Best VPN-services Sites

1

Hotspot Shield VPN Reviews

4.9 out of 5.0

2

Ivacy VPN Reviews

4.8 out of 5.0

3

NordVPN VPN Reviews

4.7 out of 5.0

4

CyberGhost VPN Reviews

4.6 out of 5.0

5

Norton Secure VPN Reviews

4.5 out of 5.0

6

VPNCity VPN Reviews

4.4 out of 5.0

IPVanish VPN Reviews 2020

IPVanish VPN Reviews 2020
Price
Quality
Guarantees
Support
Summary

IPVanish offers high-speed connections and an impressive list of advanced security features at a budget-friendly price.

For this review, we put IPVanish through its paces. We thoroughly tested its speed, performance, ease of use, and ability to access popular streaming services like Netflix. The short answer? Yes, IPVanish is able to unblock Netflix. It can also unblock popular services like Vudu, HBO Go, and YouTube.

Keep reading if you want to see what else IPVanish can do for you.

Streaming – Does IPVanish Work with Netflix?

The mark of a truly great VPN is its ability to bypass geo-restrictions and VPN blocks. IPVanish is now able to unblock Netflix US on most servers. I got the fastest connection, and best quality streaming, on its Las Vegas, Dallas, and Chicago servers. I was able to unblock Vudu, ESPN, DAZN, and HBO Go as well as free services like YouTube.

I also tested:

  • FOX US: 18/18 servers unblock FOX
  • ABC.com: 0/18 servers unblock ABC
  • Hotstar India: 1/1 servers unblock Hotstar
  • BBC iPlayer: 0/4 servers unblock BBC iPlayer
  • SlingTV: 18/18 servers unblock SlingTV

Overall, I found it frustrating to use IPVanish for streaming, because it couldn’t bypass all VPN blocks.

If you’re looking for a VPN to stream geoblocked content, you’ll be better off with NordVPN. NordVPN can bypass VPN blocks and geoblocks. It also uses SmartPlay technology to automatically switch to the right server, so you don’t have to manually change your settings.

IPVanish Speeds

Buffering is an issue for almost everyone. Nobody likes wasting time staring at a screen while a video loads.

When you’re connected to a VPN, your connection speed may drop slightly because your data is traveling farther to reach a remote server. However, this speed loss should be barely noticeable.

In fact, if your local network is subject to congestion or ISP throttling, you may even gain speed with a VPN.

Your connection speed is measured based on its ping, download speed, and upload speed.

Its ping indicates how quickly you will get a response from a website once you’ve sent a request, or clicked on a link. The lower your ping, the faster your connection will response. Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms).

Its download speed measures how quickly you can download information from a server to your device. This will affect your loading times, and the speed at which you can download files from the internet. Download speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

Its upload speed tells us how fast your connection can send data to other devices and websites. It affects how long it takes to upload large files, share photos, and transmit video via video chat. Upload speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

With all of this in mind, I tested my IPVanish connection for speed loss, and I was pleasantly surprised.

My speed before connecting to IPVanish was 12.39 Mbps download, with 0.79 Mbps upload and a ping of 23 ms.

When I connected to my local IPVanish server, my download speed dropped to 8.46 Mbps. My upload speed stayed almost the same at 0.73Mbps, and my ping increased to 58 ms.

When I connected to an overseas (US) IPVanish server, my download speed decreased again to 7.12 Mbps. My upload speed dropped slightly to 0.71 Mbps. which is still quite fast.

Although my latency suffered a small amount while connected to the US server, it remained within normal limits. I barely noticed any change in loading times while browsing and watching videos.

Is IPVanish Good for Torrenting?

IPVanish allows unlimited P2P connections, so you can torrent safely and anonymously. During testing, I found that my download speeds dropped slightly while torrenting, but the change was barely noticeable.

Security – Is IPVanish Safe?

Does IPVanish Keep Logs?

Today, IPVanish claims to keep a strict no-logs policy.

This was not the case during a data-logging scandal in 2016. IPVanish complied with the Department of Homeland Security’s request for user information. The individual was involved in a child abuse and pornography investigation, and ultimately, this information helped the investigation. However, their compliance proved that they kept logs.

It is important to remember that the IPVanish provider is based in the US, and therefore subject to the 5/9/14 Eyes’ jurisdiction. This means that they can be summoned to turn over any records they have on an individual to the government.

But is this a security threat to your or me? Well, no, mostly because this issue has been resolved. IPVanish was acquired by StackPath in 2017, and its new management guarantees that they do not store any logs.

Does IPVanish Have an Ad Blocker?

IPVanish does not have a built-in ad blocker. However, you can use third party ad blockers while connected to IPVanish servers.

Does IPVanish Work in China?

IPVanish is blocked by the Great Firewall of China.

Price and Value for Money

Does IPVanish Have a Free Version?

IPVanish offers a free 7-day trial to users who sign up using its iOS app.

IPVanish’s Refund Policy

You can try it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This gives you plenty of time to try out their services.

Is IPVanish Compatible with My Device?

IPVanish offers apps for all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Windows Phone, Linux, and Chromebook. You can even install it on your router for network-wide protection.

You can connect up to 10 devices with a single account. This is good news for large families, small businesses, and tech enthusiasts such as myself. It’s a great improvement on the standard package offered by other premium VPNs, which usually allows 3-6 devices per account.

Encryption

IPVanish safeguards your data with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption.

This protocol is virtually unbreakable. Even if your internet traffic is intercepted by cybercriminals or government spies, they won’t be able to read your data. It will just look like a series of random numbers and letters.

DNS Leak Prevention

Sometimes your DNS requests can accidentally be routed to your ISP’s DNS servers, even happen when you’re connected to a VPN. This reveals your real IP location to websites, and allows your ISP to track your online activity.

IPVanish uses DNS leak prevention technology to ensure this never occurs.

I ran several tests to check the DNS leak prevention while connected to IPVanish, and couldn’t find any leaks.

Automatic Kill Switch

An automatic kill switch makes sure your IP Address isn’t accidentally exposed in case of a dropped connection with the VPN server.

Kill switches are quickly becoming standard in the industry. I was disappointed to discover that this feature is only available for macOS and Windows.

IPVanish for Fire TV Stick

IPVanish is one of the few VPNs to offer a native app for Amazon Fire TV Stick. With the app, you can protect your connection and bypass geoblocks to unlock content from other regions. Installation is easy, and there’s a detailed set-up guide on IPVanish’s website.

How to install IPVanish on your Fire TV Stick:

    1. From your home screen, select ‘apps’ and then ‘categories.
    2. Select ‘utility’ and then click the IPVanish app.
    3. Click ‘get’ and wait for the app to download.
    4. Once it has downloaded, click ‘open’ and enter your log-in details.
    5. Click ‘connect’ to use the best available server, or choose your server manually in the ‘options’ menu.

IPVanish Customer Service

IPVanish offers customer support via its help section, email, and 24/7 live chat service.

The fastest way to get in touch is via live chat. I only had to wait one minute to receive a reply to my question from a customer support agent, who was friendly and polite.

Unfortunately, I was given incorrect information. I asked if IPVanish offers a free trial. The agent told me there were no free trials available, but the website states that it offers a free trial for iOS users.

Hopefully, however, you would get reliable technical advice if something goes wrong with your service.

User Experience

IPVanish is perfect for beginners. It’s quick to download and easy to install. There are detailed set-up guides for every platform.

You don’t need to configure any advanced settings in the app, but you can fine-tune it to your needs.

When you log in for the first time, you’re greeted with an optional tutorial to show you the ropes.

The app is very lightweight. It won’t slow your system down, and it’s quick to start up when you want to connect.

It’s easy to change servers. For anonymity and speed, you should select a server that’s close to your current location. To bypass a geoblock, you’ll need to connect to a server in the location where the content is readily available.

Conclusion

IPVanish is easy to use and offers amazing security features. It is a solid, reliable VPN that’s perfect for security-conscious browsing. However, it can’t compete when it comes to streaming and online entertainment.

I was impressed with its speed and performance tests, but unimpressed by its inability to bypass VPN blocks.

It has compatibility issues, struggles with geo-restricted content, and doesn’t offer the best value for money.

If you’re looking to invest in a VPN for privacy alone, IPVanish excels. But if you need full, unrestricted access to everything on the internet, especially streaming various services, I’d recommend one of these five vendors instead.

 

Features Details
Number of countries with servers 75
Number of servers 1300
Number of IP addresses 40000
Does VPN keep logs? No
Does VPN include a kill switch? Yes
Number of devices per license 10

US-based VPN provider IPVanish claims to be “The World’s Best VPN Service“.

While they have an abundance of endorsements and sponsorships and offer an admittedly feature-rich product, the question remains, “Can they live up to their own hype?”

In this review, I’ll be providing you with a detailed answer to that question.

I will be taking an unbiased look at IPVanish, analyzing everything from the company’s background, services, features, pricing, and more.

Let’s get started.

IPVanish VPN Overview

OVERALL RANK: #5 out of 78 VPNs
USABILITY: Very Easy, Supports All Devices
LOG FILES: No Logging Policy
LOCATIONS: 60+ countries, 1200+ servers
SUPPORT: No Live Chat, response takes days
TORRENTING: P2P & Torrenting Allowed, Encouraged
NETFLIX: Yes 1/4
ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL: AES 256-bit, OpenVPN, SOCKS5
COST: $4.87/$6.75/$7.50/mo
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.ipvanish.com

Founded in 1999 under the umbrella of Mudhook Marketing (located in US, Florida), IP Vanish has quickly earned a reputation as one of the top VPN providers in the marketplace.

1,300+ servers (and counting) across more than 75 different countries (primarily located in Europe and North America).

Their VPN services are compatible with nearly every device and OS imaginable and they have dedicated apps for Windows, Mac OS, Android, Fire TV and IOS. For the more tech-savvy users, they also allow customers to manually setup an IPVanish configuration on Window’s phones, Ubuntu, ChromeBook, and your routers.

IPVanish also supports all major VPN protocols and even allows users access to the download-free SOCKS5 web proxy (which I will touch on later).

IPVanish Pros (+)

1. Fast Speed (only 18% slower than without a VPN)

I ran a few speed test on the IPVanish servers and here is what I came up with (I’m using 100 Mbps Internet connection within EU).

US Server (New York)

  • Ping: 133ms
  • Download: 34.71 Mbps
  • Upload: 24.72 Mbps

EU Server (Amsterdam)

  • Ping: 38ms
  • Download: 82.67 Mbps
  • Upload: 43.19 Mbps

Asia Server (Hong Kong)

  • Ping: 341ms
  • Download: 7.61 Mbps
  • Upload: 5.88 Mbps

UK Server (London)

  • Ping: 56ms
  • Download: 80.25 Mbps
  • Upload: 42.09 Mbps

IPVanish offers respectable download and upload speeds. When connected from EU to EU they only throttled my speed by 18%.

However,  it’s hard to justify the cost of their service when you compare the US speeds that they offer with the speeds of other, less expensive services.

For example, the download speeds of IPVanish (on the U.S. based servers) were slower than NordVPN and SaferVPN , which both cost less than $4/month.

2. Decent Working App

Installing their app was a pretty smooth straightforward process (although, annoyingly, I had to restart my computer afterward).

Upon launching the software, it was instantly apparent that IPVanish offers an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. They now also offer a kill switch for Windows and Mac users.

They make it easy for you to find everything you need and give you a plethora of settings and options to toy around with.

The only complaint I have with their interface is that they offer no instructions on setting up and using the SOCKS5 proxy from the account portal.

While this isn’t a huge deal and can easily be resolved with a quick Google search , with the SOCKS5 proxy being such a huge selling point, you would think that they would streamline the setup process as much as possible.

3. Zero Traffic Logs 

If you read through the fine print in the privacy policy of many VPN services, you might be shocked to realize that their advertised “Anonymous Browsing Experience” isn’t so anonymous after all.

In fact, if you choose the wrong provider, your personal data and information could be stored on one of the company’s internal servers and the privacy policy (which you agreed to) gives them the rights to use that data for a whatever purposes they see fit.

Unfortunately, we have mixed feelings about IPVanish’s “no logs” policy. They’ve been in the news in the past for logging and handing over data for a user to Homeland Security, despite claiming that they keep no logs. That doesn’t give users who use their service full trust in them. This happened in 2016, though. They’ve since been taken over by a new company, called StackPath, that promises full assurance of privacy and security.

In their own words,

We have a strict policy against the collection of both connection and activity logs. We will never store the metadata about your VPN session or information about how you used the service.

So while you are never truly anonymous online, IPVanish is one of the few VPNs that gets you about as close to total anonymity as possible.

4. Strong Encryption (AES-256)

IPVanish relies on the same encryption protocol, AES-256, that is used by many of the world’s leading security agencies and government organizations.

With the rapidly increasing number of brute force cyber attacks, this is a huge plus.

In December of 2016, WordFence, a WordPress security plugin, noticed a dramatic increase in the number of brute force attacks being executed against WordPress websites (which power more than 25% of the internet).

In fact, things got so bad that, at one point, there were more than 30,000 unique attacking IPs per day!

While this statistic should serve as a wakeup call to many website owners, it also should not be a cause for alarm.

By surfing the web with an AES-256 encrypted VPN (like IPVanish) your IP address and all personal data will be protected from hackers to the point that your data is virtually “Brute Force Proof”

That also means that you can get around IP specific censorship leveraged by schools, employers, and governments.

5. Download Free SOCKS5 Web Proxy 

Like most VPN providers, IPVanish allows users access to several different protocols including the default OpenVPN as well as PPTP, and L2TP.

While OpenVPN’s are generally the recommended protocol since they offer fast speeds that don’t sacrifice privacy or security, they do come with a downside.

That downside is that you have to download a client directly to your device in order to access the unique certificate required to establish a secure connection.

Luckily, there is an alternative.

IPVanish gives their customers access to a special proxy server protocol known as SOCKS or Socket Security. This protocol allows you to enjoy the same benefits of a standard VPN without having to download any software to any of your devices.

This means that you can hide your IP address, hide personal information, and enjoy faster performance all without downloading an intrusive third-party tool.

While this provides a huge service to certain customers (especially individuals looking to circumvent censorship laws or other IP-related restrictions), it should be noted that the speed and download-free surfing comes at a cost.

Namely your security.

The reason a SOCKS proxy is able to achieve faster speeds than a traditional VPN is that it doesn’t use the same encryption standards.

In other words, it doesn’t offer the same privacy and security protocols that prevent hackers, cyber-criminals, and governments from accessing your personal information.

While the proxy does an admiral job of obfuscating your location, it does little-to-no good when it comes to protecting your privacy and security.

Even though this is a “Pro” for IPVanish and certainly a unique protocol to offer, be cautious and educate yourself about the SOCKS proxy before taking advantage of this feature.

6. Torrenting is Allowed

With IPVanish, not only is torrenting (P2P) allowed… It’s blatantly encouraged.

Unlike many VPN providers, IPVanish has no qualms about customers using their service to “Torrent freely and privately.

Their carefree attitude towards torrenting might anger some anti-piracy advocates, however, for the average VPN user, this feature is a major bonus.

7. Ten Device Connection Limit

One of my favorite “Features” of IPVanish is that they allow you to simultaneously connect up to 10 devices.

Most VPN services, including premium companies like ExpressVPN, limit your simultaneous connections to 3 devices. This might not seem like a big deal to some of you, however, for those of you with family members or spouses, buying a second license can be a huge frustration and unwanted expense.

However, with IPVanish’s generous 10-device limit, you, your spouse, and even your kids can browse safely and securely… All at the same time.

8. Some Servers Unblock Netflix

IPVanish doesn’t specifically state on their site if they’ll work with Netflix or not.

Most VPN providers have begun steering clear of official statements over the past few years, because the video-streaming giant now employs one of the most sophisticated VPN-detection systems to date.

But regardless of their official stance, we still test them.

We connect to different country servers, fire up Netflix, and try to stream something. Anything!

Results didn’t start out well with IPVanish:

The first three servers we tried didn’t work:

  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

However, the fourth time was the charm!

We connected to a U.S. server in Chicago and were able to bypass detection.

  • United States: Chicago

The only issue was that the server lagged a bit. So if you need a VPN that works with Netflix, read this.

9. TOR Compatibility

TOR or The Orion Network is a network that encrypts and relays your traffic information across several servers ensuring that it is difficult (read: impossible) to track your real-time location.

For those of you who need serious security measures to fight against government surveillance or censorship laws, TOR allows you to create a second layer of security with an existing VPN to maximize your privacy and ensure that your location and identity remains private.

For most users, this will not be a deal breaker. However, for customers living in more draconian countries like China or North Korea, this added layer of security can literally be the difference between life and death. However, when we flew out to China to test VPNs, we found that IPVanish doesn’t really work there. IPVanish landed on the 20th spot of 28 providers we tested in China.

IPVanish also offers TOR compatibility.

10. No IP leaks or Malware found

We tested IPVanish with multiple DNS and IPLeak tests and they passed with flying colors.

We ran tests on 4 different sites:

  • IPLeak.net
  • Perfect-Privacy.com DNS & IP leak test
  • Browserleaks.com for WebRTC leaks
  • IPX.ac

I also ran a Virustotal test on their installer and it’s as clean as it gets.

IPVanish Cons (-)

1. Third-Party Reviews are a Mixed Bag

As I have stated throughout this article, my experience with IPVanish was more than satisfactory.

Outside of the TOR and Netflix compatibility issues, I didn’t really have any problems with their service or their customer support.

However, when I went digging for third party reviews… I was shocked to find that IPVanish actually drew a lot of heat in the online community.

On the Better Business Bureau website, IPVanish has received more than 17 customer complaints and they have failed to resolve or respond to at least 4 of those complaints.

After digging through Reddit, I found that many others users recorded negative experiences with IPVanish, although it was hard to find a consistent theme among the complaints.

In my own experience, IPVanish is far from perfect, but it is a high-quality VPN with solid customer service.

However, in the spirit of transparency and full disclosure, it’s important for potential buyers to realize that not every IPVanish customer has shared my positive experience.

2. Falsely Advertised 24/7/365 Support

One of the greatest annoyances when using a VPN is that the industry’s customer service is notoriously unreliable.

Sadly, IPVanish propagates this stereotype… and then some.

While their advertisements and marketing promise that users will have access to 24/7/365 support – it’s just not true.

For starters, they don’t even have a live chat option (which makes me wonder how in the world they thought that they could advertise 24/7 live support?)

This means that if you ever did need to get instant help, you wouldn’t be able to.

And when you do send in a support ticket, you don’t receive an immediate (or even remotely fast) response.

To fully understand how their support works I submitted 1 simple question and here’s (auto) their response:

1-2 days to reply?

Wow.

So much for 24/7/365 support…

In fact, after submitting my support ticket Friday afternoon, I didn’t receive a full reply from the support team until Monday.

That’s more than 60 hours of time during which I received no support. Certainly not a plus in my book.

Although they do have support center and knowledge base which is quite helpful, it doesn’t pardon the fact that they blatantly lie in their advertising and provide you with customer service that is a far cry from what you expect going in.

Do you think that you might be in need of instant support for your VPN service?

Then don’t bother with IPVanish… unless your definition of “instant” is 48 hours+.

IPVanish Pricing & Plans: (Affordable but Not “Cheap”)

One of the great things about IPVanish is that they don’t dilute their services by offering the traditional “Tiered Packages”.

There is no “IPVanish Bronze” or “IPVanish Platinum”. Instead, every customer receives exactly the same service with the only difference being the length of time for which they have access to that service.

Monthly: $7.50

Since I’ve never actually seen them offering their services for $11.99 a month, I will just chalk the advertised “17%/month savings” up to clever marketing and say that this plan is the equivalent of:

  • $7.50 per month
  • $90 per year
  • 0% Saving

I have, however, seen them offer this monthly service for $10 per month. It’s good to see that them offer this 25% discount off their former pricing. We hope that it sticks around

3 Months: $20.24

Unlike most VPN providers (and much to our surprise), IPVanish does not offer the traditional 6-month pricing option.

In its place they offer a quarterly 3-month pricing plan billed four times per year at $20.24. 

This boils down to:

  • $6.75 per month
  • $81 per year
  • 44% savings

12 Months: $58.49

Most VPN providers tier their costs, meanin the more time you commit for the lower the monthly price comes out to. Anyone looking for the best deal possible on IPVanish would want to opt for their one year commitment.

At only $58.49, the plan equates to:

  • $4.87 per month
  • $58.49 per year
  • 60% savings

IPVanish also offers a 7-day money back guarantee on every plan and allow you to pay with just about any method you desire (including credit card, PayPal and even bitcoin for anonymous payments).

While these prices are nowhere near as expensive as some of their more premium competitors (I’m looking at you ExpressVPN), they are still a far cry from “Budget Friendly”.

This fact is painfully illustrated when you take a look at the pricing plans offered by PIA and many other cheaper VPNs; you’ll quickly realize that you can find other high-quality VPN providers for less than half the price of IPVanish.

I do appreciate the all-inclusive pricing and love the simplicity of their offer, but frankly, I think that IPVanish is doing their company and their clients a disservice by not offering a steeper discount on their yearly plan.

However, for you to truly determine whether or not IPVanish is worth the investment, you first need to know what you get in return for your investment.

Do I Recommend IPVanish?

The answer is… It depends on what you are looking for.

IPVanish provides a reliable service at a reasonable price and while it doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking or truly exceptional, it does offer several features (like the SOCKS5 protocol) that make it appealing to a certain demographic of VPN users.

However, for most VPN buyers, I would be hard-pressed to recommend IPVanish (if for no other reason) due to the quality of their competition.

IPVanish isn’t a bad VPN, but the shoddy customer service, compatibility issues, and the simple fact that you can find better offers for cheaper make it hard for me to recommend them to most readers.

IPVanish is a popular VPN service that boasts a larger server network and claims to deliver the “best VPN speeds” in the industry.

Perhaps like you, I’m never satisfied taking these marketing statements at face value. So I decided to put IPVanish through extensive testing for this updated IPVanish review:

  • Does IPVanish offer “top tier” speeds throughout the entire server network?
  • Do IPVanish’s apps keep all data safe with a good kill switch, IP and DNS leak protection, and secure encryption?
  • Does IPVanish provide stable connections without interruptions (good reliability)?
  • Is it worth the price?

All of these questions are answered in the review below, with all tests results backed up by screenshots. First we’ll cover an overview explaining the review findings, then dive into the detailed results.

IPVanish Overview (Pros and Cons)

In terms of performance, IPVanish offers some great speeds. I was able to consistently get around 100 Mbps with nearby servers, which is quite good. Nonetheless, there are faster options, such as ExpressVPN.

Security and privacy tests were also good. I did not find any IP address or DNS leaks with any of the IPVanish apps I tested on Windows, Mac OS, and Android. Everything worked perfectly, with data being secured via the OpenVPN protocol using AES 256-bit encryption.

IPVanish has also lowered their prices with the 57% discount coupon while also increasing simultaneous connections allowed per account up to ten. Each subscription comes with a 7 day money-back guarantee. Lastly, IPVanish is one of the few VPNs in the world that owns every server in their network, which improves performance and security.

What are the main drawbacks?

The main drawback with IPVanish is that it is based in the United States. The US is not the best privacy jurisdiction due to mass surveillance and being a member of the 5 Eyes alliance.

Another drawback with IPVanish is that they cooperated with the FBI to collect user data for a criminal investigation, despite their “zero logs” policy. IPVanish explained how this was done under a previous management team, but it still raises questions about trust (explained more below).

+ Pros

  • Large selection of apps for different devices
  • Great privacy features, encryption, and leak protection settings
  • 24/7 chat and email support + telephone support (based in US)
  • 10 connections allowed
  • Entirely self-owned server network, including secure DNS (no third parties)

– Cons

  • Based in US (Five Eyes)
  • Cooperated with the FBI on logs

IPVanish Coupon
Get 57% off IPVanish (Drops price down to $5.20/month)
Get 57% Off IPVanish
(Applied automatically.)


IPVanish speed test results

On its website, IPVanish claims to offer the “best VPN speeds” through their “top tier” server network with locations around the world.

For this IPVanish review, I tested numerous servers throughout the network. My baseline (non-VPN) connection speed was about 160 Mbps connection and my physical testing location was Germany. Now let’s examine the results. (These are the updated test results for 2020.)

Nearby IPVanish speed tests

First up was a nearby IPVanish server in Germany: 87 Mbps

This is about 50% of my baseline speed, which is not very good.

Next up was an IPVanish server Switzerland. Once again, the speeds were not very good at 73 Mbps.

Next, I ran some tests with an IPVanish server in the UK, which gave me about 65 Mbps.

With these slow speed tests, IPVanish is certainly not the best UK VPN.

Next I ran some IPVanish speed tests with servers in the United States and Canada. Again, the results were not good.

Here was an IPVanish server in New York at about 65 Mbps.

Next up was an IPVanish server in Dallas, Texas: 46 Mbps.

I also tested some IPVanish servers in Canada, which gave me similar results as before.

Here was an IPVanish server in Toronto, Canada at 78 Mpbs.

Although the speeds weren’t horrible, IPVanish is not certainly not the best Canada VPN to choose from.

In comparison to other top VPNs, IPVanish does not do very well in terms of speeds. Aside from the results above, you can also see this in the NordVPN vs IPVanish comparison.

If you want a fast VPN, there are better choices to consider.

How much does IPVanish cost?

The cost of IPVanish is about average for high-quality VPNs that offer premium performance. It is slightly less expensive than ExpressVPN, but a bit more than NordVPN.

With the regular prices, the cheapest you can get IPVanish for is $6.49/month with the annual plan. Fortunately, IPVanish is currently offering a nice 57% discount coupon, which saves you quite a bit on the standard prices.

When you use the IPVanish coupon the prices drop down to what you see below:

Note: This coupon only applies to the first billing cycle. Therefore the most savings will come through the annual plan.

Payment methods – IPVanish accepts most major payment methods, including all large credit cards and also PayPal.

Unfortunately, IPVanish offers no support for cryptocurrency payment options at this time, although they have in the past. When I asked a customer service rep about this he explained the change was due to large fluctuations in the Bitcoin price and the high transaction fees, but they may be adding it again in the future.

I am also maintaining an IPVanish coupon page to track the latest deals and promotions. Aside from using the coupon above, you will be able to see if there are any temporary sales, which will be advertised directly on their homepage. (I’ve only seen them offer temporary sales a few times per year, such as for Black Friday or Cyber Security Awareness month.)

Refund policy – IPVanish offers a 7 day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, which they clearly explain on their website:

If you are less than 100% satisfied with IPVanish VPN service, we will gladly refund your payment as long as the refund is requested within one week from the date of the purchase.

This is pretty clear cut and I did not see any issues or worrisome fine print.

IPVanish apps

IPVanish provides a wide selection of applications for many devices and platforms.

IPVanish offers apps for many devices.

For this IPVanish review, I tested out their apps on Windows, Mac OS, and Android.

IPVanish Windows app – The IPVanish Windows app did well in testing. It is user-friendly, stable, and never froze up or crashed.

IPVanish Mac OS – The IPVanish Mac OS app also did well in testing. This is an updated and improved version over IPVanish Mac OS apps I’ve tested in the past,  which were a bit buggy. I did not notice any bugs or connections issues with the new Mac OS app.

IPVanish Android – The IPVanish Android app performed well in testing without any issues to report. It has a good design and was stable in testing.

We’ll take a closer look at the apps in the privacy/security tests below.

10 device connections

IPVanish now allows 10 simultaneous connections with every subscription. The previous policy allowed five, but then in 2018 they doubled the number. This is above average for the VPN industry.

Privacy and security test results

IPVanish uses the OpenVPN protocol with AES 256-bit encryption. This is the gold standard for VPNs and it is currently considered unbreakable.

IPVanish performed well in all privacy and security tests for this review. I tested IPVanish for IP address leaks (both IPv4 and IPv6) and DNS leaks.

Prior to running these tests, I verified the following privacy/security settings were active:

  • IPv6 leak protection (IPVanish provides you with an IPv4 address, while blocking IPv6 and ensuring your real IPv6 address does not leak out of the tunnel.)
  • DNS leak protection (All of your DNS requests are handled by IPVanish servers, with DNS leak protection activated by default.)
  • Kill switch (A kill switch will block all traffic if the VPN connection drops to keep your data and identity secure.)

IPVanish’s apps include good privacy and security features.

Now we will move onto the test results.

Windows app: Here is a test using the Windows app with a London, UK server. Everything passed with no issues whatsoever.

No leaks were found when testing this IPVanish server in the UK.

Mac OS app: Here are the test results with the Mac OS app using an IPVanish server in Amsterdam: no leaks, everything was working correctly.

No leaks.

Everything checked out with the leak tests: no issues to report.

IPVanish’s privacy and security will:

  • Protect you against IP address leaks (both IPv4 and IPv6)
  • Protect you against DNS leaks
  • Protect your traffic and data if the VPN connection drops (kill switch)

As you can see in the results above, IPVanish passed all privacy and security tests without any leaks discovered.

IPVanish servers

One unique benefit you get with IPVanish is access to a massive server network with locations spanning all around the world.

IPVanish has one of the largest server networks in the VPN industry, and as we saw with the tests above, it provides users with peak performance.

What good is a large server network?

  • More servers generally means better speeds as there is more available bandwidth per user.
  • This also helps you to select specific servers for different needs, whether you are looking for a nearby server in your area or another geographic location for accessing media.
  • It also gives you more options for geo-spoofing your location, which may be useful when purchasing plane tickets.

Top tier network – Another benefit with IPVanish is that they own and manage their entire server network. In other words, everything is completely under their control. This is what they mean when they refer to their business as “the world’s only Top Tier” VPN provider.

Owning their entire server network infrastructure provides two distinct benefits:

  • Excellent performance in terms of speed and reliability
  • Great data security (no rental servers from third parties)

Does IPVanish use virtual server locations?

A “virtual server location” is when a server that is advertised as being in a certain location is not actually there. For example, I found that PureVPN has many servers are not actually in the advertised location, and they do not disclose this to their users.

You can identify virtual server locations using ping tests to triangulate the exact location (see here). With IPVanish, I tested a number of different servers and they all checked out. It does not appear that IPVanish is using any virtual server locations.

IPVanish logs (FBI case)

IPVanish is a zero logs VPN service as they explain on their website. But before getting into their exact logging policy, we’ll first examine a logging case that happened a few years ago.

In 2016, when IPVanish was owned and operated by a different company, they cooperated with the FBI for a criminal case. In this specific case, they provided connection data to authorities, after the FBI made two separate requests during an investigation. While this is concerning from a privacy standpoint, especially since IPVanish claims to have a no logs policy, it’s also important to note this happened when the company was under different ownership and management.

IPVanish is now owned by a company called J2 Global, which also owns various media outlets (disclosed at the bottom of this article). This logging case happened when IPVanish was owned/operated by HighWinds Network Group in 2016.  The sale to StackPath took place in February 2017, after the logging case.

I requested clarification about this from IPVanish and they provided me with the following statement:

That court case was from 2016 – long before StackPath acquired IPVanish in 2017. IPVanish does not, has not, and will not log or store logs of our users as a StackPath company. We can’t speak to what happened on someone else’s watch, and that management team is long gone. In addition to not logging, StackPath will defend the privacy of our users, regardless of who demands otherwise.

Additionally, I also spoke to IPVanish staff about this case and they provided further assurances that this type of cooperation has not and will not happen with StackPath.

What are IPVanish’s current logging policies?

As they explain in their Privacy Policy:

IPVanish is a zero-logs VPN service provider, which means that we do not keep a record of any connection, traffic, or activity data in regards to our Services.

The only information that is collected during registration is an email address (for account purposes) and payment information for account renewal, refunds, etc.

There are also a few VPN providers that have been verified in real test cases as VPNs with no logs. Some of these include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, VyprVPN, and others.

For a direct comparison, see the ExpressVPN vs IPVanish guide.

Overall, the logging case is troubling because it undermines the credibility of IPVanish and the trustworthiness of those operating the company. Is IPVanish still worthy of your trust? Only you can decide.

IPVanish support

IPVanish offers excellent customer support, which I tested and verified for this review. If you need assistance, IPVanish provides:

  • 24/7 chat support
  • 24/7 email support
  • Telephone support (check their website for hours; based in the US central time zone)

I tried phone support, just out of curiosity because I’ve never seen a VPN offer phone support. It went well – I was quickly connected to a guy named Blake, somewhere in the US, rather than an overseas call center in the Philippines. Blake was helpful.

I also tried the chat support and everything worked as expected. I was quickly connected with someone who answered my general questions:

I did not have any technical issues or problems with the apps, so my support interactions were limited to general questions.

The IPVanish website also contains some great guides and informational articles on various topics. These are all accessible from the knowledge base and in the member’s area.

You should be able to get everything set up just using the guides in the member’s area. But if you have any problems then you can try chat support or just send them an email.

IPVanish Android

I also downloaded and tested out the IPVanish Android app for this review.

Overall it performed well without any issues to report. Here are a few screenshots I took, with the Android app on the left, leak test results in the middle (no leaks!) and a basic speed test on the right (slower speeds were due to the slow network I was on at the time, not the VPN).

IPVanish’s Android app performed well in testing.

Overall the IPVanish Android app seems to work fine. Connecting and switching servers was easy and I didn’t find any leaks or problems to report.

If you want to use a VPN on your mobile devices (Android or iOS), IPVanish would be a good choice.

IPVanish router

IPVanish is also a good choice if you want to use a VPN on a router. This will secure (encrypt) your entire home network and all devices that connect to your router. Furthermore, it will only count as only one device when you use IPVanish on your router. But because IPVanish gives you 10 simultaneous connections, this probably is not an issue.

A VPN router is a smart idea simply because most internet providers are now monitoring and recording your online activities. This is now legal in the United States, the UK, and now also Australia (see the best VPN services for Australia).

Want to use IPVanish on a router? Check out the IPVanish router options here.

Does IPVanish work with Netflix?

No. IPVanish does not work with Netflix on a consistent basis.

Unfortunately, all of the IPVanish servers I tried seem to be blocked by Netflix. However, there are occasionally reports of a server getting through.

The support person I chatted with also confirmed IPVanish’s difficulty in accessing Netflix. When you try, you will get the annoying Netflix proxy error message.

Fortunately, there are still some great VPNs that work with Netflix, even though many others are not a good option.

Does IPVanish work in China?

As of right now, IPVanish is not the best VPN to use in China. This is because it does not put an emphasis on obfuscation features. Obfuscation features conceal VPN traffic as regular HTTPS, thereby allowing you to easily get around VPN blocks.

Two VPNs that offer good obfuscation features (and work well in China) are ExpressVPN and also VyprVPN. Obfuscation is also useful wherever VPNs may be blocked. This may include school networks or perhaps work networks, where internet activities are restricted.

IPVanish review conclusion: Is it recommended?

On the whole, IPVanish performed pretty well for this review. It offers good performance and has some decent features – but there’s still a question of trust.

One of the biggest issues when choosing a VPN – or any other privacy tool – is trust. The previous case of IPVanish cooperating with the FBI to collect and share user data definitely undermines that trust, even if it did take place under a previous management structure. Also concerning is that IPVanish is based in the US and completely falls under US laws – so who knows if this could happen again.

Given the history and jurisdiction, I’m not recommending IPVanish, but it may still be a decent choice depending on your needs and threat model. If you want a basic VPN with good speeds and performance for daily browsing, IPVanish may be a good fit. Nonetheless, there are better options available, such as both ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

If you want to give IPVanish a test drive, you’ll have a full 7 day money-back guarantee with all subscription plans. IPVanish is quite reasonable with pricing when you use the 57% off coupon.

You can also check out some alternatives if you want the best VPN services that meet all testing criteria and are located in good privacy jurisdictions.

Pros and Cons

  • Strong security
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Secure cloud storage
  • More expensive pricing
  • Can't stream Netflix

Bottom Line

Good security features with 10 connections per license

IP Vanish is known for fast speeds and lots of servers. It's great for P2P, however it lacks features that other VPN providers have. It's not as reliable for streaming or bypassing censorship.

Read on to learn about IPVanish and if it's worth it.

WHAT IS IPVANISH

Founded in 2012, IPVanish is a US-based VPN service. The US is a Five-Eyes Country, but it doesn't have any data retention laws. This allows IPVanish to have a zero-logs policy.

IPVanish offers fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and over 1,400 servers. It has some extra security features, such as split tunneling and OpenVPN Scramble. It also supports safe torrenting, however, Netflix streaming is not available.

The pricing is more expensive than other competitors. But it allows for up to 10 connections at the same time, so it could be a good choice for families.

IPVanish works with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Linux support is "best-effort" only.

IPVANISH PROS & CONS

PROS:

  • Strict no logs policy
  • 40,000+ shared IPs; 1,400+ servers in over 75 locations
  • 256-bit AES military grade encryption
  • Connect up to 10 devices
  • Supports torrenting and P2P sharing
  • Complimentary SugarSync® secure cloud storage
  • 30-day money back guarantee

CONS:

  • More expensive than competitors
  • Cannot stream Netflix, Hulu, or Prime Video
  • Doesn't work in China
  • Slow customer support

HOW MUCH IPVANISH COSTS

IPVanish has 3 plans. If you sign up for a longer subscription, you can get a better discount. The plans are:

  • Monthly: $10.00 per month
  • Quarterly: $26.99 billed every 3 months ($8.99/mo)
  • Annual: $77.99 billed every year ($6.49/mo)

IPVanish does not offer a free trial at the moment, but it has a 30-day money back guarantee with any of its plans, even the monthly plan. You'll need to pay for the service upfront. The refund is automatically processed when you cancel from the website.

However, note that IPVanish will not issue refunds if you purchased it through the Apple store.

To sign up, you'll need a valid email address. IPVanish accepts payment from most major credit cards and PayPal.

IPVANISH FEATURES

 
© CreditDonkey

Now let's take a closer look IPVanish's features.

No Logging Policy

IPVanish does not keep logs of any user connection, traffic, or activity data. It does not sell users' personal information to third parties.

This is important, since they're operating out of the US - a Five-Eyes country. The good news is that the US doesn't have any data-retention laws, so IPVanish is able to have a zero-logs policy.

Without logs, your information is secure. There's nothing to show, even if IPVanish were to share information.

IPVanish had controversy back in 2016, when it provided a user's identity and logs to a Homeland Security investigation (despite it claiming that it keeps no logs). Since then, StackPath acquired the company in 2017. StackPath is completely committed to protecting their users' privacy and keeps no logs.

No Third Parties

IPVanish own all their servers. That way, they have complete control over their hardware, and can manage their network better. This translates to faster, more reliable speeds for users.

All aspects of their service are handled internally. This includes things like app development and customer support.

Another advantage of not having a third-party developer - your information is more secure. That way, the only one with access to your information is IPVanish.

Security Features

Kill-switch
If your VPN connection randomly drops (which can happen, like if you have unstable internet connection), the Kill Switch feature will automatically block your device from accessing the internet. This way, you won't be unknowingly using an unsecured connection.

Scramble
This feature hides that you're using a VPN. It's useful when using in countries that detect and block VPN connections. Scramble disguises the connection so you can bypass firewalls.

DNS leak protection
IPVanish does not use any third party DNS provider. They only use servers operated by IPVanish. This ensures your DNS queries are never leaked.

Split Tunneling
While connected to the VPN, you can pick which apps you don't want routed through the VPN. This gives you more control over your internet traffic.

This feature is only available on the Android app and Amazon Fire Stick/FireTV.

Does IPVanish Work in China?
IPVanish most likely will not work inside China. The government has blocked IPVanish's servers. You can try to manually connect to their IP address, though China has blacklisted a lot of IPVanish's IP, so that may not work either.

If you're going to China, we suggest you go with a more reliable VPN provider like ExpressVPN.

P2P File Sharing

IPVanish allows P2P file sharing and torrenting on all of its servers without throttling speed. With unlimited data and fast speeds, you can download your files with speed and security.

In addition, it also supports SOCKS5 web proxy. This hides the originating IP address when you make P2P and VoIP connections. This gives you an extra layer of anonymity.

File-sharing is perfectly legal as long as you're not sharing copy-written material. Most creative content is copy-written (meaning it really belongs to someone else). Examples of copy-written material are: Movies, music, photos that you didn't take, games, etc.

Router Installation

You can install IPVanish VPN directly on your router. This lets you protect all devices connected to your home network. Even devices like your smart TV, smart speakers, and game consoles can be protected.

Using a VPN on your router is safer, since it's always on. You don't have to worry about remembering to connect to a VPN server, since you're protected from the source.

IPVanish also sells preconfigured routers from their website, which are plug-and-play. They also provide instructions on how to install the app on your router by yourself.

However, be warned - this could damage your router if done incorrectly. Also, not all routers are compatible with VPNs.

SECURE CLOUD STORAGE

When you subscribe to IPVanish, you also get complimentary 250 GB of SugarSync® secure cloud storage.

SugarSync provides secure cloud file storage, syncing, sharing, and backup. It supports most document, photo, video, and music files. There is also a remote data-wipe feature in case you lose your device.

CAN YOU STREAM WITH IPVANISH?

IPVanish cannot stream Netflix. Netflix has blacklisted all IPVanish's servers so you can't access the content.

Similarly, you cannot stream Hulu or Amazon Prime video.

As of now, IPVanish is only able to stream Kodi, SlingTV, Youtube, and certain live sports streaming.

If you want to access Netflix and other popular media platforms, pick NordVPN or ExpressVPN instead.

If you are able to access Netflix normally without a VPN, you can still continue streaming it while connected to IPVanish. You can do that through the split-tunneling feature (only on Android app and FireOS apps).

DOWNSIDES

Here are some reasons you may want to look at another VPN provider.

More expensive pricing
IPVanish is more expensive than other VPN providers. And yet, it doesn't offer as many features or capabilities as some of the others do. It's not the most well-rounded VPN for the price.

No Netflix streaming
This alone could be a dealbreaker for you.

No dedicated IP
IPVanish does not offer dedicated IPs. When you connect to a VPN server, you share the IP with other users. If you need a dedicated IP for any reason, look at NordVPN.

Located in the US
Since it's located in the US, IPVanish has to abide by its laws. Although there are no data retention laws in the US, it's still part of the Five Eyes network. Things may change in the future, making IPVanish less secure.

For now, we're confident in IPVanish's security, given its zero-logs policy.

ExpressVPN
Based in the Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN has has 3,000+ servers in 94 countries. Even though it's a little more expensive, it's one of the top choices if you're looking for quality, speed, and reliability.

It supports torrenting, streaming of all major media platforms, and can bypass China restrictions.

However, ExpressVPN only connects up to 5 devices, while IPVanish protects up to 10 devices per license.

CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a VPN provider based out of Romania. Romania has no data retention laws, allowing CyberGhost to keep no logs on users.

They also have more than 1,200 servers spread across almost 60 countries. One thing to note is that they have better-than-average coverage for Africa, a continent most VPN companies ignore.

It supports torrenting and streaming of major media platforms. It also blocks ads and malware.

CyberGhost offers a free 24-hour trial with no credit card required. And if you sign up for one of the longer subscriptions, it also has a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line

IPVanish offers strong security and fast speeds, but they miss out on a few key points. Not being able to connect to Netflix may be a deal breaker for some. Or not working in China is a no-go for those who frequently travel there.

The pricing is on the higher end, so not having these features makes it harder to compete against other cheaper providers (such as NordVPN).

It wouldn't be our top recommended VPN provider, but could work depending on what you need. A big advantage is that you can connect 10 devices, so it could be good for families.

IPVanish is a United States-based VPN provider that emphasizes speed, security, and privacy. What it does, it does well, and it checks all the boxes when it comes to the standard features that are necessary for a modern day VPN. IPVanish is one of the biggest names in the VPN business, but whether its capabilities can extend beyond that of a run-of-the-mill VPN provider is a question we aim to answer in this review.
We loved IPVanish and would recommend it for users who want blazing fast speeds and great privacy. It’s among the most popular with torrenters and Kodi users, and it unblocks Netflix.

Prices are firmly in the middle range. A one-month subscription costs $5, three months for $8.99 per month, or a full year for $6.49 per month. All plans come with a thirty-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied. Payment can be made with a credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, and through a handful of other payment providers. You only need an email address to sign up.

IPVanish coupon code/discount: IPVanish has offered our readers a 59% discount on a monthly subscription for life. That’s only $5 a month! This promotion expires in July.

What features does IPVanish have?

A single subscription allows up to five simultaneous devices to be connected at once, making IPVanish a good value for a small household. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Other operating systems will have to manually configure a third-party app to connect, or connect to a VPN-enabled router.

IPVanish is a notable favorite among Kodi users. Kodi, a free home theater software that allows for streaming video and other content from multiple sources, is often installed on Android-based devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Unfortunately, many of these devices do not have access to Google Play, and they are operated via remote control instead of a keyboard and mouse or touchscreen. IPVanish allows users to directly download its Android APK directly to their device, and the interface is remote-control friendly. Beyond the initial sign in, there is very little typing required to get up and running. Everything can be selected via drop-down menus, and there’s no need to struggle with maps or other interfaces that don’t gel well with remote controls.

IPVanish allows torrenting on all servers. P2P filesharers and frequent streamers will be glad to know that there is no cap on bandwidth or data. The IPVanish apps come with an optional kill switch that halts internet traffic should the VPN connection unexpectedly drop. DNS leak protection is built in, including IPv6 leak protection. The company keeps no traffic or usage logs on its customers. It does not record your source IP or any of your online activity.

 Setup and interface – how easy is IPVanish to use?

Once you’ve created an account, setting up IPVanish is a breeze. Just download and install the app for whatever operating system you use and log in with your account credentials. There’s no need to validate individual devices or enter a two-step verification PIN, however, the desktop version will require a restart after initial installation and major updates to get up and running.

We tested the apps for Windows 10 and Android.

Desktop

The desktop interface opens to a quick connect menu where by default you’ll connect to a nearby server using automated selection settings. These can easily be changed to choose a preferred country, city, and even an exact server domain via drop down menus to suit your needs. Once connected, a live readout of upstream and downstream traffic, as well as a couple other handy statistics like protocol and time connected, are displayed.

If you prefer a different method of connecting to a server, IPVanish has you covered. You can search the full server list in the location menu, choose a location from a map, or use advanced filters to narrow down server selection by protocol, country, and latency. Latency loosely corresponds with proximity, and a lower latency often means a faster connection.

Many of the more technical features can be found in the settings menu. These include startup behavior, updates, kill switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation, port number, how often your IP address is changed, DNS configuration, and the local client log (this log is stored on your computer, not on IPVanish’s servers).

If you close the IPVanish window, it will continue to run in the system tray. By right clicking the system tray menu, you can connect and disconnect from the VPN, change your IP, bring up the main window, or exit the program.

Mobile

The mobile app gives a similar readout of upstream and downstream traffic as the desktop app. You may search or browse locations in list form, and apply filters by latency and country. In the Android version we tested, you can opt for OpenVPN over TCP or UDP, enable obfuscation via the “scramble” toggle, choose a port number, and select how often you want your IP address changed. The mobile app did not offer an internet kill switch, unfortunately.

Overall the apps are responsive and seem well designed. As we mentioned earlier, IPVanish is a good option for devices that are controlled via remote control, such as Amazon Fire TVs running Kodi.

Speed: Is IPVanish fast?

As of time of writing, IPVanish operates more than 350 servers in over 60 countries. That’s quite a lot but for a provider of this size, about average. The countries with the most locations include the US (9), UK (5), Canada (3), India (5), and Turkey (3). Server switching is unlimited.

I ran speed tests at various times of day on servers in North America, Europe, and Asia. Across all times and locations tested, IPVanish’s average download speed was 54 Mbps. That’s about average for VPNs in its price range.

We were able to stream 1080p video without stopping to buffer. When we played a few matches of Brawlhalla, a Super Smash Bros-style online fighting game, performance ranged from slightly laggy to almost unplayable when connected to the UK server and playing on European servers. Your mileage may vary, but we recommend gamers only use the VPN during off-peak hours.

While the service was not the fastest we’ve tested, it is remarkably stable. Not once did the connection drop during our test period. Thanks to the “Best Server” option, which automatically connects you to the fastest server after setting the location, we never ran into a down server.

Keep in mind that our tests are not a definitive indicator of which VPN is fastest. The inherent volatility of the internet adds a significant factor of randomness, so VPN speed tests should always be taken with a big grain of salt. Those with faster connections may well notice a larger discrepancy in speeds.

Does IPVanish work with Netflix?

Yes!

IPVanish now unblocks US Netflix from abroad. Not all servers are guaranteed to work, so you might have to switch US locations a time or two to find one that does.

Unfortunately, IPVanish doesn’t unblock a lot of other popular streaming services like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. It does unblock HBO Max, though. Compared to the top-of-the-line competition, IPVanish falls short of some of its competitors in regards to geo-unblocking.

Does IPVanish work in China?

IPVanish users can bypass China’s Great Firewall to access blocked sites like Facebook and Youtube, but there’s one big caveat: you can’t use the IPVanish apps to do so. Instead, you must use a third-party OpenVPN app to manually configure a connection for each server you wish to connect to.

IPVanish says this is because its server domains are blocked within China, but its server IP addresses are not. Setting up manual connections isn’t very difficult, but it’s not as easy as using the apps and is certainly more tedious. You also don’t get all of the features that come built into the apps, like modulating IPs, a kill switch, and traffic obfuscation.

How secure is IPVanish? (Can you trust it to protect your privacy?)

Other than when an account is first registered, IPVanish keeps no record or log of VPN use on its users. If you sign up with a burner or fake email account using another service that masks your IP, such as Tor or another VPN, then you can effectively sign up anonymously. And since Bitcoin is available as a payment method, you can even make anonymous payments so long as you use properly mixed bitcoin.

IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default. SHA512 is used for authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2048 key exchange supports perfect forward secrecy. These are all up-to-date and 100 percent secure encryption standards, and perfect forward secrecy ensures that past traffic data cannot be decrypted even if a hacker or someone else obtains the current decryption key.

The company operates its own DNS servers and DNS leak protection is built in, as is a kill switch.

IPVanish is based in the United States. This might raise concerns for users wary of the NSA, FBI, and other law enforcement or intelligence agencies with a record of covertly spying on people with the help of US-based tech firms. IPVanish’s zero logs policy should ease these concerns, and the company has no public record of anyone being arrested or hacked as a result of using its service. Despite that, some users will still be put off by any VPN provider based in the US and the countries it cooperates with on intelligence gathering.

IPVanish is one of very few providers that owns and operates all of its physical hardware, rather than renting it from a third party. Whereas most VPNs simply rent servers around the world, IPVanish buys them. There are pros and cons to this. Obviously, IPVanish maintains greater control over who has access to its servers. But owning servers also makes a provider less flexible under certain circumstances, such as when a data center where the servers are housed lowers their privacy or security standards. It’s much easier to end a lease and rent another somewhere else than it is to physically move a server.

Users can specify how often they would like their IP address to change down to a minimum of every 45 minutes.

A checkbox in the settings will enable traffic obfuscation. In the mobile app, this is labeled as “scramble”. This is helpful in certain situations where you don’t want your ISP or some other entity between you and the VPN server to know that you’re connected to a VPN. In regards to VPNs, obfuscation makes encrypted traffic look unencrypted. In some countries where deep packet inspection is used to identify and block encrypted VPN traffic, like China for example, obfuscation can be helpful. Unfortunately, it won’t help unblock servers that have already been blacklisted by their IP addresses or domains, the latter of which is the case in China.

IPVanish uses external email providers for support and other communication with customers. The only information on hand is users’ email addresses. No customer information is stored or accessible.

Is IPVanish good at customer service?

IPVanish customer service is limited to an email form on its website. You won’t find any live chat or phone support here. For real privacy buffs, this is a good thing because it means all customer service is done in house and doesn’t travel through a third party operator like Zendesk. For most people however, it just means a slower response time.

The company says it has support staff available 24/7, but a support ticket we submitted says that a reply could take one to two days.

A fairly thorough knowledge base is searchable on the company website.

How does IPVanish compare to other VPNs?

IPVanish scores highly for speed and privacy but has more limited unblocking abilities than the two most popular VPNs, ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

  IPVanish ExpressVPN NordVPN
Average speed * 36.4 Mbps 106 Mbps 17.9 Mbps
Encryption Type 256-bit AES 256-bit AES 256-bit AES
Kill Switch on desktop only desktop only excluding Android
Allows Torrenting      
Records Identifying Logs      
Unblocks Netflix US      
Unblocks Amazon Prime      
Unblocks Hulu      
Unblocks BBC iPlayer      
Lowest monthly cost $5.00 $6.67 per month $3.49 per month
Money-back guarantee 30 days 30 days 30 days
Overall Rating 4 4.5 4.5

*Average speed over multiple global locations based across multiple speed tests per day.

Should you use IPVanish?

IPVanish is an easy-to-use VPN service with plenty of simultaneous connections, apps for the major device platforms, strong security, no logging, and average speed. A wide range of servers are available. DNS and IPv6 leak protection, traffic obfuscation, and a kill switch are all built in. If you want, you can sign up and pay anonymously. The interface is easy to use with Kodi and other Android-based media systems.

The service unblocks Netflix but is hit or miss with other streaming services. Users in China and possibly some other censorship-heavy countries won’t be able to use the slick apps to bypass blocks and blacklists. These are some of the most popular use cases for VPNs these days, so it’s a shame that IPVanish either can’t or won’t overcome those hurdles.

When it comes to surfing the Internet nowadays, protecting personal information is becoming more and more of a priority.

This is why, when I’m using public Wi-Fi, traveling, or simply hopping onto the web to access sensitive data, I choose to use a VPN service. A virtual private network (VPN for short) connects users to a private server and encrypts their data so they can, supposedly, access the internet without worrying about their info being tracked or logged.

Now there are a lot of VPN services out there and not all of them are the same when it comes to performance, protection, and overall features. Some may fit your needs and others may not…

So I’m here to determine which VPN could be a good fit for you.

In this article, specifically, I’m going to take a look at IPVanish VPN and see how it stacks up against the best services out there. Let’s see if IPVanish is actually “the only true Top Tier VPN service in the world” like they say they are.

IPVanish Pros and Cons

Before I get too deep into IPVanish’s specs, here’s my overall impression of this service:

What We Like

  • Strong encryption: Uses the industry standard.
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections: Go ahead! Connect your laptop, iPhone, tablet, router, etc.
  • Great download speed. It doesn’t slow your internet down too much.
  • Allows torrenting. You can torrent using uTorrent.
  • Allows split tunneling. IPVanish allows you to use its serves and others to maximize bandwidth capabilities.
  • Great customer service. Live 24/7 chat, phone line, and email support are all available to get your questions answered.

What We Don’t Like

  • “Zero Log Policy” is questionable. The company was exposed for sharing logs for a criminal investigation.
  • Under 5 Eyes surveillance. Since IPVanish is a U.S. based company, they are under 5 Eyes jurisdiction.
  • Only some servers work with Netflix. You might not be able to access some of your favorite shows and movies.

So that’s my general impression, but you’re probably wondering about all the fun details that led me to these conclusions, right?

The first thing I’ll touch on is the history behind IPVanish. Good performing service or bad, that’s where I started to question whether or not the company was a good fit for me.

About IPVanish

IPVanish was founded in Orlando, Florida by Mudhook Media Inc. (a subsidiary of Highwinds Network Group) in 2012. They claim to be the fastest VPN with “the most secure connections and the most competitive pricing anywhere”, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen similar services with a much more affordable price … I’ll get to that later in this review.

Their network is vast with 1,165 servers and 40,000 plus IP addresses across the globe. This is great because the closer you are to a server, the better your internet speed. Since IPVanish has a wide reach, they a higher chance of being of service to you. The company owns roughly 90% of its points of presence (POPs) or data centers, except in areas where they have to lease hardware like in Albania. They claim to have servers in 61+ countries, but when I counted which servers I could access, I only found 49. When I asked a customer service rep, they said that it was because some of the servers were undergoing maintenance.

Since IPVanish is based in the United States they are subject to 5 Eyes jurisdiction. The 5 Eyes intelligence alliance (which includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.) will investigate, track, and share personal data when they decide they need to. For you, that might be too big of a breach in your personal security so it’s important to be aware of this before you give IPVanish a go.

Alright, I think we know enough about the company. Now it’s time to check out the main features this VPN has to offer.

IPVanish Features

IPVanish is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Windows Phone, and other routers so it works with many different devices through Wi-Fi, LTE, 4G, and 3G connections. You can have up to 10 simultaneous connections, too, which is great because it means I can watch sports on my tablet, stream movies on my computer, use WhatsApp on my phone, and much, much more all at once.

Will IPVanish Log My Data?

IPVanish Data Logging Policy. Screenshot from the IPVanish website.

According to their website: no. IPVanish does not log personal data.

What does this mean for you? IPVanish will not collect, monitor, or track your usage of the service. They also will not sell or rent personal information to others. All that’s needed to sign up with them is an email address and a payment method.

The only thing they claim they track is the non-personal data of the users that come to their site. That non-personal data includes:

  • Page requests
  • Browser type
  • Operating System
  • Bounce rate
  • Average time spent on our site

They collect this data by using cookies, pixels, and similar technologies, such as Google Analytics. Depending on what browser you use, you typically can opt-out of cookie usage or at least specify your cookie settings.

IPVanish’s “zero-log” policy sounds legit, but a U.S. District Court investigation had many users questioning whether or not the company was sticking to their promise. Back then, the Department of Homeland Security issued a “summons of records” from Highwinds Network Group, Inc. to get information on a user who was suspected of criminal activity.

While criminals must be stopped in their tracks, it’s clear here that IPVanish has given someone’s information to a government agency. That’s completely against their supposed “zero-log” promise. IPVanish has since been acquired by StackPath in 2017. The following year, someone claiming to be StackPath CEO, Lance Crosby, under the username lavosby took to reddit to explain how he will uphold the standard.

While this all looks fishy, IPVanish isn’t the only service suspected of breaking their own no-logs policy. But I guess the good news is, I haven’t found any complaints about data leakage since 2016.

Does IPVanish Have a Kill Switch?

Yes, it does!

The kill switch function is set in place to protect your IP address from being leaked. If a VPN service does not have this function, your IP address will be temporarily exposed if you lose connection to their network. So an automatic kill switch will close down all of your browsers and cut you from the Internet until your VPN connection is reestablished.

This could be a pain for someone who is downloading large files and does not want to be suddenly interrupted. Thankfully, you can turn off the kill switch whenever you’d like.

What Kind of Tunneling Does IPVanish Offer?

Split Tunneling

With IPVanish you can either exclusively connect to the internet through their network or you can do what we call, “split tunneling.”

Split tunneling is awesome because it allows you to connect to another network while using the VPN. All VPNs slow down internet speed and compromise your bandwidth a bit. But with split tunneling you can spread the burden, potentially creating a better user experience.

Can I use Netflix with IPVanish?

So here’s some bad news: You can’t … at least not from most of their servers, anyway.

You can only access Netflix through their Ashburn, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York servers. But if you are using IPVanish and want to make sure those servers are still up and running, contact customer service and they’ll tell you.

Even though Netflix may not be easily accessible, you can still use. Crunchyroll, ESPN, HBO, MLB TV, NBC Sports, Sling TV, WWE Network, Facebook, Bing, Gmail, Google, Spotify, Twitter, CBS Sports, CBS All Access, and WhatsApp.

IPVanish will also allow you to torrent through UTorrent.

IPVanish Encryption

Alrighty! Now it’s time to look at IPVanish’s encryption methods and protocols.

Encryption is basically the code that masks your data as you are perusing the web. Non-encrypted data can be read by an Average Joe with a computer. Data that is encrypted by high-quality code would need a godly hacker to crack.

That being said, IPVanish used AES-256 encryption, which is the highest quality encryption on the VPN market. IPVanish also offers various protocols that fit different needs. Protocols determine how the data is routed from your device to the VPN service.

Let’s check out our options here.

IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)

IPSec encrypts IP packets for transport and tunneling. So this can be compared to a mask people might use to hide their identity. IPSec is available for most computers and mobile devices, which is great. But be aware: IPSec does not define a particular encryption algorithm or an authentication function on its own, which means it’s not the most secure connection if it isn’t paired with other protocols that do so. IPSec just provides the framework for secure transport.

IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2)

IKEv2 is a protocol that is created through IPSec and it configures the specific approach to how IP packets are encrypted. What’s cool about IKEv2 is that it automatically re-establishes your VPN connection if you are ever disconnected from the internet. This is great for users who are using mobile devices and who may find themselves switching in between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. With IKEv2 and IPSec working together, your IP is more likely to be protected.

L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)

L2TP actually doesn’t encrypt at all. It just creates the tunnel for the data to travel. For encryption purposes, it combines with IPSec which is responsible for encryption, channel security, and data integrity checks. L2TP/IPSec connections are very secure and it works well with most mobile devices. However, this protocol may be tricky to set up for a router and it’s not as fast as OpenVPN.

OpenVPN

This protocol is an “open-source protocol”, which means that it’s kind of like Wikipedia. Users who are a part of the community can tweak the code to increase security. OpenVPN one of the most popular, most trusted protocols out there.

Why?

Because it’s fast and incredibly secure; it can bypass firewalls and it’s highly configurable. OpenVPN works with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, routers, and other devices.

The only pain about OpenVPN, it may require you to download third-party software to make it work, which makes for a tricky setup. But according to IPVanish, they’ve got the software that will have OpenVPN up and running easily and effortlessly.

You can also combine OpenVPN with TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) for added benefits.

TCP

OpenVPN and TCP together make the most popular and most reliable VPN connection.

TCP’s error correction prevents data packages from being lost as they travel from one place to the next. TCP reminds me of my mother back in the day, reminding me to check for my phone, keys, and wallet before I left any location. Without her, I probably would have been missing my keys more often than I would have liked.

Well without TCP’s error correction, you might frequently experience incomplete downloads and failed websites because some data’s off or went missing.

Thanks Mom! And Thanks TCP!

UDP

OpenVPN and UDP operate much faster than an OpenVPN/TCP connection because there’s no error correction with this protocol. UDP just sends the error packets. It doesn’t organize them.

Even so, many online gamers (who often have to quickly interact and respond in real-time) use OpenVPN/UDP because the speed is more appropriate for their needs.

SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)

So SSTP has all the benefits of OpenVPN in the sense that it is fast, secure, and can bypass firewalls.

But what’s unique about SSTP is that it was developed by Microsoft and it’s fully integrated with every Microsoft operating system since Windows Vista Service Pack 1.

PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)

This protocol is so old, I would only use it when all options have run out. It was invented in 1995 and its defenses have since been cracked many times. But I have to say: It is incredibly fast.

Testing IPVanish

Alrighty then! Let’s text IPVanish’s speed and overall leak protection.

To do all of the testing, I’ll be using my MacBook Air and my VivoBook (Windows). As for my internet connection, I’ll be using Optimum. I recognize you may be using different devices and different ISPs, which could both affect download and upload speeds. (Your proximity to a server can also affect these speeds, too.)

What I’m saying is: Your numbers could be slightly different than mine. But I’m testing to give you a general sense of how the VPN performs on different operating systems.

IPVanish Ping

IPVanish on my MacBook Air works very well in terms of speed. While every VPN will slow your connection down, IPVanish does a great job of maintaining as much speed as possible. The ping time only dropped 14% (while the average drop is 32% among VPNs). And the download and uploads speed was decent as well. Although, I have used faster services like CyberGhost, which saw a decrease of less than 10% for both downloads and uploads.

My speed significantly slowed down on my VivoBook. I did not like seeing that -62.37% on my downloads. Knowing that I’d say IPVanish may not be the best for Windows users.

DNS Leak Test

So the DNS, or Domain Name Server, is the address that you type in when you go to a website, like gmail.com. Basically the DNS takes an IP address and puts it into an alphabetic sequence. For us VPN users, private DNS’s are used for our security. But we want to make sure your data remains encrypted as it travels through the VPN tunnel.

After testing, IPVanish showed no DNS leaks on either Mac or Windows. Woohoo!

WebRTC Leak Test

WebRTC is like the translator that allows Firefox, Chrome, Opera — name your browser — to communicate with one another. It’s the things that make data transfers smoother, web conferences less glitchy, and streaming The Office without many interruptions. For WebRTC to work though, it requires that devices share their IP address. So it’s important that this information doesn’t leak while using a VPN.

Here’s some good news: IPVanish had no WebRTC leaks when I tested it on my MacBook Air and on my VivoBook.

IPVanish Subscriptions

IPVanish Subscription Options

Out of all the VPNs I’ve tried so far, IPVanish is on the pricier side. Where I’ve seen VPNs cost as low as $2.75 a month, IPVanish’s lowest subscription package is $6.49 a month. Also, they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee, which isn’t that generous. I’ve seen companies up to a 45-day guarantee.

IPVanish offers three different subscription deals: Their 15-month (the cheapest), their three-month plan, and their one-month plan. The latter is the most expensive at $10 a month. Which isn’t bad. But you could use that $10 for that Netflix account you’ve been trying to access … and a cheaper VPN that would allow you to do so…

Manual Configurations

IPVanish works with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux (Ubuntu PPTP, Ubuntu Open), Chromebook, and wireless routers such as DD-WRT and Tomato.

Browser Extensions

Unfortunately, IPVanish has no browser extensions.

IPVanish Customer Support

So a great as technology can be sometimes, it fails and so we need to know who to talk to when things break down. Even when things aren’t going wrong, understanding the VPN world can be confusing. You need help.

In each of these cases, it’s important that the VPN service that you use has great customer service. But how much does IPVanish support its customers? Let’s find out.

Features

Okay, IPVanish has extremely good customer service when it comes to access. They’ve got a phone line, email support, a 24/7 live chat room, and a robust FAQ library. There are so many ways for you to find the answers that you’re looking for.

The reps on the chat are highly responsive. If they don’t answer you right away, they will tell you where you are in their query queue. I never had to wait more than five minutes, which I think is a little long. But it was still better than waiting a day for them to email me.

Customer Support Ratings

So I even though I thought IPVanish was great, I wanted to know what other people thought about their customer service.

When I checked the reviews on Amazon, I discovered that in 2017 users were really unhappy because there was no customer service at all. At some point, IPVanish only had email support and took days to respond … Then in 2018, I saw the first positive review of their customer service: “Better than expected.” Apparently, IPVanish has been working a lot on this area of their business and it’s paying off.

On Trustpilot, IPVanish has a 5-star rating from over 2,000 reviews— amazing! While I wasn’t able to do a search specifically for customer support, I could see that the majority of people were pleased with it in the more recent reviews. With 84% of the reviews at a perfect five-stars, IPVanish is doing something right.

The IPVanish App

Apparently, Apple users are much happier with the IPVanish App than Android users. In the Apple store, the app received 4.5 stars and that’s the rating I would give it. When I opened it up on my iPhone X, I discovered that it was really easy to navigate and connect with the VPN. I didn’t have any issues.

On the contrary, the app received a 3.5 star rating in the Google Play store. Most customers complained about having connections issues.

IPVanish vs. Perfect Privacy

Before we wrap up, let’s compare IPVanish with one of its competitors: Perfect Privacy.

Looking at some of the essential features, IPVanish and Perfect Privacy are pretty comparable:

What I don’t like about Perfect Privacy is that they don’t have many servers. They currently have over 55 servers in 23 countries. Perfect Privacy is expensive. Their cheapest plan (which is their 24-month subscription package) is 8.95 euros a month, which is just over $10.

I was disappointed when I found out that Perfect Privacy significantly slows down my internet speed and it only has apps for Windows and Linux devices … They only have email customer service … and it also sucks that the Swiss-based company is located within a 5-Eyes Alliance cooperating country.

However, Perfect Privacy does have some nifty features that IPVanish is lacking:

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections. IPVanish brags 10.
  • Multi-hop encryption. This feature encrypts your data across two or more servers, adding higher security and protection.
  • Cascading. This allows you to choose your entry VPN location, your exit VPN location, and potentially two intermediary servers (or hops). This will make it difficult for your ISP to track your VPN server location.
  • Port forwarding. This is useful for users who want to torrent and don’t want to let firewalls get in the way. Port forwarding allows incoming internet connections to reach your device when using the VPN.

Even with all of these additional options, IPVanish seems like the better choice to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t torrent that often and don’t want to get locked into an expensive 2-year subscription plan.

Your needs might be different than mine, of course.

Recap of IPVanish

So to review everything, I think IPVanish would be a great fit for you if want:

  • High-quality encryption.
  • Decent internet speed.
  • Split tunneling.
  • The ability to torrent.
  • The ability to control the kill switch.
  • Great customer service.

IPVanish is not a good tool for you if:

  • You want a less expensive service.
  • You’re uncomfortable with the 5 Eyes Alliance jurisdiction.
  • You want easy access to Netflix.

After reading all of this you should be pretty clear on whether or not IPVanish is a good fit for you. If anything, hopefully, I helped to make all of your questions disappear. Cheesy pun intended.

IPVanish is becoming a popular virtual private network (VPN) choice for people interested in improving their online browsing privacy, offering 10 simultaneous connections across a wide variety of platforms, and competitive speeds despite only laying claim to 1,300 servers. 

Like

  • Competitive speeds
  • Interface encourages learning
  • 10 simultaneous connections

Don't Like

  • Based in US
  • Still offers PPTP
  • Previous DNS partial leak

Compared to its peers, IPVanish has one of the best user interfaces, encouraging you to get under the hood and learn the mechanics powering the technology. 

We recommend IPVanish as a flexible, configurable choice for users who are new to VPNs. 

Speed

  • Average speed loss: 65% 
  • Number of servers: 1,300-plus 
  • Number of server locations: 75 
  • Number of IP addresses: 40,000-plus

We ran our IPVanish speed tests over the course of three days, in two locations, using both wireless and Ethernet connections -- one location offered slower broadband speeds, and the other offered higher speeds via fiber optic internet. Internet speeds in the US vary widely by state and provider. And with any speed test, results are going to rely on your local infrastructure, with hyperfast internet service yielding higher test speed results. 

That's one reason we're more interested in testing the amount of speed lost (which for most VPNs is typically half or more) across both high-speed and slower connection types, and in using tools like speedtest.net to even out the playing field. IPVanish performed similarly to other VPNs, achieving only about 20% of the average 222Mbps speed achieved on a 1Gbps-capable fiber connection during testing, while still maintaining a respectable speed average of around 41Mbps globally. 

We hit a peak speed of 76Mbps connecting to Singapore servers, where we found the highest number of results above 65Mbps among all the servers tested, but also the most uneven experience, with a country average of around 35Mbps. Australian speeds were more even, but maintained the lowest average, about 28Mbps. 

New York speeds led the results with a 53Mbps average, followed by European servers in Paris and Berlin with 45Mbps averaged for both. UK servers were strong overall, but came in third place for speed averages with 40Mbps after a couple of tests at peak traffic hours came back at less than 10 Mbps.

Compared to high-profile speed players like ExpressVPN, it's tempting to paint IPVanish's speeds as sluggish. But IPVanish regularly gives NordVPN a run for its money in the thrice-daily tests conducted by ProPrivacy, and was outpacing NordVPN in that race at the time of this writing. And IPVanish is reaching those speeds with about a third of Nord's server count. That's nothing to sneeze at. 

Security and Privacy

  • Jurisdiction: United States 
  • Encryption: AES-256, Perfect Forward Secrecy 
  • Leaks: None detected 
  • Previous logging scandal 
  • Includes kill switch

One clue as to why IPVanish may be inching past NordVPN in speed tests may lie in its amassed 40,000-plus IP addresses, a factor of contention among the privacy minded. While a greater number of IP addresses can contribute to faster speeds, some aficionados argue it's safer to use fewer IP addresses. More people sharing IP addresses, they reason, dilutes the likelihood that any individual IP address' activity will be linked to any individual person. 

The core of that question relies on whether a VPN can be trusted not to log usage data. IPVanish vows that it keeps no logs. As with any VPN, it's nearly impossible to verify that claim. One way is to determine what a VPN provider is legally required to do based on where it is headquartered (its jurisdiction), and whether it has ever been caught keeping logs. 

Ideally, the VPN you choose should have undergone -- and published the results of -- an independent third-party audit of its operations, including its use of activity logs. IPVanish is a US-based company. For maximum privacy, we look for VPN providers with a jurisdiction outside of Five Eyes intelligence-sharing agreements -- that is, one headquartered out of the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. 

Back in 2016, IPVanish went through a VPN rite of passage: federal law enforcement came knocking with a warrant (or, more precisely, a Department of Homeland Security records summons), and the VPN's "zero-logs" policy was put to the test. IPVanish provided authorities information that led to the identification and arrest of a child predator. 

To be clear here, my beef isn't with a VPN company helping cops catch a child abuser via usage logs; it's with a VPN company lying to its customers about doing so. VPNs are international operations. The lie that helps law enforcement in the US catch a child abuser is the same lie that helps law enforcement in China arrest a person for using a VPN at all. 

Things may have changed for IPVanish when the company was bought by StackPath in 2017. With new ownership came renewed promises of "no logs" policy and a purported StackPath audit. 

IPVanish does offer a kill switch, which appears to function without a hitch -- preventing network data from leaking outside of its secure VPN tunnel in the event the VPN connection fails. No IP address, DNS or other potentially user-identifying data leaks were detected during our testing. Even so, we recommend some caution here. In 2019, reviewers at CNET's sister publication ZDNet detected a partial IPVanish DNS leak during testing. 

"While they didn't reveal my home DNS server, they did reveal that I was using an IPVanish host. That means that organizations that want to block VPN traffic can easily do so," wrote reviewer David Gewirtz. "Far worse is the implication that if you're trying to hide the fact that you're using a VPN from government authorities, IPVanish doesn't do so. This could be catastrophic, for example, if you use the service from the UAE, which sentences jail time and excessive fines for VPN usage."

Cost 

  • Usability: Fun, configurable, clean 
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Linux, routers, Amazon Fire devices, any Android-based media device 
  • Price: $3.99/month and $48 for a year 
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 10

We had no issues accessing Netflix or other video streaming sites, and no issues using torrenting clients while running IPVanish. 

In terms of interface, my only complaint is that IPVanish's desktop clients have been known to get stuck in a loop. This occurs in both Windows and Mac apps. Otherwise, this has become one of my favorite user experiences with a VPN client. 

The settings menus and features remind me of the experience of learning Windows 95, in that they are perfect for learning about the fundamentals of this type of application. Their configurability is organized neatly and without excessive animation. The client seems to encourage user experimentation and a sense of playfulness without being childish or cartoon-like. This makes IPVanish an ideal client for those who are interested in learning how to understand what a VPN does under the hood. 

At $3.99 per month and $48 for a year, IPVanish's pricing is getting more competitive. It also recently changed its policy to offer a full 30-day money back guarantee. Offering 10 simultaneous connections also definitely ups the value for users to maximize their subscription value across a wide array of compatible devices. 

Our Verdict

IPVanish is fast and configurable, with some interesting features. The apps have a few annoyances and they're not always comfortable to use, but if you're looking for both power and performance, we'd give it a try.

For

  • Lots of features
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Reliable Windows kill switch
  • Includes 250GB web storage via SugarSync

Against

  • Apps can be awkward to use
  • No Bitcoin support
  • Doesn't unblock iPlayer
  • Apps not updated very often

US-based IPVanish is an appealing VPN provider with a long list of features, including several that you won't often see elsewhere.

IPVanish has a decent-sized network with 40,000+ shared IPs, and 1,300 P2P-friendly servers in 75+ locations.

Some VPNs give you more, but, the website explains, IPVanish is 'the world’s only Top Tier VPN service provider'. The company owns and manages its own servers rather than renting other people's hardware, giving it far more control over how the network and servers are set up and run. This also demonstrates a level of resources and expertise which you won't see with some other VPNs.

The company doesn't shout about it, but all servers support P2P. (That's not an academic point – it means you're more likely to be able to download from a nearby location, ensuring you'll get the best possible speeds.)

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  • Want to try IPVanish? Check out the website here

A wide range of clients covers Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, even Amazon Fire TV, as well as providing a host of setup guides for routers, Linux, Chromebooks and other platforms.

IPVanish supports connecting up to 10 devices simultaneously, and unlike most VPNs, these don't have to belong to the account holder – they can be owned by anyone in your household. A single account can cover your partner, your kids, everyone – potentially a real money-saver.

24/7 live chat support is available if you need it, but even here, IPVanish delivers a little more than we expected. There's phone support, too, though with more limited hours (9am – 5pm CT, Monday to Friday).

The big change since we last evaluated this service is that, like many other VPNs, IPVanish is trying to expand its horizons and branch out into other security and privacy areas. As a first step, IPVanish accounts now include 250GB of free secure storage space via SugarSync (worth $9.99 a month). That could be very useful, and as IPVanish now calls its product a 'security suite' we expect more functions and features will be arriving very soon.

Editor's Note: What immediately follows is a rundown of the latest changes and additions since this review was last updated.

  • Number of servers increased to 1400. (May 2020)

IPVanish offers discounts on its regular price when you sign up for a longer plan (Image credit: IPVanish)

Plans and pricing

IPVanish pricing starts with monthly accounts at $5 for the first month, $12 on renewal.

A quarterly plan doesn't save you very much at $4.50 a month for the first term, $9 on renewal.

The best value is with the annual plan at just $3.25 a month for year one, $6.50 afterwards.

If you'll make regular use of SugarSync, this looks like an excellent deal. Buy SugarSync direct from the SugarSync site and you'll pay $10 a month, so opting for the IPVanish plan saves a pile of cash and gets you the VPN effectively for free.

It could also be appealing if you'd just like to trial the SugarSync service over a long period, see how it works for you. The $3.25 a month price for year one is less than even some value VPN providers (Ivacy asks an effective $3.50 a month for its annual plan, Private Internet Access charges $3.33), so you can think of it as a free one-year SugarSync trial.

If you've no real need for web storage, though, opting for another VPN provider could save you a lot of cash. Surfshark's two-year plan costs just $2 a month, for instance, an upfront payment of $48. IPVanish requires $39 for year one, $78 for year two, $117 in total.

Testing isn't quite as easy or convenient as we'd like. There's no free trial, although you do now get a 30-day money-back guarantee to bring it in line with most other VPNs - while CyberGhost and Hotspot Shield give you 45 days.

IPVanish used to support payment via Bitcoin, but not anymore – it's strictly card and PayPal only.

IPVanish protects your privacy with encryption and secure protocols (Image credit: IPVanish)

Privacy

IPVanish protects your privacy with its use of rock-solid, industry-standard AES-256 encryption, and its support for the highly secure protocols, OpenVPN and IKEv2.

The IPVanish apps go further by giving you an unusual level of control over their OpenVPN setup. The ability to choose your OpenVPN port (1194 or 443) may help you connect, while a 'Scramble OpenVPN Traffic' option reduces the chance of your VPN tunnel being detected or blocked in anti-VPN countries such as China or Iran.

All of the DNS leak tests we performed showed that IPVanish didn't leak any of our information (Image credit: ProxyRack)

The Windows client offers a kill switch, DNS and even IPv6 leak protection to reduce the chance that your real identity will be exposed online, for example if the VPN connection drops.

Privacy pluses elsewhere include the iOS app's ability to create lists of wireless networks which IPVanish will always protect, and others which it can ignore, as you know they're safe. You can then mostly leave the VPN to turn itself on and off as required, preserving your privacy at all times.

To confirm the service really does preserve your identity, we checked for leaks at sites including IPLeak, DNS leak test and Do I Leak. None of the tests revealed any issues, with the apps shielding our real IP address at all times.

IPVanish keeps zero logs on its users (Image credit: IPVanish)

Logging

Point your browser at IPVanish's website and you'll read what seems to be a clear no-logging policy.

"Our strict zero-logs policy keeps your identity under wraps. We do not record any of your activity while connected to our apps in order to preserve your civil right to privacy."

We like to check the big claims on the front of a website with the small print at the back, but in this case, the IPVanish privacy policy says much the same thing.

"IPVanish is a zero-logs VPN service provider, which means that we do not keep a record of any connection, traffic, or activity data in regard to our Services."

Comforting words, but customers shouldn't have to blindly trust any provider's website promises. VPN providers such as NordVPN, TunnelBear and VyprVPN have tried to reassure their customers by allowing external companies to audit their systems and find out what's really going on. Hopefully IPVanish – and the rest of the industry – will follow suit.

SpeedTest by Ookla is one of the services we used to test IPVanish's performance (Image credit: Ookla)

Performance

We began our performance tests by using Speedtest.net, TestMy.net and other benchmarking websites to find the best download speeds of our local UK servers.

The initial results were very inconsistent. Here are five consecutive UK download speed measurements from a single website, for instance: 9.2Mbps, 70Mbps, 11.3Mbps, 75.9Mbps, 70.3Mbps.

Well, okay…

Would switching protocol to IKEv2 help? 37.8Mbps, 31.9Mbps, 6.1Mbps, 36.8Mbps, 16.1Mbps.

So no – not really.

We repeated these tests across two days, using different UK servers, and most sessions had similar problems.

These results would normally earn some major black marks, but this time, we can see a possible explanation. The tests took place in mid-March 2020, a few days after the UK government had recommended everyone who could do so, should work from home, and it's possible this has had a major effect on some UK data centers and internet performance overall.

To test this idea, we switched to measuring speeds from the UK to the Netherlands, and results were much better at an average of around 69Mbps on a 75Mbps test line.

US download speeds were very reasonable, too, at an average 220Mbps, and with a minimum individual test result of 153Mbps. That's more than enough for most applications.

Overall, it looks like IPVanish is at least capable of delivering decent speeds. UK performance was disappointing this time, and it's possible this was down to some IPVanish problem, but because of the exceptional local circumstances, we're not going to count it against the company in this review.

In our tests IPVanish was able to unblock Netflix in the US, so we didn't see any dreaded errors (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix

Unlike some of the competition, IPVanish doesn't boast about its website unblocking abilities. Browse the website and you'll eventually find its Services page, but that's limited to relatively unprotected sites such as Sling TV, Spotify and YouTube.

Does this mean IPVanish doesn't have much to boast about? Our iPlayer tests seemed to confirm that, as none of the UK servers got us access, a repeat of what we found during our last review.

All US VPN servers allowed us to watch geoblocked YouTube clips. That's not such a big deal – everyone else does, too – but we like to check, anyway, just to confirm there are no problems.

The surprise was that although IPVanish doesn't seem keen to talk about it, all test servers gave us access to US Netflix, a far better performance than you'll see with many competitors and an earned place on our best Netflix VPN list.

IPVanish offers clients for a wide variety of platforms (Image credit: IPVanish)

Client setup

IPVanish directly supports a wide range of platforms, with clients available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Fire TV. There are no browser extensions, but the support pages have setup guides for Chrome and Firefox, as well as tutorials covering routers, Chromebooks, Linux and more.

The app download links are easy to find on the website, and, conveniently, you don't have to log in to your IPVanish account to access them.

There are no big surprises during the client setup process (or indeed small surprises, really). The Windows and Mac clients install like any other, iOS and Android apps may be installed from their app stores, and there's a bonus direct download of the Android APK file for experts who need more control of the setup process.

If you're not interested in the official clients, IPVanish has manual setup tutorials for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux and others. These aren't as numerous or detailed as we've seen at ExpressVPN, but there's still plenty of information here. The website has 12 tutorials just covering Windows, for example, with separate guides for OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and IKeV2 setup on Windows 7, 8 and 10.

If you're using OpenVPN or anything else OpenVPN-based, you'll also appreciate IPVanish adopting a sensible naming scheme for its .OVPN configuration files. While NordVPN starts file names with a country code, like 'us2356.nordvpn.com.udp.ovpn' (poor practice if you're mixing files from different providers) and doesn't mention the region, IPVanish leads with its own name and includes the city, too ('ipvanish-US-New-York-nyc-a01.ovpn'), making it far easier to read and use.

If you've used a VPN before, IPVanish's Windows client will look quite familiar (Image credit: IPVanish)

Windows client

If you've used several VPN clients, you'll know they're mostly very similar. There's a list of locations, a Connect/ Disconnect button, a page of settings, and generally nothing much else.

Once again, IPVanish does things differently. Its clients can look more complex than the competition, but that's mostly because they have more features and functionality than just about anyone else.

The opening Quick Connect panel is cluttered, for instance, but there are welcome touches, too. Tap Connect and a status panel displays the protocol, time connected, server name, and data uploaded and downloaded, a level of detail you'll rarely see elsewhere. The client even displays a good-looking real-time graph of your upload and download speeds. (Essential? Probably not, but you have to applaud the developer's efforts.)

In addition to the map view, you can also view IPVanish's locations as a country list (Image credit: IPVanish)

If you don't like this interface, one click and you've viewing a more conventional country list. This looks more like other clients, but again, IPVanish has added extra features. A search box enables filtering the list by keyword. You can sort the list by country, load or response time. You're able to add servers to a Favorites list with a click, and these can be sensibly displayed at the top of the country list, rather than hiding them away on a separate tab.

IPVanish also allows selecting locations from a map, and it makes a better job of implementing this than most. Pan the map over to the US, for instance, and instead of being confronted with a mass of overlapping location markers, the map displays only four. If you know you're after an east coast location, zoom in there and more locations appear, with numbers representing how many servers they offer. So for instance we could see there were 55 servers in New York, 67 in Washington and 57 in Los Angeles. Click any location and the client automatically connects to the best available server.

You can easily change VPN protocols from within the settings of IPVanish's Windows client (Image credit: IPVanish)

Even the Settings dialog delivers more functionality than we expected. You can switch protocols between IKEv2, SSTP, PPTP and L2TP, as well as OpenVPN TCP and UDP. You're able to choose an OpenVPN port (1194 or 443). There's both DNS and IPv6 leak protection. You can define which server IPVanish uses when the client starts, repair the IPVanish OpenVPN driver if it's affected by another VPN, and view the OpenVPN logs within the interface to troubleshoot problems.

The client's kill switch isn't enabled by default, so we turned it on and ran a few tests. The results were excellent in every area: whatever we did, whatever protocol we used, the client warned us immediately with a desktop notification and reconnected if we'd enabled that option in Settings, without ever revealing our real IP.

The closest we could find to an issue is that IPVanish doesn't update its apps very often. Our client's Windows executable had a 'modified' date of June 2019, and the bundled OpenVPN build dated from December 2018. It was 120 days since the last iOS update, although in the case of Android, the app was actually updated only 16 days before our review.

While we don't need to see weekly updates, having several months between releases could feel like a very long time, especially if you're waiting for some issue to be fixed. Most top VPNs update their iOS apps at least every month, for instance, squashing bugs or making improvements, and we'd like to see IPVanish doing something similar.

Update issues aside, overall, the Windows VPN app for PC performs very well, and old VPN hands in particular will appreciate its lengthy feature list.

IPVanish's Android app closely resembles its desktop counterparts (Image credit: IPVanish)

Android app

The IPVanish Android VPN app opens with a simple Quick Connect screen which displays your current IP and location, lists a target country, city and server, and provides a Connect button to speedily get you online.

The app selects your closest server by default, but you're also able to set your destination country, the city within that country, or choose a specific server with a couple of taps.

Just like the desktop client, once you're online the app displays a real-time scrolling graph showing your upload and download data rates. We're unsure whether there's anyone who actually needs this, and presumably it will reduce your battery life if you leave it open for a long period of time, but there's no doubt it looks better than the usual dull country list.

The app presents some genuinely useful status information along with the fancy visuals: your new IP address, server name, location, time connected, and so on. It's welcome reassurance that the system is working as you would expect.

The location picker is relatively basic. You're able to select servers by country or city, but there are no ping times or server load figures to help you choose, and there's no Favorites system or Recent Servers list to speed up reconnections. Instead, you're forced to manually scroll to specific servers when you need them, a potential hassle on mobile devices with small screens.

You can download IPVanish's Android app right from the Google Play Store (Image credit: Google)

The app has more settings and options than most of the competition. You can choose to make OpenVPN UDP or TCP connections, optimizing for speed or reliability. There's a wider choice of ports than you'll see with the Windows client (443, 1194 and 8443).

A Scramble feature makes it more difficult for networks to detect and block VPN connections. A kill switch blocks internet access if the connection drops. Most interesting of all, a Split Tunneling feature allows you to select apps you don't want to use IPVanish; great news if some of your apps don't work with VPNs. ExpressVPN has something similar, but otherwise that's an option you'll rarely find elsewhere.

There are minor weaknesses in some areas. While many apps can automatically protect you whenever you connect to an insecure network, for instance, IPVanish displays an optional warning and leaves you to decide what to do. That's enough to help you stay safe, though, and overall, the app works very well.

IPVanish's iOS client is quite similar to its Android app (Image credit: IPVanish)

iOS app

The IPVanish iOS app launches with much the same Quick Connect screen as the Windows and Android clients. There's a clear display of your IP address, location and VPN status, and you can choose your target country, city and server before connecting to the VPN with a tap. As with the Android app, the default country is always the US, wherever you might be in the world.

Once you are online, there's similar eye candy in the shape of a scrolling real-time internet traffic graph. This isn't exactly necessary, but it's good (and very unusual) to see a VPN app with some visual style.

If you prefer, you can also select locations from a simpler text list. As with the Android app, this can be sorted by country or city, but these fields are displayed in separate columns which makes the list much easier to browse. Server load and ping times are displayed, too, helping you to figure out which is the best location for you.

IPVanish not only works on iPhones but also on Apple's iPad  (Image credit: IPVanish)

Even better, and unlike the Android client, the iOS app supports a simple and straightforward Favorites system. Tap the star to the right of one or more servers and it'll appear whenever you choose the Favorites tab, allowing you to avoid all the other filtering and sorting hassles entirely.

The Settings pane looks sparse, at least initially. There's no integrated kill switch to protect your identity, and you only get two significant VPN tweaks: an auto-connect option, and the ability to switch protocol between the default IKEv2 and IPSEC.

Check out that auto-connect feature, though, and you'll find a stack of options and controls (essentially, all the goodies we'd like to have seen in the Android app). As well as a basic "connect automatically" setting, you can have IPVanish automatically turn itself off when you're connected to trusted cellular networks. You're able to build whitelists and blacklists of wireless networks, so IPVanish knows which connections to protect, and which are safe. You can even compile a list of domains which you'd like IPVanish to automatically protect, so for example you can have the VPN kick in whenever you visit Netflix's website.

Updates since the last review have been minimal, but you can now use Siri shortcuts to connect and disconnect the VPN, and there's support for iOS 13 Dark Mode, too.

The IPVanish iOS app isn't perfect, then, but unlike many competitors, it's not just a basic port of the desktop or Android apps, either. There's real power here, and we'll be interested to see how it develops in future.

IPVanish now bundles a SugarSync account with 250GB of online storage (Image credit: SugarSync)

SugarSync

Signing up for IPVanish now gets you a SugarSync account with a sizeable 250GB of secure web storage, which is very convenient for backups, file sharing or whatever else you might want to do.

As IPVanish calls this bundle a 'security suite', you might expect some kind of integration, a launcher, or something which makes it easier to use the services together.

But, well, you'll be disappointed. Open a VPN account and IPVanish sends you a separate email with your SugarSync username, password and a few links, but otherwise you must download and set up the SugarSync app yourself.

That doesn't take long, though, and once it's up and running, SugarSync is very easy to use. You can add a Windows folder to your account from its right-click menu, for instance. Its current contents and any subsequent changes are uploaded to your storage space, then synchronized across all your devices (PCs, Macs, iOS and Android).

Don't expect much on the service integration front, though (Image credit: SugarSync)

When you need to share with others, it's easy to create links to documents, or distribute read-only files.

And if your device is stolen and you really, really, really don't want to share, no problem – remote wiping enables removing synchronized files from any of your devices.

We've no space to review SugarSync here, and we're not going to tell you whether it might be the right solution for you. But if you could use this kind of backup, file syncing or secure collaboration-type service, getting it bundled with the VPN for just $3.25 a month in year one has a lot of appeal.

If you're in any doubt, though, keep in mind that if you sign up with SugarSync direct, you can try it free for 30 days anyway. Once the trial is up, you'll have a much better idea of whether the service works for you.

IPVanish's support site provides you with a great deal of information about your connection (Image credit: IPVanish)

Support

If the VPN isn't working as it should be, the IPVanish Help Center aims to point you in the right direction. A System Status link warns you of any big company-wide problems, support articles are intelligently organized into key categories (Setup, Troubleshooting, Billing, more) and you can search the web knowledgebase for specific keywords.

The articles aren't quite as polished as you'll see with ExpressVPN and other top competitors, but they're not bad, and there's plenty of information to explore. You don't just get one or two generic setup guides, for instance – there are multiple tutorials for Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and Linux, as well as guidance on using the system with Chrome OS and various routers, and related advice for using it with Roku, Chromecast and Kodi.

There are more issues with some of the troubleshooting guides. The 'Slow Speed Troubleshooting' article, for instance, is more than 1,200 words long, but it wastes more than 800 of those on pointless analogies between VPN usage and driving a car. If you were going to the store to pick up ice cream, for instance, you would want to 'travel via the least congested street possible' and 'choose a location that you can check out of quickly', it explains (we're not kidding).

If you can't find an answer in the knowledgebase, live chat is available on the website.

We posted a test question, asking about the inconsistent speeds we'd seen from our local UK servers.

A friendly agent replied in less than a minute, and went on to advise we switch from IKEv2 or OpenVPN to L2TP, and choose a server manually rather than allowing the client to pick the best one. Trying a new protocol is a very standard idea, but hearing that we might get better results by not trusting the client's server choice isn't exactly encouraging.

Still, we can't argue with the speed of IPVanish here; we were talking to an agent almost immediately, they got straight to the point (no messing around asking for account details or anything else), asked relevant questions and made suggestions very quickly. That's a great performance, and a major improvement on the 'send an email and wait' approach of some other services (although if you're happy to send an email, IPVanish supports that, too).

Final verdict

IPVanish has lots of features, highly configurable apps and speedy live chat support to help keep everything running smoothly. But there are some problems, too, and issues with usability and a scattering of smaller glitches are just enough to keep it off the top spot.

IPVanish VPN is a popular VPN service based in the United States with over 1300 servers located throughout 50+ countries spread around the world.

IPVanish repeatedly comes up in online discussions around VPN services due to their consistency, strict no-log policies and no bandwidth caps.

IPVanish VPN Background

After years of foolishly running my online business via public WiFi (though more secure now than then), I decided to start using a VPN to mask some of my communications and access a bit of out of market sporting events while traveling.

But I found out that – similar to web hosting – there is no such thing as a “best VPN provider”. In fact, it’s like a whole world of confusing information because even trustworthy information is near-useless since it’s so complex.

This IPVanish VPN review is my notes from trying them out for my own purposes as a privacy-aware, traveling, US-based businessperson who needs good usability and good pricing. I am not a political activist or someone who regularly travels to firewalled countries.

Here’s a good explainer as to whether you actually need a VPN at all…

 

Whether you are looking for a VPN for privacy on public networks, for website access, for avoiding geotargeting, for masking communications or all the above, hopefully, this IPVanish VPN review will be useful.

What is IPVanish VPN?

IPVanish is a commercial Virtual Private Network (VPN) currently owned by J2 Global, a large holding company of various digital brands including NetProtect, Mashable, PC Magazine, MyFax, along with 5 other smaller VPN brands. IPVanish was previously owned by StackPath, a technology company that owns the CDN that my website runs on.

IPVanish offers all the standard features of a VPN with a focus on reliability, usability, media streaming, and productivity suite bundling. They are openly US-based, which will be both a pro and a con within the review.

Is IPVanish VPN Safe?

Yes, IPVanish is safe*. They are owned by a large, growing, public company with a straightforward and open business model (aka, the customer pays money for a service) and audited services & financial records.

*The asterisk here is that the company is US-based. That means customers benefit from US laws & protection. But global privacy hawks will point out that IPVanish is also subject to enforcement from the FBI, NSA & Treasury. But since 2016, IPVanish no longer keeps any logs beyond real-time server load logs to audit. Additionally, all commercial VPNs suffer from the same group of risks outlined by the US National Institutes of Technology’s Empirical Analysis in 2018.

Is IPVanish VPN Good?

Yes, IPVanish is a solid VPN all-around. They have tradeoffs for sure, and they aren’t right for everyone. But they offer everything most customers want in a VPN at a great price with solid US-based reputation.

So here’s the rest of my IPVanish VPN review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer so you can figure out if IPVanish is a good fit for you, or if you want an alternative paid VPN.

IPVanish VPN Pros / Advantages

It’s no secret that IPVanish is highly-rated among websites and customers alike. They have plenty of testimonials and slick feature overviews on their homepage. They position themselves as an affordable “security suite” provider.

It’s a solid, straightforward pitch. But it’s also very similar to other popular VPN providers. Here’s what I found IPVanish does well.

Pricing & Payment Options

IPVanish VPN uses one of the most attractive pricing structures for VPN providers: 1-month, 3-month, and 12-month subscription options. It’s $11.99 monthly, $35.97 billed for three months, or $143.88 billed annually ($6.49/month). They also do frequent deep discounts that you can lock in for a entire billing cycle (ie, 1 month, 1 quarter, or 1 year).

As you can tell, you’ll save quite a bit on an annual subscription over a monthly subscription. If you frequently travel through the year and connect to public Wi-Fi while doing so, the annual subscription is the way to go. They are not the cheapest VPN out there, but they also are not the most expensive. Like many of their features, they seem to be aiming for a happy sweet spot of value for money.

Unlike some other VPNs that require you to pay more to gain access to all the VPN’s features, IPVanish VPN gives you everything with any plan. That means you’ll have five simultaneous connections, full security features, and any choice of a server you wish. There are no cross-sells or upsells.

IPVanish VPN offers a 7-day money back guarantee. If you request a refund within seven days after you subscribe and aren’t satisfied with the service, you’ll get all your money back within ten business days, no questions asked. That’s alright, but it’s not as good as the 30-day refund that ExpressVPN and NordVPN carry.

With any VPN – you usually get what you pay for. While not perfect, IPVanish’s pricing and payment options are a strong point of their service.

Encryption & Security

IPVanish VPN gives you the option of three different protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec VPN. They’re all excellent choices for security, but OpenVPN is among the top protocols for keeping you protected. This one offers 256-bit encryption of your data, which is what banks use to keep your information safe on their websites.

There are also over 40,000 shared IP addresses to choose from to hide your real IP address. You can connect to a different one an unlimited number of times if you wish. IP address switches can further help you keep your identity and internet actions unknown to anyone who might be searching.

Best of all, IPVanish VPN doesn’t keep logs of your traffic. The company doesn’t keep track of where you go, or what you do, online, so even if it’s served with a warrant to investigate something, there’s not any information for IPVanish VPN to give. This is a tough feature to pull off without sacrificing network stability. Some companies like ExpressVPN and VyprVPN try to strike a balance where they only log some information for support & network stability. Then are are some, like NordVPN or AirVPN, that have no-log policies that seem to affect their performance. IPVanish – as we’ll see in the Performance section, seems to pull this balance off.

**Caveat – Note that no VPN is 100% secure. Your traffic is still routing through a company. Any company can go out of business or go rogue. If you are trying to avoid your American ISP – then you are simply replacing distrust of Comcast/Charter with the trust of your VPN. If you are a political activist where trust is a life or death situation, you need to be using something like Tor. This highlights this section of IPVanish VPN’s unique features, but the point remains using a VPN does not instantly create security/privacy. That is something you do via aligning company incentives (ie, paying for companies who maintain security) & being proactive.

IPVanish VPN strikes a good balance with advanced security features that are understandable for the lay user. Many VPNs remove advanced controls for the sake of usability and convenience, but IPVanish’s advanced settings are useful. Here is what their Preferences screen looks like in their app.

Overall, IPVanish deservedly gets praise from online forums and publications for their user-friendly privacy practices and no-log practices.

Usability & Onboarding

IPVanish VPN does a good job moving new customers to active customers (ie, “onboarding”). Their signup process is straightforward. Their apps are seamless and self-explanatory.

After signing up and verifying your email address, you are redirected to the Get Started screen where you can download apps for your respective devices.

When you first log on to the client, you can walk through a tutorial that shows key features. After setup, you can choose a server or have it automatically connect to a server for you based on your selected server location and current location. You can even search a full list of servers using filters, like protocol and current speeds.

The client offers both basic and advanced features to meet the needs of virtually any user. Want to get connected as quickly as possible? You don’t need to change anything because the client sets essential security features for you. If you want to tweak anything according to your preference, there’s always that option.

In the advanced section, you can choose your protocol, IP address settings, activate the Kill Switch and leak protections, and more, with the click of a few buttons.

While not as pretty as some other VPN clients, IPVanish is simple and straightforward and highly usable.

Speed, Performance & Consistency

Like every other VPN, IPVanish VPN calls itself the “world’s fastest VPN.” However, based on my testing, they can actually claim to be one of the fastest VPNs available.

There is a lot that goes into Internet speeds via a VPN. It is quite literally a middleman. So there is going to be a speed dropoff compared to non-VPN speeds, especially if your server is geographically distant from your location. That said, there is a lot that a good VPN can do for Internet speeds. Among other things, they can have a geographically diverse set of servers that correspond to both customer location and in-demand content. They can provide capacity above and beyond demand. And – they can work with server settings depending on connection types and types of content.

I live and work in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, so my tests all have a strong American bias. But, IPVanish VPN is remarkably consistent across its servers, both in the United States and those in other countries, with speed and performance. And, several speed tests conclude that this VPN seems to have the most similar speeds to internet connections without a VPN for both downloading and uploading.

Here is my baseline, non-VPN internet speed.

Here is my typical result with IPVanish.

That is more than 50% of my non-VPN speeds. That is very impressive based on anecdotal comparisons with other VPN providers that I’ve tested. Not the greatest…but also not the worst.

Additionally, this VPN stays connected with little chance of lagging and dropped connections. So, you likely won’t notice much of a change in your connection once you log on to the VPN – which is one area that IPVanish does well. Even the VPNs that have been abnormally fast have also been the ones that drop connections the fastest.

Overall, IPVanish scores really well on the speed/performance area.

Product Bundling, Apps & Bonuses

IPVanish is owned by a company that also owns a bunch of other tech brands. And, they’ve begun created interesting bundles that are unique to IPVanish.

For example, every IPVanish account gets free access to a SugarSync account – a brand-name encrypted backup & filesharing solution.

Now, it’s not groundbreaking if you’ve been making do with Dropbox or Google Drive. But it does have some unique features (like automated backup). And for the fact that it’s free makes it a really solid value-add. If you’ve been on the fence about paying for filesharing, SugarSync does give a huge push to IPVanish’s plans.

IPVanish VPN Cons / Disadvantages

Of course, no VPN provider is perfect. There are inherent tradeoffs to nearly everything. IPVanish VPN is no exception to the rule, as it has a few negatives to consider that may affect your decision.

Here are some of the disadvantages that I found with IPVanish.

Company, Guarantees & Refunds

The first downside of IPVanish is really a medley of two things – their company structure and their plan structure.

On the company structure side, there is a downside about their ownership. IPVanish is on their 3rd owner in just ~3 years. The actual product has not changed much – only the plans & pricing.

Now, this practice is totally normal in the corporate world. Kraft will sell brands to Heinz and Pepsi all the time without affecting the underlying product. However, across so much of the VPN industry, actual product seems like it’s more of a financial commodity rather than an investment. Additionally, J2 Global is getting quite big. They own a ton of brands – not all of which are VPNs. That can be a good thing, or a bad thing.

If you trust big companies, then the fact that IPVanish is simply a brand in a big company’s portfolio is fine – even good thing. If you trust smaller, independent, focused companies, then this could be a severe disadvantage.

The second structural downside is their lack of a long refund period in addition to the lack of payment options. They offer a 7 day refund with no trial and only credit card / PayPal options. That’s not bad per se, but it’s also not the best in the industry.

Based in the United States

Again, this isn’t something crucial, but the United States isn’t the most well-known country for internet privacy. The U.S. government is very capable of restricting the internet and quickly finding the information it wants to find.

Since IPVanish VPN is a United States-based company, you abide by the U.S. internet policies and regulations.

Now, this cuts both ways – you also benefit from the FTC’s protection as a consumer. Nobody at IPVanish is going to defraud you or run malware without risking a fine / jail.

But, if the US government decides it wants to monitor your internet activity, it can always get a warrant to do so through IPVanish VPN.

However, since IPVanish VPN doesn’t keep logs, the chances of anyone finding out you’re behind one of the VPN’s IP addresses is highly unlikely. Still, if this privacy issue makes you the slightest bit squeamish, then IPVanish VPN may not be the best option.

Additionally, if you plan on using your VPN to violate the DMCA, then be aware that if you are caught with a violation, then your account is subject to termination.

Aside – and yes, this fact sounds counter-intuitive to their “no logging” claim to me as well. Either they do log some traffic or they never terminate accounts or they filter specific connections (ie, Torrents). Either way, I’ll just mention the point of trust again.

Can’t Always Access Geo-Restricted Content

You may not be concerned about having access to geo-restricted content, like Netflix or YouTube videos that some countries ban. If not, then you can disregard this issue. For some, accessing geo-restricted content is a vital feature of their VPN.

IPVanish VPN claims to gain access to this content quickly, but some customers have found it hit-or-miss, especially with Netflix. But, to be fair, as more services catch on to VPNs gaining access to their content, more VPNs will have similar issues.

When I was trying to access geo-restricted content, I kept having to jump through hoops, like this one from Google –

It’s not a deal killer but was something that stood out as an inconvenience compared to other VPNs.

Not “The Best” at Any One Thing

Ironically, the last “downside” about IPVanish is that they aren’t “the best” at any one thing. In a crowded VPN market, that’s a downside to building a large customer-base and sustainable business model.

They are obviously trying to carve it out with their security suite positioning. But until then, they are possibly the most solid all-around, but not “the best” at any one thing like pricing, servers, privacy, etc.

IPVanish VPN Next Steps

IPVanish ticks a lot of the boxes of a good VPN for most customers, but also has some shortcomings that might make it 2nd choice for some customers.

If you are primarily concerned about speed, performance, and no-logging, then IPVanish will be a good fit for you. 

IPVanish is a popular VPN service based in the United States. IPVanish has excellent pricing, performance and usability. Some shortcomings on refunds, geo-restrictions, and company history.

Price: 11.99

Price Currency: USD

Operating System: All

Application Category: Virtual Private Network (VPN)

When it comes to surfing the Internet nowadays, protecting personal information is becoming more and more of a priority.

This is why, when I’m using public Wi-Fi, traveling, or simply hopping onto the web to access sensitive data, I choose to use a VPN service. A virtual private network (VPN for short) connects users to a private server and encrypts their data so they can, supposedly, access the internet without worrying about their info being tracked or logged.

Now there are a lot of VPN services out there and not all of them are the same when it comes to performance, protection, and overall features. Some may fit your needs and others may not…

So I’m here to determine which VPN could be a good fit for you.

In this article, specifically, I’m going to take a look at IPVanish VPN and see how it stacks up against the best services out there. Let’s see if IPVanish is actually “the only true Top Tier VPN service in the world” like they say they are.

IPVanish Pros and Cons

Before I get too deep into IPVanish’s specs, here’s my overall impression of this service:

What We Like

  • Strong encryption: Uses the industry standard.
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections: Go ahead! Connect your laptop, iPhone, tablet, router, etc.
  • Great download speed. It doesn’t slow your internet down too much.
  • Allows torrenting. You can torrent using uTorrent.
  • Allows split tunneling. IPVanish allows you to use its serves and others to maximize bandwidth capabilities.
  • Great customer service. Live 24/7 chat, phone line, and email support are all available to get your questions answered.

What We Don’t Like

  • “Zero Log Policy” is questionable. The company was exposed for sharing logs for a criminal investigation.
  • Under 5 Eyes surveillance. Since IPVanish is a U.S. based company, they are under 5 Eyes jurisdiction.
  • Only some servers work with Netflix. You might not be able to access some of your favorite shows and movies.

So that’s my general impression, but you’re probably wondering about all the fun details that led me to these conclusions, right?

The first thing I’ll touch on is the history behind IPVanish. Good performing service or bad, that’s where I started to question whether or not the company was a good fit for me.

About IPVanish

IPVanish was founded in Orlando, Florida by Mudhook Media Inc. (a subsidiary of Highwinds Network Group) in 2012. They claim to be the fastest VPN with “the most secure connections and the most competitive pricing anywhere”, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen similar services with a much more affordable price … I’ll get to that later in this review.

Their network is vast with 1,165 servers and 40,000 plus IP addresses across the globe. This is great because the closer you are to a server, the better your internet speed. Since IPVanish has a wide reach, they a higher chance of being of service to you. The company owns roughly 90% of its points of presence (POPs) or data centers, except in areas where they have to lease hardware like in Albania. They claim to have servers in 61+ countries, but when I counted which servers I could access, I only found 49. When I asked a customer service rep, they said that it was because some of the servers were undergoing maintenance.

Since IPVanish is based in the United States they are subject to 5 Eyes jurisdiction. The 5 Eyes intelligence alliance (which includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.) will investigate, track, and share personal data when they decide they need to. For you, that might be too big of a breach in your personal security so it’s important to be aware of this before you give IPVanish a go.

Alright, I think we know enough about the company. Now it’s time to check out the main features this VPN has to offer.

IPVanish Features

IPVanish is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Windows Phone, and other routers so it works with many different devices through Wi-Fi, LTE, 4G, and 3G connections. You can have up to 10 simultaneous connections, too, which is great because it means I can watch sports on my tablet, stream movies on my computer, use WhatsApp on my phone, and much, much more all at once.

Will IPVanish Log My Data?

According to their website: no. IPVanish does not log personal data.

What does this mean for you? IPVanish will not collect, monitor, or track your usage of the service. They also will not sell or rent personal information to others. All that’s needed to sign up with them is an email address and a payment method.

The only thing they claim they track is the non-personal data of the users that come to their site. That non-personal data includes:

  • Page requests
  • Browser type
  • Operating System
  • Bounce rate
  • Average time spent on our site

They collect this data by using cookies, pixels, and similar technologies, such as Google Analytics. Depending on what browser you use, you typically can opt-out of cookie usage or at least specify your cookie settings.

IPVanish’s “zero-log” policy sounds legit, but a U.S. District Court investigation had many users questioning whether or not the company was sticking to their promise. Back then, the Department of Homeland Security issued a “summons of records” from Highwinds Network Group, Inc. to get information on a user who was suspected of criminal activity.

While criminals must be stopped in their tracks, it’s clear here that IPVanish has given someone’s information to a government agency. That’s completely against their supposed “zero-log” promise. IPVanish has since been acquired by StackPath in 2017. The following year, someone claiming to be StackPath CEO, Lance Crosby, under the username lavosby took to reddit to explain how he will uphold the standard.

While this all looks fishy, IPVanish isn’t the only service suspected of breaking their own no-logs policy. But I guess the good news is, I haven’t found any complaints about data leakage since 2016.

Does IPVanish Have a Kill Switch?

Yes, it does!

The kill switch function is set in place to protect your IP address from being leaked. If a VPN service does not have this function, your IP address will be temporarily exposed if you lose connection to their network. So an automatic kill switch will close down all of your browsers and cut you from the Internet until your VPN connection is reestablished.

This could be a pain for someone who is downloading large files and does not want to be suddenly interrupted. Thankfully, you can turn off the kill switch whenever you’d like.

What Kind of Tunneling Does IPVanish Offer?

Split Tunneling

With IPVanish you can either exclusively connect to the internet through their network or you can do what we call, “split tunneling.”

Split tunneling is awesome because it allows you to connect to another network while using the VPN. All VPNs slow down internet speed and compromise your bandwidth a bit. But with split tunneling you can spread the burden, potentially creating a better user experience.

Can I use Netflix with IPVanish?

So here’s some bad news: You can’t … at least not from most of their servers, anyway.

You can only access Netflix through their Ashburn, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York servers. But if you are using IPVanish and want to make sure those servers are still up and running, contact customer service and they’ll tell you.

Even though Netflix may not be easily accessible, you can still use. Crunchyroll, ESPN, HBO, MLB TV, NBC Sports, Sling TV, WWE Network, Facebook, Bing, Gmail, Google, Spotify, Twitter, CBS Sports, CBS All Access, and WhatsApp.

IPVanish will also allow you to torrent through UTorrent.

VPN Encryption

Alrighty! Now it’s time to look at IPVanish’s encryption methods and protocols.

Encryption is basically the code that masks your data as you are perusing the web. Non-encrypted data can be read by an Average Joe with a computer. Data that is encrypted by high-quality code would need a godly hacker to crack.

That being said, IPVanish used AES-256 encryption, which is the highest quality encryption on the VPN market. IPVanish also offers various protocols that fit different needs. Protocols determine how the data is routed from your device to the VPN service.

Let’s check out our options here.

IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)

IPSec encrypts IP packets for transport and tunneling. So this can be compared to a mask people might use to hide their identity. IPSec is available for most computers and mobile devices, which is great. But be aware: IPSec does not define a particular encryption algorithm or an authentication function on its own, which means it’s not the most secure connection if it isn’t paired with other protocols that do so. IPSec just provides the framework for secure transport.

IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2)

IKEv2 is a protocol that is created through IPSec and it configures the specific approach to how IP packets are encrypted. What’s cool about IKEv2 is that it automatically re-establishes your VPN connection if you are ever disconnected from the internet. This is great for users who are using mobile devices and who may find themselves switching in between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. With IKEv2 and IPSec working together, your IP is more likely to be protected.

L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)

L2TP actually doesn’t encrypt at all. It just creates the tunnel for the data to travel. For encryption purposes, it combines with IPSec which is responsible for encryption, channel security, and data integrity checks. L2TP/IPSec connections are very secure and it works well with most mobile devices. However, this protocol may be tricky to set up for a router and it’s not as fast as OpenVPN.

OpenVPN

This protocol is an “open-source protocol”, which means that it’s kind of like Wikipedia. Users who are a part of the community can tweak the code to increase security. OpenVPN one of the most popular, most trusted protocols out there.

Why?

Because it’s fast and incredibly secure; it can bypass firewalls and it’s highly configurable. OpenVPN works with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, routers, and other devices.

The only pain about OpenVPN, it may require you to download third-party software to make it work, which makes for a tricky setup. But according to IPVanish, they’ve got the software that will have OpenVPN up and running easily and effortlessly.

You can also combine OpenVPN with TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) for added benefits.

TCP

OpenVPN and TCP together make the most popular and most reliable VPN connection.

TCP’s error correction prevents data packages from being lost as they travel from one place to the next. TCP reminds me of my mother back in the day, reminding me to check for my phone, keys, and wallet before I left any location. Without her, I probably would have been missing my keys more often than I would have liked.

Well without TCP’s error correction, you might frequently experience incomplete downloads and failed websites because some data’s off or went missing.

Thanks Mom! And Thanks TCP!

UDP

OpenVPN and UDP operate much faster than an OpenVPN/TCP connection because there’s no error correction with this protocol. UDP just sends the error packets. It doesn’t organize them.

Even so, many online gamers (who often have to quickly interact and respond in real-time) use OpenVPN/UDP because the speed is more appropriate for their needs.

SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)

So SSTP has all the benefits of OpenVPN in the sense that it is fast, secure, and can bypass firewalls.

But what’s unique about SSTP is that it was developed by Microsoft and it’s fully integrated with every Microsoft operating system since Windows Vista Service Pack 1.

PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)

This protocol is so old, I would only use it when all options have run out. It was invented in 1995 and its defenses have since been cracked many times. But I have to say: It is incredibly fast.

Testing IPVanish

Alrighty then! Let’s text IPVanish’s speed and overall leak protection.

To do all of the testing, I’ll be using my MacBook Air and my VivoBook (Windows). As for my internet connection, I’ll be using Optimum. I recognize you may be using different devices and different ISPs, which could both affect download and upload speeds. (Your proximity to a server can also affect these speeds, too.)

What I’m saying is: Your numbers could be slightly different than mine. But I’m testing to give you a general sense of how the VPN performs on different operating systems.

IPVanish Ping

IPVanish on my MacBook Air works very well in terms of speed. While every VPN will slow your connection down, IPVanish does a great job of maintaining as much speed as possible. The ping time only dropped 14% (while the average drop is 32% among VPNs). And the download and uploads speed was decent as well. Although, I have used faster services like CyberGhost, which saw a decrease of less than 10% for both downloads and uploads.

My speed significantly slowed down on my VivoBook. I did not like seeing that -62.37% on my downloads. Knowing that I’d say IPVanish may not be the best for Windows users.

DNS Leak Test

So the DNS, or Domain Name Server, is the address that you type in when you go to a website, like gmail.com. Basically the DNS takes an IP address and puts it into an alphabetic sequence. For us VPN users, private DNS’s are used for our security. But we want to make sure your data remains encrypted as it travels through the VPN tunnel.

After testing, IPVanish showed no DNS leaks on either Mac or Windows. Woohoo!

WebRTC Leak Test

WebRTC is like the translator that allows Firefox, Chrome, Opera — name your browser — to communicate with one another. It’s the things that make data transfers smoother, web conferences less glitchy, and streaming The Office without many interruptions. For WebRTC to work though, it requires that devices share their IP address. So it’s important that this information doesn’t leak while using a VPN.

Here’s some good news: IPVanish had no WebRTC leaks when I tested it on my MacBook Air and on my VivoBook.

IPVanish Subscriptions

IPVanish Subscription Options

Out of all the VPNs I’ve tried so far, IPVanish is on the pricier side. Where I’ve seen VPNs cost as low as $2.75 a month, IPVanish’s lowest subscription package is $6.49 a month. Also, they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee, which isn’t that generous. I’ve seen companies up to a 45-day guarantee.

IPVanish offers three different subscription deals: Their 15-month (the cheapest), their three-month plan, and their one-month plan. The latter is the most expensive at $10 a month. Which isn’t bad. But you could use that $10 for that Netflix account you’ve been trying to access … and a cheaper VPN that would allow you to do so…

Manual Configurations

IPVanish works with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux (Ubuntu PPTP, Ubuntu Open), Chromebook, and wireless routers such as DD-WRT and Tomato.

Browser Extensions

Unfortunately, IPVanish has no browser extensions.

IPVanish Customer Support

So a great as technology can be sometimes, it fails and so we need to know who to talk to when things break down. Even when things aren’t going wrong, understanding the VPN world can be confusing. You need help.

In each of these cases, it’s important that the VPN service that you use has great customer service. But how much does IPVanish support its customers? Let’s find out.

Features

Okay, IPVanish has extremely good customer service when it comes to access. They’ve got a phone line, email support, a 24/7 live chat room, and a robust FAQ library. There are so many ways for you to find the answers that you’re looking for.

The reps on the chat are highly responsive. If they don’t answer you right away, they will tell you where you are in their query queue. I never had to wait more than five minutes, which I think is a little long. But it was still better than waiting a day for them to email me.

Customer Support Ratings

So I even though I thought IPVanish was great, I wanted to know what other people thought about their customer service.

When I checked the reviews on Amazon, I discovered that in 2017 users were really unhappy because there was no customer service at all. At some point, IPVanish only had email support and took days to respond … Then in 2018, I saw the first positive review of their customer service: “Better than expected.” Apparently, IPVanish has been working a lot on this area of their business and it’s paying off.

On Trustpilot, IPVanish has a 5-star rating from over 2,000 reviews— amazing! While I wasn’t able to do a search specifically for customer support, I could see that the majority of people were pleased with it in the more recent reviews. With 84% of the reviews at a perfect five-stars, IPVanish is doing something right.

The IPVanish App

Apparently, Apple users are much happier with the IPVanish App than Android users. In the Apple store, the app received 4.5 stars and that’s the rating I would give it. When I opened it up on my iPhone X, I discovered that it was really easy to navigate and connect with the VPN. I didn’t have any issues.

On the contrary, the app received a 3.5 star rating in the Google Play store. Most customers complained about having connections issues.

IPVanish vs. Perfect Privacy

Before we wrap up, let’s compare IPVanish with one of its competitors: Perfect Privacy.

Looking at some of the essential features, IPVanish and Perfect Privacy are pretty comparable:

What I don’t like about Perfect Privacy is that they don’t have many servers. They currently have over 55 servers in 23 countries. Perfect Privacy is expensive. Their cheapest plan (which is their 24-month subscription package) is 8.95 euros a month, which is just over $10.

I was disappointed when I found out that Perfect Privacy significantly slows down my internet speed and it only has apps for Windows and Linux devices … They only have email customer service … and it also sucks that the Swiss-based company is located within a 5-Eyes Alliance cooperating country.

However, Perfect Privacy does have some nifty features that IPVanish is lacking:

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections. IPVanish brags 10.
  • Multi-hop encryption. This feature encrypts your data across two or more servers, adding higher security and protection.
  • Cascading. This allows you to choose your entry VPN location, your exit VPN location, and potentially two intermediary servers (or hops). This will make it difficult for your ISP to track your VPN server location.
  • Port forwarding. This is useful for users who want to torrent and don’t want to let firewalls get in the way. Port forwarding allows incoming internet connections to reach your device when using the VPN.

Even with all of these additional options, IPVanish seems like the better choice to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t torrent that often and don’t want to get locked into an expensive 2-year subscription plan.

Your needs might be different than mine, of course.

Recap of IPVanish

So to review everything, I think IPVanish would be a great fit for you if want:

  • High-quality encryption.
  • Decent internet speed.
  • Split tunneling.
  • The ability to torrent.
  • The ability to control the kill switch.
  • Great customer service.

IPVanish is not a good tool for you if:

  • You want a less expensive service.
  • You’re uncomfortable with the 5 Eyes Alliance jurisdiction.
  • You want easy access to Netflix.

After reading all of this you should be pretty clear on whether or not IPVanish is a good fit for you. If anything, hopefully, I helped to make all of your questions disappear. Cheesy pun intended.