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

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IPVanish

IPVanish is growing in popularity virtual private network Choice for people interested in improving their internet browsing privacy, offering 10 simultaneous connections across a variety of platforms and competitive speeds, while only claiming 1,500 servers.

To like

  • Competitive speeds
  • Interface promotes learning
  • 10 simultaneous connections

I do not like it

  • Based in the USA
  • Still offers PPTP
  • Previous partial DNS leak

Compared to its competitors, IPVanish has one of the best interfaces out there, encouraging you to go under the hood and learn the mechanics of the technology.

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

Continue reading:: How we review VPNs

speed

  • Average speed loss: 65%
  • Number of servers: more than 1,500
  • Number of server locations: 75
  • Number of IP addresses: over 40,000

We ran our IPVanish speed tests over a period of three days in two locations with both wireless and ethernet connections. One location offered slower broadband speeds and the other offered higher speeds over fiber optic internet. Internet speeds in the United States vary widely by state and provider. For any speed test, the results depend on your local infrastructure. The hyper-fast internet service delivers higher speed results.

This is one of the reasons we’re more interested in testing the speed loss (which is usually half or more with most VPNs) for high speed and slower connection types and using tools like speedtest.net to level the playing field. IPVanish behaved similarly to other VPNs, only achieving about 20% of the average speed of 222 Mbit / s that was achieved with a 1 Gbit / s capable fiber connection during the test, while globally a respectable speed average of about 41 Mbit / s was retained.

We got a top speed of 76Mbps when connecting to servers in Singapore, where we found the highest number of results above 65Mbps of any servers tested, but also the most uneven experience with a country average of around 35Mbps. Australian speeds were more consistent but kept the lowest average, around 28 Mbps.

Speed ​​in New York led the results with an average of 53 Mbps, followed by European servers in Paris and Berlin with an average of 45 Mbps for both. The UK servers were strong overall but ranked third at average speeds of 40Mbps after some tests returned less than 10Mbps during peak traffic times.

Compared to top-class speed players like ExpressVPNIt’s tempting to call IPVanish’s speed sluggish. But IPVanish gives regularly NordVPN A run for the buck in ProPrivacy’s thrice-daily tests that outperformed NordVPN in that race at the time of this writing. And IPVanish achieves those speeds with about a third of Nord’s servers. This is not something to sneeze over.

Continue reading:: NordVPN review: Still the best value for security and speed

Security and privacy

  • Jurisdiction: United States
  • Encryption: AES-256, Perfect Forward Secrecy
  • Leaks: None detected
  • Previous logging scandal
  • Includes a kill switch

One clue as to why IPVanish might overtake NordVPN on speed tests could be in its 40,000+ IP addresses, a point of contention among privacy conscious people. While a larger number of IP addresses can contribute to higher speeds, some aficionados argue that using fewer IP addresses is safer. They argue that more people sharing IP addresses reduce the likelihood that any single IP address activity will be linked to a single person.

The crux of this question depends on whether a VPN can be trusted not to log usage data. IPVanish promises not to keep logs. As with any VPN, it is next to impossible to verify this claim. One way is to determine what a VPN provider is legally required to do based on where they are headquartered (their jurisdiction) and whether they have ever been caught keeping logs.

Ideally that is Choose VPN should have undergone an independent third-party audit of its business, including the use of activity logs, and published its findings. IPVanish is a US based company. For maximum privacy, we’re looking for VPN providers with jurisdiction outside of Arrangements to exchange information about Five Eyes – that is, one headquartered in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Back in 2016, IPVanish went through a VPN rite of passage: Federal law enforcement agencies knocked on with an arrest warrant (more precisely, a subpoena from the Department of Homeland Security), and the VPN policy “Zero Logs” was put to the test. IPVanish provided regulatory information that led to the identification and arrest of a child robber.

To be clear here, my beef isn’t with a VPN company that helps cops catch child abuse via usage logs. It’s with a VPN company lying to their customers. VPNs are international operations. The lie that helps law enforcement in the US catch a child molester is the same lie that helps law enforcement in China arrest a person for using a VPN in the first place.

For IPVanish, things may have changed when the company was acquired by StackPath in 2017. With the new ownership came new promises of “no logs” policies and an alleged StackPath audit.

IPVanish offers a kill switch that appears to work smoothly and prevents network data outside the secure VPN tunnel from being lost in the event the VPN connection goes down. No IP address, DNS or other potentially user-identifying data leaks were detected during our tests. Nevertheless, we recommend a little caution here. In 2019, reviewers from Tips Clear’s sister publication ZDNet discovered a partial IPVanish DNS leak during the tests.

“Although they did not reveal my home DNS server, they did show that I was using an IPVanish host. This means that organizations wanting to block VPN traffic can easily do so,” wrote reviewer David Gewirtz. “Far worse is the implication that IPVanish will not do this if you are trying to hide the fact that you are using a VPN from government agencies. This can be disastrous, for example, if you are using the service from the UAE, resulting in jail time and excessive fines condemned for VPN use. “

costs

  • Ease of use: fun, configurable, clean
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, routers, Amazon Fire devices, any Android-based media device
  • Price: $ 10 per month and $ 78 per year (IPVanish is also offering a special price for Tips Clear readers, which brings the monthly cost down to $ 5.20 if you sign up for one year.)
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 10

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

As for the UI, my only complaint is that IPVanish’s desktop clients are known to get stuck in a loop. This occurs in both Windows and Mac apps. Otherwise, this has become one of my favorite user experiences with a VPN client.

The settings menus and features remind me of the experience of learning Windows 95 as they are perfect for learning the basics of this type of application. Their configurability is clear and organized without excessive animation. The client seems to encourage user experimentation and a sense of playfulness without being childish or cartoonish. This makes IPVanish an ideal client for those looking to learn how a VPN works under the hood.

Although this year it changed its policy to offer a full 30-day money-back guarantee, IPVanish’s pricing has become less competitive at $ 10 per month and $ 78 per year. On the positive side, however, offering 10 simultaneous connections adds value to users who want to use the service on a variety of compatible devices.

First published on February 4th.

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