Once you get to the cream of the crop, choosing a VPN provider isn’t so much about quality as it is preference. No two VPN services are the same, free or premium. And, while we lay out below why NordVPN supersedes IPVanish, it’s important to note that your choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. Depending on whatever your deal-breaker is (i.e. price, performance, security, etc.), both NordVPN and IPVanish bring value to the table. To understand why NordVPN comes out on top, let’s dive into the main differences between the two.
- Supports P2P & torrenting
- Dynamic IP addresses
- No IP address/DNS/IPV6 leaks
- Cluttered interface
- Under 5 Eyes surveillance
- Doesn’t work in China
- Slick UI for easy use
- Vast array of security features
- Massive list of high-speed U.S. servers
- P2P optimized servers & unblocks Netflix
- Manual setup required to work in China
- No free version or trial
IPVanish vs. NordVPN: Performance
When considering VPN performance, there are multiple factors to consider including server location, a user’s distance from a server, their internet bandwidth, and online activities regularly performed. All of these play a part in how fast your internet speeds are while connected to a VPN. When tested for speed consistency, both NordVPN and IPVanish averaged higher than average for VPN services, with NordVPN only slightly outperforming IPVanish.
Depending on where you’re located (and what server you choose to connect to), your speeds will vary by provider. IPVanish averages download speeds of 84 Mbps and tends to deliver faster connection speeds than NordVPN in the U.S. where it’s headquartered and owns its private fiber-optic network and DNS server network. However, when tested outside the U.S., NordVPN averages faster download speeds of 98 Mbps, with speed losses of only 2-10%.
If you like gaming or streaming content frequently, speed performance is an important feature to consider when choosing a VPN provider. Both providers offer competitive speeds in the market.
IPVanish vs. NordVPN: Privacy
One main function of a VPN service is online anonymity. While NordVPN and IPVanish both pride themselves on excellent privacy features, we found that NordVPN is the best VPN for privacy due to a few key reasons.
NordVPN is based in Panama, a country with no data retention laws or ties to surveillance alliances. On the other hand, IPVanish maintains its headquarters in the United States, a known participant of the 5 Eyes Intelligence Oversight and Review Council (FIORC), which is an alliance between five countries that actively share defense and criminal investigation information. Over time, surveillance of online activity was added to the scope of FIORC. IPVanish cites its strict privacy and logging policies to reassure customers of their anonymity, however, they are still subject to U.S jurisdiction.
Another good indicator of strong privacy is a warrant canary. In certain countries (i.e. the U.S.), businesses can be served secret warrants that force companies to turn over customer records needed for an investigation with gag orders to prevent companies from notifying the client in question. A warrant canary is an explicit promise published by a VPN provider stating that it has never received such a warrant. Through our research, we confirmed that NordVPN has a warrant canary last updated December 28, 2020, whereas IPVanish does not have one. Before IPVanish’s latest acquisition, the VPN provider was compliant with a 2016 Homeland Security case where they relinquished customer data in an investigation. Yet, new IPVanish management claims that since then, it has not been involved in any government cases.
Premium Security Features
In addition to basic VPN functions, premium providers typically include bonus features with their service to create more value. For example, IPVanish offers multiple protocols such as IKEv2 and OpenVPN, functions like Scramble and split tunneling that hide your VPN use, and simultaneous connections on up to 10 devices. In contrast, NordVPN offers premium features including customizable protocols like IKEv2, OneVPN, and NordLynx, CyberSec protection against malware and phishing scams, and Onion over VPN, which reroutes your internet traffic through the Onion network. In terms of privacy, both offer strong features. Your choice will come down to personal use.
IPVanish vs. NordVPN: Logging
Both IPVanish and NordVPN claim to have a zero-logging policy. This is a crucial element of any VPN service, so we did some digging into each provider’s logging policy and auditing history to see if their promises hold water.
After combing through both providers’ policies, we confirmed that they do not collect any user data other than what is necessary for service optimizations and processing payments. However, NordVPN is the only one of the two premium solutions to undergo an independent audit in recent years by both PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Cure53. Before IPVanish was acquired by J2 Global in 2019, it did undergo a required audit, yet nothing else has been confirmed since ownership was last changed.
While IPVanish’s privacy claims are most likely true, NordVPN gets brownie points for taking matters a step further with auditing proof.
IPVanish vs. NordVPN: Streaming
For some users, streaming global content is their only need for a VPN service. So, we tested NordVPN and IPVanish servers in multiple countries to see just how easy they unblock geo-restricted platforms. All in all, NordVPN proved to be the best VPN for streaming.
The main difference we found between the two providers is their forthrightness to promote streaming capabilities. While NordVPN promotes its ability to “unlock international content,” IPVanish does not advertise streaming access anywhere on its website. Still, both premium providers successfully unblocked multiple streaming platforms including Netflix and YouTube, though only NordVPN was able to bypass geo-blocks for BBC iPlayer and Disney+.
If your main concern is streaming, we recommend going with NordVPN as you’re more likely to access the movies and TV shows you want.
IPVanish vs. NordVPN: Which is better?
To be clear, both premium VPNs have a lot to offer. Yet, placed side-by-side, NordVPN ranks slightly better for its feature-rich and high-performing service.
- Server Network: NordVPN
- Performance: NordVPN
- Price: IPVanish
- # of Devices: IPVanish
- Privacy: NordVPN
- Logging: NordVPN
- Streaming: NordVPN
A few aspects that led us to this decision included IPVanish’s questionable logging history, U.S. headquarters, and unreliable streaming capabilities. However, for users located in the U.S., IPVanish is still a great, affordable option with a large server network.
Overall, NordVPN above-average connection speeds, fantastic unblocking capabilities, and massive network appeal to a broader user base. In addition, NordVPN’s emphasis on privacy and the ability to bypass firewalls in highly restricted countries like China make it a more versatile VPN service than IPVanish. NordVPN proves useful for any online needs a user may have.