IPVanish Review 2023: Is it Fast, Safe and good for Streaming

Contents

Does IPVanish work with Netflix?

IPVanish Review 2023: Tested Speed, Streaming, & if It’s Safe

IPVanish claims to be fast, dependable, and secure, but it’s impossible to know if that’s true when so many VPNs fail to live up to similar marketing claims. I wanted to find out for myself if this VPN is worth it.

After running extensive tests, I found that IPVanish had reliably secure connections and impressive speeds. I was also impressed that it instantly unblocks many streaming sites, including Netflix and Disney+ (my 2 favorite streaming services).

Its solid features and affordable price make IPVanish one of the best VPN providers I’ve found. With its 30-day money-back guarantee, you don’t need to just take my word for it — you can try IPVanish for yourself risk-free . You can always get a refund before 30 days are up if you decide you don’t like it.

In a Rush? Here’s a 1-Minute Summary

  • Incredibly fast speeds. Most servers tested were blazing-fast, even from the other side of the world. Jump to the speed test results.
  • Unblocks popular streaming platforms. I easily accessed dozens of streaming sites including Netflix and Disney+ (US libraries), HBO Max, Hulu, and more. Skip to my streaming tests.
  • Powerful encryption. Military-grade encryption safeguards your data. Find out what I learned about its security features.
  • An independently audited privacy policy. IPVanish has tested zero-logs privacy — and while it had a data scandal years ago, it is now under new, more trustworthy ownership. Learn more about the privacy policy.
  • Works on unlimited simultaneous devices. Set up is easy and one account covers all of your devices. Go to my user experience.
  • Impressive knowledge base and 24/7 live chat. You can chat with a human representative at any time. See what happened when I contacted customer service.
  • Great value. Other providers with similar speeds and features cost more. Read my final verdict.

IPVanish Works With Numerous Streaming Platforms (Netflix US and Disney+ US, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and More)

I had great results testing IPVanish with streaming sites — it works with Netflix US, Disney+ US, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, fuboTV, ESPN, Spotify, Vudu, Kodi, and more. You’ll have the freedom to access your accounts even when you’re abroad or on a restricted network (like at the office).

I also wanted to try a different way of accessing these sites, so I decided to test IPVanish’s SOCKS5 proxy. While SOCKS5 accessed a few more Netflix libraries, it didn’t unblock any other streaming services. This was a little disappointing because SOCKS5 can sometimes get past blocks that a normal VPN can’t. I also asked my colleagues to try the proxy with their streaming accounts and their results were the same.

Netflix US: Unblocked

IPVanish’s US servers could consistently access Netflix US with no problems at all. These servers were consistently fast enough that my streams never reduced in quality or stopped to buffer. In fact, I was able to watch an entire Stranger Things episode with no buffering.

Screenshot of IPVanish streaming Stranger Things on Netflix

IPVanish works with Netflix in the US, letting me watch shows without lag

I had some colleagues in the UAE, Germany, Scandinavia, and Canada test IPVanish with their Netflix accounts — only my Canadian co-worker could access the site. If you live in any of those other areas, IPVanish won’t be able to help you access your paid content while you’re on holiday.

Disney+ US: Unblocked

I was able to unblock my US Disney+ account instantly using servers in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Ashburn. My episodes of The Mandalorian played all the way through with just 3-5 seconds of buffering at the beginning. IPVanish’s fast speeds gave me perfect streams even in HD.

Screenshot of IPVanish streaming The Mandalorian on Disney Plus

I didn’t miss a single lightsaber swing while watching Disney+ on IPVanish’s servers in the US

IPVanish has less success with other Disney+ regions. The rest of my team located in the UK, Australia, Canada, Austria, and Germany were unable to get past the login screen.

HBO Max: Unblocked

IPVanish made it easy to connect to my HBO Max account and access its vast content library. I tested numerous servers in the US and all provided similar speeds and video quality. I was able to re-watch the Game of Thrones finale in 4k resolution without any stuttering or lags.

IPVanish let me enjoy the Game of Thrones finale on HBO Max in Ultra HD on its US servers

Hulu: Unblocked

IPVanish let me easily access my Hulu account with its US servers and watch Palm Springs without any buffering or delay.

Screenshot of IPVanish connecting to a US server and unblocking the show Palm Springs on Hulu

Palm Springs played seamlessly on Hulu through IPVanish’s servers in the US

BBC iPlayer: Unblocked

My co-worker in Manchester got similarly good results with BBC iPlayer. When she tried all 3 of IPVanish’s locations in the UK, she got connected to the service promptly and could watch her favorite shows without lags.

Screenshot of IPVanish streaming The Graham Norton Show on BBC iPlayer

My friend watched The Graham Norton Show on BBC iPlayer seamlessly on IPVanish’s UK servers

Amazon Prime Video: Unblocked

I had no issues connecting to my Amazon Prime Video account to watch my favorite movies and shows. All streams loaded within a few seconds and played throughout without any buffering.

I watched This is Us on Amazon Prime Video without buffering on IPVanish’s US servers

Speed

Speed — IPVanish Has Amazing Speeds on All of Its Servers

I’ve tested over 50 VPNs, and IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs I’ve used (even compared to top providers). I never encountered significant speed drops — even during peak hours. That means no sudden buffering during my favorite shows, no lag during shootouts when I gamed online, and super-speedy downloads.

Speed Test Results

IPVanish’s servers in the US, Germany and the UK only slowed down my traffic by about 12%. That’s an incredible result — other VPNs slow down my speed by 30%-50%. Its server in Australia had a larger drop, but I expected this as Australia is over 15,000km away. The drop was around 50%, which was still way better than many other VPNs can manage.

This was even true when I tested speeds at different times of the day, even during peak hours when it would usually be slower due to user congestion. Regardless of whether I connected to a local or distant server, my speeds were lightning fast. This is perfect if you want to use IPVanish while you travel abroad.

I was also impressed at the small drops in ping. Ping is the amount of time it takes your device to talk to the server it’s contacting, so low ping is critical for smooth online gaming and streaming.

Screenshot of 4 speed tests while connected to various IPVanish servers

I was amazed by IPVanish’s speeds, even on servers on the other side of the world

Next, I tested speeds on the other protocols IPVanish provides — IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP. I found that the speeds were the best when I used the default OpenVPN protocol. PPTP was even faster than my 89Mbps baseline speed but has very weak encryption. L2TP was the slowest, with a 60% speed reduction from my baseline. Bear in mind that some slowdown is expected when using a VPN:

Screenshot of a horizontal bar chart showing IPVanish server speeds in different cities around the world

IPVanish gave me reliably excellent download speeds, even on servers on the other side of the world

Gaming Speed — IPVanish’s Fast Servers Gave Me Lag-Free Online Games

I rage-quit instantly when lag causes me to get fragged in my games. I was prepared to log off again when I tested IPVanish with my favorite game (Dota 2). It turned out my fears were unfounded — while my ping was higher than some VPNs, I got zero lag during my match. I was able to use Drow Ranger’s ultimate to seal victory for my Radiant team with no speed issues at all.

Screenshot of a game of Dota 2 while IPVanish is connected

Lag was of no concern when I played Dota 2 on IPVanish’s lightning-fast network

If your internet speeds are being throttled or you’re concerned about DDoS attacks, you might look into an alternative VPN. ExpressVPN’s servers are great for online gaming thanks to their high speeds and safety.

Speed tip: To find IPVanish servers with the lowest ping and user load, go to the “Quick Connect” tab. Then use the dropdowns to select your home country and choose “Best Available Server.” The client will then find the fastest server in your area for you!

Kodi

ESPN

Netflix

Netflix

Hulu

Kodi

ESPN

Youtube

BBC iPlayer

IPVanish VPN Average score of top 10 VPNs
Download speed reduction 37% (UK) 11% (UK)
Upload speed reduction 30% (FRA) 16% (FRA)
Ping time to Google.com 363.25ms 24ms
Average time to connect (seconds) 10ms 11ms
Unblock successful for

Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you’re torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.

Servers

Server Network — Impressive Server Network (But No Specialized Servers)

Considering its low price, I was blown away by IPVanish’s server network, with 2,200+ servers in 75+ locations spread out over 40,000+ IP addresses. You’ll find the most server locations in the US, UK, and Australia. Plus, it has options in Africa, the Middle East, and South America, which is rare even among the best VPNs. With so many options, I never encountered slowdowns due to overcrowded servers.

IPVanish’s auto-connect feature quickly finds the best server — I was always able to connect in just 2-4 seconds without any issues. You can also find a specific IPVanish server to use with the intuitive drop-down menus. The server menu lets you sort by ping, country, or load. You can also sort by favorites (to favorite a server, just click the star next to it).

Another big bonus is that IPVanish owns its servers rather than renting them, so your data is more secure. This is because IPVanish has much more control over how its servers are run and accessed.

Unfortunately, IPVanish doesn’t have any optimized servers for gaming, streaming, or torrenting. If this is something you look for in a VPN, I suggest you try CyberGhost. I’ve tested CyberGhost’s optimized servers and they work perfectly every time.

Torrenting — Supports Torrenting, But No Optimized Servers

You won’t find any torrent-optimized servers in IPVanish’s menu, but that’s because all of IPVanish’s servers support unlimited torrenting. Even without optimized P2P servers, my torrent speeds were still super-fast when I downloaded a 2-hour documentary in the public domain. Despite the file only having 5 peers total (fewer peers typically means longer download times), it still finished in less than 15 minutes.

There are no server or data restrictions. You just have to make sure DNS and IPv6 Leak Protection are both turned on to ensure your downloads and uploads stay anonymous.

Screenshot of IPVanish

Before you torrent with IPVanish, activate both types of leak protection in the connection settings

There is a DMCA notice on IPVanish’s website saying the service will comply with copyright requests, but their zero-logs policy means no one would be able to see what you were downloading to begin with. Of course, you should still never use a VPN to violate copyright or any other laws.

Does IPVanish Work in China? No

Although IPVanish has a “Scramble IP” feature that is supposed to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, IPVanish doesn’t work in China. To bypass firewalls, VPNs need advanced obfuscation that makes the traffic look like typical web traffic. For some of the strongest obfuscation technology, I suggest you try ExpressVPN for China instead . It’s one of the only providers that work there.

VPN usage is frowned upon by Chinese authorities, but the common practice is that China fights VPNs by technologically blocking them, and not by chasing after the people who use them. Still just check the rules before you go, as I don’t condone using VPNs to break the law.

Security Features — Powerful Data Protection and Lots of Extras

I was really impressed with IPVanish’s security offerings. It’s got super powerful encryption and a ton of bonuses that many top-tier VPNs don’t offer.

Encryption — Strong Encryption to Keep Your Data Hidden

IPVanish uses the strong AES 256-bit encryption standard, which is the same level of data security used by US government agencies.

Although some of IPVanish’s protocols (like PPTP) support weak encryption protocols, IPVanish defaults to top-level encryption with OpenVPN or IKEv2, both of which are known for their powerful security.

VPN Protocols — WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec, and L2TP

I was happy to see that IPVanish offers 6 different types of VPN protocols to choose from. This was a little surprising because it’s more than many of the industry giants. Not all of the protocols are available on every device, but with so many to choose from, you should be able to find one that suits your purposes.

You can select from the below VPN protocols to prioritize speed, security, or compatibility.

  • WireGuard — One of the newer VPN protocols, WireGuard is faster and uses less of your device’s resources. However, this protocol is still under development and may not be able to bypass every firewall. WireGuard is available for: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire Stick, and Amazon Fire TV.
  • OpenVPN — One of the most popular protocols. OpenVPN is highly secure but uses more of your device’s resources and can be complicated to use on a mobile device. IPVanish offers 2 different kinds of OpenVPN connections, and both are available on: Windows, macOS, Android, Amazon Fire Stick, Amazon Fire TV, Linux, ChromeOS, and routers.
    • OpenVPN UDP — prioritizes speed over reliability
    • OpenVPN TCP — is more reliable but slower than UDP

    SOCKS5 Proxy — Useful but Technical Protocol for Unblocking More Sites

    IPVanish also offers a SOCKS5 proxy, which gives you maximum speeds while torrenting and can be useful for getting past internet blocks. However, it isn’t powerful enough to bypass government firewalls, and SOCKS5 clients are slightly technical to use. Also, keep in mind that it doesn’t encrypt your connection at all, so I don’t recommend using it by itself.

    Kill Switch — Works Flawlessly if Your Connection Drops

    IPVanish has a kill switch to protect your data if you lose your VPN connection. When I intentionally crashed the app by overloading my PC with background processes, my internet shut off instantly and none of my data was revealed. You’ll need to turn the kill switch on manually (it’s turned off by default).

    It isn’t included in the iOS version, which is a problem if you lose your VPN connection. It would also be nice if the desktop versions had a notification when the kill switch is tripped (like ExpressVPN has), but the important thing is that it works dependably.

    Leak Protection — No DNS, IPv6 or WebRTC Leaks

    I ran IPv6, DNS and WebRTC leak tests and my IP address, location, and browsing activities stayed completely hidden with IPVanish.

    Screenshot of a DNS leak test while IPVanish is connected to a server in Slovakia

    IPVanish passed a DNS test, proving my identity stayed hidden while connected

    Scramble IP — Helps You Bypass VPN Blocks

    When you connect using the OpenVPN protocol, you can turn on a feature called Scramble. According to IPVanish, Scramble can help you access the internet in high-censorship countries. This is because it helps hide the fact that you’re using a VPN.

    My team and I tested it in a few different locations and found that it worked in some countries (like Turkey) but wasn’t powerful enough for China. This is not surprising as there are only a few VPNs that work reliably in China.

    Split Tunneling — Available Only on Certain Devices

    The IPVanish apps for Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire Stick include a split tunneling feature. This allows you to exempt certain apps from VPN protection and is helpful for location-sensitive programs like your banking or weather apps. For example, if I want to check my bank balance but am connected to a server in Turkey, it will look suspicious and set off a fraud alert. Adding an exemption for my online bank prevents me from getting frozen out of my accounts.

    IPVanish’s iOS app offers only domain-based split tunneling, which means you can include or exempt certain website domains from the VPN connection, but not mobile apps.

    VIPRE Antivirus — Free With a Yearly Subscription

    I was excited to see that IPVanish offers a free subscription for VIPRE when you sign up for its yearly plan. VIPRE is mid-level antivirus software that can protect up to 10 devices from malware and ransomware. Although I wouldn’t pay for VIPRE separately, it’s a decent option for a free add-on.

    Extra Features — SugarSync is a Great Deal If You Need File Storage

    For an additional couple of dollars per month, you can add SugarSync cloud storage to your yearly subscription. This gets you file storage that is secured with AES 256 encryption and it’s a lot cheaper than paying for the service separately.

    Privacy Features — Independently Audited Zero-Logs Policy

    Although IPVanish is a no-logs VPN, the fact that IPVanish is based in the US is troubling. I prefer a VPN that is based outside of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance, like ExpressVPN, so I never have to worry about government requests for data.

    While you have to provide an email address and payment information to sign up for IPVanish, the privacy policy states that these are only used to the extent that is necessary to process payments and provide email-based support. This shouldn’t be a concern though since IPVanish underwent an independent privacy audit.

    No-Logs Policy — Improved Since Incident in the Past

    IPVanish received requests for user logs from the US government. This isn’t unusual, but despite claiming to be a no-logs VPN, it surrendered what information it had in a 2016 court case — including when the suspect had logged in to IPVanish.

    Thankfully, IPVanish is now owned by a completely different company and has done a full audit of all security and privacy practices both internally and externally.

    Company Jurisdiction — Inside the Fourteen Eyes Alliance

    Headquartered in the US, a Fourteen Eyes Alliance country, IPVanish’s jurisdiction is less than ideal. The US collects data on web users and shares it with other countries as part of an intelligence-gathering agreement, which is terrible for your privacy. Thankfully, IPVanish is truly a zero-logs VPN, so surveilling its servers wouldn’t provide anything useful to investigators.

    Independent Audits — Successfully passed

    IPVanish’s privacy practices have been assessed by Leviathan Security Group, an independent third-party auditor. The results proved that IPVanish fully conforms to its no-logs policy, meaning that it doesn’t store any information on users’ traffic or specific usage. This provides you the comfort of a tried and tested policy which is especially important given the previous privacy incident.

    Server Locations

    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    El Salvador

    The Big Mistake When Comparing Number of Servers and What to Really Look For

    The ratio of servers to countries is an important factor to look at when choosing a VPN. Only paying attention to location or number of servers can get you in trouble. More servers generally means faster speeds, but if VPN X has a few more servers than VPN Y but twice as many users, VPN X will typically have slower speeds. Ideally, you want a VPN that has a lot of servers in every location. This way you won’t have to worry that server/country that you want will be overburdened and running slow

    The Big Mistake When Comparing Number of Servers and What to Really Look For

    The ratio of servers to countries is an important factor to look at when choosing a VPN. Only paying attention to location or number of servers can get you in trouble. More servers generally means faster speeds, but if VPN X has a few more servers than VPN Y but twice as many users, VPN X will typically have slower speeds. Ideally, you want a VPN that has a lot of servers in every location. This way you won’t have to worry that server/country that you want will be overburdened and running slow

    User Experience

    Simultaneous Device Connections — Supports unlimited Devices at Once

    IPVanish puts no limit on how many connections you can have at once. This is a rare feature among VPNs.

    I tested streaming Netflix on 7 devices at once including laptops, smartphones, and tablets (both Android and iOS-based). I only noticed very slight slowdowns — I couldn’t stream in HD on 7 devices at the same time, but I never had to wait for buffering in standard definition.

    Native Apps

    You get the device compatibility you’d expect from a top-tier VPN provider with IPVanish. It supports 5 different languages on a ton of devices, including many that only work with higher-end VPNs, this includes:

    • Desktops and laptops: Windows 7+, macOS 10.11+, Linux, Chrome OS
    • Phones and tablets: Android 5.1+, iOS 11+
    • Video Players: Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Kodi, Chromecast
    • Raspberry Pi
    • Routers
    • Roku

    Even for beginners, IPVanish is easy to install with native clients for common operating systems like Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. I got it up and running on mobile and desktop in less than 5 minutes.

    Occasionally, VPNs may conceal malware within their installers or clients to covertly obtain information about you. To confirm that IPVanish did not engage in this practice, I conducted a malware scan on both the installer and the application, and I am pleased to report that both were found to be entirely free of any malicious software.

    Online setup guides are available if you have trouble with setup or uninstallation on any given platform, but you shouldn’t have any trouble if you’ve downloaded and installed programs before.

    Depending on what device you’re using it on, IPVanish’s feature set will change slightly. Here’s a basic rundown of what you get from each:

    Protocols Kill Switch Split Tunneling Leak Protection Auto Connect Scramble
    Windows OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP
    macOS OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2
    Android OpenVPN, IKEv2 (Beta only)
    iOS IKEv2, IPSec
    Amazon Fire OS OpenVPN

    IPVanish lacks dedicated applications for gaming consoles such as Xbox or PS4, as well as Smart TVs. Nonetheless, you can safeguard your online activities on these gaming systems and other devices that do not directly support IPVanish by establishing a connection through your router.

    Compatible with Most Devices Including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Fire OS, Routers, and More

    Windows and macOS

    IPVanish’s desktop clients are easy to use. It’s simple to find the server you need. You can double-click a location on the map from the home screen, or you can sort servers by location, ping, load, and favorites.

    My favorite thing about IPVanish’s interface is all of the information about your connection on the Quick Connect home screen. You’ll see all the standard data, like which server you’re connected to, your new IP, and how long you’ve been connected. You also get a detailed chart of your download and upload speeds, the total data sent and received, and your current VPN protocol.

    It’s nice having so much information in one place, and it’s just another detail that helps cement IPVanish as one of the top VPNs on the market. I also really appreciate that the apps are almost identical across platforms, that way I don’t have to waste time learning where everything is when I switch devices.

    IPVanish’s desktop apps are almost identical, so it’s easy to switch from a Mac to a PC

    IPVanish’s desktop apps are almost identical, so it’s easy to switch from a Mac to a PC

    Android and iOS

    IPVanish is compatible with Android mobile and tablet devices, as well as iOS devices. It also works with Android TVs, and there’s a direct download of the APK on IPvanish’s website in case the Google Play store is blocked in your area.

    The apps for Android and iOS devices look a little different, especially since Android got an updated UI, but they are both easy to set up and simple to use. They are also pretty lightweight, so they won’t take up much storage on your device.

    Fire OS and Roku

    A unique selling point of IPVanish is it’s one of the only VPNs with native support for Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, and Roku. All you have to do is download the app, log in, and connect. I had it all set up in less than 5 minutes.

    Routers

    You’ll find handy guides on the IPVanish website for router setup. If you prefer manual installation over the native client, the IPVanish website has detailed how-tos for manual configuration.

    Support

    If you need to contact support, you can get answers through 24/7 chat, email, phone, or the extensive online knowledge base. Support is also available directly from the mobile apps, in case you need to share diagnostic files for troubleshooting. In general, the live chat was the fastest, so that’s the option I’d recommend.

    24/7 Live Chat — Bot Answers Instantly and Agents Replied in 2 Minutes

    If you want to chat with a live agent, click “Live Chat” in the top-right corner of the website and you’ll be prompted to pick a department. Then input your subject line and question. I occasionally had to wait for a representative to get to my place in the queue, but it never took more than 2 minutes.

    I found IPVanish’s AI chatbot surprisingly helpful on its own, providing links to knowledge base articles that answered many of my questions about setting up, servers, and features. I got answers to basic inquiries using the AI bot faster than with a live agent.

    Screenshot of a chat with IPVanish

    You can talk to IPVanish’s support bot before connecting to a live chat representative

    Phone Support — Not As Reliable as 24/7 Live Chat

    IPVanish offers phone support for 7 different countries, but it’s usually too busy to be immediately helpful. I asked a live chat rep what IPVanish’s hours were, and he said phone support is available 7am – 7pm CST (UTC -6). Unfortunately, I called the US number twice and both times I was put on hold for 5 minutes before being prompted to leave a message and hang up.

    Email Support — Fast Email Replies Within an Hour

    You can opt to leave a message for support to get further information emailed to you. Email support replied quickly and answered my question within an hour.

    Online Resources & FAQs — Extensive Knowledge Base and Simple FAQ

    I was most impressed by IPVanish’s online knowledge base. You can find a ton of information, including general FAQ documents along with detailed setup guides and in-depth articles.

    IPVanish VPN
    Email response time 20 minutes
    24/7 support
    Live chat
    Refund policy
    Native English

    How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

    We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

    Pricing

    IPVanish gives you the same security features whether you sign up for 1 month, 3 months, or a year, making it one of the best choices for a monthly VPN. The 2-year plan is the best deal — you get the lowest price with a longer commitment. Just be aware that auto-renewal is turned on by default. Be sure to turn it off before the end of your plan if you don’t like the service, or you’ll continue to be charged.

    Although I wouldn’t say that IPVanish is expensive, there are better deals out there. For example, CyberGhost’s 2-year + 2 months plan gets you optimized servers for streaming and gaming for just $2.19 per month. You can even try CyberGhost’s features without restrictions for 45 days.

    Payment Options — Credit, Debit, and PayPal Only

    You can pay with major credit and debit cards or PayPal. Unfortunately, there aren’t any anonymous payment options, so you need to give IPVanish your billing information to subscribe. However, this data is only used for payment processing and won’t be shared.

    Money-Back Guarantee — Instant Online Refunds but Only on Yearly Plans

    With a 2-year plan, you have up to 30 days to try IPVanish’s speeds and security and still get a refund. Since the 30-day guarantee isn’t valid with monthly subscriptions, I recommend going for the longer plans just in case you don’t like the service and want a refund.

    The cancellation and refund process was super easy — I just logged into my account on the IPVanish website and clicked the “Subscription” tab on my dashboard. Then I clicked the “Cancel Now” button and confirmed the request. I love that I got my money back automatically on the website. It’s refreshing to find a provider with automatic refunds that you can process by yourself.

    You can cancel your account from the IPVanish website and get your money back right away

    You can cancel your account from the IPVanish website and get your money back right away

    After I confirmed my request, my refund was processed immediately — the money appeared back in my PayPal account within an hour.

    Remember that the money-back guarantee isn’t available if you buy an IPVanish subscription through the Apple or Google Play Store due to how those stores process refunds. I recommend you sign up for IPVanish directly on the website so you can get a refund if the service isn’t for you.

    IPVanish Review 2023: Is it Fast, Safe and good for Streaming?

    IPVanish is a veteran of the VPN industry. But has its sterling reputation let it rest on its laurels for too long? Several rival VPN providers want to usurp IPVanish with better speeds, pricing, security, apps, and features.
    Can IPVanish still compete with the likes of NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or Surfshark? Or is it time to move on? In my 2023 IPVanish review, I wanted to find out if IPVanish is still worth considering. I tested IPV on both desktop and mobile devices to find out the answers:

    • How fast is IPVanish?
    • Does IPVanish work with region-locked streaming services (such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video)?
    • Is IPVanish safe and private?
    • Can IPVanish be used in China?
    • Does IPVanish offer good value?

    I’ll discuss all of that and more in this review.

    During my time with IPVanish, I used the VPN service to secure my connection on public wi-fi, hide my IP address while torrenting, and unblock streaming sites. I also put IPVanish through several tests to measure its speed and security.

    My thoughts on IPVanish are summarized below. Read the full review to get an in-depth look at this long-running VPN provider.

    Do I recommend IPVanish?

    IPVanish is a United States-based VPN provider that emphasizes speed, security, and privacy. What it does, it does well, and it checks all the boxes when it comes to the standard features that are necessary for a modern day VPN.

    Speeds had improved massively the last time we reviewed IPV, and it remains one of the fastest VPNs around. If you want privacy on public wi-fi or while torrenting, it should suit you fine.

    However, IPVanish struggles in China and isn’t the best for streaming. it might be one of the biggest names in the VPN business, but whether its capabilities can extend beyond that of a run-of-the-mill VPN provider is a question we aim to answer in this review.

    IPVanish Key data

    * Average speed over multiple global locations based across multiple speed tests per day.

    IPVanish pros and cons

    Here’s a quick summary of what IPVanish gets right and where it could use improvement:

    Pros:

    • High speeds
    • Works with Netflix
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • No logs privacy policy
    • Strong encryption
    • Great for torrenting

    Cons:

    • Doesn’t work in China
    • Doesn’t work with some popular streaming services
    • No Linux app
    • Based in USA

    Speed: Is IPVanish fast?

    Yes, but not quite as fast as it used to be.

    Our team constantly retests VPNs to make sure that our information is as current as possible. This approach also means that if a service’s performance improves or declines, we’ll notice.

    We had previously seen IPVanish deliver dizzying speeds, averaging well over 500 Mbps. In our most recent testing, however, its average had fallen to around 270 Mbps. Make no mistake, it’s still one of the quickest VPNs on the market, but you can’t deny that this is a significant change.

    We test servers in each of these locations at various times of day using a 5 Gbps connection from the United States. You can find more detailed info on how we test VPNs here.

    IPVanish - Speed Test

    Using nearby servers, I was able to stream 4K video without stopping to buffer. And I didn’t experience any lagging when playing console games online. I simply made sure to be connected to a nearby server to get decent ping times and everything went very well.

    IPVanish’s speed improvements did come at the cost of some stability. I encountered connection issues to certain servers – mainly Asian servers. Persistence pays off, and I was eventually able to connect but after quite a bit of trial and error. Hopefully these issues will get ironed out as the Wireguard implementation is fine tuned.

    Keep in mind that our tests are not a definitive indicator of which VPN is fastest. The inherent volatility of the internet adds a significant factor of randomness, so VPN speed tests should always be taken with a big grain of salt. Those with faster connections may well notice a larger discrepancy in speeds.

    IPVanish servers

    IPVanish - Servers

    As of time of writing, IPVanish operates more than 2,000 servers in over 75 countries. The countries with the most locations include the USA (20), the UK (4), Australia (6), France (3), and Canada (3). Server switching is unlimited.

    You can search the full server list in the location menu, choose a location from a map, or sort servers by country, city, ping time, server load, and the number of servers. Ping times loosely correspond with proximity, and a lower ping time often means a faster connection.

    Apps: What devices work with IPVanish?

    A single subscription allows unlimited simultaneous devices to be connected at once, making IPVanish a good value for a large household. For context, most other VPNs tend to permit five or six connections at a time.

    ipvanish mobile android IPVanish - iphone app

    Apps are available for:

    IPVanish does not offer web browser extensions. And while Linux is supported, there’s no dedicated app – you need to configure your connection manually. IPVanish provides guides on how to achieve this.

    Routers

    IPVanish supports routers in two ways. First, you can purchase a preconfigured router from Flash Routers:

    IPVanish - Flash Routers

    Or you can manually configure your connection on one of the supported router firmwares. These are:

    • DD-WRT
    • Tomato
    • ASUSWRT
    • ASUSWRT-Merlin

    IPVanish - Router Config

    IPVanish provides instructions on how to manually configure each of the routers it supports.

    Check out our guide on VPN routers if you’d like more information on the subject.

    Streaming, Netflix and Kodi

    Does IPVanish work with Netflix?

    IPVanish now works with US Netflix from abroad. Not all servers are guaranteed to work, so you might have to switch US locations a time or two to find one that does.

    IPVanish - App - Servers - Streaming

    Unfortunately, IPVanish struggles with a lot of other popular streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. To its credit, it has made a lot of progress in this area recently, and now works with NBC, CBS, and ITV, among other platforms. Still, compared to the top-of-the-line competition, IPVanish falls a little short.

    IPVanish is a notable favorite among Kodi users. Kodi, a free home theater software that allows for streaming video and other content from multiple sources, is often installed on Android-based devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

    ipvanish firestick vpn

    IPVanish makes an app specifically for Fire TV, and devices without access to Google Play or the Amazon App Store can directly download the Android APK directly to their device. The interface is remote-control friendly. Beyond the initial sign in, there is very little typing required to get up and running. Everything can be selected via drop-down menus, and there’s no need to struggle with maps or other interfaces that don’t gel well with remote controls.

    If you’re interested in streaming over VPN, check out our recommended VPNs for streaming.

    Does IPVanish allow torrenting?

    Yes, IPVanish allows torrenting on all servers. P2P filesharers and frequent streamers will be glad to know that there is no cap on bandwidth or data.

    IPVanish - App Security Features

    The IPVanish apps come with an optional kill switch that halts internet traffic should the VPN connection unexpectedly drop—a necessity for torrenting.

    DNS leak protection is built in, including IPv6 leak protection.

    The company keeps no traffic or usage logs on its customers. It does not record your source IP or any of your online activity.

    If you’re into torrenting over a VPN, look at our recommended VPNs for torrenting .

    Does IPVanish have split tunneling?

    Yes, IPVanish’s offers a split tunneling feature in the Android and Fire TV apps, but not for other platforms at this time.

    Split tunneling, or selective routing, allows users to choose which apps use the VPN tunnel and which use a direct, unencrypted connection. I could, for example, set my torrenting app to always use the VPN while Spotify always uses a normal internet connection.

    I hope to see IPVanish add split tunneling to its remaining apps on Windows, MacOS, and iOS soon.

    Take a look at our recommended VPNs for split tunneling if it’s something you’d like to use.

    Security, privacy, and logging

    Other than when an account is first registered, IPVanish keeps no record or log of VPN use on its users. Unfortunately, IPVanish has dropped Bitcoin as a payment method, forcing users to sign up with a credit card or PayPal. That makes fully anonymous signup next to impossible.

    IPVanish - No Logging

    Looking through its privacy policy, we find the following:

    IPVanish - Privacy Policy

    We like what we see here.

    Regarding VPN protocols, IP Vanish supports:

    IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption on the Wireguard protocol by default. SHA512 is used for authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2048 key exchange supports perfect forward secrecy. These are all up-to-date and secure encryption standards, and perfect forward secrecy ensures that past traffic data cannot be decrypted even if a hacker or someone else obtains the current decryption key.

    IPVanish - Security Marketing

    The company operates its own DNS servers and DNS leak protection is built in, as is a kill switch. Our tests showed no DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC leaks.

    IP Test – Without VPN

    IPVanish - IP Test - No VPN

    IP Test – With VPN

    IPVanish - IP Test - With VPN

    DNS Test – Without VPN

    IPVanish - DNS Test - No VPN

    DNS Test – With VPN

    IPVanish - DNS Test - With VPN

    On the Connection page of the app’s Settings are what IPVanish labels Enhanced Security Features. Here you can choose to Block Local Network Interfaces, which blocks LAN access when the VPN is enabled. This is also where you can enable/disable DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection. Both these settings are enabled by default.

    App Enhanced SecurityFeatures

    IPVanish is based in the United States. This might raise concerns for users wary of the NSA, FBI, and other law enforcement or intelligence agencies with a record of covertly spying on people with the help of US-based tech firms. IPVanish’s zero logs policy should ease these concerns, and the company has no public record of anyone being arrested or hacked as a result of using its service. Despite that, some users will still be put off by any VPN provider based in the US and the countries it cooperates with on intelligence gathering.

    IPVanish - App - Connected

    IPVanish is one of very few providers that owns and operates all of its physical hardware, rather than renting it from a third party. Whereas most VPNs simply rent servers around the world, IPVanish buys them. There are pros and cons to this. Obviously, IPVanish maintains greater control over who has access to its servers. But owning servers also makes a provider less flexible under certain circumstances, such as when a data center where the servers are housed lowers their privacy or security standards. It’s much easier to end a lease and rent another somewhere else than it is to physically move a server.

    IPVanish uses external email providers for support and other communication with customers. The only information on hand is users’ email addresses. No customer information is stored or accessible.

    Does IPVanish work in China?

    IPVanish is not a reliable VPN for users in mainland China at this time. I cannot use it to unblock websites or apps censored by the Great Firewall.

    China has blocked connections to the IP addresses and domains of IPVanish’s servers. In the past, IPVanish recommended users in China set up their VPNs manually instead of using the official IPVanish app, but IPVanish now admits that even that might not work.

    To learn more about connecting to a VPN from China, have a look at our recommended VPNs for China.

    Is IPVanish’s customer service any good?

    IPVanish has a support email address but in most cases, the best option is to get in touch via live chat. On a weekday afternoon, it took about two minutes for a response from the website’s live chat support.

    IPVanish - Support Chat

    A fairly thorough knowledge base is searchable on the company website.

    In 2021, IPVanish upped its money-back guarantee from seven days to 30. And the 30-day money-back guarantee is still in effect today, giving you much more time to try it out before making a commitment.

    IPVanish pricing

    IPVanish plans

    IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so, for users looking for a VPN for just a month, you can download the VPN for 30 days and then cancel to receive a full refund. If you change your mind at the end of the 30 days you can still make the most of their low monthly prices in the short term.

    IPVanish Pricing:

    • Monthly plan – $11.99 per month
    • Yearly plan – First year: $53.88 for the first year ($4.49 a month)
    • Two year plan – Billed $79.99 first two years ($3.33 a month)

    All plans allow for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.

    Should I buy IPVanish?

    IPVanish is an easy-to-use VPN service with no limit on simultaneous connections, apps for the major device platforms, strong security, no logging, and very fast speeds. A wide range of servers are available. DNS and IPv6 leak protection, traffic obfuscation, and a kill switch are all built-in. The interface is easy to use with Kodi and other Android-based media systems.

    The service works with Netflix but is hit or miss with other streaming services. Users in China and possibly some other censorship-heavy countries won’t be able to use the slick apps to bypass blocks and blacklists. These are some of the most popular use cases for VPNs these days, so it’s a shame that IPVanish either can’t or won’t overcome those hurdles.

    IPVanish Coupons

    Here’s the latest IPVanish coupon

    IPVanish Coupon
    SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan
    Discount applied automatically

    IPVanish alternatives

    IPVanish is solid, but it’s not for everyone. If you want something that excels at unblocking region-locked streaming sites or that bypasses China’s Great Firewall, check out these alternatives:

    NordVPN offers excellent security, great speeds, a no-logs privacy policy, and apps for a wide range of devices. It works with most major streaming services from abroad including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+, among others. And it works from China.

    Surfshark is another high-speed VPN, and one of the only VPNs other than IPVanish to offer unlimited simultaneous connections. You also get competitive security, and the company stores no identifying logs. Surfshark works well in China and is great for streaming.

    How does IPVanish compare to other popular VPNs?

    IPVanish scores highly for security and privacy but has more limited streaming abilities than the two most popular VPNs, NordVPN and Surfshark.

    ExpressVPN vs. IPVanish: Security, speed and price compared

    IPVanish offers a fun, configurable app at a competitively low price. But how does it stand up to ExpressVPN’s blazing speeds and tough security?

    Rae Hodge Former senior editor

    Rae Hodge was a senior editor at CNET. She led CNET’s coverage of privacy and cybersecurity tools from July 2019 to January 2023. As a data-driven investigative journalist on the software and services team, she reviewed VPNs, password managers, antivirus software, anti-surveillance methods and ethics in tech. Prior to joining CNET in 2019, Rae spent nearly a decade covering politics and protests for the AP, NPR, the BBC and other local and international outlets.

    Feb. 9, 2022 5:00 p.m. PT
    4 min read

    ipvanish-625x350usjc

    See at IPVanish

    expressvpn-white-on-red-stacked-rgb-ea367bae163a22edcf2714de4766bfd89bebe5f7cea62f5723b8551be59eb251

    ExpressVPN
    See at ExpressVPN
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    ExpressVPN and IPVanish both offer a wide range of apps to ensure compatibility across a large number of devices. And both offer base-level privacy features, including minimum encryption standards. But that’s where the similarities end. Between speed disparities, app interfaces, and pricing — the two virtual private networks couldn’t be more different.

    Committing to a multiyear subscription with a virtual private network can mean dropping hundreds of dollars. We advise sticking to one-year plans in a volatile VPN market but, regardless of your choice, take a look at our side-by-side comparison before signing on the dotted line. IPVanish’s fun user interface encourages you to get under the hood and learn the mechanics powering the technology. Meanwhile, ExpressVPN’s speed is quickly developing a reputation for being unbeatable.

    Which software has the advantage? Here’s our breakdown on each VPN’s strengths and weaknesses.

    IPVanish

    Less expensive, more customizable

    A big win for IPVanish is its fun, configurable interface, which makes it an ideal client for beginners who are interested in learning what a VPN does under the hood. In terms of user experience, our only complaint is that IPVanish’s desktop clients have been known to get stuck in a loading loop. This occurs in both the Windows and Mac version of the app, and IPVanish’s site advises a reinstall. Otherwise, this has become one of our favorite user experiences with a VPN client.

    IPVanish’s multiplatform flexibility and 40,000-plus IP addresses are also ideal for people focused on finding a Netflix-friendly VPN. It’s compatible with iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Linux, routers, Amazon Fire devices, and any Android-based media device.

    Compared to VPN speed-leaders like ExpressVPN, it’s tempting to paint IPVanish’s speeds as sluggish. In our speed tests, ExpressVPN reduced our speeds by less than 2% compared to IPVanish, which reduced our speeds by about 65%. But IPVanish regularly gives high-profile players such as NordVPN a run for its money in the thrice-daily tests conducted by ProPrivacy. And IPVanish is reaching those speeds with just 1,300 servers in 60 locations, compared to ExpressVPN’s 3,000-plus server fleet in 160 locations.

    While I appreciate that IPVanish comes with a standard kill switch feature, I always retain some caution when a VPN is headquartered in the US, and reserve our higher recommendations for those outside of international intelligence-sharing rings such as Five Eyes. I’m also not as confident in IPVanish’s leak security as I am with other VPNs, after reviewers at CNET’s sister publication ZDNet detected a partial DNS leak during testing. I’m also still hoping to see an independent third-party audit of its operations.

    At $3.99 per month and $48 for a year, IPVanish is obviously trying to move you towards its yearly program. ExpressVPN can’t beat that price. It also recently changed its policy to offer a full 30-day money back guarantee. That said, the company gets kudos for its recent increase from five to 10 simultaneous connections.

    ExpressVPN

    ExpressVPN

    Faster speeds, better security

    • Fastest VPN tested, zero data leaks, excellent customer support
    • Jurisdiction: privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands
    • Number of servers: 3,000-plus in 160 locations, 94 countries
    • 5 simultaneous connections covered and 3 months free with $80 1-year plan, plus a free year of Backblaze cloud backup (limited-time offer)

    Despite battling major upheavals through the end of 2021, ExpressVPN clenched our Editor’s Choice Award for best VPN in 2022. One of the two largest providers globally, the VPN titan has been in business since 2009 and once again aggressively raised the industry bar for service transparency this year.

    In the past year, ExpressVPN increased its independent third-party audit count, published details about its TrustedServer deployment process, joined the i2Coalition to call for improved VPN industry ethics, and released an open source Lightway encryption protocol.

    After a set-back in 2020, ExpressVPN is again currently in first place as the fastest VPN we’ve tested. While most VPNs will cause you to lose half or more of your normal internet speeds, ExpressVPN caused us to lose just 2% of speeds in our 2022 speed tests. It also unblocks Netflix and other streaming services more reliably than most other VPNs, and seamlessly surpasses geo-blocking for access to international gaming servers and torrenting sites.

    All of our top-rated VPN’s have wide compatibility across platforms and operating systems, but ExpressVPN’s collection of setup guides, detailed FAQs and troubleshooting articles give it a clear advantage for users. So does its 24/7 customer support, and its no-questions-asked, 30-day money back guarantee.

    While you can get a better month-to-dollar bargain with ExpressVPN’s two-year subscription, we don’t recommend anyone purchase any two-year VPN subscriptions at this time due to overall market volatility. ExpressVPN’s best plan offers five simultaneous connections for $100 a year (which includes three extra months, for a limited-time deal totaling 15 months of service). You can also opt for a $13 per-month plan, or pay $60 for six months. Read our ExpressVPN review.