PureVPN vs. IPVanish: which VPN to choose?
The VPN market has no lack of great providers, with IPVanish and PureVPN firmly among that number. But which of these popular VPNs is the better choice for you?
In this PureVPN vs IPVanish comparison, I'll evaluate these services in multiple categories to find the winner. I'll look at their speed, security, privacy, pricing, usefulness for torrenting, streaming, and more. So let's waste no more time and start dissecting some VPNs!
PureVPN vs. IPVanish
|Avg. speed:||233 Mbps||129 Mbps|
|Country:||United States||Hong Kong|
|Locations:||53 countries||140 countries|
|Pricing:||from $2.62/month||from $3.33/month|
|Current deal:||70% OFF the IPVanish 1-year plan||Get PureVPN, now 74% OFF!|
|VPN protocols:||IKEv2, OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP||IKEv2, OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP|
|Logging:||No logs||No logs|
|Support:||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat|
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
Speed comparison: IPVanish vs PureVPN
- Baseline: 1 ms, 300 Mbps download, 300 Mbps upload
I'll compare speeds for different tunneling protocols. Since neither of the opponents has WireGuard, I decided to stick with IKEv2 and OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) as the most popular options. The numbers come from the same list of countries, including the US (3 locations), the UK, India, Argentina, Japan, and Australia.
IKEv2 numbers are clearly in favor of IPVanish. The upload is slow and quite similar across the services, but PureVPN is significantly slower when it comes to download speeds. The drop-off from the baseline was 44% vs. 22%, establishing IPVanish as the winner.
|Download average||169 Mbps||233 Mbps|
|Upload average||12 Mbps||18 Mbps|
OpenVPN UDP is faster than TCP. As a matter of fact, sometimes it might show better speeds than IKEv2. That seems to be the case with PureVPN, at least for upload, which is nearly three times faster than it is with IPVanish. The download numbers are visibly down for IPVanish but the difference is not big in comparison to PureVPN.
|Download average||135 Mbps||122 Mbps|
|Upload average||124 Mbps||47 Mbps|
OpenVPN TCP is a more stable but slower protocol. Therefore, I can recommend it over the two above only if neither is working properly. Surprisingly, IPVanish has great OpenVPN TCP speeds, producing a 10 times faster upload rate and 6+ times faster download rate than its competitor. PureVPN fans shouldn't worry too much because even the biggest names, such as NordVPN, are struggling mightily with this protocol.
|Download average||23 Mbps||151 Mbps|
|Upload average||12 Mbps||120 Mbps|
Both contestants offer some outdated tunneling protocols as well. These include L2TP/IPSec and PPTP. However, there's not much point in trying them, because their security is sub-par, as is the performance.
The only option worth taking a chance on is the SSTP protocol for Windows and Linux. It works pretty well against internet censorship, even in China.
In the end, IPVanish wins this round with higher average speeds (download and upload included).
Both services are not known for having good features. That's why choosing the winner was difficult, but finally, I settled for IPVanish. Here's why.
This is an essential security feature for every VPN, so winning this duel is a significant step towards winning the security battle.
PureVPN has a regular kill switch that stops your whole connection if you're disconnected from the VPN server. It's enabled by default, which is great for people who aren't into tweaking the settings. Unfortunately, our test with some experimental configurations has shown that it might fail to disconnect you or even leak your real IP address (you can read more about that in the PureVPN Review).
Meanwhile, IPVanish's kill switch worked much better. The only issue I noticed was that the app would sometimes fail to notify me that my VPN connection had faltered (but the kill switch worked as advertised). Besides, IPVanish's kill switch offers some customization options, such as the choice to block LAN traffic, which becomes important when using public Wi-Fi.
While this is a nice feature, it suddenly loses its attractiveness when the only supported platform is Android. That's because most of the torrenting and streaming are still done with desktop devices, and those are popular options to encrypt or run through the normal traffic.
Split tunneling is nearly identical with each provider. You get a list of apps and an option to add or remove them, so they are either protected or unprotected. A small advantage that IPVanish has is selecting from Recommended, User, and System Apps. That's great for novice users who may not know which ones should stay protected by the VPN at all times.
Starting with PureVPN, we can see that there's not that much else on offer except for port forwarding. This feature is beneficial to (for example) torrenters who want to make seeding available even when they're behind the router. Additionally, you're also able to set up a gaming server or check CCTV cameras.
Unfortunately, this comes as an extra, while many VPNs give port forwarding for free. The PureVPN price is less than a dollar per month, so it's not like they're squeezing the last penny out of you.
Moving to IPVanish, we find some more options. For starters, you get SugarSync encrypted cloud storage with 500 GB of space. It also costs a bit extra, but the value is totally for it, provided you want to switch from Dropbox, Google Drive, and the like.
Moreover, On Demand lets you customize the rules for turning on the VPN on your iOS device. For instance, you can choose that your home Wi-Fi won't use encryption. However, setting up the opposite for public Wi-Fi is a good idea. There's a possibility to turn on the VPN whenever you load a specific website as well.
IPVanish also offers a free SOCKS5 proxy that hides your IP but doesn't encrypt the traffic. Such an option is great if you want to torrent at the best possible speeds while retaining a level of anonymity. Just don't forget that your ISP can still see the IP, so treat it as protection from everybody else.
Finally, we have a Stealth VPN that is hidden in the Settings under the word Scramble. Ticking the box will enable the XOR patch, which modifies your encrypted traffic, making it harder to detect. Unfortunately, according to user testimony, this feature isn't enough to unblock the internet in China.
PureVPN vs IPVanish: which offers better protection?
As you probably remember from the earlier sections, IPVanish has more security features. Moreover, its kill switch and split tunneling work better as well. What they do have in common are military-grade encryption and tunneling protocols.
PureVPN has port forwarding, but its opponent easily counters with a free SOCKS5 proxy and Stealth VPN. Therefore, I think it's reasonable to declare IPVanish as a more secure provider.
IPVanish headquarters are in the US - far from a great location to register a VPN. After all, this country is a founding member of the infamous Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance. Add the NSA and other intelligence agencies into the mix, and you get a really VPN-unfriendly atmosphere.
In contrast, PureVPN is located in Hong Kong, which doesn't belong to the aforementioned alliance. However, recent political turmoil in Hong Kong raises questions about the prospects for user privacy going forward.
IPVanish promises a strict no-logs policy but hasn't made any independent audits to prove it as of late. Under previous ownership, this VPN has collaborated with the FBI, giving away user data. This included the email address, account status, real IP address, and connection timestamps.
Netflix and other streaming platforms
Streaming is the first category where PureVPN shines over IPVanish. It unblocks Netflix US, as well as BBC iPlayer, DAZN, YouTube, and more. There's also a chance that you'll be able to watch just with a browser extension (Chrome, Firefox, and Edge). Neither of the two has Smart DNS, but PureVPN adds Kodi to the list of supported streaming methods.
In the meantime, of the streaming platforms we tested, IPVanish unblocks Netflix US and YouTube only. That's a shame because it can be installed on Amazon Fire Stick and more.
The biggest argument for IPVanish is its speed. If you want to stream in 4K, you'll need a good connection. And as the numbers have shown, PureVPN is slower.
Torrenting and P2P
This round is interesting, because each time one VPN is point up, the other comes back with an argument of their own.
For example, PureVPN offers torrenting on selected servers only. They will leave you without P2P servers in the US, Canada, and the UK, which is quite a big blow. In the meantime, IPVanish allows P2P on all servers and comes with a free SOCKS5 proxy which is a great tool for getting the most out of your connection. PureVPN doesn't have this feature, but they compensate with port forwarding that's crucial if you need to seed in order to leech.
Finally, both contestants have split tunneling, which is important if you want to protect only P2P traffic or all other traffic. Sadly, it's Android-only, so some users won't get a chance to try it.
Plans and pricing
Comparing the prices is a bit tricky because of the way that IPVanish structures its plans. To start, this provider allows you to add SugarSync, which offers 500 GB of encrypted cloud storage. The cost is less than a dollar for all plans.
If that still doesn't sound complicated, consider that all prices are for the first billing period (monthly or annual). After that, the costs increase.
IPVanish has a 30-day money-back guarantee, but PureVPN wants to be even more generous, offering 31. The latter also has a "cheap trial," asking $0.99 for one week. PureVPN allows 10 simultaneously connected devices, while IPVanish doesn't have any limits on this - you can use it on as many devices as you like.
The last thing to discuss is the payment options. In the case of PureVPN, you can only pay by credit card or PayPal. The same can be said about IPVanish.
In the end, IPVanish has better deals, at least for the first billing period.
Platforms, interface, and ease of use
|Supported OS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Other software and devices||Android TV, Fire devices, Kodi||Android TV, Fire devices|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge||-|
From the table above, it's easy to tell that PureVPN holds the edge in three out of four categories. It adds Linux and Kodi apps, plus a selection of browser extensions. When it comes to simultaneous connections, however, IPVanish has a slightly better deal.
On the other hand, IPVanish loses in the manual configuration area. It supports routers, firewalls, and NAS. In the meantime, PureVPN adds QNAP, Synology, OpenELEC, Raspberry Pi, and Chromebook. While all these platforms are not that popular, being able to pair them with your VPN is still an advantage.
IPVanish doesn't have a Linux app, so I won't go into much detail as having a client is way better than not having one. PureVPN's version doesn't have a GUI and supports OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) protocol. On the other hand, you can manually configure IPVanish for Linux – it works with Ubuntu, Fedora, Kali Linux, and others.
I liked that both providers have similar Windows and Mac apps, both style-wise and feature-wise. IPVanish's kill switch for Windows has an extra option to block LAN traffic, and the tunneling protocols don't include SSTP and PPTP. Of these two, only SSTP is worth your attention.
PureVPN's Mac client doesn't show server ping and gives you IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. Since the last two protocols are outdated, you are actually left with one choice.
PureVPN mobile apps are rather minimal when compared to its competitor. However, they still manage to pack quite a few features for both the Android and iOS iterations. You'll get split tunneling, different server modes, and theme selection.
The main difference is available protocols. The Android client gives you IPSec and IKEv2, while the iOS users get OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, and IKEv2. One strange thing from the UX standpoint is using the red color for Connected status.
What about IPVanish? Well, their Android app offers much more than iOS does. Users of the latter devices will miss a kill switch, split tunneling, and obfuscated servers.
Good news, Yerevan. Both providers have 24/7 live chat. When this option is available, the need for alternative customer support becomes minimal. However, there are a few points I want to emphasize.
PureVPN provides faster email support. When I contacted IPVanish, I had to wait three days which is a bit too much for the so-called round-the-clock service. In contrast, my question to PureVPN was answered in less than 24 hours.
The knowledge base of PureVPN looks better, but compared to IPVanish, the amount of information available is similar. You can search the contents, check out FAQs or setup guides. There's also a troubleshooting section if you really want to solve things on your own and feel proud of yourself.
PureVPN vs IPVanish: which one's the winner?
|Ease of use||✔||✘|
In IPVanish vs. PureVPN comparison, the former easily wins. Though, PureVPN turns out to be better in streaming, ease of use, and customer support. Whereas IPVanish held the edge in speed, features, security, torrenting, and pricing. So if you choose one of the two, go for IPVanish because it performs better in the key areas.
Another option would be to check the top VPN services list because you might find cheaper and more universal options there.
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