IPVanish Review (2013)

  • 7/10
    Features - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Speed & Reliability - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Security & Privacy - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Usability & Compatibility - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Support & Documentation - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Value for Money - 7/10


IPVanish is a very strong VPN service with just some minor issues that we don't consider very important. We're sure they will be fixed once the infrastructure is improved. Overall we were very satisfied with the service.

Update, August 2016: check out the updated review of IPVanish VPN

IP Vanish is a VPN provider with deep roots in network management, content delivery and IP services. With over 15 years of experience as web services providers, they boost about offering “the absolute best VPN service” (direct quote from their website). Let’s see how they stack up against the competition.


IP Vanish offers OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP protocols on all major OSes, both mobile and desktop without any bandwidth or transfer caps. An interesting fact is that they offer up to 2 (two) concurrent connections, at any time, as long as one of the two devices is connected via OpenVPN.

IP Vanish has over 90 servers in 41 countries, world wide, including servers in the U.S, Canada, U.K, France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Japan and so on.

They offer some custom-build DD-WRT routers, preconfigured for their service, from the likes of CISCO, NetGear and Asus. The gear ships world-wide and can be purchased form flashrouters.com

They provide a proprietary VPN connection software that works on all major desktop OSes (Read: Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later, including Windows 8 and Mac OS X 10.5 or newer). The software is pretty straight-forward (a thing we are fond of) and allows you to choose both the server you wish to connect to and the protocol used.


The Open VPN connector uses TUN virtual network driver, which is Layer 3 Tunneling. The preferences panel has check marks for starting the app at OS start-up and to remember user credentials.


There’s a Connection Log available in the user menu along for those who want to keep an eye on the usage of the service and potential connection problems. The “IP Address Checker” in the user menu is a nice addition as it allows you to check your IP each time you connect to a new server, in order to make sure the connection was successful. However, it is not 100% accurate as it displayed our real IP several times after we connected to the VPN, but when we checked online we were indeed between the VPN – 3rd party IP checking tools showing IPVanish VPN’s IP address. We suggest you always check your IP online, no matter what VPN connection software you use.

In all fairness, the software could use some ”polish” in the U.I and U.X. areas (uneven fonts, small input boxes, some options in the menus are not documented properly) as the functionality aspects are well implemented and the application works as-expected.

We didn’t like the fact that it is very slow at start time. It took anywhere between 10 and even 20 seconds to start the application on a decent PC. That’s more than a full reboot time. We investigated the startup process to find the reason why it is taking so long to start, so we started Wireshark (a packet analyzer tool) to see what happens, and we discovered that IPVanish software is sending many ICMP requests to all VPN servers in order to display their status and response time in the servers status.


The feature of their VPN software of providing a VPN servers status based on ping is useful, so it is quite easy to select a VPN server that is closer to your location based on routing and network status. It’s common knowledge that a server located at a smaller distance geographically is not necessarily the fastest in terms of speed, but rather a server with better routing / network transport. This is why a better ping response would usually suggest better a faster network routing.


The pricing options start from $10 / month with offers on saving up to 46%, if you buy a year’s subscription  currently quoted at $77.99

We like the fact that they offer a single plan, without any limitations for the user. Taking into account the number of servers and countries, pricing is not bad at all.

Logging Policy

The IP Vanish website clearly states that they only log connection times, IP addresses used for connection and the bytes transferred and that they DO NOT log any activity of users. The Privacy Policy has no mention on the duration for which these logs are kept.



Reliability and Speed

OpenVPN connections are quite stable and the speed is somewhere around average, comparing to a non-vpn direct connection speed maxing out at 100 mbps (over 10MB/s).

Here are some speed results of several tests on OpenVPN UDP and L2TP, at different times, in different days:

US VPN Servers: 600KB/sec, 1.6MB/sec, 1MB/sec, 1.5 MB/sec (the most common speed on US Servers was 1.5MB/sec). 4MB/sec was the best we got
Canada VPN Servers: 3-3.5 MB/sec
Germany VPN servers: 1.2 MB/sec, 3 MB/sec, 8 MB/sec, 6 MB/sec, 10MB /sec
France VPN Servers: 1.3MB/sec, 3 MB/sec, 3.5MB/sec, 4.6 MB/sec
Austria servers: 670 KB/sec, 1.3 MB/sec
Czech Republic VPN servers: 150-300 KB/sec, 400-500 KB/sec
UK VPN Servers: 3.5 MB/sec, 4 MB/sec, 3 MB/sec
Belgium VPN Servers: 6 MB/sec, 8 MB/sec
Denmark VPN Servers: 1MB/sec
Switzerland VPN Servers: 680KB/sec – 1MB/sec
Romania VPN Servers: 1.2 MB/sec, 2-3.3 MB/sec, 5 MB/sec
Italy VPN Servers: 3MB/sec

OpenVPN TCP was obviously slower in our tests, averaging between 600KB/sec and 1.5MB/sec regardless of VPN server location.

However, during our testing we found a major problem with their PPTP implementation. Some websites could not be accessed at all through PPTP and we are almost certain that the problem is caused by a misconfigured MTU parameter on their PPTP daemons.

Some of the websites we couldn’t access are:
telegraph.co.uk, guardian.co.uk, abcnews.go.com, newportnewstimes.com, theverge.com, www.reuters.com/news, www.mercurynews.com/news and even facebook.com in some tests.

It depends what VPN server you are connected to. Some of the sites mentioned work on some VPN servers while connected on PPTP. London (lon-a02) is one of many VPN servers on which you can’t access the sites listed and we are sure that there are a lot many other sites that can’t be accessed because of the same problem.

In this regard, we believe that IPVanish’s PPTP protocol is poorly implemented and they did not test it enough. We will report this problem to IPVanish and post an update as soon as they fix it. The fastest their fix goes in production environment, the better.

UPDATE (07/15/2013): IPVanish informed us that they fixed the PPTP problem. 


The good: Pricing is good, they have a lot of servers and IP addresses, and the speeds are very good. It’s also good that they allow two VPN connections at the same time using the same account. The setup instructions on their website are also easy to follow and well written.

The bad:  The software requires some improvements and their PPTP implementation is not done properly but we expect them to fix it fast. We assume that they focused all their efforts on the OpenVPN implementation, which is by far the most used protocol, and they didn’t test PPTP enough. In current state, we dare to say that PPTP is quite unusable and IPVanish should do something about it.

We give IPVanish a rating of 7/10 among paid VPN providers. We’re going to update the review if they fix their PPTP service.

12 thoughts on “IPVanish Review (2013)”

  1. They state they do not log. ipVanish is 100% lying about their logging policies. Was contacted about a prohibited site on 6/7/13, responded stating I didn’t know what the site was. Never got a response. On 6/9/13 got 2nd notice for same site, and termination notice stating my acct had been terminated for violation of TOS. I again responded stating didn’t know what site they were referencing. I contacted ipVanish again asking for a refund, and was told no refund due to violation for TOS.

    1st if they don’t log what were they contacting me about. Crappy support due to absolute lack of response to the TOS notices, but they kicked my acct without any review what so ever. Then refused to refund the remainder of my months fees that were already paid for.

    Use at your own risk!

    • completely agree with fucawe on everything said in the post. The only difference between what happened to me and fucawe was the I didn’t even receive any warning notices, I just found out one day I could no longer login. After not receiving a reply for three days to my query as to why, and then submitting another clear request as to what is happening, I was told my account account was terminated due to violations of the TOS. That’s it. No other explanation. I used the service 99% for torrenting.

      This service DOES log, is checking what is downloaded, it DOES NOT allow torrenting. Service is poor, answers are unclear and poorly written, uncoordinated and arbitrary. I used this service because I was located in Asia, it’s hard to find a good ping, and this service had servers for the country I live in. If they don’t allow torrenting, then it should be stated upfront. I’ve learnt my lesson; it’s the wild west still for VPN, and be careful about dealing with a service managed by a bunch of spiders in a dark cave who refuse to state what their actual policy is upfront.

  2. This company should be outlawed, do not trust these guys at all! After horrible experiences with their crap software, I asked for a refund within the 7 day period. Then the misery started. No reply’s to my e-mail. Then I contacted the online support. Some guy answered me in very poor english that I should wait a little longer. After waiting a week, I contacted them again, by e-mail and online support. I was told they were taking care of it , they asked for my account name and paypal address, which I delivered. In one week I would have my money back. 7,8,9,10,11,12,13 days past, nothing, no reply to my new e-mails, no refund, so I started a dispute at paypal and waited some more. When I contacted the online support AGAIN, the guy stated that I didn’t reply any of their e-mails which requested more information. I did NOT get a single mail, not in spam, nowhere. And it didn’t even matter because the previous guy on online support already asked for the extra info and promised me it would be taken care of. They try to avoid giving me a refund untill I treathened them to call the credit card company. All of a sudden they refunded me within seconds! I guess these morons just hope people give up on getting their refund. My advice if you bought this crap: Do not stop untill they give up. Annoy them, annoy them some more, agitate them, they deserve it.
    Google, mark this in your engine: IPVANISH CRAP ZERO SERVICE SCAM SCAM SCAM

  3. Terrible program and service. Its a scam and should be shut down as a company.
    Used it for 2 months without problems and then the last month there has been nothing but crashes and bugs in the client, and lately its been the openvpn that has been unusable comepletely. They say this is a known problem and that a fix is incoming. The given windown update fix does not work as they claim. Its been like that for a month now, where the other connection options dont work either at all.
    I payed for a month where I couldnt use it at all. I contacted them again today about a refund for this month as the problem is STILL occuring so that only seems fair. I was promised a weeks refund if I gave them the last 4 digits on my card number. I did that and then cancelled my sub, as it is unusable anyway in its current state. Now the new reply is no refund, since I cancelled it anyway, in a very rude response as well.
    Aside from that Ive been unable to log in for ages, constantly have to reset my passwords on forum access and on the client because it keeps telling me its a wrong pw(it is not) with it still not letting me in, even after pw resets. Wanted to leave a forum post about this terrible service and a month of not working and still no prober fix, and I was stupid enough to mention that in one email, so Im guessing they flagged me and prevents me from leaving a post about this now.
    This program and company is scam like above poster also wrote. Its an overcommercialised provider, particularly by Anonymous, all to make money.

    Im just now subbed to HMA(Hide My Ass) instead, it costs a bit more but so far so gd, and its STABLE!

      • I have no real experience with them so far I only subbed a day ago, other than that it seems to work so far. Compared to ipvanish where it repeatedly didnt work this is an improvement. It is also rated one of the highest in many reviews , next after ipvanish. Hard to know whats the truth when a terrible program like ipvanish is rated highest in most reviews, except for testing them urself , since every site recommend a different one. Will see how HMA turns out over time. ipvanish was great the first month or 2, then turned opposite very fast. HMA does log a lot more than ipvanish does I think, hard to know what to trust when like I said most sites says something different.

  4. this vpn is veryyyyy slowwww, NOT FOR ASIA REGION.
    i connected about 50+ servers and all of them are very slow/no response at all.

    Astrill VPN offered me 6months for free and they have an excellent speed, very reliable and the software is VERY EASY to use.

    NOT again with this shit.

  5. Wow, I have only had great luck with IPvanish. I am in SE Asia and the speeds are almost identical to not using a VPN at all. Support can be slow but I am completely satisfied. Those above who having all these problems…. I could give you a list of other companies I have had nothing but trouble with from day 1 I paid them. Not sure which planet you are on.

  6. I have been with ipvanish now for about 3 weeks and have to say… It was the biggest waste of money ever spent. I don’t doubt that the VPN hides your online identity because you can’t use Internet when connected to one of their many slow servers…

    The only way I can use Internet with ipvanish is to disconnect from their VPN.

    Total crap!!!

  7. I have been seriously cyber hacked. 1st laptop using Ipvanish then modem controlling telephone. And finally android smart phone, IDK who’s behind it. My computer tech said it was 99.9% Ipvanish as the root of massive issues. Don’t necessarily believe his quick answer. Not done solving, but in dispute w/ cc company.

    • what exactly are you referring to by cyberhacked? accounts stolen? like email? maybe shared between devices?
      it doesn’t really make sense to believe that a reputable VPN service is to blame for such things. Maybe you’ve got their software from fake sources and was infected? anyway, did you contact them?


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