IPVanish vs ExpressVPN – all Features and Costs compared
Heidi Finigan | Last Updated:
VPN Streaming Expert
In the ongoing battle of the giants, who is actually the biggest and best of them all? The rivalry between ExpressVPN and IPVanish has been running for almost ten years now. Both products have their followers. Followers that are avid and even vociferous.
With ten years of development, you would expect both products to be near perfect. You would expect to have a tough time choosing between them. You would expect them both to meet your every need. That’s not quite the case though. Product developers all have their own views. They each have their own take on what customers want. And their development paths have diverged accordingly.
So, we have decided to simplify it and take the guesswork out of your selection. Here, we present a head-to-head comparison of two of the VPN giants. It’s ExpressVPN versus IPVanish.
For any user, cost is one of the most important factors. For some it is the only consideration. Below are the latest prices as at December 2023 both IPVanish and ExpressVPN covering both their Regular and Promotional prices for both their Monthly and Yearly plans.
Below are the latest ExpressVPN subscription prices, current as at December 2023:
IVanish offers a special Monthly price of $3.51 for the first month of your subscription. After the first month has finished, the price reverts to their regular Monthly price of $10.99 per month.
Similarly, they also offer a special Yearly price of $2.67 per month for the first year of your subscription ($31.99 in total). After the first yar has finished, the price reverts to their regular Yearly price of $99 per year.
The clear winner in this price comparison test is IPVanish. Their prices are significantly cheaper than ExpressVPN for both their Monthly and Yearly options.
Winner of Pricing: IPVanish
Speed is not a critical factor for a large proportion of users who just need basic privacy and encryption and to get around censorship. However, for gamers and people who stream, speed is right at the top of the list.
We conducted a series of tests on an HP laptop with an i5 processor and 8GB RAM running on Windows 10.
We conducted the tests from our testing facility in New York using a 400Mbps Verizon Fios Fiber connection.
We ran each test three times and recorded the average. We started by testing the baseline speed without a VPN. Next, we connected to servers in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Sydney.
New York server
- ExpressVPN – 258Mbs
- IPVanish – 105Mbs
It was no surprise to us that connectiing to a vpn server in close physical proximity to where we were located gave us the best results. ExpressVPN gave us excellent speed results at this location.
Los Angeles server
- ExpressVPN – 207Mbs
- IPVanish – 92Mbs
Again, the results were fairly similar with what we saw for our New York server test. IPVanish lagged behind ExpressVPN again. We were starting to see a pattern here.
- ExpressVPN -195Mbs
- IPVanish – 79Mbs
The next test started to push the boundaries by connecting to a vpn server across the Atlantic in London, England. The 195Mbs speed that we got from ExpressVPN is more than ample to stream HD content from all your favorite UK streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and SKY Go.
- ExpressVPN – 166Mbs
- IPVanish – 57Mbs
The final test was the ultimate – connecting to a server on the other side of the world, Down Under in Sydney. Sad to say tht IPVanish really dropped the ball here, and would probably be unusuable if you were trying to stream any local Aussie content (think sports: Australian Open, Golf, Rugby League, Cricket).
While IPVanish came out on top in the previous Speed comparison test, ExpressVPN bounced back with a vengeance when it came to Speed and performance. If streaming online content or ultra fast gaming speeds are most important to you, I’d highly suggest going with ExpressVPN in this case.
Winner of Connection Speed: ExpressVPN
More servers mean more capacity. This directly affects the speed of the network. When smaller networks become overloaded, connections will become slower and there may even be intermittent interruptions at peak times. The last thing that you want when you’re streaming your favorite online movie or TV show is get a buffering, laggy connection due to an overloaded vpn server.
Another important factor is that, the more widespread a network is, the more reach it has. Having locations in more countries means potentially offering a wider choice of content. E.g, if you want to stream Anime content from Japan, your going to want to make sure that your provider has a good number of vpn servers available in that country. Similarly if you want to connect to an Aussie or New Zealand server so that you can watch your sporting event, you’ll want to a select a vpn that has a presence in those countries.
- ExpressVPN Servers: 3,000+
- Server Locations: 160
- Countries: 94
- IPVanish Servers: 1,600
- Server Locations: 75
- Countries: 57
The figures here pretty much speak for themselves. IPVanish does have a more than decent selection of vpn servers around the world (definitely more than most of the cheaper, budget vpn service providers on the market). But the reality is that they simply can’t compete with the sheer volume and size of the ExpressVPN server network. With a server count of almost double the size of IPVanish, we can easily see here that ExpressVPN is a standout winner in this particular comparision test.
Winner of Server Count: ExpressVPN
As technology continues to advance, our lives are becoming more and more dependent on being connected to the internet. It is not uncommon, nowadays, for the average person to have three or more devices. Being able to connect multiple devices simultaneously has now become a requirement rather than a nice-to-have.
ExpressVPN offers up to five simultaneous connections on all of it’s standard subscription.
ExpressVPN do make a note on their website that can download their apps on Unlimited devices, but you can only have Five of them simultaneously connected at any given time.
This should suffice more than comfortably for most users. If absolutely necessary, by purchasing a pre-configured ExpressVPN router, you could connect up to 15 devices. This is a once-off cost.
IPVanish offers a very generous unlimited simultaneous connections on the standard subscription package.
For the average user, five simultaneous connections is more than enough to cover your laptop, smart phone, tablet, gaming console, and even your smart TV. However, if you’re in a larger household that all love to connect via vpn, then IPVanish nudges ahead in this particualr test.
Winner of Simultaneous Connections: IPVanish
With the average person nowadays using three or more devices, compatibility has become far more important. Being able to use a single application across multiple devices has become more than just a matter of convenience. It would, otherwise, be almost impossible to keep track of our lives, activities, and data across such a diverse range of devices.
Both products support a core of devices that includes:
- Smart TV (Android)
ExpressVPN differentiates itself quite emphatically in this department. In addition to the core of devices it shares with IPVanish, it also boasts the proprietary MediaStreamer app. Not all Smart TV’s allow you to install a vpn app on them. This is where MediaStreamer comes to the rescue. It works with their Smart DNS system to hide your true IP and allows you to unlock online streaming content (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney +, etc) in locations where it is otherwise restricted. If you prefer to watch your streamed movies on your TV, this feature by ExpressVPN is a game-changer.
The ExpressVPN arsenal is rounded off with Browser Extensions which enhances browsing security and anonymity, even when not connected to ExpressVPN.
Winner of Supported Devices: ExpressVPN
Most of the time, we all use the same basic set of criteria when we evaluate and compare two products. It is also fair to say that we all have one or two specific criteria that we look out outside of this core list.
Frequent travellers, for example, would want to ensure the VPN works all over the world. Some may require split tunnelling. This allows users to access certain services via their ISP whilst the VPN continues to safeguard all other web activities.
ExpressVPN has an impressive list of features, beyond those already mentioned.
- Comprehensive split tunnelling
- Works in high-censorship countries
- Unblocks all major streaming services
IPVanish, by comparison, falls a little short on features.
- Limited split tunnelling (only Android and FireOS)
- Does not work in China
- Is unable to unblock Netflix in several countries.
Winner of Features: ExpressVPN
And the winner is……
ExpressVPN ultimately ran out, quite comfortably, as the overall winner. Winning hands down in four of the six head-to-head battles, and losing narrowly in one other, it was an easy decision to make.
IPVanish offers a good product at a very good price. Being several years younger and a little smaller in reach, it does, however, have a few areas that could be improved.
ExpressVPN is indeed the giant in this race. As it would be against any of the other VPN products. Its comprehensive range of features and device compatibility makes it an excellent choice for all. We recommend that you take a trial subscription and see for yourself. After all, if it doesn’t impress you, you have 30 days to get your money back. No questions. On top of all of this, ExpressVPN currently have a great offer available. We reckon that it represents excellent value for money, so click on the link to head on over to their website now and check it out for yourself: