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IPVanish VPN Review 2017

IPVanish is the Fastest VPN in the World and one of the Best Overall 

IPVanish VPN Review image

This IPVanish VPN review focuses on one of the most well-established VPN providers in the industry. Formed in 2012 by a team of privacy-minded networking experts, IPVanish was purpose-built from the ground up.

As the only Top Tier VPN to both own and operate their entire infrastructure, IPVanish is one of the very few providers that can offer a truly logless service. It keeps absolutely no logs (no activity information or connection timestamps) and uses military-grade encryption, making it a great solution to keep your online activities completely private and to evade the growing problem of online tracking and profiling.

IPVanish VPN is also very fast, running more than 500 anonymous servers in over 60 countries worldwide! Interestingly, these include locations not usually well-served by VPN providers, such as South America, Africa and Oceania.

The massive geographic footprint offered by IPVanish VPN virtually eliminates lag as there is almost guaranteed to be a server in close proximity to you.  IPVanish’s large trove of VPN servers is also ideal for accessing regional TV networks and evading censorship.

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IPVanish VPN Review at a Glance

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android (plus setup guides for Ubuntu, Chromebook, Windows Phone and DD-WRT & TomatoUSB routers).
  • Security: Up to OpenVPN AES-256-RSA-2048-SHA256. That’s secure!
  • Price: Starting from $5.19 per month (if paid annually) with our 20% exclusive discount or $10 per month. There is also a 7-day money-back guarantee.
  • Payment Methods: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Visa Electron, Delta, PayPal, Bitcoins (plus a wide selection of alternative payment methods such as Alipay, CashU, iDeal, and more).

All the VPN Apps You Could Ever Need

IPVanish offers easy-to-use automated apps for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android.

The service provider delivers a high level of privacy with very little sacrifice of convenience and connection speed, offers servers located just about everywhere, and supplies an impressive range of advanced VPN features (discussed below).

This all makes IPVanish a great all-round option for users who want VPN protection for their daily Internet use.

Downloaders will also be pleased to note that IPVanish permits P2P and torrent proxy file-sharing.

Shared IPs for Online Anonymity

As is normal, IPVanish provides shared IP addresses as standard. This is great for privacy, as it makes it nearly impossible to link a specific user of an IP address with a specific activity online. Torrenters especially will appreciate this feature together with IPVanish VPN’s strict ‘no logging’ policy (see Best VPN that Allows Torrenting).

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For the ultra-privacy conscious, IPVanish also accepts anonymous payment in Bitcoin. This enables you to add an extra layer of privacy by not providing your bank or card details to IPVanish (although it will still know your real IP address when you initially connect, as that’s the way VPNs work).

Given everything it has going for it in our IPVanish VPN review, it is no wonder that IPVanish is “officially” recommended by the renowned hacktivist group Anonymous.

Advanced VPN Features

The IPVanish VPN desktop client (available for Windows and Mac OS X) is an intuitive, sleek-looking piece of software that incorporates a lot of very powerful VPN features.

IPVanish Dashboard screenshot

Figure: The IPVanish VPN desktop client is oh so sleek.

 

IPVanish VPN Client Settings screenshot

Figure: DNS leak protection (including IPv6 leak protection) and a kill switch are the real stars of the show here, although all the other options are also nice to have.

 

IPVanish VPN Server list screenshot

Figure: IPVanish offers an abundance of servers, located just about everywhere.

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IPVanish VPN IP Settings screenshot

Figure: An interesting feature is the ability to change IP address at automatically set intervals (or manually). This feature is also available in the Android app.

 

How useful it is to be able to change IPs regularly remains open to debate; it may help confuse any adversary or group tracking you over the Internet, but a lot of tracking these days is performed through your web browser (fingerprinting, zombie cookies, ETags, and the like), so changing your IP may not always help with this. On the other hand, regularly changing IPs can do some good, and is unlikely to do much harm, if any.

IPVanish VPN Android VPN app screenshot

Figure: The Android app is much simpler than the desktop client, but it looks good and features some cool usage graphs

IPVanish VPN has Excellent Security Credentials

IPVanish’s OpenVPN connections are protected by 256-bit AES encryption with SHA256 data authentication and a 2048-bit RSA handshake. This is first class data protection without a doubt.

However, our IPVanish VPN review discovered that this can become something of an issue if a second device is used simultaneously, as it will not enjoy the same level of security.

PPTP connections use 128-bit encryption, but these are less secure and should be avoided whenever possible. Ideally, VPN providers wouldn’t even offer the PPTP protocol as an option to their customers, but occasionally some configurations require its use or it may be OK to use. For example, PPTP is fine for plain old geo-shifting that doesn’t require encryption. You can learn more in our post ‘VPN Protocols Explained’.

IPVanish’s IPsec connections use 2456-bit encryption (the same strong AES standard used by OpenVPN). This is much stronger than the previously mentioned PPTP.

The IPVanish VPN iOS app uses IPsec while its Android app uses OpenVPN. Thus, you can be equally confident using the IPVanish VPN desktop software as you can its Android and iOS apps.

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IPVanish VPN is Fast

In our tests we found IPVanish to be exceptionally fast. With DNS leak protection and IPv6 Leak prevention turned on (as they are by default) we also detected no regular DNS leaks.

Solid Customer Support

Support is available via emails or through forums. We had a slight billing issue during signup (admittedly, the problem was mainly at our end), and are pleased to report that IPVanish support staff dealt with it in a timely and professional manner.

Drawbacks Found in our IPVanish VPN Review

In most respects, IPVanish provides a quick and robust service that is packed full of just the kind of features we like to see from a VPN. The main drawback is that only 2 simultaneous connections are permitted at a time.

Also worth noting, but not so much of a drawback, is that in common with most VPN providers, IPVanish does not protect you from WebRTC IP leaks. This is somewhat understandable, as the problem is primarily a browser issue, but fortunately, it is easy to fix the problem yourself (once you are aware of it!).

IPVanish VPN is not the cheapest VPN around, but it is still considerably cheaper than popular ExpressVPN (see ExpressVPN vs IPVanish VPN: Which is Better?).

IPVanish VPN Review Wrap-Up

Our IPVanish VPN review reveals a very complete VPN service: it keeps absolutely no logs at all, uses first-rate encryption, and is impressively fast. Its desktop software is very sleek and loaded with useful bells and whistles (most notably DNS leak protection and a kill switch).

IPVanish VPN also offers easy-to-use and effective mobile apps. Only permitting two devices to connect at once is a small shame, but overall, IPVanish VPN provides an excellent service that is great value for money.

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