There are many reasons to go looking for a virtual private network (VPN): concerns about your privacy, fear of being hacked, or simply wanting to subvert region restrictions on streaming sites like Netflix. But finding a reliable one can be tricky. IPVanish seeks to fill that void. The U.S.-based VPN service has gained a reputation as a security-focused product that offers a good balance of ease of use, dependable connection, and flexibility.
The Bottom Line
IPVanish is a flexible, approachable VPN service. It provides industry-standard high-end encryption, solid connection speeds for torrents and streaming, and unlimited simultaneous connections. All of that, plus the additional support for Amazon Fire TV, makes IPVanish a solid buy for the $9.99 per month price point. However, the company has a questionable history with its logging policy and is based in the U.S., which opens up concerns about government surveillance, and some server locations can cause problems with Netflix.
- Strong encryption standards
- Great download and streaming speeds
- Excellent server selection
- Amazon Fire TV support
- Based in the U.S., subject to 5 Eyes surveillance
- Checkered past on logging policy
- No browser extensions
IPVanish VPN Pricing
IPVanish offers one of the most consumer-friendly prices of the major VPNs on the market. Monthly subscribers can get the VPN service for $9.99 per month, which is on the lower end in terms of monthly pricing. Most competitors are priced at about $1 or $2 more per month, making IPVanish a solid bargain if you are paying month-to-month.
IPVanish also offers savings if you subscribe for a full year, costing just $6.67 per month. Some VPN providers offer even better deals when you pay for a full year in advance, and even have cheaper offers if you will purchase a two-year subscription. However, the prices typically jump after that period expires.
IPVanish also offers plans that bundle the VPN service with cloud storage from SugarSync. This offers additional savings if you are looking for a cloud storage solution as well as the protection of a VPN.
IPVanish Cost vs. Competitors
While a stacked feature list and compatibility are great benefits for any VPN, the real reason that people go looking for the protection of a VPN is privacy. IPVanish offers the industry standard on this front and then some — though there are some concerns regarding the company’s logging policy and legal obligations operating in the U.S.
When you connect to the internet while using a VPN, all of your activity is routed through a secure and encrypted tunnel created between you and your VPN provider. IPVanish uses the industry-standard AES-256 encryption, which is effectively uncrackable. It also uses the highly lauded secure protocols OpenVPN and IKEv2. This has become more common across the industry, but some competitors do not offer OpenVPN support.
IPVanish offers a kill switch feature, which automatically disconnects you from the internet if the VPN server loses connection to make sure your data doesn’t leak. It also has a “Scramble OpenVPN Traffic” option that makes it much harder for a VPN tunnel to be detected or blocked in countries that do not allow VPN access, like China. Finally, a multi-hop encryption feature ensures your data stays protected even as you move between servers. These are above and beyond the standard offerings that many VPNs provide.
Solid download speeds
Essential for average VPN users is the ability to stream or download content at a reasonable speed. Some VPNs slow down your internet connection, but IPVanish manages to maintain serviceable speeds that shouldn’t interfere with streaming content on Netflix or downloading files.
A great feature of IPVanish is split tunneling, which allows you to select which apps you do and don’t want to use with IPVanish. If you want your web browsing protected but are less worried about connecting to a secure server for Netflix, you can dictate only to protect your browser use.
Amazon Fire TV support
Many apps offer support for mobile devices and computers, but IPVanish is one of the few to extend its protection to Amazon Fire TV. You can use the VPN with this device to protect your streaming habits and bypass region locks on streaming content.
IPVanish costs between $6.67 and $9.99 per month, depending on your subscription type. You can also bundle it with cloud storage from SugarSync for $10.99 per month.
IPVanish offers a full suite of online protection, including industry-standard encryption and highly regarded protocols like OpenVPN. It is feature-rich, with a kill switch and split tunneling. It also offers compatibility with Amazon Fire TV. However, it does not have browser extensions like many of its competitors.
In most cases, you can watch Netflix with IPVanish. Some servers do not support Netflix, and IPVanish does not explicitly mention support for unblocking content on Netflix. But the service does allow you to watch Netflix under most conditions.