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IPVanish Review

1900 +

Servers

52

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Unlimited

Devices

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Save 65%
$3.75 per month
30-day money-back guarantee (for the annual plan)*

Top 5 Pros & Cons

Short Version

IPVanish review summary: It’s fair to say IPVanish is halfway between good and great. Undoubtedly, this VPN service is a good provider and has scaled in popularity since its foundation. However, to become a great service, the company has yet to address some flaws and overcome a bad track record regarding trust.

For the average user, IPVanish is a good choice. Whether you are looking for safe peer-to-peer file-sharing, effective content unblocking, or overall computer security, this VPN provider will undoubtedly be handy.

In terms of Streaming, its performance stands in the middle-ground as well. VPN connections can sustain moderately good speeds on the internet. It also unblocks geo-restrictions imposed by some of the leading video streaming services, like Netflix. But it still struggles with many others, such as Prime Video.

This network provider has improved its infrastructure and quality over the years, starting from its ownership changes. However, there were some problems in the past regarding the company’s data logging practices. In this matter, the brand’s refurbished trust still needs to be confirmed under the new administration. That said, this is a safe and easy-to-use VPN for most cases but available at a relatively over cost.

About IPVanish

IPVanish is a popular VPN provider, incorporated under the United States jurisdiction in 2012 by Mudhook Marketing, part of Highwinds Network Group. Over the years, it became a well-established company, especially in its home country. Recently, the company has been through two ownership changes. Since 2019, IPVanish belongs to J2 Global (1), a Net Protection company with two other VPNs under its portfolio, Encrypt.me and StrongVPN.

As a whole, IPVanish is a good VPN service. It has been making considerable efforts in consolidating its growth and market position lately. However, service quality aside (discussed in further detail in this review), a huge corporate obstacle needs to be removed first. The company needs to restore its reputation to pair with the leaders.

Even though being a critical aspect for VPN businesses, trust is hard to build. And it’s even harder to recover. Self-declared as a “Zero-logs” VPN, the company has contradicted in practice what it always has stood for (more details). The incident occurred during another administration, before the company’s acquisition. Since then, the current board has been striving to demarcate a new era for IPVanish.

Service Overview

United States
Unlimited simultaneous connections
Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Fire TV
Unlimited
1900+ servers
52 countries
PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, SOCKS5 (Proxy), WireGuard
Security, Torrenting, and Streaming
30-day money-back guarantee (for the annual plan)*
24/7 Live chat and telephone

IPVanish Features

If compared to the market average, IPVanish is a good choice, without a doubt. The brand offers a good feature set, backed by a high-level framework, improved over the years.

Obfuscation capabilities

OpenVPN Scramble adds the ability to obfuscate traffic, making the VPN connection more challenging to detect. It’s a crucial feature designed to ensure the VPN remains incognito. Automated Deep Packet Inspection systems won’t be able to find it.

This function is similar to competitors’ features, such as Camouflage Mode (Surfshark) and Chameleon Protocol (VyprVPN). In addition, NordVPN also employs this kind of technology on its Obfuscated Servers.

Additional Features & Software

Other than the big four Operational Systems you can download apps for, IPVanish offers a Fire TV Stick app. But the company doesn’t provide a dedicated app for Linux adopters, however.

Subscribers to this VPN also have Kill switch and Split tunneling options available, which are very useful in everyday life. Unfortunately, the latter is only available for Android and Fire TV devices.

Also, none of the features mentioned in this section are available in the iOS version. But there’s a good reason for that. For Apple’s mobile devices, IPVanish is free to use. So it’s an opportunity to test it up, even if some of the software’s best features are not available.

Speed & Performance

The company recently stated it had gone through a significant speed update on its servers (2). It’s part of the brand’s efforts to improve service quality. This process took several months and delivered significant network expansion and hardware optimization.

Even taking measures to improve its network, IPVanish was limited to OpenVPN’s performance back then.

Despite being fast, the OpenVPN protocol cannot deliver the same results as WireGuard regarding speed. This protocol will soon become the new standard for VPNs as all the major providers support it.

Fortunately, IPVanish has implemented that technology recently, closing the gap between its service and the more advanced competition.

These are some of the most popular VPNs currently using WireGuard:

Server network

IPVanish has built a pretty good network, both in terms of reach and quality. It operates through 1,600 servers spread across 50 countries in six continents. That is close to the best you can get in terms of geographical coverage.

IPVanish subscribers have access to more than 1000 servers in 20 locations (17 cities) in the United States alone. For the sake of comparison, VyprVPN has around 700 servers in its whole network, including all countries it covers.

Features
Multi-hop connections
Kill-switch
Strict no-logs policy
Dedicated IP address
Split tunneling
Anonymous payment methods
Tor over VPN
Obfuscation
Torrenting allowed
Ad blocker
Malware blocker

Pricing & Deals

Based on the service level provided, IPVanish is a little expensive. It might not seem so, at first sight, if you consider costs only. They range from $3.75 per month (for the first year) to $10.99, depending on the subscription period. But when we analyze the whole package, it’s definitely not among the hot deals on the market.

Top contenders offer higher discounts for long-term plans, shrinking their price to less than $3/month. For example, Surfshark’s 2-year plan decreases its monthly charges to $2.49. CyberGhost knocks the cost to the consumers down to just $2.25 per month for a 3-year subscription.

At regular rates, they charge similar values, slightly above IPVanish (around $13 against $10 per month). VyprVPN offers the best deal at the moment, for 2-month plans, for half the price of the leaders ($6.49).

As far as IPVanish is concerned, that is another challenge to be surpassed, as those competitors offer cheaper plans for more complete products.

Save 65%
$3.75 per month
30-day money-back guarantee (for the annual plan)*

Does IPVanish Keep Logs?

IPVanish says it does not. However, evidence indicates otherwise. In 2016, the provider handed over detailed records about one of its customers to US authorities.

When asked to provide information as part of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigation, the company cooperated with plenty of information.

Contrary to what the VPN alleges on its website, it became pretty clear IPVanish kept data logs far beyond what its privacy policy shows. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) obtained detailed information about the suspect’s activity, as the company’s testimony proves (3). As a result, the VPN’s customer had his Anonymity and personal information protection compromised.

The agents had access to the full name, email, and login of the suspect and technical data such as the original IP and the dates (and times) of access to the communication platform where the crimes allegedly occurred.

It’s important to emphasize that this mention is not defending criminals or criticizing the American agency’s action for unveiling a crime. Nor, it’s an encouragement for the use of VPNs in illegal activities.

What is at stake here is the reliability of a VPN provider. IPVanish claims that it does not keep records of its users beyond what is necessary for the proper provision of services. But the facts attest conversely.

Is IPVanish Safe to Use?

It is currently hard to make any assumptions on that matter, considering the data breach reported. But there are other facts to be considered before you make up your mind.

When the VPN provider disclosed information about one of its users, it was under the responsibility of its former administration. Since then, the service has changed hands twice.

Currently, J2 Global is the owner of IPVanish. As a result of the past decisions, the new board has been facing the challenge of erasing the company’s negative image inherited from the previous executives.

It’s still soon to be sure about IPVanish’s new practices. Based on statements and PR actions solely, it’s possible to notice at least a genuine commitment. But the board will need more than just protocolary words to earn trust. Unfortunately, there are no facts to confirm the claim to date.

The company’s collaboration with the DHS could have been merely a matter of jurisdiction. After all, the United States is the most prominent member of the international Five Eyes surveillance alliance.

But the disclosure exposed more than just personal information, but the dubious practices adopted by the company. First, because it didn’t take the FBI a great endeavor to obtain that information. Let’s say the agency just had to ask politely, twice. No warrants, no subpoenas.

Second, and most importantly, the company had lots of data logs to disclose. In fact, IPVanish has provided a pretty complete record of its user and his online activities.

With all cards on the table, it’s up to you to make your own judgment about the company’s trustworthiness.

Conclusion: Is IPVanish Worth It?

Even though the new administration can claim the company’s privacy sins are past gone, it’d still lack real-world evidence to support that. So at this moment, it’s uncertain if IPVanish can keep this essential pledge for a VPN service. The only certainty is it will take the brand a considerable amount of time and work to regain trustworthiness.

However, if that doesn’t seem like a major problem, IPVanish can be an interesting choice. Privacy aside, the company does a pretty good job of protecting your computer and other devices. It also performs fine when it comes to Torrenting and, to some extent, Streaming, mainly considering Netflix.

For American consumers, in particular, IPVanish offers a well-suited network. More than half of its servers are in the US, located in 16 different cities across the country. So you’ll always have servers nearby. Also, the other part of the network is spread around the whole world, covering six continents.

That is to say, you have plenty of reasons to give it a try. If you are an iPhone or iPad owner, you can download the app and start using it for free. If you are not that lucky, you can still take advantage of the trial period. The company now offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is standard in the VPN market. But only if you sign up for a 12-month subscription.

Alternatives to IPVanish

References

  1. Wikipedia entry about J2 Global. The article shows details about the firm, including a list of brands and subsidiaries operated by the company.
  2. IPVanish’s blog article about the recent server upgrade.
  3. IPVanish’s Affidavit. Document showing the DHS Summons for Records served on Highwinds Network Group, Inc., former owner of IPVanish, with the description and the respective information provided. Pages 22-24 of 28. PDF. Available at courtlistener.com.

User's Rating

4.3
4.3/5
Based on 171,112 reviews 🛈

Data from Trustpilot, Amazon, Apple App Store, and Google Play Store.

Table of Contents

Save 72%

EDITOR’S PICK

nordvpn brand logo

Best Overall VPN in 2021

Best VPN for Streaming

Best VPN for Prime Video

Users' Rating

Based on Trustpilot, Amazon, Apple App Store, and Google Play Store customers' reviews.

4.4
4.4/5

Based on 695,912 reviews

Regular price: $11.95 /month
For just $3.30 /month

Valid for 2-year plans (+ 3 months FREE). Prices in US dollars.

100% money-back guarantee (30 days)

Save 72%

EDITOR’S PICK

nordvpn brand logo

Best Overall VPN in 2021

Best VPN for Streaming

Best VPN for Prime Video

Users' Rating

Based on Trustpilot, Amazon, Apple App Store, and Google Play Store customers' reviews.

4.4
4.4/5

Based on 695,912 reviews

Regular price: $11.95 /month
For just $3.30 /month

Valid for 2-year plans (+ 3 months FREE). Prices in US dollars.

100% money-back guarantee (30 days)

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