VPN Protocols

Both protocols use UDP port 500.

Top 4 IPVanish Secret Settings 2021

As you may know, a VPN makes sure you enjoy safe online interactions and transactions. It does this by protecting your privacy and securing your connection.

It’s crucial to use a VPN when streaming content online so you can protect your activity from your ISP. This is because that could lead to data-throttling, geo-blocking restriction and all types of mood-killing online bureaucracy.

Attention: Read before you continue

Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble.

Currently, the following information is visible:

If this is your real information, you need to use a VPN to protect your identity.

We strongly recommend you to get a good VPN and hide your identity so that your online experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
We use IPVanish which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. IPVanish also runs a limited time offer where you can save 74% on your VPN and they allow you to use one account on unlimited devices.

This is a flash sale that can expire at any time!

VPN Protocols

We support multiple VPN protocols and connection types to make IPVanish as powerful and adaptable as possible. Below are some details and tips for using them to help you decide which one is best for you.

IPVanish VPN Protocols Explained

These are the VPN protocols IPVanish offers, what VPN features they come with, when to use them, and which devices to use them with.


WireGuard is the newest VPN protocol designed to be faster, stronger, and more lightweight than other connection types. As an open-source project, WireGuard remains under continued development, but it’s already considered one of the most secure VPN solutions in the industry.

Supported by:

IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2)

IKEv2, a protocol made available exclusively through IPSec, is used to configure the security association, or the specific approach to how IP packets are encrypted over IPSec. While IKEv2 is only available in newer mobile devices, it is considered a more secure extension of the IPSec protocol because devices can switch between a Wi-Fi and cellular network without disrupting the VPN connection.

Supported by:


OpenVPN allows for multiple types of authentication methods, but ultimately uses SSL/TLS (similar to your web browser) for key exchange. While it typically offers faster access speeds than L2TP, it also requires a third-party software and certificate files to be installed in order to use it — unless, of course, you’re using the IPVanish software. Also, support for mobile devices is limited.

  • TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)
    OpenVPN over TCP is the most popular and reliable VPN connection type. It uses error correction to prevent the loss of information packets during data transfer. These lost packets would ultimately lead to failed websites and incomplete downloads if not for TCP’s automatic retransmitting of them.
  • UDP (User Datagram Protocol)
    OpenVPN over UDP is often faster than TCP due to having no error correction. While lost packets are inevitable using UDP, certain web technologies are better experienced this way, particularly VoIP and online gaming, where real-time interaction would be interrupted by old, retransmitted data.

Supported by:

IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)

IPSec is a protocol suite that encrypts IP packets for transport and tunneling. Available for most mobile devices, IPsec protects all application traffic over an IP network. But unlike OpenVPN, PPTP and other connection types, IPSec does not define a particular VPN encryption algorithm or an authentication function in and of itself — it simply provides a framework for secure transport.

Supported by:

VPN and Firewall

A VPN protects the digital data sent to and from your network or device with encryption; a firewall prevents unauthorized access to your network or device. Configuring a VPN with a firewall can create a stronger, multi-layered cybersecurity defense.

IPVanish VPN Firewall Configuration


The WireGuard protocol is only available for use in our VPN app. It requires outbound TCP port 443 and UDP port 51820.


We allow connections via TCP or UDP on ports 443 or 1194. The IPVanish software uses port 443.

Internet Key Exchange

Both protocols use UDP port 500.

VPN Protocols: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the VPN protocols?

VPN protocols represent the ways in which internet traffic is routed through a VPN connection. These protocols each follow a specific set of rules to determine how to handle data. Some protocols prioritize security, while others prioritize speed.

IPVanish offers multiple VPN protocols, including WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and IPSec. PPTP and L2TP are outdated VPN protocols with known security vulnerabilities that IPVanish no longer supports. More information about each protocol is available here.

2. What’s the best VPN protocol to use?

The best VPN protocol to use depends on your device and reason for using a VPN. If you’re looking for the protocol that delivers the best VPN for gaming experience, for example, the device you use for gaming will have a major impact on your protocol selection. Generally speaking however, we recommend OpenVPN or WireGuard connections when possible.

3. Which is better for VPN: TCP or UDP?

TCP is considered more popular and reliable, while UDP is often faster. Determining which is better depends on the user. TCP is typically recommended for users connecting to far away servers, while UDP is recommended for users who are not in a rural area and are connecting to servers on the same continent.

4. Which is the fastest VPN protocol?

While VPN connection speed depends on a variety of factors, with all other factors being equal, the WireGuard protocol is consistently faster than other protocols. This is because WireGuard functions more efficiently due to lighter code, and optimizes its method of encryption implementation for quicker data transfers and longer battery life.

Best IPVanish VPN Settings for Android TV Box & FireStick

In this article, I will go through each of the settings you can change in the IPVanish VPN app. All screenshots are taken from my NVIDIA Shield TV Pro, running the Android TV version of IPVanish.

If you’re familiar with IPVanish on other devices, you may see some settings you’re unfamiliar with. Similarly, you may not be able to find some settings that you would on other devices.

I will give you an overview of what that setting means for each item and my recommendation.

Best IPVanish Settings: Android Startup

The first section of settings determines what happens when you boot up your Android TV device or start the IPVanish app.

These two settings are related, so we’re going to discuss them at the same time.

Check the first box, and IPVanish will quietly load in the background immediately after booting up.

However, this won’t connect to a VPN unless you choose a Startup connection action.

I found this to be a little confusing. I even restarted my NVIDIA Shield TV a few times to ensure I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Clicking on the Startup Connection Action setting will take you to this menu:

By default, this is set to Do Not Automatically Connect. You can choose to connect automatically to the fastest available server or the last server you used in your previous session.

Recommended Setting: I don’t always need to use a VPN, so I leave the Connect on Android start-up box unchecked.

Recommended Setting: When I open IPVanish, I want the fastest possible connection, so I leave this set to Connect to the fastest server.

Best IPVanish Settings: Connection

The rest of the IPVanish Android TV app settings fall in the Connection section.

Here we can configure some basic settings like whether we want traffic to our local network to go through the VPN.

We will also find more detailed settings like which protocol and port the VPN will use to connect.

Auto Reconnect

No network connection is perfect. If your VPN connection suddenly drops, enabling Auto Reconnect will automatically reconnect to the same server you previously connected to.

Often this happens without you even knowing the connection has been broken.

Recommended Setting: Always enable Auto Reconnect.

Allow LAN Access

What makes a VPN secure is that it creates a private tunnel from your device to the other device that you’re talking to. It works similar to a garden hose. There’s a solid connection between the faucet and the end of the hose so that all the water goes directly from one end to the other.

However, because all network traffic is going through that secure hose, seeing anything else on your local network is impossible. For example, if your media library is stored on a network hard drive, your Android TV can’t see it.

That’s where the Allow LAN Access setting comes in.

Checking this box will exclude local traffic from the VPN connection. Any device on your local network can see your Android TV as if it weren’t connected to IPVanish.

Recommended Setting: Check Allow LAN Access if you have a media server on your network or you need to share files to your Android TV device. If not, leave it unchecked.

Split Tunneling

Similarly, you can use Split Tunneling to allow one app to reside outside the VPN connection.

It used to be easy to use a VPN to access content in other countries.

However, some streaming apps, like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, will kick you off if you try to connect to them using a VPN.

In many cases, they look at the IP address of the VPN server or even what protocol you use to connect. If it matches specific criteria they’ve seen from VPN users, they’ll deny your connection.

What Split Tunneling does is it processes data packets for one app to bypass the VPN. You have to specify which app; you can only do this for one app at a time.

Still, if you want the protection of using a VPN all the time but are having trouble with certain apps, this is a great workaround.

Recommended Setting: Unless you’re having problems with a specific app not working with a VPN, you can leave this unchecked.

Open Application After Connection

We’ve already discussed how you can have IPVanish start automatically when you boot up your Android TV and have the app automatically connect to a VPN server. You can also have IPVanish open another app immediately after it connects to a VPN.

Many people use Open Application After Connection to automatically connect to a VPN server and open Kodi when they turn on their Android TV.

Once you click on this setting, you’re taken to another screen that lists every app installed on your device. Similar to Split Tunneling, you can only select one app.

Scroll down until you see the app you want, then click the radio button next to it.

Recommended Setting: This setting is pure convenience. This is a no-brainer if you always go straight from IPVanish to another app (Kodi, for example). If you don’t, then leave this unchecked.


Scramble is a setting you can change only if you use the OpenVPN protocol that we’ll discuss in the next Settings section.

Scramble tries to mask your connection to fool servers into thinking that you’re not using a VPN.

This is useful in countries where VPNs are illegal.

Still, it can sometimes help fool apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime Music into thinking you’re not connecting via VPN.

Enabling Scramble can slow down your VPN connection because the VPN server is taking a little extra time to hide your connection.

Even if that delay is only a few milliseconds, it could slow down your video stream.

Recommended Setting: For the fastest VPN connection, leave this unchecked. Only turn Scramble on if you’re having trouble connecting to some streaming services.

Recommended IPVanish Settings: VPN Protocols

The following three settings all concern how IPVanish connects to different VPN servers and what protocols it uses.

Here you can change to protocol between OpenVPN and IKEv2 Beta.

If you’re using OpenVPN, you can switch between UDP and TCP and even change what port your Android TV uses to connect.

VPN Protocol: OpenVPN vs IKEv2 Beta

IKEv2 Beta (Internet Key Exchange version 2) is part of an authentication suite known as IPSec. As a protocol, it’s incredibly customizable.

However, telling IPVanish to use this protocol removes many of your connection options. (source)

All that customizability comes at a price, however. It’s slower to connect than OpenVPN and more easily countered by software that wants to restrict users from connecting through VPNs.

Recommended Setting: If you care more about privacy than speed, use IKEv2 Beta (IPSec). Use the OpenVPN protocol for any other use case (especially streaming video).

Protocol: TCP vs. UDP

If you choose to use OpenVPN, the following setting you need to look at is the protocol itself. Here you can change between TCP and UDP.

Unlike most other IPVanish settings we’ve discussed, there’s no one correct answer here.

TCP is used much more often than UDP, although overall, it’s a slower connection. The benefit of using TCP is that it has built-in error correction, whereas UDP doesn’t.

If all that sounds too technical for you, you’re not alone. VPNMentor developed a helpful chart summarizing the differences between the TCP and UDP protocols.

Connection Connection-oriented Connectionless
Sequencing TCP numbers each packet so they can be arranged in a sequence by the recipient UDP sends the packets without numbering
Speed Slower Faster
Reliability High Low
Header size Packets are heavy because of overheads Lightweight packets with minimal headers
Error detection/correction Error checking and error recovery Error checking but no recovery. Corrupted packets are simply discarded and not requested again
Acknowledgement Acknowledgement sent by the recipient No acknowledgement is sent
Transfer method Stream Individual packets
Congestion control Yes No
Applications File transfer, email, web browsing Video conferencing, gaming, broadcasts

Recommended Setting: The OpenVPN(UDP) protocol is used for most streaming applications. For web browsing or email, where accuracy is more important than speed, use OpenVPN(TCP).

Tim Wells got his first computer at the age of ten and hasn’t stopped tinkering ever since. After discovering Android TV boxes in 2013, he created a popular Android PC Review website and guided it to over 8 million pageviews before stepping away in 2018.

After a brief hiatus from the industry he’s back at the helm of AndroidTVNews.com to bring Android TV and TV boxes to the forefront of the streaming world.

When he’s not writing, he spends as much time as he can with his beautiful wife and his bulldog.

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