- Great value VPN service with a ton of features
- Rare features such as NAT Firewall and Tor over VPN dramatically enhance privacy and security
- Fast US servers
- Anonymous signups
- Industry standard encryption protocols
- 24-hour free trial
- No logs recorded, ever
- Internet kill switch
- Well laid out user interface
- Slow speeds outside of US servers Default to low encryption protocol
- Limited precense in South America and Africa
- DNS leak on weaker servers
- VPN options not clear for novice or intermediate users
ibVPN AKA Invisible Browsing VPN promises to maximize privacy with their very name. In that aspect, they succeed. Based out of privacy friendly Romania, the company maintains a strict zero log policy. This includes connection data as well as activity data. Their encryption meets the industry standard and the company even offers hard to find features like NAT Firewall, Tor over VPN, and an Internet kill switch. In fact, it's the only VPN reviewed with all three of these major privacy and security features.
Privacy and Security
New features such as the NAT firewall and internet kill switch provide an extra level of security for all of their users. The NAT Firewall acts in concert with your software firewall to provide another level of protection from unwanted online intrusions. Tor over VPN is also fairly unique and proxies activity through thousands of relays to further obscure activity.
Connections don't default to OpenDNS, which can be trouble for newer users. This can lead to data leaking out, which is an issue I ran into until changing to a more secure server. It's possible to be safe, but the default options aren't the most reliable. On the bright side, ibVPN is based out of Romania. The country has shown a commitment to maintaining privacy for the country's businesses and citizens. Between this and the zero log policy, it seems unlikely anyone is getting your internet history out of ibVPN.
ibVPN's server speeds ran plenty fast throughout the United States but ran into issues elsewhere. American servers bounced between 25 and 50Mbps down and about 9 up. European servers were about half of the speed. Asian, Australian, and rest of the world ran even slower. This might become an issue if you expect to stream high quality shows outside of the premium servers. Of course, you can also run with lower encryption levels to up speed levels. ibVPN has good privacy and good speeds but just not both of those together.
ibVPN is fairly average at providing coverage. Though it doesn't greatly impress, their 47 countries should suit most needs. What's truly impressive is some of the more rare options. China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are typically very undeserved but all available on ibVPN. This puts the VPN service in a good position for a niche market. The 17 US servers will usually provide the reach for watching any American sports games as well.
Ease and Usability
This is one of the easiest products to sign up for. ibVPN doesn't ask for very much, and users can basically sign up anonymously. The client itself isn't much to look at, but it is easy to use. The tabs are all neatly laid out. Novice or intermediate users might be confused by the actual advantages and disadvantages to everything though. While it's intuitive on how to get to everything, it's not well explained what every feature actually does. As mentioned earlier, the biggest issue is that the default encryption sacrifices privacy to give the illusion of speed. I'd prefer to see it the other way around.
One of ibVPN's unique features is ibDNS, which is available with their Ultimate package. It can't be used with the VPN so it's not something to turn on when privacy counts. However, it's pretty useful when it comes to streaming. Basically, it masks your geolocation as your target country. This unblocks popular services such as Netflix and Hulu. ibVPN is very usable for advanced subscribers but perhaps a bit dangerous for the inexperienced.
24/7 live chat and email support is not something you see with a more value oriented service. Despite this, ibVPN delivers exceptional response time for their customers. The quality of the support is hit or miss though. The FAQ and tutorials are also underwhelming. It may take a few tries to get an issue resolved, but the overall speed at which they deliver a solution is very reasonable.
$4.95/month for a private and secure VPN located outside of the US jurisdiction is hard to find. Getting as low as $3.08 for prepaying is pretty much unmatched, except by Ivacy. Sure, it's not the fastest when using OpenVPN. They could use some improvement in support too. While there are improvements to be made, it all comes back to determining what you're willing to pay for. For safely browsing the internet, checking email, or streaming HD content from the US or EU then ibVPN is more than up to the task. At this price for those services, it's pretty hard to beat.
ibVPN is strong in privacy, US download speeds, advanced user features, response time, anonymous signups, price, and secure connections. They're weak in default settings, knowledgeable staff, South American and African coverage, and speeds outside of the USA. This is something that only you can weigh. If the negatives aren't a big deal for you, there's a lot of money to be saved by going with ibVPN. Otherwise, there's plenty of other top VPNs to fit your specifications.