IPVanish vs PIA Comparison

IPVanish vs PIA: Speed, Streaming & Torrenting Comparison in 2021

Are you looking for a vpn that has ad blocking capabilities?

IPVanish and PIA are two popular vpns that stand out when it comes to their being based in the United States and fast connection speeds.

However, these two vpns differ greatly when you start comparing their security features like ad and malware blockers.

In this IPVanish vs PIA comparison today, we are going to compare IPVanish with Private Internet Access in order to establish which is a better vpn overall.

I hope that by the end of this PIA vs IPVanish comparison you’ll be able to choose between either IPVanish or PIA.

So let’s get started.

Here is a quick summary.

IPVanishPrivate Internet Access
JurisdictionUnited StatesUnited States
StreamingNetflix US, Hulu, AmazonNetflix
TorrentingP2P serversAll servers
Kill SwitchYESYES
Works in China?NONO
Pricing$ 6.49/month$ 3.33/month


IPVanish is a VPN company based in the United States that enables you to access the internet privately and securely using very secure encryption and protocols.

Here is a detailed IPVanish review.

Private Internet Access is also a US-based VPN service provider that enables to you access the internet safely while also protecting you from aggressive ads and malware from known phishing websites.

Find a detailed Private Internet Access review here.

Server Collection

Let’s now compare IPVanish vs PIA in terms of their total server collection.

In order to be able to deliver better services, a vpn needs to have a sufficient collection of servers.

These servers also need to be evenly distributed over different countries in order to avail a server in all the countries that people always want to connect to.

IPVanish, at the time of writing this vpn comparison, has 1,300 servers that are spread over 75 countries.

PIA, on the other hand, has a collection of 3,340 servers that are based in 32 countries.

Even though PIA generally has a larger collection of servers, IPVanish does a better job of spreading their servers across more countries than PIA.

If you are looking for a vpn that covers a larger geographical region then I recommend IPVanish.


In terms of unblocking geo restricted on platforms like Netflix, how does IPVanish and PIA perform?

Because streaming geo restricted entertainment content online is the most popular activity among vpn users, most vpns try to at least be able to unblock Netflix because it is the most popular video streaming platform.

Let’s now compare Private Internet Access vs IPVanish  in terms of their abilities to unblock content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and BBC iPlayer.

IPVanish is able to streaming content on Netflix that is destined for the US audience using their US based servers.

I was able to stream Netflix without proxy servers errors in the US but all other countries were blocked.

To make matters worse, I was not even able to stream on other platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime or even BBC iPlayer.

PIA, on the other hand, was also able to only unblock Netflix for the US.

All other streaming platforms that I tried to access with PIA servers did not work as my IP was blocked.

It is therefore evident that while both IPVanish and PIA are able to unblock Netflix for the US, that’s all they do for you.

However, most people would be satisfied with Netflix US because they have the largest collection of tv shows anyway.

If you are looking for a vpn that is great for Netflix then either PIA or IPVanish are great options.

But if you want a vpn that will unblock more streaming platforms then you should check out NordVPN or PrivateVPN.


Which is the faster vpn between IPVanish and PIA?

A vpn that has great connection speeds will give a better user experience because your normal browsing will not be slowed down.

How does PIA vs IPVanish compare in terms of their connection speeds?

I tested the connection speeds of both PIA and IPVanish by connecting to three of their servers based in the US, UK and Hong Kong.

I then used speedtest.net to measure the before and after download and upload speeds.

IPVanish had an average download speed that was 84% on average of my original connection speeds.

Private Internet Access, on the flip side, delivered better connection speeds that were 94% on average of my original download speeds.

It is therefore evident that PIA is a faster vpn compared to IPVanish.

If you are a looking for a faster vpn with excellent connection speeds then I recommend PIA vpn.


If you don’t want to get into trouble with law enforcement then make sure you never download any torrent files without connecting to an anonymous vpn service.

The government is dealing a heavy hand on copyright infringement offenders.

You don’t want to be found on the wrong side of the law.

That being said, there are vpns that will ensure that your torrenting is completely private and anonymous so that your torrenting activities cannot be traced back to you.

So how does IPVanish and PIA compare in terms of their torrenting support?

IPVanish currently has a special P2P optimized servers that will let you download torrent files.

In order to start torrenting on IPVanish servers, you first need to connect to their torrenting optimized servers by clicking the torrenting tab in the app menu and then selecting the appropriate server for you.

PIA, on the flip side, supports torrenting on all their servers.

So you don’t need to connect to any special P2P servers in order to start downloading torrent files.

Since neither IPVanish nor PIA keeps logs of your IP address, you can torrent anonymously on their servers and your torrenting cannot be traced back to you.

If you are looking for a vpn that is great for torrenting then I recommend PIA not only because all their servers are P2P optimized but also because PIA will deliver better download speeds than IPVanish.

Privacy Policy

Most vpns play some kind of dirty game in their privacy policies.

Because they know that more than half of internet users never actually read privacy policies, they hide certain clauses inside that can actually compromise your identity online.

There are clauses that have to do with the kind of logs that they keep about you.

Before writing this IPVanish vs PIA comparison, I read both privacy policies to find out what each of these vpn companies is really upto.

First of all, since both IPVanish and Private Internet Access, I wouldn’t say that they are based in a privacy friendly location.


It’s because the US forms part of the 14 eyes countries surveillance alliance.

These countries spy on their citizens and then share their personal information amongst themselves.

In addition to that, this country has laws that obligate a vpn company to comply anytime the government asks for users logs through a court order.

Nevertheless, both IPVanish and PIA are really tried to deliver great privacy online as they state in their policies.

IPVanish and PIA both state in their privacy policies that they do not keep logs of your traffic.

While this is supposed to make me very happy that they will not log my IP, location, connection timestamps, DNS queries or even bandwidth usage… it doesn’t.

I find just saying we don’t keep logs rather vague.

Both IPVanish and PIA should come out clear and spell out what kind of logs they keep and what they don’t.

We know that all vpns need some kind of logs in order to operate.

If you are looking for a vpn that has a no logs policy then either IPVanish or PIA would do.

However, if you are want a vpn that is really open and transparent about their privacy policy then I recommend either CyberGhost or NordVPN.

Encryption and Data Protection

What encryption do both PIA and IPVanish use in order to protect your personal information online?

You need to have your data encrypted using the best encryption algorithms in order to stay secure online even if your data lands in the hands of a malicious hacker.

They should not be able to decrypt your packets and see the actual information.

IPVanish uses an AES 256-bit encryption technology to encrypt your data before it is transmitted over the network.

Since 256-bit is a military grade encryption that is impossible to crack, your data is secure online.

Private Internet Access, on the other hand, uses a 128-bit encryption technology in order to encrypt and protect your information.

Even though both 256-bit and 128-bit encryptions are tamper proof, the former is much more secure.

On the flip side, 128-bit encryption offers you faster speeds than 256-bit encryption.

In addition there are also secure connection protocols that vpns use to ensure that your data is securely transmitted.

IPVanish supports OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP and PPTP protocols.

PIA also supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and IPSec connection protocols.

Even though both vpns still support it, PPTP protocol is very insecure and should never be used unless you know what you are doing.

Overall, both PIA and IPVanish employ the use of technologies that guarantee the security of your data.

If you are looking for a vpn that will provide your secure internet access then either IPVanish or PIA will get that job done.

Ad Blockers

In order to disable ads on most websites and have an ad free browsing experience, you need an ad blockers.

Even though most web browsers also have the ability to block ads in their settings, I find the ad blocking capabilities for most vpns more effective at this.

So how does PIA vs IPVanish compare in terms of their ad blocking capabilities?

IPVanish, even though a costly vpn, does not have any ad blocking capabilities in any of their applications.

It also doesn’t have a malware blocker that can protect you from malware online.

Private Internet Access, in the flip side, has a security feature called PIA MACE.

PIA MACE is able to protect your from intrusive and annoying ads by blocking them completely.

Once turned on, you’ll be able to have an ad free browsing experience on most websites.

In addition to this ad blocker, PIA MACE also has a malware blocker.

This malware blocker has a database of over a million malware infected websites and will block these websites before you can visit them.

If you are looking for a vpn with an inbuilt ad blocker then I recommend PIA.

Dedicated IPs

Dedicated IPs is another advanced security feature that most premium vpns provide.

This feature enables you to always access the internet using the same IP address.

If you connect to a vpn the usual way, you’ll be assigned a random IP address that is different each time you connect to a different server.

They do this to maximize your anonymity online because this way it becomes impossible to tie a particular user to certain activities on the server because that particular server is shared by many other people.

However, you’ll need a dedicated IP when you want to remotely access security sensitive applications .

It could be your home security camera feed or your work network.

IPVanish and PIA unfortunately do not support any dedicated IP functionality at the time of writing this IPVanish vs PIA comparison.

If you are looking for a vpn for a dedicated IP, why don’t you consider CyberGhost vpn?

Kill Switch

A kill with block internet access for your devices in case your vpn app disconnects from the server.

This is because your actual IP will be exposed every time your vpn app disconnects from the servers which leads to your ISP see the sites that you actually visit.

In order to guarantee that your internet is always secure, you should ensure that your internet traffic is encrypted and channelled through your vpn tunnel at all times.

Your vpn could disconnect from the server for example when you are switching servers.

An internet connection drop could also cause your vpn apps to disconnect from the server and expose your IP.

IPVanish and PIA, fortunately, both have an automatic internet kill switch that ensures that internet access for your devices is only possible through your vpn.

So if your vpn disconnects in the process of downloading a torrent file, your torrent client will have to pause until your vpn app reconnects.

If you are looking for a vpn with a kill switch then I recommend either PIA or IPVanish.

Split Tunnelling

Split tunnelling is important when you need to exempt certain applications from having their traffic channelled through your vpn.

This is because a vpn connection with force all your internet access through its tunnel once you are connected.

However, since a vpn causes drops in connection speeds, there are instances when you might not want for example your app that runs backups slowed down by this speed drop.

Or it could be that you don’t want to provide  additional identity that your banking app asks for whenever you try to login with a strange IP that a vpn gives you.

So how does IPVanish vs PIA split tunnelling functionalities compare?

Unfortunately, neither IPVanish nor PIA has an inbuilt split tunnelling capability in any of their applications.

This means you won’t be able to whitelist certain applications from having their traffic channelled through your vpn.

Note, however, that applications in the split tunnel have their traffic routed as usual through you ISP which means your internet access is transparent to your ISP when on these particular applications.

If you are looking for the best vpn split tunnel why don’t you check out Surshark?

Works in China?

China does not have as much internet freedom as many other countries do.

Internet access is heavily controlled in China and it is the government that decides which websites are good for you and which ones are not.

In order to make good this threat, China has a powerful internet firewall that filters and blocks traffic to certain sites.

In addition to that they are also able to detect vpn traffic that is trying to circumvent this content restriction.

Once detected they’ll either block or throttle your vpn traffic too.

So how does IPVanish vs PIA compare in terms of their abilities to work in China?

PIA and IPVanish, unfortunately, are do not work in China at the moment.

For a vpn to be able to work in China and access censored content, it needs to be able to make its traffic look like normal https traffic.

Neither of these two vpns is able to achieve that.

So neither PIA nor IPVanish will be able to work in China.

If you are looking for a vpn that works flawlessly in China why don’t you take a look at ExpressVPN?


As we near the end of this PIA vs IPVanish comparison, let’s compare their pricing plans.

Which is the cheaper vpn between PIA and IPVanish?

Most vpns would offer the best discounts for their longest subscription plans.

So don’t pay for a vpn month by month because all vpns are very expensive if you want to pay for it monthly.

Both IPVanish and PIA has their longest plans being their 1 year subscription.

IPVanish costs $ 6.49/month on their 1 year plan while PIA costs $ 3.33/month on their 1 year plan.

The differences in price between IPVanish and PIA is as clear as day and night.

PIA is much much cheaper than IPVanish.

If you want a vpn that will provide you great features for half the price then I recommend PIA.

Payment Options

Let’s finish this IPVanish vs PIA comparison by checking out the different payment methods that each one provides.

I believe that if a vpn is really serious about making you anonymous online, they should provide you with anonymous payment methods.

So which one between IPVanish and PIA provide anonymous payment methods like gift cards or crypto payments?

IPVanish, unfortunately, only supports payments through credit cards and PayPal.

Private Internet Access, on the flip side, supports PayPal, credit cards and Bitcoin.

Bitcoin payments do not require you billing address.

In order to ensure you give less identifying information, sign up with a disposable email address and pay with some Bitcoins.

If you are looking for a vpn that accepts Bitcoin payments then I recommend PIA.

In Conclusion

I hope this IPVanish vs Private Internet Access comparison in 2021 has enabled you learn about the pros and cons of these two US based vpn services.

Are you now ready to make a choice between either IPVanish or PIA?

If you are looking for a dirty cheap vpn with more servers, Netflix US, excellent connection speeds together with ad and malware blockers then I recommend PIA.

However, if you are willing to pay a lot more for a vpn covers more countries, supports torrenting and provides secure internet access but does not work in China then I recommend IPVanish.

Have you used either PIA or IPVanish before?

Please share your experience in the comments below.

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