IPVanish Review

Verdict

IPVanish is a perfectly effective VPN provider. Its US endpoints perform particularly well, it can stream US Netflix reliably, and is one of the most cost-effective options if your main focus is on connecting to the US. It has a good range of security features, but all of these are undermined by its 2016 betrayal of its no-logging policy.

Pros

  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Fast US speeds
  • Streams US Netflix

Cons

  • Gave logs it wasn’t supposed to have kept to US law enforcement
  • Poor UK streaming performance
  • Below-average European HTTP speeds

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £51.87
  • Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP
  • UK pricing: £8.10/month, £21.87/three months, £51.87/year
  • US pricing: $10/month, $26.99/three months, $64.02/year
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV
  • Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients

What is IPVanish?

IPVanish is a long-time part of the VPN (virtual private network) landscape that’s been bought and sold by a number of different companies, most recently tech and publishing giant J2 Global.

It is an established and well-regarded name in VPN provisioning, with generally strong performance in our throughput tests from its Dutch and U.S. endpoints.

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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 let 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, so 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 50 countries 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 offers a substantial selection that should serve most users well.

A large number of these endpoints include SOCKS5 proxy servers, which are useful for those who need to use BitTorrent from behind a VPN.

The IPVanish Windows 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.

Clients are also available 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

Endpoints/VPN UK Netherlands United States
IPVanish HTTP 107.36Mbps 78.16Mbps 102.8Mbps
IPVanish FTP 131.22Mbps 105.96Mbps 140.8Mbps

IPVanish’s UK performance – previously among its weak points – improved significantly on last month, although it was still slightly below average with throughput of 107.36Mbps (13.42MB/s) via HTTP and 131Mbps via FTP on our ultra-high-speed test connection.

Its Netherlands endpoints were a bit slower than last month, particularly via HTTP, which clocked in at 78.16Mbps, with FTP transfers producing a rather faster 105.96Mbps. Its US endpoints, as is often the case, performed brilliantly, with another significant speed boost over last month putting it among the fastest services for those who need to virtually travel to North America, at 102.8Mbps over HTTP and 140.8Mbps via FTP.

It’s not bad at streaming US media services, either, with Netflix and Shudder both working well. However, it’s still no good at UK streaming services iPlayer and All4.

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Should I buy IPVanish?

IPVanish has a no-logging policy and is based in the U.S. 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 original parent company Highwinds, IPVanish handed over detailed connection information for use as evidence to the Department of Homeland Security, even though it claimed to keep no logs at the time. Current owner J2 Global, like StackPath before it, says it intends to honour its no-logging guarantee. However, there’s no indication of what, if any, changes have been implemented to ensure this.

Bearing that in mind, it’s safest to assume that IPVanish keeps detailed connection logs until it’s proven otherwise. We’d ideally like to see it have its privacy policy independently audited.

IPVanish’s pricing is around average, working out at £8.25 per month, £22.27 for three months and £52.84 per year. That’s entirely reasonable, but doesn’t stand out. There’s a seven-day money-back guarantee.

Verdict

IPVanish is a perfectly effective VPN provider. Its US endpoints perform particularly well, it can stream US Netflix reliably, and is one of the most cost-effective options if your main focus is on connecting to the US.

It has a good range of security features, but all of these are undermined by its 2016 betrayal of its no-logging policy. That’s not a problem if privacy isn’t a main factor in your VPN use, but if you want a no-logging policy that’s backed up by either an independent audit or legal action, then Private Internet Access is much cheaper, while ExpressVPN and NordVPN are better for streaming, and they all provide similar or better transfer speeds.

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