On the outside, IPVanish looks like an all-in-one solution to your every VPN-related need. It promises to make you disappear online, get around censorship filters, as well as back-up and encrypt your every file. However, we’re certain you know better than to trust any marketing messages, no matter how good they might sound.
This is precisely why TechNadu’s team spent quite some time testing IPVanish, from the inside out. On top of that, we’ve been following this VPN for a long time now, so we can give you plenty of insider information. With this said, welcome to our hands-on IPVanish review!
We are going to introduce you to this VPN by listing some quick facts first. We do the same in our every VPN review, so the following table comes in handy if you want to compare VPNs and their basic set of features.
|Jurisdiction||The United States of America (5-Eyes Alliance).|
|Logs||No activity or connection logs.|
|Number of Servers||50+ countries, 1,600+ servers.|
|Encryption Standards||AES 256-bit; OpenVPN; IKEv2; L2TP/IPsec; PPTP.|
|Speed Reduction||74.2%, on average.|
|Live Chat Support||YES|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS, Android, Fire OS, and compatible routers.|
|Price||Starting at $3.33/month.|
Next, we like to test every VPN against its claims of unblocking media streaming websites. After all, many users rely on VPNs to stream Netflix and other services, so we think of this aspect as being crucial. Take a look below.
Media Streaming Support
|Amazon Prime Video||NO|
And lastly, we have summarized our conclusions below. With that said, these are IPVanish’s biggest strengths and weaknesses.
The Bottom Line
|Pros||Effortless installation; Available on many devices; Works with Netflix; Supports P2P; Strong encryption; Real-time connection analytics.|
|Cons||Problematic performance; Not the best option for streaming; Problems in the past.|
|The Final Verdict||IPVanish is doing its primary job relatively well. However, due to its troubling past, we can’t recommend it to those seeking the highest possible level of privacy and anonymity.|
We’re now ready to dive into our full IPVanish 2021 review. As we’ll be dissecting this VPN service into its smallest bits, we highly recommend you keep on reading and learn all there is to know about this VPN.
What’s New in IPVanish? – Recent Updates
Before we dive into this VPN’s specifics, we’ll take a look at some of the recent updates and developments. This will give you an idea about where IPVanish stands in terms of developing new features and supporting its subscribers.
1. IPVanish Upgrades Its Infrastructure
In January 2021, IPVanish announced that Intel’s XXV710 network cards had been installed across several data centers, providing 25Gbps of connectivity. This is a 2.5x improvement over what was previously available. Therefore, it’s said that IPVanish customers can expect faster speeds than before – and we’ve made sure to test those claims. So, pay attention to the ‘Speed & Performance’ segment of this IPVanish review.
It’s also worth mentioning that Intel’s new network cards can be found across the following data centers: Ashburn, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, New York, Paris, San Jose, Seattle, Seoul, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, and Warsaw.
2. Support for Unmetered VPN Connections
IPVanish has always been known as a generous VPN in terms of its support for simultaneous connections. Previously, this VPN allowed its subscribers to use up to 10 parallel connections. However, in July 2020, IPVanish introduced unmetered connections.
That means you can now use IPVanish on as many devices as you want. And also, that means IPVanish no longer collects (anonymous) information regarding your hardware (used to check the limits of your subscription in terms of simultaneous connections).
3. IPVanish Removes Servers Based in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s new National Security Law brought another obstacle to VPNs. However, while many VPNs decided to still offer servers in Hong Kong, IPVanish was one of those to comply and remove its servers. As explained, that decision was made to protect its subscribers.
Even though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s worth noting that IPVanish was one of the first VPNs to comply with Hong Kong’s new law. It didn’t exactly abandon its subscribers, but it also didn’t fight for their rights.
4. Integration With SugarSync (Secure Cloud Storage)
As a way to increase the value of its offer, IPVanish started offering SugarSync accounts to its subscribers in early 2020. However, you can now choose between a standalone VPN plan or a bundle that comes with a 500GB SugarSync account. There’s a very small price difference between these two options, both of which are quite affordable.
This digital service is actually a cloud-based storage solution. It’s designed not only to secure your files by encrypting them – but also to make them easily accessible across all your devices. In a way, it’s similar to iCloud or Dropbox, with added security features.
5. i2Coalition Launches ‘VPN Trust Initiative’
Several highly reputable VPNs have launched a ‘VPN Trust Initiative’ group, with the goal of sharing their knowledge and experience in an effort to promote digital privacy.
IPVanish was one of the founding members, giving a positive signal to its subscribers. However, we’re yet to see any tangible results of this cooperation, which otherwise shows a lot of promise for the future.
IPVanish Review (2021) – Here’s ALL You Need to Know Before You Subscribe!
Finally, it’s time to take a deep dive into IPVanish’s offer and inspect everything this VPN promises to bring. However, before we proceed, you can learn how we review VPN services.
Table of Contents
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
IPVanish has indeed had a troublesome past, which can be highly problematic when it comes to VPNs. And on top of that, it comes from the USA, which isn’t ideal. Our Score: 6/10.
VPN services deal with plenty of sensitive information supplied by their customers. With that said, you want to be sure that your VPN doesn’t exploit your private data at any moment.
That’s why we are going to investigate two aspects of IPVanish. First, let’s learn about its jurisdiction (and data retention laws that apply), and we’ll also investigate its past data leaks.
Where Does IPVanish Come From? Is It Part of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance?
IPVanish launched in 2012 as a VPN service of a company called Mudhook Media. This was a subsidiary of Highwinds Network Group, whose headquarters was in Florida (the USA).
In the beginning, this was a fairly basic VPN designed for Windows PC users. However, it didn’t take long for the company to grow its VPN service to cover other devices and more advanced features. During that time, this VPN found itself in the center of a privacy-related scandal, which we’ll discuss in the following segment of this review.
Things started to change in 2017 when IPVanish was acquired by a company called StackPath. We can’t say that this VPN changed drastically, except for one thing. The new management team of IPVanish, along with its CEO Lance Crosby, has had been reminding us that the VPN’s previous scandals were in the past and that IPVanish no longer logged any personal data. In fact, IPVanish became a ‘zero-logs’ VPN service at that time.
Today, IPVanish is owned by NetProtect, which is a brand owned by J2 Global. You probably haven’t heard about this company until now, but it owns several VPN brands. We’re talking about VPNs such as StrongVPN, SaferVPN, Encrypt.me (which acquired Buffered VPN in the meantime), and WLVPN, among others.
Finally, it’s important to highlight that IPVanish (still) comes from the USA. If you didn’t know, this country is a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance – created for the purpose of data logging and data sharing (exchange). We have to admit that this is a bit worrisome, and we would always recommend going for a VPN from a more privacy-friendly country.
Did IPVanish Leak Private Data in the Past?
In 2016, it was discovered that IPVanish has had actually logged some personal data – even though this VPN claimed to have a ‘strict no-logs’ policy since 2012. As can be seen in this affidavit, this case involved child abuse and pornography, as well as a suspect who was investigated by the US Department of Homeland Security.
As per the criminal affidavit, the US Homeland Security asked for personal data records from Highwinds Network Group, the parent company of IPVanish at the time. After some discussion, the VPN provider decided to hand over two types of information:
- Source IP address of the suspected user;
- Dates and times that clearly describe when the user was actively using IPVanish.
Of course, everything said above applies to the time when Highwinds Network Group owned IPVanish. It changed two owners in the meantime and is now owned by J2 Global.
That means we should acknowledge these past incidents – but keep in mind that they no longer define IPVanish as a VPN service. Until proven otherwise, we don’t have a reason to believe that IPVanish is (once again) logging private information.
Is IPVanish Legal & Safe to Use?
In terms of the legality of IPVanish, we don’t have any reason not to recommend it. VPNs are legal around the world, except in a few countries with totalitarian regimes. In fact, they protect your right to (digital) privacy, which makes them not only legal but also highly recommended to use.
In terms of the VPN’s safety, there’s no reason to believe that IPVanish could ever endanger your personal data. It’s true that this VPN comes with a very complex past, with situations that could have questioned its dedication to subscribers. However, we’ve also seen plenty of improvements over the last year.
Supported Platforms & Devices
Aside from Web browsers, IPVanish covers a wide range of platforms and devices, including media streaming devices and routers. Our Score: 8.5/10.
One of the first things we look for in a VPN is platform compatibility. After all, a capable VPN should provide native applications for all currently popular desktop and mobile platforms.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android and iOS.|
|Routers||VPN routers, Tomato, DD-WRT, and more.|
|Other Devices||Amazon Fire OS.|
We can see that IPVanish has done a good job of covering many platforms. You get to use it on your computer, smartphone, tablet, and even on media streaming devices. With that said, the only thing that’s missing is support for Web browsers.
Considering that IPVanish now brings support for unmetered VPN connections, this gives you plenty of freedom. Differently said, this has added plenty of value to IPVanish’s offer as you can protect yourself at home and on-the-go using a single subscription.
Installation & Initial Configuration
The process of installing IPVanish is very simple. You download the installer, run it, and you’ll have your new VPN ready to be used within minutes. Our Score: 10/10.
This process starts by subscribing to IPVanish. That’s how you’ll get your username/password, which you’ll use to log into the app. After that, you’ll need to download IPVanish from its official website based on the operating system you use.
If you use macOS, you simply need to drag-and-drop IPVanish’s icon onto your Applications folder. And if you’re on Windows, you’ll see a typical software installer. Choose where you’d like to save the required files, and IPVanish will finish everything on its own. This really is the simplest method of installing software on any computer.
What’s interesting is that IPVanish comes already configured based on your system’s specs, so you’re ready to start using the application as soon as you log into your account. Select a server, connect to it, and that’s pretty much it. Still, as you’ll find out soon enough, taking your time to dive deeper into this VPN’s software will be worth your time.
IPVanish covers the basic features well, and it also offers a few high-end ones (on select platforms) – meeting the needs of more advanced users as well. Our Score: 8/10.
We’ve come up with a list of basic and advanced features that every capable VPN should offer in 2021. So, the following table will let you know whether IPVanish has managed to meet our expectations.
VPN Features Checklist
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||YES|
|Kill Switch||YES (Windows, macOS, Android)|
|Split Tunneling||YES (Android)|
|Unlimited Server Switches||YES|
IPVanish seems to cover the basics well. You get IP and DNS leak protection, which means this VPN should hide your personal data without any leaks. Besides, some more advanced features are on offer as well, such as a kill switch and split tunneling.
However, the problem with IPVanish is that certain features are available on select platforms only. This means you can’t expect the same offer across all of the VPN apps. To see what we mean, keep on reading our IPVanish review.
How Many Simultaneous Connections Do You Get With IPVanish?
IPVanish gives you unlimited simultaneous connections. This means there’s no limit regarding how many devices you can use within a single subscription.
Differently said, you are free to install and use IPVanish on all your devices. Those could be computers, smartphones, tablets, routers, media streaming devices, and more. The VPN won’t impose limits on your bandwidth or anything similar.
Keep in mind that IPVanish doesn’t allow multiple-party use or non-individual use. So account sharing is considered against the VPN’s terms of service.
Does IPVanish Have a Kill Switch?
Yes, IPVanish comes with a kill switch – available on Windows, macOS, and Android.
This feature works as you’d expect, with IPVanish employing a system-level kill switch. This means that if something happens to your VPN connection (if it becomes unstable or if you disconnect from a secure server), IPVanish’s kill switch will prevent your device from connecting to the Web.
A number of other VPNs offer granular controls over their kill switch features. For example, you can decide which apps are affected by this feature, which gives you some flexibility. However, IPVanish’s kill switch is a system-level one. You can only enable and disable it.
How to Enable IPVanish’s Kill Switch on Windows
Here’s how to prevent possible data leaks on your Windows machine by using IPVanish’s kill switch. Check the following steps.
- On the left-hand side, select ‘Settings.’
- Then, make sure to select the ‘Connection‘ tab.
- Scroll down until you see a group of features titled ‘Enhanced Security Features.’
- Check the box next to ‘Kill Switch.’
- You can also check the box next to ‘Block LAN Traffic‘ if you want the VPN’s kill switch to include your local network traffic as well (including wireless printers, media servers, and more).
How to Enable IPVanish’s Kill Switch on macOS
Interacting with IPVanish’s kill switch on macOS is done by going into the VPN’s settings. Check the full guide below.
- Go to IPVanish VPN > Preferences.
- Then, select the ‘OpenVPN‘ tab.
- Check the box labeled ‘Kill Switch.’ That’s it!
How to Enable IPVanish’s Kill Switch on Android (8.0+)
If your device runs Android 8.0 or newer, IPVanish can instruct you on how to enable a system-level kill switch on this operating system. Here’s how that is done.
- Launch IPVanish and tap on the hamburger button (on the left side).
- Tap on ‘Settings,’ and then select the ‘Connection‘ tab.
- Scroll down and select ‘Android OS Kill Switch.’
- A pop-up will appear, so you can tap on ‘Take Me There‘ to open your phone’s Settings app.
- Tap on the cogwheel icon next to IPVanish’s icon.
- And lastly, enable the following features: ‘Always-On VPN‘ and ‘Block Connections Without VPN.’
Does IPVanish Offer Split Tunneling?
Yes, IPVanish offers split tunneling – but only on Android devices.
This VPN gives you an option to choose specific apps that will be routed through your regular Web connection. This means that other Android apps will continue to use IPVanish’s VPN tunnel.
As such, this could be a highly useful feature if you’d like to exclude certain applications from the VPN’s tunnel.
How to Enable Split Tunneling via IPVanish (on Android)
If you’d like to get the most out of IPVanish, you’ll want to use split tunneling. So, if you have an Android device, here’s what you need to do.
- Tap on the hamburger icon and select ‘Settings.’
- Then, tap on the ‘Connection‘ tab and select ‘Split Tunneling‘ below.
- This is when you’ll see two groups of apps: ‘User Apps‘ and ‘System Apps.’ Feel free to go through these lists and select the applications that you’d like to exclude from IPVanish’s tunnel.
- Once done, there’s no need to confirm anything. Simply return to the VPN’s home screen.
Does IPVanish Offer a Static/Dedicated IP Address?
No, IPVanish doesn’t offer static/dedicated IP addresses.
As IPVanish explains, it’s using dynamic IPs as a way to prevent individual users from being tied to any particular IP. So each time you connect to an IPVanish server, you will get a different IP address. Therefore, there’s no way for someone to track your online whereabouts by tracking your IP.
Even though IPVanish’s statement looks great on paper, it misses mentioning that VPNs can offer dedicated IPs without compromising their users’ privacy. For example, one of the latest (highly reputable) VPNs to have started offering this feature is CyberGhost VPN.
Does IPVanish Have an Ad-Blocker?
No, IPVanish doesn’t have an ad-blocker. That means you’ll need to rely on a third-party solution if you wish to block digital ads.
What Features Are Missing on Android & iOS (Compared to Desktop Apps)?
If we compare IPVanish’s mobile and desktop apps, we’ll see that not all of its apps offer the same features. There are even certain differences between IPVanish’s Android and iOS apps – which is something you’ll get to know about only after you subscribe to this VPN.
For example, IPVanish’s Android app comes with split-tunneling, and it also includes a kill switch. However, the same can’t be said for the VPN’s iOS app. Furthermore, split tunneling can’t be found on IPVanish’s desktop apps either.
As you can see, there’s a certain level of discrepancy here. IPVanish offers plenty of features – but it fails to properly explain what to expect on each of its supported devices. This is why reviews just like this one are essential to read before buying any VPN subscription.
Server Count & Infrastructure
IPVanish brings more than 1,600 VPN servers that seem to be strategically placed around the planet. However, this is less than what more popular VPNs offer. Our Score: 7/10.
Having plenty of servers means that a VPN can host numerous users without technical difficulties. With this said, here’s some basic server count info related to IPVanish.
Server Count Info
|Number of Servers||1,600+|
|Number of Locations||75+|
|Number of Countries||50+|
|Specific Cities Selection||YES|
Unlike the majority of VPN services, this one gives you a nice overview of its servers. You get to select a country, pick a city, and even an individual server. That’s how you can make a helpful list of fast-performing servers (your favorites) and then easily connect to those.
When it comes to VPNs and their general usage, some countries are definitely more popular than others. Therefore, it’s not surprising to see some countries having plenty of servers, like the USA, the UK, Canada, and Australia. That’s the case with IPVanish as well.
The only thing that’s missing here is an option to pick specialized servers, such as media streaming and P2P-optimized ones. However, maybe this is an indication that all of IPVanish’s servers are optimized for these activities, which we’ll test later in the article.
Does IPVanish Use Virtual Server Locations?
No, IPVanish doesn’t offer virtual servers. Its entire server network is based on physical servers.
Interestingly enough, IPVanish doesn’t provide a definitive answer regarding virtual servers via its website. Therefore, we had to contact the VPN via its customer support system. After being pointed to a list of servers present on the VPN’s website, we pushed further to find out whether any of those are virtual.
In the end, we’ve received assurances that IPVanish doesn’t have a single virtual server in its offer. This means all of its servers are physical, located in their “end” locations. So, If you connect to a server in Norway (for example), you can be sure that you’re connecting to a server that’s physically located in Norway.
UI/UX Design & Ease of Use
Even though it doesn’t bring the most modern-looking UI, we’re sure you won’t have a hard time using this application in the long run. Our Score: 8/10.
IPVanish offers applications for desktop and mobile operating systems, and we’ll show you how all of those look and work. So, let’s continue with our IPVanish review.
How Well Does IPVanish Work on Desktop Platforms?
When you launch IPVanish, you will see a series of ‘sections’ or tabs in the left-placed sidebar. Therefore, the best way to explain how IPVanish works is by taking a quick look at its sidebar, as explained below.
- Quick Connect: This is the home screen of IPVanish, from where you can connect to servers. The ‘Quick Connect’ tab gives you three options. In the bottom-right corner, you can select a country to connect to. Based on the chosen country, you can select a city and even an individual server. To allow IPVanish to check the best server based on your real location, just click on ‘Connect’ after selecting a country, and the app will do the rest of the job.
- Server List: This tab gives you more freedom to check the available servers. You can browse the list of servers, where you can see their individual occupancy. You can then browse a map or filter the servers based on their country of origin and latency. At any moment, you can make a server your ‘favorite’ and connect to it at a later time.
- Account: You can imagine what this one does. Using this tab, you can check basic information about your account, including when it’s due to expire, and you can log out.
As promised, we need to take a closer look at the application’s settings – as this is where you can fine-tune your user experience. So, here are the four tabs you’ll see when you get to this part of the application:
- General: Using this tab, you can switch between different VPN protocols, enable IPVanish to launch on system startup, opt for beta updates, auto-connect to a server, and change between different themes.
- OpenVPN: If you decide to use OpenVPN, this is where you can enable the VPN’s kill switch, scramble your Web traffic, enable IPv6 leak protection, and more.
- IKEv2/IPsec: Those who decide to use IKEv2/IPsec can instruct IPVanish to connect on-demand, which helps you get protected when using public Wi-Fi networks, for example.
- Diagnostics: Lastly, this is where you’ll find diagnostic information that might be of help to the company’s support team.
All in all, IPVanish really is a simple application. We can’t say that it’s the best-looking VPN, as you’ll easily find more polished alternatives. However, it gets the job done – for both beginners and advanced users.
How Well Does IPVanish Work on Mobile Platforms?
As noted earlier, IPVanish doesn’t really offer an identical app for all of its supported platforms. However, it uses the same design language across its software, which is always a welcome thing to see. So, let’s talk about how the VPN’s Android and iOS apps.
On Android, the home screen of IPVanish shows your current IP alongside additional data regarding your physical location. You can connect to the nearest server at the bottom of the screen or pick one manually.
As soon as you connect to any server, your “real” IP address and your geo-location data is replaced by IPVanish’s “virtual” information. You’ll also see a real-time graph showing helpful information about your session, as the speed of your VPN connection and your bandwidth.
To dive deeper, click on the ‘hamburger’ button in the top-left corner, where you’ll see the option to list all of IPVanish’s servers, check your account data, or dive into the app’s settings.
On Android, there’s quite a lot you can fine-tune. For example, you can set IPVanish to be always active in the background, change a VPN protocol, scramble your Web traffic, set up split-tunneling, and more. All of those options are found under the ‘General’ and ‘Connection’ tabs.
On iOS, IPVanish offers an interface similar to what you’ll find on Android. This means the home screen is reserved for picking a server, checking your “real” and “virtual” information, and checking your VPN connections’ real-time data.
Diving into IPVanish’s settings on iOS is done by tapping on the cogwheel icon in the top-right corner. However, you won’t find too many options to fine-tune. For example, you can change a VPN protocol, set-up IPVanish’s on-demand connections, change a theme, and similar.
All in all, IPVanish brings fully functional apps for iOS and Android. However, there are big differences between these, where the Android app takes the win. And also, these are not the most polished apps in terms of their UI/UX design, but they (once again) get the job done.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
IPVanish isn’t the best option if you’re into media streaming. However, it unblocks Netflix and Disney+, so some of you should be covered nonetheless. Our Score: 4/10.
We’re sure that many of you want to know if IPVanish can unblock Netflix. Well, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve tested it with several popular streaming services.
Media Streaming u0026amp; Torrenting Support
|Amazon Prime Video||NO|
|Torrenting (P2P) Support||YES|
As per our hands-on tests, this VPN can unblock the US version of Netflix. However, the same can’t be said for any other hugely popular media streaming service (except for Disney Plus). We’ve tried it with BBC’s iPlayer, Hulu, and Prime Video, but all of those remained unreachable.
To make up for its lack of media streaming capabilities, IPVanish supports downloading P2P files. However, you should keep in mind that this VPN comes from the USA, which means you need to avoid infringing any copyrights. With this said, our strong recommendation would be to stick to legal torrent websites only.
Does IPVanish Work With Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video & Disney Plus?
IPVanish works only with some of the world’s most popular media streaming services. Based on our tests, this VPN can unblock Netflix and Disney Plus.
That means media streaming services like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer are out of IPVanish’s reach. This is a fact that IPVanish doesn’t try to hide. In fact, when asked about those streaming platforms, the VPN’s support team will advise using split tunneling.
Thanks to split tunneling, you can continue accessing streaming platforms like Prime Video, Hulu, and iPlayer – but only if they’re available in your country. Therefore, you can’t unblock them from abroad.
Which IPVanish Server Works Best for Netflix?
We’ve had plenty of luck using a number of different IPVanish servers to access Netflix outside the USA. However, we got the best speeds by connecting to the VPN’s Boston-based servers.
Therefore, no matter if you’re in the USA or if you wish to unblock the US-based version of Netflix, we highly recommend using IPVanish’s servers located in Boston. If those fail to meet your expectations, New York-based servers should do the job as well (especially when it comes to Disney Plus as well).
Can You Use IPVanish with Kodi?
In general, yes – you can use IPVanish with Kodi. However, this really depends on your primary goal of combining Kodi with a VPN service.
If you’re after privacy, IPVanish will protect you. This VPN has the means to hide everything you do online, thanks to its capable VPN protocols and a leak-free environment. In that aspect, we recommend using this VPN.
However, if you want to unblock Kodi addons and their video content, you’ll find much better alternatives out there. IPVanish doesn’t work with a lot of media streaming services. That also applies to geo-locked Kodi addons, the majority of which don’t work with IPVanish.
Security & Privacy
IPVanish underwent an audit when it changed ownership to verify the no-log claims. Still, if you’re really obsessed with privacy, you might find it hard to fully trust IPVanish due to its past. Our Score: 8/10.
The best VPNs out there do not log your data. It means they provide no-logs policies, and they don’t allow anyone to find your true location. So, let’s see how IPVanish ranks in those areas.
IPVanish Protocols – Listed & Explained
In this segment, we’d like to introduce you to IPVanish’s VPN protocols. With that said, you’ll want to check the following table first, showing you the situation with each platform.
The table found above shows both built-in and custom protocols offered by IPVanish. And as you can see, you have plenty of options.
The most secure protocols are also built-into the VPN. However, if you’re not afraid to tinker, IPVanish can help you add additional protocols by either tweaking your device’s settings or using third-party software.
Next, we’d like to go over IPVanish’s protocols, teaching you about the strengths and weaknesses of each of those. So, let’s jump right in.
Cybersecurity experts often recommend using OpenVPN by default. That’s because this is the strongest VPN protocol available right now, offering fast performance and easy connectivity. And on top of that, it’s present across many different devices and platforms.
IPVanish offers two variants of this protocol: TCP and UDP. Therefore, you can pick which one to use based on your needs and priorities. If you want the fastest possible performance, the UDP variant should be your pick.
IKEv2 is actually a more secure variant of the IPSec protocol, mainly used across mobile devices. It doesn’t have the same security level as OpenVPN, but it’s known for its fast performance. IPVanish made sure to offer this protocol across many of its supported devices, and we’re happy to see that decision.
Here, we have another protocol that’s often recommended for mobile platforms. However, IPVanish doesn’t support this protocol on Android via its native app. However, you can set it up manually via your smartphone’s settings. On iOS, it comes built-in.
IPSec isn’t a traditional VPN protocol, per se. Instead, it provides a framework for secure transport, which is why it’s often combined with IKEv2. That’s the case with IPVanish as well, which offers the IKEv2/IPSec protocol. That way, you get both protection for your data and fast Web speeds.
And lastly, we have an obsolete VPN protocol. IPVanish allows you to use PPTP on Windows and Android – if you’re willing to configure it manually. You can also use it on routers. However, keep in mind that we can’t recommend using this protocol, especially since there are so many better alternatives out there.
Does IPVanish Log Private Data?
IPVanish is well aware that another privacy-related scandal would bring the company down to its knees. After all, not many individuals would subscribe to such a service, right? And ever since J2Global took ownership of IPVanish, we didn’t hear about a single incident.
Does IPVanish Leak/Expose Your Private Data?
To check for data leaks, we’ve connected to several IPVanish servers. Then, we ran data leak tests, checking whether our “real” IP address, DNS data, or our geolocation data would find their way to the Web.
As you can see from the screenshots in this segment, IPVanish provided a leak-free tunnel. That means that our “true” information remained hidden, as well as that no third parties could have reached our personal data – while connected to IPVanish’s servers.
In other words, IPVanish gave us a new IP address, pointing to a virtual location, protecting our identity. Therefore, we conclude that IPVanish has the means and the power to keep you safe and private on the Web.
Speed & Performance
Overall, IPVanish’s performance didn’t impress us. However, it’s also worth noting that there’s plenty you can do to improve its performance (if you’re willing to spend time tinkering with your VPN connection). Our Score: 5/10.
Now, the time has come to test IPVanish’s real-world performance. We are going to connect to several servers and check their speeds. So, let’s continue with our hands-on IPVanish review.
IPVanish Speed Test
When testing VPN servers, we always check both local and long-distance connections. That’s going to be the case with IPVanish as well. Our goal is to check download and uploads speeds and then compare those numbers with our baseline data.
Speaking of our baseline data, we ran a speed test on our ‘naked’ Web connection – without having IPVanish enabled. As you can see above, we managed to get 445.66 Mbps for downloads and 46.98 Mbps for uploads.
Local Speed Tests
Keep in mind that our team is located in Europe. Therefore, when talking about local VPN connections, we’re talking about connections to servers in countries like Italy and the UK. So, here’s what you need to know about IPVanish’s performance.
First, we’ve tested a server in Italy. Upon letting IPVanish find the best available server, we ran a speed test and got 240.07 Mbps for downloads and 44.33 Mbps for uploads. We have to admit that those numbers were somewhat below our expectations.
Then, we’ve tested a range of servers found in the United Kingdom. However, we never managed to go above 112.68 Mbps for downloads and 44.17 Mbps for uploads. Once again, these numbers are nothing to be overly excited about.
Long-Distance Speed Tests
When it comes to testing long-distance servers, we’d like to once again remind you that we’re located in Europe. Therefore, we’ve tested IPVanish’s “long-distance” servers found in the USA, Canada, India, and Australia. Here are the results.
A server in the United States (located on the east coast) gave us 44.38 Mbps for downloads and 34.71 Mbps for uploads. As you can see, we’ve experienced a dramatic speed loss, which comes as a surprise considering IPVanish’s recent announcement of all-new network cards being installed across its US-based data centers.
Then, a Canada-based server managed to provide a somewhat better result. During this round of testing, we got 99.57 Mbps for downloads and 28.47 Mbps for uploads.
An India-based server also performed disappointingly, managing to give us 45.17 Mbps for downloads and 9.40 Mbps for uploads.
And lastly, we also tested a server found in Australia. Despite expecting the lowest numbers yet (since those servers are on the other side of the planet compared to our physical location), IPVanish managed to give us 145.75 Mbps for downloads and 21.82 Mbps for uploads.
So, How Well Does IPVanish Perform?
To make sense of all the numbers above, we’ve put them into a table, calculating by how much each of IPVanish’s servers throttled the speed of our Internet connection. So, take a look.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Data||445.66 Mbps||46.98 Mbps||0%|
|Italy||240.07 Mbps||44.33 Mbps||46.1%|
|UK||112.68 Mbps||44.17 Mbps||74.7%|
|USA||44.38 Mbps||37.71 Mbps||90.0%|
|Canada||99.57 Mbps||28.47 Mbps||77.6%|
|India||45.17 Mbps||9.40 Mbps||89.8%|
|Australia||145.75 Mbps||21.82 Mbps||67.2%|
We conclude that IPVanish made our Web connection slower by 74.2%. Therefore, this isn’t an impressive result. With that said, we recommend using IPVanish only if you have a fast Internet connection, to begin with.
It’s also worth mentioning that we’ve tested IPVanish using the OpenVPN protocol – for comparative purposes, as we use that same protocol when testing other VPNs. With that said, you can expect better performance overall if you pick a less secure but faster protocol.
In January 2021, IPVanish sent out a notice saying that its infrastructure is now powered by next-generation Intel network cards. Therefore, we tested IPVanish again, as we were promised better overall performance, so here’s what you need to know.
In the previous revision of our IPVanish review, we concluded that this VPN made our Web connection slower by 71.9%. And in the latest revision, IPVanish made our connection slower by 74.2% on average. And yes, we’ve used the newly upgraded servers. Therefore, we can’t say that IPVanish’s latest infrastructure update has left us impressed.
What Kind of Performance Can You Expect? – It’s impossible to precisely predict what kind of performance you can expect. That’s because there are many variables in this equation, such as the speed of your Web connection, your physical location, chosen VPN protocol, and more.
However, keep in mind that there’s plenty you can do to speed up any VPN service. The provided link will take you to our guide with more than a dozen tips on taking full advantage of your VPN.
Is IPVanish Good Enough for Torrenting (P2P)?
Yes, IPVanish is a good option for torrenting – and there are multiple reasons for that.
Then, keep in mind that IPVanish gives you a SOCKS5 proxy. This is something you can integrate with a large number of torrent clients. And also, this is how you can achieve fast download speeds while also maintaining your anonymity.
Is IPVanish Good Enough for Gaming?
Yes, IPVanish can be a good VPN for gaming (even though it might not appear so at first glance).
IPVanish’s apps (on all of the VPN’s supported platforms) come with a handy trick. You get to discover what kind of performance to expect before you connect to a server. For example, you’ll get to see each server’s current load and ping values.
Therefore, choosing a server with a low ping value will lead to a pleasurable gaming session. And also, you get a whole slate of VPN protocols, which means that you can fine-tune your VPN connection in an effort to achieve better Web connection speeds.
There are plenty of helpful resources on the official IPVanish website, which also offers a dedicated customer support center and 24/7 live chat. Our Score: 10/10.
Now, we’ll take a look at IPVanish’s customer support resources. There are different ways to find help and have your questions answered. Here are some of them:
- Live Chat Support: Older and outdated reviews will tell you that IPVanish doesn’t have live chat support. However, the company has recently implemented a live-chat option that is available on any page of its official website. Furthermore, their live chat reps are available 24/7.
- Email Support: You can also send an email, which will create a new support ticket. This could be a good way to get help if you’re not in a rush, as it might take several days to get a response.
- Phone Support: Among the newly introduced types of customer support, IPVanish now has a dedicated phone number. This is perhaps the fastest way to have your questions answered, and we’re happy to see IPVanish offering this option.
- Frequently Asked Questions: IPVanish understands that a number of its customers might come up with common questions. For example – how to reset your password, how much the service costs, and so on. Their FAQ section answers most of those, though the number of FAQs is pretty limited for now.
- Setup Guides: Finally, it’s good to know that you can find many setup guides covering pretty much any compatible device.
Generally, we like the way IPVanish provides customer support. There are plenty of resources on the official website, and you can find which communication channel works best in your case. Also, there are different ways to get help in a timely manner, which is crucial when it comes to VPN services.
IPVanish is an affordable VPN service, bringing plenty of value for its price. It also offers cloud storage accounts (500GB), creating a unique offer among VPN services. Our Score: 9/10.
How Much Does IPVanish Cost?
IPVanish currently offers two types of subscriptions. You can choose between a standalone VPN subscription, or you can pair it with SugarSync cloud storage. First, let’s see how much does the standalone VPN subscription cost, which you can check via the following table.
As you can see above, IPVanish offers a discount for the first billing period of your subscription. That’s how you can subscribe for only $39.99 for one year. However, keep in mind that you’ll be paying $79.99/year starting the second year of your subscription. And if you want to pay each month, you’ll be charged $9.99/month.
IPVanish + SugarSync
The table above shows IPVanish’s price when paired with SugarSync. This is a standalone cloud storage solution, offering a secure and encrypted environment for your files. This subscription gets you a 500GB SugarSync account, and we believe it provides plenty of value overall.
If you decide to pair IPVanish and SugarSync, you’ll also find a discount for the first billing period, starting at $5.49/month. However, this bundle’s regular price is $10.99 per month, which you can lower to $8.33/month if you pay annually.
When it comes to the available payment methods, you can use credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and more) and PayPal. Unfortunately, there’s no anonymous way to pay.
Does IPVanish Offer a Free Trial?
IPVanish used to offer a free trial, but that’s no longer the case. Sadly, the only way to try this VPN is by getting a subscription. With that said, it’s good to know that you can count on IPVanish’s money-back guarantee – but there’s a catch even there as well.
IPVanish’s 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee – Will You Get Your Money Back?
IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you’re not 100% satisfied with this VPN service, you have every right to ask for your money to be returned.
However, it’s important to highlight that you need to cancel your subscription before the end of your subscription’s 30th day. If you fail to do this, IPVanish won’t honor your request. And also, keep in mind that eligible refunds will be processed within three business days.
Everything said above applies to subscriptions purchased via IPVanish’s website, and iOS and Android subscribers who have used their mobile device to subscribe to IPVanish are not eligible for a refund.
Can IPVanish Be Used Free-of-Charge?
No, there’s no way to IPVanish free-of-charge. The VPN doesn’t offer a free tier, and it also doesn’t offer a free trial. The only to use it is by purchasing a subscription.
IPVanish Comparisons & Additional Research Findings
Before we conclude our review, we’d like to present additional information that you’ll surely find to be helpful. So, here’s how IPVanish ranks when compared to top-rated VPN providers and more. Keep on reading our IPVanish review.
How IPVanish Compares to Other High-Rated VPNs (IPVanish vs. ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN)
IPVanish is often compared to ExpressVPN and NordVPN, the most reputable VPNs available on today’s market. We’re going to do the same, starting with a handy table comparing these three VPNs’ specifications and performance.
|Number of Servers||1,500+||3,000+||5,500+|
|Number of Countries||50+||94||59|
|Number of Connections||UNLIMITED||5||6|
|Prime Video Support||NO||YES||YES|
As you can see from the table above, IPVanish comes out as a less powerful VPN overall – when compared to ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Even though it’s on par with its competitors when it comes to many features, it fails when it comes to the most important ones.
If we compare IPVanish with ExpressVPN, it’s clear that ExpressVPN has more servers, comes from a “safer” jurisdiction, brings better performance, and supports more media streaming services. This isn’t as surprising considering that ExpressVPN is the best VPN available right now.
And once we compare IPVanish with NordVPN, we’ll see a similar situation to the one described in the paragraph above. IPVanish doesn’t have as many servers as NordVPN, it’s slower overall, and it doesn’t support as many streaming platforms.
The conclusion is the following: ExpressVPN and NordVPN are more expensive, but they’re truly worth the price. So, if you can afford any of those, we highly recommend subscribing.
Does IPVanish Work in China?
No, IPVanish doesn’t work in China. This VPN service (including its website) is blocked in China, and there’s no way to overcome this limitation.
In all fairness, there’s only a handful of VPNs that still work in this country. More importantly, there’s a very limited selection of VPNs capable of going over the Great Firewall of China. With that said, our recommendation would be to use ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
What’s IPVanish Missing?
IPVanish comes with many strengths, and there are many reasons you might want to pick this specific VPN. However, it does come with a set of problems and limitations, making it important to think good and hard before reaching the final decision.
First, keep in mind that IPVanish comes from the USA, which isn’t ideal. Then, previous events have proven that IPVanish was lying about its ‘no-logs’ policy. Of course, it’s also true that this VPN is under all-new management now – but not much has been done for this VPN to once again earn the trust of its subscribers.
Then, we have functional apps – but which are far from being polished. In fact, they can be quite confusing in terms of their sets of features, as you don’t know what to expect before you install those. And on top of that, IPVanish should do more to improve the performance of its servers, which is somewhat disappointing right now.
All in all, this could be a great VPN for numerous individuals. However, IPVanish doesn’t really work all that well out of the box. Be prepared to dive deeper into its settings and spend some time learning how to get the most out of this VPN. Or simply go for a highly polished VPN that doesn’t require you to invest both your money and time.
IPVanish Pros & Cons – Here’s the Bottom Line!
Lastly, after spending quite some time testing IPVanish, we’d like to share this VPN’s most prominent pros and cons. So, check out the following segments.
- Compatible with numerous platforms and devices.
- A large selection of capable VPN protocols.
- Supports unlimited VPN connections.
- Powered by AES-256 encryption.
- Not the biggest network of servers, but big enough.
- Works with Netflix and Disney Plus.
- Allows torrenting.
- Live chat, email, and telephone support available.
- Based in the United States (5-Eyes Alliance).
- Previously exposed for sharing private data logs.
- Changed several owners in the last couple of years.
- Not as fast (without further optimization).
- Supports a limited number of streaming services.
- Doesn’t work in China.
So, Do We Recommend IPVanish?
In case you want a VPN that protects you online and hides your actual location, IPVanish will meet your needs. It’s quite easy to use and comes with plenty of servers. Therefore, the basics are covered adequately.
Also, there are many shortcomings that IPVanish has had been busy dealing with. Since plenty is left to be ironed out, we believe that those seeking the ultimate level of online anonymity should turn to this VPN’s competitors.
With that said, we can recommend IPVanish – but only to average home users who simply want to make their Web connection safer. If that’s what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate and subscribe to IPVanish right away.