Panama-based NordVPN keeps neither connection nor traffic logs. 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy is the default, along with optional double-hop encryption and Tor over VPN features. Speeds are great, but can be a bit volatile. DNS leak protection and a kill switch can both be toggled on in the settings. The traditional all-or-nothing kill switch is one option, or you can specify which programs get cut off from the internet if the VPN connection drops, such as a BitTorrent client.
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.
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.
Using a VPN goes a long way to improving your personal security, but it's not a bulletproof, magical solution. When it comes to security, we often say that it's better to think of tools like VPNs as raising the effort required to successfully attack you. If someone is willing to invest the time and money in targeting you specifically, they will eventually get what they're after. A VPN needs to be part of a layered approach to security and can't take the place of critical tools, such as good antivirus software.
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.
As with other VPN services, if you select a longer-term subscription, the cost per month is significantly reduced. A one-year plan with Ivacy costs $36.00, and a two-year plan costs $48.00. As with most VPN services, Ivacy does not require you to purchase more expensive plans to get access to everything the company has to offer. ProtonVPN is a noteable exception to this trend, offering a low-cost Basic plan with just a few servers, and a more expensive Plus plan that adds more servers and features.
NordVPN uses shared IP addresses, and bandwidth is unlimited. Torrenting is explicitly permitted. A proxy, encrypted chat, and self-destructing encrypted notes are extra features included in each subscription. It can also unblock a range of geo-locked streaming services including Netflix US, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. A 30 day money-back guarantee means you can try the service and receive a full refund if not entirely happy.
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Chrome Extension has been promised like a year ago, my subscription is about to expire and no extensions to date. Pure promises, not mention slow Torrent download and disconnection. They bragged that they are working on their Chrome Extension, how funny was that working on a single feature for more than a year??? I guess you only have one developer for God Sake.