IPVanish vs Private Internet Access

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Security researcher
Last updated: October 17, 2020
IPVanish vs Private Internet Access

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IPVanish and Private Internet Access are both Top 10 VPNs with valid arguments for and against them. We see them as fairly equal overall, but by no means similar. Here’s how they stack up.

Security & Anonymity

On the face of it, the security credentials of IPVanish and Private Internet Access are comparable. Both have strong encryption and offer the OpenVPN security protocol, both are registered in the United States of America, which is not the biggest friend of privacy on the world stage. IPVanish and PIA both claim to keep no logs and both have been tested in court. This is where we see the main difference between these two VPNs. Information from IPVanish was instrumental in convicting a person in the US, whereas information from PIA was useless to law enforcement.

Trust is an important factor when evaluating security. There’s no way of knowing what goes on in these VPN datacenters, therefore, situations like these are extremely important. Private Internet Access is the more secure product.

Speed & Performance

IPVanish is better positioned for speed than PIA. Even though they have nearly ten times fewer servers (1500+ compared to 12300+), they are spread out pretty evenly (75+ countries compared to 74+ countries).

This means that both VPNs should be able to offer a similar level of performance in various locations. However, IPVanish owns and manages all of its servers, allowing them to optimize and achieve more with less.

When it comes to speed, our in-house testing tool has shown that IPVanish is faster most of the time. That being said, the table below clearly shows that the speeds in the US are way better with Private Internet Access. That’s why you should test both VPNs in your location and choose the one that performs well on a daily basis.

IPVanish vs Private Internet Access: 14-Day Speed Average

More live data from our VPN Speed Test tool
IPVanish Private Internet Access
USA server
Download Speed 52 Mbps 104 Mbps
Upload Speed 75 Mbps 298 Mbps
UK server
Download Speed 155 Mbps 72 Mbps
Upload Speed 338 Mbps 184 Mbps
Germany server
Download Speed 175 Mbps 103 Mbps
Upload Speed 443 Mbps 219 Mbps

Ease of Use

The apps of these two VPNs are very different. Both are simple to use, although IPVanish does a better job of explaining their Settings. There’s also more to choose from, thus we can say that IPVanish gives the user more power.

In terms of support, the winner is a lot more clear-cut. IPVanish has a live chat function, while PIA does not. There’s also a lot of anecdotal evidence suggesting PIA support is unresponsive and prone to giving standardized answers.

It’s 1-1 in the IPVanish vs PIA fight.

Torrenting and P2P

IPVanish and Private Internet Access are both fine choices for torrenting. You’ll get more speed with the former, but we would feel more secure with the latter.
As such, we favor PIA for torrenting.

Netflix and China

These are areas where neither tool is any good. Netflix has blocked all their US servers, so you’ll have to keep on looking.

As for China, again, both VPNs are more or less equal and neither is great. It’s a race against the government for VPN providers in China. There are many different methods the Chinese government uses to make life difficult. They block server IPs, they DNS block keywords, they use DPI to kill certain types of encrypted traffic, and so on. Both IPVanish and Private Internet Access have had problems and both will work sporadically. No one wins this IPVanish vs PIA round!

Compatibility

IPVanish and PIA have custom apps for all the main platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux), but IPVanish additionally has a Router client, as well as a Windows Phone app, a Chromebook app, and a Fire TV app. That gives it the edge in this area.

Pricing

Private Internet Access is one of the cheapest VPNs on the market – there’s not much competition here. You can get PIA for $2.69/month. IPVanish is a tiny bit more expensive: $3.25/month. In the end, you choose the service that better addresses your needs.

IPVanish vs Private Internet Access – which is better?

The IPVanish VS Private Internet Access battle comes to an end and we are ready to declare the winner.

Both are valid choices, but here’s our take:

It’s clear that IPVanish is the more polished product. However, we’re more inclined to trust in PIA’s respect for privacy. Also, it’s slightly cheaper. If you’re looking for the fastest, safest VPN – there are better choices out there.

Read our full reviews:

IPVanish Review

PIA Review

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

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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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