While VPN services don’t offer sufficient protection against government snooping, they can help you avoid geographic restrictions and hide your online activity from your Internet service provider. Today, we are comparing two highly popular VPN services, IPVanish and ExpressVPN, that offer similar features to find out which one is better.
Since you probably already know how much you’re willing to spend on a VPN service, let’s start by comparing which of the two services is more affordable.
IPVanish costs $10 for a month when billed monthly and just $6.49 for a month when billed annually. All IPVanish plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee and all the features this VPN provider offers. ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive, costing $12.95 for a month when billed monthly and $8.32 for a month when billed annually. For the higher price, you also get 3 extra weeks of money-back guarantee.
Both services accept bitcoins for pseudo-anonymous payments in addition to the standard selection of payment methods, including PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, GiroPay, and others.
IPVanish is located in the United States and has over 850 servers in more than 60 countries. ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, but the company itself is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands with staff across the world. Neither the United States nor the British Virgin Islands are known for respecting users’ online privacy. While the United States has been known for snooping on its citizens, as well as everyone else who passes through a US-located server, the British Virgin Islands is officially a British Overseas Territory, and the United Kingdom is a world leader in citizen surveillance.
As we’ve said earlier, there’s no VPN service that offers true anonymity, especially when it’s located in the United States or Britain. But if you just want to hide your online activity from your Internet service provider or enjoy geo-blocked content without restrictions, both IPVanish and ExpressVPN get the job done.
IPVanish has the edge over ExpressVPN in terms of security because the service supports SOCKS5 web proxy alongside OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec VPN protocols. ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols, but the SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol) is essentially redundant since OpenVPN is more popular and offers better security anyway.
Both services offer mobile applications, unlimited bandwidth, a money-back guarantee, 24/7 customer support, servers around the world, simultaneous connections on multiple devices, and promise not to keep any logs. In practice, both IPVanish and ExpressVPN offer everything one would expect a VPN service to offer.
The biggest difference between the two is in the number of allowed simultaneous connections. IPVanish customers can enjoy up to 5 simultaneous connections on multiple devices, while ExpressVPN customers can enjoy only up to 3 simultaneous connections on multiple devices.
IPVanish’s mobile app is arguably less user-friendly than the ExpressVPN mobile app, but they both get the job done just fine, and we don’t expect anyone to obsess over the minor differences between them.
Our testing revealed that IPVanish could provide speeds of up to 100 Mbps, while ExpressVPN reached only around 10 Mbps, with much worse latency. Does the difference in speed and latency matter in the real world? That depends on your needs. If you’re a journalist sending emails from a foreign country and browsing the web to get information, you’re going to be perfectly fine with 10 Mbps. But if you’re a gamer or someone who wants to watch HD online video content, you may find ExpressVPN severely limiting.
As you can see, IPVanish has a noticeable edge over ExpressVPN, even though both services offer compelling features at competitive prices.