As soon as you enter IPVanish's website, you'll notice their confidence and lack of modesty. Quite blatantly, they call themselves "the world's best VPN service."
In our book, IPVanish gets satisfactory grades in almost all categories, and it is indeed one of the best services on the market right now. However, many users and experts argue that IPVanish barely covers the basics of a VPN service and doesn't really go the extra mile to give the customers something unique.
Another concern that users usually have is that the company is based in the US where online privacy basically doesn't exist. But, we'll explain why this particular bit shouldn't worry you.
So, let's see if IPVanish really is the best, or just above average.
Image from: IPVanish
Even though IPVanish doesn't go above and beyond to be cutting edge, it still has some amazing features that every good VPN service needs to have.
Firstly, if you opt for IPVanish, you can expect a vast choice of 40,000 IP addresses, 1,000 servers in 61 countries worldwide.
When it comes to the VPN protocols, IPVanish doesn't leave anything to chance, using a wide range of technologies such as PPTP, L2TP, Open VPN, transmission control and user datagram protocol. Plus, it uses the powerful 256-bit encryption used to protect sensitive data by governments, security agencies and militaries.
With all these super powerful technologies along with the unlimited bandwidth, server switching and P2P traffic, IPVanish works great for users who are looking for strong protection and endless fun online. A great number of servers is excellent news for gamers and sports fans, but if you're more into streaming, you might get disappointed. Streaming options are often unreliable with BBC iPlayer and Netflix both blocked on this service.
Another great thing about IPVanish is that it's available on almost all devices, and you can connect five different devices from one account at the same time, which really comes in handy.
Privacy is the category where IPVanish really shines. Using this VPN service, you are as protected as can be.
By using all those encryption technologies we mentioned, IPVanish makes sure their users' online activities stay completely anonymous. And, due to the shared servers, your traffic can never be traced.
Dangerous DNS leaks are possible even with a VPN, but not with IPVanish. This service ensures that all your DNS requests go through the VPN instead of directly to your Internet service provider, which would make your data visible to the prying eyes.
On top of all that, IPVanish has a strict zero logs policy meaning they don't monitor or log your online activity or pass on any information to the third parties. So, even though the company is based in the US, you can rest easy knowing that your data is safe.
Speed is one of the crucial factors when picking a VPN service, and IPVanish passes this category with flying colors.
Connection speed is excellent as well as the upload and download speed, with latency being hardly noticeable when using close-by servers, which makes IPVanish a favorite among gamers and torrenters. However, although the speed is pretty good, it isn't any better than with some other VPN services in the same price range, such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
A couple of years ago, IPVanish introduced the SOCKS5 Proxy feature which delivers even more impressive speeds than the VPN itself. But, you need to keep in mind that a proxy server is not the same as a VPN and it has its downsides.
When it comes to user-friendliness, this is where IPVanish falls short.
The app is not very intuitive, the user experience is disappointing and the whole thing might turn out scary to the VPN newbies who don't really know what they're looking for and where to find what they need. The desktop app will be the most problematic for inexperienced users who may have trouble figuring it out.
Their customer support isn't that helpful either considering they advertise a 24/7 support but fail to provide a live chat option. Their email support is quite solid, on the other hand, but you will have to wait a day or two for the reply.
"The world's best VPN service" does come at a price even despite all its shortcomings. But, to be fair, you are getting an amazing set of features for the price you pay.
Plus, you can choose the package that best suits your needs and your budget. IPVanish has a monthly plan, annual plan and 3-month plan, all of them usually at a discount. Of course, their highlighted offer is the 1-year plan that comes at $6.49 a month billed annually.
They are also offering a 7-day money back guarantee, which gives you a chance to have a test drive before you fully commit.
With a plethora of powerful features, encryption protocols, vast choice of servers and fantastic connection, upload and download speeds, IPVanish offers plenty for its price. The service is ideal for file sharing and gaming, but it's not a very good option for streaming.
The app is also difficult to navigate, which could intimidate the inexperienced users who would miss out on many powerful features just because the user experience is lacking.
Overall, we can't argue with the fact that IPVanish is one of the strongest services in the marketplace at the moment, but they have a long way to go if they truly want to call themselves the best.