On top of that, I can also commend their encryption since they do use the Next-gen ChaCha20 with the WireGuard tumbling protocol. Though I’d still love to see them implement RAM-only servers especially since most of the best VPN 2022 competitors already have them, come on, catch up.
So all things considered, in this IPVanish versus ExpressVPN comparison, security is a draw. Neither VPN is spotless, so in the end deciding which one to trust is gonna be up to you.
Okay, trust is important, but it isn’t solely enough to make a VPN worth using, is it? For me, the VPN apps and features are what can actually make or break the VPN experience.
So, what did I do for this ExpressVPN versus IPVanish VPN review 2022? I’ve tried all the major apps, seriously, all of them, it’s actually kind of easy to do when you have multiple simultaneous connections, especially with IPVanish, since they don’t limit the number of devices.
Meanwhile, ExpressVPN cuts people off at five devices, that’s fine I guess, a bit below the industry’s standard, and I gotta say, considering their prices, I mean, come on, would it hurt to add one or two more connections? But there are some more noteworthy differences here.
So, let’s do an IPVanish review first. I’ve been using it a little bit more often than Express, so I know my way around, but trust me, even if you’re a beginner, you’re not gonna get lost. There’s a map and a server list, so finding and connecting to a server is pretty dang easy.
Now, advanced users are gonna appreciate certain little features, for example, how you can customize the kill switch settings and set up local area network blocks, you know, if you want to. I also enjoy peeping at the connection stats from time to time, I mean, you wanna know where everything’s at, right? Now, one quick little thing that I’ve gotta say which is important for you mobile users is that while the iOS app looks a little bit better than the Android version, it’s actually the Android app who reigns superior, mainly because of the split tunneling feature.
I don’t need all of my apps on a VPN connection, so it’s a lifesaver, though I would love to see it on other OSs as well.
Now, I’d also like some browser extensions, sure, I don’t use them much since I want device-wide protection, but I know some of you guys prefer extensions, sadly, IPVanish won’t satisfy that desire, can ExpressVPN help you out there? Well, kind of, they’ve got browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, but I was only able to use them to control the app.
So if I wanted to connect to one location on the device and another one on the browser, I needed an extension from a different VPN, which kind of defeats the whole point of having an extension, doesn’t it? And speaking of the apps, I love that they’re nice and simple.
Most of the interface is taken up by a single button and even my grandma wouldn’t miss it, but if I was doing a VPN comparison with NordVPN or Surfshark, oh I’d definitely comment on the lack of features, no Double VPN or Onion Over VPN functionalities for extra security, no IP rotator, no GPS spoofing, yada yada, yada, the list goes on, but, hey, let’s back it up a little, all right?
It’s not like IPVanish has those things either, so to figure out which is better in terms of functionality, I could always start nitpicking stuff, like it bothers me that Express doesn’t have a dark mode on every app, and oh, that bright interface just sticks out like a sore thumb.
It also doesn’t have a map like IPVanish does, but these things aren’t exactly deal killers, and the truth is even if Express doesn’t pack in many features, I still like other ones quite a bit, like their media streamer feature, which you guessed it, makes for easier streaming, ta-da, or the split tunneling functionality.
I thought I was finally gonna get to use split tunneling on Mac, but looks like it’s not available on Mac OS 10.11 or later, so those dreams crumbled into tiny little pieces, but on Windows it works well, so that’s good.
And yet still I can’t fully say that we should all get on the Express train, and that’s because my ExpressVPN functionality evaluation boiled down to some pretty strange performance results, disconnections, random speed drops, which I’ll talk about in a second.
Now, since I didn’t have these issues with IPVanish, well, I happily went ahead and found some deals for you, you know how I do, they’re down in the description.
Performance issues in Greater Detail
All right, all that said, let’s talk about the performance issues in greater detail. I’ll explain exactly why I can’t call ExpressVPN the best VPN 2022.
All right, first test for this IPVanish VPN versus ExpressVPN comparison was a simple regular browsing session. Now, with IPVanish, it was a smooth ride, my VPN connection dropped once but the kill switch kicked in right away, so no major complaints from me.
Now, I expected the same thing from ExpressVPN too, yet here I started running into some issues. I had a few disconnections when using my desktop apps, but my iPhone ExpressVPN app completely choked up.
I thought maybe my phone is at fault here, but then again I didn’t have these problems with IPVanish, and what’s more, some Reddit users seem to share in my troubles, so yeah, ExpressVPN, I’m sorry, it’s not me, it’s you.
ExpressVPN faster than IPVanish?
But here’s a little question for you, disregarding all the connection problems and considering the server difference, is ExpressVPN faster than IPVanish? Well, I’ll let my ExpressVPN speed test results speak for themselves. I picked a random server in the US and ran a speed test while using their supposedly lightning fast lightweight protocol.
And honestly, I expected a little more. Of course I did a few more tests in different locations, while the ExpressVPN servers in the UK showed a little better results, the rest of my tests weren’t so successful, I kept getting random speed drops.
My IPVanish speed tests left me quite a bit more satisfied, no random speed drops and overall way more consistency with both uploads and download speeds. I mean, yeah, go figure, I mean, isn’t that what we expect from the WireGuard protocol?
All right, I think you can see where this is headed, in terms of performance, the ExpressVPN versus IPVanish competition has a clear winner, I simply got better results with IPVanish. All right, now it’s finally time for streaming and torrenting tests.
Hey, good news for Netflix fans, my IPVanish Netflix unblocking endeavors were quite successful. I actually managed to get through to 18 different libraries from the UK to places like Costa Rica.
ExpressVPN Netflix capabilities didn’t let me down either, so both are great choices to get that sweet, geo-blocked content. But I do need to say when I was trying to open to Zone and BBC iPlayer, I only got errors with IPVanish. During my ExpressVPN review, although not from the get-go, I still managed to unblock those platforms. All right, streaming’s covered, now my torrenting buddies also deserve some attention. With IPVanish, not all of their servers are optimized for P2P, but still enough that left me satisfied anyway, the speeds were stable, plus they’ve got a free SOCKS5 proxy, which makes the whole process a bit more secure. So, is ExpressVPN safe for torrenting?
Also a yes, all of their servers are P2P optimized, but remember what I said about it not being so stable, for me the speed’s constantly fluctuated between six and 15 megabytes a second.
If torrenting is the only thing you need a VPN for, well, I’d recommend looking into other providers, not necessarily IPVanish, although it’s a good choice, just other VPNs like Surfshark or NordVPN will also do the job and perhaps cost a bit less.
Oh, and speaking of pricing, let’s talk about it, ExpressVPN is known for being notoriously expensive, and my IPVanish VPN versus ExpressVPN review only confirm that. If you like the company and want to support it, well, honestly paying around $7 a month is quite fair.
But when I look at the standard industry prices, not exactly sold here. Most best VPN candidates have a price tag of around three to $4, IPVanish seems to follow this trend, but Express, yeah, they didn’t get the memo.
Even a quarterly plan of IPVanish is cheaper than Express’s best deal, oh boy. Now, I may not like the prices, but I have to say, deciding if you want to buy ExpressVPN or IPVanish still entirely your choice, maybe the high price tag doesn’t bother you, maybe you got a good accountant and you know how to write it off, and or maybe you just need Express, that’s all good, but maybe you just want more consistent performance and then you’ll end up with IPVanish.
But look, whichever one you pick, doesn’t matter, it’s up to you.