NordVPN

ibVPN Review

Our summary

There is much to like about ibVPN. For a very reasonable price you get a fully featured service (with Smart DNS thrown in for free with the Ultimate VPN plan). Few users are likely to be happy, however, with ibVPN’s speed performance.

ibVPN is a no logs Romanian VPN provider. As we shall see in this ibVPN review, there is much to admire about this low-cost service. Its software is very fully featured, and top-tier customers get an impressive Smart DNS service thrown in for free. However, disappointing speed performance will likely concern most users.

PROS:
  • No logs (at all)
  • Modestly priced
  • Good Smart DNS service
  • Servers in 47 countries
  • Fully featured software with per-app kill switch
CONS:
  • Poor performance
  • Windows client disconnected and crashed repeatedly

Visit ibVPN »

Pricing and Plans

ibVPN offers three VPN plans, plus a Smart DNS-only plan. The Ultimate VPN plan costs $10.95 per month, or $4.83 per month if an annual subscription is purchased. All other plans cost $4.95 per month, or $3.08 if purchased annually.

A Business VPN plan is also available. This is basically the Ultimate VPN plan but with more simultaneous connections. Prices start at $13.95 per month ($8.32 if paid annually) for five simultaneous connections, going up to $44.95 per month ($33.32 when paid annually) for 20 simultaneous connections.

ibVPN review pricing

A six-hour free trial is also available. This provides the full benefits of the Ultimate plan for its duration. In addition to this, ibVPN offers a 15-day money-back guarantee.

The following payment methods are accepted: Avangate (recurring and one-time payments – Alipay, WebMoney, iDeal, and credit card), PayPro (recurring and one-time payments – credit card and PayPal), Payza, WebMoney, AstroPay, Western Union, and Perfect Money.

ibVPN also accepts payment in Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies (Litecoin, Blackcoin, Dogecoin, and Ripple), which can help to improve privacy.

Features

The Ultimate VPN plan offers the following features:

  • Servers in 47 countries
  • P2P: yes
  • Three simultaneous connections
  • Proxy servers in all locations
  • Socks5 proxies
  • Support for OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, SoftEther, and IPsec VPN protocols
  • Full access to the Smart DNS service (more on this later)
  • DoubleVPN
  • Tor over VPN

The cheaper VPN plans are limited to just one connection at a time, and do not have access to all servers (44 countries for the Standard VPN plan, and nine for the Torrent VPN plan). They also have no access to Smart DNS or regular proxy servers, although Torrent VPN users can use socks5 proxies.

P2P is not permitted on the Standard plan, but is allowed on the Torrent VPN plan (of course!).

Double VPN

This basically allows you to “chain” VPN servers, so that your data is routed between two or more VPN servers as it travels between you and the internet.

Your PC/device -> VPN server 1 -> VPN server 2 -> Internet

Such chaining can provide some security benefits, but will always result in a major loss of speed. As I argue in this article, I think the privacy/security benefits of “double-hop” VPN are rather limited. But I understand that this is not a view shared by everyone. As we can see a little later in this review, a number of Double VPN sever options are available.

Tor over VPN

Another new feature is Tor over VPN. For a full discussion on the pros and cons of this, please see here. In this configuration, you connect first to an ibVPN server, and then to the Tor network, before accessing the internet:

Your computer -> VPN -> Tor -> Internet

ibVPN achieves this by transparently routing your data from the VPN tunnel to the Tor network. This means that your entire internet connection benefits from Tor over VPN.

This setup does offer some privacy and security advantages, but a similar effect can be achieved simply by using the Tor Browser while connected to the VPN. Crucially, such a setup is much more secure than the method offered by ibVPN.

Tor over VPN (however you do it) will seriously slow down your internet speeds, as you get the combined hit of using both the Tor network (which is very slow) and the VPN. ibVPN currently offers Tor over VPN servers in the Netherlands, Singapore, and the US.

Visit ibVPN »

Privacy

ibVPN does not collect or log any traffic or use of its Virtual Private Network service. We cannot relate any specific activity with any specific user. If any legal notices are forwarded to our legal department we will comply with that notice. However, we cannot be compelled to hand over information which we do not have.”

This is great. ibVPN is based in Romania, which had rejected the EU Data Retention Directive even before it was struck down by the European Court of Justice. Romania is also comfortably outside the direct area of influence of both the NSA and GCHQ.

So on the privacy front, ibVPN does very well.

Security

OpenVPN connections are secured with an AES-256 cipher and HMAC SHA384 hash authentication. Since first publishing this review, ibVPN have updated handshake encryption to RSA-2048 and data channel encryption to AES-256.

OpenVPN Encryption
Cipher
AES-256
Data Auth
HMAC SHA384
Handshake
RSA-2048
Forward Secrecy
DHE
Logs & Legal
Connection
None
Traffic
None
Country
Good

This addresses my earlier criticisms. Perfect forward secrecy is provided courtesy of Diffie-Hellman Exchange (DHE) keys. I am pleased to say that ibVPN now uses a  very strong encryption suite.

Please see VPN Encryption Terms Explained for more details on the terms used here.

The Website

The website design looks smart, and avoids making some of the more bombastic (and inaccurate) claims found on many providers’ pages. Although technical details are a little light on the ground, FAQs, a knowledge base, and a forum provide most of the information that mainstream users should require.

ibvpn server list

This server list is not only quite good-looking, but rather useful. All IPs are shared, but whether you receive a static or dynamic IP depends on which server you connect to.

It is also good to note that the terms of service and privacy policy are clear and are written in plain English. A blog is available, which mainly highlights features and promotions related to the ibVPN service.

Support

ibVPN offers “24/7” live chat support, which I found knowledgeable and helpful. Ticketed email support is also available. If you require additional help, it is possible to schedule an appointment to receive remote assistance from the support team. I have not tested this, but it is a great offer.

The Process

Signing Up

Other than a valid email address and any payment details, no personal information is required. You can therefore sign up “anonymously” using a disposable password and one of the many cryptocurrencies that ibVPN accepts. Please remember, though, that ibVPN will always know your real IP address.

As previously noted, you can sign up for a six-hour free trial. No payment details are required for this. Once this time is over, you will receive an email inviting you to upgrade to a premium plan.

The ibVPN Windows Client

ibvpn servers 2

The Windows client looks pretty smart, and is packed with features. I did notice, however, that changing servers often caused the program to crash, so it is better to disconnect before reconnecting to another server.* Notice also the list of Double VPN servers.

ibvpn protocols

By default, protocol selection is “automatic.” From the log files, it is clear that this means that the very insecure PPTP protocol is used by default, followed by L2TP/IPsec should that fail (as it did in my case). I recommend changing to OpenVPN immediately! For the difference between UPD and TCP please see here.

ibvpn privacy

I have no idea why the DNS leak options are disabled by default, but you should also turn them on immediately. It is good, however, that they exist.

ibvpn kill swich 1

A great feature of the ibVPN client is the per-app and per-process kill switch. This requires a little setting up, but is more sophisticated than the more common whole-system kill switches.

Note, however, that the kill switch works by closing the specified programs in the event of VPN failure. This is not as secure as a firewall-based solution, which prevents any connections outside the VPN tunnel.

ibvpn customization

Various customization options are available.

Overall, this is a fully featured client. I am a little concerned, however, by the fact that it defaults to weak VPN protocols and no DNS leak protection. These can be changed/turned on, but less techie users are unlikely to do so.

Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 Tests)

All tests were performed using my Virgin UK 50 Mbps/3 Mbps fiber connection. I used the OpenVPN-UPD protocol.

When I connected to some VPN servers listed as 100% free, I got no internet connection at all. I therefore tested servers under load (lowest for each location) in order to ensure that I could connect to the internet.

ibvpn downibvpn up

The graphs show the highest, lowest and average speeds for each server and location. See our full speed test explanation for more detail.

The download results are notably poor. It is also worth noting that I suffered an unusually large number of VPN disconnects while testing the service.*

ibvpn IP leaks

I detected no IPv4, DNS or WebRTC leaks (if DNS protection was enabled in the client). This is good.

Unfortunately, my ISP (Virgin Media) does not support IPv6 connections, so I am unable to test for IPv6 leaks at this time. This is an issue that BestVPN.com is working on finding a solution to.

Good news is that both US Netflix and BBC iPlayer work when connected to suitable servers.

Other Platforms

ibVPN has custom apps for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. In addition to the standard “all-in-one” app, Mac users can also use a new “quick connect app.” This is less fully featured than the all-in-one app, but is very easy to use.

Manual setup instructions are also available for a wide range of platforms and devices.

The Android App

ibVPN Android

I don’t see why a VPN app needs permission to access my photos/media/files.

ibVPN Android settings

The app uses OpenVPN, which is good. Port selection is a nice feature, although there is no kill switch.

I detected no IP leaks using the Android app.

Other Services

Smart DNS

ibVPN offers a Smart DNS service, which is also bundled with the Ultimate VPN plan. This does nothing to improve your security or privacy, but enables geo-spoofing by resolving your DNS requests at a specified location. This makes it ideal for streaming geo-blocked content.

No encryption/decryption is involved, and the DNS translation is pretty much instantaneous. This means that Smart DNS services suffer fewer buffering issues than when using a VPN for streaming (although distance can still cause problems).

ibvon smart dns

Another advantage of Smart DNS is that it can be configured on any internet-capable device, not just ones that can run VPN software. This means that you can use Smart DNS on your smart TV, games console, and Roku (among others).

ibVPN’s Smart DNS unlocked both US Netflix and BBC iPlayer when I tried it.

Browser Extensions

ibVPN users can also install browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, which proxy the browser connection.

ibvpn browser extension

I detected no DNS leaks while using the extension, but did see a WebRTC leak. US Netflix was not available, but I am pleased to report that BBC iPlayer was.

ibVPN Review: Conclusion

I liked:

  • No logs (at all)
  • Modestly priced
  • Good Smart DNS service
  • Servers in 47 countries
  • 24/7 support
  • Fully featured software with per-app kill switch
  • P2P: yes
  • Three simultaneous connections
  • Socks5 proxies
  • US Netflix and BBC iPlayer available
  • Good mobile apps
  • Double VPN

I wasn’t so sure about:

  • Defaults to weak VPN protocols and no DNS leak protection
  • Tor over VPN (using the Tor Browser over VPN is safer)

I hated:

  • Poor performance
  • Windows client disconnected and crashed a lot*

There is much to like about ibVPN. For a reasonable price, you get a very fully featured service (with Smart DNS thrown in for free with the Ultimate VPN plan). I detected no IP leaks while using the service, and although it’s not firewall-based, I like the per-app and per-process kill switch.

I do wish the Windows client was a little more stable*, but am very pleased to note that both the VPN and Smart DNS service successfully unblocked US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

The only real problem is ibVPN’s speed performance results. Few users are likely to be happy about their internet connections being slowed down to such an extent.

*This article has been updated to include information on improved encryption and new features available to users of the service. ibVPN also assures me that its updated All-in-One Windows client fixes the stability issues I encountered, but I have not tested this yet.

Visit ibVPN »

Douglas Crawford

I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. You can now follow me on Twitter - @douglasjcrawf.

57 responses to “ibVPN Review 2017

    In my opinion is in top 5 vpn providers. I purchase multiple vpn accounts for my clients and they do not have major issues.

    Good VPN service. Personally, I use it for downloading torrents. The speed is good but they are a little bit expensive for me…

    I am really please with the new Android app. It is an excellent upgrade from the previous version. Simple, fast, reliable. Also installed on my android TV!

    I took a free trial and then upgraded to Ultimate VPN. I read about ibVPN that it has slow connections but it was not my case. I usually connect to servers located in EU.

    I have used ibvpn during my trip in Asia and the latency was great from Malaysia and Singapore, about 80ms which is awesome, speed was going to 50mbps at speedtest.net

    The Customer Service is good, very friendly.

    Wish they added OpenVPN support for iOS and OSX . and some more features that they already have in the Windows app(killswitch, rotating servers, etc. )

    Sometimes I think it slows down my internet connection but I am not sure, it may be just my isp 🙂

    I’m using ibVPN mainly for torrenting. I really like the fact that they always add new servers to my package so there’s never a problem finding a free server.

  1. I work abroad and I use Smart DNS for Netflix access and torrent servers for p2p download.
    Except for a few hiccups while connecting to CA server the connection was stable and speed was decent.

  2. They did not work for me, their app is newer btw, the one picture here for android is old…. but it does not work work me at all not even the old one so they gave me manual setup … very very sad and bad

    1. We are sorry for the inconvenience. We are working hard to rapidly fix the reported issues. Please contact our support team and provide us more details regarding the problem. In order to compensate the hassle we will extend your account for free. Thank you for your patience.

    2. The new version of the updated app seems to work for me now, thank you very much !!!! Keep up the good work, i was not expecting a solution so fast !!!

    I am a customer for a few years now and I really love this service. Had an issue with setting up OpenVPN that was caused by my Android version (I will only use stock Android from now on) and support really helped me out.

    Great service, i really like them and their customer support is awesome.
    Hope they will bring the new Android application soon which i tested in beta and looks good.

  3. ibVPN lets you try its services for free which I liked a lot. It helped in checking their services out before I could buy them.

  4. Just signed up recently to ibVPN , got very dissapointed my channel did not work i wanted to watch, they solved it over night, then it got back agin then off again.. but meh… works fine i guess, it’s only one channel the rest i want work fine i suppose it is recommendable…..

    actualy it’s worth it’s price i suppose….

  5. IbVPN really is the best company I’ve ever dealt with. If only it was the same with other companies. The support is always diligent, always there and always very polite and friendly. I just got my problem fixed in about 5 minutes with a little advice. I’ll never use another vpn service as long add these guys keep to this ethic and level of service they give! Highly Highly recommended!

  6. Using ibVPN on iPhone. Works great. Had some issues when I started using it, but with the help of the support department, the issue has been fixed.

    The best feature is the access to TOR from VPN. As far as I know only ibvpn and nordvpn allow this feature. After you connect to a VPN server you have access to TOR. So you do not need to expose your real IP to TOT but you can be able to access union sites without any additional software – just the browser.

    Great feature – good price.

  7. I am a torrent power-user and using their service for long time already. I love the service, very reliable and keeping me safe, great traffic. Sometimes, I am also using their SOCKS5 in my torrent client, or in Kodi, but mostly I am a heavy user of their kill switch, which is closing my torrent client. I feel safer that way. It would be nice to have an Internet lock that will block all the traffic if I am not connected on VPN.

    I have subscribed to ibVPN early this summer and used their service almost everyday, while I was travelling. I must say that I am pretty impressed with their service and the support. I highly recommend this provider!

  8. since I’m very dumb I ordered the wrong package, thank god the support team helped me fix this in minutes. I’m over the moon with the service given

    The service is very good. The speed is impressive and the support very helpful. I’m glad that I find it

    Great service, great products. I have been using for 1 year so far and it is great. I am hoping they will release the alfa version of the Android application soon in the Final stage because this new version is working just great and also works on my Huawei device – aleluiah !

    I’ve been a customer almost from the get go (2012) and i’m very impressed by the evolution of this service. They are surprising us all the time with new features and locations at no extra cost. Keep up the good work guys 🙂

    The service is great, but they should work more on their android app. It does not work on one of my phones.

    1. We have rebuilt the Android app and we will have it released publicly in about 2 weeks. The new version works great on a large variety of Android devices. Thank you for your feedback.

    Best Vpn service ever. In particular I would to thank Mr. John who provided me the correct info to avoid dns leak under linux

    I too have experienced some obnoxious dealing with ibVPN. I would avoid at all costs. Been with them for year and got one of their original lifetime subscriptions. It has a year or so to run (go figure) but I spent the first year acting as their bug fixer / tester. Could only be used 30% of the time. Although it has improved they will find a reason why your not supported if they cant figure out the problem. I got thrown a non supported excuse running a server edition was too ‘unsupported’ but was told to downgrade my Net4.6 framework. Point being prepared to downgrade your general software for their shitty program. Joke.

    1. AJ, thank you for your feedback. We are really appreciate it, even though is not positive. As our support team explained, the new Windows app does not work on Windows Home Server 2011. We have tried to find a solution without success. Our development team still works on the issue and hopefully future releases will solve the problem.

      Secondly, you mentioned that you have a lifetime deal with us. Actually is a 3-year subscription. We do not sell lifetime accounts as we believe that this business model is wrong. A VPN/proxy/SmartDNS service generates monthly costs (servers, IPs, bandwidth) and quality can only be provided to the clients on the subscription based model.

      To sum up, we are sorry for the inconvenience. We hope that we will solve the problem soon and you will give us another try.

  9. Also using it for torrent and it works perfectly been using this for over 6 months now
    very good VPN, i am using linux only, they do not have an app for that but they offer very good support in general for my OS too Linux Mint

    Un excellent service. Hautement recommandé. Un ami a recommandé ce service et je suis content qu’il l’ait fait. Très rapide et stable. J’ai eu quelques problèmes de paiement, mais leur soutien en direct m’a donné l’aide appropriée pour le résoudre. Continuez votre bon travail. Dupont

  10. Wide range of protocols and devices supported with apps for most used devices. Their service is great both as speed as for quality. Connections are stable and reliable. The support team is top. Totally recommend them.

    I am here because I want to let everybody know that I’m more than happy with this awesome service.
    I have subscribed with ibVPN after facing unpleasant situation with other providers out there. To be honest, is the best VPN service I have every tried.
    The speed is great, the prices are fair and their support team is fantastic. Friendly guys. Cheers!

    Bought the wrong product by accident, the customer support (Barni) took care of it immediately and gave me VPN from the UK (the only one I needed) without extra charge! All was done in under 5 minutes, very impressive!

    I don’t have advanced technical skills and all I wanted was to setup the DNS on my Sony Bravia. The support assisted me, step by step, via live chat and I managed to properly set it up in minutes. Thank you guys!

    It works great from Greece! I started my vacation a few days ago and I am still able to access my favorite channels. I could be happier that I recently renew my subscription with the Ultimate package + Bitdefender bundle. Highly recommended!

    I mostly use ibVPN for Torrent downloading and everything works just great. A lot of P2P servers, I use Socks5 with uTorrent and it’s just great.
    Often use the All in One Client for windows and their Live Chat Support is friendly and solves your issues very fast.
    If so I would recommend this service.

    I am with ibVPN for more then 6 months now and really like them.
    Lots of locations, protocols to choose from, strong privacy, and also a competitive price range. The support it’s really top notch.
    They are clearly improving their service day by day both on the server side with location upgrades, as well as on the application part adding new and exciting features on a regular basis. Awesome service, can’t really ask for much else.

    My ISP does not allows any kind of torrents. So I need a VPN to solve this problem. The torrent servers that ibvpn offers are good for me. I use Sweden mostly and some times Netherlands.

  11. Laszlo responded very quickly. I still don’t know why the problem occurred and it was stressful trying to sort it out as I have limited computer skills! But feel confident that ibVPN stands behind their product. Thank you!

    Not what it was. There are no dynamic IPs anymore (what they claim they have is a lie), constant need to fill out Google captchas, forces you into their DNS which depending on server is often Google (which they claim they removed), censors any Web site which has either “torrent” in the domain name like TorrentFreak or even if it’s a Slashdot, Wired, or Ars Technica article with a title like “Torrent site taken down by RIAA”, the domain name or article is blocked. I switched to a better service a year ago.

    1. NotHappy, thank you for your feedback. We are constantly trying to improve our network of servers. Some of the servers (and IPs) are removed and replaced by new ones. This is needed in order to prevent the problems you mentioned. The replacement is not always one to one, but we try to maintain the number of dynamic IPs as high as possible.

      We would be happy if you would like to give us another try. Please contact us and we will setup a free 6-month account. Thank you!

  12. Ibvpn are a really good VPN provider, I was on the torrent plan and the speeds were good even though the closest server was in another country, the VPN connection was also very easy to setup up on pc and mobile, unlike some other providers where I could only use openvpn client which drains my phone battery. Their ultimate plan is pricy compared to competitors, when I decided to switch to a cheaper provider they was able to match the price so I got the ultimate plan and that first month free, such great customer service and I’m now a loyal customer.

    Barni in support was very rude and obnoxious attitude in behavior when i asked him a question. This monkey did not address my inquiry and does not deserve our business

    1. Joe, we are sorry the inconvenience. We have investigated the issue and it looks like a misunderstanding. Again, we apologize. We would like to compensate the hassle by offering you a free 6-month account. Please open a ticket and we will make the necessary arrangements. Thank you!

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