IPVanish review

TOP rank 9.2 Reviewed by Jayden Andrews
December 17, 2019

IPVanish VPN is an excellent app for surfing the internet anonymously. With its strong security and privacy credentials, it offers everything that the modern privacy conscious user wants. It is also good for streaming content on Netflix and Hulu. When used with a torrent client like uTorrent, the downloads will still make good time, which is a testament to how fast the server connections are.
A downside of the app is the price, which is $5 for the first month. But considering that it is one of the best apps on the VPN market, it is not too much to ask. The app also comes with a 7-day money back guarantee, which is a little on the lower side, considering that the industry standard is 30 days.

1 year: $3.25/month
Save 73%

IPVanish VPN is an excellent app for surfing the internet anonymously. With its strong security and privacy credentials, it offers everything that the modern privacy conscious user wants. It is also good for streaming content on Netflix and Hulu. When used with a torrent client like uTorrent, the downloads will still make good time, which is a testament to how fast the server connections are.
A downside of the app is the price, which is $5 for the first month. But considering that it is one of the best apps on the VPN market, it is not too much to ask. The app also comes with a 7-day money back guarantee, which is a little on the lower side, considering that the industry standard is 30 days.

9.3
Speed
8.7
Security
9.5
Compatibility
9.1
Price
9.2
Support
Pros
Military-grade encryption
Error-free streaming on Netflix
10 simultaneous connections
Outstanding customer care service
Compatibility on multiple platforms
Cons
Seven day money back guarantee
70+ locations to choose from

Summary

Speed drop speedtest We check the speed with and without VPN, then calculate the average in percentage. The smaller the speed drop, the faster the VPN.
-49%
Logging
Strict no-log policy
IP, DNS Leaks
No
Jurisdiction The 5 Eyes (FVEY), 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes alliances impose laws that force VPN companies to hand over logs to the government upon request. Privacy Havens - These are countries where companies don't have to share their logs to the government and VPN users are completely protected.
USA (5 eyes)
Servers
1300+
Countries
75+
Netflix Unblock
Yes
Torrenting speed drop
-33%Good
Simultaneous connections
10
Works in China
Yes, scramble option
Support
Live chat, email, phone
Kill switch
Yes
Encryption AES-256 is the most secure type of encryption today. Other standards like DES-CBC, AES-128 provide lower levels of security.
AES-256
Protocols OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec are the most popular protocols which provide optimal balance between speed and security.
IKEv2, IPSec, OpenVPN, PPTP
Platforms
Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, Windows Phone
Applications
Amazon FireStick, Android TV, Chrome, Routers

Speed tests

Ordinary connection
Download: 2.20 Mbps
Ping: 43 Ms
Upload: 0.98 Mps

IPVanish describes itself as the “fastest VPN service,” it is a description that you will find with every other VPN service provider, and it is no coincidence. With most VPN apps relying on similar tunneling and encryption technologies, having servers in one of the few areas that they can use to set themselves apart from competition. But as we all know, delivering fast servers is easier said than done, and as a VPN user, we would never want to be stuck with an app that makes it impossible to get anything done by throttling my internet connection. That is to say that the “fast servers” assertion is one of the things that you need to put to test before committing to buying an app. We tested the speed of IPVanish servers on a 2Mbps connection and the following are the results.

Checking VPN servers

I would say that the roughly 30% speed reduction from a high of 2.20 Mbps to 1.43 Mbps is not very dramatic. It is what you would expect from a fast server connection. Keep in mind that VPN apps work by rerouting your internet traffic through a bunch of servers that are located several thousand miles apart. This, if anything, is expected to take a toll on the speed of your connection.

Norway
Download: 0.77 Mbps
Ping: 300 Ms
Upload: 0.68 Mbps
Japan
Download: 1.23 Mbps
Ping: 438 Ms
Upload: 0.57 Mbps
USA
Download: 1.02 Mbps
Ping: 338 Ms
Upload: 0.08 Mbps
Australia
Download: 1.43 Mbps
Ping: 513 Ms
Upload: 0.74 Mbps

Average speed drop: -49%Bad

Servers

1300+ servers
75+ countries

IPVanish allows users to connect to more than 1300 servers around the world with more than 40,000 IP addresses, which is probably the highest, if not one of the highest, number of IP addresses generated by a VPN service. This means that even if a lot of users are connected to a specific server, they will not experience slow connection speed due to congestion.

The 1300+ IPVanish servers are spread out uniformly across the globe, including smaller countries such as Hungary, Latvia, Nigeria, and Malaysia. There are more than 699 servers in the US alone, followed by Europe with 481. So no matter where you are located, there will be definitely a server located near you.

Security features

The main role of a VPN app is to enable the user to surf the internet anonymously. Every other selling point, including the one we have just considered comes second to this. That is why it is essential to have an in-depth understanding of the security features that a VPN app offers before buying it. Some of the privacy and security features to look for include the encryption method, VPN protocol, kill switch, and the logs policy.

Military Grade AES-256 Encryption

IPVanish uses the same encryption method as the world’s top spy agencies and militaries. That means that the data sent through their network of servers, even when intercepted, cannot be unscrambled.

The AES encryption standard works well with a number of VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN and IKEv2.

Kill Switch

Nowadays, every other VPN app has a kill switch and I would be surprised if IPVanish didn’t have one. In case you are wondering, a kill switch is a privacy feature that “kills” your internet connection whenever your VPN app runs into problems. In other words, it makes it impossible for anyone to identify you, even when your app can no longer guarantee that you are anonymous.

OpenVPN Protocol

IPVanish uses a number of protocols to set up VPN connections. Among them is the popular OpenVPN protocol. OpenVPN is widely supported and offers excellent security it is also Open source.

IKEv2

IKev2 is a relatively modern method of setting up VPN connections. It is also safer than using PPTP.

PPTP

IPVanish also uses PPTP or Point to Point Tunneling protocol to set up VPN connections. Compared to OpenVPN, PPTP is a lot less secure, but fast.

L2TP/IPsec

Lastly, IPVanish also uses the Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol/Internet Protocol to set up VPN connections. The setup is also not very secure and you need to be careful when using it.

Check all IPVanish features

Scramble option

As described on the site, the scramble option helps disguise OpenVPN traffic as normal traffic. This is a super useful feature because countries, such as China and North Korea, are getting better at detecting VPN traffic and the only way to beat their attempts at doing so is to make VPN traffic look like normal traffic.

IP and DNS Leaks

The way to test whether a VPN app is leaving you exposed when visiting particular sites is to conduct IP and DNS test leaks. To do this, you need to set up a VPN connection and go to IPleak.org and see whether the IP address that appears is the one assigned to you by the VPN app or if it is your original one. If you see your original IP address, that means you are not anonymous and you should consider using another VPN service provider. I tested IPVanish for both DNS and IP leaks and the following are the results of this test.

IP leak results:
No leaks
DNS leak results:
No leaks

Logs policy

IPVanish Privacy Policy:

  • We care deeply about your privacy rights, and we do not log any traffic or usage of our VPN.
  • We do not sell or rent personal information to others, under any circumstance.
    Your data is secured and rendered anonymous whenever you are connected to our Services.
  • In order to provide you with our Services, we need to collect an email address and payment method to process transactions.

IPVanish VPN is very keen on making its no logs policy known, and the reason is obvious. The company is located in the US, where there is little expectation of user privacy as internet companies can be forced by government agencies to hand over customer data. The data can then be shared with the rest of the five eyes countries (New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the UK).

Check IPVanish privacy policy

Unblocking Netflix

Netflix unblock is another big reason for which people purchase VPN apps. Netflix streams different content to different geographical regions and the only way to bypass this is by using a VPN app that will trick Netflix into believing that your IP address is from say the US.
Most VPN apps fail this test because of how hard it is to trick Netflix. The streaming company after all expects this kind of behavior and must have ways of countering it.
We wanted to know if IPVanish is one of the few VPN apps that are able to successfully fool Netflix into offering me content that is strictly reserved for US audiences. The app did not disappoint check the results for yourself.

Netflix
Netflix unblock status:
Success

Torrenting

Is IPVanish any good at torrenting? If you have ever used a VPN app to download content with the help of a torrent client such as UTorrent, you know why the answer to this question matters. A VPN connection can stifle the speed of your internet connection to the point that making any download becomes impossible.
We wanted to see if I could trust IPVanish VPN to still make the download possible in reasonable time. As you would expect, the answer is yes given that we already established earlier that IPVanish has impressively fast servers.

Torrenting without VPN:
270 kb/sec
Torrenting with VPN:
210 kb/sec
Speed deduction: -30%
Good

As you can see there was only a small decrease in overall speed. If my internet connection was say 10 Mbps instead of the 2Mbps used for this test, I would say the download would finish at most 5 minutes late which is not bad given the extra security that the VPN connection affords.

Tor Check

The Tor Browser is one of the safest and most secure ways to surf the internet. Combined with a VPN app, it becomes virtually impossible for anyone to track your activity over the Tor network.
As far as I can tell, the IPVanish + Tor combination works incredibly well even for a 2 Mbps connection. I even got the chance to watch some YouTube videos.

Tor
Compatibility status:
Success

Platforms

Android
iOS
Linux
macOS
Windows
Windows Phone
Amazon FireStick
Android TV
Chrome
Routers
Simultaneous connections:
10 devices

IPVanish is available on all major platforms i.e. Android, Windows, macOs, Linux, routers, and Fire TV. It is even offers browser support on Chrome.
For this review, I tested the app on a Windows desktop and on an Android phone. The app looks really good on the desktop, it is user friendly and the controls are very intuitive.

On the mobile phone, the interface is also simple which makes navigation very easy. I especially found the descriptive statistics to be very helpful. It also has a diagnostics tab that comes in handy when the app malfunctions- you won’t find that in many VPN apps.

 

   

Customer Support

IPVanish

IPVanish customer support on three channels i.e. phone, chat and email. The chat and email options are available on a 24/7 basis while the phone lines are open 9am – 5pm CT (UTC -6), Monday – Friday. From my experience, the quality of customer service is outstanding. I asked for help when canceling my subscription (the one I took in order to make this test possible) and everything went very smoothly. I was able to cancel my subscription within 5 minutes.

Support channels:
Email
Live chat
Help center
Phone line

Pricing

IP Vanish has three pricing tiers a $5 a month subscription for one month, $3.25/mo for a year and $4.50/mon for 3 months. Each of the plans comes with a 7 day money back guarantee.

1 month
$ 5
per month
 
$5 billed every month
3 months
$ 4.50
per month
Save 63%
$13.50 billed every 3 months
1 year
$ 3.25
per month
Save 73%
$39 billed every year

The payment process is easy and very simplified. I was able to make the payments within 2 minutes. When requesting for the refund, I also experienced very few problems as the customer care team was able to process my request in record time.