ExpressVPN vs IPVanish (One Winner, and One to Avoid)
ExpressVPN and IPVanish are both large, well-respected VPN services – but which one comes out on top for 2020?
To help you decide which VPN is best for you, I put together this 12-part ExpressVPN vs IPVanish comparison guide based on extensive test results and the latest information. As you’ll see with the test results below, there was a clear winner in most categories.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this IPVanish vs ExpressVPN comparison:
- Speed – Numerous servers tested in Europe and North America
- VPN Apps – Does ExpressVPN or IPVanish offer the best VPN apps?
- Features – Which VPN has the best features?
- Connections – How many connections come with a subscription?
- Security and Encryption – Is ExpressVPN or IPVanish more secure?
- Logs and privacy – What is the logging policy?
- Jurisdiction – Where is the VPN located and how does this affect data security?
- Torrenting – Which VPN is best for torrenting?
- Netflix & streaming – Which VPN is best for Netflix and other streaming services?
- Price – Which VPN offers the lowest prices?
- Payments & refunds – Payment options and refund policies
- Value – Which VPN offers the best value for your money?
Without further delay, let’s examine the results, starting with speed tests.
1. ExpressVPN vs IPVanish speed
In this ExpressVPN vs IPVanish speed comparison, I tested both VPNs with different server locations around the world. I conducted all tests using the OpenVPN protocol with the respective VPN clients. My baseline speed for all tests was about 160 Mbps and my location was in Western Europe.
First I tested nearby servers in Europe.
This ExpressVPN server in Germany gave me about 147 Mbps:
Next I tested an IPVanish server, which was also in Frankfurt, Germany.
The IPVanish server in Germany gave me about 95 Mbps:
ExpressVPN was clearly the winner over IPVanish for that server location.
Next, I tested servers in the UK – another popular region.
Here was an ExpressVPN server in the UK giving me about 147 Mbps.
Now moving on to IPVanish.
Here was the IPVanish server in the UK giving me speeds of about 91 Mbps:
For the UK, ExpressVPN was much faster than IPVanish. Based on these results, ExpressVPN is a great option if you need a UK VPN with fast and reliable speeds.
I also ran some tests with servers in the US and Canada.
Here was an ExpressVPN server in New York with speeds around 141 Mbps:
Next I tested an IPVanish server in New York.
Here was the IPVanish server in New York with speeds around 85 Mbps:
Again, ExpressVPN performed better than IPVanish with speeds in this location.
Lastly, I tested some servers in Canada.
Here was an IPVanish server in Canada giving me about 76 Mbps:
And here was the ExpressVPN server in Canada, giving me speeds around 141 Mbps.
With these fast speeds, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for Canada.
With all of the servers tested, ExpressVPN had consistently faster speeds than IPVanish. It clearly comes out on top if you want a fast and reliable VPN service. Even though IPVanish was not slow by any means, it still lagged behind ExpressVPN. Similarly, we also found IPVanish to fall behind in the NordVPN vs IPVanish comparison.
Speed winner: ExpressVPN
2. ExpressVPN vs IPVanish VPN apps
Another consideration when comparing ExpressVPN to IPVanish is the quality of the VPN apps. For both ExpressVPN and IPVanish, I tested out the VPN apps on Windows and Mac OS desktop computers, as well as mobile devices.
The VPN apps from ExpressVPN have always worked well for me in testing. ExpressVPN offers dedicated apps for:
- Mac OS
- Kindle Fire
- Firestick and Fire TV
Unlike with IPVanish, ExpressVPN also offers browser extensions and support for Smart TVs through their MediaStreamer app.
In terms of performance, ExpressVPN’s apps work very well. I have not experienced any issues with bugs, crashes, or stalling. Everything just works. Below is the ExpressVPN app I tested on a Windows 10 laptop. Notice the easy one-click server connection options and minimal design:
Now let’s compare The ExpressVPN apps to those of IPVanish.
IPVanish also offers a large selection of apps for all major devices and operating systems:
- Mac OS
- Fire TV
- Chrome OS
In the performance category, the IPVanish apps did not perform as reliably as ExpressVPN. IPVanish would occasionally time out when attempting to connect to a VPN server. Here you can see IPVanish timing out during connection with the constantly-spinning “Connecting” wheel:
Unlike with IPVanish, I did not experience any connection timeouts, bugs, or errors with ExpressVPN. The apps with IPVanish also feel a bit more clunky and outdated when compared to ExpressVPN.
VPN apps winner: ExpressVPN
3. Features: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
ExpressVPN and IPVanish are both somewhat limited in terms of features, but there’s still a winner for this category.
First we’ll look at ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN continues to release new features, updates, and improvements. Here’s an overview:
- Split tunneling – This feature allows you to route applications or websites outside the VPN tunnel.
- MediaStreamer app – The MediaStreamer app allows you to use ExpressVPN on devices that don’t normally work with VPNs, such as Smart TVs.
- Browser extensions – ExpressVPN has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that are open source and incorporate HTTPS Everywhere from EFF.
- VPN router app – If you want to use a VPN on your router, ExpressVPN offers a very user-friendly way to do so with a dedicated router app.
- Full streaming support – Whether you want to stream Netflix or you need a VPN for Kodi, ExpressVPN offers full support for all major streaming services.
ExpressVPN also offers a built-in obfuscation feature that works with some of the servers in the network. This feature hides VPN traffic, allowing you to use VPNs where they may be blocked, such as in China (see the best VPN for China).
Now let’s examine IPVanish’s features.
In comparison to ExpressVPN, IPVanish is somewhat limited on features. It does not offer any split tunneling, browser extensions, live chat support, or MediaStreamer apps. With regard to unblocking websites for streaming (like Netflix), IPVanish also does not do well, but we’ll examine this more below.
Here are the features offered by IPVanish:
- Obfuscation feature to defeat VPN blocks (they refer to this as “Scramble”)
- IP and DNS leak protection (but no WebRTC leak protection)
- Kill switch to block non-VPN traffic
IPVanish is somewhat limited on features in comparison to ExpressVPN.
Note: If you really want a fully-featured VPN service, you may want to check out NordVPN. It offers a built-in ad blocker, double-VPN servers, Tor-over-VPN servers, and good leak protection settings. For a detailed analysis, see the ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison.
Features winner: ExpressVPN
4. Connections: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
In the connections category, there is a big difference, with IPVanish coming out on top.
As discussed in my review of IPVanish, it is a great VPN if you need a lot of connections. As described on the IPVanish website, you can have “10 simultaneous connections on multiple devices.” This is one of the best connection policies you’ll find anywhere, although there are a few VPNs that offer an unlimited number of connections, such as with Surfshark.
In comparison to IPVanish, ExpressVPN offers fewer connections, but still more than enough. With ExpressVPN, you can use five simultaneous connections on your account.
Do you need more than five simultaneous connections? If so, you may want to opt for IPVanish over ExpressVPN. However, it’s difficult to imagine how one would use more than two or three connections at the same time.
Connections winner: IPVanish
5. Security and Encryption: ExpressVPN vs IPVanish
I also ran both IPVanish and ExpressVPN’s apps through a number of different tests to check for IP address leaks and DNS leaks. Both did well.
IPVanish leak test results – With IPVanish, I did not find any leaks with the Windows, Mac OS, and Android apps.
I also tested the kill switch to see if it effectively blocked traffic when the VPN connection dropped. Everything worked well.
ExpressVPN leak test results – ExpressVPN also passed all security tests. There were no leaks or security issues identified with any of the apps.
In comparison to IPVanish, I liked ExpressVPN’s kill switch feature better, which they call “Network Lock”. The Network Lock also alerts you when the connection has been interrupted and shows when Network Lock is active. With IPVanish, there are no notifications. You just see the spinning wheel (above).
Encryption – Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish use the OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit AES encryption by default in their apps. Neither ExpressVPN nor NordVPN support WireGuard at this time.
Server security – ExpressVPN sets a very high standard for server security with their TrustedServer feature. This feature ensures all ExpressVPN servers run in RAM-disk mode, which makes it impossible to store any logs on VPN servers. This also protects ExpressVPN users if a server were ver to be seized.
IPVanish does not run any of their servers in RAM-disk mode.
Audits – ExpressVPN has successfully passed a third-party security audit performed by Cure53, a cybersecurity firm in Berlin, Germany. Unlike with ExpressVPN, IPVanish has not undergone any independent security audits.
Security winner: ExpressVPN
6. ExpressVPN vs IPVanish Logs and Privacy
Even though ExpressVPN and IPVanish both claim to have “no logs” policies, each has a unique history with their logging claims. First we will start with the good, before moving on to the not-so-good.
ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN is one of the few verified no logs VPN services.
IPVanish – Unfortunately, the logging case with IPVanish is not so reassuring. In 2018, news broke about IPVanish logging one customer’s connection data and providing this to US authorities who were investigating a crime.
When I reached out for comment on the case, IPVanish explained that this was from a case in 2016, when it was under different ownership and management. Here is the statement IPVanish gave me, which references the previous owner of IPVanish (StackPath):
That court case was from 2016 – long before StackPath acquired IPVanish in 2017. IPVanish does not, has not, and will not log or store logs of our users as a StackPath company. We can’t speak to what happened on someone else’s watch, and that management team is long gone. In addition to not logging, StackPath will defend the privacy of our users, regardless of who demands otherwise.
Today, IPVanish is owned by J2 Global, a large digital media conglomerate. And even after the logging scandal, IPVanish still has not undergone any audits to verify the current “no logs” policies.
For those who want a reputable no-logs VPN provider that has been verified, ExpressVPN would be the better choice over IPVanish.
Logging policy winner: ExpressVPN
7. Jurisdiction: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN
Jurisdiction is a big factor for most people when choosing a good VPN service. In this area, ExpressVPN and IPVanish are very different.
IPVanish jurisdiction: United States
IPVanish is based in the United States, which is a member of the infamous Five Eyes surveillance alliance. This is indeed a drawback because it puts IPVanish (and its customers’ data) under the jurisdiction of the United States. There have been cases where US privacy companies have been forced to log user data and hand this over to authorities. One example of this was with Lavabit.
There is also no way to know if IPVanish is logging data for US authorities right now, as they have been caught doing in the past. And unlike other VPNs, they have not been audited.
ExpressVPN jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
Unlike with IPVanish, ExpressVPN is based in a good jurisdiction that respects privacy. The British Virgin Islands are an independent country in the Caribbean, with a long history of privacy and secrecy. Despite the historical connection to the UK, the BVI are an independent political and legal entity that cannot be forced to give in to UK data demands.
This further ensures data security for ExpressVPN customers. In terms of privacy and logs, ExpressVPN comes out ahead of IPVanish, especially considering the history of each VPN.
Jurisdiction winner: ExpressVPN
8. IPVanish vs ExpressVPN Torrenting
In comparing IPVanish with ExpressVPN for torrenting, there are three main areas I’m looking at:
- Download speeds – This is important when torrenting large files
- Jurisdiction – Which VPN is located in the best jurisdiction in terms of copyright laws?
- Leak protection – Which VPN offers the best leak protection settings to ensure your data remains secure when torrenting?
- Policies – Does the VPN restrict torrenting on its servers?
With the first category, we already showed how ExpressVPN offers faster download speeds than IPVanish. This gives ExpressVPN an edge with torrenting performance compared to IPVanish.
Jurisdiction is also an important consideration. IPVanish is based in the United States, which is home to some of the harshest copyright laws in the world – see the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). ExpressVPN does not have to comply with these harsh copyright laws being based in the British Virgin Islands. Therefore ExpressVPN does not have to comply with harsh DMCA requests and demands for user data.
Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer good leak protection settings to keep your IP address secure when torrenting. We covered this above.
With torrenting policies, both VPNs allow torrenting on their servers. There are no restrictions, such as you find with ProtonVPN.
Now to recap, ExpressVPN offers faster download speeds and a better jurisdiction for torrenting, while both VPNs have good leak protection settings and policies. Therefore ExpressVPN is the winner in the torrenting category when pitted against IPVanish. See our list of VPNs for P2P torrents if you want to look at other options.
Torrenting winner: ExpressVPN
9. IPVanish vs ExpressVPN Netflix and streaming
In terms of streaming Netflix, there is one VPN that always works, and another that almost never works (and they admit this).
ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN for Netflix. It consistently works with Netflix and provides excellent speeds for HD streaming, no matter where you are located. Here I’m accessing American Netflix through an ExpressVPN server in Washington, DC from my location in Europe:
ExpressVPN also works for other Netflix regions around the world. Additionally, you can also use the VPN to stream Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more.
IPVanish, on the other hand, is not a good VPN for Netflix, and they openly admit this. When I chatted with an IPVanish service representative asking why I could not access Netflix on any IPVanish server, he stated:
Netflix has been very vigilant recently in trying to block our services.
On a positive note, IPVanish has been working to offer support for Netflix, but it still seems to be hit or miss based on my own tests. It is also not the best VPN for BBC iPlayer, with IPVanish connections being blocked.
In comparison to IPVanish, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Netflix and streaming various services around the world.
Netflix and streaming winner: ExpressVPN
10. Price and value: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN
In terms of price, IPVanish has a slight edge over ExpressVPN.
IPVanish offers the following three pricing tiers when you use this discount coupon. (The cheapest price for IPVanish without the coupon is $6.49/month with the 1-year plan.)
IPVanish’s prices are about average, coming in slightly above NordVPN (another popular VPN service), but also below ExpressVPN as we’ll examine below. (You can see the latest deals on the IPVanish coupon page.)
ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive than IPVanish, even when you use the 49% discount coupon, which also includes three months free. (The cheapest price for ExpressVPN without the coupon is $8.32 per month.)
(See my ExpressVPN coupon guide for more of a discussion about coupons, discounts, and trials.)
Looking at price alone, IPVanish is cheaper than ExpressVPN, but we’ll also examine the question of value at the end. Neither IPVanish nor ExpressVPN would be considered a cheap VPN service since both are over $5 per month.
Price winner: IPVanish
Free trials? Neither IPVanish nor ExpressVPN offers a completely free trial. There are a few other free trial VPNs to consider, however.
11. Payments and refunds: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN
There is another clear winner in terms of payment options and refund policies, and that is ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN supports all major payment options, including numerous credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, as well as other payment processors:
ExpressVPN refund policy – ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money-back guarantee, which does not include any hidden clauses or exceptions. The refund policy/money-back guarantee is very straightforward. Simply cancel and request a refund within 30 days of purchase and you’ll get 100% of your payment back.
Support – ExpressVPN provides 24/7 live chat support.
IPVanish payment options and refunds
IPVanish also offers a variety of payment options, but they do not support any type of cryptocurrency payments, such as Bitcoin:
As I explained in my review of IPVanish, they dropped the option to pay with Bitcoin due to high transaction fees and fluctuating Bitcoin prices.
IPVanish refund policy – IPVanish offers a 7 day money-back guarantee on all of their subscriptions. This is the standard refund window for the VPN industry, but it also significantly shorter than ExpressVPN’s 30 day return window.
IPVanish support – IPVanish provides email support and a customer service hotline during US business hours (Monday – Friday). There is no live chat option like you get with ExpressVPN.
When comparing IPVanish to ExpressVPN for payment options, refunds, and support, ExpressVPN comes out on top, again.
Payment options and refunds winner: ExpressVPN
12. Value: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN
Last up we have the question of value: Does IPVanish or ExpressVPN offer the best value for your money?
IPVanish is cheaper and comes with 10 connections per account, but it also has some drawbacks. In comparison with ExpressVPN the drawbacks with IPVanish are as follows:
- Slower speeds
- Clunky and outdated apps
- History of logging user data (see IPVanish logs case)
- Based in the US (bad privacy jurisdiction)
- Does not work well with Netflix and other streaming services
- 7 day refund policy, with limited payment options
- No live chat support
In comparison to IPVanish, ExpressVPN also has a few cons, such as fewer connections (five simultaneous connections) and it is slightly more expensive. On a positive note, however, ExpressVPN does have many benefits:
- Premium speeds and reliability
- More features, including split tunneling
- Works with Netflix and other streaming services
- Excellent no-logs policies, company jurisdiction, and solid track record (no logging scandals)
- Has passed a third-party security audit and also a no-logs audit
- 24/7 live chat customer support, with a 30 day money-back guarantee (no questions asked)
Considering all the factors, I would argue that ExpressVPN offers the better value, even though it is slightly more expensive than IPVanish.
Value winner: ExpressVPN
Final verdict: ExpressVPN wins
Here is a quick recap of the results for this ExpressVPN vs IPVanish comparison:
- Speed – ExpressVPN
- VPN Apps – ExpressVPN
- Features – ExpressVPN
- Connections – IPVanish
- Security and Encryption – ExpressVPN
- Logs and privacy – ExpressVPN
- Jurisdiction – ExpressVPN
- Torrenting – ExpressVPN
- Netflix & streaming – ExpressVPN
- Price – IPVanish
- Payments & refunds – ExpressVPN
- Value – ExpressVPN
The overall winner in this IPVanish vs ExpressVPN comparison guide is clearly ExpressVPN. It came out on top in ten different categories, while IPVanish was the winner in two categories.
Whichever VPN you decide to go with, be sure to get the best prices with the coupon below:
Coupon to get 49% off ExpressVPN and 3 months free
And since I’m not recommending IPVanish anymore since the logging scandal, you can also check out our other recommended VPN services if you are still on the fence.
Final Disclaimer and Instructions from NetTodays
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A VPN is a service that both encrypts your data and hides your IP address by bouncing your network activity through a secure chain to another server miles away. This obscures your online identity, even on public Wi-Fi networks, so you can browse the internet safely, securely, and anonymously.
NetTodays gives you answers to all questions which are in your mind about VPN.
NetTodays also suggest continually utilizing Best VPN when you are using a newer Wi-Fi Network. Here is a decent dependable guideline: If you’re away from the workplace or home, and you’re utilizing another person’s Wi-Fi (even that of a relative or a companion, since you can’t be sure whether they’ve been compromised), utilize a VPN. It’s especially significant in case you’re getting to help that has specifically distinguishing data. Keep in mind, a great deal goes on in the background, and you never truly know whether at least one of your applications is verifying behind the scenes and putting your data in danger.
And if you are interested in other IPVanish comparisons, see the NordVPN vs IPVanish analysis.