Which of These Popular VPNs Has What it Takes to Keep You Safe Online?
These days, if you want to surf the web freely and safely, a robust VPN is essential, and two companies currently making waves in the cyber anonymity sphere right now are NordVPN and IPVanish.
Both seem to have a loyal following of web users that swear by their efficiency and security feature-sets, but one of them must be better than the other, right? Well, that’s exactly what I endeavored to find out.
Here’s a quick pros and cons section for those of you who don’t have time to take in the full head-to-head.
Over 5500 servers
Super secure cloud backup
Headquarters outside “The Eyes”
75+ server locations
Nifty SmartPlay feature
6 simultaneous logins
Powerful and secure protocols
Fewer server locations
Headquartered within “The Eyes”
Some servers don’t support torrenting
Fewer servers overall
NordVPN vs IPVanish - The Final Verdict
NordVPN reigns supreme!!!
NordVPN Vs IPVanish At A Glance
Before we dive into the no-holds-barred VPN battle, let’s take a quick look at this comparison chart. It may have all the info you need.
Anonymous performance data
Customer Support Format
Live chat problem-solving
Live chat problem-solving
NordVPN vs IPVanish - The Details
If you’re still around, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty and really check out what these VPN services are made of.
Value for Money and Subscription Flexibility
I won’t give you the exact figures here, as they’re liable to change, and both companies offer limited subscription deals from time to time, but what I can do is give you the lowdown on your options and how they compare.
Both companies provide monthly and annual plans, but NordVPN goes a step further and offers a two-year payment plan as well. The longer your subscription, the more you’ll save.
As it stands, the IPVanish monthly plan is slightly more expensive, and the same goes for the annual plan, but here’s the thing. After the first-year subscription discount elapses, and the rates return to full price, IPVanish is by far the cheapest option.
NordVPN’s 2-year subscription is crazy cheap per month, but renewal costs a pretty penny.
Both companies offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and accept payments via card and online transfers, but NordVPN claws back some dignity here by allowing you to pay anonymously using bitcoin.
Verdict - IPVanish is definitely the cheapest of the two, but I have to dock it for the lack of support for anonymous payments. This round is a tie.
Logging Policies - Which VPN Offers True Privacy
Okay, so NordVPN takes the lead here straight off the bat because they accept anonymous payments. I know your purchase records aren’t exactly a major privacy breach, but it’s still worth noting.
NordVPN also have a zero-logging policy. They don’t mine any data whatsoever, zilch, nada...not even performance reports. This isn’t just big talk, either. NordVPN were audited by a neutral 3rd-party appraisal company, and their astounding privacy claims were found to be true.
While IPVanish doesn’t collect any sensitive data such as online traffic, they do collect performance data, and their written policies are unnervingly vague.
Add that to the fact that they’re based in the U.S. - the largest nation in the Five Eyes intelligence collective - and data leaks are a serious concern.
In fact, it’s been documented that on one occasion they assisted Homeland Security by providing a user’s logged data — not cool, IPVanish!
Verdict - NordVPN are headquartered in neutral Panama, they accept anonymous payments, and they log zero data, so they take this round by a country mile.
Server Count And Locations
In terms of pure server muscle, NordVPN is leagues ahead of IPVanish, boasting 5500+ servers. Granted, with 1600+ servers, IPVanish isn’t exactly slumming it, but NordVPN’s excess makes it a faster, more responsive service.
However, it’s not over yet, as NordVPN only holds servers in 59+ countries, while IPVanish has a wider global spread, with servers in over 75 countries, which offsets the speed gains of NordVPN’s server premium.
Verdict - They go pretty toe to toe on this count, so it’s another draw.
The Great Firewall of China
One last note before we move on, IPVanish may have a wonderful server spread, but their software is incapable of infiltrating China’s internet sites and content. NordVPN, on the other hand, douses the great firewall without breaking a sweat.
Both NordVPN and IPVanish do a great job of keeping lag to a minimum. Which is the fastest depends on the country you’re using them in, but on a global scale, NordVPN is slightly snappier, with an average download speed of 24.91MBps, as opposed to IPVanish’s 24.86MBps.
Verdict - It’s another round for NordVPN, but IPVanish put up a hell of a fight.
Reasons Why NordVPN Pips IPVanish in Terms of Speed
- NordVPN uses a much beefier server network, which means greater bandwidth.
- NordVPN blocks ads, reducing site bloat, streamlining your web surfing experience.
- NordVPN utilizes a super-fast WireGuard protocol.
Both VPN services employ AES 256 encryption, which is basically impenetrable by today’s computing standards. Boasting OpenVPN and IKEv2 support, their protocols are pretty great too, but IPVanish offers two additional protocols for data routing, L2TP and PPTP.
NordVPN claps back with the insanely robust RSA 4096, which is more secure than the RSA-2048 key employed by IPVanish.
Both VPN’s bring solid obfuscation tech to the table, eliminating the chance of code reverse engineering, and, of course, they both utilize a killswitch to keep your information on lock in the event of a VPN drop.
Verdict - I can really fault either service on this count, so let’s call it a draw.
The NordVPN user interface is very simple and easy to use. The homepage opens up with a list of servers as well as a map telling you the whereabouts of each server specifically.
Deeper options can be configured in the “Settings” tab, which also features an intuitive layout. What’s more, NordVPN offers a full-fat browser extension for streamlined control of their privacy parameters.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention how amazing the mobile app is too. It requires very little menu diving, as the home screen offers access to most functionality.
IPVanish also comes through with their UI. It allows you to select servers in specific cities around the world, which is a nice touch, and the mobile version is well-designed too, but it limits you to the OpenVPN protocol.
Verdict - I commend the usability of both services, but after a photo finish, NordVPN takes the title by an inch.
Integration And Compatibility
NordVPN has IPVanish pipped in terms of OS compatibility, as it supports Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and Linux, the latter of which IPVanish does not support.
That said, IPVanish is capable of protecting 10 devices simultaneously. NordVPN caps you at 6, but it does offer a stellar command line-based installer, which IPVanish does not.
Verdict - I love the 10-device limit of IPVanish, which makes it a winner for bustling households, but I’d prefer extra OS compatibility, so NordVPN takes this one.
NordVPN completely dominates when it comes to infiltrating geoblocked streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, so if (like me) you love a good TV binge, it’s absolutely the one for you.
Sadly, IPVanish doesn’t deliver at all for unblocking sites. I mean...it’ll get you Netflix US most of the time, and it can find a way into CBS and Sky Go, but that’s about the limit. It’s a real shame, as it used to offer much more comprehensive geo-infiltration.
Verdict - NordVPN all the way!
Both VPN providers offer email support, setup tutorials, and lightning-fast live chat support — that’s genuine live support too! No redirects to an email contact.
Verdict - Exquisite customer care all around. It’s a draw!
Before we get started with this one, I’d just like to mention that here at LXCenter, we do not condone illegal torrenting, and my advice is only to encourage lawful P2P torrenting of non-copyrighted content.
Both NordVPN and IPVanish are great on this count, but you may have to do a bit of server-hopping to find one that supports torrenting.
My only worry with IPVanish is that, despite their fantastic SOCKS5 protocol, killswitch, and obfuscation tech, they operate out of the USA.
Verdict - It’s another victory for NordVPN on account of their strict zero-logging policy and base of operations outside The Eyes.
NordVPN Vs IPvanish - The Final Verdict
NordVPN claims the crown after storming this vs match, but that doesn’t mean that IPVanish is a lackluster service. It put up a good fight and even outperformed NordVPN in terms of multi-logins and server spread.
Ultimately, though, NordVPN is faster, great at accessing geoblocked content, and perhaps best of all, offers absolute privacy and safety online, which, my friend, is the name of the game! Here’s to our champion, NordVPN!