NordVPN VS IPVanish

NordVPN and IPVanish are both well-known providers with a lot in common. Today, we’ll be scratching beneath the surface and seeing how these two VPNs compare on security, speed, streaming ability, customer support, and more. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re paying for and ultimately, whether NordVPN or IPVanish is better for your needs.

Can’t choose between NordVPN or IPVanish?

If you’re having trouble deciding between NordVPN and IPVanish, we’d suggest giving NordVPN a try first. It offers a much wider range of security features than its rival and works with just about every streaming service we’ve tried, plus it has a steep discount at the moment. IPVanish is still worth your time, though, especially with the discounts it’s currently offering. We’d recommend this VPN to anyone who wants the highest possible speeds or the ability to connect all of their devices at the same time.

To provide the fairest possible comparison, we’ve spent hours testing these VPNs for ourselves and noting down every feature they had to offer. Here are a few of NordVPN and IPVanish’s major strengths:

Summary: NordVPN vs IPVanish

NordVPN

  • High-speed connections
  • Large number of servers
  • Several advanced security options
  • Exceptional streaming ability

IPVanish

  • Allows unlimited connections
  • Fast and reliable
  • Strong focus on security and privacy
  • Excellent multi-platform support

NordVPN vs IPVanish: VPN price comparison

No valueNordVPNIPVanish
WebsiteNordVPN.comIPVanish.com
Subscription periodsOne month, one year, two yearsOne month, one year, two years
Highest price per month$12.99$12.99
Lowest monthly cost$2.99$2.99
One year price$59.88$53.88
Money back guarantee30 days30 days
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
$2.49
SAVE 81% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

NordVPN and IPVanish are fairly close in terms of price. In fact, this is true both for long and short-term subscribers since IPVanish is just a dollar cheaper per month on both the monthly plan and a few cents cheaper with a two-year plan. There’s a larger difference with annual plans, though: NordVPN costs around $6 more than its rival here.

Both services come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, NordPVN offers this on all plans whereas IPVanish only offers it on annual and two-year subscriptions. This gives you time to test either service out on all of your devices and decide whether you’d like to continue using it or not. If not, just cancel for a full refund.

Best Deal for NordVPN: Save 66% on a two-year subscription.

Best Deal for IPVanish: Get a 72% discount with a two-year plan.

NordVPN vs IPVanish features

No valueNordVPNIPVanish
WebsiteNordVPN.comIPVanish.com
Simultaneous Connections6Unlimited
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android
Manual install devicesSelect routersLinux, routers
Free extrasAd-blocking, Dark Web Monitor, MeshNet, malware-scanning, automatic wifi protection, browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and FirefoxChrome browser extension, automatic wifi protection
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
$2.49
SAVE 81% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

Both IPVanish and NordVPN have strong multi-platform support but there are a couple of differences between the two. NordVPN, for instance, offers a command line-based installer for Linux. IPVanish, on the other hand, has to manually configured.

That said, IPVanish allows users to connect any number of devices at once (compared to NordVPN’s six-connection limit). This means it might be the better choice for people looking to share their account with family, or simply for those with lots of devices to protect. You can even choose to allow certain applications through the VPN, which lets you conserve bandwidth by only encrypting potentially-sensitive traffic.

NordVPN includes a few extra features that give it the edge here, however. For instance, it can block ads and scan for malware automatically, and there are specific servers designed for accessing Tor. There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox (IPVanish lacks Firefox support) though it’s worth noting that these only encrypt your browser traffic and don’t allow protect P2P networks or other internet-facing apps on your device.

Finally, NordVPN has a particularly interesting feature called MeshNet. This allows users to securely connect to other networks or devices running NordVPN. You could use it to host virtual LAN parties, grab files from remote storage, or simply check to see if you have a specific file on your computer at home.

Streaming and Netflix comparison

No valueNordVPNIPVanish
WebsiteNordVPN.comIPVanish.com
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)$2.99
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
$2.49
SAVE 81% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

Most streaming services include some form of geo-restriction or VPN-detection these days, meaning it can be difficult to watch your favorite shows securely. However, as the table above shows, NordVPN and IPVanish both performed quite well.

NordVPN was able to securely access every streaming platform we tried, which is already an extremely rare feat. Additionally, it worked flawlessly with Netflix. If NordVPN can’t access the library you’d like to browse, it’ll simply redirect you to the US version of the site. In other words, you can use any of its 5,000+ servers to stream Netflix securely.

IPVanish worked with popular services like ITVx, CBS, and NBC, but had less luck when it came to larger platforms like Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer. It had no problems securely accessing Netflix’s American and Japanese libraries, though.

China

China poses a particular problem to VPN providers. Recent updates to the country’s Great Firewall have made it especially difficult to browse privately, and IPVanish admits that its service is unlikely to work in China. It does, however, offer installation guides for users willing to try regardless.

NordVPN is one of the few providers that still works in China, although it’s had a few hiccups lately. Still, the developers are very good at finding solutions to any problems that Great Firewall updates bring, and usually get back up and running in hours or days, as opposed to weeks.

It’s important to note that most VPN websites (including NordVPN’s) are blocked by China’s firewall, so you should plan to install and setup the service before you actually arrive in China.

Setup and interface

No valueNordVPNIPVanish
WebsiteNordVPN.comIPVanish.com
Automatic setup wizardLinux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, Mac, Android, iOS
Main location selectionMap-based/List-basedMap-based/List-based
Extra settings pages
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
$2.49
SAVE 81% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

Both of these VPNs have clean, easy-to-use desktop apps with a map view and server list. NordVPN has a tabbed interface, making it easy to find whatever you need. There’s even a Threat Protection tab that walks users through multiple ways to protect their device.

IPVanish’s desktop app gives you slightly more control, but still doesn’t overwhelm the user. It recently revamped its main page, and now features a handy information panel that displays details like your public IP address and how long you’ve been connected for. There aren’t as many advanced options, but this does mean that IPVanish is easier for novices to use.

These services both offer exceptional mobile apps. NordVPN allows you to access your favorite servers, as well as those designed for Tor over VPN and file-sharing, right on the home screen. There are fewer options to choose from than in the desktop app, but the ability to obfuscate your traffic, protect wifi, and connect automatically remains.

IPVanish’s mobile app is similarly easy to use. Its home screen is simplistic, with a large quick-connect button and server selection menus, while its settings page maintains most of the functionality present in the desktop app. This includes split tunneling, LAN blocking, and automatic connection abilities.

Servers and performance

No valueNordVPNIPVanish
WebsiteNordVPN.comIPVanish.com
Server countries6053
Total number of servers5,700+2,200+
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
$2.49
SAVE 81% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

NordVPN has a significant advantage here. It boasts a very large network, with over 5,700 servers globally. This ensures that users can obtain a fast, low-latency connection regardless of where they are in the world. Notably, NordVPN has a presence in a few more countries than its rival, including places like Vietnam, Georgia, and Indonesia.

IPVanish has a lot of locations to choose from, with servers in more than a dozen US cities. That said, it covers fewer countries overall — around 53 total. That’s still a respectable amount, though, and with 2,200 servers worldwide, you shouldn’t have any issues finding one nearby.

Take a look at the table below to see where each of these VPNs have servers:

NordVPNIPVanish
Albania
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malaysia
Mexico
Moldova
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Ukraine
Vietnam

It might surprise you to learn that IPVanish is, on average, quite a bit faster than its rival. More surprising, it’s managed to maintain this lead for quite a long time! In our latest tests, IPVanish delivered average speeds of around 280 Mbps, while NordVPN averaged closer to 200 Mbps.

To be clear, neither of these VPNs is slow. You only need around 25 Mbps to stream 4K video, and far less to play online games. In other words, even the busiest households should be fine, provided their base internet connection is fast enough. Here’s a closer look at the speed test results for each service:

No valueNordVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)268 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)174 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)147 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
No valueIPVanish
WebsiteIPVanish.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)252 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)228 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)352 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.49
SAVE 81% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

Security comparison

No valueNordVPNIPVanish
WebsiteNordVPN.comIPVanish.com
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, NordLynxOpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
OpenVPN data encryption256-bit AES256-bit AES
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096RSA-2048
Kill SwitchmacOS, Android Mobile, and Windows
Private DNS servers
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
$2.49
SAVE 81% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

IPVanish enables users to connect via the WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols. NordVPN, on the other hand, only permits OpenVPN and its own Wireguard-based NordLynx protocol (IKEv2 connections must be manually configured). Both services use 256-bit AES encryption which is effectively uncrackable, but since NordVPN’s RSA keys are twice the length of IPVanish’s, it’s slightly more secure.

Both offer a kill switch (in their respective desktop apps) which stops all data transfer should you disconnect from the VPN unexpectedly. They each use their own DNS servers too: this ensures that no third party has access to your traffic at any point.

NordVPN has a selection of obfuscated servers designed for use in countries with strict online censorship. These servers use obfsproxy to reshape your traffic, preventing organizations that use deep-packet inspection from realizing that you’re using a VPN at all. IPVanish has a similar feature which allows you to scramble OpenVPN traffic, but this isn’t as effective in countries like the United Arab Emirates.

Privacy

No valueNordVPNIPVanish
WebsiteNordVPN.comIPVanish.com
HQ base of operationPanamaUnited States
Connection logs Some aggregated data
Activity logsNoneNo logs stored
User details for signupEmail addressEmail address
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
$2.49
SAVE 81% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

NordVPN is based in Panama, a country with no mandatory data retention laws, while IPVanish operates out of the United States. As the US is one of the Five Eyes countries, theoretically, details of your activities could be shared between the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. However, if your VPN provider doesn’t keep any logs, this shouldn’t matter since your activities can’t be traced back to you in the first place.

NordVPN keeps no logs whatsoever. Some VPNs log things like your source IP address, timestamps, data volume, sites visited, or the server used, but NordVPN won’t. It even allows you to sign up anonymously, provided you use a throwaway email address and pay via cryptocurrency. It has repeatedly been audited to prove that it doesn’t log any data which could identify you. That said, it does store advertising IDs on mobile devices, which could lead back to you if you don’t clear them regularly. Luckily, this is quick and easy, and NordVPN even explains how to do this in the help section of its website.

IPVanish has long claimed to be a zero-logs provider, but in 2018, the company provided information as part of a Homeland Security investigation. IPVanish has since changed ownership, however, and underwent an independent audit in 2022 to prove that it no longer keeps any logs. Currently, this VPN does not accept any form of cryptocurrency.

Customer service

No valueNordVPNIPVanish
WebsiteNordVPN.comIPVanish.com
24/7 live chat
Ticket support
Email support
Average email response time3 hours, 45 mins4 hours
Searchable knowledge base
Phone support
Video guides
Best deal (per month)$2.99
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
$2.49
SAVE 81% on the 2 yr plan + 3 FREE months

NordVPN and IPVanish both provide customer support over 24/7 live chat, although NordVPNs service is run by in-house staff while IPVanish’s is outsourced. We messaged both teams at varying times of day and found that both replied promptly and were knowledgeable about the service and capable of answering fairly technical questions.

Each service has a ticket support system and a searchable knowledge base. While tutorials are usually illustrated with screenshots, short video walkthroughs for solving some of the more common problems are available on the NordVPN and IPVanish YouTube channels.

Usually, the easiest way to get help is over live chat. However, we sent three questions via email (at different times each day) to each service in order to see how quickly they could address more complex problems. Below, you’ll find the questions we asked, how long NordVPN and IPVanish took to reply, and whether they provided a suitable answer or not.

NordVPN
Question Initial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
Can I install NordVPN on a Raspberry Pi?4 hours, 11 minutes1Yes
Does NordVPN encrypt traffic from other applications or just my browser?2 hours, 42 minutes1Yes
Does NordVPN log my source IP address?1 hour, 37 minutes1Yes
IPVanish
Question Initial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
Can I install IPVanish on a Raspberry Pi?1 hour, 19 minutes1Yes
Does IPVanish encrypt traffic from other applications or just my browser?11 hours, 6 minutes1Yes
Does IPVanish log my source IP address?1 hour, 16 minutes1Yes

Both of these services replied promptly to email enquiries, although they both used pre-written responses to form at least part of their answers. Having said that, the customer support teams are clearly knowledgeable about their products. IPVanish staff even explained step-by-step how to install the service on OpenELEC devices — a platform it doesn’t officially support.

The winner: NordVPN

To be clear, NordVPN and IPVanish are both excellent services. IPVanish, for instance, is privacy-conscious, highly secure and very fast, meaning it’s excellent for torrenting. Further, its apps are lightweight and easy to install across a huge range of platforms including the Amazon Fire TV; this is part of the reason this VPN is so popular with Kodi users. However, IPVanish struggles to unblock some of the larger, more popular streaming sites, which is why, in a one-on-one contest, we believe NordVPN comes out on top.

NordVPN’s massive network, high speeds, and excellent unblocking capabilities make it a strong choice for those looking to maintain their privacy abroad. This service goes the extra mile where anonymity is concerned: users can pay with cryptocurrency, choose enhanced-privacy servers, and block trackers automatically. Additionally, NordVPN logs no personally identifiable information at all (though you will want to clear advertising IDs periodically).

Finally, NordVPN is highly versatile. It has a wide selection of security features, allows you to obtain a dedicated IP address, and even works flawlessly in countries like China, where a huge number of websites entirely unavailable. With apps for all major operating systems and in-house support available at any time, day or night, NordVPN proves it’s a reliable, easy-to-use service with a lot to offer.

Methodology: How we compared NordVPN and IPVanish

It’s always difficult to compare VPNs because every service is radically different from its competitors. For us to create the fairest, most balanced comparison possible, we had to personally test NordVPN and IPVanish and see what they had to offer in each of the categories below:

  • Network scale: Server count isn’t everything, but the number of locations available is pretty important. After all, you’ll find that a VPN’s performance gets worse the further away your chosen server is. Paid VPNs tend to offer around 60 locations, though some have as many as 100.
  • Speed: We regularly speed test providers and have seen real improvement in this area over the last few years. As encrypting and rerouting data takes time, your speeds will always be lower when connected. Still, with so many providers offering lightning-quick speeds, sluggish VPNs are no longer acceptable.
  • Security: VPNs must use uncrackable encryption and back this up with a kill switch, leak protection, and a no-logs policy. Of course, that’s simply a starting point — we’d much rather see stealth modes, anti-tracking features, and multi-hop servers included as well.
  • Unblocking: Lots of websites use regional blocking these days, which can cause frustration as users keep having to disconnect from the VPN. We tested these providers against popular platforms such as Disney Plus, HBO Max, and ESPN+ to see which was better at flying beneath the radar.
  • Ease of use: Can a complete novice use this VPN? What steps has the provider taken to make things as simple as possible? We strongly value user-first features like 24/7 live chat, task-specific servers, and descriptive settings menys
  • Value for money: The most important question we have to answer is “is this VPN worth what it’s charging?”. Even then, we strongly prefer providers that offer free trials, money-back guarantees, or periodic discounts, since this lowers the bar to entry and allows you to try the service out with minimal risk.

Still have questions? We break down our full process in the complete VPN testing methodology post.

NordVPN vs IPVanish: FAQs

Is NordVPN faster than IPVanish?

First off, it’s worth mentioning that NordVPN and IPVanish are two of the fastest services on the market at the moment. That said, in our latest tests, IPVanish was actually the quicker of the two, with an average speed of over 280 Mbps (when using a gigabit connection).

NordVPN wasn’t too far behind, averaging almost 200 Mbps. For context, that’s fast enough to watch 4K video on more than half a dozen devices at the same time. In other words, you shouldn’t even notice a difference unless you’re used to extremely high speeds.

Does IPVanish have a Linux app?

IPVanish doesn’t have its own Linux app just yet but it does provide step-by-step instructions for getting set up using the Network Manager in Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Lubuntu, Pop! OS, and Fedora.

Which is better for the dark web: NordVPN or IPVanish?

Strictly speaking, you could connect to the Tor network and use either of these VPNs to shield your real IP address from whoever runs the exit node. However, NordVPN offers a couple of tools that might make it a little better for anyone interested in the dark web. First off, it has special Onion over VPN server. These used to let you browse without needing the Tor Browser but most modern browsers have disabled the ability to access .onion links so that’s no longer the case. On the plus side, they are still able to provide a high level of security while minimizing speed loss. Additionally, NordVPN provides a monitoring feature that’ll let you know if your account credentials are leaked on the darknet.

Do NordVPN and IPVanish work with Netflix?

Netflix has gotten very good at detecting the telltale signs of VPN usage in recent years. As a result, most providers simply won’t work reliably with this service. However, NordVPN and IPVanish both do!

It’s worth mentioning that VPNs tend to focus on providing access to the most in-demand libraries first. For instance, NordVPN and IPVanish both work with the US library, but are less likely to let you browse the Korean one. If you’re having trouble, we recommend you contact your VPN’s customer support team directly to ask if there’s a specific server you should use.