Private Internet Access vs PureVPN in 2021

Ethan Payne
Ethan Payne | Writer
Last updated: November 23, 2021
PureVPN vs Private Internet Access

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Private Internet Access vs PureVPN – do these two VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) have anything in common besides the starting letter in their names? To find out, let’s compare both in various categories.

PureVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and has over 6500 servers in 70+ countries. It uses the WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols, offers split tunneling, and can unblock a wide range of streaming services.

Meanwhile, Private Internet Access (PIA) is located in the United States and is equipped with 29300+ servers in 78+ countries. It uses WireGuard to achieve excellent connectivity and offers a wide range of security features while browsing the internet or torrenting.

Of course, that’s just a sneak peek into the topics that we’ll be covering in this comparison. So stick around to find out whether PureVPN or Private Internet Access is more worthy of your attention!

PureVPN vs PIA comparison highlights

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
Our rating8.7⭐8.1⭐
“Best for” nomineeBest overall, Fastest VPN, Best for Mac, Best by Reddit, Best Chrome extension, Best for Amazon Fire TV StickBest overall, Fastest VPN, best for USA, Best for Windows, Best for Mac, Best for Android, Best by Reddit
Price starts from$1.99/month$2.03/month
ReviewPureVPN reviewPrivate Internet Access review
WebsitePureVPNPrivate Internet Access

Speed

Normally, we would use our in-house VPN speed test to determine the performance of each VPN. However, PIA was not integrated with it at the time of writing this review. Because of this, we will have to contend with manual speed testing.

To showcase the maximum performance of each, we’ll be using WireGuard with Private Internet Access and OpenVPN with PureVPN. As you can imagine, PIA is already ahead because it’s using the more advanced tunneling protocol. PureVPN has already implemented WireGuard for Android and Windows (beta) but it will take time before we can properly test it.

The baseline download speed is 313 Mbps, while the upload speed is 322 Mbps. Keep in mind that manual speed tests aren’t very reliable and should be taken with a grain of salt.

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
USA
Download156 Mbps206 Mbps
Upload7 Mbps88 Mbps
UK
Download180 Mbps291 Mbps
Upload19 Mbps271 Mbps
Canada
Download171 Mbps229 Mbps
Upload5 Mbps87 Mbps
Germany
Download169 Mbps246 Mbps
Upload15 Mbps27 Mbps

As you can see, the manual tests show that WireGuard is superior to OpenVPN in practically every aspect. As such, Private Internet Access wins the connection speed race in this comparison.

Servers

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
Servers6500+29300+
Countries70+78+
All physical serversNoNo
Owns all serversNoNo
RAM-only serversNoNo

PureVPN is equipped with 6500+ servers in 70+ countries around the world.

Meanwhile, Private Internet Access has the largest server networks in the VPN industry, with over 29300 servers across 78+ countries.

Additionally, PIA allows P2P traffic on all servers, while PureVPN permits P2P traffic only in those countries where torrenting is legal. Other than that, both services don’t have any other exceptional features in terms of server coverage.

Pricing

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
Free trial7-day trial for $0.99No
One month$10.95/month$9.95/month
One year$2.99/month$3.33/month
Two years$1.99/monthN/A
Three yearsN/A$2.03/month
Money-back guarantee31 days30 days
Payment optionsCredit card, PayPal, CryptocurrenciesCredit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, cryptocurrencies, Beam, Mint, gift cards

In terms of pricing, PureVPN vs PIA are pretty similar. Both offer somewhat expensive monthly plans, but subscribing for lengthier periods gives you significant discounts. Plus, you get a money-back guarantee when choosing either service.

Overall, the prices are on the same page. However, PureVPN wins in this regard because it offers an (almost) free 7-day trial to try out the service.

PureVPN pricing

PureVPN 2021 pricing

At the moment, PureVPN has three different subscription options:

Signing up for the most extended subscription grants you a nice 82% discount. On the other hand, you can also use a PureVPN coupon code or a Black Friday bargain to get a different deal.

Keep in mind that some PureVPN features don’t come with the standard subscription. Instead, you’ll have to pay extra if you want some additional benefits.

For starters, a dedicated IP costs an additional $2.99/month. It allows you to choose an exclusive IP for yourself from seven different countries (Singapore, Malta, Germany, Canada, UK, Australia, USA).

Furthermore, DDoS protection costs $3.99/month. If that seems excessive, you can look through our list of best VPNs for gaming, which also offer some DDoS protection.

Finally, torrenting enthusiasts will have to pay an extra $0.99/month to unlock port forwarding.

If you’re unsure whether PureVPN is the right service for you, you can grab a 7-day free trial for only $0.99. After that, each subscription is also secured with a 31-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access pricing

PIA Black Friday 2021 Pricing

Just like its opponent, PIA brings three different subscription options to the table:

If you opt for the most extended subscription plan, you’ll be rewarded with a 80% discount. Alternatively, you can scout for different deals by looking at the available PIA coupon codes and Black Friday promotions.

Unsurprisingly, Private Internet Access offers an optional feature as well in the form of a dedicated IP. It costs an additional $5.00/month, and you can choose your IP address from five different locations – USA, UK, Canada, Germany, and Australia.

Security

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
EncryptionMilitary-gradeMilitary-grade
ProtocolsWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Kill switchYesYes
DNS and IP leaksNo leaksNo leaks
Security featuresSplit tunneling (Windows, Android), dedicated IP, port forwarding, DDoS protectionSplit tunneling, PIA MACE, Shadowsocks, SOCKS5, dedicated IP, port forwarding, email breach monitoring

Like any other high-quality service, PureVPN and PIA follow standard practices and use impenetrable AES-256 encryption to protect your online traffic. Additionally, both have a reliable kill switch to ensure that your actual IP address does not get leaked under any circumstances. Furthermore, both have WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols available.

PureVPN security features

PureVPN offers a fair number of security features, although we are left wanting more on the standard subscription plan.

  • Split tunneling, available on Android and Windows, lets you choose which apps should go through the VPN tunnel, while all others will ignore it.
  • Port forwarding improves connection speeds while using P2P and grants you easier remote access to your network.
  • Dedicated IP is a server with a static IP address that is reserved exclusively for you. It negates the typical issues you would come across when using a standard VPN IP.
  • DDoS protection ensures that your network is secure from unexpected traffic spikes that could shut down your internet connection.

Private Internet Access security features

Private Internet Access gives you more bang for your buck at an affordable price in terms of security.

  • PIA offers split tunneling on most devices and allows greater customization on desktop machines. Particularly, you can choose which apps should go through the VPN or which should ignore it.
  • PIA MACE defends you against malicious and ad-filled web domains.
  • A Shadowsocks proxy is necessary to bypass various means of online censorship, such as DPI (Deep Packet Inspection).
  • A SOCKS5 proxy is used to secure your torrent client without the overhead of encryption.
  • With PIA, you can grab a single dedicated IP from five different locations per account.
  • You can enable port forwarding on desktop and mobile devices, but some locations do not support the feature.
  • Email breach monitoring allows you to check whether an email address was compromised in a data breach.

Privacy

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
JurisdictionBritish Virgin IslandsUnited States
LoggingIndependently-audited no-logs policyCourt-proven no-logs policy
Anonymous paymentCryptocurrenciesCryptocurrencies, gift cards

There’s one clear distinction that makes PureVPN the superior choice in the realm of privacy.

For starters, it’s based in the British Virgin Islands, a country that’s free from any international surveillance agreements or data retention laws. Furthermore, it had its no-logs policy audited by a third party to ensure that no security flaws are present. On the other hand, PureVPN cooperated with the FBI in a cyberstalking case, giving away its user’s data.

Meanwhile, Private Internet Access is located in the United States, a founding member of the Five Eyes Alliance. If that wasn’t enough, Kape Technologies acquired PIA in 2019.

Kape Technologies, formerly known as Crossrider, is a software development company notorious for spreading adware. The company has currently rebranded to “Private Internet” and has CyberGhost and Zenmate under its belt.

Device compatibility

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
Major dedicated appsWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
Other dedicated appsAmazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Kodi add-on, DD-WRT appletChromebook OS, Android TV (same Android apps)
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox, EdgeChrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera
Manual setupRouters, QNAP, Synology, OpenELEC, Raspberry Pi, ChromebookRouters
Simultaneous devices1010

Device compatibility is essential for a VPN if you own many devices that you’d like to secure. Of course, this is an issue that can be remedied by configuring a router with a VPN. But for the less tech-savvy users, dedicated apps for specific devices are the way to go.

In this regard, PureVPN is in the lead once again. It has more dedicated apps for different streaming devices, while the two services are practically the same in other areas.

PureVPN device compatibility

PureVPN suported devices

Unsurprisingly, PureVPN has dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. Furthermore, browser extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Streaming enthusiasts will be glad to hear that PureVPN is compatible with Android TV and has a dedicated app for Amazon Fire TV Stick. Plus, there’s also a Kodi add-on.

Meanwhile, people who wish to secure their home network effortlessly can rejoice at the existence of a DD-WRT applet. With it, you can easily configure PureVPN on your DD-WRT router and potentially secure an unlimited number of devices. Otherwise, one subscription allows you to connect ten different devices simultaneously.

Private Internet Access device compatibility

Private Internet Access compatible devices

Like its predecessor, PIA has applications for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. However, it has slightly more browser extensions available with the addition of Opera.

Otherwise, it lacks the streaming device support that we have grown to expect from most VPNs. As a workaround, you can configure your router manually with Private Internet Access. Finally, a single subscription allows you to connect ten different devices simultaneously.

Streaming

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
Netflix USYesYes
Other Netflix librariesYesYes
Other platformsYesNo
Smart DNSNoNo

At first glance, PureVPN vs Private Internet Access appear to be on the same page in the streaming category. However, there are a few subtle differences that make PureVPN one of the best VPNs for streaming.

For starters, both services are capable of unlocking the Netflix US library. However, PureVPN will give you access to many more international libraries on Netflix, while PIA has struggled to unblock more.

Other streaming platforms, such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney+, are accessible only with PureVPN, while PIA could not unlock them.

Torrenting and P2P

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
Allowed onAll serversAll servers
Free SOCKS5 proxyNoYes
Split tunnelingYes (Android, Windows)Yes
Port forwardingYesYes

When it comes to torrenting, Private Internet Access gains the edge.

First off, it allows P2P traffic on all servers, giving you better overall speed when downloading from anywhere. Secondly, it comes packaged with a SOCKS5 proxy, allowing you to protect your torrent client with an added layer of security. Finally, split tunneling is available on a broader range of devices, although this feature isn’t just for torrenting.

Meanwhile, PureVPN only permits P2P activities in specific locations, doesn’t offer a SOCKS5 proxy, and has split tunneling only on Windows and Android devices. Luckily, both have the port forwarding feature available.

If you’re looking for the ideal service to engage in P2P activities, have a glance at our list of best VPNs for torrenting.

China

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
Works in ChinaYesYes
Stealth VPNNoNo
Tor over VPNNoNo

Unfortunately, neither VPN in this comparison has earned the nomination as a potential best VPN for China. However, each VPN has some capabilities to deal with the Great Firewall of China.

PIA holds a slight edge, thanks to its Shadowsocks proxy, but it’s not ideal as it provides only seven locations in Asia, none of which are in China.

Customer support

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
24/7YesYes
Live chatYesYes
Phone LineNoNo
Email Yes (Ticketing system)Yes
KnowledgebaseYesYes

Any worthwhile VPN needs to have proper customer support to assist users in any situation. Luckily, these two VPNs tick all the necessary boxes.

Both offer 24/7 live chat support, written guides on various technical issues, and communication through email or a ticketing system.

Best VPN by category

PureVPNPrivate Internet Access
Speed and serversLoses❌Wins✔️
PricingWins✔️Loses❌
SecurityLoses❌Wins✔️
PrivacyWins✔️Loses❌
CompatibilityWins✔️Loses❌
StreamingWins✔️Loses❌
TorrentingLoses❌Wins✔️
ChinaTieTie
Customer supportTieTie
Total wins4 out of 93 out of 9

Private Internet Access vs PureVPN – which is better?

Our Private Internet Access vs PureVPN comparison has reached the finish line, and the winner can be announced. PureVPN has earned the gold medal for being affordable, private, versatile, and effective.

Of course, silver-medalist Private Internet Access is also an excellent service if you’re prioritizing speed and security while torrenting. After all, both providers are considered some of the best overall VPNs.

Which VPN would you consider the winner? Share your comments below!


You may also like to read:
PureVPN vs NordVPN
PureVPN vs VyprVPN
Private Internet Access vs VyprVPN
Private Internet Access vs Mullvad


FAQ

Is PureVPN free?

No, PureVPN is not free. However, it does offer a 7-day trial for only $0.99. After that, you can also use its 31-day money-back guarantee.

Does Netflix work with Private Internet Access?

Yes, you can use Private Internet Access for Netflix in 2021. However, the number of Netflix libraries that PIA unblocks is rather unimpressive.

Is it safe to use a VPN?

Yes, most VPNs are safe to use. However, some free VPNs aren’t reliable and should be avoided. Make sure to get yourself a premium VPN that’s been audited by a third party to ensure top-notch security.

7 comments
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  1. Smack Smuck

    As far as the pricing is concerned, PIA and PureVPN are almost neck to neck. It is their functionality that makes one better than the other. I have been using PIA for quite a while now and have never been disappointed with it!


  2. Dean Clibborn

    If I was watching boxing, this would be an undercard match before the main event between NordVPN and ExpressVPN. You know who the champs are but there’s always someone waiting to climb to the top. The question is whether it’s PureVPN or PIA? I don’t know. Even reading the review, I can’t help but think that PIA has a way to go and that PureVPN is the “Glass Joe” of VPN’s.


  3. Deano

    It’s a tough choice here. If you consider the strengths and weaknesses of the two, It’s difficult to choose a definitive winner. Each is better than the other in specific areas, for instance, Private Internet Access has a proven track record of protecting its users’ privacy, whereas PureVPN has a more extensive server network and can unblock more streaming platforms.


  4. Karen Clifford

    PureVPN doesn’t have the reputation of being a good VPN, the basics of a VPN is the privacy and the security and PureVPN simply fails in these categories. I’d rather pay more to have a powerful and trustworthy VPN. Thanks for the comparison though.


  5. Karen Clifford

    PureVPN doesn’t have the reputation of being a good VPN, the basics of a VPN is the privacy and security and PureVPN simply fails on those categories. It’s clearly not a great VPN and I’d rather pay more to have a powerful and trustworthy VPN. Thanks for the comparison though.


  6. avatar
    Julie Cole

    Hi there – that’s definitely up to you, but we very rarely recommend PureVPN because security and privacy are paramount to us. Nonetheless, hope you enjoy it!


  7. Melissa40

    Thanks for the info. I have been searching on what VPN offers multiple-logins with good connectivity speed.
    Anyway, I’m going to give the pure VPN a try.

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