IPVanish is a US-based VPN service that currently boasts access to more than 40,000 IP addresses and over 1,500 P2P-optimized servers in over 75 locations. The best part? All of these servers are owned and managed by the company itself, making IPVanish one of the rare top-tier VPN service providers. This means that it has more control over how the hardware is installed and used than the providers that rent it from third-parties. It also provides its users with user-friendly apps that have plenty of features and customizing options.
Clients are offered for a wide array of platforms – Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV. The platform can be manually installed on other devices as well, such as routers, Chromebooks, and Linux, with the help of setup guides on the provider’s website. IPVanish doesn’t offer browser extensions, but there are tutorials for setting up the service on Chrome and Firefox. Once you install the platform, you’ll be able to use it on as many devices as you like at the same time since there is no limit, which is quite rare in this industry.
The clients themselves are simple to install, with all the download links available on the website without users even needing to sign in. Once you install the platform, you’ll notice the Windows interface is slightly more complex in comparison to some other VPN apps. However, this is largely due to the fact that it has more features and options than them.
For example, once you connect in through Windows app’s Quick Connect interface, you’ll see a bunch of data some might deem unnecessary, such as the deployed protocol, connection length, speeds, server name, and data transfer amount.
Mobile apps also have the Quick Connect section, featuring your current location and IP address, target location and server, the Connect button, as well as your traffic data rates.
In an effort to get ahead of the competition, IPVanish has recently introduced 250GB of storage space via SugarSync with all of its pricing plans. SugarSync storage has multiple advantages – storing your backups, sharing files, synchronization across devices, remote wiping, and many others. While SugarSync is exceptionally user-friendly, it’s not integrated with the IPVanish platform in any way.
Plans & pricing
IPVanish offers its services under several options. The monthly one costs $5. It is followed by the 3-month plan that reduces the price to $4.50/month. The cheapest is the annual subscription which will cost you an equivalent of $3.25/month. In addition to the 250GB of SugarSync storage, all the plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee if things don’t work out.
Privacy & logging
To protect your privacy on the Internet, most VPN providers use the strong AES-256 encryption algorithm and secure protocols, and IPVanish is no different. It relies on OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, and it also allows you to choose which OpenVPN port you’d like to use to connect – 1194 or 443. Additionally, you can turn on the ‘Scramble OpenVPN Traffic’ to hide you’re even using a VPN in countries that typically monitor for and block VPNs, like Iran or China.
If you’re using the provider’s Windows client, you will have access to safety mechanisms like DNS and IPv6 leak protection, as well as a kill switch which will block your entire Internet access in case your VPN connection is terminated for any reason.
Other apps use other security tools. For instance, the iOS app allows you to create lists of Wi-Fi networks that will automatically trigger IPVanish’s protection whenever you connect to them, as well as of those that are safe so no VPN protection is needed.
The no-logs policy is firm – stating that IPVanish is a zero-logs service provider and that none of your activities will be recorded by it while you’re connected to its apps. Specifically, this refers to connection, traffic, and activity data. That said, there’s no way to confirm these claims since IPVanish is yet to open its doors to any outside auditor as some other VPN companies have already done.
VOD & torrents
IPVanish keeps under wraps most of the information about its abilities to unblock content unavailable to users for any reason. Once you find the list of geo-restricted services it does unblock, you’ll soon realize why this is – the list is limited to only some services, including YouTube, WhatsApp, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, ESPN, Kodi, Skype, and the like.
There’s no mention of Netflix or BBC iPlayer, but this situation often changes in the VPN industry and on some occasions you might have success with certain servers. Make sure to check with the customer support first if access to Netflix is important to you. It’s more than likely you’ll be able to stream at least US Netflix, but not its other localized versions (UK, France, Japan, etc..
Those interested in torrenting will be pleased to learn that they will be able to use clients that facilitate this type of traffic, including uTorrent, qBittorrent, Vuze, and Deluge, through the provider’s SOCKS5 proxy and servers that are all P2P-optimized.
Should you run into any problems while using IPVanish’s apps, you’ll be able to consult with the provider’s useful Support Center. Here you’ll find the most frequently asked questions, setup guides, troubleshooting, and other topics sorted into categories, and searchable via the Search box. While the articles could’ve been better written, they’re still immensely helpful.
If the Support Center still doesn’t provide a solution for your issues, contacting the customer support might be of more help. The friendly customer support agents are available via live chat “24 hours a day, 7 days a week”. You can also reach them via email, although you’ll need to wait a bit longer for a response. A pleasant bonus is the existence of a phone line for users in the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Spain, Australia, and Brazil.
IPVanish offers a solid VPN service, as long as your primary concern isn’t access to the likes of BBC iPlayer and localized versions of Netflix (except for US), as it doesn’t explicitly support it at the moment. However, it is a great choice for everything else – connection stability, high browsing and download speeds, sturdy security, highly customizable apps, multiple useful features, and phone customer support.