best IKEv2 VPNs

If you’re knowledgeable about VPN, you probably already know that the two most widely-used secure VPN protocols are OpenVPN and WireGuard. And even if you’re not a VPN expert but have used one before, it’s more than likely you were using either OpenVPN or WireGuard.

Another popular VPN protocol is less commonly used but just as secure: IKEv2. When we say IKEv2, we actually mean IPsec over IKEv2. That’s because IKEv2 itself is a tunneling protocol – it doesn’t encrypt anything. The encryption part uses IPsec, hence the IPsec/IKEv2 denomination – they work together to secure your traffic.

In this post, we’re going to round up the best IKEv2 VPN providers. If you’re in a rush, you can read a quick summary below:

  1. NordVPNThe best IKEv2 VPN. Has OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 support. No logs, great speeds, excellent security, and extensive streaming support. It’s easy to understand why NordVPN is our top choice.
  2. ExpressVPN – OpenVPN and IKEv2 support. Over 3,000 servers in more than 94 countries. High-speed connections to secured VPN servers with strong encryption. Hard to go wrong with ExpressVPN.
  3. Surfshark – Great speeds, massive VPN network, and low prices are just some of the features that grant Surfshark a top spot.
  4. CyberghostCyberGhost provides fast speeds, has a strict no-logs policy and includes an ads and tracker blocker. Another great IKEv2 VPN provider.
  5. IPVanishWith its excellent privacy policy, robust encryption, and great speeds, IPVanish is a fantastic choice for security-minded users. It also supports unlimited simultaneous connections and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Comparison table

We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for IKEv2.

No valueNordVPNExpressVPNSurfsharkCyberGhostIPVanish
WebsiteNordVPN.comExpressVPN.comSurfshark.comCyberghost.comIPVanish.com
Avg Speed (Mbps)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps
Kill SwitchDesktop onlymacOS, Android Mobile, and Windows
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, RoutersWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TVWindows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android
Activity logsNoneNo identifying dataNoneNo identifying dataNo logs stored
Best deal (per month)$3.09
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$6.67
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$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free
$2.19
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$2.99
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The best IKEv2 VPNs

There are more VPN providers today than ever. And they’re certainly not all “the best.” So beyond supporting IKEv2, below you’ll find the criteria we used to choose the best VPNs for IKEv2:

  • The VPN should not log any identifying information about its users and their use of the service
  • It should use robust and up-to-date encryption standards
  • It should provide fast, reliable connection speeds
  • It should provide DNS leak protection
  • It should allow torrenting
  • It should offer good streaming support (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc.)

Here’s our list of the best IKEv2 VPNs:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is hard to beat, regardless of the metric you choose as a discriminator. The service is based in Panama, which is not part of the Five Eyes Alliance and has no mandatory data retention laws. Its server network provides access to over 5600 servers, which all support the IKEv2 protocol.

NordVPN also has some of the best security practices in the commercial VPN market. It adheres to a robust no-logging policy, which bars it from collecting any data points on your online activities or usage of the service.

Beyond that, it’s one of the fastest VPN providers we’ve tested, which makes it a great choice for torrenting and 4K/8K streaming. NordVPN boasts some of the most extensive streaming support in the VPN industry.

NordVPN provides native clients for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon FireTV. It supports NAS devices and routers. It’s hard to go wrong with this one.

Pros:

  • Excellent speeds
  • Extensive streaming support
  • Large server network
  • Robust privacy and security practices
  • Impervious to IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks
  • Not part of the Five Eyes Alliance

Cons:

  • Desktop apps can become unresponsive

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST IKEv2 VPN: It supports OpenVPN and WireGuard along with IKEv2. No logs, great speeds, and extensive streaming support are just some of the features that make this VPN great. NordVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try NordVPN risk-free.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is another excellent provider that we’re used to recommending. It supports three secure VPN protocols: OpenVPN, Lightway, ExpressVPN’s custom VPN protocol – which is open source, and IKEv2 on all of its (3000+) servers.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is not part of the UK, so no Five Eyes concerns here. Its security practices are on par with NordVPN, using AES-256 encryption, 4096-bit RSA keys, SHA256 authentication, and it also implements perfect forward secrecy (PFS). It also runs all of its servers from volatile memory (RAM), and they all boot from read-only disks. That pretty much guarantees that no remnant data (logs) can exist on the system’s hard drives – which is excellent for user privacy.

Even with all that in place, ExpressVPN manages to provide excellent speeds – it’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested. Torrenting was fast and easy, with all of ExpressVPN’s apps including a kill switch and providing DNS leak protection. As for streaming, its support is tough to beat, as it works with many services other VPN providers have trouble supporting (Hulu, HBO).

ExpressVPN supplies native apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and some routers.

Pros:

  • Great speeds
  • Excellent streaming support
  • Large server network
  • Strong encryption
  • First-rate privacy and security practices
  • Not part of the Five Eyes

Cons:

  • More expensive than others
  • Doesn’t support WireGuard

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

EASY-TO-USE: and its VPN network boasts over 3,000 servers in more than 94 countries. You get high-speed connections to secured VPN servers with robust encryption. Streaming support is excellent and the service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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3. Surfshark

Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark hasn’t been around for as long as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, but in the past few years, it’s built an impressive reputation for being one of the best secure VPN providers available. The service is based in the Netherlands, which is part of an extended intelligence-sharing network of countries known as the Nine Eyes (the Five Eyes nations, plus four more, including the Netherlands). While the Netherlands has no mandatory logging laws, it could still compel a VPN provider to hand over user logs. But because of Surfshark’s stringent no-logging policy, it wouldn’t have anything to give even if that were to happen.

Beyond its excellent privacy and security practices, Surfshark supports OpenVPN, WireGuard, and, of course, IKEv2 on all of its 3000+ servers scattered across more than 100 countries. And its speeds are excellent.

Its streaming support is fantastic, and the service allows for unlimited simultaneous connections. All of its apps include a kill switch and use Surfshark’s in-house DNS servers by default to prevent DNS leaks – great for torrenting. And it’s also one of the few VPN providers to work from China.

Surfshark provides client apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and Amazon FireTV.

Pros:

  • Very good speeds
  • Fantastic streaming support
  • Excellent privacy and security policies
  • Works in China

Cons:

  • Nine Eyes jurisdiction may be off-putting despite its no-logging policy

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VALUE VPN: IKEv2 and grants you access to its massive network of 3,000+ servers at a great price. Surfshark offers great speeds, unlimited simultaneous connections and even works from China. It includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost is another recommended VPN provider that supports IKEv2. It was initially based in Germany before relocating to Romania. It was recently acquired, though CyberGhost has stated that it plans on remaining an independent company based in Romania. That should ease any intelligence-sharing fears a VPN user could have. But, as is the case with Surfshark, CyberGhost’s strict no-logging policy should offer further peace of mind to would-be CyberGhost users.

Beyond IKEv2 support (along with OpenVPN and WireGuard), what makes CyberGhost a great choice as a VPN provider is its large VPN server and fast speeds – ideal for torrenting. The service works with most popular streaming services from abroad. It uses 256-bit encryption with SHA256 authentication. All of its apps protect from DNS and IPv6 leak protection, have a kill switch, and block ads and trackers.

It’s also one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested.

CyberGhost provides native apps for Windows, macOS, Linux (CLI), iOS, and Android. A connection can be manually configured on supported routers.

Pros:

  • Great speeds
  • Excellent streaming support
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Ads and tracker blocker

Cons:

  • UK ownership may be problematic for some
  • Apps are extremely simple, with few settings exposed to users

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

EXTRA FEATURES VPN: great provider that supports IKEv2. It provides fast speeds, has a strict no-logs policy and includes an ads and tracker blocker. It also works well with streaming services and comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is another excellent VPN provider, though it may be lesser-known than other entries on our list. IPVanish is based in the United States, so the usual Five Eyes intelligence-sharing concerns may appear on the radar. But, as with any of our recommended VPNs, IPVanish adheres to an excellent privacy policy (it’s really good). It collects only aggregated and anonymous performance data for troubleshooting and optimizing the service. Ot also explicitly lists what it does not collect:

  • Traffic destination or content
  • IP addresses
  • Connection time stamps
  • DNS queries

It also highlights its commitment to collecting as little user data as possible. So the fact that it’s based in the US doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

IPVanish supports the obligatory IKEv2 protocol as well as OpenVPN, WireGuard, SSTP (Windows-only), and L2TP/IPsec.

IPVanish uses AES-256-bit encryption, SHA512 authentication, and DHE-RSA 2048 key exchange that supports perfect forward secrecy (PFS). In our testing, IPVanish provided excellent speeds and was invulnerable to DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC leaks.

It’s an excellent VPN for torrenting, but while its streaming support is good, it may not be as good as other providers on our list. In our tests, we could access Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. Still, that’s not bad – especially given that streaming over VPN is getting more difficult these days as streaming services crackdown on VPN use.

On other fronts, IPVanish provides access to over 2000 VPN servers located in more than 75 countries. And it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections. It offers native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, ChromeOS, and Amazon FireTV. Linux is also supported, but there’s no app; you have to configure your connection manually.

Pros:

  • Great speeds
  • Excellent privacy policy
  • Strong encryption
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • Based in the United States (Five Eyes)
  • Streaming support could be better

Our score:

4 out of 5

GREAT SECURITY: an excellent privacy policy, provides strong encryption, and still manages to have great speeds. It also supports unlimited simultaneous connections,  so you can also connect as many devices as you want. The service also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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How to use an IKEv2 VPN?

IKEv2 VPNs don’t require any special instructions relative to other VPN protocols. So you go about it the same way as any other commercial VPN:

  1. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for one of the VPN providers above. NordVPN is our top recommended choice.
  2. Download the provider’s app for your device.
  3. Refer to your provider’s setup instructions. It should be as simple as accessing the settings and selecting the IKEv2 protocol. Your VPN provider should be able to help you with any issues you might encounter.
  4. All that’s left is to connect to a VPN server of your choice, and you’ve just secured your internet traffic with IKEv2.

One particularity of IKEv2 (and IPsec in general) is that it’s natively supported by most popular operating systems. So you could even connect to your provider’s IKEv2 servers without using a dedicated app. Your VPN provider should have manual setup instructions on its website.

Methodology used for testing

Below you’ll find the criteria used to assess the VPNs we review. It’s essential to be consistent across the board so that our reviews are reasonably objective and that we’re not comparing apples to oranges. For that reason, we disclose our criteria.

  • Speed – Speed is one of the most crucial factors for any VPN. Aside from being annoying, slow speeds can prevent you from streaming or browsing the web. Our recommended VPNs scored very high in our most recent speed tests to ensure we address this issue.
  • Servers worldwide – Access to various geographical regions is essential to VPN users. It helps when you want to bypass geo-restrictions. And it makes it easier to find a server that’s close to your actual location to maximize your speed.
  • Multiple protocols – Supporting IKEv2 is a given here. But there may be times when you need a different protocol. OpenVPN, for example, can use TCP, which can help to bypass restrictive firewalls in some situations. So having a good choice of protocols is important. The majority of our recommended VPNs support IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard.
  • Ease-of-use – To really be able to recommend a VPN provider, it needs to be easy to use and accessible to all, whether they’re tech-savvy or not. And while it’s possible to connect to an IKEv2 VPN manually without an app, all the providers listed above provide simple and straightforward client apps so you can be up and running in minutes.
  • Streaming services – Accessing streaming sites over a VPN is more challenging than ever. And while many VPN providers claim to work on streaming sites, their success rates can vary. Before recommending a VPN provider for streaming, we test VPNs against various popular streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, etc.
  • Torrenting – Many VPN users are avid file-sharers, but not all VPN providers allow torrenting over their network. Others provide dedicated P2P servers. We look at each VPN’s policy around torrenting – making sure it’s supported – and run tests on those to see how well they handle file-sharing.
  • Security & privacy – That’s why VPNs exist in the first place. We ask essential questions like: What is the provider’s privacy policy like? What is its logging policy? What encryption protocols does the VPN support? Does it use strong ciphers? Does it support Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS)? Is it vulnerable to IP address or DNS leaks? These are all crucial questions, and we provide answers to all of them when assessing VPNs’ privacy and security practices.

The above represents a high-level view of our methodology. For more details, look at our full VPN testing methodology. This data-driven approach helps us better understand the services to recommend the right VPN to different users.

IKEv2 VPNs FAQ

Are there free IKEv2 VPNs?

There are free VPNs out there, but I tend to stay away from them for a couple of reasons. First, free VPNs typically have extremely small server networks. Significant chunks of their users will end up on the same servers. An online service that sees large amounts of traffic originating from the same IP address will interpret that as VPN use and block connections from that VPN server’s IP address. Keep in mind that most free VPNs have slow speeds and poor security practices, so we don’t usually recommend them. Case in point, a 2020 study concluded that close to 40 percent of the free VPNs tested were susceptible to leaking some form of identifiable personal information. Ouch.

Why use IKEv2 in the first place?

The reasons to use IKEv2 are pretty straightforward:

  • It’s a VPN protocol deemed very secure and supports modern encryption.
  • It’s great for mobile users (road warriors) through its Mobility and Multihoming Protocol (MOBIKE) support, making the protocol resilient to network changes.
  • As mentioned above, it’s also natively supported by most operating systems today, so you can use IKEv2 without requiring a dedicated app from your VPN provider.

Will an IKEv2 VPN slow my connection down?

Regardless of which protocol you use, a VPN will inevitably slow your connection to some degree – there’s simply no way around that. But using IKEv2 with a reputable VPN provider is a good combination if you want to limit your speed reduction. 

That’s because IKEv2 (which uses IPsec) is one of the faster (secure) VPN protocol available today. And a reputable VPN provider will manage to minimize the slowdown as much as possible. It’ll still be there because your traffic needs to make an extra hop through the VPN server before reaching its destination. Another factor is that when on VPN, your traffic needs to be encrypted and decrypted as you go about your online activities. That will slow you down even further. 

Well-established VPN providers will provide their servers with more bandwidth and perform other optimizations to ensure you get the best speeds possible.

What are the alternatives to IKEv2?

Most VPN providers support more than a single protocol. All the VPN providers included in this article only support secure VPN protocols, and they support more than one. Below is a list of the most common VPN protocols you’re likely to encounter in the commercial VPN space:

  • WireGuard
  • OpenVPN
  • L2TP/IPsec
  • IPsec/IKEv2
  • PPTP
  • SSTP

Bear in mind that these are not all secure protocols. The PPTP protocol, for example, has been deprecated for many years. And even Microsoft itself (who created the protocol) advises against using it. L2TP/IPsec, while not completely broken like PPTP, is getting a bit dated, so there’s no reason to use it over IKEv2. SSTP, while secure, is also known to be on the slower side and is limited to certain operating systems.

In my book, there are only three VPN protocols that should be widely used today, and those are OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2.