The IPVanish vs Windscribe match is not exactly the most balanced fight you’ll ever see. Sure, both VPN services come with attractive security features, but while Windscribe has pretty much a spotless reputation, IPVanish is a notorious example of dishonesty in terms of no-logging policies.
With a balance so heavily tilted in favor of Windscribe, can IPVanish offer anything significant to stay in the race? Let’s find out below.
Security and privacy
Windscribe is one of our top 10 VPN services for overall security and performance, while IPVanish is not. There are several reasons for this, which can also explain why, in this specific IPVanish vs Windscribe comparison, we prefer the latter to the detriment of the former.
Both Windscribe and IPVanish offer military-grade AES-256 encryption, which is currently the highest standard in the industry. Windscribe, on the one hand, primarily uses an IKEv2/IPsec VPN protocol pair, while IPVanish comes with OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec VPN protocols.
IPVanish includes IP and DNS leak protection as well as a kill switch, while Windscribe employs a firewall to prevent leaks and act as a kill switch, all coupled with a double hop function for additional security. So far, the advantage on behalf of Windscribe is minimal.
The dispute gets serious when it comes to each provider’s respective logging policy. Windscribe and IPVanish operate from within countries that are part of the 5 Eyes alliance, Canada (for the former) and the US (for the latter). But there’s a catch.
Windscribe does not advertise itself as a VPN service with a “no-logging policy.” Instead, they promise to keep no “identifying logs” or, in other words, no information that can trace your online activities back to you. To give you an idea of how reliable you can expect Windscribe to be, consider that in 2018 alone, they received more than 400,000 DCMA and 34 law enforcement data requests and have, thus far, chosen to comply with none.
Meanwhile, IPVanish has always claimed a “zero-logs” policy. This put them in an awkward position recently, when the news surfaced that a criminal was apprehended in the US as a result of input from the VPN provider. While the collaboration itself had a solid moral ground, it also showed that IPVanish did, in fact, store logs that could be used to trace any user’s activity back to them. For us, this clearly makes Windscribe the more honest and thus the more reliable VPN of the two.
Excellent vs average Speeds
The IPVanish vs Windscribe match becomes further unbalanced when we take a look at their respective download/upload speeds. True, IPVanish employs an impressive 1,100+ servers in over 60 countries, while Windscribe owns a modest 540+ physical servers in just over 55 countries, but this information is not necessarily as significant as it seems.
We’ve tested both services and, though the results will vary according to each user’s specific location, Windscribe has constantly come out on top in our comparisons. In fact, with more than 170 Mbps download/upload in New York, US, 300+ Mbps in London, UK, and 60 Mbps in Tokyo, Japan, Windscribe is one of the fastest VPN services currently on the market.
IPVanish, on the other hand, advertises high speeds but does not deliver as promised. During our tests, their performance was average, to say the least. We got 160 Mbps download/upload in Nottingham, UK, a meagre 60 Mbps in New York, US, and under 10 Mbps in Tokyo, Japan. Their speeds were therefore quite poor compared to those of Windscribe and certainly not good enough for many online applications, including streaming and gaming.
Which is better for Netflix and torrenting?
Neither of these two VPN services is currently the best for streaming Netflix, but Windscribe has a definitive advantage when compared to IPVanish. Primarily, this has to do with the fact that IPVanish is too slow for a good streaming experience, while many of their servers are already blocked by the entertainment platform.
Windscribe, on the other hand, comes with dedicated servers, WindFlix US and WindFlix UK, which you can use (with some degree of reliability) to bypass Netflix geo-fencing policies and stream content at a decent speed.
IPVanish is not as disappointing when it comes to torrenting, however, since its servers are strategically positioned to allow faster P2P file-sharing speeds and its security measures are good enough to keep your torrenting activities private. Would we pick IPVanish over Windscribe to torrent, though? Probably not. Windscribe also allows P2P file-sharing (barring a few servers in Russia, India, and South Africa) and, provided that you avoid those servers made available to free users, the speeds are much better than what you would otherwise get using IPVanish.
In terms of Netflix and torrenting, then, the IPVanish vs Windscribe comparison is once again settled in favor of the latter.
Customer support and pricing
For an issue that you can fix yourself, both Windscribe and IPVanish offer plenty of options, including an FAQ, a knowledge base, and guides. For more complicated matters, both services could use some additional work.
IPVanish allegedly provides email support, but customers have noted that most replies they get when using this channel are automated messages with no additional noteworthy information. Meanwhile, Windscribe will ask you to go through a multitude of potentially frustrating steps before you can actually get in touch with a real support agent. Their “talk to Gary” option leads to a pseudo-live chat window where the bot Gary will do his best to help you and, in case of a sticky problem, eventually fail. The result – more frustration.
Customer support aside, however, it might come as a surprise that Windscribe is actually the more affordable service of the two. For a one year plan, you can get Windscribe for $4.08 a month, while IPVanish will cost you $8.99 a month for the same duration of time. Is the extra money worth it? We certainly think not.
IPVanish vs Windscribe is basically a series of consistent victories on behalf of the latter in the detriment of the former. We could not be more certain of our verdict, really.
Windscribe is more honest in their policies, overall more secure, much faster, and more affordable, so the comparison itself is a piece of cake. Sure, IPVanish could make several improvements in the future and try to pull ahead of the competition, but for now, at least, its tarnished reputation and faulty service lock it out of most top 10 VPN lists.