IPVanish VPN Review

IPVanish is an old standby of the VPN industry -- how does it compare to the modern era?

The Verdict

At this time, I do not recommend using IPVanish in light of recent allegations of misconduct and support issues.

Author: @smartprivacyio | Updated: Aug 19, 2019

Affiliate Disclosure

IPVanish was initially founded in 2012, by Mudhook Media, Inc.

In 2017, Stackpath acquired the IPVanish service. IPVanish owns roughly 90% of its infrastructure (primarily the hardware and datacenter).

IPVanish has an extensive server network, claiming over 40,000 IP addresses, 1,300 servers, and 75+ unique locations.

All subscriptions include ten simultaneous devices, which is generous for a modern VPN service (I would say the average is around 5).

As with most other modern VPN providers, IPVanish has 256-bit AES encryption enabled.

Logging Policy

In the privacy policy, IPVanish states that they do not collect, monitor, or log any traffic associated with the VPN service. They go on to clarify that no connection data, metadata, or activity is recorded on any user at any time.

They do, however, use some web analytics and improvements services on their website, but the information is mostly decoupled and anonymized and utilized in aggregate for necessary website optimizations.

Note that there was a recent court case where IPVanish seems to have provided logs to law enforcement, completely in conflict with their stated privacy policy.

Configuration and Settings

The website does have the configuration files available for download if you wish to use a third-party application to connect to the IPVanish VPN.

For macOS, you have your choice between L2TP XML, PPTP XML, and OpenVPN. There is also a standalone application developed by IPVanish.

For Windows users, there is a standalone application developed by IPVanish.

SOCKS5 Proxy

IPVanish subscriptions include access to a SOCKS5 proxy. The SOCKS5 service is not encrypted but works well for P2P and VOIP connections.

Performance

Over the few weeks that I tested the service, I found the speed to be reasonably good, and as with most VPNs, demonstrably better with closer locations.

Brazil

  • 5.1mbps Download
  • 14mbps Upload
  • 205ms Latency

Indianapolis, USA

  • 67mbps Download
  • 14mbps Upload
  • 32ms Latency

Milan, Italy

  • 19mbps Download
  • 12mbps Upload
  • 233ms Latency

Vienna, Austria

  • 14mbps Download
  • 16mbps Upload
  • 228ms Latency

Using ipleak.net, no DNS or IP leaks were detected.

IPv6 is blocked, as per usual with most VPN services.

iPhone and Android Mobile Apps

Closest Location

  • 49mbps Download
  • 19mbps Upload
  • 27ms Latency

Athens, Greece

  • 3.5mbps Download
  • 2.3mbps Upload
  • 288ms Latency

In the settings panel, you can select between IKEv2 and IPSec protocols. Most users (especially on iOS) should select IKEv2 for speed purposes.

Pricing

At the time of this writing (2019), IPVanish had a seven day free trial for signing up with an iOS device through the App Store.

You can pay via most major credit cards, PayPal, and through the Apple iOS App Store. No cryptocurrency payments are supported.

Paid plans are:

  • Monthly ($10)
  • Yearly ($77.99 annually, or $6.49/mo)
  • 3 Months ($26.99, or $8.99/mo)

The problem that I encountered is that there are several coupons available for the service, and different pages on the official website have various promotions. This is confusing and leads me to second guess what I should be paying for the service. I clicked an ad and was offered $7 per month, yet their coupons page offers $8 per month. If you go directly to any other page on their site, you’ll get the prices mentioned above ($10 per month).

According to their site, IPVanish has a 7-day money back guarantee.

Support

I encountered payment issues when trying to purchase a monthly subscription for testing on their site. The error didn’t provide any details, so I decided to retry my purchase through the App Store as an in-app-purchase.

The payment went through, but the service encountered an error when validating that the payment was received. Apple sent me a receipt detailing my charge, but the IPVanish app still showed me as an unpaid trial. Reviewing the application logs, which are available in the settings, I saw that the API call received an error when trying to post confirmation of my successful payment.

The iOS app does not have any support link or functionality, so I visited the official site and clicked on live chat. The first person I spoke with was Abie, who was of no help and seemed not to understand my query. Abie disconnected from me after 15 or 20 minutes of “please hold” type messages. I reconnected to chat and spoke with Albert E., who after several 5+ minute “please hold” status updates, did fix my subscription by crediting my account with a month of service.

Several users on both Reddit and Trust Pilot report receiving charges even after canceling their accounts, as if the charges were re-activated a few months later.

Features

  • United States based
  • 1300 Servers
  • Config Downloads

Protocols

  • OpenVPN
  • IKEv2/IPSec
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • PPTP

Logs

  • Traffic Logs
  • DNS Logs
  • Connection Logs

Operating System Support

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Linux