IbVPN review UPDATE: In September 2020, ibVPN was acquired by NetProtect and merged with StrongVPN.
See our best VPNs guide to find more great services to compare.
You might not know a great deal about ibVPN yet, but it is one to have on your radar if you’re in the market for a new VPN. Which is why I’ve written this ibVPN review and put this service to the test.
ibVPN is a Romania-based VPN that has been operating since 2003.
Short for ‘Invisible Browsing VPN’, ibVPN offers privacy and anti-censorship tools, like its flagship VPN, as well as its proxy and Smart DNS features.
Although it’s a relatively low-key VPN provider, ibVPN claims to service over 1 million customers globally.
Indeed, on its website, ibVPN also describes itself as a ‘complete VPN solution with advanced VPN features’ and a ‘100% no-log policy’.
Let’s find out if these claims are actually true.
|Apps||PC, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Opera|
|Features||Double hop, Tor over VPN, Smart DNS, browser proxy, ShadowSocks proxy, SOCKS5 proxy|
|Works with||Netflix, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Playstation, Xbox, DD-WRT & Sabai routers|
|Protocols||OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, Stealth VPN, SoftEther|
|Customer support||Live chat, email, remote assistance|
ibVPN price – from $3.08 per month (cheap)
First, I’ll break down how much ibVPN costs and what you will get for your money.
ibVPN offers four types of subscription plans:
- Standard VPN – includes VPN and proxy
- Ultimate VPN – includes VPN, proxy and Smart DNS
- Torrent VPN – includes VPN only
- IbDNS – includes Smart DNS and proxy (VPN not included)
Ultimate VPN plan
The Ultimate VPN plan is the more expensive of the bunch. This is because it bundles all of ibVPN’s products and VPN features into a single subscription.
|12 months||4.84 /mo. (save 56%)||Get started|
|6 months||$7.16 /mo. (save 35%)||Get started|
|1 month||10.95 /mo.||Get started|
In addition to full VPN, proxy and Smart DNS, you will also get access to features like TOR over VPN, double-hop servers and up to five simultaneous device connections.
Standard VPN plan
ibVPN’s Standard VPN plan is a cheaper and more basic option.
I’d say it comes with the bare essentials if all you’re really after is a VPN for one device.
|12 months||$3.08 /mo. (save 38%)||Get started|
|6 months||$3.32 /mo. (save 33%)||Get started|
|1 month||4.95 /mo.||Get started|
Unlike with the Ultimate VPN plan, however, this plan does not include access to P2P-designated servers.
Likewise, it doesn’t come with the added security features like Tor over Open and Double VPN.
The Smart DNS and SOCKS5 proxies are also not included but you do get access to ibVPN’s proxy servers.
ibVPN coupon – is there a discount code?
At the time of writing this ibVPN review, there is no coupon code available. Sadly.
However, ibVPN does run frequent promotions.
If you want to catch one when it goes live, be sure to check the VPN coupons page.
What payment methods are accepted?
ibVPN accepts several payment options:
- PayPal (via FastSpring),
- Credit Cards, Alipay, iDEAL (via 2Checkout – auto-recurring option available),
- Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Ripple and other), Perfect Money,
- Webmoney, iDeal, Qiwi Wallet, Gift Cards and others via PaymentWall.
Is ibVPN free?
ibVPN does offer a free, 24-hour trial.
In fact, it’s one of the few VPN providers to offer one without asking for your card details.
It does not, however, offer an unlimited free VPN service.
Does it offer refunds?
If you’ve paid for ibVPN but are not happy with its service, the provider offers a 15-day money-back guarantee.
ibVPN speed – could be faster
Next, for my ibVPN review, I looked under ibVPN’s hood.
Fast and reliable network speeds are critical to any VPN’s usability. Especially if you’re paying good money for the service.
To make sure ibVPN’s network performance was up to scratch, I tested its speeds through several, international server locations.
As you can see in the chart above, ibVPN’s download speeds were very consistent. But they weren’t as fast as I expected.
My download speeds over what should have been a fast OpenVPN connection peaked at just 90 Mb/s. To clarify, this was through my local UK server.
Between all of the tested locations combined, my average speed was 54 Mb/s.
Speeds by location (OpenVPN)
|Server location||Top speeds||Average speeds|
|UK – for streaming||90.2 Mb/s||85.4 Mb/s|
|Netherlands – for P2P||68.1 Mb/s||63 Mb/s|
|US (New York, NY)||64.7 Mb/s||56.4 Mb/s|
|US (Dallas, TX)||61.7 Mb/s||53.2 Mb/s|
|China (Hong Kong)||49.2 Mb/s||43.8 Mb/s|
|Australia (Melbourne)||23 Mb/s||19.4 Mb/s|
Having tested with a 500 Mb/s baseline broadband connection, it’s safe to say I feel ibVPN’s download speeds could be better.
As a rule, I run all VPN speed tests over OpenVPN, and, if it’s available, over the much faster WireGuard protocol.
At this time, ibVPN does not yet support WireGuard, but I would expect the provider to roll it out at some point in the near future.
However, in terms of OpenVPN connection speeds, it stands as one of the slower VPNs I’ve tested to date.
Saying that, unless your online activity uses up a ton of bandwidth, you’re probably unlikely to notice a meaningful difference.
Unless, of course, you’re planning on using the VPN for a bandwidth-heavy activity such as gaming.
ibVPN privacy – small, ‘no-logs’ company
No matter how reassuring a claim is, no VPN service can guarantee absolute, bulletproof privacy.
Which is why I always do solid due diligence and rigorous testing. And this ibVPN review is no exception.
At least this way, I can find out if the company goes above and beyond to protect their customers’ identities. Or, if it has a shady past.
DNS leak test (passed ✅)
As always, and like with any other VPN, it’s essential to test for potential DNS leaks.
This is to make sure my DNS requests – and therefore the names of the sites I visit – are not exposed to my ISP or malicious third parties.
After testing several ibVPN servers on ipleak.net, I was pleased to find no active DNS leaks.
By the way, I also recommend making use of the added DNS leak protection in the ibVPN app.
More about that and other features further down in this ibVPN review.
Who owns ibVPN?
ibVPN is run and owned by AmplusNET – a small, private software and IT services company in Romania, which has operated since 2003.
According to its LinkedIn page, AmplusNET ‘owns a portfolio of web applications, e-commerce and business solutions’ with a focus on security and online protection.
As its parent company is registered in Romania, ibVPN is not required by law to collect and withhold user data.
You might be wondering if this is actually true.
After all, Romania is part of the European Union (EU), many members of which still enforce national data retention laws despite the annulment of the infamous, blanket EU Data Retention Directive in 2014.
But the government of Romania did, in fact, pioneer in voting the legislation out, ruling it as ‘unconstitutional’. Twice!
To add to that, it’s also not part of the 5, 9, 14 Eyes surveillance alliance.
Does ibVPN log?
Most importantly, the company says it ‘cannot relate any specific activity with any particular user‘.
This is not unusual, even with the more privacy-centric VPNs.
Normally, providers keep some connection logs for short periods of time as it helps them weed out service abusers.
But having reached out to ibVPN for more details, I was reassured they do not keep connection logs:
“We do not keep ANY logs that can identify a user of our service with an IP address and/or a timestamp. We are also GDPR compliant.”ibVPN representative
While putting together this ibVPN review, I hadn’t come across any known past incidents involving logging or data breaches.
Saying that, ibVPN has not yet had its ‘no-log’ policy audited by an independent third party.
VPN client virus scan (passed ✅)
I ran a quick virus scan on ibVPN’s client for PC.
As you can see, it didn’t find pick up on any of the known 69 viruses or malware, confirming that the app is safe to run on your computer.
ibVPN features – strong security but connection drops
Now, a bit about ibVPN’s product and its features.
As I mentioned in the beginning of my ibVPN review, the provider offers three services – VPN, Smart DNS and the proxy.
Device and platform compatibility
ibVPN works on all major operating systems, devices, gaming consoles and VPN-compatible routers.
|Amazon Fire TV stick||✔️|
|Roku Streaming player||✔️|
|Gaming (PlayStation, Xbox)||✔️|
|DD-WRT / Sabai routers||✔️|
ibVPN has its own VPN clients for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS platforms.
You can download them directly from ibVPN’s website or, for mobile devices, install them from Google Play or the App Store.
While writing this ibVPN review, I found the desktop (Windows) app to be a bit of a mixed bag.
To put this in context, here’s a quick summary of what I liked and disliked about it:
What’s great 👍🏻
- Large choice of servers (covers countries like US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, India, Hong Kong, UAE, South Africa and many more). Full server list here.
- Dedicated servers for P2P/torrents, streaming, gaming, double-hop VPN, bypassing China firewall plus Tor over VPN.
- Great security features like disable IPv6, internet/apps kill switch, DNS leak protection
- Built-in Smart DNS
What could be better 👎🏻
- Unstable connection – drops frequently for some locations
- App feels clunky – busy UI that at times can be tricky to navigate
ibVPN’s Android app works a lot like its desktop version.
The server selection is pretty much unchanged but protocols are limited to OpenVPN – with the option to switch between UDP and TCP ports.
And if your priority is streaming, then the app also has ibVPN’s proxy and Smart DNS built in.
This way, you don’t have to compromise on loss of speed that’s otherwise unavoidable when using the VPN.
Encryption and VPN protocols
ibVPN uses the AES-256 cipher, HMAC SHA512 for data authentication, and RSA-2048 for the handshake.
Combine this with the security features I mentioned earlier (DNS/WebRTC leak protection, kill switch, etc), and you’ve got a serious privacy tool at your disposal.
As for VPN protocols, ibVPN supports a range of connection types, depending on the combination of security, speed and reliability that you need.
|OpenVPN-UDP (fast, secure)||✔️|
|OpenVPN-TCP (fast, secure, reliable)||✔️|
|Stealth VPN (for bypassing restrictions)||✔️|
|ShadowSocks (for bypassing China restrictions)||✔️|
Does it work in countries with censorship?
ibVPN has features specifically for getting around strict online censorship and restrictive firewalls. For instance, in countries like China, Egypt and Turkey.
You can choose from the following VPN protocols to unblock online resources depending on your location:
- Stealth VPN – combines OpenVPN with Tor ObfsProxy and disguises VPN data as normal HTTPS-encrypted web traffic. Limited to Windows and Android.
- ShadowSocks – is actually a SOCKS5 proxy (not a VPN) and is ideal for users in countries with heavy internet censorship,
- SSTP – Classic VPN protocol originally developed by Microsoft. Offers very strong encryption but compromises on speed. Limited to Windows and Ubuntu.
ibVPN and torrents/P2P (allowed ✅)
Torrenting is allowed on ibVPN’s service.
The VPN has dedicated nodes for P2P activity, covering international locations like Canada, Netherlands, Sweden and Hong Kong, among others.
SOCKS5 proxy (not recommended for torrents)
ibVPN also has a SOCKS5 proxy service.
SOCKS5 is a popular option for changing your IP address in your BitTorrent client, e.g., qBittorrent or Vuze.
However, I don’t recommending using SOCKS5 for torrenting as it’s not the most secure option. Nor does it encrypt your traffic, unlike a VPN.
How many simultaneous device connections are allowed? (Five)
ibVPN allows users to have up to five simultaneous device connections on each of its main VPN plans.
But, if you need more than that – for instance, for a large household or a small business, ibVPN offers additional plans with up to 25 simultaneous connections.
ibDNS for bypassing geo-restrictions
ibVPN’s Smart DNS proxy is another one of its tools for spoofing your device’s geolocation.
Labelled ‘ibDNS‘, it’s likely the better alternative for streaming as, unlike with a VPN, it doesn’t degrade your baseline connection speed.
As you can see, I successfully unblocked the Netflix US library from outside the United States.
ibDNS supports access to the US, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, France, Australia and Brazil.
You can also set up ibDNS manually with a simple IPv4 configuration change in your network settings.
ibVPN Chrome browser proxy (also available for Firefox and Opera)
Separate to its VPN, ibVPN also has a browser proxy extension. This is another decent alternative for changing your IP location.
The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers. Download links can be found here.
ibVPN Reddit reviews – what the community says
After browsing a few threads on Reddit, I found reviews about ibVPN were sort of mixed.
On one hand, there are plenty of positive comments about the benefits of ibVPN, especially for use as a torrent VPN.
But, it does seem like some users weren’t always impressed with speeds. Although this is contrary to my own ibVPN speed test results.
The team behind ibVPN is also known to be active on Reddit.
In the past, the provider invited Reddit users to beta-test its Stealth VPN protocol.
ibVPN’s co-founder, Dan Gurghian, also did an AMA back in 2015.
ibVPN support – round-the-clock help, if needed
ibVPN offers ’24/7′ customer support to all users.
Here are all the ways you can get help and answers to technical questions:
- Live chat and email support – available round-the-clock
- Knowledge base – technical tutorials and guides
- Remote assistance – one of the few VPNs to offer this
- FAQs – quick answers to popular questions about the service
Out of all the VPN reviews I’ve written, ibVPN is one of the better options in terms of customer support.
The verdict – I scored it 7.8 out of 10 ⭐
And that just about wraps up my ibVPN review.
In conclusion, if you still haven’t made up your mind about this VPN, here’s my very simple list of pros and cons:
What I liked 😊
- Good choice for privacy, as it’s a small, security-first company operating in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction
- Many security features – AES-256 encryption, SSTP protocol, IP leak protection, Tor over VPN, multi-hop and ‘Stealth’ VPN.
- Works great for torrents with designated nodes in multiple regions
- Perfect for streaming – lots of ways to change your IP address without losing speeds
- Proxy access including Smart DNS and SOCKS5
- Offers 24/7 support, including live chat and remote assistance
What I think can improve 😬
- At times, unstable – connection can drop unexpectedly (I recommend turning on auto-reconnect and kill switch)
- Connection speeds, which were slow over OpenVPN
- Desktop app feels clunky – slightly old school design, but not critical
Do I recommend ibVPN?
ibVPN is one of the ‘lesser-known’ VPNs on the market.
But I wouldn’t let this put you off trying out this service.
If you’re looking for a more niche VPN that offers strong security, and has a friendly policy towards P2P and streaming, then ibVPN is a solid, reasonably priced option.
These are the reasons why scored it 7.8 out of 10.
ibVPN alternative – are there other VPNs worth considering?
On the other hand, if it’s a more popular solution you are after, I suggest checking out these ibVPN alternatives.
These are services like ibVPN, but with other strongpoints which might be a deal-breaker for you.
- Audited 'no-log' VPN and registered in the BVI
- Top download speeds and reliable connections
- Slick apps that are easy to use
- P2P traffic allowed on all servers
- Strong encryption
- One of the most widely used VPNs
- Not the cheapest
Otherwise, check out my picks for the best VPNs out there.
Is ibVPN down?
Since its merger with StrongVPN, ibVPN is no longer in operation.
Does ibVPN work in China?
As Invisible Browsing VPN no longer exists as a product, you would have to find alternative solutions that work in China.
How to use ibVPN?
It’s no longer possible to use ibVPN as the service has been fully absorbed by US-based provider StrongVPN. In other words, you won’t be able to sign up to it and its website now redirects to StrongVPN.
Leave your ibVPN review
Have you used ibVPN before? Share your experience in the comments 👇