ExpressVPN and IPVanish are two highly-rated VPNs, and while comparing the two is going to be tricky, we’re going to give it a try!
Firstly, we’re going to do a quick overview of their features, namely where they are similar. Then it’s onto the fun part. We’re going to take a deeper dive into the two VPNs, analyse their features, and see where they differ.
So if you’re thinking of getting either of these two popular VPNs, let’s see if we can help you come to a decision!
What Are Their Similarities?
Let’s kick off our analysis by taking a look at the similarities between ExpressVPN and IPVanish.
Kill Switch: A kill switch is found in most VPNs, and is a fail-safe if your VPN’s connection drops. The kill switches for both ExpressVPN and IPVanish shut down all current activity if your connection drops, meaning that your activity isn’t at risk of exposure even for a second.
Split tunneling: Just because you’re using a public WiFi network doesn’t mean your privacy should be unprotected. This is where split tunnelling comes in, and is something both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer.
Torrening: Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish allow torrenting through uTorrent meaning you can upload, download, and share files with friends without getting blocked or slowed down.
IP Addresses: Being able to switch IP addresses easily when surfing the internet with a VPN is crucial. Luckily, both IPVanish and ExpressVPN utilise dynamic IP addresses, meaning you can evade surveillance and snooping.
Encryption: Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish make use of 256-bit AES encryption, which is the highest level of encryption currently available.
Leak Tests: DNS leak tests and WebRTC tests are designed to check if your IP address and web browsing activity are exposed while being connected to a VPN. We’re happy to report that ExpressVPN and IPVanish passed!
Where Do They Differ?
Alright, now we know the similarities of ExpressVPN and IPVanish and what features they offer, let’s look at these features in more detail, and see what sets them apart from each other.
Streaming: Accessing geo-restricted streaming services is just as important to some VPN users as being able to surf the web privately and securely. But whereas ExpressVPN is able to unblock geo-restricted streaming services such as Netflix, IPVanish is currently unable to do this.
But while Netflix is out of reach for IPVanish users, you can still stream Crunchyroll, HBO and ESPN Plus with IPVanish.
Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes Membership: Probably more so than any company, where a VPN company is headquartered matters a lot.
This is because you can tell if a company is part of the surveillance alliances Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes based on where they are headquartered.
If a VPN company is based on a country that comes under the jurisdiction of any of these surveillance alliances, they may be required to hand over your data to the government - which kind of defeats the purpose of using a VPN in the first place.
ExpressVPN is headquartered in the Virgin Islands, which falls outside of these alliances. Meanwhile, the same cannot be said for IPVanish, which is based in the United States that falls under such jurisdiction.
So if online privacy is a major concern for you, we recommend ExpressVPN over IPVanish.
Speed: Having a VPN comes with plenty of benefits, but they can sometimes reduce the speed of your device. This can be a problem when uploading and downloading files as everybody wants to be able to do this as quickly as possible.
When using ExpressVPN on a Mac you may experience significantly slower downloads, but strangely, this does not seem to be a problem on Windows devices. Meanwhile, you may experience faster downloads when using IPVanish for Mac.
Therefore, we recommend ExpressVPN for Windows users and IPVanish for Mac users - at least when it comes to speedy downloads!
Servers: When it comes to servers, ExpressVPN has the edge over IPVanish. The latter has 1,500 servers in over 75 locations, while ExpressVPN has an astounding 2,000 servers in 148 countries.
Also, the closer you are to a particular server, the faster your internet connection will be. If a VPN has servers in multiple locations that you’re able to connect to, it’s like you are experiencing the internet as if you were physically in that location, transforming your browsing experience.
Customer service: Both companies provide 24/7 customer support in the form of live chats, email support systems, and extensive FAQ sections. However, IPVanish has the edge here as it actually has a phone line where you can speak to a real person for support.
Yes, it’s an old-fashioned method of customer support, but for a primarily computer-based service like a VPN it’s both endearing and refreshing to have a telephone service.
It shows just how dedicated IPVanish are to providing the best customer service possible, giving you the option to speak to a human directly if you ever needed to.
IPVanish collects more information regarding how users navigate their site. This is so they can monitor the customer experience and make tweaks if necessary.
Meanwhile, ExpressVPN logs information about what server you use in what country and details of your Internet Service Provider. This isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but as we VPN users are all about privacy and anonymity, the less data a company stores the better.
Therefore, this round goes to IPVanish.
Something to keep in mind is that a lot of VPN companies will boast about a ‘zero log policy,’ but all VPN companies will log some of your data.
The collection of email addresses and payment information are expected, as they need a way to contact you regarding your account, and a way to bill you for their services.
Number of devices: One subscription to a VPN doesn’t just limit you to one device, and in fact, you can use the same VPN on several devices.
After all, we don’t just browse the internet on one device, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be as protected on your mobile or tablet as you are on your desktop.
With IPVanish you can connect to up to six devices, narrowly beating ExpressVPN that only lets you connect to five.
Cost: It’s another narrow victory for IPVanish in this round. Their monthly rate is around $10, while ExpressVPN’s monthly rate is about 30% more.
Both offer you a deal for subscribing to a longer contract, so you can make your money go further by signing up for a year, but this still doesn’t change the fact that ExpressVPN is a tad more expensive.
But while both companies have varied pricing structures, they both offer 30-day money-back guarantees, letting you back out for whatever reason you weren’t satisfied with their services within 30 days.
In terms of cost we’d recommend IPVanish as it has a lower monthly contract cost, and we’d also recommend it if you’re a Mac user who wants to download and upload files without sacrificing speed.
We also recommend IPVanish if you would like to connect to more devices, as you can connect up to six devices at a time while ExpressVPN limits you to five.
If customer service is a priority, then we also recommend IPVanish. The ability to not only live chat and receive email support from their customer service staff but actually speak to them on the phone really makes them stand out from the rest.
Meanwhile, we recommend ExpressVPN for peace of mind when it comes to security. With headquarters in the Virgin Island, you can rest assured knowing that your data will never be handed over to the government under the jurisdiction of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes.
Although IPVanish gives you access to other streaming services, the fact that it can’t break a hugely popular streaming service like Netflix is disappointing. ExpressVPN was the clear winner in this category.
We also recommend ExpressVPN for Windows users who want fast, reliable downloads. ExpressVPN also has a wider global reach, with access to 500 more services in twice as many countries as IPVanish.
There is honestly no right answer on what VPN is truly better, as everyone has different priorities when it comes to choosing a VPN. ExpressVPN and IPVanish are very similar in terms of pricing, connectivity to multiple devices, split tunnelling, kill switches, and many other important features.
That being said, ExpressVPN has a slight edge over IPVanish. Their headquarters in Panama is a big plus, eliminating any worries that the government will be snooping into your internet history.
They also have a huge global network, and the ability to access geo-restricted streaming services like Netflix. But still, IPVanish certainly won in terms of cost, the ability to connect to more devices, and high-quality customer service.