Key Takeaways: NordVPN and IPVanish Compared
- The main differences between NordVPN and IPVanish are that NordVPN is faster, more secure and more reliable at getting around geoblocks.
- NordVPN also has a larger server network and adheres more strictly to its no-logs policy than IPVanish.
- IPVanish offers unlimited simultaneous connections and is slightly cheaper than NordVPN.
Your VPN search has likely led you to NordVPN and IPVanish. At first glance, NordVPN seems the obvious pick thanks to its reputation as a fast and reliable VPN. IPVanish is not as popular, but it claims to be the best VPN, with high speeds and advanced security. In this NordVPN vs IPVanish comparison, we’ll settle the debate once and for all by testing each service.
However, we’re not just looking to crown one of them the better VPN. Instead, we intend to show you which VPN is best in specific use cases, including streaming, gaming and protecting yourself on public WiFi. That way, you can decide which to go with based on your needs.
09/24/2023 Facts checked
Article was rewritten in a new format to account for changes in both providers.
Average speedDownload Speed94 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency6 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay
- : Unlimited
How Did We Rate NordVPN vs IPVanish?
We examined NordVPN and IPVanish across multiple categories, including speed, security features, streaming performance and price. We’ll start with their similarities and move on to areas of difference.
IPVanish vs NordVPN: Similarities & Differences
|$3.59 / month(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee||$3.33 / month(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee|
|Payment methods||PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash||PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay|
|Supports split tunneling||Android only|
|Free trial available||7 days on mobile|
|Worldwide server amount||5,000 servers in 59 countries||82 servers in 52 countries|
|Desktop OSes||Windows, MacOS, Linux||Windows, MacOS, Linux|
|Mobile OSes||Android, iOS||Android, iOS|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge||Chrome|
|Can be installed on routers|
|Can access Netflix US|
|Can access BBC iPlayer|
|Can access Hulu|
|Can access Amazon Prime Video|
|Encryption types||256-AES, ChaCha20||256-AES|
|VPN protocols available||OpenVPN, IKEv2, NordLynx||IPSec, OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2, WireGuard|
|Enabled at device startup|
|Passed DNS leak test|
|Malware/ad blocker included|
Let’s begin with the features that NordVPN and IPVanish share. There are subtle differences in some of these features, but overall, you’ll get about the same options from both providers.
NordVPN and IPVanish both include OpenVPN, the most popular protocol around. It’s a good choice if you want a relatively fast protocol that’s undergone plenty of real-world stress testing.
If you need fast speeds for streaming or gaming, opt for NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol or the WireGuard protocol on IPVanish. As we explain in our VPN protocols guide, WireGuard is built for speed thanks to its use of the ChaCha20 cipher, which is much faster than OpenVPN’s AES-256 while maintaining excellent security.
NordLynx is NordVPN’s proprietary protocol, and it’s based on the WireGuard protocol. Thanks to its double NAT system, it can provide secure connections without storing personal user data, like your IP.
Both VPN providers offer the IKEv2/IPSec protocol on all their apps. This VPN protocol is handy on mobile devices since it can switch between WiFi and cellular connections without exposing your data.
Free Trial and Money-Back Guarantee
NordVPN and IPVanish offer seven-day free trials on Android. IPVanish offers seven days free on iOS devices as well.
Both NordVPN and IPVanish offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can get a full refund if you request it within the first 30 days of your purchase. With NordVPN, this means you can use the monthly plan like a free 30-day trial if you request a refund before the time is up. However, IPVanish’s 30-day money-back guarantee is unavailable on the monthly plan.
Streaming is another department where NordVPN and IPVanish are neck and neck. In our testing, we discovered that both can unblock virtually any streaming service placed before them: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Disney Plus all worked perfectly.
We tested both on less-popular streaming platforms as well, like Peacock TV and Tubi TV, and the VPNs got us in without any trouble.
If you’re concerned about buffering and lag when streaming video, we recommend NordVPN over IPVanish. NordVPN offers faster and more consistent speeds — as we’ll detail further in the next section. You can stream movies in the highest quality available without buffering wheels.
NordVPN also has a DNS feature known as SmartPlay baked into its VPN app. This does not secure your connection, but it can change your IP address and unblock streaming services while offering faster speeds. All these components make NordVPN one of the best VPNs for streaming.
You can use the split tunneling feature on both NordVPN and IPVanish. NordVPN’s split tunneling is available on Windows, Android and Android TV apps, while IPVanish’s version is only available on Android and Fire OS devices.
Split tunneling encrypts only a specific part of your VPN traffic. For instance, you can set the Netflix app to go through the VPN server while all other traffic from your device is unencrypted. This can help you conserve bandwidth and get better speeds for tasks that don’t involve sensitive information.
NordVPN and IPVanish offer about the same options for customer support. Both have resource-rich knowledgebases containing FAQs, setup guides and troubleshooting guides.
Both IPVanish and NordVPN’s setup guides contain annotated screenshots. Their YouTube pages are also quite active, in case you want video guides and explainers.
We also noticed that IPVanish’s knowledgebase could use an organization refresh. For instance, articles under the subsection “Best Streaming Speeds” are placed under “Setup Guides.”
Both providers offer email support. With IPVanish, you’ll have to fill in several fields before sending over your query. NordVPN makes it easier: Simply send your email to [email protected].
If you need live support, use NordVPN or IPVanish’s live chat feature. Both operate in the same way. You’ll have to interact with their chatbots before gaining access to a human agent. However, once you do, NordVPN and IPVanish’s support agents are prompt, kind and helpful.
NordVPN and IPVanish have several major differences, which we’ll highlight in this section.
Our tests showed that IPVanish leaks DNS requests on its servers, while NordVPN doesn’t. Such leaks occur when your internet traffic goes to your DNS servers without being encrypted by the VPN. This makes your IP address open to your internet service provider (ISP). If you’re looking to hide your IP address and traffic, NordVPN is the better pick.
If you read our best fast VPN article, you’ll notice that IPVanish doesn’t make the cut. One reason why is that IPVanish’s download speeds dropped below 80% of our initial speeds in most locations we tested, including the U.K., Brazil and Australia. While those are decent speeds, they don’t match up to what the fastest VPNs offer.
NordVPN, on the other hand, maintained at least 80% of our unprotected download speeds in all countries except Australia. NordVPN also tops our fastest VPN list, thanks to these impressive download speeds, stable upload speeds and low latency — both worldwide and in the U.S.
NordVPN’s faster and more reliable speeds make it our preferred choice for activities like streaming and gaming.
A kill switch is a must-have. Kill switches prevent traffic from leaking accidentally. They do this by automatically disconnecting you from the internet if your VPN disconnects.
NordVPN and IPVanish both offer a kill switch, but some differences exist. NordVPN’s kill switch is available on all major platforms, while IPVanish’s kill switch doesn’t work on iOS.
In addition, IPVanish’s kill switch is only available when using the OpenVPN protocol. If you switch to WireGuard, the kill switch will not work. NordVPN’s kill switch works with all its protocols.
Both NordVPN and IPVanish implement a system-wide kill switch, which disconnects your entire device from the internet if the VPN connection drops. However, NordVPN also has an app-level kill switch on Windows, which allows you to specify which apps should be blocked.
After reviewing NordVPN and IPVanish’s plans, IPVanish’s prices are slightly cheaper. However, in terms of value for money, NordVPN comes out on top. NordVPN’s monthly Standard plan costs $12.99 per month. IPVanish’s monthly offer is a dollar cheaper, costing $11.99 monthly.
Both VPN companies offer yearly plans. You’ll have to pay $4.50 per month for IPVanish for a year. This is a little cheaper than NordVPN’s annual package of $4.99 per month.
If you want a longer-term VPN subscription, both VPNs offer two-year plans. At $3.33 per month, IPVanish’s two-year plan is again more affordable than NordVPN’s offer of $3.59 per month, though all of NordVPN’s plans come with malware protection and an ad and tracker blocker.
You can also pay extra to get a cross-platform password manager and a data breach scanner under NordVPN’s Plus plan. This plan costs $13.79 monthly, $5.79 per month for a year or $4.49 per month for two years.
NordVPN also offers the Complete plan, which includes a secure 1TB of cloud storage. You’ll have to part with $14.99 for a month, $6.99 per month for a year or $5.84 per month for two years.
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
IPVanish offers unlimited simultaneous connections, which means you can use IPVanish on as many devices as you want. NordVPN caps it at six devices per subscription. This makes IPVanish the better choice if you need a VPN for a large household or to share with friends.
However, using either VPN on a router helps you circumvent device limits. For example, although NordVPN caps devices at six, you can use it on a router and protect all connected devices, while only taking up one connection. NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for routers.
VPN Server Locations
NordVPN has a more extensive server network, with over 5,000 servers in 60 countries. In comparison, IPVanish has about 2,200 servers in 51 countries.
More than 2,000 of IPVanish’s servers are in North America and Europe. This VPN server distribution is excellent if you want an American or European IP address, but the server options are threadbare if you’re looking outside those locations. With fewer servers, you might face congestion and slow speeds.
NordVPN’s server spread is much better. It has numerous servers in North America and Europe but also several locations in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
Obfuscation is necessary if you’re in a jurisdiction that uses VPN-blocking firewalls. NordVPN’s fleet of specialty servers includes obfuscated servers that can hoodwink VPN-detecting applications. It has obfuscated servers in Hong Kong, Japan, the UAE, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.
IPVanish also has obfuscation, but it’s only available on Windows, macOS, Android and Fire TV devices. Known as OpenVPN Scramble, this feature is designed to add stealth to your VPN traffic, but it’s only available on OpenVPN.
NordVPN makes obfuscation available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux operating systems. NordVPN’s obfuscated servers are also only available on OpenVPN (TCP/UDP). When you attempt to connect to an obfuscated server, NordVPN will ask to change your protocol to OpenVPN first.
Logging Policy, Scandals and Audits
Virtually every VPN claims to abide by a strict no-logs policy for VPN users. However, we always take those claims with a grain of salt, since there are records of VPNs that have ignored their own rules.
NordVPN is also no stranger to controversy, though it’s never gone against its written privacy policies. In 2018, a hacker accessed the VPN’s TLS keys, which could have been used to create a duplicate NordVPN website. However, the hacker couldn’t access or monitor user logs. To be fair, NordVPN reacted promptly, removing the hacker from its systems and auditing all its servers.
In contrast, as of 2023, NordVPN has undergone three independent audits to verify its no-logs policy. The last audit was conducted by Deloitte, one of the Big Four auditing firms. At the end of the examination, Deloitte gave NordVPN a clean bill of health.
NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses, which IPVanish doesn’t have. Most VPNs use shared IP addresses, which means the same IP address is cycled between multiple users on a server. If the IPs are flagged as suspicious — which can happen if someone misused the same server you’re on — you might see an increase in CAPTCHAs while using the VPN.
In our books, NordVPN is the best VPN with dedicated IPs. It has dedicated IP servers in over 15 countries: the U.S., the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands and France. It offers multiple locations in the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.
Advanced Security Features
NordVPN offers more extras than IPVanish, including double VPN servers. This feature routes your traffic through two servers instead of one, adding a second layer of security to your traffic. The tradeoff is that your speeds might be reduced.
NordVPN also offers dark web monitoring for those concerned about identity theft. This tool scours the dark web and informs you as soon as your credentials and accounts appear on dark web sites.
Which Is Better: NordVPN vs IPVanish?
Overall, NordVPN is the better VPN for most use cases. It’s faster than IPVanish, making it the best choice for any data-intensive activity, like streaming and gaming. In addition, NordVPN is the more secure choice. Unlike IPVanish, it doesn’t suffer from DNS leaks and offers features like dark web monitoring, dedicated IPs and double VPN servers.
IPVanish could be a good choice if you want a VPN to use on as many devices as possible, since it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. IPVanish is also slightly cheaper, but not by much.
We Recommend NordVPN If You Want…
- A fast VPN: NordVPN boasts exceptionally fast download and upload speeds, making it great for streaming and gaming.
- A secure VPN: NordVPN doesn’t suffer from DNS leaks and offers many extra security features, including double VPN and dark web monitoring.
- A large server network: NordVPN offers more than 5,000 servers in over 60 countries.
We Recommend IPVanish VPN If You Want…
- Unlimited simultaneous connections: IPVanish allows you to connect to as many devices as you want on one subscription.
- A cheap VPN: All of IPVanish’s plans are slightly cheaper than NordVPN’s.
If You Want to Consider Other Services, Check Out…
Average speedDownload Speed91 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency6 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, PaymentWall
- : 5
Average speedDownload Speed74 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency46 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Amazon Pay
- : 7
Average speedDownload Speed94 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency3 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
Average speedDownload Speed96 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency117 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay
- : Unlimited
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 30
The Verdict: Why We Think NordVPN Wins Overall
From our research and testing, NordVPN is far better than IPVanish. It’s a much faster VPN provider and has more security features, including DNS leak protection, a kill switch on all devices, double VPN servers, dedicated IPs and dark web monitoring.
Even though IPVanish offers unlimited device connection, using NordVPN on a router offers a comparable experience. However, IPVanish’s plans are slightly more affordable.
What do you think of our VPN comparisons? Have you made a choice between NordVPN and IPVanish? Have you used either of them before? What was your experience? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. As always, thanks for reading.
FAQ: NordVPN-IPVanish Comparison
NordVPN is better than IPVanish because it’s faster and more secure. Plus, it offers over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, compared to IPVanish’s approximately 2,000 servers in 51 countries.
NordVPN is an excellent VPN, with fast speeds, a massive server network and an excellent security record. It’s available on all major operating systems. It’s a good choice for streaming, gaming and torrenting. You can try NordVPN with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
From our experience, ExpressVPN is the best VPN service. It has speedy and secure servers in 94 countries that can unblock virtually any website or streaming service. It also has obfuscation on all servers by default, so it’s great for countries that limit internet use.