VPNs are incredibly popular applications, with hundreds of millions of people using them to keep secure online and solve issues like geo restrictions. Perhaps you're thinking of joining them?
When you type "VPN" into Google, you'll see that loads of these services exist. So you might be a little confused about which provider to go for. But you don't have to worry, as we're here to help you make the right decision as to which the best VPN service is right now.
Surfshark and IPVanish are two providers that might have shown up in your search results if you've done any research into VPNs. Both are very popular and capable, but you won't be needing two VPNs. In this article, we see how they compare and help you pick the best one.
What is a VPN?
VPN means "virtual private network", and it's a type of internet privacy tool. They create a secure, encrypted tunnel that allows users to use the internet safely and anonymously. VPNs are also used for improving things like streaming, gaming, online shopping, network performance and much more.
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: Which one costs less?
When it comes to price, Surfshark blows the rest of the competition out of the water. It's undeniably the cheapest of all the premium VPNs on the market, starting at just $2.49 per month.
Surfshark offers customers a nice variety of three subscription plans: $12.95 per month, $59.76 for two years and $38.94 for six months. The most affordable option is actually the two-year plan because it equates to $2.49 per month. But if you don't fancy paying nearly $60 outright, then the monthly plan is the most flexible. The third option is also cheaper and is equivalent to $6.49 per month.
Like Surfshark, IPVanish also has different subscription options on offer. You can either pay $10 per month, $77.99 per year or $26.99 for three months. The monthly plan is cheaper than Surfshark's one, but the other plans cost more in comparison. If pricing is the most important thing to you, the annual plan offered by IPVanish comes in at $6.49 per month. However, that's not as attractive as Surfshark's cheapest price of $2.49.
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: How's the security?
One of the main reasons people sign up for VPNs is to keep safe online, so the security features offered by providers are obviously important. Surfshark does a great job here, blocking cybersecurity threats like malware, phishing, web trackers and advertisements.
Surfshark also comes with security features like a built-in kill switch, strong encryption to protect your data, private DNS and leak protection, multiple secure protocols and a strict no logs policy. We also love Surfshark's camouflage mode, which ensures that internet service providers can't see that their customers are using a VPN and punish them for doing so.
IPVanish also has lots of useful security and privacy functionalities up its sleeves. These include a no-logging policy, AES-256-bit encryption, the ability to switch between different secure protocols, a SOCKS5 web proxy, 250GB of SugarSync encrypted storage, a password generator and an IP checker.
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: What about the speeds?
VPNs aren't just useful for improving internet safety and protecting your data; many people also use them for things like streaming and gaming. Because of this, speeds are really important.
Surfshark is easily one of the best VPNs when it comes to speed, despite it being cheaper than other providers. In our review, we had no issues with connecting to different servers and found that Surfshark was very reliable in terms of overall performance. We logged speeds of 150Mbps on a 600Mbps American line, and in the UK, average speeds were 68Mbps on a 75Mbps line.
In our review of IPVanish, we were also really impressed with its speeds and performance. During our US test, it delivered an average speed of 220Mbps. Meanwhile, the most common UK speed was 69Mbps on a 75Mbps connection. So, it's fair to say that both providers are impressive in the performance department.
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: Which one has better apps?
The best VPNs also provide applications for various operating systems and devices. These apps should be simple to download, easy to use and offer a range of features at your fingertips.
Let's start off with Surfshark, which works on different smartphones, tablets, laptops, browsers and games consoles. It offers apps for popular operating systems like Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux. When we reviewed the service, we were impressed with its ease-of-use and liked that we could connect to VPN servers quickly.
If you choose IPVanish, you get a selection of different apps too. You can download the IPVanish app on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux and other operating systems. When we tested them, the apps were pretty straightforward to use and looked great. You can quickly connect to the fastest server and get advanced features like a kill switch integrated in the apps.
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: Which is better for streaming?
For a lot of people, the biggest attraction of VPNs is that they can bypass geo restrictions and provide access to more content on streaming services. If you're choosing a VPN primarily for streaming, this is the section for you.
What makes Surfshark a good option for this particular area is that it can be used for accessing your favorite streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, BBC Iplayer and more. Excellent speeds, over 1700 VPN servers and unlimited connections also add to the impressive streaming experience offered by Surfshark.
IPVanish is also decent for streaming as it can be used for unblocking Netflix, Youtube, Spotify and many other platforms. But if you live in the UK or simply like watching British TV shows, it's worth taking into account that there have been problems accessing BBC iPlayer through IPVanish. In terms of server count, there are 1400 available - and they're certainly reliable. Just like Surshark, it offers unlimited connections under a single subscription.
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: Which has better customer support?
As is the case with any type of product, VPNs aren't always perfect and there will probably be times when you'll experience issues. Therefore, customer support is an important factor to consider when choosing a VPN provider.
Surfshark has a whole page dedicated to customer support, where you can find help guides, tutorials, frequently asked questions, general information and links to open a live chat or submit a request.
IPVanish takes a similar approach, providing its customers with a customer support center. Here, you can access FAQS, guides, answers to different questions, an email for customer support and a live chat. We'd say this level of support is common for all premium VPNs, and both of these providers have a great track record for supporting customers.
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: Do they keep logs?
The quick answer is no. VPNs are first and foremost online privacy tools, so no legitimate provider should keep logs. Surfshark says it won't log browsing history, internet protocol addresses, the amount of bandwidth you've used, session details, connection timestamps or any network traffic. And IPVanish writes on its website that it will not "keep a record of any connection, traffic, or activity data." We can confidently say they take online privacy seriously.
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: The bottom line
Choosing between Surfshark and IPVanish isn't easy because they're both top-rate providers that equally impressed us in our reviews. However, if you want to save money and still get an excellent VPN for your hard-earned cash, Surfshark is the best option out of the two as it's cheaper than IPVanish. In addition, Surfshark also lets users unblock iPlayer, so that's important to remember if you live in the UK or like watching British TV.
We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.
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