Cord Cutting Guides, News, and Reviews
IPVanish vs VPN Unlimited
August 20, 2021
Virtual private networks (VPNs) are for everyone, but which VPN is for you? The best way to find out is to compare your top options, and two of those are IPVanish and KeepSolid VPN Unlimited. These two VPNs both fared pretty well in our review process, but you need only one. Let’s pit them against each other to see which VPN service comes out on top.
If you work abroad a lot or you work in a country that blocks certain websites you need to use, server coverage and server count may be extremely important. Both increase the likelihood the country you’re in — or the country you need to spoof your location from — has servers available.
IPVanish loses to many of its competitors in this department since it touts only 1,700 total servers in 55 countries. IPVanish suddenly becomes a victor when compared to VPN Unlimited, though, which has only about 500 servers and designates them as being in 80-plus “locations” instead of countries. That could mean multiple locations for some countries and none for others.
On the streaming side, however, VPN Unlimited evens things out. Plenty of people use VPN servers to watch video services from their home countries or view movies and TV shows from other countries. In our IPVanish review, we had quite a bit of trouble getting this to work. Amazon Prime Video completely shut us out and Netflix didn’t offer region-specific content. We didn’t run into any issues with VPN Unlimited though.
Security is an important factor when choosing a VPN provider. Most people who use a VPN want to protect themselves and their data, and they want options for how best to do it. IPVanish offers multiple protocols to choose from, including IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSEC, and PPTP. VPN Unlimited, on the other hand, offers only two: OpenVPN and WireGuard. Those are both very strong VPN protocols, so KeepSolid VPN Unlimited is still a secure option — it’s just a little less flexible than you may hope.
VPN Unlimited loses a few points on flexibility, but both services stumble when it comes to where they’re headquartered. Both companies have no-logs policies, but they’re also both based in the United States. The U.S. government has the ability to request user data at any moment not only for itself, but also for many other countries. That could be problematic if you wish to keep your VPN activity private. Depending on what you’re using your VPN for, though, it may not be a big deal.
Even the best VPN service is pretty useless if it kills your internet speed. Especially if you want to stream video, you can’t have a VPN slowing you down to a crawl or you’re in for a lot of unwanted pauses in the action.
While using IPVanish, we found that a connection with 55 Mbps download dropped to 35 Mbps when connected to (supposedly) the fastest U.S. server — and that was while our reviewer was located in the U.S. When connecting to a random server in the Netherlands, we saw the download speed drop even more to 32 Mbps.
In our KeepSolid VPN Unlimited testing, we saw something extraordinary happen that we still haven’t been able to explain. On a gigabit internet connection in the U.S., we saw our speed drop to 162 Mbps while connected to a server in Denver. When we tried a server in Paris, though, the speed declined to only 221 Mbps. The Paris server across the ocean was faster than the one just a couple states away.
Based on how much our speed fell on each, it appears IPVanish gets the win here.
Some VPNs go above and beyond by offering extras. Whether it’s ad blockers, password managers, or other bundled features, they’re meant to add more value to the product. IPVanish and VPN Unlimited, however, skip the add-ons and focus strictly on the VPN side of things.
Another thing IPVanish and VPN Unlimited have in common is their ease of use. You should have a pretty easy time using the apps for both services on numerous platforms. The app experiences are pretty consistent regardless of where you use them. If you don’t like to learn how to use multiple versions of the same product, then you’ll be quite pleased with IPVanish and VPN Unlimited.
We’ve been impressed with IPVanish’s subscription prices. The service offers discounts for long-term customers, which is typical of VPN services, but we also like that IPVanish’s month-to-month cost is only $10. That’s still pricey compared to the cost of a long-term deal, but it’s better than most short-term VPN prices.
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited offers good prices, too, and it also offers a free trial. Of the KeepSolid VPN Unlimited subscription options, we were most impressed by the Lifetime Plan, which offers access to VPN Unlimited forever for a one-time payment of about $100.
Both IPVanish and KeepSolid VPN Unlimited do a good job of handling basic VPN functions such as security, although being located in the U.S. may be a concern. There are a few areas in which one service pulls ahead of the other. The first is streaming, which is near and dear to us here at CordCutting.com. We like that VPN Unlimited works with our favorite streaming services, and we weren’t happy that IPVanish had trouble with streaming tasks. Another area that matters is price, and we’re partial to VPN Unlimited’s Lifetime Plan.
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