IPVanish and ExpressVPN are among the best VPNs out there, offering comparable features suited for all kinds of users. ExpressVPN is a bigger service of the two, boasting the larger network of servers that can, obviously, deliver better overall experience. Nevertheless, both companies have found their place in the market and both have solid customer bases.
Let’s take a look at the two VPNs in more detail, shall we?
Comparing the features
We go point by point…
Servers & Locations
IPVanish has more than 1,300 servers spread across over 75 locations, including all the popular places in North America and Europe, as well as some in less common countries such as Moldova and the Philippines. On the other hand, its network in South America leaves a lot to be desired and could be a deal breaker for folks living there. In contrast, ExpressVPN has 3,000+ servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. Combined, these servers can deliver blazing-fast download speeds from across the planet. That, in case you wonder, is one of the reasons ExpressVPN is one of the best (if not the best) VPNs today.
Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish include support for all major platforms such as Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux. Furthermore, both can work with routers, allowing other devices to benefit from more secure connections as well; these would include gaming consoles, streaming boxes, smart TVs and all other connected gear. However, only ExpressVPN offers dedicated browser extensions. That being said, we have to add that IPVanish supports 10 simultaneous connections, whereas that number tops at 5 with ExpressVPN. We think that’s enough, but we’re not necessarily right on this one as different users have different (specific) needs.
ExpressVPN is faster and has managed to beat IPVanish in all our tests. That being said, you may not need “all that” speed for activities like streaming and torrenting (more on that in a moment). Watching movies and TV shows online doesn’t require a speed demon and the same goes for browsing the web and downloading files via BitTorrent. Waiting an additional few seconds or so to grab a file is not a deal-breaker. At least we don’t think so.
Security & Privacy
As noted above, IPVanish and ExpressVPN are both “top dogs” thus they support a slew of protocols, OpenVPN being one of them. Said protocol is known to deliver the fastest download speeds while also keeping your connection as secure as possible. Also, both services have a zero logs policy, but while IPVanish is a US-based company – ExpressVPN operates from the British Virgin Islands — which doesn’t have intelligence-sharing deals with other countries.
Ease of Use
This is a clear win for ExpressVPN, which has super-fancy apps that are equally easy to use. IPVanish’s apps look outdated like they were made some 10 years ago. In sharp contrast, ExpressVPN’s software has a consistent and well-polished look and feel. Nevertheless, using IPVanish apps is also easy with a quick-connect option letting you fire-up a VPN connection in mere seconds. And once that part is done, you’re pretty much good to go.
Streaming & Torrenting
Except if you’re looking to regularly access BBC iPlayer, both IPVanish and ExpressVPN will work for you, allowing you to access all the streaming content you desire along with the ability to download files via BitTorrent. Fans of the British entertainment, however, should get ExpressVPN which worked better with BBC iPlayer in our tests. We did manage to access BBC iPlayer with IPVanish, but we had to switch servers until finding the one that works. When it comes to torrenting, we would say it’s a draw with both PIA and ExpressVPN delivering solid download and upload speeds.
Again, ExpressVPN wins the round, even though it too won’t work in China at all times. In other words, you can’t rely on IPVanish to bypass the Great Firewall of China, but you can use it in other high-censorship countries, where — we’re hearing — it works out of the box. And so does ExpressVPN, in case you wonder. The situation is the same in other places where your Internet may be limited, such as schools, universities, workplaces and so on.
ExpressVPN costs more and that’s intentional as far as we can tell. It’s a premium product that also happens to be one of the best VPNs on the market, if not the best. Also worth knowing is that IPVanish comes with a short 7-day money-back guarantee whereas ExpressVPN’s guarantee is good for 30 days. Plus, if you’re looking to pay for a VPN with your Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash, ExpressVPN is the way to go. IPVanish doesn’t accept any cryptocurrencies.
Which VPN is better?
If you can afford it — and you shouldn’t be cheap on this one — go for ExpressVPN. It consistently managed to beat IPVanish, or at least, managed to deliver the same kind of experience.
ExpressVPN rocks a big network of servers that can consistently deliver fast download and upload speeds. It is one of those services you can rely on, every single time. We highly recommend it to newbies and experts, alike.