IPVanish: At a glance
Best for: VPN protection for your entire home
Price range: $6.49-$10.00
Location: 75+ locations
Netflix: Unblocks Netflix
Torrenting: P2P and torrenting
Logging: No logging policy
Number of devices: 10, (unlimited via router)
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, +
Browser extensions: None
IPVanish claims to be one of the top virtual private networks in the world. A bold claim that is somewhat backed up by over 40,000 shared IPs, more than 1,300 P2P-friendly servers in over 75 countries, all with 24/7 live chat support. That results in some of the best speeds, most secure connections and efficient service – in short everything you look for in a VPN provider.
IPVarnish owns and manages its own servers, which gives the company more control over how they're run – and shows a level of expertise you don't always get with other VPNs. On paper, it all sounds great, and more than justifies a spot in our guide to the best VPN services of 2020. So how good is IPVanish really? And how does it compare to some of its competitors?
IPVanish review: Privacy
IPVanish uses super-secure, industry-standard AES-256 encryption to protect your privacy. It also supports the highly secure transfer protocols OpenVPN and IKEv2, which provide a strong and secure VPN connection. Plus, you can switch between OpenVPN ports or the Obfuscate OpenVPN Traffic option if you want to protect your VPN protection from being discovered and blocked in anti-VPN countries such as China or Iran. The Windows app offers a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection while the iOS app offers lists of networks that IPVanish always protects.
To hide your IP address, the SOCKS5 Proxy Server provides an additional protocol on top of regular VPN encryption, allowing greater speeds. Ideal for torrenting, enabling this method hides your identity while guaranteeing maximum download speeds.
A good VPN service has to include a kill switch, to cut your network connection altogether if the VPN fails and you risk exposure. IPVanish doesn't lack in this area, at least as far as its desktop devices are concerned. However, it doesn't provide this option for mobile devices, although if you're an Android user you can enable your device’s own kill switch in System Settings.
IPVanish's no-logs policy is another issue. Although it claims to have a strict zero-logs policy, IPVanish’s record was forever tarnished when it was discovered that in 2016, the company forwarded some user logs to the US Homeland Security in a criminal case investigation. The information ultimately led to a person’s identification.
However, the company was later acquired by StackPath and the leadership has changed. StackPath has made multiple promises of security and privacy in the future, to help it compete with the likes of ExpressVPN. Regardless, IPVanish is still under the jurisdiction of the US, so caution is advised.
IPVanish review: Features and apps
IPVanish boasts myriad features, including a split tunnelling feature that enables you to choose which apps you want to use with a VPN connection and which will use your normal internet connection.
In addition to a kill switch, IPVanish’s Windows client has a Block LAN traffic option. You can turn this on to block all LAN traffic if the VPN is unexpectedly disconnected. Android devices, the Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, on the other hand, automatically block LAN, unless the Allow LAN access option is turned on. The Windows client has both DNS and IPv6 protection, along with OpenVPN logs to troubleshoot any problems. IPVanish supports a VPN connection on 10 devices simultaneously, while installing it on your router protects all your devices at once, even IoT, increasing the potential number of connected devices.
Installing IPVanish clients is as easy as it gets, but if you do run into unexpected problems, the website provides plenty of setup guides and tutorials for all supported platforms. Android and iOS apps are available at their app stores, and the website also has the Android APK file for direct download. The Windows and Mac clients are available for download at the website as well. You can start using the service as soon as you sign up.
In addition to these, you can find IPVanish on Linux, all mobile platforms, Chromebooks, and modern games consoles. There’s even a version that will run on your router – although this is more of an expert option as it involves flashing your router’s firmware.
IPVanish allows torrenting without usage limits or slow connection speeds. There are also no restrictions on the choice of servers for such purposes as all of IPVanish’s servers support P2P traffic. IPVanish unblocks many geo-restricted streaming services, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Although the availability of servers that support Netflix US varies, you can contact the VPN provider’s customer support for the latest information of available servers.
IPVanish review: Speed
We ran manual speed checks from a dedicated server in the US. US peak performance beat ExpressVPN and matched NordVPN at 90-100Mbps, while UK speeds were acceptable at 50-55Mbps, and long-distance connections like Singapore came in around a perfectly useable 30-35Mbps.
We found that IPVanish performs better than the majority of VPNs, particularly if you're using the best server locations, like the US, UK, Australia and Singapore. But bear in mind that some locations further afield can be slow, with better all-round performance coming from the likes of ExpressVPN.
IPVanish review: Pricing
IPVanish offers three basic plans, all of which are a little on the high side compared to many other VPNs – but you do get a lot for your money. Also, coupons and deals regularly appear that can reduce the price by up to 60% (you'll find today's lowest pricing here on this page).
Prefer to test out the service before making a commitment? Very wise – and you can. There's a seven-day free trial, but only if you sign up using the IPVanish’s iOS app. If you sign up via the website, there's a seven-day money-back guarantee instead. Simply cancel before the end of this period, and provided you used a refundable payment method, you'll be issued with an automatic refund. (Anyone who signs up in the iOS app will receive a free trial and won't qualify for the seven-day money-back guarantee.)
IPVanish accepts only two methods of payment: credit/debit cards and Paypal. Bitcoin and other options used to be on offer as well, but not now.
IPVanish review: Customer support
IPVanish has excellent customer service, which can be reached via live chat and email 24/7. Before you contact them, however, you might want to check out the FAQ and troubleshooting sections in case your problem has already been addressed.
All of the clients are very easy to use, even for VPN newbies. This applies to some of the more advanced options as well. If you need help with any of them, consult the website’s help section. The website has 12 tutorials just covering Windows, for example, with separate guides covering OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and IKeV2 setup on Windows 7, 8 and 10.
Should I buy IPVanish?
IPVanish is an excellent VPN service in terms of connection and download speeds, features, and the number of simultaneous connections it offers. It's also a great choice for accessing geo-restricted streaming services and P2P traffic.
Although we don’t entirely agree with IPVanish’s bold claim of being the world’s best, we nevertheless think this VPN provider is very secure and robust, and like how many servers and unblocked services it has. If you can look past the fact that it has a history of sharing private logs, then IPVanish is a fantastic choice of VPN for you.