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

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IPVanish

IPVanish is becoming popular virtual private network choice for people interested in improving their online browsing privacy, offering unlimited simultaneous connections on a wide variety of platforms and competitive speeds despite claiming only 1,600 servers.

Like it

  • Competitive speeds
  • The interface encourages learning
  • 10 simultaneous connections

I do not like

  • Based in the United States
  • It still offers PPTP
  • Previous partial DNS loss

Compared to its peers, IPVanish has one of the best user interfaces, encouraging you to get under the hood and learn the mechanics that power the technology.

We recommend IPVanish as a flexible and configurable choice for users who are new to VPNs.

Read more: How we look at VPNs

Speed

  • Average Speed ​​Loss: 65%
  • Number of servers: over 1,600
  • Number of server locations: More than 75
  • Number of IP addresses: over 40,000

We ran our IPVanish speed tests over the course of three days, in two locations, using both wireless and Ethernet connections – one location offered slower broadband speeds and the other offered faster speeds over fiber optic internet. Internet speeds in the United States vary greatly by state and provider. And with any speed test, the results will be based on your local infrastructure, with hyperfast internet service providing test results at higher speeds.

This is one of the reasons we’re most interested in testing the amount of speed lost (which for most VPNs is typically half or more) on both high-speed and slower connection types and using tools. like speedtest.net to level the playing field. IPVanish performed similarly to other VPNs, only achieving around 20% of the average 222 Mbps speed achieved on a 1 Gbps fiber connection during testing, while maintaining a respectable average speed of around 41 Mbps globally. .

We achieved a peak speed of 76 Mbps connecting to servers in Singapore, where we found the most results above 65 Mbps among all servers tested, but also the most erratic experience, with a national average of around 35 Mbps. Australian speeds were smoother, but kept the lowest average, around 28 Mbps.

New York speeds 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. UK servers were strong overall, but came in third for speed averages with 40 Mbps after a couple of tests in peak traffic hours and returned to under 10 Mbps.

Compared to high-profile speed players like ExpressVPN, it’s tempting to paint IPVanish speeds as slow. But IPVanish gives regularly NordVPN a run for its money in the three times a day tests conducted by ProPrivacy and was outpacing NordVPN in that race at the time of writing. And IPVanish is hitting those speeds with about a third of Nord’s number of servers. There is nothing to sneeze about.

Read more: NordVPN Review: Still the best value for security and speed

Security and privacy

  • Jurisdiction: United States
  • Encryption: AES-256, Perfect Forward Secrecy
  • Losses: none detected
  • Previous recording scandal
  • Includes kill switch

A clue as to why IPVanish might outperform NordVPN in speed tests may lie in its accumulated over 40,000 IP addresses, a contender among privacy lovers. While more IP addresses can contribute to faster speeds, some enthusiasts argue that it is safer to use fewer IP addresses. More people sharing IP addresses, they reason, dilutes the likelihood that any single IP address activity is related to any single person.

The core of this question is based on whether a VPN can be trusted for not logging usage data. IPVanish vows not to keep any logs. As with any VPN, it’s nearly impossible to verify that claim. One way is to determine what a VPN provider is legally required to do based on where it is based (its jurisdiction) and whether it has ever been found to keep records.

Ideally, the VPN you choose it should have undergone – and published the results of – an independent third-party audit of its operations, including the use of activity logs. IPVanish is a US based company. For maximum privacy, we look for VPN providers with a jurisdiction outside of Five Eyes intelligence sharing agreements – that is, one based in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

In 2016, IPVanish went through a VPN rite of passage: Federal law enforcement knocked down with a warrant (or, more accurately, a Department of Homeland Security summons), and the VPN’s “zero logging” policy was tested. IPVanish provided the authorities with information that led to the identification and arrest of a child predator.

To be clear here, my problem isn’t with a VPN company helping cops catch a pedophile via usage logs; it is with a VPN company that lies to their customers about doing so. VPNs are international operations. The lie that helps law enforcement in the United States catch a pedophile is the same lie that helps law enforcement in China arrest a person for using a VPN.

That may have changed for IPVanish when the company was bought by StackPath in 2017. With the new ownership came renewed “no logs” policy promises and an alleged StackPath audit.

IPVanish offers a kill switch, which appears to work smoothly, preventing network data from leaking out of its secure VPN tunnel in case the VPN connection fails. During our tests, no IP addresses, DNS or other data leaks that could identify the user were detected. Even so, we recommend some caution here. In 2019, reviewers of CNET’s sister publication, ZDNet, found a partial DNS leak of IPVanish during testing.

“While they didn’t disclose my home DNS server, they revealed that I was using an IPVanish host. This means that organizations that want to block VPN traffic can easily do so,” reviewer David Gewirtz wrote. “Much worse is the implication that if you are trying to hide the fact that you are using a VPN from government authorities, IPVanish does not. This could be catastrophic, for example, if you use the service from the United Arab Emirates, which condemns jail. and excessive fines for using the VPN. “

Cost

  • Usability: fun, configurable, clean
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Linux, routers, Amazon Fire devices, any Android based multimedia device
  • Price: $ 10 per month and $ 80 for a year (IPVanish also offers a special rate for CNET readers, bringing the monthly cost to $ 5.20 when you sign up for a year.)
  • Number of simultaneous connections: Unlimited

We had no problems accessing Netflix or other video streaming sites and no problems with torrent clients while running IPVanish.

In terms of interface, 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 Windows 95 learning experience, as they are perfect for learning the fundamentals of this type of application. Their configurability is organized in an orderly way and without excessive animations. The client appears to encourage user experimentation and a sense of playfulness without being childish or cartoon-like. This makes IPVanish an ideal client for those interested in learning how to understand what a VPN does under the hood.

While it changed its policy this year to offer a full 30-day money back guarantee, at $ 10 per month and $ 80 for one year, IPVanish pricing has become less competitive. The upside, however, is that offering unlimited concurrent connections increases the value for users who want to use the service on a wide range of compatible devices.

First published on February 4th.

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