Gradual removal of port forwarding from the IVPN service

IVPN News By IVPN Staff | Posted on June 29, 2023

Protecting the interest of our customers and ensuring the stability of the service have been key principles for IVPN since starting our operations more than ten years ago. To keep delivering on these promises, we have made the decision to gradually phase out the port forwarding feature from the IVPN Pro plan.

Reasons for this change

Port forwarding enables activities, such as large scale abuse and sharing of objectionable materials that can have a negative effect on our servers and operations. While the majority of customers are not using the feature for such purposes, actions of a few can have undesirable consequences affecting the whole VPN network.

Since recent similar changes in the policies of another popular VPN service provider, we have seen a significant influx of new customers, and the risks posed by such activities have grown manyfold. A considerable increase in law enforcement inquiries and erosion of relationship with data centers could threaten our ability to keep serving our customers.

We have no insights into how any one specific customer uses IVPN, and that needs to stay that way. After careful deliberation, we have found no other way to avoid further negative outcomes, but to gradually remove the port forwarding feature from service. We expect this move will result in more favourable load and bandwidth conditions on our end points. These changes should enable a better customer experience for our subscribers going forward.

Timeline

  1. As of today (29 June 2023), Port forwarding is not offered for new customers as part of the Pro plan. Further, existing IVPN Pro customers cannot reserve new ports. Existing reservations will stay in place, and can be disabled by manual action.

  2. We are disabling all reserved ports and completely remove this feature from our service on 30 September 2023.

How does it affect you

Overall, we expect this change to improve the service for the vast majority of our customers, whilst negatively affecting only a small percent.

If you have an IVPN Standard account, this change does not affect you.

By default, port forwarding is disabled on Pro accounts. If you have a Pro account, and have not activated port forwarding in the My Account settings, then this change does not affect you either. We suggest reading our ‘Do you support Port Forwarding?' explainer to learn more.

This change will only affect IVPN Pro users who take advantage of port forwarding to host servers behind the VPN. Examples for this are gaming servers, media servers, web servers or blockchain nodes. Another popular application is running a seedbox or file server to distribute a significant quantity of data. For some of these use cases, there are alternate solutions, for example using a free mesh VPN like Tailscale to access your home servers from outside your private network. You can consult our ‘How do I remotely connect to my home system or services?' guide for more information.

If you have an IVPN Pro subscription with port forwarding enabled, note that once you disable your current reserved port, you won’t be able to enable this feature again. Further, your current port forwarding set up will stop working on 30 September.

If you have any questions or concerns about this change, contact us.

IVPN Team

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