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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. […]

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.

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
Credit Card / GiroPay / cashU / WorldPay / Bitcoin / American Express
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.

Credit Card / GiroPay / cashU / WorldPay / Bitcoin / American Express
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.

Credit Card / Bitcoin / PayPal Alipay
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
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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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