IPVanish is a best-in-line VPN service provider that was built for speed and anonymity, and it’s regarded as the only top tier VPN service on the market, which is also due to the fact that every layer of the service is owned and operated by the provider including the network infrastructure, software and hardware.
Irrespective of your need for a VPN service (circumventing censorship, accessing geo-blocked streaming services, protecting your online traffic while surfing the web on an open Wi-Fi, etc.), this service will provide the necessary means to protect your online traffic, stay hidden and secure from any malicious third-parties.
Overview of IPVanish
IPVanish is a US based virtual private network provider with a line-up of more than 500 servers across more than 60 countries. In addition, more than 40,000 shared IPs make sure that users can safely surf the web under IPVanish’s cloak of anonymity. Its support for all security protocols and complete control over its infrastructure makes it one of the best and fastest growing VPN service providers currently on the market.
Let’s see how this VPN service fares in the price and features categories, and whether it can also be considered to provide good value for money.
IPVanish Price and features
A good thing about how the pricing tiers are constructed at IPVanish is that all tiers come with the same features, and prices depend on the length of user commitment, thus, there is a 1 month, 3 months and 1-year subscription. As the length of the subscription increases, the monthly price decreases from $10.00/month for the 1-month period to $6.49 for the 1-year period. If you’re serious about VPN, the 1-year commitment is the best value subscription. Unfortunately, there is no free subscription plan to test the service, however, IPVanish does have a 7-day refund policy for users who wish to discontinue the use of the service within the 7-day timeframe.
Payment methods also include Bitcoin, which is viewed by many to provide an extra layer of anonymity to users.
In terms of features, IPVanish distinguishes itself from the competition through the following features:
- Unlimited P2P traffic with a promise to never slow down connection speed for P2P networking;
- Anonymous torrenting – many VPNs frown upon torrenting or don’t support P2P;
- Unlimited bandwidth – no data caps or bandwidth caps;
- Zero traffic logs – IPVanish claims not to keep connection or activity logs, so you can rest assured that metadata of your VPN session and information about how you used the service will not be stored;
- Multiple device connections – connections allowed for up to 5 devices;
- Multiple security protocols to adapt to your needs (OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec VPN protocols);
- 500+ servers in 60+ countries with 40,000+ shared IPS, some of its servers are located in countries like Egypt, New Zeeland, South Africa, which are rarely found at other VPN providers;
- Unlimited server switching;
- Clients for multiple devices (Window, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, manual configuration for Windows Phone, Chromebook, Android TV, Ubuntu, and even routers).
Other features include access to geo-blocked or censored apps and websites, 24/7 support, fast VPN network, 7-day money-back guarantee.
These features certainly recommend IPVanish as a top choice for users who want to make use of all the benefits of a VPN service.
IPVanish Privacy and security
Privacy and security are the backbone of every VPN service, and IPVanish pays particular attention to both these elements by offering military grade security through 256-bit AES encryption and by adhering to a strict zero-log policy. IPVanish doesn’t even log connection times. In addition to these, given that every component of this service is managed internally, this provider can pride itself with fully controlling how its security measures are implemented both on a network infrastructure level and software client level.
IPVanish claims to provide “lightning-fast speeds” and markets itself as the world’s fastest VPN. IPVanish comes with no bandwidth caps, so its speed largely depends on your internet speed and server location. Speed tests revealed a slight reduction in terms of download and upload speeds, however, some servers were very slow (e.g. Australia), while others tested good and even above the median for other VPN services. Median test speed values for IPVanish resulted in the following: 10.76 Mbps download speed, 4.36 Mbps upload speed, ping time 256 ms. Tested servers: US, UK, France, Germany and Australia.
IPVanish Customer Support
The website features a Support Center with vast information on troubleshooting, software updates, how-tos, common questions, user guides, etc. It even includes a forum-like platform, where users can post public questions, and have their questions answered by members of the IPVanish community.
24/7 e-mail support is the only other support channel. Unfortunately, no phone support or live chat support channel is available, which is quite unfortunate for a service of this scale. IPVanish used to have a live chat support, however, for unknown reasons, it was discontinued.
IPVanish Pros and Cons
As a quick summary of all of the above findings, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of IPVanish:
- P2P and torrenting allowed;
- Variety of payment methods including Bitcoin;
- Subscription plans constructed based on length and not on features (full features available in all plans);
- Unlimited bandwidth and server switching;
- No logging;
- Impressive number of server locations.
- No free tier plan (only a 7-day money-back guarantee);
- No live chat support or phone support;
- VPN service provider based in US (subject to US data privacy laws).
If you’re looking for a VPN service provider with plenty of server locations, a secure network and full feature package irrespective of subscription plans, IPVanish should certainly be on the top of your list. It may not be the most affordable service on the market, but its set of features and some of its unique features (e.g. torrenting support) allow users to indulge in an all-around VPN service experience, which is offered only at a small extra cost compared to other VPN providers.