Value for Money
VPNMag recommend IPVanish
Summary : An excellent VPN Service with core feature such as : two simultaneous connections / Unlimited server switching / Unlimited speeds. A Great Value for Money
Having only been founded in March of 2012, IPVanish is a relatively new contender on the VPN market. However to call IPVanish a newcomer to the industry would be something of a misnomer. But in an industry that’s barely over a decade old, IPVanish’s history ranks its team among the most experienced providers of VPN services. The individuals behind the company combines over 15 years of collective experience in network management, IP services and content delivery. With offices in North America and Europe, IPVanish has an international presence which separates it from much of the competition.
The results can be seen in terms of speed, security, and technical support. On the company’s website it’s stated that “Our passion and goal is to bring you the absolute best VPN service – the best speeds, the most secure connections, the best technical support, and the most competitive pricing available anywhere.” While the company may not have achieved all of these goals in their first year of operation, they certainly have established a very capable VPN service that is likely to fulfill many of the needs of the average user. Despite the years of experience behind IPVanish, it’s important to note that they are still a new provider. While there may be room for improvement in some areas of the service, there is definitely a lot to be optimistic about. For starters, with offices in both Europe and the United States, the company is one of the few truly global VPN providers on the market. This helps them to better understand the complexities of multinational Internet use and provide VPN service that addresses those issues. What does this mean for you, the user? Basically that the people behind this service are likely aware of what your needs are when it comes to maintaining your privacy and accessing the online content you wish to access. One of the main things that set them apart from their competition, is that IPVanish is a Tier-1 provider. This means that they own and operate their own infrastructure. The total control this affords the company perhaps explains why IPVanish is one of the fastest and most reliable providers on the VPN market. In addition to providing a very fast and reliable VPN service with a number of excellent features, IPVanish is also one of the more affordable VPN providers on the market.
About VPN Service
Probably if you are reading this, you are well aware of what VPN service entails. But just in case, let us do a quick recount. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN is essentially a private network that protects data that is transferred while you are online. Anti-virus software and firewalls can of course provide you with a certain level of protection. But using a VPN provides for an ultra-secure connection that typically makes use of an encrypted data tunnel. People use VPNs for a variety of reasons. Some simply make use of them because they appreciate the added security they provide, ensuring that they will be safe from hackers, identity thieves, and government agencies who might be monitoring Internet usage. Virtual Private Networks are also widely used by business people who travel abroad. By using a VPN, it’s possible to securely connect to your office intranet from anywhere in the world. Others use VPN service to connect with remote networks around the world. There are a variety of reasons for doing this. If you are in a country outside of the United States but wish to watch streaming online programming from a site such as Hulu or Netflix, you can do this with a VPN. VPN services can assign a different IP address to you when you sign on. Often these IP addresses will be from foreign countries like the United States of the United Kingdom. Having a US or UK IP address can make it appear as if you are located within either of those countries; allowing you to access online programming through the BBC or one of the American networks.
Control Your IP Address with IPVanish
Any connection to the Internet, anywhere in the world comes with a unique IP address. An IP address is like a a signature when you surf the Internet that can be used to trace your activity back to you. The problem is that an IP address can be used to track users, even to identify their physical location. If your IP address is visible you may also be more susceptible to hackers or identity thieves. Even if you have nothing to hide, it can be disconcerting to know that all of your online activities can be so easily tracked, monitored and stored. As their name implies, IPVanish protects this information by making your actual IP address vanish and replacing it with another one. Using this remotely issued, anonymous IP address can conceal your actual identity online by preventing your real IP address from being revealed. By using IPVanish, not only can you make your real IP address vanish, but you can choose another one from anyone of the more than 20 different countries around the world the company maintains servers in. IPVanish makes it easy to choose different IP addresses from around the world and even to switch up the IP you are using as often as you’d like. That means you can virtually switch your location from the United States, to the UK, to China and back again within a matter of mere minutes. Even if you are working with the most legitimate Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the book, there remains the danger that your data may be compromised in some way or another. Using a VPN service like IPVanish gives you control over what sort of information you reveal about yourself online. The service enables you to carefully manage your data transfer, while protecting you from anyone who may be trying to invade into your personal business or data.
Filter Out Unwanted Marketing
Internet marketers have become arguably as savvy as hackers when it comes to finding out what you do and where you go online and then using that information to target you with marketing campaigns, SPAM emails, and other junk. Big search engine companies like Google keep track of all your Internet searches and can share this information with marketers who pay for access to it. Using a good VPN service like IPVanish can help protect you from being targeted by marketers. Everyone has conducted sensitive searches of one kind or another on the Internet. Perhaps you have had health or legal problems and needed to conduct research on them. Unfortunately this information can be readily made available and can even potentially become known in your offline world. Using a reliable VPN service such as is provided by IPVanish can help ensure that your online activities remain as discrete as you’d like them to. By making your actual IP address vanish and using an anonymous one from a remote server, you can protect yourself from the data gathering operations of major search engines and Internet marketers.
Easy Installation and Use
There was once a time (not too long ago) when installing a VPN service meant manually installing the settings and changing the parameters yourself through coding. Thankfully IPVanish is also relatively easy to install (unlike some VPN services) as well as being very easy to use once it’s been installed.Whether you’re using Windows, Mac, Android, or any of the other devices and OS compatible with the system, IPVanish is generally very easy to set up and can be up and running in a matter of just a couple of minutes or so. Once you’ve installed the service on your device, it’s very easy to use your log-in information to log on to the server and get started using the fast VPN service the company provides. Once you are logged in, you will find a host of excellent features at your fingertips.
IPVanish VPN Client Area
Once you have logged in with the required credentials, you’ll be redirected to the control panel, or to the online client area. It’s fairly self-explanatory with spaces provided for:
- Server List
Using the account section gives you your email ID and allows you to change your password. The billing section is a place for you to provide all of the requisite information regarding your credit card as well as the option to cancel your subscription. By using the server list you can check out all of the different servers that are provided by IPVanish. You can then choose the one that best suits your specific requirements. Using the support section allows you to post relevant queries regarding the VPN service. The image to the left will give you a more accurate picture of what the supports section has to offer.
IPVanish VPN servers are compatible with most major VPN protocols. These include OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP connectivity. Servers are ranked ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’, with ‘A’ servers serving the best grade speeds based on the user’s location.
What also makes IPVanish unique is that all users are allowed up to 2 simultaneous connections –
1 OpenVPN connection (for your main computer)
One L2TP or PPTP connection (for your mobile device)
With other providers you would need to buy an additional count for a 2nd connection.
Supported Devices and Operating Systems
IPVanish can be used in concert with most major mobile devices and operating systems.
Ubuntu DD-WRT Compatible Routers
In tests conducted using IPVanish on an iPhone and an iPad, IPVanish performed very well and delivered good speeds and stability. Also for Windows, IPVanish has created a custom app that makes it very easy to connect and change networks. The app makes use of OpenVPN tap drivers that are automatically installed for you. Once you have installed the app you merely launch it and select the server that you wish to connect to. Then you indicate the type of connection and click “Connect.” That’s about all there is to it. Mac users will be pleased to know that IPVanish also has configuration files for Tunneblick as well. Setting up the service on a MacBook is very easy and typically should take no more than just a couple of minutes. It’s also very easy to use the service on a mobile device with PPTP or L2TP protocols. Again, setting the service up on a mobile is also very easy.
Global Server Network
Regardless of your device or location, IPVanish promises top speeds and unlimited bandwidth. They also have a network of servers that offers users truly global coverage in terms of access. The company maintains more than 2,500 IP addresses on 54 servers in 20 different countries across the globe. This guarantees that users can always count on a nearby server. IPVanish users may enjoy unlimited bandwidth, unlimited access, and unrestricted speed across the company’s entire network.
The countries IPVanish maintains servers in are: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.
One of the principal goals set out by IPVanish when it was established was to build the fastest and most reliable Tier-1 network backbone. With over 100 expert employees in the areas of operations, software development and support, they have achieved that goal and are now consistently testing as the fastest VPN, by far in North America and Europe. Equally important to subscribers, is that they offer two simultaneous connections for a very low price. Lower, in fact, then even mid and low-tier VPN services.
IPVanish provides a good level of security and even goes as far as to assure protection of your online identity along with any sensitive data you may be transmitting while you are online. Using the service can also help you to secure your identity at Wi-Fi hotspots. The reason the service offers such good security is the state-of-the-art encryption standards employed by the company. IPVanish offers 128-bit encryption for PPTP and L2TP protocol support. For OpenVPN the service provides even more security with 256-bit encryption.
IPVanish delivered very good performance across the board. The connection was not only fast, but stable. We also found the service was very capable when it came to the unblocking of sites such as Netflix and Hulu through the use of an American IP address. IPVanish provided excellent speed that bested that of just about every other provider we’ve tested in terms of the US market. It also displayed good speed in locations like the United Kingdom and Canada. Even for other countries around Europe, IPVanish offered speeds that were better than average.
Privacy and Anonymity
While speed is one of IPVanish’s most notable assets, the company also gets high marks for privacy. Unlike some VPN providers out there, this service does not maintain any kind of log on the activities of their users (sites visited, DNS lookups, email communications etc.). However it should be noted that they do track things like timestamps, duration of connections, IP addresses, used to connect, and the amount of bytes that are transferred. But in the grand scheme of things, IPVanish is one of the more anonymous VPN providers on the market today.
Available Plans and Pricing
IPVanish offers three different purchases plans, each of which comes with unlimited data.
The plans are as follows:
$26.99 for 3 month
$77.99 for 1 year or $6.49 per month (best deal ever available)
Obviously, you get the best deal if you sign up for one year of service, in which case you’ll only pay $6.49 a month. This is almost a fifty percent discount from going with the month-to-month option.
7-Day Money Back Guarantee
Unlike some VPN services, there is no free trial available from IPVanish. However one aspect of the company’s service we found to our liking, was the 7-day money back guarantee they were willing to provide. If for whatever reason, you are not satisfied with the service provided by IPVanish, it’s possible to receive a 100% money back guarantee within seven days of signing up for the service. While we demanded no such guarantee, we found customer reviews online that provide evidence that the company indeed lived up to this guarantee and refunded money to users who were no satisfied.
The IPVanish software offers significant user flexibility. Subscribers can install the software on an unlimited number of computers and devices. Thus, if you’re connected with your PC at home and decide to leave the house, you can still access the VPN on your smart phone via the L2TP or PPTP protocol. Furthermore, IPVanish’s IP addresses are dynamic – that means that unlike a static IP address which remains the same every time you go online, your digital signature will be unique each time you log onto IPVanish’s servers. Their software, therefore, combines high quality protection, anonymity and uncensored browsing with user friendly functionality. You can download, browse and upload at will, without worrying about bandwidth or hidden fees. The set up is as user friendly as the service – a few clicks and you will be ready to browse the web with freedom and security. The website provides an easy-to-follow set up page that opts for simplicity rather than the confusing menus and never-ending settings that plague many other sites. Without forcing you to change your ISP, browser or applications, IPVanish gets you up-and-running hassle free. Another great feature of IPVanish is that it offers 2 concurrent connections, which a lot of other VPN providers do not offer. For example if you own an iPad and a Laptop, you can keep both of those device connected at the same time.
Peer to Peer and Log Policy
IPVanish does not restrict P2P usage. We also interviewed the Director of Marketing of IpVanish that gives us his explanation about their policy. We in no way record or store any user’s activity while connected to the VPN. Period. We don’t know where you went or what you did when connected at all. We highly respect our customer’s right privacy and don’t think it’s anyone’s business what someone does. The only information we collect from a VPN session is: When and length of time connected, IP address used to make the connection and bytes transferred. This helps us troubleshoot any connectivity issues a customer may have. And of the small amount of support info we do keep, we purge it regularly. Also, IPVanish users are given dynamic and shared IP addresses from a pool. Essentially that mixes customer A’s traffic with customer B’s and C’s and so on. Even if we wanted to separate or isolate a user’s traffic it would be almost impossible to do so.
Unlimited Speed is one of the prime areas that IPVanish’s service stands out from that of other providers. This makes perfect sense when yo consider that the company behind the service has an extensive background in content delivery. Over the past dozen years or so, the company has invested to build a comprehensive delivery network that is among the fastest in the world. Because they have laid the groundwork and built such a fast and expansive network, they are able to leverage that network for their VPN service. Thanks to this well-constructed network, IPVanish does provide truly fast VPN service. However in tests we performed we found that while network speeds were very good indeed throughout the United States and Europe, there were speed issues when origin tests were performed from India. You can see more comprehensive results to the speed tests we performed below.
Reliability is another area in which IPVanish touts their service as being superior to most other providers. We conducted reliability tests and in general, found the service to be fairly reliable. However while using the Tokyo server we did experience connection breakdowns about once every couple of hours or so. Using the Tokyo server also negatively impacted the speed of our connection. On the other hand, when tests were conducted on the New York server, we found speed to be good and the connection to be completely reliable. To be fair, IPVanish gets somewhat mixed reviews overall in terms of reliability. Being that they are a new entry into the VPN market, we’re wiling to give them the benefit of the doubt somewhat. Certainly they have laid the groundwork to become a reliable VPN provider in the future. The service would seem to have the potential to become a very reliable VPN provider. If it can make good on the potential it has laid out in terms of reliability, IPVanish would seem to have the potential to become one of the best VPN services on the market in terms of reliability.
We tried the service out on all major browsers; including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Google Chromium, and Opera. IPVanish exhibited above average performance on all the major browsers we tried it out on. However we did encounters some problems with download speeds and load speeds for data-heavy websites. This is one of the areas where there may be some room for improvement.
IPVanish for Streaming Content
If you’re looking for a good VPN service for streaming online content from websites such as Hulu, Netflix and YouTube, IPVanish is fairly quick, provided you’re located in the United States or Europe. However if you are outside of those countries in locations such as India, you may be more likely to experience the occasional interruption. The issues we experienced seemed to stem from the distance between our location and the selected server. However using the service for streaming content online should become easier and easier as the company expands its server network around the world.
Technical and customer support for IPVanish is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week via email. Live Chat support is available from Monday through Friday during regular business hours. (Eastern time US). We found the support team to be helpful, responsive and knowledgeable. Whenever we contacted them with any kind of question we received a prompt and complete response.
Forum and Blog
Some other support features we found with the IPVanish service that we particularly liked including the company’s blog and forum. Through making use of IPVanish’s online chat support we received prompt answers to our questions. The company also maintains a blog on their website. The blog is dedicated to the latest happenings in the world of the Internet and VPN users. It pays particularly close attention to the latest issues regarding Internet censorship and current VPN advancements around the world.
It’s easy to recommend IPVanish, especially if speed is one of your primary concerns. Although the service is a relatively new one the people behind it obviously know what they are doing. Also being one of the few Tier-1 providers in the industry puts them almost in a class by themselves. Again to quickly run down some of the features that are notable about IPVanish: Unlimited bandwidth Unrestricted speed 54 servers in 20 different countries Unlimited server switches Software that is simple and easy to use Fast Tier-1 VPN service Two simultaneous VPN connections Excellent customer and tech support 7-day money back guarantee There have been quite a few new entries onto the VPN market in the last year or two. However many VPN providers are merely out to make a quick buck and don’t really seem to care about the service they make available. To that end, many of them outsource their servers or hire servers from existing VPN companies. The fact that IPVanish keeps and maintains their own servers is a true mark of quality. It is this dedication to quality and good customer service that have earned this service the distinction of being one of the most lauded and acclaimed new entries to come onto the VPN market in some time.
Room for Improvement
As we have previously stated, despite IPVanish’s quality, there are several areas in which the service could be improved. Payment options are still somewhat limited. Also, while a seven-day money back guarantee is nice, there is no free trial available, which we found disappointing. Lastly, there was the inconsistently we encountered when testing from locations such as India.
At the end of the day VPN providers are in the service industry, and their treatment of customers is a key factor in their evaluation. With 24 hours service 365 days a year, IPVanish is sure to surpass expectations. The site even offers live chat support Monday to Friday during regular business hours Eastern Standard Time (US). This type of customer first mentality would have served Yahoo well when setting up their security protocols. Indeed, in a digital era when half a million netizens can be exposed to identity theft in a matter of minutes, web users need to be smart about their internet activities. Selecting a user-focused service like IPVanish is a positive step towards freedom from censorship and cyber crime. Certainly the service is a long way from perfect. But that said, there are many good quality features included with IPVanish that make it worth your consideration. As a relatively new company, given time to work out the few bugs that do exist, IPVanish could yet emerge as one of the top VPN providers on the market.