ExpressVPN is the one service that immediately comes to mind when you think of VPN services. But IPVanish is no slouch itself and is recognized as one of the leading brands in the VPN industry.
The quality of both providers paves the way for a strong head-to-head ExpressVPN vs IPVanish comparison, which is exactly what I will be doing in this review.
For this comparison, I will evaluate both providers in terms of the following attributes:
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands||United States of America|
|Logging Policy||Strict zero-logs stance||No traffic logs, but overall policy is vague|
|Pricing, payment options, and refunds||$6.67/month, 30-day refund window, payable via Credit Cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and more||$6.49/month, 7-day refund window, payable via Credit Cards, PayPal, American Express and more|
|Speed||26.62 Mbps (download)||24.86 Mbps (download)|
|Server Network||3,000 Servers in 94 Countries||1,300+ Servers in 75+ Countries|
|Compatibility||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Routers, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Notebook||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Linux, Fire TV, Chrome OS, Routers|
|Performance and Reliability||Excellent, responsive overall performance/td>||Appealing app interface, good connectivity|
|Customer Support||Live Chat, Feedback forms, Tutorials||Live Chat, Email support, Telephone support, Knowledgebase|
|Torrenting||Supported on all ExpressVPN servers||Supported on all IPVanish servers|
|Netflix Unblocking||Supports high quality streaming on US, UK, and other servers||Sometimes works|
|Security||Strong protocols, AES-256 bit encryption, no IP leaks||Strong protocols, AES-256 bit encryption, no IP leaks|
|Extra Features||Split-tunneling, Network Lock||Obfuscated servers, kill switch, split-tunneling|
|Transparency||Warrant Canary, Independent audits, No clear information about business owners||Owned by StackPath but needs serious improvements on transparency friend|
|Value||Better value (view details)||Slightly lower value (view details)|
After evaluating both VPNs on these points, the winner is ExpressVPN.
Time to take out our analytical microscopes to compare the two VPNs in detail.
1. Jurisdiction: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
The laws of a country that a VPN service is obligated to follow is a factor of primary importance. Ideally, the VPN which is under the jurisdiction of a privacy-friendly country is a safer option as compared to a VPN that is subject to strict surveillance laws.
Our article on Five Eyes discusses these matters in much greater depth.
ExpressVPN: British Virgin Islands
The provider has the ultimate advantage of it’s safest jurisdiction and that is the source of envy for most other VPN services. It is under the jurisdiction of British Virgin Islands, a self-governing group of islands in the Caribbean. The country is not bound by any data retention or surveillance laws.
IPVanish: United States
The worst jurisdiction to fall under is the United States for any VPN service, since it is the primary member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. This is a clear drawback for IPVanish which is unfortunately based in the US.
2. Logging Policy: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
Discovering the logging policy of VPN services is a tricky matter. On the surface, they all claim to be a “no logs” service. However, when you dig deeper, you are more likely than not to find that the VPN actually does log some of your information.
Let’s see how these two VPNs fare in this regard.
ExpressVPN: A Truly “Zero Log” Service
The true test of a VPN’s logging activities is when they are pressured by authorities to hand over user data for the purposes of investigation.
In 2017, Turkish agencies suspected an individual used ExpressVPN to attempt deletion of evidence relating to the assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov.
The Turkish authorities seized their servers, couldn’t find any logged information regarding any user, confirming the claims of the VPN as a true “no logs” service.
Read our article on VPN logging policies to find out VPNs with safe policies.
IPVanish: Suspicious “Zero Logging” Claim
The situation with IPVanish is not so encouraging as compared to its contender here. This is because last year, news made rounds about the service helping Homeland Security to see logs about a suspected hacker.
The question that arises is that if they really keeps no logs, how was Homeland Security able to trace the suspect who was using this VPN?
It bears mention that IPVanish was under the ownership of a different team when this event happened. The new owner gave a statement about this issue on reddit:
I think the company deserves the benefit of doubt considering the change of management that occurred after the event. But if I had to choose between IPVanish and ExpressVPN to trust my personal information with, there is no content that I’ll go with the latter.
The security that a VPN is able to provide to users depends to a great extent on the encryption protocols it uses. The other important factor is the ability of a VPN to prevent leaks any kind of leaks through the VPN tunnel.
They use AES-256 encryption, which is the strongest form of encryption currently available for VPNs.
In addition, the service swiftly passed DNS and IP leak tests, showing its robustness as a safe and secure tool.
Go through VPN test guide to find out how we perform leak tests and its implications for your web security.
Like its counterpart, this provider uses AES-256 encryption in the secure tunnels which it uses to protect users from outside interference.
When I tested the service for leaks, I found no such leaking problems. As such, you have nothing to worry about in terms of your security.
Speed is one of the most critical attributes of a VPN which determines its performance and overall value. I conducted the speed tests on a base connection speed of 30 Mbps. Both the speed results were obtained on US servers of the respective VPNs.
Express VPN has built a reputation of being one of the fastest servers in the industry. Performing the speed test, there were no doubts left in mind as to the quickness of this VPN:
A download speed of 26.62 Mbps on a base connection of 30 Mbps is excellent.
The service performed surprisingly well in my speed tests as well and didn’t lag too far behind its rival:
At 24.63 Mbps of download speed, IPVanish is just as good as its rival.
5. Server Network: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
The server network is plays an important part in the stability and functionality of VPN services. A large server network can accommodate more users without breaking down.
ExpressVPN Servers: Excellent
They have expanded its server network to over 3,000+ servers distributed in 94 countries around the globe. This number is higher than 95% of VPN services currently operating in the VPN market.
IPVanish Servers: Not Excellent But Good
The VPN service hosts an impressive network of over 1,200 servers in 60+ countries. This falls short when you compare it to the network coverage of ExpressVPN, but individually considered, IPVanish has an appreciable server size.
6. Performance and Reliability:
Performance and reliability greatly affect user experience and can either make or break a VPN in the eyes of its subscribers.
Their VPN clients are simple and highly responsive. It takes less than 5 seconds to form a connection with its servers from any location.
I’ve never experienced this app crashing either on my desktop or phone, which is more than what I can say for a lot of other VPN services out there.
IPVanish’s VPN client is visually impressive. I particularly like the black and green theme of the app. In terms of performance, it functions smooth with no hiccups on most platforms.
However, it is somewhat slow in establishing connection with your chosen VPN server, especially the Windows 10 client of the service.
7. Extra Features:
Extra embellishments and features can add value to a VPN service.
The service impresses with extra features such as kill switch and split tunneling. In addition, ExpressVPN uses obfuscation features for all its servers to prevent VPN detection by websites.
The VPN supports 3 simultaneous connections with the same account. All in all, this VPN delivers valuable extra features that further prove its quality as a leading brand.
Similarly, the split tunneling feature is only available in the Android app of the service.
It also offers VPN obfuscation which is available for Windows, MacOS, Android, and Firestick devices, but it is called “Scramble” for the latter three.
The one area where IPVanish supersedes ExpressVPN is in the number of simultaneous connections, as it supports 10 connections.
8. Safe Torrenting: IPVanish or ExpressVPN?
So, when it comes to secure torrenting, which of these services you should put your trust in?
Generally, you need a fast as well as secure connection to torrent files. Both Express and IPVanish are quite solid in this regard.
However, ExpressVPN has the benefit of being under the jurisdiction of British Virgin Islands, which puts it far from adherence to laws such as DMCA.
On the other hand, IPVanish is a based in the US, so it can’t escape the claws of DMCA. This makes it a less ideal choice for torrenting.
Check out our blog on best VPNs for torrenting for details.
Note: We do not encourage neither condone the use of torrenting to illegally acquire copyrighted material.
9. Netflix: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN
Unblocking Netflix streams is one of the main purposes for which users look towards VPN services. Can you trust the two VPNs under consideration in this comparison to access Netflix?
You can also go through our detailed Netflix VPN guide to find out which services you can rely on for streaming purposes.
The fast servers and strong server network mean that ExpressVPN can access Netflix like a breeze and pass through Netflix VPN ban with no difficulty.
I connected to the US server of Netflix to watch Parks and Recreation, and it was an instant success:
IPVanish has a shaky histor y with Netflix, as its servers experience difficulty in connecting to US Netflix without being caught by Netflix’s proxy detection system.
However, I personally didn’t encounter any problems when I tried to watch Coco on Netflix through their US server.
Based on reports I’ve received from others, you can’t really be sure if the service will get you past Netflix’s proxy detection sensors.
10. Pricing, payment methods, and refund policy
A VPN with all the great features would be of little value if it is too expensive. Needless to say, price is an important factor when searching for the right VPN for your needs.
This has always been one of the higher priced VPNs in the market. It offers 1-month, 15-month, and 6-month plans as shown below.
ExpressVPN has superseded its counterpart on many points. This theme continues with its better payment and refund methods.
This shows the commitment of the company to serve all kinds of customers.
In addition, the VPN also offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee for all its different packages.
IPVanish itself isn’t very cheap. In fact, ExpressVPN’s best deal of 15 month subscription is currently available for $6.67/mo in contrast to IPVanish’s best deal of 1 year available for $6.49/mo.
Therefore, for a price difference of about 2 dimes, ExpressVPN offers you three more months as compared to IPVanish.
The service supports fewer payment methods and also does not accept bitcoin payments. That’s a bit disappointing, considering how big a name IPVanish is in the VPN market. On all packages, IPVanish provides 7-day money-back guarantee, which is lower than that offered by ExpressVPN.
11. Compatibility: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN
Both services offer compatibility across a wide range of devices.
Comes with dedicated apps for a huge number of devices and it can be manually setup on still other platforms for which an app hasn’t been developed yet.
IPVanish primarily supports major desktop and mobile platforms, but lacks the extensive support for devices that Express VPN has.
IPVanish vs ExpressVPN for FireStick
Both providers offer tailor-made apps for 2nd generation FireStick devices. This allows FireStick users to benefit from the restriction-bypassing capabilities of these VPN services and watch all streams and channels that might be blocked on FireStick in your region.
12. Customer Support: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN provides 24/7 live support and their knowledgebase/FAQs are incredibly helpful with extensive details.
IPVanish doesn’t have live chat support. Instead, users can either reach support through emails or through telephone during weekdays 9-5 business hours.
ExpressVPN – The company does not publish transparency reports which is strange because as one of the leading providers in the industry, I would expect ExpressVPN to show more commitment towards transparency.
However, the provider’s Chrome extension underwent an audit by Cure53 which came out positive in their favor. In addition, the whole case relating to the Russian Ambassador’s murder and the subsequent investigation of Turkish authorities further consolidated the zero-logging claim of the provider.
IPVanish – The only positive aspect of IPVanish in terms of transparency is that we know who is behind this VPN: a company called StackPath. However, other than this, there isn’t much that IPVanish offers for better transparency.
14. Value for Money:
Now that we have compared both VPN services and zoomed in on their key features, which VPN is ultimately more valuable, all things considered?
If you have been paying attention, then I’m sure you already know the answer to this question.
ExpressVPN clearly offers the better value for your money, especially since there’s only a marginal difference in the best deals that Express and IPVanish have to offer.
The larger server network, privacy-friendly jurisdiction, value-added features, refund policy, and logging practices give ExpressVPN an edge over IPVanish.
ExpressVPN vs IPVanish – Reddit Reviews
The reddit community is a good place to check out VPN reviews from actual users themselves. So, it can be helpful to skim through reddit comments for the said services.
If there’s one VPN that is almost unanimously loved on communities like Reddit, it’s ExpressVPN. The user below shared his experience with IPVanish and is full of praise for the service.
This user also expressed his disappointment with IPVanish, particularly criticizing the Windows 10 app.
IPVanish vs. ExpressVPN: Final Verdict
Winner is ExpressVPN
To recap, here’s how the two VPNs fared against each other:
Rounds Won by ExpressVPN:
- Logging Policy
- Server Network
- Performance and Reliability
- Extra Features
- Payment Methods & Refund
- Customer Support
- Value for Money
Rounds Won by IPVanish:
ExpressVPN is clearly a standout performer as it offers online anonymity and protection to its users.
IPVanish has to abide by US data retention laws since the service comes under the jurisdiction of the US.
Although IPVanish is not a bad service by any means, outshining ExpressVPN isn’t an easy task.
Extending this Comparison by Adding More Providers
Both of these VPNs have fought a good battle between each other. But to put things in broader perspective here’s how these VPNs relate to some other highly rated providers in the market.
ExpressVPN vs IPVanish vs NordVPN
Overall Winner: ExpressVPN
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands||USA||Panama|
|Protocols||OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP||OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP,||OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec|
As a result, these factors already make NordVPN a superior choice than IPVanish from the privacy standpoint.
But the competition between ExpressVPN and NordVPN goes in the favor of ExpressVPN by a small margin, largely owing to its ironclad privacy and security, and outstandingly consistent performance.
You can find comparison of all VPN services and lead yourself toward choosing the appropriate one.