Web anonymity and security has taken shape as a serious concern in the last half-decade or so, and that’s why I believe this IPVanish review is well-timed as well.
I’ve reviewed quite a few VPNs by now, at least a 100 if I have to ballpark, so you’d understand if it’s not easy for me to actually start loving a VPN or be really impressed by it, cause I’ve nearly seen it all.
Now that’s a notion IPVanish proved wrong, although in none of our reviews I ask you, folks to go out there and buy the products blindly, nope, instead all I’m asking for is, give this review couple minutes of your time, read to the end and then be the judge and jury of accepting or rejecting the platform.
Why should you get a VPN?
You shouldn’t! Unless ofcourse, you’re concerned about your freedom, security, privacy and identity on the web.
Let me simply list out how a VPN shields you on the web and gets you the long-forgotten liberty that we once had.
1. Masks your IP Address
A VPN’s primary job is to mask your IP address. Which is utterly important because an IP address is your footprint on the web, it can be used to identify you, link to your real-life identity or location and impose restrictions upon you.
So, IPVanish gets you a new set of IP address, which is based in some other country, hence can’t be linked back to you. This changes your “virtual” location on the Internet and that’s where you’ll appear to be based off to any prying eyes.
2. Unblock restricted content
Ever seen those “This website isn’t available in your country”, or maybe “This site has been blocked by XYZ govt. regulation” messages while trying to open websites?
Well, most of the content that’s blocked on the internet is done so using “geographical” parameters.
So, users from a specific state, country, or institution aren’t allowed to access that specific website or content.
But, when IPVanish changes your IP address, your location changes as well, and the content you were trying to access is unblocked for you.
This comes in extremely handy when trying to access Netflix, Hulu or other such websites which aren’t available globally or have been blocked for your location specifically.
3. Prevent Hacking Attempts
Gaining access to your native IP address is one of the easiest ways to get into your system.
Also, the so-called “free WiFi” available at cafeterias and other public locations isn’t safe by a long shot and has quite a few loopholes.
So, another function a VPN plays in regards to your safety is preventing such hacking attempts because the masked IP addresses, which even when exposed can’t be used to get into your system.
4. Secure Connections
A VPN uses a number of connection types and protocols to secure your traffic on the Internet. These connections are better encrypted, and aren’t easy to intercept.
Also, each connection protocol has its own “liking for various tasks” so if a VPN lacks a certain connection protocol, it might not be as good a choice to play games or stream videos as another VPN with those protocols.
One of the primary reasons of me scribbling down this IPVanish review is bringing out its connection protocols which we will deal with in later sections of this IPVanish review. (Note: I’m not happy with them!)
Anyway, these are just some of the benefits that employing a VPN gets you, so in a nutshell, a VPN is important in today’s era to browse the internet without loosing your sleep over it.
Other benefits include having to pay lower fee by changing your location to a different country during VOIP calls, not having to face speed restrictions because ISPs won’t be able to know your used bandwidth and hence throttle your speed and so on.
IPVanish Review – Detailed Features Insight
Up until this point, we’ve talked about “why” you need a VPN, and this being a IPVanish review, let’s now dig deeper into the features that IPVanish comes bundled up with.
1. User Interface
I’ve always believed that the user-interface of a platform is more important than the features themselves, that’s so because if the interface is clumsy and not friendly enough, the hardships of using the tool eventually overshadow the features.
So starting this IPVanish review with a review of its user-interface, all I can personally say is that, it’s simple yet modern, and newbie-friendly.
Making it really easy for anyone and everyone to use IPVanish, even if they don’t have an iota of experience with any kind of VPN beforehand.
The screen is broken down into two basic parts, a left-sidebar which acts as a navigation-panel of sorts, helping you reach various sections and options of the tool.
- Quick connect: Lets you connect instantly to the best servers.
- Server list: Lets you select the countries and IP addresses.
- Account Details: Account information can be found here.
- Settings: Houses advanced settings such as Kill-switch, and connection protocols.
And the right-section of the screen shows the options and features respective to the options clicked on the left-sidebar.
The Android app too is equally well designed, here’s a glimpse:
So as I stated earlier, there are no hidden options or buttons to hunt for, it’s all there on a single screen and very well-placed both for computer as well as mobile apps.
2. 60+ Countries and 40,000+ IPs
After user-interface, the second aspect we’re taking up for this IPVanish review is its list of available countries.
As changing our IP address is the primary job a VPN does, it’s important for it to have a long list of available countries for us to choose from, isn’t it?
That’s another aspect IPVanish won’t disappoint you with, it has a list of over 60 countries which include all the major (and minor) countries on the globe including USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, etc.
Not just that, IPVanish knows that a single server from a single country might at times be overloaded which might slow your speed down, and hence it offers multiple servers from the same country for you to choose from, over 40,000 to be specific!
Now personally, I’d say this is one of the best servers list (with some exceptions) I’ve ever seen when it comes to VPNs.
3. 3 Connection Protocols
I talked about connection protocols which secure our traffic on the internet in the introductory sections of this IPVanish review, didn’t I?
The thing is, connection protocols not only “secure” our internet traffic, they also facilitate certain activities (streaming videos, playing games, download/upload, etc), so the availability (or lack) of connection protocols also goes on to effect the overall efficiency of a VPN.
IPVanish offers 3 different connection protocols, namely:
- OpenVPN TCP/UDP
a. OpenVPN TCP
TCP is the abbreviation for Transmission Control Protocol, it’s a connection type that can be leveraged when coupled with OpenVPN.
It’s technically one of the most reliable connection protocols, that’s so because it works on a “check and send” principle. Meaning, it sends a data packet, and then waits for confirmation of the packet being received at the other end before sending in another one.
Although, this whole errand makes it somewhat slower as compared to it’s cousin- UDP.
b. OpenVPN UDP
UDP stands for User Datagram Protocol. UDP doesn’t have that “check and send” system, so it keeps on sending packets one after another.
This makes it much faster, but less reliable. Although this comes in handy when “speed” is of essence and not 100% delivery, gaming is one such example.
L2TP is the abbreviation for Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol, although it’s void of any encryption on its own, and instead uses other protocols such as IPSec to encrypt the connections.
Although all the connection protocols we’ve talked so far, this probably is still the most secure of all.
PPTP stands for Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol, although it by no means is secure and instead is one of the easiest to break into.
So, this should be the last resort for us to be used as a connection protocol and actually should be avoided whenever possible, it’s just an “option”, and should be treated as one.
Honestly, I’ve seen other VPNs offer as many as 5-6 connection protocols, so this is the reason I said “I’m not happy” in the earlier section. And this surely is a hole in this otherwise all shiny and gold IPVanish review.
4. Unlimited Bandwidth
One other aspect I believe most of you would appreciate is the fact that, unlike most other ISPs and some VPNs, IPVanish doesn’t restrict your bandwidth usage.
So that means, you are free to use as much data as you need or please, and there’s no kind of restriction that IPVanish imposes upon you.
5. Unlimited Server Switching
This isn’t an exclusive feature to be honest and most other VPNs offer this as well, it’s basically the fact that you can change your IP address using the VPN as many times as you wish without any kind of restrictions.
Apparently, there are VPNs which limit it, and charge extra for switching it once that threshold is exceeded, but IPVanish isn’t one of them.
6. 5 Simultaneous connections
Now, this is a feature IPVanish can be praised for, most other VPNs offer not more than 3 simultaneous connections.
While IPVanish, on the other hand, makes that number 5, meaning you can use the same VPN on as many as 5 of your devices without paying anything extra, or experiencing any kind of restrictions regarding any other factor.
This principle is especially helpful for people like us who have 3-4 devices minimum in our everyday lives, and need to use VPNs on them. Obviously, it’s not logical to buy 4 different plans for 4 devices.
7. No Connection or Activity Logs
If a VPN keeps logs, it goes against the very core-essence of it being a VPN, what’s the use of all that privacy and security if they keep records and can unmask all your activities whenever they need to?
So, the strongest suit from my personal perspective for this IPVanish review is that it doesn’t keep any traffic, connection or activity logs.
Meaning, no matter which IP addresses you use or what you do on the web, IPVanish or its team won’t ever use, or be able to use it against you or prove it was you, simply because they do not keep any logs to begin with.
Again, not an exclusive feature but no less important, when enabled, the Kill-switch makes sure that you at no times are left unprotected on the internet.
Meaning, whenever the VPN connection is disconnected in the background without your knowledge, it automatically disconnects your overall internet connection so that no part of your online activity is without the VPN’s shield.
9. DNS Leak Protection
Not 100% of your DNS requests are anonymous, at times the operating system fails to use the anonymity DNS server provided to you by IPVanish, and it’s these kind of vulnerabilities that the DNS leak protects you against.
It makes sure that only those DNS requests go through, which are secure and anonymous.
In my personal experience, after NordVPN if there’s another VPN I’d trust as far as DNS leak protection goes, it’s IPVanish.
10. Available for a Wide Variety of Platforms
Doesn’t matter is you’re on a Windows, Linux, Mac or any other modern day device, IPVanish most likely supports you without discrimination.
Here’s a list of some of the devices supported by it:
- Mac OS X
- Windows Phone
11. Effect on Speed
A major side-effect of using most VPNs is that they curtail our speed significantly. So, for this IPVanish review, here are first-hand, real-time results of me using my internet with and without the VPN.
I connected to a UK server with only 6% server load, using the default UDP protocol, and as you can see, a speed loss does occur, not a deal-breaker though, but it’s still significant if you’re someone accustomed to rather high-speed Internet.
Pricing and Payment Methods
Now for the final section of this IPVanish review, let’s talk about its pricing plans. It offers three plans for us to choose from, with the exact same features, the price difference occurs based on the payment cycles:
The payment options are satisfactory and abundant, which include:
- Credit cards.
- Debit cards.
- Bitcoin (For the really privacy-concerned folks).
- Boleto Bancaio.
Final Words on IPVanish Review
So let’s wrap this IPVanish review up, I believe I’ve included nearly all the features worth mentioning throughout this IPVanish review.
In my personal opinion, IPVanish is totally capable of winning us over except the “connection protocols” features which I believe could be improved.
Otherwise, it’s one of the best VPNs in the industry, although I’d urge you to check it our for yourselves, its 7-day money-back guarantee makes sure you won’t be losing any money in case things don’t pan out!
Do let me know your take on this IPVanish review and your verdict on the platform as well.