ibVPN (invisible browsing) Review (2018)

ibVPN Highlights

logo_ibvpn
  • Country: Romania
  • Logging:  No (Traffic), N/A (Connection),  N/A (IP address)
  • Bypass VPN Block (DPI): Shadowsocks, SoftEtherVPN, StealthVPN
  • Pricing: 4.83$ (per month, in yearly subscription)
  • Allows P2P/ Torrent: Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Live Chat Support: Yes
  • Custom clients/apps: Yes
  • Alternative website: N/A
  • Trustpilot rating: 4/5 (15 reviews)

My First Impressions

ibVPN, launched in 2010, is a young VPN company from Romania, EU, that focuses on customer support.  The acronym “ib” in the name stands for invisible browsing.  

To be honest, I liked their website, a neat and nice design with informative content, and a live chat support is a big plus. The only letdown, as on many VPN websites, is the lack of multi-language website. But, maybe I should not count this one as a con for smaller VPN companies.

Does ibVPN keep logs?

ibVPN gives information about their logging policy on FAQ and Privacy Policy pages. On the FAQ page, it is stated that ibVPN cares about customers’ privacy and do not keep logs on users’ activity. So, they do not store traffic logs, but they give no information about IP address and connection logs. 

On the Privacy Policy I found same information. ibVPN claims that they do not log traffic activity and cannot relate an activity with a specific user. Still, nothing mentioned about IP address and connection logs.

 

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ibVPN Logging Policy

To sum up, ibVPN does not store:

  •  traffic logs (i.e. user activity)

ibVPN does not give a clear and precise information about IP address and connection logs (e.g. bandwidth logs).

Also, some VPN service providers claim that in case of a request by a law enforcement agency, they have nothing to share with them. That is not the case with ibVPNibVPN states that in they will share your information to comply with law, enforce ToS, and protect other users.

 

ibVPN Privacy Policy Policy

 

Does ibVPN bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) or similar VPN blocking firewalls?

Countries like China, Turkey, Russia, UAE, Egypt implement firewalls that block access to VPN services. As an example, China uses the Great Wall of China (GFW) system to block most VPNs and proxies. Some VPN providers offer extra protocols, often called Stealth VPN or anti-DPI protocols, that help users to bypass VPN blocks and access free internet.

ibVPN offers Shadowsocks, SoftetherVPN and StealthVPN, which might bypass GFW like firewalls. Even though it seems 3 options are available, not all the options are available for all platforms. You can use Shadowsocks in almost on all platforms thanks to the developers, however SoftetherVPN and StealthVPN mode is only available on Windows. 

An update regarding Shadowsocks:

As of 2019, Shadowsocks protocol itself (also Outline which uses Shadowsocks) is no more considered as a good way to bypass the firewalls. The GFW like firewalls can now detect Shadowsocks and block the IP addresses. Good alternatives to Shadowsocks are V2ray, ShadowsocksR and Trojan.

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ibVPN customer support on bypassing China GFW

Here is how ibVPN explains use of obfuscated StealthVPN:

When should you use Stealth VPN? Always, but especially when you need to bypass any firewall.

If you live in a country like China or Egypt, Stealth VPN is your key to online freedom! With Stealth VPN you can unblock websites or stream content anywhere in the world.

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ibVPN protocol comparison table

Thanks to the free trial for 24 hours offered by ibVPN, I tested it with zero cost.

 

Testing ibVPN

As usual, I test ibVPN on Windows 7 PC, and an android phone running Android 6.0. I am testing on an ADSL internet provided by a local telecom company, and cellular internet provided by local mobile operator.
 

Windows Test

First, I tested software of ibVPN for Windows. The software offers lots of features, like kill switch, ad-block, DNS leak protection, ibVPN‘s own DNS servers and so on. There are several protocols to choose from, but since my focus is on obfuscated protocols, I tested the Stealth mode. As shown on the screenshots, Stealth mode does the job. It bypassed VPN blocking firewall using OpenVPN+obfuscation method. The only bad news is that Stealth mode is only available on Windows.

I have tested free servers by VPN Gate on Softether VPN some time ago. Softether works in my country, but I encountered speed and connection problems on the free servers of VPN Gate. As expected, Softether also passed the test easily. As with Stealth mode, SoftetherVPN is not available for mobile devices, you can use it on Windows, Linux, MacOS, FreeBSD and Solaris.

And lastly, I tested Shadowsocks, which to my experience should not have problems bypassing the firewalls, only if the server IP address is not blocked/blacklisted by your ISP. I was happy that Shadowsocks of ibVPN also passed the test and thus showing that all the three protocols can work under extreme censorship circumstances.  

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ibVPN Stealth Windows test
ibvpn_softether test
ibVPN SoftEther Windows test
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ibVPN Shadowsocks Windows test

Android Test

I ran similar tests on my Android phone. On the ibVPN app, only OpenVPN-TCP and OpenVPN-UDP protocols are available, and both protocols did not connect to the VPN servers. Shadowsocks was the only protocol to evade the VPN block on my mobile device. Even though, I tested Shadowsocks on an Android phone; I am sure it will also work on iOS devices.

ibVPN Android test

To sum up, ibVPN bypassed the firewall in my country on Windows (StealthVPN, SoftetherVPN and Shadowsocks) and Android platforms (Shadowsocks).  

If you are not sure whether ibVPN is for you, I suggest you to check Country Guide section, where other users will test which VPNs work good in their respective countries. Alternatively, try 24-hour free trial, to check how ibVPN performs in your country. 

I would be happy if you could share your results with us, so I can help other people in Country Guide section. 

 

Is ibVPN VPN affordable? (ibVPN’s pricing)

There are several VPN plans offered by ibVPN, but we are more interested in Ultimate Plan, which is an all round plan and allows 5 simultaneous connections. ibVPN offers monthly, semi annually and yearly subscription options. If you buy an annual subscription, then you pay $4.83 per month or $0.96 per device, using/sharing 5 devices. As long as the price per device is  equal or less than $1 threshold, I consider the pricing good. 

The Ultimate Plan includes 5 simultaneous connections, browser extensions, P2P/Torrenting, SOCKS5, Tor over VPN, Double VPN, SoftEtherVPN, StealthVPN, SmartDNS and so on. Other plans make little sense, because the prices are way more expensive ($3.08 device a month) than comparable VPN plans of other providers.

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ibVPN Pricing

ibVPN accepts major credit/debit cards, PayPal, various crypto currencies, Perfect Money, and other methods via Paymentwall (WebMoney, Credit cards, iDeal, AliPay etc.)

If you want to test ibVPN,  you can try 24-hour free trial.

ibVPN offers 15-day money-back-guarantee, if you are not happy with their service.

What features are offered by ibVPN?

– Supported Platforms

ibVPN supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and can be configured on selected routers and gaming consoles. Also, you can use the VPN in your browser, if you are using Chrome, Firefox or Opera browser.

– Supported Protocols

ibVPN offers SSTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, Stealth (OpenVPN+obfuscation) protocols and Shadowsocks, SOCSK5 proxies and SoftEther.

Not all protocols available on all platforms. Stealth mode is available only on Windows, whereas SoftEther is available on Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD and Solaris. The only universal one is Shadowsocks, which is available on almost all platforms.

– Number of Servers

ibVPN has about 65 servers in over 50 countries.

To sum up, ibVPN‘s only major downside is the logging policy, other than that it got good ratings on Simple VPN Comparison Table

Wanna check other VPNs? Head over to the VPN Comparison Table, and find the best VPN that fits you.

 

Conclusion

What I liked:

  • No traffic logs
  • Shadowsocks, SoftEther and StealthVPN (bypass DPI)
  • Torrents/P2P allowed
  • Various cryptocurrencies accepted
  • Pricing $0.96 per device/month​

What I didn’t like:

  • No info about IP address and connection logs
  • No Stealth mode on iOS/Android
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