ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access 2019

We put these VPNs to the test to find out which is the best!

If you’re getting a VPN to enhance the security of your internet connection, both ExpressVPN and PIA will serve you well. That’s because both offer AES 256-bit encryption, kill switches, and IP leak protection. They also both offer a variety of security protocols to choose from.
But if you want a VPN for unblocking geo-restricted content, go with ExpressVPN. That’s because ExpressVPN succeeds at unblocking popular streaming sites like US Netflix and Hulu, and PIA doesn’t. Additionally, only ExpressVPN will consistently get you passed the Great Firewall of China. (It’s possible for PIA to do it, but it’s not so reliable.) More Info

How do these VPNs Compare?

Speed

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.

VPN vendor ExpressVPN Private Internet Access
Download speed reduction 18% (UK) 35% (UK)
Upload speed reduction 20% (FRA) 39% (FRA)
Ping time to google.com 24ms 35ms
Average time to connect (sec.) 11ms 10ms
Unblock successful for Netflix-logo Hulu-logo Kodi-logo Espn-logo Youtube-logo Bbc-logo Youtube-logo Bbc-logo
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Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

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.

Servers

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.

VPN vendor ExpressVPN Private Internet Access
Server Locations 148 30
Server Countries 94 30
IP Addresses 1500 3236
Dynamic Server Switching
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The Big Mistake When Comparing Number of Servers and What to Really Look For

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

Support

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.

VPN vendor ExpressVPN Private Internet Access
Email Response Time 3 36
24/7 Support
Live Chat
Knowledge Base
Video Tutorials
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How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

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.

Ease of Use

ExpressVPN homepage screenshot
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.
Private Internet Access
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.
Additionally, those whose main concern is privacy won’t like the fact that its based in the US, which doesn’t have a good reputation when it comes to internet privacy. Moreover, while they don’t keep logs, they maintain the right to change their privacy policy any time without informing their users.

Pricing

STARTING PRICE PER MONTH: $6.67
DEVICE PER LICENSE: 5
MONEY BACK GUARANTEE (DAYS): 30
STARTING PRICE PER MONTH: $3.33
DEVICE PER LICENSE: 5
MONEY BACK GUARANTEE (DAYS): 7

THE WINNER IS

Visit ExpressVPN Website

Which VPN Will You Choose?

Other than pricing, there are many reasons to choose ExpressVPN over PIA. Express is located outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes, has servers in more locations, great apps for iOS and Android, multiple security protocols, great speeds, and a 30-day money back guarantee. More Info

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