IPVanish is a large, US-based VPN provider that is well-known for solid performance. One unique aspect of IPVanish is that it owns every server in its network, while also providing CDN services under the brand Highwinds Network Group.
While IPVanish is often recommended on various sites, there are a few drawbacks you should consider.
In June 2018 news surfaced that IPVanish logged customer data and provided this information to US authorities for a criminal case, thereby invalidating their “strict zero-logs policy”. Another concerning factor is that IPVanish is a US-based VPN provider (5 Eyes) operated under the parent company Stackpath.
Due to these drawbacks, IPVanish is no longer recommended by Restore Privacy. You may want to consider alternatives with stronger logging policies that are located in a better privacy jurisdiction, such as ExpressVPN, Perfect Privacy, or NordVPN.
Passed all tests
*Despite claiming to have a “strict zero-logs policy”, IPVanish was found to be logging user data and handing this information over to US authorities. See the IPVanish logs case for more information.
- Good speeds
- Large selection of apps for different devices
- Useful privacy features
- Entirely self-owned server network, including secure DNS (no third parties)
- Based in US under the parent company Stackpath
- Found to be logging customer data for authorities
You can learn more about IPVanish on their website here, or continue reading the review for additional details and test results. If you are open to other options, here are the top alternatives to IPVanish:
How much does IPVanish cost?
IPVanish offers competitive prices for a high-quality VPN service that uses only dedicated, self-owned servers. The standard prices for IPVanish (without the coupon) are as follows:
- 1 month = $10.00 / mo
- 3 months = $8.99 / mo
- 1 year = $6.49 / mo
However, you can save 20% on every subscription plan with IPVanish Coupon.
When you use the IPVanish coupon the prices drop down to what you see below:
Note: This coupon only applies to the first billing cycle. Therefore to get the most savings you should apply the 20% coupon to the 1 year subscription, thereby giving you 20% off every month.
Payment methods – IPVanish accepts most major payment methods, including all large credit cards and also PayPal.
I am also maintaining an IPVanish coupon page to reflect the latest discounts and promotions. Occasionally IPVanish will offer discounted two-year subscriptions (usually during the winter holidays).
IPVanish refund policy
IPVanish offers a 7 day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, which they clearly explain on their website:
If you are less than 100% satisfied with IPVanish VPN service, we will gladly refund your payment as long as the refund is requested within one week from the date of the purchase.
However, I also decided to carefully read through the Terms and Conditions and noticed that users who purchase IPVanish through the Apple Store (in-app purchases) are not eligible for a refund, since the payment, cancelation, and refund process is handled by Apple instead of IPVanish.
This again highlights why it’s always best to purchase your subscription directly from the VPN website rather than going through a third party like Apple.
Company and jurisdiction
IPVanish is a US-based VPN service that was previously owned and operated under the company Highwinds Network Group. However, IPVanish and its parent company were acquired in February 2017 by Stackpath. The company structure is somewhat confusing, but this article provides additional information.
IPVanish continues to operate in the United States, which is a Five Eyes surveillance jurisdiction.
Under the new company Stackpath, IPVanish claims to once again have a “strict zero-logs policy” – despite evidence to the contrary from the 2016 case.
Can IPVanish be trusted again with their no logs claims?
The current IPVanish CEO takes zero responsibility for the logging incident that occurred under the previous management. But it will surely be hard for them to earn trust back from IPVanish users, especially since they are still operating in the United States.
IPVanish provides a wide selection of applications for many devices and platforms.
For this IPVanish review, I tested out their apps on Windows, Mac OS, and Android.
IPVanish Windows app – The IPVanish Windows app did very well in testing. It is user-friendly, stable, and never froze up or crashed.
IPVanish Mac OS – The IPVanish Mac OS app also did well in testing. The new IPVanish Mac OS app did not have any noticeable connection issues or bugs to be found.
IPVanish Android – The IPVanish Android app performed well in testing without any issues to report. It has a good design and works well.
Connections – IPVanish offers five connections that you can use on any supported device or platform.
IPVanish speed tests
I tested IPVanish speeds on numerous servers throughout the world. Overall, it performed very well in speed testing. I never had issues with slow speeds or dropped connections.
My baseline speed for testing was 100 Mbps and the physical testing location was Germany.
For servers in my general vicinity (Western Europe) I could typically get 75-96 Mbps download speeds throughout the day – close to my full download speed.
Germany – Here is one speed test with the IPVanish Windows app connected to a nearby server. I was able to get over 96 Mbps download speeds. This essentially maxed out my internet provider speed.
I also tested IPVanish servers that were further away from my location.
Amsterdam – Here I am testing an Amsterdam server with the IPVanish Windows client and getting over 90 Mbps.
New York – Here I am testing an IPVanish server in New York. Again, the speed was great (77 Mbps), especially considering the greater distance between me and the server location.
Canada – And finally, I tested a server in Canada, and again found the speed to be great at over 50 Mbps (considering my distance from Canada). This speed test was with the IPVanish Mac OS app:
I did not have any issues with slow speeds or poor performance when testing out IPVanish for this review.
If you value performance with a VPN, IPVanish would be a solid choice based on these results. Not only were the speeds fast, but they were also consistent.
Does IPVanish work with Netflix?
No. IPVanish does not consistently work with Netflix.
Unfortunately, all of the IPVanish servers seem to be blocked by Netflix. The support person I chatted with also confirmed this fact. It seems that Netflix has effectively blocked all of IPVanish’s server IP address from using their services. When you try, you will get the annoying Netflix proxy error message.
Currently there are two VPNs that continue to work very well with Netflix:
There are also some other options that you can read about in the Netflix VPN guide, which has been recently updated and improved with the best (and worst) VPNs for Netflix.
Privacy and security test results
IPVanish performed well in all privacy and security tests for this review. I tested IPVanish for IP address leaks (both IPv4 and IPv6) and DNS leaks. IPVanish passed all tests.
Prior to running these tests, I verified the IPv6 leak protection, DNS leak protection, and kill switch features were activated when testing the Windows, Mac OS, and Android apps. (IPVanish offers a nice lineup of privacy features.)
Here is a test using the Windows app with a London, UK server.
Another test using the Mac OS app with an IPVanish server in Amsterdam: no leaks.
Everything checked out with the leak tests: no issues to report.
IPVanish’s privacy and security will:
- Protect you against IP address leaks
- Protect you against DNS leaks
- Protect your IP address if the VPN connection drops (kill switch)
As you can see in the results above, IPVanish passed all privacy and security tests without any leaks discovered.
IPVanish’s server network
One unique benefit you get with IPVanish is access to a massive server network with locations spanning all around the world. This makes sense since IPVanish is operated under a parent company that provides CDN (content delivery network) services.
Another benefit with IPVanish is that they own and manage their entire server network.
This cuts out third parties and is a distinguishing factor separating IPVanish from other VPN services.
Owning their entire server network infrastructure provides two distinct benefits:
- Excellent performance in terms of speed and reliability
- Great data security (no rental servers from third parties)
IPVanish now offers live chat support. You can access IPVanish’s live chat support at the bottom of their website.
For this IPVanish review I also tested out the email (ticket) support. My questions were handled on the same day in under two hours. I’ve seen some people complain about slow support, but I did not find this to be the case.
The IPVanish live chat support also seemed to work without any issues…
The IPVanish website also contains some great guides and informational articles on various topics. These are all accessible from the knowledge base and in the member’s area.
You should be able to get everything setup just using the guides in the member’s area. But if you have any problems then you can try chat support or just send them an email.
I also downloaded and tested out the IPVanish Android app for this review.
Overall it performed well without any issues to report.
Overall the IPVanish Android app seems to work fine. Connecting and switching servers was easy and I didn’t find any leaks or problems to report. (Note: slower speeds were due to a slower WiFi network I used for testing the Android device.)
The Android app reviews seem to be somewhat mixed in the Google Play store, which is common for most VPN apps. In my testing everything worked fine.
IPVanish is also a good choice if you want to use a VPN on a router. This will secure (encrypt) your entire home network and all devices that connect to your router. Even better, it will only count as only one device when you use IPVanish on your router.
A VPN router is a smart idea simply because most internet providers are now monitoring and recording your online activities. This is official policy in the United States, the UK, and now also Australia (see the best VPN services for Australia).
Want to use IPVanish on a router? Check out the IPVanish router options here.
IPVanish review conclusion
As you can see with the speed and privacy test results, IPVanish performed well in all tests for this review. So it is a good, high-performance VPN that will give you speed when and where you need it.
However, it also comes with two important drawbacks that you should consider:
- IPVanish is based in the United States, which is considered to be a bad jurisdiction for privacy.
- IPVanish has a history of logging user data for US authorities – see the IPVanish logs case.
While IPVanish has previously earned a recommendation from Restore Privacy due to its excellent performance and “no logs” guarantee, the drawbacks cast a cloud over the service. Due to these issues, IPVanish is no longer recommended by Restore Privacy, but you can still give it a shot if you are interested. In fact, here is a 20% off IPVanish with this coupon, for you to use.
If you want to consider some alternatives, check out the reviews for ExpressVPN, Perfect Privacy, and NordVPN, which all performed very well and offer excellent protection for user data. The latest top recommendations can be found in the best VPN service test report.
Alternatives to IPVanish:
If you have used IPVanish, feel free to share your honest review (good or bad) below.