IPVanish VPN Review 2021
IPVanish is not-so affordable VPN service available at $3.49/mo. It has 1,600+ servers in 75+ locations that support torrenting and offers valuable features like Scramble. IPVanish has received 3.7 stars.
IPVanish is a popular VPN service having 1,600 servers in 75+ locations, but does not work in China. Since it is based in the US (part of 5-eyes country), it can hand over your data to US authorities.
But since this provider doesn’t keep usage logs, offers a SOCKS5 proxy for torrenting, and easily unblocks American Netflix, this VPN seems a pretty good choice. It has good security features like Kill Switch, Privacy Check, Password Generator, SugarSync, and more.
It is a bit expensive at $6.49/mo when compared with top providers like PureVPN ($3.33/mo) and Surfshark ( $2.49/mo ), but it’s definitely worth buying due to its strong security. It is available on devices like Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, etc and you can connect IPVanish with 10 devices at the same time.
I rated IPVanish 3.7/5.0 because of its slow speed and US jurisdiction (Five Eye), but its performance is decent. I will discuss everything in detail in this IPVanish VPN review.
My Rating Criteria
I reviewed IPVanish on the basis of 9 factors. These are listed below:
- Jurisdiction – Where is IPVanish located?
- Security – Is IPVanish secure?
- Leaks – Does IPVanish leak IP, DNS, & WebRTC?
- Servers – How many servers does IPVanish offer?
- Speed – How fast is IPVanish?
- Streaming – Does IPVanish work with Netflix?
- Compatibility – Can IPVanish be used on multiple devices?
- Pricing – How much does IPVanish VPN cost?
- Trustworthiness – Can IPVanish be Trusted?
Jurisdiction – Where is IPVanish located?
IPVanish is based in the US, and yes it does fall under 5 eyes country. This means, the United States has data retention laws and IPVanish has to abide by those laws. If the authorities ask to hand-over users’ data, they would have to do it.
If your VPN service operates from oppressive countries like China, Russia, and others, chances are that it may record your online activities due to data retention laws. This is surely not a win-win situation for the subscription by any means.
When you select a VPN service that is based within Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes territories, your data may end up with the authorities. But what if IPVanish doesn’t log data? It would have nothing to show if they don’t log anything. You will find out in the next section.
Security – Is IPVanish secure?
IPVanish is a secure VPN service that offers strong encryption and tunneling protocols.
At present, the provider is offering a comprehensive list of tunneling protocols that include OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols. Undoubtedly, OpenVPN protocol offers both security and speed under one roof.
It has one major disadvantage though, you will need to download OpenVPN to your device directly. You can use a unique certificate in order to create a secure connection.
It largely depends on its 256-bit military-grade encryption to secure your internet traffic and prevents your device from cyber-attacks. Similarly, you can also download the SOCKS5 web proxy that helps users availing the same benefits as of standard VPN. Hence, you can secure your actual IP address and personal information too.
Does IPVanish keep logs?
Despite having been located in the United States, IPVanish does not keep usage logs, but it does keep connection logs. IPVanish has repeatedly claimed that they have a strict zero log policy but in one case they handed over the connection log of a user to the Department of Homeland Security.
The Department of Homeland Security approached Highwinds Network Group information with regards to a user who was involved in child abuse and pornography. It’s important to note here that even if you hide your IP address from the government, you will still be tracked online and you will never be completely safe while using IPVanish.
As per their own policy,
As previously outlined IPVanish does not collect or log any traffic of its Services, under any circumstances. We may, however, compile some statistical information related to app crashes.
Based on the above response, they are bound to collect users’ information that includes distinct facets. These are:
- Active email addresses
- Active payment methods
Likewise, they also need a name, street address, city, state, zip code, and other basic information to process payments for their users. They have to store users’ information from their site for troubleshooting purposes as well.
Cookies that IPVanish collects
On the other hand, you can disable cookies on your browser if you do not want them to save your personal information. They also use other third-party services like Google Analytics to analyze and create reports regarding website usage.
IPVanish has also placed tracking pixels on its website to perform the same purpose in the right way. Despite bragging itself as a no-log VPN, IPVanish is still logging so much of their users’ information.
IPVanish Kill Switch
IPVanish takes your online privacy very seriously. It makes sure that all your data is tunneled and safe with excellent encryption support. Unlike many other VPN providers, it offers its users the “Kill Switch” as well.
With the “Kill Switch” option available to you, you can select to turn off all your network activities, in case your VPN connection drops. Kill Switch is a great tool that is used to further enhance your security. You actually get the liberty to turn off all your online activities, until your VPN connects again. IPVanish’s Kill Switch lets you turn off and connect the internet again with a single click.
Compatible with TOR
TOR allows you to encrypt your traffic across different servers. Similarly, you can use TOR along with a VPN to attain another layer of protection. This way, you can improve your anonymity next level.
Furthermore, you can hide your original identity from online snoopers and ISPs. Luckily, IPVanish is included in one of those VPNs that are compatible with TOR.
IPVanish uses the Scramble feature to disguise OpenVPN traffic as normal HTTPS traffic, a technique known as obfuscation. This comes in handy in countries with strict policies against VPN usage and heavy regulation of online content. If you are unable to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship through normal connection protocols, the Scramble feature can be helpful.
Does IPVanish have Split-tunneling
The IPVanish Android app has a built-in split-tunneling feature that allows you to leave applications of your choice out of the VPN connection. This is useful in cases where you only want to pass traffic relating to specific apps through the VPN and leave others connected normally to the web.
Unfortunately, split-tunneling is not available for IPVanish apps on devices other than those running Android.
IPVanish Privacy Tools
The US-based VPN service also delivers numerous privacy tools that include:
Through the speed test feature, you can check the internet connection speed of your device in no time. It comes really handy when you want to check your upload and download speeds without leaving the app.
You can assume the above privacy feature as an IP leak detection benefit as well. This is because it exposes your actual IP address if you are not connected to a VPN. In addition, it also provides information about your physical location, operating system, and browser.
The password generator is another impressive privacy tool that helps you in developing a strong password. Hence, you can protect your crucial information including your financial data too.
IPVanish provides various encryption protocols to its users. It uses AES 256-bit encryption which is industry standard and the highest right now. IPVanish offers the following protocols that you can choose from:
IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)
IPSec protocol encrypts data packets for tunneling. It protects all the traffic over a VPN connection and is compatible with most devices. IPSec is not an encryption algorithm, rather it’s simply a framework that secures online traffic.
IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2)
IKEv2 protocol is available through IPSec and can be used to configure security features or how IP packets are encrypted over the IPSec protocol. With IKEv2 you can easily switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data without any disruptions in the VPN. IKEv2 protocol is supported on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux devices.
L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)
This tunneling protocol is the best choice for mobile phones that are not compatible with OpenVPN. It may offer slower speeds as compared to OpenVPN. Also, it may be difficult for some people to use and configure on routers as it requires multiple ports.
OpenVPN allows for multiple authentication methods and is typically faster than L2TP. However, for key exchange, it uses SSL/TLS. It offers two OpenVPN protocols:
- TCP (Transmision Control Protocol)
OpenVPN over TCP is the most reliable VPN connection type. It prevents the loss of even the smallest information packets during data transfer over the VPN. TCP automatically retransmits any possible loss of data packets so you dont have to experience incomplete downloads.
- UDP (User Datagram Protocol)
OpenVPN over UDP might not be the most popular connection type, but it is faster because it does not retransmit lost data packets. But, UDP is a great choice for VoIP and gaming where you cannot afford any lags.
SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)
SSTP comes with all the benefits of OpenVPN as it is fast and can bypass firewalls. It is developed by Microsoft, so it is compatible with all Microsoft operating systems and devices.
PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)
PPTP is used in older devices and dated operating systems and is the last resort for devices that dont support newer versions. Therefore, it is only recommended to use for browsing or streaming.
SugarSync is a sister company to IPVanish. It offers an encrypted cloud storage service for backing up your important files with strong security. IPVanish is now bundling SugarSync with its VPN subscriptions, though the service still pretty much costs the same.
There is a 250 GB storage limit to the SugarSync account you get with IPVanish, which is a lot more than what you get with Apple, Google, and Microsoft’s versions of cloud storage.
So, this is a pretty good offering from IPVanish because of the convenience cloud storage offers.
IPVanish: User Experience
IPVanish offers user-friendly apps that are perfect for beginners. It is also quite easy to download and install IPVanish as it provides detailed setup guides for different platforms. It also automatically chooses the best protocol for your needs, but if you want you can also configure advanced settings in the app according to your requirements.
Easy Setup and Installation of IPVanish
IPVanish offers easy installation and setup for users as it is very straightforward. If you are new to VPNs, follow these steps below to download and install IPVanish on your desktops:
For Android and iOS devices, just download the app from the IPVanish official website, and log in. After logging in, it will guide you through the app about its basic functions and features. IPVanish can also be configured manually on routers, but that is somewhat complicated. You can see the detailed guide on how to set up IPVanish on routers.
Uninstalling the IPVanish app is as easy as the setup. To fully install the app on Windows you have to have to uninstall all the TAP drivers in Network and Sharing and lastly go to File Explorer > Local Disk > Program Files > locate IPVanish and click delete. On Android and iOS devices you can simply delete the app by dragging it to the trash icon.
Does IPVanish have an AdBlocker?
Unfortunately, IPVanish does not have an in-built ad blocker. If you want to avoid annoying and intrusive ads you can use a third-party ad blocker with IPVanish. The other option is to use VPN services like ExpressVPN or Surfshark that offer ad blockers.
Netflix, Kodi, and Streaming with IPVanish
Does IPVanish work with Netflix?
Yes, IPVanish easily unblocks US Netflix and keeps you secure while you stream videos on Kodi. Even though IPVanish doesn’t boast on its websites that it unblocks American Netflix, but when I tested it, it easily passed through Netflix restrictions.
Still, you will have to perform some digging because some of the US servers may not unblock Netflix at times. But, IPVanish offers multiple servers in the US so you can test different server locations to see which one works with Netflix.
In order to verify its Netflix unblocking feature, I tried unblocking “Rememory” using a US server and it worked like charm. For more information, see our guide on unblocking US Netflix with IPVanish. IPVanish also works with HBO.
Unfortunately, IPVanish faces issues unblocking popular streaming sites like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. In the case of Hulu and BBC iPlayer, it wasn’t able to unblock them. Don’t stress, just check out our guide on BBC iPlayer VPNs to find a working one.
Kodi is an open-source platform that allows you to watch your favorite media stuff for free. When I reviewed the provider, I came to know that users could access their preferred Kodi add-ons while protecting their privacy through IPVanish.
Apart from Kodi, IPVanish also provides apps for devices like Fire TV that don’t have Google Play or App Store. IPVanish’s interface is very remote control-friendly and can easily be used on devices with no mouse or keyboards. For Android devices that dont have App Store like Kindle or Fire Tablet, users can install IPVanish Android APK files on their devices.
Leaks – Does IPVanish leak IP, DNS, & WebRTC?
No, IPVanish does not leak IP, DNS, or WebRTC. I tested for leaks when I connected to a Las Vegas, US server. I noticed in this IPVanish VPN review that the provider is leak-proof.
To know more about different types of VPN leaks like IP, DNS, and WebRTC, read our exclusive VPN leak test guide.
I checked for viruses in the IPVanish Windows app file on VirusTotal. It did NOT contain any viruses and it’s perfectly safe to use. Here is the screenshot of the virus test:
Servers – How many servers does IPVanish offer?
There are over 1,600+ servers in 75+ locations in IPVanish’s server network. These servers collectively have a pool of over 40,000 IP addresses, giving users a lot of options to choose from to bypass geo-restrictions with ease.
While IPVanish’s network spans a narrow range in terms of countries, it still offers VPNs located in most countries that users generally desire to establish connections with.
These include the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and more.
Does IPVanish work in China?
Reports from users suggest that IPVanish is no longer reliable in China, even though it has an obfuscation feature. Most VPNs today are unable to function normally in China with the increasing restrictions and sophistication of the Great Firewall of China.
However, if you want to access Chinese websites from abroad, you can connect to its Hong Kong server for this purpose. It also must be noted that it doesn’t have servers in Russia, but it does have 2 servers available in UAE.
Is IPVanish good for Torrenting?
IPVanish is a good choice for torrent users. You can download torrents by using the SOCKS5 proxy server that supports HTTP traffic and P2P BitTorrent client or simply use IPVanish’s VPN servers to protect your p2p sessions.
With a decent logging policy, security features, and speed, IPVanish works well for torrenting purposes.
Speed – how fast is IPVanish?
IPVanish delivers good speeds that lie on the higher end of average. In our latest speed tests, IPVanish reached fast speeds on almost all servers. The results of the speed test are summarized in the table below:
|Server location||Download speed||Upload speed||Pings|
|Germany||75.34 Mbps||65.81 Mbps||213 ms|
|United Kingdom||67.76 Mbps||72.1 Mbps||321 ms|
|United States||63.31 Mbps||83 Mbps||206 ms|
|France||74.61 Mbps||83.72 Mbps||302 ms|
|Italy||77.84 Mbps||83.4 Mbps||307 ms|
|The Netherlands||61.20 Mbps||77.21 Mbps||111 ms|
|Switzerland||62 Mbps||73.3 Mbps||141 ms|
|Singapore||74.33 Mbps||79.4 Mbps||274 ms|
|India||71.15 Mbps||81.33 Mbps||282 ms|
These fast speeds not only make IPVanish a breeze for basic browsing purposes but also enable a smooth streaming experience. Although IPVanish is not the fastest by any means, it is still fast enough that it won’t cause any frustrations for users, even when performing bandwidth-intensive activities.
Device Compatibility – Use IPVanish on Most Devices
IPVanish offers unlimited simultaneous connections from a single subscription. It is compatible with all platforms such as Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Router, Chrome OS, Windows Phone, and Fire TV Stick. You can see our guide on installing IPVanish on Firestick for help.
IPVanish does not offer dedicated apps for Windows Phone, Linux, Chromebook, or Routers. You will need to set it up manually. With a single IPVanish account, you can connect unlimited devices at the same time, making it a great option for a large household. You can even configure IPVanish on Roku.
If you’re experiencing problems with the VPN, consult this IPVanish not working guide for help.
IPVanish for Windows
The Windows app is quite user-friendly and does not crash at all. It does not take much of your time for installation as well. You will not find any issue whatsoever while using the app on your Windows device.
The Windows app performed above my expectations. I did not encounter any privacy or leak issues when connected to its Las Vegas server.
IPVanish for Mac
The Mac app for IPVanish has a similar interface and functionalities as it is for Windows. At the top right corner, you will find the connect and disconnect tab. Besides that tab, you can turn on and off the kill switch feature and choose protocols.
IPVanish for Android
The app offers an interactive design with a clear user interface. I did not experience any connectivity problems with its Android app. The app worked amazingly well as I connected to its Atlanta US server in no time. In addition, you can download and install the Android app from an official Google Play Store.
IPVanish for iOS
IPVanish has an easy-to-use app for iOS as well. At the top, you will find your new IP address and under that your new location. At the bottom of the app, it will tell either you are connected or disconnected.
Pricing – How much does IPVanish VPN cost?
IPVanish currently offers 2 different pricing plans. One offers a VPN alone, and the other comes with VPN + cloud storage.
Surprisingly, not many VPN services offer cloud storage, but as you can see prices can increase significantly after the first month. As you can see from the above image that for the first-month price for the VPN is $3.49/mo and it goes all the way up to $9.99/month. Similarly, its VPN+storage plan can go up to $10.99/mo.
As compared to IPVanish, ExpressVPN is a great option that offers more features at a less price and is currently offering 12 months + 3 months free at a cheaper cost.
Also, IPVanish has extended its money-back guarantee to 30 days similar to providers like Surfshark who also offer the same length of the refund period. Speaking of refunds, its money-back guarantee is more or less advertised as an IPVanish free trial. Of course, it’s not exactly a free trial, but you can claim your refund if you cancel IPVanish within 30 days of purchase.
Currently, IPVanish is delivering some of the most common online payment methods like:
- Credit Cards
- American Express
Without mentioning Bitcoin or other anonymous payment options, you cannot make your subscribers truly anonymous. That said I have not lost all my hopes in IPVanish. I expect that they will include Bitcoin in their payment arsenal quite soon.
IPVanish Refund Policy
IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning within those 30 days you can get a full refund. After requesting to cancel the subscription, you will get your money back shortly. If there are problems, you can contact support. Canceling the IPVanish subscription is very easy:
Unlike most VPN services, IPVanish offers 2-months free to keep users as customers. This is a great offer as you will get 3 months free with IPvanish.
Trustworthiness – Can IPVanish be Trusted?
IPVanish has a good reputation in the online industry and is certainly a trustworthy company. It has an impressive Trustpilot rating of 4.7/5.0 stars. As you can see in the below image, IPVanish has received a whopping 85% of the reviews as 5 stars. This shows the efficiency of IPVanish.
IPVanish keeps logs (FBI case)
IPVanish does say that it follows a “strict no logs policy” however, in reality, it is a bit different. Back in 2016, IPVanish was operated by a different country that worked with the FBI. They provided user data to the authorities for an investigation. This is quite concerning as IPVanish claims to be a “zero log VPN.” But it’s important to note that this happened when IPVanish was under different management.
IPVanish is a zero-logs VPN service provider, which means that we do not keep a record of any connection, traffic, or activity data in regards to our Services.
What Reddit thinks about IPVanish?
Here is what people are saying about IPVanish on Reddit:
One user pointed out that the IPVanish app crashes when using it on Amazon FireStick. Force close other apps on FireStick device and then start using IPVanish may solve the problem. To learn more you can check out the working VPNs for Fire TV.
Another user wanted to know if IPVanish has a Kill Switch feature. Yes, it has a Kill Switch feature that automatically shuts down your internet when the VPN connection stops working. You can also see more IPVanish reviews on Reddit to know more about this VPN in detail, especially its customer experience.
IPVanish Efficient Customer Support
IPVanish has an efficient customer support department. You can try different ways to contact their support team:
These ways are:
- 24/7 live chat support
- 24/7 email support ([email protected])
- The help section on the website for tickets
Every time I tried to contact them through live chat, I got the desired response in a timely manner. You can go through the site if you want to read informative articles regarding several topics.
Similarly, you may get the required assistance by visiting its help section. This section allows you to use different sub-categories like announcements, billing questions, IPVanish setup guides, FAQs, troubleshooting, and so on.
You can make changes when you want to use the official website as per your own preferences. For customize usage, you will have to contact them through an email at [email protected].
You may ask personal data-related queries to know about their data collection procedure too.
Major differences between ExpressVPN and IPVanish
You can find various differences between PureVPN and IPVanish that help you make a final decision about your online privacy in the right way.
|Servers||3,000+ in 94 Countries||1,600+ in 75+ locations|
|Compatibility||All Devices||All Devices|
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands||United States|
|Logging Policy||Zero Log||Connection Logs|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||Live Chat, Email Support,|
Alternatives of IPVanish
Here are our top 5 alternatives for IPVanish if you do not approve of this VPN service:
IPVanish is a secure VPN that uses powerful encryption and security protocols. It does not keep any user logs, however, it doesn’t come with an adblocker or anti-virus. If you are concerned about your security with IPVanish, you can use other VPNs like ExpressVPN that offer more advanced features to protect your online privacy.
IPVanish does not offer powerful features to justify its expensive pricing, especially when you consider ExpressVPN which is offering high-end features at a low price for its 12 months plan + 3 months free. Also, ExpressVPN is a better option if you want to watch American streaming platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
Yes, IPVanish is perfectly legal. However, keep in mind that using a VPN for illegal activities is not legal. A VPN does keep your internet connection private, however, in case you lose your connection you might be exposed resulting in lawsuits.
No, IPVanish is not free and it doesn’t offer a free version. It is available for $3.49/mo and also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can try IPVanish risk-free for 30 days and cancel any time. When you are canceling, IPVanish also gives you months free so you can use it free for a longer period.
Do I Recommend IPVanish?
Yes, I do recommend IPVanish but I have to mention a fact that there are other VPN services like ExpressVPN and Surfshark that offer better speed and protect your online activities like no other.
IPVanish may cause slow speed when connected to long-distance servers, but it is still best for streaming because it unblocks US Netflix and is the best for torrenting. The price is a bit expensive but still, it’s worth buying because of its good security protocols.
Not to forget, IPVanish has decent security having Kill Switch and an impressive multi-login feature of unlimited devices. All-in-all, I found IPVanish to be a good VPN to use, but not as good as its alternatives that I have mentioned. If you don’t like its overall performance and want to try other VPNs, read our exclusive unbiased VPN reviews guide.
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