There are dozens of competing VPNs on the market. The differences between each service are often substantial. It’s easy to wind up with a VPN that does not provide the connection speeds or security features you need.
At Comparitech, we use a scientific VPN testing methodology to review market-leading VPNs. This allows us to compare popular VPN brands directly and recommend services that offer better value to consumers.
In this article, we analyzed Proton VPN and IPVanish across 11 important categories. By the end of our comparison guide, you will know which service provides better value for money, which is more secure, which is faster, which is easier to use, and which is better for streaming.
ProtonVPN vs IPVanish pricing
A single-month subscription with ProtonVPN costs just $9.99. This compares favorably with other premium VPNs on the market that have a one-month plan. It is also $1 cheaper than the same plan with IPVanish, which will set you back $10.99 per month.
IPVanish pulls ahead when you commit for longer. A one-year plan with IPVanish costs $3.99 per month, payable in a single installment of $47.89. The same subscription with Proton VPN will cost you $72, which is the equivalent of $5.99 per month ($2 more each month).
You can shrink the cost of a Proton VPN subscription even further. However, you will need to subscribe for two years, and even then the price only reduces to $4.99 per month. This is still a dollar more expensive than IPVanish per month, which means you pay $24 more for ProtonVPN by the end of two years.
As is the case with the vast majority of premium VPNs, both these providers have a trial period of thirty days. This money-back guarantee allows you to install the VPN on all your devices and explore the servers to gain online privacy and freedom for a month.
Unusually, ProtonVPN also has a free plan. Proton makes this complimentary version available to help people in oppressive regimes. As a result, people can access news, educational content, or humanitarian resources that the government has censored. It also allows anybody to protect their data and gain online privacy.
Just remember that the free plan only has three server locations (Netherlands, Japan, and the US). Those servers inevitably host a large number of users. This makes the free offering much slower than its premium counterpart. It is also worth noting that despite having free servers in the US, the free version of Proton will not work to access streaming services like Netflix US or Hulu.
While both these VPNs are reasonably priced, IPVanish offers better value for money on its premium account than Proton VPN. Proton remains more expensive than IPVanish even when you commit for two years. However, we still think Proton deserves kudos for having (an albeit limited) free plan.
Best Deal for IPVanish:Get 69% off with its annual plan.
Best Deal for ProtonVPN:Save 33% with a two-year ProtonVPN subscription.
ProtonVPN vs IPVanish features
|Website||www.IPVanish.com||www.protonvpn.com||Simultaneous Connections||Unlimited||Basic: 2 Plus and Visionary: 10||Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Manual install devices||Set-top boxes, Linux, routers||Routers, set-top boxes||Free extras||Automatic Kill Switch, browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.50
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In terms of features, we consider Proton VPN and IPVanish above average when compared to the vast majority of consumer-facing VPNs.
Both VPNs have apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. This allows you to install and use the VPN on the vast majority of computers, smartphones, and tablets.
ProtonVPN also has a full GUI application for Linux, which is impressive. IPVanish, on the other hand, provides config files and manual installation guides for a wide selection of Linux distros.
Both VPNs provide compatibility with set-top boxes, smart TVs, Firestick and Fire TV devices, as well as VPN-compatible routers. Thus, in terms of applications, it is hard to set these providers apart.
You can also share your VPN connection to any device in your home by setting up a virtual wifi hotspot on any Windows or Mac computer. This allows you to use either VPN with devices that won’t allow you to install a VPN directly, whether that be a games console or some other internet-connected device.
How useful a VPN is will partially depend on how many devices you can install the VPN on.
IPVanish allows you to use your VPN subscription on an unlimited number of devices. You will have no trouble using your VPN, whether at home or using public wifi. You can even share your account with friends and family.
ProtonVPN is not so generous. That said, it still allows you to connect using 10 devices simultaneously, which should be enough for most power users or families.
Privacy and security features
When it comes to providing useful privacy and security features, both these VPNs take their job seriously.
ProtonVPN comes with DNS leak protection (including protection for IPv6), AES encryption, ad-blocking, malware filtering, and obfuscation (Stealth mode). The WireGuard protocol is available to get better speeds. Proton uses full disk encryption on its servers for added security. Split tunneling is available, and it also supports Tor over VPN. You also get an auto-reconnect feature to ensure you don’t accidentally use the internet without protection.
IPVanish provides obfuscation using XOR. It has DNS leak protection, solid AES encryption, and a choice of VPN protocols, including WireGuard for super-fast speeds. You get access to a SOCKS5 proxy, which can be useful if you torrent. Split tunneling is available in its Android and FireOS apps. Unlike Proton VPN, IPVanish does not provide any malware filtering or ad-blocking benefits, which is a slight downside.
Both VPNs come with a kill switch that will cut your internet system-wide should the VPN connection drop out. This ensures that you never accidentally leak data outside of the VPN tunnel (which would allow local networks and ISPs to see what you are doing online and would leak your home IP address to the websites you visit). A kill switch also makes you safer when torrenting.
Finally, ProtonVPN provides port forwarding. This feature is useful if you want to torrent or host game servers, for example. Port forwarding is not available with IPVanish.
Streaming and unblocking
Anybody looking for a streaming VPN will find either of these services functional. That said, Proton VPN can access Netflix US, UK, India, Italy, Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan, and France. Compare this to IPVanish, which only officially supports the UK and US versions of Netflix.
IPVanish cannot unblock some other popular international streaming platforms, including Hulu, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime. However, it can provide access to ITV Hub, Channel 4, and Sky Go.
ProtonVPN works to stream Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, ITV Hub, and Prime Video. Ultimately, ProtonVPN is the best VPN for streaming out of the two. However, IPVanish is consistently faster. So, if IPVanish works with the streaming platforms you use, you may still prefer it.
Finally, it is worth noting that because of its super-fast speeds (IPVanish is currently the second fastest VPN in the world) it is often chosen by people who use Kodi.
Despite all of this, consumers who specifically want a VPN for streaming may prefer NordVPN. Nord works with over a dozen Netflix regions, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Hulu, and all the services listed above. It also consistently provides access to regional TV platforms in Japan, Australia, Germany, the UK, and others.
Which of these VPNs work in China>
Anybody living in or visiting China will know the internet there is extremely restrictive. The Chinese government imposes widespread censorship of Western services. As a result, anybody traveling in China cannot access services like Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, Spotify, and Reddit.
The best way to bypass this censorship is to use a VPN. However, Chinese ISPs work hand in hand with the Communist Party to block access to VPN websites and servers. As a result, very few services still work.
Unfortunately, ProtonVPN and IPVanish do not officially support users in China. This is unusual because both VPNs provide obfuscation. Sadly, despite these advanced privacy features, the official line is that neither VPN works in China.
Overall, we generally recommend that anybody looking for a VPN that works in China consider either NordVPN or Surfshark. Both services provide full VPN support in the region.
Setup and interface
Both VPNs are easy to purchase, install, and use. Anybody can easily get a subscription with either of these services by heading to their website. All you need to subscribe is an email address and a valid payment method.
If you follow the links in this guide, you will automatically enable a discount code. So if you visit the VPN directly in your browser, you may end up paying more.
Depending on which version of the VPN you want, you will be able to download the software from either the VPN’s website or popular app stores like Google Play and Apple App Store. If you want the version for Firestick, search the Amazon app store instead.
Both the IPVanish and Proton VPN apps are lightweight, so they require little space on your hard drive. They also install via a wizard, which means you do not need to do anything technical for the VPN to provide all the drivers and components needed to establish a secure VPN tunnel.
Ease of use
ProtonVPN and IPVanish are advanced VPNs with a lot of features. Many competing VPNs on the market often only provide the bare essentials: A choice of servers and a big connect button. Obviously, these VPNs are easy to use, but they are also lacking.
The learning curve with a VPN that has additional features will be a little higher. That said, some VPNs do a better job of designing their apps and explaining what each feature does. So, how do Proton and IPVanish fare?
The good news is that despite having a lot of additional features, Proton VPN is pretty straightforward to navigate. Features like ad blocking, malware filtering, DNS leak protection, full disk encryption, and its unique VPN Accelerator feature are all implemented server side and come enabled by default. It all happens behind the scenes without the user needing to do anything.
We found the Proton VPN apps to be well-designed. It lists server locations alphabetically so that you can instantly scroll down to the one you need. You also get a nifty server location map, which you can click on if you want to.
The settings menu is pretty easy to navigate, making it possible to change the protocol or deactivate the kill-switch depending on your needs. It even provides a little information label on confusing menu items to help you understand what each setting does.
IPVanish is also easy to use and suitable for beginners. As with ProtonVPN, you can pick from an alphabetical server list or from a map. It includes a quick-connect option that will connect you to the fastest server available. This is perfect when you want fast speeds and online privacy but don’t require an IP address in a specific location.
We also enjoy the additional information that IPVanish lists, such as the ping and server load. As with Proton, IPVanish provides information symbols that tell you what each setting does when you hover over them.
IPVanish clearly separates its settings menu into four subsections, which makes it easy to find what you need. You can do things like switch protocols or turn on the auto-connect feature to prevent yourself from accidentally connecting to an evil twin wifi hotspot, for example.
Overall, we found the applications very easy to use, despite being feature-rich. This makes it easy for beginners to use, despite the fact that you can do advanced things such as selecting which port OpenVPN uses, or to turn on the XOR obfuscation feature (scramble).
Servers and performance
When it comes to servers, both these VPNs are decent. They both have large international networks to let you get an IP address where you need it. This ensures that you can always bypass online censorship or access region-locked websites and services.
IPVanish runs on a proprietary network of servers that belong to its parent company, J2 Global. This is good in terms of privacy because it means it has full control over its infrastructure.
The VPN has over 2000 servers in total. This provides access to over 40,000 IP addresses in 75 locations across 50+ countries. In the US, the VPN has servers in 17 different cities, which is ideal if you want to access state-level TV streams, black-out games, or online casinos and bookies, for example.
ProtonVPN has 1755+ servers across 64 countries. This makes its network more expansive than IPVanish. In the US, Proton has 419 servers in 14 cities, which is slightly fewer locations than IPVanish.
Below, you can see a full list of VPN locations that each VPN has:
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|United Arab Emirates||✔||✔|
When it comes to speeds, IPVanish takes the top spot. The VPN is currently second fastest in the world according to our tests, with average download speeds of 488 Mbps. This makes it an exceptionally good option for streaming, gaming, torrenting, and making video calls.
ProtonVPN had a global download average of 66 Mbps. This is still pretty good, and means that the VPN is suitable for HD streaming and other data-intensive tasks.
Anybody wondering how to get the fastest speeds should stick to the WireGuard protocol that both these services include. This is a VPN protocol that is secure and is designed specifically to provide even faster speeds than alternatives like OpenVPN UDP.
Both these VPNs provide watertight military grade encryption and various VPN protocols. You can connect with the popular OpenVPN protocol with either of these services, and they both implement the protocol with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and Perfect Forward Secrecy. However, ProtonVPN uses a stronger RSA-4096 handshake.
With IPVanish you get the added option to pick which port OpenVPN uses, and you can pick between OpenVPN UDP (better for speeds) or OpenVPN TCP (more secure). The nice thing about being able to route OpenVPN traffic through port 443 is that this is the port used by regular HTTPS traffic. This helps to conceal VPN use from your ISP.
Both VPNs have a kill-switch and they both have a dedicated obfuscation feature in their apps. They also have no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks. This makes both VPNs suitable for torrenting, or engaging in sensitive online tasks that require robust privacy. That means, you can use either VPN to secure your data, whether at home or on public wifi.
One difference between these two services is that ProtonVPN is open source. This should come as no surprise, considering it was developed by the same company that brought you the encrypted email service ProtonMail.
Being open source means that anybody can audit the service at any time. ProtonVPN has also endured a full third-party audit of its service, undertaken by the security company SEC Consult. It has published the results of those security audits publicly and it was found not to have any security vulnerabilities.
The good news is that while IPVanish is a closed-source platform, it also previously invested in a third-party audit of its apps and policies. This independent security audit verified its no-logging claim and appraised the security of its clients.
Finally, users who subscribe to an annual subscription of IPVanish also get VIPRE Antivirus. VIPRE provides complete malware scanning and protection, as well as ransomware protection. This makes the VPN fanstastic value for money because VIPRE Advanced Security scores extremely well in our VIPRE review.
Where a VPN is located is important. This jurisdiction has a direct impact on the warrants the company might receive, the laws it must abide by, and what data retention directives it has to comply with.
IPVanish is based in the US. This is far from ideal because the US government has heavily funded intelligence agencies like the NSA and the CIA. Those agencies have been known to serve warrants and subpoenas with gag orders. So, even if a VPN was asked to provide data about its users, it might need to do so in complete secrecy.
ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland. This is a jurisdiction that is great in terms of privacy because Switzerland has no mandatory data retention directives that apply to communication companies or VPNs. In addition, the country has strong privacy laws, and does not engage in invasive levels of surveillance.
Despite being based in America, IPVanish has a solid no-logs policy. Even if the government comes knocking at its door, it will have no useful historical data to provide about its users.
The policy states that the VPN stores no details about what you do when connected to its servers. It never keeps records of your source IP or the IP addresses you connect to, and it does not store any connection logs.
US authorities could serve IPVanish a warrant that asks it to log data on one of its servers. However, this would only ever happen if a very serious crime had taken place using the VPN. Thus, this kind of criminal investigation should not affect the privacy of regular home users. Despite this, it is worth considering if you have an elevated threat model.
ProtonVPN also has a solid no-logging policy that keeps no records of what you do while connected. The VPN never harvests your source IP address, and it never keeps records of the servers you connect to.
Proton VPN admits to logging the date and time of your last connection. ProtonVPN claims that it does this for security reasons (to identify when someone is attempting to guess the user’s password). It also helps Proton collect certain usage analytics.
Thankfully, this does not affect your privacy because it does not keep connection time stamps next to user IP addresses. There is no risk of a time-correlation attack.
These VPNs provide shared IPs for their users. Multiple users connected to the same VPN server use the same IP address, which provides additional anonymity by mixing those users’ traffic and making it harder to identify what any single user is doing, even in real time.
Both these services proxy DNS requests inside the VPN tunnel and resolve those DNS requests using their own servers. Neither VPN suffers from IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks, so both VPNs are handling your data securely inside the VPN tunnel.
These VPNs also provide a NAT firewall. This helps to prevent any unwanted inbound traffic from making it to your home network. Interestingly, ProtonVPN allows users to bypass NAT to permit direct connections and port forwarding. Just remember, this will reduce your security slightly.
Unfortunately, neither VPN provides dedicated static IPs. If this is a feature that you require, you will need to shop elsewhere.
Finally, both VPNs provide rudimentary DDoS protection by concealing your home IP address from other users when you connect P2P.
IPVanish VS ProtonVPN for gaming
A VPN that is good for gaming can be determined by a few things. First, you need a VPN that is fast enough for playing data-intensive multiplayer titles. Second, you need a VPN that has many global server locations. This ensures that you can access regional game servers to find matches during the night or to play with people who speak a specific language.
The good news is that both these VPNs have large global server networks. However, when it comes to speeds, IPVanish is considerably more impressive. It has average download speeds of 488 Mbps, which makes it a better option for anybody who plays games.
Finally, both these VPNs have apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. They also have router compatibility, which means you can easily use either of these VPNs with a games console, either by setting up the VPN on a VPN-compatible router, or by setting up a wifi protected virtual hotspot.
Both these VPNs have decent customer support. They have expansive knowledge bases that you can search on their websites. These will direct you to guides that help you set up and use the VPN.
If you need to ask a question, you can contact IPVanish’s live chat support. Support is available on the website 24/7, which means you can always get help no matter where you are in the world. Alternatively, you can ask questions via email or by leaving a ticket on its website.
Unfortunately, with ProtonVPN, live chat is not available. Instead, you will need to send the company an email or leave a question via its website. As a result, you may sometimes need to wait one or two days for a response.
Both VPNs have an FAQ section on their website that provides answers to common questions. This allows you to find answers to common questions without needing to communicate with the VPN provider directly, which can speed things up.
IPVanish has a decent blog that provides information about VPNs, proxies, and other privacy-related issues. It also has its own YouTube channel, which provides various setup guides and explanation videos.
Proton also has a blog, as well as a news section on its website. This offers excellent coverage of VPN and privacy-related issues, as well as articles that explain details about Proton VPN’s features and services.
Below, we have included average response times for the support questions we asked:
|Question||Initial response time||Number of emails||Question answered|
|Can I install IPVanish on a Raspberry Pi?||1 hour, 19 minutes||1||Yes|
|Does IPVanish encrypt traffic from other applications or just my browser?||11 hours, 6 minutes||1||Yes|
|Does IPVanish log my source IP address?||1 hour, 16 minutes||1||Yes|
|Question||Initial response time||Number of emails||Question answered|
|What information does this VPN log?||2 days, 1 hour||1||Yes|
|Is there a specific server I should use for Netflix?||1 day, 3 hours||1||Yes|
|Can I install this VPN on a Raspberry Pi?||4 hours, 25 minutes||1||Yes|
We compared these two market-leading VPN providers across 11 different categories. The results were very close. The VPNs were too similar to tell apart in 5 of our categories: Configuration, Setup and interface, Security, and China.
In the six other categories, Proton VPN took three wins; Privacy, Streaming and unblocking, and Overall features. IPVanish came out on top for Servers and performance, Customer support, Gaming, and Price.
So, what should you do?
Our results prove that either of these VPNs is an excellent option for the average consumer. That said, most people want a fast VPN for streaming, and they usually want a VPN that is as cheap as possible. Under these circumstances, you may feel that IPVanish is better.
On the other hand, ProtonVPN provides access to more international streaming services. So, check that IPVanish works with the services you use before committing to a subscription.
If privacy is important to you, and you want a VPN packed with important privacy and security features, ProtonVPN is slightly better. So, if you have an elevated threat model and primarily want to use your VPN to prevent surveillance and tracking, you may prefer Proton.
That said, IPVanish provides a choice of excellent VPN protocols, robust encryption, and more privacy features than many other competing services. With this in mind, many internet users will find the privacy they get with IPVanish to be perfectly adequate.
Finally, it is worth comparing either of these VPNs against services like NordVPN and Surfshark. These competing VPNs have come out on top against both IPVanish and ProtonVPN. So, if you want the very best VPN at a reasonable cost, it is worth following the links to see our other VS articles.
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