NordVPN vs. IPVanish: Which is Better for You?

Top10.com Staff

NordVPN

Great value for a wealth of features
A feature-packed VPN service that is designed for the ultimate online experience
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IPVanish

For untraceable web surfing
A solid VPN service that offers a money-back guarantee and competitive pricing
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NordVPN and IPVanish are 2 widely known VPNs that each claim to offer a balance of speeds, performance and top-notch security and privacy—but which of the VPNs will come up clutch in a head-to-head comparison? Stick around as we review the 2 VPNs, and give you our best pick for each category—pricing, speeds, performance, security, privacy, and even the ease of use.

2IPVanish
IPVanish

A solid VPN service that offers a money-back guarantee and competitive pricing

Coming Soon
30 days
7 days
6 devices
10 devices
Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Browser Extensions, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Raspberry Pi, Firestick, Roku, Smart TVs, Routers
Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Firestick, Routers
Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, Obfuscation tech, Unlimited bandwidth, CyberSec, Double VPN, DNS Leak Protection, Onion over VPN, SmartPlay
SOCKS5 Web Proxy, Kill Switch
256-bit AES encryption
256-bit AES encryption
OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP/IPSec
OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP
No-logs policy
No-logs policy
Panama
United States
5,200+
1500+
59+ countries
75+ locations
Unlimited
Unlimited
Netflix, BBCCiPlayer, Hulu, HBO, Sky Go
Netflix US (Only), Hulu, HBO, Sky Go, Sky Sports
Yes
Yes
1 Month Plan for $11.95 per month 1 Year plan for $6.99 per month 2 Year plan for $4.99 per month 3 Year plan for $3.49 per month
1 Month Plan for $10.00 per month 3 Month Plan for $8.99 per month 6 Month Plan for $6.49 per month
24/7
24/7

Streaming

Most popular streaming outlets geo-restrict their content to certain regions. This means that even if you have an active subscription, and you happen to travel abroad, you won’t be able to access your favorite content. However,  with both NordVPN and IPVanish you can unlock these streaming services.

NordVPN is an excellent choice for streaming various sites. The Panama-based VPN has a perfect score on Netflix streaming tests. Moreover, the VPN can bypass the geo-restrictions of the various Netflix libraries around the world, including the US, UK, Canada, South Korea, France, Germany, Turkey and more.

NordVPN is also already accessing the recently launched Disney Plus service. You can connect to any regions where the giant outlet has launched and enjoy the best content from all supported libraries, including Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Disney, and Nat Geo. There are also other streams that you can access freely with NordVPN, such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, Sky Go, Amazon Prime, and more—the list is long.

Unfortunately, IPVanish doesn’t complete the list. Although Netflix US works on limited IPVanish US servers, other streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime do not. IPVanish can unblock the recently launched Disney Plus.

Simply put, NordVPN puts in the extra effort for hassle-free streaming. Between the 5,100+ servers and the automatic SmartPlay DNS feature, this provider has the tech and versatility you need to watch almost anything from anywhere.

When compared to NordVPN, IPVanish lacks servers that are optimized for streaming. Moreover, IPVanish also offers a limited number of servers to play around with—currently at 1,300 plus servers. This is not a low number of servers, but most of the server locations are blocked by popular streams.

Winner: NordVPN

Torrenting

Both NordVPN and IPVanish support P2P file transfer, but the 2 use different infrastructure for this functionality.

For instance, IPVanish lacks a dedicated torrenting profile because they simply allow P2P connections on all servers. This is somehow an easier approach, considering secure torrenting sessions need you to connect to VPN servers with a single tap.

On the other hand, NordVPN uses a different approach: it sports a separate P2P tab where you can select servers optimized for torrenting. You can enjoy over 4,400 torrenting servers – a big advantage over IPVanish.

In terms of features, both VPNs offer SOCKS5 proxies that you can integrate with your torrenting client. These proxies usually give enhanced speeds considering they aren’t compromised by encryption. However, due to advanced authentication, you still get an extra layer of security. Sadly, neither VPN supports port forwarding.

IPVanish is haunted by the DCMA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) US Policy. Since the VPN is based in the US, it’s required to monitor copyright infringement and report any DMCA instances. This is mainly because there’s a hard-to-differentiate line between legal and illegal torrenting actions—often leading to copyright infringement—something that’s highly prohibited in the US and other regions. As such, relying on IPVanish for torrenting is quite risky—it can lead to account suspensions.

NordVPN on the other hand enjoys free torrenting support, thanks to its remote location—Panama, a region that doesn’t have to observe DMCA policies.

Winner: NordVPN

While both VPNs make torrenting an effortless adventure, NordVPN comes out on top. This is thanks to its dedicated torrenting servers, P2P support, and non-US base of operations. IPVanish is also an excellent choice, but its legal issues can be a burden to torrent lovers.

Cost

The value of your money is an important factor to consider when settling for a VPN. Both NordVPN and IPVanish offer multiple subscription plans, but which of the 2 gives the best pricing rates?

IPVanish is a bit cheaper on its monthly plan when compared to its counterpart. But, when you compare the long-term packages of the 2, NordVPN takes the edge with its pricing. For instance, you can enjoy an up to 41% discount on Nord’s annual plan, while the 2-year plan will save you 58% of your money.

You can get the best deal from NordVPN’s excellent 3-year plan and a 70% discount. This is an excellent bargain if you want to get one of the leading VPNs in the industry at the best pricing.

Winner: NordVPN

NordVPN is continuously updating its pricing rates with regards to the time or season of the year—and their pricing is always very affordable. IPVanish on the other hand is quite expensive, and it doesn’t give enough value for streaming.

Ease of Use

As 2 of the top VPNs on the market, NordVPN and IPVanish are always working to give users an easy-to-use service, that gives little to no difficulty. However, when you consider all aspects of ease of use, including the website, and the VPN clients, one VPN takes the lead.

After years of tracking both services, I noticed that IPVanish rarely makes design changes like seasonal promotions on its website as NordVPN does—something that I find attractive in a VPN website. The IPVanish official website is rather static. Obviously, this means that NordVPN’s site is more dynamic, since they’re always updating the landing page with the latest VPN information. This includes seasonal subscription rates, latest awards, consumer testimonials, and more.

In terms of the app design, both NordVPN and IPVanish offer dedicated apps for all popular platforms and devices. However, NordVPN tends to have wider compatibility with most devices and platforms. The general design of the apps is excellent, and very easy to use. Although, I think NordVPN provides neater app designs, when compared to its competitor.

As 2 of the best premium VPNs, IPVanish and NordVPN are focused on giving users an easy, trouble-free time, but which is the most user-friendly?

IPVanish lets you access its servers in various categories, including country, city, or simply a specific server listing. NordVPN offers similar options, but you’ll have a more complex set of server types that includes a specialized listing like P2P servers.

Winner: NordVPN

While you’ll find both VPNs appealing in terms of how easy they are to handle, NordVPN presents a more favorable option in this category. This is thanks to its unrelenting campaign to offer a much improved user interface to its users, be it on the website, or the official client apps.

Speed

While the primary objective of a VPN is to offer cybersecurity, choosing a VPN that reduces your streaming speeds while keeping you safe is pointless. A good VPN gives you an excellent balance of speed and security when browsing the internet.

Both NordVPN and IPVanish offer the perfect combination of speed and encryption. But which of the 2 is the best? The difference to this question can be answered by the ability of either VPN to give you fairly faster speeds even when you connect to distant servers.

To try and choose the VPN with the fastest speeds, we decided to run a speedtest comparison of the 2 services. I managed to sample up to 10 different server locations around the world—as shown in the table below.

I also tested the internet speed without a VPN connection, to try and capture my baseline for this experiment: 

Server
Download speed (Mbps)
Upload speed (mbps)

IPVanish
NordVPN
IPVanish
NordVPN
Best available server
63.04
66.75
12.67
11.79
Australia (Perth)
60.38
64.93
10.09
11.05
New Zealand
60.01
63.05
8.78
9.98
Japan
55.46
58.40
8.58
10.01
South Korea
50.66
54.58
7.54
9.07
South Africa
45.34
47.35
7.09
8.13
United Kingdom (Glasgow)
41.44
40.99
5.43
6.87
Israel
34.39
36.44
6.12
5.56
United States (New York)
15.44
30.45
4.25
4.97
Brazil
10.87
28.90
2.23
3.67

I managed to record decent results from the speed tests in the different regions around the world. For instance, both VPNs performed really well in most parts of Australia and New Zealand. The speeds went slightly down in some parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa—but the speeds were still blazing fast. Due to the distance from my actual location, distant servers in the US, and parts of South America, registered lesser speeds—due to the multiple encryptions involved.

IPVanish is quite fast in some parts of the UK (Glasgow) compared with NordVPN, but not so much in other regions. NordVPN is, however, very fast in most regions, and even records almost the same speeds to the baseline result when connected to the best available server.

NordVPN also sports excellent speeds for most distant server locations—when compared to IPVanish. For instance, NordVPN recorded speeds almost twice as fast  as IPVanish speeds in distant regions like the US, and Brazil.

Bear in mind that IPVanish isn’t bad either, as they managed to give top-notch speeds in some parts of Asia—but that’s it. I also noted that IPVanish takes unnecessarily longer time to connect to a single server.

Winner: NordVPN

NordVPN is the winner for this category. The Panama-based VPN records the  highest speeds for both near and distant server locations. Bear in mind that the overall connection speeds reduce as the distance of the VPN server increases.

Servers

One of the perks of having an exceptional VPN, is its server coverage around the world. In this category, both NordVPN and IPVanish present a strong case about their server network, but one one is a clear winner.

NordVPN runs the largest network of servers with over 5,560 servers in 59+ countries around the world. From this total, you can get up to 4,500+ P2P servers, 470+ Obfuscated servers, 40+ Double VPN servers, and around 3 Onion over VPN servers. NordVPN also gives over 70 servers with dedicated IPs.

This is not something that you can say about many top VPNs in the industry. Technically, running this number of servers requires a lot of resources, and NordVPN is able to manage the huddle, thanks to its large user-base.

US-based competitor IPVanish also offers an impressive network of approximately 1,300 servers, well distributed in over 75 locations around the world. IPVanish also gives up to 40,000 IPs on these servers for maximum anonymity.

While IPVanish offers many locations, the VPN lacks the specialized servers that you can find on NordVPN. Moreover, given the growing number of VPN subscribers, you’d want a VPN that can give you faster speeds without overloading a single server.

Winner: NordVPN

NordVPN is currently the leading VPN in terms of server coverage. Evidently, the VPN likes to be thorough, and is always striving to cover almost every part of the world. IPVanish isn’t too far behind, but it comes up short in the battle.

Privacy and Security

At a glance, both VPNs offer top-notch security and privacy. Both VPNs use industry standard encryption techniques, and their privacy policy is spot on.

But digging deep, I realize there is quite the comparison between the 2 [NordVPN and IPVanish].

Privacy

In terms of privacy, NordVPN has the advantage. The VPN is registered and operates from Panama—a remote region that advocates for privacy and has zero data retention laws. Thanks to this, NordVPN can easily guarantee to observe a zero logs policy.

Moreover, Panama isn’t part of either the 5, 9, or 14 eyes surveillance countries—alliances that force governments to spy on their users. This isn’t the case for IPVanish, which is located in the US. Luckily, IPVanish has somehow found a way to keep its users’ data private, away from the reach of the authorities. Although it’s worth noting that the VPN’s record isn’t exactly clean either.

Reportedly, in 2016, IPVanish shared private user information with a US security agency (Department of Homeland Security). And while the data given helped in a case that had to do with child abuse and other vile acts, it became clear that IPVanish had lied about its zero logs policy.

Things, however, got better for the VPN, following the change of ownership in 2017. The owners [Stack Path] introduced significant changes that have allowed IPVanish to provide trustworthy privacy.

Security and Protocols

Both VPNs use AES-256 encryption coupled with handshake authentication keys. Currently, this level of security is considered to be extremely strong and can be compared to that of the military—unbreakable.

NordVPN adds a Perfect Forward Secrecy technique to improve the security of VPN sessions—a dynamic encryption key that changes every few seconds.

OpenVPN is one of the best protocols for security, and thankfully, it’s heavily used by both VPNs. You can find the protocol in the native clients of Windows, Android, and Mac for both services. IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec are also other protocols that you can find in both NordVPN and IPVanish.

NordVPN goes the extra mile to provide exciting security features that you can benefit from, including a Kill Switch, CyberSec, Obfuscation technology, and DNS leak protection. For instance, you can use CyberSec as an ad-blocker and malware protection. The VPN also offers 2 options of kill switches, and gives the option to customize your DNS settings. There’s also the Double VPN feature that is quite rare in other VPNs.

IPVanish also offers its own unique set of security features, but they can’t match the depth of its counterpart. For instance, IPVanish provides a kill switch feature but not in customizable options, as is the case for NordVPN. They also offer basic DNS leak protection—but you can’t also enter your DNS settings.

On the plus side, with IPVanish, you can effortlessly change OpenVPN ports. The VPN also gives a stealth feature [obfuscation] that can benefit users in densely censored regions. However, bear in mind that IPVanish is currently blocked in China.

Notably, NordVPN works excellently in China, thanks to its obfuscation, and other features like Onion over VPN. Bear in mind that you should only use this special feature [obfuscated] when necessary, considering other standard servers won’t be available at the time.

Winner: NordVPN

NordVPN is the clear-cut winner, mainly because of its Panama legal jurisdiction. The VPN also leads in every aspect, including privacy, encryption and features. IPVanish might also argue the case with its best-in-class encryption and abundant security features, but its US jurisdiction gives it away.

Final Verdict

NordVPN is the overall winner in what I can call a fierce battle against IPVanish. IPVanish provided decent competition, but fell short in all categories. NordVPN, on the other hand, likes to be thorough in all aspects, and always strives to be the leader in the industry.

NordVPN offers an excellent balance of super-fast speeds, and high levels of security and privacy. Moreover, you can get their service at extremely cheap prices.

And the winner is...

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Top10.com Staff
Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors, writers and experts with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.