NordVPN vs IPVanish
Comparison & Test Results 2018
NordVPN is a great option for Netflix users looking for reliable access at a low price, with top-notch global server access, good connection speeds, comprehensive privacy protections and excellent multi-platform support
IPVanish is an attractive option for users who have a large number of connected devices due to its excellent number of simultaneous connections and good multi-platform support.
International users will also appreciate their fast connections, while BitTorrent users will love their worldwide P2P access.
How to Choose a VPN
In this edition of my head-to-head comparison series, I’ll be taking a look at NordVPN and IPVanish.
I’ll be covering 10 critical VPN features that any potential subscriber should consider before making a VPN subscription decision. I’ll explain why each feature is essential, reveal how well both providers perform and declare a winner in each category. After taking a look at all 10 categories, I will declare an overall champion.
By the time you finish the article, you should have enough information to make a well-informed VPN-buying decision.
No matter where you go, you’re connected to the internet. Your phone, your tablet - even your watch is always connected. This makes a fast VPN connection one of the most important considerations for any provider.
When testing a VPN’s protected connection speeds, I first test the ISP-only speed. I then connect to the VPN provider and again test the connection speed in order to compare the two numbers.
Local Connection Speeds (U.S.)
The “local” connection test is designed to indicate the performance users can expect from their connection when connecting to a VPN server in their own country. I use a U.S. server for the test. I test both providers within just a few minutes of each other for consistency. I am connected to the internet via a gigabit fiber connection, so your mileage will vary.
International Connection Speeds (U.S. to U.K.)
The “international” test provides a good indication of the type of speed a user can expect when connected to a VPN server located in another country. I connect to a server located in the U.K. when testing.
If you’re connected to the internet, someone is tracking you. Your ISP makes a nice piece of change by selling your browsing history to advertisers, and hackers would just love to get their damn dirty paws on your banking information. This means online privacy is of utmost importance.
To weigh a VPN service’s privacy protections, check the following:
NordVPN is located in Panama, allowing it to take full advantage of the country’s lack of data retention regulations. There are no logs of any kind kept by the provider. The provider accepts various cryptocurrencies as payment for their services.
IPVanish is located in the less-than-privacy-friendly United States, but maintains that it keeps no logs of any kind related to their users’ online travels. U.S. online privacy laws are in a constant state of flux, so all of this could change at any time. This provider does not accept Bitcoin or any other privacy-preserving payment method.
When considering pricing, we see that both providers fall somewhere in the middle of the pack.
NordVPN’s annual subscription comes out to a reasonable $5.75 per month (payable as $69.00 annually). Their month-to-month plan will take an $11.95 bite from your bank account.
IPVanish offers an annual subscription for $6.49 per month (payable at $77.99 per year). Opt for their monthly plan, and you’ll pay $10.00 per month.
Money-Back Guarantee Period
Global Server Coverage
Music and video lovers, as well as online gamers, will love a VPN’s ability to unblock streaming, gaming and other types of content that might usually be unavailable in their area.
NordVPN has 4,401 servers stationed in 62 countries.
IPVanish’s 1,000+ servers are located in 60+ countries.
You may be reading this on your laptop, your tablet or even your smartphone. If you use multiple connected devices, multi-platform support should be of particular importance to you.
NordVPN provides native apps for the Android, Windows, macOS and iOS platforms. In addition, it can be used with Tomato and DD-WRT-flashed routers, certain other brands of routers, NAS devices, Linux and Windows Phone devices, and more. Also available are browser extensions for the Firefox and Chrome platforms.
IPVanish offers app support for the Windows, iOS, macOS, Android and Fire TV platforms. The VPN can also be set up on Windows Phone, Linux, Chromebook and various routers. The provider doesn’t offer any browser extensions.
Netflix is the world’s largest streaming service. I can’t think of anyone in my immediate social circle that doesn’t have a Netflix subscription.
Sadly, while the service is widely available around the world, the content in each country isn’t the same as is available in other countries. A VPN can open up that varied content to viewers.
NordVPN offers access to Netflix, but only in certain countries. The provider says to connect to servers located in the United States, Canada, France and the Netherlands.
IPVanish does not offer access to Netflix. An IPVanish support agent “gently reminded” me that “IPVanish is primarily a privacy product and should be used as such.” So, that’s a “no” on the Netflix access, then?
While our competitors both provide solid, trouble-free VPN service, there will likely come a time when you’ll have a question or two for their support agents.
IPVanish offers email support and a searchable knowledge base. The provider does not offer any form of live support chat.
NordVPN provides email support and a searchable support library. It also fails to offer live support chat.
Encryption is used by VPNs to protect their users’ internet connections, keeping their online antics and information safe from prying eyes.
NordVPN also makes use of AES-256 bit encryption to protect their connections, offering OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2/IPsec, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP and SSTP.
IPVanish provides AES-256 encryption, using OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, L2TP, IPSec and IKEv2 protocols. They lack the PPTP and SSTP protocols offered by their opponent.
AES-256 encryption, using OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2/IPsec, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP and SSTP
AES-256 encryption, using OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, L2TP, IPSec and IKEv2
Small business owners or heads of large families will appreciate a VPN provider that allows a large number of simultaneous connections to a VPN account. This saves money, as fewer VPN subscriptions are required to protect your group.
IPVanish allows a dazzling 10 simultaneous connections!
NordVPN allows a generous 6 connections at once.
Both providers are above-average in this department.
Peer-to-Peer file sharing (P2P/BitTorrent) is a popular online activity, especially among users who enjoy films, music and video games.
As you can imagine, copyright holders and ISPs frown on the activity. Plus, depending on your location, you could be arrested and/or fined for sharing the wrong types of files!
IPVanish allows torrenting on all of their servers.
NordVPN also allows P2P file sharing, but only on servers in 42 of their countries.
# of Countries Where VPN Allows BitTorrent Access
60+ (All Countries)
NordVPN cruised to an easy win in this competition, starting fast out of the gate and never looking back.
NordVPN grabbed top honors in the local connection speed, privacy, pricing, global server coverage, app support, Netflix access and encryption categories.
IPVanish ranked as #1 in the international connection speed, simultaneous connections and BitTorrent battles.
Customer support was a dead heat.
NordVPN takes top overall honors this time around, but in most categories, IPVanish was close behind. Still, NordVPN is the winner this time around!