IronSocket VPN Review

Our rating
Security Read more toggle icon
65%
Features Read more toggle icon
60%
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  • English e-mail support email enabled icon
  • No chat support chat disabled icon
  • No phone support phone disabled icon

What began in 2005 as HideMyNet.com turned into IronSocket VPN in 2003 when the company started working towards rebuilding and rebranding the platform. Now, IronSocket provides users access to over 90 VPN servers in almost 40 countries around the world. But don't let the small number of servers put you off; this provider has a lot of great features.

The VPN provider, which is based in Hong Kong, is unique in that it offers users access to both VPN and proxy servers. For example, smart DNS proxy servers are available for users who just want to access streaming sites without VPN encryption. Still, users can also use IPsec and SSL VPN servers for more privacy online.

Although IronSocket VPN is a great solution for streaming and torrenting fans, it doesn't offer native apps for all platforms. If you don't mind a bit of manual setup, then you can enjoy the VPN on almost every platform thinkable.

With 3 active VPN connections and 3 active proxy connections allowed simultaneously on each plan, IronSocket provides users with a more freeing online experience. Prices start from as low as $4.16 per month on the yearly plan and go up to $6.99 on the monthly plan.

  • pro icon Unblocks Netflix
  • pro icon Good security features
  • pro icon Range of proxy servers
  • con icon Short money-back guarantee
  • con icon No dedicated apps for cell phones
  • con icon Lack of additional features
Price Starting At: 4.16 $ / monthly 49.95 $ / annually
For New Users: 7 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 90+
General information
Max Speed: 800 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: 3
Number of Netflix Libraries: 4
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Router support: D-Link, DD-WRT, Linksys, Netgear, Tomato, TP-Link
VPN Promotion: Get VPN from IronSocket VPN for 4.16$ per month
Capabilities
Unlimited Bandwidthcross iconKill Switchcross iconSplit Tunnelingcross iconZero Data Loggingcross iconFree Version / Trialcross iconMobile Appcross iconBrowser Extentioncross iconNetflix Approvedcross iconFirestick Compatiblecross icon
Payment options
  • American Express
  • Bitcoin
  • Discover
  • Mastercard
  • Mastercard Debit
  • Paypal
  • Visa
  • Visa Debit
  • Visa Electron
Geolocations available
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

IronSocket VPN Security

65%

When it comes to privacy and security, IronSocket is an impressive VPN service. Firstly the provider uses military-grade encryption with SHA256 message authentication. Users get a choice of encryption levels: AES-256 or AES-128 bit encryption. We recommend using AES-256 encryption if you want a more secure VPN connection, although AES-128 is better if you're looking for faster speeds.

Users also get a choice of protocols. You can choose from OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, SSL, and IPsec when connected to a VPN server. However, if online security isn't as important to you as accessing restricted content, you can enjoy proxy connections instead. IronSocket provides access to SOCKS5 proxy, Smart DNS proxy, and VPN over HTTP proxy servers.

There are several security disadvantages to proxy connections, given that they don't offer the same level of security as VPN servers. You won't reap the benefits of VPN encryption when connected to one of these servers, but you'll get faster transfer speeds. However, if security isn't an issue for you, then you can enjoy the proxies with no problem.

There are a couple of great security features that IronSocket offers. One is DNS leak protection and can be activated upon setting up the VPN. Another is the VPN Drop Protection, IronSocket's version of a kill switch. The kill switch will stop network traffic in and out of your device when your VPN connection goes down. You can configure this feature further and choose which apps you want to automatically shut down if your connection drops and which you don't mind accessing without VPN protection.

As cybersecurity experts, we know that an essential aspect of a good VPN is to protect user privacy. It's reassuring to see IronSocket claim that it doesn't store any activity logs, stating on its website that there are "no traffic logs, no file transfer logs, no DNS logs, no logging of your activity, period."

Of course, all VPNs declare that they don't store customer activity logs, so we checked out IronSocket's privacy policy to see if there was anything untoward going on. In the provider's privacy policy, we were met with more assertions of the provider's zero-logs policy as it states,

"We DO NOT LOG or record in any manner the content you access while using our Services. We DO NOT USE your information for purposes other than those to which you have consented. We DO NOT SELL or trade personal information for commercial purposes."

Upon signing up for the VPN service, IronSocket does log some user information, such as your email address and password. While the provider doesn't store activity logs, it does collect the following data and store it on its servers for 72 hours:

"Time and date of the session connection and disconnection; the IP address used for the session and which server was connected to; and a numerical representation showing total bytes transferred per session."

So while the provider doesn't log browsing activity, it stores some information for 3 days. We'd like to see the length of time the data is kept on the servers reduced. It would also be reassuring to see IronSocket carry out an independent audit of its privacy policy.

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IronSocket VPN Features

60%

The best VPN providers need to offer users many extra features. VPN companies are constantly adding new services to attract more customers, so for this IronSocket VPN review, we were excited to look at what extra features the provider has on offer.

Firstly, there are no bandwidth restrictions, which means you can transmit as much data as you want when connected to one of IronSocket's servers. This makes it great for streaming and torrenting.

On the topic of streaming, IronSocket VPN users can choose to connect to the Smart DNS proxy. The Smart DNS feature gives users more access to content on the web than ever before. It's especially great for accessing content on streaming websites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

There is also support for P2P networking on the server network. However, only a select number of servers are optimized for P2P file sharing. Users who want fast download speeds can also use the SOCKS5 proxy and HTTP proxy servers for faster speeds. These servers forward traffic on an application-level but don't have the same level of security.

Aside from offering many server options, the VPN service also supports the most popular platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. Users can also configure the VPN to their routers to protect Smart TVs and gaming consoles.

Although IronSocket VPN can be used on pretty much every operating system, it doesn't offer dedicated apps for each platform, like other VPN providers. There is only a native Windows client, but users have to manually set up the VPN on other platforms using the OpenVPN app.

Although IronSocket doesn't have a large number of servers, its server location options around the world are good. As well as having servers in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, the provider also has servers in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, and in censored countries like Russia. If you want to bypass censorship filters and enjoy content from almost anywhere in the world, then IronSocket is a good choice.

On the IronSocket website, the provider claims to offer 24/7 customer support and tech support. While it seemed as though the provider offered a live chat option in the past, it looks like this is no longer available. The customer service comes in the form of an email and support guides on the website.

So, while the VPN isn't laden with features, it does have some good VPN services on offer. If there were one thing we would like to see added, we'd like to see IronSocket roll out split tunneling as an extra feature.

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Summary

3
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Is IronSocket Safe?

So, is IronSocket a safe VPN service? Let’s break down how the VPN is safe and how it could pose a risk to your online security.

Firstly, IronSocket has a zero-logs policy, which is reassuring. This ensures users that their activity won’t be stored on the VPN server network, nor will it be shared. Since the VPN is based in Hong Kong, a territory facing increasingly stricter data retention laws, it’s reassuring to know that no logs are stored.

When you connect to one of the VPN servers, then you’ll enjoy advanced encryption, which protects your browsing data while you’re online, hiding it from hackers and other third parties. However, if you choose to connect to one of the proxies, you lose encryption protection from the VPN. Using a proxy server may expose your real IP address and can, more often than not, contain adware.

So, while the DNS proxy server is great for giving you unlimited access to streaming services online, it puts your privacy and security at risk. If you are using a VPN to give yourself an extra layer of protection online, then connect to the VPN servers and use create secure VPN connections using protocols like OpenVPN.

Is IronSocket Free?

IronSocket is not a free VPN service. Free trials are hard to come by in the VPN world nowadays, and we don’t recommend customers using free VPNs since they often lack good encryption and have questionable privacy policies. It’s worth keeping in mind that the best VPN providers don’t usually have free services.

How Much is IronSocket?

If you want to use IronSocket VPN, then you can choose from three subscription plans. On each plan, users get 3 VPN connections and 3 proxy connections simultaneously.

The plans’ prices are good value for money, and the monthly plan is especially cheap, considering that ExpressVPN charges $12.95 per month on its monthly plan.

Another great aspect of the subscription plans is that first-time IronSocket VPN users get 50% off, regardless of the plan they choose. This is an amazing offer and will save all customers a lot of money when they sign up for the service.

Does IronSocket VPN Have a 30-day Money-Back Guarantee?

The industry standard for VPN refund policies is 30 days, and some providers have even started to offer 45-day money-back guarantees. However, IronSocket VPN only offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. Even though a 7-day money-back guarantee is quite short, it does give users a fair amount of time to try out the services.

Even though the refund policy is short, it comes with no strings attached. If you’d like to try out a provider with a long refund policy, then you can try out CyberGhost or Hotspot Shield. Both of these providers offer a 45-day money-back guarantee.

What Payment Methods Does IronSocket Accept?

One thing that IronSocket doesn’t skimp on is payment options. As well as allowing payments via usual methods such as credit cards, customers can purchase the service through a number of other ways on its website.

Firstly, the provider accepts popular credit cards, including MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover Network. You can also pay via PayPal.

For users who want to pay anonymously, they can purchase the VPN service via Bitcoin. Other anonymous payment methods include gift cards. We’re seriously impressed with the variety of payment options on offer.

Does IronSocket Have Good Customer Support?

Any VPN provider worth its weight caters to customers’ needs. This includes having a competent customer support service. IronSocket VPN claims to have 24/7 customer support, which is impressive, but we decided to explore what is on offer in terms of customer service.

Firstly you can get in touch with the customer support team via email or use a support ticket. We tested the email service and were pleased to receive a reply within a couple of hours. Unfortunately, there is no live chat service on the website, despite claims on other reviews. It’s disappointing that there is no live chat since we feel this is an integral part of a good customer support system.

Fortunately, IronSocket has a good support page on its website, full of informative setup guides. Whether you want to use the VPN on Windows, Mac, or Android, IronSocket provides comprehensive how-to’s to assist users in setting up the server on all of their devices.

So, while the customer support is lacking in some areas, namely not having a live chat service on the website, we think the tutorials and guides are great. Even VPN novices will be able to easily set up the VPN service on their devices and enjoy ease of use thanks to the support given in the support section.

What Devices Can I Use IronSocket on?

With IronSocket, users get 3 VPN connections and 3 proxy connections with one subscription. This means that you can simultaneously use the VPN service on 3 devices and also connect to 3 proxies.

IronSocket claims to have support for all operating systems on its site, and while this is true, users have to manually install the VPN onto their devices as there are no dedicated apps. While there is a native client for Windows, which makes the installation process an easier experience, you need to install the VPN on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, or Linux using the OpenVPN connect app or configuration files.

Users can also configure the VPN to their router, connecting it with either OpenVPN, L2TP, or PPTP. Once the VPN is connected to a router, you can extend its service to protect your streaming boxes such as the Amazon Fire Stick, gaming consoles including PlayStation, and Smart TVs.

Of course, it may be inconvenient for some users to set up the VPN on their devices manually. Despite this, we think it is fantastic that the provider has such detailed guides on its website on how to set up the VPN. The instructions are super clear and easy to follow, which makes setup a breeze. However, if you are a VPN beginner, and don’t want to jump into the deep end of manual configuration, then providers such as NordVPN and Surfshark offer dedicated apps for use on the most popular platforms.

Can IronSocket Unblock Netflix?

A VPN review wouldn’t be complete without testing the service’s ability to bypass Netflix’s VPN firewall. Thanks to IronSocket’s DNS proxy, we were successful in bypassing the Netflix VPN block. We tested the service in the United States and got through to Netflix with no issues. We then tried in the UK, Germany, and Australia and had no issues. So far, so good.

However, when we tried to access BBC iPlayer in the UK, we had some issues when using a regular VPN server. However, when connected to the DNS proxy, we got through.

We were able to also access other streaming websites such as Amazon Prime Video. We got through to Prime in many different server locations and enjoyed buffer-free video thanks to the unlimited bandwidth restrictions.

Overall, IronSocket is a great service for accessing streaming services. The only drawback is that you can’t access streaming sites from anywhere because the VPN provider doesn’t have the largest network of servers. If you want more location options, it’s worth trying out other VPNs like CyberGhost or Private Internet Access.

Does IronSocket Support Torrenting?

VPNs are important for torrenters since they provide extra privacy. Without one, your real IP address will be exposed, and third parties could see what you are downloading and sharing online. Fortunately, IronSocket is one of the best VPN providers for torrenting.

IronSocket supports many torrenting platforms, including uTorrent and BitTorrent. However, not all servers support torrenting, and there are only a select few on which you can access torrent platforms. These servers are clearly marked so that users can connect to an optimal one in order to torrent.

The SOCKS5 proxy is also a great addition for torrenters since it provides users with faster speeds, which are better for downloading. However, it is important to remember that the SOCKS5 proxy doesn’t protect you or give you extra privacy that you get with a regular VPN.

Is IronSocket Fast?

IronSocket claims to be a fast VPN, so we put it to the test. When connected to the proxies, we experience faster speeds than with VPN connections. We ran a couple of speed tests with the VPN servers and started with a base speed of 31Mbps. When we connected to the US, we went down to speeds of 29Mbps, which was still fast.

We then connected to some servers in Europe, averaging speeds of 26Mbps. Overall, we found the speeds to be decent, but it is important to remember that speed tests aren’t always a good indication of how fast a VPN is. Firstly, speeds will differ for every use. Our base speeds are naturally slower than perhaps other locations in the world. This means that our VPN speeds will be affected by our present location.

Moreover, factors such as distance from other servers, user load, and whether you’re using a proxy or not will affect your speed. If you connect to one of its many proxy servers, you’ll get exceptionally fast speeds. However, these lack a lot of security.

Is IronSocket Easy to Use?

Ease of use is critical with a VPN. Since IronSocket doesn’t provide dedicated apps, it may appear to be difficult to use. However, this is far from the truth. IronSocket VPN provides detailed setup instructions and step by step guides on using the VPN on various devices.

If you don’t like the idea of manually setting up a VPN connection, then it may be best to avoid this VPN. Even though once you have installed the VPN, it is easy to use, configuring a VPN may not be the best thing for VPN novices.

Is IronSocket Based in Hong Kong?

IronSocket is based in Hong Kong and therefore falls under its jurisdiction. This means that if the Hong Kong government were to request information from IronSocket’s servers, the provider would be forced to hand over information.

This may cause some concerns for users since Hong Kong is seeing its freedoms become increasingly restricted due to China’s influence. Many VPNs have even pulled their servers out of the region due to fear that Hong Kong is becoming more controlled by China. However, we think the concerns about the location are unwarranted, at least for the time being.

Fortunately, IronSocket claims to have a stringent no-logging policy. This means that even if the provider were made to submit information from its servers, there wouldn’t be any damning evidence to hand over that could link individuals to browsing activity on the network.

Is IronSocket Worth it?

So, is IronSocket worth the money? There are many reasons why the provider is a good choice and some reasons we would advise against purchasing the service.

Firstly, the provider does provide an additional layer of privacy to users since it employs military-grade encryption and offers a good selection of protocols. It provides access to websites around the world and has fantastic unblocking capabilities. The great selection of proxy VPN servers provides lightning-fast speeds to users who aren’t as concerned about their online security.

However, there are some downsides to the VPN. Firstly, you can’t connect to websites anywhere in the world. The network is small, which means there are some restrictions. Secondly, the lack of dedicated apps is offputting for many customers, especially those who don’t want to configure a VPN connection manually.

Overall, we would recommend this provider, but perhaps to more experienced users. If you have never used VPNs before, then it might be best to try out a provider like ExpressVPN that offers simple apps for many popular platforms, including a router app, which is almost unheard of in the industry.

Author Madeleine Hodson

I’m Madeleine and an author for VPNSurfers. I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I have lived in several countries, including a two year stay in Hong Kong which incl...
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