PureVPN vs PIA

This article will be looking at the differences between Private Internet Access vs PureVPN to determine better what works best for you and your needs.

PureVPN vs PIA: all important

purevpnprivateinternetaccess
JurisdictionHong KongUSA
3rd party auditYes, by Altius ITNo
RAM-only serversNoNo
Native appsWindows
MacOS
Android
iOS
AndroidTV
Linux
Firestick
DD-WRT Applet
Windows
MacOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Connections1010
Browser extensionsChrome
Firefox
Chrome
Firefox
Opera
Advanced featuresKill Switch
Dedicated IP
Split Tunneling
Onion over VPN
Ads Blocker
Kill Switch
Split Tunneling
Ad Blocker
Servers network2000 servers in
140 countries
Over 12000 servers in
75 countries
Streaming and P2PYes,
Dedicated servers
Yes
Free trialYes, $0.99 7 Days trialNo
Price$6.49 /mo
1-year plan
$77.88 billed
31-days money-back
guarantee
$3.33 /mo 1-year plan
$39.95 billed
30 day money-back
guarantee
invpn.com rating4.2 / 5.04.0 / 5.0
Full reviewPureVPN ReviewPIA Review
Get PureVPNGet PIA

The decision of choosing PIA vs PureVPN comes down to a few different factors:

  • Level of privacy
  • Difference in features
  • Media capabilities
  • Subscription cost

Depending on the list of “Best VPNs” you search for, you’ll encounter an innumerable amount of VPNs to choose from. Two services that consistently show up on different search results are PureVPN and PrivateInternetAccess (PIA).

PureVPN offers a reliably fast connection, access to a couple of thousand servers across hundreds of countries, plenty of features optimized to secure your browsing experience, and compatibility with your computer and mobile devices. It’s a very affordable option for a VPN client.

When it comes to PureVPN or Private Internet Access, PIA has the largest server network in over 70 countries and provides a dummy IP address to protect your real IP address while you’re connected. There are other state-of-the-art features at a low price point that will make you strongly consider this option.

Jurisdiction

Each service has strict privacy laws and takes extreme steps to protect your data and browsing experience. Per the PureVPN Privacy Policy page, here’s what they will not collect during your secured browsing experience: your origin IP address, your browsing activities, any DNS requests, a timestamp of your VPN session, and the assigned VPN server IP address. 

PureVPN: 

  1. Doesn’t know what you browse or download;
  2. Can’t tell when you access the VPN; and 
  3. Won’t share your data. 

PIA did not explicitly state what they do and don’t collect as PureVPN does. Their website focuses on reinforcing protection from your ISP, as they explicitly state “Your ISP can spy on you.” 

They continue with discussing their encryption technology and ensuring that your ISP won’t be able to access your browsing activity and will actively shield you throughout your connected session. While this service is at the core of what a VPN service does, this is not as detailed as PureVPN when it comes to the services offered to protect your browsing data.

Understanding that your ISP will collect your browsing data and has the right to sell said data, both VPN services offer 100% protection so your personal data won’t end in 3rd party hands. PIA will collect your email address and payment data when you subscribe, but not more than that.

Transparency

One of PureVPN’s touted features is that they are “no-log certified,” reinforcing the above point that your browsing sessions are your own and they don’t collect your data. This was checked by Altius IT in September 2019 to check the accuracy of the claim.

The independent investigation conducted by the 27-year-old IT security firm thoroughly checked their clients to see if data such as browsing activities, visited websites, browsing history, connection logs, and the source IP was collected in any way. 

According to the audit results, Altius found no evidence of any system configurations or system log files that would lead to identifying a person or the person’s web activity while using PureVPN. That conclusion substantiates that PureVPN is indeed a no-log service. Being a certified no-log VPN provider puts them in an upper echelon of recommended services on the market.

PIA is less transparent when it comes to releasing audit results. They claim they are a no-log service as PureVPN, but audit data and testimonials to support this said claim is difficult to find. While it doesn’t disprove their claim that they’re a no-log service, it offers less transparency than PureVPN when it comes to validating the claim. 

Browser Extensions

PureVPN offers Firefox and Chrome extensions. With both extensions, users receive an easy-to-install service setup, improved speeds to counteract speed throttling, unlimited bandwidth, amplified Wi-Fi security, and more.

PIA also offers Firefox and Chrome browser extensions. The browser extensions come standard with features such as unlimited bandwidth, public Wi-Fi protection, and solid browsing speeds.

Simultaneous connections

One PureVPN account supports usage on up to 10 devices simultaneously. PIA offers the same feature, allowing one account to support usage on 10 devices at once.

Advanced VPN Features

What makes one service more special than the other? Those second and third-tier features. Both services have extensive things to boast about.

PureVPN offers top-line features including:

  • A global network of over 2,000 secure VPN servers in over 140 countries
  • Public Wi-Fi security
  • Data security while browsing
  • IP address masking
  • Encrypted web surfing
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Internet kill switch (maintaining your secure activity if the VPN disconnects)
  • Split tunneling (choosing which data to send through the VPN and which through your ISP)
  • P2P support and protection for secure file sharing
  • Dedicated IP add-on
  • 24-hour live chat support

There are other features included that make this service a worthy investment.

PIA’s features include the following:

  • Availability in nearly 75 countries
  • Encrypted Wi-Fi connectivity
  • IP address masking
  • P2P support and protection for secure file sharing
  • Ad, malware, and tracker blocking
  • Encrypted web browsing
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Multiple VPN protocols
  • Split tunneling
  • IoT security

As mentioned earlier, PureVPN’s network extends across over 2,000 servers around the world. The main servers are in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Europe and North America, respectively, have the most servers for access. 

PIA’s tunnel network boasts almost 16,000 VPN servers in 95 locations across almost 75 countries. Like it’s counterpart, their top server locations are the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

PureVPN offers a gaming VPN, port forwarding to connect your device to another remotely, and offers an enterprise-level VPN. If you want to adopt this platform for your team at work and give them the same protection you have, this is a good option.

With some slight variances, the standard protection features are largely the same amongst the two services. With either service, you get access to a global network of fast-moving, secure connections that mask your physical IP address and prevent 3rd parties from snooping on you. If your connection drops for whatever reason, the kill switch engages to keep your browsing sessions secured. 

At the end of the day, Private Internet Access vs PureVPN comes down to a personal choice about which works best for you. Many of the features are largely similar among the two. There are some slight differences among certain features, but both services spotlight their commitment to securing your data and offering a global VPN server network.

Streaming and Torrenting

Do these services help enhance the streaming and torrenting experience? The short answer is yes, and PureVPN has the information to support that answer. If you want a more optimized streaming experience with less buffering, faster speeds and watch content from across the globe you wouldn’t normally have access to, PureVPN is one of the top services.

With PureVPN activated, you can access Netflix content from libraries in the US, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, the UK, and Japan. Over 4,300 movies in all seven regions are easily accessible with their VPN and have minimal buffering due to the speed optimization of PureVPN.

You can also access Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services through PureVPN. Since they and other streaming platforms frown upon and will block access to out-of-region content, PureVPN will mask your streaming activity – just as they would your browsing activity.

When it comes to PureVPN vs PIA, PureVPN seems to be more optimized for streaming.

Free Trial

Know up front that only PureVPN offers seven days free trial. However, PureVPN offers a 31-day money-back guarantee, and PIA offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like your service, they will give you a refund before the month of purchase ends.

Price

How much are you going to spend on either platform? That depends on if you go monthly, semi-annually, or yearly. 

Currently, PureVPN has a monthly plan priced at $10.95/month, a 6-month plan priced at $8.33/month (about $50), and a yearly plan at $77.88. 

PIA offers a monthly plan for $11.95/month, a special discount of $49.95/year averaging $4.16/month, and a two-year plan with a discounted price of $69.95, averaging $2.59/month. Additionally, if you lock in the two-year plan, you get three months free!

What do the Reddit Upvotes Say?

While companies can post self-promoting results and testimonials on their websites, the voice of the people often matters more. That word-of-mouth, second- and third-hand feedback of how someone reviews something more so makes or breaks our decision to invest in something. 

PureVPN vs PIA is no exception.

Depending on which rabbit hole of subthreads you go, you’ll find a plethora of varying perspectives. Some are favorable, while others aren’t. One user will say the affordable and dependable service of PureVPN and its steady connection keeps them a loyal user, while a few others will say “don’t waste your time.” 

With PIA, a user can laud their privacy for their personal usage, all the while two or three other users say that it’s “come to an end” because of updates or it’s not as secure as previously believed. An example of the threads for each platform are:

At the end of the day, there are quite a few threads about both PureVPN and PrivateInternetAccess, in addition to VPNs in general. Users will name drop services like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Windscribe.  

PureVPN vs PIA: Summary

With both VPN services offering the essential VPN features, it gets down to the second-level features. Is a VPN catered to extensive gaming needs a must-have? Are you an avid video streamer looking for international streaming content on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and more to expand your horizon?

The case for choosing PureVPN or Private Internet Access comes to what features you’re ultimately looking for. The access to global encrypted tunnels for a secured browsing experience is offered in both, and split-tunneling to select which data goes where is available in both platforms. 

If you believe the sub-Reddits, you’ll be told that either is among several options that don’t do all they say they do. The aphorism “Don’t believe everything you see on the internet,” could not ring more true in this instance.

In a time where internet security is vitally important in an increasingly remote society, the need for a VPN almost cannot be stressed enough. As the general workforce leaves the “security blanket” of an office to work from home on a potentially unsecured network, your data is at risk. While you may have a corporate VPN to log into, you shouldn’t use that VPN for your private browsing sessions.

Again, it comes down to choice. PureVPN offers select features that PIA doesn’t (such as a dedicated IP address), and there are features missing from both (such as a Double VPN) and vice versa. 

Both are affordable, both will provide secure browsing experiences and mask your ISP from collecting and flipping your data for profit, and both are accessible on a multitude of devices. If you get one and don’t like it, you have a month to get your money back and choose the other.

Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson

I research, write, and publish about VPN and other privacy tools.

My first VPN setup was over ten years ago, and since then, it is an essential part of my internet experience. I surf the internet, stream, and work with a VPN.