This article has been just updated: January 18, 2024
The year 2024 is here, but many internet users still have a lackluster attitude toward online security and privacy. That’s especially troubling considering that it has never been easier to enjoy the internet without being tracked, snooped upon, or prevented from accessing certain websites.
In this article, we compare two leading VPN services—NordVPN and IPvanish—to find out which of them is the best VPN for internet users who want to take their online security and privacy to the next level in 2024.
NordVPN launched in 2012 as a personal virtual private network (VPN) service provider, and it has recently become the first official cyber security partner of Liverpool F.C. The service is based in Panama, which is great news for its users because the Central American country doesn’t participate in the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes alliances and has no mandatory data retention laws.
Since its launch, NordVPN has been praised by a number of respected online and print publications, with both PC Magazine and CNET rating it 5 out of 5 stars and praising its advanced features—more on them later. Like most VPN providers, NordVPN isn’t exactly transparent about its ownership, and all we know is that the company behind it, Tefinkom, is a Sociedad Anónima and the directors are nominee directors.
IPVanish was launched the same year as NordVPN, in 2012, by Mudhook Media, an independent subsidiary of Highwinds Network Group. In 2017, CDN company StackPath acquired United States-based Highwinds Network Group, and IPVanish was included as part of the acquisition.
However, the new owner of IPVanish vehemently denies that anything like that could have happened.
“At the time of the acquisition, […] no logs existed, no logging systems existed, and no previous, current, or future intent to save logs existed,” says Lance Crosby, the founder, and CEO of StackPath.
Different people expect different things from VPN services, and NordVPN definitely appeals to those who want access to cutting-edge features that improve the overall user experience and guarantee complete privacy.
Whereas IPVanish has 1,100 servers in 60 countries, NordVPN lets its users choose from over 5,200 servers in 62 countries. More servers means a better VPN experience and more options how to stay hidden.
Some NordVPN servers exit onto the Tor network, which consists of volunteer-operated servers that allows people to improve their privacy and security on the internet. IPVanish customers can also access the Tor network, but mostly only for web browsing.
Last but not least, NordVPN protects its users from online advertisements, tracking, and malware with CyberSec, an advanced technology solution that enables enhanced security, better performance, and control.
When testing NordVPN and IPVanish with a 100 Mbps cable internet connection, the two VPN services came neck and neck. That’s because both NordVPN and IPVanish have plenty of servers in all major geographical areas around the world.
Latency plays an important role in online gaming, video streaming, and all other use cases where a few milliseconds can be the difference between a great user experience and a horrid one. NordVPN has emerged as a clear winner in our testing, and we’re hardly surprised. After all, NordVPN has over 5,200 servers, whereas IPVanish has “just” 1,100.
NordVPN is widely known as one of the most affordable VPN services out there. If you choose its 3-year plan, you can pay as little as $2.99 for a month of service, with $107.55 billed every 3 years. For those who would rather not pay so much money upfront, NordVPN has two other discounted plans.
The 2-year plan costs $95.75 every 2 years, which amounts to $3.99 per month. The 1-year plan costs $83.88 per year, which amounts to $6.99 per month. You can, of course, pay for just one month of service, in which case the price jumps up to $11.95.
IPVanish offers just three plans. Its 1-year plan costs $77.99 annually, which amounts to $6.49 per month, making it more affordable than NordVPN’s 1-year plan but significantly more expensive than NordVPN’s 3-year plan. You can also go with the 3-months plan, which costs $26.99 every 3 months, or $8.99 per month. Finally, there’s the 1-month plan, which costs $10.
If you’ve read our comparison carefully, you probably won’t be surprised by our verdict. NordVPN is clearly a superior VPN service, offering better features, more servers to choose from, and more attractive subscription plans than IPVanish.
That said, IPVanish is by no means a bad VPN service. Its biggest flaws are the fact that it’s based in the United States and the lack of long-term subscription plans with better value.
NordVPN and IPVanish provide robust security features, including AES 256-bit encryption, but NordVPN offers a bit more with Double VPN and Onion over VPN for extra security layers. Additionally, NordVPN is based in Panama, which has no mandatory data retention laws, whereas IPVanish is US-based, which could be a concern for the privacy-conscious due to the US’s surveillance programs.
Yes, both NordVPN and IPVanish are effective at accessing geo-restricted content, as they both have a wide range of servers around the globe. However, NordVPN is often praised for its reliability in bypassing stringent geo-blocks on platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
As of 2024, NordVPN had over 5,000 servers globally, while IPVanish offered over 1,300 servers. The vast server network that NordVPN provides allows for better speed and stability and reduces server load.
Yes, NordVPN and IPVanish support P2P file sharing and torrenting on their servers. However, NordVPN has specialized P2P servers optimized for torrenting, which may offer a better experience.
NordVPN and IPVanish both offer broad platform compatibility, with native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more. They also provide browser extensions and support for routers, with NordVPN being slightly ahead in terms of overall device compatibility.
NordVPN offers 24/7 customer support via live chat and email, which users generally rate highly. IPVanish also provides a live chat option and email support, but feedback suggests that NordVPN’s customer service is more responsive and helpful.
NordVPN usually has a higher upfront cost but offers better discounts for longer plans, making it more economical in the long run. IPVanish‘s pricing plans are competitive, but they don’t offer as significant a reduction on multi-year plans.
Yes, both services provide a money-back guarantee. NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, while IPVanish offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish edges out NordVPN by offering unlimited simultaneous connections, whereas NordVPN allows up to 6 devices connected at the same time.
NordVPN maintains a strict no-logs policy, audited by an independent third party, ensuring user activity isn’t recorded. IPVanish also claims to have a no-logs policy, but its US jurisdiction might worry some privacy enthusiasts.
Both NordVPN and IPVanish can be configured on compatible routers, extending VPN protection to all connected devices in your home network.
Users generally find NordVPN‘s interface sleek, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. IPVanish has made significant improvements to its interface over the years, but some users may find it less intuitive than NordVPN’s.
IPVanish provides a split tunneling feature, which allows you to choose which apps go through the VPN and which don’t. NordVPN lacks this feature on most platforms, but it is available in its Android app.
NordVPN offers unique features such as CyberSec, which blocks ads and malicious sites, Double VPN for extra encryption, and Onion over VPN for Tor users. These features provide additional layers of security and privacy compared to what is available on IPVanish.
In many speed tests, NordVPN ranks as one of the fastest VPNs available, thanks to its NordLynx protocol. IPVanish also delivers good speeds, but NordVPN has a slight edge, especially in long-distance connections.
NordVPN had one known security breach in 2024, but it responded transparently and took significant steps to upgrade its security infrastructure. On the other hand, there have been no widely reported security breaches involving IPVanish to date.
Both NordVPN and IPVanish have straightforward setup processes with easy-to-follow instructions, allowing even non-tech-savvy users to install and start using their VPN services with minimal hassle.
Yes, NordVPN and IPVanish give users the choice of several VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and more. NordVPN additionally provides its NordLynx protocol, which is based on the WireGuard technology.
NordVPN provides obfuscated servers that disguise VPN traffic as regular HTTPS traffic, which is especially useful in countries with restrictive internet policies. Both NordVPN and IPVanish offer dedicated IP options, though it may come with an additional cost.
While IPVanish doesn’t typically offer a free trial, NordVPN does provide a 30-day money-back guarantee that can effectively be used as a trial period. Nonetheless, it’s important to check their respective websites for any updates on offers. You can start exploring NordVPN on their official website here, and see what IPVanish has to offer here.