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IPVanish vs Private Internet Access in 2024

In the realm of hundreds of VPNs, IPVanish and PIA are among the most popular. In fact, they are pretty fierce competitors and offer similar services.

For example, IPVanish has 2200+ servers in 51+ countries. It also implements the WireGuard protocol, provides top-notch security features, and allows torrenting.

On the other hand, Private Internet Access surpasses it with its 29300+ servers across 90+ countries. More so, it uses the WireGuard protocol, protects you from malware, and has split tunneling.

But as there are many other aspects worth comparing, we’ve developed a detailed IPVanish vs. PIA comparison. So, let’s find out which VPN provider wins!

IPVanish vs. PIA comparison: specifications

IPVanish and PIA are quite similar in many aspects. Thus the competition between them is tough. Yet, after running our tests and getting a more detailed view of both services, we named IPVanish the winner of this comparison.

While PIA is cheaper and has more features, IPVanish takes the crown for better server network quality, streaming, and torrenting capabilities. While both providers offer the highest security, IPVanish has the edge for better device compatibility and customer support.

IPVanish logo
📈 Our rating8.4 ⭐8.1 ⭐
🏷️ Current offerGet IPVanish 83% OFF!Get PIA 83% OFF!
💵 Price starts from$2.19/month$1.98/month
🗓️ Money-back guarantee30 days30 days
🗒️ No-logs policyIndependently-auditedCourt-proven
🖧 Servers2200+ servers in 51+ countries29300+ servers in 90+ countries
✔️ VPN protocolsWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, SSTPWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
🍿 StreamingNetflixNetflix, Hulu

IPVanish vs PIA: pricing

Plans and paymentsIPVanishPIA
Free trialYesNo
One month
$12.99/month$11.95/month
One year
$2.79/month$3.33/month
Three Years $2.03/month
Money-back guarantee
30 days30 days
Payment optionsCredit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon PayCredit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Bitcoin

Regarding pricing, PIA has a slight advantage over IPVanish. It comes with more affordable long-term plans and various payment methods. 

Winner:
Private Internet Access

IPVanish pricing

IPVanish has a 7-day free trial for iOS and Android users. However, you will benefit from its 30-day money-back guarantee for its paid plans. So, let’s explore them:

Choosing the annual plan is the best option not only because of the biggest 83% discount but also because it comes with VIPRE Antivirus. This tool is great against malware and ransomware.

IPVanish-pricing

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

PIA also comes with a free trial, but you will also benefit from its 30-day money-back guarantee. In comparison, it offers more affordable pricing plans than IPVanish:

The lengthiest subscription grants you an impressive 78% discount. On the other hand, you can also use a PIA coupon for a different bargain.

PIA-pricing

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.

Speed comparison

IPVanish named itself one of the fastest VPNs on the market. However, we can’t confirm it since it has not yet been implemented in our proprietary VPN speed test tool. The only evidence to support the provider’s claims are features such as a relatively large number of servers and a WireGuard protocol. A big server fleet can increase connection speed and prevent traffic congestion. Meanwhile, the WireGuard protocol is known to be the fastest in the market.

Yet, a server count and tunneling protocols are not the best predictors of a VPN’s speed. PIA is a good example of it. The provider boasts as many as 29,300+ servers in 84+ countries and also utilizes the leading WireGuard protocol. However, according to our tests, the provider’s speed is merely average. To put it into perspective, PIA’s average speed is 75.73 Mbit/s, while leading VPN provider NordVPN has an average speed of 1252.22 Mbit/s.

Since we can’t compare the speeds of these two providers, we declare a draw for the speed comparison section.

IPVanish vs. PIA: which is more secure?

FeaturesIPVanishPIA
EncryptionAES-256AES-256
HashSHA-256SHA-256
Jurisdiction
USAUSA
LoggingIndependently audited no-logIndependently audited + court-proven no-logs
Kill switchYesYes
Leak protectionDNS, IPv6, WebRTCDNS, IPv6, WebRTC
RAM serversNoneAll

When it comes to security, both IPVanish and PIA have you covered. The providers implement market-leading tools to keep your data safe. Here are the features they both share:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • SHA-256 hash function
  • DNS/IP leak protection
  • No-logging policy
  • Kill switch

However, there are some important differences in the features these VPNs provide. PIA furthers your privacy protection with RAM-only servers that erase all traffic data upon each reboot. IPVanish, on the other hand, comes with additional VIPRE Antivirus for new users and secure cloud storage of 500 GB for its loyal customers.

Another important difference between these providers is usability. IPVanish is very easy to set up and requires no prior knowledge about VPNs. Meanwhile, PIA offers more customization options. You can choose your preferred encryption, hash function, and other features. While more experienced users prefer it, beginners may find it more confusing.

All in all, both providers come with bulletproof security. While there are some differences between what they offer, you will be protected no matter which VPN you choose. So, we declare a draw at this comparison round.

Privacy

IPVanish and PIA operate in the US, meaning they are a part of the 5-Eyes Alliance. Simply put, it implies that the providers may be requested to surrender private user data to the intelligence agencies within the alliance.

While the chances of your data getting into the hands of these agencies are slim, it is not equal to zero. In 2016 IPVanish collected and shared user data to aid the FBI investigation, even though the company was operating under a no-logs policy. PIA, on the other hand, has not been involved in such incidents, demonstrating its spotless reputation.

Logging

While IPVanish had raised privacy concerns in the past, the provider is now trying to remedy its reputation with an audited no-log policy.

Meanwhile, PIA has always been known for its spotless reputation regarding user privacy. It has a no-logs policy that has been proven in court twice.

Server locations

Server specificationIPVanishPIA
Servers2200+29300+
Countries51+90+
All physical serversYesNo
Owns all serversYesNo

If we consider their server networks, PIA has drastically more servers than IPVanish. It comes with more than 29300 servers in 90+ countries. Unfortunately, it doesn’t own all of them. Many of its servers are virtual, meaning they aren’t physically stored in the stated locations.

While virtual servers are a great way to get IPs in countries that prohibit VPNs from storing physical servers, such as China, they have several drawbacks. Virtual servers are slower in speed and can experience traffic congestion. Additionally, they are less secure than their physical counterparts.

That’s why IPVanish has an edge over PIA. Instead of expanding its fleet with additional virtual servers, IPVanish avoids any third-party interference by owning all of its 2200+ servers.

Features comparison

FeaturesIPVanishPIA
Smart DNS❌No✅Yes
Ad & malware blocker❌No✅Yes
Split tunneling✅Yes✅Yes
Specialized servers✅Yes✅Yes

When It comes to features, PIA offers a wider variety than IPVanish. For instance, it has a Smart DNS feature to set up a VPN on your Smart TV and other devices. It also offers an ad blocker to improve your browsing experience.

While IPVanish delivers encrypted storage to protect your files, it has fewer other valuable features. Thus, we declare PIA the winner of this round.

Winner:
Private Internet Access

Smart DNS

The Smart DNS feature is important if you want to stream even on devices that don’t support VPN usage.

Luckily, PIA comes with a Smart DNS feature, meaning you can use your VPN on any device you want.

On the contrary, IPVanish lacks this feature, which leaves you with an option to stream only on those devices that support VPN providers.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling allows you to control which apps use the VPN and which don’t. Fortunately, you will get this feature no matter which VPN you choose because both IPVanish and PIA offer it.

Obfuscated servers

Another essential feature is obfuscation. Due to having a VPN with obfuscated servers, the VPN will show the VPN traffic as a regular browsing one. Luckily, both IPVanish and PIA have obfuscated servers.

Ad & malware blocker

The ad & malware blocker is essential for protecting you from suspicious and malicious websites. If you go for PIA, you will benefit from its PIA Mace feature, meaning you can safely browse and enjoy your activities. Unfortunately, IPVanish doesn’t have such a feature, leaving you more vulnerable to potential hacker attacks.

Netflix and streaming comparison

Streaming platformsIPVanishPIA
Netflix US
✅Yes✅Yes
Other Netflix libraries
✅Yes✅Yes (except UK, Japan, and Korea)
Amazon Prime Video✅Yes✅Yes
Hulu✅Yes✅Yes
HBO Max✅Yes✅Yes
Disney+✅Yes✅Yes
BBC iPlayer✅Yes✅Yes
YouTube TV✅Yes✅Yes

If you’re searching for a VPN for streaming, these two VPNs are what you’re looking for. IPVanish provides a smooth VPN experience by helping you access popular platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.

On the other hand, PIA also works with those platforms, but it can’t unblock all Netflix libraries. Given that Netflix is the most popular streaming service, not being able to unblock all of its libraries is a serious drawback.

Device compatibility

Device supportIPVanishPIA
Major dedicated apps
Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
Other dedicated apps
Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Chrome OSChromebook OS, Android TV (same Android apps)
Browser extensions
Chrome, Firefox, Opera
Manual setup
Routers, firewall, NASRouters
Simultaneous devicesUnlimitedUnlimited

Whether you choose IPVanish or PIA, you can use them both on all popular operating systems. Yet, IPVanish has the edge over PIA. The provider lets you set up the service on Amazon Fire TV, firewall, and NAS.

The only advantage PIA has over IPVanish is browser extensions. However, a lack of them is not necessarily a deal breaker, as IPVanish apps deliver more security and features in its apps than PIA’s browser extensions.

Desktop applications

PIA desktop apps for Windows and macOS are very similar. They are easy to navigate and come with a smooth and minimalistic interface. You’ll be able to find a necessary server and connect to it quickly.

PIA app main screen

Both apps provide necessary information about your connection, such as a tunneling protocol and encryption. Since PIA allows you to customize these settings, you’ll quickly learn how to do that. However, there’s a drawback. Since the default settings are less secure, users without knowledge of VPNs may not realize they need to make changes. 

IPVanish has equally user-friendly and well-designed desktop apps. You’ll find a map featuring all IPVanish locations in the main dashboard. It allows you to connect to your preferred country in just one click.

While macOS and Windows apps look almost identical in design, they have some differences. We quickly noticed that the macOS app has less customization. For instance, we couldn’t choose any other than AES 256-bit encryption. The version also lacks a few protocols, such as PPTP and SSTP. 

Mobile applications

After testing Private Internet Access mobile apps, we can say that the provider doesn’t compromise the functionality over design and vice versa. Both Android and iOS apps are similarly user-friendly and simple.

PIA mobile application

The main window features your connection information and lets you quickly adjust the main settings. The shortcuts allow turning on the kill switch or enabling private browsing. There’s also a  short list of countries you can connect to without the need to go through the complete list. 

IPVanish also comes with user-friendly apps for both Android and iOS. The overall design of the apps differs slightly but maintains a similar user experience. In the main tab, you’ll find the connection status. Other tabs let you quickly navigate between locations and settings. We like that the support tab is easily accessible. It features knowledge and 3 different ways to reach customer care specialists.

IPVanish Android settings

Regarding the differences between the two versions, we noticed a lack of features in the iOS app. Unfortunately, it comes without a kill switch and split tunneling. 

Torrenting

P2P specificationIPVanishPIA
Allowed on
✅All servers✅All servers
Free SOCKS5 proxy
❌No✅Yes
Split tunneling
✅Android and FireOS✅Yes
Port forwarding❌No✅Yes

When it comes to torrenting, both providers offer similar features. IPVanish and PIA allow P2P traffic on all of its servers. As a result, you’ll get faster speeds by being able to choose the closest server. 

Both providers offer a free SOCKS5 proxy. You can set it up for an additional layer of security. Doing so lets you be completely anonymous while browsing and downloading torrents.

No matter which provider you choose, you’ll benefit from a split tunneling feature. It will help you to direct only torrenting traffic via your VPN while you browse other sites with your real IP address. 

Despite similarities, the IP rotation feature makes IPVanish a better choice for torrenting. This provider increases your security further by randomly allocating you new IP addresses. It helps you cover your tracks online at all times.

China

SpecificationIPVanishPIA
Works in China
❌No❌No
Stealth VPN
✅Yes (Traffic Obfuscation)✅Yes
Tor over VPN
❌No❌No

While China imposes some severe restrictions and has strict online censorship, you need a VPN that can bypass them. But we don’t recommend using IPVanish or PIA – they are far behind the best VPNs for China. Both providers have trouble working in the highly restricted country. 

Both IPVanish and PIA come with obfuscated servers that hide you’re using a VPN. As a result, your ISP won’t detect your VPN traffic, and you’ll have unrestricted access to everything. Well, almost everything. In countries like China, more efficient protection is necessary. Thus, these providers often fail to work in the country. 

Customer support

Support optionsIPVanishPIA
24/7 live chat✅Yes✅Yes
Phone line✅Yes❌No
Email✅Yes✅Yes
Knowledgebase✅Yes✅Yes

Lastly, we came to the customer support round, where the point goes to IPVanish.

IPVanish and PIA have 24/7 customer support that includes live chat, email, knowledgebase, and other guides. However, IPVanish stands out with its phone line support option.

IPVanish vs PIA – which is better?

IPVanish 🥇PIA 🥈
PricingLoses❌Wins✔️
SpeedTie🤝Tie🤝
SecurityTie🤝Tie🤝
ServersWins✔️Loses❌
FeaturesLoses❌Wins✔️
StreamingWins✔️Loses❌
Device compatibilityWins✔️Loses❌
TorrentingWins✔️Loses❌
ChinaTie🤝Tie🤝
Customer support Wins✔️Loses❌
Total wins5 out of 102 out of 10

This comparison was pretty intense! On the surface, both providers may seem similar, but after closer investigation, we found some significant differences. As a result, we nominate IPVanish as the winner of this comparison. 

This VPN comes with an excellent server fleet with all physical servers. It is an excellent choice for streaming and torrenting. Furthermore, the provider ensures sufficient device compatibility and customer support.

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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 PIA better than IPVanish?

Yes, IPVanish is better than PIA.  While both providers ensure excellent security, IPVanish has the edge over PIA for its great server pool quality, streaming and torrenting capabilities. as well as better device compatibility. 

Which is faster – IPVanish or Private Internet Access?

Although PIA has thousands of servers, IPVanish is faster due to its WireGuard, OpenVPN IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP protocols, which ensure reliable and consistent connections.

9 comments
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  1. Philip M. October 31, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    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 October 28, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    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 September 20, 2019 at 3:47 am

    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 August 21, 2019 at 3:54 am

    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 August 7, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    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 May 21, 2019 at 10:08 am

    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 April 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    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 February 17, 2019 at 6:07 am

    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 February 8, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    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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