IronSocket is definitely the manliest-sounding VPN. If you need some more testosterone in your life, go with it based on name alone. I don’t even know what a socket is, but it has pretty good all round features and security, so it holds its own even without the cool name. Okay… so I do know what a socket is, and our full Iron Socket review explains all you need to know, so read on.
Iron Socket has servers in 36 countries, allowing P2P through the servers where it is legal. The company is based in Hong Kong, has quality encryption and doesn’t keep usage logs. OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP protocols are all available with IronSocket VPN and they allow you to use up to three devices at once. More can be added for an extra $1.50 per month.
Users also have access to their DNS servers if they are looking to stream geo-restricted content. HTTP Proxy and SOCKSS Proxy servers are also available.
There is a creepy police officer on their website. Maybe I’m just pedantic, but her stare freaks me out. The website is otherwise good; very functional, but the website designer could’ve used a few trips through the Louvre to make it more appealing to the eye. Again, I’m probably just being pedantic. Any information that you might need or want is easy to find, so there’s really not too much to complain about.
Plans and Pricing
Pricing for IronSocket VPN is pretty standard. For their only package, it’s $49.99 for a year. For 6 months, it’s $35.95. It’s $6.99 for month-to-month subscriptions. Users are able to pay with Bitcoins and they also offer a seven-day money-back guarantee.
Privacy and Security
IronSocket is very upfront about what data of yours they store. They do not keep usage logs, however they do keep session logs that store the IP address of the VPN server that you use, the time that you connect and disconnect and the amount of bytes transferred per session. They typically delete this information after 3 days, but it may still worry some users. While they might not keep track of exactly what you have been up to, for those most concerned with their privacy, this might not be a good sign.
Technically speaking, their encryption is on fire (in the good way, like rappers use it, not as in plugging 13 adaptors into the power point next to your collection of antique fireworks). Their OpenVPN uses SSL with 256 bit AES encryption and a 2048 bit key certificate. Users will soon get a 4096 bit key option for even stronger encryption. They also have the option of connecting out of TCP port 443, which is near impossible for firewalls to block.
The static shared addresses that are used for OpenVPN make it difficult to identify an individual, however the connection logs that are kept keep the possibility open. LT2P and PPTP are also available.
Signing up is simple. You’ll just need to hand over a couple of basic details if you use Paypal or a Credit card. You’ll need to give away less if you opt for Bitcoin payment.
It’s also relatively straightforward to set-up on Windows. It uses OpenVPN connect and you will have to select a server from the list to download it. Then you have to enter your details into the web interface. Things run pretty smoothly from here on in. There will be an icon in your notification bar that you will need to click to enter your username and password. There aren’t a whole lot of advanced setting once you have everything running, but it should satisfy most basic users.
We tested out the speeds and here’s what we got:
|No VPN||UK Server||Netherlands Server|
|Download Speed (Mb/s)||20.97||18.46||19.62|
|Upload Speed (Mb/s)||1.13||3.22||3.64|
The performance was great and we didn’t have any problems. We also did a DNS Leak test and it passed with flying colours.
OpenVPN Connect is open source and can be used with Android, IOS and OSX as well as Windows. Guides for set-up are easy to find. They can even help you with using PPTP and L2TP. More unusual setups are also catered for, with details on how to set up AppleTV, Wii, WiiU, Roku, Boxee, PSVita, XBox360 and PS3 with HTTP Proxy and DNS Proxy.
IronSocket provide a good service and great value. There isn’t too much to hate about them, unless you are worried about the logs they keep. The client might be a bit simple for more advanced users, but most should be happy with it. It has great connections and fast speeds, high quality encryption, servers all over the world and shared IPs. They also allow P2P across certain servers. For many users, it is a great option, but more advanced users may want to keep looking.
Are you an Iron Socket user? Leave an Iron Socket review below with your thoughts on the service, and help others out when making their decision