Online privacy fears have not eased up in 2019, a fact responsible for keeping VPN demand high throughout the world.
IPVanish and PIA are two of the most widely used VPN brands. But which one of them is better?
The short answer is: IPVanish.
In this IPVanish vs PIA comparison, we’re going to evaluate core features and respective strengths and weaknesses of both providers.
For a brief summary of the comparison, see the table below:
|Logging Policy||No traffic logs||No traffic logs|
|Speed||24.86 Mbps||21.4 Mbps|
|Server Network||1,300+ servers|
|Customer Support||Live chat||Email/form based|
You can find more detailed comparisons for 60+ providers in this VPN Comparison spreadsheet.
Result: Both providers are located in the surveillance-heavy jurisdiction of the USA
|United States||United States|
IPVanish and PIA belong to the same country i.e, which is a red flag for any VPN provider. USA is part of the five eyes alliance and domestic surveillance conducted covertly by agencies is pretty much routine in the country.
VPNs based in the US therefore have a hard time keeping the data of their customers guarded and there is little they can do if agencies come asking for their customer’s data.
Therefore, this round is a tie since both providers share the same jurisdiction, which happens to be an unsafe one from the privacy standpoint.
IPVanish vs PIA: Logging Policy
Result: Both providers keep no traffic logs but overall policy is vague
|No traffic logs, but overall policy is vague||No traffic logs, but overall policy is vague|
IPVanish has a vague logging policy. It is unclear what types of logs associated with their customers are recorded by the company. The only categorical denial from the provider regarding logging is against traffic logs.
PIA also fails to specify their logging practices other than the fact that they keep no traffic logs. As such, both providers have similar logging policies with clear guarantees only against monitoring of user traffic.
Pricing, payment methods, and refund policy
Result: PIA is cheaper than IPVanish
|1-month plan: $10.00/mo||1-month plan: $9.95/mo|
|3-month plan: $8.99/mo||1-year plan: $5.99/mo|
|1-year plan: $6.49/mo||2-year plan: $3.11/mo|
IPVanish is considerably expensive VPN in contrast to PIA, which costs $3.11/month. PIA also accepts a wider range of payment options as compared to IPVanish.
|Credit cards||Credit cards|
The commonality between the two providers is that they both offer 7-day money-back guarantee on all their packages. But the cheaper pricing gives PIA an edge over IPVanish in this round.
IPVanish vs PIA Server Network
Result: PIA has more servers (3,200+) than PIA (1,300)
|1,300+ servers in 75+ locations||3,200+servers in 32 countries|
IPVanish has a server network consisting of 1,300+ servers in 75+ locations. PIA has a significantly larger server network having 3,200+ servers in 32 countries.
As such, PIA continues its lead against IPVanish with a larger server infrastructure.
PIA vs IPVanish Speed
Result: IPVanish is faster than PIA
For speed testing, the Ookla tool was used with a base Internet connection speed of 30 Mbps.
Both IPVanish and PIA are considered two of the fastest VPNs in the industry and the results corroborate their reputation as such:
|US: 24.63 Mbps||US: 19.16 Mbps|
|UK: 24.69 Mbps||UK: 25.78 Mbps|
|GER: 25.16 Mbps||Germany: 22.25 Mbps|
|AUS: 24.96 Mbps||Australia: 18.4 Mbps|
|Avg. Download: 24.86 Mbps||Avg. Download: 21.39 Mbps|
IPVanish delivers faster average download speed as compared to PIA, but the difference is not that significant. However, the variance in download speed across different PIA servers is higher than that measured for IPVanish.
This shows that IPVanish is not only slightly faster on average but offers better consistency across different server locations.
Performance and Reliability
Result: IPVanish offers faster connectivity to servers and better overall reliability
IPVanish prides itself in terms of ease of use and the availability of reliable apps. The VPN offers good connectivity when you need to change server location. The whole process takes about 5 seconds.
PIA offers a very basic looking app. Appealing UI design is not this provider’s forte. The connectivity is also less than ideal and it usually takes about 8-10 seconds to successfully establish connection with a server.
For these reasons, IPVanish has the better performance and reliability than PIA.
Result: Both providers are compatible with common devices
|Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows||Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows|
|n/a||Chrome, Firefox and Opera|
|Android TV||Android TV|
Both providers are compatible with most common devices as well as some streaming consoles/sticks, routers etc.
Result: IPVanish offers live chat support available 24/7 which PIA lacks
IPVanish representatives are available for customer support over live chat round the clock. In addition, customers can find setup tutorials and other technical help on the official website.
PIA lacks live chat support, which is surprising to see in 2019. Instead, customers can reach PIA by filling a complaint or query form and emailing it.
As such, IPVanish is much more easily reachable for support.
Result: IPVanish and PIA support torrenting, but they are located in a strongly anti-piracy jurisdiction (USA)
Since both providers are located in USA, which has some of the strictest anti-piracy laws in the world, it’s best to avoid these VPNs for torrenting and p2p activities.
Nonetheless, torrenting is supported on most servers within the network of both VPN services. Still, the jurisdiction of these providers makes them potentially dangerous for activities the laws of the country are strongly against.
Therefore, these VPNs are not ideal for torrenting purposes.
Result: Both VPNs work only occasionally with Netflix
IPVanish and PIA used to be good options for users who needed to change their IP address in order to access US Netflix from abroad. However, both VPNs have lost the ability to access Netflix ever since the ban was imposed by the streaming service against VPNs.
Therefore, these VPNs are no longer suited for Netflix streaming, though they may work occasionally.
Security and Extra Features
Result: IPVanish offers better extra features
PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec
|IKEv2, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec|
|Not offered||MACE (ad blocker)|
|10 simultaneous connections||10 simultaneous connections|
IPVanish possesses a fair amount of valuable extra features up its sleeve for boosting your digital security such as split-tunneling and obfuscated servers.
PIA doesn’t offer much in the way of extra features for added value to its customers, but does have a nice ad-blocker feature.
IPVanish and PIA are almost neck to neck on every front. At the same time, there are some areas where PIA performs better and others where IPVanish is superior.
When compared head-to-head, IPVanish has managed to take a lead against PIA and it is therefore the better VPN service between the two.
All things considered, PIA itself is an impressive VPN with a large customer base and deserves high praise for its overall good performance. Unfortunately, it falls slightly short in some areas where IPVanish has proven great efficiency in.
You can’t go wrong with either VPN, but IPVanish is the winner of the day.
Here is a list of comparisons we performed for PIA VPN and IPVanish with other providers of the industry: