When choosing a VPN service provider, there are a number of factors worth considering: security, privacy, software/features, and speed. Two great options that comprise these basic features are ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access. These are two popular VPN service providers, especially among BitTorrent users. They serve as good providers for hiding your torrent IP address and encrypting your torrent downloads. While PIA’s security is excellent, ExpressVPN’s software is to die for, each provider has its own features and qualities that set it apart from the other. In this article, we provide you with a detailed comparison of PIA and Express VPN. This shall help you make up your mind as to which service provider you should subscribe to.
ExpressVPN vs PIA
Comparison Table – ExpressVPN vs PIA
Here’s a quick summary of how these two VPN providers stack up against each other.
|Headquarters||British Virgin Islands||United States|
|Refund Period||30 Days||7 Days|
|Logging Policy||No Logs||No Logs|
|Server Locations||94 Countries||28 Countries|
ExpressVPN vs PIA – Features
While both providers offer excellent ways to protect your online activities and access restricted content, one provider has to come on top of the other. With that being said, let’s take a look at how these two providers differ in the following categories.
When it comes to cost, a PIA subscription is much cheaper. However, the price itself doesn’t reveal everything. While you have to pay more than double for an ExpressVPN subscription, you also get lots of additional features and VPN locations for what you pay for. So, in terms of value-for-money, ExpressVPN comes out on top here.
In case you decide to sign up with ExpressVPN, you can get a full refund within 30 days of your original subscription date. NordVPN, as well as BulletVPN, offer similar refund policies. PrivateInternetAccess, on the other hand, only offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. This is similar to IPVanish’s refund policy. If you end up signing up with PIA, you have to make up your mind quickly on whether this VPN service provider does meet all your privacy needs.
Both providers use OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSEC encryption with 256-bit session keys. They make use of the same encryption policy used by the US military and government for high-security communication. However, PIA gets the upper hand for having adjustable encryption settings (you can even disable encryption altogether for low-security VPN uses like geo-unblocking of video streaming sites). PIA also uses 4096-bit handshake encryption, which is much stronger than the 2048-bit encryption used by most VPNs.
ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), where there are no data retention laws. The provider keeps no user logs of any kind. Private Internet Access, on the other hand, is located in the United States, which isn’t very comforting for its users. However, the company claims that it does not keep logs of any type in relation to their users’ online activities.
What’s special about PIA are the adjustable encryption options built into its software and the triple IP leak protection. However, ExpressVPN has so many unique features that make using their software a pleasurable experience. With ExpressVPN, you get access to all 5 of their VPN protocols (whereas PIA’s software only allows OpenVPN TCP or UDP). PIA’s server selection is not all that good. If they keep adding server locations they’ll need a new server selection interface soon.
Although there wasn’t that much of a difference, ExpressVPN tested to be faster than PIA. Afterall, a good encryption comes with a price, and ExpressVPN is a bit more consistent with speeds across the board. Furthermore, if upload speed is important to you, ExpressVPN should serve you well.
PIA has more servers, whereas, ExpressVPN has more server locations. ExpressVPN provides over 1,500 servers spread out in 94 countries around the globe. The provider’s excellent global server coverage means you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to accessing blocked content. However, Private Internet Access offers 3,272 servers across only 25 countries. While PIA does have servers in the major countries around the globe, such as the United States, United Kingdom, France and others, you might not have as much access to blocked content as you would with ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN has the better customer service as it offers a trouble ticket submission form, live text chat, email support and an easy-to-search support library. Private Internet Access support options include an online trouble ticket submission form and a searchable knowledge base with no live support chat.
ExpressVPN vs PIA – Verdict
Both these service providers offer anonymity and security. Despite PIA’s attributes and distinctive features, ExpressVPN remains our number one pick. The company’s location, speed, and server distribution qualify this service provider as the better one in our opinion. What do you think? Which service provider would you subscribe to? Let us know in the comment section below. Make sure you check out our ExpressVPN review and PIA review for a deeper insight.