IPVanish Review

June 20, 2018

8:51 am

Rating

80%

Ease of use:5 stars
Features:5 stars
Privacy:5 stars
Speed:4 stars
Help & Support:4 stars
Value for Money:4 stars

Pros
  • Crammed with settings that put you in control
  • Strong privacy and security features
  • Decent speeds
Cons
  • Slightly intimidating
  • Priced above some rivals

A very good VPN, but a little costly

You can make a huge 46% saving by signing up for a 1 year plan which works out at just $6.49/month.

IPVanish is one of the best VPNs we’ve tested. It promises to secure your internet connection and allows you to surf the web without a trace. There’s a strict zero-logging policy that means what you do while using IPVanish remains between you and the gatepost.

The service connects your computer – or smartphone – to the internet through a virtual private network (VPN), which encrypts the data travelling to and from your PC and disguises your true identity and location.

While we’re impressed by the speeds you can achieve with IPVanish, plus the rich, privacy-focused features, we’d note that this isn’t the cheapest VPN you can go for. Still, for dedicated VPN users who want to delve into the options to get the right setup, it’s an outstanding service to choose.

Why use IPVanish VPN?

IPVanish is one of many big commercial VPNs, but it owns and operates all of its own servers – many rivals just lease theirs from a third-party datacentre – and has over 1,000 of them serving over 60 countries. It allows peer-to-peer file-sharing, which some VPNs forbid or discourage – and the service is covered by a 7-day money back guarantee.

VPNs can help you maintain your privacy and anonymity while you’re online or can also ensure that your data isn’t being harvested and spied on when you’re connected to the Internet through public WiFi.

What’s more, the location of the VPN server is all that websites and services can see, which makes it possible to use a server in another country or even continent and access content that might normally be blocked or locked, like programs on the U.S. version of Netflix service if you’re streaming from outside of the States.

Getting Started With IPVanish

IPVanish makes it easy to sign-up and get started. Just enter your email address and a password then confirm your payment information, and you’ll get a confirmation email with clear links to a page where you can download the appropriate app for your PC or Mac. iOS and Android apps are available from the respective app stores.

The Windows app is a little more complex than the average, and the emphasis seems to be on control rather than one-click accessibility. Take the Quick Connect option, for example. Where other apps have a single button to click and make all decisions for you, IPVanish aks you to pick a country and gives you scope to select a city and a server within that city, though clicking the Connect button will just connect to the nearest, fastest server in the region.

While it’s not too difficult for VPN novices, it’s clearly designed to give more expert users more control.

IPVanish VPN Server Locations MappedIPVanish: The Good

With excellent features and a nice display panel, there’s lots to recommend with IPVanish.

Features and Settings

IPVanish gives you a lot of useful information to help you choose the right server, and the normal server list allows you to search by country or city or sort the list by country, response time or how heavy a load the server is currently managing – a less-used server will normally be faster. You can also switch to a map if you prefer a more visual approach.

Detail for Power Users

The Windows app also has a lot of settings, so if you want to change the VPN protocol or enable different kinds of leak protection, you can. There are also features like a killswitch or obfuscated traffic, which can stop sites detecting that you’re using a VPN. If you think of yourself as an advanced user, IPVanish is one of the best major commercial VPNs.

Good Speeds Maintained

Speeds are impressive over short-distance VPN links and just on the right side of average when you’re browsing or streaming over a transatlantic link.  IPVanish has over 1000 servers in over 60 countries, so its global coverage is pretty good. Whether you’re planning to catch-up with American TV shows while on a European vacation or looking to guarantee your privacy against corporate or government intrusion, you won’t have a problem finding a server that fits the bill.

IPVanish Settings PanelIPVanish: The Not-So-Good

The downside of all those settings and features is that IPVanish can be a bit intimidating if you don’t already know your way around a VPN.

You need to disconnect manually from one location before you can connect to another, which feels like an unnecessary extra click.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Netflix to stream through a US VPN, though other US catch-up TV services worked fine. Netflix is pretty savvy at detecting VPNs these days, though some services have more success than others – see our roundup of the best VPNs for Netflix to see which we’d recommend.

IPVanish Prices

IPVanish isn’t particularly cheap if you pay monthly, though $10 is pretty average for a big name VPN.

The deal gets better when you pay for a year upfront, with a $77.99 annual bill, but when some other services, like NordVPN, PureVPN or Private Internet Access give you a year for $60 or less, IPVanish could be more competitively priced.

The Verdict

IPVanish is an attractive VPN for more expert users, with some impressive features and all the options and settings you could hope for. Other users might want something a little less intimidating – and a little more affordable.

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Stuart Andrews has been writing about IT and consumer technology for over twenty years, working across many of the UK's biggest specialist titles. While specializing in PCs and related technology, software and cloud-based services, he also writes about IT in education, video games and internet security

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