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ExpressVPN vs PIA: Choose The Best Of These VPNs

ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access are two of the most common names that you will hear when looking for a VPN service to sign up for. Which of these two is the better option? Keep reading to find out in this ExpressVPN vs. PIA comparison! ExpressVPN vs. PIA: Features ExpressVPN and PIA (Private Internet Access) […]

ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access are two of the most common names that you will hear when looking for a VPN service to sign up for. Which of these two is the better option? Keep reading to find out in this ExpressVPN vs. PIA comparison!

ExpressVPN vs. PIA: Features

ExpressVPN and PIA (Private Internet Access) carry similar feature sets. Some of the things that you can find with both of them are:

  • DNS leaks protection
  • P2P support
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Kill switch
  • Multi-platform support

Despite these similar feature sets, the two providers differ in how they implement certain features. For instance, ExpressVPN Offers greater support for router installations and can even be used with the Xbox game console.

ExpressVPN’s unique features

Going past the basic features in our ExpressVPN vs. PIA comparison, we look into their unique features. One feature worth mentioning for ExpressVPN is its split tunneling function. With split tunneling, you can can decide which traffic goes through your VPN and which uses your regular Internet connection. This helps you better manage your Internet traffic, and provides added security where and when you need it.

You can use the feature in two different configurations:express-vpn-logo

  • Regular split tunneling: All your connections are routed through your VPN except the ones you specify.
  • Reverse split tunneling: You specify only the devices that would use the VPN, while everything else is directed through your regular internet connection.

You can quickly change between the two configurations and add exceptions from within the ExpressVPN client app.

Another great thing about ExpressVPN is that they have their own DNS for their network. This helps eliminate the security risks associated with using third-party DNS servers, like unencrypted traffic and information logging. It can also help improve your connection speed since your traffic doesn’t need to go to external DNS servers.

Private Internet Access’ features

While PIA doesn’t carry as many specialized features as ExpressVPN, it still has its own notable security features. One such feature is MACE, which blocks out ads and trackers. It works by blocking tracking requests sent by known advertising domains right from the moment you access sites where they have trackers.

PIA says the feature offers these benefits over using regular ad blockers:

  • No browser extensions needed
  • Faster and more memory efficient for your computer
  • Regularly updated list of malicious domains
  • Optimized for mobile devices

These advantages make MACE one of PIA’s popular features. The provider also claims that it even blocks their own ads, ensuring that you get an uninterrupted browsing experience.

PIA includes SOCKS5 proxies as part of its features. This type of proxy is well-known for their speed. They also require authentication before you can connect to them, making them more secure than regular proxies.

To ensure better security, PIA provides you with separate login details for their SOCKS5 servers. You can also create your own credentials anytime you want. The connection can be easily set up from the client for quick use.

ExpressVPN vs. PIA: Servers and reach

Private Internet Access and ExpressVPN have similarly sized networks, with around 3000 servers each. ExpressVPN has the larger coverage, providing servers in 94 countries. PIA are in 33 countries right now, but this does give you the advantage of greater server densities and more options for the popular areas they cover.

ExpressVPN also offers virtual server locations aside from the physical ones. These virtual servers let you connect to more remote locations while still maintaining the speed you get from a physical server.

P2P/torrenting

how to downoad torrent p2pBoth providers allow torrenting traffic, but limit it to certain servers. These servers are indicated on their respective apps’ server selection screens, making it easy for you to set up your connections.

The two providers also have built-in kill switches to automatically disconnect your entire Internet connection on your machine if your connection to the VPN server drops. This protects you from possible IP address leaks that can occur when connecting to servers. This is very important to those who torrent. Each provider also offers other features for managing torrent traffic, like ExpressVPN’s split tunneling and PIA’s SOCKS5 proxies.

Streaming

Private Internet Access officially states in their policy statements that it no longer supports the unblocking of geo-blocked content. While they did not single out specific services, this is seen as an official declaration that they are no longer able to unblock Netflix.

Despite that official restriction, you can still find some servers that are able to access the US Netflix servers. This will require some trial and error, as the functional servers are likely going to change as PIA continues to implement their new policies.

On the other hand, ExpressVPN is one of the few providers that is still able to access most of Netflix. One thing that you need to note about using the provider to unblock the popular streaming site is that you could still encounter some connection issues. These issues include the streaming site not displaying properly, or actual block messages.

Like PIA, you will need to try out different servers to find one which one works, the main difference is that since they have no official policy statement against Netflix unblocking, you are more likely to succeed at finding a working server.

ExpressVPN vs. PIA: Performance

In our ExpressVPN vs. PIA performance tests, the two providers came out almost evenly matched. Both were able to maintain more than 90% of our test connection’s regular speeds. In the case of Private Internet Access, we were even able to go around the 2MB cap put on our test connection, registering a speed of 6.56MB. Since they have the same performance numbers, we expect ExpressVPN is capable of delivering a similar level of performance.

The results were also similar when connecting to servers that were located further away. ExpressVPN maintained a consistent speed whether it was the US or UK server that we connected to. PIA also delivered a similar performance when we connected to one of its servers in France. We did notice some connection lag for both providers, but this is a fairly common issue with long-distance servers.

PIA does have the distinction of being considered by popular speed testing website Ookla as one of the fastest VPNs available. Their tests showed that the provider was able to retain 94.1% of the regular connection speed. This is in line with the the test results that we got, and is a good indicator of their reliability.

P2P/torrenting

The two providers also have the same level of performance when it comes to torrenting applications. With PIA, we noticed that our download speed goes down by about 5%-10% of the VPN-less speeds. The drop is unnoticeable in most cases, but you might still want to pay attention to it when torrenting through an already-slow connection.

Both providers allow torrenting only through certain servers, which will limit your choices. Also note that the servers you get are not dedicated to P2P. This can result in less than optimal performance, which might slightly affect your download speeds.

ExpressVPN vs. PIA: Usability

One feature that the ExpressVPN and PIA apps have in common is a large Quick Connect button on their home screens. In the case of ExpressVPN, clicking the button will connect you to an AI-selected server based on geographic location and speed. This option is useful for beginners who are still learning how to use a VPN.

Both apps also allow you to manually select a preferred server manually. If you’re looking to access content in certain regions, or get on a certain server with your friends for online gaming, this is ideal.

The main difference in usability of the apps is that ExpressVPN has a speed test function built into it. It will show you the performance of the server if you connect to it. This isn’t a huge difference as PIA also has a Ping rate display function for their servers.

ExpressVPN vs PIA: Pricing

There is absolutely no question which provider offers better pricing here as the cheapest packages for both providers are:

  • PIA: $2.91/month
  • Express: $8.32/month

You simply can’t compare them on price. PIA is one of the cheapest in the entire industry, especially at their level of quality.

Other differences in their pricing plans and policies include:

  • Length: ExpressVPN’s longest subscriptions are renewed yearly. PIA has the option of renewing every two years, so you can set it and forget it for two entire years. They both have options for monthly, six months, and yearly, so they stack up evenly there.
  • Guarantees: ExpressVPN offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on their services. This is quite a bit longer than the 7-day policy offered by PIA. These guarantees are nice, but after reading this comparison, and our reviews of both providers, you should have a fair idea of how well they’re going to perform.

PIA has been one of the best-priced VPNs in the industry for years. They have built their app and service simply, without all of the flash of ExpressVPN. We know that choosing a good VPN comes down to more than just price, but the savings with PIA are hard to ignore.

ExpressVPN vs PIA: Which VPN is better?

At this time in our ExpressVPN vs PIA comparison, we would like to give a clear winner. That’s tough to do as at the time of this writing, ExpressVPN ranks #6 overall, while PIA ranks #5 overall.

If we were to pick one deciding factor between the two it would be pricing where PIA is simply much more affordable, and with longer pricing plans. Both providers are quality and a great choice for your VPN provider.

If you’re still not sure, see our reviews below for more options, or to explore either of these providers further.

Rank #1
$6.49 / mo
Rank #1
$6.49 / mo
Fastest VPN provider! Large network!
  • Unlimited Bandwidth & Speed
  • 1300+ servers in 60+ countries
  • 10 Simultaneous Connections
  • No Logging
  • 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
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Rank #1
$6.49 / mo

Positives

Negatives

Conclusion

Apart from the obvious reasons like high-speed performance and impressive customer protection, there are several other elements that have made IPVanish a one-of-a-kind VPN provider:

  • Reliability of connections
  • Speed of connections
  • Dedication to privacy and anonymity
  • Commendable customer support
  • Exceptional Tier 1 network
  • Thorough support categories
  • Competitive prices
Put together, all these factors make IPVanish one hell of a VPN provider. To summarize IPVanish in one sentence: It does everything a VPN provider should, and it does many things better than anyone else. Once you’ve tried out its services, you will understand why we rank IPVanish as the number 1 VPN service provider in our overall review, and in several sub-categories.

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Rank #1
$6.49 / mo
Credit Card / GiroPay / cashU / WorldPay / Bitcoin /
Rank #2
$2.50 / mo
Rank #2
$2.50 / mo
Excellent Anonymous & High Performance VPN
  • Unlimited bandwidth and speed
  • 3,670+ servers in 60+ countries
  • 7 Simultaneous Connections
  • No Logging & Accepts CryptoCurrency
  • 45 Day Refund Policy
Credit Card / PayPal Cheque
Rank #2
$2.50 / mo

Positives

Negatives

Conclusion

CyberGhost VPN are definitely a top 5 VPN provider. Reading their privacy policy, and the fact that they do allow p2p and torrenting traffic on nearly all servers, you may rank them as your top choice for a VPN if you do a lot of downloading. Their software has features, like their killswitch, that put them on par with the top of the line VPN clients available. For fun, they also have a cute the animation that makes the experience that much more pleasant. They also benefit from being located in Romania as this country is well known for online privacy rights. What’s holding them back from the top spot is their connections do drop slightly more often than we'd like, otherwise they might be #1. Their VPN Kill Switch does save you from being exposed, but no problems would be better than a solution to a problem. For the price you pay for their VPN service, one of the lowest in the industry, and all the features of their software, you can’t go wrong when you choose CyberGhost as your VPN provider.

Credit Card / PayPal Cheque
Rank #2
$2.50 / mo

Average rating:  
 12 reviews
by Paul on CyberGhost

I have been using it primarily to download stuff online and it works great. It has great speeds and very minimal loss of connection which is usually handled fast enough by their very reliable customer... View More

by Eric on CyberGhost

I love the fact that users data is protected and deleted every 24 hours so my privacy is guaranteed. Their speeds are also remarkably fast and am able to stream my favourite shows without any glitches... View More

by Benjamin on CyberGhost

I do a lot of P2P downloading and have tried quite a number of different VPN services. So far this ranks as the best if your main interest is p2p and torrenting. You will get great speeds as well.

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Rank #3
$5.83 / mo
Rank #3
$5.83 / mo
Great VPN
  • Unlimited Bandwidth & No Speed Limits
  • 650+ Servers in 26 countries
  • Up to 12 Simultaneous Connections
  • No Logging & Accepts CryptoCurrency
  • 30-day Money-back Guarantee
Credit Card / Bitcoin / PayPal Alipay
Rank #3
$5.83 / mo

Positives

Negatives

Conclusion

While the company may not have the broadest and most impressive VPN network in the world, it has over 660 servers in some of the most popular countries in the world. StrongVPN’s software is more or less adequate, but at times, switching between servers can be clunky. The pricing can be considered at the industry average, and you receive a reliable VPN service in return. If you’re searching for a long-term VPN plan, the yearly package is affordable and recommended. StrongVPN’s customer support service is above-average and really impressed us. Its on-page content sections feature a lot of useful information, including guides, FAQs, and how-to articles. The support team can be reached via email, phone, or live chat. Our experience with the support team was surprisingly positive; during our live chat, the agents responded promptly and with a friendly, informative attitude. The company has solid customer protection policies, with its “Zero-Logging” policy particularly standing out. All in all, we recommend StrongVPN for anyone who wants to do browsing, torrenting and P2P, video and music streaming (including Netflix), or geo-unblocking.

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Rank #3
$5.83 / mo

Average rating:  
 11 reviews
by Bruce on Best VPN Providers

I got strongvpn during my first ever trip to Africa where was going to work for an year. I had read about geoblocking in most parts of Africa and couldn't think of missing out on netflix and other stuff... View More

by Sarah on Best VPN Providers

Their 7 day money back guarantee is what caught my attention and from then on i have been their customer for the last 8 months. The speeds are very good and i have had very few instances where i have ... View More

by Gilbert on Best VPN Providers

I paid for the service after learning that they offer a 7 day money back guarantee. I didnt want to risk my money in a service that would fail me. Luckily it turned out to be exactly what i had wished... View More

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Rank #4
$5 / mo
Rank #4
$5 / mo
Most reliable VPN, with lots of extras!
  • Unlimited bandwidth and speed
  • 3 day free trial
  • Support on all major devices
  • Write 100% of their own code
  • Not torrenting friendly
Credit Card / PayPal Alipay
Rank #4
$5 / mo

Positives

Negatives

Conclusion

VyprVPN does many things very well, and their partnership with SpiderOak for encrypted storage is a real bonus. Use it if you need encrypted storage that is also transported with top-notch encryption. With 15+ years of experience in the Internet industry, and a strong dedication to privacy from spying, VyprVPN offers you an exceptional Tier-1 network. Everything you do with them, including billing, their server network, and support, is handled by VyprVPN and the Golden Frog Network parent company. VyprVPN can't be recommended to those who wish to do torrenting or P2P file sharing. This against their Terms of Service. With their logging policy also clearly established, it is not hacker or spammer friendly at all. They will use their logs to work with law enforcement when a subpoena is presented to them. VyprVPN is recommended for those who want to do general browsing, video streaming, and to unlock geo-blocked content. It is also great on public Wi-Fi for anti-hacker defense. They have above-average pricing, but their extra features and Tier-1 network do make them a good deal if you are looking for exactly what they offer.

Credit Card / PayPal Alipay
Rank #4
$5 / mo

Average rating:  
 10 reviews
by Kelvin on VyprVPN

I came across a feature about Vyprvpn Chameleon encryption. With this technology am able to bypass restrictive networks put in place by governments, corporations and ISPs to achieve an open internet experience... View More

by Mark on VyprVPN

This is my third month using vyprvpn and so far everything has been as i had anticipated. The speeds are great and i am able to stream stuff that i previously couldn't from this region due to geo blocking... View More

by Moreen on VyprVPN

VyprVPN has been my VPN service provider for the last 2 years working in the horn of Africa. I am able to access most sites that some of the states in this region have blocked. These guys offer a reliable... View More

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Rank #5
$3.49 / mo
Rank #5
$3.49 / mo
The Best Cheapest No-Logging VPN
  • Unlimited Bandwidth and Speed
  • 3320 servers in 32 countries
  • 5 Simultaneous Connections
  • No Logging & Accepts CryptoCurrency
  • 7-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Credit Card / cashU / Bitcoin / PayPal OK Pay Z Cash Interact Mint Amazon Cards Gift Cards
Rank #5
$3.49 / mo

Positives

Negatives

Conclusion

Private Internet Access chose to do one thing very well, and it has succeeded. It is perhaps the most anonymous, private, and confidential of all the VPN providers out there, and this has built great trust amongst those in the VPN community and industry. Their simplistic software lends itself well to beginners, while more advanced users will be turned off by the lack of error notifications. Setting everything up is a breeze no matter your experience level, and anyone could connect to a VPN server in minutes. If you want complete anonymity on the Internet, you don’t need to look any further than Private Internet Access. The slower P2P traffic, lack of advanced features, and low diversity of countries with servers (just 33) are the only things holding the company back from the top of every VPN provider list.

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Rank #5
$3.49 / mo

Average rating:  
 12 reviews

PIA has amazing customer support who are keen to ensure their customers get their issues sorted out in the shortest time possible. With this service i am assured of my privacy and anonymity. I got them... View More

I use a restricted line and i have discovered that using private internet access i am able to enjoy faster speeds. Their customer support is awesome, they are very prompt and clearly knowledgeable in ... View More

I have used PIA for the last 6 months and so far it has lived up to its name. My privacy is well taken care of. I have to mention their fast speeds as well.

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Rank #6
$8.32 / mo
Rank #6
$8.32 / mo
Huge network, great country selection, average software
  • Huge server network
  • Wide variety of countries
  • Available on many operating systems
  • Easy connectivity
  • Little information on VPN client features
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Rank #6
$8.32 / mo

Positives

Negatives

Conclusion

ExpressVPN is among the best VPN providers with a software package that will satisfy the needs of most VPN users. Use ExpressVPN if you want:

  • A ‘one button’ approach to connectivity.
  • A consistent connection speed with few drops.
  • To be able to download via P2P and torrenting.
  • A wide range of server host countries for unlocking geo-blocked content.
  • IP, DNS, and IPv6 leaks protection.
If you’re willing to pay a premium price for the feature-rich software package and the huge VPN server numbers, then ExpressVPN is a good choice for you. Check them out, or other VPN providers that we’ve tested and reviewed, by clicking on the links below.

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Rank #6
$8.32 / mo

Average rating:  
 9 reviews
by Jeremiah on Express VPN

Expree VPN has given me a consistent connection fast speeds with very limited drops. I am able to comfortably download huge files via P2P and torrenting something that i couldn't do before getting express... View More

by Maria on Express VPN

This is my third month using this service. Over this period i have enjoyed a consistent connection with good speeds and very few drops.Their customer support especially via email are great. You get an... View More

by Bradley on Express VPN

Its great for p2p downloading. The speeds are pretty good for uploading and downloading heavy files. Their customer support is friendly and conducts itself in a professional manner.

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