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ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access: Which is the better VPN Service?

We answered whether to choose ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access!

Last Updated on 02/07/2024

Two of the most renowned and dependable Virtual Private Network (VPN) companies are ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA). People looking to safeguard their online privacy and security can consider both as valid VPN options.

So which is better, ExpressVPN or PIA? Overall, ExpressVPN is known for its fast speeds, reliable connections, and strong encryption; while PIA is known for its low cost and solid security. In this article, we’ll be reviewing ExpressVPN vs. PIA to discuss their similarities and differences in greater detail so you can decide the ultimate winner.

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Compare the best VPN service providers

ExpressVPN
Recommended
Favicon
4.9/5
  • Super-fast, global coverage
  • Maximum privacy assurance
  • Premium streaming unblocking
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Hulu
bbc_iplayer
from $8,32 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
+
Apps
Show less
CyberGhost
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.8/5
  • Exceptionally user-friendly interface
  • Robust privacy, no logs
  • Great for streaming/torrenting
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $2,37 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
PayPal
Visa
Mastercard
+
Apps
Show less
NordVPN
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.7/5
  • Robust Military-Grade Encryption
  • Efficient Streaming and Torrenting
  • Audited No-Log Privacy
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $3,59 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
+
Apps
Show less
Private Internet Access
4.
Favicon
4.6/5
  • Impressive security features
  • Extensive server network
  • Competitive subscription plans
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $1,98 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.6/5
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Impressive connection speeds
  • Unlimited device protection
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $2,49 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
StrongVPN
6.
Favicon
4.3/5
  • Ultra-fast speeds and reliable connections
  • Streaming and torrenting support
  • Robust security features
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
from $3,97 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
Hide.me
7.
Favicon
4.0/5
  • Fast, reliable connections
  • Affordable long-term plans
  • Innovative security features
Data Logging
Yes
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Torrents
Netflix
bbc_iplayer
from $2,59 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
American Express
+
Apps
Show More
ivacy VPN
8.
Favicon
4.0/5
  • Impressive server coverage
  • Competitive subscription rates
  • Strong encryption measures
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
from $1,00 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
American Express
+
Apps
Show More
ProtonVPN
9.
Favicon
4.0/5
  • Unlimited free VPN plan
  • Blistering network speeds
  • Advanced security features
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
from $4,99 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
PureVPN
10.
Favicon
4.0/5
  • Massive server network
  • Regularly audited no logs
  • Affordable pricing plans
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Hulu
bbc_iplayer
from 2,04€ / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
American Express
+
Apps
Show More
Bitdefender
11.
Favicon
4.0/5
  • Lightning-fast speeds
  • Competitive pricing plans
  • Good for torrenting
Data Logging
Yes
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Torrents
from $2,50 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
PayPal
Bank Transfer
Visa
+
Show More

ExpressVPN vs. PIA: General review

ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access VPN, two of the best VPN services, offer many features. Before getting into these features, let’s take a general look at the must-knows, such as each VPN’s server coverage, device limits and compatibility, and subscription prices.

ExpressVPNPrivate Internet Access
CompanyExpress VPN International LtdPrivate Internet Access, Inc
Web Sitewww.expressvpn.comwww.privateinternetaccess.com
Customer SupportLive Chat, Email SupportLive Chat, Email Support
Licence
Verified byn/an/a
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
+
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Bonusfrom $8,32 / Monthfrom $1,98 / Month
VisitGo to ExpressVPN
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Private Internet Access
T&Cs apply, 18+

ExpressVPN vs. PIA: Connectable devices and servers

ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, while PIA VPN has over 30,000 servers available in 83 countries. So in terms of server quantity, PIA has got ExpressVPN beat, and vice versa when it comes to the range of host countries.

Another notable difference is found in the amount of devices that are included in your subscription. ExpressVPN can connect to only 5 devices simultaneously on a single subscription. PIA steals the spotlight here, boasting unlimited device connections.

In terms of device compatibility, ExpressVPN and PIA both work with devices operating with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The difference is that PIA also offers compatibility with Chrome, Opera, and other web browsers.

ExpressVPN or PIA: Price review

If you want to choose ExpressVPN or PIA based on price, you should sign up for a longer membership to receive the best deal. If you're ready to sign a two-year contract, PIA provides the most economical choice at $2.19 per month. You'll have to pay $11.99 per month if there isn't a contract.

The best pricing with ExpressVPN is only available with a 12-month contract, although it is much more expensive than PIA. If you choose a month-to-month subscription, you'll pay $12.95/mo or $8.32/mo for 12 months.

Both services provide a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try out one of the longer subscriptions before committing.

Subscription ExpressVPN PIA VPN
Monthly Plan $12.95 $11.99
6-month plan $9.99/month $7.50/month
1-year plan $8.32/month and 3 months free Not available
2-year plan Not available $2.19/month

More great VPN service providers

ExpressVPN
1.
Favicon
4.9/5
from $8,32 / Month
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
CyberGhost
2.
Favicon
4.8/5
from $2,37 / Month
PayPal
Visa
Mastercard
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
NordVPN
3.
Favicon
4.7/5
from $3,59 / Month
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Private Internet Access
4.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $1,98 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $2,49 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+

General features of ExpressVPN and PIA VPN: A Comparison

Now that you know some of the basics, let's get into VPN features. ExpressVPN and PIA VPN offer standard VPN services to users, but there are general distinctive features shared by both ExpressVPN and PIA VPN, which show their similarities and notable differences.

Speed

ExpressVPN is often considered one of the fastest VPN providers. Thanks to Lightway, its ground-breaking tunneling system, this claim is accurate and this VPN beats PIA in this regard, with NordVPN’s NordLynx as its greatest competitor.

Private Internet Access VPN, on the other hand, uses the WireGuard tunnel, which is also one of the top tunneling technologies available right now. However, WireGuard relies on location factors, causing speeds to fluctuate, so this is why it gets surpassed by Lightway.

Encryption

Both VPNs have a variety of encryption features, but at different capacities. For instance, the current industry-standard encryption used by the majority of VPN services that deal with sensitive data is AES-256, which ExpressVPN deploys by default. In comparison, Private Internet Access offers AES-128 (CBC), which isn’t as secure. Though, you can change your settings to more advanced options.

As mentioned before, ExpressVPN uses the Lightway protocol, which also gives you the option to select ChaCha20/Poly1305 encryption, especially if you're using less-powerful mobile devices. PIA offers OpenVPN with its Wireguard protocol.

For added protection, ExpressVPN and PIA both have perfect forward secrecy, which ensures that the encryption keys are continually changing, but along with a hash method for authentication; ExpressVPN uses SHA-512, while PIA uses SHA-256.

In sum, they have similar encryption technologies, but ExpressVPN has more advanced versions.

Stealth server

Deep packet inspection can occasionally be used by business organizations or schools to keep an eye on your internet actions. By doing this, they can identify your use of a VPN and stop its transmission.

Fortunately, ExpressVPN has a workaround for this. You are immediately switched to a stealth server when it is required, preventing anyone from seeing that you are using a VPN. By doing this, you might even succeed in using ExpressVPN in countries that obstruct VPN traffic.

PIA does not have a stealth server, but it does offer obfuscated servers to protect your activities, and is available on all devices except Android.

Port forwarding

Port forwarding is supported by both Private Internet Access VPN and ExpressVPN, allowing you to access your device from anywhere, run your website, and host servers for multiplayer games. While PIA VPN allows you to do this on one of its desktop or mobile apps, ExpressVPN requires you to use its proprietary router application to set up port forwarding.

Streaming

Both ExpressVPN and PIA work well for streaming games and TV shows. When VPN services aren't available, ExpressVPN employs its MediaStreamer DNS, a patented technology that enables you to alter your DNS location. MediaStreamer may spoof your location on devices that can't use a VPN to enable you access to geo-restricted material. A similar Smart DNS product from PIA enables you to modify your location to access blocked content.

Proxy

You can use a SOCKS5 proxy and Shadowsocks with a private Internet access VPN. When torrenting or attempting to get over a country's firewall, using a proxy server may be helpful. ExpressVPN does not offer a SOCKS5 proxy on its servers.

ExpressVPN vs. PIA: Our final verdict

Comparing ExpressVPN and PIA, it is clear that each has advantages and disadvantages. Both have excellent user interfaces, but have notable differences. PIA VPN has a larger server network, albeit fewer countries. It also offers various features and is the cheaper option to go for budget-conscious users.

Express VPN, on the other hand, boasts stronger encryption options, faster speeds, and more platform options. However, it is the pricier option between the two, despite having fewer features and a smaller network. Ultimately, the choice of the best VPN service to go for depends on you, as each offers different features that may be more or less attractive to different.

Our choice VPN deals right now

ExpressVPN
1.
Favicon
4.9/5
from $8,32 / Month
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
CyberGhost
2.
Favicon
4.8/5
from $2,37 / Month
PayPal
Visa
Mastercard
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
NordVPN
3.
Favicon
4.7/5
from $3,59 / Month
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Private Internet Access
4.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $1,98 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $2,49 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+

ExpressVPN or PIA FAQ

Is ExpressVPN better than PIA?🤔

ExpressVPN and PIA VPN both have similar and different features that make them unique. Information about these features can be accessed in our user reviews.

Which is cheaper, ExpressVPN or PIA?🙄

Both VPN service providers have their individual subscription plans and perks that come with it. You can get more information about these plans in our price reviews for both VPN providers.

Can I connect to ExpressVPN or PIA servers from anywhere?🧐

ExpressVPN and PIA have multiple servers in many countries and policies guide each user’s location. Ensure that you go through the terms available before signing up or go through our user reviews.

Can I use multiple devices on ExpressVPN or PIA VPN?🙂

There is a certain number of devices that can be connected on a single subscription, while one of these VPN service providers has a maximum number of devices that can be connected, the other enables multiple device connections. Learn more in our overview for each VPN feature.

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Best VPNs in the World
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN Bonus
from $8,32 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to ExpressVPN
NordVPN
NordVPN Bonus
from $3,59 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to NordVPN
CyberGhost
CyberGhost Bonus
from $2,37 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to CyberGhost
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