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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.

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. Here is a detailed chart and tool for VPN comparison.




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.

  • Fast speeds
  • Impressive server network
  • Supports torrents
  • Supports Netflix
  • Customer support available 24/7
  • Zero-logging policy
  • Multi-login feature restricted to maximum of three devices
  • Expensive subscription


Read ExpressVPN review and a guide for unblocking Netflix using ExpressVPN for more insights.


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.

  • Strong server infrastructure
  • Zero-logging policy
  • Strong security protocols
  • Affordable subscription
  • Faster than most alternatives
  • US jurisdiction
  • Average customer support


  • Based in: British Virgin Islands
  • Not subject to data retention/DMCA laws
  • Based in: United States
  • Subject to data retention/DMCA laws


Winner: Based on origin, ExpressVPN is a winner.


Pricing Plans

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.

  • One month: $12.95
  • Six months: $9.99/month
  • One year: $8.32/month
  • Two years: N/A
  • One month: $6.95
  • Six months: N/A
  • One year: $3.33/month
  • Two years: $2.91/month


Winner: PIA VPN is the clear winner when it comes to pricing.


VPN Performance

The one factor that is most directly related to the performance of a VPN is its speed and connection stability.

ExpressVPN Speed


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.

PIA Speed


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.


Money-back Guarantee

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:

  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Money-back guarantee: 7 days


Winner: ExpressVPN, despite being the more expensive service, is the winner when it comes to ExpressVPN refund policy.


Reliability of Providers

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.


Unique Features

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:

  • Kill switch
  • IPv4, IPv6, DNS, WebRTC leak protection
  • No ad block
  • Obfuscation
  • Works with Netflix
  • Kill switch
  • Only IPv6 leak protection
  • Has ad block (PIA MACE)
  • No obfuscation
  • Does not work with Netflix


Winner: ExpressVPN offers a much greater set of valuable features in contrast to PIA.


Check more comparisons of ExpressVPN and PIA:


Customer Service

The PIA vs ExpressVPN battle hinges heavily around the quality of customer support.

  • Live chat available 24/7
  • Guides
  • Blog
  • FAQs
  • Email ticketing
  • No live chat
  • Guides
  • Blog
  • FAQs
  • Email ticketing


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.


Security Features

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:

  • No adware blocker
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • Killswitch
  • Users can only get default encryption
  • OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SockS5
  • Adware blocker
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • Killswitch
  • Users can change encryption settings


Winner: With a built-in adware blocker and customizable encryption settings, PIA wins in this regard by a slight margin.


Logging Policy and Privacy

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.


Tunneling Protocols

Any ExpressVPN vs PIA VPN comparison must consider the tunneling protocols offered by each. So, let’s take a look at these:

  • OpenVPN
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • PPTP
  • SSTP
  • SSL
  • OpenVPN
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • PPTP
  • N/A
  • N/A


Winner: ExpressVPN offers a broader range of protocols. As such, it bests PIA once again.


Torrent and P2P Support

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.


Compatible Devices

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Does not support Opera
  • Safari
  • Routers
  • Streaming and media consoles
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Does not support safari
  • Routers
  • Does not support streaming and media consoles


Winner: ExpressVPN supports a much larger range of devices and operating systems than PIA. Thus, it is the rightful winner here.


VPN Rating

  • Speed 4.5/5
  • Security 4/5
  • Device compatibility 5/5
  • Privacy 4.5/5
  • Pricing 3/5
  • Features 4.5/5
  • Speed 4/5
  • Security 4.5/5
  • Device compatibility 3.5/5
  • Privacy 4/5
  • Pricing 4.5/5
  • Features 4/5


Winner: Both providers are extremely good and offer tough competition to each other, but ExpressVPN has the slight advantage over PIA.


Consumer Reviews

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


More Comparisons

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.

  1. ExpressVPN vs PureVPN
  2. ExpressVPN vs VyprVPN
  3. PIA vs PureVPN
  4. PIA vs Surfshark


Final Verdict

ExpressVPN vs PIA is one of the toughest comparisons that you can expect in the VPN industry. Both providers offer excellent all-around services for users. However, with better speeds, server distribution, VPN protocols, privacy policy, and customer support, ExpressVPN is a clear winner in this comparison.

Do you agree with this verdict? Leave your comments below to share your views regarding these VPNs.