Here we will look at IPVanish and see if things have changed over the past few months at this company.
It does differ from many other VPN services because they own all of their own VPN servers, and don’t have the need for third-party services. Does this mean good things as an Australian VPN or not?
|Encryption:||AES 256-bit, OpenVPN, SOCKS5, and Others|
|Log Files:||No Logging - see privacy and security section|
|Locations:||60+ countries with 1000+ servers|
|Support:||24/7 Live Chat -|
|Ease Of Use:||Acceptable|
|Jurisdiction:||USA (inside 5-eyes jurisdiction)|
Privacy and Security
The company is based in the USA, so it does fall under the 5-eyes jurisdiction. They make the claim they have a zero logging policy.
But, in June 2018 it came to surface that IPVanish was indeed logging user data, and this was handed over to the US authorities. This is a total contradiction of their “Zero logging policy.”
Like other top VPN providers, IPVanish includes a kill switch which will terminate all of your software should your VPN lose its connection.
This VPN client worked well regardless of platform, and there were no leaks found during testing.
IPVanish relies on the same encryption protocol, AES-256, which is used by a lot of the world’s leading security agencies, banking institutions, and government organizations. With this in place, your connection should be “Brute Force Proof.”
This VPN provider does offer other protocols aside from the default OpenVPN and is PPTP and L2TP.
IPVanish offers an alternative if you don’t wish to install a client on a specific device. This is the SOCKS5 Web Proxy, and where users can obtain similar benefits to using a VPN client at the cost of security.
It can be a solution and does offer faster speeds, but the same encryption standards aren’t used. This means your information can still be accessed even if your location is obfuscated.
From a location in Europe, here are the results of speed tests obtained. This being said, results from Australia could be very different:
- New York Server: Download Speed 34.71 Mbps
- European Server: Download Speed 82.67 Mbps
- Asia Server: Download Speed 7.61 Mbps
For use in Australia, and wanting to connect to the USA, speeds of 34 Mbps on average are not very pleasing when they come from a base speed of 100 Mbps.
The IPVanish download speeds are a very mixed bag, and for a company, which runs its own servers, you’d expect better coverage for a network of this size.
IPVanish services are compatible with numerous tools and operating systems, and they have dedicated apps for:
- iPhone and iPad (iOS)
Manual configuration can be carried out on Window’s phones, Ubuntu, Chromebook, and various routers. IPVanish does allow 5 devices to be connected at once on one IPVanish account.
The first thing regarding their customer service is, it is falsely advertised. When a VPN provider says they’ll offer 24/7 365 coverage, then they should offer it.
IPVanish doesn’t support live chat, and when you do submit a support ticket, the response can take up to 2 days before they reply.
If you were attempting to connect to US Netflix and were struggling, this could become highly frustrating. Then you can find accessing Netflix is a hit and miss affair, and more on the side of a miss, unfortunately.
In testing 3 out of for servers couldn’t connect which were the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Canada, and the one Netflix VPN server, which did work, was in Chicago.
However, even though it connected, the connection lagged and didn’t make for an enjoyable experience for American Netflix.
On the plus side, IPVanish seems to actively promote torrent downloading and P2P file sharing. This though is no substitute for lackluster customer support or very iffy Netflix access.
For a company that hosts all of its own servers, IPVanish prices are competitive. The standard prices without any IPVanish promo code are as follows:
Monthly Plan: $10.00 per month
3 Monthly Plan: $8.99 per month
12-Month Plan: $6.49 per month
You can use the promo to save on these prices, and current savings can be seen on the website at IPVanish.com.
You can pay by any means you can think of including Bitcoin, and they offer 7-days money back guarantee.
One area users don’t often look through is the terms and conditions. Here, if you purchased IPVanish for iPad through the Apple store, you are not eligible for a refund from IPVanish.
This needs to come from Apple, so it shows the need for purchasing directly from the website.
It might not be a deal breaker for many users, but one feature IPVanish does not support is Tor. If you want absolute privacy and anonymity, then you are better seeking a VPN, which does offer this.
Many third-party reviews give varying pictures of IPVanish. They received 17 customer complaints and failed to reply to at least 4 of them. This equates to around 25% of unanswered complaints.
When checking, the complaints don’t follow with any consistency, so they fall down in many areas on occasions.
It is also US based and their parent company being Stackpath.
In all tests, the IPVanish VPN performed up with other top providers, which is quite a feat, but the most significant factors to consider are, it is an American based company, which is inside the 5-eyes jurisdiction.
You can top this with the history of not just logging user data, but handing it over and this is entirely against what a VPN stands for.
Adding insult to injury, a customer support service which is so slow, and any user who is in need of an answer quickly might find they are without protection for over a day, and that isn’t acceptable from accompanying which promotes itself so highly.
Is an IPVanish download worth it? With poor customer support, their location and previous history. I am sure you can easily find alternatives for a very similar price, which offer more.