iPredator Review

iPredator

BestVPN.com Score 8 out of 10

iPredator is most notable for the fact that is was formed by Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde, and although not officially affiliated with the infamous BitTorrent indexing website, enjoys close ties with it. Because of this connection, we had high hopes for iPredator, and were therefore a bit disappointed to find the service had a lot of rough edges, its privacy policy was not quite as comprehensive as we would hope, and that connection speeds were very ropey. Still, the encryption used is top notch and no usage logs are kept (which are the most important features as far as we are concerned), so the service is far from bad. It’s just that there are better ones out there.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations N/A
  • Average Speed N/A Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections N/A
  • Jurisdiction N/A

Likes

  • No traffic logs (but connection and payment logs kept)
  • Affiliation with The Pirate Bay guarantees VPN is not a honeypot
  • CBC 256-bit AES OpenVPN encryption
  • Accepts Bitcoin payments
  • 3 day free trial

Dislikes

  • Servers only in Sweden
  • No simultaneous connections

Features

  • OpenVPN
  • PPTP
  • 50 Swedish servers
  • Runs its own non-logging HTTP proxy, DNS server, and Tor exit node
  • P2P supported
  • Unlimited data usage
  • No usage logs

Visit iPredator »

Speed and Performance

Using our 20 meg UK broadband, we put iPredator through its paces. Our speeds were essentially cut in half when connected to their servers, with speeds ranging from 7 to 11 Mbps. We saw a large reduction in speed when using the VPN, although some of this can be attributed to our geographical distance from iPredator’s Sweden-only servers. Even with that taken into consideration though, speeds are disappointing.

Pricing and Plans

Pricing is a very simple and no-nonsense $8 per month, which you can extend in increments of 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. The rate, however, doesn't change with the longer-term plans, so you're still paying $8 a month regardless of which plan you choose.

There is a 3 day free trial on offer to give you a taste of the service, which while nowhere near as generous as say, CyberGhost’s 30-day free trial, is nevertheless commendable. Unfortunately to activate this trial you must send a request by either the ticket system or email, which left us hanging around for a bit before we could give the service a spin.

Privacy and Security

This is an area where we expected iPredator to score well, given its connection to The Pirate Bay, and by and large we were not disappointed. OpenVPN encryption is of the rock-solid CBC 256-bit AES variety (as used by the US government for secure communication) and uses SHA1 hash authentication, which is great.

Privacy is also good, although it falls a little short of the ‘no logs whatever’ policies claimed by a few rival providers (of course, iPredator could just be being more honest). Most importantly, no traffic logs are retained, although connection logs are kept ‘for debugging purposes’. These are encrypted and kept off-site to ensure that only iPredator can access them.

In addition to this, the transaction ID and emails received from payment processors are kept for a little over 6 months, also ‘stored on a separate system inside an encrypted partition’.

While we really like the idea of ‘no logs at all’, iPredator’s privacy procedures appear pretty robust, and should be more than sufficient for most purposes. As iPredator told TorrentFreak, ‘We try to store the least amount legally possible anywhere. IP-addresses are encrypted and can only be decrypted by non-support staff to ensure a proper process. For example, to work around issues where the police ruffle up the support staff a bit to get data for an abuse report. In the database we only store the details users give us on sign-up and a limited backlog of payments.’

One final observation is that iPredator’s close association with The Pirate Bay means that, almost uniquely, we can be pretty much absolutely sure that it is not a ‘honeypot’ run by government authorities.

Final thoughts

Thanks to a good no connection logs policy and some great encryption you can do a lot worse that iPredator, but the very stripped back nature of the service, the fact that we would prefer it if no logs of any kind were kept at all, and the very disappointing speedtest.net results, mean that we also think you can do a lot better. It’s still early days, and iPredator has been struggling with unwelcome attention from financial processors, so we’ll offer it our support. However, we also feel that before we can fully recommend the service, it needs to add some more attractive features, including adding some international servers and improving connection speeds.

Visit iPredator »

2 Comments

  1. yogibear
    on October 14, 2015
    Reply

    i am using it well in my experience it is best of the best out there because i get to watch videos that are blocked in my country in HD and now they have servers in more then 4 countries and they have openvpn clint for android well in the end it works great for me

  2. IM Richie
    on December 15, 2013
    Reply

    I have been using iPredator for 4 months now. The reason why I picked it in the first place was its political background. They are, in a way, a spin-of of the Swedish pirate party movement. I guess the best thing about this provider is that they do not keep logs and fall under the liberal jurisdiction of Sweden! Overall, my expectations have been met. It provided consistently decent service. The installation was quick and easy. For a while, iPred did not support Paypal anymore (or rather, the other way around). Now it is back in their list of payment methods, who knows for how long. You can use the service with the built-in clients in Windows, Android or iOS. They recommend, however, the proprietary client "Viscosity", which costs about 10 euros and is supposedly safer to use with iPredator. There is an extensive documentation of all things related to the setup and other technical details regarding using the VPN (including firewall configuration, Bittorrent, etc.). The main disadvantages include the fact that there is no way for simultaneous access, which bothered me quite a bit, as I had to chose what to protect at a given moment: my desktop PC, my laptop or my phone. Speed was fine in general. From time to time I experienced drops in performance that made it hard to watch HD video streams. In these cases I had to turn off the connection. Bittorrent worked smoothly. I did not rigorously compare the performance with and without the the VPN running. My feeling says that I experienced a decrease about 10-30 percent (on a DSL 16 Mbit line), which is no big deal to me. Sometimes you can read about connectivity loss, but in my case, I had a pretty steady connection. If you want to be protected at all times, you should consider another provider that guarantees you a 100% reliable connection, though. Because of the downsides mentioned, I will switch to a different provider. Still, I can recommend iPred as a decent alternative to its competitors, if you live in Sweden or around (I am from Germany). The service is alright (but not perfect), there are little extra features and some limitations. On the other hand, you get this warm, fuzzy feeling to be part of a bigger thing that is not only about making money, but rather about a free and safe internet.

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