IPVanish vs ExpressVPN [Test Results 2019]

As far as folks continue mentioning online privacy and security, the name “IPVanish VPN” will keep popping. 

Apart from offering mentionable multi-platform support, IPVanish is competitively priced. Plus, it comes with pretty fast connection speeds. On top of that, the VPN provider packs a fairly massive network of servers. And all allow torrenting. 

Speaking of features, ExpressVPN isn’t in any sense the underdog. This service provider offers outstanding functionality, and like IPVanish, its security is top-notch and uncompromised. But this VPN stands out for its top customer support and nippiest connection speeds.

Even so, a feature-rich contestation exists between the two services. In this clash, we assess these VPNs based on different comparable aspects and tests. So let’s see which one pulls clear.

How to Choose a VPN

The VPN market is filled with lots of providers. Though this sounds quite encouraging, in it lies a hotbed of decision-making. As such, VPN beginners often find it hard choosing one that best fits— even stalwarts face the same challenge at some point. So what to consider before deciding on a VPN?

VPN Qualities

Every VPN company has specific selling points, which basically are their priorities when designing their services. Ideally, look for and compare speed, encryption, or anonymity qualities offered by different VPN providers. Then make a choice, depending on what your other needs are. 

Compatibility and Device Support

While most best VPNs support numerous platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS, some don’t. 

Thus, it’s super-important to ensure your favorite VPN is compatible with your devices. Also, find out the scope of your VPN provider’s network, including the number of simultaneous connections.

Free Trial Period

Free trial periods give users the chance to try, test, and approve or decline the VPN. Note that, in most cases, VPNs with long enough trial periods aren’t a hoax. 

Connection Speed

Indeed, you need VPNs that would offer excellent connectivity for smooth downloading and uploading maneuvers. Luckily, in all our tests, both VPNs scored way above the recommended speeds. 

What’s more, I really liked IPVanish’s “quick connect” tab, which lets you connect to a speedy server of your choice.

Local Connection Speeds (U.S.)

We ran a speed test on several servers for both VPNs and found out that IPVanish’s average speeds for streaming and downloading content in the U.S. to be pretty fast. In our tests, IPVanish clocked an average of 58.11 Mbps. 

With ExpressVPN, the speeds were considerably impressive—107.20 Mbps. This reveals both networks are fast enough to handle almost all online activities, including high-speed file sharing, streaming HD videos, and online gaming. 

International Connection Speeds (U.S. to the U.K)

The two VPNs still performed awesomely, delivering respectable speeds through the U.K. IPVanish managed a speed of 57.51 Mbps while ExpressVPN averaged 96.43 Mbps in our 2 tests.

Connection Speed Winner: ExpressVPN

Pricing

The two VPNs aren’t the cheapest you could find; still, they remain affordable. And offer some of the best returns on investment, considering the features each is equipped with. 

IPVanish offers a three-tier subscription plan, a one-month plan for $10/month, a 3-month plan for $8.99/month, and a one-year plan that costs $6.49/month. Of the three, the shortest period subscription plan is the most expensive in the long run. 

ExpressVPN is a bit pricey but wins on a value proposition. It has three plans: $12.95/month for the monthly subscription, $9.99/month for the 6-month plan, and $6.67/month billed first 15 months, and annually after that. 

That aside, IPVanish’s modes of payment are mostly limited to major credit cards and PayPal, while ExpressVPN accepts most local payment options and cryptocurrency. 

About prices, IPVanish is the winner as it offers relatively cheaper subscriptions. Also, it supports more devices. All said and done, the cost of VPNs can change any time; these are current prices and deals.

Privacy

One of the most important factors to consider is user confidentiality. The loyalty of customers hinges on the assurance that their online travels, logins, and other personal information is kept under wraps. And that it won’t be shared with third parties, or hacked.

IPVanish is a no-logs VPN provider. Even better, according to the provider, if the government needs your records, they won’t provide. Thanks to their adherence to a deliberate “no-logs” policy. This US-based VPN also protects your privacy via AES-256 encryption backed with  OpenVPN, and IKEv2.

ExpressVPN also uses OpenVPN with AES-256 encryption to keep your logs well under the wraps. Other protocols for security supported by ExpressVPN include L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP. It further features a stringent privacy policy, which indicates they don’t log records of user activities. Not even temporarily. 

What’s more, ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, whose privacy laws don’t require VPN providers to keep user logs. This is one of the reasons why swarms of users trust the company’s privacy claims.

Privacy Winner: ExpressVPN 

Features

To compare the two, we examined aspects offered by both providers, as well as their overall performance. 

IPVanish’s obfuscation “Scramble” feature helps to neutralize VPN blocks. Among other things, its kill switch, and DNS leak protection fight off non-VPN traffic. 

ExpressVPN features a configurable split-tunneling for routing traffic. While IPVanish can also support this feature, the process can be demanding.

Also, you get a secure, self-hosted DNS for DNS leak protection, obfuscation features for VPN blocking, IPv4 and IPv6 leak protection, as well as WebRTC leak protection. 

Other useful features include open-source and integrated browser extensions with HTTPS Everywhere, easy access to most streaming platforms, including Netflix. Plus, it supports smart TVs and gaming devices, thanks to its MediaStreamer and DNS feature. 

While IPVanish boasts many excellent features, it falls a bit short compared to ExpressVPN. For one reason, IPVanish lacks WebRTC leak protection.

Not sure? Try IPVanish’s a 7-day money-back warranty or ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back warranty. 

Encryption 

Both providers are equipped with AES-256 bit encryption, the industry’s security standard for protecting connections.

IPVanish comes with 3 main protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP. However, when in the “Scramble” mode, the “Stealth” protocol trickles in. 

Other IPVanish security features include a kill switch, IPv6, and DNS leak protection. 

The above narrative is almost similar to ExpressVPN, which features OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP – some of the most efficient protocols that can slip through most firewalls with ease.

ExpressVPN also offers IKEv2 and SSTP (not open source and can only be used on Windows). The kill switch option is also available to further protect your connection from snoopers, and if your VPN disconnects. 

A closer look paints a picture that both VPNs can be identified with serious and reliable encryptions. No wonder both are top-rated for security.

Simultaneous Connections

If you are a “family guy,” you’d want a VPN whose single subscription can support multiple connections at the same time. 

IPVanish’s single subscription supports up to 10 simultaneous connections on multiple devices. This is a pretty imposing bang for your buck, especially if your family is big or you own about a dozen devices that need protection.

A single ExpressVPN subscription used to let users connect up to only 3 devices simultaneously. Recently, the company saw this limitation. So now, with one account, you can protect up to 5 devices at the same time. 

If you wish to go beyond the stated limit, purchase additional subscriptions, share the connection, or set up a VPN router that can hold many devices. 

Simultaneous Connections Winner: IPVanish

Torrent Support

While torrenting is not in itself illegal, the stuff found on most torrent sites is copyrighted. The internet is plagued with all kinds of piracy and copyright infringement cases, thanks to BitTorrent/P2P file sharing. 

Both IPVanish and ExpressVPN are suitable for torrenting. For a reason, they mask you as while you share P2P files. 

As mentioned, IPVanish is based in the U.S., where the DMCA copyright violation laws are unforgivably strict. For that matter, the company is obliged to discourage and mitigate any copyright and privacy infringement on its network. 

Most importantly, with the kind of legislation right on IPVanish’s neck, it can be quite hard for the company to protect its clients from the eagle eye of the law enforcement units. 

ExpressVPN is better placed in torrenting, considering all its servers support large file-sharing. It also offers a how-to guide on the best use of the ExpressVPN for torrenting and P2P file-sharing. This, coupled with the fact that the provider has no legal obligation to keep logs, torrenting just gets better. 

Torrent Support Winner: ExpressVPN

Global Server Coverage

VPN servers enable users better access stuff like international games and geographically-restricted movies. So it’s only fair a VPN provider offers an extensive server coverage for users to access diverse content from whatever location. 

To that end, IPVanish hordes over 1,300 servers in more than 75 locations. With this kind of coverage, you can access fairly extensive content across numerous geographical locations. While these numbers are decent, they’re not the highest a VPN can provide. 

ExpressVPN runs over 3,000 servers in 95 countries across 162 locations. These numbers indicate that ExpressVPN service providers top the list when it comes to geographical coverage. This means, its users can slip through a sundry of geographic restrictions and access more content. 

Note that both VPNs let users not only select the country, but also the city whose server they want to connect to. This is mostly useful for circumventing regional blocks such as those used by online TVs.

Global Coverage Winner: ExpressVPN

Multi-Platform Support

VPN providers should support as many desktop and mobile devices as possible. 

IPVanish service is compatible with most platforms such as Routers, Fire TV, and Chromebook. What’s easy, configuring it on the platforms, is a child’s play. 

The VPN also provides native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV. Along this, there’s a handy guide on the provider’s site, with instructions on how to set up this VPN service on the mentioned platforms.

ExpressVPN similarly offers app support for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, Nook, routers, and Amazon Fire. What sets it apart from IPVanish are its extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers. 

Customer Support

VPN users certainly adore Grade A customer service. If, for any reason, a VPN malfunctions, the customer support service should be ready to offer solutions. 

IPVanish claims its support staff is online 24/7. Despite this, I didn’t get a quick response from the customer service team via the VPN’s trouble ticket submission system. 

IPVanish lacks a direct live chat and features a 9 am to 5 pm Mon-Fri phone call support. This means you’ll (most likely) wait for quite long to get a response from the team in the tail end. So, in case of an urgent issue that requires technical solutions, it might not go down well with the user. 

Nonetheless, the VPN provides useful guides accessible from its website. These come with a complete set of instructions for tasks you can do on your own. Although, for technical issues, the guides may not be the perfect intervention. 

ExpressVPN’s biggest highlight is around-the-clock customer support, which also includes a live chat with the staff. Other vital services for the user include a searchable support knowledge base and email support. 

With this ready-to-go customer service system in place, users with any technical problems can be sure of quick and informative responses. That said, ExpressVPN does better on this one. 

The Verdict

The VPN market is filled with all kinds of VPNs, and all claim to be the best. To get the best out of a VPN, you’ll want to look at its all-round features. And this guide can help you with that. 

IPVanish, for example, supports torrenting, comes with fast speeds, allows multiple connections, and is equipped with top security features. So does the ExpressVPN. This makes the two services some of the best VPN providers in the industry, although we must settle on one.

From the comparisons, ExpressVPN cuts the edge in most categories. Therefore, it’s the clear winner in this battle. Other ideas? Make sure whichever VPN you settle on seamlessly meets your needs.