IPVanish Review 2018

Let us begin our review of IPVanish by noting that they are one of the only top tier VPN providers. This means that they control all of their infrastructure, employ their own network engineers, and write their own custom software. Therefore, your data never has to be touched by a third party. All your Internet traffic is encrypted and securely tunneled from the time it leaves your device till it exits the IPVanish VPN servers on its way to its final destination. The IPVanish staff have complete control of it at all times. This allows them to optimize its flow and provide one of the fastest VPN services in the industry. A veteran of 15 years in the privacy space, they have cultivated a stellar reputation and remain one of the premier VPN providers due their professionalism, attention to customer service, and ability to integrate the latest technologies into their network.

IPVanish Review

IPVanish is constantly expanding and improving their network of servers to provide the fastest, most secure, and most reliable worldwide VPN service. Their network spans over 40,000 IP addresses on over 1,000 servers in 60+ countries. It includes access to almost every major continent including Europe, North America, Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It is likely that no matter where you are in the world, you will be able to find a fast and reliable IPVanish server to protect your privacy and secure your Internet transactions.

Pricing and Special Offers

IPVanish markets their VPN service as a single package with three different pricing plans. These plans include one month, 3 months, and one year. IPVanish has generously offered our readers an additional 25% off of any existing discount for the first billing cycle. This means our readers can enjoy a full year of the IPVanish service from just $58.49 which is just $4.87 per month. That is a savings of 60% off the full retail price of $143.88 a year.

IPVanish pricing

Paying for the IPVanish Service

As the following image shows, IPVanish has a number number of different ways to pay for their VPN service. First, they accept payments using most major credit cards. These cards include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discovery, and JCB. They also accept Visa debit cards, Electron and Delta. If you like to keep your online purchases in a central location, you can subscribe using Paypal. Paying by Bitcoin can help increase your online anonymity by requiring only a valid email address to create your IPVanish account. Finally, depending on where you live, you can pay using Alipay, iDEAL, Giropay, Bolero Bancario, CashU, and others.

IPVanish Payment Methods

Risk Free 7-Day Money Back Guarantee

The team at IPVanish realizes that prospective customers will want to test their network. Therefore, they offer all new users a 7-day money back guarantee. This will allow you time to fully test the speed and compatibility of the IPVanish network with all of the devices and websites that you regularly visit. You should also contact their technical support regarding any questions that you might have while testing their VPN network. If for any reason, you are not completely satisfied with its performance, IPVanish will refund the full purchase price of your subscription. You must request this refund within seven days of your purchase date.

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What Are the Benefits of an IPVanish Subscription?

All IPVanish users have access to the following benefits:

  • Custom software – Subscribers have access to custom VPN apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iPhone and iPad, Android devices, and Amazon Fire TV to connect to their VPN service from everywhere.
  • No logging – IPVanish does not collect or log any traffic or use of their VPN service.
  • Simultaneous connections – All users can connect up to five devices at the same time on one account.
  • Network infrastructure – IPVanish users can connect to over 1,000 servers in 60+ countries using over 40,000 IP shared addresses.
  • VPN protocols – You can chooses among the following VPN protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP. The iOS app also supports IKEv2.
  • Secure encryption – Your Internet traffic will be secured and protected using 256-bit AES encryption.
  • Risk-free guarantee – No matter which plan you choose, new subscribers are covered by their 7-day money-back guarantee.
  • Free NAT firewall – All IPVanish servers use a NAT (Network Address Translation) firewall to share public IP addresses among users. This helps protect their privacy and anonymity. It also blocks inbound traffic and protects you from unwanted malware and malicious bots while using the IPVanish service.
  • Wi-Fi networks – You are protected against malicious attacks at your favorite hot spot or while traveling and using poorly secured hotel and airport networks.
  • Uncensored Internet – Everyone has access to a more open and less restrictive online experience from wherever they live or while traveling for business or pleasure.
  • SOCKS5 proxy – For those who need it, IPVanish provides a SOCKS5 proxy to act as a secure middleman for your computer and the Internet using advance technologies like UDP and IPv6. This is a popular feature for P2P / Torrent users.
  • Other features – You will be protected against DNS leaks and other data leaks. The VPN kill switch feature for Windows and Mac OS X apps which keep you more private and anonymous while accessing the IPVanish network.

This is just some of the many benefits that you have when using the IPVanish network of VPN servers. Others include the ability to obfuscate your Internet traffic to help guard against deep packet inspection of your data, use virtual locations to access more varied entertainment resources, and to take advantage of geo-relocation to save money on purchases and geo-priced commodities and services.

IPVanish can help you stop geo-targeting of online ads or overcome government and institutional firewalls to help bypass censorship. By encrypting all of your Internet traffic, their service protects you when using your favorite coffee shop or local pub’s Wi-Fi hotspot. It also guards against Internet snoopers like ISPs which can use deep packet inspection to observe your Internet contents and throttle its speed. Finally, it can save you money when using VoIP or other geo-priced services. In short, no matter what you want to do online, IPVanish will keep you more secure, private, and anonymous while doing it.

Who Needs the IPVanish Service?

Here are just a few of the many types users who can benefit from using the IPVanish service:

  • Ex-patriots – People living or working abroad who want to protect their privacy and keep up with news and entertainment from their home country.
  • University students – Students who want to overcome campus Web restrictions on social media, online games, and other blocked websites.
  • Global citizens – Journalists and citizens in restrictive societies that want to bypass government and institutional censorship.
  • Business travelers – Professionals who want to ensure that their online data is always secured and protected no matter where they access it from.
  • People on vacation – Families who want to protect their personal information and enjoy their favorite entertainment while vacationing and exploring other regions of the world.
  • Privacy conscious individuals – Internet users looking to avoid government spying, malicious cyber threats, and domestic monitoring of their Internet habits by ISP services looking to monetize their users with targeted ads or throttle their Internet speed.
  • Professional individuals – People who want to ensure that their lives are not compromised by free and open online posts or beliefs.
  • Journalists and whistle blowers – The IPVanish service, along with the Tor network can help protect those whose life or livelihood depend on their ability to remain anonymous and openly discuss topics on the Internet without fear of reprisals.
  • Online gamers – Gamers who want a more stable and level playing field for their online gaming services. Reduce lag and block DDoS attacks with the VPN.

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The IPVanish Network Infrastructure

IPVanish has recently expanded its service to over 1,000 servers in more that 60 countries by integrating new locations made available by its acquisition by the Dallas based Internet security company StackPath. The network infrastructure is under the control of their technical staff with all servers, software, and network services under their direct supervision. Their current network has VPN servers in 85 different cities with over 40,000 NAT sharable IP addresses to protect users privacy and anonymity.

They have multiple locations in popular countries like United States, Canada, and United Kingdom to increase overall network speed and balance. They have VPN servers in multiple locations on both the east and west coast of the United States to improve their network performance for users worldwide. IPVanish also has multiple locations in Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, and Oceania. They also have multiple servers in lesser represented locations like Brazil and South Africa.

IPVanish Network Servers

The complete list of server regions, countries, and their locations follows:

  • Africa

    • South Africa – Johannesburg
  • Asia

    • Hong Kong, India – New Delhi, Israel – Tel Aviv, Japan – Tokyo, Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur, Philippines – Manila, Singapore – Singapore, South Korea – Seoul,
    • Turkey – Bursa; Istanbul; Izmir,
    • United Arab Emirates – Dubai
  • Europe
    • Albania – Tirana,
    • Austria – Graz; Vienna,
    • Belgium – Brussels, Bulgaria – Sofia, Croatia – Zagreb, Cyprus – Larnarca, Czech Republic – Prague, Denmark – Copenhagen, Estonia – Narva; Tallinn, Finland – Helsinki, France – Paris, Germany – Frankfurt, Greece – Athens, Hungary – Budapest, Iceland – Reykjavik, Ireland – Dublin, Italy – Milan, Latvia – Riga, Lithuania – Vilnius, Luxembourg – Luxembourg, Moldova – Chisinau, Netherlands – Amsterdam, Norway – Kjevik, Poland – Warsaw, Portugal – Lisbon, Romania – Bucharest, Serbia – Belgrade, Slovakia – Bratislava, Slovenia – Ljubljana,
    • Spain – Madrid; Valencia,
    • Sweden – Stockholm, Switzerland – Zurich, Ukraine – Kiev,
    • United Kingdom Glasgow; Liverpool; London; Manchester; Nottingham
  • North America
    • Canada – Montreal; Toronto; Vancouver
    • Costa Rica – San Jose, Mexico – Guadalajara,
    • United States – Ashburn, VA; Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Phoenix, AZ; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO
  • Oceania
    • Australia – Melbourne; Sydney
    • New Zealand – Auckland
  • South America
    • Brazil – Sao Paulo; Rio de Janeiro

Those in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Oceania who want to virtually surf through the United States will generally get better network performance by connecting to locations along the west coast. Those in Western Europe and other areas will most likely get faster Internet speeds by connecting to east coast locations. Users in restrictive countries like China and others will get better results by virtually connecting through a less restrictive country in their local region for basic news and other resources.

Their network does not have any restrictions on the use of P2P / BitTorrent software with their service. They have a SOKS5 proxy to help you make your Torrent connections and ensure that your true public IP is not exposed. The service also supports Kodi and even offers a Five TV app in the Amazon app store. IPVanish does not log any VPN usage and does not throttle your use in any way.

IPVanish and Your Online Security?

First and foremost, IPvanish is a true no-logging service when it comes to their VPN. They do not log any traffic of their VPN users or any metadata associated with its use.

The IPVanish custom software for Windows, Mac OS X, and Android defaults to OpenVPN which is widely believed by many industry experts to provide the best speed and security of the currently available VPN protocols. Their iOS app uses IKEv2 to take advantage of its MOBIKE features that allow it to switch between cellular and Wi-Fi networks without dropping the VPN service. It is also considered a good protocol that gets its security from IPsec. IKEv2 also allows the IPVanish network to provide automatic reconnection if the service accidentally drops which is more common on public WiFi and when switching between networks.

IPVanish secures all of your Internet traffic using some of the best VPN encryption in the industry. The initial handshake uses 2048 RSA for key transfer with a control algorithm of: TLSv1.2, cipher TLSv1/SSLv3 DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA. The data encryption and decryption uses the cipher ‘AES-256-GCM’ initialized with 256 bit key. Authentication is by means of HMAC SHA-256 for control and SHA-256 for data.

IPVanish implements their VPN network using some of the best VPN protocols: OpenVPN and IKEv2. This, along with their no-logging policy and the excellent encryption algorithms employed by their service for both control commands and user data, ensure that you are always secure when using their service to peruse the Web.

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Protecting Your Privacy and Anonymity Using IPVanish

As we previously stated, IPVanish is a true no-logging online privacy service. They do not log any of their users VPN traffic or any other metadata regarding it. The following two excerpts from their Privacy Policy illustrate this in their own words:

IPVanish does not collect or log any traffic or use of its Virtual Private Network service.

…we do not track user activities outside of our Site, nor do we track the browsing activities of users who are logged into our VPN service.

IPVanish takes advantage of NAT Servers to share public IP addresses among users of the same server. Since all user IP addresses are masked and replaced using these shared IP addresses, this makes it harder for anyone to tell where any particular traffic request originated. As an added bonus, these same servers provide their VPN network users with protection from incoming malicious software from third-party sources.

StackPath, the parent company behind IPVanish, is headquartered in the United States. You should note that contrary to popular belief, the USA has no data retention policy. In contrast, parts of Europe, Australia, and many other countries require companies to retain user data. This along with the IPVanish no log policy should give you extra peace of mind. Basically, it means that even if compelled, they will comply with US law and hand “the nothing that they store” over to authorities. This is true for DMCA cases all the way up to criminal requests.

IPVanish has its own zero-knowledge DNS service to help ensure the privacy and anonymous nature of all your search queries. This protects you from DNS leaks. Their custom apps also protect against other IP leaks by providing IPv4, IPv6, and WebRTC protection. To ensure that your privacy and anonymity is always protected while using the Internet, you can have the service automatically start and connect when your system boots up.

Their Windows and Mac software includes a kill switch to immediately block communications if the connection to the VPN service is lost. This es especially helpful for those with spotty Internet access. Their mobile apps for iOS and Android include auto-reconnection technology. You can also change your virtual IP address over regular intervals using their software. These features help you maintain your online privacy and anonymity while using IPVanish.

To help you stay even more anonymous, they allow payments using the crypto-currency, Bitcoin. If you pay using Bitcoin, only a valid email address is necessary to create your IPVanish account.

You can see from the above that IPVanish respects your online and offline privacy. Not only do they not log any of your VPN activity. They also do not track what you do when you leave their site. They also do not share your personal details with third parties. Their software has extra features to help you protect and maintain both your online privacy and anonymity.

What Can You Do to Help Protect your Online Privacy

Their are some other things that you can do to help protect and maximize you online privacy. These include the following:

  • Use a Password manager to create secure passwords for all of your online accounts.
  • Secure your Web browser.
  • Consider using an end-to-end encrypted email service.
  • Take advantage of the IPVanish DNS search feature or use a private zero knowledge service like DuckDuckGo
  • Use an end-to-end encrypted text messaging service like Signal from Open Whisper Systems.
  • Use IPVanish to protect your privacy when using the Internet.

Those looking for even greater privacy and anonymity can also use the Tor network and its associated anonymous browser along with the IPVanish service. Be aware that this can significantly slow your Internet speed so only consider this for applications where speed is not a major factor.

IPVanish Support

IPVanish support is primarily by 24/7 email tickets. Most email tickets are handled within a few hours but more involved ones can take up to two days. To augment this they have an extensive support page on their website. Their support page covers the following categories: FAQ, setup guides, billing questions, troubleshooting, announcements, and information about the service. IPVanish also publishes a blog that offers online privacy tips and privacy news. In addition to these, the have a group forum and an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Video Review of IPVanish

IPVanish Hands-On Testing

IPVanish has custom apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Fire TV. Those who use Kodi and other streaming apps will appreciate the native Amazon Fire TV app that they have developed to connect to their VPN network. All of their software is easy to install and use. These apps also are similar in appearance and functionality. This makes it easier to use their service with multiple devices. These apps also make it easier for everyone to take advantage of the IPVanish service regardless of technical expertise.

The technical specifications required by each app are as follows:

  • Windows – Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7
  • Mac OS X – Mac OS 10.7-10.9
  • iOS – iOS 9.0 or later
  • Android – 4.0.3 and up
  • Fire TV – Android 4.0.3 and above

Once you sign up for an account, they will send you a welcoming email with your username and password so that you can connect to their VPN network of servers using your chosen client software. We have a full set of guides to help you setup IPVanish.  The software is easy to use. We created the guides to give you a step-by-step guide for configuring advanced features and getting the most out of the software. The guides are quite long so rather than include them in our review we will link to each of them below.

Let’s get started with IPVanish for Windows (IPVanish Windows Setup Guide):

IPVanish Windows Client

The development team at IPVanish has gone out of their way to make their software easy to use. This is quickly apparent when you open the Windows client. The app gives you several ways to connect. You can select any server from a dropdown at the top, select a location from a map, or view a list of all servers. The app will also help you select a location based on purposes including fastest server, US, UK, and CA media or gaming.

Once again you can refer to our guide for a full line up of features. We’re just touching on a few of the highlights for the review. One of my favorites is the ability to sort locations by ping time and filter based on keyword. For example, you could type “Neth” into the filter to display servers in the Netherlands and sort the results by ping time to find the fastest server.

There are a lot of advanced features built into the Windows client. It supports multiple protocols but the recommended OpenVPN UDP is the best choice. You can change over to L2TP or PPTP if you ever have a need. The client includes DNS leak protection for both IPv4 and IPv6. If that sounds confusing don’t worry about it other than knowing it protects your privacy. The same is true for the Internet bill switch and block all LAN traffic features. You can also enable split tunneling. The VPN service includes firewall protection as well.

Now we’ll take a look at IPVanish for Mac (IPVanish Mac Setup Guide):

IPVanish Mac client

You will immediately notice the similarities between the Mac client and it’s Windows counterpart. That isn’t an accident. The IPVanish team put a lot of effort into making the client’s look and act very similar. This makes it easy to switch between devices. You also get the same advanced features in the Mac client. In fact IPVanish tends to release new featres for Mac first which is different from most providers. For example, they rolled out an Internet kill switch feature for Mac months before releasing it for Windows users.

I recommend you read through our guide when setting up the Mac client. Connecting to servers is a simple process. You can select a server location from a list or map view. Once connected you will see a nice graph that displays your data usage. While the VPN plan includes unlimited access, it’s still nice to see how much traffic is passing through their network. None of your activities are logged, regardless of which operating system you use. That’s true for manual connections as well.

Some of our favorite Mac client features include the VPN kill switch feature and ability to set your own DNS. By default the app will use IPVanish for DNS. This is a better solution that sending DNS requests through your ISP. The client also gives you the flexibility to set your own DNS servers. If you ever choose to do so we recommend using Google or OpenDNS. You can also set the app to change IP address periodically for an extra level of privacy protection. This isn’t a feature most people need but it’s nice to know you have the option.

The mobile apps are up next. We’ll start with IPVanish for iOS (IPVanish iOS Setup Guide):

IPVanish iOS app

The mobile apps are less extensive than the desktop clients. While it lacks the polished look compared to Mac and Windows, the IPVanish iOS app serves it’s purpose well. You can connect to any server location and switch between servers anytime. The app will display your new IP address and the visible location. There isn’t a lot to set up but there are a few advanced features worth mentioning.

Whether you want to connect on your iPhone or iPad, we recommend using the default IKEv2 protocol. It’s a good fit since IKEv2 will smoothly switch between networks as you move from mobile to Wi-Fi hotspots. We never change it but you can also set the app to connect using IPSec. The app has an always on option and auto connect feature for specific networks and sites.

Now it’s time to look at IPVanish for Android (IPVanish Android Setup Guide):

IPVanish Android app

The Android app for IPVanish has a unique look and feel. I like the way they display the usage for each location This makes it very easy to see which servers are busy at any given time. Once connected the app will display stats including the total data usage. It will also show your download and upload speed. This can be especially useful for members who have data caps on their cellar plans. The IPVanish service is unlimited.

There really isn’t much to setting up the Android app. You can choose between OpenVPN TCP and UDP. We prefer UDP for the best performance. The app also includes a scramble feature. It adds an obfuscation capability to OpenVPN which is helpful in countries like China where the government tries to detect and block VPN using deep packet inspection techniques.

 

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IPVanish Speed Test

We were very pleased with the overall performance of IPVanish. You can see from the speed test below that their service performed excellent in our speed test. As expected, there was some speed loss while connected to their network. This is due to the overhead that encrypting the VPN traffic incurs. However, this was very minimal in the case of IPVanish.

IPVanish speed test

As you can see from the images above, the IPVanish encrypted connection lowered our base ISP download speed from 66.18 Mb/s to 63.82 Mb/s. This is a drop of less than 4% to a server in Atlanta, GA. Its speed is excellent and among the best we have observed. This small loss in connection speed. It is well worth the security and peace of mind offered by being able to encrypt all of your Internet traffic using some of the strongest encryption algorithms in the industry.

Conclusion

IPVanish is a 15 year veteran in the Internet privacy space. They have one of the only top tier VPN services in the industry. This means they control not only their own hardware but the infrastructure associated with it. They write all of their own software, control all of their network development, and all other facets of their service. This means they are always in control of who has access to your private information and Internet traffic. They have developed a reputation for offering one of fastest, most professional, support oriented VPN services in the industry. IPVanish is also competitively priced for the service that they offer.

Members have access to custom VPN apps for Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS and Fire TV. These apps are easy to install and allow users to connect to VPN servers in the IPVanish network with just a few clicks of the mouse or taps on the screen. Their Windows and Mac OS X clients include some of the more advanced features available for VPNs including DNS leak protection, the ability to periodically change your IP address, IPv6 leak protection, and VPN kill switch. Their service does not restrict P2P and Torrent use in any way. It also includes a SOCKS5 proxy to help guard your anonymity.

The IPVanish apps provide some of the best encryption available in the industry. All of your Internet data is encrypted with 256-bit AES algorithms. This is the same encryption strength used by the United States for secret communiques. All but their iOS app defaults to OpenVPN because of its speed, the security it offers, and its overall reliability. Because of this, OpenVPN is widely considered the best VPN protocol by most security experts.

Their iOS app defaults to IKEv2 which is considered to be as fast, secure, and reliable as OpenVPN. Additionally, it supports MOBIKE. This makes it is a great choice for iPhone and iPad users because it keeps the VPN connection while transitioning between Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular networks. It also makes connecting to the VPN easier if the service is accidentally dropped.

They provide tutorials and visual setup guides to connect to their service using Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Ubuntu, Chromebook, and DD-WRT and Tomato routers. Their support begins with an extensive FAQ database and open forum questions and extends to a 24/7/365 email ticketing system. They officially make it clear that they do not log any of their VPN users activity while accessing their network.

What we liked most about the service:

  • They have custom VPN clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Fire TV .
  • They have a VPN kill switch feature in both Windows and Mac OS X clients.
  • Torrent and VoIP users will appreciate the SOCKS5 web proxy.
  • IPVanish allows five simultaneous connections on a single account.
  • They have other advanced features like NAT firewall protection, DNS leak protection, the ability to periodically change your IP address, and IPv6 leak protection.
  • IPVanish offers very fast server connections from almost anywhere in the world
  • New members are covered by their 7-day money back guarantee with no limitations.
  • Competitive pricing and discounts offered for longer term packages.

Ideas to improve the service:

  • Add live chat support
  • Add a Linux client

IPvanish has one of the largest VPN networks with over 40,000 IP addresses on over 1,000 servers in 60+ countries. It includes access to almost every major continent including Europe, North America, Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The network has some of the fastest speeds we have seen for a VPN service. They are well on their way towards realizing their goal of providing the fastest, most secure and reliable, competitively priced global VPN service.

To get the most bang for your buck we suggest that you take advantage of our coupon in addition to their discounted longer terms and sign up for a year of service. They offer a 7-day money back guarantee so you will have plenty of time to see if their service is right for you. Give IPVanish a test run and see what you think. If you like their VPN performance and enjoy connecting to their service, you can sign up for unlimited access from just $4.87 per month.

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