Which VPN is Better? IPVanish VPN or Private Internet Access (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 compared to IPVanish makes PIA the better choice between these 2 leading VPN providers.
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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 25+. Though PIA has servers in fewer countries, PIA has more servers overall (PIA has 3,272 servers versus 850 for IPVanish).
“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 (it is as noted above) and safer than VPN providers that lease servers or enter partnerships to expand their network.
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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 $3.08/mo. Coming close to that price are only NordVPN ($3.29/mo) and PureVPN ($3.25/mo but recently caught logging customer activity!). IPVanish’s price tag of $5.19/mo makes it hard to recommend as being better value given the few benefits it enjoys over Private Internet Access VPN.
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.
While both PIA and IPVanish 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.
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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 USA 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.
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.
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.
Support Multiple Devices including Simultaneously
Both IPVanish and PIA have apps for every device and operating system you can think of. Plus, you can use their apps on up to 5 devices at the same time.
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 5 devices are connected to the account at the same time.
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 the Highwinds group that has been around for a long time and has excellent financial backing. Private Internet access was one of the very earliest VONs 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 PIA VPN (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 Tor” (Tor refers to the Onion Router).
NordVPN is also light on the pocketbook too, with plans as low as $2.50/mo.
(30-day full money-back guarantee)
ExpressVPN seemed to be everyone’s favorite VPN provider a year ago, but you may have noticed it dropping down in rank of recommended VPNs. It’s never been one of our favorites (read more), but on paper it looks like a dream VPN: fast speeds, based outside the US, fully supports torrents, easy-to-use and good looking apps, tons of server countries, etc.
Our biggest sticking point has always been the price. It is pretty much the most expensive VPN on the market today at $8.32/mo & up. But if you can afford it, go for 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. 🙁
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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.
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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 let you use their VPN software and apps on up to 5 devices simultaneously
- both let you pay anonymously with Bitcoin
- both VPNs have their headquarters in the USA
PIA > IPVanish
- PIA is cheaper than IPVanish
- PIA's Android app is the best in the business
- PIA accepts truly anonymous payments with 100s of major brand gift cards
IPVanish > PIA VPN
- IPVanish has about double the number of proxy server locations compared to PIA
- IPVanish owns and operates its entire network (rather than leasing or relying on 3rd parties)
VPN Comparison: IPVanish vs PIA
|Monthly cost (/year)||$3.08 for our readers|
|Monthly cost (/month)||$5.95 ($6.95 normally)||$10|
|Torrenting allowed [?]||Yes||Yes|
|Data logging [?]||No||No|
|Trial/Money-back period||7 days||7 days|
|Anonymous payments [?]||Yes, incl BitCoin & gift cards||Yes|
|Devices per account||5||5|
|Kill switch [?]||Yes||Yes|
|DNS leak protection [?]||Yes||Yes|
|Extra Features||Best Android VPN app; PIA sponsors EFF||Recommended by Anonymous|
|Website||>> Visit <<||>> Visit <<|
|new! Trust Pilot Rating [?]||8.3||6.8|