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ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: A Comparative Look (Review)

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This ExpressVPN vs IPVanish comparison will look at two leading VPN services and what each of them has to offer. These services are two of the most popular in the industry, but they differ in terms of features and overall value. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each service and how well each service performs across different metrics to determine which service is better.

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What Is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that provides a safe route or zone for your online data. VPNs offer up safe zones for your data, regardless of whether you are using your Wi-Fi or a public Wi-Fi network.
A VPN service masks your IP address, location, and other identifying information that comes along with your outgoing data. The encryption process helps prevent third parties and snoopers from gaining access to your data. The data can include your browsing history, purchase history, and log-in information.
After encrypting the data, the VPN will then route your data through an encrypted tunnel towards its intended destination on the internet. This way, people watching the network will only see your data entered into the VPN tunnel and nothing more. All incoming data will likewise be encrypted and forwarded through an encrypted tunnel.
Another benefit to VPNs is that they prevent individual websites from tracking your online activities. Most individual websites employ cookies, which are breadcrumbs of your movements online stored on your computer. Marketers and ad makers target these cookies to send personalized ads your way.
A VPN helps prevent those websites from profiling you by collecting cookies you left behind. Although in truth, VPNs don’t prevent cookies from being collected. Nor do they eliminate cookies from your computer. Of course, you can achieve the same feat with the help of reliable antivirus software and privacy-focused web browsers. But it’s a nice feature to have on a VPN.
In the small chance that these parties gain access to your data, they will not be able to extract anything useful as the data is encrypted. Learn more about VPNs and how they work with this guide on how to set up a VPN.


ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: A Comparative Look

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ExpressVPN and IPVanish are two of the most popular VPN services available, and both are excellent services. But no two services are the same, and as we’ve seen from the comparison of ExpressVPN vs NordVPN, there are bound to be pros and cons for each type of service. By analyzing how well each service performs across objective criteria, we can get a complete picture of the performance of each service. So let’s jump right into it.

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ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: Connectivity

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When it comes to selecting a VPN, one of the first things you will want to check is the number of devices you can use it on. Most people nowadays have at least three devices in the home, including at least one phone, a laptop, and a tablet.
Generally speaking, there are two essential bays to get your devices to connect to a VPN. The first involves downloading apps on each device and then signing in to the service each time you use the device. The other option involves tweaking your router settings to allow connected devices to connect to your VPN automatically.
ExpressVPN and IPVanish both offer apps for connecting to devices individually and automatically via a router. Unfortunately, both devices have caps on the number of devices you can use the VPN on simultaneously. To be exact, ExpressVPN can support up to five devices at a time, while IPVanish can support up to ten devices.
On the other hand, ExpressVPN does offer extensive support for different types of devices. It has apps for different operating systems, including Mac, PC, Linux, Android, and IOS. They also offer browser extensions Firefox and Google Chrome. Additionally, they have apps for devices that don’t normally support VPN. These include the likes of Smart TVs, gaming systems, and so on.


ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: Features

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VPNs have essential features like tunneling and IP masking, but there are also add-on features. These features are not crucial to the program’s functioning, but they help improve the overall user experience. Both services have add-on features, albeit in different numbers and levels of practicality.
ExpressVPN has various additional features, including “split tunneling.” This feature lets you route high-priority data outside the VPN tunnel for immediate transmission. And as we’ve mentioned in a previous section, the service also offers a special Media Streamer app that allows you to use VPN on devices that don’t normally support it.
If you prefer to use your router to make connecting your devices to the VPN easier, ExpressVPN has a router app. This app will help you configure your router so that devices can automatically connect to the VPN. Additionally, the device features browser extensions for Firefox and Safari.
On the other side of the spectrum is IPVanish. IPVanish comes with a few notable features, including IP and DNS leak protection. It also features an obfuscation feature that hides your VPN from government-based VPN blockers online. However, unlike ExpressVPN, it doesn’t have split tunneling, browser extensions, and media streaming.
In addition, the service also struggles to deliver on the streaming app front. It’s been reported that major streaming websites like Netflix can block the benefit. But it does have an obfuscation feature, IP and DNS network protection, and a kill switch to block non-VPN data.


ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: Security

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When it comes to VPNs, you want a service that can protect your data no matter what. This is what VPNs are for in the first place. Both apps appear to deliver well on this front, with no apparent security risks or leaks associated with them.
Both devices carry kill switches, which automatically and temporarily halt your access to the internet when the VPN is down. The critical difference between the two switches is that ExpressVPN’s kill switch sends you status alerts regarding the VPN status. On the other hand, IPVanish leaves you to find out about it through the in-app indicator.
Another critical concern is internal privacy, and it has to do with whether these companies collect and store data about their clients without the clients knowing. Luckily, both services appear to take precautions against unauthorized logging.

No Logging Policies

ExpressVPN uses a “Trusted Server” feature, which means that all of its servers run on RAM disk mode with no hard drives. By deliberately excluding hard drives from servers, they ensure that all data remains anonymous and secure.
IPVanish is less rigid and strict about its no-logs policy and reportedly makes use of regular servers with hard drives. In other words, the company’s servers can store data, and we know that they do to an extent. At the same time, the company has also started to subject itself to third-party audits, and this is to ensure that its privacy policies are implemented.

Security Protocols

VPNs have their own sets of security protocols, and the likes of ExpressVPN and IPVanish are no exception. ExpressVPN makes use makes use of four protocols: Lightway, OpenVPN,  IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec. IPVanish, on the other hand, makes use of WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec security protocols.
Lightway and WireGuard are two newer protocols, although WireGuard is generally faster and easier to use.


ExressVPN vs IPVanish: Speed

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One potential side effect of using a VPN is that it can slow down your internet connection, regardless of how fast or efficient your devices are.
The slight slowdown is because the VPN encrypts your traffic and sends it through a longer internet route, which takes more time than usual. However, if you get a good VPN service with reliable speeds, you may barely notice the difference.
Case in point, ExpressVPN delivers download speeds of up to 92 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 90 Mbps. On the other hand, IPVanish can provide a download speed of up to 75 Mbps along with upload speeds of up to 83 Mbps. Both services promise minimal internet speed reductions, but ExpressVPN is noticeably faster. It promises a reduced internet latency of about 6 to 8 percent.
Other factors, such as the number of servers owned by a VPN service, also play a role in the real-time speeds that you can get. The more servers a company has, the sooner it can package and send your data. It’s a lot like having multiple ATMs inside a bank, allowing more customers to be accommodated at any time.
ExpressVPN has over 3,000 server locations distributed across 94 countries. In contrast, IPVanish has only half of that total, with 1,500 servers spread out across 75 countries. ExpressVPN has more in the way of servers.
Alternatively, there are cases when VPNs cause improvements in internet speeds instead of the other way around. This usually happens with throttling, when internet service providers limit the amount of bandwidth to reduce network congestion.

ExressVPN vs IPVanish: Unblocking Strength

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One of the lesser-advertised capabilities of VPN services is to unlock geo-restricted and paywall-restricted content on streaming websites. Streaming websites like Netflix, Hulu, and Hulu are known to restrict their content across different regions following licensing agreements. If you live in Japan or Singapore, for example, you will not be able to access movies and shows from the UK or the US.

VPNs like ExpressVPN and IPVanish maneuver around these restrictions by masking your IP address and substituting it with one from a different country. All you need to do is access a server from the country where the content is available, and the service handles the rest.

Both services are equipped with the ability to unblock streaming websites, but one can unblock more websites with greater ease. Case in point, ExpressVPN can unblock Netflix, Hulu, and other major and minor channels. IPVanish, on the other hand, can access minor streaming sites like Sky Go, BBC iPlayer, and CBS. However, it fails to unlock mainstream websites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

As we’ve mentioned, ExpressVPN also comes with an obfuscation feature that allows users in countries or areas with a default firewall (i.e., China) to bypass those restrictions. IPVanish does not offer any feature that relates to bypassing firewalls.

Coupled with reliable connection speeds and add-ons, ExpressVPN appears to be the better option for gaining access to restricted streaming sources.


ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: Privacy

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VPNs have the primary duty of protecting your privacy, so it only makes sense for these companies to employ a strict no-logging policy. But while most VPNs promise complete privacy, it’s just impossible to find out what goes on behind closed doors. Having said this, the only way that companies can prove to their clients that they do not collect user data is to have third-party auditors come in regularly for security and privacy audits.


Security and Privacy Policies

ExpressVPN undergoes regular independent audits to test its security and no-logs policy, and the company appears to have passed all of these tests with flying colors.

ExpressVPN’s fidelity to its privacy policy was tested a few times. In other words, it has been verified time and again to adhere to strict privacy policies, and you can rest assured your data is not being logged.

In one particular case, Turkish authorities seized ExpressVPN servers as part of an investigation into the murder of a Russian ambassador. As it turns out, the investigators found the servers empty of data logs.

Like ExpressVPN, IPVanish does not keep user logs, but what it does keep are connection logs. The connection logs may include your email address, zip code, state, city, and other basic information. IPVanish has also recently implemented regular security and privacy audits conducted by independent bodies.


VPN Locations and Privacy

Another issue that brings up security concerns is the respective locations of IPVanish and ExpressVPN headquarters. IPVanish is based in the US, which is a member of the Five Eyes alliance, an intelligence network composed of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Member countries of the Five Eyes alliance allow governments to acquire intelligence from their citizens. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, is based in the Virgin Islands, an autonomous country that’s not part of any intelligence alliance.


ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: Pricing and Plans

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The best things in life may come for free, but that can’t be the case with services that protect your internet connection. VPNs run on physical servers, with the best services running theirs on high-quality server farmers. While servers aren’t expensive to maintain, server network maintenance requires IT expertise, which is costly.

VPN prices vary depending on the individual features and popularity, but most cost between USD 10 to 15 dollars per month. Of course, there are free VPNs available; these are simply not as good as premium, subscription-based VPNs.


Average Costs

In the ExpressVPN vs IPVanish discussion, both services belong to the mid-range portion of the VPN pricing scale. ExpressVPN costs an average of USD 13 per month, while IPVanish costs USD 10.99 per month, both on a month-to-month payment basis.

Both services also offer longer-term plans, which take the form of semi-annual or annual plans. These plans are cheaper in the long term, incentivizing people to commit to the services for longer.


Alternative Plans

ExpressVPN’s six-month installment plan costs an average of USD 9.99 per month (billed as USD 59.95 every six months). IPVanish substitutes the six-month plan for a quarterly plan, which costs SD 10 per month (billed as USD 29.99 per quarter).

Both services also have an annual plan, with ExpressVPN’s annual plan costing USD 6.67 per month (billed as USD 99.95 annually). The annual plan comes with a free, extra three-month subscription for a total subscription period of fifteen months. IPVanish’s annual plan costs USD 7.5 per month (billed as USD 89.99 per year).

It must be noted that, unlike antivirus software, the services included for each package type are essentially the same. The differences in cost only relate to the duration of the subscription. In other words, the service is uniform throughout the different packages for each brand.


Price Comparison

Just looking exclusively at a price, IPVanish is cheaper than ExpressVPN. But then again, the price consideration always comes secondary to the consideration of value, and you will have to decipher which one offers better value.

Additionally, we need to note that neither plans offer a thirty-day free trial, but both offer a 430-day money-back guarantee just in case you change your mind.


Security Risks in the Digital World

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Using VPNs comes with a lot of advantages, with the core advantage being that it protects your data and personal information online. Because just as wonderful as the internet is, it’s also a hotbed for security risks that can cause damage to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data.
The internet is an open space, and everything from websites and your internet service provider (ISP) has access to bits and pieces of data you leave behind. You also have malicious actors like hackers and cybercriminals who are waiting to pounce on your data.
While the probability of your hackers intercepting your data over a secure Wi-Fi is rather small, there will always be a small probability of this happening. As you can imagine, the risks are even higher whenever you use public networks. Public networks are largely unprotected, making them the ideal hunting ground for malicious actors. This is where VPNs come in.

The Value Proposition of VPNs

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The value of having a VPN in our interconnected modern life cannot be understated, and it offers security and privacy in a world brimming with threats and false promises. In many ways, these devices act as middlemen between you and the internet, essentially shielding you from unnecessary risks.
The encryption process and data tunneling prevent malicious actors from getting to your data. The process is similar to having an armored car carry your possessions from one place to another. But the best part about this is that the system keeps your data safe. Regardless of whether you are using a trusted, private network or a public network, that is. It’s also helpful in connecting to corporate networks from a remote location.
VPNs are similar to antivirus programs in that they aim to protect users from online threats, and they tend to have a few features in common. But even when these programs are complementary, they have essentially different objectives. VPNs specialize in blocking attacks in transit or online. On the other hand, antivirus programs monitor and scan your devices for potential threats. There are plenty of antivirus options to complement your VPN service, and the options include premium antivirus brands to free antivirus brands.
Then there are additional benefits, such as the ability to bypass content-based restrictions set by streaming providers. VPNs have the uncanny ability to bypass restrictions to “unlock” otherwise inaccessible content, allowing people to access crucial programs while staying safe and secure.

Final Thoughts on ExpressVPN vs IPVanish

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ExpressVPN and IPVanish are two of the most popular VPN services available, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. However, if we compare ExpressVPN vs IPVanish point for point, ExpressVPN seems to offer better value.

The service has most of the traits you would want from a VPN. That includes premium speeds, strong security with upgraded security protocols, and many add-on features. Not to mention, it comes with the ability to unlock restricted content. It also comes with the ability to connect to devices that don’t typically support VPNs.

The service may be a little more expensive on the price scale. Additionally, there are a few aspects that the program can improve on, such as allowing more devices simultaneously. But it is nonetheless a well-rounded program offering great value for money. For additional information about the VPN service, here is a comprehensive review of ExpressVPN.

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