ExpressVPN and IPVanish VPN are two of the best VPN providers on the market, but which one is best for you?
If you are looking for the best VPN, you have likely come across ExpressVPN and IPVanish, two of the most popular VPNs on the market in 2021. So, we have compared the two VPNs, taking into account security, connection speed, affordability, streaming capability, and more, to determine which VPN service is best.
ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN service on the market, and it comes out on top in almost every area. It offers an extensive network of high-speed servers, excellent streaming unblocking capabilities, and a range of first-rate security features.
IPVanish may not compete with Express VPN in every area, but it still offers an excellent VPN product that may be more suited to an expert user thanks to its technical clients and features. Its lowest monthly cost is also slightly cheaper than Express VPN, which is great if you are looking for a more affordable VPN option.
With ExpressVPN, monthly subscription prices start at $8.32 a month, which is quite expensive compared to many of its competitors. The price on its rolling monthly contract comes in at an eye-watering $12.95 a month. This means that ExpressVPN is hardly an affordable VPN option. However, customers are protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee which offers some peace of mind. You can test the complete service for a month and request a full refund if you are not completely happy.
ExpressVPN operates on military-grade AES-256 bit encryption as standard as well as a 4096-bit RSA certificate. The VPN supports a range of first-rate protocols too, including OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. There is Perfect Forward Secrecy technology too. This ensures that encryption and decryption keys are altered often so that your current VPN session is not linked to any of your previous ones.
All of the ExpressVPN servers are RAM-only or TrustedServer, which means that none of your private data is ever stored by the provider. ExpressVPN also offers a transparent no-logging policy that has been independently audited by renowned security company PricewaterhouseCooper, providing evidence for its no-logging claims.
Connections speeds are excellent and sufficient for most online activities, including high definition streaming and gaming. Most customers will not even have an internet connection capable of reaching the provider’s limit of 200Mbps.
It is excellent for unblocking a host of streaming content on sites including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and more. If you are a fan of torrenting, there is support for P2P sharing across all the ExpressVPN servers.
When it comes to user experience, ExpressVPN offers apps that are compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems. There is even a dedicated router client and a Linux client and Media Streamer (Smart DNS) to allow you to access the geo-restricted content on devices that do not typically support a VPN connection, such as gaming consoles.
All of the ExpressVPN apps are well-designed and easy to use; however, customers are limited to just 5 simultaneous connections, which is somewhat disappointing, especially considering the higher subscription price.
However, the VPN does come with excellent customer support, including comprehensive written guides and a 24/7 live chat option. If you run into any issues, you should be able to talk to a helpful support agent in a matter of minutes.
United States-based IPVanish is a popular VPN provider that offers a host of advanced features, many of which are rarely seen elsewhere. IPVanish boasts a decent server network with over 1500 servers, 40,000 shared IP addresses across 75 different countries worldwide. Some VPNs offer a larger server network, but IPVanish owns and manages all of its servers rather than relying on third-party hardware, which is much more secure.
There is support for a large range of operating systems with dedicated IPVanish clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Linux, Chromebooks, and more. Previously, IPVanish limited customers to 10 simultaneous connections, but now there are no limits, and users can connect an unlimited number of devices for no extra cost.
IPVanish offers 24/7 live chat support too if you ever run into issues when using the VPN service. IPVanish even offers phone support between 9 am-5 pm CT, Monday to Friday.
When choosing a VPN provider, one of the most important things to consider is pricing. Therefore we have compared IPVanish vs ExpressVPN in terms of their pricing structures, guarantees, and payment options to help you find the best deal.
As with any VPN provider, if you opt for the rolling monthly contract, you will be paying the highest price. With ExpressVPN, this option comes in at an eye-watering $12.95 a month. We would recommend avoiding this plan unless you just want to test the service without committing to a longer-term plan.
If you sign up for 6 months with ExpressVPN, the monthly cost will drop to $9.99 a month, which is still relatively expensive compared to other VPNs on the market. Users will receive the best value with the yearly subscription plan, which cuts the monthly price to $8.32 or $99.95 billed annually. Despite that this is still more expensive than some of the cheapest VPN providers, it is an excellent VPN that comes with a range of advanced features.
When it comes to payment methods, ExpressVPN offers a range of options. Customers can pay by PayPal, credit card, Bitcoin, AliPay, Yandex Money, WebMoney, and more.
There is a free trial available with ExpressVPN; however, it is somewhat complicated. If you download the iOS or Android app, you will receive 7 days free. All of the provider’s plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee for additional peace of mind. This means you can test the product for a month risk-free and request a full refund if you are not completely satisfied.
Canceling your ExpressVPN subscription is simple too. Simply contact the provider’s support team, request a refund, and they will send it to you. There will be no investigation into your use or the service as it is a “no-questions-asked” refund policy.
You can choose to sign up for IPVanish on a monthly or yearly subscription plan. The IPVanish one-year subscription plan is the most cost-effective, at just $2.34 a month for the first year ($27.99 in total) and $6.49 a month ($77.99 a year) thereafter. The IPVanish monthly subscription plans are extremely affordable at just $3.49 a month. However, this is also just for the first month. The price rises to $9.99 a month after the first month. It is also worth mentioning that IPVanish regularly changes its subscription prices, so it is necessary to check the website before choosing a plan.
IPVanish used to include 250GB of free SugarSync storage as part of all of its subscription plans. However, this is now only available as a paid extra. It now costs $7 extra during the first year and $20 extra a year thereafter. You will receive access to an eye-watering 500GB of data, which typically costs almost $20 a month alone. If you do require additional storage, it is worth the extra investment.
Overall, IPVanish is an excellent affordable option for first-time customers. However, if you want to stay with the provider after the first year, prices rise significantly. However, there is a 30-day refund guarantee for additional peace of mind. This means that you can test the service risk-free before you commit to a paid plan.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a VPN provider is user privacy online. Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer an excellent range of user-friendly features.
ExpressVPN operates on 4096-bit SHA 512 RSA certificate and industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption for its control channel. It also uses HMAC to protect user data. There is Perfect Forward Secrecy too, which means a new encryption key is created every time you connect to the VPN and every hour after that. This ensures that even if your VPN session is compromised, the hacker will only receive access to 60 minutes of data.
IPVanish too operates on military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and supports first-rate VPN protocols, including IKEv2 and OpenVPN. There is also the option to customize your OpenVPN connection with IPVanish. You can scramble your OpenVPN connection traffic to mask your VPN usage or choose between OpenVPN 443 or 1194 ports to optimize your VPN setup further.
Many VPNs claim that they are no-logging providers, but often minor details reveal that the company does, in fact, log some amount of user data.
ExpressVPN does not clearly indicate its no-logging policy on its homepage, but it does appear on its “What is VPN” page. Here, the provider states that it does not keep any connection logs or activity data and never shares private user data with any third parties. Moreover, ExpressVPN offers a simple, easy-to-read no-logging statement which is helpful for beginner VPN customers.
ExpressVPN does not store user IP addresses, session timestamps, assigned IP addresses, data traffic, or information concerning web pages accessed. There is a minimal amount of logging, including the data of your VPN connection, chosen VPN server, data transferred, and the client version number. However, as the provider does not store time, IP address, or browsing information, there is no way to link activity to a specific VPN user.
Another positive thing to note is that ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a country with excellent data privacy laws. The British Virgin Islands has no laws or regulations requiring VPN providers to store or deliver user data upon request by the government. Moreover, the country is not part of the 5 Eyes or 14 Eyes surveillance alliance which is reassuring for VPN customers concerned about their internet privacy and anonymity.
ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for customers concerned about their privacy– it does not keep logs of identifying information and is transparent about the data that it does and doesn’t store. The provider’s no-logging policy has even been independently audited by security company PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the report of the audit is freely available for anyone to read.
IPVanish offers a transparent no-logging policy, too; however, it has not yet been independently audit. Also, IPVanish was involved in a high-profile security case in which it appeared to have shared logs with the authorities. However, this occurred in 2016, and the provider is now under different ownership.
We would like to see IPVanish complete a full security audit of its server network and systems to reassure any user concerns. Without real evidence, we can only take the provider’s word that it is a no-logging VPN.
ExpressVPN runs its own zero-knowledge 256-bit encrypted DNS on each of its servers. This means that the provider does not need to use the less secure OpenDNS or other third-party-operated DNS services. Third-party server operators have access to user DNS-requests and, if unencrypted, pose an easy way for cybercriminals to access and change their requests.
The VPN also offers a reliable kill-switch that will cut your internet connection if the VPN drops for any reason. A kill-switch is essential for activities such as torrenting. Without a kill-switch, if your VPN failed, your actual IP address and unencrypted data may become exposed. If you don’t have a kill-switch, you may be torrenting or browsing for hours before realizing that you were disconnected from the VPN.
Moreover, all ExpressVPN servers operate on RAM-only memory, which is much more secure than traditional hard-drive storage. RAM-only servers cannot physically save data once they are powered off. Even after all data is deleted, some information can be retrieved on hard-drives.
IPVanish offers a range of excellent security features too. Additional features vary depending on the IPVanish client you are using. The IPVanish Windows client offers DNS and IPv6 leak protection as well as an integrated kill switch that will cut the transfer of unencrypted data if your VPN fails for any reason. During testing, IPVanish appeared to be completely secure against DNS leaks.
On iOS, IPVanish users can configure the VPN to automatically connect when it detects untrusted or unsecured Wi-Fi networks and stay disconnected for those that they trust.
IPVanish offers access to 520 European server locations in Germany, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, Luxembourg, Spain, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Denmark, Moldova, Slovakia, Serbia, Ireland, Finland, Albania, Austria, Ukraine, Poland, Portugal, Estonia, Belgium, Greece, and Iceland.
IPVanish service provides 910 servers in North America, in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica. South American servers in Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Buenos Aires. There are Oceania servers in Australia and New Zealand, as well as African IPVanish servers in Nigeria and South Africa.
ExpressVPN boasts an extensive range of server locations across Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela; Middle East and African locations in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Kenya, and South Africa; Asia Pacific servers in Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan.
There are a host of ExpressVPN European locations too, in Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
Many users choose to install a VPN such as ExpressVPN and IPVanish for the sole purpose of accessing geo-restricted content on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu, and Disney+. Therefore, it is necessary to compare ExpressVPN vs IPVanish when it comes to their streaming capabilities. Both providers are excellent choices for streaming, but which one is the best option for you?
Both providers appear to access a host of Netflix locations, including the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, and more. And, because server speeds are similar, there was little difference between the two. We were able to stream Netflix in high-definition in a range of different locations without lag or buffering. However, IPVanish did struggle to access BBC iPlayer, although ExpressVPN did successfully gain access to it.
ExpressVPN also offers a dedicated SmartDNS feature called MediaStreamer; this enables users to stream content on devices such as SmartTVs and gaming consoles that do not typically support a VPN server connection. Therefore, if you want to access streaming content on your Smart TV or gaming console, we would suggest utilizing ExpressVPN.
If you require a simple Netflix VPN and are not fans of streaming UK content, both providers are excellent. However, if you want an all-around streaming VPN that offers UK TV access, ExpressVPN does come out on top.
Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish are excellent choices when it comes to torrenting and P2P sharing. Both VPN apps offer full torrenting support across all servers, which is rarely offered by other VPN services. This means that if you want to share P2P content, any server you choose will support that activity, and there is no need to rely on auto-switching between servers.
However, when compared to each other, ExpressVPN offers access to a greater number of servers in a wider range of locations and is, therefore, the better choice for torrenting fans located outside of the United States and Europe. ExpressVPN offers server locations in Asia, Africa, and South America too. There is also a better choice of VPN servers if you are located in the United States or Europe.
ExpressVPN offers a split tunneling feature, too, which means that you can separate the data traffic from different VPN apps. For example, you can encrypt your torrenting activity but allow your normal web browsing activity to run through your normal ISP connection.
ExpressVPN also places no limits on data usage or bandwidth, and you will never suffer connection throttling. There is a range of excellent additional security features, too, including a kill-switch, support for anonymous payments such as Bitcoin, super-fast connection speeds, and Perfect Forward Secrecy technology to ensure your torrenting activity remains completely safe and secure.
IPVanish does not openly display its support for P2P sharing on its website; however, this is normal for many VPN services. Despite this, it is an excellent VPN if you want to torrent safely. It comes with a range of advanced security features, including a kill-switch, Bitcoin support, no-logs policy, and simple SOCKS5 proxy setups for secure torrenting connections. However, split tunneling is only available on the IPVanish Android and FireTV apps, which is disappointing.
Setting up VPN services can often be difficult and time-consuming, especially for beginner VPN users. However, both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer excellent, easy-to-use clients compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems.
The ExpressVPN website is well-designed and extremely easy to use, meaning that you will be able to locate the relevant client download link easily. Simply log into your account, and the website will automatically detect the device you are using and offer a Download button for the relevant client.
If you need to set up ExpressVPN on a range of devices, click “Set up on all your devices,” and you will be redirected to a page displaying a large list of options, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and more. Click on any of the options to view download links and setup instructions.
The setup instructions are handy and well-written. For example, if you tap the link for the Android client, you will be offered a QR code, an email option yourself a download link (which is helpful if you need to install the client on a different device), as well as the option to download the APK file.
With ExpressVPN, setup is made even easy as you do not need to enter your account username and password manually. Instead, simply copy the unique activation code displayed on the download page and paste it into the app when requested. The technology will automatically setup your login details, meaning that you do not need to worry about remembering your username and password.
There is even an option to set up a third-party OpenVPN client for expert VPN users. The provider offers.OVPN configuration files allow a simple setup that takes a matter of minutes.
IPVanish provides clients for a wide range of devices and operating systems, including macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and FireTV. Although there are no IPVanish browser extensions, the support section of the IPVanish website offers setup guides for Firefox and Chrome. There are also set up tutorials for routers, Linux, Chromebooks, and more.
The client setup process with IPVanish is quick and easy. The client download links are easy to find on the IPVanish website, and usefully, it is not necessary to sign in to your IPVanish account to gain access to them. The Windows and macOS clients are available to install straight from the IPVanish website, and the iOS and Android apps are available from the relevant app stores. There is also the option to download the IPVanish Android APK file directly for experienced users that require more control over the setup process.
If you do not require a standard IPVanish client, there are also manual setup guides for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and more. Despite that there are not as many IPVanish setup guides offered by ExpressVPN, there is still an impressive amount of information available here. There are 15 IPVanish guides for Windows alone, with specific tutorials for OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, and IKEv2 for Windows 7, 8, and 10. There is even an IPVanish SOCKS5 setup tutorial available for qBittorrent.
ExpressVPN and IPVanish both offer excellent, well-designed apps, but they are completely different and suited to different users.
If you are a beginner VPN user and prefer simple, easy-to-navigate apps, ExpressVPN is arguably the better choice. The VPN service offers a clear user interface that enables a connection in a single click. The settings section enables access to a host of advanced ExpressVPN features, including the kill-switch, split tunneling option, and choice of different protocols.
The IPVanish user interface is more technical without being cluttered. This does mean that it is slightly better suited to an expert or experienced VPN users. The IPVanish mobile apps are, thankfully, somewhat simpler in design.
Both services offer a decent number of simultaneous connections and support a wide range of devices and operating systems. However, ExpressVPN does offer slightly larger device support, including a dedicated router client and a MediaStreamer for gaming consoles and smart TVs.
All VPNs should offer an excellent desktop app that is well-designed, simple to use, and offers access to every feature in a few clicks. Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer excellent, although different, desktop VPN clients. Here we have compared ExpressVPN vs IPVanish in terms of their desktop applications.
ExpressVPN offers a simple interface that features an automatically selected Smart Location and a large ON/OFF button. If you want a simple ExpressVPN connection, simply click the button and carry on with your day. Clicking on the current location will display a server list and a search box to find a different ExpressVPN server. The ExpressVPN client also features Favorites and Recent server lists, which are extremely useful. You can also access your 3 most recent ExpressVPN servers through a system tray icon without actually needing to open the client.
There is little information about the speeds or load times of each ExpressVPN server; however, there is a simple, easy-to-use speed test option that will give data on any server. In the ExpressVPN Settings, you can choose between a range of protocols, including OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, Lightway, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2. You can also activate the integrated kill-switch here too and configure IPv6 and DNS leak protection settings. There is access to the ExpressVPN split tunneling feature, too, which enables you to choose which apps run through the ExpressVPN encrypted connection and those that don’t.
IPVanish offers a slightly more complex VPN client that comes with a host of configurable features, making it a great option for expert or experienced VPN users. There are IPVanish desktop clients for macOS, Windows, and Linux. When choosing an IPVanish server, you can either select it from a server map or access a standard server list. There is also an easy option to add IPVanish servers to a Favorites list for easy access later on.
IPVanish offers a reliable kill-switch, too, that will immediately cut the transfer of unencrypted data if your VPN fails for any reason. The kill-switch appeared reliable during testing and ensured no unencrypted data or our actual IP address became exposed. This feature is not automatically activated, so you will need to turn it on in the IPVanish client settings manually.
ExpressVPN and IPVanish both have a lot to offer in terms of advanced security features when it comes to mobile apps.
ExpressVPN offers iOS and Android apps similar to its desktop version, and the apps are available from the relevant app stores. Set up on both devices is easy- all you need to do is enter your login information and accept some terms and conditions.
Both iOS and Android ExpressVPN offer a range of additional features on top of standard VPN protection. There is an IP address checker, WebRTC and DNS leak tester, and a password generator. Neither iOS nor Android apps support the speed test that the desktop client offers, which is somewhat disappointing as there is no other way to tell how fast a specific server is before you connect to it. However, a Smart Location feature will automatically connect you to the best available server in terms of speed and proximity.
The ExpressVPN iOS version is slightly limited due to Apple restrictions. There is no split tunneling feature or a kill-switch, both available on the ExpressVPN Android version. However, an automatic reconnection option is similar to a kill-switch, but it is not perfect and does not offer the same level of protection.
Although the ExpressVPN mobile clients lack some of the desktop version’s advanced features, such as the option to configure DNS servers, the iOS and Android apps are powerful, well-designed, and simple to use, even for a beginner VPN customer. IPVanish also offers clients for both Android and iOS devices. They are not as polished as the ExpressVPN offering, but they offer the same advanced features as the IPVanish desktop client.
Like the ExpressVPN version, on iOS, IPVanish is limited due to Apple restrictions. This means that there is no split tunneling, which is available on the IPVanish Android version. It is perhaps more disappointing that the IPVanish Android version lacks ping and server load time indicators and the Favorites system featured on the IPVanish iOS app. Also, the IPVanish apps receive infrequent updates, which is disappointing.
ExpressVPN comes with an excellent browser extension that is compatible with both Firefox and Chrome. Unlike many other VPNs, the ExpressVPN browser extension is not a mere proxy but a complete VPN for your browser. Although this does mean that you need to install the standard client, it offers a host of additional benefits.
Installing the ExpressVPN browser extension means that you do not need to switch between windows to alter the VPN settings, which is extremely useful. The browser extension also offers HTTPS Everywhere, prevents HTML5 geolocation from exposing your real location, and serves to block WebRTC leaks. Although the ExpressVPN browser extension may not offer as many features as the standard client, there is, for example, no Favorites option; it is a useful addition for many users.
IPVanish does not offer dedicated browser extensions, which is disappointing. There are, however, comprehensive setup guides for Chrome and Firefox available on the IPVanish website. Therefore ExpressVPN comes out on top when comparing ExpressVPN vs IPVanish in terms of browser extensions.
When choosing one of the best VPNs, it is necessary to consider the VPN provider’s customer service. Therefore we have compared IPVanish vs ExpressVPN in terms of the customer service that each company offers.
Both IPVanish and ExpressVPN come with excellent support, but we believe that ExpressVPN offers a slightly higher standard of customer service. Both services off 24/7 live chat option, which is extremely useful. However, when it comes to the setup and troubleshooting articles offered by IPVanish, there is room for improvement. Some of its simple guides include unnecessary information, and we would like to see more concise articles instead.
ExpressVPN is extremely reliable; however, issues may arise from time to time, as with all VPNs. Therefore, it is important to have a helpful customer service team on hand to assist you. ExpressVPN offers an extensive range of troubleshooting guides and setup articles that cover almost every topic imaginable. The articles are well-written and to the point and easy enough for even a beginner VPN user to understand. Every client has a dedicated setup guide which is helpful.
If you do not have time to look for the relevant article or have not yet found an answer to your query, ExpressVPN also offers a 24-hour live chat operated by an experienced, helpful customer service team. You can expect a reply to your query in a matter of minutes.
If you run into issues while using IPVanish, there is an excellent IPVanish Help Center that will resolve your problems. A System Status link warns of any IPVanish company-wide issues, and IPVanish support articles are well-organized. There is a 24-hour live-chat support option too.
When we compared ExpressVPN vs IPVanish, it became clear that IPVanish is an excellent VPN, but ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN provider on the market. This simply means that any VPN provider will struggle to match the service and user-experience offered by ExpressVPN.
IPVanish offers a powerful, well-designed, and feature-laden service that is extremely popular and trustworthy. However, the ExpressVPN service is slightly more polished and intuitive, making it the best option. With impressive connection speeds, a clean interface, and first-rate privacy features, ExpressVPN is the best VPN provider on the market. You will be covered by a 30-day refund guarantee too, allowing you to test the service risk-free for a month before committing to a paid plan.
However, if affordability is the most important factor in your VPN search, or perhaps you are looking for a rolling monthly contract, IPVanish may be the better choice, and it is still an excellent VPN product. There are unlimited simultaneous connections too, which means you can protect all of your family’s devices for no additional cost.