ibVPN Review

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ibVPN is one of the cheapest of the big name VPN providers, so we were curious to know whether such a low cost service could deliver a high quality experience. We were initially somewhat surprised at how good the service was, both in terms of the features available (pretty much everything plus the kitchen sink on the better packages), and on its speed performance results. Unfortunately, after trying the service out over a longer period of time we had to uninstall it and ask for a refund, thanks to the frequency with which it slowed our whole internet connection down to unusable speeds.

Packages and Pricing

ibVPN divides its services into two basic VPN packages; Premium and Multi VPN, and also offers a DNS Package. All packages allow users’ to choose between PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN or SSTP depending on their needs, and offer unlimited bandwidth (although all filesharing traffic must go through the dedicated Torrent VPN servers).

Premium VPN packages

Standard VPN comes in a number of different flavors, with different packages granting access to a varying number of servers in a number of different countries. A brief summary is as follows:

  • Ultimate VPN ($10.95 per month) – access to 70+ servers in 31 countries. Includes access to P2P filesharing /torrent servers, use of the ibDNS service, use of static IPs, and permits two devices to connect at once
  • TotalVPN ($7.95 per month) – access to 61 servers in 31 countries, including P2P filesharing / torrent servers, use of static IPs and of ibDNS
  • Regional VPN ($4.95) – there are separate services available for the United States and Canada, the UK and Ireland, and the EU. Each of them offers access to a number of servers within that region, but do not allow access to ibVPN’s dedicated file sharing/torrent servers
  • Torrent VPN ($4.95) – basically identical to the Regional packages, except that it provides access to 8 servers in 5 countries where P2P downloading is permitted (2 Canada, 3 Netherlands, 1 Luxembourg, 1 Hong Kong, 1 Russia)


Multi VPN packages

These packages allow more than one simultaneous connection, so that multiple members of a family or small business can use the ibVPN servers at once. Prices start at $19.95 per month for a family of up to three, and go up to $99.95 for businesses with up to 20 employees. Do note however that the Ultimate (Premium) package also allows the use of two devices simultaneously. If you are interested in business packages then also check out our 5 Best for Businesses review.

Access to the filesharing /torrent servers is not included.

multi prices

DNS Package (ibDNS)

ibVPN offers a DNS package so you can use its servers to resolve DNS requests. This is useful for un-blocking geo-restricted content such as media streaming services (e.g. for accessing Hulu when outside the US, or BBC iPlayer when outside the UK), and has the advantage over using VPN for this purpose that as the connection is direct (i.e. it not encrypted then routed via a VPN server), it is much faster (and therefore lag is much less of an issue).

As a stand-alone service ibDNS costs $4.95 per month, or it is included in the Ultimate and Total packages.


Free Trial

ibVPN offers a 6 hour free trial, with access to all of its servers. Although not a huge amount of time, it should be long enough to get a feel for the service, try out different servers, and see whether it works for you.  We should warn you however that we had a great experience of the service during the trial period, but found it almost unusable in longer term use, so it’s just as well that ibVPN also offers a no quibble 15 day money back guarantee.

The ibVPN website & Customer Support

ibVPN has recently given its website a complete redesign, and it looks much the better for it. Although still a little cluttered looking, all relevant information is easy to find, and lots of resources are available, including a useful FAQ, and a server list showing the number of users online together with bandwidth usage on each server, which we particularity like.

server list

In addition to the FAQ and a searchable knowledgebase, support is available via email using a ticket system, or by 27/7 live chat. When we asked a question on Live Chat, the response was quick and helpful. It is also possible to make an appointment with a support team member who can provide remote assistance, which is a very nice touch.


ibVPN lets you connect  via PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN and SSTP protocols from any of their packages. Changing protocol is performed very easily from within the desktop client, although for most purposes there is little reason change from the secure 256-bit blowfish encrypted OpenVPN default option.

ibVPN’s promises that it keeps no logs of users’ activity, something it can do because it is based in Romania where the EU Data Retention Directive is not in force. We should note however that some connection logs are kept for 10 days, namely,

  • Time, date and location VPN connection was made.
  • Duration of the VPN connection.
  • Bandwidth used during the connection

We would prefer fewer such logs, but this is quite standard practice, even among ‘no logs’ companies. More worryingly, ten days is quite long to keep them, far more than is needed for simple troubleshooting, purposes.

As noted below, only the minimal personal information is required during registration, and anonymous payment is accepted through Bitcoin.

So far, so (fairly) good, but unfortunately ibVPN uses dynamic IPs rather than shared IPs (static IPs are also available on some packages if you need them). This is not good, because with shared IP’s many users share the same IP address, making it very difficult to determine which individual is responsible for which actions performed online. Dynamic IPs are directly linked to your real IP, so you can be easily traced by the VPN company. In our view every VPN provider worth its salt should use shared IP’s.

The Process


Registering and purchasing packages is a very simple process, and we liked that fact that only a minimal amount of information was requested; specifically name, email and location (but not address). For the purposes of this review we made use of the free trial, and were not asked for any payment details. However, we have used the paid service in the past, and encountered no issues.

A wide range of payment options are available, including Bitcoin, which allows you to pay for the service anonymously (if suitable precautions are taken).

Installing the software and connecting

Once we had registered for our trial account, we immediately received an email informing us of our account details and providing us with a download link for ibVPN’s unified Windows VPN client.

client install 2

Downloading and installing this was a simple task, and we were soon presented with client window, which we found to be laid out in a simple an intuitive fashion that offered easy access to most of ibVPN’s features.


From here we could select which server to connect to, and which protocol to use, with links provided to our account information and to the website’s server load page. Changing between servers and protocols was as simple as selecting them and waiting a few seconds for the connection to be established.

Clicking on the client’s Settings tab allows you to configure how you want it to behave and they also have Advances Settings where you set a kill switch and auto reconnect.

 ibVPN_Settings     ibVPN_AdvancedSettings

Other Platforms

ibVPN provides dedicated desktop clients for Windows and OSX, as well as apps for Android and OSX. It should be noted that while the Android app is a full VPN client with support for OpenVPN, the iOS app simply auto-configures iOS’s native VPN settings (i.e. no OpenVPN). A good guide is however available for setting up OpenVPN on iOS using the OpenVPN Connect app.

Excellent tutorials are also available for the various VPN protocols in Windows, OSX, Linux, Android, iOS, and DD-WRT routers.

Connection Speeds and Reliability

We put various connection configurations through their paces using, using our 10 megabyte UK broadband connection.
Connection without VPN
With OpenVPN connected to UK server
Connection using L2TP (UK server)

As you can see, the OpenVPN connection was blindingly fast, while the L2TP connection was, while not quite as fast, still pretty good.

As mentioned above, we have used this service in the past, and we found then that connecting though the dedicated VPN servers in the Netherlands and Luxemburg could be very slow, which is why we stopped using it. However, our tests for this review indicated that the service had been dramatically improved:
We checked all the VPN torrent servers and got very similar results

Unfortunately we carried on using ibVPN’s Torrent VPN after the review period was over, and regularly found that, as with previously, our internet connect became so slow that web pages often timed out. Almost completely unusable much of the time, we had little choice but to ask for our money back. As we have experienced similar problems before, this is obviously a serious, liong-term, and deal-breaking issue with the service.


The main purpose of this ibDNS is to give you access to web services (particularly internet TV and media streaming service) that are supposedly locked down to one country but provide faster speeds at the cost of no encryption. ibVPN has now made the process of settings this up easier by integrating it into their software.


It took only a couple of minutes before we could access Hulu from the UK, and the fact that we were accessing the site directly rather than through a potentially laggy US server meant that we experienced no buffering issues when streaming.

The main problem with the service (a problem with all such DNS services, not just ibDNS) is that if you want to access local content then you have to go through the whole process again to change settings back to how they were, something that is a real pain to do regularly.


We liked

  • Free 6 hour trial and 15 day money back guarantee
  • Allows P2P downloading
  • Low prices
  • Accepts Bitcoins
  • Good OpenVPN encryption
  • No usage logs (but some connection logs are kept)
  • Based in Romania
  • Android app
  • Great setup guides

We weren’t so sure about

  • Connection logs kept for too long (10 days)

We hated

  • In practice we found the service so slow it killed our internet
  • Uses dynamic IPs, not shared ones

At the end of the day, we have twice had to stop using ibVPN because in day-to-day use it slowed our internet down to unusable speeds. Admittedly both times we were using the Torrent VPN package, so the problem may not be so pronounced on other servers, but then using BitTorrent is a primary reason for us wanting to use a VPN service in the first place! In terms of features and the speed results we achieved during the trial period, ibVPN is largely excellent (dynamic IPs and connection log issues aside), but if you have keep turning it off just to browse the web (and find torrent ETA times being listed in years!), then  we have to conclude that the service is badly broken (although see note below).

Note: We initially wrote this review in February 2013, and have now (February 2014) updated it with the latest service information and reassessed the service in light of our negative longer-term experiences. This is not however a complete re-review, so please be aware that some things may have changed over the last year…

Douglas Crawford I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. Find me on Google+

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12 responses to “ibVPN Review

    I have to completely agree with Richard. The service used to be excellent. Good speed, and rarely if ever did it drop a connection. But now it pretty much sucks. If you don’t mind using PPTP (not recommended due to security holes) then the service is very slow. Connection drops a lot, and i can’t even up openvpn due to the fact that it exposes your actual ip address. And now i’m just finding out about 10 day logs and the use of dynamic ip’s instead of shared is a bit of a concern. So overall, I can no longer recommend ibvpn. It’s time to look elsewhere.

    “In practice we found the service so slow it killed our internet”…..and it hasn’t gotten any better since you wrote this review. You are located in the UK and connected to European servers (of which they have a lot). Try being located in Asia (they have only 5 servers in all of Asia). Basically you will lose 50%-90% of your initial speed.

    Btw, this is the company that after requests to add an extra server in Asia, they added one….in China! (kid you not)

    I agree though that their customer service is great, the fastest responses I’ve gotten from the 5-6 vpn providers I’ve tried over the last 5 years.

    Why IBVPN kills the internet speed? When I run a test of internet speed without being connected to IBVPN, I get 30MB/sec. As soon as I connect to IBVPN I go down to 1MB/sec which means that finally I can never watch my French TV due to the slow connection. Someone can explain and provide with tips to avoid this problem? Thanks in advance. Best. Isabelle

    1. Hi isabelle,

      With such low connection speed I would suggest using a different provider (I find AirVPN to have excellent speeds.) If all you are busing VPN for is to watch French TV (not the privacy and security aspects), then are are probably better off using a SmartDNS service instead.

    Please be aware that their AIO client sends your username and password via unencrypted HTTP connection when you log in!!

    Used to be good, but recently has become utterly unusable. For the past few weeks I’ve had slow connections, frequent dropouts, and worst of all, losing the VPN and dropping into an open, unencrypted connection with no warning. Completely inexcusable. I wouldn’t use this service if they gave it to me for free at this point.

    The support staff try to be helpful, but the advice usually consists of reinstalling the client, which sometimes helps for a while, and sometimes doesn’t. Whatever the case, it gets tiresome; and the loss of encryption in the middle of a session is inexcusable. That’s the whole point of using a VPN, after all.

    this company is the most unprofessional in terms of terminating your service without confirming with their payment merchant whether you have paid or not. I have an auto renew rebill setup with avantgate and i will recive a paid invoice from Avantgate and a termination notice from IBVPN at the same time. One must wonder how good their invisible browsing is when you see how inept they are in confirmng your subscription payment If anyone wants to go through the hassle of chasing up support for re activation inspite of paying for their subscription please go ahead and signup. Otherwise, like me, you like a hassle free accurate auto rebilling service without your account being suspended there are many vpn services that are professionally run and truly trouble free

    everything is excellent about IBVPN. their support team is very prompt and reliable, and so their customer service.
    however, they have major problems with their servers having been used for spam in the past. as a result, whenever i try to connect to google, i get blocked.
    i also tried registering at some online forums and got the same result.
    i think they need more new servers in the US and they ll be the #1 vpn service in the world!
    i still recommend them for anyone. they have an unparalleled android app for browsing anonymously.
    great job, ibVPN! wishing you more success!

    Used it for 6 months and found only very few problems with it. Throughout the 6 months they kept upgrading the no. of servers and the speed has never been an issue for me. Connected from South Korea.

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