This article has been just updated:
The year 2019 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 2019.
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.
According to an article published by TorrentFreak, a blog dedicated to reporting the latest news and trends on the BitTorrent protocol and file sharing, IPVanish handed over personal information about a customer to the Department of Homeland Security in 2016.
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.
Because NordVPN has so many servers, it can afford to encrypt user traffic across two different servers, essentially doubling your online security and privacy.
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.
Thanks to CyberSec, you don’t need a dedicated ad-blocker and an expensive anti-malware suite to stay safe on the internet. You can simply trust NordVPN’s ability to block all potential threats in real-time.
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.
What’s arguably more important than raw speed is latency, also known as ping. Latency is a time interval between the stimulation and response, and the term is used to describe the total time it takes a data packet to travel from one node to another.
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.
All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and let you connect up to 6 devices at the same time.
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.
As you can see, NordVPN is a much better choice for people who want to use a VPN service long-term—not just for a couple of months.
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.