IPVanish vs PIA (Private Internet Access) VPN Comparison

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

IPVanish vs PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) image

Who wins when it's IPVanish vs PIA VPN? 

Overall Winner: Private Internet Access (PIA) is Better than IPVanish

Both IPVanish and Private Internet Access (or PIA for short) are based in the USA and although IPVanish may occasionally be a little faster, PIA’s low price point, high value and excellent privacy track record makes PIA the better choice between these 2 leading VPN providers.

(7-day full money back-guarantee)

IPVanish vs PIA: Where IPVanish is Better than PIA VPN

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

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 Country Servers

IPVanish has servers in 60+ countries compared to PIA’s 30+.

Though PIA has more servers overall (PIA has 3,111 servers versus 1,000+ for IPVanish). 

Number of Allowed Connections​

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, in practice nothing prevents you 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 than IPVanish VPN

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

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.

(7-day full money-back guarantee)

Where IPVanish vs PIA are about the Same

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

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.


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 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 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 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 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)

Compare VPN: IPVanish vs PIA 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.

(7-day full money-back guarantee)

IPVanish vs PIA VPN At-a-Glance

Check our our table below and the comments that follow to quickly compare IPVanish vs PIA (Private Internet Access VPN). Which VPN is best for your needs will depend a lot on you.

As you can see, IPVanish and Private Internet Access share much in common:

  • both allow torrenting
  • both VPNs keep no logs or records of their customers' activities
  • both have advanced features such as kill switch and DNS leak protections
  • both offer a decent money back guarantee trial period
  • both support all devices and OS' on the market today
  • both let you pay anonymously with Bitcoin
  • both VPNs have their headquarters in the USA

PIA > IPVanish

IPVanish > PIA VPN

  • IPVanish has about double the number of proxy server locations compared to PIA
  • IPVanish lets you use a single plan on up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • IPVanish owns and operates its entire network (rather than leasing or relying on 3rd parties)

VPN Comparison: IPVanish vs PIA

Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access VPN
IP Vanish VPN small logo
Lowest monthly cost$2.91 for our readers$5.20
Torrenting allowed [?]YesYes
Data logging [?]NoNo
Trial/Money-back period7 days7 days
Anonymous payments [?]Yes, incl BitCoin & gift cardsYes
Devices per account510
Encryption level256-bit256-bit
Kill switch [?]YesYes
DNS leak protection [?]YesYes
Extra FeaturesBest Android VPN app; PIA sponsors EFFRecommended by Anonymous
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