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IPVanish Review

Simon Migliano
Simon MiglianoUpdated
IPVanish
Our rating: 4.6
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Super fast zero-logs VPN. Great for P2P. Lots of extra privacy features.

What we like
  • Fast download speeds - 36Mbps global average
  • Top class upload speeds and latency
  • Currently working to access Netflix
  • P2P and torrenting permitted on all servers
  • Simple set-up on popular devices
  • Connect securely to 61 countries

IPVanish is an excellent zero-logs VPN for for torrenting, Kodi and other P2P use, and gaming. Not only is it super secure and private, it’s also incredibly fast. Download speeds are incredible in many popular server locations while upload speeds worldwide are best-in-class and latency is extremely low. The one trade-off is limited streaming access, as although Netflix is currently working, BBC iPlayer remains blocked. Custom apps are available for a decent range of devices, including Amazon Fire TV, and are simple to set up and use. Many routers are also supported.

IPVanish offers strong encryption and lots of privacy positives such as first-party DNS servers and a VPN killswitch. It doesn’t even collect basic connection metadata, making it a true zero-logs VPN. Customer support is fairly basic but packs in a lot of useful information, and a recent update has introduced a 24/7 live chat feature.

Pricing & Deals

IPVanish offers a range of pricing plans, so choosing your ideal option should be simple. Like most other providers the longer subscription you opt for, the less you pay on a monthly basis.

The biggest savings can be found on the 12-month plan, coming in at just $6.49 on a monthly basis, which is good value for money.

IPVanish Pricing & Deals

The prices below include the coupon savings.

Best Value Deal
12 Months
US$6.49/mo
Save 46%
$77.99 billed every 12 months
3 Months
US$8.99/mo
Save 25%
$26.99 billed every 3 months
1 Month
US$10.00/mo
$10.00 billed every month
Get IPVanish7-day money-back guarantee

IPVanish offers a 7-day money-back guarantee for those who are not ‘100% satisfied’ with their service. This is a genuine “no questions asked” guarantee with no restrictions or fair usage policies, simply cancel your subscription within the first 7 days and you will receive your refund within 10 working days.

Bear in mind that if you sign up through the iOS app you don’t qualify for the money-back guarantee, however IPVanish does offer a 1-day free trial for iOS users. Just don’t forget to turn off the auto-renew account setting, otherwise after 24 hours you will automatically renew to a monthly subscription.

Payment Options

IPVanish accepts a range of different payment options, including most credit/debit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin and several international options such as AliPay, GiroPay and CashU. Bitcoin and GiroPay unfortunately cannot be used to pay for recurring subscriptions.

Speed & Reliability

IPVanish has some of the fastest download speeds to date in our tests. Its best servers are absolutely outstanding: if you are near Toronto, San Francisco, Singapore, London or Paris and mainly need to connect locally then IPVanish is very hard to beat. Globally, it’s more of a mixed bag, with some poorer performing servers dragging down the global average speed to a less spectacular but still respectable 36Mbps, which is more than enough to handle multiple downloads and HD video streams. Uploads and latency however are much more consistently among the best we’ve seen, making IPVanish a very smart choice for gamers and users of P2P software, such as Kodi or torrent clients.

IPVanish Performance Data

  • Download Speed Average:36.37 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:73.08 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:139 ms
  • Download Speed Average:52.75 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:253.92 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:40 ms
  • Download Speed Average:160.28 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:226.20 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:1 ms
  • Download Speed Average:120.64 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:355.80 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:99.37 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:189.36 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:295.85 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:248.36 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:71.19 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:389.14 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:5 ms
  • Download Speed Average:139.20 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:347.45 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:96.16 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:100.59 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:95.85 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:65.13 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:4 ms
  • Download Speed Average:208.38 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:423.62 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:1 ms
  • Download Speed Average:103.46 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:55.90 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:17 ms

IPVanish offers extremely fast downloads on local connections, peaking at a phenomenal average speed of 296Mbps, while other hotspots average 131Mbps. Connections to the US typically approached 19Mbps, nothing to get excited about but enough to handle HD streaming and downloading. Some more distant connections performed well, such as San Fran to Sydney (79Mbps) but if you want to connect out from Australia or Japan, expect most connections to struggle to reach a paltry 8Mbps.

We also logged fantastically low latency of less than 1ms for users in Toronto and Frankfurt, and under 2ms in New York, Singapore and Sydney, making IPVanish a dream for torrenters and gamers. Most other locations had a ping of well under 4ms, however Amsterdam is an exception at a very laggy 40ms.

IPVanish connects reasonably quickly at around 10 seconds on average, and performance was very reliable with little fluctuation. We also experienced barely any connection drops, so as long as you have a stable internet connection you shouldn’t have any issues.

IPVanish’s upload speeds are the best we have seen from any VPN provider. Average local upload speeds were incredibly fast at 241Mbps, and some individual servers tested significantly higher than that, such as Toronto with a phenomenal 424Mbps, making it extremely appealing to P2P users.

While IPVanish is certainly very fast, it lacks consistency in download speeds. If you only need to connect locally then IPVanish is a fantastic choice if you need speed. Performance on international connections is much less consistent however, so carefully consider your locational needs before choosing IPVanish. While long distance speeds are often respectable, there are faster options out there for this kind of connection.

To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How we test for VPN speed performance.

Features

Server Locations

61Countries61Countries
81Cities81Cities
40,000+IP Addresses40,000+IP Addresses

IPVanish’s server network is above average size, covering the most popular locations across the world. For most people, 61 countries will be more than enough to choose from, but should you need more choice then there are other providers that do offer more.

Where IPVanish really stands out is its 1,000+ individual servers and 40,000+ IP addresses, which is one of the largest number of IPs we’ve seen on offer. This is great for performance, as you’re unlikely to suffer slowdowns due to server congestion. It also less likely that your traffic will be identified as via a VPN.

The choice of 17 US cities puts IPVanish up there with the best providers for US coverage, although midwest and northern states are not covered. Five cities in the UK puts it a little behind the very best VPNs, but that’s more than enough for most.

The Asia Pacific region is pretty well covered, with city-level server choice in Australia and India. It’s nice to see servers in some countries that are not usually broadly available, such as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, as well as the usual options like Japan and Hong Kong.

You can find the complete list of IPVanish server locations by country and purpose on their website below.

Platforms & Devices

Apps

Windows LogoWindows
Mac LogoMac
iOS LogoiOS
Android LogoAndroid
Linux LogoLinux
Router LogoRouter

IPVanish offers the usual range of native apps for various devices including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Amazon Fire TV. They have also partnered with FlashRouters, InvizBox and Sabai Technology to provide a series of pre-configured routers with IPVanish already installed, so all you have to do is plug in and connect your devices.

On IPVanish’s website you can also find a series of manual set-up guides for those devices without specific apps, including Linux and Chromebook. They also provide step-by-step instructions to manually configure your existing router to support the software.

Browser extensions

IPVanish, unlike some other top-tier VPN providers, unfortunately does not offer browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Most of their rivals offer at least a proxy extension, with ExpressVPN providing full-featured extensions for all popular browsers. This probably won’t be too much of an issue for most, but if you’re a heavy browser user looking for a more lightweight experience you might want to look into alternative options.

Console & Streaming Devices

AppleTV LogoAppleTV
Amazon Fire TV LogoAmazon Fire TV

Only the Amazon Fire TV and Stick have their own native app or dedicated solution. In order to use consoles or any other streaming device, you will need to connect via a router with a VPN configuration or piggyback off a VPN connection from another device running the IPVanish app, such as laptop or smartphone.

There are set-up guides for many such devices, such AppleTV and Roku, which are very easy to follow. However the lack of dedicated solutions for consoles and streaming devices makes it clear that convenient streaming is not the top priority for IPVanish.

Streaming & Torrenting

While IPVanish is fast enough for buffer-free HD streaming on multiple devices, access to some major streaming sites is unfortunately very inconsistent. Netflix fans will be pleased to hear that most US servers are currently working with the service, and excellent performance in this country means you can watch your favorite shows in buffer-free HD. Sadly this isn’t the case with BBC iPlayer, which is currently blocked on all UK servers following recent crackdowns on VPN traffic by the BBC.

Rather than devote their resources to an endless battle with the streaming sites, IPVanish has instead diverted its resources into becoming the best possible VPN for P2P traffic and being highly competitive on privacy in general. Devoted BBC viewers may have to look elsewhere but keen Kodi fans or heavy torrenters should seriously consider IPVanish. Local download speeds are absolutely fantastic, while upload speeds are also consistently amazing. P2P traffic is allowed on all servers while a zero-logs policy and a suite of powerful privacy tools keeps all activity protected.

Encryption & Security

IPVanish has a load of great security features that make it one of our top picks for privacy. The desktop app automatically connects through OpenVPN, the most secure protocol, though there are other protocols available. Encryption is via AES-256, which is used by the US federal government and considered unbreakable.

The VPN killswitch feature is essential, as it prevents your true IP address from being leaked in case of a connection dropout. IPVanish also operates its own zero-log DNS servers which you can select on the app to prevent your traffic from being routed through third-party servers. You are also protected against DNS and IPv6 leaks, important features that are not offered by every VPN provider.

IPVanish also supports port 443 which is used for secure web traffic over HTTPS, meaning you will appear online as normal web browser traffic rather than a VPN user. This is just one of the many reasons it is so popular with those seeking online anonymity.

Protocol
  • IKEv2
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
  • PPTP
Encryption
  • AES-256
Security
  • DNS Leak Blocking
  • First-party DNS
  • IPV6 Leak Blocking
  • Supports TCP Port 443
  • VPN Killswitch
Advanced features
  • SOCKS

Bypassing Censorship

As a result of the VPN crackdown in China it is becoming increasingly difficult to recommend IPVanish to people in that country.

The only way to use the VPN service successfully is to manually configure and connect to IPVanish’s server IP addresses rather than server names. This is a lengthy and fiddly process that only enables you to connect using L2TP, a much less secure protocol. There are other providers that do a much better job of beating the censors.

IPVanish does however remain a good choice in other high-censorship countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as their decent choice of server locations means you are never too far from a free-speech country.

Privacy

Logging Policy

IPVanish is a fully zero-logs VPN, as it does not collect even basic usage statistics from its network. That means there isn’t even a record that you connected to a particular server at a particular time, as is typical with many VPN services. Their privacy policy is clear and concise, stating that the browsing activities of users logged into the VPN service is not visible to anyone at all, including IPVanish themselves.

Note that IPVanish does monitor general server performance to ensure the best possible speeds, however this does not involve any personally identifiable data and therefore cannot be traced back to individual users of the service.

Jurisdiction

IPVanish is incorporated in the United States, which is a potential red flag. However, its zero-logs policy means that there should be no data on any of its users regardless of any third-party request from the US authorities.

The IPVanish privacy policy states that in these cases they simply inform the agency making the request that they do not keep logs or retain any user data.

Ease of use

IPVanish may not have the prettiest set of apps we’ve seen, but they do work very well to get you quickly and optimally connected. The desktop app looks a little clunky and outdated, but the main menu is really simple to use, with a drop-down menu to select your preferred country or city. IPVanish will then connect you to the fastest option and display your key connection details.

More advanced features can be found in the settings menu, which is nicely organised into tabs to make it easy to navigate. We like that you can select a specific server to automatically connect to on startup, meaning you don’t even need to remember to connect when you turn on your device.

The mobile apps are very similar to the desktop client in terms of accessibility, making it very easy to choose a server and see what protocol you are using. The only disappointment is that the VPN killswitch is missing on mobile. Overall however, IPVanish’s apps are functional and feature lots of powerful privacy features for the more experienced users.

Getting started

Even if you’re a VPN newbie, installing IPVanish is an incredibly simple process and only takes a few minutes from start to finish. There are set-up guides for most popular devices on their website which are user-friendly and easy to follow. All you have to do is click on the set-up link in your welcome email, download the relevant software for your device and follow the prompts given to you by the installation wizard. After that, all that’s left to do is log in.

The installation prompts are very simple to follow, but should you need any further assistance the set-up guides will make sure you’re on the right track.

  • Installing software
  • How to use the app

Customer Support

IPVanish has recently revamped its customer support which now features 24/7 live chat with friendly, helpful agents. We were also very impressed with the email support on offer, which provided us with well-written and easy-to-understand responses, even if it was lacking a personal touch.

Their FAQs and knowledge base are certainly comprehensive, covering a wide range of issues and possible solutions. There is also a handy search feature that saves you having to scroll through lists of problems before you find what you are looking for. Video tutorials would be a welcome addition here, and would help to bring IPVanish more up to speed with its rivals.

The Bottom Line

What we like
  • Among the fastest same-country connection speeds
  • Super-quick upload speeds ideal for P2P users
  • Very easy to use. Instant set-up on most devices
  • Good-sized global network - connect securely to 61 countries
  • Strict zero-logs policy
What we like less
  • Custom apps could be more user-friendly
  • Shorter refund period than leading providers (7 days)

IPVanish is one of our top picks, especially for Kodi, torrenting and other P2P, due to its excellent speeds, zero logging and extensive privacy tools. It may not be the cheapest option but offers great value on annual plans. It’s very fast indeed on same-country connections, both uploads and downloads, but less consistent on international connections across a network that’s mid-sized for locations but super-sized for servers and IP addressess. So think about how you will typically connect and then look closely at our speed test results. For many, IPVanish is near-unbeatable on speed, for others, not so much.

The desktop apps are not very user-friendly at first but make up for it with a ton of powerful privacy features including IPv6 leak protection. With a little set up time, it can still be click-and-forget though, especially given the VPN killswitch that protects you from drop-outs. The Amazon Fire TV and Stick native app is a big plus, the lack of browser extensions or dedicated solutions for other streaming devices, less so.

As long as you don’t plan to watch BBC iPlayer while connected, IPVanish can also suit streamers thanks to its impressive bandwidth. It can be made to work at a push in China, making it passable solution for a short trip, but there’s better options available. If you don’t care about either of those issues though, IPVanish is a superb VPN for both privacy and performance.