Home » IPVanish vs PIA: Which of These Great VPNs are Better?

IPVanish vs PIA: Which of These Great VPNs are Better?

Are you having a hard time deciding whether to use IPVanish or PIA as your VPN service provider? Don’t feel bad about it; both VPNs are really good. In fact, these providers are two of the best VPN providers out there, and choosing IPVanish vs PIA is a matter of mere details and personal preference.

After thoroughly testing these two providers, we have looked important traits to look for in a viable VPN, and we rated IPVanish and PIA based on these traits:

  • Speed
  • Price
  • Reliability (uptime)
  • Network details
  • VPN protocols
  • P2P traffic policy
  • Refund policy

Stick around as we unveil an unbiased comparison between IPVanish and PIA.

IPVanish’s features

Founded in 2012, IPVanish is based in the US. Although IPVanish is relatively young as a VPN company, its core team has more than 20 years of professional experience in the industry. This makes IPVanish one of the more reliable sources of quality VPN services today.

When IPvanish first started, it had only 32 servers and Windows-only client software. Today, IPVanish’s VPN network spans 40,000+ IPs on 1200+ servers in 60+ countries. Its vast network allows its users to access every restricted corner of the globe anonymously.

Apart from impressing users with sheer numbers, IPVanish has something to brag about in other segments as well:

  • No logging policy: IPVanish is strict when it comes to its logging policy. The company never monitors your usage; the only information IPVanish knows about you is the account details you set up when you purchase its service. To preserve your privacy, it vouches not to record any of your online activities. Still, IPVanish does keep your email address and payment method for billing purposes.
  • No traffic limitations: IPVanish doesn’t limit your traffic in any way. All packages include unlimited bandwidth, server switching, P2P file-sharing, and torrenting.
  • Money-back guarantee: If you’re not 100% satisfied, IPVanish states that it will gladly reimburse the amount you paid, as long as the refund is requested within a week from your purchase date. 
  • Privacy: IPVanish vows to provide its users with maximum privacy and security. The company operates with rock-solid AES 256-bit encryption. Moreover, it supports highly-secure protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2.
  • Geographic diversity: When it comes to geographical diversity, there are only a handful of VPN providers that come close to IPVanish’s geographic coverage. IPVanish’s 1,200+ servers are distributed over 60 countries.
  • Features: Rotating IP addresses, Internet kill switch, ability to select a VPN protocol, IPv6 and DNS leak protections, and port forwarding are just some of the advanced features of IPVanish.
  • User-friendly interface: Beginners will find IPVanish’s interface easy to understand and use, but  also allows further configurations for advanced users. IPVanish has easy-to-install clients for most operating systems, including MacOS, Android, and iOS.

IPVanish Features

They are, quite simply, one of the best VPN providers around. Very few other providers come close, but in this IPVanish vs PIA comparison, you’ll see one which comes close.

PIA’s features

PIA (Private Internet Access) has over 3,200 servers in 52 locations across 33 countries. Although PIA has fewer server locations than IPVanish, the company evens things up with its impressive number of servers.

PIA is well-known for maintaining a strict privacy policy. It also includes free proxy servers with its VPN packages. While using a VPN, these proxies allow users to anonymize a specific program or protocol instead of the users’ entire connection, this is a feature called ‘split-tunneling.’ 

Let’s look at some of PIA’s most prominent features:

  • Unlimited bandwidth: As you should expect from a top-tier VPN, PIA provides unlimited bandwidth, regardless of the package.
  • Supports P2P: Peer-to-peer networking is an extremely tricky form of online traffic. Not many providers support P2P networking, and PIA is one of the few that provide this feature.
  • Privacy: PIA has a “no logging” policy, allowing users to use their VPN services securely and privately.
  • DNS Leak Protection: PIA encrypts DNS requests, preventing third parties from seeing them. This feature also plugs DNS leaks successfully. This is a feature not commonly seen among VPN providers. While this feature provides the highest level of privacy and security, it may also cause connectivity issues in non-standard network configurations.
  • VPN Kill Switch: This feature allows users to kill their Internet connection automatically if the VPN connection gets disrupted or fails. This ensures users aren’t accidentally exposed.
  • Port Forwarding: Port forwarding is extremely useful, especially for those who like to torrent files. PIA allows port forwarding; it can reroute incoming connections around the NAT firewall and allow those connections to be established.
  • Five devices: PIA allows users to connect up to five devices on a single account.
  • IPv6 Leak Protection: IPv6 leak protection disables IPv6 traffic while the VPN service is active. With this feature, you’re assured that IPv6 traffic won’t leak out over your standard connection when using a VPN. 

In addition to PIA’s features above, this provider also has SOCKS5 Proxy on all accounts, in case users need this feature.

PIA Features

When it comes to the negatives, PIA is short on those. Other than the fact that the app sometimes lags and may get buggy, there aren’t any errors that we would like to point out that would potentially undermine PIA’s performance.

IPVanish vs. PIA: Speed

When it comes to VPNs, speed is often a decisive factor that is especially important to users. However, given that VPNs encrypt traffic to protect their users’ privacy, some reduction of speed is bound to happen. Users who value privacy first and foremost have accepted this fact.

While using a VPN will burden the connection speed, users often search for the one that promises to provide an acceptable degree of latency. When we compared IPVanish and PIA to see which one was faster, IPVanish won the race:

IPVanish Speedtest

IPVanish was impressive when we tested the connection on an IPVanish server in the USA, but what really astonished us is that IPVanish was able to surpass our ISP’s imposed 2Gbps limit at the time of testing. This just shows that with the right VPN, you can avoid speed throttling imposed by your ISP or the government.

While PIA’s speed is also deemed good, it can’t compete with IPVanish’s numbers.

PIA Speed test

IPVanish vs. PIA: Price

IPVanish’s regular monthly package costs $10.

IPVanish Prices

On the other hand, PIA offers considerably lower prices compared to IPVanish. The regular monthly package goes for $6.95.

PIA Prices

As you can see, both providers offer cheaper prices if you choose long-term packages. Subscribing to a two-year plan with PIA will cost you just $2.91 per month, while IPVanish offers a one-year subscription plan for $6.49 per month.

IPVanish vs. PIA: Uptime

Connection consistency is just as important as connection speed, if not more. This is another area where IPVanish has the upper hand—the entire time we tested this provider, we didn’t experience a single downtime. The connection remained fast and secure the whole time, leading us to believe that IPVanish really nurtures a safe and sound Internet connection.

On the other hand, while our experience with PIA went smooth most of the times (with no disconnections at all), we did experience slight problems when we switched servers, but the problem goes away if you close and re-open the client. Still, the entire situation made us feel that the VPN client is slightly buggy.

IPVanish vs. PIA: Support

We all know how important customer support is when it comes to VPNs. The golden rule of thumb: choose a VPN with responsive, reliable, and informative customer support. PIA and IPVanish offer a quality customer support service, but IPVanish emerged victorious in this section.

Both VPN providers have rich support centers filled with guides, tutorials, FAQs, and other relevant support contents. Their response times are commendable. Here is a screenshot of IPVanish’s support categories:

IPVanish support center

Here is a screenshot of PIA’s support center:

PIA support center

Both support teams are available 24/7. However, PIA’s live chat is only available within the control panel, so you have to log in every time you want to contact live chat support.

IPVanish vs. PIA: Network

IPVanish uses AES-256 encryption while PIA’s default encryption is AES-128. Individuals and business users should use AES-256 to enjoy maximum protection. However, PIA users should not worry; they can convert the security setting to AES-256, though it will be a bit of a hassle with the extra steps. For this reason, IPVanish wins this category.

When it comes to network size, both providers really have impressive numbers. IPVanish has 1,200 servers in 74 locations across 60 countries.

IPVanish Servers

On the other hand, PIA has 3,275 servers in 52 locations across 33 countries.

PIA Servers

IPVanish have fewer servers, but it has more locations and countries, while PIA has more servers. This makes it a bit hard for us to decide which VPN provider has better network coverage.

IPVanish allows ten devices to connect simultaneously; PIA only allows five. Not many providers can match that number of IPVanish. So the clear winner here is IPVanish.

IPVanish doesn’t have traffic limitations; it allows everything, including P2P file sharing and torrenting. PIA also supports P2P, with its P2P policy openly disclosed on its website. So for this section, we declare another draw.

However, we award the win to IPVanish due to its larger presence across the world—60 countries vs. PIA’s 33. With IPVanish, you’re ensured to have broader geographic coverage.

IPVanish vs. PIA: Refunds

In case you’re not satisfied with the VPN services of IPVanish and PIA, you can ask for a refund. Both VPN providers have a seven-day money-back guarantee. So for this section, it’s another draw.

IPVanish vs. PIA: Protocols

A VPN protocol describes how your data is transmitted online. VPNs come with different sets of VPN protocols, with some being better and more secure than the others. PIA supports three protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec. IPVanish supports more: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and PPTP.

IPVanish VPN Protocols

Since IPVanish supports more protocols (including the relatively new IKEv2), we give this round to IPVanish.

IPVanish vs. PIA: Which is better?

While both providers are drawn to a tie in terms of money-back guarantee and P2P support, IPVanish bests PIA in several ways. In this point-by-point comparison, we see that IPVanish is better than PIA for the following reasons:

  • Faster connection speeds
  • High reliability
  • Better customer support
  • Default AES-256 encryption
  • Wider geographic coverage
  • More simultaneous connections per account
  • Supports a better set of VPN protocols

Moreover, both beginners and advanced users will like IPVanish’s interface—it’s easy to use but customizable as well. No doubt here why IPVanish is the number one VPN provider in our overall ranking shown below.

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