IPVanish VPN Review 2020
IPVanish is a not-so affordable VPN service available at $6.49/mo. It has 1,400+ 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 1,400 servers in 75+ locations, but does not work in China. Since it is based in the US (part of 5-eyes country), it can handover your data to US authorities.
But since this provider doesn’t keep usage logs, offer 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 ($2.91) and Surfshark ($1.99), 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 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 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 name, street address, city, state, zip code and others 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 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.
The IPVanish Android app has a built-in split-tunneling feature which 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, you can check the internet connection speed of your device in no time. All you have to do is to visit IPVanish blog section. By doing so, you may obtain your objective instantly.
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.
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.
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 its perfectly safe to use. Here is the screenshot of the virus test:
Servers – How many servers does IPVanish offer?
There are over 1,400+ 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 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 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 prupose. 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 SOCKS5 proxy server that supports HTTP traffic and P2P BitTorrent client. Or, you can simply use its servers from Netherlands and Switzerland to perform torrenting activities safely.
For more information about configuring IPVanish for torrenting, see our dedicated guide here.
Speed – how fast is IPVanish?
IPVanish delivers average speed. I tested IPVanish on three different servers i.e. US, UK, & Australian server. I used 30 Mbps base internet connection to test its speed.
IPVanish speed is average
Here is the result when I connected to US Dallas server:
Speed declined by: 65%
Now I tested IPVanish on the UK server.
Speed declined by: 62%
Lastly, I tested on Sydney, Australian server.
Speed declined by: 53%
As compared to PureVPN, IPVanish does have slower download speed. The streaming fans will face buffering issues when using IPVanish.
Streaming – 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 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. You may check out our IPVanish Netflix blog for more detailed information.
In order to verify its Netflix unblocking feature, I tried unblocking “The Incredibles 2” using its US, Chicago server. Initially, I received incognito mode error:
To my surprise, I was able to watch my favorite movie without facing any glitch when I used my Netflix account on my normal browser.
In case of other streaming services like Hulu and BBC iPlayer, it wasn’t able to unblock. You can further look at our guide BBC iPlayer VPN to know more about it.
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 at the same time.
Compatibility – Can IPVanish be used on multiple devices?
IPVanish offers 10 simultaneous connections from a single subscription. It is compatible with all platforms such as Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Fire TV Stick, Router, Chrome OS, and Windows Phone.
I also noticed in this IPVanish review that there were no dedicated apps for Windows Phone, Linux, Chromebook, or Routers. You will need to setup manually. With a single IPVanish account, you can connect to 10 devices simultaneously.
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. Beside that tab, you can turn on and off 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?
The 1-year plan of IPVanish costs $6.49/mo. It currently offers 3 different pricing plans which are expensive despite having good discount offers:
Surprisingly, not many VPN services provide that kind of discount that is true, but the prices are already high when compared to the pricing of PureVPN.
Also, IPVanish has extended its money-back guarantee to 30 days. This means that if you’re unhappy with the service, you can claim a refund from IPVanish within 30 days as explained in this guide. Speaking of refunds, its money-back guarantee is more or less advertised as an IPvanish trial which I find quite convenient.
Currently, IPVanish is delivering some of the most common online payment methods like:
- Credit Cards
- American Express
Without mentioning Bitcoin or other anonymous payment option, you cannot make your subscribers truly anonymous. That said I have not lost all my hopes on IPVanish. I expect that they will include Bitcoin in their payment arsenal quite soon.
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.
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. I think that the user might not have properly installed IPVanish. Here’s how to properly and easily install IPVanish on FireStick devices. To learn more you can check out the working VPNs for Fire TV.
Another user wanted to know if IPVanish has Kill Switch feature. Yes, it has a Kill Switch feature that automatically shuts down your internet when the VPN connection stops working.
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])
- 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, 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 PureVPN 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||2,000+ in 140 Countries||1,400+ in 75+ locations|
|Compatibility||All Devices||All Devices|
|Jurisdiction||Hong Kong||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:
Do I Recommend IPVanish?
Yes, I do recommend IPVanish but I have to mention a fact that there are other VPN services like PureVPN and Surfshark have better speed, more cheaper, and protect your online activity 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 bet for torrenting. The price is a bit expensive but still its 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 10 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.
IPVanish News and Service Updates
- Money-back guarantee extended to 30 days – May 1, 2020. IPVanish has extended the money-back guarantee from 7 to 30 days. The same refund policy applies to all IPVanish subscription plans.