IPVanish vs Private Internet Access in 2021

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Chief Editor
Last updated: October 18, 2021
IPVanish vs Private Internet Access

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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 1500+ servers across 75+ countries. It uses the OpenVPN tunneling protocol, allows torrenting, and offers optional encrypted cloud storage to secure your files online.

Meanwhile, PIA has over 29300+ servers in 78+ 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

IPVanishPrivate Internet Access
Our rating8.8⭐8.1⭐
“Best for” nomineeBest overall, Best for USA, Best for Mac, Best for Linux, Best by Reddit, Best for Fire StickBest overall, Fastest VPN, Best for USA, Best for Windows, Best for Mac, Best for Android, Best by Reddit
Price starts from$3.75/month$2.19/month
ReviewIPVanish reviewPIA review
WebsiteIPVanishPIA

Speed

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 have to settle with manual speed testing in various countries.

We’ll use the Ookla speed test in this scenario. Remember, manual speed tests can vary wildly because of many variables. As such, you shouldn’t take these results too seriously.

Plus, PIA uses the WireGuard tunneling protocol, the fastest open-source option currently available. Meanwhile, IPVanish utilizes OpenVPN. Whatever the results will show, under the right circumstances, PIA should always come out on top.

In any case, the baseline download speed was 313 Mbps, while the upload speed was 322 Mbps.

IPVanishPrivate Internet Access
USA
Download85 Mbps206 Mbps
Upload33 Mbps88 Mbps
UK
Download236 Mbps291 Mbps
Upload81 Mbps271 Mbps
Canada
Download181 Mbps229 Mbps
Upload10 Mbps87 Mbps
Germany
Download174 Mbps246 Mbps
Upload38 Mbps27 Mbps

Unsurprisingly, PIA performed significantly better than IPVanish. IPVanish had an average connection speed of 105 Mbps, while PIA averaged at 181 Mbps, around 40% faster than IPVanish. Of course, that doesn’t mean that IPVanish is an inferior VPN.

Servers

IPVanishPIA
Servers1500+29300+
Countries75+78+
All physical serversNoNo
Owns all serversNoNo
RAM-only serversYesNo
P2P serversAllAll

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 78+ countries. However, not all servers are located in their actual countries and are virtual instead.

Meanwhile, IPVanish has a fleet of 1500+ servers in 75+ 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.

Pricing

IPVanishPIA
One month
$10.99/month$9.95/month
One year
$3.75/month$3.33/month
Three YearsN/A$2.19/month
Money-back guarantee
30 days30 days
Payment optionsCredit card, PayPalCredit 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.

IPVanish pricing

IPVanish prices 2021 08

With IPVanish, you can choose between two subscription options:

IPVanish prices with storage

Furthermore, the price increases slightly if you want to include 500GB of bonus secure cloud storage:

When choosing the best plan, you’ll be rewarded with a 65% discount. Alternatively, you can take advantage of an IPVanish coupon code to get a different deal. However, payment options are sparse and only include credit cards and PayPal.

Private Internet Access pricing

PIA prices 2021 08

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.

Security

IPVanishPIA
EncryptionMilitary-gradeMilitary-grade
ProtocolsOpenVPN, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Security featuresSplit tunneling (Android), traffic obfuscation, secure cloud storage, SOCKS5 proxySplit 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 and the addition of WireGuard – a modern and high-speed tunneling protocol. 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.
  • You can add 500 GB of encrypted secure cloud storage to backup various files and make them accessible from anywhere for an extra price.

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

Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN review 2021 | Finally, the TRUTH💥
2021-03-03
IPVanish review 2020: Still a great VPN provider?
2020-02-11

Privacy

IPVanishPIA
JurisdictionUnited StatesUnited States
LoggingNo-logs policyCourt-proven no-logs policy
Anonymous payment
NoCryptocurrencies, 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.

Device compatibility

IPVanishPIA
Major apps
Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
Other apps
Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Chrome OSChromebook OS, Android TV (same Android apps)
Browser extensions
N/AChrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera
Manual setup
Routers, firewall, NASRouters
Simultaneous devicesUnlimited10

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

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

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.

Streaming

IPVanishPIA
Netflix US
YesYes
Other Netflix libraries
NoYes
Other platforms
NoYes
Smart DNSNoNo

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

IPVanishPIA
Allowed on
All serversAll servers
Free SOCKS5 proxy
NoYes
Split tunneling
Android and FireOSYes
Port forwardingNoYes

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. Plus, the WireGuard tunneling protocol ensures faster download speeds overall.

China

IPVanishPIA
Works in China
YesDepends on region
Stealth VPN
 Yes (Traffic Obfuscation)No
Tor over VPN
NoNo

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.

Customer support

IPVanishPrivate Internet Access
24/7 live chatYesNo
Phone lineYesNo
EmailYesYes
KnowledgebaseYesYes

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 serversWins✔️Loses❌
PricingLoses❌Wins✔️
SecurityLoses❌Wins✔️
PrivacyTieTie
CompatibilityWins✔️Loses❌
StreamingWins✔️Loses❌
TorrentingLoses❌Wins✔️
ChinaTieTie
Customer support Wins✔️Loses❌
Total wins4 out of 93 out of 9

Bottom line

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!


You may also like to read:
IPVanish vs NordVPN
IPVanish vs TorGuard
Private Internet Access vs CyberGhost
Private Internet Access vs Mullvad
Surfshark vs IPVanish


FAQ

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 1500 servers in 75+ 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.

Top VPN providers
NordVPN
9.6 / 10
30-day money-back guarantee
Military grade encryption
Friendly support
Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Strong encryption
Excellent performance
Unlimited simultaneous connections

Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.

9 comments
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  1. Philip M.

    Neither of these vpns work well for Windows clients. I tested them and wasn’t happy at all. Now I am using ExpressVPN and it’s like magic. Express is one of a kind in every aspect.


  2. Aaron

    I’ve used PIA with Amazon Prime and wasn’t very happy with it. Didn’t try IPVanish yet but like you said, I feel there are far better options out there so I will be exploring them.


  3. Mariano

    Ready to protect and anonymize all of the data on your network, and have a secure proxy. So far I’m thinking about private internet access since they are both good choices for torrenting, ad the pricing.


  4. Young Monk

    Because of the better speed and the live chat option, IPVanish is the better of the two. But neither one is pretty good, they’re actually just decent when they’re compared with the big guys from the industry. Express VPN and Nord VPN will leave these two in the dust. The difference is huge and you shouldn’t waste your money on either, whether you want an android, mac, or PC version. It just doesn’t make sense to use anything else but the best, especially since if you get a multi-year plan you’ll pay a lot less. As a side note, I recommend using openvpn with a vpn because it makes things better.


  5. Wilhlem A

    Simplicity and Consistently is what I love about vpn apps. As a network engineer, I am very familiar with many of the VPN offerings that exist these days. I would prefer a VPN that is easy to install any day at any time. PIA app takes your internet security very seriously, offering excellent features such as dns leak protection, IPv6 leak protection, split tunnelling, and a built-in kill switch. It is not based on a tier-1 country like the USA which the government hack vpn servers without them even know or discover that their information has been stolen
    I personally use private internet access because of that, and I highly recommend it for both clients and friends alike.


  6. Brindavanam78

    I have used IPVanish in the past without much worries on the security aspect of it though. I was probably a little overlooking on this aspect, but reading this information now makes me think that I should really be careful on the selection of VPN. I will give PIA a try, definitely


  7. Nikki McClain

    Two times cheaper and it’s a better privacy protector. I’d say Private Internet Access is the right choice for anyone interested in a solid VPN. Like any product though, I’d like to read more comments by verified users along with reviews by reputable sites. That’s one of the best ways I think you can make your decision when purchasing a product or a service.


  8. crazy.kraut

    IPVanish is the winner, though it just noses ahead. Both VPNs provide very good security, have great options such as kill switches and free proxy servers. IPVanish takes the lead with their speed and inclusion of NAT firewall. Their UI is better than PIA’s and has the great option of automatic server rotation. It also unlocks China while PIA is known to have issues in this area. You will pay a few more dollars for IPVanish, it is well worth it.


  9. Mallory

    Omg, really? Do you guys have any information on the person convicted from IPVanish information? I couldn’t find anything online. That alone should make PIA the winner of this comparison.

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