When connecting to a normal singlehop VPN service your Internet traffic is routed through a single VPN server. IVPN is a multihop VPN service where your internet traffic is routed through 2 or more VPN servers in different jurisdictions.
Multihop connections offer significantly higher levels of privacy and anonymity as adversaries would need to launch sophisticated timing attacks against a traffic stream in multiple locations in different jurisdictions at the same time. This additional security comes at the cost of slightly slower performance due to the additional hop that your traffic is routed through. However you can switch between multihop and single connections at any time.
IVPN is not just limited to establishing VPNs on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. They also provide detailed instructions on how to establish a VPN for Iphones, Android phones, Routers, even Rasberry Pi’s. These instructions are located in your members area once you sign up for service. IVPN can be used on three devices simultaneously.
IVPN does not keep logs of websites users visit. IVPN is incorporated in Gibraltar and are not legally bound to keep logs. They state:
Unlike many service providers, IVPN purposefully does not log any usage data associated with an account as we provide an unlimited and unrestricted quota free service.
Now let’s take a look at IVPN:
In the diagram below Bob (in Brazil) is browsing to the encrypt-the-planet.com website in the USA. The VPN tunnel is being routed first through the Iceland server where his ISP logs that Bob visited a server in Iceland. The VPN tunnel is encrypted so Bob’s ISP cannot see what Bob is looking at on the Iceland server. Next the IVPN encrypted connection tunnels to a IVPN exit node server in the USA. The USA IVPN exit server then sends an unencrypted request for the encrypt-the-planet.com website and any server in between sees only the USA (22.214.171.124) IP address Bob last used and nothing more.
Once you sign up for the IPVN service you will download their OpenVPN package. For windows, when you install the VPN, make sure you right click on the installation .exe file and Run as Administrator. This is to assure the TUN/TAP driver installs correctly with administrator privileges.
Once installed you will see the provided IVPN control panel software which now acts in place the OpenVPN console you may be familiar of. An icon in your system tray will give you quick access to it. Here you will provide your created IVPN credentials and choose your desired connection. Here we see the “Multi Hop” tab selected with Iceland as our Entry Server and Dallas Texas as our Exit Server:
Clicking on the Entry Server, Change, you will be able to configure which server to use for your entry server in a Multi Hop configuration. This is the only server your ISP will see you connecting to.
Once your entry server is chosen you can now go back to the first screen above and change the exit server:
Now click Connect, and your VPN connection will establish its connection. Notice the IVPN Firewall is now activated. This assures there is no leaking of your real IP address by programs which you have installed on your computer. All traffic from your computer will be routed strictly through the VPN tunnel. If for some reason your VPN tunnel got disconnected, this also assures you do not unknowingly send any traffic over a non VPN unsecure connection.
Clicking on IVPN settings icon will open the configuration settings of the IVPN software. If you are away from your home network and use Wifi you can have IVPN automatically use its VPN while on an insecure wireless network.This assures you do not connect to promiscuous wifi hotspots which either steal or leak your personal data.
Other options could be to automatically start the VPN when you boot up your computer.
In the connection tab you can select your preferred protocol and port to use the VPN over.
The IVPN Firewall can be used to restrict all internet requests from your computer only until there is an IVPN established VPN tunnel connected, assuring your real IP is never leaked from your computer. This would be the Always-on Firewall option.
You can choose to allow LAN traffic to your computer while WAN requests are strictly routed through the VPN tunnel.
If for any reason you are having connection problems, IVPN staff are prompt at answering questions and helping debug issues. Any request for assistance should be preceded with submitting your VPN logs to IVPN for analysis.
I hope you enjoyed this quick review of the IVPN VPN service. IVPN has made their service very easy and effective at protecting your privacy and anonymity while online. If privacy is as important to you as it is to us, I suggest you take a serious look at IVPN.