NordVPN vs. IPVanish

NordVPN vs IPVanish comparison

Both are known to have high Internet speeds, torrenting support, and secure encryption. There are notable differences in most aspects. This comparison will go into details for each important feature which you should definitely consider before subscribing to a VPN service.

NordVPN vs IPVanish. One of the most reputable VPN at the cheapest pricing range vs. a lesser-known VPN which boasts 40,000+ shared IPs.

Which will prevail?

(If you have little to no knowledge on both and want a full breakdown of both VPNs, check out our review of NordVPN and IPVanish first before you proceed.)

It’s actually a fairly one-sided comparison… well, let’s read on to find out which is the better VPN (and a better decision) out of the two.

NordVPN and IPVanish Comparison

There are several factors to consider to measure how well a VPN performs. But ultimately, most casual people prefer-rich VPNs while hardcore privacy advocates prefer VPNs that can safeguard their identity and privacy.

VPN reviews may help you dive deep into one specific service, but it’s a smart idea to compare one service from another to easily see the differences between your options.

Make no mistake, both options may seem dependable. But at the end of the day, there can only be one winner between the two.

Servers and Locations

One measure of a “good” VPN depends on the number of servers that it can offer to its users. After all, you would want to connect to different servers around the world with freedom. It’s a given and must-have feature for VPNs. The bigger the server count, the more resources a VPN provider has to manage them. That’s a good thing.

Fortunately, when it comes to servers, both offer good numbers – NordVPN with over 5,000 and IPVanish with over 1,300 which includes 40,000+ shared IPs! Localization, in general, is also not an issue with both being available in 60+ countries.

Both VPNs have around 50% of their servers in the US and UK alone. If you always connect to either one then there’s no problem with that.

Given these stats, NordVPN outperforms IPVanish on this section based on the number of servers and the variety of countries available.

Another bonus that you can get with NordVPN is TOR integration. On the other hand, IPVanish doesn’t necessarily promise this feature. They have an article on their website saying they received “feedback” from an IPVanish user indicating TOR integration works. That’s not really reliable.

Clearly, NordVPN wins this one with a higher server count, locations and TOR integration.

VPN Speed and Performance

In case you didn’t know, we value VPN speed and performance. Whenever we review a VPN, we always take the time to test its speed out using from three continents using a 100 Mbps connection. Essentially, what’s the use of subscribing to a VPN if it’s not fast?

Both offer fast Internet speeds, but you can clearly see who has the advantage.

IPVanish optimizes its Internet speed through the use of tier-1 optic fiber servers. This is possible because its parent company, Highwinds Network Group, is a premium Content Delivery Network provider. On the other hand, NordVPN uses a smart routing system which connects you to the fastest server available based on your location.

These features give both VPNs an edge. But IPVanish’s speeds were slightly slower (~5%)  according to our speed tests.

NordVPN wins, only if you’re a speed queen.

Netflix Test

Netflix is, apart from high speeds, one of the primary reasons you need to consider when subscribing to a VPN. Geo-restricted content is the norm nowadays and even if you want to watch your local content, Netflix may have blocked your VPN’s IPs.

So, how do the two VPNs fare up?

Remember what we said earlier about IPVanish having servers that are mostly located in the US and UK? You’d probably think that with its vast access to both regions, there is also a big probability that you can access content which is only restricted to that region.

Well, we’ve got bad news. Unfortunately, IPVanish does not support Netflix. The streaming giant has blacklisted most of IPVanish’s servers, and it seems that the company has given up in trying to unblock Netflix. It’s hard to believe that a VPN at this pricing range would not have the capability to access Netflix. On rare occasions, you might connect to a server that works. But this is rare.

But even if that’s the case, IPVanish still offers some websites with geo-restricted content you might want to access, such as HBO, NBC Sports, and CBS All Access, among others. Still, Netflix is on top of the priority list for most people, including us. If you care about this above all else, then you can just rule out IPVanish here.

As for NordVPN… you quickly realize how they’ve amassed such a huge customer base. The VPN is one of the best out there with unlocking capabilities for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Japan. What more can you ask for?

To sum up, NordVPN KOs IPVanish with this one.

Torrenting Policy

We are pretty strict when it comes to torrenting policies – we simply do not condone pirating of copyrighted content. (That’s our legal statement!)

That’s why we always make sure to clearly lay out the torrenting policies of the VPNs we review. Some VPN providers’ policies can end up revealing your activities. Scary stuff.

Fortunately, both VPNs offer a secure P2P connection as well as additional points that will keep you hidden (more on this as we go down the comparison).

But naturally, when you torrent, you may want faster downloading speeds as well.

IPVanish’s Internet speeds offer a decent performance which extends even to torrenting, but unfortunately, it has no dedicated servers.

NordVPN, on the other hand, has dedicated servers to optimize your torrenting activity, which makes it faster.

Make no mistake folks, it’s another win for NordVPN.

Pricing and Plans

It’s one thing to have good download and upload speeds and anonymity on the Internet, but at what cost? Some privacy-centric folks say there is no price for freedom, but maybe you’re a budget-advocate.

Luckily for you, both are reasonably cheaper than most VPNs in the market which begs the question – which is cheaper? Which is a better deal?

Just to inform you, NordVPN is our no-brainer VPN because it’s a complete package at a low price. At $2.99/month for 3 years, no other VPN measures up. It’s like getting a filet mignon for the price of a McDouble.

IPVanish has a decent plan at $6.49/month for a year (which you can even reduce to $5.20/month through a tricky sign-up process). It’s neither cheap nor costly but so far, NordVPN has been winning in every feature comparison. Is it worth getting a more expensive VPN that has fewer features?

If we compare these two price points, NordVPN’s $2.99 is cheaper than IPVanish’s $5.20; that comes out to a difference of $2.21 which is almost another month of NordVPN’s subscription.

If you’re looking for a VPN you can use in the long run for less the money, then you’d definitely want to subscribe to NordVPN.

Refund Policy

Subscription to VPNs is a fairly done deal, but there can be times where you’re left dissatisfied with your subscription. Often times, you would want to cancel your subscription and that’s where refund policies come in.

IPVanish’s refund policy lasts for 7 days. Some terms and conditions apply (such as where you signed up from), but the nice thing is, you don’t have to contact support to get your money back. You can simply do it all under the account dashboard once you log in.

NordVPN, on the other hand, offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s more of a hassle since you’d have to contact support and tell them about your situation, but rest assured: you will get your money back.

So, a hassle-free refund process from the IPVanish account dashboard vs. a 30-day money-back period from NordVPN… it’s a tie here.

Payment Methods

For payment methods, there’s a clear winner between the two.

IPVanish offers the usual payment methods which allow you to pay with your credit card or Paypal.

NordVPN offers the same payment methods and more… some of which even include various cryptocurrencies.

Just a heads up – it’s 2019 now, folks. Limited payment methods are a thing of the past, and if you don’t accept cryptocurrencies as payment then you will lose market share of privacy seekers.

We have to hand the win to NordVPN on this one.

Device Compatibility

When it comes to the device compatibility, IPVanish bests NordVPN – the former offers a connection to 10 simultaneous devices as opposed to the latter’s 6.

Both provide the option and instructions on how to manually set up your router at home (or office), so you can have unlimited devices using the VPNs.

In case you’re not technically not adept, you can also opt-in to buy pre-configured routers from both VPN providers’ sites.

NordVPN, however, edges this comparison because they have more compatibility with various versions of Windows as well as various devices like BlackBerry, Raspberry Pi, etc.

Sign-up Process

If you’re paranoid about compromising your privacy, you would want to sign-up anonymously; providing a little less information than usual.

Well, you’re in luck because both offer a fair and hassle-free sign-up process. In addition, IPVanish offers a little bit of a discount on your subscription in case you take too long to decide whether you want to go with it or not – it pays you forward for being indecisive. Cool beans.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 for both. Just remember that you remain a bit more anonymous with NordVPN since they accept cryptocurrencies.

Product Interface

It’s difficult to be objective in this particular area since users have their own preferences.

But, if you’re looking for a VPN that’s easy to use on the outside, you can rest easy knowing that both offer an amazing user interface and experience.

There’s your usual sign-in page, server list and connect button for both. For NordVPN, there are quick launch buttons available to connect to the fast server possible and even some recommendations on what to watch on Netflix!

Alternatively, if you’re into visuals, IPVanish’s beautiful interface provides a graph that is readily accessible. It’s cool to visually see how your connection measures up with all the green and light green waves.

As for user experience, both do not disappoint. This varies from one user to another, so at the end of the day, it’s all a matter of personal preference.

Customer Support

Not all people know how to use a VPN initially (even though it’s fairly easy). On top of that, your identity is always at risk. As such, 24/7 customer support is a must for a VPN provider available in the market.

Satisfyingly, both provide outstanding customer support. Both have real representatives waiting on the other line for inquiries.

As for waiting time, NordVPN outmatches IPVanish on this one, since you might have to wait up to 2 to 3 minutes as opposed to NordVPN’s almost instant response. To be fair, it may not be as fast as NordVPN but it is commendable.

We would take a second or even a couple of minutes in live chat delay as opposed to email and ticket support.

Product Documentation

Apart from the usual inquiry on customer service, VPN providers usually document information regarding the services they provide, instructions on VPN use or other things of concern.

There is a huge range of content you can go through with both NordVPN and IPVanish.

As expected, you can find some privacy issues being discussed on both so that’s another plus. You get to know what’s going on in the industry in addition to all the bulk of technical guides.

Logging Policy

Do you value privacy greatly? If your answer is yes, you might want to focus reading on this one.

Most VPN providers nowadays claim to have a no-log policy on their website. But if you’re wary and you like to be cautious, you know that there’s always more than what meets your eyes.

You can never be 100% safe with VPNs. Promises are great but if they fail to protect your anonymity, where’s the good in that?

No-log policies mean that your activity or your connection is not monitored and recorded. This means, in theory, you are safe to log into important services and browse the web without watching your back at all times.

The safety of NordVPN’s no log policy has been “verified” – it’s been audited and tested to be free from logging by PwC. The recently-acquired PwC certification is sure to give you a certain sense of security as it did with us.

As for IPVanish, we cannot say the same.

For starters, it’s based in the US. As you may know, the country has one of the strictest privacy laws around the world (in fact, the US is the founding party of the Five Eyes Alliance). They may claim to honor their flawless no-log policy, but is it really the case?

Years ago, IPVanish lead the US Homeland Security to an arrest of a Comcast user. This goes to show that while they may have vocally expressed their desire to uphold their no-logging policy, this incident clearly falls short of that promise.

Fast forward to the present, the company went under major ownership change and promised the same thing again.

Both may advertise no-logging but words and representation alone without proof is simply not enough. When you take that into consideration, NordVPN boots IPVanish out of this category.

IP and DNS Leak Test

If your VPN provider clearly shows leaks in your IP and DNS information, do yourself a favor and just throw your subscription away.

You can rest assured because both showed no leaks – tried and tested.

Always remember that if your IP and DNS is leaked, you risk exposing yourself to possible intrusion and privacy invasion. The least you can do to prevent that from happening is to get a premium VPN.

Encryption and Protocols

Most encryption and protocol standards are safe for the average user. Usually, it’s down to preference.

Keeping your information safe means encrypting all the data. Most VPNs offer the standards; both offer 256-bit AES encryption.

If you’re looking for the real deal, you got it.

In addition, NordVPN also offers IKEv2/IPsec as protocol choices so you’re not out of options. This goes the same with IPVanish, which offers IKEv2/L2TP. Both also offer OpenVPN which is pretty much the industry standard as far as open-source goes.

You can feel confident in whatever your online activities may be since both VPN providers will encrypt your data even when you’re connected to public networks.

Kill Switch

If you’re paranoid about detection through the leaks of any kind, don’t worry – both VPNs utilize a kill switch.

The kill switch is readily available so your connection will drop immediately as soon as there are issues between you and the VPN server.

Just make sure your kill switch is enabled and you’re good to go.


As a VPN user, you must ensure that your VPN provider stays away from trouble. Five, Nine, Fourteen Eyes – you always have to check where your VPN operates.

We are pleased to inform you that NordVPN operates in Panama, so it’s 100% certain that it operates outside of the jurisdiction of any surveillance alliances.

A little trivia: Panama operates independently and is often non-compliant with privacy or transparency laws so there’s no chance of intrusion to your privacy.

But for IPVanish, this does not look too well. Being based in the US means a lot of things – and investigations.

Security and Policy Audits

There are numerous reasons to subscribe to a premium VPN and one of those reasons in 2019 should be transparency. If your premium VPN provider is willing to undergo an extensive audit regarding its services, great. But if not, there are other ways to prove it. Take PIA‘s court defense for example.

As expected, NordVPN has an answer. They have been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, one of the “Big 4” auditing firms in the world. What’s more convenient is that the audit documents are available for public viewing, thus solidifying its claims with transparency.

IPVanish, on the other hand, does not have an independent audit to boast but they made a statement about their continuous commitment to privacy and other precedents.

In their blog, they’ve stated that:

“Prior to the acquisition, the StackPath team performed an independent audit on the IPVanish platform to ensure that no previous traffic records or VPN logging systems existed. No history of logging was found during this audit.”

There might have been an audit of some sort prior to its acquisition, but it pales in comparison to NordVPN. Also, given its past controversy, users might have reservations subscribing to IPVanish. It’s hard to trust your VPN when you know there’s some history of privacy breach involved and its new owner claiming it didn’t happen.

Business Acumen

When you weigh down these two VPNs based on their business practices, it almost seems like an unfair comparison.

NordVPN was founded by Tefinkom & Co., S.A. in Panama sometime in 2012, and there’s no question that it’s one of the best VPNs available in the market today.

IPVanish, on the other hand, was founded by a subsidiary of Highwinds Network Group in Florida in the same year. The company was acquired later acquire by StackPath in 2017.

VPN companies tend to work in the shadows where they don’t share information about their employees – especially their founders or officers. With NordVPN, this is the case.

StackPath (IPVanish) is a private company as well, but their officers’ names are publicly known.

One major downside to IPVanish is its history and the Internet does not forget.

IPVanish was asked by the US Government (asked, with no warrant) to provide the IP address and timestamps of a Comcast user. Users were left disappointed because while IPVanish claimed to provide utmost anonymity to their users, they kept extensive logs of all activities. While this was before the acquisition by StackPath and its new CEO claiming that there are no logs, how do we go about verifying and trusting this information post-factum?

Winner: NordVPN

Our final say?

It’s an overwhelming victory for NordVPN.

NordVPN has more servers vs. IPVanish, 100% Netflix unblocking, dedicated torrent servers and proven transparency with audit documents from a well-respected auditor.

IPVanish may have tried to put up a fight, but it comes nowhere near the top-tier VPN in this comparison.

With all these facts we’ve given, you now have all the information you need to make a smart decision.

Get NordVPN

The Full Breakdown

  • Safe torrenting – You can torrent all you want without detection on both.
  • User interface – Both visuals and experience are user-friendly and satisfactory.
  • Product documentation – It’s the usual basic tips and instructions for both, but it helps.
  • Surf the net securely and without prying eyes – Both offer no IP or DNS leaks. Also, a kill switch for both is readily available.
  • Customer support – Superb, responsive live chat on both. Even though IPVanish’s customer response is a little bit slower than NordVPN, it still keeps up.

The main differentiators and why NordVPN is the winner vs. IPVanish are on the sidebar.

Published by

Jamie Cambell

Ethical Hacker. Ph.D., M.S. in Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley. Technology enthusiast and also a part-time gamer. My goal is liberating the Internet.

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