IPvanish and NordVPN are both renowned players in the VPN market. Both are able to open the door to the world of geo-restricted content and ensure the security of users online activities. But when it comes to selecting a right provider for your needs, there could be only one choice. With this being my primal goal, I start this IPvanish vs NordVPN face-off where I compare two services by a number of criteria and find an ultimate winner.
Deciding Factors of My IPvanish vs NordVPN Head-to-Head
I am going to make my side-by-side comparison using several categories and provide a detailed review for each of them. Either service may perform better in any particular category but only a contestant with more ‘wins’ will take the victor’s crown.
Every user may have own deciding factors, but in my opinion, any reputable VPN service should demonstrate decent results in these categories:
- Offer a sufficient number or features;
- Take care of users’ online security;
- Offer a reasonable price and a great value for your money;
- Provide access to a great number of servers located in variety of regions;
- Provision good speeds regardless of what server you are connected to;
- Ensure sufficient reliability;
- Offer connection to various platforms and ensure good software usability.
In this back-to-back testing, I will examine their offerings against each other, identify their strong and weak points, and find out which service is superior.
NordVPN vs IPvanish Comparision
IPvanish and NordVPN are both trustworthy services with millions of clients worldwide. But being at the top doesn’t mean they are the same. Indeed, each of our contestants has unique distinguishing features and own strong suits. Read on to find out in which areas these providers thrive the most and where they need to put a little more efforts.
Many users believe that IPVanish is a basic level VPN service since it offers a must-have package of functions and nothing superfluous. However, the service delivers some interesting features as well.
IPVanish offers channels with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited P2P traffic, unlimited number of server switches and anonymous connection to torrents. On top of that, the server supports multiple VPN connection types. Users can choose from OpenVPN and L2TP/ IPSec security protocols.
In addition to the basic features, the service supplies some extra safety functions including a free Nat Firewall. Along with this, you are able to block LAN traffic. Together with Kill Switch, these functions make it possible to control your Internet connection.
The only major drawback I spotted is that you can’t connect to Netflix using IPVanish. The streaming service recognizes all attempts to circumvent their restrictions and blocks the access.
- USA jurisdiction
- No log policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- DNS leak prevention
- More than 1000 own servers
- 40 000+ shared dynamic IP addresses
- OpenVPN and L2TP/ IPSec protocols
- Nat firewall
- Blocks Lan traffic
- 5 simultaneous connections
As it should be with premium VPNs, NordVPN gives the necessary set of VPN functions complemented with a sizeable amount of extra features.
For those who are paranoid about their security, NordVPN offers a Double VPN technology. It adds an extra security level to the basic data encryption. With your traffic being routed through two independent servers and data encrypted twice, you don’t have to worry that your identity might be exposed. If one of the VPN servers is down, your online activity is still under the protection of the second server. The downside of such a technology is that it significantly reduces the connection speed, so I recommend using it only if you have fast Internet.
On top of that, the provider offers a fantastic selection of servers dedicated to specific purposes to cater for your particular needs. Here are a few of them:
Tor Over VPN – you can combine capabilities of both Tor and VPN to achieve more privacy. The same as with Double VPN, this feature comes at a price of significant speed drop.
Dedicated IP address servers – If you don’t want to share your IP address with other users you can purchase your own dedicated IP address when connecting to a VPN. Currently, the service offers dedicated IPs in only several locations such as USA, UK, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Anti-DDoS servers – These services will prevent DDoS attacks so that you will always stay connected. This is a great feature for online gaming.
If you want to watch your favorite video streaming services at high speed you will definitely appreciate NordVPN’s high-speed servers. Thanks to high-bandwidth and unparalleled fast connection, you can watch video content wherever you are. The feature works perfectly in conjunction with Nord’s SmartPlay technology.
And that’s not all. NordVPN goes above and beyond to offer more functions anyone can possible imagine. NordVPN client apps come with an advanced ad, malware, tracking blocker and phishing prevention tool CyberSec.
As for security, NordVPN offers 256-bit AES encryption with the same OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/Ipsec security protocols but on top of that the service also has SSTP protocol.
- Servers are owned by a company registered in a privacy-friendly country (Panama);
- Zero-logging policy;
- 256-bit AES encryption;
- DNS leak prevention;
- Multiple server types to select from;
- 3600+ servers in 61 countries;
- CyberSec function;
- OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/Ipsec and SSTP protocols;
- You can connect up to 6 devices.
Winner: For the vast security features and in-built ad blocker the victory goes to NordVPN.
Pricing Plans and Payment
IPVanish’s plans start at $10.00 per month with a month-to-month subscription. Opting for an annual package you can bring the monthly rate down to $6.49. Here are all available options:
- 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).
Regardless of subscription you select, you can connect up to five devices at the same time.
IPVanish offers a 7-day money-back guarantee, which is not the best in the industry but it is quite enough to get the idea of the service’s capability. Unlike NordVPN, IPVanish will return your money with no questions asked.
Unfortunately, the service doesn’t provide privacy-enhancing payment options such as cryptocurrencies. You can pay with popular credit/debit cards and PayPal.
Subscription plans start off $11.95 per month. The service also offers steep discounts for longer subscription times. If you want to save your money you might want to opt for one of these deals:
- 1 Month – $11.95 per month;
- 1 Year – $5.75 per month ($69 per year).
- 2 years – $3.29 per month ($79 per 2 years).
- 3 Years – $2.75 per month ($99 per 3 years).
For this money, you can connect up to 6 devices at the same time so that your entire family can benefit from surfing the web with a VPN.
You can pay for NordVPN’s services with credit and debit cards, PayPal, some other payment systems, and even Bitcoin if you want to stay completely anonymous. If for any reason you want to cancel a subscription, the company offers a 30-day refund policy, however, you might be offered to go through some troubleshooting first.
Winner: For a greater variety of subscription plans, payment methods ensuring privacy, and better value for your money, I decided to award NordVPN.
IPVanish is registered in the USA and it is a big drawback for security. The thing is that the USA is a part of intelligent alliances and its government can ask the company to provide information about their users. On the bright side, IPVanish does not carry out logs of users’ activity. This means that even if the government demands to turn in data the service will have nothing to provide.
As I already mentioned above, the service has a significant selection of security protocols including the most advanced OpenVPN with a military class 256-bit AES encryption. Among other picks are L2TP/IPsec protocols. With P2P and VoLP connections, you can opt for SOCKS5 web proxy to hide your IP address.
And the final nuance. The company possesses their own server network, which adds an extra security in comparison to other VPN services that rent 3rd-party servers.
NordVPN is an offshore registered VPN provider. With such a headquarter location the company can guarantee to protect your data against the requests of law enforcement agencies. With this being said, the service doesn’t bother to keep logs of their customers’ online activities.
The same as IPVanish, Nord uses OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit AES encryption. Such an encryption method is considered to be unbreakable. In the NordVPN apps for Windows and Android, this protocol is installed by default whereas iOS and Mac OS apps use IKEv2 / IPsec protocol for default values. In any case, you can always change security protocols if you desire.
Winner: NordVPN edges its competitor due to a security-friendly country of registration.
Strictly speaking, the strongest side of IPVanish is the speed of its connections. IPVanish is constantly on the list of some of the fastest VPN services. It is ideal for downloading torrents and streaming video in high resolution.
The hands-on testing showed only a slight speed drop when connecting to local servers. With original connection speed being 100 Mbps, the test showed 94 Mbps with VPN connection. . It’s natural that speed reduces more when reaching a remote VPN server, but IPVanish does well even in this regard. It managed to keep 84% of the original connection speed when connecting to a foreign-located server. When routing your traffic through servers located in different continents you will notice a slower pace of data transfer but the speed indicators were decent enough.
The reason why the service demonstrates excellent performance is that IPVanish has its own network of high-speed servers instead of renting them from third parties like most providers do.
Alas, the high speed is overshadowed by the fact that IPVanish will not give you access to every blocked site. IPVanish does not even try to get access to Netflix.
NordVPN shows adequate connection speeds through its network. Indeed, their servers may not always be the quickest around, but the average VPN-provided speeds are sufficient for most purposes. It is worth giving the service credit, it took care of providing ultra-fast servers optimized for video content. So if you are suffering from the low speed you can always try switching to one of these servers.
All in all, manual speed tests demonstrated variable speeds when connected to NordVPN’s servers. While connecting to geographically-close servers, I experienced only a slight drop in speed within 90-93% of the normal Internet connection. However, not everything was so rosy when connecting to more remote servers. The speeds varied in a wide range from 80 to 50% of the original connection speed, and with some connections the speed was so low that it was virtually impossible to utilize such connections.
Generally, connection speeds were fast enough although not always consistent.
Winner: Due to higher and more consistent speeds the victory in this category goes to IPVanish.
It is the major area where IPVanish stands out the most. The company owns and manages its own global army of servers. This enables the service to ensure outstanding performance and reliability. And the second, it provides an extra security feature since user data won’t go through third parties’ hands.
If that’s not enough, there is another argument in favor of IPVanish. Their parent company is one of the major CDN data providers with own fiber-optic network, and it means that IPVanish benefits from utilizing this network as well.
Right now the company has more than 1000 VPN servers spread out in 60+ countries around the globe. Although it is not the most massive server coverage, the service offers more than 40,000 shared IPs, which should be enough for most users.
Unlike its opponent, NordVPN does not have own server network. The company shares virtual servers with other counterparts. However, this fact shouldn’t put you off, it is a common practice among VPN providers. On the bright side, NordVPN compensates this drawback with a larger number of available servers and various server types.
To date, the company provides access to 3600+ servers in 61 countries, all over the planet. As for the server types, you can route your traffic through DDoS preventing servers, Dedicated IP servers, P2P servers, as well as Obfuscated, Double VPN servers for extra protection.
Winner: Thanks to own server network, IPVanish takes the win.
IPVanish is a solid choice for those who value the reliability the most. Thanks to their own server network, they were able to achieve consistent speeds and good performance without any dropouts or leak issues. The apps also worked flawlessly, connecting and switching between servers was easy and I didn’t spot any leaks.
As I have already mentioned before, reliability is not always Nord’s strongest point. The biggest disappointment in this respect was the Kill Switch. Instead of interrupting data transfer when the connection to the VPN server is lost, this tool simply closes the selected applications. Having a browser shut down every time VPN connection drops is quite frustrating.
Among other reliability issues, I can name speed fluctuations throughout the network. Top that off with occasional disconnects and server connection errors and you will get a service with not the best user experience. However, the NordVPN is aware of these issues and working hard to solve them.
Winner: Due to more consistent speeds throughout the network and smooth performance, IPVanish is a winner in this category.
Software and User Interface
This service works well on different platforms. You can use it on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers, and other multimedia devices. No matter what the device is in your hands, IPVanish will work just fine. You can connect up to 5 devices at the same time. You can also use IPVanish on a router to secure all the devices connected to it. And a good news is that the service will count it as a connection to one device.
The app installation takes only a few seconds with nice manuals throughout the process.
The app’s interface is excellent. The same as NordVPN, IPVanish has links to the fastest servers, gaming servers, and the servers for streaming in a particular country. There are also several filer options allowing you to find a server by name, country, and city. Additionally, you can reconnect to the last server location, select a server from the map or pick one from the list of your “Favorite” servers.
The IPVanish’s application has many settings and additional functions. You can, for example, change the VPN protocol (OpenVPN TPC or UDP, L2TP) and the IP address will change automatically. In addition to the Smart server selection, you can make use of Kill-Switch function and Stealth Mode obfuscation.
The service can be connected to almost any operating system and any device. You are able to connect up to 6 devices from one account. However, there is a trick – you can use these concurrent connections only with different protocols. While the service uses OpenVPN protocol by default, you will have to try different options with various devices connected at the same time. You can also run VPN on your router which is probably the best solution for multiple simultaneous connections. And NordVPN will also count is as a single connection.
NordVPN’s application is powerful and straightforward. The company decided to go with a more compact interface that takes less screen space. It is convenient indeed especially compared to apps from other VPN providers that take up half your screen.
The app will greet you with a big map of the world demonstrating server locations. You can make use of their connection wizard to find the best server for your needs. The service conveniently sorts servers by types and countries to make your life simpler. If you want to select a server manually you will find information about distance and server load that will facilitate decision making.
One of the greatest features of NordVPN is their “SmartPlay” technology. It allows getting access to the popular streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and so on) regardless of what server you are connected to. All you need to do is click or swap the checkbox in the settings and get ready to enjoy the desired content.
Among some other useful features, you will find Kill Switch, which, however, not always works well. Read more about issues with this function in the Reliability section of the article.
Winner: Both contestants perform well in this category, so it’s a tie.
Their support is slightly inferior to the best examples in the industry but the service tries to raise the bar. For instance, they recently provided a live support window, but it is only available through the checkout page on their website. Besides this, you can submit a trouble ticket via email. Although it is a much slower way to receive information, the support department is very knowledgeable and responsible.
You can also seek answers to your questions in numerous guides and informational articles on various topics which you will find on IPVanish website.
Whenever you need help, you can reach NordVPN support team via an online submission form or through their live support chat working 24/7. The latter option is lightning fast, with replies come just within a few minutes. If you opt for email based trouble ticket you may need to wait a little longer, but either way support staff does their job well and provides exhaustive answers to any questions you may have.
If you don’t want to bother anyone you will find heaps of guides and tutorials on NordVPN website. They are designed to help you setup apps and solve any issues you may come across.
Customer Support Winner: Both contestants perform quite well in this category but thanks to 24/7 Live Chat the victory goes to NordPN.
And the Ultimate Win Goes To NordVPN
It’s worth giving credit to both providers. Throughout the whole head-to-head NordVPN and IPVanish went toe-to-toe with one another. In many ways, both services demonstrated similar results.
For instance, both have convincement and straightforward apps compatible with major operating systems and suitable for most multimedia devices. Their customer support services did pretty well too. However, only one provider could take the win. And a victor of this NordVPN vs IPVanish face-off is NordVPN.
Despite the fact that the service may experience some issue with reliability, a robust selection of purpose-dedicated servers and extensive global server network became the key factors that elevated NordVPN above its counterpart. However, IPVanish has the upper hand due to server ownership and better speed consistency. It will become a good pick for everyone who doesn’t demand superfluous security functions.