IPVanish full review
IPVanish is a great VPN for beginners but remains powerful and full of useful features for those that want to browse the web anonymously or access blocked content. Read on for our full IPVanish review to find out whether it's the best VPN for you.
You can find out more about VPNs and how one could benefit you in our article What is a VPN?.
After a simple installation, IPVanish reveals itself as the only solution we've reviewed that includes its own visual tutorial. This is clear, and explains the basics.
By default, IPVanish will try to select the best country and server based on the geographical location of your true IP address. Simply click the Connect button to begin using the selected server.
There's also a "simple" mode you can select, which reduces the user interface to a much smaller window containing just a country selector, a city selector, and a button to start the connection. Connections are stable, and a handy traffic graph gives you an indication of bandwidth use.
Like many other solutions we've looked at, by default all DNS requests sent through the VPN will be resolved using the VPN provider's own DNS servers. This is important as it ensures that such traffic doesn't give clues about your surfing habits.
Also in line with other VPN solutions, IPVanish doesn’t keep any connection or data logs, and doesn't store metadata about your VPN use.
For better privacy, IPVanish allows you to automatically change your fake IP address at regular, user-defined intervals, with a minimum interval of 45 minutes. This will interrupt the tunnel for a few seconds, but if you need a high degree of privacy the inconvenience shouldn't bother you too much.
There's also a kill switch to ensure that no data leaks occur when the connection is dropped and re-established.
Like Buffered VPN, IPVanish is based on OpenVPN, but has a more mature, professional feel. In testing, it also didn't suffer from Buffered VPN's slow user interface problems on Windows. Android installation and use is as easy as downloading from the Play Store and logging in.
IPVanish lists over 1,000 servers in 60 countries. A handy, zoomable map allows you to select a server cluster. At the time of writing, some servers allow access to Netflix US. There's also an option to disguise VPN traffic as HTTPS, which should help in cases where access is blocked.
IPVanish also has an option to install its software on certain models of home router. This involves installing new system software and is not for the technically naïve, though the online tutorials are very thorough.
As well as the basic $10 (around £7.35) per month fee, there's a year-long plan that costs $5.20 (£3.85) per month or a three month option for $8.99 (£6.60) per month. Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin, and a wide range of more obscure options, such as Bancontact and Mister Cash.
There's also a 7-day money back guarantee and the agreement allows for up to 5 devices to be connected simultaneously. You can sign up here.
The downside is that IPVanish is US-based, and therefore in the top tier of the "14-eyes" countries that share cyber-intelligence. This will be a major turn off for privacy advocates (who might want to check out other VPNs we've reviewed in our Best VPN), but with easy access to Netflix US, it's a winner for home users.