Surfshark vs Ivacy VPN Comparison 2020

Last Updated: January 06, 2020
Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Check out this in-depth Surfshark vs Ivacy comparison for details about which is the better provider in 2020!

Surfshark vs. Ivacy

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 at the right place. Check out this in-depth Surfshark vs. Ivacy comparison analysis.

Highlights

Surfshark Ivacy
  1. 1040+ Servers in 61+ Countries
  2. Dynamic/Dedicated IPs Available
  3. Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
  4. Apps for All Platforms/Devices
  5. Verified No Logs Policy (Audited)
  1. 1000+ Servers across 55 Countries
  2. AES-256-Bit Standard Encryption
  3. Simultaneous Connections on 5 Devices
  4. Apps for All Platforms/Devices
  5. Dedicated App for Chinese Users

Pricing and Discounts

In terms of pricing, both Surfshark and Ivacy tend to be incredibly budget-friendly providers. The latter offering more in the way of discounts to lower their long duration costs.

Surfshark VPN Ivacy VPN
Plan Price Plan Price
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

Features

Surfshark Ivacy
Simultaneous Connections Unlimited 5
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.

Unblocking Capabilities

Surfshark Ivacy
Netflix Yes Yes
Hulu Yes Yes
Sky Go Yes Yes
Amazon Prime Yes Yes
BBC iPlayer Yes Yes
ABS Yes Yes
CBS Yes Yes
NBC Yes Yes
ITV Yes Yes
Channel 4 Yes Yes

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.

China

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/

Torrenting

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

Surfshark Ivacy
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
Mobile Friendly 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.

Surfshark Streaming Mode

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.

Ivacy app interface

Severs and Performance

Surfshark Ivacy
Server Countries 61 55
Total Number of Servers 1,040+ 1,000
Speed Loss  15.2% 10.5%

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%.

Security

Surfshark Ivacy
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
Cloaking Technology Shadowsocks None
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
DNS Status TrustDNS SecureDNS

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.

Privacy

Surfshark Ivacy
Headquarters The British Virgin Islands Singapore
Connection Logs None None
Activity Logs None None
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.

There is no major issue in Surfshark’s logging policy either. The provider has managed to keep its privacy policy clean and by that, it has ensured that users can trust it blindly as a zero-logs service.

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.

Configuration

Surfshark Ivacy
Address Allocation Shared/Static Shared/Static
Static IPs 6+ Locations 7+ Countries
DDoS Protection Yes Yes
NAT Firewall Yes Yes

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.

Customer Service

Surfshark Ivacy
Video Guides Yes Yes
Searchable Knowledge Base  Yes Yes
Phone Support No No
Email Support Yes Yes
Average Email Response Time 25 Minutes 30 Minutes
Ticket Support Yes Yes
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:

Surfshark

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

Ivacy

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

The Winner: Surfshark

Surfshark is the Winner

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.

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