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iPredator Review

iPredator

BestVPN.com Score 8 out of 10
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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

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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 TorentFreak, ‘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 ruffles 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.

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