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ExpressVPN vs IPVanish

ExpressVPN vs IPVanish in 2024: A Comparison on Features, Security, and Speed Tests

ExpressVPN perennially ranks atop our list of top-tier VPNs, whereas IPVanish is a mid-tier VPN. Ordinarily, you’d pick the former over the latter, but in some cases, IPVanish can suffice. Read our ExpressVPN vs IPVanish guide to learn how these VPN providers compare.

Samson KiarieValentina BravoAlison Spedale

Written by Samson Kiarie (Writer)

Reviewed by Valentina Bravo (Editor)

Facts checked by Alison Spedale (Fact-checking editor)

Last Updated: 2024-04-01T20:24:24+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

4.7
3.4
  • Extensive server network
  • Very fast speeds
  • Unblocks all streaming services
  • Set trusted WiFi networks
  • Responsive chat & support
  • Unlimited device connections
$6.66 / month(save 48%)(All Plans)

Key Takeaways: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN

  • The main difference between ExpressVPN and IPVanish is that the former offers top-notch security and privacy, whereas IPVanish falters on the privacy front, mainly because of its data handling procedures.
  • Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish have excellent unblocking ability, but the former is the better streaming VPN thanks to its excellent speeds. 
  • Both IPVanish and ExpressVPN offer seven-day free trials on mobile and a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.

ExpressVPN and IPVanish sit on different ends of the VPN spectrum — while ExpressVPN is the best VPN, IPVanish is a mid-tier VPN. However, that doesn’t mean you should forgo IPVanish; as it can be enough in some cases. In our ExpressVPN vs IPVanish guide, we’ll look at the strengths and weaknesses of both VPN providers to help you make an informed decision.

We’ll dissect ExpressVPN and IPVanish to reveal their security, speed, privacy, streaming, torrenting, server location and other capabilities. We’ll add pricing to the equation to help you determine which VPN service is right for you. 

  • 09/07/2023 Facts checked

    We rewrote this guide to include fresh information on the features, usability and performance of ExpressVPN vs IPVanish.

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How Did We Rate ExpressVPN vs IPVanish

We put both IPVanish and ExpressVPN through a series of rigorous tests and compared the results side by side. You can read the nitty-gritty details of each VPN’s performance in our full ExpressVPN review and IPVanish review

IPVanish vs ExpressVPN: Similarities & Differences

As you’ll notice in the table below, ExpressVPN and IPVanish have a few similarities and many differences. We’ll take a deep dive into each category to help you pick the best service for you.

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$6.66 / month(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee$2.19 / month(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
ReviewReview
General
Payment methodsPayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, PaymentWallPayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections Unlimited
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available7 days (mobile only)
Refund period30 days
Worldwide server amount3,000+ servers in 105 countries2,400 servers in 56 countries
Desktop OSesWindows, MacOS, LinuxWindows, MacOS, Linux
Mobile OSesAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox, Edge
Can be installed on routers
Streaming
Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video
Security
Encryption types256-AES, ChaCha20256-AES
VPN protocols availableOpenVPN, IKEv2, LightwayIPSec, OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2, WireGuard
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included
Support
Live Chat24/724/7
Email support24/724/7
Phone supportoffice hours
User forum
Knowledgebase

Similarities

Keep reading to learn about the similarities between ExpressVPN and IPVanish.

Device Compatibility

Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer native Windows, Mac, Linux, smart TV, Android and iOS apps. You can install both on a router to protect home devices such as printers and gaming consoles. Moreover, ExpressVPN and IPVanish have browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and other web browsers. 

expressvpn apps
ExpressVPN offers user-friendly apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and smart TVs. 

Streaming Performance

ExpressVPN and IPVanish both unblock Netflix libraries around the world on the first attempt. In addition, both VPN services bypass geoblocks on BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, Disney Plus and Max. Most importantly, streaming movies and TV shows is lag- and buffering-free.

ExpressVPN streaming
ExpressVPN accesses Netflix and other streaming services on
the first attempt and streams without interruptions.

The only thing holding IPVanish back from a spot on our best VPNs for streaming list is that sometimes videos take a little while to load, mainly when accessing streaming services abroad. However, recent performance suggests that it is edging closer to a spot on that list. For its part, ExpressVPN loads videos like local sessions, even when connecting to servers several continents away.

Money-Back Guarantee and Free Trial

ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer a seven-day free trial on Android and iOS devices. ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free trial on desktop, but IPVanish lets you use the mobile free trial logins to give the service a whirl on Windows and Mac devices.

Remember to cancel the free trial at least 24 hours before it ends. If you don’t, IPVanish will automatically upgrade you to a one-year plan, whereas ExpressVPN upgrades you based on the plan you chose: one year or six months.

ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you need more time to test the service for free. However, this is different from a usual free trial. While you’ll still be charged, you get a full refund when you cancel your subscription within 30 days. Read our guide to learn how to get an ExpressVPN refund. 

Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection

Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer a kill switch — an always-on security feature that cuts internet traffic when the VPN connection drops. Read our full kill switch guide to learn more.

IPVanish kill switch
Linux and iOS IPVanish apps don’t offer a kill switch.

There are two differences, though. First, ExpressVPN offers a kill switch on all major operating systems, while the IPVanish kill switch only works on Windows, Mac and Android devices. 

Second, ExpressVPN’s kill switch cuts communication between your devices and other local network devices, such as printers and file servers. You have to flip the switch under the network lock to enable access to local network devices. 

On the contrary, when the IPVanish kill switch is active, your computer still communicates with local network devices. You have to toggle on the “block LAN traffic” switch to block access to local network devices when the VPN connection drops. 

Beyond the kill switch, ExpressVPN has built-in IPv6 and DNS leak protection, which prevents traffic leaks that could reveal your identity, location and other personal data. IPVanish offers DNS leak protection, but doesn’t support IPv6 protection.

Perfect Forward Secrecy

Both VPNs support perfect forward secrecy (PFS), which randomly generates encryption keys for each session. In other words, they purge and regenerate new keys when you terminate a VPN connection or change the connection network. 

However, if your sessions are long, ExpressVPN creates new encryption keys every 15 minutes. IPVanish doesn’t offer a similar feature.

Obfuscation

Obfuscation is helpful if you’re in a country where VPNs are banned. This feature blends your VPN traffic with regular web traffic, making it difficult for anyone to detect VPN use. 

Obfuscation is built into every ExpressVPN server, meaning it cloaks your VPN traffic regardless of the VPN server you choose. IPVanish VPN obfuscation only works with the OpenVPN protocol, and you have to toggle the “scramble” button on to activate it.

IPVanish obfuscation
Unlike ExpressVPN, IPVanish doesn’t support obfuscation on all servers.

Differences

Now let’s dive into the differences in comparing IPVanish vs ExpressVPN, starting with their usability. 

ExpressVPN Has Better User Intuitiveness Than IPVanish

ExpressVPN’s native apps are aesthetically pleasing, sleek and clutter-free. The home tab features a large connection button, a location picker and a logically-organized menu. As a result, picking a VPN server, customizing VPN security and performing other functions is easy. 

ExpressVPN vs IPVanish mobile app
Unlike ExpressVPN, IPVanish’s mobile app offers a dark mode.

The same can’t be said about IPVanish. The mobile and desktop apps aren’t bad, but they don’t offer the sleekness and clutter-free feel of ExpressVPN. In particular, the extra connection details and world map with pins representing IPvanish server locations hurt the aesthetics.

IPVanish’s design doesn’t impact usability significantly. The learning curve is slightly steeper than ExpressVPN, but you’ll still find your way around the app. The provider also offers a dark mode, something you don’t get with ExpressVPN. 

IPVanish desktop app
IPVanish’s desktop app isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing.

ExpressVPN Provides Better Connection Stability Than IPVanish

The real kick in IPVanish’s teeth is the occasionally unstable connections. During our testing, we had instances where IPVanish took too long to establish a connection. In other cases, the app established connections almost instantly but kept disconnecting and reconnecting. 

If you need a smoother experience, pick ExpressVPN — the best VPN for beginners. The VPN connects almost immediately, whether you choose a nearby or far-away server. More importantly, each connection is stable, so you don’t have to worry about the VPN inadvertently disconnecting in the middle of a captivating movie or TV show. 

Smart DNS Feature

In addition to the native apps, ExpressVPN offers a smart DNS feature called MediaStreamer. This feature allows you to unblock streaming services on devices that don’t support native VPN apps, such as an old smart TV.

ExpressVPN MediaStreamer
ExpressVPN MediaStreamer lets you access streaming sites on old smart TVs.

However, the smart DNS doesn’t offer VPN protection; it only changes your IP address. With that in mind, we recommend you use MediaStreamer only on secure networks. In addition, MediaStreamer offers U.S. and U.K. IP addresses, and can only access streaming services in those two countries. 

ExpressVPN is More Secure Than IPVanish

When it comes to VPN security, we evaluate two vital features: VPN protocols and encryption. 

VPN Protocols

By default, ExpressVPN supports “automatic” protocol options, meaning it picks the most appropriate protocol based on your connection. IPVanish supports WireGuard by default on all major operating systems. You can still change the protocol manually based on what’s available on your device. 

ExpressVPN offers its proprietary Lightway protocol and OpenVPN on Windows, Android and Linux devices. Mac users can use Lightway, OpenVPN and IKEv2, whereas iOS users have access to Lightway (UDP or TCP) and IKEv2 only.

ExpressVPN protocols
ExpressVPN supports the secure Lightway, OpenVPN and mobile-friendly IKEv2 protocol.

IPVanish still supports the less secure IPSec protocol on all devices except Windows. Beyond that, the provider offers WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2 on Windows, Mac, Android, Linux and iOS. You can read our VPN protocol guide to learn how these protocols differ in speed and security. 

ExpressVPN IPVanish
Default ProtocolAutomatic WireGuard
Protocols Supported
WindowsLightway and OpenVPNWireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2
AndroidLightway and OpenVPNIPSec, WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2
LinuxLightway and OpenVPNIPSec, WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2
MacLightway, OpenVPN and IKEv2IPSec, WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2
iOSLightway (UDP or TCP) and IKEv2IPSec, WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2

Encryption Standard

Both providers support AES 256-bit encryption, which works seamlessly with OpenVPN. In addition, ExpressVPN and IPVanish support ChaCha20 encryption, which works with the WireGuard and Lightway protocols. Both AES 256-bit and ChaCha20 are powerful, but the latter is faster. 

Split Tunneling Feature

Split tunneling lets you route specific app traffic via the VPN tunnel while allowing other traffic sources to use the internet unprotected. For example, you can route torrent client traffic through the VPN for optimal security while surfing the web unprotected to maximize internet connection speed.

ExpressVPN split tunneling
ExpressVPN supports app-based split tunneling on desktop and mobile apps. 

Both VPN providers support app-based split tunneling but on different devices. ExpressVPN offers the feature on Windows, Android, Mac and routers. On the contrary, split tunneling is available on the IPVanish Android app only. 

ExpressVPN Has Better Privacy Policy than IPVanish

According to ExpressVPN’s privacy policy, the provider doesn’t collect user logs, including traffic destination, browsing history, DNS queries and data content. KPMG audited ExpressVPN’s systems, including the server infrastructure, and found it to adhere to the strict privacy policy. 

ExpressVPN logs policy
ExpressVPN doesn’t collect, store or share user logs,
browsing history or personal information.

Likewise, IPVanish makes a no-logs claim in its privacy policy. Our experts examined the claim and found some issues worth considering. The provider claims to retain the right to “process your personal data.”

We dug deeper and found that per IPVanish no-logs policy, “processing” means, amongst other things, “disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.”

Considering IPVanish has cooperated with the FBI before, the data processing clause raises a real red flag. It means that by acceding to IPVanish privacy policy, you give the provider the right to share or hand over your data to investigation agencies in the case of a subpoena.

IPVanish no logs policy
IPVanish’s data processing policy raises a privacy concern.

VPN Provider Jurisdiction

Another concern with IPVanish is that it’s headquartered in the United States. The U.S. isn’t a privacy-friendly country, mainly because it’s part of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance. Read our Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes guide to learn why you should avoid VPNs based in these jurisdictions. 

ExpressVPN’s parent company, Kape Technologies, is based in the U.K. However, the VPN provider operates as an independent entity based in the British Virgin Islands. 

Like the United States, the British Virgin Islands has no mandatory data retention laws but isn’t part of any surveillance alliance. Another plus is that ExpressVPN doesn’t share the limited data it collects with its parent company and its affiliates.

RAM-Only Servers

ExpressVPN uses its TrustedServer technology — a fancy name for RAM-only servers — on all its servers. RAM-only, or diskless, servers automatically wipe all data with every reboot. Doing so prevents the servers from retaining user logs or data. 

On the other hand, IPVanish doesn’t use RAM-only servers. Servers that rely on hard drives can become a privacy risk if such a server is seized or hacked before the provider manually deletes the data. 

Ad & Malware Blocker

ExpressVPN has a built-in web tracker blocker called Threat Manager. The tool is available on iOS, Mac and Linux devices. You can activate Threat Manager on ExpressVPN’s Aircove router to protect all devices, including Windows, Android, smart TVs and gaming consoles. Sadly, IPVanish doesn’t offer a similar feature. 

ExpressVPN Threat Manager
ExpressVPN’s Threat Manager blocks ads, web trackers and other malicious trackers.

ExpressVPN Has Wider Server Network Distribution Than IPVanish

This section looks at how the VPN providers compare in terms of server spread and count. ExpressVPN has an edge over IPVanish on both fronts

Regions:
Countries

Countries

Locations

Locations
N.America643225
S.America105115
Europe47326538
Asia247317
Africa4141
Oceania2286
Middle East1111
Total945215283

ExpressVPN has thousands of servers in 152 locations across 94 countries. IPVanish has over 2,200 in 83 locations across 52 countries. 

IPVanish allows you to drill down and pick a specific server in each location. For example, when you open the Atlanta (U.S.) location, you’ll see a list of servers with their corresponding ping and load details, so you can pick a server with low latency and load for optimal performance. ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a similar feature.

IPVanish servers
IPVanish provides the server’s ping and load data, making it easier
to pick the right server for optimal performance.

IPVanish Offers Unlimited Simultaneous Connections While ExpressVPN Supports Only Eight

Simultaneous connections refer to the number of devices that can be connected to the VPN at the same time. IPVanish allows you to connect unlimited devices simultaneously. 

ExpressVPN allows you to connect eight simultaneous connections any of its offered plans. However, if you need to protect more than eight devices, you can install the VPN app on your router. While the router counts as one simultaneous device, it protects all connected devices.

IPVanish Pricing Options Cost Cheaper Than ExpressVPN

Every VPN has a downside, and for ExpressVPN, that’s pricing. The VPN provider sits on the higher side of the pricing spectrum. The monthly plan costs $12.95, but you can save a lot with extended plans. The six-month plan costs $9.99 per month, whereas the yearly plan sets you back $6.66 per month when counting the 3 extra months.

IPVanish’s monthly plan is $12.99, a dollar cheaper than ExpressVPN. The yearly plan is even more affordable, at $2.79 per month. The two-year plan goes for $2.19 per month — IPVanish’s best deal

IPVanish Offers Multiple Ways to Reach Support Than ExpressVPN

Both VPN providers offer a knowledgebase, email support and live chat. Live chat with both providers is a quick way to resolve your issues. You can access the help center from within the ExpressVPN or IPVanish app. 

You can also contact IPVanish by phone via one of the phone numbers in the U.S., the U.K., Mexico, Spain, Brazil or Australia. Additionally, IPVanish offers support via its Twitter and Facebook channels. ExpressVPN doesn’t offer phone or social media support.

Support:
Live chat
Phone
Email
Knowledgebase
Social Media
User Forum

ExpressVPN vs IPVanish Speed: Which Provider Is Faster?

Unlike ExpressVPN, IPVanish isn’t on our automated speed testing roster. For this reason, we tested the VPNs manually on a 5 Mbps internet connection to level the playing field and get an accurate comparison.

Speed Test With OpenVPN Protocol

To begin, we tested ExpressVPN and IPVanish using the OpenVPN protocol, which both services support. Here are the speed results:

LocationDownloadUploadLatency
Base: Kenya4.984.7834
🇺🇸 Atalanta4.453.614.043.02532464
🇬🇧 London4.663.174.323.69430290
🇦🇺 Melbourne4.713.134.033.42565563
🇧🇷 Sao Paulo2.783.413.743.37793736
🇿🇦 Johannesburg3.432.751.812.90206248
🇸🇬 Singapore3.433.224.504.05403391
Average3.913.203.743.41488448
Red = ExpressVPN
Green = IPVanish

Numbers don’t lie. ExpressVPN proved once again why it’s one of the fastest VPN, only after NordVPN. On average, ExpressVPN delivered faster download and upload speeds than its competitor, losing to IPVanish on the latency front only. 

ExpressVPN hit high download speeds in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Given that we performed the tests in Kenya, this demonstrates that ExpressVPN’s speed doesn’t dip with distance. If you’re accessing a streaming service continents away, you’ll get a smooth, interruption-free experience thanks to its fast download speed. 

Speed Test With Lightway and WireGuard

We also tested both ExpressVPN and IPVanish using two modern protocols, Lightway (on ExpressVPN) and WireGuard (on IPVanish). 

LocationDownloadUploadLatency
Base: Kenya4.984.7834
🇺🇸 Atalanta4.314.034.024.10530466
🇬🇧 London3.653.624.303.61274285
🇦🇺 Melbourne3.603.993.743.70650643
🇧🇷 Sao Paulo3.683.323.922.94795742
🇿🇦 Johannesburg4.512.133.314.45142174
🇸🇬 Singapore4.234.654.560.15318395
Average4.003.623.983.16452451
Red = ExpressVPN
Green = IPVanish

As we expected, the Lightway protocol proved faster than OpenVPN, and ExpressVPN delivered faster download and upload speeds than IPVanish. In addition, ExpressVPN’s latency also improved significantly with the Lightway protocol, putting it more on par with IPVanish.

Overall, ExpressVPN is faster than IPVanish, regardless of the protocol. This makes it the better VPN service for streaming, torrenting and other speed-intensive activities. 

Which Is Better: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN?

There’s no doubt that ExpressVPN is better than IPVanish. It offers faster connection speeds, better privacy and a more extensive server network than IPVanish. Moreover, ExpressVPN comes with features you don’t get with IPVanish, such as an ad and tracker blocker and split tunneling on desktop devices. 

IPVanish’s missing features may have relegated it to the second spot, but it didn’t go down without a fight. It offers affordable pricing, unlimited connections and phone support, vital features you don’t get with ExpressVPN. However, despite these, IPVanish fell short of a top-spot performance.

We Recommend IPVanish If You Want…

  • To protect unlimited devices: IPVanish offers unlimited simultaneous connections. 
  • An affordable VPN: IPVanish monthly plan is pricey, but extended plans are cheaper than any offered by ExpressVPN.
  • To unblock streaming services: IPVanish unblocks major streaming platforms with ease.

We Recommend ExpressVPN If You Want…

  • Interruption-free streaming: ExpressVPN offers blazing-fast speeds and great unblocking ability — the perfect combination for a streaming VPN.
  • A VPN for beginners: ExpressVPN’s apps offer a flat learning curve for all users, thanks to their sleek and clutter-free user interfaces. 
  • Top-notch security and privacy: ExpressVPN offers robust protocols and encryption and adheres to its strict no-logs policy.

If You Want to Consider Other Services, Check Out…

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The Verdict: Why We Think ExpressVPN Wins Overall

In this ExpressVPN vs IPVanish comparison, we found out that ExpressVPN is our overall winner thanks to its faster connection speeds, better privacy, superior user-friendliness, more server locations and features such as MediaStreamer.

Missing features, such as an ad blocker and desktop split tunneling, ruined IPVanish’s chances of a top spot. We also don’t like its data processing procedures, and its cooperation with the FBI in the past could put you off if you’re privacy-conscious. 

Have you used ExpressVPN or IPvanish? Do you agree with our verdict? Should IPvanish have won some rounds over ExpressVPN? Leave your comments below, and as always, thanks for reading. 

FAQ: IPVanish vs ExpressVPN Compared

  • Overall, ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market right now. It dominates nearly all the critical categories except speed, where it comes in second after NordVPN.

  • ExpressVPN’s biggest downside is its hefty pricing.

  • No, ExpressVPN offers top-notch security and privacy, and chances of being traced are close to zero.

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