IPVanish vs PIA (Private Internet Access) VPN Comparison

Which VPN is better: IPVanish vs PIA? We compare these top VPN services feature-by-feature. 

IPVanish vs PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) image

Who wins when it's IPVanish vs PIA VPN? 

What better way to compare IPVanish vs PIA (short for "Private Internet Access") than to display their features side-by-side. 

Lowest monthly cost

Torrenting allowed [?]

Data logging [?]

No

No

Trial/Money-back period

7 days

7 days

Anonymous payments [?]

Yes

Devices per account

5

10 NEW!

Servers

3,160

1000+

Countries

33

60+

Encryption level

256-bit

256-bit

Kill switch [?]

Yes

Yes NEW!

DNS leak protection [?]

Yes

Yes

Other info

Best Android VPN app

PIA sponsors EFF

Recommended by Anonymous

HQ

USA

USA

Website


Bottom Line: PIA is Better than IPVanish

IPVanish and PIA are both top-Tier VPN services based in the USA. Although IPVanish may occasionally be a little faster, PIA’s low price point and excellent privacy track record makes PIA the better choice between these 2 leading VPN providers.


7-day full money back-guarantee

With that conclusion out of the way, here are the details of what we looked at. 

IPVanish vs PIA: Where IPVanish is Better

These are the areas where IPVanish beats PIA in a head-to-head comparison: 

  • IPVanish is a bit faster than PIA
  • IPVanish has about double the number of server country locations compared to PIA
  • IPVanish lets you use a single plan on up to 10 devices at the same time
  • IPVanish owns and operates its entire network (IPVanish doesn't lease servers or rely on 3rd parties)

Here are some more details on each of the aspects where IPVanish is better than PIA:

Speeds (but only just)

IPVanish touts itself as the only “top-tier“ VPN provider as it owns its entire VPN infrastructure. In theory, that should mean faster speeds than Private Internet Access.


However, our experience is that Private Internet Access consistently beats IPvanish for download speeds, especially for torrenting. That could be because we are based in Europe and so are currently conducting our tests overseas. 


Number of Countries with VPN Servers

IPVanish has servers in 60+ countries compared to PIA only having servers in 33 countries.


That said, PIA has more servers overall. PIA has 3,160 servers versus 1,000+ for IPVanish. 


Number of Simultaneous Connections per Account

This is the one area where IPVanish VPN is clearly head and shoulders better than PIA.


IPVanish allows an industry-leading 10 connections at the same time with their plans. PIA allows only 5 devices to be simultaneously connected to its VPN plans.​


That means with one account subscription you can use the VPN on your desktop computer, smartphone, laptop, tablet, smart TV and even game consoles.

Also, nothing prevents you in practice from sharing your account with friends and family, provided no more than the maximum number of devices are connected to the account at the same time. 🙂


“Command and Control”

IPVanish owns its entire network from top to bottom. Only VyprVPN has similar bragging rights. In theory, this means IPVanish should be faster (as noted above) and safer than VPN providers that lease servers or enter partnerships to expand their network.


7-day full money-back guarantee


IPVanish vs PIA: Where Private Internet Access is Better 

In our opinion, PIA beats out IPVanish on the following:


  • PIA is better value for money than IPVanish
  • PIA's non-logging claims have been proven in court, twice! 
  • PIA's Android app is the best in the business
  • PIA accepts anonymous payments with Bitcoin and 100s of major brand gift cards

Let's take a closer loo at each of these elements that makes PIA better than IPVanish.

Price / Value

PIA boasts an incredibly low price of $2.91/mo.


Coming close to that price are only NordVPN and PureVPN.


IPVanish’s price tag of $5.20/mo makes it harder to recommend as better value given the limited benefits it enjoys over Private Internet Access VPN.


Truly Non-logging

As the false non-logging claims of PureVPN revealed, it is easy for a VPN to say it is not logging, but there’s almost no way to know for sure.

Just as court records showed PureVPN was logging, similar court records showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that PIA does not log and cannot trace activities on its service back to individual customers.


Anonymous Payments

While PIA and IPVanish both accept Bitcoin payments for private payments, only PIA accepts gift card payments.


This means you can sign up and pay for VPN access in full anonymity. Buy a store gift card with cash in person and then use that card to pay for your PIA subscription while only for the truly paranoid, it also demonstrates PIA’s commitment and vision to true privacy.


Comes with a 7-day full money-back guarantee


Where IPVanish vs PIA are About Equal

When it comes to these factors, we think IPVanish vs PIA come out about the same:

  • both allow torrenting
  • both have advanced features such as kill switch and DNS leak protections
  • both offer a decent money back guarantee or trial period
  • both support all devices and OS' on the market today
  • both let you pay privately with Bitcoin
  • both VPNs have their headquarters in the USA

Let's expand a little more on each of these factors. 


Support for p2p Torrent File-sharing

Both IPVanish and PIA fully support the peer-to-peer (p2p) BitTorrent protocol for file-sharing.

Don’t assume that’s always the case with all VPN providers. For example, VyprVPN may support torrent file sharing in theory but download a file being monitored by snoops and there will be a lovely notice in your photo box in no time.

 


Based in the USA

You will see a lot of hand wringing about VPN providers that are based in the USA as being subject to the jurisdiction of the NSA and American law enforcement in general.


Unless you are a national security risk using a US-based VPN could actually be an advantage, especially for torrenting. VPN providers located in the USA are not required to keep logs and records of their customers’ use. The same cannot be said in Europe and other parts of the world. The court cases we mentioned above for PIA (US based) and PureVPN (Hong Kong based) are an example of this.

 


Strong Encryption

VPN protocols can be a complicated subject. Needless to say, both IPVanish and Private Internet Access use strong encryption algorithms (aka “military grade”).


Both of these VPN providers support the OpenVPN protocol and let you choose advanced settings if you want to use different encryption methods. However, we recommend that you stick with their default settings.
 


Easy-to-Use Apps

Both IPVanish and PIA have apps for every device and operating system you can think of. 

IPVanish offers a much more graphical user interface than PIA, but both VPN providers’ apps are very easy and intuitive to use.


In fact, newcomers to VPNs will first think PIA‘s interface is a little sparse (it’s not much to look at), but veterans appreciate just how small PIA’s footprint is and how fast it connects.
 

Reliability

Both IPVanish and PIA have been around and are no fly-by-night operators. You won’t ever have to worry about paying for an annual subscription only to see the business go belly up a couple of months later.


IPVanish is part of a group that has been around for a long time and has excellent financial backing. Private Internet access was one of the very earliest VPNs to establish itself and it has been on the forefront of innovation ever since and it has the customer base to show for it.


IPVanish vs PIA Alternatives?

If neither IPVanish nor Private Internet Access appeal to you, there are some alternatives. However, there are not many suitable alternatives because these two VPNs are among the very best.


Check out these VPN providers as the best alternatives to Private Internet Access and IPVanish:

 


NordVPN

NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN that has a lot going for it and scores high on many review sites. However, we do often find it frustratingly slow.


It’s a good choice if you are willing to put up with slower speeds for it being based outside the US and having some pretty cool features such as “double VPN” and “ VPN over Onion Router".


NordVPN is also light on the pocketbook too.


30-day full money-back guarantee


ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN ticks all the boxes: fast speeds, based outside the US, fully supports torrents, easy-to-use and good looking apps, tons of server countries, etc.


The biggest sticking point is its price, but if you can afford it, go for it! It has a 30-day guarantee period so you can really test it out before committing to it. 


Full 30-day money back guarantee


VyprVPN

VyprVPN is probably the most technologically sophisticated VPN on the market today. Golden Frog is behind VyprVPN, and they are already famous for Giganews, Outfox and a host of privacy apps. It is superfast, based in Switzerland, owns its VPN network from top to bottom, is reasonably priced, and has proprietary “Chameleon” technology that can even bypass the great firewall of China.


So why doesn’t VyprVPN feature on our top recommended lists? It’s not suitable for torrents. 🙁


Full money-back guarantee



Comparing IPVanish vs PIA VPN Wrap-up

So there you have it. Everything you could ever want to know about the VPN providers IPVanish vs PIA.


If you think we missed something or if there is something else you’d like to know, fire us a comment below.


Comes with a 7-day full money-back guarantee


Lowest monthly cost

Torrenting allowed [?]

Data logging [?]

No

No

Trial/Money-back period

7 days

7 days

Anonymous payments [?]

Yes

Devices per account

5

10 NEW!

Servers

3,160

1000+

Countries

33

60+

Encryption level

256-bit

256-bit

Kill switch [?]

Yes

Yes NEW!

DNS leak protection [?]

Yes

Yes

Other info

Best Android VPN app

PIA sponsors EFF

Recommended by Anonymous

HQ

USA

USA

Website

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