IPVanish is a VPN service based in the United States. The VPN claims to be the best in the world.
Although they have lots of sponsorships and endorsements, and their products have some nice features, the question remains, can they live up to their promise?
In this post, you are going to learn everything you need to know about IPVanish, including the background of the VPN service, its features, services, pricing plan, and more.
Without wasting time, let’s dive into it.
Overview of IPVanish VPN
IPVanish was established in 1999 by Mudhook Marketing. The VPN service, which is based in Florida, US, has quickly established itself as one of the most reliable VPNs on the market.
The VPN has more than 1,300 servers across over 75 countries, mainly in North America and Europe.
In addition, their VPN app works with almost all devices and operating systems. Most importantly, they have dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Android, IOS, and Fire TV.
For users who are tech-savvy, the VPN service allows you to manually set up an IPVanish configuration on your Windows phone, Chromebook, Ubuntu, and router.
Also, IPVanish works with all major VPN protocols and even allows you to download the download-free SOCKS5 web proxy.
|Based in||United States|
|Price||$6.49 per month|
|Support||Email, Chat, Phone|
Pros of IPVanish
After running a couple of speed tests (using 100 Mbps connection), here are the results we found for the various IPVanish servers.
New York, US Server
Ping – 133ms
Download – 34.71 Mbps
Upload – 24.72 Mbps
Amsterdam, EU Server
Ping – 38ms
Download – 82.67 Mbps
Upload – 43.19 Mbps
Hong Kong, China Server
Ping – 342ms
Download – 7.61Mbps
Upload – 5.88 Mbps
London, UK Server
Ping – 56ms
Download – 80.25 Mbps
Upload – 42.09 Mbps
Download and upload speeds for IPVanish are decent enough. When you connect from the EU to an EU server, you will only notice an 18% throttle on your speed.
However, when you compare the speeds of the US servers with those of cheaper VPNs, it is quite difficult to justify the price.
It is also easy to install the app, though it was a bit annoying as you may have to restart your PC afterward. Once you launch the app, you will notice that the VPN has a user-friendly interface. The app also has a kill switch for Windows and macOS.
IPVanish has made it a lot easier to find anything you are looking for and gives you a wide range of options and settings to explore. The only downside is that they don’t offer any guides on how to set up and use the SOCKS5 proxy.
Although this might not be a big issue and can easily be solved with a quick search on Google, considering SOCKS5 proxy is the VPN’s main selling point, you would expect them to go the extra mile to make the setup process as easy as possible for users.
One surprising thing about most VPN service providers is that they all claim to offer anonymous browsing, yet that is not true.
Such actions do not give users confidence that they are dealing with a trustworthy VPN service. However, this incident happened in 2016. The VPN service is now operating under a new company named StackPath, which promises total privacy.
Their no-log policy states:
“We have a strict policy against the collection of both connection and activity logs. We will never store the metadata about your VPN session or information about how you used the service.”
So, although you are not guaranteed total anonymity while browsing the internet, IPVanish is among the few providers that gives you almost complete anonymity online.
IPVanish uses the industry-standard encryption protocol, AES-256. This encryption protocol is used by government agencies and top security agencies in the world.
This is an added advantage considering the increasing brute-force attacks.
In December 2016, a WordPress plugin known as WordFence was able to detect a significant increase in brute-force attacks against WordPress sites.
It got so worse that at some point there were over 30,000 different attacking IP addresses every day. Although this information should serve as a warning, it is not meant to be a threat.
When you browse the internet with a VPN that uses AES-256 encryption, your IP address and activity will be protected from third parties to a point where your details are virtually Brute Force Proof.
So, you can easily bypass IP specific censorship by your employer, government or school.
Download Free SOCKS5 Proxy
IPVanish also allows you to access the various protocols, including OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP.
Although OpenVPN is the industry standard and recommended protocol as it offers fast speeds that don’t interfere with your security, it also has its own disadvantages.
The disadvantage is that you are required to download a client to your device to access the certificate you need to establish a secure connection.
The good news is that there is another option.
IPVanish gives you access to a unique server protocol called SOCKS (Socket Security). With this protocol, you can access all the features of a VPN without necessarily downloading any software to your device.
This allows you to hide your real IP address, personal data, and enjoy fast speeds without downloading third-party software.
Although this can be a huge plus to a number of customers, especially those looking to bypass restriction laws, you should keep in mind that speed and download-free browsing comes at a price.
And that’s your security!
The reason why you are able to attain such high speeds with a SOCKS proxy when compared to regular VPN is that it uses different encryption standards.
It doesn’t have the same protocols that have proven to be effective in preventing cyber-criminals, government surveillance agencies, and hackers from tracking your personal details.
Although the web proxy does an exceptionally good job in obfuscating your real location, it’s not effective when it comes to ensuring you are protected.
This might be a special protocol, but you have to trade with caution here and find as much information as possible about SOCKS proxy to educate yourself before committing to this VPN.
IPVanish also allows torrenting, and surprisingly, they encourage it.
Unlike most providers, IPVanish does not have any issues with customers using its VPN to torrent. Although this might not go down well with anti-piracy advocates, this is a great feature for any VPN user.
Allows Up To 10 Device Connection
Another interesting thing about IPVanish is that they allow you to connect up to ten devices at the same time.
Leading VPN service providers, such as ExpressVPN only allow a maximum of three device connections. For people who have a family or friends around, this can be a big deal as you may be forced to purchase a second license, which can be an extra expense.
IPVanish gives you a connection limit of 10 devices so that you all the family members can stay connected on a secure network throughout.
Some Servers Work with Netflix
IPVanish has not mentioned anything about working with Netflix on their website.
Actually, most VPN service providers today don’t make explicit statements on their websites because most video streaming websites, particularly Netflix, have become smarter at detecting VPN.
However, regardless of not steering clear of stating their stance on this matter, we still tested their VPN. So, we connected to different servers and tried to stream anything on Netflix. The results were as follows:
Servers that didn’t work with Netflix
Servers that worked with Netflix
- Chicago, United States
Yes, when we connected to the U.S server in Chicago, we were able to unblock Netflix. The only issue was that there was a slight lag.
Compatible with TOR
Tor (The Orion Network) is an anonymity network that encrypts and presents traffic information on several servers in a secure manner.
If you are looking to bypass government censorship and any other restrictions, you can use TOR to create an additional layer of security with the current VPN to increase privacy to protect your identity and location.
This can be an added advantage for people living in countries with more stringent laws like China and North Korea. Unfortunately, when we went to China, we found that IPVanish does not work there.
After testing IPVanish using several DNS and IP Leak tests, we were actually impressed with the results.
Here are the four sites we used to conduct the tests:
- Browserleaks.com for WebRTC leaks
- Perfect-Privacy.com for DNS & IP Leak test
We also ran a malware scan on their installer using Virustotal and the results were clean.
Cons of IPVanish
Mixed Reviews from Users
As mentioned in this article, IPVanish VPN was good enough. Other than compatibility issues with TOR and Netflix, there were no major problems with their service or customer support
However, when you look at user reviews on independent review sites, you will be surprised to find that there are just as many bad reviews as there are good ones.
IPVanish has more than 17 user complaints on Better Business Bureau, and they have not responded to most of those complaints.
On Reddit, many users claim they had a negative experience with the VPN, though there were also many good reviews. In our own experience, although IPVanish is not the best VPN on the market, it is a good option with excellent customer support.
However, as it is with other products on the market, you should keep in mind that not every customer will have the same experience with IPVanish.
Falsely Advertised As Offering 24/7 Customer Support
One thing about most VPN service providers is that they are notorious for providing false information about customer support so they can attract more customers.
Unfortunately, IPVanish is one such VPN service that propagates this stereotype. In their marketing and advertisements, IPVanish promises to offer 24/7 customer support, yet that is not true.
First, they don’t have a live chat system, which probes the question of why they decided to advertise around the clock customer support. So, if you were looking to get instant help, you can rest assured that you won’t get it.
When you submit a support ticket, you will not receive a response immediately. They will actually send you a support ticket, they will send back a message saying it will take 1 to 2 days to receive a response.
That’s quite long keeping in mind they advertise 24/7 customer support.
Although IPVanish has a support center that is very helpful, it is no excuse that they openly lie in their advertisement and offer customer support that is not anywhere close to what you expect when you commit to them.
If you are looking for a VPN service that offers instant support, then you should skip IPVanish.
Might Be Affordable But Not Cheap
IPVanish does not offer the Tiered pricing plan as most VPN services do. This means their services are not diluted by the different tiers.
There are no Bronze or Platinum plans. Instead, customers receive the same service. The only difference is the amount of time they can access the service.
Monthly plan at $7.50
Since IPVanish does not offer their services for $11.99/month, we’ll just talk the “17% per month saving” with a pinch of salt and simply take it as a clever marketing strategy. Generally, this plan equates to:
- 0% saving
However, we’ve seen them offering this plan for $10/month. So, it is a good thing to see that they have actually sliced 25% off this price.
3 months for $20.24
IPVanish does not offer the regular 6-month plan. This is unlike most VPN providers who prefer this pricing plan.
Instead, they have a quarterly 3-month plan that is billed four times every year at a rate of $20.24.
This is equivalent to:
- 44% savings
- 12 months plan for $58.49
If you are looking for the best deal on IPVanish, then you should choose their one year plan.
The plan is offered at only $58.49. This is equivalent to:
- 60% savings
In addition, IPVanish offers a 7-day money-back guarantee on all their plans and you can pay with almost any payment method that suits you.
Although these rates are not as expensive as some of the leading VPN providers in the market such as ExpressVPN, they are still not pocket friendly.
When you look at the prices offered by other cheaper VPN providers, you will realize that there are other good VPN providers that offer their services at almost half the price of IPVanish.
We appreciate the fact that they don’t have tiers in their pricing plans, but IPVanish could have been a bit more generous to their clients by offering a steeper discount on their annual plan.
To know whether IPVanish is worth your money or not, you need to know what you are getting in return for your hard-earned money.
So, do we recommend IPVanish? Well, it depends on your needs.
IPVanish is a reliable VPN service with reasonable pricing plans. Although they don’t offer anything outstanding, they do offer a few features such as SOCKS5 protocol, which might be appealing to some users.
However, I would not recommend IPVanish for most VPN users because their competitors offer more value. Other VPNs such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer faster download speeds and they work with Netflix.
You may want to opt for NordVPN, which goes for just $3.49 per month in the place of IPVanish. This is not to say IPVanish is a bad VPN, but poor customer service, and the fact there are other cheaper, high-quality alternatives, makes it difficult to opt for IPVanish.