IPVanish VPN Review: IPVanish was founded in 2012 and is a US VPN provider with 40,000 shared IPs and 1,300 servers in more than 75 locations. Known as a robust virtual private network focused on security and configuration, it has been a popular choice for years. The IPVanish clients together have some great features, although one or two essential elements are missing. You’ll also get excellent security and fast support, and some prices can be quite valuable.
So, in the course of this IPVanish VPN review, we will examine if the provider can compete with the best of the best and if it’s worth your hard-earned money.
IPVanish VPN review: Features
Your privacy is well protected with IPVanish. The company owns and operates all of its 1,300 servers, which, according to its website, is unique in the market (other VPN providers rent hardware from third parties, giving them less control over the networks). IPVanish also has the industry-standard AES-256 encryption and support for OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols.
To protect against exposure, desktop clients have a kill switch and DNS/IPv6 vulnerability protection. Moreover, you can use the Scramble OpenVPN Traffic feature to reduce the chance of being detected in VPN hot countries such as China and Iran. We also point out that if you have many devices you want to cover, IPVanish’s unlimited connections policy is a good selling point. This is consistent with Surfshark‘s complete policy, and it beats ExpressVPN’s five and NordVPN‘s six.
IPVanish is unambiguous about its logging policy: “IPVanish is a zero-log VPN service provider, which means we do not track any connection, traffic or activity data related to our services. But while this is all well and good, we would like to see an external audit such as the one done on NordVPN and VyprVPN to confirm these claims and address any customer concerns.
In terms of unblocking geo-restricted streaming content sites, IPVanish is doing the job, but it doesn’t match the very best. The VPN worked well for unblocking Netflix, and the connection to a US server from the UK gave us access to all US content at some impressive speeds.
When we tried to access the notoriously difficult iPlayer, IPVanish failed. However, we could view geo-blocked YouTube clips – but that’s pretty standard as most VPN providers don’t mind. If you’re chasing Netflix, IPVanish is a good scream, but hardcore streamers will probably want the full package offered by one of the best streaming VPNs.
IPVanish VPN review: Privacy
IPVanish protects your privacy by using rock-solid, industry-standard AES-256 encryption, and support for the highly secure OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. The IPVanish apps go further by giving you an exceptional level of control over their OpenVPN setup. The ability to choose your OpenVPN port (1194 or 443) can 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.
The Windows client offers a ‘kill switch,’ DNS, and even IPv6 spot protection to reduce the chance that your real identity will be exposed online, for example, if the VPN connection is lost.
Privacy benefits include the iOS app’s ability to create lists of wireless networks that IPVanish will always protect and others that it can ignore because you know they’re safe. You can then usually leave the VPN to turn itself on and off, so your privacy is guaranteed at all times.
To confirm that the service preserves your identity, we have checked for leaks at IPLeak, DNS Leak Test, and Do I Leak, among others. None of the tests revealed any problems, with the apps shielding our real IP address at all times.
Interface and use
Point your browser at IPVanish’s website, and you will read what seems to be a clear no-logging policy. “Our strict no-logging policy keeps your identity under control. We do not record any activity from you while you are connected to our apps to preserve your civil right to privacy”.
Comforting words, but customers shouldn’t blindly rely on a provider’s promises. VPN providers such as NordVPN, TunnelBear, and VyprVPN have tried to reassure their customers by allowing external companies to audit their systems and determine what’s going on. Hopefully, IPVanish – and the rest of the industry – will follow suit.
IPVanish VPN review: Performance
We started our performance tests using Speedtest.net, TestMy.net, and other benchmark websites to find the best download speeds from a European data center. OpenVPN speeds were inconsistent and below the average of 40-100Mbps (NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol managed 300-350Mbps, and more). However, performance increased significantly when we switched to IKEv2, with downloads reaching 150-200Mbps.
Download speeds in the U.S. were even better at about 210-230Mbps, with the lowest individual test result of 162Mbps. That’s more than enough for most applications. There were some problems when switching to long-distance connections. For example, the UK to Australia speeds barely reached 2Mbps; yes, that’s a very long distance, but we found the UK to Australia connections routinely hit 40-50Mbps.
Overall, it seems that IPVanish can deliver decent speeds. However, this can vary depending on your location and the chosen server, so if you do sign up, make sure you run some intensive speed tests on your favorite routes.
Pricing and plans
IPVanish offers 3 payment plans: monthly, quarterly, and yearly, and if you pay for a more extended period, you lower the price per month. For a monthly subscription, you pay a hefty $11.99, but IPVanish currently offers an open-ended contract for an indefinite period of $5 during the summer months, which is a reasonable price. A three-month plan can be purchased for $8.99 per month, and the annual plan with the best value comes in for $6.49.
A bonus from IPVanish is that each plan comes with a free 250GB SugarSync cloud storage account, worth $10 per month. If that’s something you’re looking for, then paying for IPVanish and SugarSync is cheaper than a stand-alone SugarSync plan.
Finally, IPVanish offers a 30-days money-back guarantee, so you have plenty of time to try the service, and payment can be made by card or PayPal, but not with Bitcoin.
IPVanish VPN review: Customer support
If you need help with your VPN connection or the IPVanish client, you have several options. The knowledge base has many setup guides and tutorials, although some are sidelined with superfluous analogies (e.g., comparing a VPN to driving a car). Compared to other services, IPVanish articles are not exactly the best, but they are functional, and there is an extensive selection. You can also get support via email or via live chat on the website, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The agent on the chat was friendly, knowledgeable, and responsive, so no complaints here.
IPVanish VPN review: App
Apple users are much satisfied with the IPVanish App than Android users. In the Apple store, the app got 4.5 stars, and that’s the appreciation I would give it. When I opened it on my iPhone X, I discovered that it was effortless to navigate and connect to the VPN. I had no problems. On the contrary, the app received a 3.5-star rating in the Google Play store. Most customers complained about having connection problems.
IPVanish VPN review: Final words
IPVanish has tight security and does not do much about logging. The speeds are also excellent, if not leading in the industry. Besides, customers have some great features, although we would be happier if they were standardized on all platforms. Compared to the competition, there are several services on par with IPVanish that are available for cheaper and more expensive services that add a lot of value for the price. However, if you’re likely to use it frequently, the free SugarSync plan is a great option to buy.
Overall, IPVanish is a highly capable and customizable VPN that we’d like to recommend to anyone interested. There are just a few inconsistencies that prevent it from reaching the number one spot.
IPVanish features great security in addition to zero logging and good speeds. Although the apps are not as clean as the competition's, IPVanish's service is seriously configurable and a good choice for those who want full control over their VPN.
- Unlimited device connections
- Kill switch works well
- Unblocks Netflix
- 250GB SugarSync plan included
- Fails to unblock BBC iPlayer
- Overall package lacks a little finesse