If you’re a long-time VPN user, you’re probably familiar with PureVPN and PIA – two of the biggest brands in the industry. These providers have existed in the industry for a long time and have a huge base of loyal customers, but which one is the better choice?
The purpose of this detailed PureVPN vs PIA comparison is to find the answer to this question, namely the winner between these two VPNs.
PureVPN vs PIA VPN: Head to Head Comparison
PureVPN is the winner!
PureVPN is the winner in this contest against PIA because of the following:
- Logging: Clear no-logs policy
- Speed: 26.01 Avg. Download Speed (4.61 Mbps faster than PIA)
- Lower Price: $2.91/mo
- Jurisdiction: Hong Kong (safer)
- Netflix: Supported
- Server Spread: 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries
- Live Chat Support
A Quick Comparison of PIA and PureVPN
To test the depth of both VPNs we examined various features of PureVPN and PIA. So, if you’re in a hurry and want to know a summary of the comparison, you can take a look at the comparison table below:
|Logging Policy||No activity or user-related logs||No activity logs|
|Speed||26.01 Mbps||21.4 Mbps|
|Server Network||2,000+ servers|
140 + countries
|Customer Support||Live chat|
|Netflix Unblocking||Supported||Not supported|
Moreover, you can see our VPN comparison chart in which we have compared more than 60 providers.
Overview of PureVPN and PIA
PureVPN is a Hong Kong based VPN service that is known for the geographical diversity of its servers, having presence in over 140 countries and innovative features like split-tunneling. The provider also has a good logging policy with a loyal fan base across the world.
PIA is a US based VPN service. The VPN offers a range of basic features, but it covers these basics very well. The US jurisdiction is not considered a positive thing for any VPN service, so that is one of the major downsides to PIA.
Further details for both VPNs will be uncovered in the following passages.
1. Pricing Plans
Result: PureVPN is less expensive than PIA if you want to subscribe to the 2-year plan.
PureVPN – It offers multiple plans. The 1-month plan is costly as it $10.95/month. The 1-year plan is also on the expensive side costing $4.16/month. However, PureVPN offers better value for the longer term plans, especially the 2-year subscription that is priced at $2.91/mo
PIA – Like PureVPN, PIA also offers 3 plans: 1-month, 6-month, and 1-year. The 1-year plan, costing $2.85/month, is more affordable than PureVPN’s subscription for the same period. However, it doesn’t offer a 2-year plan at all, so PureVPN is automatically the better choice for long-term subscriptions.
Payment Methods and Refund Policy
Result: Both PureVPN and PIA are tied in this round
|Payment method & Refund||PureVPN||PIA|
|Money-back guarantee||31 days||30 day|
PureVPN – You can purchase PureVPN through different payment methods including credit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrency. Users that want to remain anonymous can easily choose PayPal or cryptocurrency to purchase their desired PureVPN subscription. In addition, PureVPN offers 31-day money-back guarantee
PIA – PIA also facilitates users by accepting payments through cryptocurrency, credit card, and PayPal. The company used to have a 7-day refund policy, but it has extended this to 30 days now, making it just as good as PureVPN (with just a day short).
2. Privacy & Data Logging
Result: PureVPN has a more transparent logging policy as compared to PIA
PureVPN – PureVPN has a more transparent and reassuring logging policy as well as the advantage of being located in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction of Hong Kong. The provider keeps no logs of personally identifiable information such as user activity, IP address, DNS requests etc. which leaves no chance of any third-parties gaining access to your private files and information.
PIA – PIA has a rather vague logging policy. Although they maintain that they keep no traffic logs, it is unclear if they do store logs of other user-related information such as IP addresses. As such, there is nothing conclusive about PIA’s treatment of user metadata. Furthermore, PIA is based in USA, which is one of the worst countries for privacy, due to mass surveillance programs in the country.
3. Speed Results
Result: PureVPN is 4.62 Mbps faster than PIA. Both VPNs deliver excellent speeds in general.
Although both providers are quite fast, PureVPN managed to outperform PIA by a small but notable margin. To measure the speeds of both VPNs, Ookla’s online SpeedTest tool was used using a base internet connection of 30 Mbps.
|US: 29.07 Mbps||US: 19.16 Mbps|
|UK: 29.34 Mbps||UK: 25.78 Mbps|
|Germany: 20.85 Mbps||Germany: 22.25 Mbps|
|Australia: 24.79 Mbps||Australia: 18.4 Mbps|
|Avg. Download: 26.01 Mbps||Avg. Download: 21.39 Mbps|
PureVPN – PureVPN reached as high as 29.07 Mbps on the US server and maintained an impressive average of 26.01 Mbps across all the four servers tested i.e US, UK, Australia, and Germany.
PIA – Meanwhile, PIA’s highest speed was recorded when connected to one of its UK servers, where it reached 25.78 Mbps. The average speed of PIA after testing it on all four different servers is 21.39 Mbps.
4. Servers in Countries
Result: There is no clear winner here. PureVPN covers more countries through virtual servers, but PIA offers more servers in total with bare-metal servers only.
PureVPN – It has 2,000+ servers spread in 140+ countries. The extensive geographical coverage of server network is one of the USPs of PureVPN, as most other providers in the VPN industry have their networks confined to a smaller footprint. However, it must be pointed out that many of PureVPN’s servers are virtual,
PIA – It has a larger total server count 3,200+ in 30 countries. Although the number of servers is pretty impressive, PIA is only spread around 30 countries. The good thing is that PIA is entirely composed of physical servers only, which is one of the factors behind their smaller geographical coverage.
PureVPN vs PIA: Server Country Checklist
Following table would allow you to check server availability in your desired country from any of these providers.
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||Yes||No|
|British Virgin Island||Yes||No|
|Isle of Man||Yes||No|
|Papua New Guinea||Yes||No|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Yes||No|
|Turks and Caicos Island||Yes||No|
|United Arab Emirates||Yes||Yes|
Result: Both PureVPN and PIA offer excellent compatibility for devices and platforms.
PureVPN – PureVPN is compatible with every commonly used platform and device out there. This includes Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire TV, Kodi and more. The mobile apps are neatly designed and work with optimal responsiveness. In addition, PureVPN offers extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
PIA – offers dedicated apps for most common devices including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. For browsers, it offers extensions that support Opera, Firefox, and Chrome.
6. User Interface
Result: Both PIA and PureVPN offer well-designed apps for desktop and smartphones. This round is a tie.
PureVPN and PIA have easy-to-use apps for a variety of devices and platforms. However, PureVPN has a much more appealing app design as compared to PIA, which has a very basic app design.
|One click installation setup||Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS||Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS|
In terms of performance, both apps work quite smoothly. However, PIA usually takes a longer time to connect to a server. The desktop app of PureVPN starts with the Streaming Mode selected by default.
It takes a little getting used to as there are multiple sub-menus full of different settings, so the app can certainly be made more user-friendly. However, the smartphone app of PureVPN boasts an awesome design and superior usability.
PIA offers a much simpler app which simply resides on the taskbar in your desktops. You can switch servers, connect, or disconnect the VPN from the taskbar.
The smartphone apps of PIA also features excellent usability. You can connect to a server directly from its home screen menu.
7. Customer Support
Result: PureVPN offers 24/7 live chat support, whereas PIA doesn’t.
Customer support is something that can either make or break a VPN service. Every product has flaws and you can’t expect to satisfy all customers. But if customer support team is kind, respectful, and empathetic to their customers, it can convert even displeased customers into people that can spread a positive word of mouth about a brand.
PureVPN – It is evident that PureVPN takes customer support quite seriously. 24/7 live chat support is incredibly useful for instantly getting answers to your questions, as well as for raising complaints if you are experiencing troubles with the VPN. PureVPN’s website also consists of a lot of helpful articles and detailed guides that explain setup process and other important details to facilitate the user.
PIA – PIA primarily offers support to customers through email ticketing system. They are quite responsive through emails, so that’s too big of a problem though the convenience of live chat support is certainly missing. Like PureVPN, PIA’s official website is full of guides and instructions for installing its VPN apps, configuring different settings, and getting the best out of the service.
8. Torrents & P2P File-sharing
Result: PureVPN is a safer choice for torrenting as compared to PIA
PureVPN – unblocks torrent websites and allows safe downloading of torrents. The fact that PureVPN has a no-logging policy and is based in Hong Kong is another favorable advantage promoting user trust when it comes to downloading torrents safely.
PIA – It supports torrent though it should be remembered that the provider is based in the US. The strictest anti-piracy laws are in the US. This fact combined with the surveillance capabilities of US agencies and vague logging policy of PIA makes it a less than ideal choice for downloading torrents safely. Though as far as performance is concerned, PIA is very efficient for unblocking and download torrents.
Disclaimer: We do not encourage nor condone the use of VPNs to engage in illegal activities including copyright infringement.
9. Unblocking Strength
Result: PureVPN is much more reliable for unblocking popular streaming services as compared to PIA
VPNs are having a hard time unblocking streaming services these days. With geo-restriction and anti-VPN technologies improving, it’s not as easy for VPNs today to find access to popular streaming services.
|Netflix||Not working||US, Germany|
|Hulu||US, Japan||US, Japan|
|Amazon Prime Video||No||Yes|
PureVPN – The good news is that PureVPN is still one of the few VPNs that is effective for unblocking VoD services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. The fact that PureVPN offers speeds than PIA also gives it a definite edge over PIA because seamless streaming requires fast internet connections.
PIA – On the other hand, PIA’s ability to unblock streaming services has worsened over the years. The VPN could easily unblock Netflix, but it seldom works anymore if you want to watch US Netflix through one of its servers.
10. Security Features
Result: Both PureVPN and PIA are quite evenly matched in terms of security. You get valuable features from each provider that can boost your online privacy and security.
PureVPN – It uses AES-256 encryption. The VPN protocols offered by PureVPN include OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2. PureVPN allows easy switching between different protocols directly through its apps. For authentication, PureVPN uses RSA-2048. In addition, advanced features such as kill switch and IP/DNS leak protection are also offered by PureVPN.
PIA – It implements AES-256 encryption but you can only use the OpenVPN configuration, which is unchangeable. PIA offers kill switch as well as ad ad and malware blocking capability using its proprietary MACE technology.
Final Verdict: PureVPN is the Winner
PureVPN is better than PIA in terms of speed, logging policy, pricing, server locations, unblocking strength and more. Although PIA is itself a very good VPN, it falls short in many departments when compared to the raw strength and strong functionalities of PureVPN.
Some of the areas where PIA gets the better of PureVPN is in the higher limit of multi-logins (10) and larger overall server count. In most other departments, however, PureVPN has outperformed PIA.
So if you’re looking for the VPN with better privacy, compatibility with VoDs like Netflix, speed, and affordability, PureVPN is much the better choice in this PIA vs PureVPN comparison.