IronSocket originated as HideMyNet.com and is based in Hong Kong. The tool boasts a no-logs policy and strong military-grade encryption. The original service commenced in the year 2005 and changed its brand name in 2013.
IronSocket is known most for its P2P support and ability to unblock geo-restricted content. We will test all these claims in our in-depth review and see if the tool meets the users’ expectations.
The tool supports both TCP and UDP protocols and hs a number of alternative ports which can be used if you’re accessing the internet from behind a firewall or proxy.
The following table lists the basic features of IronSocket VPN for ready reference:
|Prominent Features||Cloaks user IP address; Easy to use; Support for multiple devices; Unblock content; SmartDNS Proxy; HTTP/SOCKS5 Proxy|
|Number of Servers||Has over 90 servers in 38 countries around the world|
|Logging Policy||Does not maintain any log files but can divulge user information to authorities and law enforcement if required|
|Encryption Standards||OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP, PPTP. Uses AES-256.|
|Privacy||Cloaks user IP address; No logs policy but it is largely unclear;
No DNS leaks.
|Speed||4.32 Mbps download speed (baseline: 2.97 Mbps) | 2.38 Mbps (US Server)|
|Device Support||Windows 7, 8, and 10. MacOS, Android, iOS native apps under development. These can still use OpenVPN clients however|
|Number of Devices||Three simultaneous connections|
|Price||$6.99 per month (monthly) | $4.16 per month (1 year) | $5.99 per month (6 months)|
IronSocket VPN has some very interesting features indeed but can quickly turn into a nightmare if you do not have the time and patience to use the app on your Mac/iOS or Android device, for, no native apps are available for these. Windows users of course have the convenience of using a simple app ready to use out of the box.
One of the most important reasons behind people using VPNs is to be able to access geo-restricted content. Netflix and Hulu are amongst the most popular streaming apps available today. However, they both limit access to original US content to users beyond the US borders. The way out? Use a VPN. Let’s see how IronSocket VPN fares in our tests pertaining to the ability to unlock geo-restricted content.
|Netflix||YES – Works with some servers|
|Hulu||YES – Works with some servers|
As you’ll note, the ability to access geo-restricted content is largely dependent on the choice of server so make sure you choose yours wisely. We recommend trying several servers one after the other to see which of them works best. With Kodi, there’s no unblocking of course, but having a VPN in place ensures your system does not leak any of your browsing activity to your ISP.
Let’s now see the main pros and cons of IronSocket VPN before we dive into the in-depth review of this tool.
That’s all about IronSocket VPN at a glance. Let’s now examine the software and its many features and aspects in greater detail.
IronSocket VPN — Review
The following is our detailed review of IronSocket VPN, which is based on our extensive tests of this software (1.4.0) on Windows 10. We will examine various aspects of the tool beginning from installation, OS platforms supported, prominent features, security and privacy, DNS leaks, speed tests, pricing, customer support, amongst others. We sincerely hope our review will help you make a decision as to whether IronSocket VPN is indeed the best VPN for your devices.
IronSocket VPN is easily installed only on Windows. Mac, iOS, and Android are not natively supported and require OpenVPN configuration. Our Score: 3/10.
IronSocket VPN provides native, easy to use apps for Windows 7, 8, and 10. Surprisingly, however, the tool does not have any native apps for iOS, Android, and Mac. Users who use the latter OS platforms need to download an OpenVPN client and configure the same to be able to use the VPN, which can certainly be off-putting to some.
Not that OpenVPN is difficult to configure without a native app, it’s just that most users spending money on a VPN just won’t have enough time to configure it first. All users want is a beautiful, easy to use app that works out of the box. This is certainly one of the main areas IronSocket VPN lacks in.
Here is a quick list of the supported OS/devices:
- OS: Windows is the only OS with native apps. Android, iOS devices (iPhone/iPad), Mac only supported via an OpenVPN client
- Browsers: no support
- Network devices/Others: no support
Installation & Setup
IronSocket VPN is easily installed on Windows. Our Score: 10/10.
IronSocket VPN only supports Windows natively, as we highlighted in the above section. To be able to install IronSocket VPN on your computer, head to the official IronSocket VPN website and download the VPN client based on your Windows version.
When you see the IronSocket EasyVPNConnect setup wizard, click on ‘Next’ to proceed to the next step.
The tool would install itself in a couple of seconds. That’s all there is should you wish to install IronSocket VPN on a Windows device. If you wish to install IronSocket VPN on an iOS, Android or Mac device, however, you’ll first need to download Tunnelblick. Install the software and then create VPN configurations for the servers you wish to connect to. The process is straightforward but does involve a few steps. You can visit the IronSocket VPN setup page for detailed step-wise instructions based on your specific OS platform.
IronSocket VPN has a host of interesting features. Our Score: 6/10.
When it comes to features, IronSocket VPN has a number of interesting ones. However, most of these are fairly common amongst other VPNs too, so if you are on the lookout for some extremely innovative functions, you might be disappointed.
You’ll be able to use IronSocket VPN to unblock websites. Many websites host geo-restricted and censored content, access to which can be secured through the use of a VPN. The tool provides a DNS Proxy, which allows you to access censored content without logging user activity online. The DNS proxy is much faster and allows you to access blocked social networks as well.
One of the most important features of IronSocket VPN is the P2P Support, wherein IronSocket VPN has dedicated servers that support torrents and P2P traffic. Users can benefit from increased privacy, superior performance, and unlimited bandwidth.
The tool, like other VPN, functions by creating a secure online tunnel, through which all your data safely travels without the danger of it being intercepted by a third party. The data is encrypted, so it remains undecipherable.
Ease of Use
IronSocket VPN is easy to use and features an intuitive interface. Our Score: 8/10.
IronSocket VPN has a neat and intuitive UI, which is organized into multiple tabs. Each tab stands for a specific function. The ‘VPN’ is our focus in this article. You can use the VPN by simply clicking on the ‘Connect’ button.
Clicking on the cogwheel icon will bring up the Settings dialog. This is where you will be able to fine-tune the settings including the VPN settings, OpenVPN controls, and other application settings.
IronSocket VPN has more than 90 servers in 38 countries around the world. Our Score: 7/10.
IronSocket VPN has servers across the world with its network comprising of over 90 servers located in 38 countries globally. While this is certainly not the largest network when it comes to VPN services, with several VPNs boasting a much larger network comprising of thousands of servers, it is important to note that the quality of servers is much more important over the quantity.
The choice of jurisdiction is also an important aspect to consider. VPNs based in countries that might be required by law to keep and divulge user activity logs online might not be the best choice.
IronSocket VPN performs exceptionally well in speed test results. Our Score: 10/10.
Speed tests are one of the most important aspects when choosing from amongst several VPNs in this extremely crowded marketplace. However, it must be remembered that speed test results are dependent upon the prevailing network conditions at the time the test is conducted and network conditions frequently keep fluctuating- a factor beyond control. It is best, therefore, to only consider speed tests as useful guides for reference rather than as an absolute metric written in stone.
Let’s now proceed with the speed tests. We’ll first measure the baseline speed against which to compare all speed test results.
As you can see, the network is performing a bit poorly. Let’s now switch to the VPN server and measure the speed once again.
This is a non-US server and the speed is, needless to say, surprising. When you compare this with the baseline speed, it is clear that the VPN is actually removing throttling in the network. This is common with ISPs, which are notorious for imposing speed throttling upon users to keep network bandwidth under control.
Here are the speed test results with the US server.
Once again, that’s a great speed when compared with the baseline speed. The tool, therefore, without a doubt, performs exceptionally well in speed tests.
Let’s summarize the speed test results below:
Ping: 98 ms
Download: 2.97 Mbps
Upload: 0.81 Mbps
Ping: 323 ms
Download: 2.38 Mbps
Upload: 1.40 Mbps
Ping: 144 Mbps
Download: 4.32 Mbps
Upload: 0.79 Mbps
The choice of server is also an important one, for, different servers can lead to drastically different VPN experiences. We recommend testing several servers and choosing the one that suits you the most in terms of the network performance.
Security & Privacy
IronSocket VPN has some noteworthy security and privacy features. Our Score: 7/10.
The tool comes with the military-grade AES-256 encryption, regarded as one of the best. Amongst the VPN protocols supported are OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP, and PPTP. In this aspect, IronSocket is at par with the other VPN.
DNS leaks are a common phenomenon with many VPNs, which accidentally leak the user’s data to third-parties, which can then locate the user with their IP address, defying the very purpose of using a VPN in the first place. In our tests, IronSocket VPN passed the DNS leak test.
IronSocket has a dedicated customer support channel where users can log queries. Our Score: 8/10.
Customer support is one of the most important, yet, one of the most neglected aspects when it comes to choosing a VPN service. When purchasing a VPN, it is important to consider the quality of customer support a tool offers. You do not want to be stuck with a VPN that offers no support when you face problems later, do you?
We evaluated the IronSocket customer support and sent them an email about our queries. We received an answer sometime later. However, the website does not feature a live chat option, which is an important functionality many VPN services offer for instant reach.
IronSocket VPN offers three main pricing plans to choose from. Our Score: 9/10.
Overall, IronSocket is quite affordable, especially when you compare it with the other VPNs in the marketplace. The tool does not offer a free version though you can obtain a trial version to test the services for a couple of days. This is a great way to test the VPN and its use for your devices without committing yourself to a subscription plan from day 1.
The following are the three main pricing plans IronSocket VPN offers:
As you can see, the yearly and six-month plan cost less when compared to the monthly plan. While you might be more interested in the greater savings that come with the 6-month or 1-year plan, we highly recommend choosing the monthly plan, for, VPNs operate in a highly sensitive space. You might find that a VPN server that worked fine with unblocking content on streaming websites suddenly stops working the very next day. It is best, therefore, to only commit yourself to a monthly plan so you can opt out of the subscription at any point without wasting money.
IronSocket VPN is one of the fastest VPNs we have tested, there’s no doubt about that. If you are looking for an incredibly fast VPN that can remove ISP speed throttling, go for it. However, if your primary concern is privacy and privacy alone, you might want to recosnider your decision since IronSocket VPN has a somewhat unclear logging policy.
Who Should Not Use This VPN? Those concerned about their privacy and strictly in favor of a no-logs policy might be disappointed. Those with non-Windows OS platforms will miss native apps.
- PROS: Fast; Easy to use; SmarDNS Proxy; IP cloaking
- CONS: Unclear logging policy; Lacks advanced features; No native apps for non-Windows OS platforms
- Final Verdict: 7.6 out of 10!
Buy IronSocket VPN
IronSocket VPN is an incredibly fast VPN that does not disappoint with its performance. If your main focus with using a VPN app is obtaining top speed, say when you’re only streaming content, for instance, this is your best bet. However, if your main focus is on privacy, there are other options to consider. IronSocket VPN has a largely unclear logging policy, as explained in the previous sections. The tool specifies it does not collect any user logs but also specifies that it has a mandate to hand over user data to authorities when requested.
Another aspect to be considered is the availability of native apps only for Windows operating system- there are no native apps for iOS, Android or MacOS at the moment so you will have to rely on an OpenVPN client such as Tunnelblick until the native apps are released. Not that this is a critical hurdle, but many users simply appreciate the importance of having a simple app that runs and performs out of the box without having to install and configure a generic app.
With this, we wrap up our review of IronScoket VPN and sincerely hope you’ve found it useful. Please feel free to leave us a comment below or share this article with friends and family in your social circles.
Written by David Minister