Pricing & Plans
IPVanish offers three plans with discounts in direct proportion to the length of user commitment. One month will run you a slightly above average $10.00 per month, while three months drops the price down to $8.99. If you like the service, you may want to take advantage of the $6.49 per month yearly plan. All plans have the same features and perks which we’ll explore further on.
You may pay with any of the payment methods illustrated just above, including all major credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin. Refunds are available within one week of payment, just make sure to read through the refund policy and account for your payment method as Bitcoin payments are by necessity processed differently than credit card transactions.
- Tier-1 network
- Speed & reliability
- Same clients regardless of platform
- Superb App features
- Above-average Price
- Limited support options
We’d put together a short video that illustrates IPVanish’s service, but a few things have since changed, so we strongly suggest you read through the rest of this review in addition to giving this a watch.
P2P is happily allowed when using the IPVanish software. As a bonus, IPVanish keeps no connection or metadata logs, for those who care about staying as close to fully anonymous as possible. Moreover, as of 23 August 2016, you may have up to five devices simultaneously running the VPN at any one time, ensuring the security of most (if not all) your devices.
IPVanish offers over 500 VPN servers in over 60 countries, making for truly global network coverage. What’s more, they have some servers which are rarely found elsewhere, including Egypt, South Africa, and Australia. With a speedy Tier-1 network and clients for most any platform, maybe it’s time to give IPVanish’s 1-week money-back guarantee a try.
Security & Privacy
IPVanish provides all the main protocols, though it’s certainly best to always stick to using OpenVPN, as it is often the fastest and definitely the most secure. OpenVPN uses 256 bit AES encryption, with SHA-256 for authentication, and RSA 2048 for handshaking purposes. Couple this security with the logless policy and shared IP’s in place as outlined above, and you’ve got yourself a sturdy service to rely on.
That being said, IPVanish is based in the United States (registered under Mudhook Marketing) and despite little to no evidence to the contrary for a number of years, no VPN will keep you fully anonymous. You, as a user are concurrently the most important first and last lines of defense, putting your faith in this admittedly strong VPN provider to do the rest.
The IPVanish website hasn’t changed much since our last review, sticking to what it does well, namely providing accessible and relevant information without hiding it behind too many annoying clicks to confuse visitors.
The blog was another pleasant surprise, eschewing unnecessary advertising in favor of informed analysis, guest spots, and information strictly service update-related for customers.
The Control Panel was similarly logical in practice, with Account, Billing, and Subscription links clear to see, and a handy server status infographic updated in real-time to allow for optimal balance between users.
Support is available 24/7, though only in ticket-based format. LiveChat seems to have been abolished altogether since our last review, and it isn’t quite clear why. The LiveChat support was mentioned as a strength in the past and is certainly something that many customers can’t or don’t want to do without.
Despite this, the help section is quite informative, and setup guides are plentiful and well illustrated. There’s also a user forum in place to learn from fellow subscribers, and to ping ideas back and forth if you’d like.
Signup involves your email, password, and billing information (unless you pay by Bitcoin to more fully preserve your anonymity). Once that’s through, just follow the instructions you receive, or head over to the downloads section to find your App.
The IPVanish Windows VPN client
The IPVanish Windows client hasn’t changed much at first glance – not that it needed to – but some tweaks have made it that much more impressive. Some common bells and whistles like auto-connect are there, as well as a dedicated IPv6 Leak protection switch, should you need it. There’s also a recently premiered killswitch which worked flawlessly during our testing. If your connection to the VPN drops for any reason, the killswitch will ensure you aren’t left exposed. There’s also a DNS leak protection switch built-in and, best of all, an IP address scrambler to bypass Deep Packet Inspection, such as that in place around the GFW.
There’s also a brand new IP cycle feature, which cycles your IP once every 45 minutes at a minimum. It does this not only to keep things fresh, but also to make it harder for anyone to track you (though state-level actors wouldn’t be too off-put). The killswitch feature kicked in exactly as my IP was changed, down to the second. It was pleasing to see the IPVanish Windows Client working as advertised, so top marks to the design team on that front.
Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC and IPv6 Tests)
Speeds were great across almost all servers. Subsequently, the testing numbers seemed to back my prior experience. Speeds averaged in the 10 Mbps range downstream for both UK and Dutch servers, with only a couple Mbps dropoff from not using a VPN. The US speeds averaged a shade under 10 Mbps, but that’s understandable due to the larger distance geographically. Either way, browsing and streaming showed little to no effects while using IPVanish, other than the times when the killswitch caught me unaware during IP cycling.
|Graphs show highest, lowest and average speeds for each server and location. See our full speed test explanation for more detail.|
There aren’t any DNS leaks to report, though it’s a good idea to run periodic tests to make sure everything is in working order as it should be. You may use ipleak.net to check DNS leaks and the WebRTC Bug, while test-ipv6.com looks for IPv6 leaks. There’s also doileak.net, combining bits and pieces of the other two tests, for further testing.
IPVanish has dedicated Apps and installers for Android, OSX, and iOS, though the latter four platforms listed above require some manual setup on your end. Luckily, there are quite detailed and illustrated setup guides and video tutorials you can use to get everything up and running smoothly.
The bespoke Android App held up well speed-wise when compared to its desktop counterpart throughout informal usage. Additionally, the dedicated IPVanish Android App also manages to capture the same feel (no small feat) and include all the same functional features as the desktop version, including the DPI avoidance scrambling measure, killswitch, and speed testing as shown above. It’s always great to see the same level of attention given to mobile applications as more people shift the majority of their online usage from desktops and laptops to smartphones and tablets.
IPVanish Review Conclusion
- No logging
- Cross-platform functionality
- Great speeds
- P2P allowed
- Varied payment methods include Bitcoin
- New & useful killswitch, scrambler, IP cycle features
I wasn’t so sure about
- No LiveChat support
IPVanish has continually grown over the years to take its rightful place on leading edge of the VPN market with its impressive network and privacy commitments. Recent App improvements showed a cohesive strategy with a user-minded design, and near flawless implementation. While support could be spruced up, the total package on offer is in the upper reaches of competitiveness. Give IPVanish’s 7-day trial a go below.