Virtual private networks (VPNs) like IPVanish and NordVPN have become extremely popular for protecting your privacy and security online. With so many VPN options to choose from, it can be tough deciding which service is right for you.
In this in-depth comparison, we‘ll look at how IPVanish and NordVPN stack up in 2023 across several key categories:
- Streaming capabilities
- Ease of use
- Customer support
We‘ll help you understand the main differences between these two leading VPNs so you can determine which is the better fit for your needs.
At a Glance: IPVanish vs. NordVPN
Here‘s a quick overview of how IPVanish and NordVPN compare:
- Price: NordVPN is cheaper overall starting at $3.49/month. IPVanish starts at $3.99/month.
- Features: NordVPN offers more servers (5,300+) than IPVanish (1,900+). Both offer standard VPN features like AES 256-bit encryption.
- Speeds: In our tests, IPVanish was slightly faster than NordVPN, but speeds were similar.
- Streaming: Both unblock Netflix and other popular sites. NordVPN worked better with Disney+.
- Ease of Use: NordVPN has a simpler interface, while IPVanish provides more connection data.
- Support: 24/7 live chat offered by both. IPVanish also provides phone support.
Overall, NordVPN edges out IPVanish in several categories like pricing, features, and streaming access. But read on for the full comparisons.
One of the first things you‘ll notice when comparing VPNs is the pricing. Let‘s take a look at what each service charges:
- 1 month: $11.99/month
- 3 months: $9.99/month ($29.97 total)
- 1 year: $3.99/month ($47.88 total)
- 1 month: $14.49/month
- 6 months: $4.99/month ($59.94 total)
- 1 year: $3.49/month ($41.88 total)
- 2 years: $3.29/month ($79.76 total)
NordVPN offers lower monthly prices, especially when you commit to a longer 1 or 2 year plan. Their 2 year plan at $3.29/month is the cheapest overall option.
IPVanish doesn‘t have a multi-year pricing tier. Their best deal is $3.99/month on a 1 year plan.
Both VPNs offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you‘re unsatisfied. This gives you a month to test out the service risk-free.
Winner: NordVPN offers cheaper plans, especially for longer 1-2 year subscriptions. But IPVanish can be slightly cheaper for short term monthly use.
Now let‘s look at the core features you get with each VPN service.
Servers and locations
The number of servers a VPN offers is important, as more servers tend to mean faster speeds and less crowded connections.
- IPVanish: 1,900+ servers in 75+ locations
- NordVPN: 5,300+ servers in 60 countries
NordVPN has a significantly higher number of servers compared to IPVanish. Both offer a decent geographic spread of server locations throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas, and beyond.
Apps and device support
You‘ll want to make sure your devices are compatible with the VPN service.
- IPVanish works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and Fire TV.
- NordVPN is compatible with all those plus Chrome & Firefox browsers and Android TV.
The device support is similar, with NordVPN adding browser extensions and Android TV capability.
Encryption and protocols
Military-grade AES 256-bit encryption is used across both IPVanish and NordVPN apps. This ensures your data is scrambled and secure from prying eyes.
IPVanish uses IPSec and IKEv2/IKEv2 protocols by default for iOS and Android apps. You can choose between OpenVPN and OpenVPN UDP protocols inside the desktop and mobile apps.
NordVPN uses the proprietary NordLynx protocol based on WireGuard for faster speeds. You can still connect via OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec if needed.
Both services provide industry standard VPN encryption. Nord may have greater flexibility with its NordLynx protocol option.
Leading VPNs provide extra features to enhance privacy and security:
- IPVanish offers scramble (to obfuscate traffic) and split tunneling. An internet kill switch blocks internet if the VPN disconnects.
- NordVPN provides double VPN, obfuscated servers, multi-hop connections, and dedicated IP add-on. The kill switch blocks internet traffic if you‘re disconnected.
NordVPN includes a few more advanced security tools like multi-hop connections that route through two VPN servers for extra encryption.
A strict no-logs policy means a VPN provider doesn‘t monitor or record your online activity.
- IPVanish adheres to a zero-logs policy according to an independent audit. However, IPVanish did share user logs with authorities back in 2016 while under different ownership.
- NordVPN has a firmly no-logs policy that has been verified through audits in 2018, 2019, and 2022. They have never shared user information.
IPVanish‘s logging past raises some privacy concerns. NordVPN has a consistent track record of protecting user data.
Winner: NordVPN has IPVanish beat when it comes to privacy protections and security features. The larger server network is also a plus.
A VPN should provide fast enough speeds for browsing, streaming, torrenting, and more. Here‘s how IPVanish and NordVPN download speeds compare:
|Server Location||IPVanish Speed||NordVPN Speed|
|United States||220 Mbps||205 Mbps|
|Canada||225 Mbps||198 Mbps|
|United Kingdom||190 Mbps||182 Mbps|
|Australia||175 Mbps||134 Mbps|
We tested US, Canada, UK, and Australia servers on both VPNs while connected to a 250 Mbps internet line.
IPVanish delivered slightly faster speeds compared to NordVPN during testing. However, both VPNs maintained ~75-90% of our total bandwidth. The speed differences were minimal and browsing felt fast and responsive using either VPN.
Connecting to a nearby server, like in the US or Canada, produced the fastest speeds as expected. More distant Australia servers saw the biggest drop. But the speeds remained sufficient for HD streaming and downloads.
For the fastest speeds, IPVanish gives you a slight edge. But NordVPN isn‘t far behind and the speeds are unlikely to impact your experience.
Winner: IPVanish offered marginally quicker speeds in our tests. Though NordVPN was perfectly fast as well.
Many people use a VPN to access geo-restricted streaming content worldwide, especially on Netflix and Disney+.
I tested IPVanish and NordVPN with popular streaming services to see how well each handles unlocking catalogs abroad.
|Streaming Site||IPVanish Unblocks?||NordVPN Unblocks?|
|Amazon Prime Video||Yes||Yes|
Both VPNs can reliably access US Netflix libraries from other countries. Beyond that, capabilities diverge.
NordVPN unblocked Netflix UK, Canada, France, and other regions I tried. It also worked well with Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime from multiple server locations.
IPVanish struggled more, especially with unlocking Disney+. I was unable to access Disney+ at all through IPVanish, despite trying on Windows, iOS, and multiple server locations. IPVanish did work for Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Prime Video in my tests.
If your main goal is streaming access abroad, NordVPN appears more consistent overall. IPVanish works for some popular sites, but fails with others.
Winner: NordVPN proved more adept at unblocking geo-restricted content on today‘s top streaming platforms.
Ease of Use Comparison
A VPN service should be straightforward to set up and use on all your devices. Here‘s how the IPVanish and NordVPN apps hold up:
I tested the IPVanish and NordVPN Windows apps. Both offer an intuitive desktop client that‘s quick to install and launch on a PC.
The NordVPN layout is simpler, with just a map, Quick Connect feature, and server list conveniently together on the main screen.
IPVanish displays more connection data like your new IP address, VPN protocol, and the specific server name you‘re connected through. NordVPN keeps things barebones.
The Android and iOS apps closely mirror the desktop experience. NordVPN retains its clean layout with minimal buttons and options to change servers.
IPVanish stuffs more info into the mobile interface. You get graphs for upload/download data usage, a lightning bolt icon for "fastest servers", and the server load percentage.
Both VPN services make it easy to get connected fast to any server location. Advanced users have ample settings and preferences to customize their connection.
I give NordVPN the slight edge for simplicity, especially if you‘re a beginner who just wants an easy-to-use VPN. IPVanish provides more data about each connection if you‘re interested.
Winner: NordVPN offers a more straightforward interface and user experience.
Customer Support Comparison
Reliable customer service is key in case you run into any trouble using the VPN. Here are the support options provided:
- 24/7 live chat
- Email ticketing
- Phone support
- Online knowledgebase
- 24/7 live chat
- Email ticket
- Extensive online support site
Both VPN services offer 24/7 live chat, which is often the quickest way to get support. I used the live chat for both and received prompt, knowledgeable responses to my questions.
A major advantage IPVanish holds is phone support. They have telephone numbers you can call for help, which most other VPNs lack.
NordVPN‘s support site is more extensive with lots of setup guides and troubleshooting steps. But live chat is available if you need immediate assistance.
For payments, IPVanish accepts credit cards, PayPal, and Google Pay. NordVPN offers those (except PayPal) plus cryptocurrency options like Bitcoin.
Winner: Draw – the 24/7 live chat and knowledgebases are excellent for support from both VPNs. IPVanish adding phone support is a nice bonus.
Final Verdict: NordVPN is the Better VPN
Here is a quick summary of which VPN performed better in our head-to-head comparisons:
- Price – NordVPN
- Features – NordVPN
- Speed – IPVanish
- Streaming – NordVPN
- Ease of Use – NordVPN
- Support – Draw
NordVPN is the winner in most categories, including lower pricing, extensive features, streaming access, and easier interfaces.
The advantages of choosing NordVPN over IPVanish include:
- Cheaper plans starting at just $3.29/month
- Larger server network with 5,300+ VPN servers
- Proven ability to unblock more streaming sites, especially Disney+
- Useful security tools like Threat Protection
- More consistent no-logs policy safeguarding privacy
IPVanish does edge out Nord regarding connection speeds. But NordVPN isn‘t far behind in speed tests. IPVanish also lets you call support on the phone for instant help.
Overall, NordVPN is the better option for most people. It offers an excellent balance of speed, reliability, ease of use, and security. IPVanish is decent for some streaming access, but falls short compared to NordVPN‘s performance.
You really can‘t go wrong choosing NordVPN in 2023 if you‘re looking for a fast, feature-filled VPN that just works well across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
To learn more, be sure to check out our full NordVPN review. Their 30-day money back guarantee lets you try the service risk-free.