Finding the right VPN service for your needs can be challenging. There are numerous VPN services out there that excel in different areas and many have wildly disparate prices.
To enable you to make a wise decision, we’re going to compare two of the more popular options that are available today. In this ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access comparison, we’ll see how these two solutions stack up against each other in the areas of security, privacy, speed, support, and compatibility, and find out which one comes out on top.
Security and Privacy
When it comes to security, ExpressVPN is certainly the VPN service to beat. It offers a comprehensive selection of security protocols and a kill switch feature which helps to prevent leaks.
ExpressVPN also performs excellently in the area of privacy. The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, out of the reach of 5, 9, or 14 eyes intelligence country groups. It also has a tried and tested no-logging policy, making it one of the safest VPN services to use.
So how does PIA perform in these areas? Well, PIA also does a good job in the area of security. It offers a number of cryptographic choices that let you select the authentication standard, handshake, and level of encryption. It also features a network kill switch and doesn’t have DNS or IPv6/WebRTC leaks.
In the area of privacy, however, PIA loses a number of points as it is registered in the US which is part of the 5 eyes country group. On the plus side, though, PIA has a strict no-logs policy that has been proven trustworthy by past court cases where it couldn’t produce any useful user information.
ExpressVPN edges it out in this round.
With over 3000 servers in 90 countries, ExpressVPN consistently delivers fast speeds in most locations. PIA, in comparison, is also no slouch, boasting over 3300+ servers in 30 countries. Unfortunately, the uneven distribution of those servers means that if you live in Asia, South America, or Africa, you’ll get mediocre connection speeds as there aren’t many servers in those areas.
If you reside in Europe or North America, however, PIA offers excellent upload/download speeds. Nonetheless, this round is comfortably won by ExpressVPN, which offers fast speeds in a lot more regions.
Ease of use
If ease of use is at the top of your list of must-haves for a VPN solution, then either of these services is a great choice. Both are very easy to install and setup. PIA provides an elegant, intuitive interface that suits both advanced and beginner users alike. ExpressVPN offers a minimalistic design that’s dead simple to use while providing access to all the important features.
Torrenting and P2P
ExpressVPN supports torrenting and P2P traffic as does PIA. The speeds (in North America and Europe at least, in the case of PIA) and security features of both are great, making them excellent for torrenting. Neither limits P2P traffic, thus allowing you to torrent on any servers. PIA scores an extra point for supporting a free SOCKS5 proxy which ExpressVPN lacks. Still, either of these VPN solutions will handle your torrenting and P2P needs just fine.
Netflix and China
With ExpressVPN, you can unlock many Netflix libraries. The servers in areas such as the US and the Netherlands work reliably and deliver high-quality streams. PIA, on the other hand, can also bypass the Netflix VPN detection but provides access to fewer catalogs.
While both VPN solutions work in China, according to reports, ExpressVPN is the more reliable choice. PIA has very few servers in Asia meaning China-based users may have to grapple with slow speeds and overcrowded servers.
Both VPN solutions run on the major desktop and mobile platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. ExpressVPN also has a client for routers and other platforms including PlayStation, Apple TV, Xbox, Blackberry, and Amazon Fire TV. While PIA doesn’t have a router app, you can get it to run on router devices by following the instructions on their site. Both services offer browser extensions for the major browsers.
When it comes to customer support, there’s hardly any contest as ExpressVPN clearly blows PIA out of the water with its top-notch support system. In addition, to support tickets, email, and self-help resources such as a list of troubleshooting guides and a How-to guide page on internet privacy, ExpressVPN offers a 24/7 live chat.
PIA offers no answer to that as they don’t even offer a live chat option. The support ticket system is a slow way of providing support for minor issues and the internet is filled with angry comments on the poor level of support provided by PIA.
With all the shortcomings of PIA when compared to ExpressVPN, it’s no surprise that PIA costs considerably less than its competitor. Neither service offers a free plan or even a free trial which may make it harder for some to choose the more expensive solution. That said, ExpressVPN does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee compared to PIA’s 7-day one.
Still, if affordability is of prime importance to you, then PIA offers a decent experience at some of the lowest prices out there. Should you, however, desire a safer, faster, more versatile and feature-packed solution, then the more expensive ExpressVPN is a great bargain.
ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access – which is better?
Having compared these two solid options across various important aspects worthy of consideration, we conclude that ExpressVPN is the better option. With that said, PIA does offer decent results in a number of areas and if pricing is your main concern, you may prefer the American VPN.
We hope this ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access comparison has given you enough information to make an informed decision. If you want more detailed information on these VPN services go ahead and read our full ExpressVPN review and Private Internet Access review.