IPVanish vs NordVPN: Which is Better?

NordVPN and IPVanish are two competing services in the VPN industry. The former is based in Panama, whereas the latter in the United States. Both are considered to be leaders in the industry. Although they have some similarities, the two VPNs are very different. Hence, choosing between them can be quite tricky.

Fortunately, this comparative guide is here to help you out. Reading this will get you acquainted with all of the features each service has to offer. By the time you’re done, you’ll know which one is the better VPN for you! So enough with the pleasantries, and let’s begin!

Overall Winner: NordVPN

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Comparison

To get started, we’ll first compare everything that each VPN has to offer. See the table below to check out what each service offers and doesn’t:

  logo ipvanish
IPVanish
logo nordvpn
NordVPN
Logging Policy No Logging No Logging
Jurisdiction United States (Five-Eyes Member) Panama
Encryption AES-256 AES-256
SHA-256 Hash Authentication
4096-bit RSA Key Exchange
Protocols OpenVPN UDP
OpenVPN TCP
IPSec/IKEv2
IPSec/L2TP
SSTP
PPTP
OpenVPN UDP
OpenVPN TCP
IPSec/IKEv2
IPSec/L2TP
WireGuard
Ad and malware blockers No Yes
Kill switch Yes Yes
Leak Tests No Leaks Found No Leaks Found
Speed Tests Slow Fast
Torrenting & P2P Yes (On all servers) Yes (Optimized P2P Servers)
Streaming Netflix
Hulu
Firestick
Roku (Via Router)
Kodi
Apple TV (Via Router)
Android TV
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Firestick
Roku (Via Router)
Kodi
Apple TV (Via Router)
Android TV
Gaming Windows
Android
iOS
Xbox One (Via Router)
PS4 (Via Router)
Nintendo Switch (Via Router)
Windows
Android
iOS
Xbox One (Via DNS or Router)
PS4 (Via DNS or Router)
Nintendo Switch (Via DNS or Router)
Compatibility Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chromebook
Tor
Selected Routers
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
Tor
Selected Routers
Simultaneous Connections Unlimited 6
Servers 1400+ 5161
China No Yes
  Yes (On Android Only) Yes (For Android and Browser Extensions)
Additional Features Scramble Feature Double VPN
Onion over VPN
Prices $9.99/Month ($3.49 for the 1st Month)
$31.49 (for the 1st Year then $89.99/Year)

$11.95/Month
$4.92/Month (1-Year)
$3.71/Month (2-Years)

Special Offer: 68% off for a 2-year plan; 58% off for a 1-year plan

Our Rating 4.1 4.7
Website www.ipvanish.com www.nordvpn.com

It’s evident that each VPN has many differences that set them apart. To get a thorough grasp of all the features the services have to offer, let’s go into detail. I’ll be dividing things up by category and will assign a winner for each one.

So without further ado, let’s start our IPVanish vs NordVPN battle!

Overall Winner: NordVPN

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Privacy & Security

Security and privacy are two things a good VPN must provide. With that said, both NordVPN and IPVanish claim to excel at providing the former and the latter. Each of them has advanced features that ensure that their users are safeguarded.

It’s important to note that the two services are no strangers to controversy.

IPVanish gave away user information in 2016 to aid in a then-ongoing investigation. Meanwhile, NordVPN experienced a server breach in 2018. However, it’s said that no valuable info got stolen from NordVPN during the incident.

The two VPNs seem to have left their past troubles behind. Highwinds Network Group, who were the owners of IPVanish during the information leak, has since sold it to StackPath. NordVPN has upgraded its systems to prevent another hacking incident from happening.

With all that being said, let’s now get into detail regarding the security measures that each VPN offers.

Encryption Comparison

Both these VPNs utilize military-grade AES-256 encryption. What’s different is that an SHA-512 hash authentication and 4096-RSA handshake is offered by NordVPN. IPVanish hasn’t disclosed what hash authentication or handshake they use.

Another thing about NorVPN is that it offers double-encryption options to its users. Because of that, it’s a step ahead over its competitor.

VPN Protocols

Both services offer support for mainstream protocols like OpenVPN (UCP/TCP) and IPSec (IKEv2/L2TP). What sets them apart is that NordVPN also provides support for WireGuard, which is the newest available. On the other hand, IPVanish supports SSTP and PPTP.

Leak Protection

Posts on Reddit by users say that NordVPN and IPVanish are great at preventing leaks. To see for myself if that was true, I decided to run tests using IPLeak.net. The first service that I tested was IPVanish, as I wanted to know if it was right to its namesake.

Before we check for leaks, here’s a screenshot of a test without any VPNs running:

ip leak test no vpn
IP Leak Test – No VPN

Now check out the results after I connected to IPVanish’s Taipei server:

ip leak test ipvanish taiwan
IP Leak Test – IPVanish Taiwan

Lastly, this is the result of my test while connected to the VPN’s Los Angeles server:

ip leak test ipvanish us
IP Leak Test – IPVanish US

As seen above, indeed, IPVanish can successfully mask my real IP address. Nevertheless, I wasn’t surprised as most VPNs do this flawlessly.

The next step for me was to see if NordVPN could do the same. My expectations were quite high as the service is regarded as one of the best. I first opted to link up to its server Singapore.

Check out the results below:

ip leak test nordvpn singapore
IP Leak Test – NordVPN Singapore

The last thing I did was connect to the VPN’s server in the UK. I chose that because it’s a geographically distant server that I see myself connecting to in the future.

Here’s what I got:

ip leak test nordvpn uk
IP Leak Test – NordVPN UK

NordVPN gave me a positive experience during my two tests. Like IPVanish, it was able to hide my IP address completely. Due to that, I can recommend it to you and safely say that utilizing it won’t put you in harm’s way.

Server Security

In a way, the security breach that happened to NordVPN turned out to be a blessing.

The unfortunate incident prompted the service to double-down on server security. One measure that it adopted WireGuard, which is a more robust encryption. In addition, the service also began a bug bounty program that has yielded excellent results.

By comparison, IPVanish has not adopted any cutting-edge server security features. It doesn’t support WireGuard, nor does it have a bug bounty program. To add to that, the VPN does not run its servers in RAM-disk mode, which makes storing logs impossible.

In Conclusion

My winner in this round is NordVPN, without a doubt. While both VPNs use military-grade AES-256 encryption, one has failed to adopt WireGuard.

Furthermore, no bug bounty program has been enacted by IPVanish. As such, it’s at a significant disadvantage.

Winner: NordVPN

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Speed Test

Reports regarding NordVPN’s speed capabilities have been nothing but good. The service is considered to be the fastest in the market. In comparison, IPVanish has gotten some negative comments about its speed.

Note that both services have unlimited bandwidth. That means that they don’t apply speed/bandwidth limits to their users.

To see what each VPN could do, I ran some tests. Before showing you the results, take a look at my base connection speed:

speed test no vpn
Speed Test – No VPN

Now check out how the VPN did while connected to its Taipei server:

speed test ipvanish taiwan
Speed Test – IPVanish Taiwan

Let’s now see the results after connecting to the Los Angeles server:

speed test ipvanish us
Speed Test – IPVanish US

IPVanish disappointed me as it provided inconsistent results and drastically slowed down my internet connection. Linking to the Taipei server almost rendered my internet unusable.

Moving to the Los Angeles server improved downloading but worsened my ping and upload speed.

After my initial unpleasant experience, I tried out NordVPN. My expectations were high as the VPN is held in high regard when it comes to speed capabilities. The first server I connected to was the one in Singapore.

Here’s the outcome of my test:

speed test nordvpn singapore
Speed Test – NordVPN Singapore

And lastly, this is the result after transferring to the UK server:

speed test nordvpn uk
Speed Test – NordVPN UK

NordVPN provided me with considerably better results than IPVanish. The server in Singapore had a minor effect on my internet speed. Once I connected to the UK server, my ping and uploading took a hit. Even so, the VPN was able to remain somewhat consistent.

The winner of this category in our match between NordVPN and IPVanish is clear. When it comes to speed, you’re better off with NordVPN.

Winner: NordVPN

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Torrenting & P2P

Downloading torrents while unconnected to a VPN is a terrible idea. You’ll be exposing your IP address to strangers that can potentially do you harm. As such, it’s only right that you use the right service for the job.

Both IPVanish and NordVPN encourage torrenting. That said, only IPVanish has a fully enabled P2P server network. NordVPN makes up for this by detecting your torrenting activity and automatically connecting you to a server that supports P2P.

To make sure that both VPNs don’t leak during torrenting sessions, I performed some tests. The first service that I checked out was IPVanish. Before we dwell on the results, take a look at the results without me using any VPN:

torrenting no vpn
Torrenting Leak Test – No VPN

Here’s what resulted from my connecting to the Taipei server:

torrenting ipvanish taiwan
Torrenting Leak Test – IPVanish Taiwan

And this is what I got after moving to the server in Los Angeles:

torrenting ipvanish us
Torrenting Leak Test – IPVanish US

As seen, there were no leaks made with either of IPVanish’s servers. For that reason, I can safely say that it’s not bad for torrenting. Using it will definitely keep you safe from potential troublemakers out there.

The next thing I did was see if NordVPN was able to hold up against its competitor. I was confident that it would, given the VPN’s excellent performance so far.

Below are the results after connecting to the service’s server in Singapore:

torrenting nordvpn singapore
Torrenting Leak Test – NordVPN Singapore

Last but not least are the results following my connecting to NordVPN’s UK server:

torrenting nordvpn uk
Torrenting Leak Test – NordVPN UK

NordVPN did just as I expected it to. The VPN was able to mask my IP address on both the servers that I was connected to. Because of that, I must say that it’s also a safe VPN service when it comes to torrenting.

In this round of our NordVPN vs IPVanish, the win goes to NordVPN. I chose it because it’s the faster service of the two. You’ll be able to finish downloading your torrents way faster than if you were to use IPVanish.

Winner: NordVPN

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Streaming

The capability to stream is a very important thing that a VPN must have. A lot of people use VPNs just to access entertainment content in other countries. Because of that, a lack of the ability for a service to bypass geoblocks is a dealbreaker.

NordVPN is famed for its being able to access content on almost any site. It can work around services like Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, and Netflix. Many people have even gone as far as saying that it’s a media-oriented VPN.

In contrast, IPVanish has been honest about its lack of streaming capabilities. The service can only access a few libraries on platforms like Hulu and Netflix. To make things worse, it can’t do so consistently, making every movie night a hit and miss.

Netflix

Netflix is the world’s most popular streaming website. Due to that, I’ve decided to test how each VPN would fare when it comes to unlocking it. The first service I used was IPVanish, which I wasn’t confident with using.

Below is my outcome after connecting to it’s UK server and trying to access Kingsman:

netflix uk ipvanish
Netflix UK – IPVanish

As I predicted, the VPN was not able to go around Netflix UK’s geoblocks.

To give it another shot, I moved over to IPVanish’s New York server and attempted to watch Spotlight. Below is the result:

netflix us ipvanish
Netflix US – IPVanish

Fortunately, the VPN was able to access the title. This proves that IPVAnish does have some limited streaming capabilities. Hence, subscribing to it won’t leave you left out if you want to stream a movie or two on a foreign library.

Although I already knew that the results would be good, it would be wrong not to test NordVPN. I connected to it’s UK server and tried to watch Kingsman once more:

netflix uk nordvpn
Netflix UK – NordVPN

I was unsurprisingly successful with my attempt using NordVPN. It was able to stream Kingsman without buffering in full resolution.

The next step for me was to go ahead and stream Spotlight once more using the US server. Here’s the outcome:

netflix us nordvpn
Netflix US – NordVPN

Like my first try, the VPN was successful in providing me access to the title. True to what others said, it’s really capable of consistently bypassing the geoblocks of Netflix. As a result, I have to give it the win for this round of IPVanish vs NordVPN.

Winner: NordVPN

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Gaming

I’m an avid player of Call of Duty Mobile. All my friends know me to be the best, and some have even encouraged me to play professionally. For that reason, I need to use a VPN that is optimized for gaming.

To see which service is better suited to my gaming needs, I decided to test them out.

My first course of action was to connect to IPVanish’s Taipei server. Following that, I invited a couple of Reddit friends to a match. While the game’s initial performance was good, it started lagging after a few minutes. To my dismay, it continued to do so until the game was unplayable.

After my negative experience, the next thing I did was connect to NordVPN. My server of choice was the one in Singapore. I entered a random match and was immediately pleased. Even if I experienced slight frame drops, I got to play without any major hassles.

My winner for this category is NordVPN, without a doubt. The service almost made me forget that I was using a VPN. It actually delivered my best VPN gaming experience.

Winner: NordVPN

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Compatibility

My family has got a ton of devices that all use different operating systems. Thus, it is a must that I subscribe to a VPN that’s compatible with every gadget in the house. Doing so ensures that my wife and kids are safeguarded whenever I go online.

While both VPNs are compatible with many systems, only one is superior. To give you a better idea regarding what works on what, refer to the table below:

IPVanish NordVPN
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chromebook
Tor
Selected routers
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
Tor
Selected routers

As you can see, IPVanish comes up short-handed. It lacks Google Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. The winner for this category is NordVPN, which has an app or extension on all mainstream platforms.

Winner: NordVPN

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Simultaneous Connections

VPNs that allow for more simultaneous connections give you more value for your money. After all, what good is universal compatibility if you can’t use your service on many devices at the same time?

NordVPN allows for a maximum of 6 connections with one subscription. This makes it suitable for most families and small businesses. However, it doesn’t seem ideal for people with larger households and businesses.

In comparison, IPVanish lets its users connect an unlimited number of devices at the same time. Nope, there’s no need to pay extra as that privilege comes with every plan that the VPN offers. I think this is awesome for those looking for a bargain.

The winner for this round of NordVPN vs IPVanish is obvious. Few other services offer unlimited simultaneous connections like IPVanish does. In that sense, it’s a unique VPN.

Winner: IPVanish

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Servers

A wider server network enables a VPN to access more content around the world. Furthermore, it also makes hiding users less difficult. Hence, the more extensive server network a VPN boasts, the better it is.

Utilizing more than 1500 servers across the globe, IPVanish doesn’t fail to impress. In no way is that number small for a VPN service provider. Unfortunately, other competitors have managed to build a larger network.

An example of which is NordVPN, which has got 5161 servers in 59 countries. By a long shot, this number makes the service the winner of this category.

Winner: NordVPN

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China

A modern VPN must bypass the Great Firewall of China – a censorship system used by the Chinese government. Doing this is no easy task, and only a few service providers have managed to do so successfully. If anything, being able to climb the wall is a hallmark of any great VPN.

IPVanish boasts a “scramble” feature that lets you configure OpenVPN. It, therefore, makes it hard for authorities to know if you’re using a VPN. Although it sounds like a fool-proof way to bypass China’s firewall, reports have stated that it’s ineffective.

While it doesn’t have any special tricks up its sleeve, NordVPN is said to get around the firewall consistently. User reports on Reddit have almost unanimously claimed that the VPN is perfect for getting around Chinese censorship. Because of that, it’s the one to have if you’re planning a trip to China.

Winner: NordVPN

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Interface & Usability

It was easy to download NordVPN’s app for Windows and extension for Google Chrome. The same could be said when it came to IPVanish. I find it useful that both services make access a breeze for their customers.

Viewing and getting around IPVanish’s app was not an enjoyable experience. I did not like its maximalist approach to things.

Upon opening it, a barrage of information like your connection status and speed can be seen. On the side is a bar where you can access your account info, information, server list, and settings.

interface ipvanish
IPVanish Interface

The app of NordVPN takes a different approach to things. It only displays a world map with markers on the countries that have servers. A drop-down list exists on the side where you may also select the server that you want. On the top is a gear icon that gives you access to the settings menu.

interface nordvpn
NordVPN Interface

I liked the simple interface of NordVPN’s windows app. Navigating it was a breeze which added a whole new level to my experience with the VPN. My preference lies with it, and I have to declare it as the winner.

Winner: NordVPN

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Additional Features

One unique feature that IPVanish has is the “scramble” feature that I mentioned earlier. It’s technically a version of VPN obfuscation, which is an adaptation of normal VPN protocol. The technology lets users modify OpenVPN to fortify their internet privacy.

NordVPN, on the other hand, boasts a feature called Double VPN. In essence, it routes web traffic through two VPN servers instead of one. Consequently, your data gets encrypted twice, and you’ll be harder to detect when online.

Besides what stated, NordVPN also has a feature called Onions over VPN. With it, you’ll get to use the Tor browser with the extra security of a VPN tunnel.

Since it has more exclusive features, the win for this category of NordVPN vs IPVanish is NordVPN.

Winner: NordVPN

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Customer Support

I’ve had a pleasant experience with the customer support of NordVPN and IPVanish. The chat representatives that attended to me were very cordial. On top of that, they gave me concise answers in a very timely manner.

One thing that I liked is that the two services have both got a vast online knowledge base that I could tap into.

However, NordVPN has an advantage in this regard as it has video guides available. While IPVanish doesn’t, the service boasts detailed write-ups with screenshots to help with most of what I needed.

The thing that surprised me with IPVanish is the fact that it has phone support. The VPN has 6 numbers listed down. Each can be called by users in Brazil, Spain, the UK, the US, Mexico, and Australia.

To better understand what each VPN has when it comes to customer service, refer to this table:

  IPVanish NordVPN
Live Chat Yes Yes
Email Support Yes Yes
Phone Support Yes No
Ticket Support Yes Yes
Video Tutorials No Yes
Online Knowledge Base Yes Yes
Average Response Time 20 minutes 3 Hours

I personally don’t have a landline number anymore, so IPVanish’s phone support isn’t something that I’ll be using. But, the video guides that NordVPN has available have helped me tremendously. For that reason, my winner for this category is NordVPN.

Winner: NordVPN

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Prices

NordVPN and IPVanish offer multiple plans at different prices. This is excellent as all users have different needs and budgets. Below is a comparative table that you can refer to see what best suits you:

  IPVanish NordVPN
Subscription Lengths 1 Month ($3.49 for the 1st Month then $9.99/Month) 1 Month ($11.95/Month)
  1 Year ($31.49 for the 1st Year then $89.99/Year) 1 Year ($4.92/Month)
    2 Years ($3.71/Month)
     
Highest Price Per Month $9.99 $11.95
Lowest Price Per Month $2.62 $3.71
One Year Price $31.49 and $89.99 $59.00
Money-Back Guarantee 7 Days 30 Days
Special Offer $3.49 for the 1st Month of a monthly subscription;
$31.49 for the 1st Year of an annual subscription
68% off for a 2-year plan;
58% off for a 1-year plan

As seen above, NordVPN offers greater flexibility when it comes to plans. NordVPN also has a 30-day money-back guarantee while IPVanish only has 7. Also, IPVanish has confusing pricing. Hence, NordVPN is my winner in this final round of IPVanish vs NordVPN.

Winner: NordVPN

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Verdict

Is IPVanish better than NordVPN?

No. My winner for this comparison is NordVPN because it has so much more to offer. The service is better than IPVanish when it comes to speed, compatibility, app interface, security, gaming, and streaming. It also provides more plans that are generally cheaper per month.

Although the VPN went through a rough patch with its 2016 hacking incident, it’s since changed for the better. The VPN upgraded a lot of its security measures and has announced that it will continue to do so. It’s even stated that it will soon run all its servers in RAM-disk mode, which shall make storing logs impossible.

IPVanish is a decent service, but it fails to check all the essential boxes.

The VPN’s slowness limits its capability to allow for a great torrenting and gaming experience. Its failure to unblock Netflix and other streaming sites also lessens its appeal. Lastly, the VPN can’t bypass the Great Firewall of China and has limited compatibility.

Overall Winner: NordVPN

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About the author 

Kris Soliongco

Kris has two passions in life: writing and tech. He’s been building computers since he was eight years old and is very knowledgeable about online security. The first time he was exposed to VPNs was in 2016. Since then, he’s used a plethora of services and has gained much experience.

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