- Based in: British Virgin Islands
- Not subject to data retention/DMCA laws
- Based in: United States
- Subject to data retention/DMCA laws
The cyberspace is a dangerous place. A typical user on the web is vulnerable to threats from all directions: hackers/cybercriminals on one side and ISPs/government agencies on the other.
In this situation, it is a challenge for users to maintain their privacy and peace of mind while they carry out their routine online activities. One step that users can take in the direction of improved privacy on the web is through VPN services. However, users must be aware how leading providers compare against each other to make a good purchase.
Also read: ExpressVPN review
As such, I am writing this ExpressVPN vs PIA comparison, focusing on the key strengths and weaknesses of each in the hopes that users would be able to make an informed decision.
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular providers in the VPN industry. Established in 2009, it is based in the British Virgin Islands, away from the watchful Five Eyes. The servers cover more than 90 countries in the world and is a great general purpose VPN
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) is another veteran of the VPN industry. Founded in 2010, the company operates from the US, which places is directly under the spying glasses of Five Eyes. It has a decent network size with 3,145 servers operating in over 33 countries.
Winner: Based on origin, ExpressVPN is a winner.
The factor of pricing is an important one for obvious reasons. A good VPN rated very high in price would be beyond the reach of most consumers, so the overall impression for the product would be average at best.
PIA offers monthly, yearly, and two year subscriptions. The best value is attainable from the 2-year plan which is priced at $2.91/month. This makes PIA one of the cheapest VPNs out there.
ExpressVPN is considerably more expensive. Its cheapest subscription plan is valid for one year and can be purchase for $8.32/month.
Winner: PIA is the clear winner between ExpressVPN vs PIA when it comes to pricing.
The one factor that is most directly related to the performance of a VPN is its speed and connection stability.
It is hard to beat ExpressVPN when it comes to speed. It has a power server network and is right rated as one of the fastest VPN services around.
This ExpressVPN vs PIA speed test shows that PIA is slower than ExpressVPN. Although, both service providers deliver excellent performance and speeds, in this scenario, ExpressVPN takes the crown.
Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner by a small but distinct margin in terms of performance.
Various VPN providers offer refund policy which is valid up to a certain number of days after the purchase. Both ExpressVPN and PIA offer refund policy to their subscribers as follows:
Winner: ExpressVPN, despite being the more expensive service, is the winner when it comes to ExpressVPN refund policy.
ExpressVPN vs PIA comparisons would be incomplete without a word on their overall reliability. ExpressVPN has a light and highly responsive VPN client. It takes only a few seconds to connect to a server through it. Disconnections rare ever happen if at all. As such, it is arguably the most reliable VPN service around.
PIA also has a highly reliable VPN client that works efficiently in most situations. However, I have experienced issues with some of their servers, probably due to server overcrowding during peak times. Other than that, it works smoothly and does not prove too much of an annoyance.
Winner: ExpressVPN once again outshines PIA with its better all-around reliability.
One of the main factors needed to decide a winner between PIA VPN vs ExpressVPN is the unique features that each has to offer. These are summarized in the table below:
Winner: ExpressVPN offers a much greater set of valuable features in contrast to PIA.
The PIA vs ExpressVPN battle hinges heavily around the quality of customer support.
Winner: Both providers are almost neck to neck in the domain of customer support. However, PIA lacks live chat feature and this is where ExpressVPN manages to get the upper-hand. Thus, ExpressVPN is the winner here.
The ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access contest gets really interesting when you consider their security features. Both providers offer excellent security. Let’s see how they compare:
Winner: With a built-in adware blocker and customizable encryption settings, PIA wins in this regard by a slight margin.
Logging policy is a critical factor that directly affects the desirability of a VPN from the point of view of a consumers.
ExpressVPN is a true no-logs policy VPN. On the other hand, PIA also truly follows no-logging policy, but it falls under the jurisdiction of the USA and follows DMCA. As such, while both providers are some of the few in the whole industry offering true zero-logs policy.
Winner: Owing to the more favorable jurisdiction, ExpressVPN wins this round.
Any ExpressVPN vs PIA VPN comparison must consider the tunneling protocols offered by each. So, let’s take a look at these:
Winner: ExpressVPN offers a broader range of protocols. As such, it bests PIA once again.
In many instances, Private Internet Access vs ExpressVPN are evenly matched. Torrenting is one of those areas. Both services offer support for torrent clients and websites.
However, PIA discourages its users from using it to download torrents, as it is a DMCA compliant service.
Winner: ExpressVPN is the better VPN than PIA in terms of torrenting support, courtesy of its jurisdictional advantage.
Winner: ExpressVPN supports a much larger range of devices and operating systems than PIA. Thus, it is the rightful winner here.
Winner: Both providers are extremely good and offer tough competition to each other, but ExpressVPN has the slight advantage over PIA.
Reviews from users abound on the Internet. If you search ExpressVPN vs PIA Reddit, you can find great reviews for ExpressVPN, more so than for PIA. I will share some of the reviews gathered from TrustPilot below.
The majority of the users are extremely satisfied with ExpressVPN, which is why it has received 85% excellent rating.
PIA has also received great feedback by users. However, it falls slightly short of the praise that is showered upon ExpressVPN.
Winner: ExpressVPN is a winner.
We have draw the comparison of other VPN services as well so you can easily compare each and everything regarding features of VPN services. If you’re not pretty much satisfied with these services. Have a look of other services as per your requirement
They are listed below for further details.
Do you agree with this verdict? Leave your comments below to share your views regarding these VPNs.