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We put these VPNs to the test to find out which is the best!
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.
|Download speed reduction
|Upload speed reduction
|Ping time to google.com
|Average time to connect (sec.)
|Unblock successful for
Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.
With over 3,300 servers, PIA actually has more servers than ExpressVPN, but they’re limited to 30 countries. ExpressVPN has 2,000+ servers (still not a small number), located in 94 countries.
|Dynamic Server Switching
The ratio of servers to countries is an important factor to look at when choosing a VPN. Only paying attention to location or number of servers can get you in trouble. More servers generally means faster speeds, but if VPN X has a few more servers than VPN Y but twice as many users, VPN X will typically have slower speeds. Ideally, you want a VPN that has a lot of servers in every location. This way you won’t have to worry that server/country that you want will be overburdened and running slow
ExpressVPN has a much stronger customer support network than PIA. In addition to a multitude of tutorials and setup guides, ExpressVPN has email and social media support, and a 24/7 live chat. PIA also has tutorials and guides, but – while they used to offer live chat – they currently only have a support ticketing system, which can sometimes be slow to respond.
|Email Response Time
We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.
With its intuitive, user friendly interface and lightning fast speeds, ExpressVPN offers a service that’s hard to beat. They go above and beyond the usual security features by using double VPN (meaning your internet traffic goes through two servers instead of one) and by controlling all their own servers, with no third parties involved.
Plus, ExpressVPN takes your privacy really seriously. It’s based outside the 14-Eye network, and doesn’t keep any logs on user activity.
PIA is really easy to install and use, has apps for all major operating systems, and provides tight security. Where it comes up a little short is when it comes to customer service, and providing access to geo-restricted content.
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