IPVanish Review

Let us begin our IPVanish review 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

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 700 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 76% during their Black Friday / Cyber Monday promotion. This means our readers can enjoy a two full years of the IPVanish service from just $69 which is just $2.87 per month. That is a savings of 76% off the full retail price.

IPVanish pricing

So, what do you get for your $2.87 per month? IPVanish offers all subscribers the following benefits regardless of your chosen plan:

  • Free custom VPN Software for Windows, Mac OS X, iPhone, Android, Ubuntu
  • 5 Simultaneous connections
  • No Logging of VPN usage
  • Unlimited VPN bandwidth and usage
  • Access to 40,000+ IP addresses
  • Access to over 700 servers in 60+ countries
  • Choice of VPN protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP
  • The ability to bypass censorship and geo-restrictions
  • Wi-Fi hotspot protection against intruders
  • VOIP support to save on long distance costs
  • 100% online data security
  • 7-Day money-back guarantee

In addition to these benefits, all IPVanish servers use a NAT (Network Address Translation) firewall to share public IP addresses. This helps protect the privacy and anonymity of their users. It also blocks inbound traffic and protects them from unwanted malware and malicious bots while using the IPVanish service.

IPVanish Payment MethodsAs you can see above, IPvanish offers a generous number of ways to pay for their service. You can pay by credit cards which includes VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discovery, and JCB. They also accept VISA debit cards, Electron and Delta. You can also pay using PayPal or Bitcoin which will only require you to enter an email address. Paying by Bitcoin will keep you more anonymous. Finally, you can pay using iDEAL Giropay, Bolero, Paysafe, and others.

Risk Free Trial Period

Although they do not have a free trial, IPVanish knows that you will want to test their service so they are offering all new subscribers a 7-day money back guarantee. This should be adequate time to test out their VPN service for yourself. If for any reason, you are not completely satisfied with it, they will refund the full purchase price of your chosen plan. You must request this refund within seven days of the purchase date. Requests made later than seven days from purchase date will not be honored.

This reimbursement will be in US dollars and therefore the refund amount could differ from the amount originally paid in variably priced currencies like Bitcoin since refunds using these methods will be assessed at the USD exchange rate at the time of the refund and not purchase.

IPVanish Network and Server Locations

The IPVanish network of servers has continued to grow over the years. Their network has over 40,000 IP addresses on over 700 servers in 60+ different countries. They have servers on nearly every major continent including Europe, North America, Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. A full list of countries with VPN server locations is as follows:

  • Africa
    • Egypt, South Africa
  • Asia
    • Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam
  • Central/South America
    • Argentina, Brazil
  • Europe
    • United Kingdom – Belfast, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham
    • Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine
  • North America
    • United States – Ashburn, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vega, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, San Jose, Seattle
    • Canada – Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver
    • Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama
  • Oceania
    • Australia, New Zealand

It is easy to see from this list that IPVanish has servers worldwide and multiple servers in more popular locations like both the east and west coasts of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and others. Their network defaults primarily to the OpenVPN protocol but also supports IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP.

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Privacy and Security

IPVanish always has your privacy in mind and thus they are a no-log VPN service. Put simply they do not log any of their users activity while connected to their VPN service. This is supported by the following excerpts taken directly from their privacy policy.

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.

Many people are under the false belief that the United States has a data retention law but exactly the opposite is true. The US has no rules regarding data retention unlike some countries in Europe, Australia, and others. So although they would have to comply with judicial orders from the proper authorities, because they do not log any activity of their users, they have no information to turn over.

Now for the second half of this section. What kind of encryption does IPVanish offer to their users? IPVanish implements the OpenVPN protocol as its primary default protocol in all but its iOS app. The cipher used for server authentication and control DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA with 2048 bit RSA. Data is encrypted and decrypted using an AES-256-CBC cipher initialized with a 256 bit key. SHA256 is used for HMAC authentication. The IKEv2 protocol, the default for their iOS app also provides excellent encryption. This means you can always be assured that all of your Internet traffic is securely encrypted no matter what operating system or device you use to connect to the IPVanish service.

IPVanish Support

IPVanish provides 24/7 email ticket support for any problems you may have with many support tickets answered in less than thirty minutes but some may take a little longer. Their formal ticketing system has a template to help you formalize and clarify your problem so that the IPVanish support staff can provide the answers you need. Their website has an excellent support area where you can see common questions and support issues. The support area also has well written manual installation and configuration guides for all the protocols that they support if you decide not to use their easy to use custom software clients and apps.

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Video Review of IPVanish

Client Software and Mobile Apps

IPVanish has custom software for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. You can download these custom apps from the “vpn setup” page of the IPVanish website which can be accessed by selecting Apps in the site main menu. Next, click on the appropriate button for your operating system. Windows has been selected in the image below.

IPVanish VPN Setup

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.

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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.

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 65.81 Mb/s to 61.60 Mb/s. This is a drop of less than 7% to a server in Atlanta, GA which is excellent and among the best we have observed. his small loss in connection speed is well worth the security and peace of mind offered by being able to encrypt all of your Internet traffic using some of the best 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.

They offer custom software apps for Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS. These apps are easy to install and allow their 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 kill switches.

All of their apps provide some of the best encryption available in the industry. All but their iOS app default to OpenVPN because of its speed, the security it offers, and its overall reliability. Their iOS app defaults to IKEv2 which is considered to be as fast, secure, and reliable as OpenVPN. Additionally, because of its support for MOBIKE, it is an ideal choice for iPhone and iPad users because it makes reconnection to the VPN easier when changing Wi-Fi hotspots or transferring from home networks to cellular data.

They provide manual 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 say 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 and Android.
  • They have kill switches in both their Windows and Mac OS X clients.
  • Torrent and VoIP users will appreciate the SOCKS5 web proxy.
  • They have other advanced features like NAT firewall protection, DNS leak protection, the ability to periodically change your IP address, and IPv6 leak protection.
  • They offer very fast server connections from almost anywhere in the world
  • The have a 7-day money back guarantee with no limitations.
  • They have competitive pricing and offer discounts 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 700 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 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 two years 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 $2.87 per month.

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