IPVanish Review (2020): An In Depth Overview

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IPVanish, at cursory glance, comes across looking as a really fresh VPN service provider. They gave new users a certain vibe that they are young and fun while helping you keep your online presence secure and private.

Surf the web without a trace. It takes more than a private internet browser to go incognito. IPVanish is ready to make your real IP address disappear so that your online activity cannot be tracked.

Secure your internet connection and don’t put your personal information at risk. IPVanish claims that it is a price you will be regretfully paying when using Wi-Fi. You can also get around censorship filters with the help of IPVanish’s VPN service.

Company Background

IPVanish Screenshot

IPVanish is a mid-ranged VPN service provider based in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 2012, it started off small with a humble amount of 32 servers. Today its servers and services have expanded considerably. For a mid-range VPN service provider it’s actually not so bad.

Criteria

As usual, you will need to take into consideration several criteria before settling for any VPN service providers. IPVanish have a few features to offer but here are some criteria for you to consider.

Number of Servers and Server Locations

As usual, we will talk about the number of servers and server locations any VPN service providers have, including IPVanish. If we do not at least dedicate a section to the number of servers a VPN service have, no matter how little or less popular it is – what’s the point then?

The number of servers and server locations reflect how good or popular a VPN service is. Generally, the more servers and server locations a VPN service provider have, the more popular it is.

Although that statement is, more often than not, true most of the time it does not mean the lesser servers it have that it is any less popular. Some VPN service providers have a lot less servers and server location but its services is top notch, if not on par with most leading VPN service providers.

At the same time, we should also mention that not all server locations are physical locations. Some locations are virtual locations and not have a physical location.

Content Access

One of the main factors of using a VPN service provider is to bypass geo-restrictions and access contents that are blocked in your region or area. It can also be used to bypass firewalls (think: bypassing China’s great firewall).

At the same time, we will talk about whether all contents will be accessible when you are connected to certain servers. Not all contents can (and will) be accessible when you are connected to any one server at any given time. It isn’t that simple.

Connection Speediness

When you are connected to a VPN server, your connections will decrease by a certain percentage. It’s normal and you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Most times, we get feedback from people who have used VPNs before saying that the speed decrease is almost unfelt. A lot of times people will say the speed decrease will not affect their daily online work and projects.

There will be some rare cases where the speed reduction is felt very obviously. Usually the reason behind such speed lags is because there are too many users connecting to the same server and server location. That is why the speed reduction can really be felt.

Privacy and Security

If you are someone who is very concerned about your online security and privacy, then obviously choosing a VPN service provider that can give you that is very important.

We should mention that not every VPN service providers can deliver what they promise. Many times VPN service providers say that they practice 0-logs policy. Who knows, few months or few years down the road there were incidents and cases where the VPN service provider do keep logs and tracks of your online activities.

Just a heads up – don’t believe everything that is said on a VPN service provider’s official webpage. You may need to do a bit more research and see what other users and news are saying about the VPN service provider of your choice.

Plans and Packaging

Having a look at the plans and packaging is one of the main criteria you should be looking at before choosing it. Although it isn’t the most important, but it is worth the mention.

Leading and top-notch VPN service providers will usually charge a little bit more than average. If you aren’t ready to commit to the “hefty” price, then we guess it isn’t the right service provider for you.

Then we should mention how usually VPN service providers that charges above average prices often provides top-notch features. You pay what you get for, if that means anything.

At the same time, it depends on your VPN needs too. If you don’t need so much advanced features, then an entry-level or mid-range level VPN service provider will work. After all, most mid-range VPN services provides really good features for the average user anyway.

Why Choose IPVanish?

At cursory glance, we have received mixed feedback of IPVanish. People who have used it seems to have different opinions of the VPN service provider.

Number of Servers and Server Location

IPVanish isn’t exactly the most popular VPN service – compared to big gun VPN service providers, so to speak.

As a relatively young VPN service provider (8 years and counting), IPVanish has over 1300+ servers across more than 75 locations. In North America, it has 790 servers alone, and 466 servers in Europe.

As mentioned previously, usually the more servers there are the more popular the VPN service provider will be. By the number of servers it have, we can come to a conclusion that IPVanish is considered entry- to mid-range.

NordVPN alone has over 5600+ servers. CyberGhost has over 5900+ servers, and ExpressVPN has over 3000+ servers.

To put IPVanish next to each VPN service providers and compare the number of servers it has. You can see how IPVanish is much smaller in terms of the servers they have to offer.

People who have used it before said the servers are remarkably stable. Not once has their connection dropped during their period connected. The key takeaway here is that for a VPN service with less server options in comparison, it actually turns out pretty well.

Content Access

With IPVanish, you can access a lot of contents online. It’s what VPN service providers are supposed to do – unblock contents and websites that are banned.

You are, undoubtedly, able to access popular sites and platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. A lot of blocked websites you are able to access with the help of IPVanish. However, users have mentioned how you will not be able to access some other popular streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu.

Although it claims to be a very reliable VPN service provider, it’s pretty disappointing to know that you won’t be able to access your favourite contents on Netflix. Or Hulu, for that matter. I guess that if you really wish to access Netflix, or get a VPN so you can access the popular streaming site, then IPVanish is not for you.

We should also mention how for a VPN service, it does not openly boast its unblocking abilities. Fair enough since it isn’t able to unblock Netflix and Hulu to mention. Not every VPN services can unblock every sites and contents.

Although you are unable to access Netflix, some users said they are able to access Netflix during its test periods? Which is funny (and ironic if we may add) that users can access Netflix during the trial period, but not when they have gone for the full subscription.

Furthermore, we came to learn that IPVanish is not accessible in China. That means if you were planning to download and subscribe to IPVanish’s services to bypass China’s great firewall, you will not be able to use it while you are there. You will need to find another alternative VPN service provider then.

Connection Speediness

Speed is another important factor to consider before choosing any VPN service, and IPVanish is no exception to such consideration.

According to some people who have tried using IPVanish before, it seems that its speed isn’t exactly its strong suit. A user from Europe said his baseline connection speed was about 160mbps. When connected to a German server, his speed decreased to 87mbps. That obviously was not a good sign as that was a 50% reduction in baseline speed.

When connected to a Switzerland server, the baseline connection speed decreased further to 73mbps. When connected to a UK server, the speed decreased to 65mbps. When connected to several North American servers (USA and Canada), the servers decreased to between 46mbps to 78mbps.

The same user said the speeds were not horrible. However, that does not mean it is one of the best to choose from in terms of speed. Its connection reduction pale in comparison to most other leading VPN service providers if we can put it that way.

Another user has affirmed such findings, reporting back saying that the speed reduction was by a huge difference. The user, however, did not specify what his baseline speed are specifically. He did, however, mentioned how when connected to IPVanish his upload speed was reduced by 78.8% and download speed was reduced by 81%.

Although the speed reduction was by quite a huge difference, that does not make IPVanish the worst performing VPN service provider. Users have backed IPVanish up saying that you can’t really choose a VPN by its speed alone.

With that being said, we have previously mentioned how speed may decrease as you are connected to a server that is further away from your current location. That and the fact that the more people who are connected to the same server, the more lag you will experience.

Then again, most times the speed reduction will less likely have a huge setback and hindrance to your overall internet usage. With that being said, we’d advice you to connect to servers that are physically closer to your current location.

Privacy and Security

We understand that privacy and security is something users will take into consideration, hence we have included this section as such.

Some people who have used IPVanish said that its privacy policy is a bit hard to grasp. It’s lengthy but mostly understandable. It does mention what people want to know – that it practices 0 logs policy and does not sell or rent any private information to 3rd parties.

To prove their promises, VPN service providers sometimes underwent a 3rd party audit firm to show that they do indeed keep your privacy and security. NordVPN had its 0 logs policy audited. TunnelBear has committed itself to releasing audits of its service every year. IPVanish, however, hasn’t done any of those.

We have also came to found out that IPVanish uses a 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default. Its SHA512 is used for authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2048 key exchange supports perfect forward secrecy.

Its security are all updated and 100% secure encryption standards. What more, with its perfect forward secrecy ensures that past traffic data can’t be decrypted even if a hacker tries to obtain the current decryption key.

As IPVanish is based in the USA, some users may find that disconcerting. They may be wary because the USA is a country known for the NSA, FBI, and other law enforcement or intelligence agencies. The same agencies where they’d covertly spy on people with the help of US-based tech firms.

Even with all that said, some users are (and will) still be put off by any VPN providers based in the USA, or any countries that co-operates with on intelligence gathering.

Even though IPVanish is based in the USA, you can be rest assured that it is one of the few providers that owns and operates all its physical hardware. They don’t rent their hardware from any 3rd parties. Most VPN service providers simply rent servers, IPVanish buys them. That simply means IPVanish maintains greater control over who has access to its servers.

Although it buys and maintains its own servers, there are (obviously) downside to this also. It makes a VPN service provider less flexible under some circumstances. They can choose to lower their privacy or security standards. It is a lot easier to end a lease and rent another somewhere else compared to physically moving a server.

If you have read this far and still wonder if IPVanish keeps you data or not, the short answer is no. That’s what 0 logs policy means. The VPN service provider do not keep any of your private data and information.

Plans and Pricing

IPVanish has 3 plans for you to choose from.

  • 1 month: US$11.99 a month
  • 3 month: US$35.97 for 3 months
  • 1 year: US$143.88 for 1 year

The Pros

Perhaps the good thing about IPVanish is that it is considered easy to use compared to other VPN service providers. Since it does not have a lot of features and its interface is very uncomplicated and user-friendly, it makes VPN usage accessible to new users.

Another good thing about this VPN service provider is that it is considered one of the cheaper options. Although it charges close to US$12 a month, that is considered above average pricing of US$10 a month.

Even then, if you were to subscribe to its 3 months or 1 year plan, it will be a lot cheaper (anywhere from US$8 to US$10 on average a month). For the average user, this is actually a pretty good price to pay for a VPN service in all honesty.

The Cons

The downside is perhaps that you will not be able to access Netflix and Hulu. To much of users’ disappointment, if you are looking for an affordable VPN service to access geo-locked contents on Netflix, IPVanish will not be able to help.

However, some users said that they are able to access Netflix during the trial period. Even then, that isn’t good enough as it may be a kind of false hope for new users.

On top of that the huge reduction of connection speed may be a turn off for some users. Although there may be a need for speed, some people have a thinking that if the speed reduction is by beyond 50%, it can come across as unstable.

It does give off a bad impression if we can put it that way. That can lead to lesser opinions of the VPN service provider, if we can put it that way.

Our Verdict

Overall we think that IPVanish is an all right VPN service provider. It does have most of the basic features a VPN service provider have, which isn’t so bad so to speak. On top of that it is relatively more affordable compared to other VPN service providers.

Generally speaking, we can come to a conclusion that it is a really good VPN for the average user. It isn’t our first choice, but it works great if you want to access contents and blocked websites that is not Netflix and Hulu.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some frequently asked questions.

Q: Is IPVanish any good?

IPVanish is good for a basic, entry- to mid-level VPN service provider. It is not exactly the best, but it certainly is not the worst. For a mid-level VPN service provider, it has most of the basic features a VPN service provider should have, which in our opinion, is good enough.

With that being said, we have to reiterate that it is a good VPN service provider for those who are looking for a VPN to access blocked websites. That and the fact that the person isn’t too keen on streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu.

If you are looking for a VPN service to access Netflix, then IPVanish is certainly not the option recommended for you.

Q: Why is IPVanish so slow?

IPVanish is slow because when you are connected to a VPN server, your connection will automatically be reduced. Like any other VPN services, when you are connected to a VPN server your connection will decrease. It’s normal and it is not an isolated case limited to just IPVanish.

Although IPVanish is notoriously known to be a lot slower when connected compared to other VPN service providers, it does not mean that it is unusable.

When you are connected to a server further away from you, the longer it takes for your internet data to travel to your server choice’s location and back again. On top of that, if you are connected to a server that has a lot of people connected to it, your connection is of course slower.

To get away from such problem, your obvious step to take is to change servers to one that is closer to yours. And to one that has less users connected to it.

Changing servers occasionally is good for your overall VPN safety too. Just saying!

Q: Can I leave IPVanish on all the time?

Yes, you can leave IPVanish on all the time. Although you may (and can) do that all the time, it is beneficial to turn it off every now and then.

It depends on your online security needs if we can put it that way. If you are very concerned about your online safety, then keeping the VPN on is all right. If safety and security isn’t a huge matter for you, turning it off for a while every now and then is all right.

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