NordVPN vs IPVanish is a battle between two very popular VPN services that have been around for a long time — but that’s about where the similarity ends. While one of these VPNs continues to upgrade and improve its service, the other has suffered from a data privacy scandal and appears to be falling behind the competition.
Based on the latest test results, NordVPN is the superior product. In comparison to the IPVanish VPN, NordVPN offers much faster speeds, more security features, better apps, more streaming capability, and it’s also cheaper.
This table highlights the key facts of each VPN:
|Logs||No logs (audited)||No logs*|
|Torrenting||All servers||All servers|
|Support||Knowledge Base; 24/7 chat||Knowledge Base; chat|
|Apps for||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Price||$3.29 (with coupon)||$3.19|
|Coupon||63% Off NordVPN Coupon >||N/A|
*History has shown the United States is a dangerous jurisdiction for privacy reasons. This is fully illustrated with the IPVanish logging case that unfolded just a few years back. In this case, IPVanish was forced to collect logs and provide them to US government officials as part of a criminal investigation, all while claiming to be “zero logs” and not alerting customers.
Here’s what we will cover in this IPVanish vs NordVPN comparison:
- Features and Apps – Which VPN offers the best features and VPN apps?
- Speed tests – Numerous servers tested in North America and Europe
- Encryption and Security – Is NordVPN or the IPVanish VPN more secure?
- Netflix and Streaming – Which one works best for Netflix and streaming services?
- Logs and Privacy – Examining the logging policies and privacy protections.
- Torrenting – Is NordVPN or IPVanish best for torrenting?
- Support – Does IPVanish or NordVPN offers the best support?
- Price and Value – What are the prices and which VPN is the best value for your money?
As you’ll see, there was a clear winner in nearly every category. So let’s get started!
Features and Apps: NordVPN vs IPVanish
In terms of features, NordVPN is the big winner as it continues to innovate and improve. But let’s first look at IPVanish.
IPVanish features and apps
I have been testing versions of the IPVanish VPN since 2015 and they have never offered many features. Today, not a whole lot has changed. This is somewhat strange, given that most other VPNs in the industry continue to adapt, grow, and introduce new features for their users. IPVanish, has however, finally upgraded their apps. Below is the newly redesigned IPVanish Windows app.
Aside from basic leak protection settings (the VPN kill switch) and a fairly large server network, the IPVanish VPN does not have much to offer. They do not have any VPN ad blocker, specialty servers, or other advanced features that leading VPNs offer today.
One noteworthy update to IPVanish has been the addition of support for the WireGuard VPN protocol. Many VPNs now support the WireGuard VPN protocol, including NordVPN. The only other features that IPVanish offers are basic leak protection settings, which they refer to as “Enhanced Security Features.”
IPVanish servers – IPVanish currently has about 2,000 servers in 50 countries. This is a fairly large server network, on par with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.
Now let’s compare the features of IPVanish to those of NordVPN.
NordVPN features and apps
NordVPN offers lots of different privacy and security features, significantly more than you will find with IPVanish. Despite the recent IPVanish VPN app updates, the NordVPN apps we tested had a better look and feel than those from IPVanish. Selecting features, changing servers, and interacting with the app was easy and intuitive. Below is the NordVPN app for Windows.
Now let’s examine all of the privacy and security features you get with NordVPN.
Double-VPN server configurations – These will encrypt your traffic across two separate VPN servers, thereby giving you a higher level of security and privacy. (See our guide on multi-hop and double VPNs for more info on this topic.)
Even with the double-VPN encryption, performance is still excellent with NordVPN. During our testing for the NordVPN vs ProtonVPN comparison, NordVPN was still able to deliver around 200 Mbps with the double-VPN servers.
Threat Protection – NordVPN’s Threat Protection blocks ads, trackers, and malware domains. It also can scan downloaded documents for trouble before you open them. This is similar to an antivirus feature for Windows and Mac.
Even better, Threat Protection for Windows and macOS works even if you are not connected to a VPN server. The other main NordVPN apps and browser extensions include Threat Protection Lite, which has a subset of Threat Protection’s capabilities and does require you to be connected to a VPN server to work.
Obfuscated servers – These are useful for getting around VPN blocks, such as if you need a reliable VPN for China.
NordVPN server stats – NordVPN offers about 5,200 servers in 59 countries. This is far more servers than IPVanish. Additionally, NordVPN is rolling out colocated (self-owned) servers, which means they will have 100% control over all hardware (no rental servers).
Leak protection – NordVPN offers built-in leak protection settings that worked well in our tests (no leaks). This is about the only feature that the IPVanish VPN offers. One difference with NordVPN, however, is that they offer different levels for the kill switch, which can block traffic and/or close apps if the VPN connection drops for any reason. You can see this in the image below:
In comparison to IPVanish, NordVPN is the big winner in terms of features. It simply offers more and better features, whereas IPVanish remains a very basic VPN service.
Split tunneling – Split tunneling is a feature that allows you to route specific apps or certain websites outside of the VPN tunnel. This feature is available with NordVPN in the Windows and Android apps. There are a few other services that offer this feature as well, such as ExpressVPN and Surfshark.
Streaming support – NordVPN works with many streaming websites, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more — we’ll examine more below.
Features winner: NordVPN
See a full list of NordVPN’s features here >>
NordVPN vs IPVanish VPN speed test comparison
To see whether NordVPN or IPVanish is the fastest, I tested each VPN in server locations around the US and Europe. All tests were conducted on a 500 Mbps (baseline) connection using the respective VPN clients (apps). First, I tested servers in the US.
I tested locations around the US where both IPVanish and NordVPN had servers.
Test #1: Los Angeles
Here I’m testing a NordVPN server in Los Angeles, which gave me about 304 Mbps:
At over 300 Mbps, this is a very impressive test result from NordVPN. Let’s compare that to IPVanish.
Here was the IPVanish server in Los Angeles I tested, giving me speeds around 68 Mbps:
Here we see that IPVanish is significantly slower than NordVPN with the Los Angeles server location, by about 236 Mbps.
Test #2: Seattle
Next up was a NordVPN server in Seattle, with speeds around 445 Mbps.
This is the fastest VPN speed test result we have gotten here at Restore Privacy. When we have VPN speeds over 200 Mbps, that is really good. Clocking in over 400 Mbps is on another level, and this is thanks to NordVPN’s implementation of WireGuard.
Here was the IPVanish server in Seattle, with speeds around 79 Mbps.
While this is a little faster than the previous location, it is still quite slow. We see that IPVanish is lagging behind NordVPN with this location by about 366 Mbps — a huge margin.
Test #3: New York
Next I tested a NordVPN server in New York, with speeds of 280 Mbps.
This is still really fast, even though it’s not quite on the level we saw before. Let’s see if IPVanish can take the lead here.
IPVanish server in New York with speeds of 5 Mbps.
This is an incredibly bad test result from IPVanish. With the New York location, NordVPN was about 275 Mbps faster than IPVanish. We saw similar speed test results in the NordVPN vs PIA comparison, where NordVPN was faster in all locations.
Why is NordVPN faster than IPVanish?
Here are a few reasons that may explain why NordVPN was consistently faster than IPVanish in all of our tests:
- NordVPN has a larger server network with more bandwidth than the IPVanish VPN server network. With more bandwidth for VPN users, speeds should also be better.
- On the network front, NordVPN is rolling out new colocated servers with 10 Gbps bandwidth channels.
- NordVPN’s Threat Protection can boost your speed by blocking ads and other tracking resources from loading, thereby giving you faster page load speeds and saving on bandwidth.
Winner for speed: NordVPN
Note: This is not an anomaly. NordVPN consistently outperforms other top-rated VPN services. See also the NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison, where NordVPN also came out on top with every location tested.
Encryption and Security: Is NordVPN or IPVanish best?
Both NordVPN and IPVanish offer good encryption and security, but one still has an edge.
NordVPN encryption: NordVPN encrypts data with an AES-256 cipher, SHA256 hash authentication, and a 4096-bit key exchange to employ Perfect Forward Secrecy. In comparison to IPVanish, NordVPN uses stronger encryption standards.
NordVPN supports the following protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, and WireGuard. The WireGuard protocol is offered through NordVPN’s own custom implementation, which they call NordLynx.
NordVPN server security: NordVPN goes above and beyond most other VPNs in the way of server security. Here are the details:
- Completed a full, third-party security audit, which included examining all servers and VPN infrastructure.
- Runs all servers in RAM-disk mode with no hard drives. This makes it impossible to store any logs on the VPN server.
- Implementing self-owned colocated servers throughout the entire network. This will mean no more rental servers from third parties, which is what most other VPNs do.
IPVanish: IPVanish encrypts traffic with an AES-256 cipher, SHA1 authentication, and a 2,048-bit key exchange. IPVanish supports the following VPN protocols: OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP. The PPTP protocol is not considered secure and should be avoided (and IPVanish should probably not be offering it). We discuss these protocols more in the IPVanish review.
Server security with IPVanish: IPVanish describes their network as a “Tier 1” network. And while they have previously claimed to own all of the servers in their network, they no longer make this claim. This suggests IPVanish is renting VPN servers, which is what most VPNs do.
Unlike NordVPN, IPVanish does not run servers in RAM-disk mode, which means user data could potentially be acquired from the server by third parties. This was a drawback we noted in the Surfshark vs IPVanish comparison, with Surfshark also using RAM servers. Additionally, IPVanish has not published any security audits, which is another drawback in comparison to NordVPN.
Note: When you are not properly securing your servers, it puts the VPN and all its users at risk if there is ever a server seizure. This was clearly the case with the Windscribe security breach. Like IPVanish, Windscribe also does not run servers in RAM-disk mode — and when their servers were seized, Windscribe VPN users were put at risk.
Encryption and security winner: NordVPN
IPVanish vs NordVPN Netflix and streaming comparison
Many people are using VPNs to stream media and unblock content around the world. This is especially true for Netflix, which now restricts access based on your IP address (where they think you are located).
There are only a handful of VPNs that work with Netflix. Many others are blocked or too slow and unreliable to stream Netflix.
IPVanish – Although IPVanish has previously been blocked by Netflix, it now offers limited support for American Netflix. Additionally, IPVanish markets itself as a good option if you need a VPN for Kodi, with dedicated apps for Kodi streaming.
Unlike NordVPN, however, IPVanish does not do well with unblocking BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime. I have frequently found it to get blocked. Here you can see the IPVanish London server is still getting blocked by iPlayer:
There are other good VPNs to unblock BBC iPlayer and streaming services, including NordVPN below.
NordVPN – NordVPN also works well with Netflix and unblocks more regions than IPVanish. I’ve tested this out many times and have found NordVPN to be one of the best options if you want a reliable VPN for Netflix that access numerous regional libraries.
Here I’m streaming Netflix through a NordVPN server in the US.
Unlike IPVanish, NordVPN supports many different Netflix libraries around the world. You can access these Netflix regions with NordVPN: US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Japan, Australia, India, and Italy. (Other regions may also be supported, but I can’t test everything.)
Additionally, NordVPN works well with other services such as BBC iPlayer and also streaming Amazon Prime with a VPN.
If you want a fast VPN for streaming, NordVPN is currently the best option. If you want access to numerous Netflix regions around the world, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services, NordVPN takes the prize.
Streaming winner: NordVPN
NordVPN vs IPVanish logs and privacy
The next category we’ll examine is logs – or what data the VPN is recording when you use their service. In this category, there is a big difference between NordVPN and IPVanish. Both NordVPN and IPVanish claim to be “no logs” VPN providers – but only one has been verified to be correct.
The IPVanish logging case
A few years back I broke the news that IPVanish was caught logging customer data and providing this to the FBI. This case pertained to a criminal investigation, and when requested by the FBI, IPVanish violated their own “no logs” policy. IPVanish explained this was done under a different management/ownership structure.
Many VPNs today claim to be no logs. We still see this with IPVanish and ExpressVPN. But similar to NordVPN, ExpressVPN has undergone independent audits confirming the no-logs policy.
We were happy to see this result. But while the audit results are a plus, we also need to take into consideration the jurisdiction where a VPN is based.
Jurisdiction: With IPVanish being based in the United States, this puts the VPN completely under US law. It also means they can be pressured by US authorities to log user data, which is exactly what happened. The US is a Five Eyes surveillance country and not a good jurisdiction for privacy.
NordVPN’s no-logs claims verified by third-party audit
Unlike with IPVanish, NordVPN has been verified to truly be a no-logs VPN. It is one of the few verified no logs VPNs. In November 2018, NordVPN underwent a full audit from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which verified NordVPN’s no-logs policy to be accurate. This is about as good as it gets for a no logs VPN provider.
Jurisdiction: With NordVPN being based in Panama, they are much more protected from countries, such as the US and UK, that demand customer data and/or logging. Panama is not a member of any international surveillance alliances like the US, UK, Canada, and others.
Logs and privacy winner: NordVPN
Does IPVanish or NordVPN work best for torrenting in 2023?
Next, we will examine torrenting and P2P file sharing.
NordVPN – As noted earlier, NordVPN has dedicated P2P servers to give you the best performance with torrenting. I tested these servers and found them to offer excellent performance.
NordVPN also does not have any throttling or limitations on traffic. The fast speeds also make it one of the best VPNs for P2P torrenting. Lastly, Panama does not have any strict copyright laws like the United States.
IPVanish – Unlike NordVPN, IPVanish does not offer any P2P servers. And being based in the US, it is also subject to strict copyright violation laws. Fortunately, without any logs, IPVanish users should not have to worry – unless IPVanish coughs up logs to the FBI, again.
There is another problem. Some US-based VPNs are forced to block torrenting on their servers. This happened to TorGuard VPN as part of a settlement from getting sued by copyright holders.
The biggest problem with using IPVanish for torrenting, however, is the slow speeds. NordVPN comes out on top in this category as well.
Torrenting winner: NordVPN
IPVanish vs NordVPN support
I have dealt with both IPVanish and NordVPN’s support periodically over the past few years. This was mainly done when testing out the VPNs for their respective VPN reviews.
NordVPN – With NordVPN, you get access to 24/7 live chat support, which is available directly through the website. I have always found the chat support team to be professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. I’ve never experienced any extended wait time or problems getting support.
IPVanish – Unlike with NordVPN, IPVanish does not offer 24/7 live chat support. Chat is available during regular business hours, but when I tried late at night, I could not get anyone. Email was hit or miss.
If you want 24/7 access to competent support technicians, then you will want to go with NordVPN.
Support winner: NordVPN
IPVanish vs NordVPN price and value comparison
Now we will examine prices to see whether NordVPN or IPVanish comes out on top. First up is IPVanish.
IPVanish pricing and refund
IPVanish offers monthly, quarterly, and yearly pricing plans. You used to be able to combine the VPN with a secure cloud storage option, but that no longer seems to be available. Here are the prices for the VPN alone:
You can see that the yearly (plus 3 months) plan costs $3.19 per month for the first 15 months before jumping to a higher yearly price. This is a good, but not exceptional price.
IPVanish accepts credit cards and PayPal. But does not accept cryptocurrency payments.
IPVanish refund policy – IPVanish offers a 30 day money-back guarantee, but there’s a catch. There are no refunds on monthly subscriptions.
NordVPN pricing and refunds
NordVPN has some great deals throughout the year.
Currently, the best discount you can find on NordVPN is with this coupon for 63% off. Here are the discounted prices:
NordVPN offers monthly, yearly, and 2-year plans. There are three options at each level. The Standard option includes just NordVPN. The Plus and Complete options are more expensive, but include the additional capabilities shown in the image above.
NordVPN’s Standard 2-year plan is cheaper than IPVanish’s one-year plan, giving it an edge in pricing.
NordVPN supports all major payment options, with the exception of PayPal (in the US), and also accepts many different types of cryptocurrency.
(See also my NordVPN coupon page that also shows the latest deals and discounts with NordVPN.)
NordVPN refund policy – NordVPN has a 30 day money-back guarantee. Unlike with IPVanish, this refund applies to all subscription plans.
So NordVPN is cheaper than IPVanish (with longer plans) and also offers a longer refund window. Overall, it is a cheap VPN that also offers value.
NordVPN wins on price and on value, coming in ahead of IPVanish in every category.
Price and value winner: NordVPN
Conclusion: NordVPN wins in 2023
In this NordVPN vs IPVanish comparison, the winner is clearly NordVPN. While IPVanish has made some improvements over the last year or so, NordVPN is improving far more rapidly. This seems a bit lopsided, but NordVPN was truly the winner in every category:
- Features and Apps – NordVPN offers more (and better) features than IPVanish, as well as better apps.
- Speed – NordVPN had faster speeds in every location tested.
- Encryption and Security – NordVPN offers stronger encryption standards and security.
- Netflix and Streaming – NordVPN works with US Netflix and many other streaming video services, while IPVanish gets blocked.
- Logs and privacy – NordVPN is an audited no-logs VPN provider. IPVanish was caught logging users for the FBI.
- Torrenting – NordVPN also delivers much faster speeds for torrenting, dedicated P2P servers, and no limitations on bandwidth.
- Support – NordVPN features 24/7 live chat support.
- Price and Value – NordVPN is cheaper than IPVanish, while also offering the best value.
NordVPN is the clear winner in this 2023 comparison. We recommend you try it using the discount coupon below to get the best current pricing.
If you are want to try both, remember that IPVanish does not provide refunds on monthly subscription plans. With NordVPN, you’ll get a full 30 days to test out the service risk-free with all subscription plans.
Here’s a coupon to get the best savings with NordVPN:
NordVPN’s Cyber Deal is live:
Get 63% Off NordVPN plus an additional 3 months FREE:
(Coupon is applied automatically.)
If you are open to other options, you could also see my list of the best VPNs based on the latest test results.
This NordVPN vs IPVanish comparison was last updated on January 7, 2023.
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Were these reviews sponsored by the products or purchased and reviewed independently?
As explained on our Mission page, we do not accept any sponsorships, ads, or paid ranking schemes. All products are purchased and reviewed independently.
Hmmm the speed tests from ipvanish seem to be before you had a faster internet connection. Why is that?
Hi Kevin, just to be safe, I ran all new speed tests again with the IPVanish server locations this afternoon. This was on the same 160 Mbps line and test computer that I used for the NordVPN server tests. With today’s results, the speeds with IPVanish were actually slower than before, with the exception of Toronto, where IPVanish had 78 Mbps (vs 76 Mbps before).
Conclusion: IPVanish remains much slower than NordVPN, and today’s tests further validate that fact.
Oh wow, just last time on your old internet connection, they were fast but now they have went downhill! i noticed it too, and nordvpn made huge improvements over the year because i remember late 2018 and early 2019 they were really slow
Indeed, things change fast in the world of VPNs! NordVPN has historically been somewhat slower than other top-rated VPNs, but the January 2020 test results were the best I’ve ever seen in five years of running NordVPN speed tests. They’ve really invested in infrastructure and other improvements to boost speeds.