VyprVPN vs Ivacy
- 1 VyprVPN vs Ivacy
- 1.1 Editor’s Note:
- 1.2 Executive Summary
- 1.3 Recommendation
- 1.4 Comparison Chart
- 1.5 Customer Service
- 1.6 Pricing
- 1.7 Payment
- 1.8 Privacy
- 1.9 DNS Leak Test
- 1.10 IP Locations
- 1.11 Speed Tests
- 1.12 WebRTC Test
- 1.13 Conclusion
Please welcome our newest contributing author, Jeff Melchior. Jeff, has over twenty years of writing within the newspaper and magazine industries and it is with great excitement that we at Safe Secure Surfing get to add such an outstanding author. If you are interested in some of his other works please go to https://woodgrainwonderland.com or http://www.jeffmelchior.weebly.com/blog.
Ivacy and VyprVPN are VPNs of more or less equal quality. Ivacy beat VyprVPN in several metrics based on factors other than the effectiveness of the software itself (customer service, pricing, payment and platforms supported), but when it came to the “nitty gritty” metrics which define the privacy of a VPN,the two networks were much closer in quality. Ivacy ticked more boxes in the tests related to privacy but those advantages were often only marginally better than VyprVPN. In fact, in one of the more important categories – IP location – Vypr VPN came out on top. Both VPNs disappointed in their DNS leak performances while VyprVPN had fewer WebRTC leaks. However, because of the number of metrics in which it proved superior, our recommendation goes to Ivacy with some caveats.
We really liked the speed and availability of Ivacy’s customer service, particularly its live chat option where you can ask questions and immediately receive a response. Other customer service options include email, self-serve FAQs and DIY forums. Ivacy has a social media presence but it is used mainly for public relations rather than customer service. The customer service representative we talked to said the best way to receive help is via live chat or email.
VyprVPN features a plethora of customer service options, including live chat, a DIY forum, a pop-up contact page and a social media presence on both Facebook and Twitter. Although its live chat customer service is VyprVPN’s best, fastest and most reliable customer service option, it suffers from a slight availability problem. We have tried it at various times throughout the day – evening and night – and have usually received an answer from live chat representatives, but not always. Late on a weekend we were left to submit a question through the pop-up “contact us” page and received an answer in less than 30 minutes, which was very acceptable but not as ideal as when we were using the live chat option.
While VyprVPN offers more customer service options, its less consistent live chat availability gives Ivacy the edge here.
Ivacy has four main payment options: monthly, semi-annually, annually and biennially. The price of its service drops significantly based on the length of the plan signed up for. Basically, the longer the period of time you commit to, the more you’ll save. Monthly is the baseline at $8.95, the annual rate is $3.50 per month – a 61% discount compared to the monthly rate – and its biennial rate is $2.29 per month for a total discount of 74%. Please be aware, though, that all plans are billed upfront for the full charge and the monthly rate is the charge divided by the number of months in the plan. For example, if you purchase the annual plan you would pay $42.00 upfront and then in 12 months you would be billed again. All dollar amounts listed are in USD.
You may want to wait for Ivacy to offer you a better deal. As we were about to leave the pricing page on Ivacy’s website we were offered the following pricing: a three-year subscription for $1.66 per month or a five-year subscription for $1.25 per month. These are both steep discounts with an 81% reduction for the three-year plan and an 86% discount over the regular monthly pricing for the five-year plan. We’re not sure if this offer is still valid or not, but it’s well worth seeing if it’s offered.
VyprVPN offers two different plans: a standard plan and a premium plan. The standard plan is priced at $9.95/month or $5.00/month for the annual plan. The premium plan comes in at $12.95/month or $6.67/month for the annual pricing. The difference between the two plans is the number of connections you get online (three for the standard and five for the premium). Also, with the premium plan you get access to the VyprVPN cloud and the Chameleon protocol.
Comparing the two VPNs on the basis of pricing is difficult because of the different metrics involved. VyprVPN bills on a month-to-month basis which may be a positive for some and an inconvenience for others. Most of Ivacy’s plans require at least one year’s upfront payment, which again some customers may prefer while others may balk at a steep upfront charge. It all comes down to how long you wish to use the service because the longer you commit, the more savings you can realize and those savings can be significant.
Ivacy does get a slight edge here due to its lower monthly and annual rates (the only metrics by which the two VPNs compare) as well as its tendency to surprise potential customers with special offers (which is not to say that VyprVPN never does this; we may have just got lucky with Ivacy that day). Otherwise, the choice between the two VPNs depends a great deal on customer preference in terms of billing frequency and how long they plan to use the service.
Ivacy has a large number of different payment options, including the “Big Five”: Visa, PayPal, MasterCard, Bitcoin and American Express. Those are just the main options; Ivacy currently counts an additional 20 secondary options. Please be aware that if you pay via any cryptocurrency or payment wall options you are not eligible for a refund.
By comparison, VyprVPN offers relatively few payment options. Although you can pay via any of the major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diners) plus PayPal and AliPay, VyprVPN offers little in the way of secondary payment options (no cryptocurrency options are available, which is strange for a service dedicated to privacy). Please note that if you paying with AliPay you will not be eligible for VyprVPN’s three-day free trial.
Because of its large number of secondary payment options, Ivacy takes the lead over VyprVPN in the payment category.
Virtually the entire reason for using a VPN is to have more privacy online. Here we will look at several different VPN protection features to see how Ivacy and VyprVPN stack up against each other.
Ivacy uses the industry standard 256-bit encryption which, as Ivacy describes on its website, “makes it almost impossible for hackers to steal your data or log your activities.” VyprVPN has three different encryption levels it employs depending upon which protocol is used (PPTP: AES 128-bit, L2TP/IPsec: AES 256-bit, OpenVPN: AES 160-bit and 256-bit and on Chameleon: AES 256-bit). The recommended encryption would be any of the AES 256-bit protocols as they provide a harder to break encryption code. Although VyprVPN offers more protocols than Ivacy, in reality they’re pretty much equal in this category as they both use the industry-recommended 256-bit encryption protocol.
Internet Kill Switch
Both Ivacy and VyprVPN feature an internet kill switch which will shut down your online activities if you lose your connection from any of Ivacy’s servers. This will keep you protected from accidentally giving out personal information if the VPN shuts down or doesn’t turn on initially. It is privacy features like this that help to maintain anonymity online.
A VPN is really only as secure as the jurisdiction in which it is located. If the national government can compel the VPN provider to reveal certain private information, then it is really not that secure.
Ivacy is located in Singapore while VyprVPN is located in Switzerland. Both locations are optimal from a privacy perspective. Singapore is one of the better jurisdictions for a VPN to be located as it is outside of the purview of the Five Eyes nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States) as well as the larger Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes nations. Meanwhile, Switzerland has some of the strictest privacy laws around the globe and the teeth to back them up. This will definitely help keep you out of reach of the Five Eyes countries. Again, the two VPNs appear to match up fairly well in this respect.
Ivacy keeps no logs – period. It does not monitor or log any user activities online. It keeps track of login attempts to the servers for troubleshooting, service enhancements and payment modes. The only information that is kept is the email address that a user would use to sign up and is for billing purposes only. After 12 months of inactivity the email addresses of inactive users are deleted.
Each time a user connects to VyprVPN, it retains the following data for 30 days: the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time and total number of bytes used. It retains this information to help with any billing issues, troubleshooting, service offering evaluations, TOS issues, AUP issues and handling crimes performed over the service. What VyprVPN does not collect includes traffic logs, communication information, deep or shallow packet inspection of traffic, device, protocol or application discrimination, internet throttling or rate limiting on your internet connection.
While both VPNs do not retain a significant amount of information, the edge here goes to Ivacy, which keeps no logs except for the user’s email address while VyprVPN temporarily keeps the user’s IP address, connection start and stop time and total number of bytes used. Whenever you place data in the hands of a third party, there is a chance – even if it is remote – that it can be compromised. Companies can minimize this risk by keeping as little of your data as possible for as little time as possible.
Ivacy has six different protocols (PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, OpenVPN-TCP, OpenVPN-UDP and IKEv2) to meet the different needs of each customer. VyprVPN uses four different protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and its proprietary Chameleon* which is only available to VyprVPN premium memberships. If we base our rating on the more protocols, the better, Ivacy wins in this department.
Ivacy has an extensive server network across the globe with over 450 servers in over 100 locations in 55 nations. VyprVPN has over 700 servers available in more than 70 countries with over 200,000 unique IP addresses. One thing that sets VyprVPN apart from many other VPN services is that it owns all of its own servers and does not use any third-party servers to transfer and share data, so you are dealing with the same company from start to finish. Although VPN systems with third-party servers can and do protect data, VyprVPN’s integrated approach may inspire extra confidence in some users. Therefore, VyprVPN has an advantage here.
Both Ivacy and VyprVPN support all five of the major platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux. Ivacy also features seven alternate supports including Firefox, Chrome and Blackberry. By contrast, VyprVPN offers six secondary platforms, giving Ivacy a slight edge in this category. A complete listing of all of Ivacy’s alternative supports is available here.
DNS Leak Test
A DNS leak is a flaw in the system in which your true IP address is revealed, so any DNS leaks will compromise your privacy. We used the following three sites to determine whether we were having a DNS leak or not: www.dnsleaktest.com, www.dnsleak.com and www.dns-leak.com.
Before VPN Activation
We always test the number of servers being detected before VPN activation in order to provide numbers for comparison. The three test websites revealed between three to six servers being broadcast prior to Ivacy being launched, while two servers showed up before VyprVPN was activated.
After VPN Activation
As it turns out, in the cases of both VPNs the pre-launch results either stayed the same or worsened after VPN activation, with neither offering protection from a DNS leak. With Ivacy, we saw between three to six servers being broadcast with occasional jumps above that number. VyprVPN revealed two servers detected during the test – the same number shown before launch.
The DNS leak data does not bode well for either Ivacy or VyprVPN. This is unfortunate for both VPNs because a lack of DNS leaks is crucial to the user’s online privacy. We want to see only one server being detected – the one we have selected using the VPN’s software.
IP location tests are completed to see if servers are broadcasting from where they say they are broadcasting. The results of Ivacy’s IP location tests were disappointing. We did not find complete consistency from any of the four servers. The four servers we chose – located in New York, New York; Czech Republic; Auckland, New Zealand and Santiago, Chile – all showed variable servers from the ones we selected. So although Ivacy protected our true IP location, we were broadcasting from each of the servers with at least one variant server. More details on this test are available here.
VyprVPN’s IP location tests were better. The four tests were conducted in Canada, France, South Korea and New Zealand. Although the Canadian, French and New Zealand servers detect our IP location or show the selected server location, the South Korea test showed a server being detected in New York.
Unfortunately, “three out of four ain’t bad” doesn’t apply to the level of privacy consumers expect from their VPNs. However, VyprVPN’s performance places it ahead of Ivacy by several orders of magnitude.
Here was a list of four different websites we used to do the speedtests: www.speedtest.net, www.speedtest.org, www.speedof.me and www.speakeasy.com/speedtest. We looked at the download and upload speeds of our internet before we launched both Ivacy and VyprVPN. Then we did a test after both of the VPNs had been turned on. We wanted to see how much of a reduction turning on the VPNs would have on our download and upload speed.
Before VPN Activation
The Ivacy speed test revealed a pre-launch download speed average of 17.07Mb/s and an upload speed average of 0.98Mb/s. The VyprVPN test recorded a pre-launch average download speed of 16.86Mb/s and upload speed of 0.99Mb/s.
After VPN Activation
After Ivacy was launched we saw an average download speed of 13.99Mb/s and an upload speed of 0.87Mb/s. This accounts for a reduction of 3.08Mb/s on the download speed and a 0.11Mb/s reduction for the upload speeds. After VyprVPN was turned on we saw a decrease in the download speed of 13.16Mb/s and the upload speed of 0.87Mb/s. This was a decrease of 3.70Mb/s in download speeds and a decrease in upload speeds of 0.12Mb/s.
The speed test was pretty much a tie between the two VPNs, with both recording acceptable download and upload speed reductions post-launch.
Web Real Time Communication (RTC) allows computers operating on different networks or platforms to communicate with each other. This is commonly used for file sharing, voice calling and video chats. Sometimes this can allow a savvy tech person to determine your true IP location. So here we are going to look at how well Ivacy and VyprVPN mask our presence from the world. The chart above shows our results and how the two VPN’s fare. We used three different web pages to check and see if we had a WebRTC leak or not. We used www.ipleak.net, www.browserleaks.com/webrtc and www.whatismyipaddress.com/webrtc-test.
Before VPN Activation
For the WebRTC test (as well as our speed and DNS leak tests) we measure certain performance factors before the VPN is launched and then use the resulting numbers as a control. In the Ivacy test we looked at three categories in the pre-launch phase: local IP addresses, public IP addresses and IPv6 addresses. What we found was that before Ivacy was launched we had our local IP address, public IP address and our IPv6 address being broadcast across all of the three websites that we used to test. This was expected as the VPN hadn’t been turned on.
With the VyprVPN test we also looked at local IP addresses, public IP addresses and IPv6 addresses. Before VyprVPN was launched we showed that the local IP address and public IP addresses were displayed but the IPv6 address was not displayed in any of the circumstances.
After VPN Activation
After Ivacy had been turned on we had some mixed results. In all three cases we no longer had our local IP address being broadcast at all and our public IP address was the one that was chosen from Ivacy’s server. Where we saw some issues was with our IPv6 address. In every case our real IPv6 location was shown. So there was some partial protection given here but not enough to confidently say we had been protected completely.
When we turned on VyprVPN, the local IP address displayed was the one from the VPN server and in two of the three websites we found that the VPN server location was shown, but when we were using www.ipleak.net the location showed was our true IP location.
At first glance, VyprVPN appears to be the winner here. Although VyprVPN did display our true IP location in a single instance, Ivacy revealed our real IPv6 in every case. However, it could be argued that even a single reveal of an IP address is more serious than any number of IPv6 reveals.
If you only look at the chart up top, it might seem like Ivacy is the clear winner between the two VPNs. However, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Ivacy fared only marginally better than Ivacy in several categories. In possibly one of the most important tests – IP locations – VyprVPN outperformed Ivacy by great measure. Although Ivacy checks the most boxes in the chart, in reality the comparative quality of the two VPNs amounts to a draw.