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NordVPN vs IPVanish

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Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society.

Fact-checked by Simon Migliano

Our Verdict

Overall, NordVPN performs slightly better than IPVanish in the majority of testing categories. It’s a close race, but NordVPN is faster, has better customer support, and offers greater value for money. NordVPN is also the superior VPN for streaming and bypassing censorship, but IPVanish is the better choice for torrenting.

NordVPN vs IPVanish

In this side-by-side guide, we compare NordVPN and IPVanish based on their performance in 10 different testing categories. We’ll determine which VPN is better, and what for.

Since 2016, we’ve reviewed more than 56 VPN services using our unique VPN testing methodology. This process includes security analyses, in-depth speed testing, manual streaming tests, and much more.

In this article, we’ll use our test results to perform an in-depth comparison between NordVPN and IPVanish, so you can find out which VPN is right for you.

Quick Summary: NordVPN vs IPVanish

Here’s a summary of how NordVPN and IPVanish compare in ten VPN testing categories:

Category Winner
Speed & Reliability NordVPN

NordVPN’s NordLynx VPN protocol is super fast. When connecting internationally, NordVPN was 53% faster than IPVanish in our testing.

Streaming NordVPN

NordVPN gives you more options for streaming than IPVanish. It can access 11 global Netflix libraries and almost every streaming service, while IPVanish works with just 3.

Encryption & Security NordVPN

Both VPNs use secure encryption and tunneling protocols. However, NordVPN’s advanced features put it marginally ahead in this category.

Logging & Privacy IPVanish

IPVanish and NordVPN are both no-logs VPNS. That said, IPVanish has been audited more recently, while NordVPN claims to cooperate with law enforcement.

Torrenting IPVanish

IPVanish is better than NordVPN for torrenting. It offers port-forwarding, a SOCKS5 proxy, and fast P2P download speeds.

Ease of Use NordVPN

In our experience testing, NordVPN’s apps for Android, iOS, PC, and MacOS were simpler and better-looking than IPVanish’s.

Server Locations IPVanish

IPVanish offers 80 city-level server locations, including options in Europe, North America and East Asia.

Price & Value NordVPN

NordVPN is cheaper than IPVanish on a long-term subscription plan. It costs just $3.29 a month, and comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee.

Bypassing Censorship NordVPN

Despite offering obfuscation technology, both VPN services struggle to unblock websites in China. However, NordVPN does so more reliably than IPVanish.

Customer Support NordVPN

NordVPN has built a chatbot that actually works. When that isn’t enough, its customer service representatives are fast and helpful.

We Recommend Choosing NordVPN if You Need:

  • A VPN for streaming. NordVPN unblocks an impressive 11 global Netflix libraries, along with other services including BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus.
  • Fast speeds. NordVPN has redefined how fast a VPN can be with its NordLynx protocol, with close to 0% speed loss on some connections.
  • An easy, intuitive app. All of NordVPN’s apps are well designed and intuitive to use.

Visit NordVPN or read our full NordVPN review.

We Recommend Choosing IPVanish if You Need:

  • A VPN for torrenting. IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs for torrenting, it supports port-forwarding, and includes a SOCKS5 proxy.
  • A super-strict no-logs policy. Independently audited in April 2022, IPVanish is a certified zero logs VPN.
  • Lots of city-level server options. IPVanish’s massive server network includes a remarkable number of city-specific options, especially in North America.

Visit IPVanish VPN or read our full IPVanish review.

To compare more VPN services side-by-side, use our VPN comparison tool.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Speed Tests


NordVPN and IPVanish are both very fast VPNs, but NordVPN is faster on both local and international connections. We measured average download speeds of 98Mbps when testing NordVPN on a local connection, while IPVanish measured download speeds of 84Mbps.

Winner: NordVPN

We regularly test the speeds of both NordVPN and IPVanish on local and international connections.

We use each VPN’s default tunneling protocol and measure how they affect our internet speeds when connected to multiple different server locations.

We measure:

  • Local upload & download speeds
  • International upload & download speeds
  • Ping (Latency)
  • Time to connect

Here’s a quick summary of how NordVPN and IPVanish compare when it comes to speed and reliability:

  NordVPN IPVanish
Speed & Reliability Rating 9.5 9.1
Local Download Speed 98Mbps 84Mbps
UK-US Download Speed 79Mbps 53Mbps
Local Upload Speed 95Mbps 90Mbps
Ping 8ms 7ms
Time to Connect 2.2 seconds 13.2 seconds
Fastest VPN Protocol WireGuard (NordLynx) WireGuard

NordVPN is fastest on local connections

Both NordVPN and IPVanish are consistently fast when connecting to nearby servers, but NordVPN is faster overall.

In our testing, NordVPN’s download speeds have been approximately 14% faster than IPVanish on a same-city connection.

When we connected from the UK to servers in Germany, both VPNs performed well. NordVPN recorded a download speed loss of 12%, whereas IPVanish recorded a download speed loss of 19%.

IPVanish has historically had faster upload speeds than NordVPN, but in recent months they have been much less reliable. Both VPNs reduced our upload speeds by less than 14%.

NordVPN is also faster on long-distance connections

Long distance connections are where NordVPN really starts to pull ahead of IPVanish.

When connecting from London to Australia, IPVanish’s speeds slow 24Mbps in our test. In comparison, NordVPN is impressively fast, slowing our connection by just 40%.

You can compare our full long distance download speed test results below:

Server Location NordVPN IPVanish % Speed Loss
US 79Mbps 53Mbps 33%
Germany 88Mbps 76Mbps 14%
Singapore 67Mbps 25Mbps 63%
Australia 59Mbps 24Mbps 59%

IPVanish has lower ping for smoother gaming

In our latency tests, we found NordVPN added 8ms of ping, whereas IPVanish added 7ms. Although the difference is minimal, this means IPVanish will give you a slightly smoother connection for online gaming.

We tested NordVPN and IPVanish from our 100Mbps test connection while playing popular online games including CS:GO, Fortnite and Minecraft. Neither VPN was blocked and in both cases we didn’t notice any additional lag while playing.

There’s not much between them: we find both NordVPN and IPVanish work well for gaming, but these results suggest you may get a slightly smoother connection from IPVanish.

Both NordVPN and IPVanish work well for gaming

Both NordVPN and IPVanish ran smoothly while playing CS:GO and Fortnite.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Streaming


NordVPN is a much better streaming VPN than IPVanish. Both VPNs can unblock US Netflix and BBC iPlayer, but only NordVPN can access 11 Netflix libraries as well as other streaming services like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.

Winner: NordVPN

We’ve tested both IPVanish and NordVPN to see how well they unblock geo-restricted streaming services from overseas.

We test popular services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more.

Our assessment includes other streaming features, too, such as Smart DNS, a Fire TV app, and the number of international Netflix regions each VPN unblocks.

The most important factors for streaming are:

  • Buffer-free streaming on all platforms. Accessing streaming platforms isn’t enough — they need to be fast enough to stream in HD.
  • Access to basics like US Netflix & BBC iPlayer. We expect all streaming VPNs to meet this basic threshold.
  • International Netflix libraries especially the US, UK, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and other popular libraries.
  • Other streaming services like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video etc. Only the best streaming VPNs can unlock these services.

Here’s a summary of our overall streaming performance results:

  NordVPN IPVanish
Streaming Rating 9.8 7.0
US Netflix Yes Yes
No. of Netflix Libraries 11 3
BBC iPlayer Yes Yes
HBO Max Yes No
UK-US Download Speed 79Mbps 53Mbps
Smart DNS Yes No

NordVPN unblocks Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more

IPVanish unblocks BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and some Netflix libraries, but NordVPN is the clear winner in this category. NordVPN even works with stricter services like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max.

IPVanish unblocks BBC iPlayer

IPVanish works with BBC iPlayer, but not stricter services like HBO Max.

Here’s a table comparing the streaming services that each VPN can unblock:

Streaming Service NordVPN IPVanish
Netflix Yes Yes
Disney+ Yes No
BBC iPlayer Yes Yes
Amazon Prime Video Yes No
HBO Max Yes No
Hulu Yes Yes

NordVPN unblocks every Netflix region we’ve tested

NordVPN also outshines IPVanish when it comes to unblocking global Netflix regions. It worked with every Netflix library we tested, whereas IPVanish only worked with three.

Here’s how both VPN services compare when it comes to Netflix regions:

Netflix Region NordVPN IPVanish
Australia Yes No
Brazil Yes No
France Yes No
Germany Yes No
India Yes Yes
Italy Yes No
Japan Yes No
Netherlands Yes No
South Korea Yes No
UK Yes Yes
US Yes Yes

If you want to access UK, US, or Indian Netflix then both NordVPN and IPVanish are good options. For other popular libraries though — such as Japan, South Korea, or Brazil — you will need to stick to NordVPN.

IPVanish isn’t as focused on streaming as other top VPN providers. NordVPN, by comparison, puts more resources into keeping its streaming functionality up to date.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Encryption & Security


IPVanish and NordVPN are both secure services: they use AES-256 encryption, trusted tunneling protocols, and they include a working kill switch. However, NordVPN is marginally more secure thanks to its RAM-only server network and its efforts to bring as many servers as possible in-house.

Winner: NordVPN

Our tests confirm that both NordVPN and IPVanish are safe to use. Here’s a quick summary of their encryption and security performance:

NordVPN IPVanish
Encryption & Security Rating 9.7 9.6
VPN Protocols WireGuard & OpenVPN WireGuard, OpenVPN & IKEv2
Encryption Cipher AES-256 & ChaCha20 AES-256 & ChaCha20
Kill Switch Yes Yes
Leak Protection Yes Yes
RAM-based Servers Yes No
Open-source Apps No No
Colocated Servers Yes No

Both VPNs use secure tunneling protocols and encryption ciphers

By default, both NordVPN and IPVanish use a version of the WireGuard protocol for their VPN connections from all devices. WireGuard has been tested extensively, and is completely free and open-source — which means anyone can inspect the source-code.

IPVanish offers both the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols as alternatives, while NordVPN only offers OpenVPN as an alternative (and not on every platform).

Screenshot of IPVanish's protocol settings on Windows

Unlike NordVPN, IPVanish always allows you to choose your preferred VPN protocol.

On OpenVPN connections, both services use AES-256 encryption, and on WireGuard connections both use ChaCha20 encryption.

These encryption ciphers are widely-used and tested, and have never been broken by brute force. There are currently no known vulnerabilities for either.

Both offer kill switches & effective leak protection

Both IPVanish and NordVPN have passed every leak test we’ve ever put them through. This means they don’t leak your IP, DNS, or WebRTC information.

They both have a kill switch, too. This is essential for VPN privacy and security. We tested it by deliberately cutting our VPN connection while running an IP checker tool, and both VPNs worked every time.

Comparison of leak tests between NordVPN and IPVanish

Both IPVanish and NordVPN passed all of our leak tests.

The two VPN services also own their own DNS servers, and default to using them — which means your ISP won’t see the websites you’re requesting.

NordVPN includes more advanced security features

When it comes to the very best VPN services, strong security is a bare minimum. Where a VPN can really set itself apart is in the additional features it offers. Here, NordVPN wins by a wide margin.

Along with its leak protection and kill switch, IPVanish includes two additional features: split-tunneling and a SOCKS5 proxy.

NordVPN includes all of these things, and much more. It offers obfuscated servers, double VPN, colocated servers, ad-blocking and TOR integration.

By comparison, IPVanish’s offering is quite simplistic. It includes all of the basics a VPN needs to have, but if you’re looking for advanced security features, NordVPN is more likely to have them.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Logging & Privacy


NordVPN has a better jurisdiction than IPVanish, but IPVanish is better for privacy overall. Its strict no-logs policy has been confirmed in an independent audit, and it has not suffered any recent controversies.

Winner: IPVanish

Here’s a quick of NordVPN and IPVanish’s logging and privacy performance:

  NordVPN IPVanish
Privacy & Logging Rating 9.5 9.9
Logging Policy No Logs No Logs
Jurisdiction Panama US
Independently Verified Yes Yes
Independently Verified Yes Yes

Neither NordVPN or IPVanish log your activity data

Both IPVanish and NordVPN have very private logging policies. Neither of the VPNs log your:

  • Browsing activity
  • IP address
  • Connection timestamps

In addition, neither VPN collects any information about your usage that could be personally identifiable.

Screenshot of NordVPN's logging policy

An excerpt from NordVPN’s logging policy.

NordVPN has a more private jurisdiction

NordVPN is registered in Panama, which is considered a privacy haven. There are no laws that would force NordVPN to track your activity or hand over any user logs.

In comparison, IPVanish is registered in the US, which is one of the most hostile nations to individual privacy.

However, because IPVanish keeps no user logs, it would have nothing to hand over to a government or corporation if it was asked to. For this reason, we don’t think IPVanish’s jurisdiction should work against it.

IPVanish's logging policy in brief

IPVanish’s no-logs policy makes up for its US jurisdiction.

Both VPNs carry out independent audits

Both VPNs carry out regular external audits to validate their logging policies. NordVPN’s last audit was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in 2020, while IPVanish’s last audit was carried out more recently by Leviathan Security Group in April 2022.

As of 18 January 2022, NordVPN updated its policy on requests from law enforcement. It now states that it will “comply with lawful requests as long as they are delivered according to all the laws and regulations”. This means, if compelled, NordVPN could log and share the activity of its users.

Though there is no evidence to suggest that NordVPN has shared any user data so far, it’s for this reason that IPVanish wins by a thin margin in this category.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Torrenting


NordVPN is a good choice for torrenting, but it can’t keep up with IPVanish. Both VPNs have kill switches and zero-logs policies, but IPVanish’s torrenting speeds were significantly faster in our tests. Unlike NordVPN, it also supports port forwarding, which is useful for seeding torrents effectively.

Winner: IPVanish

Our torrenting tests measure for:

  • Fast P2P speeds using our bespoke P2P testing methodology.
  • A zero-logs policy to ensure private torrenting.
  • A good privacy track record with no history of forwarding DMCA requests.
  • SOCKS5 proxy, port forwarding & other additional features for fast seeding.

Here is a quick summary of how NordVPN and IPVanish compare when it comes to torrenting:

  NordVPN IPVanish
Torrenting Rating 8.9 9.1
Avg. Download Bitrate 9.5MiB/s 9.9MiB/s
No. of P2P Servers 4250 >2000
Logging Policy No Logs No Logs
Kill Switch Yes Yes
Port Forwarding No Yes

IPVanish is faster for torrenting than NordVPN

IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs for torrenting we’ve tested. We measured a P2P download bitrate of 9.9MiB/s with IPVanish, but only 9.5MiB/s with NordVPN.

These are both very fast, and certainly fast enough for consistently good P2P performance. That said, IPVanish comes out on top.

Torrenting with NordVPN

NordVPN works well for torrenting, but it can’t keep up with IPVanish.

IPVanish allows P2P activity on every server

NordVPN has more dedicated P2P servers than IPVanish, but IPVanish allows P2P file-sharing in every one of its server locations. NordVPN, in comparison, blocks torrenting in 14 countries, including South Korea, Ukraine, and Thailand.

Put simply: IPVanish allows you to torrent in 50 different countries, while NordVPN only allows you to torrent in 45 countries.

Here’s the full list of countries where NordVPN does not permit torrenting:

  • Argentina
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Egypt
  • Georgia
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • UAE
  • Vietnam

IPVanish includes a port forwarding option

Unlike many premium VPNs (including NordVPN), IPVanish includes support for port forwarding. This is a must-have feature for advanced torrenting users, and can also be helpful for gaming with a VPN.

Port forwarding is an advanced feature that allows you to manually choose which NAT firewall port your traffic is routed through. In most cases this will speed up P2P connections, especially when seeding.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Apps & Ease of Use


NordVPN and IPVanish both have user-friendly applications for a wide variety of devices. IPVanish supports more simultaneous connections, but NordVPN has one of the easiest and most intuitive user interfaces we’ve seen.

Winner: NordVPN

We test every VPN for usability and design on different devices. Premium VPN services should offer apps that are intuitive, easy to use, and pleasant to look at.

Here’s a quick summary of how NordVPN and IPVanish compare when it comes to device compatibility:

NordVPN IPVanish
Ease of Use Rating 9.5 8.6
Simultaneous Connections 6 Unlimited
Desktop Apps Windows, macOS, Linux Windows, macOS, Linux
Browser extensions Yes No
Mobile Apps Android, iOS Android, iOS
Streaming Devices Android TV, Fire TV Android TV, Fire TV
Smart DNS Yes No
Router App Yes Yes

NordVPN has better looking apps than IPVanish

We like NordVPN’s user interface a lot. It looks good, and it’s consistent across devices and platforms, which is great for usability. Most of all, it is super easy to use on every device.

By comparison, IPVanish’s interface can be intimidating and difficult to use at times. Most users will be able to find a new server or change their settings without any issues, but it could be easier.

That said, IPVanish’s apps are getting better with time. In fact, IPVanish’s latest application layout is clearly taking inspiration from NordVPN.

IPVanish supports unlimited simultaneous connections, which is better than NordVPN’s limit of six. Practically, this means you can get more out of your subscription. For most users, though, six will be plenty.

Windows & Mac

The design of NordVPN’s app is very consistent between Windows and Mac. Its settings menus are clear, easy to find, and intuitive to use. The server map takes up most of the screen, which looks nice, but it’s not particularly functional.

By comparison, IPVanish has a less consistent design between platforms. The PC app is attractive and user-friendly, but on Mac it’s a different story. We’ve found the Mac application clunky to use: it opens as a windowed app, but the settings are separated into a menu bar app.

This can be very frustrating, and is not at all intuitive.

Comparison between NordVPN and IPVanish's Windows app.

NordVPN and IPVanish use a similar map view for their Windows apps.

Android & iOS

IPVanish really shines on Android. It’s intuitively laid out, with more settings available than on any other platform.

The app launches onto a connection page, which allows for one-click connection. All settings and location options can be accessed from tabs at the bottom of the screen. This works well, and we were able to access everything we needed with just a few taps.

The iOS app is also intuitive, with the same basic layout as Android. It has far fewer advanced options than available on Android, though. There’s no kill switch, split tunneling, or LAN exemption available.

Overall this makes iOS the worst of IPVanish’s applications.

Comparison between NordVPN and IPVanish's iOS app

NordVPN and IPVanish’s iOS apps are easy to navigate.

The situation with NordVPN couldn’t be more different: it has a very good iOS app, but a mediocre offering on Android.

Similar to IPVanish, its iOS app makes everything easy to find in one or two taps, and you can connect straight from the launch screen. It also includes a kill switch, unlike IPVanish.

We aren’t as impressed by NordVPN’s Android app. There are lots of menus and settings, which can make it more difficult to find and change important settings.

FireTV & AndroidTV

Both IPVanish and NordVPN have applications for FireTV and AndroidTV.

NordVPN’s smart TV apps are some of the most feature-complete we’ve seen, including split tunneling, a variety of protocols, and a kill switch. The app unblocks fewer Netflix libraries than the PC or mobile apps, though, which is frustrating.

There is also an option to connect to P2P-optimized servers from the app, making it a good choice if you want to set up Kodi on your Fire TV Stick.

Visually the app is a bit utilitarian, but it’s easy enough to use.

Comparison between NordVPN and IPVanish Fire TV App

IPVanish’s FireTV app includes more features than NordVPN’s.

IPVanish’s FireTV and AndroidTV apps have even more features than NordVPN’s. They include auto-startup, auto-reconnect, LAN exemption and split tunneling features. There’s a choice between OpenVPN and Wireguard protocols, too.

We’re especially keen on the app design, which balances aesthetics with advanced functionality. There’s no kill switch though, which is disappointing for an otherwise great app.

Browser Extensions & Router Support

Unlike IPVanish, NordVPN offers browser extensions for Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox. The add-ons are just proxies, not full VPNs. They only route your browser traffic, and it’s encrypted using TLS rather than AES or a similar cipher.

We don’t recommend using the browser add-ons for security, but they can be useful for location spoofing.

NordVPN's proxy service

NordVPN’s browser add-ons offer a quick, effective proxy service.

Both NordVPN and IPVanish have some router support, but IPVanish is much more comprehensive in this regard. IPVanish is compatible with the following DD-WRT enabled routers:

  • Asus
  • Belkin
  • Buffalo
  • D-Link
  • Linksys (Cisco)

You can also buy a pre-flashed IPVanish router, if the setup process is too technical for you.

NordVPN on the other hand requires a pre-flashed router. This is an expensive option, but it works well for multiple devices in your home.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Server Locations


IPVanish has the second largest VPN server network we’ve tested, which easily exceeds NordVPN’s. Both VPNs have good server networks though, with at least 50 countries available on both. While NordVPN uses some virtual servers, IPVanish’s network is made up entirely of physical servers.

Winner: IPVanish

A large server network means more options and faster connections. When testing for this category, we check:

  • The total number of servers and IP addresses available
  • The number and distribution of server locations available
  • City-level server locations
  • Whether servers are virtual or physical

Here’s a summary how NordVPN and IPVanish compare when it comes to their server networks:

NordVPN IPVanish
Server Locations Rating 9.6 9.9
Countries 59 50
City Specific Locations 27 80
IP addresses 5,600+ 40,000+
Servers 5,613 2,000

IPVanish has more VPN server locations than NordVPN

While NordVPN offers more server countries than IPVanish, IPVanish has a greater number of server locations overall, including an impressive 13 city-level options in North America.

NordVPN server locations

NordVPN’s server select screen is missing some key information, like latency.

All of IPVanish’s servers are physical, which means if you select a server location nearby, you should always expect to get good speeds. Some of NordVPN’s servers are virtual, which means they may not be located where they appear to be.

Here’s a break-down of the number of server locations each VPN offers in every continent:

Continent NordVPN IPVanish
Asia 13 8
Africa 1 0
Europe 37 31
North America 4 4
Oceania 2 2
South America 3 5

IPVanish and NordVPN are more or less equal when it comes to server countries. Both offer excellent coverage of Europe and North America, and good coverage of Asia and Oceania.

IPVanish's server select screen

IPVanish lets you know ping and server load percentages from the server select screen.

Where both VPNs fall short is their coverage of the Global South. For example, IPVanish has slightly more options for South America, but nothing for Africa.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Price & Value


NordVPN is slightly cheaper than IPVanish due to its very cheap long-term subscription offers. If you’re looking for a short-term commitment, though, IPVanish could be the more affordable option. While NordVPN offers a free trial on Android, IPVanish offers one for iOS.

Winner: NordVPN

We assess VPNs for the value they offer. This isn’t just a question of how cheap a VPN is, but how appropriate the price is for the service it offers. We check the following:

  • The price of a monthly subscription.
  • The cheapest long term subscription deal.
  • Money back guarantees and free trials.
  • Payment options.

Here is a summary of NordVPN and PIA’s key pricing data:

NordVPN IPVanish
Price & Value Rating 8.5 8.0
Monthly Subscription $11.99/ month $10.99/ month
Cheapest Subscription $3.29/ month (over 2 years) $3.99/ month (over 1 year)
Credit Card Yes Yes
Cryptocurrency Yes No
PayPal No Yes
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days 30 days
Free Trial 7 days (Android) 7 days (iOS)

NordVPN costs just $3.29 a month on a two-year subscription, which makes it the cheaper option for a long-term commitment. IPVanish offers the best short-term value though, at $11.99 for one month.

Both IPVanish and NordVPN offer 30 day money-back guarantees, although they require payment information before signing up. This means you can try the service out and cancel if it isn’t to your liking.

They also both offer limited free trials. NordVPN has a free trial on Android, and IPVanish has one on iOS. These are a nice addition, but you may find the money-back guarantee a more flexible way to try the service across different platforms.

NordVPN supports more payment options than IPVanish. You can pay with Bitcoin, AliPay and most debit or credit cards. Unfortunately it no longer supports PayPal.

IPVanish does let you pay with PayPal, as well as with major credit and debit cards. It won’t let you use Bitcoin or other online services, though.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Bypassing Censorship


NordVPN is the better VPN for bypassing censorship. Currently, neither NordVPN or IPVanish work in China, but they both include some obfuscation technology. If you’re looking for a VPN specifically to bypass censorship, you may want to look into alternatives.

Winner: NordVPN

We test VPNs for China weekly via a remote-access server that’s physically located in Shanghai. We use our Shanghai server to check:

  • How often VPNs can connect from China.
  • If they can access blocked websites and apps from China.

If a VPN works to unblock websites in China, it can typically be relied upon to bypass blocks in other high-censorship countries, too.

Here is a summary of how NordVPN and IPVanish compare for bypassing censorship:

NordVPN IPVanish
Bypassing Censorship Rating 7.2 5.8
Reliability in China (last 3 months) 0% 0%
Reliability in China (last 12 months) 44% 0%
Obfuscation Technology Proprietary obfuscated servers Scramble OpenVPN protocol available

NordVPN is better for bypassing censorship in China

NordVPN consistently outperforms IPVanish when it comes to beating censorship in China. During the past year, IPVanish has not worked in China on a single occasion.

NordVPN doesn’t currently work, either, but it has worked for 44% of the past year. This is a fairly good result — most VPNs never work at all. However, the very best VPNs for China work the majority of the time.

In the video below, we demonstrate how NordVPN can be used in China when it’s working:

Bypassing the Great Firewall of China with NordVPN.

Both VPNs include obfuscation technology

NordVPN uses proprietary obfuscation technology to get around censorship. Most of the time it is very effective. The standard app won’t work in China, though. You need to download a special app for bypassing censorship, which is available for Windows and Android only.

IPVanish offers its obfuscation setting, OpenVPN Scramble, on all platforms. It works by wrapping VPN traffic in a layer of HTTPS to make it resemble normal traffic.

While neither NordVPN or IPVanish currently work in China, both may work in other censored regions with less advanced firewalls, like Turkey or Russia.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Customer Support


Both IPVanish and NordVPN offer excellent 24/7 customer support via email and live chat. NordVPN is excellent here, though: its chatbot is the most helpful we’ve tested, and its human customer support agents are quick and well-informed. IPVanish, by comparison, has a much slower support experience.

Winner: NordVPN

We test the following aspects of customer service:

  • Support options. We like to see a variety of options for support, especially 24/7 live chat and email.
  • Quick responses. We test a VPN’s customer service to ensure help arrives quickly.
  • Online guides & forums. Good VPNs have extensive, accessible online guides or forums to help you troubleshoot small issues.

Here’s a summary of our customer support test results for IPVanish and NordVPN:

NordVPN IPVanish
24/7 Live Chat Support Yes Yes
Automated Chatbot Yes Yes
Email Support Yes Yes
Phone Support No Yes
Online Resources Yes Yes
Forum No No

IPVanish offers more support options

Both IPVanish and NordVPN offer all the customer support basics you should expect: live chat, email support, and online guides.

Unlike NordVPN, which only offers these core options, IPVanish also maintains a telephone support service. This is an unusual but helpful alternative for people that need a more immediate option than email support.

NordVPN solved our customer support queries faster

We tested both NordVPN and IPVanish to see which VPN’s customer support gave us good advice the fastest.

We asked both providers the same set of questions during normal work hours to see which would perform better.

Here’s how NordVPN performed:

Question Response Time Question Answered
What type of encryption does NordVPN use? Instant Yes
What Netflix libraries does NordVPN unblock? Instant Yes
What’s the fastest NordVPN protocol? 95 seconds Yes

Here’s how IPVanish performed:

Question Response Time Question Answered
What type of encryption does IPVanish use? 5 minutes Yes
What Netflix libraries does IPVanish unblock? 3 minutes Yes
What’s the fastest IPVanish protocol? 4 minutes Yes

Overall, NordVPN’s customer support was consistently much quicker than IPVanish. We found IPVanish’s chatbot would often start by linking to guides, which generally didn’t contain relevant information.

When we got through to a human, we found it took a few minutes for them to actually answer our question. IPVanish’s customer service staff were helpful and polite, but NordVPN’s were much more direct and informative.

IPVanish's chatbot

IPVanish’s chatbot often linked to irrelevant online guides.

NordVPN’s chatbot is so good, we only had to talk to its live chat support team once. When we did, they were quick and helpful.

Overall Winner: NordVPN

Both NordVPN and IPVanish are very good VPNs — some of the best available. They are both super fast, affordable, and safe to use.

That said, NordVPN is the clear winner overall: it beats IPVanish in almost every category.

IPVanish does perform better than NordVPN in some areas. It’s great for torrenting, and it has far more city-level server options than NordVPN.

NordVPN is the better VPN for streaming by quite a distance. It can unblock a remarkable number of Netflix regions, plus most other streaming services. It is faster than IPVanish overall, easier to use, and offers better customer support.