IPVanish VPN Review

Contents

When it comes to streaming in Kodi with a VPN we don’t want to be hit with extra fees for the amount we use it. With IPVanish you can stream as much content through their VPN service as you’d like without the worry of any penalty. Please note, this doesn’t include any restrictions you ISP may have on the bandwidth you use.

IPVanish For Kodi

IPVanish provides a reliable and easy to use VPN experience for any user of Kodi. It’s capable to be installed on almost all popular devices we talk about when recommending a media player for use with Kodi. On top of that, it’s price is one of the industries best. (Currently 25% off)

  • Easy: One of the first VPN companies to provide multiple apps and platforms to install their client on.
  • Secure: Secure, strong and fully encrypted with everything you’d expect from a VPN.
  • P2P Capable: Fully protected if you’re using P2P or Torrent streaming addons within Kodi.
  • Affordable: It’s not the cheapest but it’s damn close and their always announcing deals.
  • Apps: Name your device and chances are there is either an app that can be installed or at the very least a guide on how to do it.

IPVanish For Kodi Review

IPVanish is one of the largely promoted VPN’s on the internet thanks to its great marketing team within their company. That being said, just because it’s widely promoted doesn’t always necessarily make it the best solution as a VPN provider for Kodi. Thankfully though, while widely promoted it still provides a consistent and stable solution for users looking for a VPN to use with Kodi.

Through the past few months, we’ve had the chance to use IPVanish on a regular basis using it with third-party addons and premium sports addon with Kodi to help us bypass certain geo-sensitive content. Unfortunately, IPVanish doesn’t work with Netflix and sadly a lot of VPN’s no longer do (if you’re looking for one check out ExpressVPN) but IPVanish is still a capable VPN with it’s no logs, shared IPs, and P2P capability. Add to that their ever-expanding list of server locations and for everything but Netflix it is a very capable option when choosing a Kodi VPN.

The lone drawback is the company is based in the U.S. For those not familiar with why this is an issue, it’s been mentioned that a US-based VPN may not be an ideal solution for total privacy due to rumours from Wikileaks suggesting there could be warrants and such on US providers in the future. To this day though nothing (we’ve seen) has ever suggested this has happened or will happen so if you don’t wear a tinfoil hat online then IPVanish can provide you with an excellent and fast service.

They also come equipped with made for you apps which makes installing it a breeze on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and even the FireTV ultimately helping you get a Kodi VPN up and running without any headaches.

Pricing and Plans

For a lot of users, when choosing a Kodi VPN it comes down to price. IPVanish comes with a single price in three different pricing structures. Potential subscribers can look to purchase the VPN on 1 month, 3 month and 1 year plans with the longer term providing more savings. At $5.00 a month it’s reasonably priced when compared to some others but falls in line with our list of the best VPN providers.

The best value is your yearly plan which will see you save 73% and pay $3.25 a month over the duration.

IPVanish Pricing

You can pay with IPVanish a handful of ways but no longer capable of doing so with Bitcoin (we believe this has to do with new US legislation in regards to cryptocurrency) which again for privacy purists may be a problem.

IPVanish provides a 7 day money back guarantee for any of those subscribers who aren’t satisfied with their Kodi service.

Features

IPVanish comes with everything you’d expect from a top tier VPN provider for Kodi. While others have adapted, IPVanish was one of the first few companies to provide downloadable apps on devices like Chromebooks and the Fire TV making it much easier to get setup and running with a VPN service.

IPVanish VPN Features

Add to that they have 1000+ VPN servers in over 60+ countries essentially covering the whole globe.

Some of our favorite features about using IPVanish with Kodi include:

  • Fast Speeds with Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited P2P Traffic and anonymous torrenting.
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections on multiple devices.
  • Affordability.

Unlimited Bandwidth and Reliable Streaming Speeds

When it comes to streaming in Kodi with a VPN we don’t want to be hit with extra fees for the amount we use it. With IPVanish you can stream as much content through their VPN service as you’d like without the worry of any penalty. Please note, this doesn’t include any restrictions you ISP may have on the bandwidth you use.

Unlimited P2P and Anonymous Torrenting

In the past a lot of third party Kodi addons pulled data from websites that we’re offering up content. While that still exists today we are starting to see the use of addons implement P2P and torrenting to improve speeds and performance but also mitigate the risk as it’s the end user who is now sharing and streaming the content.

If you find yourself using one of these addons (be sure to check) you’ll be happy to know that IPVanish provides unlimited streaming and identity protection from torrenting so you can feel safe knowing you’re protected online.

Up to 5 Connections

If your household is run on Kodi and you have multiple boxes situated through your house you can feel comfortable knowing you won’t have to pay extra as IPVanish allows you to connect up to 5 devices at the same time. Other VPN providers vary in this but IPVanish provides 5 which is one of the highest simultaneous connection options currently.

Affordable and Easy To Use

It’s not free and may not be the cheapest option in the ever-expanding VPN market but IPVanish provides the best bang for your buck thanks in large part to the impressive amount of features, security and ease of use.

Forget about spending hours trying to install and sideload VPN apks on your Android or FireTV, with all the apps already made for you it’s as simple as signing up and downloading the app you’re running Kodi on. Time is money and we like the thought of being able to be up and running a Kodi VPN in minutes.

Security and Privacy

IPVanish Security and Features

Like most top-flight VPN providers, IPVanish comes with all the encryption protocols that should be expected. Most Kodi VPN users should (and will) opt to use the OpenVPN protocol as it’s easily the best option for the average user. It’s important to know that while most VPN providers run the OpenVPN protocol some do so inefficiently.

IPVanish provides a reliable OpenVPN implementation. It’s not the strongest on the available market but is certainly more than sufficient for helping cover your tracks when streaming in Kodi.

The OpenVPN setting in the IPVanish app helps provide the option to “Obfuscate OpenVPN traffic” which will help provide an added level of encryption by preventing ISP’s from distinguishing the difference between what is and isn’t regular web traffic, it’s truly a remarkable feature.

Our only complaint with IPVanish would be that it’s based in the U.S. For some this may not make much difference, after all, you want a VPN that works and IPVanish certainly does that. Being based in the U.S though can open IPVanish up to potential warrants from the likes of government agencies like the NSA and CIA.

Performance

Choosing a VPN for Kodi can at times be a process. What works great for some may not work great for others. Our VPN selections are based on averaging out tests from streaming certain addons, to using sports, to trying speed tests based on multiple locations.

While IPVanish wasn’t at the top of our list (learn more) it was a close second in regards to an overall VPN for Kodi. The speeds were consistent, the security was great and it was incredibly easy to get setup and start watching content within Kodi with IPVanish enabled.

Our best solution to those seeking out a VPN is to sign up, try it and if it doesn’t work contact support to take them up on their 7-day money back guarantee.

How To Install IPVanish VPN on Kodi

Installing and using IPVanish with Kodi is easy to do. True, you can go a more technical route but most users will find themselves simply downloading the IPVanish apps for their selected devices and using that.

VPN apps vary from providers but IPVanish provides a strong foundation for most Kodi boxes so you can put your mind at ease knowing that it should work on 98% of the most popular streaming boxes on the market.

How To Install IPVanish on Android

Getting setup is easy, just follow below.

Windows

Using IPVanish with Kodi on Windows is straightforward. All you’ll need is the following.

  • Sign up for an IPVanish account and subscription
  • Once that’s complete choose the Windows app for your PC
  • Enter your login information and then once logged in choose and connect to one of the VPN Servers.
  • Wait for confirmation that your connection was successful and use and stream content the way your normally would within Kodi.

Fire TV & Firestick

Arguably one of the most popular devices on the market right now for using Kodi, the Amazon Fire TV provides an affordable but robust option to use with Kodi. Unfortunately, many VPN providers don’t have a native app to install on the device so we’re left with sideloading an APK from the VPN provider.

That isn’t the case with IPVanish. One of the first to provide an app for FireOS it’s as easy as logging into your Fire TV or Fire TV stick and searching for “IPVanish” on the device. Then simply input your username and password after getting a subscription and use Kodi and your FireTV as your normally would.

For a complete guide, click here.

Android

If you’re one of the many that use a different Android box this is for you. Unfortunately not all Android boxes are treated equally so you may have to do some sideloading if you’re setup doesn’t come with the Google Play Store.

If it does, great! Simply log in to the playstore, search for IPVanish and download onto your device. From there all you’ll need to do is enter your username and password and choose a server location.

If you’d like you can play around with the settings but in most cases, the default should suffice for most users.

If you need more information or perhaps learn how to manually install, check out the IPVanish Android page here.

IPVanish and Kodi Conclusion

Choosing a VPN for Kodi comes down a lot to what works for you. IPVanish is reliable, secure and provides more than capable speeds to stream content within Kodi all while staying anonymous.

It’s widely marketed but for good reason. IPVanish provides not only an affordable VPN option but also one that is extremely easy to setup and use. Why waste time learning how to sideload an apk or app onto your Kodi media player when you can just download the app, enter your account information and choose a VPN server to stream content from.

Results may vary from user to user but IPVanish is home to one of the largest selections of VPN servers across the planet so if doesn’t work for you try another one and chances are it will improve your speed in Kodi.

If you’re tempted to try IPVanish but unsure then take them up on their 7-day money back guarantee and give it a shot. We believe you won’t be disappointed.

IPVanish VPN Review

IPVanish desktop screenshot

Simon Migliano is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He’s tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times and more.

Fact-checked by Callum Tennent Additional Testing by Harry Ferrigno

Our Verdict

Overall Rating:
9.08 9.1 / 10
How is this calculated? Close

We calculate the VPN service’s Overall Rating by combining the ratings of several testing categories. Each category is weighted as follows:

  • Privacy & Logging Policy: 20%
  • Speed: 20%
  • Security & Technical Features: 15%
  • Streaming: 15%
  • Ease of Use: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Server Locations: 5%
  • Bypassing Web Censorship: 5%
  • Customer Support: 5%

IPVanish is an excellent no-logs VPN, scoring 9.1/10 according to our testing methodology. It has an excellent Fire TV Stick app and its fast file-sharing speeds are ideal for torrenting. It also owns its entire server network and can unblock US Netflix. However, IPVanish isn’t great for bypassing web censorship and its device compatibility falls short of competitors.

Ranked #6 out of 55 VPNs

IPVanish VPN Category Ratings

  • Streaming

IPVanish VPN Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Zero-logs and no IP address leaks
  • Streams US Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Best VPN for Fire TV Stick & Kodi
  • Owns its entire server network

Cons

  • No VPN browser extensions
  • No Smart DNS for Apple TV & games consoles
  • Kill switch leaks on macOS
  • No kill switch in the iOS app
  • Doesn’t work in China
  • Can’t unblock HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, or Hotstar

Why Trust Our Review?

We’ve spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing 55 VPN services using our impartial review process to recommend you the best VPN software.

Here are some of our key VPN testing statistics:

Total Hours of Testing 30,000+
Weekly Speed Tests 3,000+
VPN Services Reviewed 55
Streaming Platforms Tested Daily 12
IP & DNS Leak Tests Performed 9,500+
How Much We’ve Spent On Testing $25,000+

Founded in 2012, IPVanish is an excellent VPN service that competes with the best on the market. It’s been a trustworthy no-logs VPN since 2017, and this didn’t change following its 2019 acquisition by Ziff Davis.

IPVanish is known for its secure and anonymous VPN apps. It remains our best VPN for Fire TV Stick and an excellent choice for P2P and Kodi users.

For this IPVanish review, we put all of its apps through our in-house VPN testing process. You can see a summary of our findings in the table below, or you can see how IPVanish compares with other VPNs later on in this review.

Who Should Get IPVanish?

Get IPVanish if:

  • You want to torrent anonymously. IPVanish has faster P2P speeds than most of its competitors and a private logging policy to ensure your torrenting activity can’t be linked back to you.
  • You want to stream using Kodi. IPVanish’s excellent Fire TV Stick app, alongside its no-logs policy and IP leak protection, makes it a great choice for Kodi.
  • You want to connect to a physical VPN server. IPVanish is one of the few VPN services to use an all-physical server network (except its India location). This ensures the VPN server you connect to will always be located in the country it claims to be in.

Avoid IPVanish if:

  • You want to access geo-restricted streaming content. IPVanish can’t unblock HBO Max or Amazon Prime Video, and it can only access 3 Netflix libraries. There’s also no Smart DNS feature for Apple TV or games console users.
  • You’re an experienced VPN user who wants advanced features. IPVanish covers the basics well (encryption, protocols, kill switch), but it lacks the advanced features of its competitors. It hasn’t got any multi-hop servers, dedicated IP addresses, or an ad blocker.
  • You need to bypass web censorship in a restricted country. IPVanish has never worked in our China testing and its website warns against using the VPN in censored regions.

IPVanish Video Review

Before reading our in-depth IPVanish review, see our short video covering the best and worst features of the VPN:

IPVanish VPN Key Data

Add to compare

Data Cap Unlimited
Download Speed 95Mbps
Logging Policy No Logs
Data Leaks No
Jurisdiction US (Five Eyes Member)
Servers 2,200
IP Addresses 40,000+
Countries With Servers 53
US Netflix Yes
Torrenting Unlimited
Simultaneous Connections Unlimited
Works In China No
Support 24/7 Live Chat
Cheapest Price $2.99 /mo over 2 years
Free Trial 7 Days (Payment Info Required)
Money-Back Guarantee 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
Official Website IPVanish.com

Speed

Fast Speeds Across All Server Locations

Speed Rating
How is this calculated? Close

We calculate the VPN’s speed rating using our download speeds, upload speeds, and ping (latency) measurements.

We regularly test the VPN’s local and international speeds using a dedicated 100Mbps internet connection in New York, USA.

Using the newly-added WireGuard protocol, we registered fast connection speeds on every IPVanish server we tested. We recorded an impressive average download speed loss of 5% on local servers and 12% on international ones.

Ranked #2 out of 55 VPNs for Speed

To calculate IPVanish’s speed performance, we recorded the speed of the connection between our location and IPVanish VPN servers around the globe.

Below is a table showing IPVanish’s speed test results, in full:

Previously, we recorded average speeds using IPVanish due to its reliance on the slower and older OpenVPN protocol. With the introduction of WireGuard, IPVanish now ranks among the fastest VPNs on the market.

As shown in the table above, IPVanish is consistently fast across all locations with an average international download speed of 88Mbps.

In fact, IPVanish is the only VPN service, other than Hotspot Shield, to record download speeds faster than 80Mbps in every location we test.

You can use the chart below to see how IPVanish’s international speeds compare to other top VPNs:

These results indicate that IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs available. It’s more than fast enough for HD streaming, web browsing, and torrenting large files.

Low Ping for Online Gaming

While connected to a local IPVanish server, we consistently recorded a ping time of 7ms. This is an excellent result that allows you to play fast-paced online games without any lag.

Using IPVanish to play an online video game anonymously

We didn’t experience any lag while connecting to a nearby US server.

On longer-distance connections, we experienced increased ping times and very occasional periods of lag. However, we were still able to play online with minimal disruption and avoid any sudden disconnections.

Server Locations

2,200 Self-Owned Servers & 40,000+ IP Addresses

Server Locations Rating
How is this calculated? Close

The key factor for calculating this rating is the global spread and coverage of the VPN’s server network.

We also consider the total number of servers, the number of city-level servers, and the number of IP addresses available.

IPVanish has 2,200 servers spread over 53 countries and 84 cities. This accommodates most regions, but falls short of the very best VPN services like Private Internet Access. We tested IPVanish’s servers and found none of them to be virtual, apart from its India server.

Ranked #13 out of 55 VPNs for Server Locations

53 Countries
84 Cities
40,000+ IP Addresses

Use the table below to see how IPVanish allocates its server coverage:

Continent Number of Countries
Europe 31
Asia 10
South America 5
North America 4
Africa 1
Oceania 2

IPVanish’s network consists of 2,200 servers in total. This puts it amongst the top half of VPN services we’ve tested, but is eclipsed by PIA’s 17,087 servers and CyberGhost’s 9,769.

Though smaller than some competitors, IPVanish’s server count is more than adequate and we found that server congestion is rare even during peak times.

IPVanish has servers in most European countries and over 1400 servers in North America. The choice is more limited outside these regions, with only one server location in Africa.

In fact, 58% of IPVanish’s server network coverage is concentrated in Europe. We’d like to see IPVanish rectify this by introducing new servers in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

The VPN service offers city-level server choice in six countries including the US and the UK. This is useful for accessing geographically restricted content like NBA blackouts, or for connecting to servers close to you for fast speeds.

IPVanish has servers in 14 US states. This is more than Windscribe’s 7 states and ExpressVPN’s 11, but is far behind PIA’s complete coverage of all 50 US states.

IPVanish Doesn’t Use Virtual Servers

All of IPVanish’s servers are physical. Its bare metal servers are physically located in their advertised online location.

This avoids the drawbacks of virtually located servers, which can sometimes assign you the wrong IP address or hinder your internet speeds.

The only exception to IPVanish’s physical server network is its virtual server location in India. This is due to the introduction of intrusive data laws in India in late 2022. As a result, IPVanish removed its servers from within the country, but still offers access to Indian IP addresses via virtual servers that are not subject to those data laws.

Privacy & Logging Policy

A Trustworthy & Verified No-Logs VPN

Privacy & Logging Policy Rating
How is this calculated? Close

We analyze and dissect the VPN service’s logging and privacy policy. A VPN should never log and store:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

Headquarters outside of 14 Eyes or EU jurisdictions are also preferable.

IPVanish is a zero-logs VPN service you can trust. It does not keep records of your connection data or browsing activity. The only information it does log is your email address and payment method, which are necessary for maintaining the service. Its jurisdiction is the US, but this is nullified by its no-logs policy.

Ranked #13 out of 55 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

Below is a summary of the data that IPVanish logs:

Data Type Logged by IPVanish VPN
Browsing Activity No
Device Information No
DNS Queries No
Individual Bandwidth Usage No
Individual Connection Timestamps No
ISP No
Number of Simultaneous Connections No
Originating IP Address No
Account Information Yes
VPN Server IP No
VPN Server Location No
Date of Last Connection No

IPVanish does not log any connection or usage data. It does collect your email address and payment method, but this is standard practice for most VPN services.

Its privacy policy states that the VPN also collects “aggregated and anonymous performance data” to improve its overall functionality. This data is completely anonymous and not linked to individual users.

Unlike many VPNs, IPVanish doesn’t enforce any simultaneous connections limit. Therefore, it doesn’t need to log device connections to its network.

IPVanish’s no-logs policy has been verified by an independent audit carried out by Leviathan Security Group in April 2022. The audit confirmed that IPVanish does not log your IP address, browsing activity, or downloads.

For greater transparency, we’d like to see IPVanish include a warrant canary on its website to highlight any DMCA requests it receives.

Similarly, we’d encourage IPVanish to follow Windscribe’s approach of publishing regular transparency reports of its law enforcement requests. This would serve as real life proof that IPVanish does not log any user data.

You can see how IPVanish’s logging policy compares to other top-shelf VPNs in the table below:

IPVanish Is Owned by Ziff Davis

IPVanish is currently owned by New York-based company Ziff Davis. It’s part of a family of VPN products including StrongVPN, SaferVPN, and Encrypt.me.

Normally a US jurisdiction isn’t great for privacy due to the country’s intrusive data laws and its membership of the Five Eyes alliance.

However, this isn’t relevant to IPVanish, as its no-logs policy means that it wouldn’t have anything to hand over to US authorities.

Therefore, as long as it continues to operate the same logging policy, we’re not overly concerned by the company’s US jurisdiction.

Previous Data-Sharing Incident

In 2016, IPVanish handed user logs to the FBI to aid in a criminal investigation. This was only possible as IPVanish was actively logging this data.

In the seven years since this incident, IPVanish has changed ownership multiple times, improved its logging policy, and verified its practices with an independent audit.

We now consider IPVanish to be a reputable and trustworthy service with a verified no-logs policy.

Streaming

IPVanish Unblocks US Netflix but Not HBO Max

Streaming Rating
How is this calculated? Close

This rating is calculated by how many different streaming services and regional content libraries the VPN can unblock, and how consistently it can access them.

We test access to Netflix, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more platforms on a weekly basis.

IPVanish successfully unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. All of these services are accessible on its native Fire TV Stick and Android apps, too. However, it doesn’t work with Prime Video or HBO Max, and we’d like to see a Smart DNS feature added. ExpressVPN and Surfshark are far better options if streaming is your top priority.

Ranked #11 out of 55 VPNs for Streaming

You can use the list below to see which popular streaming services IPVanish works with:

Streaming Platform Works with IPVanish VPN
All 4 Yes
Amazon Prime Video No
BBC iPlayer Yes
Disney+ Yes
HBO Max No
Hotstar India No
Hulu Yes
ITVX Yes
Netflix US Yes
YouTube Yes

If you want to know if IPVanish works with a streaming service that’s not listed above, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll test it for you.

IPVanish Works with US Netflix & Two Other Regions

IPVanish unblocks American Netflix on all of its US servers. It also worked with the UK and India libraries in our tests.

Unblocking US Netflix with IPVanish

We were able to unblock US Netflix with IPVanish.

While it’s impressive IPVanish can access US Netflix, it’s poor compared to the highest-performing Netflix VPNs. For example, Windscribe can access 10 times as many Netflix regions than IPVanish.

Additionally, IPVanish can be slow to load the Netflix website and mobile app. We were able to mitigate this by switching to the WireGuard protocol.

Works with All UK Streaming Platforms

Using IPVanish’s UK servers, we were able to access every major British streaming service. We recorded a 100% success rate unblocking geo-restricted content on BBC iPlayer, ITVX, and All 4.

Unblocking BBC iPlayer with IPVanish

All of IPVanish’s UK servers can access BBC iPlayer.

In each instance, the stream loaded quickly in our browser and we were able to watch without any buffering. This was the case for both on-demand and live content.

IPVanish Consistently Unblocks Hulu

Our recent tests confirm that IPVanish is a great choice for Hulu. Using IPVanish, we were able to stream Hulu from outside the US on all of our devices.

Unblocking Hulu with IPVanish from outside the US.

IPVanish lets you watch Hulu exclusives from outside the US.

Out of the 10 US servers we tested, only one IP address was blocked. This is an excellent result and indicates that IPVanish is a reliable choice for unblocking Hulu.

IPVanish Doesn’t Unblock All Streaming Platforms

We also tested IPVanish with HBO Max and didn’t have any success. The same was true of Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar India.

Overall, there are far better VPNs available for streaming. Compared to these, IPVanish works less often, streams in lower quality, and is compatible with fewer streaming devices.

Torrenting

IPVanish Is Ideal for Fast & Anonymous Torrenting

Torrenting Rating
How is this calculated? Close

This rating is determined by the VPN’s torrenting speeds, the percentage of servers that allow P2P file sharing, the service’s privacy and trustworthiness, and useful settings like port forwarding.

For speed specifically, we calculate the VPN’s average download bitrate using our bespoke torrenting setup.

Both the IPVanish app and its SOCKS5 proxy are great for torrenting. P2P traffic is permitted on all servers and its torrenting speeds are amongst the fastest we’ve recorded. It doesn’t allow port forwarding, though.

Ranked #4 out of 55 VPNs for Torrenting

Here’s a summary of how IPVanish performed in our latest torrenting tests:

Torrenting Attribute Result
Average Download Bitrate 9.9MiB/s
No. of P2P Servers 2,200
Logging Policy No Logs
Kill Switch Yes
Port Forwarding No

We tested IPVanish by connecting to one of its nearby servers and downloading a torrent test file. In each instance, we were able to open the file in the qBittorent client and complete the download without interruption.

Anonymously torrenting with IPVanish

IPVanish kept our real IP address hidden while torrenting.

IPvanish recorded an average bitrate of 9.9MiB/s — an excellent result. In fact, IPVanish is the joint third fastest VPN for torrenting that we’ve tested.

P2P traffic is permitted on all of its servers which is ideal for minimizing congestion and maintaining fast speeds.

Plus, IPVanish owns and manages its entire server network. First-party server ownership is great for user anonymity as it prevents any third-parties from accessing your torrenting activity. Importantly, the VPN doesn’t log usage data, either.

It also has a reliable VPN kill switch to prevent IP leaks following an unexpected VPN disconnection. It’s not enabled by default, though.

We’d like to see IPVanish introduce port forwarding support to further optimize its P2P speeds and close the gap on the top torrenting VPNs.

IPVanish Has a SOCKS5 Proxy

The VPN also offers its own SOCKS5 proxy. This masks your IP address while torrenting by routing your P2P traffic through a remote proxy service.

Although this is generally faster than using a VPN, it won’t encrypt your internet traffic.

You can configure the SOCKS5 proxy directly in your torrent client, without the need of additional software. This process can be overly technical, though.

EXPERT ADVICE: Connect to your VPN before launching your torrent client, and disconnect from the VPN after closing the torrent client. This avoids IP address exposures if your torrent client is seeding in the background.

Security & Technical Features

IPVanish Is Very Secure, but Lacks Advanced Features

Security & Technical Features Rating
How is this calculated? Close

A secure VPN must offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a working kill switch.

To calculate this rating, we also factor in additional security settings and features.

IPVanish is a safe VPN service thanks to its use of AES-256 encryption and trusted protocols, like OpenVPN and WireGuard. It does not leak DNS requests or IPv6 addresses, and it owns its entire server network. However, there is no kill switch on iOS, its macOS kill switch is faulty, and we’d like to see more advanced features added to all of its applications.

Ranked #3 out of 55 VPNs for Security & Technical Features

You can see the full list of VPN protocols, encryption ciphers, and technical features IPVanish offers in the table below:

Protocols Encryption Security Advanced Features

Protocols Available in IPVanish VPN
IKEv2/IPSec Yes
L2TP/IPSec Yes
OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) Yes
PPTP Yes
SSTP Yes
WireGuard Yes
Encryption Available in IPVanish VPN
AES-128 Yes
AES-192 No
AES-256 Yes
Blowfish No
ChaCha20 Yes
Security Available in IPVanish VPN
DNS Leak Blocking Yes
First-party DNS Yes
IPv6 Leak Blocking Yes
Supports TCP Port 443 Yes
VPN Kill Switch Yes
WebRTC Leak Blocking No
Advanced Features Available in IPVanish VPN
Ad Blocker No
Dedicated IP No
Double VPN No
Smart DNS No
Static IP No
SOCKS Yes
Split Tunneling Yes
Tor over VPN Server No
Tracker Blocker No

IPVanish Is Safe to Use on All Platforms

IPVanish encrypts your traffic using industry-standard encryption methods. You can choose between AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption ciphers, which are both considered virtually unbreakable.

All of IPVanish’s applications use the WireGuard VPN protocol by default. This is an open-sourced VPN protocol which you can trust to keep your data secure.

To verify this, we inspected our web traffic while connected to an IPVanish VPN server. We carried out this test using Wireshark, a free and open-source packet inspection tool.

IPVanish Wireshark scan

IPVanish encrypted the data packets leaving our device.

We found no unencrypted TCP or UDP traffic, and no HTTP or DNS traffic traveling in plain text. Every data packet we inspected displayed an incoherent series of symbols.

In other words, IPVanish works exactly as intended. When it runs, it fully encrypts the traffic leaving the device. We trust the VPN to hide web activity from ISPs or protect data transfers on public WiFi networks.

Minor Kill Switch Fault on macOS

IPVanish’s kill switch prevents any internet traffic from leaving your device when the VPN is not connected.

To verify this, we used our kill switch testing tool. This tool detects any IP address leaks following a drop in internet connection and a change in VPN server location.

We were only able to conduct this test on macOS by switching to the OpenVPN protocol. IPVanish’s kill switch isn’t available on macOS if you connect using the default WireGuard protocol.

We can confirm that IPVanish’s kill switch successfully blocked our network traffic on its Windows app. However, its macOS kill switch failed to prevent our IP address from leaking during a VPN server change.

Testing IPVanish

We only detected a minor issue with IPVanish’s macOS kill switch.

Thankfully, its macOS kill switch did hide our IP address following a sudden VPN disconnection, which is the more important test.

It’s still safe to use IPVanish on macOS, but we recommend you completely shut down your online activity before switching VPN servers as your internet traffic will not be encrypted in the intermediary period.

Sadly, this fault is not unique to IPVanish — ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN experience similar issues with their macOS kill switches.

We hope to see IPVanish address this in the future, as well as adding VPN kill switches to its iOS and Fire TV applications.

IPVanish Owns Its Entire Server Network

IPVanish owns and manages its entire server network, including its DNS servers.

Owning your entire server network reduces the risk of server security issues. IPVanish does not lease any of their servers from third-parties, which means it has full control over how your data is handled.

However, unlike ExpressVPN’s servers, IPVanish’s are not diskless, meaning they do store information on physical hard drives.

While RAM-based servers are safer for anonymity, very few VPN services currently offer this solution — take a look at ExpressVPN if it’s a feature you really want.

IPVanish Doesn’t Leak IP or DNS Data

We tested IPVanish’s apps for leaks and can confirm that it does not leak IP or DNS data.

IPVanish leak test

IPVanish’s leak test results when connected to its Chicago server.

This is due to its in-built DNS and IPv6 leak protection, as well as its first-party ownership of its server network.

Extra Technical Features We’d Like to See

IPVanish includes all the standard features you’d expect from a reputable VPN service, but lacks the additional technical features of the very best VPNs. We’ve listed the most important ones we’d like to see IPVanish implement moving forward:

  • Multi-hop servers to add a further layer of encryption and increase protection against traffic correlation attacks.
  • Diskless VPN servers for close to guaranteed anonymity across IPVanish’s privately owned server network.
  • Dedicated IP for secure remote access, improved streaming performance in specific locations, and greater control over your VPN IP address.
  • Open-sourced desktop apps for increased transparency over how IPVanish’s software functions. This would allow anyone to inspect its apps and identify possible security flaws.

Most of these features are advanced and not essential for a VPN service to have, however as one of the best VPNs we’ve reviewed, we expect IPVanish to include them.

Bypassing Web Censorship

IPVanish Doesn’t Bypass Strict Web Censorship

Bypassing Censorship Rating
How is this calculated? Close

We routinely test if the VPN can bypass strict internet restrictions in China using our remote-access server in Shanghai.

Other important factors we consider include obfuscation technologies and the availability of servers in neighboring countries (for faster connections).

IPVanish comes with some obfuscation technology, but it has never been able to beat China’s censorship in our tests. It might work in less aggressively censored regions, though.

Ranked #27 out of 55 VPNs for Bypassing Web Censorship

IPVanish does not work in China and other highly-censored countries.

We test IPVanish weekly on our Shanghai server and we have never seen it work. Each time we opened the VPN app it failed to connect to a server location.

Its obfuscation tool, called “Scramble VPN traffic,” simply can’t bypass China’s Great Firewall.

IPVanish might work in restricted countries with less sophisticated web censorship. As a top-rated VPN, we find it likely that IPVanish works in Russia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

If you need a VPN to beat Chinese censorship, there are far more reliable VPNs with bespoke obfuscation technology. Our top choice, Astrill VPN, has a 100% success rate in bypassing the Great Firewall of China using its proprietary protocols.

Device & OS Compatibility

IPVanish Works on Most Devices, but Lacks Smart DNS

Device Compatibility How is this rated? Close

A high-quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and browser extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.

Our ‘Device & OS Compatibility’ assessment contributes to the Ease of Use rating.

IPVanish has native apps for most platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire OS, and Linux. All of its apps are easy to set up, even on your home router. However, it doesn’t have any browser extensions or Smart DNS.

Apps

You can download and install IPVanish on the following devices:

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. iOS
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  6. Router
  7. Chrome OS

IPVanish mostly feels the same to use across its various platforms, but not every feature is available on each app. Below is an overview of the key differences between IPVanish applications:

Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

You can use IPVanish on unlimited devices simultaneously. It’s rare to see a top-shelf VPN offer this. Most services limit concurrent connections to five devices per account.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

IPVanish can be used on the following devices by installing it on a router:

  1. Apple TV
  2. Amazon Fire TV
  3. Android TV
  4. Chromecast
  5. PlayStation
  6. Roku
  7. Smart TV
  8. Xbox

Router installation can be carried out manually or by purchasing a pre-flashed router. Frustratingly, this is the only way to use IPVanish on Apple TV and games consoles as the VPN doesn’t have a Smart DNS tool.

IPVanish is one of the few VPNs to offer a native app for Amazon Fire TV. Its Fire TV app is easy to use, and it’s currently our top-rated VPN for Fire TV Stick.

The app doesn’t store any internet logs, which is ideal for watching Kodi and IPTV content anonymously with a VPN.

IPVanish can also stream geo-restricted content on official Kodi add-ons like IceFilms and NBC sport.

Ease of Use

Highly Configurable Apps & Easy to Use Interface

Ease of Use Rating
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This rating mainly consists of the user-friendliness and intuitiveness of setting up and regularly using the VPN.

We also factor in customization settings, as well as device and OS compatibility (see section above).

All of IPVanish’s applications are simple to use and feature multiple configuration options. Its Windows, Android, and iOS apps all use a similar interface, ensuring a consistent user experience across all platforms. We’d like to see its apps remove some of the unnecessary clutter on their homescreens, though.

Ranked #10 out of 55 VPNs for Ease of Use

To install and start using IPVanish, go to its website and click Get Started. Choose your pricing plan, create your account, and download the app. We found this entire process to be quick and straightforward — it only took around five minutes.

IPVanish has recently redesigned all of its apps for the most popular platforms. The latest being its macOS app, which launched with its new design in June 2023.

This redesign is a massive improvement. Previously, IPVanish’s app design was outdated and overly-technical, resembling a router app interface. We’re pleased to see IPVanish has adopted a more modern user interface for its new VPN apps.

We explain our experience using IPVanish on every operating system in the section below:

Desktop & Laptop (Windows & Mac)

IPVanish’s desktop apps are almost identical in their design and features, but there are some inconsistencies.

IPVanish

IPVanish’s macOS app (bottom) now uses the same design as Windows.

You can pick a country, city, or server to connect to from the locations list. Or, just press “connect” to use the best server available.

In the side-menu, you can sort the server list by country, server load, or response time. We found this particularly useful for avoiding server congestion during peak times.

There’s also a helpful search function where you can filter servers by keyword. One click adds a server location to your ‘favorites list,’ for quicker future access.

You also have the option to pick a location from a map. Zooming in will display the full server network for a particular region. Following its recent app redesign, this feature is no longer restricted to just Windows and has been added to the macOS app.

Moreover, the macOS redesign has integrated its VPN settings into the IPVanish app itself. Previously, its settings and customization options were hidden in the Mac’s native menu bar, leading to a frustrating user experience.

Once you’ve connected to a server, a status panel will display the protocol you’re using, time connected, server name, and bandwidth used. This is far more compact and less intrusive than IPVanish’s previous user interface.

Both desktop apps come with a kill switch, IPv6 leak protection, port selection, and the Scramble feature for censorship. On macOS, you’ll need to switch to OpenVPN to access these features, though. On Windows, only port selection and the Scramble feature are limited to OpenVPN.

Mobile (iPhone & Android)

Unlike its desktop counterparts, IPVanish’s mobile apps use a similar interface. Both feature a map on the top half of their homescreens, with the connection status and server location below.

IPVanish

IPVanish’s Android app (right) offers more features than its iOS counterpart (left).

You can access advanced settings, customer support, and the full server list from the tabs at the bottom of both apps.

Live chat is integrated within IPVanish’s mobile apps for quick and accessible customer support.

Similar to the desktop apps, you can select servers by country or city in the locations menu. Filtering by cities allows you to view the ping and server load data of each location.

There’s also the same built-in search function and option to ‘favorite’ locations for quick server access.

We also appreciate how well-integrated IPVanish’s mobile apps are within their respective operating systems.

The Android app has a toggle for connecting on startup, and its kill switch is integrated within the system settings on the mobile. There’s also an option to switch to ‘dark mode’ to improve accessibility.

On the iOS app, IPVanish has implemented several optional Siri shortcuts to simplify the user experience. For example, saying, “secure connection” will connect you to the last server used. There’s also the same option to switch to a darker background on iOS, too.

Unfortunately, the lack of features on the iOS app is evident. There’s no kill switch, no split tunneling, and no Scramble protocol.

Amazon Fire TV

The IPVanish Firestick VPN app is the best we’ve tested. It isn’t quite the best-designed one, but it’s highly secure and easy to use.

Screenshot of IPVanish

IPVanish has the best Fire TV Stick app.

The app has many customizable settings, including auto-startup, auto-reconnect, LAN exemption, and even split tunneling.

The real-time upload/download speed graph is prominent, like IPVanish’s other apps, but it doesn’t affect functionality. If anything, it looks better on a TV than on a phone or computer screen.

You can use either OpenVPN (UDP or TCP) or WireGuard connection protocols. You can also use the Scramble feature, which worked to unblock certain apps that were blocking standard VPN traffic.

The main drawback of IPVanish’s Fire TV Stick app is that it lacks a kill switch. It’s a disappointing oversight, considering how security-focused the VPN company is.

How to install IPVanish on your Fire TV Stick:

  1. Select ‘apps’ and then ‘categories’ from the Fire TV Stick home screen.
  2. Choose ‘utility’ and then select the IPVanish application.
  3. Download IPVanish and select ‘open’ to enter your login details.
  4. Click ‘connect’ to use the nearest server, or pick a server from the ‘options’ menu.

Linux Client

Like many other VPN services, IPVanish hasn’t built a native Linux VPN application.

To use IPVanish on Linux, you’ll have to therefore use standard command lines, in the absence of a graphical user interface.

IPVanish is compatible with Ubuntu, Fedora, Kali, Mint, Lubuntu, and Pop! OS. The CLI (Command Line Interface) supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, and IKEv2 connections.