ExpressVPN vs IPVanish

ExpressVPN and IPVanish are both exceptional providers, but which is better for the average user? To find out, we examined both VPN services and compared their performance in several areas. This allowed us to accurately and fairly weigh the advantages of one against the other. Let’s take a look at ExpressVPN vs. IPVanish:



  • High speeds, large server network
  • Easy to install on routers
  • Accepts cryptocurrency


  • Exceptional speeds
  • No connection limits
  • Lightweight, user-friendly apps

ExpressVPN vs IPVanish pricing

No valueExpressVPNIPVanish
Subscription periods1 month, 6 months, 1 yearOne month, one year, two years
Special offerThree months free with a 1 year subscription62% off with the IPVanish yearly plan ($4.49 per month)
Highest price per month$12.95$11.99
Lowest monthly cost$6.67$3.33
One year price $99.95 (actually for 15 months)$53.88
Money back guarantee30 days30 days
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan

If you’re looking for short-term VPN coverage, IPVanish is the less expensive option. To its credit, ExpressVPN does close the gap over longer periods thanks to some generous long-term discounts. However, IPVanish remains cheaper overall thanks to its two-year plan.

ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its plans. This gives you a whole month to test the service and see if it meets your expectations. IPVanish, meanwhile, only offers this on annual and two-year plans, with monthly subscribers on iOS eligible for a seven-day trial instead.

EXPRESSVPN DEAL: Reduce the price by 49% and get an extra 3 months free with ExpressVPN’s one-year deal.

IPVANISH DEAL: Save up to 63% on your IPVanish subscription.

ExpressVPN vs IPVanish features

No valueExpressVPNIPVanish
Simultaneous Connections5Unlimited
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, RoutersWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android
Manual install devicesSet-top boxes and certain routersSet-top boxes, Linux, routers
Free extrasSmart DNS service. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Vivaldi, and BraveChrome browser extension, automatic wifi protection
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan

ExpressVPN just about wins out in this category. IPVanish doesn’t have a connection limit, meaning it might be more suitable for larger families. That said, it has to be manually installed on a wider range of devices. ExpressVPN actually offers its own command line-based Linux installer and customn firmware for routers. Since a router only counts as one connection no matter how many devices are on the network, this is an easy way to bypass the relatively low connection limit.

Unlike most VPN browser extensions, ExpressVPN’s don’t work by themselves. Instead, they serve as a way to quickly switch servers without opening the actual application. They do, however, automatically adjust your browser’s geo-location settings in line with whichever server you choose. ExpressVPN also includes its Media Streamer app – a Smart DNS proxy that bypasses geo-restriction without encrypting your traffic. While this isn’t ideal for general browsing, it does allow you to strike a balance between security and speed.

Neither service allows for split tunneling across all of your devices: ExpressVPN restricts it to its desktop apps, while IPVanish only has this feature in its Android app. This can cause problems when multitasking; for instance, without split tunneling, users might run into trouble when attempting to access foreign geo-locked streaming sites while also downloading app updates from a source based in their own country.

Streaming and Netflix comparison

No valueExpressVPNIPVanish
Unblocks Sky Go
Unblocks Prime Video
Unblocks BBC iPlayer
Unblocks ABC
Unblocks CBS
Unblocks NBC
Unblocks ITV
Unblocks Channel 4
Unblocks Hulu
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan

IPVanish is certainly better for streaming than it used to be, but it still struggles with some of the tricker platforms. ExpressVPN, meanwhile, has made improvements of its own. For instance, it no longer has any issues accessing BBC iPlayer or ABC.

Which of these VPNs work in China?

ExpressVPN works in China, although the service’s main website is blocked by the Great Firewall. As such, you’ll have to sign up from a different site; currently, is still accessible from within China. Occasionally, there are outages due to new Chinese firewall updates, but this service is usually back online shortly after.

IPVanish freely admits that its service doesn’t work in China, although it provides connection guides for customers willing to try anyway. However, as IPVanish’s IP addresses have started being blacklisted by the Chinese government, the odds of getting a working connection are very slim.

Setup and interface

No valueExpressVPNIPVanish
Automatic setup wizardWindows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Tomato and DD-WRT routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS
Main location selectionList-basedMap-based/List-based
Extra settings pages
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan

Both the IPVanish and ExpressVPN apps work well on both large and smaller screens. They’re both very clean, with a one-click connection and minimal clutter. IPVanish excels in this area as it allows users to select their preferred region and server right on the app’s main screen. ExpressVPN isn’t much more difficult, with server switching only taking a single additional tap.

IPVanish provides far more security options for mobile devices though. Users can choose to scramble OpenVPN traffic, block LAN access, use split tunneling, and change protocols. By comparison, ExpressVPN’s barebones automatic reconnection and protocol choice options seem a little underwhelming. It does include a Smart Location feature, however, which automatically connects to the fastest server available.

IPVanish - App - Mobile
IPVanish mobile app

Of course, the desktop apps offer a much wider range of functionality. For instance, ExpressVPN allows you to use split tunneling and its kill switch to protect yourself when on a desktop computer. IPVanish’s desktop app allows you to switch IP addresses at predetermined intervals or configure third-party DNS.

Servers and performance

No valueExpressVPNIPVanish
Server countries9453
Total number of serversUndisclosed2,200+
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan

ExpressVPN beats IPVanish handily here, with servers in almost double the number of countries. The two services have competing network principles: ExpressVPN has fewer servers in each location, but broader coverage, whereas IPVanish has server clusters in high-demand areas like Brazil, the US, and the UK.


Both VPNs allow users to select not just a country, but also a specific city for the server they’d like to connect to. This is particularly useful for bypassing regional blackouts like those used by the NHL or accessing local TV streams online.

IPVanish city selection

Below, we’ve listed the countries in which ExpressVPN and IPVanish have servers:

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Brunei Darussalam
Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Hong Kong
Isle of Man
New Zealand
Sri Lanka
South Africa
South Korea
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States


No valueExpressVPNIPVanish
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, Lightway, IKEv2OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
OpenVPN data encryption256-bit AES256-bit AES
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096RSA-2048
Kill SwitchDesktop onlymacOS, Android Mobile, and Windows
Private DNS servers
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan

Both of these VPNs can use the OpenVPN protocol but IPVanish also works with L2TP and WireGuard connections. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, uses IKEv2 on MacOS and Linux, and has its own protocol named Lightway. This is significantly more streamlined, making it easier to audit. It’s also able to keep your connection secure while switching from mobile data to wifi.

Both providers use the same 256-bit AES encryption and SHA512 hash, but ExpressVPN uses 4,096-bit RSA keys whereas IPVanish uses 2,048-bit. Additionally, ExpressVPN uses cipher block chaining to help mask the fact that you’re using a VPN at all. This is particularly useful if you’re in a place like the United Arab Emirates, where VPN use is restricted. IPVanish boasts the ability to scramble your OpenVPN traffic. Obviously this won’t help if you’re using one of the other protocols, though.

IPVanish - App - Settings
IPVanish app settings

ExpessVPN and IPVanish each include a kill switch, which means that if you’re browsing on a cell phone or tablet and your connection to the VPN drops, you could find yourself accidentally sharing information you hadn’t planned to. This is available in ExpressVPN’s desktop apps and on Android, MacOS, and Windows with IPVanish.


No valueExpressVPNIPVanish
HQ base of operationBritish Virgin IslandsUnited States
Connection logsSome aggregated dataSome aggregated data
Activity logsNo identifying dataNo logs stored
User details for signupEmail addressEmail address
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoin
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a location with no mandatory data-retention laws. IPVanish, however, is based in the US — one of the Fives Eyes countries. In practice, this means that governments in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand could gather intelligence about each other’s citizens and share it with one another. However, this shouldn’t matter if a VPN provider has a solid no-logs policy.

ExpressVPN logs the date a user connects to the service, the amount of data transferred, and the VPN server connected to, but no timestamps or real IP addresses. However, ExpressVPN allows you to sign up anonymously using a throwaway email address and cryptocurrency payments. IPVanish stores similar data, but doesn’t have any way for users to sign up anonymously.

Customer service

No valueExpressVPNIPVanish
24/7 live chat
Ticket support
Email support
Average email response time49 mins4 hours
Searchable knowledge base
Phone support
Video guides
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan

Whichever service you choose, getting help is easy. Both live chat teams reply in seconds and even the email response time is significantly lower than we expected. We asked each three questions, and you’ll see a breakdown of our results below:

Question Initial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
Can ExpressVPN unblock Netflix US?4 minutes1Yes
Can I install ExpressVPN on my PlayStation 4?55 minutes1Yes
Which protocol should I use to connect when in China?1 hour, 21 minutes1Yes
Question Initial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
Can IPVanish unblock Netflix US?8 hours 57, minutes1Yes
Can I install IPVanish on my PlayStation 4?1 hour, 15 minutes1Yes
The website claims IPVanish has servers in 60+ countries but only 51 are accessible within the app. Which is correct?2 hours, 13 minutes2Yes

The winner: ExpressVPN

Let’s preface this by saying that both ExpressVPN and IPVanish are high-quality services. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, general-purpose VPN to install onto a wide variety of devices, IPVanish would be a strong choice. However, in a one-on-one showdown, ExpressVPN manages to edge the win.

Although this VPN has fewer servers in each area, its network covers a huge portion of the world and enables users to stream content from countries most other VPNs don’t. When you consider that it works with several of the most popular streaming platforms and can even be used in China, ExpressVPN becomes the obvious choice for expats and frequent travellers.

Remember: ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can try it for a month and see if it’s right for you. If not, no problem: just let support staff know and you’ll receive a full refund.