|Original author(s)||Highwinds Network Group, Mudhook Media, Inc., StackPath, J2 Global|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Linux|
|Type||Virtual private network, Internet censorship circumvention|
|License||Subscription business model, Commercial|
IPVanish VPN (also known as IPVanish) is a commercial VPN service based in the United States.
While providing end-to-end network encryption, IPVanish allows its users to appear in one of more than 75 different locations. When connected to the service, a user’s true IP address is masked by a decoy IP address which is supplied by IPVanish and shared among their users. IPVanish has desktop clients for Microsoft Windows and macOS as well as apps for Android, iOS, and Fire TV. Alternatively, Chromebook, Windows Phone, Linux, and DD-WRT routers can be configured to use IPVanish. Each subscriber is allowed to use the service on an unlimited number of devices at the same time, backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.
IPVanish was founded in 2012 by Mudhook Media Inc., an independent subsidiary of Highwinds Network Group in Orlando, Florida. The VPN service started with 32 servers and a client for Windows operating systems. In later years, software support was expanded to include macOS, iOS, Android, and Fire TV. The VPN owns and controls a private fiber-opticnetwork of tier-1 servers. IPVanish owns roughly 90% of its points of presence (POPs), where the company controls the data center and hardware, or "the rack and stack." Its infrastructure is leased from third-party operators in regions "where it doesn’t make sense to have our own gear," such as Albania. In 2017, Highwinds Network Group was acquired by CDN company StackPath which included IPVanish as part of the acquisition. In 2019, IPVanish was one of many VPN services acquired by J2 Global with their NetProtect business.
IPVanish VPN offers several features, including:
For encryption, IPVanish uses the OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec technologies in its applications, while the L2TP and PPTP connection protocols can also be configured. IPVanish supports the AES (128-bit or 256-bit) specifications, with SHA-256 for authentication and an RSA-2048 handshake.
IPVanish owns and operates more than 1500 remote servers in over 75+ locations. The largest concentration of VPN servers is located in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. The company suspended operations in Russia as of July 2016, due to conflicts with the company's zero-log policy and local law. In July 2020, IPVanish removed its servers from Hong Kong, alleging that the Hong Kong national security law puts Hong Kong under the “same tight internet restrictions that govern mainland China.” IPVanish maintains its headquarters in the United States, which does not have mandatory data retention laws.
IPVanish funnels the internet traffic of it users through remote servers run by the service, hiding the user's IP address and encrypting all the data transmitted through the connection. Users can simultaneously connect an unlimited number of devices.
Like other VPN services, IPVanish also has the ability to bypass internet censorship in most countries. By selecting a VPN server in a region outside of their physical position, an IPVanish user can easily access online content which was not available in their location otherwise. IPVanish can be used to play games that are regionally-restricted due to licensing agreements. In their 2017 review of the service, IGN named IPVanish as “one of the best gaming VPNs.” During a speed test of the VPN with League of Legends, the reviewer noted a ping drop of just one millisecond.
IPVanish VPN has generally received positive reviews by online publications and industry associations, but is often recognized for being more expensive than the competition.[failed verification] In 2016, IPVanish was awarded the Silver Award for Startup of the Year from the Info Security PG's Global Excellence Awards and Lifehacker AU rated the service as its #1 VPN.PC Magazine rated IPVanish “excellent” in an April 2017 review, praising its nonrestrictive BitTorrent practices while noting it as one of the more expensive VPNs.
In a 2018 review highlighting IPVanish ‘zero logs’ policies and nonprofit support, CNET ranks IPVanish as one of the best VPN services of the year. The reviewer also noted that its integrated plugin for Kodi, the open-source media streaming app, is unique to the VPN industry. TechRadar rated the service 4 out of 5 stars in their March 2018 review, commending it for its powerful features while criticizing its “lethargic support response”. An annually-updated TorrentFreak article reviewing the logging policies of VPN services lists IPVanish as an anonymous provider.Tom's Guide wrote that the lack of a kill switch on the mobile application "may be a downside for some".
In September 2015, the ex-husband of Phillip Morris USA tobacco heiress, Anne Resnick, was accused of hacking his estranged wife’s phone to spy on her during the divorce proceedings. During the deposition, the husband plead the Fifth Amendment 58 times when questioned about bank records indicating subscriptions to mSpy as well as IPVanish.
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