The BIG and Comprehensive IPVanish VPN Review: 2018 Update
One of the most hyped VPN providers out there is the US-based IPVanish, which claims to be the best VPN service in the world. Is that really true? Is IPVanish really that good? Let’s investigate in this BIG and comprehensive IPVanish VPN review 2018.
But first, here’s a quick refresher – What’s a VPN?
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, a service that connects you to the internet through a server run by the VPN service provider. All data that flows between your computer, tablet or phone to the VPN server is encrypted, which does 5 things:
- It hides your internet activities from your ISP and from the government, giving you an enhanced level of privacy.
- It helps you find a way around the censorship imposed by your ISP, government, workplace or university.
- It allows you to access services that were denied to you because of your geographical location – in other words, it makes you geo-spoof.
- It gives you an enhanced level of security when you are using a pubic Wi-Fi, so that hackers cannot penetrate into your system.
- It allows you to download P2P torrents safely.
To use a virtual private network, you have to sign-up for a VPN service first. IPVanish is a provider of a VPN service, and one of the best out there. Let’s find out more about in this IPVanish review 2018.
IPVanish is one of the oldest and most established VPN service providers out there which has been around since 1999. Mudhook Marketing, based in Winter Park, FL, is the company behind this VPN provider. It has earned a very good reputation over the years as a provider of one of the most reliable VPN services out there.
As of today, IPVanish has over 700 VPN servers spread across 60 countries, with over 40,000 shared IPs. What makes this VPN provider special is that they offer coverage even to countries like South Africa and Egypt, which are generally under-represented in the VPN community.
IPVanish offers a fast access to the internet and delivers excellent performance. It does not maintain any metadata logs or connection logs. It allows P2P BitTorrenting as well. The only real expectation it has from users is that they should follow the law in their country and not do anything illegal.
You can access this VPN on 5 devices at the same time. It can be used just as easily on a laptop or desktop computer as on a phone or tablet. It is available on all major platforms, whether it is Windows, iOS or Android. You will find dedicated apps from IPVanish for Windows, Mac OS, Amazon Fire TV/Firestick, Android, and IOS. It supports all leading VPN protocols, including the SOCKS5 web proxy. In fact, it is one of only two VPN providers that have a dedicated Fire TV App, which is extremely useful, considering the amount of people using that device these days.
I know how important this is because I have tutorials on this site showing you how to install NordVPN and VyprVPN on the firestick and there are several hoops to jump through. With IPVanish, you simply download the app and login, that’s it. I personally think that is the best part about the service because I am an avid Fire TV user.
Why You Need IPVanish
You need IPVanish for the following reasons:
- To access any website you want, or to access any online show you want, regardless of where you are located.
- To prevent governments and ISPs from spying on you.
- To ensure that you don’t get hacked when you are using public Wi-Fi.
- To protect your privacy when you are online.
When you connect to this VPN service, everything you do on the internet, whether it’s sending an instant message or email, or performing an online banking transaction, is done through the ultra-secure encrypted tunnel of IPVanish. So there is no way for anyone or any organization to spy on you. Your online identity and privacy are protected. If they somehow were able to see which IP address your traffic was coming from, all they would see was the IPVanish IP address you are routing yourself through and would have no way of figuring out where you actually are.
What Level of Privacy Will You Enjoy On IPVanish?
Like every VPN service, IPVanish promises to protect your privacy regardless of what happens. But often, when the government or law enforcement agency wants to find out about someone, there is no way for a VPN service to deny them the information.
In this case, your best hope is for the VPN provider to maintain a zero-logging policy. If the VPN service does not retain any traffic logs, then there is no way for it to reveal details on your internet usage later, if asked for it. IPVanish has a Zero-Traffic Logs policy, which is certainly reassuring.
They don’t log any website that you visit when you are online or for that matter anything you do online. They don’t log any session data such as bandwidth details, incoming and outgoing IP addresses, connection times and more.
Let’s take a look at the various IPVanish features that interest us….
- Super fast upload and download speeds.
- Usually when you use a VPN, you can expect a significant reduction in the upload and download speeds. The only question is by how much. With IPVanish the upload and download speeds are only about 18% slower than they would be without using the VPN – at least that’s what we learned from the tests run on this VPN service. Our results match those of the tests run by other IPVanish users. This is one of the fastest VPN speeds that you’re going to get.
- Easy Setup
- The IPVanish app is very user-friendly. Installing the app is easy enough and the setting up process is as simple as it gets. The interface is very easy to use and quite convenient. Even someone who has no prior experience using a VPN and has no idea of how it works should be able to install the IPVanish app and set up the service easily enough on any device. My dad was able to do it on his Fire TV and he is completely worthless when it comes to technology 🙂
- Strong Encryption (AES-256)
- The folks behind IPVanish clearly take security very seriously. All data that flows from your computer to the VPN is protected by a AES-256 encryption protocol, which is considered to be the most secure of its kind in the world. It gives you all the protection you need even against concerted hacking efforts such as brute force cyber attacks.
- Access to SOCKS5 Web Proxy
- IPVanish gives you free access to the SOCKS5 protocol, which allows you access all the features of a standard VPN without having to download any software to your devices. This way you won’t need to download any client directly to your device if you want to get the unique certificate that will allow you to establish a secure connection. Downloading a client is often risky because there is a chance that it could have been infected by malware or spyware. The SOCKS5 Web Proxy gives you an enhanced level of protection against hackers and cyber criminals.
- Allows P2P Exchange or BitTorrenting
- One of the big advantages of IPVanish is that it has no qualms about permitting torrenting. It actually encourages torrenting, which makes it different from most of the VPN providers out there. The only expectation is that you should torrent privately and only for personal use. Torrenting is frowned upon by anti-privacy advocates, which is why many VPN services explicitly disallow it, but IPVanish does not seem to have a problem with it. That is really great! IPVanish says no to censorship, and so should you!
- Allows you to connect 5 devices to the same VPN account.
- Another feature of IPVanish we like is that they allow you to connect as many as 5 devices to their VPN service at the same time. With most VPN providers out there, the best you can hope for is 3 devices at a time. If you have other people in the family and need to connect more devices or computers to the internet through the VPN, you will be asked to get another license – which is an unnecessary expense. IPVanish allows you and your family members to connect a total of 5 devices with a single license. That is very useful indeed. Saves you time and money.
IPVanish Pricing & Plans
What’s good about IPVanish pricing and plans is that they have been kept as simple as possible. There is no confusion on how much you will be charged by the service; if you buy a long-term package you will pay less per month, simple.
If you want to sign up for the service on a month-to-month basis, you can sign up for the monthly plan which costs $10/month. This will cost you $120/year.
You can sign up for this plan when you are just starting out, so that you can get an idea of what IPVanish is all about. But if you want to access IPVanish on a long-term basis, you should sign up for the 3-month plan or 1-year plan. The 3-month plan costs $26.99. This equate to $8.99 per month or $107.96 per year, which gives you a saving of 25%.
Your best option, however, is the 1-year plan, which costs $77.99. This plan equates to $6.49 per month, and gives you a saving of 46% over the Monthly plan. This is the one you should be signing up for.
To get even further savings, you can use a coupon code at checkout OURBESTOFFER to save an additional 25% off the yearly plan, which equates to a total savings of $19.50 for a total of $58.49 per year.
Further, all plans from IPVanish come with a 7-day money back guarantee. You can pay for them with Bitcoin or any payment method of your choice, including by credit card, debit card or internet banking.
To be fair, none of the plans from IPVanish are what I would consider cheap. There are VPN services available that have more affordable plans. At the same time, this is not the most expensive VPN service out there either. We can think of one or two that have pricier plans, such as ExpressVPN.
But this should not be a deal breaker, when you consider the high quality of the service and the level of privacy it offers. Most people would be perfectly happy to sign up for the 12 month plan which costs $77.99 and equates to $6.49 per month. That is reasonable. Or even less if you use the coupon above. You get what you pay for. You can purchase something cheaper but it may not have as many features, as many servers to choose from, won’t be as fast, etc.
IPVanish User Experience
Signing up for IPVanish is really very easy. Just go to the website IPVanish.com and follow the instructions on the sign up page. You need an email address and a password and provide the appropriate billing information.
You can ensure maximum anonymity by paying with Bitcoin, should you choose to. Once the payment is made, you will be led to the download page where you can access the software for a platform of your choice.
Since most people download the IPVanish Windows client, let’s discuss more about this. The IPVanish Windows client has remained the same over the years. It is a simple but intuitive software which has all the features you would want from a VPN client.
For example, the Windows client comes with features such as a kill switch, auto-connect, IPv6 leak protection and a dedicated DNS. You can toggle these features on and off as you wish.
Let’s discuss some of these features. The kill switch – what does it do? The kill switch ensures that you won’t leak any data if the VPN connection breaks down when you are connected to the VPN server. This is very important for your privacy and security online. It automatically kills any apps connected to the VPN for you, in case something happens with your connection.
Another great feature is the IP address scrambler. This can be used to prevent deep packet inspection, which is a very sophisticated technique that allows the hacker to get through the VPN. Deep packet inspection is usually performed by governments and large corporations that have a plenty of resources.
Another interesting feature is the IP cycle, which cycles the IP every 45 minutes. This makes it much harder for anyone to track you. Now, if you have a powerful authority such as the Chinese government or the NSA tracking you, then a simple IP cycle won’t help much. But it is good enough for most instances of hacking.
Generally, accessing the internet through IPVanish is easy as it gets. The speeds provided by this VPN are impressive when compared to the other VPN services that I have used in the past.
IPVanish Performance Review
The most impressive thing about IPVanish is the connection speed – that is where it is head and shoulders above other VPN services. I have tested IPVanish extensively, on several different servers based in different parts of the world. The results were quite impressive.
For example, I conducted speed tests on IPVanish using servers based in the US. This was done on a 50 Mbps connection. The drop off in speed when compared to performing the same speed test without the VPN was only 18%. The better connection you have begin with, the better off you will be. I personally wouldn’t recommend trying to stream HD video if your connection is less than 10mbps to begin with. You ideally want 10+ after the use of the VPN, so 12 or 13mbps before the VPN.
IPVanish is unparalleled in the world of VPNs when it comes to speed and performance. You can do intensive tasks such as HD video streaming and online gaming using this VPN without any drop in performance.
Furthermore, I tested IPVanish for DNS leaks and IP leaks using a tool ipleak.net. I ran the tests using the IPVanish IPv6, Android and Windows clients. What was impressive was there were no IP leaks or DNS leaks whatsoever. This VPN service performed admirably well in most of our tests, so there is not much to complain about.
The IPVanish customer support is fast and responsive and has the reputation of answering questions quickly and efficiently. The customer support reps are friendly and professional. They are also very knowledgeable about VPNs and various internet technologies.
However, there is no live chat available with IPVanish. This feature has been taken away. You can only communicate with their customer support by email. This is certainly a drawback, no matter how quickly your questions get addressed.
Apart from that, I have no major complaints about the support. There is an extensive FAQ section on the IPVanish website which you can use. Most of your questions are answered here.
You should certainly go through the setup guides for this VPN service – everything related to the installation and setup process is clearly described here. There is a user forum as well, where you can get in touch with the other members of the IPVanish community and address your questions directly to them.
IPVanish Pros and Cons
- Zero traffic logs
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Extremely secure 256-bit AES encryption
- Works across all platforms such as Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Windows Mobile
- Can be used on 5 devices at the same time
- Offers free access to SOCKS5 web proxy
- Fastest VPN speeds
- P2P BitTorrenting) is allowed
- You can pay through discrete and anonymous method such as with bitcoin
- Features such as a kill switch, IP cycle and an IP scrambler offer excellent protection against hacking
- You will have access to servers across 60 countries
- Watch a variety of TV shows and more because of geo-spoofing
- No access to live chat
- It does not unblock Netflix, which is a big drawback
- It is based in the United States, which has the most intrusive government and agencies such as the CIA and NSA, which stop at nothing to get the information they want.
Final Thoughts About IPVanish
I have rated IPVanish an 8/10. The reason being is because it does nearly everything great, expect for the live chat and not supporting Netflix. The Netflix thing would bring it down more, but having the Fire TV app brings it back up. If you are looking for a VPN to use Netflix with I wrote up an article detailing the VPNs that still work with Netflix.
There’s no question that IPVanish is one of the best VPS service providers out there. It provides high internet speeds, has servers across 60 countries, maintains zero logs, reasonably priced, secures data with a 256-bit AES encryption and is fanatical about protecting the privacy of its users. For this reason I recommend IPVanish highly. Why don’t you try out their 7-day trial offer?