Everyone who has ever been interested in VPNs has probably heard about such industry giants as IPVanish and ExpressVPN. Indeed, these services are among the best you will find on the market, but wouldn’t you like to know who really is ahead? Of course, you could personally test and compare ExpressVPN vs IPVanish, but why waste your time and money if I have already done it for you. So why don’t you took a close look at these two services and see how they stand up against each other.
Deciding Factors for IPVanish vs ExpressVPN Comparission
Before I get down to the review, I want to highlight factors I took as a basis. I believe that an ideal VPN service should be a combination of reliability, security, high connection speeds, and variability of the provided services. So, when comparing IPVanish and ExpressVPN, I want to see what each provider has to offer for these key factors:
- A set of available functions;
- Cost of the service;
- User protection;
- Server network;
- Speed of connection;
- Reliability of performance;
- Applications and ease of use;
- Technical support.
It is obvious that every user can have his or her own set of qualities to be found in a provider. Some people desire to be reliably protected from prying eyes while others just want to watch territorially restricted content, but a truly first-class VPN should cater for the needs of both categories of users.
ExpressVPN vs IPVanish Face-Off
Now that you know the key factors of our head-to-head, it’s time to judge each service on a category-by-category basis to find out who takes the win. It is no doubt that both providers are worthy of praise but let’s see which offering is better.
ExpressVPN stays true to its name and is justly considered to be one of the fastest VPN providers. High connection speeds are ensured by more than 1700 servers located in 94 countries. The provider also boasts convenient and straightforward apps along with superior customer support.
With a must-have set of security features, the service is sure to protect your digital privacy. With a military-grade AES-256 encryption and 5 VPN Protocols (OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, and TCP/UPD) you are able to stay anonymous while surfing the net. You can also make use of split-tunnel function allowing you to divide your traffic into VPN-encrypted and regular Internet one.
The service also supplies a Network Lock feature which is their version of a Kill Switch. It works like this: if a VPN server fails this tool will stop all your traffic ensuring no unencrypted data go through a regular Internet connection.
For those users who choose VPN to watch geographically blocked content, the provider offers unlimited access to popular streaming services (Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc). You can connect almost any device with access to the Internet (computer, smartphone, tablet, SmartTV, PlayStation, etc) and even a router. In total, the service allows up to 3 simultaneous connections.
Thanks to the built-in speed test you can check download speeds and ping latency for servers you want to connect to.
With its own DNS on all the servers, ExpressVPN will reliably protect you against accidental DNS request leaks.
- 1700+ servers in 94 countries
- AES-256 encryption;
- OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, and TCP/UPD protocols;
- Zero logs policy;
- Unlimited network bandwidth;
- Up to 3 connections at the same time;
- Network Lock Kill Switch;
- Split-tunneling function;
- Built-in speed test.
IPVanish also deserved praise for its excellent connection speeds provided by more than 1000 high-quality servers spread out in 60+ countries.
Although the area of extra features is not where IPVanish shines the most, it does offer some useful functions. For example, you can take advantage of Nat Firewall and a function to stop LAN traffic. Kill Switch is also available.
As for security, the service supplies AES-256 encryption OpenVPN as well as PPTP, TCP/UPD, L2TP/ IPSec, and IKEv2 protocols. You can also utilize SOCKS5 web proxy to mask your IP address with P2P and VOIP connections when data are not being encrypted.
The service can be installed on a wide range of devices with connection to the Internet. You are able to use IPVanish on 5 concurrent connected devices including routers. IPVanish promises to open access to all major video streaming resources, however, the tests showed that you won’t be able to connect to Netflix and Hulu.
- Registered in the USA;
- No log policy;
- 256-bit AES encryption
- DNS leak prevention
- More than 1000 own servers
- 40 000+ shared dynamic IP addresses
- OpenVPN, PPTP, TCP/UPD, L2TP / IPSec, and IKEv2 protocols;
- OpenVPN and L2TP/ IPSec protocols
- Nat firewall
- Blocks LAN traffic
- 5 simultaneous connections
Features Winner: ExpressVPN
Pricing and Payment
The price for one month starts with $12.95. However, an annual subscription lowers the price down to $8.32 per month. You can choose from one of these plans:
- 1 Month plan- $12.95 per month;
- 6 months plan – $9.99 per month ($59.95 per 6 months);
- 1 Year plan – $8.32 per month ($99.95 per year).
If you change your mind or you are not satisfied with the service you can ask for a refund within 30 days.
ExpressVPN allows connecting 3 devices at the same time which is inferior to IPVanish with 5 connections at once.
To pay for the service you can utilize your credit card, PayPal, Webmoney, and also Bitcoin option if you prefer anonymous transactions.
A month-to-month subscription to the service will cost you $10.00. However, the service offers good discounts for longer subscription times. You can choose from the following plans:
- 1 Month – $10.00 per month;
- 3 Months – $8.99 per month ($26.99 per 3 months);
- 1 Year – $6.49 per month ($77.99 per year).
The service enables you to connect up to five devices at once.
IPVanish doesn’t offer a free trial but you can test the offering within 7 days using their refund policy and if you are not satisfied the service will return your money with no questions.
The company accepts credit and debit card payments as well as PayPal.
Pricing and Payment Winner: ExpressVPN
The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands. Offshore registration provides greater privacy and protection against national surveillance agencies (such as NSA and Five-eyes intelligence pact). ExpressVPN doesn’t keep logs of user activities which means that sensitive information is kept under wraps. The only data the service may retain is connection time, what servers a user connected to, and the amount traffic.
The choice of protocols is not limited to the popular OpenVPN, although it is considered to be the most secure option. The service offers several connection methods using UDP, TCP, L2TP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and SSTP protocols, each of which has a unique combination of security and speed.
The company is registered in the USA. For VPN services it is a poor privacy jurisdiction due to widespread surveillance practices. However, IPVanish tries to get around laws related to data retention. The company does not collect or log any web traffic or data regarding connections via their servers. Thus, the service has no information to yield even if the government requests.
IPVanish has a smaller number of security protocols than its counterpart. The users can choose between OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols. Also, the service offers SOCKS5 web proxy option that does not encrypt data but allows hiding clients’ IP addresses.
Although the security area is not the service’s strongest suit, I should note that IPVanish manages its own server network. This means that data on user activities don’t go through 3-rd parties hands like it is when VPNs rent servers from other companies.
Security Winner: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is well-known for its high connection speed. I decided to test it in practice and first connected to several servers that were geographically close to me. The drop in speed was so insignificant that I barely noticed any difference. In general, when connected to local servers, the VPN speed reduces to 90-95% of the original speed.
Further, I routed my traffic through a server in another country. As a rule, the farther the server is the slower the connection speed. The practice has confirmed this statement. Indeed, the speed has slowed to 85% from my unprotected connection, which was still quite good. In general, the speeds were high and consistent throughout the network.
With respect to connection speeds, IPVanish doesn’t pull up the rear either. In general, I would say that IPVanish vs ExpressVPN speed comparison showed the equality of results. When connecting to a VPN server nearby, the speed reduced only by 4-10% to the normal Internet connection speed. I also tested the service’s performance when routing traffic through more geographically remote servers and got results within 80-90% of my baseline connection speed.
Generally, IPVanish is perfect for watching video content. Videos go smoothly and without any lags. This would be an excellent VPN for streaming video except for one thing – you cannot connect to Netflix via IPVanish’s servers.
Connection Speed Winner: Tied
The service has more than 1700 servers in numerous regions (totally, ExpressVPN covers 94 countries and 138 locations). In terms of the number of servers, the provider does not occupy leading positions in the VPN industry (some counterparts offer twice as many servers), however, by geographical diversity, ExpressVPN outstrips most competitors. Along with the excellent data transfer speed, this makes the service one of the best for accessing territorially blocked content regardless of what country you are in.
The number of servers and their geographical diversity is significantly below the same indicators of ExpressVPN. To date, the company offers access to 1000+ servers spread out in more than 60 countries. The company compensates more modest server count for ownership of all the servers in their network. Although it is quite common practice to rent servers from third-party organizations, ExpressVPN decided to focus on the quality and security of the provided servers. This is why speeds through their network are always so high and stable.
Server Network Winner: ExpressVPN
The service can boast excellent reliability. Connections and switching between servers are quick and smooth. I did not find any leaks and fluctuations in servers’ performance – the speeds were high and consistent. The work of applications didn’t show any problems. Installation takes only a few seconds, and everything operated like clockwork.
When working with IPVanish’s apps I didn’t run into any sort of troubles. In general, the work of the service left a very positive impression. The provider ensures good performance without weaknesses and speed variations no matter what server you choose. The work of applications is also beyond praise. I didn’t notice any leaks or other issues.
Reliability Winner: Tied
Software and Ease of Use
The apps’ developers did their best to present modern and very convenient solutions for different types of operating systems (the service offers applications for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux). The thing that they have in common is the convenience of using. A thoughtful and intuitive interface allows you to quickly find a suitable server based on your needs and preferred geographic location. Thanks to the built-in speed test you can find the fastest server easily. You are able to use the lists of recommended and selected servers. Similarly, you are able to easily choose a protocol that suits your needs (but I still recommend that you stick to OpenVPN).
IPVanish’s applications for different operating systems are also very comprehensible and easy to use. The installation will take no more than a minute and throughout the process will be accompanied by simple manuals.
In the application, you will find groups of servers by purpose (for example, for video streaming or games) and speed in the context of a territorial location. You are also able to use a filter that sorts servers by name, country, and city. You can add servers that you like to Favorites. Finally, you can make your choice by specifying a server on the map or connecting to the last server used.
Settings will offer connection options using different security protocols. Here you will also find Kill Switch and obfuscation in the Stealth Mode.
Software and Ease of Use Winner: Tied
The ExpressVPN support service is presented in the form of online chat available 24/7 as well as offline troubleshooting guides and set up instructions. You can also use the search function on their site or find a solution among popular support topics.
If you use support chat, you will receive answers to your questions within a couple of minutes. Sometimes, when the support service is particularly busy, you will have to wait a little longer, 10-15 minutes, but in any case, talking with the support team is always a positive experience. The staff is polite and knowledgeable. You can also ask your questions on the service’s pages on Facebook and Twitter.
If you seek help with IPVanish services you have several options. The first one is to submit a trouble ticket via email. The answers come not too fast but they are always exhaustive and useful. The second option is a live chat that can be found on the checkout page of the official website. This is a more prompt solution with replies come within just a few minutes.
Besides online support forms, you can turn to setup guides, FAQ, and troubleshooting sections found on their site.
Customer Support Winner: ExpressVPN.
And the Winner Is: ExpressVPN
Summing up results of our IPVanish vs ExpressVPN comparison, I should admit that ExpressVPN became a clear winner. Thus, the set of available functions and safety protocols are superior to the offering of its competitor. From the safety point of view, ExpressVPN also proved to be stronger than IPVanish due to registration in the security-friendly country. Finally, ExpressVPN provides a more powerful and faster customer support.
With this being said, you shouldn’t think that IPVanish is not worthy of your attention. In many categories (speed of connection, reliability, and ease of use), the service went neck and neck with the counterpart. And for some key factors, IPVanish is even ahead of ExpressVPN. For instance, a huge advantage is that they run their own network of servers. Also, the provider offers a better deal for your money (the service is more affordable and enables users to utilize 5 connections vs 3 connection that ExpressVPN envisions). However, a poor privacy jurisdiction and absence of security-friendly payment options didn’t allow it to come close to its competitor.