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:
|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|
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.
|Regular Plans||1-month: $10.95/mo|
|Cheapest Plan||5-year deal (88% off)||1-year deal (67% off)|
|Special Offers||None||No Special Offers|
|Money-back Guarantee||31 days||7 days|
|Payment methods||Credit cards, PayPal, Alipay, cryptocurrencies, Bluesnap, PaymentWall||Credit 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.
|Headquarter||Hong Kong (safe)||USA (unsafe)|
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.
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.
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|
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.
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.
|Protocols Supported||OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2||OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP|
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.
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.
|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 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.
PureVPN has better customer support options than PIA. You can reach PureVPN’s customer support through live chat, which is lacking in PIA.
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.
|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.
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
|Extra Features||Kodi add-on||Ad and malware blocker|
|Browser Extensions||Chrome, Firefox, and Safari||Chrome, Firefox, Opera|
|OS Support||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||Windows, 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.
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.
|Netflix||Not working||US, Germany|
|Hulu||US, Japan||US, Japan|
|Amazon Prime Video||No||Yes|
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.
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.