Surfshark vs. IPVanish 2024: Surfshark Takes the Crown

In this battle of the ritans, we pit Surfshark's unbeatable pricing and expansive server list against IPVanish's robust platform compatibility.
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Best for budget-conscious streamers

4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website

VPN
Surfshark
83% off + 3 months free
  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support

Best for multiple types of devices

4.5
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On IPVanish's website

VPN
IPVanish
  • Unlimited devices for each plan
  • Works with popular streaming services like Netflix

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are the unsung heroes of cybersecurity, and it can be difficult to choose between Surfshark and IPVanish. Both are juggernauts in the space, offering comprehensive features and strong performance metrics in regard to speed, streaming, and more.

But which is the knight in shining armor? Is it Surfshark, the cost-effective savior of streaming aficionados, or is it IPVanish, the versatile defender of all your devices? Let's delve into the details to see how Surfshark and IPVanish stack up.

In this article
Surfshark vs. IPVanish at a glance
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: prices
Surfshark vs IPVanish: features
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: internet speeds
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: compatibility and customer support
Surfshark vs. IPVanish FAQs
Surfshark vs. IPVanish: which is better?

Surfshark vs. IPVanish at a glance

While Surfshark VPN and IPVanish VPN both offer a treasure trove of security features, they differ significantly in some key areas, such as pricing, server count, and compatibility.

Surfshark excels for those on a budget, thanks to its lower monthly starting cost, and it is a go-to choice for streaming aficionados. On the other hand, IPVanish brings an additional protocol to the table, making it an ideal pick for tech enthusiasts who like to customize their security.

  • Surfshark: Best for budget-conscious streamers
  • IPVanish: Best for multiple types of devices

How do Surfshark and IPVanish compare?


Surfshark

IPVanish
Price From $2.19/mo (billed biannually) From $2.19/mo (billed every two years)
Max # of connected devices Unlimited Unlimited
24/7 customer support
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more
# of servers 3,200+ in 100 countries 2,200+ in 75+ countries
VPN protocol WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN, IPsec
No-logs policy No logs No logs
Unblocks Netflix?
Learn more Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get IPVanish

Read IPVanish Review

Surfshark leads in affordability with a starting price of $2.19/mo (billed biannually) and boasts over 3,200 servers in 100 countries, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious streamers. Both VPNs offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free, and have unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can protect your entire household and all its devices.

IPVanish has a starting price of $2.19/mo (billed every two years). It also offers device compatibility, supporting multiple operating systems, Smart TVs and routers. They share key features like no-logs policies and the ability to unblock Netflix, leaving the ultimate choice down to individual needs and preferences.

Surfshark vs. IPVanish: prices


Surfshark
Best Value

IPVanish
Price range $2.19–$17.95/mo $2.19–$10.99/mo
Best value plan 2 years for $2.19/mo (billed biannually) 2 years for $2.19/mo (billed every two years)
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days Yes — 30 days
Learn more Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get IPVanish

Read IPVanish Review

When it comes to your wallet, Surfshark and IPVanish offer a range of pricing plans designed to suit various budgets. Surfshark's prices range from $2.19–$17.95/mo, with its two-year plan standing out as the best value at just $2.19/mo (billed biannually).

On the other hand, IPVanish prices run from $2.19–$10.99/mo, with the two-year plan priced at $2.19/mo (billed every two years) serving as the best value. 

Both providers give peace of mind with their 30-day money-back guarantees, allowing you to essentially take each VPN for a test run. This is a great way to decide which service best suits your needs without any financial risk. If you're looking to save money on a VPN, these extended plans certainly offer the most bang for your buck.

Winner: Surfshark edges out as the winner in terms of pricing. At just $2.19/mo (billed biannually) for its best-value plan, it's the most budget-friendly option without skimping on essential features.

Surfshark vs IPVanish: features

Feature
Surfshark
Best Features

IPVanish
Number of servers 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries 2,200+ servers in 75+ countries
No-logs policy No logs No logs
VPN headquarters The Netherlands United States
Encryption AES-256 AES-256
VPN protocol WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN, IPsec
Kill switch
Split tunneling
Netflix support
Torrenting support
Learn more Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get IPVanish

Read IPVanish Review

At first glance, Surfshark and IPVanish seem evenly matched in features, offering AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and split tunneling. Kill switches are crucial for ensuring your data isn't exposed if the VPN connection drops, while split tunneling allows you to route some traffic through the VPN and some through your local network — essential for users who want to access local and international content simultaneously.

But if you dig a little deeper, there are notable differences. Surfshark boasts a more extensive network with over 3,200 servers across 100 countries. IPVanish has fewer servers but compensates with an additional VPN protocol, IPsec. Unfortunately, both VPN providers are based in Eyes Alliance countries, with the Netherlands in the Nine Eyes Alliance and the U.S. in the Five Eyes Alliance. However, the Netherlands doesn’t have an obligatory data retention law, so it’s more privacy-focused.

Both have no-logs policies, but it's worth noting that Surfshark's no-logs policy has been audited by Deloitte, offering an extra layer of credibility. Surfshark also comes with CleanWeb, which is not just an ad blocker but a malware and tracker blocker too.

A screenshot of the Surfshark VPN settings menu with the CleanWeb ad blocker option highlighted

Surfshark vs. IPVanish: streaming support

Platform
Surfshark
Best Streaming

IPVanish
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
HBO Max
Learn more Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get IPVanish

Read IPVanish Review

When it comes to streaming, both Surfshark and IPVanish have your weekend binge-watching covered. Both successfully support streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Max by HBO. However, Surfshark supports Disney+, while IPVanish doesn’t. Surfshark also takes the lead in streaming thanks to its extensive number of servers and locations, which might positively impact your streaming speed.

Our IPVanish let us connect to an Adelaide, Australia, server and watch Australian Netflix shows with no problem.

Winner: Surfshark nudges ahead with its more extensive server network and privacy-friendly jurisdiction. The fact that its no-logs policy has been audited provides an extra layer of trust, making it the more compelling option for those serious about both features and privacy.

Surfshark vs. IPVanish: internet speeds

One of the critical factors that can make or break your VPN experience is internet speed. To provide you with the most accurate data, we tested Surfshark and IPVanish across multiple server locations worldwide. These speed tests were conducted on a MacBook Pro running macOS Monterey and on an iPhone.

Surfshark vs. IPVanish download speeds

Server location
Surfshark
Best Speeds

IPVanish
US -15.78% -34.56%
Canada -20.88% -40.71%
UK -25.93% -10.81%
AU -28.26% -13.45%
Learn more Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get IPVanish

Read IPVanish Review

Surfshark generally performed better, particularly when connected to U.S. and Canadian servers, with smaller percentage drops in speed compared to IPVanish. It's crucial to note that servers physically distant from your location, such as those in the U.K. and Australia, are naturally prone to slower speeds and higher latency. So we were impressed that IPVanish had only small increases in download speed while connected to U.K. and Australian servers, even less than Surfshark.

Winner: Surfshark emerges as the overall speed king in our tests. Whether you're streaming, gaming, or downloading, Surfshark offers a more consistent and faster experience across a range of server locations.

Surfshark vs. IPVanish: compatibility and customer support

Surfshark IPVanish
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Routers
Smart devices
Browser extensions Yes — Chrome, Firefox, Edge
24/7 customer support
Customer support options Live chat, email, support forums, online guides Live chat, phone, email, support forums, online guides
Learn more Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get IPVanish

Read IPVanish Review

Navigating Surfshark and IPVanish’s user interfaces is generally a smooth experience. However, Surfshark’s UI has a more intuitive design, making it easier for VPN newbies to get up to speed quickly. IPVanish isn't far behind but could benefit from a more streamlined settings menu.

Both VPN services offer 24/7 customer support, but IPVanish slightly edges out Surfshark with more comprehensive support options. Surfshark offers live chat, email, support forums, and online guides but lacks the phone support included with IPVanish.

Surfshark vs. IPVanish: payment options

Surfshark and IPVanish offer a variety of payment options, including credit/debit cards and PayPal. Surfshark goes a step further by supporting Google Pay and Apple Pay, along with a broader range of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether. Using cryptocurrencies for payment can add an extra layer of anonymity, which may appeal to privacy-focused users.

Surfshark payment options

  • Credit/debit Cards
  • PayPal
  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ether, etc.)

IPVanish payment options

  • Credit cards
  • PayPal
  • Bitcoin and additional cryptocurrencies

Winner: While both VPNs are strong contenders, Surfshark slightly leads in compatibility due to its more intuitive user interface. However, if customer support options, particularly phone support, are a priority for you, IPVanish has a modest edge. Payment options are quite comparable, but Surfshark offers a moderately broader array, making it more flexible for diverse user needs. Overall, it's a draw when considering all these aspects.

Surfshark vs. IPVanish FAQs


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What are Surfshark’s downsides?

While Surfshark offers a comprehensive suite of features, it does lack phone support and has fewer years in the industry, affecting its standing against longer-established rivals. Users have also reported occasional inconsistent speeds across its diverse range of servers, which can sometimes affect streaming and download performance.


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What is cheaper than IPVanish?

When it comes to pricing, Surfshark emerges as the cheaper option, offering its lowest-priced plan at just $2.19/mo (billed biannually), almost a full dollar less than IPVanish's cheapest rate. If you're shopping around, other wallet-friendly options worth considering include Private Internet Access and CyberGhost, both of which have proven to be reliable alternatives.


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Is Surfshark good for Netflix?

Absolutely, Surfshark shines when it comes to unblocking Netflix libraries from around the globe. With an expansive network of 3,200-plus servers spread across 100 countries, you can expect highly reliable connections, smooth streaming, and minimal buffering, perfect for those Netflix marathons.


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Is it safe to use IPVanish?

Generally speaking, IPVanish offers a secure online experience thanks to its industry-standard AES-256 encryption and a variety of VPN protocols, including WireGuard and OpenVPN. The service maintains a strict no-logs policy, providing users with anonymity. However, its base in the United States may raise some concerns for those particularly sensitive about jurisdiction and data retention laws.

Surfshark vs. IPVanish: which is better?

Surfshark comes in strong with its cost-effective pricing of $2.19/mo (billed biannually), a vast array of over 3,200 servers, and a robust no-logs policy. Its drawbacks are its lack of phone support and occasional speed inconsistencies. On the other hand, IPVanish shines in its additional security and support options but comes with a slightly higher starting price and fewer servers.

Overall, Surfshark takes the crown for its unbeatable price, a larger number of servers, and its versatile feature set.

Surfshark vs. IPVanish alternatives

Not sold on Surfshark or IPVanish? Here are some of the best VPN alternatives:

  • NordVPN: Known for its top-notch security features, like multi-hop and Onion over VPN servers, Nord is an excellent choice for those who prioritize online safety.
    Get NordVPNRead Our NordVPN Review
  • ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN has a premium price, but it offers a premium service with fast speeds and exceptional unblocking capabilities for streaming services.
    Get ExpressVPNRead Our ExpressVPN Review
  • CyberGhost: A user-friendly interface combined with optimized servers for streaming and torrenting makes CyberGhost a compelling alternative.
    Get CyberGhostRead Our CyberGhost Review
Unlimited Device Protection and Large Server Network
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website
VPN
Surfshark
83% off + 3 months free
  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support
Author Details
Ryan Clancy is a freelance writer and blogger. With 5+ years of mechanical engineering experience, he's passionate about all things engineering and tech. He loves bringing engineering (especially mechanical) down to a level that everyone can understand.