Headquartered in Dublin, InvizBox provides a range of devices offering hardware VPN protection for home, office and mobile use.
They’ve sent us their InvizBox Go device to review.
What is it?
The InvizBox Go is a portable VPN router that can double as a power bank and also be used as a Wifi extender in your home or office.
The VPN feature helps you to protect your identity online, stream geo-blocked content and block ads among other things. The VPN service is provided by IP Vanish.
It has a built-in battery which is good for around ten hours of mobile use but can also be used as a mobile power bank to power your devices if needed.
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, you get the Invizbox Go which is about the same size as most mobile phones these days. It measures 129x70x10 so it’s portable and won’t add any noticeable weight to your backpack.
The Invizbox comes with a carry case, charging cable and some quick start guides.
Taking a look around the device there’s a battery indicator and micro USB port on one side of the device while a full-size USB port, WiFi indicator and reset button sit on the other side.
The on/off button is hidden under the logo on the front face. An interesting place for it but not one you’d find too easy without the quick start guide!
The build quality seems great and the unit feels good in the hand.
Once you have turned on the device you need to wait 60 seconds for it to start up and the WiFi indicator on the unit turns red.
You then go to your WiFi settings on your device and select the “Invizbox” hotspot to connect to.
The quick start guide then instructs you to go to http://inviz.box, enter the password which comes in the box and you now have access to the router’s admin settings.
I initially completed these steps on an iPhone but found it was taking a while to load pages so I reset the device and tried again and things worked better.
When I logged into this area on an iPad and from a laptop, you are presented with a UI that is similar to most router admin areas where all the settings for the device and the VPN can be accessed.
How easy is it to use day to day?
After you have turned the device on and let it start up, the first screen you are presented with after logging in is for selecting an available network for the InvizBox Go to connect to. If you select an open network you’re ready to go but if it’s secured you’ll need to add the credentials. If you connect to a network for a second time the device will automatically log in and be ready to use once you connect to it.
Besides the sixty seconds wait, the whole process is fairly painless. If you don’t need to adjust any of the router’s settings and just want to get online you should be ready to go in under two minutes all told.
The introduction of an App, which we are told will come in the near future, could streamline this process further. Considering this is a mobile device and you could end up completing these connection steps multiple times a day if you are on the go, it may become a little tedious.
One issue we’ve noticed while testing is that the unit only picks up 2.4Ghz networks and not 5Ghz networks which would have been nice to see included here.
Out of the box the VPN service is provided by IP Vanish. IP Vanish is an established VPN provider with over 500 servers available in 20 different countries. They also don’t retain server logs which is an important feature for most users.
Like any VPN service, your mileage will vary depending on where the server is located and what load it’s under but with over 500 servers it’s usually easy to find one that performs as you want.
When connected to low-speed networks we didn’t notice any slowdown at all. When we tested an iPhone connected to a 50Mb connection we saw it achieve 42Mbs connected directly and when connecting through the InvizBox Go we were averaging around 28Mbs. These were by no means scientific tests and using any VPN will introduce some slowdowns so this is only general info rather than part of the review of the device itself.
The InvizBox Go can be purchased with either a 2 month, 12 months or 24-month subscription to the IP Vanish VPN service.
You can also choose to connect via the TOR network rather than to the VPS service if you want to so the device can be used without any VPN subscription if needed.
The InvizBox Go comes with a 5000mAh battery built in. This should allow you up to ten hours of use on the go but if you’re stuck you can charge a phone from it. With a 5000mAh battery, you will be able to charge most phones at least once. It’s a nice feature to have and may result in you carrying one less device with you.
Again this is another nice feature to have included. Maybe you have a spot in your home or office that is at the limit fo your current WiFi network. You can connect the InvizBox Go to your current WiFi router and use it to extend that network.
Settings for this can be accessed from the router admin area and it’s very straightforward to set up.
The InvizBox Go is available at €119, €159 or €199 depending on whether you opt for the 2, 12 or 24-month VPN subscription.
The InvizBox Go went through two successful crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and is now shipping internationally.
The device can be bought directly from the InvizBox website.
There is a lot to like about the InvizBox Go. It’s a neat little device and isn’t just a one-trick pony.
I can see this device being of benefit to people who spend a lot of time connecting to public WiFi hotspots. You can imagine the scenario where you walk into a coffee shop, turn the device on, order your drink and get the login details for the WiFi network and by the time you sit down, you’re pretty much ready to go.
I think more advanced users will have VPN services already installed on each device they use but for the general public, the ease of using a device like the InvizBox Go and the protection it offers you when using public networks makes it a no-brainer.
It’s reasonably priced at €119, offers a couple of options for connecting to the web securely and privately, it doubles up as a power bank and WiFi extender and it’s straightforward to use.
Anyone who isn’t already using a VPN service should check out the InvbizBox website now to find out more.
Disclaimer: The device was provided at no cost by the manufacturer for the purpose of review. They have had no editorial input into this article before or since publishing.