TL; DR: IVPN delivers a robust suite of privacy tools designed to protect customers from online surveillance. Over the past decade, the company — powered by a distributed team of privacy advocates — has earned a reputation for its ethical standards and considerable expertise. With a focus on innovation, including plans for implementation of the revolutionary WireGuard protocol, IVPN will continue to hone its technology well into the future.
As global threats to online privacy continue to erode consumer freedoms, many internet users are turning to virtual private network (VPN) services to keep their internet lives secure.
But not all solutions are created equally. Today’s VPN market is so littered with biased reviews, false promises, and downright scams that it’s difficult to trust anyone — even those in the business of privacy.
“There are a lot of VPNs that claim to protect consumers but use tactics that don’t honor privacy concerns,” said Viktor Vecsei, CMO at IVPN. “They frequently use third-party tools and trackers, misleading affiliate promotions, and targeted advertising.”
For the past decade, IVPN has worked to build a transparent, ethics-backed alternative to privacy protection by advocating for principles over profit.
“We keep things clean,” Viktor said. “We operate in a way that upholds high ethical standards, meaning that we don’t use third-party tools and tracking, we don’t use Google Analytics, we don’t advertise on Facebook or Google, and we don’t participate in pay-for-play advertising. Customers appreciate that.”
This dedication to integrity and transparency makes it harder for the company to compete in today’s crowded VPN arena, but that’s a price IVPN is willing to pay. Ultimately, the company’s distributed team of self-proclaimed privacy advocates is on a mission to maintain the trust of its customer base, which is now made up of more than 120K users spanning a dozen countries.
With a focus on innovation, including implementation of the revolutionary WireGuard protocol, it’s a safe bet that IVPN will continue to hone its ethics-backed produce suite for decades to come.
Nicholas Pestell, an entrepreneur with significant experience in risk management and security testing, founded IVPN in 2009 — well before privacy concerns reached critical mass among the public.
“He thought there was a real possibility that our society was moving toward a dystopian future, even though the signs were far less evident back then, and many people had different motivations for using VPNs,” Viktor said. “He was concerned that too much surveillance around the world would lead to a total loss of privacy.”
His suspicions were confirmed in 2013 when Edward Snowden blew the lid off the NSA’s invasive surveillance programs. After that, Viktor said everything changed in terms of public sentiment toward VPNs.
“It became clear that the digital world is about data collection,” he said. “It’s about getting as much information as possible on every individual. It’s happening on the corporate side and by governments, which has created a demand for products like ours.”
IVPN outlines the dire consequences of large-scale internet surveillance in its straightforward manifesto.
“Forget having nothing to hide — the internet activity of every human being has become a hot commodity,” the manifesto warns. “Our data is being churned into an industry that’s worth more than oil. And it’s being used against us. To capture our attention, our money, and our votes. To predict what we’ll do next, and to influence our behavior.”
To combat this disturbing trend, Viktor said IVPN operates as part of the growing worldwide movement of individuals and organizations determined to ensure a future free from surveillance.
The company has chosen the right time to hit the battlefield — because privacy invasion is only getting worse. In December, The New York Times published an in-depth look at the ways companies and individuals track consumers using mobile phone location data.
According to the report, when you agree to share location data with an app, the app may sell that information to a company for the purpose of analysis, research, targeted advertising, and resale.
“Essentially, businesses can buy any data on any person’s phone at any point,” Viktor said. “It’s just scary.”
IVPN’s privacy protection solutions arm more than 120K Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android users around the globe with strong encrypted internet connections through multiple servers designed to provide the ultimate in privacy.
But the company offers much more than a VPN service. IVPN’s AntiTracker, for example, can be easily enabled in the IVPN app to block ads and data tracking instantly. “Our goal is to create the best solution for privacy protection,” Viktor said. “With AntiTracker, as you move around on different websites and apps, all these requests in the background from companies who are trying to get your data are blocked.”
IVPN is also designed to ensure easy setup, fast connections, no DNS leaks, and no logs (as verified by independent audits). Viktor said the company performs regular independent audits through services such as Cure53 to verify the integrity of the product.
“Generally speaking, the most important consideration when choosing a VPN is trust,” he said. “You need to know who owns the service, what their intentions are, and what they do to earn your trust. We try to be very transparent about our team and how we conduct our business.”
Viktor told us that he is a digital marketing professional turned fervent privacy activist who has observed the data collection game from multiple perspectives.
“Once I learned how the system worked, I decided I didn’t want to be a part of it anymore,” he said. “So, I switched from gathering data to helping people protect data.”
The entire IVPN team, made up of 13 people from eight countries, is driven by a passion for protecting customers from online surveillance. The company is relatively small when compared with some of the more prominent players on the market. However, it is able to stand out from the competition via its strong ethical standards and support for the industry.
“IVPN is run by information security experts and privacy activists who put principles before profit,” Viktor said. “We also support organizations working to ensure online rights, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Open Rights Group.”
The company also publishes regular privacy articles designed to educate the public on privacy and anonymity through VPNs. The content includes everything from an introduction to VPN services and questions to ask your VPN service provider to advanced techniques using VMs, VPNs, and Tor.
When it comes to innovations, IVPN’s future is bright. The company is now sponsoring the development of a VPN protocol known as WireGuard that aims to provide better security and performance than currently available on the market.
Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS users can currently explore WireGuard through IVPN’s apps via a free trial account for experimental testing purposes. Once fully developed, Viktor told us the IVPN team believes the technology will shape the future of VPN technology with its fast, secure, and simple protocol.
“We’ve been supporting the development of this protocol for some time and were the first to allow all our clients to test it on all major operating systems over the past year,” Viktor said. “This is the future of VPN. It delivers very swift and smooth access to all of our, our dedicated VPN servers and is a delight to use.”
In other news, the company is wrapping up a large-scale audit and plans to publish the unredacted results shortly. “We’re always looking for ways to build trust,” Viktor said.
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About the Author
Christine Preusler, a full-time Contributing Editor at HostingAdvice.com, covers the hosting and technology space through in-depth feature articles and interviews with the biggest names in the industry. With more than a decade of experience managing and publishing print and digital publications, Christine leverages her communications skills to keep readers up to date on the latest web hosting services and innovations. Her goal is simple — to distill complex hosting concepts into clear yet thought-provoking narratives suitable for developers and tech newbies alike.