IPVanish VPN Review

4.5 (90%) 2 votes

IPVanish is being touted as the best VPN service provider while at the same time being promoted as a simple solution for internet privacy. It brags of lightning fast speeds, zero logs, and maximum security. IPVanish provides secure VPN access for all devices, desktops and mobiles included. The company maintains hundreds of servers across the world including North America, Europe, and Asia.

What Is IPVanish?

As the name suggests, IPVanish hides your IP address so you can go online anonymously and be able to do things you can’t do with a typical connection. It is a VPN solution designed to enable secure and private connections between computers. It allows users to bypass government censorship and corporate firewalls, avoid cybercrimes, and get around ISP throttling. It enables access to websites and media content without the restrictions. It prevents ISPs or governments from spying on you and limiting your speed based on your data usage. It is an excellent tool to avoid getting hacked while using public Wi-Fi networks.

Regardless of what device you are using, you can have secure internet access through an anonymous IP address by using IPVanish. It can be a desktop, laptop, or mobile device that runs a major operating system. Its track record of more than 15 years in the tech industry should give adequate assurance that it can provide the completely private and secure connections users expect in a VPN service. IPVanish employs what they call a competitively high level of encryption by channeling all online activities through a secure VPN tunnel.

Image credit: User Ludovic.ferre via Wikimedia Commons

IPVanish is a Tier 1 VPN service, which means it is capable of delivering optimum VPN speeds and the most secure connections. It maintains a network of more than 40,000 IPs and over 700 servers in more than 60 countries. A Tier 1 VPN provider, by the way, is one that owns and runs all of its VPN servers. It provides direct tunnelling between the user and its servers to provide optimum security and speed.

No Free Trial But with Money Back Guarantee

IPVanish does not offer a free trial period but it does have a 7-day money back guarantee – wich is basically a free VPN for you as an IPVanish new user. You can get a full refund for the amount you paid if you think you are not satisfied with the service. We are not keen on considering this as a free trial period since you will have already made a payment by the time you start using the service.  The refund process is said to be automatic and has a “no questions asked” policy, but processing can take 10 days.

IPVanish Setup and Interface

The IPVanish installer is less than 10 MB so it shouldn’t take long downloading it. Installing it is a straightforward process. It’s similar to how you would install other applications.

The IPVanish user interface is very user-friendly. After you log in, you will be shown a neatly laid out interface. The menu is shown as a sidebar to the left, showing the following tabs: Dashboard, By City, By Map, Settings, Account, and Support.

If you want to change the IP address, just click on Settings. You can also enable/disable (check/uncheck) the Kill Switch feature, which cuts off your internet connection if the VPN connection is lost and cannot be established again. This prevents you from automatically switching back to your regular VPN-less connection and continue accessing the internet without being secured by VPN. If you want to always have secure connections, it would be better to turn this feature on.

You can select a server you prefer by going to the By Map or By City tabs. We prefer selecting a server through the By City tab and perhaps most new users of IPVanish would prefer the same because of the clearer range of options shown. The By City tab shows columns for the city, country, continent, number of servers, and starred or not starred status.

The By Map option is meant to be somewhat engaging to use but it does not really provide added value. Some may like using it, though. With it, you have to zoom into a location to see the details of the different servers available in the area. You have to hover your mouse pointer over the yellow and green circles to select the available servers.

Ping numbers are indicated. For the uninitiated, lower ping numbers are better. Lower ping servers should be selected especially when gaming.

Again, IPVanish is an intuitive VPN solution. Its clients (for different devices and operating systems) are very easy to use. Still, if you can’t figure out how to do something you need to do with the client, you can always refer to the IPVanish website for tutorials and guides. There are tutorials and visual guides provided on the site for all versions of IPVanish. You can find them at the bottom part of the respective pages for the Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, Chromebook, and Router software/app versions of IPVanish.

IPVanish Security

IPVanish is advertised to be capable of providing maximum security for its users. To provide this level of security, IPVanish has over 40,000 shared IPs in more than 700 VPN servers in over 60 countries. IPVAnish also uses 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption, supports anonymous torrenting, and has SOCKS5 web proxy. Additionally, IPVanish supports OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP.

OpenVPN is regarded as the best protocol for desktops while L2TP and PPTP are great for mobile device use. PPTP is considered to be less secure as compared to L2TP but it is faster.

IPVanish features something rarely provided by other VPN companies – the NAT firewall. This allows IPVanish to protect users from inbound traffic coming from third party websites. This entails round the clock protection against hackers, malware, and trojans. All of IPVanish servers use a NAT firewall to enable users to share the company’s public IP addresses to boost privacy and anonymity. This means multiple users get to use the same IP simultaneously so it becomes very difficult to identify or trace a user. This feature, moreover, allows IPVanish to make the most of the IPv4 server addresses available.

Privacy

The use of VPN naturally comes with the advantage of being able to access the web privately and anonymously. IPVanish does a great job ensuring this privacy considering the multitude of IPs it has, it being a Tier 1 VPN provider, as well as its Kill Switch feature. However, what makes IPVanish even better in enabling private access to the internet is its zero log policy. IPVanish guarantees that it does not maintain logs of its customers’ internet access or traffic. This is something emphasized in its terms of service, privacy policy, and even in the Help section. Since IPVanish is a Tier 1 VPN provider, it has full control over its policy on keeping logs.

IPVanish Speed

IPVanish delivers excellently when it comes to speed. It can support high-quality media streaming without problems. When paired with the Tor browser, users can expect reasonably good speed test results. There might be some slight download and upload speed reduction but overall, there’s nothing to complain about the speed. This is to be expected since the encryption of information being transmitted in a VPN tunnel naturally consumes bandwidth.

Usability

IPVanish delivers great usability. In addition to the highly intuitive user interface, the automatic reconnection feature is something users will appreciate. It allows users to avoid the frustration of seeing the “reconnecting” notification on screen. Additionally, the mobile apps of IPVanish can be considered as some of the best mobile VPN apps at present. These mobile apps don’t require manual configuration. You simply have to install the app, launch it, choose your preferred server location and protocol, and proceed to establish a connection.

Notable Features

The following are some of the most notable features of IPVanish:

  • Zero Log Policy
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • SOCKS5 Web Proxy
  • Tier 1 VPN Connections
  • Great Speed and Usability
  • Unthrottled and Anonymous P2P Torrent Traffic
  • More than 40,000 IPs in over 60 Countries
  • Unlimited Server Switching
  • Kill Switch Feature
  • NAT Firewall in All Servers
  • 5 Connections on Multiple Devices at the Same Time
  • Custom DNS Settings
  • Light Software – Small Installer and Low System Resource Requirements
  • Accepts Bitcoin Payments
  • 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • 24/7 Customer Support

Compatible Devices

IPVanish can be used with various devices, from desktops/laptops/netbooks that run on Windows, Ubuntu, Chromebook, and Mac OS X, to mobile devices operating on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. It can also be used on routers, specifically DD-WRT routers with the TomatoUSB firmware.

If you are using a Windows device, it should at least have Windows Vista. Older versions are no longer supported. For Mac, it should be OS X 10.6.8 or newer. If you want to use IPVanish with a Linux device, it should be the Ubuntu distro. For mobile devices, the minimum OS version requirements are as follows: iOS 8 or newer, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or newer, and Windows Phone 8.1 or newer.

IPVanish is also a great companion to the Tor browser. As we repeatedly mention in our darknet market reviews, using the Tor browser alone is not enough to ensure your anonymity on the darknet.  You also need to use VPN.

Pricing, Checkout, and Promotions

IPVanish offers three plans: $10/month for a 1-month subscription, $6.49/month for a 1-year subscription, and $8.99/month for a 3-month subscription. Arguably, you can get the best value for your money if you go for the 1-year plan. It’s cheaper by around $42 compared to paying on a monthly basis, and by around $30 compared to getting the 3-month plan.

The payment methods supported include most major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, and Delta. PayPal, iDeal, Bancontact, GiroPay, Boleto, and Bitcoin payments are also accepted.

You will be given your access details after your payment is accepted.

After making your payment, go to the IPVAnish Setup page to download the software. You can actually download and install the IPVanish software even before you play but you will not be able to log in or look into the application’s user interface if you don’t have valid login details yet. Similarly, you can download the IPVanish mobile app from the Google Play store.

Worth noting: aside from the discount you get when paying for longer subscriptions, IPVanish may also offer other price reductions. For instance, when visiting the IPVanish site for the first time, you may receive a prompt offering a 20% for your next three billings if you get an IPVanish subscription within the next 10 minutes.

IPVanish Support

If you have questions or if you need assistance regarding your subscription, just go to the Help page. The Help page has a comprehensive knowledge base about IPVanish, which is mostly a collection of questions and answers as well as how-to articles. Your questions may have already been answered in the posts in the Help base. You can also post your own question and wait for an answer.

IPVanish does not have live chat support but it claims to provide 24/7 support to users through the Help page. You can also send an email directly to the support team by clicking on the Email Us link. Additionally, you can reach IPVanish through its official Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts.

Conclusion

IPVanish is an excellent choice for new and experienced users of VPN. It comes with a multitude of great features but maintains a simple and highly intuitive interface. It performs well when it comes to speed and usability. It works with all major operating systems for desktop and mobile devices. It is also reasonably priced and offers promo discounts even for those who don’t avail of long-term subscriptions. Moreover, it has a zero log policy, provides the added protection of NAT firewall, and has the convenient Kill Switch feature.

 

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