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Both NordVPN vs IPVanish are household names. Virtually all VPN review sites have these two somewhere in their Top 10. Although NordVPN generally does better, to the untrained eye differences can seem minor. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any – read my comparison and you’ll see that there’s a clear winner.
I will be looking at security, privacy, speed, price, ease of use, and other key aspects to help you decide which service is worth investing your money in. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to read the whole comparison. The side-by-side overview of NordVPN and IPVanish below will tell you which one is better in the most important categories.
|Won best VPN lists||Best overall, Best for Netflix, Best for P2P, Best for China||–|
|Appears in best VPN lists||On most best VPN lists||Best overall, Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone|
|Price starts at||$3.49/month||$2.92/month|
|Link to our reviews||NordVPN review||IPVanish Review|
|Get links||Get NordVPN now||Get IPVanish now|
Looking at the table you can easily tell that despite facing a strong competitor, NordVPN is the winner of every key category. To learn what makes it a winner, continue reading my comparison.
Security of NordVPN vs IPVanish
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||OpenVPN and IKEv2|
|Security features||Double VPN, Tor over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, kill switch||DNS and IP leak protection, kill switch|
When it comes down to security, both NordVPN and IPVanish are great. Both VPNs offer millitary grade encryption and I also completed tests to see whether any had IP or DNS leaks. Thankfully, both NordVPN and IPVanish had no leaks. In the picture below you can that I chose a server in Denmark with my IPVanish account, and there were no leaks whatsoever:
The same was the case when I connected to Sweden with my NordVPN account:
Even though both VPNs didn’t leak, there’s a multitude of little things that make NordVPN more secure. For instance, IPVanish has a kill switch only on Mac and Windows:
While NordVPN has a kill switch for both desktop and mobile versions. Also, NordVPN has a slew of bonus security features IPVanish doesn’t offer, like Double VPN or Onion over VPN.
Don’t get me wrong – IPVanish does have some nice bonus features as well, such as a free SOCKS5 proxy and a network of servers that are all owned by the company. However, NordVPN simply offers more. This is especially true considering the NordLynx tunneling protocol. With NordLynx, you can enjoy the insane speeds of WireGuard without sacrificing your security. The NordLynx feature has been introduced to all major platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
Privacy of NordVPN vs IPVanish
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy|
NordVPN is based in Panama and is, therefore, a lot better positioned than the US-based IPVanish. The United States is a bad VPN location for a number of reasons, not least of which is the country’s invasive intelligence landscape. As a matter of fact, IPVanish itself has been caught logging user data and sharing it with law enforcement in the past.
True – the owners of IPVanish have changed, and currently it’s owned by a company called StackPath (part of J2 Global). They have already improved the provider’s reputation, as well as went through the process of an independent audit.
As the basics of privacy look great on both sides, let’s see the extra – anonymous payment options.
What I like about NordVPN is that, among other payment options, it offers anonymous payment via cryptocurrencies. Up to this day, you’re able to purchase NordVPN with ten different cryptocurrencies.
Being based in the privacy-unfriendly US, and not having any anonymous payment options makes IPVanish the loser of this round. Although I celebrate that IPVanish has an independently-audited no-logs policy, so does NordVPN, and the latter also lets you pay in crypto.
NordVPN vs IPVanish speed and performance
NordVPN has 5400+ servers in 59 countries, while IPVanish only has around 1500+ servers in 75+ countries. The difference is that IPVanish owns all of its servers and does not rely on any third parties for its network infrastructure. As I have demonstrated, that hasn’t helped IPVanish ensure their users’ privacy, and neither has it helped to surpass NordVPN in the speed department.
As you can see from our speed testing tool data below, NordVPN is considerably faster. As a matter of fact, this is the fastest provider on the market today. This has a lot to do with the fact that NordVPN has introduced the revolutionary WireGuard (NordLynx) tunneling protocol into its suite of features. This protocol is much faster than the more common OpenVPN or IKEv2 and also more secure.
NordVPN vs IPVanish: 14-Day Speed Average
|Download Speed||1,587 Mbps||44 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,500 Mbps||85 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,364 Mbps||96 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,245 Mbps||277 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,209 Mbps||137 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,031 Mbps||386 Mbps|
NordVPN and IPVanish apps: ease of use and support
|Major apps||Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux||Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux|
|Other apps||Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV||Fire TV & Fire Stick, Chromebook, Windows Phone|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||No|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewalls, NAS||Routers|
|Customer support||24/7 live chat, email, FAQ, tutorials||FAQ, email, setup guides|
Ease of use is not an issue for any Top 10 VPN service provider, including NordVPN and IPVanish. Both have slick, straightforward, and intuitive apps for all the main platforms.
While both VPN services have apps for the main platforms (Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS), IPVanish additionally has Fire TV, Chromebook, and Windows Phone apps. Meanwhile, NordVPN has its own Fire TV app, as well as one for Android and addons for Chrome/Firefox.
Additionally, NordVPN supports many different platforms outside of its list of dedicated apps. You’ll be able to run the service on a variety of router types, and more.
Where IPVanish wins is in offering users 10 simultaneous connections in comparison to NordVPN’s 6. However, for the general user having 6 simultaneous connections would be more than enough.
What about customer support?
Both NordVPN and IPVanish do very well at customer support, offering a 24/7 live chat ant many other useful resources.
In the end, however, NordVPN supports more device types, which lets them take the edge ever-so-slightly.
Torrenting and P2P with NordVPN and IPVanish
|Allowed on||Select servers||All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||Yes|
|Split tunneling||Only for Android||No|
Both VPN services are very torrent-friendly. They don’t block or throttle P2P traffic and they don’t penalize users for torrenting. With that said, the approach differs: IPVanish allows torrenting on every server, whereas NordVPN has optimized servers in torrent-friendly locations.
In that sense, the IPVanish approach is less strategic but probably more appealing for the user. On the other hand, NordVPN is significantly faster, which puts it over the edge for me yet again.
Netflix and other streaming platforms with NordVPN and IPVanish
|Netflix US||Yes||Yes (using selected servers)|
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||No|
This one’s clear-cut: you can unblock Netflix with NordVPN easily and in many regions. This is far from the case with IPVanish. The latter might help you use other streaming platforms, but generally, NordVPN is one of the most reliable anti-geo-blocking VPN services on the market today.
With it, not only will you access American Netflix – you’d be able to stream your chosen content from multiple Netflix libraries worldwide.
With NordVPN you’ll also be able to bypass the geo-blocks placed on Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO. Sadly, that’s not the case with IPVanish, hence NordVPN is a clear winner of this round.
China and other restricted countries: NordVPN vs IPVanish
|Works in China||Yes||No|
|Tor over VPN||Yes||No|
A VPN’s ability to function in China is always difficult to gauge, but IPVanish clearly has fewer tools to make their service reliable. Just as most VPNs, IPVanish is blocked at the DNS level. Their only solution is to give IP addresses for direct connection – a short-term band-aid type fix at best.
NordVPN has the option of “Obfuscated servers”, which will connect you to a special server list optimized for heavily restricted countries and using a modified version of OpenVPN to avoid China’s Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).
IPVanish may fare okay in other censorious countries, but not better than NordVPN. Therefore, this round of NordVPN vs IPVanish goes to the latter.
Pricing of NordVPN and IPVanish
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
When it comes to pricing, the cost is very comparable. IPVanish has different pricing plans, focusing on short-term subscriptions, whereas NordVPN has a 2-year plan. Yet the cost is similar enough for this round to be a draw.
NordVPN vs IPVanish – which is better?
|Speed and performance||Wins||Loses|
|Apps and ease of use||Wins||Loses|
|Torrenting and P2P||Wins||Loses|
|Netflix and streaming||Wins||Loses|
Yes, IPVanish is better than the absolute majority of VPN services on the market. I appreciate a lot of things about this VPN – especially when it comes to using it on many different devices and platforms.
Unfortunately, there’s still some way to go before IPVanish can be compared with the industry’s crème de la crème – NordVPN. In addition to a less shady past, this provider also has a more well-rounded set of features, including NordLynx or a kill switch for both desktop and mobile versions.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Jan is a cybersecurity and consumer protection specialist focused on investigations that help readers navigate the complex infosecurity sphere. His research and commentary has been featured in Forbes, ComputerWeekly, PC Mag, TechRadar, ZDNet, The Mirror, Entrepreneur, and many other leading publications around the world.