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IPVanish VPN review Australia
With so many great VPN choices out there, IPVanish offers few reasons to consider it as an essential purchase.
When I first reviewed IPVanish in 2021, there wasn’t a lot I liked about the virtual private network (VPN) service. While it had competitive monthly pricing, unlimited simultaneous connections and good Australian speeds, it fell short in almost every other way.
Two years have passed, though, and IPVanish has made improvements in key areas, which makes it far more of a contender than what used to be the lowest-scoring VPN I’d ever reviewed. Scroll on for my fully updated impressions of the much-improved IPVanish.
IPVanish VPN pricing and plans
IPVanish was off to a terrible start when I started this review, with an erroneous account cancellation and frustrating Windows issues (across three test machines, no less). But then it came back. Unlimited simultaneous connections make it a viable subscription for the whole family, and that’s helped by some great streaming results, plus all-too-rare control over server switching. Still, IPVanish is comparatively pricey for what you get, particularly given the lack of features and somewhat light global network.
IPVanish VPN prices and plans compared
IPVanish isn’t really a VPN to look at if you’re interested in competitive pricing. While it used to have comparatively solid monthly pricing, the US$11.99 asking price puts IPVanish outside the top five of the 17 VPNs I’ve reviewed. For cheap monthly pricing, start with Mullvad VPN, Windscribe VPN and VPN Unlimited.
IPVanish’s annual pricing blows out past the top 10, although the typical US$89.99 asking price is a lot more reasonable if you can get it during a sale. Check in with PureVPN, Private Internet Access VPN and Atlas VPN for the cheapest annual pricing. There’s also a two-year price for IPVanish, but it’s expensive (US$179.99) unless you get it on special. Look at VPN Unlimited, Atlas VPN and Private Internet Access for the best multi-year pricing.
It’s worth flagging that although IPVanish offers an industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee for its annual and biennial plans, my experience with customer support was painful for a straightforward cancellation request. If you, like me, aren’t a fan of automatic renewals, the supposedly recently updated IPVanish support article has out-of-date steps that won’t help. When I hit up IPVanish’s 24/7 chat support to stop the automatic renewal—while stressing that I wanted to keep the subscription—my account was cancelled, and I had to resubscribe all over again.
Compare IPVanish VPN prices to other VPN prices
|From US$12.99/mo||View plans||60/83||Best VPN|
|From AU$19.79/mo||View plans||84/146||Stacks of servers|
|From US$12.95/mo||View plans||113/151||Very user-friendly|
|From AU$19.99/mo||View plans||82/112||Fast speeds|
|From US$12.95/mo||View plans||99/142||Unlimited connections|
|From US$11.99/mth||View plans||55/82||Unlimited connections|
|From AU$59.99/yr||View plans||29/29||Bundles well with antivirus|
|From €5/mo||View plans||42/70||Low fixed monthly pricing|
|From AU$18.79/mo||View plans||91/116||Balance of servers, locations|
|From US$9.99/mo||View plans||57/69||Lifetime subscription|
|From US$10.99/mo||View plans||44/59||Cheap monthly pricing|
|From US$12.45/mo||View plans||77/95||Straightforward server switching|
|From US$8.99/mo||View plans||67/90||Swiss-based anonymity|
|From AU$17.94/mo||View plans||38/46||Unlimited connections|
|From US$9.00/mo||View plans||69/112||Lifetime subscription|
|From US$9.99/mo||View plans||47/61||Solid free version|
IPVanish VPN connectivity and user experience
The majority of my IPVanish testing was done on Windows 11 PCs. I say “PCs” plural because IPVanish got stuck in a connection loop on my main desktop PC and never ended up working. It worked without any issues on a backup test desktop, but I had to uninstall other VPNs on my Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 to get it working there.
While I suspect it’s a VPN conflict on my main desktop PC, removing multiple VPNs didn’t fix the connection issues. Admittedly, it’s perhaps a somewhat unique problem for VPN reviewers. But if you’re in the habit of bouncing between VPNs and not uninstalling the older ones, you may encounter the same issue.
When it is working, though, IPVanish is easy to use. Connection times range from a handful of seconds up to around 15 seconds, which isn’t particularly fast despite IPVanish defaulting to the typically speedy WireGuard VPN protocol. Just click the big green ‘Connect’ button to route internet traffic through the last VPN server you used. There’s a world map to give an idea of the country you’re connected to, but it doesn’t show which part of the country you’re connected to, so it’s less of a useful visual guide overall.
At the time of writing, IPVanish offered 2,200+ servers these days in 55 nations and 83 locations. Popular VPN destinations like the US, UK and Australia have multiple city choices. One of the neater features is how it offers a breakdown of the number of servers in each country, both on the IPVanish website and in the location screen.
Country and city information is listed with a breakdown of ping (latency) and server load. In my tests, the IPVanish latency values were optimistic, though they do give an indication of which city to choose over others. More interesting is there’s a server tab that not only lists the number of servers per country/city, it also opens a drop-down menu for manually selecting individual servers. This is a great feather in IPVanish’s hat, given each server has a different IP address, which can be handy for sidestepping some geoblocks.
Once connected to a server, IPVanish displays your new IP address, overall connection time, VPN protocol as well as your current download and upload speeds. I’d advise against using the kill switch toggle as it’s the strict version that kills your internet whenever you’re not connected to an IPVanish VPN server. The more convenient version of a kill switch only halts internet traffic if an unexpected VPN server disconnection occurs, meaning you don’t have to constantly stay connected to a VPN server to use your internet on a device.
The best version of IPVanish in my tests was the Android app. It has a much better interface with a streamlined main screen and the locations list is faster to navigate with the countries/cities filter. I’m also a fan of how it defaults to prompting users to connect to the fastest available server rather than the most recent one, which may not be nearby.
IPVanish VPN supported devices
IPVanish supports the expected platforms for unlimited simultaneous connections:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Chrome OS
More advanced users can also configure a compatible router to use IPVanish at a network level. This is handy for homes that want all network traffic protected by a VPN connection. The official website lists a range of supported routers with IPVanish preinstalled and also offers handy written guides for supported routers.
IPVanish VPN speeds
Unless your internet provider is throttling your speeds, connecting to a VPN service will slow your latency and download/upload speeds. To highlight this, the table below shows the midday speeds for IPVanish with an Aussie Broadband100/40Mbps FTTC connection.
IPVanish VPN server latency and speeds from Australia
|AU VPN (auto, fastest)||84.94Mbps (~5% slower)||36.15Mbps (~5% slower)||8ms (no change)|
|US VPN (auto, fastest)||66.31Mbps (~26% slower)||31.16Mbps (~18% slower)||251ms (243ms slower)|
|UK VPN (auto, fastest)||55.78Mbps (~38% slower)||24.84Mbps (~34% slower)||307ms (299ms slower)|
IPVanish is a mixed bag when it comes to speeds. For Australia, downloads, uploads and latency are an improvement compared to my initial round of tests in 2021. Similarly, UK download and upload speeds have improved, while US uploads have likewise progressed. Outside of an impressive 0ms change to latency in my Sydney-to-Sydney-server tests, the latencies for the US and UK have gone up considerably.
Comparatively, IPVanish isn’t overly competitive on the speed front. It’s in the top five for Australian speed measurements but almost exclusively outside the top 10 for the US and UK next to the other 16 VPNs I’ve reviewed. Overall, IPVanish has the slowest speeds when collectively comparing download, upload and latency tests for Australia, the US and the UK.
Bottom line: IPVanish has great speeds if you only want to connect to Australian servers but things start to noticeably slow down for servers outside of Australia. For fast overall VPNs, start comparisons with ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access and VPN Unlimited.
IPVanish VPN streaming
For those who don’t mind running the risk of having their streaming services blocked or banned, a VPN can be used to stream content from geoblocked libraries overseas. A VPN that’s great for streaming should work across popular US, UK and Australian streaming services, loading content libraries in a timely way while buffering content quickly and without errors.
In terms of the table below, buffering speeds are rated accordingly:
- Fast (1–5 seconds)
- Moderate (5–15 seconds)
- Slow (15–25 seconds)
- Extremely slow (slower than 25 seconds)
IPVanish VPN performance with popular streaming services
|Stan (including Stan Sport)||Yes||Fast|
IPVanish has gone from being the worst VPN for streaming in my tests to cracking into the top five. While there are some disclaimers, IPVanish offers multiple location choices in countries with popular streaming services (Australia, US and the UK, specifically), so fast streaming is usually only a location shift away.
On top of this, IPVanish also allows for manual server switching. I had hoped this would let me bypass the very strict VPN countermeasures that Kayo Sports uses, but that wasn’t the case. Of the 71 available Australian servers at the time of review, I tested 16 of them, including all of the options for Adelaide and Brisbane, plus two randomly selected options from Melbourne and Sydney. No matter the server, the Kayo library failed to load.
Outside of Peacock TV, I was able to get fast streaming results with a max of one location shift. Los Angeles is my go-to with VPN streaming tests, but it wasn’t working with Netflix, but that issue cleared up as soon as I shifted to a Las Vegas server. When the automatically chosen Las Vegas server didn’t work with HBO Max, a jump to an automatically selected Dallas server removed the blockage. Overall, IPVanish is a solid streaming VPN, though you’ll get better results from Windscribe, ExpressVPN and PureVPN.
The table below gives you an idea of how IPVanish might work with your NBN connection. It uses the max potential download speeds for any given connection to give you an idea of how the best-case 26% and 38% download speed changes for US and UK servers, respectively, might impact your overall download speed when using IPVanish.
The three columns on the right offer the number of simultaneous streams per connection. While Netflix has a maximum of four simultaneous streams per 4K account, Hulu and BBC iPlayer have options for unlimited streams. We know these stream numbers get ridiculous for beyond-NBN 100 plans, but they’re a good indication of speed degradation.
IPVanish VPN speeds for popular 4K international streaming services
NBN speed tier
Max NBN download
IPVanish VPN download
Netflix US 4K (25Mbps)
Hulu 4K (16Mbps)
BBC iPlayer (24Mbps)
|NBN 12||12Mbps||11.4Mbps (US); 7.44Mbps (UK)||Too slow||Too slow||Too slow|
|NBN 25||25Mbps||23.75Mbps (US); 15.5Mbps (UK)||Too slow||1 stream||Too slow|
|NBN 50||50Mbps||47.5Mbps (US); 31Mbps (UK)||1 stream||2 streams||1 stream|
|NBN 100||100Mbps||95Mbps (US); 62Mbps (UK)||3 streams||5 streams||2 streams|
|NBN 250||250Mbps||237.5Mbps (US); 155Mbps (UK)||4+ streams||14 streams||6 streams|
|NBN 500||500Mbps||475Mbps (US); 310Mbps (UK)||4+ streams||29 streams||12 streams|
|NBN 1000||700Mbps||665Mbps (US); 434Mbps (UK)||4+ streams||41 streams||18 streams|
Should I buy IPVanish VPN?
With regular pricing, IPVanish is easy to overlook stacked next to better-scoring VPN competitors. But if you nab special pricing and are mainly after a VPN that offers great speeds for Australian servers, IPVanish starts to hold its own. That said, there are better VPNs overall, which is why we advise comparing IPVanish to NordVPN, Private Internet Access and ExpressVPN.