Is IP Vanish a good VPN in 2023? Complete Guide
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In our series of VPN reviews, today I got my hands on IP Vanish. It is a VPN based in the USA and still getting very popular in the past years. So let’s start a complete review and see what the VPN had for us.
For beginners who are still struggling to know what a VPN is, here is a glimpse. It is a powerful yet simple tool that encrypts our traffic and connection to protect our privacy. When we use the internet, we send and request data, this leads to the risk of our data and privacy exposure. Every request contains our precious data. A VPN helps us to protect the data through anonymity.
I recommend reading our detailed post here and then coming back when you are ready. There you will also find out if you should buy a VPN.
Now that that’s clear, let’s see some technical aspects of a VPN. First of all, there are many tactics used by different VPN providers to attract you like inflating the number of servers by virtual servers or making the long-term plan extremely cheap. While all these may look impressive to newbies, they are after all just marketing techniques.
|Number of Servers||2000+|
|Protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2|
|Data Limit||No limit (Unlimited)|
|Logging policy||No Logs Policy|
|Jurisdiction||USA (5/9/14 Eyes)|
|Streaming compatibility||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Kodi|
|Money-back||30 days Guarantee|
- Unlimited Connections
- Great encryption and leak protection settings
- Zero logs and no leaks
- Best for BBC iPlayer
- Jurisdiction is the USA (5 eyes)
- Troubled past
- No browser extensions
- No kill switch in iOS
Table of Contents
Streaming and Accessing restricted content
Is IP Vanish a good VPN for streaming? According to a survey, more than 50% of users also use their VPN to stream. This not only protects your data which by the way is still important, but they also let you stream content from other libraries. E.g. if your anime is not on Netflix US, it might be on Netflix Japan. A good VPN will let you connect to a VPN server in Japan and stream the show.
There are no streaming servers marked like CyberGhost, so you would have to test servers to find the right one.
IP Vanish on Netflix
I tested the IP Vanish on Netflix US first and it connected easily but as I went on testing more servers, it was sure that not all servers are for streaming. Many servers were directly blocked and recognized while some were taking a whole day to load. Statistically, 60% of servers showed success which was enough to stream in the US.
The VPN has a good server base in the US and I was also able to access Netflix UK, Germany, and India. Rest all the servers were not able to stream. This is not a good score as there are VPNs that can unlock more than 10 libraries. If you are planning to stream different Netflix libraries, you should look for other options like Express VPN or Nord VPN.
Explore the best VPNs for Netflix in 2023, handpicked and tested.
HULU and BBC Player
It is easily connected to Hulu and BBC iPlayer and we were able to stream in HD without buffering. We connected Hulu to the US server while BBC iPlayer only works on UK servers. Both the players worked perfectly and not a single IP was blocked.
Amazon Prime and Disney +
Well, what would you call if the success rate is 4/10? I think unreliable. I tried many times and then the results showed that it cannot be reliable for Amazon Prime. IT was also unable to stream Disney+. IP Vanish support also does not tell you ways to configure a streaming server which means you cannot access Amazon Prime and Disney+.
IP Vanish will be the perfect VPN for you if you are a typical Netflix streamer, however, if you go to different platforms roaming for content, you definitely need a costlier VPN like Express or Nord that specializes in streaming.
Protocols and encryption are a very important factor in a VPN and due to this, all the major VPNs provides mostly all the protocols and the highest encryption possible.
IP Vanish offers many protocols including the most used ones–WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPsec.
To understand, think of WireGuard as the latest and fastest protocol. Due to being a newer protocol, it still needs some testing to be done. Once completed, it will be the best choice. OpenVPN is currently the most used protocol. Though slower than WireGuard, it has been tested for years and is the most secure. Then comes the IKEv2, think of it as a protocol best for smartphones.
Now that you understand the use of protocols, you can switch them according to your need,s or for best speed results, use WireGuard.
Encryption is useful as even if someone can see your data or access it, they will find it impossible to read or understand. This is because it will be in an encrypted form that only you will be able to access.
IP Vanish offers AES-128 and AES-256. Simply put, AES-256 is currently the safest encryption that is also used in the military and banks. It is impossible to break and even though the AES-128 is also unbreakable, AES-256 just tops it up. WireGuard uses ChaCha20 which is as secure as AES-256 but has a lighter key making it a bit faster too.
Quick note: There is no doubt that as a major VPN provider, IP Vanish keeps the maximum security and takes no risks for its users.
Servers and Locations
IP Vanish boasts more than 2000 servers at 80+ locations in 50 countries. This is not a very big number when seen from above, but when I read and analyzed it, the situation here is actually better than most of the VPNs.
These numbers are nowhere near the numbers of many other providers. CyberGhost has a fleet of 8000+ servers while Private Internet Access has even more servers. But this does not mean that they are better in servers. This is because the number of servers is just one parameter and we should analyze them completely.
IP Vanish owns all its servers
IP Vanish is the only VPN among the major competitors in this field that owns all its servers. This means IP Vanish does not use any kind of rented servers. This is an excellent feature regarding the view of security.
In 2018, Nord’s one of the rented server was breached and the company did not even know this until 2019. This is what happens when a company rents most of the server. After this incident, most providers including Nord began the process of owning their servers but as their flees were bigger, they still could not achieve it. This is all on the concept that quality is more important than quantity.
When a VPN like IP Vanish own its servers, they monitor and maintain them by itself and therefore in case of uncertainty, they are only to blame. This makes them extra careful with our data and also no third party has access to our data.
Besides owning its servers, IP Vanish also claims to have all physical or ‘bare metal servers. This is another important aspect meaning they do not use Virtual servers. Virtual servers are servers that are configured to look like at a different place than it is shown. E.g. the Indian server of Express is located in Singapore.
There may be many reasons for using virtual servers. Some VPNs use them for protecting the interest of the users if the servers are not secure in that region or do not meet the company’s requirements. Some VPNs also use them just to increase their server count and locations. I don’t dislike Virtual servers but the company should be transparent with their use and the reason for using them.
No RAM-only servers
While most of the VPNs are moving towards RAM-only servers, IP Vanish still hasn’t upgraded its servers to diskless. This could be a lot worse but due to the company owning its servers, the risk decreases. However, the company should still move towards turning the servers diskless.
IP Vanish only has servers in 50 countries which is fewer than most VPNs. To compare, Express VPN has servers in 94 countries, Surfshark in 100 countries, and HMA in 190+ countries.
The company has most of its servers in North America and then Europe. The company did not properly scatter its servers. The company does not have a single server in Africa which is pretty shocking. This clearly indicates that the company is right now making a presence only in North America and Europe.
The following list indicates IP Vanish’s server distribution:
Restrictive countries: Ip Vanish does not have servers in restrictive countries like China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia which actually is not a good thing. Even the company’s domain is blocked in these countries. One of the reasons for this is no company can really work in these countries freely and as the company does not use RAM-only servers, these countries could misuse the servers to violate privacy.
Speed and Performance
Speed and performance are very important factors when choosing a VPN. What good privacy is when the page just keeps loading? So we test the VPNs speed by testing several different servers. These servers are among the most used servers and we consider the following elements:
- Download speed: This is the speed of receiving the data. When using the Internet, for every request, we receive some data. It may be downloading a file or just loading website content. Download speed is measured in Mbps.
- Upload speed: This is referred to as the speed while sending data. To load anything on the Internet, initially, you need to send a request. These also include uploading documents, and images and even sending emails. This speed is also calculated in Mbps.
- Ping: This indicates the time taken for data or requests to travel and indicates latency. It can also be referred to as the time taken to send or receive a request. This is extremely important while gaming as the lower the ping, the better the connection. Ping is always measured in ms(milliseconds).
Before I show you the figures, IP Vanish has never been among the fastest VPNs. It may be a fast VPN but not near the fastest. The VPN has definitely improved a lot and does offer reliability in speed.
This time the speed really did surprise me. The download speed was decreased by only 22% while the upload speed had fallen by 18% indicating that in the past tests, this was more than 30% in both cases.
The speed in the nearby servers was really good. This is maybe because of the small scattering of servers, this made the presence of the servers extra effective. When we tried to even the busy servers, they were surprisingly fast.
The speed in the faraway servers was not as good as expected after watching the performance of the nearby servers. As there are very few servers in S. America and no servers in Africa, we tested for only Australian servers which were fast but not as expected this time. The company should now pay attention to servers out of the USA and Europe.
The ping was one of the most improved factors. In the nearest server, we were able to get the latency under 10ms. That was very impressive and even in the far away servers, the latency did not exceed 160-170ms. This makes the IP Vanish a great VPN for gaming.
Note: You should use WireGuard or Auto select protocol option to ensure the best speed possible.
IP Vanish allows torrenting on all its servers. Torrenting is fully supported by IP Vanish. Torrenting refers to a P2P network transfer. IP Vanish allows torrenting with zero logs.
While sharing files, a VPN is more IPs is always better to choose. IP Vanish VPN has more than 40000 IPs which would provide you complete anonymity. The VPN also has an effective kill switch, so in case of the VPN disconnects, the whole internet is disconnected saving you from exposure.
IP Vanish does not offer port forwarding, so if you are a seeder, you might get some issues but if you use torrents to download as a leecher, this might be one of the best VPNs for you.
One of the best things is it offers SOCKS5 proxies in more than 25 countries. As they send fewer data packets, SOCKS5 proxies typically enable quicker download speeds. They are therefore a natural choice for P2P sharing and torrenting. SOCKS5 proxies, in contrast to other proxy types, offer an optional authentication method. This implies that the proxy server can only be accessed by authorized users.
SOCKS% is widely recognized as a golden proxy for torrenting. You can configure the proxy directly in your torrent. You don’t need any extra software and you will be good to go.
Warning: A Proxy only hides your IP and does not encrypt it like VPNs. This makes them less secure than VPNs. This is the main reason why proxy gives better speed as it saves time by not encrypting the traffic. Encryption is a time-consuming process but still important for privacy.
I suggest that viewers always use a VPN before connecting to a Torrent and then disconnect it only when they close the Torrent. This minimizes any risk of IP leaks or exposure.
Remember, torrenting speed greatly depends upon the number of seeders and leechers. So that might change the speed and result in your experience. I tested by downloading a copyright-free movie from BitTorrent. The speed was nearly 10.2MiB/s.
Like every other VPN, IP Vanish also has a DMCA policy which is to prohibit the transfer and sharing of copyrighted content. This is however useless in the case of a zero-log policy VPN. IP Vanish does cannot determine which user has violated due to no IP records meaning they are no way to find the violator which is great news for torrent users.
Note: Using torrents is neither illegal nor unethical however, using it to share or receive copyrighted content is illegal.
IP Vanish Privacy Scandal 2016
However, after the 2016 privacy scandal, it is hard to believe. In an ongoing criminal investigation, the FBI asked for Highwinds Network Group user information of a suspect. Highwinds Network Group was the parent company of IP Vanish at that time. The company denied it at first but when asked a second time, IP Vanish provided all the required information. This incident included the company in the list of VPNs like Azyre and HMA, who shared the information with authorities. You can read the whole article here.
The crime was definitely heinous and the support of the VPN was justifiable, however, the only question is, how the hell did the company have these records in a zero-logs policy in the first place? This is just misusing the trust of the users into believing something they can’t verify themselves.
This incident took place in 2016 and after that, the company even changed its owners. The VPN is currently owned by Ziff Davis who is highly reputed and owns other VPNs like Strong VPN. The company also owns PCMag, a highly reputed magazine. The company also did not show any other such sign and after all the incident took place 6-7 years ago. The company had enough time and resources to change its working.
Verified third-party audits
In July 2022, the company underwent a third-party audit by the security company Leviathan Security Group. This was the company’s first independent audit which is strange as with that reputation, they would have had multiple audits till now.
Note – Privacy is a matter of personal opinion and you can also watch for other options until you are completely satisfied.
Jurisdiction and Parent Company
The IP Vanish VPN is registered and has jurisdiction in the USA. The same USA that is not just a part, but the heart of 5/9/14 eyes.
These are the intelligence sharing alliance that shares their citizen’s data. The 5 eyes were started by the US and Uk with 3 other countries and now there are 14 countries. This is one of the worst possible jurisdictions for a security and privacy tool, well if we exclude China. The USA is also known for mass surveillance which they said to shut down, however, there are a lot of grey areas there.
The company still believes that due to its no logs policy, they are safe even in the USA as the US does not have a data retention policy. I would be more convinced if the servers at least had RAM-only servers. PIA also has US jurisdiction but when asked for user information, they strictly denied and claimed that they have no logs policy and even the servers have nothing stored. This is what we need from IP Vanish too.
The company was started under Mudhook Marketing in 2012, a subsidiary of Highwinds Network Group in Orlando, Florida. This was the company that owned IP Vanish in the 2016 incident. Then in 2017, Stackpath acquired the whole Highwinds Network group.
In 2019, StackPath sold IP Vanish to J2 Global (currently ZiffDavis Inc.). As mentioned earlier, Ziff Davis also owns other security companies like Strong VPN and Encrypt. me. The company also runs its own review agency, PCMag. A VPN with its review agency is not particularly a good combination.
Ziff Davis does not have any record of past misconduct. The company can be called trustworthy. Ziff Davis is based in Seattle, USA. I think IP Vanish has come a long way to prove it’s worth trusting but it still is completely on personal opinion.
Note: Privacy is very important when choosing a VPN, if you are not satisfied, you should explore other options.
Note: This VPN service offers a wide range of protocols to choose from.
IP Vanish does not offer many features which are really one of the most infuriating things. At this price, there are some expectations from a service.
IP Vanish owns its DNS servers
A DNS or a Domain Name System is a naming system used by computers and machines. Let me be a nerd for a bit, as you know, machines use their language to understand. As we are right now communicating in English, DNS is a language of machines to remember sites and addresses right now, you are on ‘Hacksguider’ but the computer store this name as numbers called DNS.
Now that you know what DNS is, whenever you open a website, the request goes to a DNS server which in most cases is owned by your Internet service provider. This lets your ISPs and the DNS provider record all the websites or addresses you visited. So what good a VPN can do if your ISP can still access your details?
IP Vanish has its DNS server as a result all your DNS requests are transferred here. This means your ISP has now no idea which sites are you accessing making it an actual private connection.
A kill switch feature disconnects the internet if the VPN is disconnected thus saving our connection to be exposed. This is a must-feature as this little window is enough to expose our identity or give hackers a chance to steal our privacy.
The VPN also gives an auto-connect option with a kill switch. This will try to reconnect the VPN automatically.
This is a feature available in most VPNs; you should always keep it switched on unless you have a good reason.
No malware and no unnecessary trackers
I did not find any harmful or unnecessary tracker in the IP Vanish android version. According to the Exodus report, the VPN only deploys 3 trackers and none of them are marked harmful by Google ProteSome VPNs have more than 20 trackers, so RIP to their user’s privacy.
These three trackers of IP Vanish are also verified. Two are for Google Analytics and one is for crash report testing. The earlier version only had one tracker, but the analytics were added in a recent update. VPNs like Proton do not use any trackers.
We also ran some malware tests to find if the application contains any malware. The report was satisfactory as no malware was found.
No Split tunneling or multi-hop
While the IP Vanish may be good at security, it still misses some important features. Multi-hop and split tunneling are available in most VPNs and they are important features. Split tunneling removes the need of turning the VPN on and off while using secure networks.
Multihop adds a layer of extra security by adding two servers making the network becomes extra secure. IP Vanish should think about adding these features.
Price and Value
IP Vanish also has a similar pricing structure with four plans being offered: monthly, quarterly and yearly. The yearly plan is obviously the cheapest as a prize for a longer commitment. Sometimes the quarterly plan is not shown, it depends upon regional campaigns.
The price of the monthly plan is $11.99/mo making it among the most expensive plan. The quarterly plan is $10/mo which is still a very costly plan. The yearly plan is $3.99/mo or $47.89 and this is the only plan that can be considered as a cheaper plan as it reduces the cost by 66%. The two-year plan costs $3.33/mo which would be much better to avoid. One year would give better rewards towards the commitment ratio.
Is IP Vanish VPN worth it?
Well, first of all, I would say that the monthly plan is completely useless and I have my reasons. Usually, I always recommend my users to start with a short-term plan like a monthly and see if it suits their needs but in this case, it is different.
The refund is only available on the yearly plan which is way cheaper than the monthly plan. Even if you are not satisfied with the service, you are eligible for a refund without any questions being asked. So there is no reason to go for the monthly plan.
I would definitely recommend the yearly plan and if you are from North America or Europe, this might be one of the best VPN services you can get with all premium servers at this cheap price.
If you think IP Vanish is a bit out of your budget, I will recommend Surfshark at $2.49 or Private Internet Access at $2.19.mo.
There are no other offers currently as IP Vanish VPN is already giving a big discount on long-term plans.
Free trial: You can get a 30-day free trial through this offer. This way you can check if the VPN suits you. If you do not like the service, you can get a refund with no questions asked. this way you can even enjoy a premium VPN for free.
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IP Vanish does not offer any anonymous payment method like bitcoin or any other crypto which is not a good thing for a VPN service provider. There are VPNs like Proton VPN that even offer cash payment for anonymity.
IP Vanish VPN has applications for the following devices:
- Chrome OS
It can also connect to gaming consoles and other entertainment devices.
The application is easy to use even for beginners however when we see the screen for the first time, it looks like a 90’s hacker’s screen shown in movies. This is due to the green and black color and graphics of the IP Vanish which are mostly similar in all the devices.
IP Vanish VPN on Windows
IP Vanish has a windows application for Windows 7 and higher. The was did felt a little outdated. The company has said that they will update most of the applications this year. The theme as well as visualization reminds me of the black-green screen. However, we felt that the Windows application did not lag. It was running smoothly.
The Windows version supports all the protocols-WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP. While OpenVPN Scramble allows you to change your encryption from AES-256 to AES-128, this is to increase the speed however AES-256 is more secure to brute force.
The windows screen shows two options to choose the servers from– you can choose from the list or select it from the map. The map feature looks cool and you can zoom in to see the scattering of the servers. On the left is a vertical list where you can see options for quick-connect, account controls, and settings.
The settings are easy to navigate and you can see options there to select your protocol, system startup, IP Vanish startup, etc. The default protocol selected is WireGyard but you can change it to whatever is suitable for you. The kill switch is not switched on by default, so you will have to do it manually.
There is also a diagnostics option through which you can troubleshoot if you have any trouble connecting. The PC versions also offer a graph that shows the real-time connection speed when connected to the VPN service.
IP Vanish VPN in Android
The app is available on Google Play Store and can easily be downloaded from there. The interface is very impressive and I can say that it is even better when compared to the Windows version.
The visualization is the same however the options are transferred to the bottom of the screen. The servers can be filtered by countries or cities and similar to other versions, you can mark the servers in favorites to access them faster. At the bottom, you can see Home, location, settings, and help.
The screen shows a quick connect option below the selected server. One impressive thing is that there is a map even in android that shows the selected server. There are not many VPNs that shows map even in mobile apps.
The default protocol is WireGuard, and you can change it to OpenVPN and IKEv2. The other features available include Kill Switch and OpenVPN scramble with AES-256. The Android version also supports the Split tunneling feature which is a great update.
IP Vanish VPN in iOS
The app is available and can easily be downloaded from the play store. The visualization and graphics are a bit different from Android but work quite well.
There is no kill switch, split-tunneling, or LAN exemption which makes the iOS client quite featureless. Well, the split tunneling feature is never available on iOS by any VPN, but a kill switch is a must.
Protocols offered include WireGuard, IKEv2, IPSec, and L2TP. OpenVPN protocol is not available on iOS. The encryption is AES-256 and you cannot change it to AES-128.
To be fair, the iOS app is not well when compared to other devices and the features offered in iOS do not compare with other VPN services.
IP Vanish VPN in macOS
The macOS client is mostly similar to the Windows client. Though there are some differences in visualizations and graphics. I also felt that the macOS version is not much user-friendly.
The options are nearly the same, you can find the option to choose servers from the list or the map. If you choose the server from the list, you can find options to sort or filter servers accordingly. This feature is also available in Windows and with a much better interface. We hope that in the upcoming updates, IP Vanish pays attention here.
The protocols are available with the option to choose from WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP. The AES-128 option is not available for encryption meaning only AES-256 is available in macOS.
The customer support of IP Vanish VPN is one of the best customer support I have felt. You can contact customer support in three ways:
24/7 live chat
The best way for most of the users would be 24/7 live chat that is available on their website. This will connect you to the customer executive directly in a very short time. The representatives are very helpful and mostly solve the issue quickly.
You can also send your issues through tickets after which a ticket will be issued for you. IP Vanish is among the very few VPNs that provide phone support. Phone lines are not available in selected countries which you can see here on their site.
I would say that at the yearly price or for a longer commitment mindset, the IP Vanish is definitely one of the best VPNs available. It can be considered a simple and sober VPN with no unnecessary tools designed to attract users.
However, if you want a VPN to be more than just a VPN i.e. including many features, it would be best for you to look at some of those alternatives. I might suggest Private Internet Access or Nord VPN.
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