Securing your digital whereabouts has become much important than protecting your physical footprints.
You might be wondering, why did I have to disclose this bitter truth? Because learning about an appropriate VPN service has become need of an hour for both new and pro privacy seekers.
Therefore, I would suggest you to go through my comprehensive review of PIA vs Surfshark in order to determine which VPN is better for you. I have also prepared a detailed VPN comparison chart which provides with insights of 60+ providers.
PIA vs Surfshark VPN: Head to Head
Surfshark is the winner!
Completing my analysis and detailed comparison of Surfshark with PIA, I concluded that Surfshark is the winner on the basis of following:
- Speed: 27.91 Mbps
- Consistent support for Netflix
- Lower price: $2.49/mo
- Strict zero logs policy
- Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands (one of the safest VPN jurisdictions)
- Advanced privacy features
A Quick Comparison of PIA and Surfshark
Surfshark despite being a new entrant in the privacy industry has surpassed PIA on some important factors. For a quick summary about the comparison between PIA and Surfshark, see the table below:
|Ease of Use||Yes||Yes|
|Help & Support||Good||Excellent|
|Value for Money||Yes||Yes|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Social Media Presence||Strong||Strong|
|Logging Policy||Vague||Retain no logs|
|USP||Physical servers only||Unlimited multi-logins|
Result: Surfshark is a standout performer in terms of jurisdiction, Netflix unblocking, and extra features
|Jurisdiction: US||Jurisdiction: British Virgin Island|
|Offers 256-bit military grade encryption||Delivers 256-bit military grade encryption|
|3,300+ servers in 48+ countries||17,00+ servers in 63 countries|
|Users can avail multi-login feature||Unlimited multi-login|
|7 days money back guarantee||30 days money back guarantee|
|Netflix unblocking: No||Netflix Unblocking: Yes|
Private Internet Access is a US based VPN service. Conversely, Surfshark is a British Virgin Island based product. Both providers are extremely competitive and provide users with excellent features in the privacy and security niche.
Jurisdiction is very important when you are deciding on a VPN for yourself. For example, you wouldn’t want to purchase PIA, because it is operating from US and your online privacy and data will always remain at risk. Even though PIA is a competitive VPN provider on many levels with a top-tier VPN provider like ExpressVPN, due to its jurisdiction, it is not a favorite. Check out how it performs against it in PIA and ExpressVPN comparison.
1. Pricing Plans
Result: Surfshark is 40.24% cheaper than PIA VPN
|1-month plan: 11.95/mo||1-month plan: $12.95/mo|
|None||6-month plan: $6.49|
|1-year plan: $3.33/mo||None|
|2-year plan: $2.69||2-year plan: $2.49/mo|
Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPN services in the industry with its $2.49/mo price tag. On the other hand, PIA is one of the higher priced VPNs with its 2-year plan costing $2.69/mo.
Surprisingly, both private network providers do not offer three-year pricing plans to their users.
View our detailed VPN comparison chart for 2021 to check out other budget-friendly VPNs.
2. Refund Policy
Result: Both Surfshark & PIA have similar refund period (30 days)
Surfshark offers a clear advantage in terms of money-back guarantee. The newest privacy brand allows its users to claim 7 Days Trial through its Android & iOS App.
You may search its terms of service section for better understanding. Surprisingly, you will be astonished to know that PIA only offers 30 days money-back guarantee. This is the reason Surfshark becomes an exciting choice for newbies as they can avail 7 Days Trial.
Result: Surfshark has better jurisdiction, refund period, and logging policy than PIA
|Jurisdiction||United States of America||British Virgin Island|
|Customer Support||Live chat/tutorial||Live chat/tutorial|
|Protocols||OpenVPN, PPTP and|
|OpenVPN & IKEv2|
|Encryption||256-bit encryption||256-bit encryption|
|Internet Kill Switch||Yes||Yes|
|Compatibility||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Smart TVs|
|Logging Policy||Vague policy||No logs retained|
|Money Back Guarantee||7 days||30 days|
|Payment Options||Numerous options including Bitcoin||Numerous options including Bitcoin|
4. Payment Methods
Result: Both providers offer multiple payment options
|Credit card||Credit card|
If a VPN service offers multiple payment methods then you can use it with complete freedom.
5. Servers in Countries
Result: PIA has nearly 1,600 more servers than Surfshark.
| 3,300+ servers|
Servers’ network availability plays a crucial role in the success of any VPN service. PIA in this regard has done all the hard work. They have catered their user’s privacy requirements with 3,300+ servers globally.
Surfshark is a new comer in an online privacy industry. It will take ample time to increase its server network.
Still, keep your fingers crossed to see some drastic improvements in terms of its servers’ presence. At present, you can connect to any server of your choice from 17,00 servers worldwide.
Result: Surfshark offers better performance and reliability than PIA
|Unappealing app design||Well-designed apps|
|Average connectivity||Excellent connectivity|
I found Surfshark apps to be highly responsive. It delivers excellent connectivity.
PIA, on the other hand, has a very basic-looking app that lives within the taskbar. However, it does function well enough even if the UI isn’t anything to write home about. You can also check out our PureVPN vs PIA (Private Internet Access) comparison for more details about how this VPN service performs against other premium VPNs.
Result: Surfshark offers better performance and reliability than PIA
|Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Firestick||Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Firestick|
Both PIA and Surfshark have literally won hearts of their subscribers in terms of compatibility. You are free to download and install these privacy providers on multiple operating systems and devices. Due to its free trial, Surfshark is considered the best free VPN for PC with unlimited bandwidth.
Furthermore, you can install these brands on Smart TVs and routers too. Surfshark also offers unlimited simultaneous connections so you can use it on multiple devices at the same time. IPVanish is another VPN that allows unlimited multi-logins. Check out our latest IPVanish vs. PureVPN comparison to see which one is more compatible with a wide range of devices.
8. Security and Privacy
Result: Surfshark offers wider security features than PIA
Surfshark provides excellent privacy and security features including WhiteLister (split-tunneling), CleanWeb (malware and ad blocker), Killswitch, Multi-hop, and unlimited multi-logins.
PIA doesn’t offer a lot of extra features, but it does offer an ad blocker (MACE), 10 simultaneous connections, and SOCKS5 protocol.
Result: Both providers offer a good number of protocols
|OpenVPN, PPTP, & L2TP/IPsec||OpenVPN & IKEv2|
Surfshark only offers OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols to its subscribers because of security reasons. Older VPN protocols are no longer deemed secure enough to be in use and have thus been discontinued by Surfshark. It supports newer protocols including WireGuard as it offers higher speed and security. This was also the case in TorGuard and NordVPN comparison as NordVPN has also stopped supporting older protocols and has moved towards newer ones that are more efficient.
On the other hand, PIA VPN offers some older protocols like L2TP and PPTP in addition to OpenVPN.
10. Torrenting / P2P
Result: Surfshark is safer for torrenting
|Unsafe jurisdiction for torrents||Safe jurisdiction for torrents|
Surfshark supports P2P activities on selected servers. In addition, Surfshark has the advantage of being headquartered in British Virgin Islands that doesn’t have to comply with DMCA like the US.
PIA also supports torrenting on its servers. However, since it is based in the US, it might not be a good idea to use this VPN for torrenting. Nonetheless, many users do use PIA for torrenting and they haven’t experienced any serious troubles with it.
11. Speed Test
Result: Surfshark is 37.17% faster than PIA
|19.16 Mbps||27.91 Mbps|
Surfshark has surprised to its users to certain degree. Yes, you have read it accurately. It’s one of the fastest VPN service and you can enjoy decent streaming speeds while watching your favorite media stuff.
When I used 30 Mbps connection, I received 19.16 Mbps for PIA on a US server. Surfshark offers better speeds, as it recorded 27.91 Mbps while connected to a USA server.
12. Logging Policy
Result: Surfshark has a better logging policy
|Vague logging policy||Keeps no logs|
PIA has set itself apart from other VPN services by some long distance. Yes, you read it correctly. Recently, the US based service had to prove its innocence against its no logging claims.
On the other hand, Surfshark has an excellent logging policy and keeps no logs of user information.
13. Customer Support
Result: Surfshark has better customer support (live chat)
|Form-based complaint system||Email ticketing|
Surfshark has added an impressive customer support feature in its armory. Likewise, you can contact its live chat to solve all your queries timely.
PIA also provides an efficient customer assistance to their users. However, it lacks live chat support.
14. Netflix Streaming
Result: Surfshark works better with Netflix
|Does not unblock Netflix||Unblocks Netflix|
As I already said, you will have to rely on Surfshark to unblock Netflix US content. Unfortunately, PIA does not offer such kind of luxury to its users at present.
Previously, PIA was able to unblock US Netflix but it cannot do the same for users anymore. This was also the same in Private Internet Access vs TunnelBear, and Private Internet Access vs IPVanish, where PIA managed to unblock only Netflix US and no other regional library. We had to try several servers before actually finding the one that works with Netflix.
15. Overall Ratings
Result: Surfshark has a better overall rating when it comes to being an all-rounder
|Workable in China||0||8|
|Apps & Functionality||9||9|
|Total Points (70)||44||59.5|
I expect you would be now in a better state to make a wise decision about your privacy. I invested time and efforts to provide a realistic comparison between Surfshark vs PIA.
Trustpilot Score: Surfshark VPN vs PIA
Trustpilot is one of the most popular customer review sites that offer unbiased review about distinct products and services. Surfshark is far from being perfect product.
However, it has received positive reviews from users mostly.
If I compare PIA with Surfshark, I was able to found positive reviews from PIA users as well.
Winner: PIA is an obvious victor as it has more than 5800+ reviews on Trustpilot. Besides, numerous users have raised their voices in favor of Private Internet Access.
Surfshark is the winner in this comparison with PIA.
The provider managed to outperform PIA in many critical areas such as Netflix unblocking, speed, jurisdiction, and logging policy.
Although PIA is a renowned VPN service that is rated among the best, it lacks some of the extra oomph that Surfshark so effortlessly delivers.