IPVanish is a solid VPN service that sits in the mid-range category but comes packed with value. It's got the essentials down:
Now, the service also rocks no IP or DNS leaks, so you're pretty secure in that department.
The kicker? It's super affordable for the first year, making it a great entry point if you're new to VPNs or on a budget.
If you're a privacy hawk, the company's business location might make you think twice. Also, while it does well with Netflix and YouTube, it sometimes needs help to unblock other streaming platforms.
The newest update includes WireGuard speeds, meaning you'll be streaming HD content without any lag. So, if Netflix and YouTube are your jams, you're in for a smooth ride.
If you're after a cheap, fast VPN mainly for Netflix and torrenting, IPVanish is a strong contender.
Overview of advantages and disadvantages
IPVanish rocks a collection of around 2,200 servers in 52 global locations. The server count might not be the highest, but it's spread across many countries. Plus, IPVanish owns all these servers, offering an extra layer of security.
Here's a quick look at where these servers are mostly concentrated:
Choosing a server is a breeze with IPVanish's user-friendly map interface. Just:
Pro Tip: If you're eyeing Asian servers, be prepared for a crowd. Europe, however, offers a smoother experience.
Remember, the further the VPN server is from your location, the more your speed might dip.
The short answer: No. IPVanish is currently blocked in China. However, you could try a workaround by connecting via manual configurations to the servers' IP addresses. But keep your expectations in check; it might not work.
The service uses WireGuard, one of the fastest tunneling protocols. Our tests showed download speeds retaining about 80-90% of the original speed. Upload speeds are equally impressive.
IPVanish isn't a one-trick pony but supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP. Here's how they stack up:
|Download Speed (Mbps)
|Upload Speed (Mbps)
Got a question? Head straight to IPVanish's Knowledge Center. This goldmine is jam-packed with FAQs that cover a broad range of issues. Whether it's setup or troubleshooting, you're likely to find your answer here. Plus, many solutions come with easy-to-follow images. The content is up-to-date and well-maintained.
If the Knowledge Center doesn't cut it for you, reach out directly. You have two main options: email and 24/7 live chat.
Email: Expect a slower response. I shot them an email about unblocking iPlayer and only heard back after three days. If time is of the essence, email might not be your best bet.
24/7 Live Chat: This is where things speed up. I got my questions answered in real time. If you're looking for quick and efficient, this is your go-to.
What sets IPVanish's customer support apart? Real-time updates on service issues. Their portal tells you if there are any significant hiccups, so you're not left wondering if the problem is on your end.
IPVanish has a mixed bag of performance when it comes to streaming. It does well with big players like Netflix and YouTube TV but falls short with Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Unlike NordVPN or Surfshark, which offer specialized servers for streaming, IPVanish uses general-purpose servers for all activities. This could be a pain point if you're trying to unblock specific streaming platforms.
IPVanish does a decent job unblocking US, UK, and India Netflix libraries. No issues with freezing or buffering were experienced. However, it struggles with most European Netflix libraries. So, if European content is your thing, you should look elsewhere.
The experience here was mixed. Although BBC iPlayer was unblocked, the streaming quality was far from optimal. Buffering issues were also present, making it less than ideal for this platform.
I tested IPVanish on several other platforms and found it somewhat limited. Besides Netflix and YouTube TV, only HBO Max and BBC iPlayer were successfully unblocked. It failed to unblock Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
You can also set up IPVanish on streaming boxes like Kodi, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Roku. For Roku, you’ll need additional hardware like a DD-WRT or Tomato router, as the platform itself can’t connect to IPVanish directly.
IPVanish is a pioneer in offering a dedicated Apple TV app. Thanks to the tvOS 17 update, you can download the app directly from the Apple TV App Store. This app includes features like "Optimal Location" for best speeds and a "Favorites" list for easy reconnection.
IPVanish is decent for torrenting but not exceptional. It doesn’t offer specialized P2P servers; however, the download speeds were found to be between 7-8 MB/s (56-64 Mbps). A free SOCKS5 proxy is also available for those wanting to maintain high speeds while ensuring security.
SOCKS5 Proxy comes free with IPVanish and hides your IP address, making it popular for torrenting. However, it doesn't encrypt your data, so your ISP can still view your activities.
SugarSync is like Dropbox but more secure. It encrypts your files with AES-256 encryption, the same standard your VPN connection uses. What sets it apart? The "Upload by Email" feature. Have you got an email with an attachment securely? Just forward it to a unique email address, and it's instantly saved in the cloud. It is handy if you use secure email services with limited storage.
Automate your VPN connection with On Demand. You can set it to connect automatically under specific conditions, like when you're not at home. You can even turn it off for specific Wi-Fi networks or websites. Unfortunately, this feature is iOS-exclusive.
Split Tunneling gives you granular control over which apps go through the VPN and which don't. Want to order food from a local app while streaming a foreign Netflix show? You can do that. This feature also reduces the risk of triggering security alerts on sensitive apps like banking. However, it's only available for Android users.
Toggle on the XOR cipher, and you make it harder for anyone to detect you're using a VPN. This is essential if you're in a country that aggressively blocks VPNs.
Your data is safe behind a 256-bit AES encryption wall, the same standard used by governments and financial institutions. Account authentication uses SHA-512 hash functions, making it highly secure. The keys are also constantly changing thanks to perfect forward secrecy.
IPVanish offers a broad range of tunneling protocols. WireGuard is the default and best overall option, while OpenVPN and IKEv2 are also robust choices.
The kill switch is your safety net, cutting off your internet if your VPN connection drops. There's also a dedicated Fire TV app, and in tests, it performed reliably.
Though based in the privacy-unfriendly United States, IPVanish has a robust no-log policy. However, they do use tracking cookies on their website. Their privacy reputation took a hit in the past due to an FBI collaboration, but they've since been audited and approved by Leviathan Security Group.
Windows users, you're in for a treat. IPVanish on Windows gives you several tabs:
Server List, and
Account settings. Hop between these tabs, and you can instantly change settings or switch servers.
Extra Perk: The Windows version has a customizable kill switch that allows local network blocks. So, apart from SSTP and PPTP tunneling protocols, it's on par with the macOS version.
Mac users, don't feel left out. The macOS version might not be as tweakable as the Windows one, but it’s still super user-friendly.
If you've been around the block with cybersecurity tools, you'll know Android often outshines iOS—IPVanish is no different.
The iOS version keeps things simple and sleek.
Server Selection: IPVanish takes the guesswork out of choosing a server. It identifies the best server and city available for you.
Even though the iOS app looks nicer, the Android app holds its own.
Status Info: You can see your new IP, server name, location, and time connected. Plus, there's a light and dark mode switch to match your phone’s theme.
Deciding between IPVanish pricing plans concerns one key question: Do you need SugarSync encrypted storage? Here's the breakdown of your options:
VPN + SugarSync Bundle:
The catch? You pay the total amount upfront, no matter which plan you pick. But let's face it, these prices are reasonable considering all the features you're getting.
The SugarSync bundle is a steal if you're searching for encrypted storage. Remember, though, that the discounted rates for the bundle won't last forever. After the first month or year, prices bounce back to normal.
IPVanish takes the cake as the most wallet-friendly VPN for a year. For detailed info on the SugarSync bundle, you can directly ping IPVanish.
Both options offer unlimited simultaneous connections. go ahead and use the VPN on as many devices as you like.
You can pay through credit cards and PayPal. If you're a cryptocurrency enthusiast, you're out of luck here.
You can score a 7-day free trial of premium IPVanish when you opt for an annual plan. Here's how to get it:
Post-setup, you can use your free trial account on your computer, too.
After the trial, you can also take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee. Combine these two, and you get 37 days of free premium service.
Same features, security protocols, and server choices as the paid version.