ExpressVPN and IPVanish are both popular and respected VPN providers in the market, but which one is the best?
In this post, we’ll be running ExpressVPN and IPVanish through several tests to see how they perform. We’ll then guide you on which VPN service to choose based on the results.
Here are the tests we’ll be covering in this comparison guide:
- Speed – Run speeds tests for several servers in North America and Europe
- VPN Apps – Which VPN service has the best VPN Apps?
- Features – A look at the different features offered by the two VPN providers
- Connections – Number of simultaneous connections allowed for each subscription
- Logs and privacy – The logging policies of ExpressVPN and IPVanish
- Security and Encryption – Which VPN service is more secure?
- Torrenting – Which VPN allows for total anonymity while torrenting?
- Jurisdiction – The location of the VPN service and how it affects data security
- Streaming – Which VPN is the best for working with Netflix and other streaming services
- Money-back guarantee – Do they offer refunds?
- Price – Which VPN service is cheaper?
- Value – Which VPN service offers value for money?
There was a clear winner in every category, but the Overall Winner was ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN dominated ten categories, while IPVanish came out on top in only two categories.
Without wasting time, let’s take a closer look at the results.
Speed Test of ExpressVPN and IPVanish
We conducted speed tests for different servers around the globe using the OpenVPN protocol, which is the industry-standard protocol.
The baseline speed of tests was 160 Mbps and our location was in Western Europe.
The first test was for severs near Europe.
ExpressVPN server in Germany
Speed – 147 Mbps
IPVanish server in Frankfurt, Germany
Speed – 95 Mbps
As you can see, ExpressVPN is the clear winner for servers in Germany
Now let’s look at other locations.
ExpressVPN server in the United Kingdom
Speed – 147 Mbps
IPVanish server in the UK
Speed – 91 Mbps
ExpressVPN was faster than IPVanish in the UK. So, if you are looking for a fast VPN service in the UK, then you should choose ExpressVPN.
We also ran tests for servers in the United States and Canada.
ExpressVPN server in New York, US
Speed – 141 Mbps
IPVanish server in New York
Speed – 85 Mbps
ExpressVPN server in Canada
IPVanish server in Canada
Based on these test results, it is clear that ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN service. As seen on the screenshots above, ExpressVPN achieved speeds that were so close to our baseline speed of 160 Mbps.
IPVanish was slower than ExpressVPN in all tests. However, we still believe that it is a good choice.
Winner for speed test – ExpressVPN.
Apps of ExpressVPN and IPVanish
We also looked at the quality of VPN apps offered by ExpressVPN and IPVanish. We tested out VPN apps for both VPN providers on Windows and macOS PC and mobile devices.
ExpressVPN apps have never disappointed in testing. The VPN provider offers dedicated VPN clients for:
- Kindle Fire
In addition, ExpressVPN offers browser extension and works with Smart TVs through their infamous MediStreamer app.
ExpressVPN’s apps also performed well. There were no issues like crashing, bugs, or hanging. Everything worked fine. Below is a screenshot of the redesigned ExpressVPN app.
Now let’s look at how ExpressVPN compares to IPVanish.
Like ExpressVPN, IPVanish offers a wide section of apps that can be used with all major Operating Systems and devices. These include:
- Chrome Operating System
- Fire TV
In terms of performance, IPVanish apps were not as proficient as ExpressVPN apps. We experienced occasional time out with IPVanish while attempting to connect to the server.
As you can see in the screenshot below, IPVanish is timing out while trying to connect.
Unlike IPVanish, ExpressVPN did not throw any errors, connection timeouts, or bugs. In addition, IPVanish apps feel somewhat clunky and out-of-date compared to ExpressVPN apps.
Winner for reliability – ExpressVPN.
Features of ExpressVPN and IPVanish
When it comes to features, both ExpressVPN and IPVanish are slightly limited. But we still got a winner.
ExpressVPN continues to roll out new features and updates.
Here is a brief overview:
- Audited – ExpressVPN was audited (and passed) a third-party security test performed by a cybersecurity company in Berlin known as Cure53.
- Security servers – All ExpressVPN servers have been running on RAM-disk mode since April 2019. This helps to prevent the logging of data on servers as well as improving security.
- Browser extensions – ExpressVPN offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The open-source extension includes HTTPS Everywhere from EFF.
- VPN router – ExpressVPN provides a dedicated app for the router. The app makes it easy to use a VPN on your router and allows you to easily switch from one server location to another.
- Unblocks Netflix – ExpressVPN is the best VPN service for unblocking Netflix. The VPN service gives you around the clock access to Netflix in many different regions and allows for HD streaming.
- Torrenting – ExpressVPN is also the best VPN for torrenting. It is not only secure but also fast. Most importantly, it has no restrictions on torrenting traffic.
- Jurisdiction – Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is located in one of the best privacy jurisdictions.
- Excellent support – ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support through its website. The VPN service also offers setup videos and user manuals.
- Split tunneling feature – ExpressVPN offers the Split tunneling feature with Windows, macOS, and router apps. This feature allows you to route to certain apps or web traffic outside the VPN encrypted tunnel.
ExpressVPN not only offers the spit tunneling feature but also works well, unlike IPVanish which does not offer it.
Here is an image of the split tunneling feature:
In addition, ExpressVPN offers the obfuscation feature, which is built into the VPN app.
The feature, which works with some of the servers on its network, allows you to use VPN in countries where VPN has been blocked, such as China.
Features of IPVanish
When compared to ExpressVPN, IPVanish is a bit limited in features. In addition, IPVanish does not offer live chat support, tunneling feature, or MediaStreamer apps.
In terms of working with streaming services like Netflix, IPVanish does not perform too well.
Features offered by IPVanish include:
- Obfuscation to help you bypass VPN blocks
- Leak protection settings, but does not offer WebRTC leak protection
- Kill switch to disable non-VPN traffic when the connection drops
NOTE: If you are looking for a fully-featured VPN, you should consider NordVPN. This VPN service comes with built-in ad blocker, Tor-over-VPN servers, double-VPN servers, and excellent leak protection settings.
Winner of features – ExpressVPN.
Connections of ExpressVPN and IPVanish
In this category, IPVanish emerged the winner.
If you are looking to connect several devices to your VPN, then IPVanish is the best option. IPVanish allows up to 10 simultaneous connections on multiple devices.
IPVanish is one of the few VPNs that have the best connection policies. But there are a few VPNs that offer unlimited connections, such as Perfect Privacy.
ExpressVPN offers fewer connections than IPVanish, but should still be more than enough for the average user. With ExpressVPN, you get five simultaneous connections.
If you are okay with five connections, then ExpressVPN will work for you. But if you need more than those, you will have to go with IPVanish. However, most VPN users need only about two to three simultaneous connections.
Winner for connections – IPVanish.
Security of ExpressVPN and IPVanish
Security is one of the most important features of a VPN. We ran a couple of tests for both ExpressVPN and IPVanish to determine which one is the safest. Both VPNs did not show any signs of IP address leaks and DNS leaks.
Let’s start with IPVanish. We did not find any leaks. IPVanish did not have any leaks when tested on Windows, macOS, and Android apps.
Here is a screenshot of the IPVanish Windows app that shows no leaks. The kill switch was also put to the test to see how effective it is at blocking traffic and it performed well.
ExpressVPN passed the test as well. We did not see any leaks while testing the apps.
In our experience, we really liked the ExpressVPN’s kill switch (known as Network Lock). We think it is better than IPVanish’s kill switch.
The Network Locks will also notify you whenever there is a connection interruption.
- Encryption – Both IPVanish and ExpressVPN use OpenVPN protocol (which is the standards industry protocol) with 256-bit AES encryption
- Audits – ExpressVPN was audited and passed an independent security audit by Cure53. The audit firm is based in Berlin, Germany.
IPVanish has not been audited by any third party security company.
Although the results for these tests were close, the winner is ExpressVPN because it has passed the third-party security audit.
Winner for security – ExpressVPN.
Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish claim to be “no-log” VPNs, but each one has a unique history when it comes to logging and privacy. We’ll start with the good part before proceeding to the bad.
ExpressVPN has been verified to be a true no-logs VPN service.
The VPN service was audited by a third-party firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). The auditing firm confirmed that ExpressVPN is true no-logs that stays true to its privacy promise.
There are several other VPNs that have been audited. An example of such a VPN is NordVPN, which has been audited by PWC.
When it comes to IPVanish, the case of logging is not as pleasing as that of ExpressVPN. In 2018, IPVanish was accused of logging their customer’s connection data and handing it over to the US authorities.
When Restore Privacy contacted them for a comment on this matter, IPVanish said this happened back in 2016 when the VPN service was under the ownership and management of a different company.
Here is the explanation from the service:
“That court case was from 2016 – long before StackPath acquired IPVanish in 2017. IPVanish does not, has not, and will not log or store logs of our users as a StackPath company. We can’t speak to what happened on someone else’s watch, and that management team is long gone. In addition to not logging, StackPath will defend the privacy of our users, regardless of who demands otherwise.”
If you are looking for “no logs” VPN service that has been verified, then you would be better off going with ExpressVPN, rather than IPVanish.
Winner for logging policy – ExpressVPN.
One of the most important factors that people keep in mind when choosing a VPN service is jurisdiction. This is another category that sets apart the two VPNs.
IPVanish – United States
IPVanish is based in the US, which is not a good privacy jurisdiction as it is a member of the 5-Eyes Surveillance alliance. This means you are at risk of getting your data submitted to a third-party.
We’ve heard of cases where private companies in the United States have been asked to collect and provide user data to the authorities. An example of such is Lavabit.
ExpressVPN – British Virgin Islands
ExpressVPN, unlike IPVanish, is based in a country that does not have data retention laws. The British Virgin Islands is located in the Caribbean.
Despite its historical links to the United Kingdom, the British Virgin Islands are an independent country that does not bow to the demands of the UK.
This is particularly important in the security of data for ExpressVPN users. So, in this category, ExpressVPN comes out as the clear winner. Winner for jurisdiction – ExpressVPN.
While testing ExpressVPN and IPVanish for torrenting, we’ll be looking at three areas:
- How fast the VPN can download large torrent files
- Location of the VPN with regards to copyright laws
- Availability of good leak protection setting to protect your data while torrenting
In terms of speed, you’ve already seen in the test results listed at the beginning of the article that ExpressVPN has faster download speeds than IPVanish.
This means ExpressVPN will ultimately perform better than IPVanish when it comes to downloading torrenting files.
Jurisdiction is another important factor to keep in mind. IPVanish is based in the US, which has one of the strictest copyright laws in the world. You can check out the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Since ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, they don’t have to deal with such laws. This makes ExpressVPN the better option for torrenting.
As mentioned above, both ExpressVPN and IPVanish have great leak protection settings that protect you while torrenting. To sum it up, ExpressVPN has faster speeds and is located in a safer jurisdiction for torrenting.
When it comes to security, both ExpressVPN and IPVanish have excellent leak protection settings. Based on these findings, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for torrenting.
Winner for torrenting – ExpressVPN.
When it comes to unblocking Netflix and other streaming services, one VPN works well while the other is not so good.
ExpressVPN is by far the best VPN for accessing Netflix. It always works well with Netflix and provides the best speeds for streaming in HD regardless of your geographical location.
In addition, ExpressVPN works perfectly in other Netflix regions in the world. You can also access BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon prime, and other streaming services using ExpressVPN.
On the other hand, IPVanish is not the best for Netflix, and they actually admit this. Here is a response from an IPVanish representative on why it is not possible to access Netflix using their VPN:
Netflix has been very vigilant recently in trying to block our services.
When compared to IPVanish, ExpressVPN is a much better option for accessing Netflix and other streaming services around the globe. Winner for streaming – ExpressVPN.
When it comes to price, ExpressVPN is more expensive than IPVanish.
Below is a screenshot of the pricing plans for IPvanish if you use a discount coupon. But the cheapest price for a 1-year plan without a coupon is about $6.49 per month.
IPVanish offers average rates for its VPN service, which are slightly higher than those of NordVPN, but still lower than ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN is more expensive than IPVanish, even after using the 49% discount coupon (also includes a 3-months free trial). The cheap price without a coupon code would be $8.32 per month.
When you consider the aspect of price alone, IPVanish has proven to be cheaper than ExxpressVPN. But we’ll also be looking at value.
Winner for the price – IPVanish. NOTED: Neither ExpressVPN nor IPVanish offer a 100% free trial. However, there are other free trial VPNs you can consider.
Payments and Refunds
This is another critical category with a clear winner. ExpressVPN accepts all major payment methods, including PayPal, credit and debit cards, Bitcoin, etc. All payment methods, including Bitcoin, qualify for a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN 30-day refund policy – ExpressVPN has a refund policy that runs for 30 days, which is pretty straightforward (doesn’t come with any hidden exceptions or clauses). If you are not contented with the service, you can simply cancel your subscription and request a refund within 30 days after making the purchase. They will give you a 100% refund.
Customer support – ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support. On the other hand, IPVanish offers a range of payment methods. Unfortunately, they don’t accept cryptocurrency payments.
It is believed that IPVanish removed Bitcoin from its payment options due to high transaction fees and fluctuating prices.
IPVanish money-back guarantee policy – All IPVanish subscriptions come with a 7-day money-back guarantee attached to them. This is the standard refund policy in the industry, but it is 21 days shorter than ExpressVPN’s refund policy.
Customer support – IPVanish offers email support as well as a customer service hotline during business hours, from Monday to Friday. After examining all the factors (payment methods, support, and a money-back guarantee, ExpressVPN emerges as the best option.
Winner for payments and refunds – ExpressVPN.
The last category is value. The biggest question that often comes up is: which VPN service (ExpressVPN or IPVanish) offers value for money?
IPVanish is cheaper than ExpressVPN and offers more connections (10). However, it has some downsides.
When compared to ExpressVPN, the disadvantages of IPVanish are:
- Slower speeds
- Outdate VPN apps
- Previously accused of logging
- Based in a not-so-good privacy jurisdiction
- Does not work with Netflix and other streaming services
- 7-day money-back guarantee, with only a few payment methods
- Does not offer live chat support
ExpressVPN also has a few drawbacks, such as fewer connections and it’s a bit more costly. On the upper hand, has many benefits, including:
- High speeds
- Many features
- Unblocks Netflix and other streaming services
- Verified “no-logs” VPN service, with a proven track record
- Passed independent security audit
- 24/7 live chat support
- Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
Based on these factors, it is safe to say ExpressVPN offers the best value for money.
Winner for value – ExpressVPN
Here is a summary of the comparison between ExpressVPN and IPVanish:
|Security and Encryption||ExpressVPN|
|Netflix and streaming||ExpressVPN|
|Payments and refund policy||ExpressVPN|