- Reasonable price
- Allows users to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously on a single account
- Performance results are good
- The number of servers is slightly on the lower side
- A more user-friendly interface could help attract more customers
If a VPN service on the Android if defined by how all-around it is then there is no VPN service better than IPVanish.
It is a VPN service that performs well not only paper but also in tests.
However, the Android app falls behind the top VPN services on Android because of its relatively smaller collection of VPN servers.
Moreover, we also believe that the app’s design may actually end up intimidating users who are not experienced enough when it comes to VPN services.
Full IPVanish Android review
A VPN or a virtual private network has become a very important tool for anyone who wants to protect his/her privacy in the online world.
And for that purpose, our research shows that that the IPVanish official app for the Android platform is something that everyone should consider.
Especially given the fact that the official IPVanish Android application offers users a solid set of privacy and security features along with reasonable performance in various VPN tests.
IPVanish for Android is a VPN service that charges users a reasonable price for its services.
In return, users get to use an Android app that gives them very little issues to deal with when connecting to its servers.
Of course, there are some aspects of the service that we think IPVanish needs to work on.
One of them is the app’s user interface.
It is confusing enough for users who are installing and using a VPN service for the very first time.
The other problem that we see with the official Android app is that it offers users fewer VPN servers than the majority of its VPN competitors.
But what is a VPN service?
Before answering that question, readers should know that whenever their data is in its transmission phase and has to go over an unsecured or public WiFi internet network, it isn’t really necessarily safe or secure.
If there is a bad actor out there with decent networking skills, he/she has all the opportunity in the world to peek in on the user’s online activities.
Moreover, such malicious users can also set up various fake networks which users can mistakenly connect their device to either by their own will or by the fact that they have set their devices to connect with WiFi networks automatically.
In fact, even when users are at home, their internet service provider is well within its rights, legally speaking, to sell their online and anonymized data to various different advertisers.
It doesn’t really matter which network the user ends up connecting to or even which device that user is making use of.
The simple fact is that, everyone needs a VPN service.
A Virtual Private Network encrypts the user’s internet traffic and then moves to route all that traffic via its own tunnel to a VPN server that the VPN company itself operates and/or controls.
So in effect, the user’s public IP address goes into the hidden mode and to everyone else on the planet, the IP that appears is that of the VPN company’s server.
Because of that, there is not a lot that anyone can do to track back some data to a particular user.
We have already mentioned the fact that a VPN encrypts the user’s data.
What we haven’t mentioned is that, in the process of doing so, a good VPN service also provide protection for the user against various incursions by the user’s internet service provider and all other types of bad actors.
Our research is pretty clear on the fact that setting up a VPN service and then using that VPN service is, most of the times, very easy.
It is as easy as the user install the official VPN app and then tapping a button.
However, it definitely pays if the user tries to understand the fundamentals of a VPN service.
The majority of the good VPN service providers offer users additional tools so that they are able to configure their VPN connection in the exact way that suits their individual use case.
Not only that, but some also offer other features which assist the user to do the same.
The obvious question that arises from all of this is that:
How does the user know or verify whether the VPN service that he/she has signed up for is really working or at least behaving in a way that it is supposed to?
Our research shows that there is a very simple way for the user to test and see if his/her VPN service is actually working and not leaking his/her original IP address.
We have already mentioned the fact that once the user has turned on a VPN service, his/her IP address should definitely change.
In the cases where the user’s IP address does not change and the user has made sure that he/she has configured all of his/her settings appropriately and accurately and/or making use of the VPN service’s official, default app or the default settings, then there is a high chance that the VPN service that the user has signed up for isn’t really doing much to protect and secure the user’s online traffic.
Moreover, readers should also consider selecting a VPN service that independent auditors have analyzed for various vulnerabilities.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention that of all the VPN services that we have researched here at Security Gladiators, only two had gone through an independent audit.
Namely, TunnelBear and AnchorFree Hotspot Shield.
However, recently IPVanish’s company representative has said that IPVanish is too making plans to actually undergo a full independent audit.
The other thing that readers should note here is that a VPN does not do enough to protect the user on all privacy and security fronts.
There is no doubt about the fact that a VPN service can make it very hard, if not impossible, to spy on the user’s activities.
That is the reason why various malicious actors and internet service providers do not like VPN services.
However, readers need to keep in mind that in the real world there is no such thing as watertight and perfect privacy and security.
In other to get closer to that perfect level, the user has to make use of additional tools.
These additional tools usually come in the form of Privacy Bader and Tor.
Such tools and others further make sure that the user’s online privacy remains intact.
The thing about online security and privacy is that, the threats to these two things are constantly evolving.
In other words, even if the user has not got around to subscribe to a good VPN service, there really has never been a more suitable time for anyone to join this part of internet privacy enthusiasts.
At the time of writing this review, the monthly plan of IPVanish cost the user around $10 per month.
However, users can save a lot of money if they show the company a bit of commitment and pay it for a much longer subscription period.
More specifically, if users pay up front for a decently long period (which almost all VPN services allow) then the user can save money.
To take an example, if the user opts to make payments to IPVanish after every three months then he/she can and at a reduced price of $26.99.
Users also have the option of paying the company around $77.99 for a total of 12 months if they want to pay once every year.
Needless to say, with each of the packages, the users get to use the exact same VPN product.
The price tiers actually only change the price and nothing else.
The only real difference between the three tiers is the actual billing period.
Our research shows that the monthly cost that IPVanish demands from its subscribers is actually slightly lower than the industry average.
By industry average, we mean the top VPNs who come in the same category as IPVanish.
More specifically, IPVanish requires $10 per month while the industry average is around $10.16 per month.
Other elite VPN service providers such as NordVPN charge users slightly more money at $11.95 per month.
However, there is also Private Internet Access that charges users well below the $10.16 mark at just around $6.95 each month.
The latest information on the official website states that IPVanish now allows users to make use of its VPN service across a total of 10 internet-enabled devices simultaneously.
Among the VPN services that we have researched, that is the highest number if we do not take into account Windscribe that allows an unlimited number of devices.
In this regard, the next best VPN service is CyberGhost that enables users to connect a total of seven internet-enabled devices at any given time.
Now, it is here that readers should know that even though IPVanish offers users an official seven-day money-back no-questions-asked guarantee with regards to all of its plans, the company does not provide users with the facility of a free VPN service.
Yes, there is no free tier with IPVanish.
Of course, there are many VPN service companies that offer free editions which comes with data caps.
Some VPN services actually provide users with the free version of their paid VPN service with some limitations.
These VPN services, as mentioned before, include AnchorFree and TunnelBear.
However, there are other players as well.
One of them is ProtonVPN.
ProtonVPN free edition is probably one of the best in the market at the moment as it imposes zero limitations on it.
Click here in order to read more about the best VPN services available right now, if reaching the wallet and actually paying for a VPN service is not feasible at this moment in time.
As for payment methods, our research shows that IPVanish essentially accepts all reputable and major debit/credit cards along with PayPal for its subscription package payments.
In fact, it even allows users to pay via in-app purchases from places such as the official App Store (Apple).
However, it is also true that IPVanish does not provide users with the facility of paying with digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
As for compatibility, currently, IPVanish is available for platforms such as,
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android 4.0 and later
- Windows Phone
- Chrome OS
- some wifi routers
Our research shows that if the user has a recent smartphone such as Google Pixel which is also running Android 9.0 then the official IPVanish app would work pretty much flawlessly.
Let’s talk about servers
And of course, server locations.
Whenever we are researching a VPN service, we give special importance to metrics such as the number of servers and also the number of server locations.
Offering more in both categories is a must for any good VPN service providers.
Needless to say, the more the number of total VPN servers, the smoother the user’s online experience because of lack of overloading on the company’s VPN servers.
Moreover, the broader the physical and/or geographic distribution of the location of those VPN servers, the more is the chance that the user would experience reasonable network performance.
When we wrote this IPVanish for Android review, the company offered users just a little over a total of 1,100 quality VPN servers.
Readers do not need us to tell them that IPVanish simply cannot compete with the likes of NordVPN in this category as NordVPN offers users over 5100 VPN servers.
Let’s not count out TorGuard and/or Private Internet Access either because both of them offer users over a total of 3000 VPN servers.
Our research shows that IPVanish’s VPN server count is actually more close to the likes of TunnelBear and the rest rather than the real elite VPN service providers.
There are those VPN service providers who don’t have the required resources and offer users even less number of VPN servers.
Examples include KeepSolid VPN and ProtonVPN that offer far fewer VPN servers than IPVanish.
As mentioned before as well, despite the fact that IPVanish offers users a smaller VPN server count, the company more than makes up for the smaller number with its geographically diverse locations of those servers.
The company currently hosts VPN servers which are located in over 60 countries.
Not only that, these 60 countries, when combined, are able to represent six continents depending on how one counts continents.
The other thing readers should note here is that IPVanish offers good quality VPN servers even in less used regions such as,
- South Africa
These are regions that a lot of VPN services simply ignore for one reason or another.
With that said, we also have to mention that IPVanish does underrepresented South and Central America.
As far as the South American region is concerned, IPVanish for Android only offers servers which are located in Brazil.
That is the company’s only offering for the whole of that region.
It goes without saying that VPN services like IPVanish are most important and rather critical to people who have to live and work in countries that have restrictive internet laws.
This is the reason why it would be better for IPVanish from a business standpoint that it offers support in terms of VPN servers for countries such as,
- Saudi Arabia
There is also a good reason why most review sites find it hard to pinpoint a single best VPN for China.
Or even for any of the above-mentioned restrictive regions.
And that reason is, uncertainty.
If a VPN service fails to work for the end user then the consequences of that failure alone could provide severe for the end users.
Readers who want to read more on best VPN for China should click here.
There is one other part of the whole VPN server equation that we haven’t mentioned so far.
And that part is whether or not a given VPN service makes use of virtual servers.
Before we talk about that more, let’s define what are virtual servers.
Virtual servers are actually software-defined servers.
VPN services can configure these to appear in a location that is different from where these servers are placed in the physical world.
That might help the VPN service save some money while allowing users to have access to more VPN servers, but the simple fact is that these servers present a huge problem for privacy-minded people.
Well, because of practices such as having virtual servers, the user’s data may actually pass through or get uploaded to a server that is located in a country that has different privacy laws than the country which the user selected to connect to initially.
Fortunately, since IPVanish is an elite VPN service provider, it does not engage in such practices and makes use of no virtual servers.
To put it another way, IPVanish is a Vpn service that maintains real physical VPN servers in each and every location that it lists on its site and the official Android app.
Recently, an IPVanish company representative told the media that the company had owned and operated a massive 90 percent of its online network nodes.
The company has also stated in the past that it actually fully controls the complete and comprehensive rack and stack of VPN servers which it offers in some locations while it relies on reputable and vetted third-party service providers in various other regions.
It is incredibly important.
Needless to say, the fewer data a given VPN service collects, the better it is.
As a VPN service, that means the company does not keep any record of any VPN connection, activity data or traffic data with regards to its actual service.
With that said, there is no escaping the fact that IPVanish requires the user to provide the company with a valid email address and also a valid online payment method in order to sign up with the company to use the service.
However, that’s nothing to worry about since it is considered standard practice in the VPN industry.
Once the user has actually completed his/her sign-up process, he/she has the opportunity to edit his/her personal information.
To do that, the user has to go to the official IPVanish Account Control Panel which is available via the official IPVanish website.
Our research shows that the data which IPVanish, as a VPN company, collects on the Android platform basically breaks down into a total of three different categories.
These three categories are Website Cookies, Services and Site.
So when a given user visits the official website of IPVanish, the company takes it upon itself to collect analytics data on the user.
This includes the company knowing the user’s time spent on a given page, operating system and browser type.
For clarity’s sake, readers should understand that IPVanish does not engage in tracking the user’s activities outside of their own official website.
Nor does iPVanish engage in tracking the connection activities or website browsing habits of its users who have connected to the internet via the company’s VPN services.
IPVanish does collect some service information which is related to the payment and email information.
And it has to do that if it wants to fairly process individual accounts and for troubleshooting purposes.
Along with that, the company also requires a bit of statistical data which is related to its official Android app for cases when it crashes.
The company further lets the reader know that it never shares the user’s personal with any type of third-party advertising company for marketing or ads campaign or even research purposes.
It doesn’t do that under any circumstance.
That is reassuring to hear.
Readers should also note that the company does engage in sharing some information which is non-personally identifiable in nature to various third-party entities/sources in order to use the services it has to rely on for tasks such as email communications, fraud detection and payment processing.
As a VPN business, IPVanish is actually based in the United States of America and thus comes under the jurisdiction of American laws which impose mandatory data-retention laws.
The other thing readers should note here is that the United States of America is an important member of the security coalition known as 14 Eyes.
Since we are a review site and not a law firm, it is difficult for us and for any other review site on the internet to give a confident and clear judgment on all the implications of the data retention laws that firms have to abide by if they are operating from the United States of America.
However, we always consider it as vital information to at least have the knowledge about where the company has its headquarters in terms of location.
IPVanish handles all court orders via its legal team in order to verify the jurisdiction and legitimacy of the given inquiry.
However, the company makes it clear that since it takes no part in tracking its users or their activities, it doesn’t have the ability to produce any kind of activity logs to hand over to authorities.
The official IPVanish Android app
As mentioned before as well, the IPVanish Android app should work on any device that is running Android 4.0 or later.
And by later, we do mean later.
Even if the user has a new-ish Android smartphone such as Google Pixel running the official Android 9.0, the app can still adapt and not have any kind of issues when it comes to signing up and signing in to the official IPVanish Android application.
As far as visuals go, our research shows that the official IPVanish Android app is a pleasing one.
And it is pretty well organized.
With that said, it is also true that the design of the app is more on the side of utilitarian rather than anything else.
We will also say that the official IPVanish Android app is definitely as user friendly as the official TunnelBear Android app but it gets the job done rather well.
Of course, there will be some users who may find the official IPVanish Android app as a little less than accommodating.
On the other hand, the simple design allows IPVanish to offer a lot of stability via its app to its users.
And that is something to appreciate.
Our research shows that the app should not crash for the vast majority of users during operating.
Because of the nature of a VPN service’s work, it is often considered as one of the first and primary line of online defense for the user against threats which are network-based.
This is the reason why VPN services should take their time and provide their customers with the most reliable service.
It should become the most important aspect of a VPN app.
The official IPVanish Android app comes with a total of four options which are hidden and located on the left-hand side of the screen in the form of a menu.
These options are,
- Quick Connect
The official IPVanish Android app makes use of its main page to show the user his/her device’s Virtual Private Network connection status.
It also shows the user his/her public IP address as well as the original geographic location of the user.
And beneath all that information, the official IPVanish Android app provides users with a green Connect button.
It basically provides the launch feature for the IPVanish Android app’s Quick Connect feature.
Now, if the user goes ahead and hits that button, IPVanish goes ahead and automatically connects the user to the fastest and/or best VPN server available in a region that is as close to the user’s original country as possible.
Users also have the option of setting some simple preferences in order to further customize how the official IPVanish Android app uses the Quick Connect feature to pick a server from its server page.
Customization options include the ability to select a preferred country as well as server and city.
Once the user takes the decision of hitting the Connect button, the user’s device would pop up a new notification which would, in turn, prompt the user to give the official IPVanish VPN app access to rights to change the user’s existing network preferences.
Users must make sure that the request comes from a safe and legitimate source.
We say that because there is no doubt about the fact that malicious actors can use VPN technology for evil purposes with ease.
The official IPVanish Android app has a main page which automatically updates with the new information coming from the user’s latest connection.
This information includes the new and different IP address a well.
Moreover, the page also shows the user’s connection time along with the exact name of the VPN server.
Our research shows that IPVanish even offers users a dynamic graph of all outgoing and incoming data.
This graph appears in the bottom portion of the app’s screen.
With that said, it is also true that the graph does not have the ability to update itself in a smooth fashion.
We have also come to know that the graphs new data points do cause a little stuttering.
Hence, IPVanish should provide users with the option of disabling such a graph in its entirety.
The community would definitely appreciate such an option since in its current form the graph is mostly distracting.
Users who want to disconnect from a given VPN server for any reason at all can simply perform a simple tap on the bright red button that says Disconnect and is located just underneath the graph/chart.
The official IPVanish Android app also has a Server section which lists each and every VPN server that IPVanish has to offer to users along with the location of the server.
There is also another number just to the side of this page which indicates to the user the number of VPN servers that the company is operating in that location.
Moreover, users can perform a search for any specific server.
Let’s not forget the filter feature here as well that can filter by ping rate and/or country.
Although we should mention here that the changed results can take their time to finally show up after the user has applied some filter to the original list.
Moving on to the accounts section and we see that it displays all the basic information about the user’s plan and also offers users various web links to the password and billing portals.
The official IPVanish Android app also has a settings page which, as expected, breaks down into a total of two tabs.
Those two tabs are the Connection tab and the General tab.
First, let’s talk about the general tab.
The IPVanish Android app General tab is the place the user should go if he/she wants to access customer support information and configure settings for automatic startup.
We do not think this is an unreasonable demand since a lot of VPNs have started to do this.
Then there is the Connections tab where the user can access settings to toggle IPVanish Auto reconnect functionality.
Users can use the same tab to choose between the two available OpenVPN protocols, either UDP or TCP.
There is also an option for the user to enable the LAN access feature.
We hope we do not have to explain why we always prefer the option of using the OpenVPN protocol.
OpenVPN is, firstly, open source and secondly, allows those with enough knowledge to pick it over as much as they want for various security vulnerabilities and then, hopefully, patch it up as well.
The public is free to do that and that is what makes OpenVPN protocol such a great protocol.
IPVanish has recently also stated that the company had made plans to support protocols such as IKEv2 on the Android platform.
Currently, the feature is reported to be in its active beta phase.
Pretty much like all the other elite Android VPN apps, IPVanish too has a few additional but optional settings.
The first one that comes to mind is the Scramble and Split Tunneling.
If one goes through the description of the feature, one would find that the scrambling features simply adds obfuscation to the user’s connection.
Hence, theoretically speaking, this feature should allow the user’s connection that is made via the official IPVanish Android app to actually bypass any and all network sensors which an organization could have put in place in order to block all VPN traffic.
There is another interesting feature here which is Split Tunneling.
This feature allows the user to select the exact apps that should connect to the wider world of the internet with and without an IPVanish VPN tunnel.
Does IPVanish work with Netflix?
There are a lot of VPN service providers that do not bother to work with Netflix.
Or any other major streaming site such as Netflix and/or Amazon.
However, when it comes to the Android platform, the number of Android VPN apps that work with Netflix is more than the number on the desktop.
Our research shows that these VPN apps consistently work with US Netflix.
Sometimes it is not the fault of the user or the VPN service.
For example, sometimes one could have a powerful phone like Google Pixel with Android 9 and still experience a lot of streaming issues with streaming services such as Netflix even without the use of a VPN service.
And at other times one could take a slightly older phone such as Nexus 5X in order to run Android 8.1.
Our research on this matter shows that IPVanish is likely to cause users some problems with US Netflix.
And that would hold true even when they have connected to a VPN server that is based in the United States of America.
Of course, users always have the option of enabling the Split Tunneling feature to handle the official Netflix application in order to gain access, however, in such a case the VPN service would not encrypt the user’s traffic.
Moreover, the document also says that the user should only use Netflix in the geographic location where Netflix offers its online services and has purchased some licensed content.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the VPN Netflix has explained it pretty well as to why the streaming service wants to prevent online users from utilizing a VPN service to watch high-quality content.
Of course, there is no way for streaming services such as Netflix to actually verify the user’s actual geographic location.
With that said, if streaming online video content represents something very important to the user, we suggest that those users should click here to find out the best VPNs for Netflix.
Now, at the time of researching for this VPN service, the VPNs that we have listed in our best VPN for Netflix guide all worked with US Netflix.
That in no way means that they would continue to work for eternity.
Users should expect to have a different experience than what our research has shown us because a given VPN service that supports US Netflix today may not support US Netflix tomorrow.
IPVanish Android app speed
By making use of a VPN service, users almost guarantee a slowdown in their internet connection speed.
It is true that some good VPN services may not affect the speed of the internet to an extent that is noticeable.
That is especially true for those VPN services that offer users more VPN server or even VPN servers which are located slightly near to the user’s physical geographical location.
The other thing that users should note here is that the user’s connection speed can and does vary on the basis of a multiple number of different factors.
What factors are those?
Those are factors such as the time of day along with the device that the user is using and the server to which the user has connected to.
This is the reason why we always mention that users should not consider our speed results as the final word on any given VPN’s performance in the real world.
What we suggest is that, users should take our results as a form of comparative snapshot of a single moment in time.
With that out of the way, readers who are looking to sign up for a VPN service that has the best performance should \ to see our list of fastest VPN in the world.
So how should one go about measuring the performance of a given VPN service?
In order to accurately test a VPN service for speed, one has to first start things off my running a test via Ookla speed test tool and/or app.
One has to do that several times.
And then establish a, sort of, baseline network online performance while ensuring that there is no VPN installed on the test machine.
Other tools that might come in handy are,
After that, the next step is to re-run all the tests again with the same conditions, only this time the user has to make sure that there is a VPN service installed on the test system and it is activated.
The best practice here is to configure the VPN service to automatically connect to the closest VPN server based in the US.
When that’s done, the next step is to store data which is related to upload speeds in Mbps, download speeds Mbps and latency in ms.
Then, one has to calculate the median of each given raw data for both categories (with and without VPN) and then finally do a bit of mathematics to find out the percentage difference between the two numbers.
So what does our research shows?
Our research shows that IPVanish is a good performer in these tests.
It doesn’t exactly take the top spot in terms of speed in any of the three above-mentioned categories, but it is close.
To take an example, IPVanish increases the latency rate of a given internet connection by around 50 percent.
This may sound like a lot but it is actually marginally higher than what Turbo VPN and NordVPN offer.
NordVPN, Turbo VPN along with Private Internet Access all are able to post scores of 20 percent.
However, IPVanish manages to score significantly better than TunnelBear and Norton WiFi which increase latency rates by approximately 3500 and 1600 percent respectively.
Our research also shows that IPVanish decreases download speed by around 50 percent.
This is a good score as well.
The only other VPN services that can better IPVanish’s score are NordVPN with 48 percent and Speedify with 3 percent.
As for the upload speed, our research shows that IPVanish decreases that by around 38 percent.
Again, this is another score that we think places IPVanish very near the top of the ladder.
The only VPN services that are able to top that are NordVPN with 22 percent, Hide My Ass with 30 percent and KeepSolid VPN with 29 percent.
Readers should take note here that in all the cases, all of the IPVanish results that we have mentioned so far came close to being the best in the industry.
IPVanish is actually one of the best Android VPN app currently available in the market.
Everything is mentioned in clear language.
With that said, even though the official IPVanish Android app performed really well during our research period, we do wish that IPVanish would pay more attention to its design and make it more approachable to beginner VPN users.
It is also true that IPVanish falls behind competitors when it comes to offering a good number of VPN servers.
This is another area where IPVanish needs to improve.
The IPVanish Android app does try to make up for it by offering a decent rage of different regions for its VPN servers.
It is a tough call between IPVanish and NordVPN on the Android platform.
There are also some close competitors such as Private Internet Access, TunnelBear, and ExpressVPN.
However, we still think that IPVanish has enough to offer to users to stay ahead of the competition in a cutthroat environment.
Click here to sign up for IPVanish from the official website at a discount right here and right now.