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IPVanish VPN review: Privacy features compared with other providers

Verified by Molly Dyson

IPVanish was founded in 2012 by Mudhook Media – part of Highwinds Network Group – but has since changed hands a couple of times. The VPN provider was acquired by J2 Global – now known as Ziff Davis – in 2019. 

The company has more than 2,200 servers in 75 different countries worldwide and offers various privacy features, including an audited no-logs policy. One downside is that its headquartered in the US, which is part of Five Eyes, an intelligence-sharing alliance.

60-second review

Rating: ★★★½

IPVanish allows subscribers to connect an unlimited number of devices to its servers simultaneously. With more than 2,200 servers available in 75 different countries, the provider offers a good level of choice. It has an excellent level of privacy, with all servers protected by military-grade encryption and four VPN protocols available. 

IPVanish follows a no-logs policy, which has been independently audited, and it offers other privacy features such as a kill switch and split tunnelling. Its internet speed performance tests were not the best when compared with other top VPN providers, but its customer service, privacy features and policies are a big benefit for users.

How we research and rate VPNs

100+
hours performance testing
500+
customer reviews read
100+
hours of research
25
competitors compared
4
VPN experts consulted

Our researchers are dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to buying a VPN that meets your needs. We will only recommend a provider after hours of testing, extensive head-to-head feature comparisons, and after taking into account verified customer reviews and the opinions of industry experts.

Our IPVanish review score was determined by the following categories:

  • Privacy and performance (30 per cent)
  • Features and functionality (30 per cent)
  • Reputation and credibility (25 per cent)
  • Plans and pricing/value (10 per cent)
  • Customer experience (5 per cent)

We researched and tested 25 elements within these categories, including:

  • Number and location of servers
  • Security features such as AES-256
  • Performance (upload and download speeds, latency)
  • Value for money, guarantees and customer service
  • Independent server-site security audits

All of our VPN articles are verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, so you can be assured our content is as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Read our methodology explainer to find out more about how we review VPNs.

IPVanish overview

  • Lowest price: £2.59 per month for a two-year subscription
  • Free version: No
  • Maximum number of connected devices: Unlimited
  • Number of servers: 2,200+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2 and IPSec
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: United States

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
No-logs policy has been audited Slow internet speeds
Uses AES-256 encryption Split tunnelling only available for Android and Amazon Firestick
Unlimited simultaneous device connections
Good customer service

How does IPVanish compare?

IPVanish has more than 2,200 servers in 75 countries worldwide, with over 40,000 IP addresses available. One of the best features it has to offer is its unlimited simultaneous device connections, as it means you’re not restricted to only using the VPN on a few pieces of kit at a time. 

The provider says it prioritises its users’ privacy, and like most providers offers a no-logs policy, the highest level of encryption and a selection of VPN protocols to choose from. IPVanish’s subscription prices are also comparable to some of the other top providers on the market. 

The provider’s apps are downloadable on a number of desktop and mobile devices and include a good level of security. However, IPVanish’s performance was not as good as other VPNs we’ve reviewed, with our researchers’ internet speeds negatively affected when connecting to some of its servers.

Product Lowest price Free Version Number of servers Maximum number of devices Netflix BBC iPlayer Disney+ Amazon HBO Max Audit
IPVanish £2.59/m No 2,200+ Unlimited Yes
ExpressVPN £5.25/m No 3,000+ 5 Yes
NordVPN £2.79/m No 5,500+ 6 Yes
Surfshark £1.78/m No 3,200+ Unlimited Yes
CyberGhost £1.92/m No 9,773 7 Yes

Some prices exclusive of VAT or local taxes. Prices correct as of 26/7/2023
Best alternative to
NordVPN is one of the most trusted VPN providers in the world, offering top-notch encryption, incredible speeds, and extra features to make all your online activities more secure.
4.5
Excellent Trustpilot rating
24/7 customer support
AES-256 encryption
VIEW PLANS At NordVPN

How much does IPVanish cost?

IPVanish offers three subscription terms – monthly, yearly or two years – with the latter being the cheapest option. Like some of the top VPN providers, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee – giving users the option to try its service risk-free.

Subscription term Price
Monthly £9.99 ($12.88) / month
12 months £3.99 ($5.14) / month (£47.88/$61.72 up front)
24 months £2.59 ($3.34) / month (£62.21/$80.20 up front)

Payment options

There are various ways to pay for an IPVanish subscription, including PayPal, Google Pay and Amazon Pay. However, there’s no digital currency payment option such as Bitcoin or cryptocurrency, which some of the top VPN providers do accept. 

Ways to pay for IPVanish:

  • Credit card
  • PayPal
  • Google Pay
  • Amazon Pay
Compare our top recommended providers
Best Overall
Get up to 67% off
Best Value
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Best All-rounder
3 months free on the 12 month plan
Best for Gaming
Get 82% off + 2 months extra

IPVanish features

VPNs create a safe and secure connection and conceal users’ IP addresses. All VPNs come with various privacy features too, and it’s important to know how these features function, how to use them, and if you need them. IPVanish comes equipped with privacy features such as a kill switch and split tunnelling, both of which allow users to customise the service to suit their individual requirements. 

The provider also uses the highest level of encryption – AES-256 – as well as adheres to a strict no-logs policy that has been independently audited. However, IPVanish’s privacy policy has been controversial in the past, which we’ll detail later on. 

Server count and countries

Knowing how many servers a VPN service has is an important factor in choosing a provider. Generally speaking, the more servers there are to connect to, the faster your internet speeds are likely to be. 

IPVanish has more than 2,200 servers worldwide and is constantly growing its server base. However, when compared with the likes of CyberGhost with 9,773 servers and NordVPN’s 5,500 servers, IPVanish doesn’t compete. 

It’s not just the number of servers on offer – where they’re located also matters. IPVanish’s servers are located in 75 global VPN locations, with most of them being based in Europe and North America. Having done extensive research into IPVanish’s competitors, we consider its 75 server locations to be average.

No-logs policy and headquarters

Connecting to a VPN will mask your real IP address and protect your sensitive data from being leaked to any third parties. While these are features many customers seek, it’s important to remember your VPN provider may have access to the very activities you’re trying to conceal. 

Most providers will detail their privacy policy on their websites, and we found IPVanish to be transparent and truthful. A no-logs policy is one feature that should be considered to be just as important as any other privacy feature – it aims to protect your online identity and ensures no digital footprint is left behind. 

IPVanish’s no-logs policy says the company does not log:

  • IP addresses
  • Traffic destination or content
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS enquiries 

IPVanish has been audited by Leviathan Security Group, a cyber security consulting firm. This VPN audit found the no-logs policy is as advertised and the VPN provider doesn’t log or store user data. 

The company is headquartered in the US, which may cause concern for the privacy-conscious, as the country is part of the Five Eyes – an intelligence-sharing alliance also comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. A VPN service located in one of the above countries may be compelled to share customer data with authorities of any member state. 

However, as previously mentioned, IPVanish’s no-logs policy has been independently audited, which means there shouldn’t be any data to hand over should the company be served with a court order.

Kill switch

A VPN’s main job is to mask users’ IP addresses and conceal their sensitive data while online. It doesn’t happen often, especially with a decent VPN provider, but there are times when your VPN connection may drop suddenly – if this happens, your online identity is no longer safe and secure, leaving your IP address exposed. 

Like most VPN providers, IPVanish offers a kill switch feature, which blocks all internet traffic to and from your device if connection drops. The feature is probably one of the best to have since it is designed to ensure your online protection at all times. 

IPVanish’s kill switch is available for MacOS, Android mobile and Windows applications.

Split tunnelling

Split tunnelling allows you to have more control over your VPN connection, and gives you the option to tailor the service to suit your specific needs. Simply put, it gives you the ability to specify which internet traffic or applications to route through the secure VPN tunnel. The split tunnelling feature is especially useful for unblocking geo-restricted content and for times when you don’t necessarily require all internet traffic to be routed through the VPN. Connecting to any VPN service affects the user’s internet speed, therefore the ability to only run a selected few apps through the VPN will use less bandwidth, and in theory, allow for a faster internet speed. 

IPVanish’s split tunnelling feature is currently only available for its VPN for Android and VPN for Firestick, which is disappointing considering the provider offers unlimited device connections and decent apps for various types of operating systems.

Encryption and privacy

Like most of its competitors, IPVanish uses Advanced Standard Encryption (AES) with 256-bit keys, commonly referred to as AES-256. This is the highest level of encryption available and is often used by governments to protect sensitive data. 

Another layer of privacy when it comes to VPNs is protocols, which control the connection between the VPN app and the server. 

IPVanish’s protocols: 

  • WireGuard: One of the newer protocols that has been designed to be faster, stronger and more lightweight than other protocols. Even though it’s still relatively new, it’s considered to be one of the most secure protocols. It’s compatible with Android, MacOS, iOS, Windows and Amazon Firestick with IPVanish
  • OpenVPN: Allows for multiple types of authentication methods, but mostly uses SSL/TLS – similar to your web browser. It’s compatible with Android, MacOS, Linux, Chrome, Windows, Amazon Firestick and routers
  • IKEv2: Exclusively available through the IPSec protocol, IKEv2 is only available for newer devices. It’s considered more secure than IPSec and enables you to seamlessly switch between wifi and cellular networks. It’s supported by MacOS, Android, iOS, Windows and Linux
  • IPSec: Encrypts IP packets for transport and tunnelling and protects all app traffic over an IP network. It’s supported by iOS, MacOS and Linux

IPVanish performance test results

Most customers consider a VPN’s privacy features before deciding on which one is best suited to them, but that shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Connecting to any VPN server, no matter which provider, will affect a user’s internet speed – some more than others. 

To check how much IPVanish affected our speeds, we performed an internet speed test, which gave us results for the following aspects:

  • Download speed: Refers to the rate at which digital data is transferred from the internet to your device.
  • Upload speed: The rate that data is transferred from your device to the internet. 
  • Latency (ping): The time it takes for a set of data to be transmitted to a server on the internet and back to your device again. 

The best way to carry out a fair test was to test our internet speed when not connected to IPVanish – this established a baseline for us to work out the degradation for both the download and upload speeds. To conduct this research, our reviewers used the Ookla Speedtest.

IPVanish no VPN speed test
Speed with no VPN. This is our baseline. The numbers along the bottom of the image are the ping (latency) in milliseconds and the amount of data downloaded (green) and uploaded (purple) during the test, measured in megabytes (Ookla)
Download speed (Mbps) Upload speed (Mbps) Latency (ping) Percentage of base download speed Percentage of base upload speed
No VPN 72.08 17.92 13ms
UK to UK 67.97 16.95 16ms 94% 94%
UK to US 54.97 10.07 100ms 74% 56%
UK to Aus 60 17.25 249ms 83% 96%

Connecting to IPVanish’s VPN servers had a negative effect on our researcher’s internet speeds for most of the locations we tested. When compared with some of the other providers we’ve reviewed, the results were below average. 

The most stable and fastest server we connected to was in the UK, which is to be expected. Both our upload and download speeds were only 6 per cent slower, and its effects were barely noticeable. These results mean video and audio playback should retain good quality and minimal lag. 

IPVanish speed test UK to UK
Speed test result when connected to an IPVanish VPN UK server from the UK (Ookla)

Connecting to one of IPVanish’s US servers returned disappointing results. Our download speed was 24 per cent slower and our upload speed was 46 per cent slower than our non-VPN test – both of which are considerably lower than the average drop of 10 per cent. This level of internet speed is not ideal, and we did notice a significant wait when loading a web browser and other applications. 

IPVanish speed test UK to US
Speed test result when connected to an IPVanish US VPN server from the UK (Ookla)

Our speed tests for IPVanish’s Australian server were strangely better than connecting to the US server. Our download speed was 17 per cent slower, which is still below average but better than the US result. Our upload speed, however, was comparable to other providers and was just 4 per cent slower – this is an excellent upload speed result. 

IPVanish speed test UK to Aus
Speed test result when connected to an IPVanish VPN server in Australia from the UK (Ookla)

WebRTC leak test

Web Real-Time Communication, also known as WebRTC, is a collection of standardised technologies that allows web browsers to directly communicate with each other without the need for an intermediate server. This carries benefits such as video enhancement for video and audio chats and faster data transfer. Although it’s a good tool for most internet users, it does have the potential to leak your IP address – this is where your VPN service should protect you.

Our researchers performed a WebRTC leak test when not connected to IPVanish and the results showed that our real IP address was potentially being leaked, meaning our online activity and data were not protected. We then performed the same test when connected to one of IPVanish’s servers, and there were no detectable leaks of our real IP address.

Breaches and audits

IPVanish was founded in 2012 by Mudhook Media and has changed hands more than once since then – in 2017 it was acquired by StackPath, and in 2019, J2Global (now named Ziff Davis) took over StackPath. 

While IPVanish was owned by Mudhook Media, there was some controversy over its no-logs policy. In 2016, the FBI requested information about one of IPVanish’s customers, who was a person of interest in a child abuse investigation. It wasn’t until 2018, when an article was published by TorrentFreak, a blog reporting digital news, that it was revealed the company had given investigators highly detailed information on one of its customers that led to an arrest. While catching criminals is never a bad thing, this was in breach of IPVanish’s advertised no-logs policy, which stated that no customer data was collected on its servers. 

Following this, StackPath acquired IPVanish in 2017, and the new management acknowledged customers’ concerns and stated the service would follow its no-logs policy – since then, there have been no further breaches. 

As well as no further controversy, IPVanish has since been independently audited by Leviathan Security Group, confirming the veracity of its no-logs policy.

Compatibility and apps

IPVanish has apps that work on the following computers and devices:

  • Computers: Windows, Linux, MacOS, and Chromebook
  • Mobile devices: Android and iOS 
  • TV systems: Amazon Firestick, Android TV and Kodi 

Desktop app

IPVanish desktop app
IPVanish displays server connection time as well as offering a quick connect button (IPVanish)

IPVanish’s desktop app (our reviewer tested the VPN for Mac) was easy to download and at first glance seemed easy to set up – until our researcher had issues connecting to a server. There was a problem configuring the WireGuard protocol, and in our researcher’s MacOS preferences, they were unable to select a different protocol. After reading through IPVanish’s MacOS setup guide, it was still unclear as to how to change protocol; eventually, we found the settings by right-clicking the company’s logo in the menu bar of the app – this is not clear and could confuse anyone new to VPNs. 

Once logged in, connecting to IPVanish’s servers is simple and the server list is clearly displayed with a large connect button. 

Apart from the problems we had, the app is relatively straightforward and privacy features can be customised from within the settings menu. Aesthetically, our researchers found this app to be chaotic and believe it could certainly do with a modern redesign. However, this is merely a personal preference and it does not hinder user experience in any way.  

Mobile app 

Our researchers had no issues downloading and setting up IPVanish’s mobile VPN app. In fact, the VPN for iPhone’s layout flowed much better than the desktop version. 

IPVanish’s settings are all in one place, and the button to locate them is clearly labelled. Once in the settings tab, you’re able to change protocols and configure various other privacy features.

There is also a tutorial section included in the app, which is great for beginners. Changing servers is simple and there are different tabs for countries, cities and your selected favourite servers. Should you find yourself with a VPN issue, IPVanish’s live chat feature is available within the app – this is a nice touch.

Router compatibility

A VPN is most commonly installed on individual devices, which can include computers, mobiles, TVs and gaming consoles. However, some VPNs can also be installed directly onto your router, removing the requirement to configure all of your devices separately. Installing IPVanish directly onto your router provides 24/7 protection – as long as your device is connected to your home network, all of your internet and app traffic will be routed through the secure and encrypted VPN tunnel. This means you can use IPVanish as a VPN for gaming on consoles that don’t support native apps, such as PlayStation and Xbox. 

However, we’re not saying that setting up a VPN on your router is an easy feat. It’s also worth pointing out that not all routers are compatible with VPNs, and generally, the router provided by your internet provider is usually not compatible. 

IPVanish is compatible with the following routers:

  • Asus
  • Tomato
  • DD-WRT

There are router set-up guides on the provider’s website, but for tech beginners, seeking professional help is advisable.

Customer support

IPVanish’s customer support is user-friendly and helpful. There are multiple channels for users to communicate with the provider, as well as handy set-up guides on its website. 

  • Live chat: IPVanish’s live chat is available 24/7 for its subscribers to seek help with any VPN queries or problems. In just a few clicks, you can bypass the Chabot and talk to a member of the knowledgeable customer support team. 
  • Email: For non-urgent enquiries, you can email IPVanish. Through this line of communication, customers can detail their issues as well as upload screenshots. 
  • Set-up guides: IPVanish has various set-up guides explaining how to set up the VPN on various devices.

What do customers say?

IPVanish receives excellent customer reviews from Trustpilot, Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Notably, the company is praised for its privacy features and stable VPN connection. Among the negative reviews, some users noted slower internet speeds and video playback lag, which we also encountered during our tests. 

  • Trustpilot: 4.6 out of five stars (8,031 reviews)
  • Apple App Store: 4.5 out of five stars (17,400 reviews) 
  • Google Play Store: 4.3 out of five stars (92,900 reviews)

“[I] can’t understand the negative reviews. IP Vanish is a top service. I have tried many VPNs and this is by far the best in terms of speed, convenience and features. There is even an app for Firestick, and split tunnelling works great for apps that won’t accept VPNs. Customer support has been great when I needed it, and pricing is more than fair. All in all, [it’s] a brilliant service and company to deal with.”

“I purchased IPVanish to stop my network provider from throttling my internet speed. This has not helped. I’m still getting throttled daily, especially when a big game comes on. Most of the time I disconnect IPVanish and the streaming works much better.”

“All I’m going to say is that IPVanish does what it is supposed to do and is very good at it. The same people who provide the internet connection are good at keeping the connection clean and alive, but hackers are the worst enemies of us, the internet customers. IPVanish is there to help. I recommend it to anyone who wants to keep their privacy intact. The app is easy to install and set up.”

“I have been using IPVanish for over five years with little trouble. I don’t think I have ever experienced an outage, and it rarely experiences lag. Occasionally, I have to switch servers, but more recently I haven’t even been experiencing the need to do that. I always make sure it is running on public or shared networks, and with it being so stable, sometimes I forget to disconnect it for days. IPVanish is always one of the first apps I install on a new device.”

Independent Advisor’s verdict

Overall, IPVanish offers a good mix of privacy features and a decent selection of VPN servers. 

In terms of performance, the provider’s download and upload speeds were not the best, but they certainly weren’t the worst – it could still work for you if you’re not intending to stream lots of video content or use it for online gaming. 

Its apps offer a great level of security and privacy, and its no-logs policy has been audited. IPVanish is also reasonably priced, especially if you opt for its two-year plan.

Overall score: ★★★½

Score breakdown

Reputation ★★★
Privacy ★★★★
Performance and features ★★★★½
Plans and pricing value ★★★
Customer experience ★★★½
Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month

The data in this review is reported from a neutral stance and should be used for informational purposes only. We review VPN services from the perspective of:

  • The quality of the product based on the security it affords the user
  • User experience of the application(s)
  • Level and quality of customer service

Independent Advisor does not endorse the streaming of content from regions other than where the subscription is held, nor does it endorse the downloading or consumption of illegally pirated content.

rachel

Rachel Sadler

Home Tech Writer

Rachel is a seasoned writer who has been producing online and print content for seven years. 

As a home tech expert for Independent Advisor, Rachel researches and writes buying guides and reviews, helping consumers navigate the realms of broadband and home security gadgets. She also covers home tech for The Federation of Master Builders, where she reviews and tests home security devices. 

She started as a news and lifestyle journalist in Hong Kong reporting on island-wide news stories, food and drink and the city’s events. She’s written for editorial platforms Sassy Hong Kong, Localiiz and Bay Media. While in Hong Kong she attended PR events, interviewed local talent and project-managed photoshoots. 

Rachel holds a BA in English Language and Creative Writing and is committed to simplifying tech jargon and producing unbiased reviews.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.