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Surfshark vs IPVanish: which is better?

Both Surfshark and IPVanish are popular and reliable VPN options, and there’s no surprise that they’re at the top of our best VPNs list. They both are budget-friendly options and offer great speeds, solid protection, variety of streaming options, and additional features.

But which one of them takes the lead and is the best for you?

In this Surfshark vs IPVanish comparison, I’ll be comparing the speed, security, streaming, price, and other features that a great VPN must provide to its users.

Surfshark vs IPVanish

Surfshark VPNIPVanish
⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#2 out of #34#3 out of #34
🖥️ Servers:3200+ servers in 100 countries2000+ servers in 50 countries
📖 No logs policy:No logsNo logs
💵 Pricing:From $2.30/monthFrom $3.99/month
🔥 Coupons:Surfshark VPN coupon 82% OFFIPVanish coupon 66% OFF
🔒 VPN protocols:WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and moreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, FirefoxWindows, Mac, Android, and iOS
📥 Simultaneous connections:UnlimitedUnlimited
💁🏻 Support:Knowledge base, 24/7 live chat, email supportKnowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat

Speed performance: Surfshark vs IPVanish

Below you’ll see the speed results of Surfshark vs IPVanish with different tunneling protocols. The numbers in the table represent the average download and upload speeds for each provider.

  • Baseline: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload

WireGuard is one of the fastest and most secure protocols on the market. And the results clearly show Surfshark’s domination in both download and upload speeds. IPVanish provides good results as well, but it’s no competitor to Surfshark.

Download262.6 Mbps239 Mbps
Upload169.8 Mbps130 Mbps

Another protocol available is the IKEv2, and there’s some close competition happening here. While IPVanish takes the lead with the faster download speed average, Surfhark provides a quicker upload speed. However, this protocol isn’t the only one we are looking at.

Download219.8 Mbps238 Mbps
Upload38.5 Mbps32 Mbps

OpenVPN UDP is the faster protocol in this comparison. And comparing Surfshark vs IPVanish download speed, the difference is small, the upload speed is where Surfshark takes the clear win with a speed almost three times faster than the competitor.

OpenVPN UDPSurfsharkIPVanish
Download120.2 Mbps137 Mbps
Upload140.3 Mbps55 Mbps

Now when it comes to OpenVPN TCP protocol, IPVanish is an unbeatable champion. While this protocol is overall slower than others in this comparison, we only recommend choosing it when others don’t work, there’s no denying the result. IPVanish is almost ten times faster when it comes to the download speed and almost five times faster with the upload speed.

OpenVPN TCPSurfsharkIPVanish
Download25.8 Mbps163 Mbps
Upload28 Mbps135 Mbps
Wrapping up
Overall, Surfshark wins this round with blazing fast speeds, especially with the WireGuard protocol. But IPVanish also showed really great results, but they weren’t enough.

Netflix and streaming performance

Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer

Good news, if you’re searching for the best VPN to unblock Netflix’s global content library, then both Surfshark and IPVanish are superb options. Our tests revealed that both Surfshark and IPVanish can unblock a range of streaming services, yet the former can do it better.

If you wish to watch more than just Netflix, that’s where Surfshark shines as the best option. With Surfshark, you can unblock all of the popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, and many others.

Additionally, Surfshark employs the SmartDNS feature, which helps unblock streaming sites on devices that you can’t get a VPN app on. You can activate this from your main account and it will generate DNS addresses that can be set up on your devices.

To compare, with IPVanish you get to enjoy Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Disney+, and YouTube. So, if you don’t need Hulu or Amazon Prime Video then this VPN can be a great option.

Additionally, if you have a good internet connection, then you’ll get to enjoy the highest quality of streams. We tested both providers and got to enjoy the videos in HD quality and with no buffering. And that is the gold standard you need to expect from great VPNs.

Wrapping up
Surfshark wins against IPVanish when it comes to streaming. This VPN provider unlocks all of the popular streaming sites, so you will never run out of content to consume with this VPN.


Both Surfshark and IPVanish VPNs are great and secure options for torrenting. They each have dedicated P2P servers, which are optimized for fast downloading. Additionally, both of these providers allow torrenting on all of their servers.

surfshark for torrenting

We’ve tested out both of their speeds and performance when it comes to torrenting, and we weren’t disappointed. Therefore, there’s no clear winner between Surfshark and IPVanish and both options are good for torrenting purposes.

Wrapping up
Overall, both Surfshark and IPVanish are great options for VPNs for torrenting. They provide great speeds and allow torrenting on all of their servers.

Features overview

There’s very little competition when it comes to Surfshark vs IPVanish feature comparison. Surfshark offers many more useful features, therefore it’s the winner in this category. But let's look deeper into why.

Kill switch

A kill switch is an essential security feature for any VPN provider, this feature is included with both Surfshark and IPVanish.

Surfshark has a very reliable kill switch, which, when enabled, will block all your internet traffic, unless you’re connected to a VPN. Additionally, it’s a very customizable feature – you can pick between a soft kill switch and a strict one. The latter one works just like any other kill switch, while the soft option only drops the internet connection when a VPN disconnects accidentally.

Meanwhile, IPVanish has a regular kill switch that simply stops your whole connection if you’re disconnected from your VPN server. You will have to enable it yourself and there are some customization options.

IPVanish VPN kill switch feature

However, we’ve noted that sometimes when your connection drops, the IPVanish kill switch fails to notify you of what is happening. Therefore, you’re left wondering why your internet connection has suddenly disappeared.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling allows you to pick and choose which apps should go through a VPN connection and which shouldn’t. However, with Surfshark, this feature is only available for Windows and Android users. At the same time, split tunneling on Surfshark works great and without any issues.

Surfshark VPN Whitelister

As for IPVanish, it offers split tunneling only on the Android app version. It works exactly the same as Surfshark’s – you pick which apps go through a VPN connection and which don’t. This feature worked smoothly as well, however, it’s still a bit disappointing that you can only use it on an Android device.


Traffic obfuscation is a must-have feature if you need to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. This feature is especially useful in countries that have banned VPN usage.

Surfshark VPN obfuscation feature, also known as NoBorders, works great. You can either enable it manually or the service can start automatically when using OpenVPN UDP and TCP protocols. We’ve tested this feature and had absolutely no complaints. Additionally, it’s known to work perfectly when combating firewalls and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) that restrictive governments can impose on VPNs.

surfshark user interface

IPVanish also provides the users with an Obfuscation feature called Stealth VPN. And while it had no problem hiding regular internet traffic, it did struggle with unblocking the internet in China. So it’s not as efficient as the Surfshark one.

Other notable features

There are more features to offer, and you can read up more about them in the respective Surfshark and IPVanish reviews.

Surfshark additionally has a safe search feature, which ensures that you’re going to enjoy an ad-free experience while surfing the internet. There’s an alert option that informs you of any data leaks, a GPS spoofer to hide your physical GPS location, or an IP rotator that constantly changes your IP address.

Wrapping up
Surfshark is a more feature-rich option compared to IPVanish. It has a more customizable kill switch, a reliable split tunneling function, and its obfuscation feature successfully hides that you're using a VPN. Also, Surfshark's additional features overshadow most other VPN providers.

Surfshark vs IPVanish: which one is more secure?

EncryptionAES-256-GCM and Chacha20Poly1305AES-256-GCM
RAM serversYesNo
Based inThe NetherlandsThe US
No-logs policyAuditedAudited (a while ago)

Security is a serious topic when it comes to choosing a VPN, and both Surfshark and IPVanish ensure it. However, it is clear that the former is more reliable than the latter. Let’s take a closer look at why Surfshark is a better option when it comes to protection.

Both providers offer the AES-256-GMC encryption, but Surfshark includes the Chacha20Poly1305 encryption as well. Additionally, both services rely on the SHA-512 hash function to scramble your information, so your passwords are secure and hidden.

The first issue with IPVanish surfaces when it comes to RAM-only servers. While Surfshark works on RAM-only servers, so your data isn’t stored in hard drives, IPVanish can’t boast the same. Additionally, while both providers assure you that they don’t log your information, they’re both based in countries that belong to Five or Nine-Eyes intelligence alliances.

Wrapping up
Surfshark is more secure than IPVanish – mainly because of the two-time independent audits that confirm the highest security and anonymity requirements.


RAM-only servers are the option that the best VPN providers should offer. They ensure that your information isn’t collected and kept in some hard drive that can later be recovered or stolen. Plus, they prevent data breaches, since RAM-only servers wipe themselves clean during each restart.

Surfshark VPN runs on RAM-only servers, so your data stays anonymous and isn’t collected for any purpose. On the other hand, IPVanish is only moving towards running on RAM-only servers, but when it will happen is unknown.


When using a VPN, it’s extremely important to ensure your data privacy. Both of the providers are based in countries that belong to either Five-Eyes or Nine-Eyes intelligence alliances. However, because of their no-logging policies, they’re not required to log your online activity.

An additional step towards full anonymity online is using RAM-only servers, which Surfshark offers. This way, your personal data is much less likely to be accessed by any third parties.

The final addition is the payment methods – you can pay for your Surfshark subscription with cryptocurrencies, so no personal data is connected to your account. Meanwhile, IPVanish doesn’t offer that option.


A reliable VPN provider needs to work under a no-logs policy. This means that the VPN promises to not collect and log your data or activities online. This, together with RAM-only servers, ensures the users’ anonymity online.

Both Surfshark and IPVanish state to work with a no-logs policy. Surfshark has been independently audited twice by Cure53, and the results support the claims. This provider doesn’t collect your data for any purposes.

Now, IPVanish has also been audited before, but it has been quite a while since then. So that does raise questions about how anonymous your data is and whether IPVanish really doesn’t collect and store any information about you.

Therefore, Surfshark is a clear star when it comes to security.

Plans and pricing

With any premium VPN provider, you’ll notice that the longer plan you commit to, the cheaper the service is. Surfshark and IPVanish are no exception.

The great thing about these providers is that you’ll get unlimited connections per account. Which is not only really useful but is also a smart investment.

One year$3.99/month$3.99/month
Two years$2.30/monthN/A
Check Surfshark DiscountsCheck IPVanish Discounts

A monthly subscription is the most expensive one for both providers. You can get Surfshark for $12.95, while IPVanish is a couple of dollars cheaper at $11.99. However, we don’t recommend monthly subscriptions, since they aren’t the most budget-friendly. Longer subscriptions help you save a lot of money.

Both providers offer year-long subscriptions that you can get for as low as $3.99/month, which is a much better deal than monthly plans.

Now, a two-year subscription is where Surfshark overshadows IPVanish. While the latter doesn’t offer such subscriptions, you can get Surfshark’s plan for just $2.30/month. Being one of the most affordable VPNs, Surfshark subscription gives you the best savings option, it totals to around $59.76 for the two years.

Additionally, both providers have a 30-day money-back guarantee. While IPVanish doesn’t have a free trial, you can claim Surfshark’s week-long trial on Android, iOS, and macOS devices.

When it comes to the payment options, Surfshark has plenty of options, like a credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, and cryptocurrencies. IPVanish, on the other hand, only accepts payment via credit cards and PayPal.

Wrapping up
While IPVanish offers a cheaper short-term subscription, Surfshark wins with the long-term plans. It has the best option in the two-year deal, has unlimited connections, and provides you with many different payment options.

Servers and locations

Countries (total)10050
Asia Pacific148
Middle East & Africa44

Both providers offer a large fleet of servers in a variety of different countries, so you won’t run out of possible connection locations. However, Surfshark does have the edge here over its competitor.

With Surfshark, you’ll get the whooping 3200 servers in 100 countries. Meanwhile, with IPVanish, you’ll get 2000 servers in 50 countries. That’s still quite the amount, but there’s a clear winner in this category.

The more servers there are, the less likely are you to experience lagging or massive speed drops due to the overcrowded servers. Therefore, you shouldn’t have issues with either of these providers, but Surfshark just adds the extra security with the large number of servers it provides.

Wrapping up
Overall, Surfshark VPN has more than 3200 servers in 100 countries, which is more than what IPVanish can offer. Therefore, Surfshark is the clear winner in this category.

Platforms, interface, and ease of use

Supported OSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
Other software and devicesAndroid TVs, Fire devicesAndroid TVs, Fire devices
Browser extensionsChrome, FirefoxN/A
Simultaneous connectionsUnlimitedUnlimited

Surfshark and IPVanish work with many different platforms, OS, or devices. Both providers offer unlimited simultaneous connections, which is a great advantage in the VPN market.

However, Surfshark does overshadow IPVanish in this category as well. This VPN provider also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and a dedicated app for Linux users. And IPVanish offers no browser extensions, nor any support for Linux OS.

Overall, while with a small margin, Surfshark offers more compatibility than IPVanish.

Desktop apps

The desktop apps for both of these VPN providers are pleasing and easy to use. For Linux users, with IPVanish, you’ll have to use it with the terminal, by typing in the servers you want to connect. While Surfshark has a dedicated app just for Linux OS, that is aesthetically pleasing and feature-rich.

The Windows version of the Surfshark app has an attractive minimalistic interface and is filled with useful features, like split tunneling and no borders feature, but there is no map interface in the app (macOS app also lacks it), but all the countries and possible connections are listed.

The macOS version is, as mentioned, lesser compared to the Windows counterpart. Also, there are two versions that you can choose from – the one you can download from Surfshark’s page or the Apple App Store. The difference between these two is that the webpage version has only IKEv2 and WireGuard protocols, and the app store one adds the OpenVPN protocol as well.


The IPVanish Windows app is pretty easy to use. It clearly groups the features into three categories. You can choose to view the possible connection countries in a list view or with a map interface.

IPVanish server map

There are very few differences between the Windows and macOS versions of the IPVanish app. The mac version has a less customizable kill switch and no PPTP tunneling protocol, but the user experience is the same.

Mobile apps

The rule that an iOS app is less developed than the Android one fits in this Surfshark vs IPVanish comparison as well. Both providers have great Android app versions that are filled with useful features like a kill switch, obfuscation feature, and different protocols to pick from.

The Surfshark Android version has all the same features as the Windows app and, additionally, a GPS spoofing feature. It’s a very pleasant app to use with a great interface. The iOS version of the app looks nearly identical to the Android one but lacks certain features. For example, no GPS spoofing or Whitelister feature for your Apple device.

Surfshark VPN android app

The IPVanish mobile device functions the same no matter the OS as well. The main difference is that the iOS app looks more pleasing and is easy to use, compared to the Android version.

The Android version is filled with all the useful features included in the Windows version as well, while the iOS app is feature-light. It only has the on-demand connection, Siri shortcut, and alternate connection mode features.

IPVanish Android app

So, there are places to grow for both apps, but overall, Surfshark VPN is the winner in this Surfshark vs IPVanish comparison topic because of the support for different operating systems and providing more extensive features, especially for iOS devices.

Customer support

24/7 live chat
Phone line
Guides or articles

For any possible issues that you may encounter, both providers have very helpful customer support service. For quick help, they both offer a 24/7 live chat option where you can get in contact with a professional agent in a matter of minutes.

Another way to contact Surfshark or IPVanish customer support is by email. Or, if you’re more independent and feel that you can solve issues yourself, both providers have well-maintained knowledge bases and FAQ pages.

We’ve tested both providers' response times and were not disappointed. Both Surfshark and IPVanish agents responded to our live chat messages quickly and politely. We were provided with all the needed resources and information for our inquiries. So no matter which provider you pick, you can be certain that you’ll receive the best support.

Surfshark vs IPVanish – which one wins?

Server locations
Ease of use
Customer support

To sum up, Surfshark is the better VPN option than IPVanish. Surfshark showed better speed results, more reliable security, knocked it out of the way with a variety of great features, and the streaming options covered all the popular platforms in the market.

However, while IPVanish did put up a good fight and is a truly reliable and speedy VPN provider, there was no winning against Surfshark. Yet, it is still a great option for a VPN provider, since it also performed really well in terms of speeds and protection. Plus, it comes at a very approachable price.

Overall, the competition was close and the results were pretty similar, therefore there’s no surprise why both of these providers are at the top of our best VPNs list.

4.9 /5
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-63% OFF
4.7 /5
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4.3 /5
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