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IPVanish Review

TOP FEATURES

  • Excellent speed and reliability
  • Large selection of applications for different devices
  • Amazing privacy features with encryption, and leak protection settings

COMPATIBILITY

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Linux
  • Routers
3.5/5

85%

PERFORMANCE 86%
SPEED 83%
SECURITY 85%
VALUE FOR MONEY 84%

IPVanish is considered as one of the most popular VPN services in the market. It boasts a considerable network of servers and claims to be the fastest VPN. These are big claims network, and almost every other VPN service makes such claims for the sake of marketing.

However, as we’ve observed in our past VPN reviews, such tall claims mostly fall short of what they promise. This is why we’re wary when we hear a VPN claiming to have the best VPN speeds.

To make matters clear, we did some more digging to find what how fast IPVanish really is. We also investigated various aspects of the VPN to find out whether the VPN classify as a top tier VPN service or not. The IPVanish VPN review covers everything you need to know about the product.

IPVanish Overview

After observing several speed tests conducted by experts against IPVanish. We found that IPVanish is by far the fastest VPN service we have seen. The quality of their service remained excellent servers across Europe, the US, and Canada.

The tests revealed that servers nearby consistently crossed 90Mbps downloading speed. However, we’ve often seen VPNs fail when we connect to long-distanced servers. Despite that, IPVanish outperformed other VPN services speed-wise. IPVanish speeds remained excellent throughout the testing period. The connections were stable and reliable across the board.

IPVanish didn’t fall short on its privacy claims as well. All security and privacy tests done against the VPN were also perfect. We didn’t find any trace of DNS or IP address leaks with any of the IPVanish apps.

During our review, we also found that IPVanish still distributed exclusive discounts to its members. New members could avail discounts as high as 60% while regular members could benefit from a 63% discount on certain packages.

IPVanish increased the limit of the total number of simultaneous connections. Furthermore, we found that every subscription had a 7-day money-back guarantee. We discovered that IPVanish was one of the few VPN services that owned each of its servers, which improve performance and security even more.

In our review, we found IPVanish to be a solid VPN. However, the VPN still has one drawback that can give nightmares to a privacy-sensitive user. The one and only disadvantage of IPVanish is that it lies inside US jurisdiction.

VPN users think twice before choosing a VPN based in the US. This is due to mass surveillance carried out by the US government. Jurisdiction problems could have been enough to turn down an ordinary VPN, but as we have discussed before, IPVanish is anything but ordinary.

IPVanish has a strict zero logs policy which makes the US jurisdiction obsolete. After all, how can the US government probe for your log history when your VPN service doesn’t keep any data or logs?

Pros

  • Excellent speed and reliability
  • Large selection of applications for different devices
  • Amazing privacy features with encryption, and leak protection settings
  • 24/7 chat and email support (also telephone support in the US)
  • 10 device connections allowed
  • Self-owned server network (also has its own secure DNS without third parties)

Cons

  • US Jurisdiction (but has zero-logs)

EXPERT QUOTE

"When using unencrypted connections, internet bad guys can sniff on your traffic to spy, steal data, hijack devices, and even steal identities. A VPN can however encrypt your traffic using standards like the AES 256-bit protocol to make your data transfer secure."

Joel Timothy

Joel Timothy

Cyber-Security and VPN Expert

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IPVanish Servers

IP Vanish Servers

IPVanish distinguishes itself from most VPN services because of its massive server network that spans across more than 62 countries.

It has one of the biggest server networks in the VPN industry, and as we witness in the test results below, IPVanish provides us with top performance. You must be wondering that how does a large server network facilitate good performance? However, there are several reasons why a large server network is essential to performing optimally. Some of these reasons are as follows:

  • As a rule of thumb, greater numbers of servers guarantee that users will be able to enjoy better speeds. This happens because when there are a greater amount of servers, there will also be more available bandwidth per user.
  • It isn’t just about pure speed as well. When you have several servers, you have the option to select different servers for specific needs. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a server near you or some another geographic location to access media, having plenty of servers is always a good option.
  • Another benefit, while you’re using a VPN service, is that when you geo-spoof your location to buy services, you can take advantages of discounts available in a specific region. This might help you a great deal if you’re purchasing plane tickets for yourself.

Perhaps, the greatest feature of IPVanish is that it owns its entire collection of servers. This does not look especially attractive up front. However, this feat is extremely rare, and only a few VPN services have the capacity to make these claims.

Many people still have concerns with VPNs that use third-party servers and or other services. They suspect that third parties will be able to see server data as it is under their control. Also, since the servers get entirely monitored third-party VPN services, people expect that they will log user information.

Though it’s necessary to log some information while a user is running a VPN service, the server must delete that information once the session ends. However, when these servers are under the control of third-party services, people don’t entirely trust them.

Users have no idea who these third-parties are and what standards do they follow for their services. Moreover, they’re also not sure whether some server providers sell user information while a session is in progress.

However, if a VPN service owns its entire server network, it means that it won’t have to rely on strange network providers. As a result, the VPN service will be free from third-party intervention and you won’t have to suspect any interruption from third-parties.

 In other words, IPVanish’s self-owned servers are completely under their control. For this reason, they brand their business to be the “world’s only Top Tier VPN provider.”

Their advertisement isn’t without reason as well. Having a self-owned VPN network has two distinct benefits:

  • Amazing performance due to increased speed and reliability
  • Invulnerable data security because no rental servers from third parties are not used.

Does IPVanish Utilize Virtual Server Locations?

IPVanish claims on its website that it has the “best VPN speeds” and provides top tier server networks to their users.

We have been using IPVanish for a few months now and have always felt that it has incredible speed. However, we concentrated on live tests performed by experts at Tech Radar to judge whether the VPN service really lives up to its claims or not.

Tech Radar conducted its tests on several servers across the IPVanish network. The tester used the baseline connection speed of 100 Mbps. Moreover, the tester had his physical testing locations in Germany.

According to the testers at Tech Radar, it took time and work for them to administer how the VPN performed. The team made sure that they used multiple tests and techniques to measure how quick the VPN is.

The tests start with a custom benchmarking program that automatically connects from the UK. From there, the program connects to more than 50 different IPVanish servers. Here the testing team logged what the connection time was. After that, they ran a ping test to check for latency issues. Ultimately, they confirmed the true location of the assigned IP location through a geo-location service.

Connections

What’s amazing is that IPVanish almost never failed while it made over 100 connections. The test was run twice but there was only connection where the VPN client had issues with connecting.

This feature is great in itself; because according to the test team, many prominent VPN providers have issues with up to 10% with connections. However, the testers reiterated the fact that a short-term test cannot be a definitive verdict. Still, they also mentioned that they faced no problems with the VPN’s service in their previous review as well. Therefore, it validates the fact that IPVanish has a reliable VPN service.

However, its failure-free connection times are not its only redeeming quality. IPVanish’s connection times were excellent and beyond-par. The VPN managed to establish connections in less than three seconds when the team was using the test software.

This is quicker than many services that take at least five seconds on average, while others take even longer. Although it’s true that VPN connection speeds are higher in testing environments, the connection speed will be slightly less when you’re using the service through a VPN user client. Still, the point holds true anyway, because either way, it’s faster than other VPN options the testing team had tested. In the end, IPVanish established connections far more quickly than most of its competition.

Virtual Server Testing

The testing team noted that in their past VPN reviews, they had virtual server problems with IPVanish before. They had detected that an Amsterdam server was in Portugal. There were also discrepancies in servers in Singapore and Korea, as they were shown in Dallas. However, these problems were not found in their recent tests.

The Tech Radar test team only detected one location that had these issues, which was an Indian server. The geo-location ping test suggested the server was in France. However, by digging deep on the matter, the team found that the geo-location library was malfunctioning. So, eventually IPVanish was right about this too, the server was still in India.

Downloading Speeds

After validating other aspects of the VPN service, the Tech Radar team considered Ookla’s Speed Test, Netflix Fast and other benchmarking websites. They used these websites to find out the download speeds websites through IPVanish.

These website were spread out to different parts of the world. Ten of these websites were in the UK, 15 across Europe, 15 in the US, and 16 in landmasses of Asia and Australasia.

The test team used local UK servers that had 75 Mbps broadband line that have speeds in between 72-73 even without VPNs. We all know that speeds drop down when you’re using VPNs. However, IPVanish performed excellently and displayed speeds between 60-70Mbps.

Considering that VPNs perform badly on non-local servers, the European servers were not bad at all. On the contrary, the speeds were excellent. Servers regularly hit 65Mbps in countries such as France, Netherlands, and Germany.

However, they did decrease when the distance started to increase. Still the speed was quite decent as many VPN providers don’t even come near these speeds. For instance, servers in Spain managed 40-45Mbps downloading speed. Still, Greece suffered from dismal performances and didn’t fare well. Servers in Greece didn’t cross speeds between 8-12Mbps.

The United States

Across the Atlantic, however, downloading speeds were amazing. The US servers delivered quality results overall. Servers in the nearest east coast peaked up to, which is unprecedented in VPN services. Though VPN servers in Los Angeles were not as good as the ones in Eastern cities, they manage to get 45Mbps downloading speed.

Asia and Australasia

In the past, it has been observed that most VPN servers die down when they reach places that are far away from the physical location of users. However, IPVanish outperformed most of its competition in this regard.

Long-distance servers in countries like Singapore often drop down beneath 10Mbps for most VPN providers. However, IPVanish managed to hold these connections much higher. Servers in Singapore fared a downloading speed of 35Mbps. Down under, 30Mbps was Australia’s average downloading speed.

Manual Testing

For the second round of tests, testers ran manual speed checks from dedicated servers in the US. Doing so allowed the VPN service to measure how much the performance gets affected when the server connects to a US server.

According to the test team, they could the server has an excellent 1Gbps connection. Therefore, they had no problems while assessing the speed of connections. However, viewers should keep in mind that these speeds are reserved for their data centers. So, it doesn’t mean that normal users will be able to utilize these astronomical speed limits effectively.

In manual testing, the US outperformed premiere VPN services such as ExpressVPN. The speeds in manual testing were so good that they matched NordVPN which manages speeds of 90-100Mbps.

The UK servers were kept humble and did not perform as well as their US counterparts. Still, they managed speeds in between 50-55Mbps, which are quite impressive.

Performance of European countries was not far behind and managed speeds similar to UK tests. Countries nearer to the servers fared well, and managed 40-60Mbps. However, other European countries on the Eastern front performed dismally. Poland dragged its speed up to 5Mbps, whereas downloading speed from Greek servers lurked between 2 to 4Mbps.

As we had observed in the automated tests, long-distance connections had a drop in speed. However, they still remained above-par. Servers in Singapore’s reiterated what we say in our automated tests and had speeds between 30-35Mbps. Still, some servers in countries like Malaysia moved at a snail’s pace between 2 and 2.5Mbps.

Though it’s true that some server performs very poorly, the VPN still performs better than most other VPN providers. Overall, IPVanish is an excellent option if you’re using servers in popular locations like the US, UK, Singapore and Australia.

AES-256 Encryption

AES-256 Encryption

IPVanish relies on one of the best VPN encryption algorithms available in the VPN market at the moment. The AES-256 encryption algorithm is used by the world’s leading security agencies and government organizations.

Considering that cyber attacks are on the rise, using a credible encryption algorithm is the key to secure and private browsing. Encryption algorithms protect users from widely-used brute force attacks, which is amazing.

High computation mechanisms allow hackers to leverage new technologies. Technologies like distributed computing make it possible for brute force attacks to be more effective. In December 2016, a WordPress security plug-in: Wordfence, observed an increase in the number of brute force attacks. These attacks were aimed to cripple WordPress websites that comprise 25% of the internet.

In December 2017, the same organization noted another surge in brute force attacks. According to them, the attacks had crossed up to 14.1 million attacks each hour. As much as 10,000 IPs were involved in these attacks. They further explained that they had seen 190,000 WordPress targeted in an hour!

These numbers are alarming and signify a growing trend in these attacks. However, Using a VPN service such as IPVanish ensures that users don’t have to worry about brute-force attacks while they use their service.

The AES-256 bit encryption algorithm encrypts your IP address and all personal data. That’s not all; the encryption algorithm is so strong that is nearly impossible to crack it with a brute-force attack. This is why you won’t need to worry about brute force attacks awhile you use IPVanish because the VPN is “Brute Force Proof.”

In addition, users can mask their IPs to bypass censorship set up by schools, workplaces and even government organizations.

Free SOCKS5 Web Proxy

Tunneling protocols are another vital inclusion to a VPN’s privacy suite. Most top-tier VPN providers allow users to access several different tunneling protocols. Generally these protocols include OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP and IPSec.

IPVanish carries on with its tradition of using the best technology available to provide quality service. Here too, the company allows the usage of all top-performing tunneling protocols.

Amongst other tunneling protocols, experts recommend OpenVPN because it outperforms other tunneling protocols. These tunneling protocols offer express speeds without compromising on security or privacy. Still, they have one issue that makes users switch.

The problem with OpenVPN is that you have to download the protocol client to your device. This is necessary to access a unique certificate that’s needed when the VPN is to establishing a secure connection. This might have not been a big issue if it were not for intrusive nature of these software.

However, there are alternatives that free you from such problems. IPVanish allows access to a special proxy server protocol known as SOCKS or Socket Security to their customers. The protocol doesn’t require its users to download any additional software to your devices. Through this protocol, users are able to enjoy the benefits of a standard VPN.

As a result, users can mask their IP addresses, personal information and also enjoy faster connections without downloading intrusive third-party tools.

The service provides a huge advantage to certain customers who want to bypass censorship laws and other IP-related restrictions. However, it’s almost impossible for the protocol to facilitate high-speed and surfing without toning down on security.

The SOCKS proxy is able to support faster speeds than a normal VPN because it doesn’t follow encryption standards. In other words, it doesn’t have the same privacy and security protocols that protect users from cyber-criminals, hackers, and government agencies.

While the proxy is sufficient for hiding your location, it doesn’t do much when it comes to protecting your privacy and security.

However, it’s still useful to have an option that allows you to boost speed when you have to. However, you should be way of when you’re using this unique protocol. You have to keep in mind the privacy risks that come with SOCKS proxy before using this feature.

Zero-Logs Policy

A zero-log policy is an essential component of any VPN service. It validates a VPN’s commitment towards maintaining privacy and improves the trust a user has on it service. IPVanish too has a zero logs policy. They further explain about their log policy on their website on their website. We completely trust the IPVanish to maintain our privacy; the company has had a dark past.

A few years ago, a logging case surfaced which had raised doubts regarding how effective their log-policy really was. In 2016, IPVanish had cooperated with the FBI to investigate a criminal case. The case was related to child pornography and the VPN user was distributing illicit material by using the VPN.

In this case, IPVanish agreed to provide connection data to authorities. They agreed to these demands after FBI had made two separate requests in the middle of the investigation. While considering the case, this may seem the right thing to do, but it invalidated the VPN’s no-log claim.

The case was very concerning from a privacy standpoint. Because IPVanish had a zero log policy, no one expected them to have any data to share in the first place. However, this would have still been a problem now if the company’s owners and management were still the same.

IPVanish has changed hands and it is currently owned by different company. StackPath, a company based in Dallas, Texas is the new owner of IPVanish.

The logging case controversy happened when the company was operated by HighWinds Network Group in 2016.  IPVanish’s old management was completely dismantled after the sale to StackPath took place in February 2017.

The IPVanish VPN staff sheds further light on the case and assures its users that StackPath will not agree to this type of cooperation in the future. The company’s current logging policy on their website clearly states that IPVanish has a zero-logs VPN service provider. That means that they do not keep records of any connection, online activity data in regards to their service.

Moreover, the only information that the service collects during registration are the email address of users (for account purposes) and also payment information for account renewal, and refunds.

Netflix

Netflix

IPVanish has a vast network of servers at its helm. It means that there’s a good chance the service will allow its users to access geo-blocked sites like Netflix.

To investigate IPVanish’s ability to bypass geo-restrictions, we logged into 3 UK servers. Besides that, we tried 10 servers in the US to see whether IPVanish unlocked access to US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, US YouTube.

US YouTube also has specific restriction on its use. Only people who access it from inside a country are able to watch country-specific videos. IPVanish allows access to geo-blocked YouTube videos on is US servers. Blocking YouTube videos isn’t that spectacular as almost every VPN provider manages to do this. Still, it’s important to make sure that a VPN meets the bare minimum.

In our testing, our first UK server failed to circumvent restrictions on BBC iPlayer. As a matter of fact, all three servers failed to get around BBC’s VPN blocking features, which is disappointing, of course.

However, IPVanish redeemed itself by offering us other cool features. IPVanish VPN allows access to US-based Netflix servers. This is a real achievement considering that Netflix is extremely vigilant when it comes to blocking VPNs.

Still, we shouldn’t forget that no VPN can guarantee access to Netflix for long periods of time. Netflix availability changes very quickly. Many IPVanish review still complain that the VPN service doesn’t provide Netflix access.

However, this is not because IPVanish has abandoned support for Netflix. It’s rather because Netflix manages to sniff out any VPN server that bypasses its restrictions. It’s an ongoing battle and every VPN provider has to stay vigilant to continue its Netflix services.

However, in our experience, you will always find an IPVanish server that unblocks Netflix for you. The VPN has an excellent support staff and they’ll tell you which server is working whenever you have trouble.

The IPVanish live chat support gives its users working locations within a couple of minutes of the query. It’s true that no VPN can guarantee Netflix access in perpetuity, but IPVanish is more capable to cope up with these complications than most VPNs.

Torrents

Torrents

IPVanish doesn’t advertise a lot about its P2P support, like other VPN services. However, if you browse its website, you can find a P2P page that claims IPVanish to be the ‘fastest VPN for torrenting’. Furthermore, it boasts that it provides that it has 100% privacy.

As far as we’ve seen, the statement lives up to its claim. IPVanish doesn’t have any limits on how much you can download. Moreover, it neither imposes a fixed data transfer limit on its users or nor throttles connection speeds.

IPVanish has a unique P2P service and doesn’t restrict users on the choice of their locations (unlike a number of other VPNs). Users can access torrenting services on every IPVanish server.

Considering that IPVanish has an extra in its unique SOCKS5 Proxy Server. IPVanish users will be able to access an extra protocol that hides their IP address. But as we mentioned before, it doesn’t have the security features of a regular VPN.

Still, SOCKS5 Proxy server fully supports P2P traffic. IPVanish users can still use this protocol to hide their identity and download torrents at maximum speeds. If you want further information about how it works, you can take a look at IPVanish support site.

However, if you’re living in a country that cracks down hard on torrent users, you should prioritize safety and use the regular IPVanish VPN client. The VPN service does all it can to mask your identity. So, you won’t have to worry about copyright infringements that want to put you in jail for torrenting a movie.

Still, there is one small downside. IPVanish doesn’t support payment through cryptocurrencies. But if the authorities aren’t able to see internet action linked to your account, that’s not a problem. As we’ve said before, IPVanish performs better than the majority of VPN providers.

Tor Compatibility

TOR is considered legendary among privacy enthusiasts. Popularly known as the Onion Network, it encrypts the user’s information and the traffic across several servers. As a result, tracking your real-time location is nearly impossible.

Regular users don’t need such high levels of security. However, journalists, political dissidents and people trying to bypass from government censorship and surveillance require serious security measures.

However, using the TOR on its own is effective but not 100% safe. Incorporating the TOR with an existing VPN service allows you to create an additional layer of security. This means users can maximize their privacy and ensure that all their personal information remains private.

For most IPVanish users, it is not a deal breaker. However, for users living in countries with repressive internet laws (such as North Korea or China), the added layer of security can be the difference between life and death.

IPVanish’s compatibility with TOR allows users to benefit from VPN services regardless of which country they’re living in.

IPVanish Pricing and Refunds

Though the VPN is not as cost-effective as other VPN options such as NordVPN, IPVanish has a number of different discounts. Users can benefit from these discounts to get exclusive deals and discounts.

Most of these plans have a 7-day money-back guarantee that includes 24/7 support. Moreover, IPVanish gives a 7-day money back guarantee to new clients who cancel before the 7th day of their subscription. However, they need to use a refundable payment method to benefit from the surface.

Besides that, IPVanish gives a free trial only for users that sign up using IPVanish iOS application. This feature is only available for iPhone, iPod, and iPad users. However, iOS customers that sign up through this application do get a free trial, but can’t avail the 7-day money back guarantee. Along with that, customers who don’t utilize the refundable payment method cannot get a refund.

Regular Price of IPVanish VPN

IPVanish Discount – New Customers

The regular pricing of IPVanish is not higher than most VPN services. Yet, there are other options like NordVPN that offer cost-effective packages. Still, users can avail reasonable discounts by subscribing to annual packages, which yield up to a 46% special discount.

  • 1 Month Plan $10.00 per Month –$11.99 $10.00 gets billed each month (17% Discount)
  • 3 Month Plan $8.99 per Month –$35.97 $26.99 gets billed every 3 months (25% Discount)
  • 1 Year Plan $6.49 per Month –$143.88 $77.99 gets billed every 12 months (46% Discount)

However, new users of IPVanish should remember that these prices are only valid for their first subscription. Therefore, they should choose the plan that offers best value in their first billing cycle.

IPVanish Lifetime Discount

IPVanish Lifetime discount is excellent for users who favor a three-month subscription. Services like NordVPN provide lesser rates but you need to give a commitment of three years to get those deals. Considering other options, this deal allows users to take the most advantage of discounts. Users can avail the best-valued three-month deals for just $4.50 per month. They can pay just $13.50 for every three months.

However, it is the best discount offer because it doesn’t have any time restriction. Once users subscribe to this offer, they can get a three-month package for the same price as long as they use IPVanish!

  • 1-Month Plan $10.00/Month ($11.99 $10.00 gets billed after each month for lifetime) – 17% Discount
  • 3-Month Plan $4.5/Month ($35.97 $13.50 gets billed after every 3 months for lifetime) –63% Discount
  • 1-Year Plan $6.49/Month ($143.88 $77.99 gets billed after every 12 months for lifetime) – 46% Discount

Conclusion

As test results of IPVanish show us, the VPN performs very well. It remains an excellent VPN for anyone who seeks best performance in terms of both speed and reliability. However, IPVanish VPN also offers excellent encryption and security features, and not to forget about its exclusive discount deals. All of these features make it one of the best VPN services available in the market.

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