But, despite the thousands of hours of content available to Netflix users in each country, they still want more and you know what the best part about it is? That they can get! Actually, Netflix is a geo-restricted site which means that while most of its shows can be watched worldwide irrespective of which country you are located in, it does offer a significant number of shows in some countries while blacking the rest out from viewing them.
Some VPNs redirect users to the US version of Netflix regardless of server location. NordVPN, for example, can unblock Netflix when connected to any country, but uses a DNS proxy to route Netflix requests to the US version, except for Australia, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, and UK. Opening Netflix while connected to any other country through NordVPN will return the US version. And though Surfshark users can access Netflix on any server, they all redirect to the US version except France, India, Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK. Similarly, AirVPN redirects many international users to US Netflix regardless of their VPN server’s IP address.
It's also important to know where your VPN company is located, since this dictates the legal jurisdiction under which it operates. Because of their location, some companies may be required to hold on to certain data for set periods of time, or need to cooperate with different law enforcement bodies. Ivacy is located in Singapore and operates under that legal jurisdiction. Personally, I do not believe that I can judge the quality of any company based solely on its location, but it is still an important consideration. I encourage everyone to make their own decisions in this regard, and use the service they feel comfortable with.
Ivacy puts the business address for its parent company as PMG Pte. LTD, 38 Beach Road #29-11 South Beach Tower Singapore 189767. Once again we’ve got a VPN with an exotic address. There aren’t many Ivacy employees on LinkedIn but those that are appear to work for the company out of the United Arab Emirates, as well as one person in Singapore. Previously there were also some employees working in Pakistan.
This wasn't the only odd connection I had in my testing of Ivacy. Using the fast connect button, the app automatically selected a German VPN server for me. I prefer VPN apps that locate the closest available server. Someone who had never used a VPN before might be quite confused by Ivacy's choice in my case. Thankfully, a search box lets you peruse Ivacy's server offerings by country or even by city.
Your last alternative is to try a new file sharing service entirely, like Usenet. It offers encrypted connections and doesn’t connect to peers, so others can’t track what you’re doing. It doesn’t always have the selection that BitTorrent has (depending on what you’re downloading), but it offers a ton of other advantages, most notably higher speeds and better privacy. Check out our guide to getting started with Usenet to see if it’s right for you.
In order for a VPN to to pass our test, it must be able to unblock Netflix videos out of the box, meaning no manual configuration outside of the VPN app is necessary. It must also bypass Netflix’s firewall with a reasonable degree of consistency—no reconnecting to the same server over and over in the hopes of finding an IP address that hasn’t been blocked. Finally, we used the paid subscription versions of VPNs when available.
Many VPN companies now offer browser extensions in addition to native apps. These are much more lightweight than their desktop companions and have the added advantage of being available anywhere you log in to a browser. The downside, as I discovered when working with Chromebook VPNs, is that VPN browser extensions only encrypt your browser traffic. The rest of your computer's data travels outside the encrypted tunnel.
Overall, Ivacy performed remarkably poorly in the domestic tests. I assume this is because of its comparatively small pool of servers. Companies with more, or more strategic, server placement are more likely to provide better service since you are more likely to be close to their servers. Ivacy's international performance was better, but it only showed better results than its domestic scores; it never stood out in an already crowded space. TorGuard VPN is, for now, the fastest VPN I've yet tested, as it has the smallest impact on internet performance.
Ivacy's domestic download performance was also lackluster, reducing download speeds by 19.1 percent. That's just shy of the third-worst score and a far cry from TorGuard VPN, which only eroded download speeds by 3.7 percent. Ivacy again fared far better in the international tests. Here, it only lowered download speed results by 58.3 percent. That's far from the worst score, but still far from that of AnchorFree Hotspot Shield, which has the best score and only reduced speed test results by 39.9 percent.
Fussiness aside, Ivacy echoes the scenario-based setup of PureVPN and Hide My Ass. The right rail has presets for Secure Download, Streaming, Unblocking, and Dedicated IP. You can pick the one that meets your needs in the moment, or use the Fast Connect button from the main page. Most scenario-centered VPN services, including PureVPN, eschew the Fast Connect option, to their detriment.
It seems like every two or three weeks I log into the VPN, I connect with no problem but cannot connect to any server. The resolution the first few times was to update the software. It has recently devolved into updating the software AND changing the protocol. If that were consistent I could live with it but I have to contact support and find out the latest combination steps to take to fix the problem. Each instance sucks 24 hours out of my life.