Almost all top rated VPN services would claim that they are the best. Each will promise a highly secured connection, zero logs, and topnotch speed. These are the staples, but if you want to get the best value for your money, you have to check further. With that, we’re going to review one of the popular VPN services to date: IPVanish.
Why choose IPVanish?
IPVanish is a US-based VPN service, unlike most of its competitors that are cloaking in the lenient privacy rules of the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, and the likes. Still, this Florida-based company is one of the first and most reputed VPN providers.
The IPVanish team claims that they are the “only true top tier VPN” service. If that’s real or not, here are the points that you have to check:
- Topnotch speed and privacy features
- Up to 10 connections are allowed
- Self-owned network servers and not outsourced to third parties
- Can be used on a wide selection of apps
- Great for Netflix and torrenting
- Impressive speed in various continents
- Some of their servers aren’t actually on the advertised locations
- IPVanish doesn’t support Bitcoin payments
- Based in the U.S. which can be an issue
- There are a few logging concerns
- Falsely advertised 24/7 support
Presence: 60+ countries with more than 1,100 servers
Streaming: works for almost a quarter of the time for Netflix
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, iOS, Windows, and TOR
Encryption: AES 256-bit
Tunneling protocols: SOCKS5, OpenVPN, and more
Encryption and security
When it comes to encryption technology, IPVanish relies on one technology alone, the AES 256-bit encryption. This is the same encryption process that government agencies and leading security institutions use.
This type of encryption is enough to shield your browsing activity against brute force attacks. In fact, the IPVanish is virtually ‘Brute Force Proof’ for your peace of mind.
Also, AES 256-bit will let you bypass the website censorships of schools, governments, and employers. It also has a tunneling system like the OpenVPN which is used by almost all VPN services.
Overall, this is the best VPN for Windows and Mac as well as other devices. You’ll enjoy exclusive access to their special proxy server protocol. This will give you the same VPN benefits without the need to download and install any software.
Speed and performance
When it comes to speed, IPVanish will give all other VPN services a run for their money. It’s only around 18% slower compared to not using a VPN. If you’re in Europe and using a 100 Mbps connection, you can expect a download speed of roughly 82 Mbps and an upload speed of 43 Mbps.
The speed will vary per continent. Still, the fact that IPVanish has servers in different countries makes it the best VPN software.
As for the SOCKS5 proxy, you can also expect decent speed even without using additional software. You simply have to turn it on and it will hide your IP address. It’s the best proxy to use for beginners.
Still, the SOCKS5 doesn’t use the same encryption process than the actual VPN. This is why the speed is impressive like the IPVanish VPN. For those who only need the basic need to cloak an IP address, this would be enough.
Ease of use
Users have varying opinions about how easy it is to use the IPVanish VPN. Still, we think that it’s pretty straightforward: you download the app, pick your platform, launch it, and you’re good to go.
Once you have the app all set, just tap the connect button and it will turn green once you’re connected. If you wish to stop the VPN, just tap the button once again to disconnect.
Overall, IPVanish has an acceptable level of usage. You may encounter a few errors along the way, but the good thing is that their customer support team is reachable through email.
And for those looking for a VPN that can accommodate multiple devices, IPVanish is an unbeatable choice. It can connect up to 10 devices at a time which is ideal for those sharing their account with other people.
As much as IPVanish is a great privacy tool, it also has a downside when it comes to their customer support. They said that they are reachable 24/7. However, they don’t even have a live chat or phone support.
What we only found on their platform is an email support portal which may take days before you get answers. If you want instant help, you may want to look for another option.
IPVanish is ideal for casual browsers, but if you’re going to use it on heavy tasks that require instant support when glitches happen, IPVanish may not be 100% recommendable.
Torrenting and streaming/TOR compatibility
When you use the IPVanish VPN, you won’t just be allowed to perform P2P file transfer, you’ll be encouraged to do so. This platform has a care-free environment but highly secured. However, since it’s in the U.S., we have doubts about the possibility that they might share information to authorities if something comes to worse.
If you’re thinking about unblocking geo-restrictions in Netflix, we’re sad to say that IPVanish is a bit of a hit-and-miss tool. Only about a quarter of their servers can bypass the streaming restrictions.
You may need to have a little more patience since you’d have to try a few servers before landing in one that actually works.
Lastly, even if you’ve found a server that will let you into Netflix without restrictions, the servers tend to lag a bit. It’s a downer but better than not connecting at all.
Unlike its competitors NordVPN and ExpressVPN, IPVanish allows you to connect up to 10 devices at a time. This may not be a big deal for solo users. However, for those who want to secure their kids and spouses’ browsing privacy, this allowance can be a lifesaver.
The 10-device feature is our favorite offering from IPVanish. It’s something that most VPN services can provide. Sure, there are some downsides to their service, but there are features that compensate for it.
IPVanish is in the middle of the price range, which makes it a bit expensive for casual browsers and those who are looking for affordable options.
If you only want a one-month subscription, you’ll pay a flat rate of $10. Whereas if you avail a one-year contract, the monthly fee will be reduced to $6.49 per month. There’s also a three-month contract where you need to pay $8.99 per month.
Here’s the pricing chart to give you a clearer picture:
Some caveats we have for IPVanish
As much as there are lots of good things on this platform, we also noticed some things that can be improved. First of all, IPVanish can make use of live chat customer support. Right now, the quickest response you’ll get will take 1-2 days via email. Considering the pricing, the support should be more useful.
Also, IPVanish can keep up with the competition if they will add more servers on their currently 1,100+ network. Just for comparison, NordVPN has 3,500+ servers.
If you don’t find IPVanish appealing, you can always choose from other top rated VPN services. This platform has its pros and cons, it’s up to you to decide if it suits your needs.