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.
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:
|Ease of Use Rating
||Windows, macOS, Linux
||Windows, macOS, Linux
||Android TV, Fire TV
||Android TV, Fire TV
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
- Linksys (Cisco)
You can also buy a pre-flashed IPVanish router, if the setup process is too technical for you. This is an expensive option, but the FlashRouter privacy app is great for managing multiple devices in your home.
NordVPN can’t be manually installed on as many routers as IPVanish, but it also has the option to be purchased pre-flashed on a router of your choice.