23rd May 2015
Today I checked out iPredator to see what kinds of features they had to offer with those low monthly rates.
- unlimited bandwidth
- compatible with all operating systems
- no data logging
- super low prices
- slow customer service
- wishy washy refund policy
- very slow connection
Overall Score: 44/100
This score is much, much lower than the 97/100 scored by our top rated VPN – Express VPN.
As you can see, iPredator just didn’t measure up well at all, scoring really low in our review. There are just better places to spend your money. Check out Express VPN for a much better deal.
To get iPredator, you can sign up here: iPredator
This image says it all. The governments of countries around the world have made it well known that what you do online is no longer private. Many have even gone so far as to censor material they deem unsuitable, which can range from telecommunication services like Skype, to blogs and politically sensitive material.
The simplest way to get around these content restrictions and keep Uncle Sam’s nose out of your business is to use a VPN. This innovative technology is quickly sweeping the net as a low cost and effective way to take your privacy back.
The trouble with VPNs is, they’re everywhere. I’ll give you the information you need to pick the one that’s right for you, and kick the duds to the curb. We’ll also be taking a closer look at iPredator to see how they compare to some of their competitors out there.
Will iPredator Work on My Operating System?
First off, you need to start narrowing the list of VPNs that are going to work with your devices. You can get started by checking to see which operating systems they’re compatible with. Remember to take into account all of the devices you plan to use with it, as you’re often allowed to connect to more than one device at a time.
iPredator is compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even Linux. They use the OpenVPN platform, so basically anything that works with this software is compatible with iPredator.
Rating: 5/5 – Works with all devices
What Kind of Features Does iPredator Have?
Every VPN has a different set of features to offer. It’s really up to you to decide which ones you absolutely gotta have, and which ones you could care less about. I’ll give you the information on all of them, explaining why they may matter to you, and what you can expect the better VPNs out there to offer you.
Feature #1: Multiple Connections
If you use more than one device, this one’s pretty important. You’ll want to make sure you can connect at least two devices under one account so that you can protect your computer, your smartphone – all of it.
With iPredator, you’re allowed up to two simultaneous connections: one for your home computer, and one for a mobile device.
Rating: 4/5 – Up to two connections
Feature #2: Money Back Guarantee
This one goes without saying – it’s nice to be able to get a refund if things don’t work out. Make sure that they’re willing to give you a refund for more than just technical issues as well, poor customer service can be just as much of a drag. At least a two week money back guarantee isn’t unheard of, so shoot for that.
iPredator doesn’t have any kind of definitive time frame for claiming a refund; basically they just ask that you contact their support team and try to resolve any technical problems you may be having before you ask for refund. There’s a lot that’s left in the air with a policy like this – what if your issues are with their support, and not technical?
Either way, the whole thing is pretty wishy washy, and doesn’t really give you anything in writing to hold them to giving you a refund.
Rating: 2.5/5 – Refund policy is vague
Feature #3: Number of Servers
The size of a VPN’s network can greatly impact the quality of your connection. No servers in your area can make for a really unreliable one, and not enough to go around can slow down your connection speed. Ideally, you want to choose a VPN that offers at least 50 servers to choose from, with plenty of options in your area.
Okay, so I couldn’t find anything anywhere on iPredator’s website about their server count. I tried switching servers in their software, to no avail. Then I asked their customer service, to which they replied “We have enough”. So I have no clue how many servers these guys have, and for whatever reason they’re not keen on sharing.
My irritation coupled with their poor communication skills gives them a big fat zero for this one.
Rating: 0/5 – Number of servers? That’s classified!
Feature #4: Referral Program
While a referral program may not affect your service too much, it can be a seriously nice perk all the same. A few companies out there actually put money back in your pocket by giving you free or discounted service when you refer a friend to them – how cool is that?
iPredator doesn’t have any kind of referral program for proud customers to cash in on, so there isn’t really much incentive to spread the word with these guys.
Rating: 0/5 – No referral program
Feature #5: Data Logging
Yea, those two words don’t look great together, do they? Data logging is the unsavory practice of maintaining records of users’ internet activity. Sure, Uncle Sam and a few ISPs may do this, but the whole point of using a VPN is privacy. Make absolutely sure that whichever one you use never logs any of your activity.
True to the nature of their business, iPredator never logs any of their customers’ internet activity. You have to enter a bit of information to set up an account with them, but aside from that you’re pretty much anonymous.
Rating: 5/5 – No data logging
Feature #6: Bandwidth
Bandwidth refers to the data capacity of a server’s connection. The more you get, the more you can do. Bandwidth hogging activities like streaming movies and downloading music can really eat it up, so make sure that any service plan you go with comes with completely unlimited bandwidth.
iPredator allows their users to have completely unlimited bandwidth, with the only restrictions being on what your local ISP may have in place.
Rating: 5/5 – No bandwidth caps
How Secure Is It?
The security of the connection is a lot of what you’re paying for, so make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. While there are two basic strengths of encryption – 128 and 256 bit – the strongest is definitely the latter of the two, so look for a VPN that offers that.
Though the strongest and most secure connection is what you want, ideally it’s nice to be able to turn it down a notch to get the most speed out of your connection for those online activities that really eat up the bandwidth. Make sure that you can customize your connection by choosing a less secure protocol if you need to.
With iPredator, you get the strongest 256 bit encryption available. The only thing is, there doesn’t appear to be any way to ‘turn down’ you security settings. While you turn on options like starting when you power up your device, there’s nowhere to select a security protocol.
Rating: 3/5 – Strong encryption, but no flexibility
What’s the Set-Up Process Like?
Setting up a VPN should always be a no brainer, but this definitely is not always the case. Most VPNs out there have a very simple download and install procedure that configures everything for you.
However, there are also quite a few that will have you download both a software driver and a configuration package, with which you usually have to do some connection configuring hocus pocus to get things running. Ugh.
Setting up iPredator was a lot like this. Though to be fair, their guides on their website walk you through it pretty well, I suppose my point is, you shouldn’t even need a set up guide.
You have to find their VPN program, get that downloaded, then save a configuration file. Then after installing the software you still have to import the connection. Total PITA.
Rating: 1/5 – You’ll want to follow their guide to a T
Is it Easy to Use?
Once you get your VPN set up, it should be nothing short of idiot-proof to use. The majority of VPNs have nice and simple software dashboards, with a clear server selection and simple click one and done connection. Having to jump into your network connection settings is way more trouble than it’s worth.
I wish I could say iPredator has this awesome, user-friendly software that’s just a breeze to use, but the truth is it’s just not as simple as it could be. It’s not a huge deal, but to connect to one of your imported connections, you have to right click it to get a menu, which I thought was strange.
Then, there’s a myriad of what I felt were pretty unnecessary settings to sift through.
Rating: 1/5 – More complicated than it should be
This was the one thing about iPredator’s software that was easy. You’re prompted to log in after you get your connection file imported, and from there you can have the software remember your credentials. Finally, something simple.
Here’s where that nice server selection comes into play. If you’re connected and things are running a bit slow, try hopping on to another one to see if things go a bit smoother for you.
With iPredator, there did not appear to be any option of switching servers. Maybe you can get more configuration files with a paid plan, and maybe that’s what I wasn’t seeing. But even then, you’d still have to import those connections.
What If I Need Help?
Okay, so I’m really big on customer service. If I’m giving you my money every month, you better be replying to my e-mails and giving me awesome support.
Remember, you’re not just paying for the connection, so don’t settle for a VPN that’s going to leave you high and dry when you run into technical problems. Customer support IS part of the deal.
This is probably one of the simplest ways to tell how fast you’re going to get responses from customer service. If they’re there 24/7, you know it won’t matter if you need help in the middle of the night or on a weekend. Ideally, 24/7 support means a response the same day.
According to their staff, iPredator’s support is 24/7. However, they make repeated claims that this really depends on the availability of their staff at a given time, so in this case 24/7 doesn’t necessarily mean prompt.
Rating: 5/5 – Round the clock support
Though it’s great if a VPN offers e-mail support, the very best options are always live support. Make sure the one you choose has e-mail and at least one live option for support – either phone or chat.
Okay, so with iPredator their support channels are a little different. They have the standard e-mail support, but their live chat feature is a bit weird. Instead of having a live one on one chat with a service representative, you’re in a live chat room with a bunch of random people, and maybe someone who actually works for the company if you’re lucky.
So yea, technically they have live chat, but it’s not always any help, and there’s just no telling when an actual representative of iPredator will be there.
Rating: 1.5/5 – Chat room support??
Customer Support Test
Okay, here we are: the moment of truth. There’s no better way to see exactly what kind of priority a company puts on their customers’ satisfaction than by testing their support.
I contacted iPredator twice – once during typical business hours, and once later in the evening, to see how fast they got back in touch with me, and how helpful their support was.
E-mail Support Test #1 – Sunday/3:08 p.m.
I sent my first support request to iPredator at a pretty standard hour of the day, though it was smack dab in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. It took them almost 17 and a half hours to get back to me, which was crazy long. On top of that, they were a bit vague and dodgy on some of my questions, which really tested my patience.
Result: 17 hours 23 minutes
Rating: 1/5 – Slow response, didn’t answer questions
E-mail Support Test #2 – Sunday/10:50 p.m.
I got a slightly faster response the second time around with their e-mail support, but that’s definitely not saying much. This time their support was a little more helpful at least though.
Result: 14 hours 21 minutes
Rating: 2/5 – Better support this time
Live Chat support Test #1 – Monday/12:55 p.m.
My first experience with iPredator’s unconventional live chat feature was about what I expected. I waited about ten minutes for someone to answer my question. Not only was there no one in the room who appeared to actually work for iPredator, but I never got any response from anybody.
Result: No response
Rating: 0/5 – Live chat is a waste of time
Live Chat Support Test #2 – Tuesday/1:13 a.m.
My second attempt with iPredator’s ‘live chat support’ was much the same. While there appeared to be a handful of people in the room, not one of them was labelled as an operator, and the room was silent when I asked a question.
Result: No response
Rating: 0/5 – No support staff in chat room
I was really frustrated with iPredator’s support. Not only was their support staff not even helpful at times, but the wait times for e-mail support were pretty ridiculous. To top it all off, their live chat feature was a ghost town of random users, and a totally unresponsive one at that. Fail.
Overall Support Rating: 3/20 – Don’t count on their support
How Fast is iPredator?
Speed is a really important part of getting a great VPN, but it’s something you really can’t be sure of until you actually try it out. I ran two speed tests to see how iPredator’s connection is. One was with my standard internet connection, the other was with their VPN.
As you can see, my connection was horrendously slower with iPredator. I’m used to seeing a bit of a lag due to encryption and extra security measures, but never more than a 2Mbps download speed difference – this one was almost 4.
Rating: 1/5 – Much slower with VPN
How Much Does iPredator Cost?
Though VPNs are usually pretty affordable, some companies out there may hope you don’t know any better and try to milk your wallet for every last penny.
The thing is, no matter how good the service or how many features come with it, you really shouldn’t have to spend more than $15 a month to get a great VPN, and most are a lot cheaper than that.
iPredator has a really straightforward pricing model. As you can see, you can choose a plan that fits your needs, from 1 to 12 months. The cost of each monthly plan is only $8, so it’s super affordable.
Rating: 5/5 – No BS pricing plans
The X Factor
The x factor has a lot to do with your overall impression of a VPN. Things like professionalism, marketing style, and website design can all play a really big role on whether or not a customer bites. The thing to look for here is peace of mind. Do they seem like a legitimate operation, or a take your money and run business?
With iPredator, I just didn’t get a great feeling from them. The language on their website was choppy and primitive, clearly a case of poorly translated English. There was very little information there on their products and services, and to top it all off they had a support team that was lackadaisical to say the least.
This just isn’t a company I’d ever feel comfortable handing payment information over to.
Rating: 1/10 – The lights are on, but nobody’s home
So with any luck, I’ve turned you into one savvy shopper. Go out there and give those VPN companies hell, and show them you know your stuff. In the mean time, let’s recap and check out how iPredator did.
- works with all operating systems
- up to 2 simultaneous connections
- no data logging
- very secure connection
- 24/7 customer support
- very low monthly rates
- very vague refund policy
- no referral program
- unknown number of servers
- difficult to set up
- software is overly complex
- live chat is really just a desolate chat room
- slow connection
- seems unprofessional
Overall Score: 44/100
There were so many things that could have been great about iPredator, with 24/7 support and those super low prices. Unfortunately, when it came right down to it their customer service tanked their score, and their software and servers just couldn’t keep up.
These guys couldn’t bring it to the table, but check out Express VPN if you’re looking for somebody who can.
To get iPredator, sign up here: iPredator
To see the highest rated VPN that scored a 97/100, click here: Express VPN.