ibVPN Review & Test 2019 - Good Overall, But Some Drawbacks
ibVPN is a relatively small VPN, with a network of 180+ servers in 50+ countries. The name stands for "invisible browsing" VPN, and true to its name, ibVPN has a strong focus on security and privacy.
This provider claims to be a great VPN for many different purposes, including security, streaming, torrenting, and bypassing censorship. But is the performance as strong as it claims?
One outstanding positive of this VPN is the different packages with selected features for specific uses of the VPN. For example, you can buy a Torrent VPN plan specifically for secure, anonymous torrenting.
We tested ibVPN extensively to find out how it performs in each category. The highlights we found include great torrenting support, robust security, and a strict no-logs policy.
The biggest downsides are slow network speeds and the inability to access popular streaming sites.
Streaming – Does ibVPN Work with Netflix?
Our test results found that ibVPN is not great for streaming, despite its claims to the contrary.
When we tried to access Netflix with the VPN disabled, the site loaded fine. But when we connected to one of the US servers, we were unable to even load the website and saw the following screen:
The same error page was displayed when we tried to visit Hulu.
We didn’t have this issue with any non-streaming websites.
With the UK servers, we were at least able to load the Netflix home page, but were still caught by the VPN ban error message.
We were also unable to access BBC iPlayer with the UK streaming servers.
Although we had high hopes for ibVPN’s streaming abilities, it was unable to pass any of our main streaming tests.
ibVPN has a few features that help you select a fast server. First of all, the list of server locations includes an indication of how much traffic is on each server.
There is also a Quick Connect feature that claims to automatically connect you to the fastest available server.
The feature takes a long time to create a connection, however, and doesn't even seem to function correctly.
For some reason, it selected a Tor-over-VPN server as our fastest server location. Anyone who has ever used the Tor network can tell you that it's notoriously slow (despite its added security benefits).
For comparison, our starting speed before connecting to ibVPN was 65 Mbps.
As expected, the Tor-over-VPN server gave us terrible speeds:
When we manually selected a US server that displayed low traffic, our speeds improved, but not by much:
Next, we tested UK servers that ibVPN claims to be ideal for streaming. Unfortunately, our results showed otherwise:
Other server locations gave us poor results, as well. Several servers in Europe that displayed low traffic gave us poor download speeds of less than 5 Mbps.
When we connected to a Hong Kong server, our connection was so slow that we couldn’t even get the speed test website to load.
Overall, we were not impressed with ibVPN’s network speeds. Although you may be able to achieve faster speeds by switching to a less secure protocol, we don’t recommend that as an option.
Is ibVPN Good for Torrenting?
ibVPN is a good choice for torrenting. Both the Ultimate VPN and Torrent VPN subscription plans allow torrenting on dedicated servers optimized for P2P activity.
Torrenting servers are located in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden, Latvia, Switzerland, and Ukraine.
The provider’s strict no-logs policy and automatic kill switch are also great for anonymous torrenting.
The ibVPN website provides in-depth guides to using SOCKS5 proxy connections for torrenting with BitTorrent, uTorrent, Vuze, Deluge, and Tixati.
Security – Is ibVPN Safe?
ibVPN offers robust security features to protect your data and hide your identity. We detected no DNS leaks during our tests.
This VPN covers the basics with secure encryption, DNS leak protection, WebRTC leak protection, and an automatic kill switch that will protect your data even if your VPN connection suddenly drops.
It offers extra security with DoubleVPN, which sends your encrypted traffic to a second server where it is encrypted again before reaching your final destination.
You can also connect to the Tor network without having to download the Tor browser. When you connect to one of ibVPN’s designated TOR-over-VPN servers, your traffic is automatically directed through the Tor network.
Does ibVPN Keep Logs?
Based outside the jurisdiction of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance in privacy-friendly Romania, ibVPN is under no obligation to collect or retain any of your user data.
This no-logs policy means that ibVPN would be unable to hand over identifying information on its users, even in response to a legal request.
Does ibVPN Have an Ad Blocker?
ibVPN does not offer an ad blocker as part of its VPN service.
Does ibVPN Work in China?
ibVPN is a good choice if you are mainly looking to bypass censorship in China. It allows you to choose a Shadowsocks proxy connection, which helps you slip through censorship firewalls undetected.
However, keep in mind that Shadowsocks does not protect your security or anonymity. Your connection is not encrypted like it is with a real VPN connection.
If you're using Windows or Android devices, you can choose a Stealth VPN protocol, which is great for bypassing censorship while still maintaining strong security.
For other devices, you might want to consider a different VPN provider.
Price and Value for Money
ibVPN offers four plan tiers, each with different features and available in both monthly and annual subscriptions.
This VPN is a bit pricier than average, although the price is more reasonable with the discounts that are offered on annual subscriptions.
The most expensive plan is the feature-rich Ultimate VPN, giving you access to the VPN, proxy, and SmartDNS services, as well as all server locations, P2P support, and special features like TOR over VPN, Double VPN, and Stealth VPN.
The other three plans are cheaper, because they focus on specialized features.
The Standard VPN plan is intended for streaming and bypassing censorship, but doesn’t include P2P support.
The Torrent VPN plan includes P2P support, but doesn’t give you access to all server locations or the StealthVPN feature.
The ibDNS/Smart DNS plan includes SmartDNS without the full VPN service.
If you are looking for a VPN for specific activities, such as torrenting, you are better off going with one of the cheaper tiers. However, all of the plans are a bit on the pricey side for what they offer.
Does ibVPN Have a Free Version?
ibVPN does not offer a free version of its VPN service. However, there is a 24-hour free trial that you can use to test out any of the four plans.
ibVPN’s Refund Policy
There is a 15-day money-back guarantee on all subscriptions.
You will receive a full refund if you submit a support ticket asking for your money back within 15 days of purchasing a subscription plan.
After 15 days, you may still be able to receive a full or partial refund if you encounter an issue that the support team is unable to solve.
Is ibVPN Compatible with My Device?
ibVPN is compatible with all major devices. Dedicated apps are offered for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
You can also find step-by-step installation guides for Linux, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, DD-WRT and Sabai routers.
Secure browser extensions are also offered for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
The Ultimate VPN plan allows up to five simultaneous connections, while the three other plans allow only one connection per account.
ibVPN protects your data with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption. You can choose among multiple security protocols, including UDP/TCP OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, PPTP, SSTP, Stealth VPN, and Shadowsocks.
It's usually best to stick with an OpenVPN connection for the best security.
The Stealth VPN protocol is good for bypassing censorship without being detected, but ibVPN only supports this protocol on Windows and Android devices.
ibVPN Customer Service
ibVPN offers excellent customer service. The 24/7 live chat support really does work as advertised. When we reached out with some questions, we received helpful assistance from a support agent within minutes.
When you visit the ibVPN website, the chat feature pops up to let you know that you can ask for help at any time.
In fact, it's actually somewhat annoying to have to close the chat window on every new page. Too much customer support is better than not enough, however, so we’ll count it as a positive.
We also found the email and ticket support services to be very responsive, although usually the live chat support is the easiest way to get help.
You can also schedule an appointment to receive remote support using free TeamViewer software.
There aren’t many VPNs that offer so many different avenues for customer support, so we were definitely pleased with this aspect of the service.
The ibVPN app interface is very simple. The main screen includes a Connect button and an option to open a list of server locations.
The background icon displays as green when you are connected to a server and red when the VPN is disconnected.
We found both positives and negatives with the app’s design.
It's easy to navigate and includes many user-friendly features. For example, the server-selection interface allows you to select from a list of countries or individual servers. You can also quickly connect to the fastest server or the fastest P2P server.
Each server on the list displays its current amount of traffic. Specialty servers are also clearly labeled, including P2P, DoubleVPN, and TOR over VPN.
The Settings are quickly accessible from the main interface by clicking the three-line Menu icon in the upper left corner. Once you're inside, the elements are clearly labeled and easy to understand, even if you're new to VPNs.
There are, however, a few things about the user experience that could be improved.
The Quick Connect feature doesn’t seem to work very well. Instead of taking us to the fastest available server, it kept connecting us to a Tor-over-VPN server that gave us extremely low speeds.
It also took at least 30 seconds to initiate a connection as it scanned through all the available servers.
A few other small details could be improved to make the app much more user-friendly. For example, it took us a few tries to realize that we had to double-click on a server location to select it.
The good outweighs the bad in terms of ibVPN’s user experience, but there is still room for improvement.
ibVPN really shines when it comes to security, anonymity, and customer service. But can it compete with top VPNs on the market? Not at the moment.
This is a VPN with a lot of potential, but still with plenty of room for improvement. For the price, we would expect ibVPN to offer faster speeds and better reliability, and some of the features still have some kinks that need to be ironed out.
Stay tuned—we will definitely be keeping an eye on ibVPN to see if it continues to improve in the future.
|Number of countries with servers||47|
|Number of servers||130|
|Number of IP addresses||1400|
|Does VPN keep logs?||Partially|
|Does VPN include a kill switch?||Yes|
|Number of devices per license||1|
The ibVPN website is packed with information, but the overall impression is inviting, rather than cluttered.
The download and installation process is fast and easy; it took us less than two minutes to start using the VPN.
When creating your account, you’ll be asked to provide login credentials. You’ll need these again when you first open the app, so be sure not to forget them.
The app has a Quick Connect feature, which ironically takes a long time to connect as it scans the available servers. It’s still a nice feature, though, if you’d like to avoid the trial and error of finding the fastest server.
The app’s interface is simple and easy to navigate in general, but there are a few quirks that take figuring out at first. For example, you have to double-click on a server location to initiate a connection.
You can choose among four different paid plans: Standard VPN, Ultimate VPN, Torrent VPN, and ibDNS/Smart DNS. Different features are included in each plan.
The Ultimate VPN plan includes the most features and therefore is the most expensive, while the other three plans come at the same lower price point and focus on specialized features. Each plan comes in both monthly and annual subscriptions.
ibVPN offers a 24-hour free trial. This doesn’t give you much time to test the service, but it’s still a nice feature. If you need more time, you can take advantage of the 15-day, money-back guarantee.
Various payment methods are accepted, including major credit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies.
The best way to get in touch with ibVPN’s support team is through the 24/7 live chat, which is easy to access through the website. We found the team to be friendly, helpful, and responsive.
If you prefer, you can also send an email or submit a support ticket.
The website is also full of helpful resources, including installation guides, FAQs, and a knowledge base.
One valuable customer service feature is scheduling an appointment for remote assistance through free TeamViewer software. This is very useful if you need help with installation or other technical problems.
- Dedicated router available
- cross-platform support
- Torrenting allowed from certain locations
- 34 servers in 12 countries
- Kill switch feature
- Get started with ibVPN now