IPVanishVPN Review: is it really that good?
IPVanish is a VPN (virtual private network) provider that has a high user base online. Its ratings on websites like Trustpilot are consistently top-tier. It provides users with storage for up to 500 GB of data. At $5.00 per month, its price is a little steeper than some of its competitors. So is it worth the cash? Let’s take a look.
Check out our “What is a VPN?” page to learn more about how VPNs work.
The Cliffs Notes version is that virtual private networks are a way for internet users to mask their private information. Often, companies like Facebook, Google, and others will track your data and usage in order to target you with ads. You also may experience restrictive measures based on your IP address and geographical location. For example, streaming services housing a particular show might be restricted in your country, whereas it could be available elsewhere. By using a VPN, you can “trick” the internet into thinking that you are accessing it from another location, allowing you safe, secure, private browsing,q and streaming access.
Picking the right VPN for your needs can be difficult as these companies continue to explode onto the market. IPVanish is known for its versatility, making it a good choice for people who have some experience with VPNs as well as those who are rookies. Below, you’ll learn everything you need to make your informed decision.
Pros & Cons
When weighing your decision about which VPN service to use, it’s important to see both the positives and negatives. We’ve got them all in one convenient spot for you below.
- Unlimited device usage is a HUGE positive here, and it puts IPVanish in front of its competition
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Broad compatibility over apps, browsers, and devices
- 256-bit encryption technology
- Uses both OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols for top-of-the-line security
- Speeds comparable to most competitors’
- No limits for data transfers
- Works with:
- Somewhat expensive compared to other competitors
- Apps can have awkward or difficult-to-use interfaces
- Speeds are a mixed bag
- Website and streaming service unblocking is not as great as other VPNs
There is no free trial with IPVanish, though it does have a 30-day money-back guarantee. Still, some of its competitors offer up to 45 days in their guarantees. At roughly $5.00 per month or $40.00 per year, its prices are a little above average compared to some of the other VPNs you might select. It also costs about $10.00 extra per year if you want to take advantage of both IPVanish’s VPN capabilities and its storage capacity.
1 Year$833Per Month
$34.99 first year Then $99.99 Per YearSave 24%
One positive note here is that IPVanish occasionally runs specials. It also allows new and existing users to access coupons that can save money. By bundling its VPN and storage services, and by discounting year-long subscriptions, it can be a good choice for those of us working on a budget.
We’ve all been browsing a website only to have its pages load extremely slowly. Most of the time, that means we click away. But what if it’s something we truly need, like a work-related website or a research source? Slow speeds are the constant phantom haunting VPNs, as the high level of privacy and security measures can bog down your internet speed.
Unfortunately, that’s the case with IPVanish. Depending on which server you’re connected to, you might experience occasional dips in performance. While this isn’t uncommon and certainly isn’t a problem specific to IPVanish, it’s still an issue that VPN companies are working through.
By having servers in multiple countries, VPNs like IPVanish allow you to mask your true location, adding layers of privacy and security into your online experience. Here, IPVanish has a healthy offering. As of the time of this writing, it boasts more than 1,700 servers located in more than 75 locations around the world, with a total of over 40,000 IP addresses.
As an added bonus, IPVanish owns many of its own servers rather than having to make use of others’ hardware. This is a rare feat for a VPN company, and it means IPVanish has more control over its offerings and capabilities. The number of servers on offer has steadily grown as IPVanish continues to expand, so we expect additional features, services, servers, and apps in the future.
|Storage opportunities||allows up to 500 GB per user, using SugarSync|
|Emphasis on customer service||24/7 on-site support|
|No-logs policy||the official IPVanish policy is to have zero usage logs, keeping your information totally safe|
|Excellent data transfer||no caps on data transfers,|
|App compatibility||Android, iOS, Windows Linux, Mac, FireTV, Chrome, and routers|
|Advanced security||makes use of highly secure 256-bit encryption as well as OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols|
|Expansive||over 40,000 IP addresses and 1,700 servers in more than 75 regions|
|Torrenting||includes P2P-dedicated servers for file sharing purposes|
|No device limit||unmetered usage and use of SugarSync allows you to use the service on any device|
|Free trial||none, but comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee|
|Subscriptions available||monthly and yearly|
Allows up to 500 GB per user, using SugarSync
IPVanish is known for its extensive functionality, making a good choice for people who have at least some experience with VPNs. As a result, its user interface can be a bit complex and even confusing in some cases. When you boot IPVanish, you can expect to see options for connecting to various servers, a graph of your real-time internet speed, kill-switch accessibility, and more. It also has stats regarding the time you connect with different servers, amounts of data uploaded and downloaded, etc.
In short, we expect this to be a platform that many people who are somewhat familiar with VPNs can take advantage of. While it can be a bit cluttered at times, it provides you with all the tools you need to understand exactly how the service is working for you.
Many of us browse the web on our phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. The IPVanish client is compatible with and has apps for a variety of these, including even Amazon’s Fire TV. It works with routers, iOS, Android, and more. It can be used with operating systems like Windows and Linux, and many browsers, such as the popular Google Chrome.
Mobile apps launch with a Quick Connect screen that allows fast access to the best available server at the time. They also, like laptop and desktop versions, display real-time stats on your usage. However, one issue with this is that it might not be necessary for all users, and such add-ons may deplete your battery.
- English (US)
- English (UK)
- English (AU)
A no-logs policy means that the VPN you use doesn’t record information on your usage. This is crucial for providing a safe, private internet browsing experience. If a VPN were to log your usage information, ultimately it would be vulnerable to exposing your personal data.
IPVanish has a strict no-logs policy. While some information may be temporarily stored for assistance purposes, nothing is logged and nothing remains for any would-be hackers to collect. While this is a good policy and is echoed by other VPNs, we found no evidence of an outside audit for IPVanish. Outside audits are useful because an external agency or company can come in and verify that the VPN does not keep logs. Without one, users may not trust the claims.
Split tunneling gives a user control over which devices use the VPN and which use the usual internet service provider. In other words, it splits the devices you’re using, and the apps you’re using on those devices, into separate tunnels of activity. This can help with speeds and help you keep your data secure. IPVanish does offer split tunneling on its different platforms.
IPVanish uses AES 256-bit encryption. This is an impressive level of encryption that many top-of-the-line VPNs also use in order to keep their subscribers’ data private and entirely secure. You do not have to worry about your information leaking, because this is one of the most secure forms of encryption available on the market.
Interested in securing your online browsing history and activity? Want to keep the meddling eyes of the Big Tech companies away from your data? Luckily, IPVanish is compatible across several browsers. It can be used in Linux-based browsers, Chrome, macOS, and more. However, we did not see evidence of actual browser extensions or plug-ins that could make usage a bit more user-friendly.
A kill switch cuts off your access to the internet when a VPN server’s connection is down. The purpose of this is to keep you secure. Essentially, the severing of a connection means that you are no longer protected by that server’s VPN status. So, the kill switch immediately pulls you off the internet to ensure that outside threats don’t compromise your data.
IPVanish comes with a kill switch that is known for its reliability. As with other aspects of online safety and security, IPVanish takes no chances here and continues to bat above average. You can rest assured that, in the event of a connection severance, the kill switch will kick in.
IPVanish does not have a RAM-disk mode. RAM-disk VPNs are often much more secure and can be much faster, but very few VPN providers currently offer them. Without offering a RAM-disk mode, there is a potential that some data on some of IPVanish’s servers could become vulnerable to attacks by outside entities. However, this should not count too much against the VPN, since many of its competitors also do not currently have a RAM-disk mode.
With the ability to run games through IPVanish on unlimited devices and consoles, many gamers will no doubt turn to the service. But is it secure? The short answer is that it is. It uses both OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, 256-bit encryption, and even IP leak protection. There is very little risk that any of your information will be exposed to a threat, leaving you to game online in peace.
Users of IPVanish can select different security protocols depending on their needs. OpenVPN is the most popular, but IKEv2 is also available. Security is really the name of the game when it comes to virtual private networks, and IPVanish seems to have a primary focus on this area. That’s good news, and it should prevent any harm from coming to your desktop or laptop computer through online attacks. It can also help avoid issues with WiFi censorship and website blocking.
While IPVanish is versatile, we found its lack of browser listings a bit concerning. It is compatible with a wide variety of operating systems but does not appear to have significant browser extensions or plug-ins at this time. Security-wise, your internet privacy experience should not be affected by which browser you use. Additionally, the no-logs policy at IPVanish means that your browsing history should remain totally secure and private.
One minor quibble is that IPVanish does not have a kill switch for mobile apps. That means, if you’re on your mobile device, you don’t have the added security of the kill switch if you lose connection with the server. Your online data may still be vulnerable. However, we expect this to change soon, as controversy over security features among VPN providers has led to an increased push for additional measures.
IPVanish uses the OpenVPN protocol on routers, which is the safest, most secure setup. As long as your router is set up properly to run IPVanish, you shouldn’t have any security concerns. However, the manual setup of a router can be confusing to some, and we worry that this may leave users vulnerable. Still, routers are an essential tool with IPVanish if you want to take advantage of its unlimited device policy.
Some controversy has surrounded IPVanish since 2016, primarily due to its apparent cooperation with the United States government. Despite its no-logs policy, it reportedly provided some information to authorities regarding a user’s internet usage. This is concerning, but it may be a direct consequence of IPVanish’s headquarters location. Unlike some other VPNs that are based in privacy-friendly countries with specific laws designed to keep internet usage private, IPVanish is headquartered in Orlando, Florida. This is not as privacy-friendly as we would like, as the United States is part of the “14 Eyes” surveillance alliance.
IPVanish works only on DD-WRT routers. This is a cause for some concern, not necessarily for privacy matters, but because of its exclusive nature. The company also partners with FlashRouters to provide routers that have the service pre-installed, but this comes with a price. Manual setup can be difficult, even causing permanent damage or destruction of your router, so really this can be seen as an additional cost of the service, which some users may object to.
When VPNs are audited by external agencies or companies, it’s a way of instilling more confidence among users that its privacy and security policies are just as effective as the VPN claims. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that IPVanish has followed in the footsteps of some of its other competitors by getting an external audit. That, coupled with the controversy of possible user data logging in 2016, has depleted some of the trust that the service once held among its users.
Lightway is a protocol developed by ExpressVPN. It is designed as a competitive alternative to protocols like OpenVPN. IPVanish does not run the Lightway protocol, but the good news is that this can mean better speeds. In some early tests between the two, OpenVPN performed at higher speeds than the Lightway protocol in some cases.
How to install
Installation of IPVanish is a simple process. After subscribing and paying for the service (either monthly or on a year-long plan), you will download the program and install it on your computer following easy-to-use prompts. IPVanish also provides a complete list of guides for each operating system, so any questions are easily answered. Upon booting up the installed software, you will be prompted to connect to a server, and you’re off and running!
IPVanish is a bit more expensive than some of its competitors, and it has had its issues in regards to both security and privacy controversies and user interface problems. That said, it may well be worth the money. Not only does it provide comprehensive information on its products and services through handy guides, but it also has a blog dedicated to all things VPN. Plus, customer service is available around the clock through live chat, a support desk, and a help center.
Streaming and Torrenting
Streaming and torrenting are among the most popular reasons for using a virtual private network. Most VPNs actively boast about these features, since many users seek out their services specifically for these purposes. Here, we’ve got a bit of a mixed bag. Unfortunately, IPVanish can use a bit more in the streaming category. Yes, you can use it to connect to sites like YouTube, SlingTV, Twitter, Facebook, and more, but IPVanish doesn’t advertise the major players like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+. In most reports we’ve seen, that’s because its unblocking services aren’t very effective on those sites (a major blow, in our opinion).
However, torrenting is another story. IPVanish allows unlimited file transfers across unlimited devices, and it has over 1,700 P2P (person to person) servers from which to choose. What this VPN seems to lack in streaming solutions it makes up for in torrenting prowess. How many users are more likely to torrent than stream? That’s a question they’ll have to wrestle with soon.
Gaming and Consoles
The fact that you can get unlimited access to IPVanish across any devices you own makes it a great choice for gaming and consoles. In fact, it advertises itself as the “best VPN for gaming.” In addition to its unlimited device policy, it’s also a good choice for gaming due to its security measures. It actively works against deep packet inspection, which is a technique used by internet service providers to throttle internet speeds based on usage.
In short, you can expect decent speeds while gaming with IPVanish, high-level encryption and security to keep your true identity private, a strict no-logs policy, and round-the-clock support.
Desktop and Laptops
IPVanish’s versatility is one of its key selling points. On desktop and laptop specifically, its user interface is designed to provide you with more information than your average VPN. While this may be the right call for a niche of users who desire supreme control over data transfer rates, trends, speeds, and other factors, it can be a turnoff for newer users.
We suggest clicking the connect button twice, which automatically connects you with the top available server according to IPVanish’s algorithm. Also, IPVanish can be used in a wide variety of browsers, as seen below.
IPVanish is compatible with some of the most frequently used operating systems, such as:
It can be used with Google Chrome, though we could find no information on whether IPVanish has extensions you can download. Regardless, its focus is clearly on being versatile and offering its services across a wide range of operating systems and devices.
Mobile and Tablets
Just like with gaming, IPVanish is a wonderful choice for users with several different mobile devices and tablets, such as iPads, Amazon Kindles, and others. That’s because it doesn’t limit the number of devices you can use via simultaneous connections. For comparison, some of the other top VPNs out there allow just five or six devices at a time.
On mobile and tablet devices, one minor issue is that the smaller screen can make the already somewhat clunky interface even more difficult and confusing. If you aren’t used to VPNs, how they work, and what your different options look like, this can cause some added stress.
While IPVanish offers a manual guide to setting up a compatible router, it is partnered with FlashRouters, which offers a pre-configured router for purchase. If you aren’t tech-savvy and don’t want the hassle of configuring your own router, that spells another purchase and more money spent on IPVanish (essentially, it’s a hidden cost).
The specs you’ll need on a router that runs IPVanish include:
- OpenVPN protocols
- AES 256 encryption
- DD-WRT firmware
Our experience of IPVanish is not without its downsides, but the VPN, at the end of the day, is great at what it does. Its security measures are high-level, its protocols top-notch. Its unlimited device policy is one of the best on the market, and might even completely justify its slight expensiveness. There was one controversy surrounding possible user data logging in 2016, but the company has repeatedly said that logging was not a policy then, isn’t a policy now, and won’t be a policy in the future. IPVanish also has an impressive array of servers in over 75 locations around the world, allows torrenting, and has received accolades from some of the top technology magazines and blogs. On these levels, IPVanish ranks quite highly.
Still, IPVanish has its minor flaws. A lack of a kill switch on mobile devices may be a bit of a concern for some users. Its interface, while offering more features and stats than some of its competitors, may have sacrificed user-friendliness in the name of providing lots of gadgets and gizmos. Do you really need real-time data on your internet usage? For the average user, the answer is probably not. Despite these downsides, we still think IPVanish is a darn good VPN and is especially suitable for those of us who have worked with VPNs before or are familiar with the concept and associated terminology.
Interested in learning more about some of that terminology? Check out more of our VPN content here.
Check out the answers to frequently asked questions about IPVanish.
Is IPVanish free?
IPVanish is not free. In fact, its pricing structure is a bit aggressive and on the expensive side. To use the service, you’ll need to sign up for a monthly or yearly subscription. However, it does allow users to redeem a 30-day money-back guarantee to recoup their costs if the service is not to their liking.
Is IPVanish safe?
IPVanish is very safe. It uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is one of the toughest forms of encryption to break. It also uses OpenVPN and other protocols that are highly secure. If you’re browsing on a desktop or laptop, the service’s kill switch is also a neat safety feature, cutting you off the internet whenever your server connection fails so that your information is kept safe from potential vulnerability. Unfortunately, though, the kill switch is not available on mobile devices. We hope that changes.
Is IPVanish legal?
IPVanish is a legal service. It is based in the United States, where virtual private networks (VPNs) are currently legal. However, laws can change, and not all countries in the world allow the legal use of VPNs. To ensure that it is legal where you live, you’ll need to look up the laws in your specific region.
How does IPVanish work?
IPVanish is a virtual private network of over 1,700 servers in more than 75 locations around the world. When you use it, you access the internet through one of those servers, effectively hiding your IP address (which can be used to track your data, such as your location). Also, IPVanish makes use of significant encryption techniques and both OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. These are among the safest ways to keep your internet browsing history private, secure, and safe from prying eyes or online cyberattacks.