Surfshark VPN vs Ivacy VPN Comparison 2020
Surfshark and Ivacy are both prominent names in the marketplace of VPNs. Where the former represents a new breed of VPNs, the latter has been in the industry for some time.
Are you trying to determine the better choice between the two? If so, then you are in the right place. Check out this in-depth Surfshark vs Ivacy comparison analysis.
Pricing and Discounts
|Surfshark VPN||Ivacy VPN|
|1 Month||$11.95||1 Month||$9.95|
|12 Months||$5.99||12 Months||$3.33|
|24 Month||$1.99||24 Months||$2.25|
If you go for the monthly plan, both Surfshark and Ivacy will set you back by $11.95. For the yearly plan, where Surfshark is available for $5.99.mo., Ivacy only charges $3.33/mo.
As such, you pay $71.88 with Surfshark and $40 with Ivacy on a 12-months plan. Of course, if you want to go for the 2-year subscription, you can get even better value.
Both Surfshark and Ivacy have set their 2-years plan pricing to a minimal $1.99/mo. As a result, it does not matter which provider you go for, you will pay $47.76 for 24-months.
This deal is available year-round, but Ivacy is also currently offering a 5-year special to users. It gives you a massive 90$ discount, reducing the monthly costs to $0.99 only!
Get This Best Deal for Surfshark: Save 83% on their 2-year special
Get This Best Deal for Ivacy: 90% discount on the 5-year plan
|Operating System Apps||Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV||Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV|
|Manual Install Devices||Set-Top Boxes, Routers, and Linux||Routers, Set Top Boxes, and Linux|
|Split Tunneling||Yes (All Apps)||Yes (All Apps)|
|Free Extras||Shadowsocks Support, Hacklock, Blindsearch, NoBorders Mode, TrustDNS||Public Wi-Fi Security, Smart Purpose Selection, IPv6 Leak Protection, DDoS Protection|
In terms of features, Surfshark and Ivacy both do exceptionally well. With each provider, you have access to dedicated apps for all popular platforms and devices in the world.
These include Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and even routers. If you go for Ivacy, you can even get a dedicated add-on for Kodi.
In addition to this, Surfshark and Ivacy both offer Split Tunneling across all their apps. In fact, Ivacy is the provider behind the Split Tunneling concept, released back in 2007.
Other features available with Surfshark include Shadowsocks Support for hassle-free access in China, Hacklock (complete identity theft protection), Blindsearch (a private ad-free search tool), and NoBorders mode (obfuscated servers).
With Ivacy, you gain access to public wi-fi security, smart purpose selection for easy server connectivity, IPv6 leak protection, DDoS protection, and a NAT firewall system for maximum protection online.
Despite being incredibly budget-friendly, both Surfshark and Ivacy do surprisingly well at unblocking a myriad of streaming platforms, where even the most expensive providers fail.
Where Surfshark offers numerous obfuscated servers for the task, Ivacy goes the extra mile in offering a dedicated “popular websites” tab in all of their applications.
Simply click on the tap and select any VoD from the list, which includes names like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and even Disney Plus. The app will instantly redirect you to the unblocked version.
The best part of all: I faced no downtime issues with either provider, streaming was smooth even on Ultra HD quality, and I did not get the “proxy/VPN detected error” on all the above websites.
Both Surfshark and Ivacy offer amazing functionalities to users in China. Where most VPN providers fail, these two budget VPNs succeed at meeting the demands of both: Chinese expats and residents.
Surfshark and Ivacy both offer a Chinese mirror website so that users have no trouble downloading native apps on their devices. This is something that most providers fail at offering.
However, if we compare the two, Ivacy definitely wins the category. It is the only provider in the marketplace that offers a dedicated app for Chinese residents called “IvacyPrime”.
This app has a “popular websites” option that allows users to instantly unblock services like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and various others in the country.
As an additional benefit, Ivacy also offers 6 Chinese servers with 3 located in Beijing and 3 in Shanghai. Only two of the providers I have tested so far offer Chinese servers and Ivacy is one of them.
Users in China can download Surfshark from their dedicated Chinese page here: https://shark-cn.com/
Users in China can download Ivacy from their dedicated Chinese page here: https://www.ivacyforcanada.com/affiliate-china/
In terms of torrenting, Surfshark offers more reliability as compared to Ivacy. Although you do receive fast speeds with Ivacy, sometimes you may receive some downtimes on different servers.
On the other hand, Surfshark allows P2P activities on all its servers and it does not suffer from leaks. It even offers the ability to add a SOCKS5 proxy for maximum speeds.
For both services, you get access to the Split Tunneling feature. This helps in redirecting VPN traffic to those sources that need it and exempting those that do not.
Setup and Interface
|Automatic Setup Wizard||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux,||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV|
|Main Location Selection||List-based||List-based|
|Extra Settings Pages||Yes||Yes|
Surfshark’s apps are built in a minimalist manner which makes them extremely user-friendly. The app’s GUI is especially great and so is the architecture, so you won’t have major problems navigating.
Connection times are also incredibly quick; averaging at a minimal 5 seconds. However, locations that are far away from where you reside may take a little longer in connecting.
As far as features are concerned, you have plenty of configuration options in the “settings” menu. Users can even access dedicated IP locations directly from within the app.
Ivacy has a broader interface overall on its desktop versions, but one that is quite user-friendly and intuitive. In comparison to other apps, it actually lists websites and streaming sites you may want to unblock.
This does give it an edge over other providers, as they do not have to test multiple servers, before unblocking a particular website. Simply click on the site you want to unblock and enjoy using it seamlessly.
The usability does not get compromised on smaller screens and you still have most of the same features as available on desktop counterparts. All in all, both Surfshark and Ivacy are quite remarkable.
Severs and Performance
There is not much difference in the “server availability” offered by both Surfshark and Ivacy. The former though tends to offer a more expansive listing by a small margin.
Where Surfshark has a network infrastructure of 1,040+ servers in 61 countries worldwide, Ivacy offers 1,000 servers in 55 countries and 100 locations worldwide.
A high number of servers means less crowding, as user load is distributed evenly. Since servers are available in 50+ countries, most can also find one near to their location, thereby reducing the chances of experiencing lag considerably.
To determine the better choice, I conducted a performance analysis on both providers for streaming, torrenting, gaming, and browsing. Where Surfshark had a speed loss of 15.2%, Ivacy had a minimal 10.5%.
|VPN Protocols||L2TP, IPSec, IKEv2, Shadowsocks, OpenVPN||L2TP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)|
|OpenVPN Data Encryption||AES-256||AES-256|
|OpenVPN Control Channel Encryption||RSA-2048||DH-4096|
|Extra Protection||CleanWeb, Multihop, Whitelister||IvacyPrime|
|App Security||Kill Switch, Wi-Fi, DNS/WebRTC/ IP Leak Protection||Kill Switch and DNS/WebRTC/ IP Leak Protection|
Surfshark, on the other hand, is a big fan of the OpenVPN protocol and uses it as “default” across all of its devices with the exception of iOS. Users, nevertheless, do have the option of configuring UDP and TCP on all platforms.
It utilizes AES-256-GCM ciphers so no additional authentication is provided on the data channel. For the control channel, Surfshark uses AES-256-GCM cipher with the TLS key exchange secured using RSA-2048.
Perfect forward secrecy is provided by an ECDH-(384?) key exchange. If we talk about security overall though, Surfshark definitely tends to be stronger.
Ivacy, on the other hand, supports the same number of protocols. As a default, it also uses OpenVPN across all devices with the exception of iOS and MacOS that uses IKEv2 protocol.
For the data channel, Ivacy uses an AES-256-CBC cipher with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication. And for the control channel, it uses AES-256-GCM cipher with DH-4096 handshake encryption.
Perfect forward secrecy is provided by the Diffie-Hellman handshake encryption. Also, the DH-4096 is way stronger than Surfshark’s RSA-2048 control channel encryption.
|Headquarters||The British Virgin Islands||Singapore|
|Sign Up Information||Email Address||Email Address|
|Anonymous Payment Methods||Monero, Dash, Gridcoin, Rpple, ZCaas, Ehterum, Litecoin, Bitcoin||Various Crpytocurrencies|
Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands, a country that has no data retention laws. BVI is not even a part of any data sharing alliance as well. So Surfshark’s headquarters is located in a secure region.
Ivacy, on the other hand, has its headquarters in Singapore. As such, you can feel assured that the VPN is secure, as the Singaporean Government does not mandate data retention and mass surveillance.
|Static IPs||6+ Locations||7+ Countries|
For configurations, Surfshark and Ivacy both support dynamic and static IP addresses. Where Ivacy offers more in the way of locations, Surfshark adds extra security features.
For instance, Ivacy supports dedicated IPs in more than 7+ countries around the world. Surfshark is currently only offering static IPs in 6+ locations in varied cities.
Dedicated IPs are available as an add-on, meaning you will have to pay extra for them. However, they are incredibly handy tools especially for travelers, streamers, torrents, etc.
|Searchable Knowledge Base||Yes||Yes|
|Average Email Response Time||25 Minutes||30 Minutes|
|Live Chat Support||Yes||Yes|
Both Surfshark and Ivacy offer a number of options to receive technical support. You have live chat, email, FAQs, a searchable knowledge base, and even ticket support available.
All options work quite well and the response times on either VPNs live chat is quite impressive. It took only a few seconds to get answers to technical queries.
I even conducted a test on the response times from each provider on email support. The process included sending both providers four questions via email. See the statics for each VPN below:
|Question||Initial Response Time||Number of Emails||Question Answered|
|Does Surfshark work with Netflix?||20 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Is Surfshark good for Torrenting?||25 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Does Surfshark work in China?||30 Minutes||1||Yes|
|How to activate obfuscation?||20 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Question||Initial Response Time||Number of Emails||Question Answered|
|Does Ivacy work in China?||27 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Does Ivacy work with Netflix?||23 Minutes||1||Yes|
|What encryption does Ivacy use?||33 Minutes||1||Yes|
|How to Access Ivacy’s Mirror websites?||35 Minutes||1||Yes|
For the most part, Surfshark and Ivacy are equally matched opponents, so determining a winner among the two was an incredibly hard decision.
Since it is necessary though, Surfshark is the winner for this comparison. Bear in mind this does not mean that Ivacy is bad service at all.
Just that Surfshark does offer a larger server listing and more features as compared to Ivacy. Also, from the two its the only provider that has been audited.