If you’ve been around for a while, you must have heard about an incidence in 2016 of IPVanish handing over user logs to the department of Homeland Security.
It was a case involving someone accused in a child pornography case.
Even though it’s great that the culprit was brought to book, this raised a lot of questions about this company’s privacy policies.
However, this vpn company was acquired back in 2017 and is now under new management.
What has changed?
Is it any safer to use IPVanish today as your vpn service provider in 2020?
In this IPVanish review in 2020, we are going to look at, among other things, online safety and privacy while using IPVanish.
Before we go far, here is a quick summary of what I found out about IPVanish during this review.
IPVanish is a vpn company based in the United States, with a collection of 1,300 servers located in 75 different countries.
They provide fast internet access, with the ability to unblock Netflix and download torrent files at rather decent speeds.
But in order to get a deeper understanding of what this vpn service really has to offer you in 2020…
… as well as to understand what really has changed over the past couple years, let’s take a deeper look.
|Streaming||Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon|
- Server Collection: How many servers does IPVanish have?
- Streaming: Does IPVanish support Netflix?
- Speed: Is IPVanish fast enough?
- Torrenting: Does IPVanish allow torrenting?
- Encryption and Data Protection: Is IPVanish safe?
- Security Features
- Pricing: How much does IPVanish cost?
- Payment Options
- Refund Policy
- Free Trial
- Supported Devices
- Customer Support
- In Conclusion
Server Collection: How many servers does IPVanish have?
Just like we always do…
Let’s start this IPVanish 2020 review by looking at their servers and IP addresses count.
Generally, you’d assume that the more servers and IP addresses a vpn service has, the better the services they deliver.
As of 2020, IPVanish has a collection of 1,300 server spread across 75 different geographical locations.
This also amounts to a total of 40,000 IP address, still a big number but small compared to HMA’s 110,000 IP addresses.
So from the look of things, IPVanish is a pretty medium size vpn service provider.
Let’s see if this translates to better services.
Streaming: Does IPVanish support Netflix?
My main reason for purchasing my first vpn service was to be able to unblock Netflix in the US.
I don’t know about you but this is one of the reasons most people purchase vpns services in 2020 anyway.
You don’t want to commit yourself to a 3 year plan with a vpn service only to realize you can’t unblock Netflix in your favorite country… could be US, UK, Japan etc.
After testing IPVanish with Netflix in the US, this is what I found out.
I was flawlessly able to unblock Netflix US and watch my favorite TV shows that are only available to viewers in the US.
But you know there are many other streaming services out there that are very interesting too, right
That’s where IPVanish vpn fell flat on its face.
I was not able to unblock Hulu in the US or anywhere else for that matter… neither was I able to unblock BBC iPlayer in the UK.
The servers are not labeled… though a good number of them still worked anyway.
If your main reason for purchasing a vpn service is to be able to unblock Netflix in the US the I’d recommend IPVanish for you.
But if you also want to have options with other streaming platforms like Hulu and iPlayer, then don’t purchase IPVanish… it will frustrate you.
Speed: Is IPVanish fast enough?
Whenever you connect to the internet through a vpn service, you should always expect some drop in speeds…
I wouldn’t worry about that.
What really concerns me is the extent to which the speed drops… does it start to affect my normal internet usage?
In order to test IPVanish connection speeds, I connected to three different IPVanish vpn servers based in the USA, UK and Hong Kong.
I then used speedtest.net to test for ping, download and upload speeds.
Before connecting to IPVanish servers, my download speed was 25.39Mbps while my upload speed was 5.21Mbps.
After connecting to the US based server, my download speed dropped to 22.76Mbps while my upload speed increased to 6.68Mbps.
As for the UK server, my download speeds dropped further to 18.32Mbps while my uploads increased further to 6.80Mbps.
The Hong Kong server showed the best results… just like the USA servers.
Download speeds were 22.65Mbps while the upload speed increased even higher to 7.71Mbps.
Both the USA and Hong Kong servers gave me really excellent speeds with the UK server’s performance was below average.
The overall speeds were still great though and you’ll still be able to stream HD content without a problem.
If you are a looking for a vpn with great connection speeds, then I recommend IPVanish.
Torrenting: Does IPVanish allow torrenting?
How about P2P file sharing?
Is it safe and fast to download large or small torrent files with IPVanish vpn?
When torrenting, though, don’t just look for the torrenting speed of that particular vpn service as that may be misleading.
Let me explain.
If a vpn service logs your internet usage, torrenting from such a connection, even though fast with definitely land you in trouble.
Especially if you come from a country with tough copyright infringement laws like Australia, the US & UK.
For example, some vpns allow great torrenting speeds but log your IP address, with this information the FBI will definitely find you and make an example out of you 🙁
Right, back to IPVanish.
First, YES. As of the time of writing this IPVanish review in 2020, IPVanish vpn allows torrenting.
And from the fews files I tried to download, the speeds were great. I think this is one of the main IPVanish pros.
If they truly don’t keep logs, like they mention on their website under the new ownership, then torrenting with IPVanish should be private and anonymous.
If say “IF” because these guys have handed over data that they claimed not to be keeping before.
However, if you are looking for a vpn particularly for better torrenting, I’d recommend IPVanish vpn.
Now onto the most awaited question?
Does IPVanish keep usage logs, timestamps or IP addresses of their users?
YES, they clearly used to keep user logs because they handed them over to the department of homeland security in 2016 and this enraged everyone online.
Customers felt betrayed. IPVanish had claimed not to keep usage data or any data that could identify someone.
However, it was later acquired by another company in 2017 that has strongly stressed their interest in restoring the broken trust between IPVanish and its users.
That policy also says that they collect some information in case of an app crash to help with troubleshooting and improving the apps.
I’m yet to understand what kind of information they actually collect during an app crash.
Remember also that IPVanish is based in the United States, a founding member of the 5 eyes countries that get a kick out of spying on their citizens.
Together with the data retention policies in the US, if the government wants user logs, the vpn has no option but to comply.
Another thing most IPVanish reviews don’t mention is that IPVanish collects your physical address, including street number while paying for your subscription.
When I looked deeper into their ToS, I came accross this part that says you can only share your connection with famility members that reside within the same address as you.
This got me wondering…
How would they know that my family members connected to their servers actually reside at the same address as me…?
This could either mean they secretly keep some logs or they are just saying… be nice please.
So they get to keep you email address and your payment data, including address.
Overall, though, as it stands today IPVanish does not keep user logs so if you want a vpn service that makes your online adventures secret then I’d recommend IPVanish.
Encryption and Data Protection: Is IPVanish safe?
How safely is your data encrypted and submitted?
There is a data encryption method that is standard across the board for any vpn service provider.
So if your vpn service provider does not measure up then I suggest you drop them like a hot potato!
Luckily, IPVanish vpn implements a tamper proof NSA recommended 256-bit data encryption method.
It is the encryption method that’s used by governments and militaries to encrypt and transmit sensitive classified information… it is pretty safe and has never been hacked before.
In addition to that, IPVanish also uses some of the best vpn connection protocols for both speed and security.
With IPVanish you’ll be able to use both OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec vpn connection protocols.
These are the best vpn connection protocols in the market today and will guarantee your faster speed and security of your connection.
PP2P, L2TP and SSTP protocols are also available but protocols like PP2P should never be used as it’s been proven to be weak and vulnerable to attacks and breaches.
I don’t even know why IPVanish still provides it as a connection option in the apps while other vpns like NordVPN and CyberGhost discontinued the use of this protocol ages ago.
But as long as you stick to OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) or IKEv2/IPsec, you’ll be fully protected online.
Even if a hacker hijacks your traffic they’ll never be able to decode and decipher the actual information.
Apart from strong data encryption and vpn connection protocols, what other security features does IPVanish have that will guarantee your safety online?
Most premium vpns in 2020 come with these additional functionalities as part of your subscription.
They are pretty much necessary for a more seamless internet usage experience.
So if IPVanish lacks some of these features I consider it a big IPVanish con.
Let’s admit it, ad and malware blocking is a must have feature for a vpn of the calibre of IPVanish in 2020.
Remember those intrusive videos that usually just start playing in the background, often times without audio?
Who doesn’t agree that they are very intrusive, if not annoying?
Well, I expected IPVanish vpn to be able to block those, just like NordVPN is already doing.
IPVanish does not have neither an adware blocker not a malware blocker. 🙁
I hope they add this functionality soon.
What if you need services that are specialized for certain activities like torrenting, streaming or single use IP address?
Does IPVanish provide any dedicated servers?
Even though IPVanish has servers that unblock Netflix in the US, it doesn’t have servers that are particularly optimized for this.
For the few that do unblock Netflix, they’d do us a big favor by labelling them… just like other vpns do.
While they have great servers for torrenting, it’d be great if these were also labelled.
IPVanish does not provide single user IPs that you could connect to, say when you want to access banking services and don’t want to share a connection.
Overall though, even though there are dedicated servers for torrenting they are not labelled.
You might as well say they don’t have dedicated servers.
In countries like Uganda, UAE or China internet usage is censored.
Certain online services and websites, especially social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are blocked.
It takes a vpn service with a powerful obfuscated server to be able to work from these countries without actually being detected.
While some vpns have stealth features that bypasses China’s great firewall, IPVanish on the other has is completely blocked in China.
So you won’t be able to use IPVanish to access censored content in China.
If you want to purchase a vpn service that you can carry with you to China someday, then don’t buy IPVanish… NordVPN is what I’d recommend instead.
I look forward to IPVanish upping their obfuscation game to be able to bypass China’s firewall soon.
Once your app is connected to the vpn servers, you are safe and protected forever, right?
No, not really.
In case there is any connection drop and your app disconnects from the vpn servers, your actual IP address is leaked and you’re not anonymous anymore.
This is where a kill switch comes into play.
A kill switch is a security feature that enables you to block internet access for your entire device in case of a connection drop.
This ensures that you only access the internet while connected to a vpn.
While it is great that IPVanish apps come inbuilt with this powerful kill switch, it’s only available in the Windows and Mac apps.
Even though it’s missing in Android you can still activate it in Android 8+ using Android’s native kill switch.
iOS and Linux apps are completely lacking in this functionality.
So if you wanted to completely stay anonymous 24/7 on iOS and Linux regardless of a connection drop… you are out of luck.
I’d say that if your primary devices are Windows, Mac or Android phone then this shouldn’t be a problem.
IPVanish’s kill switch with be great.
But if you primarily use Linux and iOS (iPhone and iPad), then the lack of a kill switch is a great IPVanish con.
IPv6 leaks, DNS leaks and WebRTC leaks tests
Does IPVanish leak you IPv6 address?
In order to test IPVanish for IPv6, DNS & WebRTC leaks, I used ipleak.net and here is what I found out.
As you can see in the screenshot, my IPv6 was not leaked… neither were DNS requests made through my ISP servers.
WebRTC did not leak my IP address either.
Tor over VPN
Tor is a browser that enables you to browse the internet anonymously.
Since it does not track or keep cookies of the web pages you visit, you can pretty much be sure no one is following you with some tracking pixels.
What most people don’t realize though is that the entry node to the Tor network sees your real IP address.
In order to remedy this, you need to use Tor over a vpn connection.
This way you can ascertain 100% anonymity as your vpn will not log your IP address or internet usage.
The good news for an avid Tor browser user is that IPVanish fully supports the Tor browser out of the box.
On the IPVanish vpn support website, there is a detailed guide on how to use Tor over IPvanish, which makes the configuration process much easier.
So, yes, IPVanish it compatible with Tor.
Pricing: How much does IPVanish cost?
What do you have to pay to use IPVanish?
Is IPVanish pricing great for a budget buyer who wants to enjoy all these features?
Let’s find out what IPVanish actually costs in 2020 in this IPVanish review.
First, don’t be surprised by the amount most vpns charge you for a month because most of these monthly costs are heavily discounted when you go for a long term plan.
IPVanish has three pricing plans.
$10.00/month for a 1-month plan.
$8.99/month for a 3-month plan, billed as $26.99.
$6.49/month for a 12-month plan, billed as $77.99.
So, as you see… the longer the plan the less you pay in the long run.
While these prices are great, there are other vpn services and will offer you even steeper discounts for more prolonged plans… like 3-year plans.
I personally like purchasing 3 years plans each time as it’s the cheapest and gives me the most time to test drive a vpn service.
Overall though, IPVanish offers a competitive pricing plan that fits well with what others charge.
What payment options do you have with IPVanish when purchasing a plan?
Does IPVanish support anonymous payment options like cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin?
First IPVanish supports all the popular credit cards and payment methods.
It even supports PayPal as a payment method, something that a company NordVPN doesn’t provide anymore.
Unfortunately, even though they used to support Bitcoin payments sometime back, they removed this option… so payment with crypto is not supported anymore.
This is a big IPVanish con if you want to keep yourself completely anonymous online starting right from your vpn subscription.
Add this to the fact that they keep your payment data, with physical address that they collection at checkout… you might freak out if you are anonymity centric.
So if you want complete anonymity through Bitcoin, you should check out other vpns that support Bitcoin.
But if you are only concerned by securing your internet connection, then this won’t be and shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s also funny that some people just want to see the Bitcoin option is available yet they don’t even plan to used it.
For most people though, IPVanish provides all the payment options that they’ll need.
So let’s say you buy IPvanish today but after a couple days of using it, you realize you don’t like it… or it just flat out refuses to work with your devices.
Can you get your money back?
Well, let’s see what the IPVanish refund policy specifies.
According to IPVanish, you can ask for a full refund within 7 days after purchasing your plan.
This means you have 7 days from the time you buy IPVanish to test and verify that it serves your needs, if not you just email customer support and ask for your money back.
I personally never tried this refund polity myself, but I see mixed reviews about how they handle refunds.
While some claim they got their refund quite fast, without too many hops and jumps, some are very pissed off that they weren’t able to successfully get a refund.
A 7 day money back guarantee is on the lower side though, as many providers offer upto 30 days refund periods.
What if you don’t want to risk even a single dollar, can you try IPVanish for free?
IPVanish does not offer any free trial.
How many devices can you connect simultaneously with a single IPVanish vpn subscription?
More often than not, we buy vpn service and want to share it across multiple devices as well as with family and friends.
This is where I find IPVanish very amazing.
First, with just a single purchase you can connect up to 10 devices at the same time.
Now, this is one of the highest numbers out there as most premium vpns only allow you up to 6 devices at the same time.
So if you have a large family or a big collection of devices to connect then I definitely recommend IPVanish.
IPVanish also supports all the popular devices and operating systems.
You’ll get apps to use with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux.
It is also one of the few vpns that support Amazon Fire TV… it has an app dedicated for this too.
If you want to secure your entire network, IPVanish also supports routers… with detailed guides on how to setup and troubleshoot your router from the support website.
Just a reminder, though, only the Windows and Mac apps have an inbuilt kill switch.
While the Android app can function with Android’s native kill switch, you’ll have to work with everything else without a kill switch.
Let’s finish this IPVanish review in 2020 by talking about the customer support they offer… if any.
While the IPVanish website is full of articles that will guide you through installation and use of this vpn, there are times when you need to speak with someone.
Generally, though, I found the apps very simple and easy to install and use… usually in just 5 minutes you can install the Windows apps and connect to the vpn server.
In case you need additional help though, in 2020 IPVanish offers both live chat and email support.
I’d say this is an area that IPVanish has really improved on, compared to what they were a couple years back.
In fact if you check reviews on forums like Reddit you’ll still see angry customers claiming very showdy customer support or the lack of it thereof.
However, today you can launch the live chat support and be talking to human in under 5 minutes.
If you are looking for a vpn that provides an above average customer support, then I’d recommend IPVanish.
Overall, though, IPVanish customer support has improved a lot and is much better today.
IPVanish is one of the best vpn service providers out there.
- 1,400 servers
- Netfilx, Hulu, Amazon
- Fast speeds
- Torrenting allowed
- Kill Switch
- 10 devices
- Zero logs
- No dedicated IPs
- No ad blocker
- No free trial
- Blocked in China
- No Bitcoins
Even though its reputation has been marred by its questionable logging policies in the past, it still performed rather great in a numbers of tests that I carried out…
There are definitely other vpn services providers out there that will offer you much more than IPVanish.
But each vpn comes with its pros and cons.
From my experience as well, each vpn services has their area of specialization.
For example, IPVanish vpn will offer you better speeds that PureVPN, so if speed is your focus then I’d recommend IPVanish.
On the other hand, even though they’ve updated their no logs policy to stress the fact that they don’t keep logs… if you are really concerned about your privacy and anonymity online, then I’d recommend NordVPN instead.
|NordVPN||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||P2P servers||6||$ 3.49/m|
|Surfshark||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||P2P servers||Unlimited||$ 1.99/m|
|ExpressVPN||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||All servers||5||$ 8.32/m|
Have you used IPVanish before?
Please share your experience in the comments below.