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IPVanish VPN Review: Powerful Performance, Privacy Concerns

Our Verdict

IPVanish is an excellent VPN when it comes to speeds, connectivity and features. But there are concerns over its no-logging policy, due to U.S. jurisdiction and a past incident.

For

  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Plenty of features
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Good monthly, annual pricing

Against

  • U.S.-based
  • Previously shared log data with the U.S. government
  • Lack of free trial options
  • No kill switch for mobile

Using a VPN is the best way to safeguard your sensitive data from nosy nellies and regimes, as well as to access services unavailable at your current location for whatever reason. This is why it is important to choose a service that will not only do this diligently but at an acceptable price as well. One such VPN provider is U.S.-based IPVanish.

Specifications

Client Software PlatformsWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Windows Phone
Native Supported PlatformsWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome OS, open-source routers
Supported ProtocolsOpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP with IPSec
Number of Servers1,300+
Number of Countries With Servers75+
Country of RegistrationU.S.
Payment OptionsMajor credit cards, PayPal
Encryption ProtocolAES-256
Data UsageUnlimited
Bandwidth UsageUnlimited
Max Number of Connected Devices 10
Customer Support Live chat, email, help section
Privacy PolicyNo logging

Pricing

IPVanish has three subscription options. The 1-month plan costs $10, the 3-month plan $8.99 per month, while the best deal is the 1-year plan with a price tag of $6.49 per month. The website has a page where you can find coupons to reduce the price by up to 57%, so make sure to check that out first.

PlanIPVanishExpressVPNNordVPN
1 Month$10 $12.95 (~£9.86)$11.95 (~ £9.20)
3 Months$8.99 per monthN/AN/A
6 MonthsN/A$9.99 (~ £7.60) per monthN/A
1 Year$6.49 per month $8.32 (~ £6.33) per month$6.99 (~£5.37) per month
3 YearsN/AN/A$2.99 (~ £2.30) per month

If you are not yet ready to commit, there is a 7-day free trial, but only for Apple users on the iOS app.

For others who sign up via its website, IPVanish offers a 7-day, money-back guarantee instead. If you choose to cancel your subscription before the end of its seventh day and have used a refundable payment method, you are eligible for an automatic refund.

There aren’t many payment options. You can only choose between the major credit and debit cards and PayPal. No gift cards or digital currencies are accepted.

Features

IPVanish has over 40,000 shared IPs and more than 1,300 VPN servers scattered across more than 75 countries. It also owns and manages all of its servers, giving it better control over how those servers are run. However, if you wanted to access servers in Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, Argentina, Thailand, or China, you’re out of luck.

IPVanish’s intuitive apps can be installed on a wide array of devices and platforms. These include Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, as well as Fire TV, Windows Phone, Chromebook, and routers. If you get stuck with the installation, check out IPVanish’s setup guides page for help. IPVanish does not have browser extensions.

The Android and FireOS clients have a split-tunneling feature that lets you choose which apps you don’t want to use with IPVanish.

Although Netflix had previously blocked most of IPVanish’s servers, there is a strong possibility you would now be able to access this service, at least when it comes to U.S. Netflix. The availability changes all the time, but IPVanish staff can assist you by providing information on servers that currently support Netflix.

You can also try accessing many other streaming services, like BBC iPlayer, or even switch to torrenting, without any download restrictions on all servers. The website has tutorials on accessing both. IPVanish also unblocks Kodi content.

This VPN provider supports a large number of simultaneous connections - up to 10. This can cover your entire household, which is rather cost-effective.It’s also more than rivals like ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer (three and six, respectively).

If you need help navigating all these features, IPVanish not only has a comprehensive help section, but also a solid customer service system that you can access via email or live chat 24/7.

Privacy

IPVanish guarantees privacy and prevents ISP Deep Packet Inspection with the help of standard AES-256 encryption, along with IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP with IPSec, as well as OpenVPN TCP and UDP connection protocols. However, this provider goes beyond just letting you choose between protocols.

Specifically, it gives you more control over your OpenVPN setup by letting you choose your OpenVPN port (1194 or 443). A very detailed visual guide leads you through all the necessary steps. The “Obfuscate OpenVPN Traffic” is an option you can use to further reduce the risk of your VPN tunnel being discovered and/or blocked by governments.

IPVanish also has a SOCKS5 Proxy Server that basically enables an additional protocol that hides your IP address. It does not use the encryption of a regular VPN, guaranteeing higher speeds. This method is suitable for torrenting, as it both masks your identity and provides maximum download speeds.

IPVanish also comes with a kill switch, albeit only on the desktop clients. If you want to use the VPN service on your Android device, it is recommended that you set up your device’s own kill switch (System Settings > Wireless and Networks > More > VPN, choose VPN app, enable “Block connections without VPN”), which is now possible on most Android devices. However, this might not be an easy option for beginners, and there is no kill switch solution for iOS.

Although IPVanish says it sticks to a “strict zero-logs policy,” an incident from 2016 caused concern about these claims. IPVanish provided certain information on a user’s activities to the US Department of Homeland Security. This happened before the 2017 acquisition of Mudhook Media’s parent company by StackPath. Regardless, the fact that IPVanish still belongs to the U.S. jurisdiction is a drawback privacy-wise.

Performance

Upon testing, we discovered that IPVanish’s performance was pretty solid, with only one failed connection out of 100 connection attempts, which is a superb result.

Connection times and download speeds were also outstanding and among the fastest on the market. That said, some of the non-U.S. locations produced poorer, although still acceptable, results.

Bottom Line

IPVanish has a good deal of high-end features. A relatively high number of servers, wide platform support, strong performance and access to geo-restricted and P2P services make it one of the best VPN services on the market.

But its no-logs policy is rather questionable because it previously shared a user’s log with the U.S. government and the fact that it belongs to the U.S. jurisdiction.

But if you’re looking for a larger number of connections (up to 10 and some low rates, particularly for 1-year plans, IPVanish is worth consideration.

Image Credits: IPVanish


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