IPVanish VPN Review: The Fastest Service?
IPVanish is a robust mid-range VPN that performs with incredible speeds and offers some pretty compelling features. Although not as popular as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, they’re well-known in the VPN industry.
They claim to be the fastest VPN on the market, so, naturally, we had to test whether that’s true or not.
In this IPVanish VPN review, we tested their speeds, reliability, security, data leaks, compatibility with torrents and Netflix, and other factors.
And after all the testing we can say that they’re seriously fast. In fact so fast, that out of all the VPNs that we’ve tested, IPVanish takes the first place.
Typically, you would expect a speed loss of 20 - 40% for U.S. - Europe connections and 30 - 70% for long-distance ones. With IPVanish we literally experienced no speed losses whatsoever. Even Europe - Asia connections didn’t have any losses.
We haven’t gotten faster results by anyone.
So this is probably the strongest selling point of IPVanish and the main reason why you would want to use them.
It allows up to 10 different connections, which is nice. Especially, if you’re looking to share the login credentials with close friends and family.
To compare, ExpressVPN allows only three connections, and NordVPN only six.
Nowadays, It’s not uncommon for VPNs to be detected by Netflix. Only some are still working with Netflix, so naturally, we had to test if IPVanish is between them.
Our results showed that three out of five U.S. servers were working with Netflix. And because their servers are so fast and reliable, the streaming quality was crystal clear.
If you’re not satisfied with their services, you’ll be able to get a refund in the first seven days of using their services.
We tested if their claims are true and we were able to get a full refund after three days of usage and testing, so we can vouch for its legitimacy.
Ideally, you’d want a service that’s registered in a private and far-away jurisdiction. This way, the VPN would be unreachable by U.S. and European intelligence agencies.
Unfortunately, they are registered in the U.S., which makes data and privacy leaks far more likely. Even in 2016, the FBI was able to get specific users browsing history from IPVanish regarding a criminal case.
So if you’re looking to stay private, instead choose ExpressVPN. It’s located in the British Virgin Islands and has already been proven as a genuinely private VPN back when the Turkish government seized its servers, but couldn’t get any data about their users.
Although they state that they work pretty well for bypassing censored sites and apps, their users say otherwise. Even in their support section, they’ve admitted, that most likely their VPN won’t work in China.
For censored countries, you’d be better off with NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
Our tests revealed that Netflix is currently working with IPVanish. However, they haven’t mentioned this anywhere on their site.
Even if it works well with Netflix now, in the future it might not.
Some other VPNs like Cyberghost, NordVPN, and PrivateVPN offer a much easier way of finding servers that are currently working with Netflix. With IPVanish you’ll have to manually switch between servers until you find one that’s working.
Speed and reliability
IPVanish has stated that they’re the world’s fastest VPN. You can see that for yourself in this screenshot from their website...
That’s a pretty blatant statement, so we were thrilled to put them up to a test. We purchased a plan and tested for reliability and speed losses.
Speed results without a VPN
We started by performing several speed tests without a VPN. These tests were made from Europe, and without a VPN, our connection speed ranged from 15-25 Mbps.
All we had to do next was turn on IPVanish and see what results we got.
Speed results with IPVanish from Europe
From Germany, our download speed was 20.47 Mbps.
From Sweden, our download speed was 15.88 Mbps.
From the United Kingdom, our download speed was 16.26 Mbps.
As you can see, all of the speed results were in our original 15-25 Mbps range. We experienced no speed losses, which got us excited to test the long-distance ranges.
Speed results with IPVanish from the U.S.
From New York, our download speed was 15.18 Mbps.
From Los Angeles, our download speed was 21.29 Mbps.
From Chicago, our download speed was 18.52 Mbps.
Even for Europe - USA connections we experienced no speed losses. That’s truly amazing, because, with most other VPN providers, you’d expect to see at least 30-50% losses.
Next, we had to see how the Asian servers would perform.
Speed results with IPVanish from Asia
From Hong Kong, our download speed was 23.78 Mbps.
From Korea, our download speed was 25.28 Mbps.
From the Philippines, our download speed was 23.59 Mbps.
As an industry standard, you would experience at least 30-70% losses for Europe - Asia connections.
And as you can see, even from Asian servers we didn’t experience any speed losses. We were truly blown away with how fast IPVanish is.
How fast is IPVanish?
It is fast. Like, really fast.
At first, we were quite skeptical of their blatant statements about how they’re the fastest VPN provider. But after extensive testing, we can vouch for that.
Typically, you would experience 30-70% speed losses through a VPN, based on the server performance, distance, and other factors. We didn’t record any losses for IPVanish, which is impressive.
To compare, PrivateVPN and Private Internet Access, both similarly fast, also experienced no losses for Europe and U.S. connections but had minor speed losses from Asian servers.
Is IPVanish reliable?
We repeated our tests throughout various times of the day, and we didn’t record and noticeable differences in speed. Their servers were fast constantly, and we didn’t find any servers with slow speeds.
Also, we liked how fast the first connection to the VPN was. For instance, on Cyberghost, you had to wait ten or more seconds to connect, but with IPVanish the connection took just a few seconds.
We’d say that it probably offers the fastest and most reliable servers out there.
How often is IPVanish down?
We used their services for several days, and during that time no servers were down or having connectivity issues. For instance, on Cyberghost, some servers were exceptionally slower than others and kept disconnecting. Not the case with this provider.
Generally, they’ll have some periods of maintenance, but they’re always warning their customers early, and keeping the maintenance window open only for a few hours.
Is IPVanish secure?
When compared with other VPNs, we’d say that with IPVanish you shouldn’t be worried about getting hacked.
Tunneling protocols are used to make your connection private. They basically make sure that you connect to a specific computer or server, and no data is lost along the way, like sending your data through a tunnel.
IPVanish offers a large variety of protocols - OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP.
That’s good for a few advanced users, who need to switch between various tunneling protocols, based on their setup.
If, however, you’re not that tech-savvy, just set the tunneling protocol to OpenVPN - the securest protocol out of all - and you’ll be good to go.
They use AES 256-bit encryption. This encryption method was developed by the U.S. military and is considered undecipherable.
Nowadays, almost any provider uses this type of encryption, because it’s the securest one out there.
Some argue that this may be an overkill for your regular browsing needs. However, the speed differences between 256-bit and 128-bit encryptions are almost unnoticeable, so it kind of makes sense to use the strongest one.
No IPV4, IPV6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks
Sometimes, the cheaper VPNs aren't that secure after all because of DNS and IP leaks. Through these leaks, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) could see your browsing history.
So it’s a good idea to test for any leaks before you start using it for a private connection.
We tested IPVanish through various data leaking services, and we found no leaks. You can see some of the test results below.
24/7 live chat support
Just a few years back, most providers didn’t have a live chat. So the conversations went through email tickets and took days to get a reply.
IPVanish has steered away from this and implemented a 24/7 online chat. It’s accessible by clicking the chat icon in the right corner and searching for anything in the search box. After you see the results, you’ll be presented with the option to start the live chat.
To test their support, we tried to get a refund to see if they’d return us the full amount. You can see how the conversation went down below.
We had to wait around five minutes until the chat started, and while we were looking for the Invoice ID, the representative updated his message and left.
Although he did answer everything that we needed, overall the experience didn’t feel too welcoming. It looks like they employ only a few people, and they’re always in a rush to finish the conversation quickly. So be aware of that if you ever run into any issues.
Anyway, we tried canceling the subscription through their website, and everything worked flawlessly - we got the refund the same day.
Device compatibility and apps
They are mostly compatible with all the popular devices and operating systems. The app variety isn’t too large, but they offer standalone setup tutorials for those devices which don’t have a dedicated app.
Here’s what devices and operating systems have dedicated apps:
And for these devices and operating systems, they’ve made setup tutorials:
Although their website and apps are pretty easy to use and navigate, they’re targeted for advanced users instead of regular people. Most others offer a better user experience, aimed for ordinary people who are new to VPNs.
The signup process
Overall, the registration process went by smoothly.
All we had to do was select the plan, enter the email, and add the payment details. After we confirmed our email address, we were good to go.
We were presented with this screen that summarizes the order and lets you download the installers for most common apps.
App user experience
Once we downloaded the installer, the installation itself was reasonably easy.
Below you can see how the Windows (left) and Android (right) apps look side by side.
As you can see, both apps are relatively minimalistic. However, they look like they’re made for fairly advanced users. Maybe it’s just the connection chart and all the unneeded statistics displayed.
Now when it comes to actually using the VPN, if the location isn’t important, you can leave the selected country as it is, and you’ll be connected to the fastest nearby server by pressing the ‘connect’ button.
If, however, you need to connect to a specific country or city, the server filtering can be pretty handy (seen in the next screenshot.) You can filter out servers with small latency, based on a particular country or city.
Under general options, you’ll be able to set up how IPVanish starts up.
We liked that IPVanish allows you to select which server you’ll be automatically connected to upon each startup. Others usually connect to the last server that you used or to the nearest location.
Under “Connection,” you'll basically be able to set up how strong the encryption is (And thus, how fast the VPN performs.)
If you’re concerned about your security, you can enable DNS and IPV6 leak protection, turn on the kill-switch, choose the securest tunneling protocol, and obfuscate your traffic. If, however, you’re gaming or watching Netflix, and rather have faster speeds, disable all of that, and your speeds should slightly increase.
We like that they give you control over all of this. Most others just set up the maximum security and call it a day.
Locations and servers
Although IPVanish doesn’t offer too many servers, it’s more than enough for the regular user. In total, they offer 1200+ servers in 60 countries.
To compare, ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers and NordVPN offers 5000+ servers. It looks like they’re going for a different strategy - instead of providing massive amounts of mediocre ones, they provide a small number of fast and reliable VPN servers.
Is IPVanish good for torrenting?
Yes, they are great for torrents. Some service providers throttle the connection speeds when you use torrents, while some close their eyes and pretend like they don’t exist. Only a few, like IPVanish, openly allow it.
It’s a good idea to use a VPN or a proxy while you use torrents, because sometimes you may be downloading something illegal, or your ISP might be lowering your download speeds just because they see that you’re using torrents.
By using a VPN, your real IP will be hidden, and your connection will be secure.
With IPVanish you have two options on how to use torrents; You can either use them through a regular VPN connection or use a SOCKS5 proxy (That’s free and comes with every account.)
You can find the SOCKS5 login details on their website.
We tested the torrent download speeds without a VPN, with a VPN, and with SOCKS5, to see which one was the fastest. You can see the results below.
By using a regular VPN connection, our download speeds were decreased by 40%, and with a SOCKS5 proxy by 50%.
Is IPVanish good for Netflix?
Unfortunately, they don’t openly talk about Netflix. And many other providers are doing the same because Netflix is actively banning them.
Though, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work with Netflix. On our tests, three out of five U.S. servers were working with Netflix. But because IPVanish isn’t talking about this, in future Netflix could potentially stop working, and they’ll put no effort into fixing that, so be aware of that.
What’s interesting, is that instead of getting the usual Netflix error, from some servers we couldn’t even connect to Netflix’s site. You can see the error down below.
But on other servers, Netflix was working flawlessly. And because their servers are so fast and stable, the streaming quality was also crystal clear.
To find a server that’s compatible with Netflix, you’ll have to connect to several U.S. servers until you find one that’s working.
So yes, IPVanish currently works with Netflix, but it’s not supported. If you need one that supports Netflix, you should check out ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, or CyberGhost.
Does IPVanish work in China and other censored countries?
Although you can get it to work in most censored countries, we wouldn’t recommend going with IPVanish specifically for that purpose. The reason being, because in China and the Middle East, it most likely won’t work with the default configuration.
To get it to work, you’ll have to follow the IPVanish setup guides, which require some tech knowledge.
So if you’re looking for a service that works in censored countries, you would be better off with ExpressVPN, PrivateVPN, or NordVPN.
IPVanish is owned by StackPath and is registered in the U.S. You might think that it’s a good thing, but it’s not.
Ideally, you’d want a service that’s registered in private, unreachable jurisdictions, like Panama, the Virgin Islands, Switzerland, The Cayman Islands, e.t.c.
Because it is registered in the USA, the VPN is far more reachable for most intelligence agencies.
‘No logs’ policy
IPVanish isn’t collecting any private information about their users, so even if an intelligence agency requested information about a specific user, they wouldn’t have anything meaningful.
However, back in 2016 an active FBI case actually confirmed the opposite. When the FBI requested information regarding a criminal case, IPVanish provided information about the browsing history of that specific user, which proves that they were collecting logs.
A few months later, IPVanish was bought by StackPath. They didn’t comment about the practices of the previous owner “Highwinds network group,” but they said that now they aren’t collecting any logs.
So can we trust their ‘No logs’ policy?
In our opinion, not really. IPVanish has already been proven wrong, so we wouldn’t recommend them for those who need to keep their connection private at all costs.
Essentially, the kill switch blocks your data connection once you’re disconnected from the VPN. This way your real IP is protected and not sent to any third parties unintentionally.
Up to 10 allowed connections
A while back they were allowing only five connections through various devices. Now, they’ve upped the limit to 10 connections. Only Private Internet Access also allows 10 connections, and most others keep the limit much lower.
Pricing and discounts
Although IPVanish isn’t considered affordable, it’s not the most expensive option either. Especially, if you’re paying monthly or for three months.
You can get it for $6.49 per month if you pay yearly, and $10 per month if you pay monthly.
To compare, ExpressVPN costs $6.67 yearly / $12.95 monthly, and NordVPN costs $6.99 yearly / $11.95 monthly.
Here you can see the full pricing details.
20% discount before purchasing
If you’re looking for additional discounts, we found a neat little trick.
When you click “start now” on their homepage, you’ll be redirected to their sign up page. Don’t enter or select anything for a few seconds; just move your mouse around, pretending to be casually looking around.
This might be a short-term thing and might not work in the future, but a 20% discount offer will pop up.
If you click on “Get Offer Now,” you’ll get an additional 20% discount on all plans.
You’ll be able to pay with the most common payment methods:
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to pay with Bitcoin or other private payment methods.
Our final verdict: Is IPVanish worth it?
For some IPVanish is probably the best option by miles, but for others, another provider would be a smarter choice.
This IPVanish VPN review revealed that they have the fastest and most reliable servers between all providers. So it would make sense to use them for torrents and other instances where you’d need fast speeds.
Also, although they aren't supporting Netflix, most of their servers are working, and the streaming quality is crystal clear.
However, IPVanish has some negative aspects as well…
Its privacy is not really that private. Although the connection is secure, it’s registered in the U.S. and was caught collecting logs back in 2016. And you won’t be able to pay with Bitcoin, so you’ll trust them with your full name. A big no-no for those who are looking to stay in the shadows.
Also, you won’t be able to use them in censored countries if you’re not that tech-savvy.
IPVanish is worth it only if you’re planning on using it for torrents and Netflix. However, if you’re looking for a service that also bypasses censorship and is private, you should check out ExpressVPN.