IPVanish VPN is very capable software that includes a lot of handy features for your money. It’s one of the only online VPN services that owns all of its own servers, which in itself is impressive. We also liked that you can share your account with friends and family and that the company offers 24/7 support. However, the platform’s interface isn’t exactly seamless and the price point is surprisingly high.
So, is this the best VPN solution for your needs? In our IPVanish review, we cover everything you need to know.
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IPVanish review: plans and pricing
A one-month subscription costs $5 for the first month, but $11.99 for every month after that. A whole year costs just $39 to start, but the price jumps to $143.88 for the second year and beyond. While there’s no free trial (see the best free VPNs for that), you can cancel anytime within the first 30 days and get your money back.
IPVanish enables you to connect unlimited devices simultaneously, which is pretty nice if you share your VPN account with family or friends. In addition, all IPVanish subscriptions come with 250GB of cloud storage with SugarSync for free. That alone is worth $9.99 per month.
IPVanish review: features
IPVanish is one of the only VPN providers that owns its entire network of servers. That’s important because it means that the service has more control over access to its servers. It also helps ensure that IPVanish can enforce its own no-logging policy, which specifies that the company won’t track your IP address, browsing history, or actual location.
The company has around 1,500 servers in all, which is fewer than some of its competitors. But, it’s noteworthy that some of these servers are located in Brazil, South Africa, and the Middle East. Other VPN providers leave these regions entirely out of their networks.
IPVanish offers three different VPN protocols: IKEv2, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec. For advanced users, you even have the option to choose your OpenVPN connection port. There’s also a Scramble OpenVPN Traffic toggle, which is designed to help the VPN get through when connecting in firewalled countries like when using a VPN in China.
On top of that, there’s no limit on how frequently you can switch between servers during a session. The IPVanish client enables you to automatically change your IP address with a set frequency and to choose server locations by latency. We also appreciated the presence of an IP kill switch for added security when using the VPN. We tested this using IPLeak and found that the kill switch works reliably.
IPVanish review: interface and in use
For all the features that IPVanish packs in, the software could benefit from a facelift. The desktop app, which is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome devices, isn’t all that user-friendly. There’s a one-click connection button, but you’re also presented with a long list of servers rather than a map view by default.
Still, if you’re willing to take a second to customize your connection, the options are arranged nicely. For example, one of the tabs within the desktop app lets you sort and filter servers by country, connection method, and latency. Once you connect, a dashboard view displays the details of your current session so you can monitor bandwidth usage.
IPVanish offers dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. The layout of these apps is similar to the desktop software, but they have an added feature: split tunneling. When split tunneling is activated, you can route specific apps outside your VPN connection. This is a significant advantage if you need to use any mobile apps that don’t play nicely with a VPN.
It’s also worth noting that you can install IPVanish directly on your router. This is useful if you routinely use the VPN at home and want to take advantage of those unlimited simultaneous connections allowed with your plan.
IPVanish review: support
IPVanish’s support is pretty impressive. To start with, you can reach support by email or live chat 24/7. The company also offers phone support, albeit only during business hours in US Central Time. When we reached out to support over live chat, we got a response from a live agent within a minute.
Of course, you’ll also find a fairly comprehensive documentation library on IPVanish’s website. The walk-through guides are filled with screenshots, and there are nearly 100 articles dedicated to troubleshooting your VPN connection. In addition, IPVanish clearly displays alerts about any known network-wide or country-specific connection issues.
IPVanish review: the competition
For what IPVanish is charging, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a VPN that offers the same wealth of features. ExpressVPN includes the same connection security and offers servers in 94 countries, but a one-month subscription will cost you $12.95.
NordVPN is another speedy, secure VPN option that costs as little as $3.50 per month if you sign up for three years at a time. It offers a no-logging policy and an impressively large network of over 5,000 servers.
IPVanish review: final verdict
IPVanish is one of the only VPN providers that owns all its servers, which makes a big difference for reliability and trustworthiness. We also like that IPVanish includes multiple connection settings and split tunneling for mobile devices.
While the software interface could be more user-friendly, this isn’t a huge deal. More at issue is the pricing structure, which appears to penalize users for sticking with the software for more than one month or one year.
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