Who is IPVanish?
IPVanish is one of the oldest VPN services around, having launched way back in 1999. Nothing about who owns or operates them can be found on their website, but a bit of research reveals that IPVanish is owned and operated by Mudhook Marketing, Inc., a US-based company. Here are some more good-to-know tidbits about IPVanish:
|Owned and Operated by||Mudhook Marketing, Inc.|
|Base of Operations||United States|
|Operates in a Privacy-friendly Country?||No|
|Logging Policy||No logs|
|Encryption Used||256-bit AES|
|Servers Located in||60 countries|
Plans and Pricing
One of the best things about IPVanish’s subscription plans is that features are not locked behind various tiers. You’re getting all features, whichever of the 3 subscription plans you choose. As far as pricing goes, IPVanish certainly proves to be more affordable than industry heavy-hitter ExpressVPN. But, here’s the thing: the monthly costs are still on the pricier end of the spectrum. If you’re on a budget, there are more pocket-friendly options out there.
The silver lining is that IPVanish shaves off a few dollars from the monthly cost if you choose to go with longer subscriptions. And from time to time, they also offer various discounts and promos. Check out the current prices below:
IPVanish Subscription Plans
|1 Month||3 Months||12 Months|
(billed $26.99 every 3 mos.)
(billed $77.99 every 12 mos.)
When it comes to paying for your subscription, IPVanish accepts major credit cards and PayPal. While these options may suffice for most users, those looking to use Bitcoin or other anonymous methods of payment may find the options lacking. It’s not a huge deal; just something worth keeping in mind before you commit.
Check out the all the accepted payment options below:
Another caveat: IPVanish does not offer a free trial. They do, however, offer a 7-day money back guarantee. So, if you’re unsatisfied with the VPN’s performance during the first week of service, you can get a 100% refund, giving you the freedom to put that money to use elsewhere.
Servers and Locations
When it comes to VPN, the more servers you can choose from, the easier it is to find one with the best connection. Or one that isn’t too crowded. It also means more options for changing your IP address. You’ll be glad to know that IPVanish currently hosts 1,000 servers (and counting) across 60 countries worldwide. The servers are hosted in countries such as Africa, Asia, China, Central America, Europe, India, the Middle East, North America, and South America.
Thanks to IPVanish’s healthy server geo-diversity, you can easily make it appear as if you are browsing from the US to unlock geo-restricted content. More importantly, with thousands of servers to choose from, it’s easy to zero in on servers nearest you to get optimal connection speeds.
On an equally interesting note, IPVanish says that they don’t utilize virtual servers. What they have are real server stacks, which they sometimes lease from third parties. Companies that make use of virtual servers usually host several of these on one physical server. In most cases, those virtual servers are set up to make it look like they are operating in a different country than where the physical server actually is.
In other words, users might think they are connecting to a server in a country without data retention laws but are actually connecting to a not-so-privacy-friendly country. With IPVanish, this isn’t a problem.
How is the Performance of Their VPN Servers?
Generally, IPVanish servers offer very respectable speeds with only a small percentage of noticeable slowdown compared to a VPN-less connection. Of course, that still depends on which server you are connected to. Expectedly, far flung server locations yielded the slowest download speeds; but even then, download/upload ratios were still passable.
On the software side of things, leaving the client to pick what it thinks as the “Best Server” doesn’t always produce the desired results. In fact, the client chose servers that gave less than 10 Mbps download speeds on a few occasions. It’s not a huge deal because you can manually pick the best server relative to your location, but it does make one wonder why they even included this buggy feature in the first place.
That small caveat aside, browsing websites, streaming videos and downloading files are generally pain-free, especially when connected to the most optimal server. Netflix binge-watchers take note though: IPVanish offers zero support for this specific streaming app. So, if you were hoping to access geo-restricted shows, you’re out of luck.
When it comes to censored apps and websites, however, IPVanish lets you access those with ease. To top it off, they also have no qualms about users using their VPN to download files over P2P file sharing (i.e. torrents). With unlimited bandwidth, unlimited P2P traffic, and the promise of zero throttling, you can browse, download or stream to your heart’s content!
How Secure is IPVanish?
IPVanish uses 256-bit AES encryption, which is the very same one used by many security agencies and governments. In short, their security is guaranteed top of its class. And since they use such a strong encryption, this means that your sessions are protected from various types of attacks—from brute force hacks, to sniffers deployed over public Wi-Fi.
They also offer a kill switch feature which will automatically block all traffic going to and from your device should you lose connection to the VPN. Once a secure connection is established again, it will unblock all internet traffic. This feature should help prevent any personal information from accidentally leaking.
Speaking of leaks, IPVanish also makes use of IPv6 leak protection. This feature forces your internet traffic to go through IPv4 to prevent any IPv6 addresses from accidentally leaking out. LAN blocking features, meanwhile, can block any device attempting to communicate with yours whenever you are sharing a local area network.
In addition, the VPN provider does not keep logs of the sites you visit, what you’re doing online, incoming or outgoing IP, bandwidth used, and even connection times. In a world where big corporations see people’s private information as valuable commodities, this is certainly a big plus.
What Devices are Supported?
IPVanish offers apps for a variety of platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Fire TV, and Chromebook. The icing on the cake is that they also offer an app for routers, which diverts the internet traffic of all devices connected to your LAN or Wi-Fi to the VPN.
This should come in handy for those who want to use IPVanish VPN on devices the company doesn’t have an app for—such as smart TVs, game consoles, and the like. You can either manually install the VPN on your existing router or purchase a router with IPVanish pre-installed from one of their partners. As for other devices, you simply download the apps on IPVanish’s website and follow the installation instructions.
How Many Devices Can I Connect to IPVanish?
IPVanish allows you to connect up to 10 devices per user account simultaneously, which is more than most competing services. The caveat is that only one device may connect via PPTP or L2TP protocol at a time.
Not that you’d immediately need to, but if you want more devices to be able to connect to the VPN simultaneously, you can either pay for another subscription or go the more affordable route: install IPVanish on your router. Both options are viable solutions, but it really depends on how you are planning to use the VPN.
Paying for another subscription might be ideal for those who are constantly on the go and, thus, usually access the internet via public Wi-Fi or mobile data. On the other hand, installing it directly on your router allows as many devices on your home/internal network to connect via VPN—which is perfect for a large family. For most people, however, IPVanish’s 10-device limit should leave plenty enough wiggle room.
Below are some of the other features offered by IPVanish:
- SOCKS5 Web Proxy: If you regularly make VoIP calls or use P2P networks, IPVanish’s SOCKS5 web proxy allows you to mask your personal IP address. Take note that connections via this web proxy are not encrypted.
- Multiple VPN Protocols: IPVanish supports multiple types of VPN connections, such as OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec.
- Automatic IP Switching: IPVanish automatically issues a new IP address in your chosen location so it makes tracking your internet activity much harder. You can even manually set the intervals.
IPVanish’s self-help options are quite good. FAQs address the most common concerns; troubleshooting articles provide more than adequate information; and comprehensive setup guides can get less technically savvy users up and running in no time. Unfortunately, all of that is undercut by IPVanish’s lack of any live help support.
The company claims to offer 24/7 support but, confusingly, does not offer phone or live chat options. Users can only get in touch via email, which is historically slower than live help options. In fact, submitting a support ticket garnered a slow response. Worse, the automated reply stated that it would take around 1-2 days for them to reply. If you need instant help, email is certainly not the way to go.
What's the Verdict on IPVanish?
IPVanish Review 2020 – Conclusion
IPVanish provides a compelling package that’s slightly hampered by a few missteps. They offer a fast and secure VPN service that will let you circumvent internet censorship and geo-restricted content with ease while protecting your online privacy. Torrent users will enjoy the fact that there are zero restrictions imposed on P2P networks, but Netflix binge watchers are sadly left in the dust.
It’s easy enough to install and operate though, thanks to a simple user interface and automated features like IP switching and the handy dandy kill switch. But take note that the lack of live help options means that issues that pop up might not get resolved quickly. Still, you’re looking at a very capable VPN provider that is, some minor imperfections aside, at the top of its game. And with a generous 10-device threshold for simultaneous connections, you can get a lot of mileage out of IPVanish!