IPVanish VPN Review
IPVanish is an excellent zero-logs VPN for for torrenting, Kodi and other P2P use, and gaming. Not only is it super secure and private, it’s also incredibly fast. Download speeds are incredible in many popular server locations while upload speeds worldwide are best-in-class and latency is extremely low. The one trade-off is limited streaming access, as although Netflix is currently working, BBC iPlayer remains blocked. Custom apps are available for a decent range of devices, including Amazon Fire TV, and are simple to set up and use. Many routers are also supported.
IPVanish offers strong encryption and lots of privacy positives such as first-party DNS servers and a VPN killswitch. It doesn’t even collect basic connection metadata, making it a true zero-logs VPN. Customer support is fairly basic but packs in a lot of useful information, and a recent update has introduced a 24/7 live chat feature.
IPVanish offers a range of pricing plans, so choosing your ideal option should be simple. Like most other providers the longer subscription you opt for, the less you pay on a monthly basis.
The biggest savings can be found on the 12-month plan, coming in at just $6.49 on a monthly basis, which is good value for money.
Privacy and Security
IPVanish has a load of great security features that make it one of our top picks for privacy. The desktop app automatically connects through OpenVPN, the most secure protocol, though there are other protocols available. Encryption is via AES-256, which is used by the US federal government and considered unbreakable.
The VPN killswitch feature is essential, as it prevents your true IP address from being leaked in case of a connection dropout. IPVanish also operates its own zero-log DNS servers which you can select on the app to prevent your traffic from being routed through third-party servers. You are also protected against DNS and IPv6 leaks, important features that are not offered by every VPN provider.
IPVanish also supports port 443 which is used for secure web traffic over HTTPS, meaning you will appear online as normal web browser traffic rather than a VPN user. This is just one of the many reasons it is so popular with those seeking online anonymity.
Number of servers
IPVanish VPN has a massive network of servers: 1000 servers located in over 60 countries. What’s more, IPVanish is a zero-logs VPN that implements strong OpenVPN encryption (military grade). For this reason, IPVanish is considered outstanding for both data-intensive tasks (like streaming in HD or gaming) and privacy. When it comes to unblocking censored, geo-restricted – or otherwise-blocked website services – this VPN truly is fantastic.
Number of simultaneous connections
One of my favorite “Features” of IPVanish is that they allow you to simultaneously connect up to five devices.
Most VPN services, including premium companies like ExpressVPN, limit your simultaneous connections to 3 devices. This might not seem like a big deal to some of you, however, for those of you with family members or spouses, buying a second license can be a huge frustration and unwanted expense.
However, with IPVanish’s generous 5-device limit, you, your spouse, and even your kids can browse safely and securely… All at the same time.
It’s one thing to have a great VPN service, but making it available and fully compatible with all the latest operating systems is another. IPVanish is supreme in this field too, since its client works on Windows computers running at least XP and Macs with OS X 10.6.8 and later. Android, iOS and even Windows Phone smartphones and tablets haven’t been left out either, with free applications that provide the same smooth user interface and experience as the desktop clients. These VPN apps work well in conjunction with Skype and other VoIP apps, allowing for lower costs on calls via these services.
Yet for complete device support IPVanish can also be configured to run on Linux Ubuntu, Chromebook, Amazon Fire TV and even routers using DD-WRT or Tomato to reach extra platforms like games consoles, smart TVs and other devices that don’t support VPNs directly. Opting for router protection also eliminates the need for simultaneous connections through the same account, which is set to a maximum of five.
IPVanish relies on the same encryption protocol, AES-256, that is used by many of the world’s leading security agencies and government organizations.
With the rapidly increasing number of brute force cyber-attacks, this is a huge plus.
In December of 2016, WordFence, a WordPress security plugin, noticed a dramatic increase in the number of brute force attacks being executed against WordPress websites (which power more than 25% of the internet).
In fact, things got so bad that, at one point, there were more than 30,000 unique attacking IPs per day!
While this statistic should serve as a wakeup call to many website owners, it also should not be a cause for alarm.
By surfing the web with an AES-256 encrypted VPN (like IPVanish) your IP address and all personal data will be protected from hackers to the point that your data is virtually “Brute Force Proof”
That also means that you can get around IP specific censorship leveraged by schools, employers, and governments.
Supporting kill switch
In the Connection tab, you can ask IPVanish to “Auto Reconnect”. We recommend you turn on “auto reconnect” and the “killswitch” even if you do not want the VPN to automatically launch when you start your PC. DNS leak protection can also be enabled here and should be used to ensure optimal data privacy. The kill switch will stop you leaking un-encrypted data to your ISP (or other network admin) if the VPN connection drops out. The Killswitch works like a firewall – completely stopping any data from leaving your device outside of the VPN tunnel. However, it is worth noting that if the VPN crashes the killswitch crashes with it.
IPVanish offers a 7-day money-back guarantee for those who are not ‘100% satisfied’ with their service. This is a genuine “no questions asked” guarantee with no restrictions or fair usage policies, simply cancel your subscription within the first 7 days and you will receive your refund within 10 working days.
Bear in mind that if you sign up through the iOS app you don’t qualify for the money-back guarantee, however IPVanish does offer a 1-day free trial for iOS users. Just don’t forget to turn off the auto-renew account setting, otherwise after 24 hours you will automatically renew to a monthly subscription.
Improve the security of website
I checked the IPVanish website using Privacy Badger to see how much tracking it is doing. It detected 16 potential trackers, including Google analytics, spreedly, upsellit, hotjar, and doubleclick. This is nothing out of the ordinary and does not really pose any risks to the VPN service itself.
However, it is worth noting that there are VPNs out there that have as little as one tracker on their website, so 16 can be considered a high amount.
Ease of use
IPVanish may not have the prettiest set of apps we’ve seen, but they do work very well to get you quickly and optimally connected. The desktop app looks a little clunky and outdated, but the main menu is really simple to use, with a drop-down menu to select your preferred country or city. IPVanish will then connect you to the fastest option and display your key connection details.
More advanced features can be found in the settings menu, which is nicely organised into tabs to make it easy to navigate. We like that you can select a specific server to automatically connect to on startup, meaning you don’t even need to remember to connect when you turn on your device.
The mobile apps are very similar to the desktop client in terms of accessibility, making it very easy to choose a server and see what protocol you are using. The only disappointment is that the VPN killswitch is missing on mobile. Overall however, IPVanish’s apps are functional and feature lots of powerful privacy features for the more experienced users.
Credit card payments are processed on behalf of IPVanish by the third-party payment handler Chase for most payments. WorldPay is used for some international payment types. Payments are also handled by Paypal and Apple if you purchase using these options.
These are reputable payment handlers. What’s more, having payments managed by a third party means that payment records and subscription records are kept at arm’s length from each other – which theoretically has some advantages.
IPVanish has recently revamped its customer support which now features 24/7 live chat with friendly, helpful agents. We were also very impressed with the email support on offer, which provided us with well-written and easy-to-understand responses, even if it was lacking a personal touch.
Their FAQs and knowledge base are certainly comprehensive, covering a wide range of issues and possible solutions. There is also a handy search feature that saves you having to scroll through lists of problems before you find what you are looking for. Video tutorials would be a welcome addition here, and would help to bring IPVanish more up to speed with its rivals.
Can’t get into Netflix US (and BBC iPlayer goes on and off periodically)
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