Privacy is a basic human right. And that right is under attack 24 hours a day - even if you can't see it.
ISPs log every website you visit, repressive governments censor content, hackers use public Wi-Fi to steal personal information, and social media companies creepily track your every move.
A virtual private network (or VPN) is a software tool that protects your security and anonymity on the Internet. It is designed to hide your real IP address, mask your location, and encrypt your data.
IPVanish is the largest VPN service provider in the United States. And for good reason.
They've built a reputation for a strong commitment to data privacy, ultra-fast network speeds, and very affordable prices. Their VPN apps are available for computers, mobile devices, smart TVs, and streaming devices, for complete protection and peace of mind.
Over 1 million active users trust IPVanish each month to protect their online privacy and security. And IPVanish has earned over 8,200 reviews on TrustPilot, with 81% of them being 5 stars.
So, I've taken a deeper dive into IPVanish VPN so you can find out if it's a good fit for you.
A Closer Look
Hands On Experience
I've used several VPN services over the last decade, and IPVanish sits comfortably at the top of the list for its unmatched reliability, speed, and security. I gave IPVanish a test drive on my Macbook and Android phone to see how it performs for remote workers and travelers.
Note: It's worth pointing out there are some small feature differences between IPVanish apps on each operating system, but the most important features are consistent across the board.
Installation is a breeze, as you'd expect from a well-established VPN player. Running the Mac VPN app for the first time requires a few extra steps to configure the operating system permissions - this is standard routine for all VPN software.
Here are screenshots:
Even non-techies can easily follow the prompts to complete the setup in less than 10 seconds.
When using the app for the first time, you're greeted with a step-by-step onboarding wizard that explains the user interface, flattening the learning curve.
Straight out of the box, you can connect to the "optimal location" with 1 click, which is generally the nearest server. If you just need privacy and security, then you're all set, and can continue using the Internet as you normally would. Easy!
If you're curious about what's happening under the hood, a line graph for data "up" (uploaded) and "down" (downloaded) is displayed in real-time, along with your public IP address and total time connected.
If you prefer to connect to a VPN in a specific country or city, perhaps to access geo-restricted content or bypass local censorship restrictions, then it's just a matter of selecting from the available list on the "Locations" screen. And when speed is of utmost importance, click the number under the "servers" column to see the load on every single server. That way, you can choose a specific server that has a low load and fast response (ping) time.
Most users won't need to delve into the "settings" screen, but if you want more control over your connection, this is where you'll find it. The best protocol in the majority of situations is "WireGuard", which balances speed, resilience, and security. Under "network security" it's a good idea to turn on "Auto-Connect at launch" for hands-free security. Here you can optionally designate "trusted" Wi-Fi networks so the app only connects automatically on untrusted networks.
All this is fine and dandy, but what you're really curious about is the speed. I put IPVanish to the test and ran several experiments, and surprisingly there was virtually no loss in speed at all.
When running multiple tests across different times of the day, there is no noticeable difference when the VPN is turned on or off. Considering the connection is secured with AES-256 encryption, I'm very impressed!
I put their customer support to the test when I picked up a bug in the Mac version. I was unable to click on a country to automatically connect. The live chat response time was very fast, knowledgeable and friendly. And after trying a few suggestions, I figured I'd better do an overdue operating system update that had been patiently waiting for days. After running that, IPVanish VPN worked perfectly fine - so the bug just affected older versions of macOS. It's a best practice for online security to always run the latest operating system updates that squash bugs and security flaws.
Unless you are considerably tech-savvy, you might struggle to compare the differences between VPN providers. It can feel like apples and oranges.
Beyond the software's ease of use and speedy connections, you want to look for a strong security and privacy track record. Some other VPN providers are based in offshore destinations like Panama and the Virgin Islands to shield the owners from legal liabilities and reduce taxes.
IPVanish is based in the United States where laws require businesses to disclose how they operate, and their data handling policies. Importantly, the United States does not have mandatory data retention laws for VPNs. So, while IPVanish is protected from being forced to share user data, customers are protected from misleading, unethical business practices that plague other jurisdictions. IPVanish is part of a publicly traded company and is subject to numerous federal and state-level regulations (GDPR, SOX, CCPA). This translates to more transparency and accountability in their business operations than other VPN providers.
If you're considering using a "free" VPN, you will want to think twice. The price tag might be free, but you'll end up paying by sacrificing your privacy and security… which is the whole point of using VPN software. Operating and maintaining servers is expensive, and since free VPN providers don't make money from paying customers, they are forced to turn to shady practices like selling your data to third-party advertising companies or worse. According to The ICSI Networking and Security Group, 72% of free VPNs track your online activity, and 40% contain malware. Free VPN providers also give very limited data bandwidth and are usually very slow.
Considering the very modest cost of a premium VPN like IPVanish, there's no reason to risk your online security.
IPVanish was founded in 2012 in Orlando, Florida. With humble beginnings, the VPN software only supported Microsoft Windows and operated 32 servers. The user base steadily grew over the years, and the business was acquired by StackPath in 2017 before being acquired again by its current owners, New York-based Ziff Davis Inc, in 2019.
Under the current management, the business has put increased emphasis on security, speed and support.
Independent cybersecurity consulting firm, Leviathan Security Group, conducted a thorough audit in 2022 to ensure the no-logs policy is being followed.
More and more servers are being added to the network on a regular basis, and now is able to deliver blazing-fast network speeds of up to 790 Gbps.
The customer support struggles of yesteryear are well and truly behind them. Now IPVanish responds to initial customer support queries within 68 seconds (phone, email and chat).
As more and more of our lives revolve around electronic devices, online security is becoming an increasingly larger concern. Premium VPN software like IPVanish is no longer considered a luxury - it's a necessity.
Is IPVanish VPN Right For You?
You wear a seatbelt while driving in a car. You apply sunscreen while spending extended time in the hot sun. You need a VPN when using the Internet.
If you use a mobile device, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, and connect to the Internet, then you're exposed to a wide range of threats that must be managed and minimized. And when traveling, a VPN becomes even more important. Especially on insecure public Wi-Fi networks at airports, train stations, restaurants and hotels.
Remote workers and digital nomads need extra security when connecting to the Internet in co-working spaces and cafes.
So, it's not a matter of whether or not to use a VPN, it's just a matter of which one to choose.
IPVanish works in virtually every circumstance, from streaming live sports to playing online video games to watching movies and even managing a business. And the low price on the yearly or 2-year plan makes it incredibly affordable - less than the cost of 1 coffee per month.
Pro Tips For IPVanish VPN
- Set IPVanish to start automatically when your device is turned on for complete peace of mind.
- Set up Split Tunnelling if you have apps that don't require complete security and wish to bypass the VPN.
- Update your operating system to the latest version if you haven't already. This will resolve the majority of potential bugs.
- Enable "Threat Protection" (Android only) to block annoying ads, trackers and malicious websites while your device is connected to the VPN (more details).
- Choose the yearly or 2-year plan, which is much better value than the monthly plan, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. A 7-day free trial is available on yearly plans initiated from the App Store and Google Play.
IPVanish VPN Specifications
- Native apps for most devices: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire TV, Apple TV, ChromeOS, and routers
- VPN locations: 75+
- VPN servers: 2,200+
- Encryption: AES-256
- Protocol support: Wireguard, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and IPSec
- Data limits: Unmetered connection
- Device limits: Connect to as many devices as you wish
- SOCKS5 proxy: included with all plans
- Compatible with top streaming services: Netflix, ESPN+, Disney+, Hulu, and more.
- VPN Kill Switch support
- Private DNS servers for DNS leak prevention
- Split Tunnelling support (select specific apps and sites to exclude from VPN)
- Ultra-fast connection speeds.
- No-traffic-logs policy.
- Unmetered connections.
- 2,200+ servers.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Backed by a US company.
- Own and operate VPN servers instead of leasing.
- Feature parity on Mac version (in progress).