IPVanish full review

IPVanish review: Tier-1 VPN service should offer best network speeds

IPVanish is a tier-1 VPN service, which means it could offer the best network speeds. Read our IPVanish VPN review. (Also see: Best free VPN services 2015.)

IPVanish is a tier-1 VPN service, the only one in the world according to the company. This may enable the best network speeds, as a tier 1-connected communications provider can reach every other network that forms the internet without having to transit.

The company was founded in 2012 by a group of network engineers who work at a major content-delivery network (CDN) and network services business, which they declined to name. It is based in Orlanda, Florida, USA. Also see: How to use a free VPN: A step-by-step guide.

Privacy policy states that ‘nor do we track the web activities of users when they are logged into our VPN Services’. More specifically when we questioned this, an unnamed spokesperson told us that the company tracks nothing and keeps no logs. The only things it keeps are payment info, stored in a tested payment card industry (PCI) environment.

Prices start at $10 a month billed per month, then $26.99 for three months, or $77.99 for 12 months. Also see: How to watch US Netflix in the UK.

IPVanish supports Windows and OS X with its own native applications, and also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android. For other platforms, including Windows Phone, Ubuntu Linux, Chrome OS and DD-WRT routers, it has comprehensive setup guides on its website.

Protocols of OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec and PPTP are supported and you can connect two devices at the same time.

Many servers are made available across worldwide territories, and at time of press there are 52 in the US and Canada, 6 in central and south America, 4 in Oceania, 4 in Africa, 23 in Asia, and 80 across Europe (including 10 in the UK).

The company’s tier-1 status is used to promote good network speed. In our tests performance could not be faulted. We tried a local connection from London to a London VPN server, and saw low latency of just 4 ms, and up/download speeds of 35 MB/s over our office leased line connection. And that was using L2TP rather than the generally speedy OpenVPN in UDP mode. We pinged servers in eastern Europe and transfers still held at around 30 MB/s, with 40 ms latency. Also see: Why you need a VPN.

IPVanish review: Software

The main interface window features a map showing your nearby area in the world, in our case Europe, with a ballon showing your current location based on geo-fixing your real IP address.

On the left are five main options – Dashboard, the primary interface; Server Selection; IP Settings; Account; and Support. Also see: How to watch US Netflix on an Android phone or tablet.

From the Server Selection window you can select your preferred server by your usage type (for example, the fastest, or a media/gaming-optimised connection based on location in either the US, Canada or UK). Alternatively you can select from a flat list, which can be reordered by latency, last connected or country. There’s also a selection of server by a simple graphical world map. Confusingly though, after we changed VPN server the previous location and country flag was still sometimes showing at the top of the main window.

The IP Settings option lets you verify your current virtual IP address, as well as set the application to automatically change your IP address every 60 minutes, or an interval of your choice. The Account option besides letting you administer your account details includes a handy list of all available servers with a percentage load reading.

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