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IPVanish Review

By Simon Migliano | Updated November 1, 2019

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Ranked #2 out of 74 VPNs

IPVanish screenshot

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IPVanish claims that it’s the “World’s Best VPN” on its homepage.

Seen this sort of statement before, right?

It’s certainly very popular with Android and Fire TV Stick users, but is it really the best overall?

We never take a provider’s word for it, so we put IPVanish VPN to the test – a very extensive one – to see if its claims are to be believed.

In this IPVanish review you’ll find all the answers you need, especially:

  • How good is it?
  • Is it safe to use?
  • How fast is it?
  • Does it work with Netflix?
  • Is torrenting and P2P allowed?
  • Is it still a no-logs VPN?

But before we answer each of these (and many more) questions, lets see the pros and cons of IPVanish VPN:

Overview

IPVanish Pros & Cons

  1. Very impressive speeds
  2. Works with Netflix
  3. Great for torrenting & Kodi
  4. No-logs policy & no IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks
  5. User-friendly apps for PC, Mac, iOS, & Android
  6. Good server network across 50 countries
  1. Won't work with BBC iPlayer, or in China
  2. Short refund period
  3. Based in privacy-unfriendly US
  4. Desktop app could be more user-friendly

IPVanish Key Summary

Top Download Speed84Mbps
Logging PolicyNo Logs
IP, DNS or WebRTC LeaksNo
JurisdictionUS (Five-Eyes Member)
Servers1,300
IP Addresses40,000+
Countries50
US NetflixYes
TorrentingUnlimited
Works in ChinaNo
Support24/7 Live Chat
Cheapest Price$3.25/mo over 12 Months
Official WebsiteIpvanish.com

As you can see IPVanish certainly does have many strengths to shout about.

It’s now time to take a close look at who’s behind the company and whether it’s still a log-free VPN service.

About & Logging Policy

Who is IPVanish?

IPVanish VPN was first released in 2012 by its former US-based owner HighWinds Network Group. IPVanish has since been acquired by StackPath and in 2019 by J2 Global which are both US-based companies.

As you can see IPVanish has always been operated by companies headquartered in the US, which does have very intrusive surveillance laws and is a member of the Five-Eyes data sharing agreement.

The fact that it’s based in the US is largely irrelevant though: its no-logs policy means no identifiable information is collected by the VPN provider. This was not the case a few years ago, as you’ll find out below.

Logging Policy

IPVanish doesn’t collect any user data, making it a no-logs VPN service.

Considering most VPN logging policies track at least server load or login information for maintenance purposes, this is what makes IPVanish a standout VPN for privacy.

However, it wasn’t always like this. In 2016, under previous management, IPVanish was found to be collecting logs when it handed information over to US authorities to aid in the prosecution of a user.

When it first received the non-legally binding summons, it only confirmed that the user’s IP address belonged to that user, but when pressed by the authorities, it turned over detailed connection logs that could then be used to identify the suspect.

IPVanish has since being acquired twice, and it appears to have turned things around. We carried out due diligence and grilled the company’s leadership and we’re happy to say that we no longer have concerns about its approach to user privacy.

Speed & Reliability

IPVanish is a consistently fast VPN

IPVanish is a very fast VPN service, with some of the quickest speeds we’ve seen in our tests.

The VPN didn’t slow down our Internet connection too much, with speeds fast enough for HD or 4K streaming.

Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server.

Before using IPVanish:

  1. DownloadMbps

    93.76

  2. UploadMbps

    97.58

  3. Pingms

    2

When connected to IPVanish:

  1. DownloadMbps

    84.13

  2. UploadMbps

    90.33

  3. Pingms

    7

Download speed without IPVanish: 93.76Mbps

Download speed with IPVanish: 84.13Mbps

Our download speed loss when IPVanish is running: 10%

Downloads, uploads and latency when using IPVanish are among the best we’ve seen, making this VPN a very smart choice for gamers and torrenters.

It’s also one of the most reliable VPN services we’ve seen, providing consistently fast speeds from one test to the next.

Here are the average speeds you can expect when using IPVanish to connect out to various locations around the world (from the UK):

  • USA: 53Mbps (download) & 37Mbps (upload)
  • Germany: 76Mbps (download) & 81Mbps (upload)
  • Singapore: 25Mbps (download) & 2Mbps (upload)
  • Australia: 24Mbps (download) & 6Mbps (upload)

Server Locations

40,000+ IP addresses across 77 locations

Globe with a blue flag50Countries
Image of a city landscape75Cities
Image of a pink marker40,000+IP Addresses

IPVanish VPN gives access to more than 1,300 servers worldwide and over 40,000 IP addresses, which is one of the highest number of IP addresses provided by a VPN service. This means that you’re unlikely to experience VPN server congestion and slow speeds while connected to IPVanish.

The 50 countries in its server network are well spread-out, including some less common nations like Moldova and the Philippines (in addition to all the typical countries like US, UK, Canada, Australia, and more).

List of IPVanish server locations

City-level options are available in the US (15 cities), UK (3), Canada (3) Australia (2) and Brazil (2).

US-based users can choose from IPVanish servers in:

  • Central – Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston
  • East – Ashburn, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New York
  • West – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Seattle

We’d love to see more city-level selections in Australia – mainly Perth which is located on the West coast – and more servers in South America, other than Brazil and Colombia. The overall high number of VPN servers is enough to offset these minor complaints, though.

What’s more, IPVanish is one of the few VPN providers to own its entire (or very close to) server infrastructure, meaning they rent very few servers from third-parties.

Streaming & Torrenting

Excellent choice for torrenting & Netflix

Despite its fast speeds, IPVanish is just not a great VPN for streaming.

Most of IPVanish’s US and UK servers work for Netflix, although it can occasionally take a while to load, but all of its UK servers are currently blocked by BBC iPlayer and according to IPVanish they are not looking to fix this.

If streaming BBC iPlayer is important to you, read through our dedicated guide or take a look at our NordVPN or CyberGhost reviews, two VPN services that work well with BBC iPlayer.

IPVanish has also confirmed it isn’t working with Amazon Prime Video or Hulu at the moment.

Torrenting

IPVanish is, however, one of the best VPN services for torrenting we’ve tested, with very fast speeds and a watertight logging policy.

Torrenting is permitted on all of its servers and when we checked for IP or DNS leaks, we found none.

Not to mention that it has a VPN kill switch, but more on this below.

Therefore, we recommend IPVanish VPN for all P2P activity including Kodi for which it’s currently the #1 VPN service.

Bypassing Censorship

No good for China & high censorship countries

IPVanish is very upfront in saying that it won’t work in China, despite being equipped with an array of obfuscation tools.

We really appreciate IPVanish’s honesty on this topic. IPVanish also provides a useful list of other countries the VPN won’t work in:

List of IPVanish banned countries

IPVanish states that it is “forbidden to do business in”:

  • Myanmar
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Sudan
  • Syria

IPVanish states that its domain, ipvanish.com, is blocked in:

  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • China
  • Kazakhstan

You can find all this information IPVanish’s website.

It’s not just IPVanish’s domain that is blocked in these countries, many users have also reported that its VPN apps don’t work either.

Based on this, if you live or are travelling to a high censorship country you should use one of these VPNs to bypass aggressive internet censors.

Platforms & Devices

Works with all major platforms & devices

Apps

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

IPVanish has custom VPN apps for all popular mobile and desktop operating systems so you can use them on:

  • PCs
  • Apple Macs
  • iPhones
  • Android devices

You can also set it up on other devices using manual workarounds (see the ‘Games Consoles & Streaming Devices’ section below).

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

AppleTV LogoAppleTV
Amazon Fire TV LogoAmazon Fire TV
Chromecast LogoChromecast
Nintendo LogoNintendo
PlayStation LogoPlayStation
Roku LogoRoku
Xbox LogoXbox

You can also use IPVanish with gaming consoles and streaming devices.

IPVanish is our number 1 pick for the increasingly popular Amazon Firestick, and it’s super easy to install and use.

You can use it up to 10 devices at once, which is very generous (the average among VPN providers is about 5 simultaneous connections).

You can also install IPVanish on your home router which allows you to use it on your PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, and many more devices.

Browser Extensions

Unfortunately IPVanish doesn’t have any VPN browser extensions, which is a real shame. This is one of the very few areas where it seriously lags behind its competitors.

If you want to use a VPN extension with your web browser then take a look at our:

Encryption & Security

One of the safest VPN providers

Protocol

IKEv2/IPSec

L2TP/IPSec

OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)

PPTP

Encryption

AES-256

Security

DNS Leak Blocking

First-party DNS

IPV6 Leak Blocking

Supports TCP Port 443

VPN Kill Switch

Advanced features

SOCKS

Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more.

We believe that IPVanish is one of the most secure and private VPN services available.

The VPN app mainly uses the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols and encrypts your online traffic with the ‘unbreakable’ AES-256 cipher, meaning you’re protected at all times. You can also connect using L2TP/IPsec, if you prefer.

IPVanish has a VPN kill switch to protect your privacy in case of a connection drop, plus a host of other advanced features. This even includes SOCKS5 web proxy, which masks your IP address on P2P and VoIP connections – although it doesn’t encrypt traffic.

We also found IPVanish to be free of IP or DNS leaks in our most recent tests:

IPVanish leak test results from browserleaks.com

IPVanish’s leak test results when connected to its Chicago server

Ease of Use

User-friendly install with lots of advanced features

How to Install & Set Up IPVanish

The desktop VPN clients are perfectly simple to use and have recently gone through a complete makeover, which was long overdue.

The advanced privacy settings are also easy to navigate, making IPVanish suited to both VPN beginners and more experienced users.

The mobile apps do lack a few key features, such as the VPN kill switch, but they’re still fast and secure.

Customer Support

Helpful support with 24/7 live chat

24/7 Email supportYes
Online ResourcesYes

IPVanish customer support agents were friendly and helpful no matter what we asked them. IPVanish also has 24-hour live chat support on its website.

The company also has excellent email support, with impressively well-written responses, as well as an online FAQ section for straightforward solutions to the most common issues.

If for any reason the VPN isn’t working properly, you should be able to fix it quickly by following these guides.

Pricing & Deals

Worth it for the level of service

IPVanish Coupon

IPVanish Pricing Plan

IPVanish is reasonably priced and affordable. It is neither the cheapest VPN service, nor the most expensive.

They’re running a special promotion this month and for $3.25 per month you can get a 12-month plan, which is 73% cheaper than the standard one-month plan, normally priced at $11.99 (currently discounted down to $5.00 per month). The 3-month subscription is priced at $4.50 per month.

The IPVanish seven-day money-back guarantee is 100% no-questions-asked and you’ll be refunded within 10 working days.

Our only issue is with the iOS policy – if you sign up for IPVanish via the App Store then you won’t qualify for the money-back guarantee. That seems a bit harsh.

Another drawback is that IPVanish only accepts credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal. Unfortunately neither cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin nor international options like Alipay are currently supported.

The Bottom Line

Do We Recommend IPVanish?

We absolutely recommend IPVanish, and if you’re a Fire Stick TV or Kodi fan then it’s the best VPN for you right now.

But IPVanish does have a few limitations that you need to be aware of, particularly:

  • Won’t work with some streaming services
  • Blocked in China, UAE, and potentially more
  • No VPN browser extensions

Sound like a problem to you? Then take a look at the alternative VPNs below.

Alternatives to IPVanish

ExpressVPN Logo

ExpressVPN

As our top-rated VPN service, ExpressVPN excels in almost every department. It's Fire TV Stick app may not be as good, but ExpressVPN beats IPVanish in most other respects. Read ExpressVPN review

VyprVPN logo

VyprVPN

If you live in or plan on traveling to China (or any other high censorship country) take a look at VyprVPN and its very efficient obfuscation technology. Read VyprVPN review

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon leads our investigations into VPN safety and internet freedom research. His work has been featured on the BBC, CNet, Wired and The Financial Times. Read full bio

Top10VPN

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Already use IPVanish? Tell us what you think.

When a review is marked "Verified Customer" it means we've verified that the reviewer has had a genuine experience with the company.

Best Positive Review
 100% 

IPVanish does what it should and it does it well.

Verified Customer

A great service at a great price. Stable and reliable connections with fast speeds. The IPVanish application works and looks great on both Mac and iPhone. The iPhone app has an OnDemand connection feature that ensures you’re always using the service even whilst jumping between WiFi networks or when reconnecting to your service provider. Awesome!

Best Critical Review
 40% 

OK but not for BBC

Long term user. Takes long time to load up on and connect on iPad independent of router speed and no good for BBC which recognises all UK servers as outside of UK and blocks access.

Showing 10 out of 170 reviews
  1.  20% 

    kills download speed

    I've ben using IPvanish for about 4 months. I have 1GIG internet. W/out IPvanish i get approx 230megs at my Firestick TV, with IPvanish connected, i'm reduced to about 70megs @ .20ms here in houston, no matter what server i use. if i use further away servers where the ping takes about .60ms it drops to about 25 meg. it is * ridiculous and further leads me to belive that IPvanish is doing what they warn people about the free VPN's that "scavange" your Download speed. I can accept a drop to 150megs, even 100megs download speeds, but 70?? im not even as upset about the drop as to really where is all of my 160megs end up, they do not just vanish into thin air, that is why i say, that my excess internet is being somehow being harnessed and you know the rest of the story!

    Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
    Simon | Top10VPN Expert

    Hi Alfred,

    Thank you for your email. We understand your frustration.

    During our tests we experienced a 10% speed drop when connecting to IPVanish servers in the same country. It's worth getting in touch with IPVanish through their 24/7 live chat support so that they try and troubleshoot the speed issues you're having.

  2.  40% 

    dont work

    I've been a customer for three months and for two of them I haven't been able to get it to work at all. When I try it tells me that my creds. have expired but issues has been fixed but still can't get on I don't think I like this service much.

    Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
    Simon | Top10VPN Expert

    Hi Jack, thanks for the review! Have you tried getting in touch with IPVanish's customer support to sort out this issue? They provide a 24/7 live chat feature and are very quick to respond. We've been testing IPVanish for over a year consistently and haven't experienced this issue, so the customer support team should be able to resolve it for you.

  3.  60% 

    Netflix

    IP vanish doesn't work with Netflix. Every time I try to get on Netflix with my VPN running,it stops working and tells me I have to turn my VPN off

    Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
    Simon | Top10VPN Expert

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your review!

    We have found IPVanish to work with Netflix, but not on all US VPN servers. In our most recent tests, we found the Dallas server to work with Netflix.

    If you're ever stuck, you can reach out to IPVanish's 24/7 live chat support team who can let you know which servers are currently working with Netflix.

    Hope that helps!

  4.  20% 

    Nightmare to cancel

    I haven't used the product for 3 years but I am still being charged on my credit card. Support team very hard to reach from overseas

  5.  100% 

    Simple & Effective

    Verified Customer

    Simple, straightforward, and always connects. Although the speed does drop by using a vpn, it doesn't affect the smooth streaming experience. The app could be improved but it's manageable. Recommended!

  6.  100% 

    Amazing Speed & Security For Traders

    Verified Customer

    I use for forex and crypto trading with max security and effectively perfect speeds min to no latency . Great coding guys best VPN yet . Recommended to every security and finance executive. Pls make fonts bigger only criticism x

  7.  80% 

    2 months with IPVanish

    Verified Customer

    Very good connections to the servers and to the internet. The availability of server in Canada is lower than other provider but ping is low compared to other providers. This VPN provider is great for gaming and there is barely no lag. Streaming is done without a single drop of connection.

  8.  100% 

    I really like IPVanish :)

    Verified Customer

    First of all, Greetings from Bulgaria:) I simply like your service, works fine and does not slow my connection a lot (5-10% max), easy to setup , easy to use and since I do not it constantly use, it can be easily configured not to auto start when either my android TV boxes or PC starts. Alan

  9.  100% 

    IP Vanish is what it says it is, strong privacy tool

    Verified Customer

    I found IP Vanish on a blog somewhere and loaded it, and have used it several times since loading and it has met my expectations so far. I have chosen several different IP endpoints and tested with a what-is-my-IP service and it validates. I generally pair the use of IP Vanish with the Tor Browser for best Privacy, but that is not necessary. There is an App on the iPhone App store for my Mac-moobile devices, so I may selectively use t there too, The installation on the Windows platform is a Registered publisher, this is developer-best practice. Excellent overall rating so far for IP Vanish.

  10.  100% 

    Why an user client became confident user

    Verified Customer

    I was unsure about masking my IP address or anything of that nature. I'm not very savy about these things but I wanted to use Kodi and it was recommended I get a service of some sort. So I looked up the best provider Google knew of and IPVaniah came up. I read the reviews, all the special offers, pretty much all the info I could get. I was very pleased because I use pc , Android, Xbox , and Linux .IPVanish covers them all , the download was simple and I was off and running The real test is when I had my server in Hungary or something like that and you Pandora wouldn't play because they don't offer service there and my Google page home screen loaded with some weird local stuff. Pretty impressive to say the least. I tell everyone I know how great the service I and it's fast.