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PIA vs Surfshark

Winner: Surfshark

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:

FactorsPIASurfshark
Ease of UseYesYes
Price$3.33/mo $2.49/mo
FeaturesGoodExcellent
Help & SupportGoodExcellent
Value for MoneyYesYes
PrivacyYesYes
Torrenting SupportYesYes
Money Back Guarantee7 days30 days
Social Media PresenceStrongStrong
Logging PolicyVagueRetain no logs
USPPhysical servers onlyUnlimited multi-logins
Trustpilot score4.14.3

Detailed Comparison

Result: Surfshark is a standout performer in terms of jurisdiction, Netflix unblocking, and extra features

PIA VPNSurfshark
Jurisdiction: USJurisdiction: British Virgin Island
Offers 256-bit military grade encryptionDelivers 256-bit military grade encryption
3,300+ servers in 48+ countries17,00+ servers in 63 countries
Users can avail multi-login featureUnlimited multi-login
7 days money back guarantee30 days money back guarantee
Netflix unblocking: NoNetflix 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.

1. Pricing Plans

Result: Surfshark is 40.24% cheaper than PIA VPN

PIA VPNSurfshark
1-month plan: $6.95/mo1-month plan: $11.95/mo
6-month plan: $5.99/mo6-month plan: none
1-year plan: $3.33/mo1-year plan: $3.75/mo
2-year plan: none2-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 1-year plan costing $3.33/mo.

Surprisingly, both private network providers do not offer three-year pricing plans to their users.

2. Refund Policy

Result: Surfshark has longer refund period (30 days)

PIA VPNSurfshark
7-day money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee

Surfshark offers a clear advantage in terms of money back guarantee. The newest privacy brand allows its users to claim for the refund within 30 days.

You may search its terms of service section for better understanding. Surprisingly, you will be astonished to know that PIA only offers 7 days money back guarantee. This is the reason Surfshark becomes an exciting choice for newbies as they can avail money back guarantee.

3. Features

Result: Surfshark has better jurisdiction, refund period, and logging policy than PIA

FeaturesPIASurfshark
JurisdictionUnited States of AmericaBritish Virgin Island
Servers3300+ servers
48 countries
1700+ servers
63 countries
Customer SupportLive chat/tutorialLive chat/tutorial
ProtocolsOpenVPN, PPTP and
IPSEC/L2TP
OpenVPN & IKEv2
Encryption256-bit encryption256-bit encryption
Internet Kill SwitchYesYes
CompatibilityWindows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Smart TVs
TorrentingSupportedSupported
Logging PolicyVague policyNo logs retained
Money Back Guarantee7 days30 days
Payment OptionsNumerous options including BitcoinNumerous options including Bitcoin

4. Payment Methods

Result: Both providers offer multiple payment options

PIA VPNSurfshark
PayPalPayPal
BitcoinBitcoin
DiscoverDiscover
Credit cardCredit card

If a VPN service offers multiple payment methods then you can use it with complete freedom.

Both Surfshark and Private Internet Access have provided different payment options to their subscribers. Hence, you are free to pay your subscriptions from anywhere without any hassle.

5. Servers in Countries

Result: PIA has nearly 1,600 more servers than Surfshark.

PIA VPNSurfshark
 3,300+ servers
48 countries
17,00+ servers
63 countries

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.

6. Performance

Result: Surfshark offers better performance and reliability than PIA

PIA VPNSurfshark
Unappealing app designWell-designed apps
Average connectivityExcellent 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.

7. Compatibility

Result: Surfshark offers better performance and reliability than PIA

PIA VPNSurfshark
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and FirestickCompatible 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.

Furthermore, you can install these brands on Smart TVs and routers too.

8. Security and Privacy

Result: Surfshark offers wider security features than PIA

PIA VPNSurfshark
MACEWhiteLister
10 multi-loginsCleanWeb
SOCKS5Killswitch

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.

9. Protocols

Result: Both providers offer a good number of protocols

PIA VPNSurfshark
OpenVPN, PPTP, & L2TP/IPsecOpenVPN & 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.

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

PIA VPNSurfshark
Unsafe jurisdiction for torrentsSafe 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

PIA VPNSurfshark
19.16 Mbps27.91 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

PIA VPNSurfshark
Vague logging policyKeeps 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.

It becomes clear that you cannot associate online activities with users’ identities in case they use VPNs. However, the privacy policy of PIA is not as clear, as they don’t specify what kind of logs they keep.

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)

PIA VPNSurfshark
Tutorials/FAQs/KnowledgebaseTutorials/FAQs/Knowledgebase
Form-based complaint systemEmail ticketing
NoneLive chat

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

PIA VPNSurfshark
Does not unblock NetflixUnblocks 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.

15. Overall Ratings

Result: Surfshark has longer refund period (30 days)

CategoriesPIASurfshark
Pricing8.59.5
Servers9.58
Features1010
Netflix Streaming07
Workable in China08
Apps & Functionality99
Torrenting78
Total Points (70)4459.5

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.

surfshark-trustpilot

If I compare PIA with Surfshark, I was able to found positive reviews from PIA users as well.

private-internet-access-trustscore

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.

Final Verdict

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.

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