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IPVanish vs NordVPN: which service to choose?


IPVanish and NordVPN are both very popular VPNs in a market full of good options. NordVPN is known for being one of the most all-around VPNs, while IPVanish is known for its great deals. But which one is better for you?

In this article, I'll compare their security, privacy, speed, pricing, and other features important to VPN users. I'll also pick a winner for each category, and the results might surprise you! Let's dive into what makes these VPN services some of the best around.

IPVanish vs NordVPN

NordVPN outperforms IPVanish in most categories, including speed, features, protection, streaming, torrenting, server locations, ease of use, and customer support. While IPVanish offers competitive pricing and unlimited connections, NordVPN provides a more extensive server network and better access to streaming services.

NordVPNIPVanish
⭐ Rating:
4.9 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
4.5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
🥇 Overall rank:#1 out of #42#3 out of #42
🖥️ Servers:6,300 + servers in 111 countries2,400 + servers in 55 countries
📖 No logs policy:No logsNo logs
💵 Price:From $3.09/monthFrom $2.19/month
🔥 Coupons:NordVPN coupon 74% OFFIPVanish coupon 83% OFF
🔒 VPN protocols:OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard (NordLynx)WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Disney+, and more
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, iOS
📥 Simultaneous connections:10Unlimited
💁🏻 Support:Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chatKnowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat

Speed comparison: IPVanish vs NordVPN

In speed testing comparison, I, with the help of the testing team, evaluated IPVanish and NordVPN using their fastest protocols – IPVanish's WireGuard and NordVPN's NordLynx – across the US, UK, France, Canada, and Sweden to see which service is faster on average.

Data period: 05.09 - 05.23
Download retention
US (NY) US (NY)
93% (467 Mbit/s) 88% (444 Mbit/s)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
94% (473 Mbit/s) 94% (471 Mbit/s)
France France
95% (478 Mbit/s) 92% (461 Mbit/s)
Canada Canada
94% (471 Mbit/s) 91% (455 Mbit/s)
Sweden Sweden
94% (473 Mbit/s) 94% (472 Mbit/s)
Upload retention
US (NY) US (NY)
92% (462 Mbit/s) 84% (420 Mbit/s)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
92% (461 Mbit/s) 88% (443 Mbit/s)
France France
92% (462 Mbit/s) 82% (410 Mbit/s)
Canada Canada
93% (466 Mbit/s) 32% (164 Mbit/s)
Sweden Sweden
93% (466 Mbit/s) 83% (415 Mbit/s)
Download/Upload baseline speed - 500 Mbit/s

No wonder NordVPN demonstrated superior performance since it’s considered the best VPN in 2024. With download speeds above 93% of the baseline, NordVPN facilitates smooth HD streaming and lag-free gaming. Its upload speeds also impressed, consistently staying above 92%, essential for high-quality gaming and video calls.

IPVanish achieved commendable download speeds, mostly above 88%, allowing for uninterrupted streaming and responsive gaming. However, IPVanish's lower upload speeds, especially notable in Canada, could impact live content uploads and interactive gaming sessions.

Overall, while IPVanish and NordVPN provide robust speeds for daily activities, NordVPN's consistent upload rates ensure smoother online interactions and more reliable performance in multiplayer online gaming and live streaming environments.

To sum up, this round is pretty even, but NordVPN wins due to better overall speed performance.

Features overview

Both IPVanish and NordVPN have all the main features that a premium VPN should have. However, NordVPN has something extra that IPVanish doesn't. Check out the feature overview and see for yourself.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling is a useful feature that allows you to choose which apps will use the VPN tunnel and which will connect directly. This way, you can use your real IP for online banking and watch Netflix Japan at the same time.

NordVPN wins this one because of compatibility. It allows split tunneling on Windows and Android, while IPVanish has it on Android and FireOS only.

Stealth VPN

This feature helps to hide VPN usage from apps or services. It's also known as a great tool against China's Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).

NordVPN calls this feature Obfuscated servers, and you can find them under the Specialty Servers section. Turning it on will make your traffic look like regular HTTPS traffic. In the case of IPVanish, you turn on this traffic obfuscation by ticking the Scramble box under OpenVPN options, thus enabling the XOR cipher that does all the rest.

However, IPVanish's Stealth VPN seems to have trouble unblocking the internet in China, so this one also goes to NordVPN.

Free SOCKS5 proxy

The SOCKS5 proxy is particularly favored for torrenting. Essentially, setting it up on your torrent client (or any other app that supports proxies) will hide your IP without encrypting the traffic. This way, you get anonymity plus full-speed downloads.

You can configure the SOCKS5 proxy on all popular P2P clients. However, be aware that your ISP could still see what you're doing if they wanted. In the end, the only small advantage that IPVanish has over NordVPN is that they allow using SOCKS5 for scraping.

Exclusive features

IPVanish is probably the only premium VPN offering encrypted cloud storage. Named SugarSync, it allows you to upload up to 500 GB for a small monthly fee. You can even send files via email, which is very convenient when you start running out of inbox storage.

The list of NordVPN-only features starts with SmartDNS. When turned on, it unblocks Netflix and other content platforms without traffic encryption. Most importantly, SmartDNS works as a so-called SmartPlay feature, which will let you unblock content on most smart TVs, game consoles, and other media devices.

Then there's a bunch of security-oriented options. NordVPN's Threat Protection blocks ads and malware, Double VPN (multi-hop) gives extra protection by connecting to two VPN servers instead of one, while Onion Over VPN adds Tor relays on top for unprecedented privacy.

You can learn more about NordVPN features in NordVPN review.

IPVanish vs NordVPN: which offers better security?

IPVanish offers good security and privacy, but the NordVPN offering is better. Both use advanced encryption and modern tunneling protocols, which give them a good starting base. However, NordVPN has a better kill switch that can work at the app or connection level. Additionally, IPVanish doesn't offer this feature on iOS.

IPVanish is registered in the United States. This country is the founding member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance and creates a whole host of privacy issues for digital businesses. In the meantime, NordVPN is situated in Panama, which has no data retention laws and no connection with the aforementioned surveillance alliance. Meanwhile, the US government can make any company collect data as per the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

NordVPN has an independently-audited no-logs policy. That about sums it up. As for IPVanish, they have a no-logs policy, but it hasn't been audited in a while. Besides, unlike NordVPN, they don't offer the opportunity to pay using anonymous payment methods (such as crypto).

As you can see, NordVPN already looks better. But with features like Threat Protection, Double VPN and Onion Over VPN, the winner becomes obvious.

Netflix and other streaming platforms

Both IPVanish and NordVPN unblock Netflix US and YouTube TV. NordVPN, however, offers additional capabilities with its SmartPlay feature, designed to bypass streaming media blocks seamlessly, enhancing access to a variety of content, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more. NordVPN also provides specialized servers like obfuscated and Onion over VPN, tailored for specific needs such as streaming or torrenting.

In contrast, IPVanish does not have specialized streaming servers, utilizing the same servers for all activities. It can be limiting, as IPVanish struggles to bypass restrictions on major streaming sites like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, frustrating users looking to access a broader range of content.

All in all, NordVPN's SmartDNS is a big trump card. Since using it as a Smart DNS feature means your traffic isn't encrypted or rerouted through a VPN server, the speeds will be significantly better. Additionally, you'll be able to stream on smart TVs, game consoles, and other devices without the VPN app.

Torrenting and P2P

IPVanish and NordVPN are great options for torrenting. Both have a free SOCKS5 proxy, which means you can download without slowing down your connection with encryption.

The main difference is that IPVanish allows P2P on all servers, and NordVPN has a specialized list. However, they have almost three times more servers in total, so overpopulation shouldn't be an issue.

Finally, IPVanish has servers in 55 countries compared to NordVPN's 111, so there's a slightly bigger chance that you find one nearby with the latter VPN. That's the only instance where NordVPN has the edge over IPVanish, though I don't consider it enough to win this round.

Plans and pricing

IPVanish's and NordVPN's pricing plans differ substantially in length and discounts offered. Let's break it down and see which one wins this round.

PlanIPVanishNordVPN
Monthly$12.99$12.99
One year$2.79/month$4.59/month
Two years$2.19/month$3.09/month
Check IPVanish pricingCheck NordVPN pricing

IPVanish and NordVPN prices are the same in the monthly category. However, when entering the annual plan zone, NordVPN loses to its opponent.

NordVPN sports a great two-year deal for $3.09/month. That's 74% off of its monthly price for you.

Both services come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Each also has a 7-day free trial but it's iOS-only for IPVanish. Meanwhile, NordVPN allows you to make use of the trial on both Android and iOS devices.

In my NordVPN vs IPVanish comparison of prices, I declare IPVanish the winner. It's simply cheaper because of the huge discounts for your first billing period.

If the overall pricing of any of the VPNs seems too much, you might get a discount. Check out IPVanish coupons and NordVPN coupons – there could be an additional special deal.

Servers

NordVPN offers a significantly broader range of server locations, with almost twice as many countries available compared to IPVanish. Additionally, NordVPN has nearly three times as many servers as IPVanishLet's. Let's take a look at how the servers are spread out across the planet.

NordVPNIPVanish
Servers63002400
Countries (total)11155
Americas79
Europe3632
Asia Pacific118
Middle East & Africa44

As the table shows, both contestants give global coverage. IPVanish concentrates a bit more on the Americas, while NordVPN offers more options in Europe and the Asia Pacific. The numbers in the Middle East and Africa are identical.

In the end, I give this one to NordVPN because of the quantity and the quality of their servers. While all IPVanish servers are their own and physical, NordVPN doesn't use virtual servers and most of them are RAM-only.

Apps, interface, and ease of use

NordVPNIPVanish
Supported OSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
Other software and devicesAndroid TV, Fire devicesAndroid TV, Fire devices, Apple TV
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox-
Simultaneous connections10Unlimited

NordVPN excels in compatibility compared to IPVanish, offering dedicated apps for Linux and browser extensions, which IPVanish lacks. It makes NordVPN more versatile, especially if you share it with family or friends.

You can also manually configure both VPNs on routers, firewalls, and NAS devices. I found NordVPN's setup particularly user-friendly. NordVPN's Smart DNS feature is a standout, allowing easy access to geo-restricted content on smart TVs and gaming consoles, which is ideal for seamless streaming without lags.

Desktop apps

NordVPN and IPVanish feature intuitive Windows and Mac apps with a clean layout. Both have a main window that can be maximized to display a server map and list, making it easy to switch servers. I appreciated the left sidebar in both apps, where the settings are neatly organized and ensure consistency across platforms. This design allows easy access to advanced settings on Mac, enhancing usability without complicated navigation.

NordVPN offers two macOS apps, enhancing users' flexibility. The App Store version supports multiple protocols, including NordLynx, while the direct download version offers OpenVPN with additional features. I found the App Store version more user-friendly, especially for those prioritizing speed and simplicity. However, those needing more advanced settings might prefer the direct download version.

nordvpn-main

IPVanish caters to advanced users with features like keyboard shortcuts: Alt + C to connect and Alt + L to view servers. Its Diagnostics tab under Settings proved useful for troubleshooting, providing insights that helped me resolve connectivity issues without contacting support immediately.

ipvanish-main

For Linux users, NordVPN provides both .deb and .rpm packages. While it lacks a GUI, which can be challenging for those unfamiliar with terminal commands, the installation process is straightforward, with clear documentation.

While IPVanish lacks a native Linux app, it offers manual setup instructions for various distros like Ubuntu and Fedora, which I found relatively easy to follow. However, the lack of a dedicated app might be a drawback for some users.

Mobile apps

The mobile apps of IPVanish are pretty bland, while NordVPN retains the look of its well-designed desktop counterparts.

nordvpn-mobile

As it often is, the iOS clients have fewer features, but NordVPN does a pretty good job of keeping their apps at a similar level.

On iOS, I really liked NordVPN’s always-on kill switch – a crucial security feature that IPVanish doesn't have. NordVPN also offers a favorites tab and options for dark web monitoring, which adds to its ease of use.

On Android, IPVanish gave me more control with features like split tunneling and Stealth VPN. Alerts for insecure networks and the ability to choose ports made me feel safer using the app. IPVanish supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 (still in beta), which is great for flexibility.

ipvanish-mobile

NordVPN's Android app doesn't have IKEv2 but includes NordLynx for fast, secure connections. It features split tunneling, a customizable kill switch, and Threat Protection, giving me more control over my security settings. It also offers Stealth VPN, Onion Over VPN, tapjacking protection, and Custom DNS, providing more security options than IPVanish. These extra NordVPN features made me feel safer and more in control than the simpler IPVanish app.

Customer support

Both providers offer 24/7 live chat support. The agents are polite and resourceful, while the waiting times were minimal. For most users, that's probably more than enough.

Another way to contact IPVanish and NordVPN is by email. This time I found the latter VPN to be faster, usually taking less than a day to answer. In contrast, my question for IPVanish took three days to answer.

IPVanishNordVPN
24/7 live chat
✅ Yes✅ Yes
Phone line✅ Yes❌ No
Email✅ Yes✅ Yes
Guides✅ Yes✅ Yes
FAQs✅ Yes✅ Yes

Finally, each service has a well-maintained knowledge base to delve into. Here you'll find FAQs, setup guides, and troubleshooting sections. I liked that IPVanish shows system status at the top of their Support Center's page. So if you have trouble connecting, you may check it out to see if the problem is really on your side.

Video review

IPVanish vs NordVPN: which one is better?

CategoryNordVPNIPVanish
Speed✅❌
Features✅❌
Protection✅❌
Streaming✅❌
Torrenting✅✅
Price❌✅
Server locations✅✅
Ease of use✅❌
Customer support✅✅

When comparing NordVPN vs IPVanish, it quickly becomes clear which service is better. NordVPN lost only in the pricing category. Meanwhile, IPVanish managed to pull off three draws in P2P, server locations, customer support. This is an impressive trait, and with WireGuard, IPVanish one of the fastest VPNs out there – but it's still not enough to take out NordVPN. It's just faster, more secure, offers a better streaming experience, and has the upper hand in compatibility and ease of use.


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FAQ

Comments

Kil
prefix 2 years ago
What about PROTONVPN against NORDVPN
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Hey, Kil. That would be an interesting comparison for sure! However, I’m almost certain that NordVPN would end up as a winner in most categories 🙂
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