NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) help you maintain a bit of privacy and security while navigating the internet. They act as an encrypted tunnel that shuttles data from your PC to the open internet, hitting a specific server before going out into the world. NordVPN and IPVanish VPN are both top choices when it comes to VPN services, but you're no doubt trying to narrow it down to just one. Let's take a look at some of the important differences and similarities to help you decide between the two.

NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN: Log keeping

One of the most important aspects of a VPN is its stance on log keeping. Despite helping keep your privacy intact from other interested parties, VPNs that keep track (and logs) of your activity are not preferred. Why? Outside parties can get ahold of those logs, essentially eliminating the work of the VPN. In the case of NordVPN and IPVanish, both services promise to keep no logs.

From the IPVanish privacy policy.

In order to bill you and to ensure you retain service, an account is required. Other than that, IPVanish says it doesn't keep track of you. Keep in mind that IPVanish is located in the United States, a country with aggressive surveillance agencies.

From the NordVPN privacy policy.

NordVPN says that it cannot give in to any information requests, simply because it does not keep that information. The service is based in Panama, which happens to have no laws requiring data retention.

Related: 8 key questions to ask before you pick a VPN provider

NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN: Servers and locations

A good VPN service should have a large number of servers to choose from, allowing you to get a solid, fast connection no matter where you are, as well as allowing you to masquerade as an individual located in a different country.

In the case of NordVPN, you have 4,684 servers to choose from, spread out over 62 countries around the world. Some countries will have extra features included with their servers — P2P, Double VPN, etc. — while others will be a simple VPN hookup to mask your identity.

Though it has servers in more than 60 countries, IPVanish falls behind server count with just less than 1,100. If you plan on operating mostly in Europe or North America, either VPN service will likely do, but NordVPN edges out IPVanish for most other parts of the world.

NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN: Performance

I reviewed both NordVPN and IPVanish, and at that time I tested speeds of a few servers in the morning and in the evening. Comparing results, performance is essentially the same across the board. In some cases, you might see a small decrease in speed (depending on where the VPN server is located), and in others you might see a small increase in speed. Overall, performance is a draw.

NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN: Devices

If you only have one device you'd like to use with a VPN, either service will do; however, most people these days have multiple devices, which is why quality VPN services allow simultaneous connections under the same account.

IPVanish allows for up to 10 simultaneous connections under one account, but with a caveat. Only one device can connect using PPTP or L2TP, while the other devices must use OpenVPN, IKEv2, or IPSec. This isn't a big deal, as you'll no doubt want to stick to the latter three protocols for best performance. You can likewise use IPVanish with a DD-WRT or Tomato router, meaning any device connected to that router will receive the same VPN protection.

As for NordVPN, you can use it on up to six devices at once under the same account. Like IPVanish, NordVPN can be used with a router to cover all connected devices, but if you're looking for basic device functionality without extra work, IPVanish is the winner.

NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN: Bandwidth limits

Using a VPN to maintain privacy, only to be informed that you've reached a bandwidth limit, just won't do. You'll generally encounter this issue if you're using a free VPN, but here you won't have to worry.

Both IPVanish and NordVPN offer unlimited bandwidth without throttling. You're free to connect to a VPN server and keep it on as long as you want.

NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN: Features

NordVPN killswitch

NordVPN has a lot of extra goodies that most users can appreciate, including a double VPN system that creates an added layer of privacy (great for anyone threatened by political powers), a CyberSec filter that blocks ads and malicious websites, Onion access, and dedicated P2P servers for file sharing.

Both VPN services offer kill switches and have built-in measures to stop DNS leaks, and both services offer apps and clients for most popular devices. However, IPVanish does not have dedicated servers for P2P sharing, nor does it have a live chat option if you need assistance. You can email (and you should receive a prompt reply), but NordVPN has a live chat option. As far as features go, NordVPN comes out ahead.

NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN: Pricing and plans

NordVPN pricing.

NordVPN has three plans to choose from, each with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don't like the service. A two-year plan is the best deal, as you'll only pay about $3.29 per month. There's also a one-year plan that comes out to about $5.75 per month, and there's a one-month plan where you pay about $11.95.

The best deal of all, however, is a limited-time offering that gets you three years of NordVPN service for $99. Spread out over the 36 months, that comes to about $2.75 per month.

See at NordVPN

IPVanish pricing.

IPVanish likewise has three plans to choose from with a seven-day money-back guarantee. A yearly plan costs about $6.49 per month, a three-month plan costs about $8.99 per month, and a monthly plan costs about $10.

See at IPVanish

If you plan on operating on a month-to-month basis, IPVanish will be a couple dollars cheaper, but NordVPN will take less of your money on a monthly basis.

NordVPN vs. IPVanish VPN: Conclusion

Both of these VPN services have a lot to offer, including strong encryption, no logs, and knockout performance, and either one will make a good addition to your privacy repertoire. However, NordVPN has more servers and more extra features, and it will cost a bit less per month if you decide to jump on a long-term plan.

More resources

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.