On the outside, IPVanish looks like a complete solution to your every VPN-related need. If you take a quick look at its official website, you won’t only learn what VPNs are, but you’ll also find a series of highly interesting promises. There are claims related to end-to-end encryption, intuitive applications, and lightning-fast speeds. However, we’re sure you know better than to trust any marketing messages.
This is precisely why TechNadu’s team has spent quite some time testing IPVanish. And 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!
First, we are going to introduce you to this VPN service by listing some quick facts. We do the same in our every VPN review, so the following table comes in handy if you want to compare several VPNs and their basic set of features.
|Jurisdiction||The United States of America.|
|Logs||No activity or connection logs.|
|Number of Servers||55+ countries, 1,500+ servers.|
|Encryption Standards||AES 256-bit; OpenVPN; IKEv2; L2TP/IPsec.|
|Speed Reduction||Up to 85.5% on average.|
|Live Chat Support||YES|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, iOS, Android, Fire OS, and compatible routers.|
|Price||Starting at $6.49/month.|
Next, we like to test every VPN against its claims of unblocking media streaming websites. As a matter of fact, 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 summarized our conclusions below, after spending some hands-on time with IPVanish. So, here are its biggest strengths and weaknesses.
The Bottom Line
|Pros||Effortless installation; No logs; Strong encryption; Real-time connection analytics.|
|Cons||Unpredictable performance; Not the best option for streaming; Problems in the past.|
|The Final Verdict||IPVanish covers the basics quite well, and it keeps your private data safe. Still, keep in mind that IPVanish is far from being the fastest VPN out there.|
We’re now ready to dive into our full IPVanish review. As we’ll be dissecting this VPN service into its smallest pieces, we highly recommend you keep on reading and learn all there is to know about IPVanish.
IPVanish – TechNadu’s Hands-On Review
First, you should know that we’ve tested IPVanish on macOS. All of the information found in this review applies to other versions of IPVanish as well. And also, to learn how we review VPN services, please use the provided link.
Table of Contents
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
IPVanish has indeed had a troublesome past, which can be highly problematic when it comes to VPNs. Still, it’s under an all-new management team now. Our Score: 7/10.
VPN providers deal with plenty of sensitive information supplied by their customers. This is where data retention laws come into play. You want to be 100% sure that your VPN doesn’t exploit your private data at any moment.
This is 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.
Jurisdiction & Applicable Laws
IPVanish launched in 2012 as a VPN product of a company called Mudhook Media. It was a subsidiary of Highwinds Network Group, whose headquarters was in Florida. 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 and cover other devices and more advanced features. During that time, IPVanish found itself in the center of a privacy-related scandal, which we’ll talk about 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 any 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 most probably haven’t heard about this company until now, but this one is a major player in the global IT market. It owns VPNs such as StrongVPN, SaferVPN, Encrypt.me (which acquired Buffered VPN in the meantime), and WLVPN among others.
You should also know that IPVanish, along with NetProtect, is a member of the VPN Trust Initiative, a group dedicated to influencing major IT companies to implement user-first and privacy-first solutions. Therefore, IPVanish has become an important part of today’s VPN world, serving all kinds of users from different countries around the world.
Finally, it’s important to be said that IPVanish 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. However, this VPN (as a brand) has done plenty to improve its image in the last year or so.
Past Data Leaks
In 2016, it was discovered that IPVanish has had actually logged some personal data – even though this provider 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.
As you can see, this information proved that IPVanish wasn’t only willing to work with the authorities – it actually recorded plenty of personal data.
Of course, everything said so far applies to the time when Highwinds Network Group owned IPVanish. It changed two owners in the meantime and is now owned by J2 Global. This means that you 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 single reason to believe that IPVanish is logging private information.
Supported Platforms & Devices
No matter what kind of device or platform you use, you can rest assured that IPVanish will keep your data protected. Our Score: 10/10.
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. Here’s how IPVanish ranks regarding this aspect.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chromebooks.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.|
|Web Browsers||None (Can be manually configured via SOCKS5).|
|Routers||Compatible OpenVPN, Tomato, and DD-WRT routers.|
|Other Devices||Amazon Fire OS.|
The information found above explains what to expect from IPVanish. There are native apps for desktop and mobile operating systems, and you can install IPVanish on supported routers. Besides, owners of devices such as Fire TV Stick and Fire TV can also take advantage of this VPN. Unfortunately, there aren’t any internet browsers on the list, which isn’t a huge downside after all.
Also, we need to mention that IPVanish brings unmetered VPN connections. Previously, the VPN used to limit subscriptions to 10 simultaneous connections. However, since July 2020, you are allowed to use IPVanish on as many devices as you want.
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. After that, you’ll get your username and password, which you’ll use to log into the app. So, 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 installer. Choose where to save the required files, and IPVanish will finish everything on its own. This truly is the simplest method of installing software on a computer.
What’s interesting is that IPVanish comes already configured based on your system’s specs. This means that as soon as you log into your account, you’re ready to start using the application. Select a server, connect to it, and that’s pretty much it.
IPVanish covers the basic features well, and it also offers a few high-end ones – meeting the needs of some advanced users as well. Our Score: 9/10.
We’ve come up with a list of basic and advanced features that every capable VPN should offer in 2020. So, the following results will let you know whether IPVanish has managed to meet our expectations.
VPN Features Checklist
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||YES|
|Unlimited Server Switching||YES|
After taking a closer look at IPVanish, we conclude that this VPN covers the basics quite well. First of all, there’s DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection. Interestingly enough, IPv6 leak protection isn’t advertised on the official website but can be enabled/disabled within the VPN apps’ settings.
When it comes to more advanced features, IPVanish is a mixed bag. It has a kill-switch that shuts down all your Web traffic if the secure VPN connection is dropped. And it allows split-tunneling, but only on Android devices. Lastly, it doesn’t have any specialized ad-blockers or anti-malware, which is a (minor) downside.
Also, we’d like to say that IPVanish offers real-time statistics. You’ll get to see interesting information about your connection as soon as you connect to a remote server. However, there aren’t any speed-testing tools or anything similar.
IPVanish brings more than 1,500 VPN servers that seem to be strategically placed around the planet. However, this is far from what more popular VPNs offer. Our Score: 6.5/10.
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||1,500+|
|Number of Locations||75+|
|Number of Countries||55+|
|Specific Cities Selection||YES|
We can see once again that IPVanish has covered the basics quite well. Unlike the majority of VPN providers, this one gives you a nice overview of its servers. You get to select a country, pick a city, and even an individual server. It is 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. 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.
Ease of Use
Even though it doesn’t bring the most modern-looking UI, we’re sure that you won’t have a hard time using this application in the long-run. Our Score: 9/10.
When you launch IPVanish, you will see a series of ‘sections’ or tabs in the left-placed sidebar. To best way to explain how this application works is by taking a quick look at its sidebar. So, keep on reading to learn more.
- Quick Connect: This is actually the home screen of IPVanish, from where you can connect to its numerous 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. Then, you can 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: Here, you can allow IPVanish to start when your computer powers on, and you can automatically connect to a chosen server as well. Then, you can decide whether to test beta updates, see the application’s tutorial, and more.
- Connection: In this section, you can select one of the several VPN protocols. These are IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, and IPSec – but note that these protocols depend on your operating system. Then, you can enable/disable auto-reconnect, kill-switch, DNS, and IPv6 leak protection. Our strong advice is to enable all of these options.
- IP Settings: By default, the VPN will use its own DNS servers to resolve your Web traffic. However, if you need a different DNS for any purpose, IPVanish allows you to input a new primary and secondary DNS easily.
- 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. It will take a few minutes to get acquainted with its UI, and it’s all smooth sailing after that.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
IPVanish isn’t the best option if you’re into media streaming. However, it unblocks Netflix, 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. This is why we’ve decided to test IPVanish’s capabilities of unblocking several hugely popular services.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
|Amazon Prime Video||NO|
|Torrenting (P2P) Support||YES|
We’re disappointed to say that IPVanish is not the best choice if you care about media streaming. 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. 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, we should keep in mind that this VPN comes from the USA, which means that you need to stay away from infringing any copyrights. With this said, our strong recommendation would be to stick to legal torrent websites only.
Security & Privacy
IPVanish deserves your trust, despite its problematic past. You can rest assured that your private data will never be collected. Our Score: 10/10.
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.
Supported Encryption Protocols
Every VPN supports several VPN protocols. While some provide tough encryption (and full protection for your data), they can also throttle the speed of your Web connection – and vice versa. So, having plenty of protocols to choose from is always a good idea.
IPVanish supports all currently popular protocols, including OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), IKEv2, L2TP, and IPsec. On top of that, it uses AES 256-bit encryption. Among these, OpenVPN is the most secure one, and you should stick to this one if you want to hide your internet browsing data. Luckily, this VPN provider gives you plenty of freedom to fine-tune your Web browsing experience.
IPVanish knows that another 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 the ownership of IPVanish, we didn’t hear about a single incident. Therefore, its reputation is still strong.
DNS Leak Test
Lastly, we will put IPVanish to the test of DNS leaks. To do this, we’ll connect to one of its servers, and run a reliable and capable DNS leak test that should investigate what third-party websites know about us.
The result is clear – IPVanish doesn’t let anyone know about our ‘real’ address, as it instead shows its own servers. This means that websites will always see your virtual IP address, and this means that your true identity is protected.
Speed & Performance
IPVanish comes with disappointing performance, throttling our speed by 85.5%. It’s hard to recommend this VPN even to those with ultra-fast connections. Our Score: 2/10.
Now, the time has come to test IPVanish’s real-world performance. We are going to connect to several servers and check their speeds. With this said, we’ll start by testing the speed of our ‘naked’ Web connection.
As you can see from the image above, we got 351.88 Mbps for downloads and 48.49 Mbps for uploads. Once again, these numbers indicate the speed of our internet connection without using any VPN application. Next, we’ll use IPVanish and connect to a nearby server, which in general should give us speedy performance.
After connecting to a secure server located in our own country, we got 30.89 Mbps for downloads and 46.41 Mbps for uploads. We have to say that we’re rather disappointed by this result, especially when it comes to the dramatic speed loss for downloads.
Finally, we’ve also tested a remote server located in the USA. During this round, we got 70.53 Mbps for downloads and 45.51 Mbps for uploads. Finally, let’s put all these numbers into a table and discover the end result.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Speed||351.88 Mbps||48.49 Mbps||0%|
|Nearby Server||30.89 Mbps||46.41 Mbps||91%|
|Remote Server||70.53 Mbps||45.51 Mbps||80%|
Finally, we can conclude the IPVanish made our internet connection slower by 85.5% on average. Sadly, this is a very disappointing result – as well as one of the most troublesome speed test results we’ve done so far. We can hardly recommend IPVanish, even to those with ultra-fast Web connections.
There are plenty of helpful resources on the official IPVanish website, which also offers a customer support center and 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 now implemented a live-chat option that is available on any page of its official website. However, keep in mind that this option isn’t 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. All of those questions are already answered within the company’s support center.
- 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.
At the moment, IPVanish is one of the most affordable VPN services out there – and it’s also known for offering regular discounts as well. Our Score: 10/10.
IPVanish offers three subscription models. They all come with the same feature set, where the difference is in their subscription period length and price.
|Total Price||Per Month||Savings|
|1 Month||$10.00 ( ||$10.00 ( ||17%|
|3 Months||$26.99 ( ||$8.99 ( ||25%|
|12 Months||$77.99 ( ||$6.49 ( ||46%|
Even though IPVanish is known for offering promotions on a regular basis, you’ll see that its most comprehensive plan provides the best value right now. If you subscribe to IPVanish and buy its annual plan, it comes down to $6.49 per month. In addition, all of IPVanish’s subscription plans come with a free SugarSync account (250GB) that allows you to sync your files and folders across several devices.
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. Lastly, IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, during which you can change your mind and have your money returned.
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 in the best way possible. Still, this isn’t a good option for those who wish to unblock media streaming websites.
- PROS: Wide platform/device compatibility; No-logs; Tough encryption; Helpful customer support; Unblocks Netflix US.
- CONS: Previous privacy-related incidents; Not the best option for streaming.
- OUR SCORE: 8.0 out of 10!
Even though it has a few flaws, IPVanish still manages to stand above the rest. The bottom line is that this is a very reliable VPN that won’t leak your personal data. Furthermore, you can be sure that no one will see what you do online. If that’s what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate and subscribe to IPVanish right away.