They also both have large server networks, fast connections, easy to use software, and browser extensions. But overall we found that ExpressVPN had an advantage over Private Internet Access in many of these categories. The simplicity of ExpressVPN makes it ideal for beginners or those who want a simple, no hassle VPN.
This lets you add an extra jump in your connection, improving security without having as much of an impact on performance as something like a double VPN. Private Internet Access also offers what it calls PIA Mace, which is essentially an ad blocker that also blocks malware and trackers to help improve your online privacy. The provider won thanks to its superior connection speeds, global server coverage, P2P support, native app offerings, streaming service unblocking and customer support. We’re impressed by the security, speed, and ease of use of both ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access. We think that ExpressVPN just about wins this showdown for its beginner-friendly setup, but there are features in Private Internet Access that advanced users will appreciate.
In addition, both ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access have a no logging policy, which means that they do not record data about their users’ browsing habits or other online activities. ExpressVPN features a secure, easy-to-use, and high-speed VPN for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and routers. It helps you connect to geo-restricted websites by bypassing network restrictions.
ExpressVPN also provides superb customer support via live chat, while PIA is limited to a sluggish ticketing system. On the other hand, while you can connect up to three devices simultaneously with ExpressVPN, PIA allows you to connect up to five devices. PIA and ExpressVPN have easy-to-grasp apps that enable connections to VPN servers in just a few clicks/taps. Advanced options, should you need them, are also nearby — letting the tech-savvy tinker with various settings.
It comes with high-end features, keeps you 100% protected on the Web, and has a few tricks up its sleeve. You can read all about that in our Private Internet Access review.
As evident from our ExpressVPN review, we felt impressed by this tool and we’re quick to recommend it. However, Private Internet Access can also be the perfect VPN for a wide range of users.
In contrast, ExpressVPN tends to work out of the box, even though it too may experience problems from time to time. This has little to do with how these two VPNs are working and everything to do with the Chinese government’s ongoing crackdown against VPN service providers. In case you wonder, those “other restrictions” — i.e. in other high censorship countries — could also be handled by PIA. As you probably know, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs around. It’s been on the market for many years now, and it managed to build a reputation for caring about its users.
However, Private Internet Access may be better for advanced users who want extra options and the ability to tweak their settings to their liking. The software from Private Internet Access is similarly minimal and easy to use. It is a application which will run in your system tray and will pop up notifications when you connect or disconnect using your device’s native notification system. You can right click on the icon in the system tray to quickly pick a country to connect to, or you can hit the settings option to bring up a panel.
However, PIA is itself a very competent VPN service that has more than 1 million paid subscribers. In addition, it offers excellent all-around services for users with impressive features like 10 simultaneous connections.
Their software is stable, intuitive, and offers extra features that PIA doesn’t. Also, ExpressVPN has more than 3X as many server locations as PIA.
- PIA shows relatively good connection speeds, but ExpressVPN remains the fastest premium VPN available today.
- And even though its network of servers is larger than that of ExpressVPN, PIA is unable to access geoblocked sites such as Netflix and doesn’t work in China.
- Meanwhile, ExpressVPN is virtually unstoppable by any online barrier.
ExpressVPN uses secure encryption – AES 256-bit, as well as an SHA-512 HMAC authentication. Additionally, ExpressVPN offers its users a “Network Lock” kills switch. Also, ExpressVPN uses the TrustedServer feature to run their servers.
Although PIA offers unlimited bandwidth and has a lot of servers, the server locations aren’t so spread out, and users occasionally experience lags in speed. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, consistently provides really fast connections and the kind of internet speeds you want for bufferless streaming and downloading torrents. Additionally, the automatic ad-blocking features are sure to appeal to less tech-savvy users. Both VPNs offer a wide range of advanced features to ensure your full online privacy. However, being based in the US, PIA falls under the country’s notorious data retention laws, whereas ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, an online privacy supporter.
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPNs on the internet, due to its unbeatable trio of fast connections, good security, and easy to use software. In conclusion, both ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access have the essential features of a good VPN like strong security, a no logging policy, and no bandwidth caps.
PIA shows relatively good connection speeds, but ExpressVPN remains the fastest premium VPN available today. And even though its network of servers is larger than that of ExpressVPN, PIA is unable to access geoblocked sites such as Netflix and doesn’t work in China. Meanwhile, ExpressVPN is virtually unstoppable by any online barrier.
In a nutshell, we would say there are no major differences between the two services, though we must add that PIA’s browser extensions are more powerful than those offered by ExpressVPN. On the other hand, PIA doesn’t offer live chat support, whereas that option is available round the clock with ExpressVPN.
In terms of server spread, ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers whereas Private Internet Access also provides similar number of servers i.e. 3000+. The difference is, ExpressVPN is spread over a much wider region, whereas PIA’s servers are only distributed in 29 countries. Private Internet Access operates over 3260 servers in 25 world countries. It offers impressive speeds and smooth performance, along with unlimited bandwidth. PIA can be used in China, but you will have to tinker with settings and switch servers in order to make that happen.
Average Connection Speeds
We carried out all our speed tests using OpenVPN with 256-AES encryption through a wired connection of 160 Mbps. To start with, we did tests with nearby ExpressVPN, as well as Private Internet Access servers.
In fact, if you’re tight on budget, it might even be a better idea to go with PIA rather than the expensive ExpressVPN because of the massive price difference. ExpressVPN has better app and interface usability when establishing connection with different VPN servers. The service offers a light and highly responsive VPN client to its users. It takes only a few seconds to connect to any VPN server of your choice through the app. With its intuitive, user friendly interface and lightning fast speeds, ExpressVPN offers a service that’s hard to beat.
ExpressVPN provides stable VPN connections without sacrificing internet speed and compromising security. It’s also easy-to-use and offers a consistent user experience across all platforms. In terms of security, ExpressVPN has ticked all the boxes correctly. The service offers various tunneling protocols such as PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP and industry standard OpenVPN that uses 256-bit military grade encryption by default. Similarly, you can use its network lock (kill switch) while using its impressive Windows app.
Both VPNs offer excellent encryption and security features including a kill switch, WiFi security, and support for multiple protocols (OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec). However, ExpressVPN rises above PIA with its split-tunneling feature.
So, let’s see what these two VPNs offer, and which one’s better. While both VPNs are feature rich, this is the area where ExpressVPN really shines.
PIA offers low prices and a 7-day money-back guarantee, while ExpressVPN is more expensive, but offers a 30-day refund policy. ExpressVPN has beaten PIA in terms of speeds by a huge margin as it offers excellent connection speeds. The BVI based VPN provider did not disappoint us while PIA offered mixed results during the speed testing phase. To test how close to your base internet connection these VPNs deliver speed, Ookla was used for speed measurement on a 30 Mbps base connection. ExpressVPN boasts 500 servers in 136 cities in 87 world countries.