What is a VPN


IPVanish uses AES 256-bit encryption, the industry standard for data encryption. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and 256-bit refers to the key length. A hacker would need to try 2^256 combinations to break a code, which would take millions of years for a computer to crack.

IPVanish Review 2023: Features, Pricing & More

Jennifer Simonson started her journalism career at a Denver-area weekly newspaper in 2001. Since then she has covered everything under the sun from politics to businesses to the wine industry to international travel. Outdoor adventure, water parks and all things Texas are by far her favorite beats. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Texas Monthly, Smithsonian Magazine, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Slate and more. You can follow her adventures through her IG account @storiestoldwell.

Jennifer Simonson Contributor

Jennifer Simonson started her journalism career at a Denver-area weekly newspaper in 2001. Since then she has covered everything under the sun from politics to businesses to the wine industry to international travel. Outdoor adventure, water parks and all things Texas are by far her favorite beats. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Texas Monthly, Smithsonian Magazine, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Slate and more. You can follow her adventures through her IG account @storiestoldwell.


Updated: Aug 31, 2023, 5:09am

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

Our Verdict

Our Verdict

IPVanish is a popular virtual private network (VPN) provider that offers increased online privacy and high-speed encrypted internet access. IPVanish VPN boasts fast download speeds, 24/7 customer support, connection to unlimited simultaneous devices and access to more than 2,200 servers in more than 75 countries. If you are browsing the internet on public Wi-Fi, are seeking greater security for your online accounts or want increased privacy for your online business, IPVanish is a solid choice.

In our IPVanish review, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to decide if this popular VPN is right for your needs.


  • Users can connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously
  • Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers from a wide number of geographic regions


  • No dedicated IP address add-on
  • No publicly released transparency report
  • Vague no-logs policy

Our ratings take into account a product’s cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Starting price
$11.99 per month
Simultaneous connections
Number of servers

Table of Contents

  • What Is IPVanish?
  • What Sets IPVanish Apart?
  • IPVanish Core Features
  • IPVanish Pricing and Plans
  • IPVanish Setup
  • IPVanish Ease of Use
  • IPVanish Servers and Locations
  • IPVanish Speed and Performance
  • IPVanish Security and Privacy
  • IPVanish Customer Service and Support
  • IPVanish Device Compatibility
  • IPVanish for Streaming
  • IPVanish Alternatives and How They Compare
  • Is IPVanish Right for You?
  • Our Experience/Expert Take
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is IPVanish?

  • IPVanish offers high-speed encrypted internet use with affordable annual plans.
  • Unlike other VPN services, IPVanish allows users to connect to an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.
  • IPVanish’s no-nonsense user experience (UX) is one of the reasons it made our list of best VPNs.

What Sets IPVanish Apart?

A VPN is a service that encrypts your activity on the internet and keeps your identity hidden while browsing. VPNs provide an extra layer of privacy, enable you to access foreign websites and can provide secure connections for transferring sensitive information. IPVanish has everything you need to add security to your internet activity at home at an affordable price.


IPVanish offers a feature called SugarSync file storage, providing you with advanced encryption to protect files stored online. It also keeps encrypted backup schedules so you can ensure your files are secure at all times. Other benefits include creating security settings to control file permissions and the ability to recover lost files due to factors such as ransomware.


IPVanish only offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for those who sign up for an annual plan. Plus, monthly pricing for its basic VPN service goes up to $11.99 after the first month for month-by-month plans, and up to $89.99 per year after the first year for annual plans.

IPVanish Core Features

IPVanish strikes a balance between powerful features and an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Features include dedicated server locations for streaming, anonymous browsing, split tunneling and a kill switch. All these combine to give you the power to browse the internet securely and privately.

Anonymous Browsing

The fact that IPVanish never logs your internet traffic or VPN connections means that you can browse the internet anonymously. This guarantees that you will not be associated with any IP address or timestamp. Moreover, shared IP addresses cannot be used to track you down.

DNS Protection Measures

IPVanish uses its private DNS servers to resolve web addresses to their respective IP addresses. The DNS servers are only accessible when connected to its VPN ensuring that its DNS is private and secure

Dedicated IP

IPVanish does not offer a dedicated IP.

Kill Switch

A kill switch will disconnect your internet if your IPVanish connection stops working for any reason. This feature allows you to maintain your anonymity and privacy by ensuring your internet activity is channeled only through the VPN.

Currently, only IPVanish’s Android Mobile 8-plus, macOS and Windows client apps support the kill switch feature. And you’ll need to turn it on—it’s not done automatically.

Split Tunneling

IPVanish’s split tunneling feature allows you to choose which apps or programs will connect through the VPN and which will connect directly through the internet.

This feature grants you more control over what internet traffic is getting the protection of the VPN—and ostensibly it boosts your speeds because you can channel low-risk traffic through your normal internet connection.

With IPVanish, split tunneling only works on Android and Fire OS devices, according to its website.

Lowest Monthly Price
# of Servers

On ExpressVPN’s Website

Lowest Monthly Price
# of Devices

On NordVPN’s Website

Lowest Monthly Price
# of Devices

On Surfshark’s Website

Private Internet Access

Lowest Monthly Price
# of Servers

Private Internet Access

On Private Internet Access’s Website

IPVanish Pricing and Plans

IPVanish plans include all available apps, unlimited bandwidth and 24/7 live chat and phone support. Similar to most VPN companies, the main difference between IPVanish’s pricing plans is the length of time commitment. Monthly plans cost $11.99 each month. Yearly plans cost $39.99 while a two-year plan costs $69.99 initially. Both the yearly and the two-year plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Length of Contract Monthly Yearly Two-Year Monthly Rate $11.99 $4.49 $3.33 Total Amount Billed $11.99 $53.88 $69.997 30-Day Guarantee No Yes Yes

IPVanish Setup

IPVanish setup is easy to perform. Start by downloading its free app. The app is compatible on most operating systems including Windows VPN, Mac VPN, Android VPN, iPhone VPN and Chrome VPN. After you have successfully installed IPVanish, you will be ready to connect to VPN servers. IPVanish has step-by-step installation guides and videos on its website for every operating system it is compatible with.

IPVanish Ease of Use

You do not have to be a tech genius to grasp IPVanish’s easy-to-use features to help you securely surf the internet. IPVanish has a 4.5 rating over 8,000 reviews on the review website Trustpilot. Ease of use was a top comment from satisfied customers.

IPVanish Servers and Locations

IPVanish has more than 2,200 servers in over 75 server locations. The server locations are available online, so you can compare them based on the location you plan to connect to.

IPVanish Speed and Performance

IPVanish is known for providing high-speed encrypted internet connection and top performance. The actual speed you experience, however, will depend on a variety of factors including your location, internet service provider, where the servers are located and the distance between the server and your devices, and the specific device and VPN protocol you are using.

IPVanish Security and Privacy

IPVanish uses AES 256-bit encryption, the industry standard for data encryption. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and 256-bit refers to the key length. A hacker would need to try 2^256 combinations to break a code, which would take millions of years for a computer to crack.

IPVanish uses the following protocols:

  • Internet Key Exchange Version 2 (IKEv2): A tunneling protocol that uses cryptographic algorithms and keys to encrypt communication between a VPN client and a VPN server.
  • Internet Protocol Security (IPsec): A protocol suite that protects traffic over an IP network and provides a secure framework for transport.
  • OpenVPN: A security protocol with open-source code, which means the entire cybersecurity community is able to monitor any potential bugs and fix them.

IPVanish uses another protocol called WireGuard, another common VPN protocol. WireGuard is an open-source project that enables a secure VPN connection without storing any data on the VPN server.

No-logs Policy

IPVanish adheres to a no-logs policy and has been independently audited and verified. This means the company will not log any data whatsoever about its users, including traffic destination or content, IP addresses, connection time stamps and DNS inquiries.

Multifactor Authentication

IPVanish does not have multifactor authentication.

IPVanish Customer Service and Support

One of IPVanish’s key benefits is the fact that customers can get live help at any time. If you need assistance, IPVanish’s support team of experts is available 24/7/365 through live chat, email and phone. The company also maintains an extensive knowledge database with FAQs and tutorials for all your VPN needs.

IPVanish Device Compatibility

One advantage IPVanish has over some of its competitors is the fact that it can support an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. IPVanish is compatible with most operating systems from Windows, Apple, Google, and Amazon. IPVanish protects desktops, tablets, smart TVs, streaming devices and even VPN routers.

The list of supported devices and operating systems includes:

  • Windows: 10 and higher
  • macOS: 10.13 and higher
  • iOS: 13 and higher
  • Android: 5.1 and higher
  • Chrome OS: 11
  • Fire OS: 5 and higher
  • Linux: Debian or Red Hat-based distros
  • Router Firmware: DD-WRT v2 and v3, Tomato, ASUSWRT, Merlin

IPVanish for Streaming

IPVanish is known for its reliable and fast internet connection, however, it is difficult to say definitely how fast it is when it comes to streaming. This is because internet speed when using a VPN is based on a number of factors, including the location of the server, your VPN protocol, your original internet speed, your device and how far the server is from your device.

The number of servers and locations of servers can both increase the speed of your internet connection. IPVanish offers an average number of servers (2,200) in a higher number of locations (75). A dedicated IP is recommended to ensure a reliable and fast encrypted internet connection, however, IPVanish does not offer this service.

IPVanish Alternatives and How They Compare

IPVanish ExpressVPN NordVPN Surfshark Rating

IPVanish vs. ExpressVPN

While IPVanish and ExpressVPN have several of the same features, one of the biggest differences between the two services is the number of devices customers can use simultaneously. ExpressVPN limits its customers to the use of five devices at a time while IPVanish allows customers to use an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. ExpressVPN, however, has more servers (3,000 versus 2,200) and more server locations (93 versus 75) than IPVanish. The larger number of servers and server locations could indicate an increase in security and internet speed.

IPVanish vs. NordVPN

NordVPN and IPVanish are both top-rated VPN services. NordVPN is more affordable than IPVanish in the long term. NordVPN also offers a dedicated IP (DIP) add-on for an additional cost, while IPVanish does not offer this option. However, IPVanish allows users to connect to an unlimited number of devices while NordVPN is capped at six. Overall, both are solid choices and the better fit will depend on your individual needs.

IPVanish vs. Surfshark

IPVanish and Surfshark are very similar in pricing, length of contracts and features. They both support unlimited simultaneous devices, yet neither IPVanish nor Surfshark offers a dedicated IP add-on. Surfshark has servers in 100 countries versus IPVanish’s 75 countries, which could affect the upload and download speeds, security and the range of content you can access with a VPN. In addition to a VPN, Surfshark offers other features, such as Surfshark Antivirus, a private web search engine called Surfshark Search and a data breach detection program called Surfshark Alert.

Is IPVanish Right for You?

IPVanish is best suited for those who want to connect as many devices as their hearts desire—so long as the lack of a dedicated IP address isn’t a deal-breaker. In other words, IPVanish is best suited for individuals looking to browse the internet privately across many devices while bypassing geo-blocking restrictions.

IPVanish for Personal Use

IPVanish is one of the best VPN services available today. IPVanish stands out from the crowd with its no-nonsense user experience (UX), top-notch security and affordable price. The fact that it allows unlimited device connection makes it ideal for large households with several devices.

IPVanish for Business Use

What separates IPVanish from the competition, according to our standards, is its lack of additional features and primarily its lack of a dedicated IP address add-on. Without a dedicated IP, IPVanish may not be the best choice for heavy work or business use.

Our Experience/Expert Take

We recommend IPVanish as an affordable, secure and easy-to-use VPN for personal use.

The fact that it does not include a dedicated IP address, however, might limit its usefulness for some remote workers and small business owners.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the benefit of a kill switch?

This feature connects your device from the internet automatically if your VPN connection is dropped for some reason. The benefit is that your IP address won’t be exposed or compromise the anonymity or security of your internet connection.

What’s the difference between a proxy and a VPN?

A proxy and a VPN are similar in that a proxy server and a VPN can mask your IP, but the difference is that a proxy won’t encrypt your internet data—a VPN does.

How does IPVanish compare to NordVPN?

NordVPN and IPVanish are both excellent options if you’re looking for a solid VPN, and the better choice for you will vary depending on your unique needs. If you need a dedicated IP address, you’ll have to go with NordVPN since IPVanish doesn’t offer this feature. But if you have a large number of devices you want to run through your VPN, IPVanish may be the more cost-effective option since it doesn’t have a maximum limit.

Are VPNs safe?

In general, yes, VPNs are safely used by millions of people all over the world. The vast majority of users are able to browse the web anonymously and without issue. However, there have been times in which VPN providers have been compromised and had their customers’ information stolen. It is also worth noting that, depending on the provider’s country of origin, the VPN might be beholden to government surveillance programs.

Information provided on Forbes Advisor is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Forbes Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

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What is a VPN?

What does a VPN mean? What does it do, and how does it work? What are the benefits of VPN? Here are the answers to all of those questions and more.

Get Started

What is a VPN hero

  • What is a VPN exactly?
  • How does a VPN work?
  • What are VPNs used for?
  • Advantages of Using a VPN
  • VPN Service Provider’s Checklist

What is a VPN exactly?

IPVanish app on laptop

VPN Meaning

You may have heard the term “VPN,” but what does VPN stand for? VPN is short for virtual private network.

VPNs originally came into prominence decades ago as a method for remote workers to access their corporate network for internal files and secure communication. They’re still used for this purpose. Today, however, VPN providers like IPVanish also offer a simple solution for everyday internet privacy and online freedom.

A person using IPVanish app on mobile and laptop devices

What does a virtual private network do?

A virtual private network, or VPN, is a technology used to secure connections from a device to the internet. It achieves secure connections through the process of VPN encryption. This makes digital data virtually unreadable and inaccessible to outsiders and potential onlookers. That includes entities such as ISPs, as well as others with whom you share network access, such as strangers on a free Wi-Fi hotspot.

A VPN doesn’t just increase your internet privacy and security, however. It also functions as an online IP changer to create greater online freedom.

How does a VPN work?


A VPN uses something called tunneling to establish an encrypted internet connection. When you use the internet, all of your activity is separated into data packets. Typically, third parties can use a process called deep packet inspection to read these data packets and track everything you do online. But tunneling encrypts every data packet, then encapsulates it into another data packet.

So, why is this process called tunneling? This has to do with the way these data packets are transmitted. When you use a VPN, your data packets are sent via a secure tunnel through a VPN server before they arrive at their original destination.


When data packets are encrypted, they are re-coded into a new format. This new code, called ciphertext, requires a decryption key to read, so only authorized parties can decipher encrypted data packets. This means when third parties such as your ISP go to inspect your data packets, they won’t be able to. Instead, the contents inside will be rendered unreadable by your VPN connection.

A person is seen using the IPVanish VPN iOS app in the Locations screen

What is a VPN server?

A VPN server is a remote computer system operated by a VPN provider. When you use a VPN, your internet traffic travels to a VPN server before it is sent to its final destination. This journey takes place via secure tunnels. But VPN servers don’t just play a critical role in providing security.

When your VPN connection is active, your IP address will match your VPN server’s IP address. To the rest of the internet, such as the website you visit, you’ll appear as if you’re actually connecting from your server’s location rather than your true physical location.

IPVanish app on tablet

What is an IP address?

An IP address is a unique numeric code used to identify you and your approximate physical location. It is typically assigned by your broadband provider to your network and any connected devices.

Your IP address is detected by every app you use and website you visit. It also allows network owners and broadband providers to monitor you. In some instances, these entities can even deny you access to websites and services you should rightfully have access to based on your IP address. By using a VPN to change your IP address, however, your online activity will no longer be traceable to you. Additionally, you won’t be limited to any unfairly or wrongly imposed restrictions placed on your true IP address.

IPVanish VPN app on laptop and phone

Dedicated IP vs Dynamic IP

With regards to IP addresses offered by VPN service providers, there are two primary types: dedicated IP addresses and dynamic IP addresses. Dedicated IPs, also known as static IPs, are assigned to each individual VPN user and do not change.

Dynamic IP addresses, on the other hand, do not stay the same. These are the types of IP addresses IPVanish offers. By using dynamic IPs, we ensure your privacy is more protected, as dynamic IPs cannot be traced and predicted in the same way dedicated IPs can. Our dynamic IPs are shared amongst subscribers, making it difficult to associate any online activity with individual users. When you use IPVanish, your IP will change during each connected VPN session.