This IPVanish review takes a look at the VPN service which claims to be the world’s best. The service comes with a ton of endorsements and is feature rich, but to claim you are the world’s best does take some backing up.
We will dig a little deeper and answer the question, is IPVanish good, or is it all marketing hype?
Currently, IPVanish is one of the major players in the VPN world, but, if it can deliver all it promises and is more than another run of the mill VPN services remains to be seen.
Plans and Pricing
IPVanish is one of the few companies which own all their own servers and equipment. This means they don’t use third parties, so with this in mind, the prices they offer are pretty reasonable.
IPVanish offers one package with variable rates depending on the length of time you sign up for. This is becoming common practice among VPN providers, so it is nothing unusual.
Here are their current rates:
- 12-Month Plan: $6.49 per month
- 3 Monthly Plan: $8.99 per month
- Monthly Plan: $10.00 per month
There are a few payment options, but Bitcoin or other cryptos are not on the list. Accepted methods of payment are as follows. The company used to offer Bitcoin, but they have since withdrawn this payment method.
Credit Card – Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Visa Electron, Delta and JCB.
The other payment option is PayPal.
With any of the options you choose, there is a 7-day money back guarantee that is enough time to check out the service.
When checking through their terms and conditions, this isn’t as clear as it makes out. If the VPN is purchased through the Apple Store, then any refund needs to come from Apple and not from IPVanish themselves.
IPVanish uses the top-rated OpenVPN as their default protocol along with AES 256-bit encryption. This falls in line with other top tier providers, and this is considered military grade security.
While checking settings before testing the following were all enabled, so there were no hidden secrets.
- Kill Switch – A kill switch blocks all traffic if you encounter a VPN connection drop.
- DNS leak protection – All DNS queries are performed by IPVanish and not third-party servers, and DNS leak protections are enabled by default.
- IPv6 leak protection – Ipv6 is blocked to make sure your real IPv6 IP address isn’t leaked while connected.
Once we gathered the results, IPVanish does deliver on their claim of no leaks of any kind. All security and privacy tests were passed with no errors or problems.
IPVanish has a strict logging policy, but potential users might have heard of an incident that happened back in 2016.
At this time, the company was owned by another owner. HighWinds Network Group did, in fact, hand over user data.
Not long after this, the company changed hands and is now owned by StackPath who have so far upheld the zero logging policy.
Reading their terms, they state they don’t retain connection records, traffic or activity data. The only things they do retain are an email address and payment information.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is around average. Things are more complicated than they need to be, but there are ways of using the client apps that are better implementations than some other VPN’s, this being said, these are not presented by default, and you do need to bypass the awkward parts first.
IPVanish now allows 10 devices to simultaneously connect. This was doubled from the 5 available in 2018.
IPVanish is compatible with a vast number of platforms and OS. It comes with dedicated apps for Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS.
There are other devices which can be manually set-up such as Ubuntu (Linux) Chromebook and routers.
Other devices to note is it is popular with Kodi users and based on Android devices like Amazon Fire TV, but these don’t come with access to the Play store. The IPVanish app APK can be downloaded directly to the device/
Signing up is straightforward, and all you need to do is hit the Orange ‘Start Now’ button that takes you to the sales page. Choose your package, and then enter a valid email address, and password.
After this, you select your payment option and hit the green button to pay.
You then receive an activation email sent to the email you gave. This contains the activation link that needs to be clicked to agree to their terms of service and activate the account
While not needing to log into IPVanish to download the clients, they are easy to find on the website, but it would be useful to have access made easier.
Once installed, the apps look a little different to many other VPN’s which offer the large connect, disconnect button and a server location you can change. This is the norm, but IPVanish looks more complicated.
The window client, for example, wastes space with warning messages. It then hides your country to connect in a drop-down list which takes an additional click just to view. After this, things pick up a bit, but it is far from ideal.
Switching servers is also a bit of a chore, but they do make some decent efforts with their server map.
IPVanish VPN doesn’t really come with many standout features, but what it does do, it does quite well. One of the best features they have is the SOCKS5 Web Proxy. This allows users to have VPN benefits without installing any software.
This enables the hiding of IP addresses with better performance. The downside of this it does nothing for your security.
If torrenting, then you are as visible as you are without a VPN. This Web Proxy maybe the reason there are no browser extensions available.
IPVanish is also compatible with TOR so you can use this for an even more secure VPN connection, but you will have a sever speed hit.
One of the biggest letdowns of IPVanish is that they don’t have any browser extensions. They even go as far as to release an article on their blog openly promoting secure browsers.
Although they do nothing for overall system protection, it is handy to have a VPN service that delivers an extension for browsers.
When running the speed tests, it was found that IPVanish was pretty quick, and a lot faster than most of the competition.
Download speeds were around 20% less than without using the VPN, but this will depend on where you are connecting from, and where you are connecting to.
It appears long-distance connections do drop off somewhat, and the final numbers are much higher than this 20% drop-off.
What is strange is the US server speeds are slower than the EU based ones. Considering the company is US based, you would expect it to be the other way around.
For a company that covers 60 countries with over 1,200 VPN servers, you would expect better performance, even if it was only in the USA where they are based.
Things have changed, and now customer support isn’t as bad as it used to be. It is evident, the company has taken note, and this is one area they have approved. When users want
assistance, they can now either use:
- New 24/7 live chat support
- 24/7 email support
- Telephone support, but this is US based and follows certain hours of availability.
Nowadays, the support is far more responsive, and there is a wealth of guides and info on their website inside the knowledge base.
Netflix is a mixed bag. Out of several attempts from varying servers, it was possible to connect once.
Many other IPVanish VPN review replies are that it doesn’t work, and with one success out of so many attempts, it is fair to say Netflix can’t be accessed reliably enough. (Here’s our Netflix region change guide)
Torrenting is allowed on every IPVanish VPN server, and this comes with no restrictions or bandwidth usage.
To sum everything up, IPVanish delivers a very reliable service at a decent enough price. Like we saw, there are no real outstanding features, but it does deliver reliable features.
But, it isn’t so much about what IPVanish does, or doesn’t do, it is the standard of their competition.
When you can get long distance connections speeds that are faster, and with reliable Netflix, then this changes things dramatically.
Additionally, when you look at other VPN’s you are getting much more for your money.
Like we say, IPVanish is far from being bad, it is that there are others who are better.