IPVanish is one of the more well-known VPN providers on the market thanks to the rather large VPN network and generally strong reputation among VPN users.
It is a Tier-1 VPN provider, meaning it fully controls its entire network with physical access to all servers, it says. The network has over 230 servers on nearly every continent with a particularly strong selection in Europe (87) and North America (77) as well as a variety of locations throughout Asia. For server in Africa (6) and South America (4), the number of servers is lacking though and it’s clear that IPVanish is very much an ideal provider for a user looking to connect in Europe or the States.
Pricing & Plans
Once you’re connected to IPVanish’s VPN service, a secure Internet connection between your ISP and IPVanish is established. Everything you do from then on is encrypted and anonymous. Your sensitive data is protected no matter where you connect from, including public Wi-Fi networks. IPVanish provides its own desktop clients for Windows, Mac and all other supported systems. Getting the software set up and running is a breeze, and changing any settings is quick and easy. Once connected, you can begin to anonymously browse the Internet and unlock any content you wish. You can also configure the VPN with the protocols of your choice using a step-by-step tutorial if you prefer to set the service up this way.
Signing up and getting started
IPVanish is very easy to sign up with and get started. The process has been stripped down to the bare essentials, requiring your email and password for signing up. Often more hard line privacy users will use a separate email account from their regular one for signing up. You’ll then be directed to the payment phase with several options. PayPal or credit/debit card may be the most convenient and easy but again, for privacy and security, you can use bitcoin.Other payment methods accepted by IPVanish include Alipay and Giropay.
Following our installation, we hit some delays in getting up and running as we were required to immediately update the OpenVPN protocol driver, which took a couple of minutes to complete, a little longer than anticipated.The protocols available for IPVanish’s VPN are OpenVPN (UDP), OpenVPN (TCP), L2TP, and PPTP.Recently it added a Windows 10 application to accompany its Mac client. Mobile versions are available for IPVanish too with Android and iOS apps.
Design & features
IPVanish has a very clean design and upon launching, the dashboard gives the user a quick overview of the program with a map showing where your current IP address is. IPVanish did experience a couple of issues with freezing up and slowing down a couple of times though.
On the server front, IPVanish gives the user some quick options such as connecting to the fastest server available. It’s a handy feature instead of scouring through the large network of servers to find what looks like a fast connection. Unfortunately, when we connected to the fastest server available, it connected us to a server in the same country as our real IP address. This makes sense from a latency point of view but more often than not, VPN users are looking to connect to a VPN server outside of their country.
We tested several different servers in IPVanish’s network . For a taste of its European servers, we connected to an Amsterdam server. Initially we found browsing to be very slow until things sped up and loading up sites became much less cumbersome. As for a speed test, the server yielded download speeds of 5.61 Mbps and upload speeds of 1.61 Mbps.
IPVanish has a very large North American network too but some of the speeds were a little slower, when you look at the breakdown of the speed test but in practice, the speeds are often negligible when actually browsing. One Los Angeles server had downloads speeds of 3.77 Mbps and upload speeds of 0.45 Mbps while a New York server had 4.89 Mbps download and 1.46 Mbps upload. However with the latter we found, through checking the IP address, that the server is actually in Arizona.
IPVanish Review Conclusion
Formed in just 2012, IPVanish has one ohf the fastest (and fastest growing) Virtual Private Networks in the world. While there is still room for improvement, particularly in the vanity features of their apps, it’s important to remember that IPVanish is still a young and growing company.