IPVanish Review

IPVanish offers clients for a number of platforms including macOS, Amazon Fire TV, Linux, even Windows Phone, but how does it compare to the competition?

Verdict

IPVanish is effective and reliable, with particularly good connection speeds on endpoints in mainland Europe. However, Kaspersky Secure Connection is much cheaper and significantly faster. If streaming TV is a priority, then Windscribe would be a better alternative, while Private Internet Access remained our recommended VPN for the privacy-conscious.

Pros

  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • US Netflix accessible

Cons

  • Poor UK speed test results
  • Failed BBC iPlayer test

Key Features

  • Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV
  • Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients
  • £7.65 per month
  • £20.64 per three months
  • £59.63 per year

What is IPVanish?

IPVanish is an established and well-regarded name in virtual private network provisioning, with generally strong performance in our throughput tests from its Dutch and US endpoints.

Related: Best VPN

IPVanish – Features and usability

IPVanish is easy to use, with a well-designed Windows client that includes a traffic and speed graph and connection options that allow you to have it choose the best endpoint for your chosen country or city, or manually select from its available endpoint servers.

Endpoint auto-selection didn’t always produce the best results for us, we were pleased by the level of fine-grained manual endpoint selection available. You can choose your endpoint country from a map or filter by latency. IPVanish has over 1000 servers in more than 60 territories across Europe, North America and Asia, with a few scattered endpoints on other continents. It doesn’t have as wide a geographic range as region-shifting specialists such as Hide My Ass!, but it’s a substantial selection that should serve most users well.

The client supports OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP connections, has a number of extra security features including leak protection, a kill switch to ensure that you never send data across the internet without the protection of the VPN, and can connect automatically on boot.

As well as Windows, IPVanish also provides clients for macOS, Android, iOS and Amazon’s Fire TV, as well as details on how to connect other devices such as Linux PCs, Windows phones, and routers.

IPVanish – Performance

We were disappointed in the performance of IPVanish’s UK endpoints in our speed tests. They proved even more sluggish than in our last test. Despite repeated efforts to obtain better results by switching endpoint, the best result we got was 3.2MB/s via FTP and 3MB/s via HTTP.

If you’re in the UK and want a quick European connection, you’re far better off using the service’s Netherlands endpoints, where we consistently saw speeds of between 8.5MB/s and 9.5MB/s (76Mbit/s).

However, IPVanish’s US test performance has doubled our previous results, providing a faster connection to our New York reference servers than our standard non-VPN’d internet connection, with speeds of 4.3MB/s via FTP and 3.8MB/s over HTTP.

This time around, we were able to cheerfully watch US Netflix, but BBC iPlayer detected that we were using a VPN.

Related: What is a VPN?

Why buy IPVanish?

IPVanish has a clear no-logging policy and is based in the USA, which doesn’t require logging of user activity by law, but also has few data protection requirements and a record of state surveillance.

However, in 2016, when it was owned by its previous parent company Highwinds, IPVanish handed over detailed connection information for use as evidence by the US Department of Homeland Security, even though it claimed to keep no logs at the time. Current owner StackPath says it intends to honour its no logging policy, but it’s not clear whether any technical changes have been implemented to ensure this.

Although first-year discount vouchers are readily available, its standard annual subscription fee converts to £59.63, which is equivalent to a relatively expensive £4.97 per month. Its month-to-month subscription fee is a middling £7.61.

Verdict

IPVanish is effective and reliable, with particularly good connection speeds on endpoints in mainland Europe. However, Kaspersky Secure Connection is much cheaper and significantly faster. If streaming TV is a priority, then Windscribe would be a better alternative, while Private Internet Access remained our recommended VPN for the privacy-conscious.

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