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.
Signing up and getting started
IPVanish is very easy to sign up with and get started, they're currently offering 25% off here for Kodi users but anyone can use this discount. 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.
You’ll be emailed a link that will direct you to a download link with a relatively fast installation time after that.
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 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.
On the other hand, IPVanish also gives the users quick options for streaming or gaming on North American servers. These are two uses that can be quite hard on your connection so you need a good, fast server to cope.
If you’re looking for some variety in your servers though, you can simply access the full list of servers in IPVanish’s network. Again, North America and Europe are the best represented.
Servers Does IPVanish work with Netflix?
Netflix US offers a much wider range of content than is available elsewhere and VPN's are a popular way for Netflix customers outside of the US to access this content. Netflix has banned many VPN services and IPVanish is amongst those not working with Netflix. You can see which still work in our Netflix VPN list.
Although it won't work with Netflix IPVanish is a good choice for streaming and features in our list of the best VPNs for Kodi and best VPNs for torrenting due to its fast speeds and high level of security and privacy protection.
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.
Outside of that we tested a server in Johannesburg, South Africa that had a download speed of 5.44 Mbps and upload speed of 1.92 Mbps. IPVanish’s server list shows the latency expected on each server too, measured by milliseconds. In this case, the South African server was said to be 208 milliseconds but speed tests showed it was 394ms.
IPVanish provides a function called Periodic IP Change, which allows the users to set their VPN to change to a new IP address at selected intervals. This is a common practice among many VPN users who don’t want to linger on the one IP address for too long.
IPVanish doesn’t impose any blocks or throttling on any of its traffic either, including file sharing activity.
IPVanish says it has a no log policy and doesn’t keep logs of users’ traffic. The company is however based in the US and as a result must comply with US law on matters like search warrants and data requests.
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