Are you stuck trying to decide between PureVPN and Private Internet Access? Both of these VPNs are well known and reputable, but is one better than the other for the average user? To help point you in the right direction, we’ve put together this guide comparing these two similarly paired VPNs.
We’ll take an in-depth look at how they rank for several different features and ultimately decide on a winner. Without further ado, let’s dive straight into the PureVPN vs. Private Internet Access (PIA) comparison.
Meet the Competitors
We’re going to start with a brief overview of today’s competitors, both of which you’ve probably already heard about. They’ve been around for several years, and these veterans each offer excellent value.
PureVPN is one of the most popular VPN services available, and there’s a reason for that. It boasts an impressive number of server locations around the world, flexible encryption, and it offers remarkable speeds that keep users happy. Novices find PureVPN’s interface simple to use, making this VPN great for inexperienced users. PureVPN is also compatible with many systems, including Windows, iOS, OS X, Linux, Android, and Xbox.
Private Internet Access (PIA)
Private Internet Access is another widely used VPN service and PureVPN’s competitor. It’s known for being easy to use, as well as for its economical pricing and high speeds. PIA is not the most perfect VPN out there, as it has some flaws it could improve upon, but it boasts a lot of features that make it a fantastic choice for the average user.
We could even say that Private Internet Access is one of the best VPNs for almost anyone. PIA, like PureVPN, is also compatible with many systems, including Windows, OS X,Linux, iOS, and Android.
What features differentiate these two competitors? They both offer five simultaneous connections, they both are good choices for torrenting (But only PIA makes our best torrenting list). And they also both feature on our list of the best VPNs for iPhone. However, that’s where the similarities between them end.
- Hong Kong-based company
- 256-bit data encryption
- Doesn’t have traffic logs, but it does have some connection logs
- Features include dedicated IP and kill switch
- Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, STTP, and IKEv2
Now, let’s take a look at some of the things we like and don’t like about PureVPN.
Private Internet Access Features
- Based in the United States
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Strictly no traffic logs
- Features kill switch and DNS leak protection
- Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP
Now let’s see some things we like about PIA and some things we don’t.
While protecting user data is a central VPN feature, security often comes with a price: reduced network speed. Some VPNs offer better performance and speed than others—how do these two rank in this category?
Both of our competitors match quite evenly in this category.
PureVPN maintains 500 servers in 141 countries, which gives users excellent performance, speeds, and unlimited bandwidth. We wonder about the speed of some of these locations however as 141 countries seems high and there is going to be many with super slow connections.
PIA, on the other hand, has an impressive 3260 servers in just 25 countries, and also provides excellent speeds, performance, and unlimited bandwidth.
Both of these though pale in comparison when compared with our overall top rated VPN service Nordvpn which has over 5000 servers in 50+ countries.
While neither outperforms the other in performance and speed, reliability is where we start to see some apparent differences. Neither of our two competitors is the most reliable VPN available, but we can say that PureVPN is the more unreliable of the two.
PureVPN users report many issues. Some of the most common ones are dropped connections, IP address and DNS leaks, and problems connecting to many VPN servers. Given these problems, PIA comes out on top in the reliability category.
As you might expect, both companies provide more than adequate customer support.
PureVPN’s website has an extensive FAQ section, as well as pages full of resources for common problems that users experience. If you run into any issues when using PureVPN, you can talk with its staff via email and live chat, as well.
PIA also has a great FAQ page on its website and offers resources to help its customers just as PureVPN does. PIA offers 24/7 live chat with its support staff and facilitates peer-to-peer assistance through an online forum.
PureVPN features a kill switch should you accidentally disconnect from the VPN network, as well as robust encryption. However, it does experience many issues when it comes to privacy and security, mainly with leaks—IPv6, IPv4, and DNS.
PureVPN users can pay with Bitcoin to maintain their anonymity, but we have to mention that this company does keep some logs.
PIA has the major disadvantage of being a US-based VPN, which creates a risk to customer data and privacy. Like PureVPN, PIA features a VPN kill switch and accepts Bitcoin, but doesn’t keep traffic logs.
Unfortunately, as you can see, neither of these VPN providers offer outstanding privacy and security options. We suggest checking out our Best VPN list for VPN’s that really offer true privacy.
Ease of Use
There’s no doubt that VPNs can be tricky to use, especially if you’re a beginner trying to use them across multiple devices. Ease of use is a relevant category to consider if you’re a VPN novice, as well as the availability of user guides to help you get set up.
Luckily, PureVPN and PIA rank highly when it comes to ease of use. Both have a user-friendly interface, as well as various customer support systems to make installation all the easier. We wouldn’t rank one over the other in this category.
There are some minor price differences between PureVPN and PIA, but nothing that makes one option significantly more economical than the other. PureVPN, as is customary in the VPN world, offers subscription plans that are cheaper annually than if you pay month-to-month. It has four plans: monthly ($9.95), six months ($7.49 per month), yearly ($4.99 per month), and the two-year plan, which when paid in advance works out to $2.08 per month.
PIA has a similar structure, though it doesn’t have a two-year plan. The monthly plan costs $6.95, the six-month plan is $5.99 per month, and the annual plan costs $39.95, which ends up costing the user $3.33 per month.
Unblocking Streaming Services
One of the main reasons people turn to VPN services is for their ability to unblock streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Does this feature rank high on your list? If so, let’s take a look at how well these two VPN providers unblock streaming services.
In the fight to get ahead of Netflix, Private Internet Access does not always come out on top. Users report that they are only sometimes able to stream Netflix and similar sites, which is why we recommend PureVPN if you need this feature. PureVPN consistently unblocks Netflix, so it’s our winner in this category.
And the Winner Is
Both of these VPN providers have similar services and features, such as pricing, anonymous registry, and speed, but when push comes to shove, we’d have to choose Private Internet Access as our winner.
This decision mainly comes down to the fact that PIA is strictly no logs and guarantees users remain anonymous online, which are two of the most important reasons it has a slight edge over PureVPN. However, if unblocking streaming services is high on your list of priorities, PureVPN has the advantage of PIA.
In the end, either service is a reliable choice, and if you’re still not sure which one is right for you, we recommend signing up for a free trial—both offer several day money back guarantees—and seeing which one you like best. Whichever one you end up choosing, you can’t go wrong.