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Surfshark vs IPVanish VPN 2023

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Kristina Perunicic
    Kristina Perunicic

    Managing Editor

    Surfshark is a new VPN with a lot of potential, but is that enough to beat IPVanish, one of the services rated highest by our readers? When it comes to servers, IPVanish has the better numbers: 1,100+ in over 60 countries, compared to 500+ in 50 countries for Surfshark. Both VPNs offer excellent speeds for downloading or streaming in HD. Thanks to its No Borders mode, Surfshark also performs well in China. You can access US Netflix with either VPN, though it’s worth noting that not all IPVanish servers in the United States will bypass the blocks. You can always get up-to-date information on server performance or any other issue you’re interested in by chatting live with IPVanish support agents. Surfshark also provides 24/7 live chat, however, and in our experience we got help much faster with Surfshark. Moving on to privacy, IPVanish is based in the United States, which means it may be forced to provide whatever user data it has to authorities during an investigation. We know of at least one incident in 2016 in which IPVanish did supply investigators with user information. Surfshark doesn’t need to worry about any of that, as it’s based in the British Virgin Islands, far away from Five-Eyes jurisdiction. Overall, both VPNs have their strengths. Scroll down to find out how Surfshark and IPVanish perform in our category tests.


    Features 9.3/10
    Pricing 9.4/10
    Ease of Use 10.0/10
    Reliability & Support 9.6/10
    Features 9.2/10
    Pricing 9.2/10
    Ease of Use 9.4/10
    Reliability & Support 9.4/10


    Review by our expert
    Author Image Kate Richards
    Kate Richards

    Managing Editor


    With VPNs, you tend to get what you pay for. So when I saw Surfshark’s super low prices (you can get it for just $2.30/month), I was a bit skeptical about its rave reviews. To find out if it actually lives up to these claims, I tested every single aspect of Surfshark, including speeds, security features, unblocking abilities, network reliability, and device compatibility. I also took a closer...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    Five star vpn

    Best I've ever used. All good, no complaints at all. I had a couple of questions when I first started ... using it, reached out to customer service. They were quick to respond, friendly, and helpful. I'm looking forward to them making the Surfshark Search feature a separate app.More

    Latest negative user review
    Doesn't work for BBC

    The only reason I bought it. Constant error msgs from iPlayer, individual channels like 4 and 5 were a... ccessible--until the latest update. Now nothing works. Spend more money on something that's more reliable.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Ren Sayer
    Ren Sayer

    Senior Writer


    IPVanish offers high-speed connections and an impressive list of advanced security features at a budget-friendly price. So, I was eager to test it out for myself. I carefully studied its privacy policy and thoroughly tested its speed, security features, and ability to access popular streaming services (like Netflix). I also looked into its network coverage and ease of use and put its customer ...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    Stu Taylor
    Very, very satisfied

    I am into my third year of using IPVanish. I am extremely happy with the speed, reliability, features ... and reliability. The fact that I have used it for this long without trying the competition speaks volumes. I am never going to try anything else because I am completely happy with what I have. Why risk it?More

    Latest negative user review
    Beth Gray
    Misleading, false advertising, don't honor guarantee. BEWARE

    IP address and region not effectively blocked on most sites. Streaming sites do NOT work with their se... rvices, but they do not disclose that anywhere on their website. The support team had no idea in terms of technical knowledge. They claim that their 30-day guarantee is unconditional and there is no risk, but they have so many exclusions buried in their fine print that the average user would have huge difficulty finding. They advertise on many streaming how-to websites where they KNOW their services do not work. COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY. If I could give less than one star I would. SO unethical.More


    Starting price $2.3/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license Unlimited devices
    Starting price $3.33/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license Unlimited devices

    Best VPN by category

    Surfshark is a flexible and dependable VPN with a tight no-logs policy and simple, intuitive clients. While it doesn’t have the bigger server list, the network is more than sufficient to deliver great speeds and secure access to your favorite content online. IPVanish is also impressive for streaming, with a very attractive interface that's easy to use and lets you see how the VPN works. IPVanish also has a far larger global server array.

    While both VPNs allow P2P activities on their servers, IPVanish has its headquarters in the US and follows a Digital Millennium Copyright Act compliance policy. As a result of that policy, some of our readers have reported that their torrenting activity on IPVanish has been detected. Surfshark directs all P2P activity to its Netherlands servers, but it might be the safer choice for torrent fans, especially if you’ll be downloading from the US.

    Surfshark is impressive on Windows, owing to a clean client that’s easy to use, even for beginners. You’ll find plenty of features, including quick connect, anti-malware, split tunneling, and leak protection. IPVanish has a stylish Windows client of its own, however, with automatic IP cycling and a lot of visual appeal. Both VPNs include OpenVPN as the default protocol.

    You’ll find several rare and useful extras in Surfshark’s Android app. The WhiteLister feature allows you to customize your VPN traffic with precision, and private DNS settings boost security. IPVanish competes with an Android app that gives you obfuscation and IP cycling, two very useful features for bypassing geoblocks and censorship walls.

    IPVanish provides excellent security on Mac. The client includes auto-reconnect and a kill switch, while supporting a variety of protocols, including OpenVPN and L2TP. Surfshark is just as good when it comes to speed, but the default (and only) protocol in the MacOS app is IKEv2. If you want Surfshark with OpenVPN on your Mac, you’ll need a manual setup.

    Both VPNs offer stable iOS apps with brilliant interfaces that run the IKEv2 protocol. Normally, IPVanish would have an obvious advantage here, thanks to its impressive 10 simultaneous connections allowed. However, Surfshark manages to beat that number by allowing you to use an unlimited number of devices at the same time.

    IPVanish has 500+ servers in the United States alone – almost as many as you’ll find in Surfshark’s entire network. While both VPNs work with popular American websites like US Netflix and Hulu, IPVanish gives you more options for region-exclusive sports streams and other US-only events. For private browsing within the USA, however, Surfshark is the better pick because it’s based outside of the country and operates under a legitimate zero-logs policy.

    The Bottom Line

    Top-tier VPN services have many different aspects to evaluate. Surfshark showed its high quality in all of our tests, and proved itself as a premium provider capable of outcompeting IPVanish in several categories. Still, IPVanish isn’t just another forgettable VPN service. It brings a lot of value to Mac users especially, and may even work better for streaming some geo-restricted content thanks to a more far-reaching server array. Overall, Surfshark is truly exceptional for a new service, able to provide security, privacy, and speed across all platforms, while offering some of the best subscription deals around. If you’re willing to pay extra for more servers, IPVanish might be what you’re looking for. In most situations, however, you'll find that Surfshark is the better pick for your money.

    Time to decide which one is best for you


    Is Surfshark better than IPVanish VPN?

    Yes, Surfshark is better overall than IPVanish VPN. It has 3200 servers in 100 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

    Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2.3 a month.

    What should I keep in mind when choosing between Surfshark and IPVanish VPN?

    When choosing a VPN, you want to pay close attention to its number of servers, overall speed score, pricing, and the number of simultaneous device connections it offers. While some VPNs provide a flawless online experience, others will really slow you down.

    If you’re ready to commit, then Surfshark may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

    Is Surfshark faster than IPVanish VPN?

    Yes, Surfshark is faster than IPVanish VPN. Since your VPN is your computer’s main connection to the internet, you need to use a service that won’t slow you down by more than 20%.

    If speeds are important to you, then I recommend you take a look at ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest service out there, provides unlimited bandwidth, and you won’t experience any slowdowns even when you connect to the other side of the planet. You can try it out risk-free. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you don’t like it.

    Do Surfshark or IPVanish VPN offer any deals?

    Both Surfshark and IPVanish VPN offer deals on occasion. You can check out the current coupons and discounts here. However, ExpressVPN has the best deals. Right now, you can get a 49% discount and up to 3 months for free with a new subscription.