Across the board, VPN providers have made the set-up and installation procedure as simple as possible, and IPVanish is no different. Once you’ve decided this is the solution to your cybersecurity issues, you’ll be up and running within a matter of minutes. Unlike many of its rivals, IPVanish gives you the option of setting up its VPN with a number of different protocols, although you can change these after installation if you choose to.
In terms of the appearance and intuition of IPVanish’s user interface, it leaves a lot to be desired. While it’s simple enough to operate, IPVanish doesn’t give you the level of personal guidance that CyberGhost VPN does, for example, nor does it make server selection as simple as NordVPN’s graphic server map. Nevertheless, most users will be comfortable enough with the minimalist interface, although it may be a little off-putting for the less techno-friendly.
IPVanish has a range of advanced features and options that will keep the technologically-savvy suitably entertained. These features are all hidden behind the main screen so as not to confuse you but can be easily accessed and adapted as required.
One other small drawback is the number of pop-ups you’ll have to click on, especially when connecting via IPVanish for the first time, but this is a minor issue compared to IPVanish’s tendency to disconnect or provide you unstable connections. While there are a variety of reasons for connectivity problems of this nature, as they rarely occur with other VPN providers, we can only assume IPVanish is struggling to ascend to the higher echelons of cybersecurity provision. Fortunately, IPVanish does include a kill switch so at least all your private data will be safe should your connection suddenly fail. Nevertheless, it’s not ideal if you need an anonymous browsing experience and certainly impacts negatively on IPVanish’s functionality.
If a slow connection really drives you crazy, then you can restore your sanity with IPVanish. It claims to deliver the “best VPN speeds” in the industry, and it’s not far off. IPVanish maintains high speeds throughout Europe and the US, reducing internet speeds by less than 18% which is comparable with top VPN providers such as ExpressVPN and SurfShark VPN. Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that the VPN with the fastest ping rate may not have the quickest download speeds. Similarly, while one VPN may boast the fastest download times in Europe, it may be quite another story in Asia.
Generally, VPN users have to weigh up security vs speed as more layers of security tend to throttle speeds. IPVanish, however, delivers high speeds even on the OpenVPN protocol which is deemed to be the safest. IPVanish’s impressive speeds aren’t limited to the USA and Europe either, and it’s one of the few VPNs that manages to produce usable speeds in Africa as well. IPVanish is a popular choice for Asia as well, although it struggles to operate in the stringent online environment of China.
Overall, IPVanish delivers impressive speeds consistently throughout its server network and is in a position to give its rivals a run for their money when it comes to being the fastest VPN in the world.
While speeds can be tested, privacy is a little more tricky and has posed a few problems for IPVanish in the past. Last year, IPVanish hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after being asked to hand over information pertaining to a certain suspect user. Initially, the Highwinds Network Group, IPVanish parent group, refused to hand over logs, saying, “we do not log and usage information. Therefore, we do not have any information regarding the referenced IP”.
While that sounds encouraging, it isn’t the end of the story, and when Highwinds was issued with a second summons, it handed over the user’s name, email address, source IP address, and as well as his connection dates and times. If it sounds like a log and looks like a log, the chances are it is a log! Fortunately, this scandal is behind IPVanish now, after it changed hands back in 2017.
Since being purchased by StackPath a couple of years ago, IPVanish has undergone an overhaul that leaves the memories of user logs in the distant past. Although it may be difficult to trust a company whose former claims of no logging have been proved false, the new IPVanish has introduced additional layers of security to ensure that all “data passing through our network is encrypted and unreadable by anybody, including us”.
Compared to ExpressVPN which, when called upon to hand over user information literally couldn’t because no logs existed, IPVanish has got a way to go to convince us that no logging really means no logging. In the meantime, however, their privacy and no-logging policies are consistent with the industry standard and we have no reason to doubt their sincerity.
While some VPNs seem to have a special feature for every conceivable function, IPVanish prefers to keep things simple and streamlined. Unfortunately, that means if you’re looking for a VPN that will give you additional security features like a multi-hop or double VPN service you should look elsewhere. IPVanish has few of the added extras we’ve come to expect from the likes of SurfShark VPN or NordVPN but what it does do, it does with style.
IPVanish prides itself on its efficacy as a cybersecurity solution for VoIP services, giving users the ability to select a different location to their actual geographical locale and thereby obtain cheaper VoIP calling rates. Not only that, but IPVanish will also encrypt your conversations so you can get around censorship block and obstructive firewalls.
In addition to the encrypted protection of IPVanish’s VPN, the company also gives users the option of using an unencrypted SOCKS5 Web Proxy. While isn’t as secure as a VPN, it will mask your real IP address and geographical location, enabling you to access blocked content. The lack of encryption also means much faster speeds and many users opt for a SOCKS5 proxy for P2P services and torrenting.
IPVanish boasts the same basic functions as most other reliable VPNs, including apps that are compatible with the most popular platforms, including Android, Chromebook, Fire TV, Windows, and various routers. By creating an encrypted tunnel, IPVanish gives you anonymous access to any content without limiting your bandwidth.
Some features that are notably missing from IPVanish’s service include a multi-hop or double VPN service in which data is passed through two or more encrypted servers, thereby increasing security. Neither does IPVanish appear to have an ad-blocking feature available, although the VPN encryption in itself means advertisers can’t target users according to geographical location. Another major setback with IPVanish is that it struggles to unblock Netflix and doesn’t work effectively in China, where internet censorship is doled out with a heavy hand.
While IPVanish offers a fast and reliable VPN service, it is limited in its functionality and is missing some features that strengthen the service and that we consider the norm in terms of what a VPN should offer. Yes, you can connect up to 10 devices which is nice for bigger households, and swap between servers as often as you want, but when it comes to more advanced security features, IPVanish is sadly lacking.
IPVanish is an affordable VPN with competitive prices aimed at those unwilling to launch into a multiyear contract with one of the bigger players, like NordVPN. While NordVPN and other rival VPNs offer two and three-year subscriptions, IPVanish’s longest subscription option is just one year long. Unfortunately, this means that it doesn’t give users access to quite the same rates as, for example, CyberGhost VPN. CyberGhost’s best offer is a three-year subscription at $2.75 per month. In comparison, IPVanish’s cheapest package is sitting rather high at $6.69 per month for a one-year period.
While IPVanish maintains prices just below the industry average, with a one-month subscription costing just $10, longer, more cost-effective packages would be a welcome addition to its pricing tiers. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a VPN to cover you for a six-month trip to Europe or because you need online protection for a specific job contract, you could do worse than IPVanish, especially given its consistently fast speeds.
The level of customer support among the top VPNs is surprisingly high, incorporating online tutorials and guides with 24/7 live chat services. As a result, competition is fierce and only the best will do. In the past, IPVanish has been accused of slow response times but it’s obviously targeted this issue effectively as we received an answer via the online chat within minutes.
Having said that, the response was impersonal and, rather than giving a straight answer, redirected us to the relevant page on their website. Furthermore, there was no follow-up to check that we’d resolved our issue and needed no further assistance. In short, the customer service is good, but it trails behind industry leaders like ExpressVPN and NordVPN considerably.
Similarly, the support section of IPVanish’s website gives some useful information but its design could use an overhaul. Currently, the text-heavy layout is uninviting and the section headings unclear, making it difficult to navigate. For example, if I have a connectivity problem, I’d expect to find my answer under the heading ‘Connectivity’. On the IPVanish site, however, the relevant answers might be found in the ‘Set-up Guides’ section of the support center, or the ‘Troubleshooting’ section, or even the ‘About IPVanish’ section. Again, this isn’t a catastrophe but it does detract from IPVanish’s overall performance.
If you wish to speak to a customer service representative, you can use the live chat option or you can submit a ticket by completing the online form. Don’t expect a miracle, however, as the ticket system is rather sluggish and, if you submit your request outside of office hours or over the weekend, be prepared to wait it out. At least the answer you get will be informative, but IPVanish needs to do more than that if it’s going to compete with the industry leaders.
In terms of providing securely encrypted, high-speed connections, IPVanish does a great job and its extensive global server network means users can connect from any international location. When it comes to advanced options and extra security features, however, IPVanish has got a long way to go if it wants to compete with the likes of ExpressVPN. Similarly, although IPVanish is using the same encryption technology as its rivals, it struggles to achieve the same standard of performance and frequently battles to unblock Netflix.
IPVanish users enjoy high-speed connections but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re stable connections, and customers have indicated some dissatisfaction at the frequent disconnects they experience using IPVanish’s VPN service. Furthermore, IPVanish has proved unable to function in heavily restricted online climates, like that of China.
IPVanish is an average VPN at an average price but there are more effective and feature-rich alternatives available at cheaper prices so, when it comes to value for money, you can definitely do better than IPVanish. Last year’s no-logging policy scandal has done little to improve IPVanish’s reputation, despite the company changing hands since then. While we believe that IPVanish is a no-logging service, it may take a little longer to convince the general public. A solid VPN, but you could do better.