup instructions for each type of device.

The only drawback is that ibVPN doesn’t provide a Linux app directly. Instead, you’ll have to create workarounds with Ubuntu using OpenVPN and PPTP. Get ready to get your hands dirty.

Just last year, ibVPN also added TOR support.

The TOR network will forward your traffic signal across ‘relays’ and ‘nodes.’

But it’s not foolproof. There are often a few loopholes to de-anonymize TOR users.

TOR-enabled VPN servers largely solve this equation.

You can connect directly to it through ibVPN by going to the following servers:

  • Netherlands – tornl.ibvpn.com
  • Singapore – torsg.ibvpn.com
  • US – torus.ibvpn.com

Once again, though, you’ll need to upgrade to their Ultimate VPN package to get full access.

ibvpn user interface picture

Is ibVPN Simple to Use?

  • Very easy, smooth and straightforward app

Both installation and connection through the ibVPN desktop client was a breeze.

The installer was painless, and the app fired up instantly without any noticeable lags or errors.

ibvpn installer

I loved the set-and-forget features the client provided.

For example, you could set the kill switch to trigger automatically when your connection drops. That way, nothing from your session ends up in the wrong hands.

Then, you can also further customize automatic connections based on your own personal preferences:

  • The fastest server
  • to a US or UK-based server for accessing services in these locations
  • A server that supports torrenting and P2P file sharing
  • Bypass China’s Great Firewall (for China-based users)

ibvpn user interface 2

Servers & Main Features

  • Their cheapest plan comes with one simultaneous connection only

ibVPN’s basic plans only allow for one single device connection at any given time.

That’s kind of disappointing, to be honest.

Most other VPNs will at least throw in at least three connections in their basic plans.

You can get five if you upgrade to the Ultimate VPN plan. (They also have a Multi VPN package, presumably for organizations and large groups, that provide 100 connections.)

Many of the extra features, like access to P2P servers and TOR, are also locked up inside the Ultimate VPN package.

Otherwise, they have over a hundred servers located in most major cities around the world.

ibvpn compability chart

Built-in Kill Switch

Thankfully, one awesome feature included in all plans is the kill switch.

These prevent your browser from connecting to the internet if your VPN connection isn’t stable. That way, you can inadvertently give away your real IP address.

Customer Support

  • Quick and easy through live chat

If and when you need help, ibVPN offers an extensive Help Center and FAQ section.

But if you need personalized support, they offer everything from support tickets, to email, and even live chat.

ibvpn homepage

It’s great that they offer all of these options. But are they worth it? That’s the main question.

First up, we went straight to live chat to see how quickly and accurately they’d answer our questions.

The support rep helped us within seconds.

ibvpn live support

Next up, we wanted to send over an email to clarify a few points about their service.

ibvpn support 2

And a few hours later, we received an in-depth email that both answered the question, while also providing helpful links to learn more.

ibvpn support email

Quick, easy, and efficient. Exactly what we like.

ibVPN Cost, Plans & Payment Options

  • Confusing pricing with multiple different options

ibvpn packages

The all-in, Ultimate VPN option, provides access to all of their servers and features. The pricing here starts at $10.95 for one month and is discounted heavily at only $58.06 ($4.84/month) for a full year.

They also offer individual packages, including a Premium Standard VPN, Torrent, Business, and combination ibDNS option. The price for these packages starts at $4.95 per month, or as low as $3.08 a month if you’re willing to purchase the annual plan.

Each package comes with a 15-day money back guarantee on all plans. So you could conceivably start with the low month-to-month option to try it out and even get your money back within the first few weeks if you’re unhappy.

They’ll accept almost all forms of payment, including “over 50 international payment options, including Credit/Debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, JCB, Maestro and more), eWallets (WebMoney) and many other (AliPay, Perfect Money, BitCoin, Yandex, Bank Wire Transfer and more).”

BUT, they do not accept PayPal curiously. That’s kind of odd, considering they’ll accept cryptocurrencies for anonymous payments.

Do I Recommend ibVPN?

  • Yes and no.

ibVPN has a lot to like.

They have a decent total number of servers, along with a strict no-logging policy, allowing torrenting, working with Netflix, and can be configured for use with DD-WRT routers and TOR.

A massive drawback, though, is the speed. Our EU tests weren’t terrible, but the US ones kinda were.

The best VPN products we’ve reviewed don’t force users to sacrifice speed like this.

Other major issues included the need to sign up for the Ultimate VPN plan to get full access to these wonderful features, along with the fact that you can’t use PayPal.

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