iPrivo is a free advert supported VPN provider, it will allocate you a UK IP address (additional US server planned) able to stream online TV, bypass Internet filters and hide your online activities from your ISP. During installation you will be asked for permission to install TAP-Win32 OpenVPN drivers, a toolbar and set your default search engine to iPrivo, the results are provided by Google with iPrivo earning a little commission, this shouldn’t be a big problem for the user.
The main concern was having to install a toolbar, without it you won’t be able to use the free VPN, turning the VPN on and off and settings are all administrated using the toolbar. I did not find it intrusive, it had a search box, a server selection tab, IP speed test, and links to services like Facebook, YouTube and online games, the option to select the US server was greyed out but it hinted that other locations should be available in the future.
Connecting iPrivo from Europe the speed test in the UK server gave me an acceptable 1.3MB download, 320Kbit/s upload, and 133ms ping rate, I accessed the BBC iPlayer with it and I did experience any trouble streaming the BBC live from abroad.
At the moment the service is in beta (testing phase) and it really felt that way, I didn’t manage to get the toolbar installed in Internet Explorer, maybe because I already had the AVG toolbar, I don’t know for sure. My favourite Opera browser was not supported and I ended up downloading the Chrome browser. It couldn’t turn the VPN on and off in the Chrome browser using the button in the toolbar and I had to do it manually going inside iPrivo folder manually executing the program. I would imagine those problems will be ironed out in the future, once the toolbar shows in your browser everything should work fine, don’t be discouraged to give it a try due to my bad experience, the application is easy to uninstall and it did not leave anything behind.
I was reassured that this is not a temporary offer reading on iPrivo frontpage that the VPN will always be free. Unlike other VPNs iPrivo logs policy was easy to find and understand, they claim to anonymize user’s IPs first and erase stored logs after one 1 week, quite fair, I also wasn’t shown any advert during my Internet browsing session.
If you are on a VPN package with a bandwidth cap you might want to consider iPrivo for video and music streaming saving your premium VPN for email and browsing sensitive sites.
Update 2014: iPrivo is no longer a free service!