The VPN industry has undergone a lot of changes in 2023, with top providers like ExpressVPN announcing a change in ownership, and mergers. In light of these changes, we bring you a detailed VPN comparison between three top providers in the market – ExpressVPN vs IPVanish vs PureVPN.
ExpressVPN, PureVPN, and IPVanish all provide a plethora of useful features to their customers. All three VPNs keep no logs of your data and offer extensive multi-logins and refund policies.
Furthermore, all three services offer AES 256-bit encryption, multiple security protocols, kill switches, and IPv6leak protection to keep you safe from hackers. There are, however, some significant differences.
In this comparison, we are going to take an in-depth look at various VPN characteristics such as features, servers, performance, speed, and more to decide which one is the best VPN among these providers.
Let’s get started.
Brief Overview – Which VPN Is the Best?
The best VPN depends upon the requirements of users and what they are looking for. But the best VPN is an all-rounder with the best performance in all criteria. So, which VPN is the absolute best? Here’s a quick overview of each VPNs strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t have time to read the entire comparison? ExpressVPN turns out to be a clear winner in this comparison by offering excellent speed, servers, features, security, etc at a premium price.
Just check out the brief overview of all three providers to see what each VPN is offering to its users.
ExpressVPN – Winner
Whether you are getting a VPN for privacy needs or streaming, nothing gets better than ExpressVPN. It is not only the fastest VPN among its competitors. It also unblocks all major geo-restricted platforms and services with ease. The British-Virgin Islands-based service offers 3000+ servers in 160 locations and it offers fast speeds without compromising on security. It has also been independently audited by Cure53, PwC, and F-Secure, which inspires trust. If you want to know more about this VPN then read our full review of ExpressVPN.
IPVanish has a configurable app interface ideal for beginners. It offers 40,000 IP addresses from 75 locations, ideal for unblocking Netflix and other streaming services. It does reduce connection speeds a lot and is nowhere as fast as ExpressVPN. As for jurisdiction, IPVanish is based in the US, a major member of international intelligence-sharing blocks like Five Eyes. Check out our detailed review of IPVanish.
PureVPN has a very attractive price point and offers 6500 servers in 78 countries. Its servers are capable of working with popular geo-restricted streaming services and speeds are more than enough for HD streaming. The provider has recently moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to the British Virgin Islands, which is also a major plus. However, it does suffer from occasional connectivity issues.
Well, we have done this detailed comparison on the basis of the following factors to find out which VPN is the best choice.
- Price Comparison
- Speed Test
- Ease of use
- Features Comparison
- Devices Compatibility
- Unblocking Capability
- Unblocking Geo-Restrictions in China and Other Restricted Internet Access Countries
- Torrent Comparison
- Servers Performance Comparison
- Security Protocols Comparison
- Logging Policy
- Ease of Signing Up
- Customer Service Comparison
1. IPVanish vs ExpressVPN vs PureVPN – Price Comparison
Price is a major factor when choosing a VPN. Let’s see how much it will cost to use these services. We’ll look at the prices as well as the refund policies. The following table shows a price comparison of ExpressVPN vs IPVanish vs PureVPN:
|7-day trial||For Android & iOS||N/A||$0.99/ 7 days|
|12 months||$6.67/month (49% off)||$3.99/month||$3.24/month (70% off)
|12 months||N/A||N/A||$1.99/month (82% off)
Among the providers, PureVPN is the only one offering a 2-year plan with 82% off. Its 2-year plan is available for only $1.99/mo. However, you will have to pay upfront for 2 years. PureVPN offers a 31-day money-back guarantee with any plan.
In comparison, IPVanish and ExpressVPN do not offer long-term plans as their lengthiest plan has a validity of 12 months. This way, you are not bound to a service for a long time and can easily switch after 12 months.
Both ExpressVPN’s and IPVanish’s 12-month plans offer the best deals. ExpressVPN is offering a 49% discount which brings its plan down to $6.67/mo and IPVanish is offering 69% off which brings the total to just $3.99/mo. Each provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Even though PureVPN and IPVanish are cheap VPNs as compared to ExpressVPN, ExpressVPN also offers a 7-day free trial for mobile users (iOS and Android). This way, you can test the service risk-free before buying the subscription. PureVPN offers a 7-day trial but at the cost of $0.99.
The Winner: PureVPN is the winner when it comes to pricing with various subscription options and its 2-year plan is available for only $1.99/mo. ExpressVPN lands the second spot because of its free trial.
2. ExpressVPN vs PureVPN vs IPVanish – Speed Test
In general, a VPN affects your internet speeds because your traffic takes time to cover all the distance to and from the VPN server, and your data get encrypted. However, with the best VPNs, you will not have to put up with any drastic changes.
What Affects Your Internet Speed While Using a VPN?
There are various factors that affect your internet speed while using a VPN. Some of the important ones are:
- Bandwidth throttling: It is very common for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to throttle the bandwidth of users, especially those with high data consumption. Due to this, you might experience slow speeds while doing a specific task like gaming, streaming, or during rush hour.
- Your connection speed: Your Wi-Fi connection speed also plays an important role. If your base connection speed is slow, your VPN speed will also be slow, as simple as that.
- Server location: Server location you are connected to plays a huge role in determining your speed. When you connect to a long-distance server, your internet traffic has to travel a long distance, which affects your VPN speed.
- VPN speed limit: Although not common, some VPNs have speed limits on their server. If that is the case, no matter how fast your base connection speed is, you will be getting slow speeds. The providers we are comparing today don’t impose any speed limit on their servers.
Before we ran speed tests, we first recorded our base speed without the VPN. We got a download speed of 10.10 Mbps and an upload speed of 10.23 Mbps.
ExpressVPN is no doubt one of the fastest VPNs available in the market. Here are the speed results:
We connected to ExpressVPN’s US server and recorded a great download speed of 9.63 Mbps and an upload speed of 9.46 Mbps. As you can see, even though the US server was long-distance as we are located in the Netherlands, ExpressVPN still managed to retain more than 94% of our original speed.
IPVanish was not as fast as ExpressVPN. This time, we again connected to a US server and recorded a download speed of 7.12 Mbps and an upload speed of 3.53 Mbps.
Moreover, the ping rate was very high, at 313 ms. We even ran tests while connected to the German server, which was close to us, and the results were almost similar as it gave us a download speed of 7.57 Mbps.
PureVPN offered fast speed as compared to IPVanish, but it was nowhere near ExpressVPN. We recorded a download speed of 7.80 Mbps and an upload speed of 8.72 Mbps on a 100 Mbps base connection.
The ping rate was the highest at 356 ms. Even though the speed is good, the high ping rate may lead to latency while gaming.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner as it retained most of our internet speed even on its long-distance servers. It offers the best connection speeds for gaming, torrenting, streaming, and other data-intensive tasks.
3. PureVPN vs ExpressVPN vs IPVanish – Ease of use (Setup/Interface)
VPNs should have a simple app interface with easy navigation for beginner users. We tested ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and PureVPN to see how easy they are to use, and here are the results.
ExpressVPN has the most straightforward and easy-to-use apps with a clean UI. When you open its desktop app, you get an Auto-connect button, along with a server list that you can access by clicking the 3 dots.
Once you click the button, you get a separate window with all servers. It has two tabs – recommended servers and all locations. On the main screen, you can see a hamburger menu that neatly tucks away the settings. The settings tab allows you to customize protocol settings, kill switch, split tunneling, and advanced features.
IPVanish has an app with a dark background with green accents. Even though it looks really cool, the app is hard to navigate around, especially for beginners. First, it displays too much information on the main screen.
You can see the server connected to, the connection time, the IP address, and the data used. There’s a graph as well that shows real-time data usage.
On the left-side panel, you can access the quick connect feature, along with the server list, and advanced settings where you can customize the kill switch option, split tunneling option, and protocols.
PureVPN has a clean interface with a quick connect button on the main screen. Once you connect to a server, PureVPN shows the IP address assigned, connection time, and data used.
From the side panel, you can access Settings, Server List, and Account Settings. You can also contact customer support from the PureVPNs app. Overall, PureVPN’s app is easy to navigate around. However, its Windows app is a bit sluggish.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner here with simple and easy-to-use apps for various devices. Its mobile apps are also simple with a great UI just like its desktop version. PureVPN is not far behind with its simple UI, while IPVanish takes third place with its sophisticated app.
4. PureVPN vs IPVanish vs ExpressVPN – Features Comparison
Every VPN offers different features that set it apart from its competitors. Here is a side-by-side comparison of features offered by ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and PureVPN.
|256-bit AES encryption||✓||✓||✓|
|Automatic kill switch||✓||✓||✓|
|DNS leak protection||✓||✓||✓|
|Smart DNS||✓ (MediaStreamer)||x||x|
ExpressVPN offers various features that can be found on all its apps. What I like about ExpressVPN is that it supports split tunneling on multiple platforms, and not just Android smartphones which is the case with IPVanish and PureVPN.
Split tunneling allows you to choose the specific app or website that should use the VPN connection. This feature is available on ExpressVPN apps for Windows, Android, and macOS. While IPVanish only offers this for its Android app.
Another feature that both IPVanish and PureVPN are missing is Smart DNS. ExpressVPN offers a custom Smart DNS feature called MediaStreamer. You get this feature free of cost with the VPN and it helps access geo-blocked content on devices that don’t support VPNs like gaming consoles.
Once again, ExpressVPN takes the lead with its advanced WireGuard protocol called Lightway. Both IPVanish and PureVPN support standardized WireGuard protocol, while ExpressVPN uses an advanced version of it that does not impose any bandwidth limitations, and gives maximum throughput resulting in fast connection speeds.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the clear winner here offering the best features that are not available from other providers. Its MediaStreamer Smart DNS comes in really handy if you want to stream on devices like Apple TV, Smart TVs, Roku, and other devices that don’t have native support for VPNs.
5. IPVanish vs PureVPN vs ExpressVPN – Devices Compatibility Comparison
No matter what kind of device you use, it’s essential that the VPN offers compatible apps for various platforms and operating systems. Here’s a brief comparison of the device compatibility of ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and PureVPN.
|Amazon Fire TV||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Browser Extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Safari||None||Chrome, Firefox|
There are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox which are very lightweight. It even supports 5 simultaneous device connections on one account.
Again, something that ExpressVPN offers which is missing from other providers is its MediaStreamer feature that allows you to use a VPN on various devices such as gaming consoles, Roku, Chromecast, and Apple TV.
IPVanish offers apps for all popular devices such as Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, Windows, and others. However, it does not offer any browser extension which is a negative point as lightweight browser extensions come in handy.
However, it does support unlimited simultaneous connections on a single account, which is a solid point. It means you can use a single account on as many devices as you want and share it with your friends and family. It is no doubt one of the best multiple-device VPNs.
PureVPN supports 10 simultaneous connections on a single account with easy-to-use apps for Android, Mac, Windows, iOS, and Linux.
PureVPN’s Linux app works through the Command Line Interface which might be difficult for beginners. Moreover, its apps have different functionality across platforms. PureVPN’s Android app is the most feature-rich as compared to other platforms.
The Winner: It’s a tie between ExpressVPN and IPVanish. IPVanish allows unlimited simultaneous connections on one account, while ExpressVPN has a MediaStreamer feature that allows you to use a VPN on devices like Apple TV, something that IPVanish completely lacks.
6. ExpressVPN vs PureVPN vs IPVanish – Unblocking Capability
Streaming geo-restricted content is one of the major reasons behind the use of VPNs. A VPN allows you to access any content you want online without any geo-blocks. However, not all VPNs are capable of unblocking streaming services, so we conducted a test using these three providers, and here are the results.
During testing, we also tried streaming Japanese Netflix, because it is one of the most difficult libraries to unblock and ExpressVPN gave us instant access to the Japanese Netflix library on our first attempt.
IPVanish is a great choice for streaming. We could easily access the US Netflix library without any glitches. The video quality was also great. You can also unblock other Netflix regional libraries with IPVanish as well.
However, IPVanish does struggle with other streaming services. While trying to access BBC iPlayer, we failed to access the British streaming service as it kept giving us the location error no matter how many times we tried.
PureVPN is a strong VPN for streaming. We were able to unblock various Netflix regions using PureVPN such as the US, UK, Canada, France, and Germany.
PureVPN also works with other streaming services such as Hulu, Hotstar, HBO Max, and more. However, we did experience video quality issues while streaming with PureVPN.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner here as the provider works with all major platforms easily. Not only that but it also offers fast speeds so you can stream in Ultra HD and 4K without any buffering. PureVPN also works with popular streaming services, but it lags behind when it comes to video quality.
7. Unblocking Geo-Restrictions in China and Other Restricted Internet Access Countries
China and other countries like Bahrain, Syria, and Iran have heavy internet censorship and restrictions, which is why VPN usage is common in these countries. However, not all VPNs work in such countries, therefore, we tested the VPNs for their unblocking capabilities, and here are the results.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN that works in China and other restrictive countries. Its servers run on advanced obfuscation technology that helps bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) allowing you to have complete access to the internet.
It is one of the few VPNs that work in China, Iran, Bahrain, and other such countries. ExpressVPNs chat support also confirmed this for us.
Unfortunately, IPVanish does not work in China. You can clearly see on its website that it states, “please note that China, in particular, has started blacklisting our IP addresses…”
Therefore, IPVanish is not a great choice for users in countries with heavy censorship. If you still want to give it a try, you can manually configure it on your device and connect to a server IP address.
Yes, PureVPN does claim to work in China and similar countries with heavy government-imposed censorship. PureVPN supports the SSTP tunneling protocol that allows Chinese users to browse through the internet without getting detected.
SSTP can bypass firewalls that block specific ports and guarantee undetected access. This protocol can even bypass NAT firewalls.
PureVPN does not have an obfuscation feature, so you might face issues while using it in China.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner here with its advanced obfuscation technology that helps bypass DPI deployed by the Great Firewall of China and firewalls in other restrictive countries.
8. PureVPN vs IPVanish vs ExpressVPN – Torrent Comparison
Not all VPNs work with torrenting, as some providers ban P2P traffic on their servers. We tested the providers for their torrenting performance and here are the results.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for torrenting. It allows P2P traffic on all its servers, along with split tunneling and port forwarding.
Thanks to its super-fast Lightway protocol, ExpressVPN offers fast download and upload speeds for downloading large torrent files easily. During testing, we used uTorrent with ExpressVPN and got an average bitrate of 9.1MB/s on our 100 Mbps base connection, which was very fast.
IPVanish is a great choice for torrenting as it supports P2P traffic on all its servers. So you can torrent easily by connecting to a nearby server for fast speeds.
There is a SOCKS5 proxy available as well if you want faster connection speeds. During testing, IPVanish gave us an average bitrate of 5.3MB/s which was great while using uTorrent, but it was not as fast as ExpressVPN.
PureVPN is another solid choice for torrenting with dedicated P2P servers in 30 countries. It also offers a port forwarding feature that helps you connect to more peers for better speeds.
During testing, PureVPN’s speed fluctuated a lot. Sometimes it would give a really fast bitrate of 7.8MB/s followed by an extremely slow rate of 2.6MB/s.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is no doubt the best VPN for torrenting as it supports P2P traffic on all its servers and offers consistently fast download speeds without compromising security.
9. PureVPN vs IPVanish vs ExpressVPN – Servers Performance Comparison
All three VPNs offer a great server network, covering different locations and countries. Here is a brief comparison.
PureVPN takes the lead with 6500 servers in 78 countries. While ExpressVPN offers 3000 servers but it covers more countries i.e. 92 countries or 160 locations. IPVanish only offers 2000 servers.
However, IPVanish owns all of its servers which cannot be said about PureVPN and ExpressVPN. This is great for security as they don’t have to rely on third parties for their server network.
On the other hand, ExpressVPN servers have TrustedServer technology which means that it has RAM-only servers that are incapable of storing any user data. All your data is deleted with every reboot.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner here with a wide server coverage in 160 locations. It also operates RAM-only servers that boost its privacy.
10. IPVanish vs PureVPN vs ExpressVPN – Security Protocols Comparison
All VPNs offer different security features and VPN protocols that set them apart from one another. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of ExpressVPN vs IPVanish vs PureVPN.
|Encryption||256-bit AES||256-bit AES||256-bit AES|
All three providers offer a port forwarding feature, but PureVPN offers this feature as an add-on costing extra. While ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer this feature for free.
It is worth noting that ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer perfect forward secrecy making your data inaccessible in case of a security breach. However, this feature is missing from PureVPN.
ExpressVPN offers more customization as it allows you to choose ChaCha20/Poly1305 encryption while using the Lightway protocol that works best on old devices. Moreover, ExpressVPN’s obfuscation technology is unmatched.
IPVanish does offer a scramble feature that obfuscates VPN traffic, but it doesn’t seem to work properly as you cannot use it in China undetected. This feature is entirely missing in PureVPN.
The Winner: Both ExpressVPN and IPVanish offer great security features, but ExpressVPN takes the lead for its obfuscation technology and proprietary Lightway protocol.
11. IPVanish vs ExpressVPN vs PureVPN – Logging Policy
ExpressVPN Logging Policy
ExpressVPN is a trustworthy VPN with a strict no-log policy that has been audited by PwC. The provider does not keep any logs regarding its users such as IP addresses, browsing patterns, etc.
ExpressVPN is based in the safe jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands – a safe country with no data retention laws for ISPs. It is also not a member of the intelligence-sharing 5 Eyes alliance.
IPVanish Logging Policy
PureVPN Logging Policy
“PureVPN was able to determine that their service was accessed by the same customer from two originating IP addresses: the RCN IP address from the home Lin was living in at the time and the software company where Lin was employed at the time,” according to the FBI’s affidavit.
The company was based in Hong Kong but has now relocated to the British Virgin Islands. The ownership of the company is also gray as the VPN is run by a Hong Kong-based company called GZ Systems Limited, but a Pakistan-based company Gaditek lists PureVPN as their brand.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner here with a spotless reputation and a trusted no-log policy with a clean slate. ExpressVPN has no history of logging user data or helping authorities.
12. PureVPN vs ExpressVPN vs IPVanish – Ease of Signing Up
All three VPNs support basic ways of signing up and payment methods. Here is a brief comparison of the payment methods accepted by each provider.
|Giro Pay, Mint, Sofort, Pix||✓||x||x|
As you can see only ExpressVPN and PureVPN accept anonymous crypto payments. IPVanish, on the other hand, only supports payment via PayPal and credit cards.
ExpressVPN supports various payment options which make signing up very easy for users. You can pay for ExpressVPN via credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Yandex Money, Qiwi Wallet, or WebMoney. ExpressVPN also supports debit card payments and online transfers via Giropay, Klarna, iDEAL, and Interac.
As for cryptocurrency, PureVPN only supports Bitcoin, while ExpressVPN accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP, along with cryptocurrency tokens such as USDC, PAX, BUSD, and GUSD.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner as it accepts various payment options which make signing up very easy for users.
13. ExpressVPN vs PureVPN vs IPVanish – Customer Service Comparison
Customer support is very important as you might experience issues while using a VPN, and the quickest way to solve the issue is to contact customer support.
ExpressVPN has an excellent customer support system with quick live chat support that is available 24/7. Instead of being greeted by a chatbot, ExpressVPN has a human support system so whenever you are facing any issues, you can get an instant response.
IPVanish also offers a live chat feature but when you ask a question, a bot first helps you using FAQs and blogs, and then you can ask to get in touch with a live agent.
PureVPN also has a live chat feature, but it asks you to provide your email address before getting in touch with a live agent. It adds steps to getting help, thus taking more time.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner here. Even though the three providers offer great support in the form of live chat, with ExpressVPN, it’s more straightforward and easy to get help. It’s also quicker than the rest.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is ExpressVPN better than IPVanish and PureVPN?
- Is ExpressVPN faster than IPVanish and PureVPN?
- Do ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and PureVPN offer any deals?
Is ExpressVPN better than IPVanish and PureVPN?
Yes, ExpressVPN is better than IPVanish and PureVPN. It offers servers in 160 locations, which is more than its competitors, and is highly capable of unblocking regionally blocked content from anywhere around the world which is something both PureVPN and IPVanish lack.
Is ExpressVPN faster than IPVanish and PureVPN?
Yes, ExpressVPN is faster than IPVanish and PureVPN. It offers fast connection speeds on both nearby and distant servers, thanks to its proprietary Lightway protocol that removes all bandwidth limitations.
Do ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and PureVPN offer any deals?
More VPN Comparison
You can check our other VPN comparisons:
- ExpressVPN vs Surfshark vs PureVPN
- Avast SecureLine vs NordVPN vs ExpressVPN
- CyberGhost vs Surfshark vs ExpressVPN
- PureVPN vs NordVPN vs CyberGhost
- NordVPN vs Surfshark vs PureVPN
- ExpressVPN vs PureVPN vs NordVPN
Bottomline – 1 Clear Winner
After thoroughly testing of ExpressVPN vs IPVanish vs PureVPN comparison, we can confidently say that ExpressVPN is the winner. It takes the lead in terms of speed, server network, security, and unblocking ability. It is offering a 3 Months Free subscription on its 12-month plan along with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it yourself risk-free.
IPVanish takes the second position, with PureVPN not so behind.