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PureVPN and PIA are two fierce competitors in the VPN industry. But which one is better?

PureVPN is the winner in this contest against PIA because the provider has better logging policy, larger server diversity, privacy features, and support for streaming and torrenting.

Here’s a summary of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of PureVPN vs PIA:

FactorsPureVPNPIA
JurisdictionHong KongUSA
Logging PolicyNo activity or user-related logsNo activity logs
Pricing $1.32/mo $3.33/mo
Speed26.01 Mbps21.4 Mbps
Server Network2,000+ servers
140 + countries
3,335 servers
30 countries
Customer SupportLive chatEmail
TorrentingSupportedSupported
Netflix UnblockingSupportedNot supported
SecurityStrongStrong
WebsitePureVPNPIA

These parameters are analyzed in detail in the paragraphs below.

You can also consult our comprehensive VPN chart which compares more than 60 providers on 20 different parameters.

 

Pricing, payment methods, and refund policy

PureVPN is cheaper than PIA and offers longer money-back guarantees. At the price of $1.32/mo , PureVPN offers top-notch features for unblocking geo-restrictions and improving online privacy. In addition, you get a 31-day refund period with all PureVPN subscription plans.

PureVPNPIA
Regular Plans1-month: $10.95/mo

1-year: $5.81/mo

5-year: $1.32/mo

1-month: $6.95/mo

6-month: $5.99/mo

1-year: $3.33/mo

Cheapest Plan5-year deal (88% off)1-year deal (67% off)
Special OffersNoneNo Special Offers
Money-back Guarantee31 days7 days
Payment methodsCredit cards, PayPal, Alipay, cryptocurrencies, Bluesnap, PaymentWallCredit cards, PayPal, Bitcoins, Gift cards

PIA is slightly more expensive, costing $2.33/month on its 2-year plan. In addition, it has a smaller refund period of only 7 days. Both providers offer multiple payment options including cryptocurrencies, so they are equally matched in this area.

But overall, PureVPN wins this round due to its better affordability and refund policy.

 

Privacy & Data Logging

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 which leaves no chance of any third-parties gaining access to your private files and information.

PureVPNPIA
HeadquarterHong Kong (safe)USA (unsafe)
Activity LogsNoNo
Connection LogsNoUnspecified
Anonymous PaymentYesYes

Since PureVPN is located within Hong Kong, it is far removed from the reach of the surveillance net of Five Eyes. As such, you can rely on PureVPN to guard your privacy from any unknown third party.

On the other hand, 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. Furthermore, PIA is based in USA, which is one of the worst countries for privacy, due to mass surveillance programs in the country.

Therefore, PureVPN wins this round against PIA due to better logging policy and jurisdiction.

 

Server Network

PureVPN has more server locations (140+) but PIA has a larger total server count (3,335). Nonetheless, PureVPN has a respectably sized network of its own with 2,000+ servers 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, whereas PIA is entirely composed of physical servers only.

PureVPNPIA
Countries140+30
Servers2,000+3,335

Following table would allow you to check server availability in your desired country from any of these providers.

CountryPureVPNPIA
AfghanistanYesNo
AlbaniaYesNo
AlgeriaYesNo
AndorraNoNo
AngolaYesNo
ArgentinaYesNo
ArmeniaYesNo
ArubaYesNo
AustraliaYesYes
AustriaYesYes
AzerbaijanYesNo
BahamasYesNo
BahrainYesNo
BangladeshYesNo
BarbadosYesNo
BelarusNoNo
BelgiumYesYes
BelizeYesNo
BermudaYesNo
BhutanNoNo
BoliviaYesNo
Bosnia & HerzegovinaYesNo
BrazilYesNo
British Virgin IslandYesNo
Brunei DarussalamYesNo
BulgariaYesNo
CambodiaYesNo
CanadaYesYes
Cape VerdeYesNo
Cayman IslandsYesNo
ChileYesNo
ChinaYesNo
ColombiaYesNo
Costa RicaYesNo
CroatiaYesNo
CyprusYesNo
Czech RepublicYesYes
DenmarkYesYes
DominicaYesNo
Dominican RepublicYesNo
EcuadorYesNo
EgyptYesNo
El SalvadorYesNo
EstoniaYesNo
EthiopiaYesNo
FinlandYesYes
FranceYesYes
GeorgiaYesNo
GermanyYesYes
GhanaYesNo
GreeceYesNo
GrenadaYesNo
GuatemalaYesNo
GuyanaYesNo
HaitiYesNo
HondurasYesNo
Hong KongYesYes
HungaryYesYes
IcelandYesNo
IndiaYesYes
IndonesiaYesNo
IrelandYesYes
Isle of ManYesNo
IsraelNoYes
ItalyYesYes
JamaicaYesNo
JapanYesYes
JerseyNoNo
JordanYesNo
KazakhstanYesNo
KenyaYesNo
KuwaitYesNo
KyrgyzstanYesNo
LaosYesNo
LatviaYesNo
LiechtensteinYesNo
LithuaniaYesNo
LuxembourgYesYes
MacauYesNo
MacedoniaNoNo
MadagascarYesNo
MalaysiaYesNo
MaltaYesNo
MauritaniaYesNo
MauritiusYesNo
MexicoYesYes
MoldovaNoNo
MonacoYesNo
MongoliaYesNo
MontenegroYesNo
MontserratYesNo
MoroccoYesNo
MyanmarNoNo
NepalNoNo
NetherlandsYesYes
New ZealandYesYes
NigerYesNo
NigeriaYesNo
NorwayYesYes
OmanYesNo
PakistanYesNo
PanamaYesNo
Papua New GuineaYesNo
ParaguayYesNo
PeruYesNo
PhilippinesYesNo
PolandYesYes
PortugalYesNo
Puerto RicoYesNo
QatarYesNo
RomaniaYesYes
Saudi ArabiaYesNo
SenegalYesNo
SerbiaYesNo
SeychellesYesNo
SingaporeYesYes
SlovakiaYesNo
SloveniaYesNo
South AfricaYesNo
South KoreaYesNo
SpainYesYes
Sri LankaYesNo
St LuciaYesNo
SurinameYesNo
SwedenYesYes
SwitzerlandYesYes
TaiwanYesNo
TajikistanYesNo
TanzaniaYesNo
ThailandYesNo
Trinidad and TobagoYesNo
TunisiaYesNo
TurkeyYesNo
TurkmenistanYesNo
Turks and Caicos IslandYesNo
UkraineNoNo
United Arab EmiratesYesYes
United KingdomYesYes
United StatesYesYes
UruguayNoNo
UzbekistanYesNo
VenezuelaNoNo
VietnamYesNo

Although PIA has 3,335 servers, these are concentrated in only 30 countries.  As such, if you are looking for a VPN with the higher server count alone, PIA is the better choice. But if you need more server locations than there’s no better option than PureVPN.

This round is therefore a tie between PureVPN and PIA.

 

Security

Both providers offer strong security with similar features and technologies. For instance, both PureVPN and PIA use AES-256 encryption. In addition, advanced features such as killswitch and IP/DNS leak protection is also available in both VPNs, whereas PIA also offers ad and malware blocking capability using its proprietary MACE technology.

PureVPNPIA
EncryptionAES-256AES-256
Protocols SupportedOpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP
RSA KeysRSA-4096RSA-2048
App SecurityKillswitchKillswitch

The VPN protocols offered by PureVPN include OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2 whereas PIA only offers OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP. In fact, PIA’s only work on the OpenVPN configuration, which is unchangeable. If you want to use a different protocol, you will instead have to rely on manual configuration on your device, which is quite odd for a VPN of PIA’s caliber.

PureVPN allows easy switching between different protocols directly through its apps. For authentication, PureVPN uses RSA-2048 whereas PIA uses the twice as strong RSA-4096. Practically, both algorithms are uncrackable with a brute-force attack or other similar techniques.

All things considered, both providers are quite evenly matched in terms of security.

PIA-settings-menu

PureVPN-settings-menu

 

Speed

PureVPN is faster than PIA VPN on average. 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.

PureVPNPIA VPN
US: 29.07 MbpsUS: 19.16 Mbps
UK: 29.34 MbpsUK: 25.78 Mbps
Germany: 20.85 MbpsGermany: 22.25 Mbps
Australia: 24.79 MbpsAustralia: 18.4 Mbps
Avg. Download: 26.01 MbpsAvg. Download: 21.39 Mbps

PureVPN reached as high as 29.07 Mbps on the US server and maintained an impressive average of 26.01 Mbps. 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.

 

Customer Support

PureVPN has better customer support options than PIA. You can reach PureVPN’s customer support through live chat, which is lacking in PIA.

PureVPNPIA
Live ChatYesNo
Email SupportYesYes
Tutorials/Setup GuidesYesYes

Both providers offer tutorials and guides on their official website which contain troubleshooting, setup instructions, and other general information.

Due to responsive live chat support, PureVPN wins this round against Private Internet Access.

 

App Usability and Interface

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.

PureVPNPIA
One click installation setupAndroid, iOS, Windows, MacOSAndroid, iOS, Windows, MacOS
Configurable settingsYesYes
Overall usabilityModerateEasy
Browser ExtensionsYesYes

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.

purevpn-windows-app-interface

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.

PureVPN-ios-interface

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.

PIA-3

The smartphone apps of PIA also features excellent usability. You can connect to a server directly from its home screen menu.

PIA-smartphone-app

As such, this round is a tie between PIA and PureVPN.

 

Features & Compatibility

PureVPN and PIA offer some advanced features to help strengthen the privacy and security of users on the web. You get features like killswitch, split-tunneling, and IP/DNS leak protection with PureVPN, whereas PIA lacks split-tunneling but packs an ad/malware-blocker in its list of features

PureVPNPIA
KillswitchYesYes
Split TunnelingYesNo
Simultaneous Connections510
Extra FeaturesKodi add-onAd and malware blocker
Browser ExtensionsChrome, Firefox, and SafariChrome, Firefox, Opera
OS SupportWindows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, iOS

PureVPN supports 5 simultaneous connections on a single account whereas PIA supports up to 10 simultaneous connections.

Both VPN services are compatible with common operating systems for desktop and smartphones including MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS.

Therefore, this round is a tie between PIA and PureVPN.

 

Unblocking Strength

PureVPN is more successful when it comes to unblocking VoD services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. 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.

PIAPureVPN
NetflixNot workingUS, Germany
HuluUS, JapanUS, Japan
BBC iPlayerNoYes
Amazon Prime VideoNoYes
Sky GoYesYes
CBSYesYes

The fact that PureVPN offers speeds than PIA also gives it a definite edge over PIA because seamless streaming requires fast internet connections.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a VPN to gain access to BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and more in regions where these services are unavailable, PureVPN is the obvious choice as compared to PIA.

 

Availability in China

PureVPN works better in China than PIA, however, it is still quite inconsistent. The Chinese Great Firewall is becoming increasingly effective at blocking VPN traffic and most VPNs have a hard time getting through Chinese filtering technologies.

As such, both PureVPN an PIA only work intermittently in China, with PureVPN having a better availability rate than PIA. In addition, PureVPN has 12 servers within China in the cities of Shanghai and Beijing, whereas PIA has none.

For these reasons, PureVPN is better for China as compared to PIA.

 

Torrents & P2P File-sharing

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. Both of these factors work in favor of this VPN as far as its desirability for use with torrents is concerned.

On the other hand, although you can download torrents with PIA, 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.

Therefore, PureVPN is a much safer VPN for p2p activities and torrenting.

Disclaimer: We do not encourage nor condone the use of VPNs to engage in illegal activities including copyright infringement.

 

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.

 

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