IPVanish vs. ExpressVPN

We compared two of the most popular VPNs on the market and put them through our rigorous testing.

Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Sep 3, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Sep 3, 2021


  • Access to ESPN, HBO, MLB TV, NBC Sports, and other streaming services
  • Dynamic IP addresses
  • Unlimited server switches and devices per subscription
Editor's Rating


  • Based in British Virgin Islands, so not subject to international surveillance alliances’ jurisdiction
  • Over 2,000 servers in 160 locations
  • Split tunneling available
Editor's Rating

IPVanish and ExpressVPN are two of our favorite VPNs. With so many features and details to keep track of, we wanted to match these two crowd pleasers up to really see which is superior. We’ll start off looking at the two companies from a bird’s eye view, and then get down and dirty in the details. Here we go!

IPVanish vs. ExpressVPN: Similarities and Differences

IPVanish and ExpressVPN are two top VPNs, so they have a lot of similar features. We’ll get more in-depth later on in this article, but here’s a quick, high-level overview of the main features and how each service performed. For more in-the-weeds information, you can also check out our full IPVanish Review and our ExpressVPN review.

Feature IPVanish ExpressVPN
Kill Switch Yes Yes
Split Tunneling Yes Yes
Netflix No Yes
Torrenting Yes Yes
Five Eyes,1 Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes Member Yes No
IP Addresses Dynamic Anonymous, regularly rotated


First, we’ll go through the commonalities of these two high-performing VPNs.

Kill switch

This is a pretty common feature for VPNs, but we were glad to know that both companies checked the box. A kill switch is like a fail-safe: if our VPN cut out for a moment, the kill switch would shut down all of our current activity. This is great because if we were browsing or downloading without a VPN connected, our activity would have been exposed.

ExpressVPN Kill Switch
ExpressVPN Kill Switch

Split tunneling

Both VPNs allowed us to do split tunneling. That means that we can use both a private server as well as a public Wi-Fi network, like the one at our favorite coffee shop, at the exact same time.


Both VPNs allow torrenting through uTorrent, so we were able to upload, download, and share files with our co-workers directly without getting blocked or slowed down.

IP Addresses

IPVanish and ExpressVPN both make use of dynamic IP addresses. That means that our IP address shuffled each time we logged on to use the VPNs. This made it even harder for us to be tracked by government entities who might have wanted to know what we were up to.


Both services use 256-bit AES encryption,2 the highest standard on the market today.

ExpressVPN DNS Leak Test
ExpressVPN DNS Leak Test

Leak Tests

Both VPNs passed our DNS leak test and WebRTC test. These tests let us know that our IP addresses and web browsing activity were never exposed when the VPNs were connected.


Both VPNs cover our reasons for why we’d get a VPN in the first place, which is, to browse the Internet safely and privately. However, we know that you need to make a choice, so we’ll go through what really sets these two options apart.


If you love to binge (we sure do), this is important. ExpressVPN works with Netflix and other streaming services while we couldn’t watch our favorite Netflix specials while using IPVanish. However, we will say that we streamed on Crunchyroll, ESPN Plus and HBO while using IPVanish, so we weren’t entirely out of luck on a rainy day.

Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes Membership

Where a VPN company is headquartered might not seem like a big deal, but trust us, it matters a lot. This is mainly because where a company is based dictates whether or not it’s part of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes, which are surveillance alliances. If a company participates in such a jurisdiction, it means that they could be forced to surrender our data to the government, which we are definitely not okay with. While ExpressVPN is headquartered in the Virgin Islands, outside of these alliances, IPVanish is based in the United States, meaning that they do fall under such jurisdiction. That’s a huge deal to us because it could mean they could be forced, legally, to give our data to the feds, so the privacy-minded should definitely choose ExpressVPN over IPVanish.


Using a VPN can sometimes significantly reduce our system’s speed. While VPNs have a lot of great benefits, we want to make sure that upload and download speed aren’t suffering too much. We put ExpressVPN and IPVanish through speed tests on our different devices to make sure they wouldn’t slow us down.

Tests IPVanish ExpressVPN
MacBook Air- High Sierra Version 10.13.6
Ping without VPN (in ms) 14 14
Ping with VPN (in ms) 16 20
Ping Difference (avg-32%) 14% 43%
Macbook Download Speed without VPN (in mbps) 37.05 37.05
Download Speed with VPN (in mbps) 31.57 22.7
Download difference avg- -26.77% -14.80% -38.73%
Upload Speed without VPN (in mbps) 25.9 25.9
Upload Speed with VPN (in mbps) 21.13 22.19
Upload difference avg-16.01% -17.70% -14.32%
VivoBook (Windows)
Ping without VPN (in ms) 14 14
Ping with VPN (in ms) 15 19
Ping Difference 7.10% 35.70%
Macbook Download Speed without VPN (in mbps) 69.92 62.88
Download Speed with VPN (in mbps) 26.31 39.77
Download difference avg-49.56% -62.37% -36.75%
Upload Speed without VPN (in mbps) 41.51 40.61
Upload Speed with VPN (in mbps) 30.98 30.95
Upload difference avg-24.58% -25.37% -23.79%

When using ExpressVPN on our Mac, we experienced significantly slower downloads, while the VPN didn’t have such a severe impact on speed when we tested on our Windows device. On the other hand, IPVanish was faster for downloads on our Mac. For our other speed tests, the two VPNs performed comparably, so overall we’d recommend ExpressVPN to Windows-users and IPVanish to Mac-users.

Number of servers

IPVanish has more than 1,500 servers in over 75 locations. On the other hand, ExpressVPN boasts 2,000 servers in 148 countries, giving it the edge when it comes to scaling. The closer we are to a server, the faster our Internet connection will be. Additionally, if a VPN has servers in multiple locations that we can connect to, we can experience the Internet as if we were physically in that location, giving us access to a different browsing experience entirely, as we can access other country’s servers and do things like watch Netflix Canada while in NYC.

Customer service

Both companies offer 24/7 customer support live chats, email support systems, and a compilation of users’ past questions that we could search that came in handy when finding out about IP addresses. However, IPVanish wins this round, as they offer a phone line. While it might be a bit old school, it’s a real differentiator for a VPN company and lets us know that they’re willing to go the extra mile for us if we ever need to speak to a human directly.

IPVanish Data Logging Policy
IPVanish Data Logging Policy

Logging policies

Going through privacy policies is no fun, so we summarized what we found below.

Data They Log IPVanish ExpressVPN
Name Yes Yes
Email address Yes Yes
Payment information Yes Yes
Web traffic No No
DNS queries No No
Device model No No
Device identifiers No No
Browser Type Yes* anonymized No
Operating System and Version Yes* anonymized No
IP addresses No No
Crash reports Yes* anonymized Yes* anonymized
Page requests Yes* anonymized No
Bounce Rate Yes* anonymized No
Usability diagnostics No Yes* anonymized
VPN connection diagnostics No Yes* anonymized
Application diagnostics No No
App and app versions Yes Yes
Days connected to VPN No Yes
Timestamps of session Yes* anonymized No
VPN server used No Yes
Country No Yes
Internet Service Provider No Yes
Total sum of data transferred in MB No Yes
Correspondence with site or services Yes Yes
Email optimization data Yes Yes
Cookies Yes Yes
Server performance in cpu, ram and servers net usage No No
IPVanish App
IPVanish App

Both VPNs logged a fair amount of data, with a couple of slight differences. IPVanish collected more information on how we navigated their site, but this is mostly used to inform their customer experience. In contrast, ExpressVPN logged information about what server we used in what country and our Internet Service Provider. The rest of the logged data was pretty par for the course, and didn’t raise any alarms for us. That said, less is always more when it comes to keeping our data on record, so IPVanish wins this round.

Pro Tip: Lots of VPN companies will boast about a “zero log policy,” but the reality is, every VPN company logs some of our data. While things like email addresses and payment information are generally okay, go through each privacy policy to make sure nothing is hidden in the fine-print about logging our originating IP address or domain names.

ExpressVPN Privacy Policy
ExpressVPN Privacy Policy

Number of devices

While we only needed to get one subscription to a VPN, we could connect several of our devices at one time. We’re constantly switching from our phones to our tablets to our laptops, so we wanted to make sure that our VPN wouldn’t get overloaded. IPVanish allowed us to connect six of our devices simultaneously, while ExpressVPN capped us at five.


IPVanish edged out ExpressVPN when it came to price. IPVanish’s monthly rate was $10, while ExpressVPN’s monthly rate costs about 30 percent more at $12.95. Both companies will cut users a deal for signing onto a longer contract, and we were glad to see that we got some bang for our buck by signing on for a year, although ExpressVPN is more expensive in any case.

ExpressVPN App
ExpressVPN App
Contract Length IPVanish ExpressVPN
One Month $10.00 $12.95
Three Months $8.99 n/a
Six Months n/a $9.99
One Year $6.49 $8.32

Fallback Plan: While both companies have varied pricing structures, they also both offer 30-day money-back guarantees, where we could back out for whatever reason we weren’t satisfied with our services within that time period.

Which Is Better, IPVanish or ExpressVPN?

Both VPNs are solid options, so we had to go deep into the details to split them apart. Ultimately, choosing a VPN depends on what matters most to you, and what your particular motivations are for signing up for a VPN in the first place. That being said, while these VPNs are pretty neck and neck, ExpressVPN slightly edges out IPVanish. ExpressVPN’s Panama headquarters was a major perk, since we didn’t have to worry about our data making its way to the government. Combined with an expansive global network and our ability to stream our favorites on Netflix, it was hard for us to turn down. That being said, IPVanish has its perks as well like cost, the ability to connect more devices and grade A customer service.

IPVanish Desktop App
IPVanish Desktop App
We recommend IPVanish if you want…
  • The budget-friendly option: IPVanish has a lower monthly cost of $10 as opposed to $12.95, or, if we wanted to opt for the longer-contract,
  • A VPN for your Mac: When we did our speed test, IPVanish didn’t slow our Mac down as much as it did our Windows computer.
  • More connected devices: IPVanish allowed us to connect up to six devices at the same time, while ExpressVPN only let us connect five.
  • Superior customer service: IPVanish has bragging rights when it comes to their phone line, something that not many VPNs offer.
We recommend ExpressVPN if you’re looking for…
  • Airtight security: With ExpressVPN’s headquarters in the Virgin Islands, we can rest easy knowing that our data will never be surrendered to the government due to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes or 14 Eyes.
  • Netflix: Though IPVanish offers a host of other streaming services, to us, Netflix is king, and having access to it carries lots of weight for ExpressVPN.
  • A VPN for your Windows: In our speed showdown, ExpressVPN slowed our Mac down significantly, so it might be a better option if you’re a Windows person.
  • Further global reach: ExpressVPN has about 500 more servers in twice as many countries compared to IPVanish.

If neither VPN sounds like it suits your need, feel free to check out some of our other VPN pages, like our CyberGhost review, NordVPN review and our rundown of the best VPNs.


We hope we answered your questions about the comparisons between IPVanish and ExpressVPN, but in case you still have some, check out these frequently asked questions and our answers.

  • Is ExpressVPN better than IPVanish?

    ExpressVPN is better than IPVanish, but overall, the competition is tight. Both VPNs have most of the features we’re looking for, such as a kill switch, split tunneling, access to torrent clients, dynamic IP addresses, and military-grade encryption. They also both passed our DNS and WebRTC leak tests. However, ExpressVPN has the edge when it comes to accessing Netflix, the number of servers, and privacy. That last one is because ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is outside the jurisdiction of international surveillance alliances, as opposed to IPVanish’s U.S. headquarters that is well within the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes Alliance.

    Features we compared ExpressVPN IPVanish
    Kill switch Yes Yes
    Split tunneling Yes Yes
    Torrenting Yes Yes
    Dynamic IP addresses Yes Yes
    256-bit AES encryption Yes Yes
    DNS leak Passed Passed
    WebRTC leak Passed Passed
    Netflix access Yes Some U.S. servers only
    Headquarters British Virgin Islands (outside international surveillance alliances jurisdiction) United States (inside Five Eyes surveillance alliance jurisdiction)
    Speeds on Windows Ping: 19 ms
    Download: 39.77 Mbps
    Upload: 30.96 Mbps
    Ping: 15 ms
    Download: 26.31 Mbps
    Upload: 30.98 Mbps
    Speeds on Mac Ping: 20 ms
    Download: 22.7 Mbps
    Upload: 22.19 Mbps
    Ping: 16 ms
    Download: 31.57 Mbps
    Upload: 21.13 Mbps
    Customer support Live chat, email, and knowledge base Phone, live chat, email, and knowledge base
  • Can you be tracked if you use IPVanish or ExpressVPN?

    You can’t be tracked by your ISP if you use IPVanish or ExpressVPN. In the case of IPVanish and ExpressVPN, they didn’t collect any data that raised our alarms. They didn’t log our IP addresses, the websites we visited, our page requests, and not even the model of the device we used. They did collect some personal data, like our names, email addresses, and payment information, but those were necessary for the upkeep of our account. One thing we’d like to note, though, is that ExpressVPN’s headquarters is in the British Virgin Islands, whereas IPVanish is based in the U.S. The difference is that the British Virgin Islands is outside the jurisdiction of international surveillance alliances, like the Five Eyes Alliance, while the U.S. is a founding member of the Five Eyes. Should events call for it, the government can force IPVanish to share customer data, but not ExpressVPN.

  • Is IPVanish more affordable than ExpressVPN?

    IPVanish is more affordable than ExpressVPN. At $10, IPVanish’s monthly subscription is cheaper by almost $3 than ExpressVPN’s $12.95 monthly plan. The price difference grows as the subscription becomes longer. With IPVanish, you only need to pay $2.62 per month if you choose the one-year subscriptionth ExpressVPN, the cost is almost three times as much at $8.32 per month. compared to $8.32 a month with ExpressVPN. However, although more expensive, ExpressVPN offers more options in terms of contract lengths. There’s a six-month plan for $59.95, which comes down to $9.99 per month. Below is a comparison of IPVanish and ExpressVPN latest pricing.

    Subscription length IPVanish total cost ExpressVPN total cost
    One month $9.99 $12.99
    Six months n/a $59.95 (or $9.99 per month)
    One year $31.49 (or $2.62 per month) for the first subscription $99.95 (or $8.32 per month)
  • Can I try IPVanish and ExpressVPN for free?

    You can’t try IPVanish and ExpressVPN for free, as there is no free trial or free version of the VPNs. However, both VPN companies have 30-day money-back guarantees, during which you can cancel your subscription and get your money back. It’s not necessarily a free trial, since you’ll need to pay for the subscription first, but in the end, you can get away with testing both VPNs without losing money.

  1. CNN. (2017). What is the Five Eyes intelligence pact?

  2. BBC. (2020). Network topologies, protocols and layers.