You can download the IPVanish Windows client from the VPN setup page of their website by selecting “Apps” from the sites main menu. Once you get on this page, click on the Windows button. This will load the Windows setup sub-page which contains information on the latest Windows client. This page also contains step-by-step manual setup and visual guides for configuring Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP with PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN.
Click on the orange “Download Windows App” button to transfer the setup file to your system. Once this file is on your computer you will to go ahead and run it to install the Windows client on your machine. You will be greeted by familiar screens asking for a location to save the files and whether or not to create a desktop icon. You can go with the default options. The installation will create a desktop icon like that shown on the right to launch IPVanish v3.
Double click on the IPVanish icon to launch the app. You will need to enter in your username and password to login. There is also a “Remember me” box that will save your credentials for future logins. Once you have that taken care of, go ahead and click “Login” to get started.
The first time you launch the app it will walk you through an onboarding tutorial. While you can skip the tutorial, I suggest you go through the handful of screens to learn about the new app. The forth step will let you select between standard and simple mode as shown below.
IPVanish Simple Mode
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the new “simple mode” for IPVanish v3. The user interface is very easy to follow. You can let the app choose the best server or select a country and server location manually. Either way the simple mode let’s you connect to any server location without modifying any other settings.
There isn’t much more to share on the new simple mode. As the name suggests, the app is easy to use. Simply click on the “OFF” button to connect once you select a server location. By default the app will connect you to the best server based on your current location. You can switch to standard mode anytime by clicking on the box in the lower right hand corner. You also have access to settings via the gear button in the top right of the interface.
IPVanish Standard Mode
The standard mode gives you more flexibility in selecting the best server to meet your needs. You can still let he client pick a network location or select your own from a server list, map, or filter list.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the new IPVanish v3 app is the standard user interface. Whether you connect via Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android, the app looks and acts very similar. You will notice the option to quickly connect to the best server or select a country, city, and server location. Simply click on the “OFF” button in the top right hand corner to connect. The screenshot on the right shows your download and upload stats once connected. The app also displays your current location and the IP address assigned by the server.
IPVanish gives you several ways to select a server. The first option is to view a list of servers by location.
You can start by sorting the results by country, response time, or load. You can also set servers as favorites and sort those as well. The server list gives you a more granular view. The second image above shows the power of the new v3 interface. You can open up a server location. In this case we expanded Atlanta. From there you can look through all 14 servers to find the one with the lowest combination of ping time and load.
Those who prefer a more visual representation can use the map view. You can move around the map and zoom in to select any server location on the IPVanish network. This is especially useful for those who travel internationally for work or for play.
Want to filter the IPVanish server list down even more. You can use the filter screen to really dive into their network. Start by filtering the server list by protocol (PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN), country, and latency. You can also use the search field to filter the results. We typed in “new” which filtered the list down to servers in New York, New Zealand, and New Delhi. As you may have noticed, it will find your search term in the name of the country or city. From there you can drill down on any server location to see the ping time and load for each server.
Along the left hand side of the client is the menu which consist of the following:
- Quick Connect – Quickly connect to any server location.
- Server List – This menu has three tabs: by list; map; and filter.
- Account Details – This window lets you review your account from the client.
- Settings – This menu let’s you set general, connection, and IP settings.
- Info – Displays app version number, terms of services, and licenses.
The last settings tab includes general options to control the IPVanish client. The images below show you all the choices which allow you to control some of the more advanced features of the client.
These settings are divided into sections. These sections include the following:
- System Startup – control how IPVanish interacts with Windows
- Start IPVanish when Windows starts
- Hide IPVanish on startup
- Startup Options – These are mutually exclusive options (only one can be selected)
- Don’t automatically connect – Launch the client without connecting.
- Connect to last server – Connect to last server you were connected to.
- Connect to fastest server – Connect to fastest server based on ping values.
- Connect to fastest server in country – Connect to the fastest server in whichever country you select.
- Closing – Configure what happens when you close the app
- Quit application – This completely closes the client.
- Hide to tray – This keeps the client open but moves it to the system tray.
- Show dialog and ask – This provides a popup window that lets you decide what to do when you close the client as is shown below. We prefer this option because it lets us decide how we want to treat a close action on an individual basis rather that locking us into just one as the other options do.
- Updates – Make sure the client is always up to date
- Automatically checks for updates
- Automatically download and install updates
- IPVanish Support
- Get help through the IPVanish support center
- IPVanish Interface
- Change to Simple Mode – switch between app modes.
- View onboarding tutorial – view the tutorial for helpful hints.
The next tab is for connection settings.
Once again the options are divided into sections as follows:
- VPN: Active protocol – Allows you to change the VPN connection protocol
- OpenVPN (UDP) – This is good for most connections and the default protocol for the Windows client.
- OpenVPN (TCP) – Because this verifies packets , it is slower than OpenVPN (UDP) but more reliable.
- L2TP/IPSec – This is good for some mobile devices because they have built-in support but slower than some other protocols.
- PPTP – Use this if nothing else works or for low security video streaming because it has known security vulnerabilities.
- Automatically reconnect – This along with the startup options lets you always try to keep connected to the VPN.
- Kill switch – Enabling this will ensure that if your connection is lost, all Internet traffic will cease. This can help to protect your privacy while using the IPVanish service by keeping your true IP address secret and your surfing habits secure if the connection drops.
- Block all LAN traffic – This feature can only enabled if the kill switch is active and allows you to additionally block all LAN traffic between your computer and the LAN.
- Enable IPv6 leak prevention – This will allow you to guard against IPv6 traffic leaks.
- Often when you visit a site that has IPv6 traffic enabled, they will be able to detect some of your traffic even if you are using a VPN service.
- Enabling this will make sure that all request from IPv6 are forced through IPv4 to the VPN tunnel and thus guards against these types of leaks.
- Enable DNS leak prevention – Enabling this will prevent DNS leaks to your ISP.
- This will send all DNS requests through the VPN tunnel to the IPVanish DNS servers.
- OpenVPN: Port – This lets you change the port used by OpenVPN.
- 443 – This is the default client port and the default port used for https traffic.
- 1194 – This is the port reserved for OpenVPN traffic.
- Obfuscate OpenVPN Traffic – This feature is helpful in countries that use deep packet inspection to block VPNs.
- Install/Repair OpenVPN Driver – You can reinstall or repair your OpenVPN driver anytime. This is especially useful for those who use more than one VPN service.
The final tab we’ll examine is for the IP settings.
The IP settings page presents you with several advanced options:
- Periodic IP address change – This has a toggle check box to allow you to periodically change you IP address.
- It allows you to set this time interval in minutes with a minimum time interval of 45 minutes.
- This will temporarily interrupt your connection while a new address is being assigned.
- Taking advantage of this feature will help to make you even more anonymous while using the IPVanish service.
- Verify IP Address – This will let you verify that your public IP address is hidden.
- It will let you choose from a variety of websites to do this verification.
- DNS Configuration – Select between IPVanish DNS and 3rd party DNS.
- Those who select 3rd party DNS will need to enter a primary and secondary DNS server address.
As you can see, the IPVanish Windows client makes it easy to select and connect to servers on their VPN network. They have added some nice features such the ability to periodically change your IP address for maximum anonymity while using their service and a way to verify your assigned IP address location. Their Windows client includes some of the most advanced VPN features like an Internet kill switch, DNS leak protection, and even IPv6 leak protection. They have also simplified the connection choice for those who want to find the fastest server for your current location. Connecting to a server in their network is as simple as letting the app decide or selecting a location from a server list or map. The IPVanish client defaults to the best encrypted VPN protocol, OpenVPN (UDP) to ensure that you are always secure while connected to their service.