Private Internet Access (PIA) vs. IPVanish – Which one is Better?

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You probably know that one of the best ways to hide your IP address, identity, and location from the rest of the internet is to use a VPN. IPVanish and Private Internet Access are one of the best options to go for if you often work on public Wi-Fi and also care about your privacy. But which is the best between the two? Is it’s the PIA or the IPVanish?

To give you a quick view:

  • If you are looking for a VPN that offers superb multi-platform support, global-wide server coverage, worldwide support for BitTorrenting, and fast average connection speeds, IPVanish is an excellent choice.  However, their annual subscription is higher than that of PIA, and also their streaming service access may be questionable.
  • On the other hand, if you are looking for a VPN that offers tip-top privacy protections, and excellent connection speeds at a bargain-basement-priced service, Private Internet Access is a good choice. However, BitTorrent support and global server coverage are somewhat limited.

If you want to learn more about which is the best to choose and why, read on!  We will show you the factors to consider when choosing a VPN and which of the two (IPVanish and Private Internet Access) excel under each of the factors.

Private Internet Access (PIA) vs. IPVanish Comparison

1. Connection speed

When your VPN is fast, your internet experience will be enjoyable – it means a faster VPN connection is equal to more enjoyable internet experience. So the speed of your VPN connection is an important factor to consider. To find out which is the best in terms of connection speed we tested the VPNs using How did we test for the connection speed?

  • A North America based gigabit Ethernet connection was used when testing the VPNs download speed.
  • The provider’s app windows version was used and configured to connect using the OpenVPN protocol
  • A team of three users connected to Hong Kong, the US, and UK. This was done at three different times of the day and for a few days in a row.
  • The final connection speed was determined by averaging the tests results.

After the test was carried out, we found out that both IPVanish and Private Internet Access offers excellent connection speed that can easily handle most online activities, including gaming and streaming. However, the average connection speed winner is PIA, which offers about 83.17 Mbps. It is no doubt faster than IPVanish which only offers about 59.25 Mbps.

2. Service pricing   

The service pricing of both VPNs is reasonable, but there is one that steals the show. To know the low-priced leader let’s take a look at how their charges look like.

  • PIA – The annual payment for the Private Internet Access services averages closer to the price you will get a large cup of McDonald’s. As for the monthly payment, it is more affordable than many of the large Starbucks beverages.
  • IPVanish – if you decide to subscribe for the annual service, the price falls in the same range as the price of a free coffee with local greasy spoon diner. The monthly subscription cost about the same price you will get a medium-sized Starbucks cuppa joe.

Looking at how their pricing looks like, IPVanish is the pricing winner.

Please note that the pricing of any VPN can be reduced when deals such as special one-time-only are being offered. So, be sure to check their websites to be updated about the present pricing.

3. Privacy  

One of the primary things anyone will look for when downloading and subscribing for a VPN service is privacy. What is the essence of using a VPN that does not offer you the privacy needed? The only VPN that is worth your money is the one that can offer comprehensive privacy protection. It is an unfriendly online world, so go for a VPN service provider that keeps little to no log, and a provider located in a country where VPN service is not required to keep the activity log of customers.

In the US, VPN service providers are not required to keep customers log – the VPN providers include IPVanish and Private Internet Access. However, most of the VPN service providers are informally encouraged to keep logs related to the online activities of customers. Fortunately, PIA and IPVanish have a strict no-log policy they follow. After taking a closer and careful look at both VPNs, we concluded that IPVanish and Private Internet Access are tied when it comes to privacy.     

4. Security

VPN is one of the best ways to prevent your online travels from being monitored. It does this by encrypting your internet connection and keeping you undercover and underground. So, is the security both VPN service providers offer different?

  • IPVanish protects your internet connection by offering industry-standard L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and PPTP protocols. The VPN also comes with scramble option, DNS leak protection, IPv6 leak, and kill switch protection option that ensures your VPN activity is seen as normal internet traffic.
  • Private Internet Access also offers all the security that the IPVanish provides, including the ability to help you block malware, trackers, and ads.

Conclusively, when it comes to security, there is no King because both offer the same level of security and encryption.

5. Number of users that can connect simultaneously

When it comes to the number of people that can connect using one account, a large connection allowance is a plus. Of course, if you head a business, family or you have more than one device you will need to connect your VPN with, simultaneous connections will be appreciated. Both IPVanish and Private Internet Access are excellent choices for people who need to keep their internet connection protected using the same account. With one account, about ten simultaneous connections can be achieved in both VPNs. So, it is a tie!

6. Streaming support  

No doubt, streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix is one of the reasons why people use VPN. Also, it is no doubt that some TV episodes and movies are limited to some region of the world by the streaming services. It means some contents that are available in the US may not be available in other countries. So which one will allow you to have access to more streaming services?    

  • IPVanish – the streaming support of this provider is fairly good. When we connected to U.S servers, we were able to access HBO and Netflix – they stream just fine. However, we couldn’t access U.K. Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
  • PIA – We found out that you can have access to Netflix when you connected to the U.S. server. However, most of the other streaming service providers in the U.S were struck out. This is not surprising because the VPN does not claim to provide support for any streaming service.

There is no winner in the streaming support category. We would advise that you go for ExpressVPN if you are looking for reliable access to HBO Go, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Netflix.

7. BitTorrent support

Today, one of the most popular online activities is BitTorrent/P2P file sharing. The type of content you are sharing and where you live will determine if this activity is legal or illegal. One of the excellent tools that you can use to protect your BitTorrenting activity from your ISP and the eyes of content owners is VPN. Take note that sharing copyrighted television episodes and movies can result in a fine, and you can also be denied internet service.   

  • IPVanish – torrenting is allowed on all its servers, and the VPN also hides torrenting activities because it does not have a customer activities log. IPVanish allows BitTorrents in more than 50 countries.
  •  Private Internet Access – this VPN allows BitTorrents in 32 countries. Just like IPVanish, the provider does not know and doesn’t care what you do with their service – it means there is no logging of activities.

From the description above, it is obvious that IPVanish is the BitTorrenting support winner!

8. Global coverage

If you want to unblock and attempt content across the globe with more flexibility, you need a VPN with wider global coverage. It means the wider the global coverage, the more flexible it will be to unblock contents from other parts of the world. Which VPN steals the show here?

  • IPVanish – this VPN provider has more than 1,300 servers in over 50 countries around the globe. With such a larger coverage, you can easily access blocked content anywhere you are in the world in as much as there is an internet service.
  •  Private Internet Access – the VPN has more than 3,300 servers, but, unfortunately, the servers are only available in 32 countries. The major countries are Australia, France, the UK, Canada, and US.

Conclusively, IPVanish put an icing on a cake with the over 50 countries where it offers its servers.

9. Multi-platform support   

IPVanish makes apps available for Amazon Fire TV, Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices. With the instructions provided, you can also set up the IPVanish service on Chrome OS machines, Windows Phone, and Linux. You can also set up the VPN on routers, thanks to the instructions.

On the other hand, PIA offers apps for platforms such as Linux, Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices. Also, there are extensions available for Opera, Firefox, and Chrome browsers. There are also setup instructions that allow you to set the VPN up on routers.

Take note that both VPNs offer ready-to-go routers if you want the easiest route to protect your connected devices. As for who wins this round, it is the IPVanish because they support about eight platforms while the PIA supports only 5.  

10. Customer support

This is one of the factors that most users often pay less attention to, but it is important because you may need to contact the service provider one day whether for billing questions or any other enquire. How do both VPNs offer support, and which is the best?

  • IPVanish – This VPN provides support through easy-to-search support and an online trouble ticket submission form. The website of the provider also features a system status page. This displays the VPN infrastructure’s current status. Additionally, a support “bot” feature is recently added to answer the question of users. When we tested the IPVanish customer support the bot provided links to possible solutions. In case a possible solution can’t be found, the bot will tell you to connect to live chat. During our interaction with the support agent we received an informational and quick reply.   
  • Private Internet Access – the VPN provider offers a knowledge-filled support library and an online trouble ticket support form. During our encounter with the support personnel of PIA, our trouble ticket questions were answered quickly. Also, they offer an easy to use support library. Take note that you may sometimes have to wait a while before support replies you because PIA does not feature a live support text chat option.

Considering their customer support features, IPVanish is the winner!

Which VPN is the winner?  

Ladies and gentlemen, after taking a look at the different features that each of the VPNs offers and how one is better than the other, the winner is IPVanish. The VPN provider wins in the multi-platform support, BitTorrenting, streaming support, pricing, global server coverage, and customer support categories. Additionally, IPVanish and Private Internet Access performs equally well in simultaneous connections, security, and privacy arenas.

We are in a dangerous online world and to stay protected while you are online, you need to subscribe to one of the best VPNs in the market.

Felix Olsson

Felix Olsson

Felix Olsson is a VPN and web security expert. He is a tech enthusiast who loves testing VPN services and the latest developments in the cybersecurity world. You'll often find him either reading privacy policies or testing a new service or device.

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