IPVanish and Private Internet Access (PIA) are two well-known US-based VPN services. Some might roll their eyes at the idea of using a VPN from the United States, but we believe that every VPN has its merits. As such, we’ll be pinning these two services against each other to see which one is the best option.
IPVanish has 2000+ servers across 50+ countries. It uses the WireGuard tunneling protocol, allows torrenting, and offers optional encrypted cloud storage to secure your files online.
Meanwhile, PIA has over 29300+ servers in 84+ countries. It utilizes the WireGuard tunneling protocol, protects against malware and trackers, and has the split tunneling feature.
There’s much more ground to cover in this IPVanish vs Private Internet Access comparison. Stay tuned to learn more about these VPNs.
IPVanish vs Private Internet Access comparison highlights
|IPVanish||Private Internet Access|
|“Best for” nominee||Best overall, Best for USA, Best for Mac, Best for Linux, Best by Reddit, Best for Fire Stick||Best overall, Fastest VPN, Best for USA, Best for Windows, Best for Mac, Best for Android, Best by Reddit|
|Price starts from||$3.99/month||$2.03/month|
|Review||IPVanish review||PIA review|
Under normal circumstances, we’d compare the speed of two providers with the help of our VPN speed test. However, PIA is not implemented, so we’ll make do without.
Plus, both VPN providers are utilizing the modern WireGuard tunneling protocol. Therefore, it’s fair to conclude that both will perform roughly the same in various scenarios.
|All physical servers||No||No|
|Owns all servers||No||No|
When it comes to server coverage, the two VPN services are taking different approaches. Private Internet Access has a vast network with 29300+ servers across 84+ countries. However, not all servers are located in their actual countries and are virtual instead.
Meanwhile, IPVanish has a fleet of 2000+ servers in 50+ countries. While the size is only a fraction of what PIA offers, it’s completely owned by IPVanish, and each server is physically located in its respective country.
In this case, the win goes to IPVanish as it’s better to have more control over your hardware to maintain security from third parties, even at the cost of a smaller server selection.
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Payment options||Credit card, PayPal||Credit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, cryptocurrencies, Beam, Mint, gift cards|
If you’re looking for an affordable VPN that won’t break your bank, PIA is the way to go. With its longer subscription plans, it offers better deals than IPVanish. Furthermore, you can use an anonymous payment option with PIA to ensure a private transaction.
However, you can circumvent the default pricing plans of either VPN by using various VPN discount codes.
With IPVanish, you can choose between three subscription options:
- $10.99/month for a monthly subscription
- $5.00/month for a quarterly subscription
- $3.99/month for an annual subscription + VIPRE Antivirus
Choosing the annual plan is the best option not only because of the biggest 63% discount but also because it comes with VIPRE Antivirus. This tool is great against malware and ransomware.
What’s more, you can take advantage of an IPVanish coupon code to get an even better deal. However, payment options are sparse and only include credit cards and PayPal.
Private Internet Access pricing
Private Internet Access gives you three different subscription options:
The lengthiest subscription grants you an impressive 78% discount. On the other hand, you can also use a PIA coupon for a different bargain.
As a bonus, PIA customers can grab a dedicated IP for $5/month and choose an exclusive IP address from five countries – the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, and Australia.
Finally, payment methods are abundant and include credit cards, PayPal, third-party coupons, Amazon Pay, and even cryptocurrencies.
|Protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|Security features||Split tunneling (Android), traffic obfuscation, secure cloud storage, SOCKS5 proxy||Split tunneling, PIA MACE, Shadowsocks, SOCKS5, dedicated IP, port forwarding|
The two providers have some common features in terms of security. For example, AES-256 encryption and a kill switch. But overall, PIA is ahead. It has a broader selection of security features. Furthermore, the omission of outdated tunneling protocols still used by IPVanish, such as PPTP and SSTP, can also be viewed as a perk.
IPVanish security features
For its price, you would expect IPVanish to have a bit more features. Still, it has all the essential features that are enough for typical use-cases.
- Split tunneling is only available on Android devices and allows you to select which apps should go through the VPN tunnel, while others will ignore it.
- When using the OpenVPN tunneling protocol, you can enable traffic obfuscation to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN to avoid censorship.
- Choosing the annual subscription gets you VIPRE Antivirus. It’s an award-winning tool that protects against ransomware and malware.
With a SOCKS5 proxy, you can protect your P2P activities by securing your torrent client.
Private Internet Access security features
At a cheap price, Private Internet Access offers a wide selection of essential and bonus security features.
- Split tunneling is entirely customizable and allows you to exclude or include apps in the VPN tunnel.
- PIA MACE is a feature that blocks malicious domains used for trackers, ads, and malware.
- With a Shadowsocks proxy, you can hide in the shadows from DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) to avoid online censorship.
- A SOCKS5 proxy enables you to protect your torrent client with an added layer of security.
- As a paid bonus, you can grab an exclusive dedicated IP from five different locations.
- With PIA, you can enable port forwarding and get better P2P download speeds.
Email breach monitoring allows you to check your email address to see if it was compromised in any data leaks.
IPVanish vs Private Internet Access video review
|Jurisdiction||United States||United States|
|Logging||No-logs policy||Court-proven no-logs policy|
|Anonymous payment||No||Cryptocurrencies, gift cards|
Privacy is not a substantial attribute of either VPN as they are based in the United States – a founding member of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance. Luckily, both services claim that they adhere to a strict no-logs policy. However, these claims have only been confirmed for PIA as the company could not assist the authorities when they reached out to the VPN for assistance.
Unfortunately, there is a different issue with Private Internet Access. In 2019, the VPN was acquired by Kape Technologies, previously known as Crossrider. Furthermore, the company rebranded once again and is now called Private Internet. I’m assuming they did this to make us forget its adware-spreading history.
Meanwhile, IPVanish had its fair share of privacy issues in the past before changing hands to its current owner. Now the service wants to improve itself by undergoing a third-party audit.
With such spotty privacy practices, it shouldn’t be surprising that neither service is a winner in the privacy category.
|Major apps||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android|
|Other apps||Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Chrome OS||Chromebook OS, Android TV (same Android apps)|
|Browser extensions||N/A||Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewall, NAS||Routers|
The two services diverge slightly in device compatibility, but generally speaking, both will most likely suit your needs. However, there is one crucial difference that makes IPVanish the superior choice.
That difference is a dedicated app for Amazon Fire TV Stick. A common use-case for VPNs is streaming and getting around geographical restrictions. By covering this essential platform and supporting unlimited simultaneous connections, IPVanish gains the needed edge to win in this category.
IPVanish device compatibility
Like most VPNs, IPVanish is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Additionally, it’s also available on ChromeOS, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Naturally, manual configuration is available on a wide range of devices as well. This includes manual VPN configuration on routers to secure your entire home network. Furthermore, IPVanish allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices.
PIA device compatibility
Unsurprisingly, PIA is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. What sets this service apart from its competitor is browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Unfortunately, it lacks support for Amazon Fire TV Stick – a crucial platform for any streaming enthusiast. Of course, you can simply configure your router with a VPN to remedy this fault. Finally, PIA allows you to connect ten different devices simultaneously.
|Other Netflix libraries||No||Yes|
If you’re searching for a VPN for streaming, these two VPNs are not what you’re looking for. While IPVanish gains the edge for supporting additional streaming devices, both providers offer a mixed bag of results when unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms.
To be precise, Netflix US works fine with both, but other countries were more difficult to unlock. Meanwhile, alternative streaming platforms, like BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and Hulu, didn’t work either.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||All servers||All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||No||Yes|
|Split tunneling||Android and FireOS||Yes|
Even though neither VPN has earned a place among the best VPNs for torrenting, there’s one clear winner between the two. And the winner is Private Internet Access – it offers port forwarding and provides split tunneling on a broader range of devices. Thankfully, both can utilize WireGuard to ensure fast download speeds.
|Works in China||Yes||Depends on region|
|Stealth VPN||Yes (Traffic Obfuscation)||No|
|Tor over VPN||No||No|
The Great Firewall of China is one of the few things that can bring even the toughest VPN services to their knees. However, some providers still manage to retain their titles as the best VPNs for China. Regardless, these two VPNs are on equal footing in this regard and provide some features when dealing with online censorship.
For starters, IPVanish has OpenVPN obfuscation, which is meant to scramble your traffic and hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. On the other hand, PIA has the Shadowsocks proxy feature, which can also bypass online censorship.
|IPVanish||Private Internet Access|
|24/7 live chat||Yes||No|
Typically, 24/7 live chat is the feature that determines whether a VPN is superior to another in terms of customer support. In this case, IPVanish gains the upper hand. However, both services offer written guides and email communication as alternative problem-solving options.
Additionally, IPVanish has another unexpected ace up its sleeve – a phone line. While relatively uncommon, it’s a welcome feature by some and adds extra variety. It’s available in the US, UK, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Germany, and Mexico.
IPVanish vs PIA – which one is better?
|IPVanish 🥇||Private Internet Access 🥈|
|Speed and servers||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||4 out of 9||3 out of 9|
At long last, the IPVanish vs Private Internet Access comparison has reached the finale. It was an exciting back and forth, but we can declare only one winner. Overall, IPVanish is the superior product.
While PIA is cheaper and offers more security features, IPVanish is more versatile since it supports more devices and is better for streaming. And if something goes wrong, you’ll have more options to reach out to customer support.
Which VPN do you prefer? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Is IPVanish free?
No, IPVanish is not free and does not have a free trial. Instead, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Is IPVanish good for Fire Stick?
Yes, IPVanish is a good VPN for Amazon Fire Stick. It has a dedicated app for it and over 2000 servers in 50+ countries.
Is Private Internet Access fast?
Yes, Private Internet Access is one of the fastest VPNs available, thanks to its extensive server network and the WireGuard tunneling protocol.
Is PIA better than IPVanish?
After completing our IPVanish vs PIA comparison, we can clearly say that IPVanish is better than Private Internet Access.
Which one is better, Private Internet Access or NordVPN?
We have a separate comparison review for this subject. But to cut it short, NordVPN is clearly better than PIA.
Is Private Internet Access better than ExpressVPN?
In our PIA vs ExpressVPN comparison, we found out that the latter is better than the former. However, ExpressVPN doesn’t leave Private Internet Access that much behind. The biggest argument against ExpressVPN is its high cost.
Jan is the captain at the helm of VPNpro. He ensures that every crew member is practicing perfect digital hygiene and spreading only accurate pro tips about technology. Besides that, he is a frequent contributor on many renowned publications, such as Forbes, ComputerWeekly, PC Mag, TechRadar, and ZDNet.