ExpressVPN or IPVanish, which one should you choose?
It’s no surprise that ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPNs in the industry. It not only offers top-notch security but also powerful streaming performance and super secure features. But so does IPVanish for that matter. In fact, both VPNs are quite similar in terms of performance.
However, IPVanish is slightly more affordable than ExpressVPN. So, does that make IPVanish better than ExpressVPN? Well, not quite. But today, we’re going to find out just that. Let’s dive right in and put ExpressVPN vs IPVansih head to head to see which one is better in 2021.
Setting up a fight: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
I performed this side by side comparison between ExpressVPN vs IPVanish and concluded ExpressVPN as the winner based on the following factors:
ExpressVPN is the winner!
A Quick Comparison of ExpressVPN and IPVanish
For this comparison, we evaluated both providers in terms of the following attributes. Here is a summary of our comparison between ExpressVPN and IPVanish.
|Jurisdiction||British Virgins Islands||USA|
|Logging Policy||No logs||No logs|
|Speed||27.17 Mbps||24.86 Mbps|
|Server Network||3,000+ servers|
|Customer Support||Live Chat||Live Chat|
Both VPNs have been dominating the VPN industry for years now. ExpressVPN was initially released in 2009, whereas IPVanish debuted in 2012. While ExpressVPN is a British Virgin Islands-registered company, IPVanish is a US-registered company owned by Highwinds Network Group, Mudhook Media, Inc., StackPath, J2 Global.
Overall, both VPNs are super secure to use currently and both of them guarantee zero logs. However, IPVanish has had a rough past compared to ExpressVPN. We’re talking about the incident where IPVanish handed over user logs to the US. Home Land Security. You can learn more about the pros and cons of both providers in our IPVanish review and ExpressVPN analysis.
1. Pricing Plans: ExpressVPN vs. IPVanish
Winner: With $2.62/month price IPVanish is cheaper than ExpressVPN, but ExpressVPN is the overall winner.
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. Let’s find out which one out of the two is cheaper.
ExpressVPN – This provider has always been one of the higher-priced VPNs in the market. ExpressVPN offers three plans and all of them are quite expensive. Its 1-month plan starts from $12.95/mo, its 12-month +3 months free plan costs $6.67/mo and its 6-month plan costs $9.99/mo.
IPVanish – IPVanish is more affordable than ExpressVPN. It also offers three plans which you can check out in the table above, however, what’s worth noting is that IPVanish costs $2.62/mo which is considerably cheaper than ExpressVPN’s best plan which costs $6.67/mo . Based on dollar value, IPVanish is more reasonably priced.
Payment Options and Refund Policy
Result: ExpressVPN offers more payment options than IPVanish.
|Payment method & Refund||ExpressVPN||IPVanish|
|30-day Money-back guarantee||Yes||Yes|
ExpressVPN Payment Options & Refund – ExpressVPN not only offers a 30-day refund policy but also accepts a lot of payment options. You can purchase it through crypto, PayPal, credit card, and via a few other options.
IPVanish Payment Options & Refund – In comparison, IPVanis only accept two payment options. You can either purchase it through credit card or through PayPal. There no option to currently buy a subscription via crypto.
Similarly, IPVanish also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee as stated in their refund policy. It does have an exception though, “monthly customers do not qualify.” ExpressVPN on the other hand offers a refund for all subscriptions.
2. Jurisdiction: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
Result: ExpressVPN is headquartered in the safe jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, whereas IPVanish is headquartered in the unsafe jurisdiction of the United States.
|The British Virgin Islands|
(Five Eyes – Unsafe)
The jurisdiction from where any VPN provider operates is of great importance. Ideally, VPNs that don’t operate under the jurisdiction of 5-Eyes are safer as compared to VPNs that are subject to strict surveillance laws.
ExpressVPN Jurisdiction – It obviously has an edge over IPVanish simply because of its jurisdiction. The British Virgin Islands is a self-governing group of islands in the Caribbean which is considered safe heaven for privacy advocates. The country is not bound by any data retention or surveillance laws.
IPVanish Jurisdiction – It is headquartered in the unsafe jurisdiction of the United States. Since the US is a primary member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, your data will always be at risk of being forcefully confiscated. This is a clear drawback for IPVanish because there have been cases in the past where US-based VPN companies have been forced to hand over user data to the authorities.
Along with Jurisdiction, the identity of the parent company of your VPN provider is also necessary. For example, you wouldn’t want to associate yourself with a provider like CyberGhost, whose parent company “Kape Technologies” is known for infecting users’ devices with malware in the past. While this is clearly a setback for CyberGhost, when it comes to protecting your online security and privacy, it is second to no one. We recently compared it with ExpressVPN and it gave a tough time to one of the top-tier VPN providers. Check out the clash in ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost.
3. Logging Policy: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
Result: While both providers claim to keep no logs, ExpressVPN is more secure compared to IPVanish as it won’t hand over your logs if legally required.
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.
|No Logs Factors||ExpressVPN||IPVanish|
|Can hand over user data||No||Yes|
Does ExpressVPN keep logs? – No, ExpressVPN does not keep logs, this VPN service has never over-exaggerated its claims. For instance, 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, however, they couldn’t find any logged information regarding any user. This proved that they actually don’t keep logs. Coupled with the fact that ExpressVPN is located in the BVI, these are good reasons to trust the provider to keep your privacy intact.
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.
IPVanish collects user data like active email addresses and 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.
Although it’s highly unlikely that something like that would ever happen again, if we had to choose between IPVanish and ExpressVPN, we would choose ExpressVPN every time.
4. ExpressVPN vs. IPVanish Speed Test
Result: ExpressVPN is a tad bit faster than IPVanish. While IPVanish managed to output 24.86 Mbps on average, ExpressVPN managed to output 27.17 Mbps.
Speed is one of the most critical attributes of a VPN which determines its performance and overall value. We conducted the speed tests on a base connection speed of 30 Mbps using US, UK, Germany, and Australian server locations.
|Speed in Countries||ExpressVPN||IPVanish|
|US||26.62 Mbps||24.46 Mbps|
|UK||26.43 Mbps||24.91 Mbps|
|Germany||28.15 Mbps||25.4 Mbps|
|Australia||26.33 Mbps||24.86 Mbps|
Speed Test #1 US Server
ExpressVPN’s US server gave me a speed of about 26.62 Mbps. It was good considering my 30 Mbps internet connection.
IPVanish on its US-New York server gave a speed of about 24.46Mbps, slower than ExpressVPN.
Speed Test #2 UK Server
ExpressVPN gave 26.43Mbps speed on its UK server, with surprisingly lower pings as compared to the US server.
In comparison to ExpressVPN, IPVanish was a little slower, as it gave a speed of 24.91 Mbps on its UK server. As you can see pings were also higher as compared to ExpressVPN.
Speed Test #3 Germany Server
On the German server, ExpressVPN was the fastest, giving a speed of about 28.15Mbps, with comparatively lower pings.
IPVanish gave a speed of 25.4Mbps on its German server, with very high pings (226 ms) even though speed was higher as compared to other server locations.
Speed Test #4 Australia Server
Next up we have an Australian server. Here ExpressVPN was about 26.33Mps with extremely low pings. It’s a great option for gamers.
IPVanish delivered a speed of 24.86Mbps on its Australian server with high pings.
ExpressVPN – This provider has the reputation of being one of the fastest in the industry. After performing our tests, there was no doubt left that ExpressVPN is truly the fastest VPN out there. It managed to output on average a download speed of 27.17 Mbps. It is because ExpresVPN offers a Lightway protocol that works like WireGuard protocol offering high-speed connection as compared to IPVanish. This was also the case in NordVPN vs PureVPN, and NordVPN vs Surfshark comparison, with NordVPN supporting WireGuard VPN protocol thus offering faster connection speeds.
IPVanish – The service performed surprisingly well in our speed tests as well and didn’t lag too far behind its rival. The average download speed that we managed to record was 24.86 Mbps. Overall, ExpressVPN is faster than IPVanish. You can also check out other snappy VPNs in our fastest VPN guide.
5. Server Network: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
Winner: ExpressVPN has 1400 more servers than IPVanish.
The server network plays an important part in ensuring the overall quality of a VPN’s performance. A large server network will ensure fast speeds and zero disconnections. Let’s find out which provider offers a better server network.
|3000+ Servers in 94 Countries||1600+ Servers in 75+ Locations|
ExpressVPN Server Network – It has one of the largest server networks in the industry. They currently offer over 3,000 servers distributed in 94 countries around the globe.
IPVanish Server Network – It offers 1600+ servers in 75+ locations. This falls short when you compare it to the network coverage of ExpressVPN. But individually considered, IPVanish still has an appreciable server network.
While a number of servers are as important, it is equally important to not neglect the jurisdiction when selecting your VPN provider. For example, you don’t want to purchase a VPN provider like PIA who has 29,000+ servers but is operating from the US and risks your online privacy and data. Even though PIA is a competitive VPN provider on many levels with ExpressVPN, due to its jurisdiction, it is not a favorite. Check out how it performs against top-tier VPN in ExpressVPN vs PIA (Private Internet Access)
6. IPVanish vs ExpressVPN: Device Compatibility
Result: ExpressVPN supports a broader range of platforms/devices
Device compatibility is a super important factor when it comes to VPNs. Although both services offer compatibility across a wide range of devices, let’s find out which one is better.
ExpressVPN Device Compatibility – This VPN provider comes with dedicated apps for a huge number of devices and it can also be manually set up on a router and other devices with nonnative VPN support. With one ExpressVPN account, you can connect up to 5 devices at the same time.
Also, one of the most impressive and convenient features of ExpressVPN apps is the leak test tools embedded in the app. You can check for DNS and WebRTC leaks within the app without needing to use third-party website-based tools for these tests.
IPVanish Device Compatibility – It also supports a bunch of devices and can also be configured on routers, however, ExpressVPN still offers broader compatibility for devices such as Roku, Nvidia Shield, and even Chromecast. Primarily, IPVanish supports major desktop and mobile platforms, however, it lacks the extensive support for devices that Express VPN has.
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. Here is a look at IPVanish’s Android and iOS mobile apps.
7. Features: ExpressVPN vs. IPVanish
Result: ExpressVPN is the winner, as IPVanish is limited in terms of features and functionality in comparison to ExpressVPN.
Both providers offer multiple features. However, one does it better. Let’s find out which one is better by comparing the features of both providers.
|Encrypted storage & backup||No||Yes|
ExpressVPN clearly takes the lead as it also offers a SmartDNS proxy called MediaStreamer to use ExpressVPN on devices that dont support ExpressVPN apps like routers, SmartTVs, and more. IPVanish does not offer SmartDNS. ExpressVPN is the only VPN that currently offers a browser extension for Safari. IPVanish doesn’t offer Safari browser extension, it is only compatible with Chrome and Firefox.
One notable difference is that ExpressVPN offers 5 simultaneous connections while IPVanish offers 10. ExpressVPNs kill switch provides more functionality as compared to IPVanish’s kill switch as it also alerts users when the connection has been disconnected or interrupted. Overall, we would recommend ExpressVPN because of its unique Network lock feature and Lightway protocol. Its Lightway protocol offers high connection speeds similar to the WireGuard protocol that is supported by NordVPN. You can see the WireGaurd speed test results in NordVPN vs TorGuard comparison.
8. Security and Encryption: ExpressVPN vs. IPVanish
Result: Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer strong security and encryption.
Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer strong security and encryption. Let’s see the detail of these features and tunneling protocols.
|Protocols Supported||OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP||PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP and OpenVPN UDP / TCP, Light way|
|App Security||Kill switch||Kill switch|
Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish use AES-256 bit encryption which is one of the strongest VPN encryption technology in the industry. For authentication, ExpressVPN uses RSA keys (RSA-4096) as compared to IPVanish’s (RSA-2048). Both are strong and unbreakable, but ExpressVPNs uses new RSA keys that offer more data protection and security.
Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer various VPN protocol options that users can choose from depending upon their needs.
ExpressVPN offers strong encryption and tunneling protocols including OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and a new Lightway protocol. ExpressVPNs Lightway protocol is a lot similar to NordVPN’s WireGuard protocol. It offers super-fast connection speeds, and we have already witnessed how fast it is in our very recent NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN comparison.
At present, IPVanish is offering a comprehensive list of tunneling protocols that include OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols. It has one major disadvantage though, you will need to download OpenVPN to your device manually to create a secure connection.
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.
IPVanish, in collaboration with its sister company SugarSync, also offers an encrypted cloud storage service to its users for backing up your important files with strong security.
I checked both ExpressVPN and IPVanish for IP and DNS leak protection and both performed very well.
ExpressVPN Leak Protection Test Results
ExpressVPN does not leak IP or DNS. I connected the test by connecting to ExpressVPNs US server, and there was no IPv6 leak, as shown in the image below:
For DNS leak testing, I ran tests on dnsleaktest.com, and the results were amazing. After connecting to ExpressVPNs US server, my DNS address was changed to a DNS address from the United States, proving no DNS leak.
IPVanish Leak Protection Test Results
IPVanish does not leak IP, or DNS. 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.
Similarly, I also checked IPVanish for DNS leak tests and it passed the test successfully, showing no leaks:
ExpressVPN features high server security offering a TrustedServer feature. This feature allows all ExpressVPN servers to run on RAM-disk mode without using physical hard drives. Meaning, it makes it impossible to store any user data or logs offering more security and privacy. Unlike ExpressVPN, IPVanish does not offer this feature and currently has no servers running on RAM-disk mode.
9. Unblocking Strength: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
Result: ExpressVPN has better unblocking capabilities than IPVanish.
Unblocking streaming services is one of the main purposes of using VPNs. So let’s find out which VPN can offer better-unblocking performance.
|Netflix||Yes||Yes (Not all the time)|
|Amazon Prime Video||Yes||Yes|
ExpressVPN – Fast servers and strong server networks mean that ExpressVPN can easily access Netflix and other geo-restricted services with no difficulty. We connected to the US server of Netflix to watch Parks and Recreation, and it was an instant success. We also didn’t encounter any issues while streaming BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Disney Plus for that matter.
IPVanish – This provider had a shaky history with Netflix in the past and routinely got blocked. However, we didn’t encounter any problems when we tried to watch Coco on Netflix through their US server. Unfortunately, we were unable to unblock Sling TV and Fubo TV with IPVanish.
10. Torrenting Support
Result: ExpressVPN is faster for torrenting as compared to IPVanish. ExpressVPN also offers more P2P-compatible servers than IPVanish.
Generally, you need a fast as well as a secure VPN that is P2P compatible. So, when it comes to secure torrenting, which of these services you should put your trust in?
ExpressVPN – It has the benefit of being under the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, which makes it immune to DMCA and other such laws. In addition, ExpressVPN also offers a massive 3000+ server network which makes it ideal for downloading torrents at fast speeds. This was also the case in ExpressVPN and VyprVPN, where ExpressVPN offered better download speeds.
IPVanish – It is based in the US, which is not a safe jurisdiction. So, if you’re going to be downloading copyrighted content, IPVanish might not be a good choice. Overall, ExpressVPN is certainly the better VPN to download torrents between the two.
Note: We do not encourage either condone the use of torrenting to illegally acquire copyrighted material.
11. ExpressVPN vs. IPVanish Netflix Test
Result: ExpressVPN is the winner in the Netflix streaming test due to its fast speed servers and excellent unblocking capabilities.
Netflix has strong geo-restrictions that most VPNs cannot bypass. Netflix like other streaming services has been constantly blocking most VPN IPs from accessing its content. Therefore, not all VPNs work with Netflix.
Let’s look at which VPN is the best choice for accessing various Netflix libraries.
ExpressVPN Netflix Test
ExpressVPN is the best choice when it comes to unblocking US Netflix from anywhere in the world. I performed extensive tests to check whether ExpressVPN unblocked Netflix or not using its different US servers. I was able to stream the movie Ex Machina with ExpressVPN’s New York server. There were no proxy errors, neither did I face slow streaming. It worked 100% fine!
IPVanish Netflix Test
IPVanish does unblock US Netflix from abroad. In order to verify its Netflix unblocking feature, I tried unblocking “Rememory” using a US server and it worked like charm.
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. When we asked IPVanish’s customer services representative about Netflix, he said:
“You can get the US Netflix, but other country Netflix may not work.”
12. Customer Support: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
Result: IPVanish’s live chat response time was 90 seconds, whereas ExpressVPN live chat was unavailable at the time of writing.
|Live chat||Yes (Not 24/7)||Yes|
ExpressVPN – The live chat support is slightly intermittent i.e. it becomes unavailable from time to time. When this happens, clicking the “live chat” button will only let you send them an email query. Getting a response from email support usually takes about an hour.
During our testing, ExpressVPN’s response took around 2 minutes and 17 seconds which is pretty good. The response wasn’t automated but personal. You can also check ExpressVPN reddit reviews to get real customer experiences and stories with this VPN provider.
IPVanish – on the other hand, offers responsive 24/7 live chat support and responded to our query within 90 seconds. 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. Therefore, IPVanish is the better service in the customer support department courtesy of its quick and helpful live chat feature.
Which VPN offers the best value for your money: ExpressVPN vs. IPVanish?
IPVanish is cheaper than ExpressVPN and it offers more connections, but in terms of the features and functionality here are some of the drawbacks of IPVanish:
- Slower connection speeds
- Based in the US
- Logs some user data
- Does not work with Netflix and other popular streaming services
- Limited payment options
- Limited device support
In comparison to IPVanish, ExpressVPN offers fewer connections and is a bit expensive. For those wondering is ExpressVPN better than IPVanish, here are some of the benefits of ExpressVPN that you will not find on IPVanish:
- High-speed connections
- More features including split tunneling, and light-weight protocol
- Strong security features
- Excellent no logs policy and no logging histories or cases
- Based in the British Virgin Islands
- Works great with Netflix and other streaming services
- Has undergone third-party audits
Considering all these factors, ExpressVPN no doubt offers the best value for your money.
Final Verdict: ExpressVPN is the winner!
The winner in this comparison is ExpressVPN. When writing this head-to-head ExpressVPN vs IPVanish comparison, we found ExpressVPN to be a lot better than IPVanish based on multiple factors like jurisdiction, speed, server network, and unblocking capabilities.
To be honest, IPVanish is not a bad service by any means. After all, it is more affordable and offers more extra features than ExpressVPN, however, it all comes down to performance. IPVanish not only needs to change its area of jurisdiction but also improve its performance slightly.
View our 2021 VPN comparison chart for more details to see which one is better IPVanish or ExpressVPN.
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