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PureVPN vs IPVanish

PureVPN vs IPVanish

You may be interested in PureVPN or IPVanish and wonder how they stack up against each other. Look no further – we closely examine each one in our PureVPN vs IPVanish comparison.

Jeremy GanIgor Kurtz

Written by Jeremy Gan (Writer)

Facts checked by Igor Kurtz (Fact-checking editor)

Last Updated: 2023-12-12T12:00:00+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing.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

3.5
3.4
  • Apps for most devices
  • Built-in speed test
  • Budget friendly
  • Set trusted WiFi networks
  • Responsive chat & support
  • Unlimited device connections
$2.29 / month(save 81%)(All Plans)

Key Takeaways: IPVanish vs PureVPN

  • The main difference between IPVanish and PureVPN is the more extensive set of features offered by the latter.
  • PureVPN’s security, server network, privacy and headquarters location are superior.
  • IPVanish may not be as good, but it offers unlimited connections per account and has better streaming performance.

IPVanish and PureVPN are two VPN providers that can’t compete with the best VPNs in many areas. Due to the lack of several crucial functions and having fallen short in the past on preserving user privacy, neither received high scores in our previous reviews. In this comparison of PureVPN vs IPVanish, we’ll see whether either service has improved and how they stack up against each other.

PureVPN performed admirably in our tests, even matching some of ExpressVPN’s features (see our PureVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison). However, IPVanish has been somewhat stagnant. It broke users’ trust by handing over user data to the FBI years ago, and some features are still lacking. Nevertheless, it still unblocks streaming services efficiently.

We’ll take a look at both VPNs, highlighting what they have in common and what differentiates them. We hope this article helps you make an informed decision. 

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    • : PayPal, Credit card
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How Did We Rate PureVPN vs IPVanish?

This is the first time we’ve compared these two VPNs, but we previously rated PureVPN and IPVanish individually. Our PureVPN review has the latest information, as does our IPVanish review

IPVanish vs PureVPN: Comparison at a Glance

You can find a quick comparison table of PureVPN and IPVanish below. 

$2.29 / month(All Plans) 31-days money-back guarantee$3.33 / month(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
ReviewReview
General
Payment methodsPayPal, Credit cardPayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections 10 Unlimited
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period
Worldwide server amount6,500 servers in 65 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-AES256-AES
VPN protocols availableOpenVPN, IKEv2IPSec, 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

Which Is Better: PureVPN vs IPVanish

We took an in-depth look at PureVPN and IPVanish, comparing their security features, speeds, prices, and more. We concluded that PureVPN is superior to IPVanish in many ways, with the crucial point being privacy. However, for users who only want to stream, IPVanish is better at unblocking streaming platforms.

PureVPN comes with more advanced security features like a universal kill switch, quantum-resistant servers and updated VPN protocols. IPVanish has unlimited simultaneous connections like Surfshark (our Surfshark review can tell you more), but split tunneling is inexplicably only available on Android. 

IPVanish is primarily good for its streaming capabilities, but it’s not iOS friendly. In the end, there are better options than IPVanish. We highly recommend that you consider PureVPN or any of the best VPN services.

We Recommend PureVPN if You Want…

  • Affordable protection: PureVPN can match some of the best VPNs’ online security.
  • Fast speeds: After some server upgrades, PureVPN now has speeds comparable to some of the fastest VPNs.
  • Good privacy: PureVPN is now based in the British Virgin Islands, where it can legally keep zero connection logs.

We Recommend IPVanish if You Want…

  • Good streaming performance: IPVanish can unblock many streaming sites easily.
  • Unlimited connections at once: Though not as good as Surfshark, IPVanish offers as many connections on one account as you want.

If You Want to Consider Other Services, Check Out…

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    Visit Private Internet AccessReview
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    $3.08 / month(save 37%)(All Plans)
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    • : PayPal, Credit card, Coinbase, SEPA, Discover
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    $3.33 / month(save 66%)(All Plans)
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    • : PayPal, Credit card, PayNearMe, Wire transfer
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    $3.75 / month(save 58%)(All Plans)
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    Visit Webroot Wifi VPN SecurityReview
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PureVPN vs IPVanish: Similarities

In this section, you’ll learn what these two VPNs have in common. 

Money-Back Guarantee

IPVanish offers a refund period lasting 30 days to let users test its app. PureVPN has a 31-day money-back guarantee. As long as you request a refund within the designated period, you’ll get your money back in full. 

Breaches of Privacy

Both IPVanish and PureVPN have betrayed their users’ trust in the past. In 2017, PureVPN gave the FBI information to catch a cyberstalker despite having a no-logs policy in place. In reality, it was keeping connection logs, which don’t directly unmask users but can point to real identities when cross-referenced with other information.

PureVPN later updated its privacy policy to remove connection logs and now declares that it keeps no logs at all. It seems to have held to this promise so far, as we haven’t heard of any similar incidents in the past six years.

IPVanish also kept logs despite claiming to uphold a strict no-logs policy. It cooperated with the FBI in 2016, handing over user connection times, an email address and other information to convict a person in possession of child sexual abuse material.

To be clear, we at Cloudwards don’t condone crime, but if a VPN company breaches its own policies, it’s better to switch to another provider. The fact that IPVanish was willing to ignore its own privacy policy makes any future changes difficult to trust without outside verification.

VPN Protocols

PureVPN offers the best VPN protocols in the industry, which are OpenVPN, WireGuard and IKEv2. IPVanish also includes these reliable protocols, as well as formerly offering IPsec and L2TP, both of which are now considered outdated.

purevpn protocols
PureVPN’s list of protocols is as good as it gets.

L2TP is usually paired with IPsec for encryption, so IPVanish’s former decision to separate them is questionable. The provider claims to have retired these two and SSTP in 2022; our latest look at the app proved that this is the case. We’re happy to see this, as aging protocols can be a security risk if users aren’t properly informed of the danger.

ipvanish protocols
IPVanish now only offers secure VPN protocols on its apps.

OpenVPN and IKEv2 use the AES-256 cipher, a secure encryption protocol that would take the strongest supercomputers millions of years to break through. WireGuard uses the ChaCha20 cipher, which is also safe and future-proof against the most powerful attacks. 

Unlimited Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to the maximum capacity allowed for a connection. Both IPVanish and PureVPN offer unlimited bandwidth, which is perfect for streaming without slowdowns. Each connection on a single account has unrestricted download and upload speeds. The only limits are your internet plan and the surrounding environment. 

Kill Switch

PureVPN has a standard kill switch that kicks in if your VPN connection is interrupted. This switch works to prevent data leaks. IPVanish had previously locked its kill switch to OpenVPN, which discouraged users from picking the normally faster WireGuard. However, this seems to have changed, as you can now connect to WireGuard and activate the kill switch.

Free Trial

We’ve previously written about PureVPN’s seven-day free trial. To access it, you need to use an Android or iOS device to register and provide a payment method. The account then works on a PC or Mac if you log in with the same credentials.

If you’re on a PC, you can also pay $0.99 for a seven-day trial. You can access the complete feature set with both trials. If seven days isn’t enough, you can pay for a subscription and use the money-back guarantee.

IPVanish currently also offers a free trial on mobile that’s similar to PureVPN’s trial. Whichever you choose, remember to cancel in time to avoid unwanted charges.

No DNS Leaks

If your web traffic bypasses a VPN connection, your ISP can see your real IP address by looking at your DNS requests. In other words, your VPN isn’t protecting your information from prying eyes. Our tests on PureVPN proved that its DNS leak protection is intact — it masked our IP address every time. 

ipvanish extra connection features
IPVanish now ensures that your internet service provider and IP address aren’t leaked.

IPVanish was a different story last year — we used ipleak.net to test its security and found it lacking. Our actual location was always visible no matter which servers we chose. As of this writing, we’re pleased to report that the leak seems to have been plugged. Our actual location was always hidden, even after switching servers several times.

Customer Service

PureVPN lets users contact customer support via live chat or email if the knowledge base isn’t helpful enough. IPVanish boasts similar customer support but also accepts phone calls. However, you can only call in six countries: the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., Spain, Australia and Brazil. We also discovered that you can contact IPVanish on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) for assistance.

PureVPN’s knowledge base has been tidied up and looks more presentable than it did when we last checked. IPVanish’s knowledge base has also improved, but we did note some spelling mistakes. Some articles used to be disorganized, but that is no longer the case. It also has a status page that shows upcoming scheduled maintenance and uptime.

Payment Methods

Besides PayPal and credit cards. PureVPN lets you pay using CoinGate, Google Pay and Paymentwall. CoinGate is the only way to pay using cryptocurrencies, although the payments aren’t refundable. 

IPVanish accepts PayPal, credit cards and Google Pay. A good VPN adapts to the times, but IPVanish still hasn’t introduced anonymous payments like PureVPN has. For example, Proton VPN accepts Bitcoin payments. Read more about it in our Proton VPN review.

Obfuscation

Obfuscation disguises your traffic to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. PureVPN has built-in obfuscation if you use OpenVPN. With IPVanish, which calls its obfuscation “scramble,” you have to activate the feature manually. The “scramble” option likewise only works if you use OpenVPN. 

ipvanish scramble
Similar to the stealth protocol on some VPNs, IPVanish has obfuscation capabilities.

Split Tunneling Availability

Split tunneling lets you choose which apps to include in the VPN tunnel. Both VPNs have this feature but limit it to different platforms. PureVPN has split tunneling only for the Windows and Android apps, as well as on Firestick. IPVanish is even worse — only the Android IPVanish app has split tunneling.

One common use case of split tunneling is excluding video games from the VPN connection, especially if they require split-second decisions. Since VPN connections reduce speeds and introduce latency, players might experience lag or stuttering. Confining split tunneling to one or two operating systems makes both of these VPNs poor choices for gaming (but we’ve listed some better ones). 

PureVPN vs IPVanish: Differences

Here are the areas in which IPVanish and PureVPN differ. 

Browser Extensions

PureVPN has browser extensions available on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera (through a loophole) and Brave. Its extension is a stripped-down VPN that prevents you from changing the protocol or activating the kill switch. However, we like that it has a “popular websites” section that instantly connects you to a VPN server and a common website at the same time. It even lets you choose regions for streaming.

purevpn browser extension
PureVPN’s extension is especially helpful for streaming.

IPVanish has been operating for a long time, yet there are no signs of a browser extension. Though there’s an app for ChromeOS, only Chromebooks use this operating system – and there are better VPNs for Chromebooks.

Simultaneous Connections

PureVPN allows for 10 simultaneous connections on one account, and there are no bandwidth restrictions. IPVanish has unlimited simultaneous connections, letting you easily share the VPN with friends and family.

Streaming Performance

PureVPN can unblock some popular streaming sites, such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. In our recent tests, it worked better with Netflix than ever before. We were able to access Netflix France and the Dutch Netflix library. In further good news, since upgrading its server bandwidths, PureVPN doesn’t seem to lag as much as before when streaming content.

From the start, IPVanish has had no problem unblocking all the popular streaming platforms. Our latest tests showed that it can access Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and HBO Max. 

Despite IPVanish’s performance, we haven’t included it in our list of best VPNs for streaming due to its privacy concerns. This may not be a significant factor in streaming, but we still primarily recommend VPNs based on privacy.

Ease of Use

PureVPN is one of the more user-friendly VPNs, with an interface on par with NordVPN’s (our NordVPN review delves into this). The interfaces are logical and take very little time to get used to. You can also find everything labeled correctly and organized in neat sections.

purevpn interface
It took only a few minutes to get used to PureVPN’s interface. 

IPVanish’s interface needs a bit of work. If you want to connect to a specific server on Windows, for example, you need to double-click it. The “connect” buttons on the server menu are for connecting to the currently selected location or optimal one. We also don’t like how difficult it is to find the download page on the website. 

ipvanish connected
Getting to see real-time upload and download speeds is always a plus. 

That’s not to say that IPVanish’s user experience is awful. The preferences menu is easy to navigate, and switching between day and night modes takes no time at all. We also like how the new apps have a sleeker look that trims down unnecessary elements. 

Headquarters

PureVPN used to be Hong Kong-based but moved to the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The move is advantageous for PureVPN’s zero-logs policy since it’s difficult for other governments to demand data from BVI-based companies. The lack of data-retention laws is another plus.

IPVanish is an American VPN, which means it’s in a Five Eyes country. Countries in this alliance collect data from sources such as phone calls, messages and emails. Though they can’t spy on their own citizens, these countries can spy on each other’s citizens and share the data, using counterterrorism and national security as an excuse. 

Being in a Five Eyes country doesn’t matter if a VPN adheres to its privacy policy. However, since IPVanish is known to have circumvented its own policy at least once, the presence of the intelligence-sharing alliance is a much bigger threat.

Server Locations

PureVPN’s spread of servers includes 83 locations across 65 countries. Its latest total server count is over 6,500. IPVanish, on the other hand, offers 75 locations in 52 countries, with 2,200 servers overall — barely a third of PureVPN’s total. 

The more servers a VPN has, the easier it is to obtain an IP address where you want with solid speeds. IPVanish’s network is far smaller, but PureVPN is also unimpressive when compared to many of the best providers. Private Internet Access is an example of a good VPN network; you can learn more about it in our PIA review

ipvanish vpn server list
You can pick servers easily on IPVanish, but you must
double-click to select specific locations.

PureVPN allows customers to suggest a specific country to add to its network. We didn’t see any similar option on IPVanish, whose network has barely changed since we began reviewing it.  

Virtual servers let a VPN offer more locations, though the performance might change if a server isn’t physically located where you expect it to be. IPVanish doesn’t share any information about whether its servers are virtual. We know that some of PureVPN’s servers are, though it’s hard to tell which ones despite the online list claiming that they’re “clearly mentioned.” 

purevpn virtual servers
Virtual servers provide IP addresses from countries with internet restrictions.

Server Types

PureVPN offers dedicated servers for port forwarding, torrenting, quantum resistance and dedicated IP addresses. Quantum resistance refers to the ability to stave off quantum computer attacks, but since quantum computing is not yet fully fledged, it’s hard to definitively prove this claim. 

purevpn dedicated servers
Choose from PureVPN’s specialized servers for your needs.

IPVanish doesn’t offer any specialized servers, but it does allow users to torrent in any location. All of its servers are effectively the same.

The Verdict: Why We Think PureVPN Wins Overall

PureVPN is the superior service thanks to its additional features, better security and faster speeds. IPVanish’s main advantage over PureVPN is unlimited connections on each account and better streaming performance. PureVPN is better overall, but we’re glad to see that IPVanish no longer has DNS leaks.

Do you trust IPVanish now? What do you think of PureVPN’s quantum-resistant servers? Let us know what you think in the comments section. Thank you for reading.

FAQ: PureVPN vs IPVanish Compared

  • Many VPNs, including ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark, are better than IPVanish.

  • PureVPN once provided information to the FBI but has improved its privacy policy to further restrict logging. Though it hasn’t violated its policy recently, there’s still a chance it could do so again.

  • PureVPN is quite fast and is even able to match ExpressVPN’s and NordVPN’s speeds at times.

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