IPVanish review

A VPN with no logging, loads of options but also some problems

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Our Verdict

IPVanish is a fast and highly configurable VPN with excellent live chat support to keep the service running smoothly on your devices. However, there are some issues with usability and uncertain locations of a small number of servers hold it back from the top spot.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Feature-packed Windows client
  • Split-tunneling support

Cons

  • Apps can be awkward to use
  • A few servers may not be in the advertised locations
  • No Bitcoin support
  • Some logging concerns

IPVanish is a US-based VPN that boasts more than its competitors by proclaiming itself “The World’s Best VPN Service”.

The company highlights its features which include 40,000+ shared IPs, 1,000+ P2P-friendly servers in more than 60 countries, zero traffic logs and live chat support available 24/7. 

IPVanish’s website explains that its service is ‘the world’s only Top Tier VPN service provider’, which means the company owns and manages its own servers. This is good news as the company has more control over how its servers are set up and run.

IPVanish offers a wide variety of clients with support for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and even Amazon Fire. There are even setup guides available on its site for Linux, Chromebooks, routers and other less mainstream platforms.

The service supports up to ten simultaneous devices so that users can connect to its VPN using their smartphone, laptop, desktop and still have the ability to connect even more devices. IPVanish excels in device support when compared to the competition with ExpressVPN supporting five devices and NordVPN only supporting three.

Plans and pricing

IPVanish offers three straightforward plans and customers can pay $10 (£7.69) per month billed monthly; $8.99 (£6.92) per month if they pay for three months up-front; and only $6.49 (£4.99) when they sign up for its annual plan.

There is no free trial available for users that want to test out the service but the company does offer a 7-day money-back guarantee though you will have to input your payment details.

IPVanish allows its customers to pay by either card or PayPal. The company did offer Bitcoin and other options before but now unfortunately that is no longer the case.

Privacy

IPVanish protects your privacy with industry-standard AES-256 encryption and the service also supports other highly secure protocols including OpenVPN and IKEv2.

The company’s Windows client offers a kill switch, DNS and even IPv6 leak protection to reduce the chance of its customers’ identities being exposed online if the VPN connection drops.

IPVanish’s mobile apps however do not have a kill switch which makes them a little more vulnerable if the VPN drops unexpectedly. The iOS app makes up for this by allowing you to create lists of wireless networks which IPVanish will always protect and others which it can ignore because you know they are safe such as your home network.

Logging

On its website, IPVanish explains its logging policy clearly, saying:

"Our strict zero-logs policy keeps your identity under wraps. We do not record any of your activity while connected to our apps in order to preserve your civil right to privacy."

Concerns over the service’s logging policy were raised in June 2018 when a document emerged that showed the company had handed over information on a user’s activities, including connection and disconnection times, to the US Department of Homeland Security.

Luckily though, IPVanish was sold after this incident occurred and its new owner StackPath has made it clear that it had no knowledge on the case as it happened under the company’s previous ownership.

StackPath has since reaffirmed that "With no exception IPVanish does not, has not, and will not log or store logs of our users as a StackPath company.”

All VPN logging policies should be taken with a grain of salt but it is nice to see that StackPath has doubled down on its stance when it comes to logging.

Performance

Speed is one of the most important factors for many users when choosing a VPN and IPVanish did not disappoint in that department. We were also quite impressed that we only experienced a single connection failure while running our series of performance tests.

While some of IPVanish’s servers experienced geolocation issues and appeared to not be in the location they said they were, the US and UK servers had no geolocation issues.

Download speeds from our local UK servers were quite fast at 62-70Mbps but there was a slight slowdown when we connected to servers that were further away though this is generally the case with most VPNs.

Client setup

IPVanish excels when it comes to platform support and the service has clients available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Fire TV with setup guides covering how to get this VPN up and running on Linux, Chromebooks and even routers.

The app download links are easy to find on its website and the company allows you to download its clients without even having to log in to your IPVanish account.

IPVanish’s Windows and Mac clients installed quite easily and its iOS and Android apps were simple to find on their respective app stores. The company even offers a direct download of the Android APK file on its website for experts that require more control of the setup process.

IPVanish even provides manual setup tutorials for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux and other platforms for those who are not interested in the official clients.

Support

If your VPN isn’t functioning as it should, the IPVanish Help Centre is there to point you in the right direction. A System Status link warns you of any big company-wide problems, the service’s web knowledgebase is searchable by keywords and there are support articles organised into key categories such as setup, troubleshooting, billing and more.

IPVanish offers multiple tutorials for Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS and Linux as well as guidance on using the service with ChromeOS, various routers and streaming platforms like Roku, Chromecast and Kodi.

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for in the knowledgebase, live chat is available right on the website. You can also email the support team directly with your questions though the response times could be faster as one of our queries took more than half a day to get a response to.

Final verdict

IPVanish is fast, configurable and includes some interesting features. The apps come with a few annoyances and are not the most comfortable to use. However, if you’re looking for both power and performance we recommend you give this VPN a try.

The Verdict

4

out of 5

IPVanish

IPVanish is a fast and highly configurable VPN with excellent live chat support to keep the service running smoothly on your devices. However, there are some issues with usability and uncertain locations of a small number of servers hold it back from the top spot.