|Price||$3.25/mo. (On Yearly Plan)|
|Servers||1300+ in 75+ locations|
|Works in China||No|
|Compatibility||Windows, Android, Apple, Desktop|
Despite all the news about IPVanish’s co-operation with Homeland Security, I tried to keep an open mind when doing this review.
The service offers a smooth and seamless ability to unblock all major streaming platforms. This is further complemented by the fact that there is dedicated support for torrenting thanks to IPVanish’s SOCKS5 proxy.
However, that is where the positives end. The service has a terrible past of compromising users’ anonymity online and handing their data over to the authorities. The contentious US jurisdiction is the final nail in IPVanish’s coffin as a safe VPN option.
Users can find far safer VPN providers that won’t leave any vulnerabilities in their connection and keep them safe from any prying eyes online. The top option in that regard would be PureVPN thanks to its transparent logging policy as well as its safe location, operating out of Hong Kong.
- Jurisdiction: Where Is IPVanish Located?
- Security: Is IPVanish A Safe Option?
- Leaks: Are Your IP, DNS & WebRTC safe?
- Servers: How Many Servers Does IPVanish Have?
- Streaming: Can IPVanish Unblock Netflix?
- Speed: How Fast Are IPVanish Servers?
- Compatibility: What Devices Can I Use IPVanish On?
- Pricing: Is IPVanish An Affordable Option?
- Trustworthiness: What Do Other Users Say About IPVanish?
Jurisdiction: Where Is IPVanish Located?
IPVanish operates out of the United States of America. This goes without saying but it is by far the worst place for a VPN to be based out of.
The United States is the de facto leader of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance while also having a barrage of state and federal laws that make it extremely easy for law enforcement agencies to have an oversight of all its citizens’ digital activities.
The worst part is the lengthy history of the US spying on its own citizens, making any anonymity promises made by the VPN provider to be highly dubious at best.
Security: Is IPVanish A Safe Option?
No, IPVanish cannot be considered a safe option. The fact that it is based out of the United States should immediately serve as the first major red flag. I have been willing to let go of some contentious locations in the past but the US is a different beast altogether.
Dubious Logging Policy
Furthermore, there’s no way to cross-check exactly how true is IPVanish’s claims of no logs. The service essentially expects us to just take their word for it. Given the service’s incredibly poor record in that regard, I would advise users not to take these guarantees seriously at all.
IPVanish Encryption & Protocols
Users can be assured that IPVanish provides the most robust and pro-active encryption thanks to the standard AES-256-bit encryption. This is further complemented owing to support for all major tunneling protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, IPSec, SSTP, and PPTP. The combination of these two allows users to be completely safe and anonymous without worrying about being unsafe at any time.
However, it must be mentioned here that Open VPN will have to be downloaded directly. Users will need a unique certificate in order to create secure connection.
IPVanish VirusTotal Test
Before a service claims to secure users’ connections, it is important that it itself be secure and safe to use and install. Hence, I conducted a virus test on the service itself using Virus Total.
Here is the result:
As users can see, the service is free from any hidden viruses or any form of files that may harm a user’s device.
Leaks: Are Your IP, DNS & WebRTC Safe?
I wanted to be sure that there were no IP or DNS leaks that would leave users vulnerable. Using ipleak.net I conducted a leak test. Here’s the result of the test:
As users can see, there were no major leaks that should concern anyone.
Servers: How Many Servers Does IPVanish Have?
IPVanish offers all its users 1300+ servers spread across 75+ countries. While this number is not overly impressive, it should be enough for most users’ needs. Additionally, thanks to its support for torrenting and streaming, these servers should prove adequate for most tasks.
Does IPVanish Support P2P/File Sharing?
Fans of torrenting will find the service to be tailor-made for their needs. Thanks to the service’s SOCKS5 proxy, downloading and using torrents and other forms of peer-to-peer activity is extremely easy. The proxy server also supports HTTP traffic creating further ease for users.
Does IPVanish Work in China?
Users will not be able to use the service inside China. Recent years have seen a sharp increase in how the Chinese government censors and monitors its citizens’ activities online. Hence, users have had to rely on VPNs to unblock the immense amount of blocked content.
The same is true for expats that need these VPNs to continue accessing geo-restricted local Chinese content from outside the country. Both kind of users will need to find a better alternative that can offer a working server inside China.
Streaming: Can IPVanish Unblock Netflix?
Unsurprisingly, IPVanish was able to unblock US Netflix and all other major libraries of the streaming service fairly easily. I expected this since most US-based VPN services face little to no issues in unblocking Netflix thanks to their local servers.
I performed the same test on all other major streaming sites like Prime Video, Hulu, Hotstar, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ and the service unblocked them just as easily. If streaming is a user’s primary reason for using a VPN, IPVanish should do fine in that regard.
Speed: How Fast are IPVanish Servers?
I prefer looking at quality rather than quantity when it comes to server speeds. Hence, despite the relatively modest server count, I conducted a speed test on a 100 Mbps connection connecting to 5 random servers in Russia, UK, US, Canada, and Australia. Here are the results:
Compatibility: What Devices Can I Use IPVanish On?
Additionally, the service also has dedicated apps for Windows Phone, Chromebook as well as all major routers. Thanks to the ability to connect to 10 devices simultaneously, users will find the service adequate for their entire family.
Pricing: Is IPVanish An Affordable Option?
I found IPVanish’s payment plans to be the same as most other plans on the market. There are yearly, quarterly, and monthly plans. Depending on what plan they eventually end up getting, they might safe up to 73% on their purchase.
- Monthly ($5.00 per month)
- Quarterly ($4.50 per month/$13.50 one-time payment)
- Yearly ($3.25 per month/$39.00 one-time payment)
IPVanish Payment Methods
IPVanish allows users to make payments using their VISA/Mastercard credit cards. The service also supports payments through American Express, JCB, Delta, and DISCOVER. For users that prefer to use PayPal, they’ll find it to be supported as well.
However, I was disappointed to see such a prominent name not offering any kind of support for payments via Bitcoins or any other form of cryptocurrencies as well. This further solidifies my belief that the service does not practice complete anonymity for its users as it eliminates the option to make anonymous payments online.
IPVanish Refund Policy
IPVanish has a 7-Day money-back guarantee. Users will be quick to notice that this period falls significantly short of the industry-standard 90-Days policy. Users will not be able to avail any kind of refunds after a week, leaving them with a restricted time frame to properly use and test the service.
Trustworthiness: What Do Other Users Say About IPVanish?
In order to not rely solely on my own impressions of the service, I looked at how the service fares on other customer review platforms. This includes the two most popular avenues i.e. Trustpilot and Reddit. Additionally, I also looked at IPVanish’s own customer support.
IPVanish Trustpilot Review
I found the service’s Trustpilot pages to be highly positive. This usually reflects the service’s ability to properly deliver on all the promises it makes to its users.
I should add that the total number of reviews being at 4881 means that there is no doubt about the authenticity of these reviews. With nearly 93% of the reviews being either Excellent or Great, it seems that the service is highly regarded and enjoys an honorable reputation with its customers
IPVanish Reddit Review
Users on Reddit were much more critical of the service. This falls in line with my past experiences as Redditors have been known for their unabashed opinions and flatly rejecting claims made by services if they don’t follow through in terms of performance.
However, it seems that if users’ needs are fairly minimal and their use is not going to be extensive by any means then IPVanish will undoubtedly be a reliable service to opt for.
This didn’t overshadow the fact that as soon as needs and requirements start exceeding, gaping holes in the service’s abilities become apparent. There were scores of users that wanted a refund thanks to their bad experience with the service.
IPVanish Customer Support
Despite the obvious deficiencies in several key areas, IPVanish managed to perform extremely well when it came to customer support. For instance, there is a fairly easy-to-use and readily available 24/7 live chat that helps users with whatever questions they might have.
Additionally, if users want detailed answers, then they can email the service and get an equally timely response in due course at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
An important resource is the help section that also contains tickets in case users want to bring a legitimately important issue to IPVanish’s attention.
In the end, there are several other sections that include announcement, billing questions, setup guides, FAQs as well as troubleshooting tips.
Users may find the service good for a lot more activities and tasks apart from security online. IPVanish does an admittedly impressive job at unblocking all major streaming platforms and providing torrents support.
Additionally, while being far from overly impressive, its 1300+ servers should be enough to unblock most geo-restricted content on the internet. If that wasn’t enough, its reputation online suggests that it managed to meet the expectations that most users have of its as apparent from its ratings on online forums.
However, a VPN is next to worthless if it cannot properly mask users’ activities. IPVanish cannot offer users anything that PureVPN cannot. Furthermore, PureVPN’s safe location and lack of past controversies make it an infinitely safer option.
You can also look at other alternatives to IPVanish below
Do I Recommend IPVanish VPN?
No, I do not recommend IPVanish at all. The reason is extremely simple; its jurisdiction inside the US. Despite my vocal stance about the importance of a safe jurisdiction, I have been lenient with services that do not have a safe location owing to other factors.
However, the US has proved repeatedly that it is willing to put billions into its efforts to circumvent any protection that any service related to digital anonymity for users.
IPVanish attempts to persuade its users that it as all the necessary logging practices and encryptions that would keep its users’ activities masked, but sadly its past actions speak otherwise.
I find it hard to believe that a service that compromised its users’ anonymity online once will not do it again. No amount of support for torrenting and streaming can make up for such a breach of trust.
Hence, I would strongly advise users to instead opt for PureVPN. A service located out of Hong Kong that guarantees that users will never need to fret about prying eyes watching over them.