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NordVPN vs IPVanish

March 6, 2019

11:25 am

NordVPN and IPVanish are two of the biggest VPNs in the game, but which is most worthy of your time and money? We won't keep you waiting – IPVanish is the better tool, but realistically there's not much in it. In fact, either one would make for a worthy addition to your online arsenal.

A VPN is an excellent tool for accessing the internet while protecting your identity. Both NordVPN and IPVanish make privacy a priority, letting you select from a wide range of servers worldwide. Both also offer advanced options like a killswitch, which will stop any online activity dead should the VPN lose connection.

We pitch NordVPN and IPVanish against each other and tell you where each one excels.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: Head-to-Head

We independently test VPNs to make our recommendations. Our assessments include ease of use, depth of features, privacy tests and measured speed tests across both local and international VPN connections.

Both NordVPN and IPVanish excelled in our tests – they're two of the best VPNs around. Still, there's enough to pull the two apart:

IPVanishNordVPN
ipvanish logoNordVPN logo
Ease of Use5 stars5 stars
Speed4 stars4 stars
Features5 stars3 stars
Privacy5 stars5 stars
Help & Support4 stars4 stars
Value4 stars4 stars
Number of servers1,000+3,605
Torrent SupportYesYes
KillswitchYesYes
Built-in Speed testYesNo
Ad blockingNoYes
Data LoggingNoNo
Number of Devices56
Cheapest Monthly Plan$3.70 (1-year plan)$2.99 (3-year plan)
DiscountsClick for DealsClick for Deals

Please scroll to view table on mobile devices

In this guide:

NordVPN or IPVanish – Which VPN is Best?

Both NordVPN and IPVanish are top notch VPNs. However, in our testing, it was IPVanish which just edged over the finish line first, thanks to its fast international speeds and the level of control it offers the user.

  • IPVanish offers the fastest transatlantic speeds
  • When it comes to value, NordVPN is the cheapest
  • NordVPN has the strongest set of privacy features
  • Both NordVPN and IPVanish offer a killswitch function for protection

In recent years, the VPN has managed to shake off its unjustified shady image, and many of us are now using one on a daily basis to protect ourselves from online hackers, protect our identity, and access content in other territories which would otherwise be closed off to us.

If you're flipping a coin between NordVPN or IPVanish, then rest assured that you can't really put a foot wrong with either of them. Both go out of their way to protect your identity, and for a few bucks a month can seriously elevate your internet experience.

NordVPN – Summary

NordVPN map5 stars

  • Wide range of servers
  • Offers ad-blocking and malware-blocking features
  • Has a more tolerant approach to torrenting than other VPNs
  • Offers live chat support

NordVPN is one of the most established VPNs out there, and for good reason. It's fast, relatively easy to use, and offers great privacy features that mean others can't snoop on you when you're online.

NordVPN is pleasingly fast – whether you're uploading or downloading – and although all VPNs take a speed hit compared to the pace of your standard ISP, with NordVPN, it's minimal. When accessing a transatlantic server, you can expect a connection around 50% of your normal speed. That might not sound great, but its actually far more impressive than most other VPNs.

NordVPN is also one of the few VPNs that takes a permissive view on peer to peer filesharing, and will allow you to use its service to protect yourself when torrenting. It's an unusual feature, although it will only allow you to connect to specific servers.

If there's one place that NordVPN excels, its with its choice of servers to connect to. Operating in 60 countries and with over 3,000 servers, it has a much wider reach than many of its competitors, and you're unlikely to run into any congestion problems.

A word of warning if you're after a VPN to access Netflix – the video streaming giant rumbled us when we used NordVPN, and wouldn't let us access any content. The same is also true of IPVanish. However, if that's what you're mainly interested in, we have a guide to the best VPNs for Netflix.

For the full lowdown, read our NordVPN Review

NordVPN logo NordVPN Pros:

  • Fast and effective
  • Packed with features
  • Excellent value

NordVPN logo NordVPN Cons

  • Not the most intuitive VPN
  • Can’t unblock some streaming services
  • Requires some technical knowledge

Get NordVPN for just $2.99 a month

IPVanish – Summary

IPVanish Locations5 stars

  • Owns all of its servers
  • One of the fastest VPNs tested
  • Feature-packed Windows app
  • Live chat support

IPVanish is one of the largest commercial VPNs. It owns all of its 1,000+ servers in 60 countries, rather than simply leasing them from third party data centers, like some of its rivals do.

While NordVPN may have some of the fastest upload and download speeds in the business, IPVanish has it licked, really going all out to ensure that your connection doesn't take too much of a hit when you connect to a server. This is especially true when connecting to transatlantic servers, where we found that it was one of our fastest VPNs during testing.

If you're the sort of person who enjoys taking a deep-dive into your VPN options, the Windows app has you sorted, stuffed with more features than you could conceivably need. If you want to change the level of leak protection, hide your VPN usage from a site, or fiddle with the Killswitch settings, IPVanish will let you do all this and more.

While there's plenty of depth there for the initiated, newcomers can also use IPVanish fairly easily, especially if they avoid some of  the more advanced features. It also also a live chat function, in case you really come unstuck, or simply need a helping hand.

Check out our full IPVanish Review for more

ipvanish logo

 IPVanish Pros:

 

  • Lots of settings
  • Strong privacy features
  • Decent speed

ipvanish logoIPVanish Cons

 

  • Slightly intimidating
  • Priced above some rivals

Get IPVanish for just $3.70 a month

ipvanish logoBest Features: IPVanish

Most paid-for VPNs will offer a large suite of features, which can be appealing to those who have some experience using VPNs, but rather daunting to those who don't. The best will allow for plenty of customization, without confusing the user, and both NordVPN and IPVanish both manage to walk this line skillfully.

In a direct comparison of features, though, it's IPVanish which offers the broadest range of options, giving the user plenty of tools to tinker with (if they want to).  The Windows app lets you take a deep dive into the options, including the ability to be able to change the VPN protocol, or enable various levels of leak protection to really sew up your privacy. You can also obfuscate traffic, tricking sites into thinking you're not using a VPN.

If  you want absolute control over your VPN, and like to tweak the settings until they're just right, IPVanish is the one for you.

NordVPN logoBest for Privacy settings: NordVPN

Both IPVanish and NordVPN offer up excellent privacy options, and there's a reason for this. Any VPN worth its salt knows that people use their services for protecting their data and identity online, and you'll find that paid-for VPNs take this seriously. Neither IPVanish or NordVPN carry out the practice of data logging, which means that they don't collect or retain any information about you or your online session.

Both also have a killswitch feature, a handy tool that kicks in should your VPN fail, stopping your internet access dead. You might think that it's preferable to fall back on your standard ISP in these cases, but as this is unlikely to offer you the same degree of online anonymity, a killswitch means that your own internet provider (and anyone else) is unable to snoop on you should the VPN cease to work.

NordVPN has the slight edge over IPVanish as it has a function to block cookies and targeted adverts, allowing you to browse the internet in peace.

NordVPN logoBest Range of Servers: NordVPN

A good VPN will offer you a wide range of servers. The more servers, the more choice – especially if they're located in a wide variety of countries, from which you can access your preferred content.

While both NordVPN and IPVanish have a presence in a similar number of countries (60 and 62, respectively), in terms of server numbers, NordVPN takes the crown, offering up 3,605 servers compared to IPVanish's 1,000+. In real terms, this means that NordVPN's servers are more likely to be free, meaning faster speeds and less congestion for the user – although it's worth noting that both offer a huge number of servers compared to most of their competitors.

ipvanish logoBest for Speed: IPVanish

When using a VPN, speed is a key factor, which can depend heavily on the service being used and the location of the server. No matter which VPN you're using, your speed will always take a slight hit compared to your standard ISP, as your traffic is being re-routed. The good news is that both NordVPN and IPVanish performed brilliantly in our tests, with each able to deliver decent speeds.

NordVPN has the slight advantage locally, achieving slightly higher speeds than IPVanish when accessing servers within the same country. However, when accessing international servers, it was IPVanish that managed to achieve the faster speeds, both when uploading and downloading. Given that one of the big draws of using a VPN is accessing servers in a different country, this round has to go to IPVanish.

Final Verdict

Let's make one thing clear – whether you end up going with IPVanish or NordVPN, you'll be more than satisfied, with each delivering an excellent package that protects you online with a wrapper that is easy to understand and navigate.

As IPVanish has a larger selection of options, plus slightly faster speeds when accessing international servers, we declare it to be the victor. NordVPN is a worthy runner up, though, and shouldn't be overlooked – especially given that it is slightly cheaper.

When it comes to VPNs, you're spoilt for choice, but few are as comprehensive and efficient as these two. There's a reason NordVPN and IPVanish both top our rankings, and you'll struggle to find better options out there.

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Jack is the Content Manager for Tech.co. He has been writing about a broad variety of technology subjects for over a decade, both in print and online, including laptops and tablets, gaming, and tech scams. As well as years of experience reviewing the latest tech devices, Jack has also conducted investigative research into a number of tech-related issues, including privacy and fraud.