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ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: What’s the right VPN for you?

Verified by Nick Jones

ExpressVPN is a well-known virtual private network (VPN) service provider trusted by thousands of users worldwide. IPVanish is known for providing safe and secure private internet connections and offers strong encryption, privacy and many servers across different countries. 

We’ll compare the services provided by ExpressVPN and IPVanish so you can determine which one will fulfil your online security and encryption needs. This guide will provide an in-depth comparison of their features, subscriptions, pricing and benefits.

IPVanish and ExpressVPN are equally popular and provide many outstanding features. Both providers focus on the ultimate goal of securing user data and providing a safe online browsing experience to their users. Their pricing plans, features and functionalities vary, so we’ll compare them in detail and help you choose the best VPN service.

Both VPN services offer a wide range of protocols and have a user-friendly interface for different operating systems, which allows users to connect and enjoy safe and secure online browsing.

ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: At a glance

Let’s compare some of these VPNs’ basic functionalities and features.

ExpressVPN IPVanish
Lowest price £5.40/month (one-year plan) £2.59/month (two-year plan)
Free version No No
Max number of connected devices Five Unlimited
Number of servers 3,000+ 2,200+
Server locations 94 75+
Encryption AES-256, WolfSSL AES-256, ChaCha20
VPN protocols OpenVPN IKEv2 L2TP/IPSec Lightway OpenVPN IKEv2 L2TP/IPSec WireGuard
No-log policy
Audited
Headquarters British Virgin Islands United States

Lowest price: ExpressVPN pricing plans are more expensive than IPVanish. IPVanish costs £2.59/month for a two-year plan, and ExpressVPN costs £5.40/month for a one-year plan. Neither feature on our list of the best cheap VPNs, however. 

Free version: ExpressVPN and IPVanish do not offer any free versions. IPVanish claims that free VPN service providers generate revenue by collecting users’ data and selling it to third-party organisations. 

Maximum number of connected devices: ExpressVPN offers only five simultaneous connections per plan, whereas IPVanish offers unlimited connections. 

Number of servers: ExpressVPN offers more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, whereas IPVanish offers more than 2,200 servers in more than 75 locations. 

Server locations: IPVanish offers servers in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa. ExpressVPN offers servers in North and South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. 

Encryption: Both VPN service providers use the most robust encryption protocols for their users’ safety and security. They both use Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256-bit encryption. IPVanish also supports the WireGuard protocol, which utilises ChaCha20 encryption, while ExpressVPN uses its own Lightway protocol, uses WolfSSL. 

VPN protocols: ExpressVPN and IPVanish use OpenVPN, Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) and Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) protocols. WireGuard protocol is supported by IPVanish, but not ExpressVPN. However, ExpressVPN uses its proprietary Lightway protocol as an alternative to WireGuard. Lightway protocol uses WolfSSL, which is also verified by third-party organisations.

No-logs policy: Both parties have a strict no-logs policy, meaning they don’t collect their users’ data. Activity logs, including browsing history, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, Domain Name System (DNS) queries and personally identifiable information, are not collected by either VPN.

Audits: IPVanish has recently had its no-logs policy audited by Leviathan Security Group, while ExpressVPN has been audited by KPMG, one of the Big Four consulting firms. 

Headquarters: The IPVanish headquarters are in the United States; ExpressVPNs’ headquarters are in the British Virgin Islands.

Plans, pricing and trials

IPVanish and ExpressVPN both offer competitive pricing plans with discounted rates for long-term subscriptions. The pricing plans of both VPN service providers are different, as they offer subscriptions based on duration. The monthly plan allows users to pay for their services each month, but it’s more expensive than longer-term plans.

Other subscription options offered by ExpressVPN include a six-month plan and a one-year plan. Although these subscriptions require a long-term commitment, they can be very cost-effective. On the other hand, IPVanish provides a one-year and two-year plan at a discounted price. Annual subscriptions usually have more discounts to offer.

ExpressVPN IPVanish
Plan 1 £10.48/month (monthly) £9.99/month (monthly)
Plan 2 £8.09/month (£48.52 up front for six months) £3.75/month (£44.99 up front for 12 months)
Plan 3 £5.40/month (£80.90 up front for 12 months) £2.59/month (£62.21 up front for two years)

While ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive providers on the market, its prices are justified because it offers high-level security, various protocols and special features, including 24-hour live chat support, split tunnelling, a network kill switch and more.

IPVanish offers all the essential features, such as fast internet speed connections, security and a vast range of servers at a more affordable price. 

IPVanish and ExpressVPN both offer VPN free trials with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with their services. Users only need to contact customer support and ask for a refund.

Security

A crucial VPN feature that helps us determine its quality and reliability is the security and encryption it offers. ExpressVPN is famous for its strict security and encryption protocols. Similarly, IPVanish has also implemented all the necessary protocols to ensure the protection and privacy of its users. The following table compares ExpressVPN’s and IPVanish’s security features in detail.

Encryption

Encryption type ExpressVPN IPVanish
AES-256
ChaCha20
WolfSSL

Protocols available

Protocol ExpressVPN IPVanish
OpenVPN
SSTP
IKEv2
WireGuard
PPTP
L2TP
Lightway

Regarding encryption, both ExpressVPN and IPVanish have standardised AES-256 encryption. AES-256 encryption has become the standard encryption model used by all major VPN services, as no brute force attacks can penetrate it, making it almost impossible to crack. 

Both VPN service providers have implemented similar security protocols, such as OpenVPN, IPsec and IKEv2. ExpressVPN does have a slight advantage over IPVanish, as it includes the Lightway protocol, which the service provider created from scratch. Lightway utilises WolfSSL and has been verified by third-party organisations. On the other hand, WireGuard is only available with IPVanish and is unavailable on ExpressVPN applications. Both VPN service providers have stopped using outdated and vulnerable protocols such as Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol and Secure Socket Tunnelling Protocol.

In conclusion, ExpressVPN and IPVanish have the same encryption and even have similar protocols. ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol provides a streamlined connection, making it easier to use. Meanwhile, IPVanish keeps it simple by using basic protocols such as OpenVPN, WireGuad, IKEv2 and IPSec, which get the job done efficiently.

Performance

Internet speed connection is checked for activities such as efficient downloading, uploading, browsing and streaming, online gaming, video calls and more. A good VPN service provider should deliver fast internet speed connections to its users.

IPVanish and ExpressVPN claim to have high-speed internet connections. We’ve conducted a speed test of both VPN services to check which is better.

An internet speed connection consists of three main variables: download speed, upload speed and latency (ping).

Test before connecting to ExpressVPN      Test before connecting to IPVanish

ExpressVPN UK server test                            IPVanish UK server test

ExpressVPN US server test                            IPVanish US server test

ExpressVPN Australian server test          IPVanish Australian server test

Download speed

ExpressVPN IPVanish
No VPN 52.5Mbps 72.08Mbps
UK to UK 36.7Mbps 67.97Mbps
UK to US 38.6Mbps 53.97Mbps
US to AUS 25.32Mbps 60Mbps
Average % of base download speed 56.80% 83.30%

Upload speed

ExpressVPN IPVanish
No VPN 13.28Mbps 17.92Mbps
UK to UK 16.65Mbps 16.95Mbps
UK to US 12.44Mbps 10.07Mbps
US to AUS 8.24Mbps 17.25Mbps
Average % of base upload speed 77.60% 82.30%

Logging and privacy

Logging and privacy are two key features of any VPN provider. Logging refers to recording users’ data while connected to the VPN service. Each provider has its own logging policy. Opting for a service with a strict no-logs policy is recommended, as this means the provider does not store any data relating to your online activity.

Privacy is a fundamental aspect of a VPN service provider. It’s best to opt for a service that provides good data encryption and keeps you secure online. Consider a VPN’s security features, encryption protocols and reputation, and check whether the service provider is audited before you pay for a subscription.

ExpressVPN IPVanish
No-logs policy
Audited
Kill switch
Headquarters in a data-secure country
Headquarters British Virgin Islands United States

IPVanish and ExpressVPN both offer kill switch features. The kill switch disconnects your device from the internet and secures your data if the connection to the VPN server is interrupted, providing an extra layer of security. 

ExpressVPN’s headquarters is based in the British Virgin Islands, where there are no restrictive data retention laws, so in theory your data is safe and secure. However, IPVanish’s headquarters is based in the United States, a somewhat privacy-averse country, and federal agencies can request to view your data. The US is also a member of the Five, Nine and 14 Eyes intelligence-sharing alliances.

Geo-unblocking and streaming

Geo-unblocking, or bypassing geo-restrictions, refers to the ability to access restricted content based on geographical area. A VPN is most commonly used to bypass geo-restrictions. 

Unblocked sites and services

ExpressVPN IPVanish
Twitter
YouTube
Netflix
Disney Plus
Prime Video
HBO Max
BBC iPlayer

ExpressVPN and IPVanish have no problems bypassing geo-restrictions. You can easily access restricted content using either of these providers.

Torrenting

ExpressVPN and IPVanish both allow peer-to-peer file sharing and torrenting. However, many other VPN service providers block your connection if you torrent. ExpressVPN ranks in our list of the best VPNs for torrenting, while IPVanish does not. 

Apps

ExpressVPN and IPVanish both offer dedicated VPN apps for their clients on various operating systems and platforms. Both services strive to provide user-friendly interfaces in their apps. A friendly user interface consists of a simple and intuitive design, one-click connections, easy server switching, server recommendations, protocol selection and more. 

Mobile apps

IPVanish’s mobile app (IPVanish)

The IPVanish mobile app has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for clients to navigate and access different features. It offers quick connect, split tunnelling, easy server selection, protocol selecting options, auto connect and reconnect, and app customisation.

ExpressVPN includes almost all the features IPVanish offers in its mobile app, such as an intuitive user interface, smart location, one-click connection, protocol selection, security features, split tunnelling and more. According to Independent Advisor’s expert reviewers, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN for android and the best VPN for iPhone devices. 

ExpressVPN’s mobile apps (ExpressVPN)

Desktop apps

ExpressVPN and IPVanish both offer desktop apps for Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems. 

The ExpressVPN desktop app offers an intuitive interface, quick connect, protocol options, server selection and a kill switch. It ranks Best Overall in our Best VPNs for Macs article and features as one of the best VPNs for chrome devices. 

The IPVanish desktop app offers almost all the same features as its mobile app.

ExpressVPN’s desktop app                          IPVanish’s desktop app

Platforms supported

ExpressVPN IPVanish
Windows
Mac
Android
iPhone
iPad
Android TV
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Roku
Router support

Both VPN service providers strive to provide user-friendly apps and a range of features for their customers. Ease of use, vast server networks and advanced security enhance the users’ overall VPN experience.

Support

ExpressVPN and IPVanish provide all the essential details on their dedicated support web pages, such as customer support, FAQs, policies and features. ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer 24-hour live chat for their customers, and you can also contact them via email.

ExpressVPN’s mains support page               IPVanish’s main support page

Reputation and credibility

ExpressVPN was founded by Dan Pomerantz and Peter Burchhardt in 2009. Today, the provider is owned by Kape Technologies, which may cause concern for some users, as Kape was formerly known as Crossrider, a company that created adware. However, Kape has distanced itself from its past ventures. ExpressVPN is known for its fast internet speed connections, robust encryption protocols and broad server network. It allows users to bypass geo-restrictions and access region-blocked content. 

IPVanish was founded by Mudhook Media in 2012 and later acquired by J2 Global, which is now known as Ziff Davis.

ExpressVPN uses the most advanced and robust security encryption, and its practices have been independently reviewed by cybersecurity company Cure53. ExpressVPN is undeniably secure, as no attempted breaches have been reported.

IPVanish appears to be credible and has never suffered an external site data breach.

ExpressVPN vs IPVanish: Which is best?

We found many similarities when comparing ExpressVPN and IPVanish, including an extensive server network spread across different countries. ExpressVPN has an advantage in the number of servers distributed across different locations. Both offer reliable speed connections, prioritise security and privacy and offer a kill switch to enhance security. Both have user-friendly interfaces and provide 24-hour live chat for their customers.

Choosing the right VPN for you ultimately depends on your personal preference and specific requirements. ExpressVPN is ahead of the game regarding server quantity and reputation, while IPVanish offers almost all the features offered by ExpressVPN at a more affordable price.

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.79 /Month
£6.79 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.26 /Month
£4.26 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.60 /Month
£4.60 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £2.92 /Month
£2.92 /Month

The data in this review is reported from a neutral stance and should be used for informational purposes only. We review VPN services from the perspective of:

  • The quality of the product based on the security it affords the user
  • User experience of the application(s)
  • Level and quality of customer service

Independent Advisor does not endorse the streaming of content from regions other than where the subscription is held, nor does it endorse the downloading or consumption of illegally pirated content.

Nick Jones

Editor in Chief

Nick Jones is a highly experienced consumer journalist and editor, who has been writing and producing content for print and online media for over 25 years.

He has worked at some of the UK’s leading publishers including Future Publishing, Highbury Entertainment, and Imagine Publishing, with publications as diverse as Homebuilding & Renovating, TechRadar, and Creative Bloq, writing and editing content for audiences whose interests include history, computing, gaming, films, and science. He’s also produced a number of podcasts in the technology, science, gaming, and true crime genres.

Nick has also enjoyed a highly successful career in content marketing, working in a variety of topics such as health, technology, and finance, with market-leading global companies including Cisco, Pfizer, Santander, and Virgin Media.

Now the Editor-in-Chief of the Independent Advisor, Nick is involved in all aspects of the site’s content, where his expertise in finance, technology, and home products informs every article that’s published on-site. He takes a hands-on approach with our VPN content, penning a number of the articles himself, and verifying that everything we publish in this topic is accurate.

Whatever the area of interest he’s worked in, Nick has always been a consumer champion, helping people find the best deals and give them the information they need to make an informed buying decision.