Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
When looking for a VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections, you might be stuck comparing Surfshark vs IPVanish. Of course, that’s by far not the only feature that these VPN (Virtual Private Network) providers offer.
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands and has 3200+ servers in 65 countries. It uses the WireGuard tunneling protocol, can inform you of personal data breaches, and get around various geographical restrictions.
IPVanish is located in the United States and owns 1500+ servers across 75 countries. It uses the OpenVPN tunneling protocol, offers secure cloud storage for your files, and can be utilized to secure your torrenting activities.
Naturally, there are other aspects that we should cover in this IPVanish vs Surfshark comparison to get a complete picture of which VPN is superior.
Surfshark vs IPVanish comparison highlights
|“Best for” nominee||Best overall, Best for USA, Best for Mac, Best for Linux, Best By Reddit, Fastest VPN, Best for Netflix||Best overall, Best for USA, Best for Mac, Best for Linux, Best by Reddit|
|Price starts from||$2.49/month||$3.75/month|
|Review||Surfshark review||IPVanish review|
Let’s start with a speed comparison. To get the best and up-to-date results, we’ll be looking at the results from our VPN speed test.
For Surfshark, it’s using the WireGuard tunneling protocol. Meanwhile, IPVanish has OpenVPN as the best tunneling protocol. As such, the results should be in favor of Surfshark under all circumstances.
Surfshark VPN vs IPVanish: 14-Day Speed Average
|Download Speed||661 Mbps||45 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||631 Mbps||119 Mbps|
|Download Speed||490 Mbps||126 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||382 Mbps||303 Mbps|
|Download Speed||469 Mbps||200 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||419 Mbps||439 Mbps|
|All physical servers||No||No|
|Owns all servers||No||Yes|
Now onto server coverage. Surfshark has 3200+ servers across 65+ countries. Meanwhile, IPVanish owns 1500+ servers in 75+ countries.
While neither VPN provider can brag about bare metal servers on their entire network, they have other perks.
For starters, Surfshark uses RAM-only server technology on its entire network. This technology guarantees that no information is stored on hard drives, and working data becomes inaccessible when the servers are shut down.
Meanwhile, IPVanish has complete ownership over its server fleet. Even though it’s not a powerful security feature, it reduces the risk of third parties tampering with the server infrastructure in unforeseen ways.
|Free trial||7-day for macOS, iOS, Android||N/A|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Payment options||Credit card, PayPal, Sofort, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, cryptocurrencies, Giropay, WebMoney||Credit card, PayPal|
If you’re chasing after the greatest VPN deal, Surfshark holds the best bargains. With its lengthier subscription plans, you get access to more significant discounts than IPVanish. Plus, Surfshark even has a 7-day free trial which you can grab on Mac and mobile devices. Once claimed, you can use the VPN on any other device. Finally, it offers a greater variety of payment options, including some that maintain your anonymity.
With Surfshark, you can choose between three different subscription plans:
- $12.95/month for the monthly plan
- $6.49/month for the six-month plan
- $2.49/month for the two-year plan
The lengthiest subscription plan grants you a generous 81% discount. On the other hand, you can peruse various Surfshark coupon codes to find alternative pricing and discount options. Plus, you can take advantage of the 7-day free trial.
Surfshark also offers some bonus features for an additional $1.49/month cost. With Alert, Search, and Antivirus, the entire Surfshark One package adds extra privacy perks that aren’t typically included in most VPN subscriptions, such as data breach monitoring, secure online searches, and protection against viruses.
Furthermore, payment options include the usual choices, such as credit cards and PayPal, and various alternatives, for example, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Giropay, and even cryptocurrencies.
IPVanish has a wide range of subscription options to choose from, which differ based on what additional features you’d like to add. But all of them are either monthly or annual subscriptions. In any case, if you just want the VPN option, the prices are:
Meanwhile, the VPN and Backup storage option costs:
Finally, the VPN and Antivirus software combo adds up to:
As you can see, pricing varies quite a bit depending on the suite of features. However, you can expect a 65% discount on the annual plans. Plus, you can search for different pricing options with the help of IPVanish coupon codes.
|Protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|Security features||CleanWeb, MultiHop, Whitelister, Camouflage mode, NoBorders mode, Shadowsocks, Smart DNS, RAM-only servers, Alert, Search, Antivirus||Split tunneling (Android), traffic obfuscation, backup cloud storage, SOCKS5 proxy, antivirus|
After that, each VPN offers heaps of features, which we’ll cover further below. Additionally, both providers have optional features that cost extra.
Surfshark security features
While Surfshark is one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, it’s also loaded with an impressive array of security features.
- As the name implies, CleanWeb keeps your browsing experience spotless and free of ads, malware, and trackers.
- With MultiHop, you can route your connection through multiple remote servers for even greater security.
- Whitelister is essentially split tunneling and allows you to choose which apps should go through the VPN tunnel.
- You can use Camouflage mode to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. It allows you to get around various VPN blocks. It’s activated automatically when using the OpenVPN tunneling protocol.
- Alternatively, the NoBorders mode is used in restrictive countries to get around online censorship measures, such as the Great Firewall of China.
- Shadowsocks is a proxy connection used to secure your browser traffic and circumvent restrictions.
- With Smart DNS, you can get around geo-restrictions on devices that don’t natively support VPN software.
- WireGuard is currently the fastest and most secure open-source VPN tunneling protocol.
- Surfshark is one of the few VPN providers to have RAM-only servers. These servers are diskless and do not store any data.
Plus, the optional Surfshark One package also adds even more features to an already impressive arsenal.
- Alert monitors your online data and notifies you if you’re ever a victim of a data breach.
- Search allows you to browse the web anonymously and free of personalized ads.
- Antivirus is available on Android and Windows devices and protects your machine from viruses and other harmful files.
IPVanish security features
With IPVanish, you get access to a fair number of essential security features, plus some optional bonuses if you’re willing to pay extra.
- Split tunneling is only available on Android and enables you to choose which apps should go through the VPN tunnel.
- Traffic obfuscation allows you to mask the fact that you’re using a VPN and circumvent various security measures against VPN traffic, such as DPI (Deep Packet Inspection).
- With a SOCKS5 proxy, you can secure your torrent client to hide your P2P activities exclusively.
As for extras, IPVanish offers the choice between two alternatives:
- Backup includes 500 GB of secure cloud storage for your files.
- Antivirus includes Vipre Antivirus Protection for security against harmful files, malware, and other computer viruses.
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands||United States|
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy|
In terms of privacy, there’s no contest here as Surfshark is superior in every aspect. For starters, it’s based in the British Virgin Islands, has been independently audited multiple times, and offers anonymous payment options in the form of cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, IPVanish is located in the United States, a founding member of the Five Eyes alliance. It also lacks any independent audits (so far) and doesn’t offer any anonymous payment methods.
|Major dedicated apps||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android|
|Other dedicated apps||Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV||Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Chrome OS|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge||N/A|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewall, NAS, Chromebook||Routers, firewall, NAS|
IPVanish and Surfshark have a lot in common in terms of device compatibility.
To start, both have dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Additionally, Surfshark and IPVanish support Amazon FireOS and Android TV devices. Plus, you can use either service to configure your router with a VPN connection. Last but not least, both VPNs can be used to secure an unlimited number of devices, allowing you to share one account with your friends and family.
The one difference that puts Surfshark in the lead is an exceptional browser extension available on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers.
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||No|
There seems to be no stopping the Surfshark winning spree as it’s also the superior VPN for streaming.
With WireGuard, you’ll have no buffering issues streaming movies and TV shows in UHD. Plus, it can reliably get around various geographical restrictions and unlock many Netflix libraries, such as US, CA, UK, and much from around the world.
Naturally, other streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney+, are easily accessible as well. Finally, the Smart DNS feature increases the number of supported devices tremendously. It’s worth mentioning that Smart DNS does not add encryption, so you’ll be missing out on security but gaining even better connection speeds.
On the other hand, IPVanish falls significantly behind in streaming and can only unblock Netflix US.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||All servers||All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||No||Yes|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Windows and Android)||Yes (Android and FireOS)|
When it comes to torrenting, the differences between Surfshark vs IPVanish aren’t as extreme as before.
Thankfully, both providers allow P2P traffic on all of their servers. In a surprising twist, IPVanish offers a SOCKS5 proxy while Surfshark lacks that feature. However, it makes up for it by providing split tunneling on Windows and Android – platforms that are used by a large audience. Meanwhile, IPVanish has the feature on Android and FireOS.
Sadly, neither provider has the port forwarding feature. With it, P2P activities would experience a significant speed boost. So if you’re looking for a fast and feature-rich VPN for torrenting, have a look at our list of the top contenders.
Do Surfshark or IPVanish work in China?
|Works in China||Yes||Yes|
|Stealth VPN||Yes (NoBorders)||Yes (Traffic Obfuscation)|
|Tor over VPN||No||No|
When facing off against online censorship, Surfshark is the better choice. The main reason is that it offers many more alternatives for dealing with obstacles like the Great Firewall of China. You can choose between NoBorders mode, Camouflage Mode, and a Shadowsocks proxy.
Meanwhile, IPVanish can only scramble your OpenVPN traffic in the hopes of getting around DPI. While it can be effective, the situation in China is constantly in flux, so it’s better to have more options at your disposal.
Dealing with online censorship is no easy task. If you’d like to pick the best tool for the job, we’d recommend choosing from our list of best VPNs for China.
|24/7 live chat||Yes||Yes|
Finally, we’ve reached a category where IPVanish earns a definitive victory.
While both VPNs have 24/7 live chat and other means of troubleshooting, only IPVanish has the option to call a customer service agent by phone. This option is available for users in the United States of America, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Brazil, and Germany.
Best VPN by category
|Speed and servers||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||7 out of 9||1 out of 9|
Surfshark vs IPVanish – which is better?
Finally, we have reached the finish line of this IPVanish vs Surfshark comparison. It’s clear that Surfshark is the better VPN in most categories, but that doesn’t make IPVanish a terrible choice. What ultimately matters is your priorities and the exact features that you’re looking for in a VPN.
What do you think is the most crucial feature of a VPN? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!
Does Surfshark hide your IP address?
Yes, Surfshark will hide your IP address. Like any other VPN, Surfshark will reroute your internet traffic through a remote server and mask your actual IP address behind the server address.
Is IPVanish free?
No, IPVanish is not free and doesn’t have a free trial. Instead, you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Will a VPN hide my internet activity?
Yes, a VPN hides your entire internet activity by encrypting it with an unbreakable cipher and making it unreadable to any potential snoopers.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.