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 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 – Where the provider’s headquarters are located
- Logging policy – The type of consumer data that is kept in records by the provider
- Security – Encryption protocols and whether the VPN leaks IP/DNS
- Speed – Connection speed after VPN server is connected
- Server network – the total number of servers
- Performance and reliability – The overall functionality of the VPN
- Extra features – The additional features that are provided by the service
- Torrenting – Does the VPN support torrenting?
- Netflix – Does it support Netflix?
- Pricing – The cost of subscription packages
- Payment methods and refund policy – How many payment methods are supported and what is the refund policy?
- Compatibility – Which devices are supported?
- Customer support – Quality of tech support
- Value – Which VPN has better quality at lower costs?
After evaluating both VPNs on these points, the winner is:
Time to take out our analytical microscopes to compare the two VPNs in detail.
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.
ExpressVPN: British Virgin Islands
ExpressVPN has the advantage of a jurisdiction 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
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 ExpressVPN and IPVanish 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 ExpressVPN’s servers, couldn’t find any logged information regarding any user, confirming the claims of the VPN as a true “no logs” service.
IPVanish: Suspicious “Zero Logging” Claim
The situation with IPVanish is not so encouraging as compared to ExpressVPN. 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 IPVanish 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.
ExpressVPN uses AES-256 encryption, which is the strongest form of encryption currently available for VPNs.
In addition, ExpressVPN swiftly passed DNS and IP leak tests, showing its robustness as a safe and secure tool.
Like its counterpart, IPVanish 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.
ExpressVPN 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.
IPVanish performed surprisingly well in my speed tests as well and didn’t lag too far behind ExpressVPN:
At 24.63 Mbps of download speed, IPVanish is just as good as fast as ExpressVPN
5. Server Network
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 has 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: Not Excellent But Good
IPVanish 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.
The VPN clients of ExpressVPN 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 IPVanish.
7. Extra Features
Extra embellishments and features can add value to a VPN service.
ExpressVPN 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.
The obfuscate feature is available for Windows, mac OS, 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.
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 make IPVanish less than ideal for torrenting.
Therefore, the winner again for this round is ExpressVPN.
Note: We do not encourage neither condone the use of torrenting to illegally acquire copyrighted material.
Unblocking Netflix streams is one of the main purposes for which users look towards VPN services. Can you the two VPNs under consideration in this comparison to access Netflix?
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 IPVanish’s US server.
Based on reports I’ve received from others, you can’t really be sure if IPVanish will get you past Netflix’s proxy detection sensors.
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.
ExpressVPN 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.
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, you get three more months with ExpressVPN.
11. Payment Methods and Refund Policy
ExpressVPN has superseded IPVanish on many points. This theme continues with its better payment and refund methods.
ExpressVPN allows a wide range of payment options including bitcoins.
This shows the commitment of the company to serve all kinds of customers.
In addition, ExpressVPN offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee for all its different packages.
IPVanish supports fewer payment methods than ExpressVPN and does not accept bitcoin payments. That’s a bit disappointing, considering how big a name IPVanish is in the VPN market.
Since IPVanish doesn’t accept bitcoins, I’m inclined towards ExpressVPN for this round.
ExpressVPN and IPVanish both offer compatibility across a wide range of devices.
ExpressVPN has 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 ExpressVPN has.
13. Customer Support
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.
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 ExpressVPN.
This user also expressed his disappointment with IPVanish, particularly criticizing the Windows 10 app.
ExpressVPN vs. IPVanish Alternatives
We have drawn the comparison of other services as well. So you can easily compare each and everything regarding features of different VPN providers. If you’re not pretty much satisfied with these services.
Have a look of other services as per your requirement.
They are listed below for further details.
- ExpressVPN vs NordVPN
- ExpressVPN vs VyprVPN
- ExpressVPN vs PureVPN
- ExpressVPN vs PIA
- IPVanish vs NordVPN Comparison for 2019
- IPVanish vs VyprVPN
- IPVanish vs PIA
- IPVanish vs PureVPN
To recap, here’s how the two VPNs fared against each other:
- Jurisdiction – ExpressVPN
- Logging policy – ExpressVPN
- Security – Tie
- Speed – Tie
- Server network – ExpressVPN
- Performance and reliability – ExpressVPN
- Extra features – ExpressVPN
- Torrenting – ExpressVPN
- Netflix – ExpressVPN
- Pricing – ExpressVPN
- Payment methods & refund – ExpressVPN
- Compatibility – ExpressVPN
- Customer support – ExpressVPN
- Value for money – ExpressVPN
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.
As such, the winner of this hard-fought battle is ExpressVPN.
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