NordVPN vs IPVanish is an important discussion to have because both are household names. Virtually all VPN review sites have these two somewhere in their top 10. Although NordVPN does better, to the untrained eye differences can seem minor. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any – read on and you’ll see that there’s a clear winner!
When it comes down to security, both NordVPN and IPVanish have mojo. The encryption level is equal and the leaks are minimal on both sides (although IPVanish has had its issues with the infamous WebRTC exploit). It’s a multitude of little things that make NordVPN more secure. IPVanish has a kill switch only on Mac and Windows, for example. Also, NordVPN has a slew of bonus security features, like multihop or Onion over VPN, that IPVanish just hasn’t gotten around to yet.
There’s also the legal aspect: 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 has been caught logging users’ data and sharing it with law enforcement in the past.
Speed & Performance
NordVPN has almost 5,000 servers in over 60 countries, while IPVanish only has around 1,000. The difference is that the latter VPN owns all of its servers and does not rely on any third parties for its network infrastructure. As we have demonstrated, that hasn’t helped IPVanish ensure their users’ privacy, but it has done wonders for connection speeds. It’s a little hard to call NordVPN vs IPVanish when it comes to speed – both are very good – but our tests have shown IPVanish to be a tiny bit faster.
Ease of Use
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. The difference is in customer support. NordVPN has a 24/7 support-over-live-chat feature, which is very responsive and efficient. Meanwhile, IPVanish can only be contacted via email and they themselves admit sometimes the answers don’t come quickly enough.
If we get into some sort of trouble, we’d rather have NordVPN’s support!
Torrenting and P2P
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, we’re concerned about the jurisdiction of IPVanish as well as its history of cooperation with law enforcement. Security is more important than anything else, so we give torrenting to NordVPN.
Netflix and Other Entertainment Platforms
This one’s clear-cut: you can unblock Netflix with NordVPN but not 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.
China and other restricted countries
A VPN’s ability 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 do so using a modified version of OpenVPN (to avoid China’s Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)).
IPVanish may fare better in other restricted countries, but not better than NordVPN.
This is an area where IPVanish wins quite handily. While both VPN services have apps for the main platforms (Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS), IPVanish additionally has Linux, router, Amazon Fire TV (Firestick), Chromebook, and Windows Phone apps. This is a lot better than NordVPN’s extra Android TV app and Chrome/Firefox extensions. NordVPN supports many different platforms, including some of the ones listed here, but it’s not the same as having a custom app.
Furthermore, IPVanish offers users 10 simultaneous connections in comparison to NordVPN’s 6.
NordVPN’s price is flat-out better without even considering the difference in quality. You can get NordVPN for $11.95 a month, $5.75 a month billed annually, or $3.29 a month billed every two years. IPVanish will cost you $10.00 a month, $8.99 a month billed every 3 months, or $6.49 a month billed annually. The latter is slightly cheaper over the very short term but loses out on longer subscriptions. And anyway, even if it was the other way around, you get less out of IPVanish.
IPVanish vs NordVPN – which is better?
Yes, IPVanish is better than the absolute majority of VPN services on the market. We 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, ExpressVPN, or TorGuard. In addition to a less shady past, these tools also have a more well-rounded set of features.