IPVanish is also one of the few VPN providers that manages all of its infrastructure in-house, meaning that all servers are owned by the company, and it only uses self-developed software for its service. The strongest VPN on the market also boasts a vast range of features that not only provide faster speeds but also permit a custom encryption level and all of the other features of a VPN connection, too. There’s even a special offer only for Best Reviews readers to save themselves a little extra.
IPVanish is one of the best tools for ensuring sensitive data remains protected regardless of where the connection is established from – even including public Wi-Fi networks, for instance – thanks to the full arsenal of security features it provides. Along with pretty much every function of the VPN client, these different elements are easily configurable and editable, ensuring that all customers can adapt their VPN to their own individual needs.
Tier-1 VPN Service
Many VPN providers work with different companies to lease servers around the globe in an effort to offer more locations at a low cost, and typically this means less reliability in terms of speed and uptime as well as more parties handling the users’ private data. IPVanish, on the other hand, prides itself on being a tier-1 VPN service, meaning that it has full ownership over its entire network and only uses its own network infrastructure for establishing VPN connections. This means that IPVanish has full control over every aspect of its VPN service and doesn’t use any third parties to set up VPN connections, and since it is the only party involved in establishing secure connections and handling customer details is is one of the few companies that can be truly trusted.
The VPN client reflects this particular aspect, showing the load and ping times next to each server in the expanded server list, for instance. Also, the so-called QuickConnect feature automatically picks the best server and city depending on users’ physical location, while it still saves preferences filtered by country, response time and protocol used.
IPVanish is also the best for security. In fact, other VPN providers should take notes on how to properly configure a VPN client based on the work of IPVanish. It’s always a joy to access the various editable features, especially since the design of the interface doesn’t limit access to any function of the software. There’s full user control over the likes of the VPN connections’ security and their speeds as well as the general behavior of the tool. Within the IPVanish client it’s possible to alter the choice of protocol for a faster or more secure connection, choose to let the tool automatically reconnect – which is great when used alongside the kill switch – enable LAN traffic blocking or DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and much more.
IPVanish has servers in more than different countries across the globe, including some rarely seen locations such as Hong Kong, South Korea, Dubai and others. This means a high-speed connection is available nearly anywhere in the world, though the actual speed is as always dependent on each country’s own internet quality, distance to the servers, the used protocol, speeds provided by ISPs, and other factors that IPVanish cannot control.
What it can control, though, is the number of servers available. The fact that many countries have multiple servers – which are used exclusively for its VPN network – makes this one of the fastest services available, especially if using QuickConnect. IPVanish also allows P2P torrent traffic – supporting clients such as uTorrent, Vuze, and Deluge – which can be achieved either via a normal VPN connection or the restricted and secure SOCKS5 proxy server that you can configure yourself.
Tests were conducted from Europe using different servers and protocols with positive results during the whole experience. The Austrian and UK servers – both using OpenVPN –produced the best results, which is no surprise considering the proximity and both countries’ internet quality. For overseas locations such as Brazil and South Africa the other two protocols were tested. PPTP revealed its true power in Brazil, with speeds overcoming even Austria on OpenVPN, while the L2TP/IPSec connection to the South African server was the slowest. However, considering the great geographical distance and strong defensive protocol used, this is an understandable result.
When it comes to DNS and IP leaks, IPVanish once again comes out on top as there were never any issues with either of these, which means that connections are trustworthy, accurate and users are 100% safe when using them.
IPVanish supports four main protocols – PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2 and OpenVPN – which are responsible for the potential speed and encryption level of any given VPN connection. These can be changed anytime within the client to help achieve the best possible VPN experience. OpenVPN is the top choice for desktop computers, for instance, while the others are ideal for mobile devices, with L2TP being the slowest but most secure and PPTP being the exact opposite. IKEv2, however, is best for unstable Wi-Fi networks for both mobile and desktop versions. On top of this, it’s possible to change the ports on OpenVPN connections as well as toggle the option for traffic obfuscation.
But that’s not all, since other privacy measures are included, from the use of the premier standard AES 256-bit encryption key or the always useful kill switch that ensures no online data is ever exposed. It’s possible to enable or disable IPv6 and DNS leak protection, too, block LAN traffic and even use custom DNS settings. Likewise, the company also provides the ability to use a third-party DNS while still being connected to IPVanish, although this is still not recommended. Frankly, it’s the full package when it comes to maintaining personal privacy.
OS, Device Support
It’s one thing to have a great VPN service, but making it available and fully compatible with all the latest operating systems is another. IPVanish is supreme in this field too, since its client works on Windows computers running at least XP and Macs with OS X 10.6.8 and later. Android, iOS and even Windows Phone smartphones and tablets haven’t been left out either, with free applications that provide the same smooth user interface and experience as the desktop clients. These VPN apps work well in conjunction with Skype and other VoIP apps, allowing for lower costs on calls via these services.
Yet for complete device support IPVanish can also be configured to run on Linux Ubuntu, Chromebook, Amazon Fire TV and even routers using DD-WRT or Tomato to reach extra platforms like games consoles, smart TVs and other devices that don’t support VPNs directly. Opting for router protection also eliminates the need for simultaneous connections through the same account, which is set to a maximum of five.
The pricing of IPVanish is as simple as it is competitive, the latter in particular thanks to the exclusive offer available for Best Reviews readers. This offer awards readers with a saving of 34% on the standard monthly subscription price of $8 per month, but this discount can be taken further still by extending the length of the subscription. The three-month plan can be had for an equivalent of $7.20 per month when paying the total of $21.59 instead of $35.97. But the best value plan is the annual subscription that – with this special offer – costs only $5.20 per month; in other words, this is a 57% discount on the normal price that all other users must pay for this plan.
All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that can – and should – be used to try the service completely risk-free, as unfortunately there are no free trials or versions of the program. Payment methods include most credit and debit cards, as well as alternatives like PayPal and Bitcoin.
Along with the FAQ pages available in a number of different languages, the step-by-step tutorials per device and operating system are likely to already answer some of the most basic questions for setting the service up and using it for the most basic tasks. Still, online technical support is available 24/7 throughout the year via various channels such as phone, a contact form that ensures email responses within a few hours and a live chat. There is also the support forums and the company’s social media pages, through which direct support or community assistance is also provided. In fact, IPVanish is very community-oriented since its blog features many interesting articles related to cyber protection, along with speed test, privacy check and password generation tools.
IPVanish delivers everything asked of a VPN provider and even more besides, which is the reason why it’s been our number one rated VPN service since 2013 by both Best Reviews experts and users. The fact that the company has full control over every single aspect of its VPN service is just one of the many indicators of how the service has earned such a respected reputation. A well-proportioned server network is often the biggest seller when it comes to such services, but it’s worthless without the proper protection and fast speeds. IPVanish convinces in all of these areas, and it even adds more security features and extensive support for all kinds of devices bundled in with a simple client that can be fully customized to provide the most personalized experience to anyone.
The service works exceptionally well, too, demonstrating impressively consistent test results and operates with a zero-log policy. Though there is no free trial to make use of, there’s nothing else to criticize IPVanish for. And even this is easy to overlook when considering the competitive pricing and special discounts such as the one offered to Best Reviews readers.
- Tier-1 VPN service
- User-friendly apps for all devices
- 24/7 chat, email, and phone support
- Great range of security tools
- Zero traffic logs
- Competitive pricing
- No free trial