IPVanish VPN Review 2020 - DON'T BUY IT BEFORE YOU READ THIS

What do we look at?

IPVanish VPN Overview October 2020

After seeing mixed IPVanish reviews around the web, it was hard to know whether this mid-sized VPN was worth my money. After running extensive tests on its features for myself,  I found it to be a great value for its robust server network, reliable apps, and impressive cloud storage solution. However, IPVanish isn’t able to block malware or access streaming services other than Netflix and Disney+ US — which is a major downside for me.

If you want speed, security, and access to all the popular streaming services out there, you should check out NordVPN. You can try NordVPN for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee and compare it with IPVanish to make your final decision.

Try IPVanish for free for 30 days!

Don’t Have Time? Here’s a Short Summary (1-Minute Read)

  • Incredibly fast speeds. Most servers I tested were blazing-fast, even on the other side of the world. Jump to the speed test results.
  • Unblocks Netflix and Disney+ US. I accessed Netflix and US-based content on Disney+, but other streaming sites don’t work. Skip to my streaming tests.
  • Powerful encryption, but no malware blocker. Military-grade encryption safeguards your data, but you’re vulnerable to hackers without protection from malware. Find out what I learned about its security features.
  • A 2016 privacy incident reveals it may share your user data. The privacy policy says it’s a zero-logs VPN — but IPVanish identified a user’s browsing activities in response to a 2016 US government data request. Learn about the privacy policy.
  • Lots of support options, but the only 24/7 support is a chat bot. Without human reps on live chat, answers aren’t always helpful. See what happened when I contacted support.
  • A good value with free cloud storage. With 250 GB of free storage included, IPVanish is an impressive value if you need the extra space. Read my final verdict.

Try IPVanish today!

IPVanish Unblocks Netflix and Disney+ US (But Can’t Access Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO NOW, Amazon Prime Video, or DAZN)

When it comes to unblocking streaming sites, IPVanish falls short — IPVanish only works with Netflix and Disney+ US, ESPN, Spotify, Vudu, and Kodi. Unfortunately, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO NOW, and Amazon Prime Video gave me errors when I tried to log in or select a show to watch.

Instead, you can unblock these streaming services and more with NordVPN’s powerful SmartPlay server network that can easily bypass geo-restrictions from anywhere. It also has super-fast connections for watching in HD without lag. You can try NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to see if it works with your favorite shows or get a full refund in the unlikely case it doesn’t.

Netflix: Unblocked

IPVanish was able to unblock all of Netflix’s global content libraries that I tested. When I tried over 15 servers in the US, New Zealand, Germany, and Asia, they all easily bypass Netflix’s proxy streaming error and let me watch local content. The servers were consistently fast enough that my streams never had to reduce in quality or stop to buffer. I was able to watch The Crown in HD with no buffering after I connected to IPVanish’s server in Birmingham, UK.

Screenshot of The Crown on Netflix while IPVanish is connected to a server in Birmingham, UK
IPVanish unblocked Netflix in the UK, letting me watch shows with no lag

Watch Netflix with IPVanish

Disney+ US: Unblocked

I was only able to log in and watch The Simpsons in HD with the New York server after testing servers around the world. Unfortunately, servers in Boston, Toronto, Melbourne, Frankfurt, Paris, and other cities couldn’t bypass Disney’s location blocks. This means you can only watch titles on Disney+ US, but this isn’t a big deal since this is one of the biggest content libraries.

Screenshot of The Simpsons playing on Disney+ while IPVanish is connected to the New York server
Only IPVanish’s New York server let me log in and watch shows on Disney+

Since there’s only one working server, you won’t have other options if it slows down. That’s why I’d recommend a different VPN like NordVPN to watch multiple Disney+ content libraries from anywhere.

Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and DAZN: Blocked

When I attempted to log into Hulu from servers including New York, New Orleans, Phoenix, Chicago, and 6 others, all of them gave me Hulu’s VPN error message.

Screenshot of Hulu's proxy error while IPVanish is connected to a Denver server
Hulu lets me log in, but trying to watch a show or movie gives me an error message

I got similar results with the BBC iPlayer. When I tried all 3 of IPVanish’s locations in the UK, I got an error message every time I tried to watch.

Screenshot of BBC iPlayer displaying an error message while logged into IPVanish's Birmingham, UK server
No matter which server I used, the BBC could tell I was logged in from outside the UK

Since so few streaming platforms worked with IPVanish, I didn’t expect Amazon Prime Video to work either. I got errors every time I tried to start a show or movie with over 10 servers in the US, UK, Europe, and Asia.

Screenshot of Amazon Prime Video blocking access to content with an IP error while IPVanish is connected to a server in the US
Amazon Prime Video blocks IPVanish’s global servers, preventing me from watching

While other VPN blogs claim that IPVanish unblocks DAZN, this isn’t the case! When I tried servers in every country where DAZN is available, they were all blocked by DAZN.

Screenshot of a location error screen on DAZN while IPVanish is connected to a server in Spain
I was disappointed that I couldn’t watch sports on DAZN with IPVanish

During my tests, NordVPN unblocked most streaming services that IPVanish can’t. That’s why NordVPN is my go-to when I want to catch up on Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.

Unblock streaming sites with NordVPN

Important to know

United States
2012
No
10
30 days guaranteed
windows mac linux android ios windows-phone router

Contact Details

[email protected]
www.IPVanish.com

Speed8.3

I’ve tested over 100 VPNs throughout my career, and IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs I’ve ever used (especially for a mid-range provider). When I ran tests on server locations in the US, Japan, Brazil, and Portugal, I had an average download speed of 76Mbps. That’s an incredible increase — while other VPNs slowed down my speed, IPVanish was almost 50% faster! Regardless of whether I connected to a server in my home country or in a country on the other side of the world, speeds were lightning-fast.

Screenshot of 4 speed tests while connected to various IPVanish servers
I was amazed by IPVanish’s speeds, even on servers on the other side of the world

With speeds like these, you’ll never have to worry about lag during video chats, live feeds, TV streaming, or other high-bandwidth activities. If your internet provider is throttling your speeds, IPVanish’s super-fast servers are a great way to bypass throttling and give you high-speed internet access.

Bypass speed throttling with IPVanish

Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.

Servers9.6

Server Network — Impressive Server Network (But No Specialized Servers)

IPVanish has an impressive server network, with over 1,500 in 70 different countries. Its auto-connect feature quickly pairs you with the fastest option in your country of choice.

You can select from 5 VPN protocols to prioritize speed, security, or computing power. The only downside is that it doesn’t explain the pros and cons of each protocol, making the options confusing for VPN beginners who aren’t sure how a VPN works. To briefly summarize the differences, OpenVPN is popular because it’s open source and developers are always improving it. IKEv2 is great for fast speeds. L2TP is fast but not as secure. SSTP is better at bypassing geoblocks. PPTP is fast but has much weaker security than the others.

Screenshot of IPVanish's VPN protocol list
A variety of VPN protocols give you advanced options usually only seen on higher-end VPNs

You can easily find an IPVanish server to use it with the intuitive drop-down menus. I was always able to connect in just 2-4 seconds without any issues.

Get reliable connections with IPVanish

Security — Solid Security, But No Advanced Features

To see if IPVanish really kept my data secure, I ran a DNS leak test. It only detected data being sent to the secure IPVanish server I was connected to. This means my IP address, location, and browsing activities stayed completely hidden with IPVanish.

Screenshot of a DNS leak test while IPVanish is connected to a server in Slovakia
IPVanish passed a DNS test, proving my identity stayed hidden while connected

IPVanish doesn’t have advanced security features like malware or ad blocking. Since just one malware attack can permanently corrupt your device or steal all your data, it’s a shame that IPVanish doesn’t protect you from it.

Worse yet: IPVanish got a request from the US government for user logs in 2016 as part of a criminal investigation. Despite claiming to be a zero-logs VPN, it surrendered data on the user in question including his online activities. IPVanish claims it changed their policy since then, but the investigation proved it had been logging some of its users’ activities. This is one of the pitfalls of being based in the US — since the US is the part of the Five Eyes Alliance, it participates in the global surveillance-sharing network and can force domestic companies to hand over data.

Stay secure and anonymous with NordVPN

Privacy — Strong Policy on Paper, But Not in Reality

With 256-bit encryption (the same level used by the US government to protect state secrets) to hide your data, IPVanish does a great job of keeping your identity hidden while you use the web. Given its 2016 data logging scandal, I decided to dig deep into its privacy policy to see if I could find anything troublesome. There weren’t any concerning details — it states “we do not log any traffic or usage of our VPN” without further details. Unfortunately, this means you won’t be able to tell for sure if your browsing data is being logged or not without an independent auditor.

Bigger VPN providers that have had third-party audits of their logs policies give you more guaranteed privacy. They also give you better security with more advanced server features. For example, NordVPN’s MultiHop splits your connection through multiple VPN servers to further hide your identity. To get the highest level of online privacy, you can try NordVPN for free for 30 days with its risk-free guarantee. If you decide you don’t need the extra privacy features, you can get your money back.

Preserve your online privacy with NordVPN

Torrenting — Supports Torrenting, But No Optimized Servers

All of IPVanish’s servers support torrenting, but none of them are torrent-optimized. These servers are designed to protect your privacy and increase your download speed while downloading P2P — but only the best VPNs have them. Even without optimized servers, my speeds were still super-fast! I downloaded a 2-hour public domain documentary with only 5 peers, and the torrent finished in less than 15 minutes.

One huge plus of IPVanish is the included SugarSync app, which gives users a generous 250 GB of free cloud storage to hold your torrent files. You can even sync your files across all your devices, as long as they both have IPVanish and SugarSync installed.

If you’d rather use a VPN with torrent-optimized servers, you can try NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. Its network is super-secure, with lots of servers optimized specifically for P2P file sharing on apps like BitTorrent.

Torrent safely with NordVPN

Does IPVanish Work in China? (No)

Like most VPNs, IPVanish’s servers have been blacklisted by the Chinese government — you won’t be able to connect while inside the country. IPVanish’s website is also blocked, so you aren’t able to download it or log into your account while you’re in China.

Only a few VPNs work in China that can bypass the government’s advanced firewalls safely. If you’ll only be in China for a short time, most of them have 30-day money-back guarantees so you can cancel your subscription within 4 weeks when your trip is over.

Server Locations

Albania
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
El Salvador
Estonia
Finland
See all supported locations...

User Experience9.6

Simultaneous Device Connections — Supports 10 Devices at Once

IPVanish gives you a generous 10 device limit on a premium account. I tested it with 10 smartphones and tablets (both Android and iOS-based), streaming Netflix on every device while connected. I only noticed very slight slowdowns — I couldn’t stream in HD on all the devices, but I never had to wait for buffering in standard definition.

Device Compatibility — Great Compatibility for Most Device Types

For a mid-range VPN provider, I was impressed with IPVanish’s device compatibility. It supports 5 different languages on a ton of devices, including many that only work with higher-end VPNs like:

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Routers
  • Roku
  • Google Chrome

It doesn’t work with game consoles like Xbox or PS4, or on Smart TVs like Apple TV. However, by connecting via your router or using the Windows Internet Connection sharing feature, you can still protect your traffic on game systems and other devices that don’t support IPVanish directly.

Ease of Set-Up & Installation — Easy Set-Up, But Mild UI Glitches

The IPVanish installation and set-up on computers and mobile devices is extremely straightforward. You won’t have any trouble if you have downloaded and installed software before. Installing it on your router is slightly more complicated, but you can find detailed setup guides for any compatible devices on IPVanish’s website to help you get started.

I noticed that IPVanish keeps a running log of which server you use, what time you connect, and the duration. Fortunately, IPVanish only uses this information to diagnose any potential technical problems and doesn’t retain your records.

Screenshot of the IPVanish app showing a diagnostics screen
IPVanish’s detailed logs give you powerful insights to help solve technical problems

I experienced a mild glitch that I couldn’t fix even after reinstalling the software. On the Windows user interface, you can check your IP and location to see if your data is hidden or exposed. Instead of showing the correct information, all I saw was a notification that said “updating” forever. It was annoying to have to check if I was connected through a third-party website instead of the interface. Although this wasn’t a big deal for me, you can also find a better VPN on Windows with working features.

Screenshot of the IPVanish Windows user interface showing a glitch
IPVanish’s Windows user interface didn’t show the location or IP address

I thought its apps were easy to uninstall as well. On mobile and tablets, I just had to drag the app icon to the trash. On the desktop, I used the operating system’s uninstall programs utility with no problems.

Support8.6

If you need to contact support, you can reach out through email, 24/7 chat, or phone, or find your answers in an extensive online knowledge base. IPVanish advertises “24/7 live chat” — but this claim is slightly misleading, as the chat is actually with a bot. The auto replies are linked to knowledge base articles that might answer your question. If the links aren’t helpful, you can leave a message (which just sends an email to support). I asked if IPVanish works in China, but the bot didn’t give me any helpful links.

Screenshot of IPVanish's support chat bot answering a question
IPVanish’s 24/7 live chat bot couldn’t answer my question, so I had to email support

I tested the live chat bot’s multilingual abilities by connecting to a server in Mexico and asking it a question in Spanish. I only got helpful answers in English, so the bot might not be useful unless you’re an English speaker.

IPVanish offers support phone numbers for 7 different countries. I called the US number and was put on hold for just 2 minutes before I was able to speak to a rep. Email support was quick as well, and answered my question within an hour — but I was most impressed by IPVanish’s online knowledge base. You can find a treasure trove of information including general FAQs to router setup guides that are useful for beginners or advanced users.

Try IPVanish for free for 30 days

How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Pricing9.8

IPVanish’s subscription options give you the same features whether you sign up for 1 month, 3 months, or a year. The annual plan is the best deal — you can get the lowest price with a longer commitment. Just keep in mind that auto-renewal is turned on by default — if you don’t cancel before the end of your plan, you’ll continue to be charged at the same cost.

Payment Options

You can pay with major credit and debit cards or PayPal. Despite what some other VPN blogs claim, Bitcoin is no longer an option. Since there aren’t any anonymous payment options, you need to give IPVanish your billing information to subscribe. However, this data is only used for payment processing and won’t be shared.

IPVanish’s SugarSync is a great value with 250 GB of cloud storage provided for free. If you have a lot of files, it’s a no-brainer — a separate SugarSync account costs about the same as a 1-month IPVanish subscription. If you don’t need this perk, NordVPN’s 2-year plan is a better deal. For a little more per month, it has an integrated malware and ad blocker and a lightning-fast server network that can unblock more streaming services, plus you can try NordVPN for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee.

Money-Back Guarantee

You have up to 30 days to try IPVanish and get a full refund (unless you buy through the iOS app store, which doesn’t have the 30-day guarantee). I love that I got my money back automatically after requesting to cancel my subscription on the IPVanish website — you only have to reach out to support if it doesn’t go through.

Cancelling my service was easy — I just logged into my account on the IPVanish website and clicked the “Subscription” tab on my dashboard. Then I clicked the button to cancel at the bottom of the screen and confirmed the cancellation. When asked why I didn’t want to continue with my plan, I simply stated that I no longer needed the service.

Screenshot of IPVanish's cancellation confirmation message on an active user account
Refunds are processed instantly when you cancel your account from the IPVanish website

You can also extend your subscription for a short time without paying extra by pretending to cancel on the website. On the final page before my refund was processed, IPVanish offered me 2 months for free to try to keep me as a customer for a while longer.

Screenshot of IPVanish's 2 month free offer screen
You can get 2 months for free by requesting to cancel then using this IPVanish extension offer

After I denied the offer, my refund was processed immediately — the money appeared back in my PayPal account within an hour. If you want to get a couple of months for free, all you have to do is subscribe, begin the cancellation process before the 30-day limit, and click the “Redeem This Offer” button when the above screen pops up!

Try IPVanish!

IPVanish VPN offers the following plans

Final Verdict

While IPVanish doesn’t unblock many streaming services (other than Netflix and Disney+ US), I definitely recommend it if you need a VPN for organizing (and protecting) your online files, especially considering SugarSync is included for free. If you don’t need cloud storage, it’s still decent — but you can get fuller-featured VPNs for a similar price, especially if you sign up for a longer-term subscription.

Try IPVanish for free for 30 days

FAQs About IPVanish

🤑 Is IPVanish worth the price?

IPVanish is a great value if you need cloud storage, which is included free of charge. Its fast speeds, reliable servers, and easy-to-use apps definitely make it worth the price tag. If you want to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, or other services, you’ll have to get a different VPN. I recommend NordVPN — it unblocks all of the major streaming services for around the same monthly cost with its 2-year plan.

😊 Does IPVanish have a free version?

IPVanish doesn’t have a free version, but you get a money-back guarantee for any reason as long as you cancel within the 30-day period. If you only need a VPN for a short period, you can take advantage and easily get your money back before the 30 days are up. Before your cancellation request is confirmed, you can get an offer for 2 months for free like I did. If you need a VPN for an even longer time period, there are some decent free VPNs available — but they come with major limitations like annoying ads, data caps, and throttled servers.

Try IPVanish for free for 30 days

🤓 Will IPVanish secure my data?

IPVanish keeps your connection safe and secures your data with military-grade encryption. With a strict no-logs policy, it keeps your online activities completely private. However, it doesn’t protect your data from malware or hackers, so you need a separate malware and ad blocker to stay safe from cybercriminals. NordVPN is another provider that protects your device with more advanced security features. Its powerful malware CyberSec blocker keeps your data from being stolen by hackers and identity thieves without needing extra software.

😅 Can I get into trouble for using IPVanish?

IPVanish is perfectly legal to use! However, you could potentially get into trouble if you use it for illegal activities. Although it keeps your connection private and your activities anonymous, there are still certain situations (like losing your connection without the kill switch activated) where you might be exposed. In those cases, you could be criminally liable if you’re doing something illegal.

If you live somewhere with censored internet, a VPN is a great way to access blocked sites without getting into trouble. NordVPN is my favorite for easily getting onto censored websites — it has some of the strongest security and servers that let you anonymously bypass web restrictions.

Browse censored websites with NordVPN

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