NordVPN vs. IPVanish – Which One is Better?

Updated: 30 November 2021
Updated: 30 November 2021

Miklos Zoltan

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NordVPN and IPVanish some of the best VPN providers in the industry. NordVPN offers excellent online security, digital privacy and is suitable for other online tasks such as torrenting and unblocking streaming services.

IPVanish also provides over-the-top privacy coupled with reliability and a top-tier server network.

This head-to-head comparison will look at NordVPN and IPVanish in the following aspects; overall features, pricing, servers, security and privacy, ease of use, compatibility, and customer support.

Keep on reading to find out more about how the two VPN providers compare with each other!

Related: NordVPN review
Related: IPVanish review

NordVPN vs. IPVanish

Feature Highlights

NordVPN IPVanish
5100 plus servers in 60 countries. 1900 plus servers in 75 plus countries.
6 simultaneous connections. Unlimited simultaneous connections.
Special servers (P2P, Double VPN, Obfuscated, Dedicated IP, and Onion over VPN). Regular servers (VPN Scrambling).
RAM-based servers. Encrypted disk servers.
NSW (Australia) drivers license $20
Excellent unblocking abilities. Weak unblocking abilities.
Externally Verified no-log policy. Unverified zero-log policy.
Offshore Panama Jurisdiction (outside the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance). US jurisdiction (within reach of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance).
Ad and malware blocking. N/A.
Split Tunneling. Only on Android.
OpenVPN, NordLynx, and IKEv2/IPsec. WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols
Browser extensions. N/A.
Accepts Cryptocurrencies N/A.

Pricing

NordVPN and IPVanish use the same pricing model. You get the same VPN service with different subscription plans. Here are the current subscription plans at the time of this review:

NordVPN:

  • The monthly plan costs $11.95 per month.
  • The 1-year plan goes for $4.92 per month. This totals to $59.00 for the first year.
  • The 2-year plan retails at $3.29 per month with 3 months free. You get billed $89.00 for the first 2 years.

IPVanish:

  • The monthly plan costs $10.99 per month.
  • The 1-year plan retails at $4.50 per month. This totals to $53.99 for the first year and then 89.99 per year.
  • The 2-year plan retails at $3.96 per month. You get billed $94.98.00 for the first 2 years, and then 89.99 every year.

The subscription plans are fairly matched on both providers. The long-term plans carry heavy discounts, with NordVPN having the affordable 2 years long-term plan. NordVPN allows you to include other security and privacy add-ons at an extra price. These add-ons include a password manager and cloud storage.

IPVanish also offers other solutions such as VPN plus backup and VPN plus anti-virus.

Both providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for the subscription plans, except for the monthly plan for IPVanish. You can use this guarantee to test drive the VPN providers before committing to a subscription plan.

Payment Methods

Payment can be made through various credit and debit cards on both providers. NordVPN offers other payment options, including Amazon Pay, Google Pay, ACH transfer, and cryptocurrencies. IPVanish only adds the PayPal option.

By accepting payments through cryptocurrencies, NordVPN buffs up your anonymity. You can sign up and pay without any information trace about yourself.

Server Locations

NordVPN: 5185 servers in 60 countries.
IPVanish: 1900+ servers in 75+ locations.

NordVPN has an extensive server network that spans a wider geographical area than IPVanish. This server network ensures that you can gain access to any content in the world without experiencing congestion.

Both providers also offer unlimited bandwidth. NordVPN offers special servers alongside regular servers, which you can use for specific tasks.

They include double VPN, P2P, obfuscated VPN, dedicated IP, and onion over VPN. IPVanish only offers regular servers.

Speed

Both VPN providers offer excellent speeds suitable for various online tasks. They offer VPN protocols designed for speed and use top-tier bandwidth channels.

Coupling the speeds with unlimited bandwidth, you can use both providers to stream content in HD and up to 4k quality, torrenting and downloading, gaming, and other speed-intensive tasks.

The speeds may vary according to various factors. Nonetheless, you will notice a drop in your internet speeds when you connect to a faraway server.

Generally, the speeds are well balanced in various servers on the two VPN providers. On average, NordVPN is faster than IPVanish.

Unblocking Abilities

NordVPN has unsurpassed unblocking abilities due to the incorporation of SmartPlay (a Smart DNS service). You can use NordVPN to unblock over 400 plus streaming services.

Popular ones include HBO, Hulu, Disney Plus, YouTube, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and various Netflix catalogs.

NordVPN is a perfect choice is you are looking for a Disney Plus VPN or Roobet VPN.

On the other hand, IPVanish is not good at unblocking popular streaming services. Even so, you can use it to stream US channels such as ABC, CBS, and NBC. You can also use it to unblock YouTube and, occasionally, Netflix US.

IPVanish is an excellent VPN for streaming content while using Kodi.

Related guide: How to unblock Netflix

Privacy

NordVPN jurisdiction: Offshore in Panama.
IPVanish jurisdiction: United States.

NordVPN enjoys favorable offshore Panamanian jurisdiction. This jurisdiction has no mandatory data retention laws, and NordVPN is under no obligation to collect data regarding its users.

Furthermore, Panama is outside the reach of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance and away from the EU and US jurisdictions.

IPVanish, however, has an unfavorable jurisdiction for a VPN service.

Based in the US, IPVanish is subject to the invasive US laws, within reach of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance, and under NSA and CIA surveillance. There’s also the issue of gag orders.

No-log policy

NordVPN is a truly no-log VPN service. The VPN service does not collect, track or share your data with third parties. It also doesn’t store data related to your IP addresses, connection timestamps, traffic, bandwidth usage, and session information.

With no obligation from its jurisdiction, NordVPN won’t compromise your privacy. Even if subpoenaed, NordVPN will have nothing to share since it stores nothing.

To prove the no-logging claims, NordVPN has been externally and independently audited by one of the Big 4 auditing firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) AG, Zurich, Switzerland. PwC concluded that NordVPN has not in any way violated its no-logs claim and that the policy is fair and accurate.

IPVanish has also transitioned to zero traffic logs since after the incident where it handed records to Homeland Security (2016). Currently, IPVanish does not collect, monitor, or log your online activities when using the VPN service.

Also, IPVanish does not sell or share your information with third parties.

Although an external entity hasn’t audited the IPVanish no-log policy, you can request the deletion of your data.

RAM-based servers

RAM-based servers offer an excellent way of avoiding the risk associated with the seizure of hard drives. They also increase consistency and security. All data is wiped on every reboot with RAM-bases servers since no data is written to the hard drives.

If the authorities or other unauthorized parties get hold of the servers, they won’t get any information.

NordVPN uses RAM-based servers and collocated servers managed and controlled by NordVPN personnel. This ensures maximum privacy and security.

IPVanish still uses encrypted hard drive servers, which can be a risk if authorities seize the servers. Nonetheless, IPVanish manages and operates its entire infrastructure, including servers. This reduces redundancies and increases privacy and security.

Security

Encryption and Protocols

Both NordVPN and IPVanish use the unbreakable military-grade AES 256-bit encryption with perfect forward secrecy and authentication. With this encryption, your online connection and traffic are very secure. You don’t have to worry about prying eyes gaining access to your connection or knowing what you are doing online.

NordVPN and IPVanish also offer various protocols, with OpenVPN being the standard. These protocols determine how your connections are made and what encryption algorithms will be used. They also determine the speed of your connection.

NordVPN offers OpenVPN, NordLynx, and IKEv2/IPsec protocols. NordLynx offers the fastest speeds, and NordVPN uses its adaptable Next Generation Encryption (NGE) with the IKEv2/IPsec protocol for stellar security.

On the other hand, IPVanish offers a bundle of VPN protocols. They include OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols. WireGuard offers excellent speeds and great security.

Double VPN

This is a NordVPN security feature that offers double protection over the internet. When using this feature, your online traffic is routed through two VPN servers before reaching its destination. It is like using two VPNs at once. NordVPN implements this feature through its list of Double VPN servers.

Double VPN enhances your security and ensures maximum privacy.

Onion over VPN

This is another NordVPN feature that gives Tor anonymity coupled with the security of the VPN service. Instead of using the Tor browser and NordVPN separately, Onion over VPN connects you to the onion network without needing a local Tor browser. This feature protects you from the shortcoming of the Tor network.

Leak Protection

Both NordVPN and IPVanish ensure that your online traffic and VPN connection stays in the VPN tunnel. They offer DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection. They also use their DNS service. Without such protection, your connection can be visible to interested prying eyes.

Usually, leaks happen when your DNS queries are serviced by your ISP instead of the VPN provider. They also occur when you are using IPv6 addresses, and your VPN provider only supports IPv4 addresses.

Kill Switch

A Kill Switch is a VPN defensive security measure that ensures your online connection is protected when the VPN connection temporarily or accidentally drops.

When a VPN connection drops, the Kill Switch will block internet traffic from flowing to and from your device until the VPN connection is re-established.

Thus, your device won’t make any connection that your ISP might service, or that will be visible by prying eyes.

Both NordVPN and IPVanish offer Kill Switches in their apps. NordVPN implements two types of the Kill Switch. An App Kill Switch – closes apps when the VPN connection drops, and a System-wide Kill Switch – blocks your internet connection when the VPN connection drops.

Malware and Ad Blocker

NordVPN boasts an internet security feature known as CyberSec. This feature offers powerful blocking abilities similar to that of premium blockers. CyberSec protects you from trackers, botnets, annoying ads and keeps you safe from malicious websites.

This feature will save you some bandwidth if you use a limited bandwidth connection since ads are known to hog it up. You will also keep your privacy safe from interested third parties.

Ease of Use and Compatibility

NordVPN: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Fire TV, Chromebook, Browser extension (Chrome and Firefox), gaming consoles, and Routers.
IPVanish: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Fire TV, Chrome OS, and Routers.

Both VPN providers have native apps for computers, smartphones, routers, and streaming devices. However, NordVPN supports more platforms than IPVanish. Getting started is hassle-free; you need to sign up, subscribe, and install the appropriate VPN app for your device.

The native VPN apps have streamlined, user-friendly, and easy-to-use interfaces. NordVPN apps sport a list and map-based interface for easy selection of servers. The home screen also gives access to special servers and the quick connect button.

We believe that NordVPN is a clear winner when it comes to both best VPN for Mac and best VPN for Android categories due to its dedicated apps.

The settings are quickly accessible, and you can tweak various parameters or customize your preferences. Some settings may be inaccessible as they are dependent on other settings. For instance, if you enable automatic VPN protocol, you won’t manually switch to other protocols.

IPVanish offers a list-based server selection. Its tabbed interface makes it easy to select various functionalities, including settings, quick connect, and account details. You can change and tweak different settings and preferences from one section. This makes IPVanish an ideal VPN for novice users.

Both providers’ smartphone apps also offer many of the settings and functionalities provided in their desktop apps. You can change protocols, use the quick connect functionalities, and other advanced features.

The mobile apps also protect your Wi-Fi connection. With the IKEv2 protocol, you can change networks with more excellent reliability.

Split Tunneling

This feature allows you to select the apps that the VPN will protect. The other apps will use the internet outside the VPN tunnel.

With this feature, you can use apps and services that block VPN traffic, use your bandwidth wisely, access remote connections, and even unblock geo-restricted content without losing access to your local content.

NordVPN offers split tunneling across its apps, while IPVanish only offers split tunneling on Android. Both VPN providers allow you to access your local network (printers, TV, storage, and other network devices) or make it invisible while using the VPN connection.

Dedicated IP address

Other than shared IP addresses, NordVPN also offers dedicated IP addresses that are not shared by anyone else. With a dedicated IP address, you can use services that blacklist shared VPN addresses such as banks and streaming services, use it for remote connections and other IP restricted networks, and avoid CAPTCHAS.

A dedicated IP address also gives you a reliable VPN experience but lacks the perks of shared IP addresses, especially privacy. Multiple users use the shared IP address, which makes tracking a single individual difficult. IPVanish only offers 40,000 plus shared IP addresses.

NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses in five locations. They include the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, and France.

Torrenting

You can torrent using both providers, but IPVanish is not explicit about P2P traffic. Based in the US, IPVanish faces more stringent laws regarding copyrights and piracy, which is why torrenting is frowned upon.

Additionally, you will get slow torrenting speeds on most IPVanish servers. Make sure you use torrent-friendly server locations.

On the other hand, NordVPN allows you to torrent securely and privately with the fastest speeds. NordVPN has dedicated P2P servers that provide the best performance for your torrenting activities.

Although you shouldn’t torrent pirated content, you have nothing to worry about as NordVPN is a no-log VPN.

Due to the above, NordVPN is the clear winner in the best VPN for torrenting category as well.

Obfuscation and Censorship

NordVPN and IPVanish can unblock most restricted online content. You can use either of the VPNs to bypass censorship. NordVPN offers obfuscated VPN servers that use the obfsproxy to avoid deep-packet inspection. This obfuscation reshapes your VPN traffic and conceals it from censors.

IPVanish uses the VPN scrambling technique to add obfuscation to your VPN traffic. In a nutshell, obfuscation makes your VPN traffic look like regular HTTPS traffic. This traffic is rarely blocked by censors or other VPN blocking measures such as firewalls.

In countries with strict censorship, such as the UAE or China, bypassing the blocking measures is like a cat and mouse game. Nonetheless, NordVPN is reliable than IPVanish since it has proven to work from time to time.

IPVanish has a workaround that may or may not work. You need to be in constant touch with customer support to get what works.

Customer Support

Both NordVPN and IPVanish offer comprehensive, friendly, and problem-solving customer service. Customer support is provided through an extensive website knowledge base, 24/7 live chat, and an email ticket system. The knowledge base comprises FAQs, troubleshooting tutorials, and setup guides.

You can use the search bar to find solutions easily by entering a keyword related to your search. You can get most answers to various problems on the knowledge base without engaging the support staff.

The 24/7 live chat is readily available, and a bot offers the initial solution. If the answer is not satisfactory, you have the option to get in touch with the support staff.

Most of them provide the right solutions promptly. At times, you will have to wait for a few seconds as they confirm with the relevant department; this depends on the problem at hand.

For technical problems and billing issues that cannot be solved right away, it is recommended to use the email ticket system. However, this type of support takes longer to get the solution back to you. On average, NordVPN has a faster response time (usually hours) than IPVanish (usually days).

Wrap Up

Both NordVPN and IPVanish are premium VPN providers. They offer the best security, speed, and performance. Their native VPN apps are easy to use, even for novice users.

You can use each to unblock online content, bypass censorship, torrent content, and avoid ISP throttling. However, on a head-to-head comparison, NordVPN is the best.

NordVPN offers a fully-fledged service coupled with extra privacy and security features. This no-log VPN service is based in an offshore jurisdiction (Panama), has a more extensive server network, and has unsurpassed content unblocking abilities.

It also has special servers for obfuscation, torrenting, double VPN, dedicated IP, and onion over VPN.

Moreover, NordVPN uses co-located and RAM-based servers for maximum privacy. The VPN service also blocks ads, trackers, malicious websites, and bots. It has responsive customer care and accepts anonymous payment methods.

You can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee and test the VPN service.

Written by: Justin Oyaro

Connect with the author:

Tech and Cybersecurity Expert Justin is a cybersecurity expert with over 5 years of experience that stretches across various technological realms. He is a valued expert in cybersecurity, Cord-cutting, Cryptocurrency, Smartphones, How-tos and other related fields. Justin has written authoritative content for multiple Cybersecurity websites and blogs on matters regarding privacy and security. He also does pen test on tech products such as smartphone applications and websites. When he is not writing, Justin spends most of his time on the latest tech trends and Android Studio. Justin is also a degree holder in Information Systems Technology and Master of Computer Applications (M.C.A.), University of Adelaide.

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