Updated: January 1st, 2018
This is the most comprehensive IPVanish review available online. You will find everything you need to know about IPVanish from price plans and performance to support and device compatibility. A detailed setup guide is included to help you get IPVanish installed quickly and easily.
IPVanish runs a very comprehensive VPN service featuring fast speeds, good customer support, and at a reasonable price. What really sets them apart is being able to offer China-based server locations, allowing access to websites/online services only offered within China. They are one of the only U.S.-based VPN providers we have come across that offers such support in China. ExpressVPN doesn’t appear to offer that coverage either.Their cross platform support and no logging policy also make them a great VPN choice.
Operating System Compatibility
1 month plan for $10 USD
3 months plan for $26.99 USD
12 month plan for $77.99 USD
VPN Protocols Offered
- Good speeds
- Great support
- Lots of server locations all over the world
- Cross platform support on all major operating systems
- Accept Bitcoin
- They don't keep logs.
- Basic VPN client
- They're a US based company which isn't ideal for those concerned about privacy.
IPVanish is one of the fastest growing companies in the VPN space. They continue to invest money and resources into their service. We highly recommend trying IPVanish's VPN service. Did we mention they also a have a 7 day money back guarantee? Read on for the full IPVanish VPN review...
Full IPVanish Review
Pricing, Plans & Payment Options
IPVanish one of the most popular VPNs out there today largely in part because it provides a highly competitive service for a very competitive price.
As with the vast majority of VPN service providers in the market right now, IPVanish offer three different payment options for users:
These prices are surprisingly reasonable for such a high-caliber VPN service. To put things in perspective, here are the prices of several of the other VPNs:
- NordVPN - $5 a month for an annual package
- VyprVPN - $7.29 a month for an annual package
- ExpressVPN - $8.32 a month for an annual package
As you can see, IPVanish is a little bit cheaper than the majority of other top-tier VPN providers. Not bad at all for everything that you get out of it.
The three offered payment plans are sectioned as you would hope, with a user being offered a lower monthly payment for a longer commitment. So if you lock in for the year, you pay as little as $6.49 a month; 3 month subscription increases the price to $8.99 p/month; $10 for just the monthly option.
This payment plan is standard and is definitely fair to customers.
IPVanish offer up a solid amount of options for customers to pay via. They cover the most common ones such as PayPal and Credit card, which is great. In addition to these they also cover more less common options, and most importantly they give customers the option to pay in BitCoins:
Offering BitCoin as a payment option is a really big incentive for users that are looking to keep their anonymity to the highest level, since making payments in BitCoin allows for a zero traceable "paper trail".
Overall, IPVanish offer exactly what most potential users would hope for, as far as payment pricing, plans and options go. This information is also readily presented clearly to the user very boldly as soon as they arrive on the site. Good stuff.
Money back Guarantee
IPVanish confidently offer a money back guarantee for all users that sign up for the service. This guarantee is a 7-day period. It isn’t as extensive as some of its competitors, such as ExpressVPN, Buffered, HideMyAss or NordVPN, which all offer 30-day money back guarantees. However, the 7-day period is still better than a lot of the other providers on the market. Many companies like CactusVPN and SaferVPN only offer a 24-hour money back guarantee, which doesn’t give you nearly enough time to test out the service. Some don’t offer any money-back guarantee at all.
The 7-day money back guarantee comes with all the functionality you need to try the service out. This is better than the providers that offer “free trials”, because they tend to offer lower functionality.
We are always very happy and encouraged when a VPN service provider offers a money back guarantee. This always speaks volumes about how confident the company are in their service, which 99% of the time equals a very good service being offered!
I was a little disappointed in the length of the money back guarantee that is offered though. 7 days is certainly a great amount of time to test out their VPN service and really get a feel for it before making a decision to commit to using it longterm or not. However, nowadays it's more expected that a VPN service provider offers up a 30-day money back guarantee.
That IPVanish's direct competitors offer this 30-day money back guarantee gives them a real edge over IPVanish, so it would be great if IPVanish were to test run offering a longer 'grace period' for its new customers.
IPVanish offer a really top-level quality of service with their VPN. This is where their stellar reputation as one of the world's top VPN service providers is truly justified. They offer a 100% Tier-1 network of VPNs through servers across a very large amount of countries. They currently have over 400 servers in 61 countries. This is more than every other major VPN provider we have reviewed, except for ExpressVPN. NordVPN and TorGuard have just servers in just over 50 countries, while Anonymizer and iPredator have a presence in a couple countries.
The depth of IP addresses is another huge plus for IPVanish. You can connect to over 40,000 unique IPs and that list is growing by the day. You shouldn’t have to worry about recycling the same IP for sensitive projects, even if you are connecting to a small country with a limited number of servers.
This means that you can depend on IPVanish to help protect your true identity and hide the fact that you are using a VPN by rotating different countries in their list.
IPVanish also offers an unlimited amount of bandwidth and unlimited P2P traffic to all of its users. This is rare among VPNs these days.
These servers are not just plentiful, but are also spread across all the major cities one would hope for, such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Not only this, but IPVanish actually offer multiple servers in these vital locations, which enables them to give users some of the best, fastest speeds currently on offer from any VPN. You can also switch to as many different servers as you would like.
IPVanish is more generous than many of its competitors in the number of devices users can use. You can connect up to five devices to your IPVanish account at any given time. By comparison, ExpressVPN only allows you to connect three devices at once. NordVPN allows you to connect six devices, but they are stingier on the number of connections you can use.
Users can connect to their IPVanish VPN from any device they wish to use it on, which is brilliant. However, as far as multiple-connected devices go, this is somewhat restricted. They allow users to have up to 2 simultaneous connections to their IPVanish VPN, but only with one device on the OpenVPN connection and another on one of the other protocols they offer connections through.
The other most important feature to note of IPVanish's service, is that they have complete 100% zero-logs policy. This is so important, and not enough VPN service providers can give such a level of privacy to their users. Even user connections are not logged, which is really brilliant.
Conducting this IPVanish VPN review also brought to my attention that the service also gives you much more control over the servers that you connect to. When I tried using HideMyAss, it would only allow me to choose a country to find a server to connect to. I couldn’t choose the city or the server. HideMyAss just found the one that seemed to be the fastest connection.
Sometimes you need to connect to a specific IP or a server in a specific city. This is especially important if you are trying to access restricted content in a particular country with few IP addresses. When using IPVanish, you can rotate servers better than you could with the majority of other VPNs.
The software is very light, clearly designed and simple to navigate. The entire process of making payment, signing up, downloading the software, setting it up and launched on your devices just takes a few minutes. I was really impressed by the speed and ease with this setup.
The first step is, upon payment you are sent an activation email to confirm your account activation. Within this email is a link you click on that takes you to the main setup page, which is where you simply click on the device/operating system you're using and want the VPN setup on.
This is what that main setup download page looks like:
And once you click on the 'Download' button, you're taken to the page that clearly shows you the options for downloading to your particular device[s]:
One very small oversight by IPVanish that I was hoping they would deliver on, was that the setup page did not automatically identify the device I was accessing the site from at that moment. This would've been a nice touch. ExpressVPN, for example, auto-identify your device when you're setting up the VPN, and presents you with the exact download link you need. This removes any confusion of scanning of the many options to find your specific download link among the many others.
Once your download is complete (this took a few moments for me, which showed me that this VPN is a little on the 'heavy' side, size-wise) you install it as you would any piece of software. On my Macbook this was as follows:
I didn’t try it out on a Windows system. However, people that have (such as TechRadar’s Mike Williams) report that is has a wider range of functionality than most other VPNs with Windows support.
So you pop it into your 'Applications' folder, then open it up from there. You'll then be presented with the main IPVanish interface that you'll be working with all the time. On first setup though, you will have a window come down in front of the main interface prompting you for just a couple of quick questions so they can cater the software to your specific preferences. This felt a little annoying at first, but the questions were super quick, and actually really made a lot of sense and made me feel very in control of the VPN.
Here's a quick look at this process:
As you can see, it is a nice compact, clean interface that you work with. And the setup helper that takes you through just a few questions in a few seconds is equally as clear. You don't feel like you're answering any questions that are giving information away; more that you are customising the VPN to work how you want it to work:
I won't bombard you with the rest of the questions, but they are all centred around whether you want to give the IPVanish software permissions to e.g. remember your login details, automatically launch when your device starts up and automatically connect when you launch the VPN.
Once the setup questions are done, you are presented with the main interface. It is exactly what you would want from a VPN: clean, minimal, and super easy to navigate:
As you can see in the above screenshot, the main window is literally a list of all the servers that they have to offer you. This is exactly what you want to see, as it means you can very quickly find the country you want your IP address to be set to (e.g. the US, so you can access that full Netflix!), click on your choice, and in a few moments you are connected to that server. Very simple:
As you can see in the screenshots above of the entire interface, you also have a readily available dropdown for the Protocols IPVanish offer (OpenVPN (TCP) & (UDP), L2TP and PPTP). So you have the option to launch the VPN from any one of these protocols, should you want to sacrifice a bit of security for a faster network speed.
For this review IPVanish, I got the software onto my Android device. Setting up IPVanish onto an Android device is even more simple and fast than on desk/laptop devices. You have the option of clicking through the same activation email from your Android device, which takes you to the same previously shown download page where you can then select the appropriate Android download. However, since you will ultimately be asked to download the mobile app from your browser or Google Play -- I decided to just go straight to Google Play from my device instead of going through the email.
Once the app is downloaded and installed, you will be redirected automatically to the app. It will open immediately and you will be presented with the main home screen of the app, which looks like this:
This was a little unexpected, as I was ready to be prompted to enter my login details rather than being sent straight to the home screen. Not the end of the world though, since as soon as I selected a server to join, I was then presented with the login screen:
This process was easier than some other VPNs that are equally as popular on the market right now, since you create your own password when you first sign up, rather than IPVanish creating one for you. Otherwise when I was presented with this login window I would have had to go back to the email and copy>paste the auto-generated password. Not having to do that was a nice touch!
After entering your login details, you are then taken to a very data-looking screen that shows you are now connected to the server you selected, along with two graphs showing a real-time monitor of your upload and download activity. This whole connecting process looks like this:
That's the entire process of downloading, installing and setting up the IPVanish VPN on your Mac and Android devices. As you can see, it is a very intuitive and straight forward process. Definitely one of the easiest and quickest setups we've gone through for a VPN. Clearly a lot of thought put into this process by both the designers and developers. We're impressed.
IPVanish is compatible with a large array of devices across most operating systems you would hope for. They cover the big ones like Windows, OS X, Android and iOS, while also offering compatibility options for users looking to get their smartTVs and routers VPN-connected:
Speed & Performance
To test the speed of the VPN for this IPVanish VPN review, I ran a speed test from my Macbook both without the VPN and then with the VPN connected. I selected a VPN server based out of London, for which IPVanish have multiple ones to choose from.
As you can see from the results, the VPN connected speed test was fantastic. Not only did it not drop; it actually increased in speed compared to my non-VPN, locally connected server:
The support at IPVanish isn’t their strongest selling point, but it is far from terrible. Some services, such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer live chat support, which is unfortunately not available with IPVanish at this time.
IPVanish offer 24/7 support via email. You can send them an email with your query/issue and in our experience they take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to respond. This may seem like a long time, and it is certainly not on the same level as live chat support, which is instantaneous. However, 30 minutes is not bad in comparison to other VPN service providers of the same caliber as IPVanish. Private Internet Access, Hide.me and a number of other VPN providers have reputations for being notoriously bad about replying to support requests, so the support at IPVanish could be much worse.
That being said though, some of the other competition to IPVanish that are in the same budget/quality of service level as them do offer live chat, which is a massive advantage to have over IPVanish. We, like most people, really love live chat support.
What they do have is a comprehensive section on the site dedicated to FAQ and resource guides for users that do actually cover a lot of both common and uncommon issues that customers may encounter with the software and setting it up...
IPVanish's website is everything you would expect from one of the best VPN service providers currently out there. It's clean, the design is simple and not cluttered. The information presented to users as soon as they arrive on the site is exactly what they want to know: what does it do? What does it cost? Why is it better than this or that other VPN? All that important info is covered clearly and right away on the homepage:
I was a bit disappointed to not find a breakdown of exactly what they offer regarding features and some of the more technical backend offerings, since I'm quick clued up and 'techie' so would love to have that information presented to me quickly on the site. ExpressVPN is a great example of showing this more technical information very readily on their site (check out our review of them here)
However I do understand that the most common users will not care about this level of in-depth information, so it makes sense that they are not over-cluttering the website with more detailed info, but rather keeping it to the main unique selling points that IPVanish can offer over the competition.
Security & Privacy
The protocols that IPVanish use, as mentioned earlier, are OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP. Each of these protocols offer connection types of 256-bit, 128-bit and 256-bit respectively. These are top standard protocols and connections, so IPVanish tick that box healthily. IPVanish also offers an additional layer of privacy protection with a SOCKS5 web proxy.
I also mentioned earlier that IPVanish do not keep any logs at all. A complete zero-logs policy has been implemented on their VPN service, which is a feature that very few VPN service providers can offer their users currently. This is a huge plus to highlight in this IPVanish review.
However, the service isn’t as anonymous as some other VPNs. They do require you to create an account with your real name and address, even if you planning on paying with bitcoin. Here is an excerpt of their logging policy:
“IPVanish does not collect or log any traffic or use of its Virtual Private Network service. You do not have to give us any personally identifiable ("personal") information to browse our Site, but to subscribe to our Services you must create an account and register with us. In general, we collect the following limited information from users and only use it in order to process payments: Account Information. To create an account, you may need to provide certain personal information, such as your name, billing address and e-mail.”
Your name and address could still be shown in a government subpoena if they are looking for information on VPN users. If you are looking for more anonymity, it is better to choose another VPN with a no logs policy in another jurisdiction that doesn’t collect personally identifiable information or respond to subpoenas. ExpressVPN (a British Virgin Islands VPN provider), VyprVPN (a Switzerland VPN provider) and NordVPN (a Panama VPN provider) are better alternatives. In addition to having no logging policies, they are in regions with much better data protection laws and rarely respond to U.S. government subpoenas.
As well as these two fantastic advantages, the fact that IPVanish also allow users to pay via BitCoin only adds another impressive layer of further anonymity to users that can make payment this way. You simply need a valid email address and password to process payment via BitCoin for this, which adds another awesome level of user data protection.
There is another benefit of using IPVanish – it offers network locking for Windows and Mac users. This means that if your VPN network connection drops, all traffic will be severed. You won’t have to worry about DNS leaking, which would reveal your true identity to anyone that was trying to track your traffic.
The nice thing about IPVanish’s network locking is that you can turn it on and off at your leisure. You simply need to go to the Settings panel and click the box that says “Kill network if VPN connection is lost.”
Other networks with kill switches such as ExpressVPN don’t offer this flexibility. Your network locking feature is always turned on, so you risk losing access to your content if the connection is lost. This isn’t convenient for users that may prioritize their access to content over privacy in certain cases (such as streaming longer, non-controversial videos from YouTube).
One big disadvantage for IPVanish is that they as a company are based out of the United States, so they are the mercy of all the jurisdiction laws under the US, which are not very favourable to users looking to have little to no personal data being monitored and kept. While IPVanish currently lives up to its pledge not to log user data, that could change if new legislation was passed that required them to do.
Ultimately, we're very impressed with IPVanish. They have developed a VPN service that has only become more and more secure and affordable since it first came into the VPN space. The level of privacy security, server choice and ease of setup really support the reputation this VPN provider has as one of the best in the world.
The biggest selling point of IPVanish to us is that it's one of the most affordable VPNs out there, and not just when compared to other VPNs of similar top-quality. There are VPNs out there that simply can't compete with the level of service that IPVanish provide, that charge in the same price range as them.
In addition to the price, I was also very impressed with the granular level of control that IPVanish offers when it comes to choosing regions and servers to connect to. This is a feature I wish more VPNs would try to emulate.
Overall we definitely recommend giving IPVanish a try. Setup just takes a few moments, and the 7-day money back guarantee really means you have no reason not to give it a go and see if it delivers the level of service you need.