IronSocket VPN in a Nutshell
IronSocket VPN offers the following features:
- Support for Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS and Linux. Other types of devices — from wireless routers to PlayStations to Wiis — are supported using the company’s DNS proxy.
- OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP protocols.
- About fifty VPN servers.
- VoIP compatibility — notable because not all VPNs make apps like Skype a priority, but IronSocket VPN does.
- BitTorrent support.
- Up to three connected devices at once, which is higher than the two devices supported by most companies. (You can purchase support for additional devices from IronSocket VPN starting at $1.50/month/device.)
- No data caps.
Privacy and Anonymity
IronSocket VPN has a strong no-logging policy. The company says, “We limit what information we collect to the minimum needed to provide our service, manage your account, and to protect ourselves from fraud and abuse.”
As with most VPN providers, users have to take the company’s word for it that its statements on privacy are true. But there is no reason to doubt them in IronSocket VPN’s case.
That said, one privacy downside is that IronSocket VPN does not say it offers shared IP addresses. Those make it very difficult for someone to monitor a user’s activity even if the monitoring agency has access to VPN logs. It’s not clear whether IronSocket uses shared IPs.
Sign Up and Payment Options
Signing up for IronSocket VPN requires only an email address. Supported payment options include credit/debit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin and gift cards. The latter three choices provide easy ways to pay for the VPN service without giving up personal information.
Another standout feature of IronSocket VPN is its solid support for virtually every type of device and operating system. It offers easy setup instructions on its website for dozens of different types of devices. That’s better than the average VPN provider. Most offer setup instructions only for the most popular operating systems.
Note, however, that the VPN service itself only supports PCs, laptops, phones and tablets. For other types of devices, you need to use the IronSocket DNS proxy. (You can also use the DNS proxy for laptops and PCs if you want.) The DNS proxy won’t encrypt your connection, but it will provide access to content that is normally blocked in your location.
If you want a true VPN for a device like a router, this makes IronSocket less than an ideal solution. But since DNS proxies cost extra from most VPN providers, we think it’s a nice bonus to have them built into the IronSocket VPN plan.
VPN Software and Special Features
One thing IronSocket VPN does not provide is custom apps for managing your VPN connection. Instead, it expects customers to use a generic OpenVPN Connect app for most types of devices. If you don’t care about the special features that you sometimes get from having a custom VPN app — not that there are usually too many — this won’t be an issue for you.
However, if you like having special features like a “kill switch” — which can automatically disconnect your device from the Internet in the event that your VPN connection stops, in order to prevent your computer from transmitting unprotected data — you may be unhappy with IronSocket VPN’s choices of apps.
We have nothing bad to say about IronSocket VPN’s performance. Upload and download bandwidth were both within the standard range that we see from VPN providers. Performance was stable. While the network of only about fifty VPN servers means that you have fewer connection choices than you would get from a larger VPN company, we did not find that this limitation negatively impacted performance.
Pricing for IronSocket VPN begins at $4.16/month if you sign up for a year at a time. If you pay by the month, the cost is $6.99. All plans provide the same set of features, including the built-in DNS proxy. (SOCKS5 proxies and HTTP proxies are also included in the plans.)