PureVPN was founded in 2006 by GZ Systems Limited. The Hong Kong-based VPN provider is best known for its affordable plans and extensive customization options.
Also, it has comprehensive server coverage making it an ideal VPN for accessing worldwide content and torrenting.
IPVanish, on the other hand, is a U.S.-based commercial VPN service founded in 2012. Although its servers’ coverage could be better, the VPN still manages to offer superb speeds for streaming HD videos.
The VPN is also feature-packed, giving advanced users the freedom to tweak the settings. So, which one of the two services is worth your money? To answer this, we’re going to compare the two as we reveal their strengths and weaknesses.
How to Choose a VPN
With hundreds of VPNs on the market, and all claiming to offer the best service, finding a reliable VPN can be a daunting task. It becomes even harder trying to select a service from two close contenders, offering almost the same abilities.
While there are no definitive rules for choosing a VPN, there are some basic metrics a good VPN must measure up to.
In this comparison, we’ll introduce these ten primary metrics that should guide you when buying a VPN. Most importantly, both PureVPN and IPVanish will be evaluated against these metrics.
For each metric, we’ll declare the best performing VPN, and the ultimate VPN champion announced from the cumulative score.
The last thing you should be worried about when using a VPN is slow connection speeds. This is especially true when streaming media content or casually browsing the internet. You want to stream HD content and web pages loading as fast as you click on them.
Usually, a VPN reduces your internet speed as it tunnels your connection through its servers. But this doesn’t mean that users should sacrifice fast connections for online security. With this in mind, a good VPN should, therefore, reduce your connection speed by almost negligible margins.
During our speed tests, we began by establishing our unsecured connection speed. It would serve as our baseline for determining which VPN reduces connection speeds, the least. We used Ookla.com, an internet speed testing program that measured our unsecured connection speed to be 110.92 Mbps.
Each of the VPN was then installed on our device, and the speed connection speed measured. To minimize variables that affect VPN connection speeds, we ran the tests at three different times of the day and averaged the results.
Local Connection Speeds (U.S.)
For the local connection speeds, we connected to the VPNs’ U.S. based servers. While doing so, we connected to servers with the least traffic.
PureVPN gave us an average speed of 83.71 Mbps while IPVanish averaged a speed of 100.46 Mbps.
We anticipated the high connection speeds of IPVanish since it’s based in the U.S. In fact, it has more U.S.-based servers than PureVPN.
Local Connection Speeds Winner: IPVanish
International Connection Speeds (U.S. to the U.K.)
The international connection speed test seeks to measure internet speeds when connected to a VPN’s servers that are based in a foreign country. In this case, we connected to each provider’s U.K. servers.
First on the test was, PureVPN, which recorded a speed of 62.53 Mbps. Again, IPVanish out-performed its counterpart, having averaged a speed of 96.94 Mbps.
International Connection Speeds Winner: IPVanish
With the common notion that a free VPN service is up to no good, most users tend to go for premium-priced VPNs.
To some extent, the high price may be a justification for the top-notch abilities of the VPN. Nonetheless, you don’t necessarily have to pay much for the right VPN. This idea resonates more with users trying to find an affordable VPN.
PureVPN charges $10.95 per month, while its annual plan costs $5.81/month. The provider also offers a 3-years subscription for just $1.92/month billed $69.00. This translates to more savings on the extended subscription as opposed to the monthly plan.
All plans have a 31-day money-back guarantee, allowing you enough time to get an experience of what’s like to use PureVPN. If that’s too long for your liking, you can opt for the 3-days trial for as little as $2.50.
IPVanish offers three primary pricing tiers; these are; monthly, quarterly, and annual. The provider’s monthly plan is just 95 cents cheaper than that of PureVPN. It costs only $10.00.
Their quarterly plan is billed as $26.99 for three months, meaning you’ll pay $8.99/month. To realize significant savings, you should commit to their yearly plan, charged $77.99 ($6.49/month). Arguably, you end up saving more with PureVPN’s most extended payments plan.
Whether you choose the one year or five years plan, PureVPN gives you more value for your money. Besides, the 7-days money-back-guarantee offered by IPVanish isn’t more appealing compared to PureVPN’s 31-days money-back guarantee.
Pricing Winner: PureVPN
Privacy is a sensitive aspect as it serves the fundamental function of any VPN. As a general rule, to determine a provider’s commitment to privacy protection, read the fine print of their terms of operation.
Ideally, the provider should clearly state that they don’t record any of the users’ data. But most importantly, the provider should be based in a VPN-friendly country.
Luckily, PureVPN meets these critical privacy criteria. The provider is transparent about its no-logs policy. They state that they do not save any users’ data, including time-stamps and server address, which some VPNs record.
The only thing that set off a few alarm bells is the fact that the VPN is based in Hong Kong. The region itself doesn’t have any data retention laws, but it’s technically part of China.
China, unfortunately, has a tainted reputation as far as online privacy is concerned. The consoling bit is that Hong Kong isn’t subject to China’s strict cyber laws. So, you can be sure that your online privacy is protected.
Speaking of privacy, and worry about? Well, IPVanish gives you a few reasons to worry. The provider is based in the U.S., a country that is well-known for its extensive mass surveillance.
Also, the provider was once involved in a criminal case where they provided time-stamps and other data to help convict a criminal. While it’s a noble thing to help bring criminals to justice, users can’t help but question the provider’s no-logs policy.
The actual deal-breaker is that IPVanish doesn’t accept anonymous payments through Bitcoin or retailer gift cards. In comparison, you can pay for PureVPN with most retailer gift cards and popular cryptocurrencies.
Privacy Winner: PureVPN
Features help improve a VPN’s functionality by giving users the freedom to access or customize settings. Notwithstanding the said, any VPN cluttered with too many features compromises the ease-of-use.
To the experienced users, a feature-rich VPN may not be a bad pick. But, you may end up having too many features that you rarely use. As such, when weighing the two competitors, PureVPN and IPVanish, we prioritized quality over quantity of features.
PureVPN keeps it simple with features. The provider offers just the essential features that both novice and experienced users will find helpful. In its short features catalog, is a kill switch and split-tunneling function.
The kill switch helps protect your privacy when the network connection drops. The split-tunneling feature, on the other hand, allows you to choose which traffic will be encrypted and which one goes unprotected.
The only advanced feature we noted is the Kodi add-on. This extension will enable you to use the VPN on LibreElec and OpenElec.
IPVanish offers the same features as its counterpart. These include split-tunneling and kill switch features. But keep in mind that the kill switch works only on newer versions of Android and iOS. Ordinarily, any iteration below 8, doesn’t have this essential feature.
Features Winner: Tie
The AES 256-bit is the highest encryption standard encryption used by most VPNs. It’s also used in government facilities and financial institutions to secure confidential information. For the reason that the encryption is uncrackable, ensuring data is transmitted securely.
Both PureVPN and IPVanish use the recommended 256-bit keys encryption. The encryption is employed on all their protocols, including OpenVPN, IKev2, SSTP, and L2TP. While you’ve got the freedom to use all these protocols, you’d better stick to OpenVPN for maximum security.
With regard to OpenVPN, the two providers put in lots of effort in improving the protocol’s security. PureVPN, for instance, uses RSA-4096 to encrypt its OpenVPN control channel.
IPVanish uses comparatively shorter encryption keys for the same function, RSA-2048. To make up for this deficit, IPVanish offers the ‘Scramble OpenVPN Traffic’ option that hides your VPN tunnel from prying eyes. This ability is handy in countries with strict internet censorship.
Encryption Winner: Tie
One of the most overlooked factors when shopping for a VPN is the number of simultaneous connections. Although there isn’t a rigid figure to this number, the place you intend to use the VPN should guide you.
For instance, say, you are shopping for a VPN to safeguard your business’ I.T. operations. You might need one that supports a higher number of connections to ensure all devices in your workplace are secured.
If you intend to use the VPN at your home, then the number of simultaneous connections shouldn’t be much of an emphasis. Unless, of course, you’ve got a large-sized family.
PureVPN allows you to connect up to 5 devices with one account. This number should be enough for individual users or small-sized families.
For business owners and large families, IPVanish is the ideal option. The VPN supports a whopping 10 devices on a single account. Both VPNs can be paired with a router, allowing you to connect an unlimited number of devices. But still, IPVanish offers a better deal in this category.
Simultaneous Connections Winner: IPVanish
Torrent support puts to test various aspects of a VPN. These include its connection speeds, server count, and of course, privacy protection. Also, if a VPN has advanced security features, it can be trusted for torrenting.
In reality, though, there is no way for them or even ISPs to know what you are downloading. Torrent traffic is treated like any other traffic, so you are free to download files anonymously.
Besides, IPVanish has an advanced security feature known as SOCKS5 proxy. So, you can be sure that you won’t receive copyright warnings when downloading torrents. Most VPNs that offer this advanced security feature often charge users an extra cost for using it. As such, IPVanish is among the few VPNs that provide the functionality for free.
PureVPN ticks most (if not all) the boxes that qualify a VPN to be safe for torrenting. First off, it has robust security standards and reliable privacy protection. The provider also uses shared I.P. addresses; downloads cannot be tracked to a specific person.
The only huge difference between the two providers is their number of optimized servers for torrenting. IPVanish allows torrenting on all its servers while PureVPN restricts torrenting to specific servers.
Even so, IPVanish servers for torrenting adds up to over 60 countries, while PureVPN’s adds up to more than 86 countries. This makes PureVPN ideal for overseas users looking to share P2P files faster and securely.
Torrent Support Winner: PureVPN
Global Server Coverage
Comprehensive global server coverage opens up broader access to servers that are close to your physical location. As it’s always the case, the nearest servers often give users the fastest connection speeds. So, it’s wise to look into a provider’s catalog of servers.
As highlighted earlier, PureVPN has more comprehensive server coverage compared to IPVanish. It has over 2,000 servers located spread across more than 131 countries. IPVanish, on the other hand, has just above 1,300 servers in more than 60 countries.
The vast majority of IPVanish servers are located in North America, Europe, and Oceania, with the U.S. and the U.K. having the highest server stations.
In terms of server distribution, users in the Middle East and Africa are underrepresented as there are only a handful of servers in these regions. In fact, there only seven servers in Africa, all of which are located in Johannesburg. The Middle East is serviced by only two servers located in Israel and the UAE.
PureVPN has the most evenly distributed servers. Even though about 77 of its servers are virtual, the overall server count excluding the virtual servers is still impressive.
The best part is that PureVPN labels all the countries where its virtual servers are ‘stationed.’ As such, should you use these servers, you’ll know which jurisdiction your data is flowing through. This alleviates privacy concerns for users who care so much about their privacy. Better yet, since the servers are labeled, you can easily avoid connecting to the virtual ones and instead stick to the physical servers.
Global Server Coverage Winner: PureVPN
In today’s modern era, we all have a variety of devices that we use to access the internet. From smartphones, gaming consoles, laptops, to smart T.V.s, all these devices run on different operating systems.
As a result, before buying a VPN, you want to ensure it’s compatible with all your devices. Otherwise, you may end up spending more on purchasing additional VPNs for each of your devices.
PureVPN acknowledges users have a variety of devices in their households and offices. For this reason, the provider supports a wide range of operating systems and devices.
The service works seamlessly on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS platforms. It’s also compatible with devices such as Xbox, PlayStation, Blackberry Roku, Google T.V., Apple T.V., Amazon Fire T.V., and DD-WRT routers. Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers also exist.
IPVanish isn’t far behind as it also offers client apps for popular operating systems and devices. These include; Windows, iOS, Linux, Amazon T.V., and various routers. Despite this, PureVPN supports a broader range of devices, including Kodi add-ons, which IPVanish lacks.
Multi-platform Support Winner: PureVPN
The true reliability of a VPN lies mostly in its customer support. It’s an integral component where users are offered assistance in using and troubleshooting the VPN.
Preferably, every decent VPN should provide live chat support. This is one of the few channels through which users get faster responses.
Both PureVPN and IPVanish offer round-the-clock customer support. The only problem we found IPVanish’s live chat support quite annoying.
Live chat support should be a one-click feature for efficiency. But IPVanish seemed to have missed the importance of a fast and straightforward live chat support. The provider also requires you to enter your personal details first before you can chat with an assistant.
If your issue isn’t urgent or intricate, you can make use of the searchable knowledge base on IPVanish’s web. PureVPN also offers a support searchable knowledge base.
Customer Support Winner: PureVPN
Both PureVPN and IPVanish have put up a fierce fight for the top position. In each category, the providers had an almost equal performance, with the best performer winning by a close margin. This means that you couldn’t be totally wrong for choosing one VPN over the other.
Furthermore, both VPNs tied in the encryption category, which’s often considered the make or break point of any VPN.
Nonetheless, we can’t fail to acknowledge PureVPN’s exemplary performance. The provider beat IPVanish in most categories, including privacy, which is the most sought after feature by most users.
Cumulatively, PureVPN won in 6 out of 10 categories, whereas IPVanish won in 2 categories.