IVPN – Reflection on 2 years of VPN membership
Deciding on a VPN provider is difficult, as you need a VPN that will respect your anonymity. Torrentfreak offer the best annual articles about this, and it’s a highly recommended read.
Two years ago, I decided to sign up with PIA (Private Internet Access) because they were cheap. Needless to say their customer service was dire. For 3 days I couldn’t connect. The only question their helpdesk asked … continuously was “have you paid, have you paid”. The answer was yes – all they had to do was check their own records to know that. After 3 days of their “HELPLESS” support, I contacted PayPal and revoked the payment. My search for a VPN supplier continued…
Next, I signed up with IVPN. They are a team of InfoSec expects, who are dedicated to a confidential service. They are the only team to wipe their routers every 10 minutes, and keep no server logs and no traffic logs. Awesome. Their privacy credentials are cemented by the fact that they’re members of the EFF.
So what makes IVPN so good? Lets discuss those reasons.
1. Unlimited bandwidth.
2. Multihop technology. You can select to hop your connections between continents. Therefore court orders in 2 separate continents have to be served – within 10 minutes. Awesome, this sounds like they know what they’re doing. They operate a coded “Warrant Canary” to tip us off. https://www.ivpn.net/resources/canary.txt
3. No server logs, and no traffic logs. The OpenVPN servers can log all connections. If the server is logging your IP, then we’re in big trouble. So IVPN don’t log your IP. Simple solution really!
4. They arm wrestle you onto OpenVPN rather than any windows VPN. Windows products are horrendous.. you simply must use OpenVPN (which you can use on Android and your home Router as well as Linux and Windows 7).
5. IVPN use AES 256 bit symmetric encryption (symmetric means single key – this is the high speed encryption/decryption of your actual traffic).
6. The Symmetric key is protected by a 4,096 bit public key. (Public Key or Asymmetric encryption has 2 keys, one public and the other is HIGHLY private).
The mothership, in this instance the IVPN OpenVPN server makes a CONFIDENTIAL key set, for it, and you. These 2 keys fit together like a mini jigsaw puzzle. That means when you connect, the mothership knows one of its children is connecting… and she lets you in.
7. Great customer service… any queries are resolved within 12 hours... including daft invoice and payment queries, as I changed from a one off month long trial, to quarterly, then to annual membership. After the PIA experience, lets just say that I played things cautiously.
8. They let you connect 3 devices on a single account, so your Android phone, laptop and desktop can all use the same account – and as it’s unlimited bandwidth they don’t throttle your bandwidth if you’re watching youtube all day.
9. They are diplomatic regarding torrents. The US is a nightmare on this issue, so none of their US servers will allow torrents… HOWEVER… most European countries really don’t care less about copyright. So if you use a European exit note then different laws apply, eg Romanian courts struck down the European Data Retention Act as a breach of privacy.
10. The UK is also a nightmare regarding High Court orders banning the PirateBay etc. The UK also has so called “porn filters” which in fact apply to diet sites and sites the UK government doesn’t want you to see. Basically it’s censorship, when we should have net neutrality. So use of other European countries sidesteps the High Court order… as UK law doesn’t apply to the Dutch, French or Swiss. Easy peasey right.
11. The use of London for your VPN, of course will give you instant access to the BBC and the BBC iplayer content, which allows you to catch up on British TV and sitcoms. So of course, there’s every reason that you might want a UK or US exit node… so if you need “Salt Lake City” for any reason.. well, go ahead, it’s there for you. Dallas alas, does not give you instant access to TV re-runs of the old “Dallas” TV show, and I cannot think of any other reason to use Dallas as an exit node.
So in conclusion, I’ve loved my connection to IVPN. I love the technology, the simplicity, the great support, the awesome privacy that is second to none. And no, I have not used “Salt Lake City” myself.. nor Dallas… but one day.. just one day, I might find a reason for them.
You can try out their services, free for a week.
Things you might want to do next: