IPVanish review: A zippy VPN that’s perfect for beginners

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IPVanish

IPVanish is getting popular virtual Private Network Options for those interested in improving their online browsing privacy, offering unlimited simultaneous connections across a variety of platforms, and competitive speeds despite claiming only 1,600 servers.

Contents

like

  • competitive pace
  • The interface encourages learning
  • 10 simultaneous connections

do not like it

  • Based in US
  • Still Offers PPTP
  • Previous DNS partial leak

Compared to its peers, IPVanish has one of the best user interfaces around, encouraging you to get under the hood and learn the mechanics that power the technology.

We recommend IPVanish as a flexible, configurable choice for users who are new to VPNs.

read more: How do we review VPNs

Speed

  • Average speed loss: 65%
  • Number of servers: 1,600-plus
  • Number of server locations: 75-plus
  • Number of IP Addresses: 40,000-plus

We ran our IPVanish speed tests over the course of three days, in two locations, using both wireless and Ethernet connections—one location offered slower broadband speeds, and the other offered higher speeds via fiber-optic Internet . Internet speeds in the US vary widely by state and provider. And as with any speed test, the results are going to depend on your local infrastructure, with hyperfast internet service yielding high test speed results.

That’s one reason we’re more interested in testing the amount of lost speed (which is typically half or more for most VPNs) in both high-speed and slow connections, and leveling the playing field. Also interested in using a tool like speedtest.net to even out. . IPVanish performed similarly to other VPNs, achieving only 20% of the average 222Mbps speeds achieved on a 1Gbps-capable fiber connection during testing, while maintaining a respectable speed average of about 41Mbps globally.

We hit a peak speed of 76 Mbps connecting to servers in Singapore, where we found the highest number of results among all the servers we tested, above 65 Mbps, but also the most uneven experience, with the country average of 35 Mbps. Australian speeds were even higher, but maintained the lowest average, around 28 Mbps.

New York’s speeds led the results with a 53 Mbps average, followed by European servers in Paris and Berlin averaging 45 Mbps for both. UK servers were strong overall, but dropped to third place for speed average with 40 Mbps, when some tests dropped back to less than 10 Mbps in peak traffic hours.

like compared to high-profile speed players ExpressVPNOf course, it’s tempting to portray IPVanish’s speeds as sluggish. But IPVanish regularly gives NordVPN A run for its money in the three-daily tests conducted by ProPrivacy, and at the time of this writing it was beating NordVPN in that race. And IPVanish is reaching those speeds with about a third of Nord’s server count. There is nothing to sneeze about.

read more: NordVPN Review: Still the Best Value for Security and Speed

security and privacy

  • Jurisdiction: United States
  • Encryption: AES-256, Perfect Forward Secrecy
  • Leaked: none detected
  • previous logging scam
  • kill switch included

One clue as to why IPVanish is surpassing NordVPN in speed tests may be its more than 40,000 IP addresses, a factor in contention among the privacy-minded. While a higher number of IP addresses can contribute to faster speeds, some aficionados argue that it is safer to use fewer IP addresses. The more people sharing IP addresses, he argues, the less likely that any individual IP address’s activity will be tied to any individual.

The core of that question depends on whether a VPN can be trusted not to log usage data. IPVanish swears it doesn’t keep any logs. Like any VPN, that claim is nearly impossible to verify. One way is to determine what a VPN provider is legally required to do based on the headquarters (its jurisdiction), and whether it has ever been caught keeping logs.

Ideally, VPN you choose Must undergo an independent third-party audit of its operations, including the use of activity logs – and publish its results. IPVanish is a US-based company. For maximum privacy, we look for VPN providers whose jurisdiction is . is outside Five Eyes intelligence-sharing agreement – that is, a headquarters outside the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Back in 2016, IPVanish went through a VPN rite of passage: Federal law enforcement was knocking over with a warrant (or, more accurately, a Department of Homeland Security records), and the VPN’s “zero logs.” The policy was put to the test. IPVanish provided information to the authorities that led to the identification and arrest of a child predator.

To be clear here, my beef is not with a VPN company helping police catch a child abuser via usage logs; It is with a VPN company lying to its customers about doing this. VPNs are international operations. The lie that helps law enforcement in the US catch a child abuser is the same lie that helps law enforcement in China arrest a person for using a VPN.

Things may have changed for IPVanish when the company was bought by StackPath in 2017. With the new ownership came new promises of a “no logs” policy and an alleged StackPath audit.

IPVanish does offer a kill switch, which seems to work without a hitch – preventing network data from leaking outside its secure VPN tunnel in case the VPN connection fails. No IP address, DNS or other potential user-identity data leaks were detected during our testing. Still, we recommend a few precautions here. In 2019, reviewers at ClearTips’s sister publication ZDNet detected a partial IPVanish DNS leak during testing.

“While they didn’t reveal my home DNS server, they did reveal that I was using an IPVanish host. This means organizations that want to block VPN traffic can easily do so,” Critic David Guertz wrote. “The worse implication is that if you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN from government officials, IPVanish doesn’t do this. This can be disastrous, for example, if you use the service from the United Arab Emirates, which carries a penalty of jail time and exorbitant fines for VPN use.”

Cost

  • Usability: Fun, Configurable, Clean
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Linux, Router, Amazon Fire device, Any Android-based media device
  • Price: $10 per month and $80 for a year (IPVanish is also running a special rate for ClearTips readers, reducing the monthly cost to $5.20 when you sign up for a year.)
  • Number of simultaneous connections: Unlimited

We had no problems accessing Netflix or other video streaming sites, and using torrenting clients while running IPVanish.

In terms of interface, my only complaint is that IPVanish’s desktop client has been known to get stuck in a loop. This happens in both Windows and Mac apps. Otherwise, it has become one of my favorite user experiences with a VPN client.

The Settings menu and features remind me of the Windows 95 learning experience, in that they are perfect for learning about the fundamentals of these types of applications. Their configurability is arranged neatly and without excessive animation. It seems to encourage a sense of user experimentation and playfulness without being childish or cartoonish. This makes IPVanish an ideal client for those who are interested in understanding how a VPN performs under the hood.

Although it changed its policy this year to offer a full 30-day money back guarantee, for $10 per month and $80 a year, IPVanish’s pricing has become less competitive. However, on the bright side, offering unlimited simultaneous connections adds value to users who want to access the service across a wide range of compatible devices.

First published on 4 February.

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