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IPVanish vs NordVPN: Which provider is best?

IPVanish vs NordVPN
(Image credit: Future)

Picking the best VPN for you is a big decision, and with so much variety on the market it can be difficult to work out which will be best suited to your needs. So, that’s why we’re pitting the best of the best against each other – to help you make your money go further. This time it’s IPVanish vs NordVPN.

Two of the biggest and most established VPNs on the market, both IPVanish and NordVPN are trusted by countless users to protect their personal information and get more from the web – but which is right for you? Here, the two services will face off in the areas that really matter so that you can make an informed decision.

IPVanish vs NordVPN at a glance

IPVanish – Great US-based service
IPVanish is one of the finest VPNs on the market. You'll get unlimited connections, configurable apps and great speeds, and new customers will get an excellent price of just $3.33 a month.
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NordVPN – super encryption and reliable connections
NordVPN is a service you'll have heard of before, and for good reason: with incredible encryption and a really security-focused experience, it's one of the best available today. Starts at $3.71 a month.
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IPVanish vs NordVPN – specs on paper
IPVanishNordVPN
Number of servers:1,500+5,200+
Server countries:7559
Maximum simultaneous connections:Unlimited6
Money back guarantee:30 days30 days
Lowest monthly cost:$3.33$3.71

IPVanish vs NordVPN: Which is more affordable?

Let’s start with some numbers.

For new sign-ups, IPVanish's short-term plans are excellent value. For just $4.99 you can a single month, which is well below the going rate and makes IPVanish one of the best cheap monthly VPN services.

If you sign up for a year you can bag a price of just $3.33 a month, which is up there with the cheaper providers. Plus, you can add SugarSync cloud storage for just a few more cents a month.

However, it's worth noting that the price for both of these plans goes up on renewal, so your second rolling months will cost $9.99, and you second year will work out at $6.67 a month. 

NordVPN isn’t quite as much of a bargain at $11.95 for a rolling monthly plan. A six-month plan offers a small discount, coming in at $9.00 a month, but real savings are offered on the two-year plan, which is set at $3.71 a month.

While IPVanish isn't incredibly cheap in the long run, if you want to use a month to get used to the service, and are willing to switch after a year, it's good value. However, if you want to stay with your provider for the long term, then NordVPN is the better value of the two.

IPVanish vs NordVPN: Which is faster?

High on most people’s priority list is connection speed, and neither of these two providers are slowcoaches.

On our 75MB UK line, NordVPN delivered average speeds of 65-69MB. While in our testing IPVanish wasn’t hugely reliable on UK servers, this may have been thanks to the then-recent COVID-19 lockdown. However, from the UK to a Dutch server it still delivered 69MB. In a brief test conducted for this article on a 110MB UK line, IPVanish proved itself more reliable, averaging 105MB.

In the US things fell more in IPVanish’s favor, averaging a rapid 220MB, while NordVPN fluctuated between 125 and 300MB – and if we're honest, reliability is more valuable than outright speed.

So, both services deliver excellent connection speeds across the world – and apart from IPVanish’s blip in March, both appear very reliable, too. As a US VPN, IPVanish is probably the better of the two, while in the UK there’s very little in it.

IPVanish vs nordvpn

(Image credit: Future)

IPVanish vs NordVPN: Which is more secure?

Security and privacy should be the core of any VPN – and IPVanish and Nord are both good in this regard.

IPVanish makes bold claims of being a no-logs VPN, and its fairly recent introduction of unlimited simultaneous connections was claimed to be not only a value-add, but also a reworking of what they log from users. In effect, the company said that restricting the number of simultaneous connects required IPVanish to log data, so it abolished the limit and any related logging.

NordVPN, on the other hand, has recently undertaken a second independent audit of its privacy policy and servers, proving to customers it can be trusted – and also making up for the data server hack in 2018. Plus, it boasts overengineered 2048-bit encryption compared to IPVanish’s industry-standard 256-AES.

IPVanish hasn’t undertaken such an audit, but has a good track record in terms of privacy. We consider both to be secure for most users, so this one’s up to you.

IPVanish vs NordVPN: Which is better for Netflix?

As one of the most popular reasons for signing up, it’s pretty much essential to have great streaming VPN performance in the current market.

NordVPN completes a clean sweep, providing access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and tons more – in fact, we didn’t find a service it couldn’t unblock.

IPVanish is almost as good, but unfortunately struggled with iPlayer in our testing. For US users not looking for UK entertainment that might not be an issue, but for British holidaymakers wanting a taste of back home abroad, this could well be a sticking point.

Seeing as it can get access to pretty much anything you want, Nord takes this round.

NordVPN vs ipvanish

(Image credit: NordVPN)

IPVanish vs NordVPN: Which is better for torrenting?

Using a torrenting VPN is essential if you plan on sharing P2P, so which of these two services impresses most?

IPVanish has a selection of over 1,500 servers in 75 countries, all of which support P2P traffic. That means that whichever server you choose (likely the fastest and nearest), you’ll be able to use it for torrenting at maximum speed.

NordVPN, on the other hand, doesn’t support P2P on every single server in its huge 5,000+ network. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to search for one that is optimized, though – it’s all automated, and if Nord detects any P2P traffic it’ll switch you to the fastest supported server.

Both Nord and IPVanish have an integrated kill switch to protect your IP should the VPN drop connection, so it really comes down to usability. In this case, with IPVanish you’ll know that the server you choose initially will be suitable for torrenting. While Nord’s system is painless, you may end up switching to a different server.

IPVanish vs NordVPN: Which has better apps?

As with any top-quality VPN, both NordVPN and IPVanish provide excellent apps – but they’re incredibly different, and a choice of which is best will be down to taste. Both provide key features like split tunneling and a kill switch on most devices, and both are super stable – we’ve never experienced a crash on any OS with either.

Aesthetically, though, they’re worlds apart. IPVanish has a distinctive black and green scheme on desktop, while mobile apps have recently been updated to a white/gray and green scheme. It’s unashamedly techy, which is just what most would expect from a VPN. However, one thing we’d like is a way to search for a particular country’s servers without having to scroll – and favorites would also be nice.

NordVPN is modern in comparison, with a graphic map indicating server locations dominating every app. On smaller screens this can be awkward, and it’s much easier to use the server list (which includes a search and favorites function).

Overall, NordVPN probably has more modern-looking apps, and while the map can be a little cumbersome, it does provide a couple of extra features IPVanish lacks. However, both are among the best on the market.

IPVanish on desktop and laptop

(Image credit: IPVanish)

IPVanish vs NordVPN: Which has better support?

It can be a little tricky to find your way to NordVPN’s knowledgebase of guides and support articles, which can be pretty frustrating if you’re trying to quickly remedy an issue. However, when you get there, the guides are good on the whole and provide plenty of info.

IPVanish's guides are also comprehensive, but some can be a little longwinded and we wish they’d just get to the point a bit quicker. However, they do all provide useful info, so we can’t complain too much.

In terms of live support – most people’s go-to solution these days – both IPVanish’s and Nord’s agents reply swiftly and with excellent information. There’s not much between the two here.

IPVanish vs NordVPN: Final verdict

Overall, there’s not a huge divide separating IPVanish from NordVPN. In terms of functionality, NordVPN probably takes the win, with slightly more in-depth apps and stronger security. However, IPVanish still puts up a good fight.

In terms of value, too, things are pretty evenly matched. If you just want a VPN, then Nord is the winner, but if you're in the market for secure cloud storage, a plan with IPVanish could kill two birds with one stone.

If, however, you're looking for the very best service on the market, we'd have to steer  you towards ExpressVPN. With over 3,000 servers worldwide, unrivalled streaming power and intuitive apps, it brings together everything you need from a VPN in a way that no other provider can.

With excellent speeds, configurable apps and a great-value sale currently running, IPVanish is a superb choice for any VPN user. For $3.33 a month you'll get unlimited connections and 250GB of free SugarSync cloud storage – not to mention one of the top VPN services available today.View Deal

NordVPN is also an excellent choice for pretty much anyone – and if IPVanish wasn't running such a great promotion it'd be difficult to pick between the two. With great apps and powerful encryption, it's perfect for those looking to torrent, stream, or just stay safe on the web.View Deal

Mo is eCommerce Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees privacy and security content, and his product guides help his readers find the best software and products for their needs. When he's not testing VPNs, you'll find him working on his classic car or plugged into a guitar amp.