i2Coalition Member Spotlight: Ivacy VPN
Ivacy is one of the oldest players in the VPN industry. As such, they’ve helped provide services to users through various eras—most recently with Covid-19-related self-isolation measures where more people have been relying on fast, secure Internet connections than ever before.
Whether for work, social connection, or entertainment, VPNs have provided a lot of assurance in uncertain times. And it’s important to choose a VPN that abides by high technical and ethical standards.
In these regards, Ivacy was an early adopter of GDPR compliance, and a member of the US Cyber Security Alliance. They also partnered with the legendary West Ham United Football Club as their official VPN partner to amplify awareness of VPNs in regards to Internet safety and security.
Likewise, we’re also happy to note that Ivacy is a now member of i2Coaltion and its VPN Trust Initiative (“VTI”), a consortium of leading VPN providers focused on improving digital safety for consumers by building understanding, strengthening trust, and mitigating risk for VPN users.
We had a chance to pose some questions to Ivacy about the range of protocols they support, why businesses should use a VPN, and how transparency and trust are differentiators in the VPN industry.
i2Coalition: From your perspective, has the perception of VPNs changed over the past few years?
Ivacy: Earlier this decade, VPNs were only heard of as nerdy, geeky tools to bypass government sanctions, access geo-locked content and perhaps p2p download something that wasn’t, strictly speaking, legal. Everything changed in 2013 when two events rocked the cyber-world as we know it. Edward Snowden disclosed the global deep state surveillance mayhem and Netflix released House of Cards. Who could’ve thought a TV series about a corrupt government official and a real-life the whistleblower would inadvertently become the unlikely, unspoken bannermen for VPN industry.
Since 2013, VPNs have changed dramatically, going from a niche, limited function utility to becoming a necessity and powerful tool against censorship, to safeguard personal information and to of course binge watch US Netflix exclusives.
Now VPN is synonymous with security, anonymity, and privacy. VPN business globally is practically run by young people between 16 – 24 who grew up in a cyber, always online, connected world and want to be secure and keep their privacy private.
Data privacy and protection saw exponential growth and unfortunately, so did the crime. Starting from 2012, the first major data breaches and user info dumps started to happen. That spooked a lot of people, especially young people who did not want anyone having their information, pictures or any other data. Companies now have budges for Cyber security because they simply can’t risk having their user data be available publicly.
Now, somewhere between 26 to 30 percent of Internet dwellers use a VPN and from the looks of it, it’s going to become the default lock and key for everyone to access the Internet with complete peace of mind.
Now with 2020, the new challenge of working from home has created unsubstantiated value for VPNs to provide their services to the people and to the corporations. A secure, private connection from home to work is the essential tool for the 2020 office worker. At a fraction of the cost of what it would cost to setup an entire office just to facilitate at home workers, a simple VPN connection provides a dedicated, identified, connection in form of dedicated IP and the multiple layers of data encryption keep the work secure and everyone works without worries.
i2Coalition: What are the advantages of supporting multiple protocols including TCP, UDP, L2TP, and IKEV? And are they all safe from vulnerabilities?
Ivacy: What works for one, might not works for everyone. VPN like any other functional utility, should have options and features that benefit everyone, regardless of their operating system, network and accessibility. This is where multiple protocols come in. People with varying levels of technical profile can benefit for different protocols. A VPN user is simply looking to connect and get their work done.
A VPN should be smart enough to jump through the hoops, clear the obstacles, and get it done, and sometimes that requires having a couple of protocols to find the path of least resistance to a secure connection.
While OpenVPN remains the undisputed first choice for VPNs and connectivity, IKEV performs remarkably better when it comes to connection success ratios. That only complements the lower of speed bottlenecks IKEV faces. Making it a good contender and a must-have option in your choice of VPN.
Some Operating systems just fly well with protocols they treat as native or default, and they come into play when a certain protocol is blocked, immediately fail over and change of protocol will make sure you’re safely connected online.
When it comes to Ivacy VPN, we give our users complete control over their online experience. We offer multiple protocols, and since each of them has their own pros and cons, they get to decide what type of experience they want online. For instance, if they want greater security, they can opt for the TCP protocol. But if a user wants to stream content, they will fare better with the UDP protocol.
i2Coalition: Some people might use a VPN for their personal benefit, but they’re also crucial for businesses. For instance, recent events have shown the importance of VPNs in regards to working from home. How might a business VPN service differ from a consumer VPN service?
Ivacy: More than 40% of breach victims are small businesses, according to studies. Now include ransomware, malware attacks, DDOS attacks and it puts small businesses at the highest risk of exposure, or worse, failure to provide services because their servers have been knocked down. Cyber security like, insurance is going to become a staple in every company’s budgets in the coming years. Data compromise for companies is a dark possibility which can be avoided with an affordable solution, i.e. a VPN. The multi-layered encryption it provides covers most of these issues.
Recent events have pushed people to isolate and operate. What better tool than a VPN to isolate you digitally as well, provide complete functionality of work at home, with complete privacy and security in the comfort of your home. Social distancing led to a sudden rise in people looking for solutions that help them connect remotely to work from home, and without having to worry about their information being leaked or data privacy concerns.
For companies wanting their employees to connect remotely or work off-site through a secure connection, VPN is the prime and perhaps the only tool that does connectivity, security, and protection all together at the same time. This also works like a charm without straining the company budgets. VPNs are affordable, easy to set up and use and above all, they are designed to work with a multitude of devices. Ivacy, for example, comes with neat features like Internet Kill switch, which cuts Internet connection when VPN connection drops to keep you secure and Split Tunneling, which allows you to choose which apps go through VPN tunnel and which don’t.
With the rise of IoT devices, people are adapting and loving the charm of having their coffee machine, refrigerator, TV, and thermostats, all connected. This piles up on the usual laptops, computers, mobile devices, and wifi routers at home which are already vulnerable to attacks and even one weak point can potentially expose your entire house and data to hackers. This is where VPNs come into play with a plethora of solutions including VPNs for your wifi routers, personal VPN apps and proxies and whatnot.
A consumer VPN is strictly geared towards individuals that are looking for true Internet freedom, accessing restricted content or to bypass ISP throttling for a better streaming experience. Whereas, a business VPN is strictly for businesses that want to protect their internal services, apps, and networks. It is more or less a security protocol to ensure hackers and cybercriminals get nowhere near their data, which is made possible by restricting access to employees with whitelisted dedicated IPs.
Why was it important for your business to join the i2Coalition and VPN Trust Initiative?
Ivacy: A VPN by definition is establishing trust with the user. We believe the Internet is meant to be free, but not without proper security to ensure users are not in way over their heads. For this reason, and others, we work closely with organizations that believe in our goals, and it should really not come as a surprise that this is the exact same reason why we want to join the i2Coalitiion and VPN Trust Initiative.
Ivacy VPN has been in the industry for a decade now, and we have always aimed at delivering a free and secure Internet to any and all users. This is why Ivacy is completely log-free; we keep no logs of any user activity or personally identifiable information, save for email address which we need to establish VPN account subscription. Because of our commitment to online privacy and security, Ivacy also has a completely free product available as well in the form of Ivacy Lite which aims to provide quick, free VPN connection without hassle to anyone.
Ivacy is also a member of the US Cyber Security Alliance for two years now Educating and empowering our global digital society. Furthermore, we recently struck up a partnership with a Premier league club, Westham United to raise awareness and to show our VPN brand people, highlighting the fact that VPNs are mainstream products now.
Ivacy decided to join i2Coalition because cyberworld is growing exponentially and there’s a growing need for transparency and trust. This clarity of offering and vision comes through better when there are more voices joined together, when there’s a multitude of people working together for the same thing and establishing a reliable, trustable network online that provides safe harbor to netizens. Ivacy has been at the forefront of cybersecurity and VPNs for a long time. We understand the technology, we wish to help the people, and partnering up with i2Coalition makes us both stronger, together.