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Private Internet Access vs Astrill VPN 2022

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

Which VPN is better?

Author Image Daniel Krohn
Daniel Krohn

Cybersecurity Researcher

PIA and Astrill VPN are two leading and popular VPN providers, so this competition promises to be intense. Astrill VPN starts off strong with its location in the privacy-friendly Seychelles. Meanwhile, PIA is based in the US, which is notorious for data retention laws, but still does not keep any logs. Both VPNs accept Bitcoin payments and offer a 7-day trial, unlimited bandwidth, cross-platform support, and five simultaneous connections. They also both allow torrenting on selected servers. In addition, PIA and Astrill VPN both boast 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN, L2TP, a kill switch, and dedicated IPs.

Zeroing in on the differences between these VPNs, PIA supports other average protocols like SOCKS5 and PPTP, but Astrill VPN supports stronger protocols like IKEv2, SSTP, and Cisco/IPSec, in addition to others they developed like OpenWeb and Stealth VPN. Moreover, Astrill VPN has a multi-hop option for faster speeds, in-app Smart Mode, and App Filter. PIA, however, has an effective ad-blocking feature. Even though PIA has 3,000+ servers in 30+ countries, it isn’t a great choice for streaming, as it can’t unblock services such as Netflix. On the other hand, with only 300+ servers in 60+ countries, Astrill VPN can unblock Netflix, Hulu, and the BBC iPlayer. Astrill VPN also works very well in China and has an excellent live chat team, features and capabilities that PIA can’t match.

To choose a winner, we compared these providers across multiple categories.

Rating

Features 9.3/10
Pricing 8.0/10
Ease of Use 9.6/10
Reliability & Support 9.8/10
Features 7.9/10
Pricing 6.0/10
Ease of Use 8.8/10
Reliability & Support 8.4/10

Reviews

Review by our expert
9.7/10

Private Internet Access has one of the cheapest VPN subscriptions available — you can sign up for as little as $2.19/month. With such a low price, I wondered whether PIA could really stand out against its higher-priced competitors. It’s been around for 10+ years, so it could be one of the best-value VPNs out there. I decided to find out just how good it is by looking into the company’s lo...

Read all
Latest positive user review
B
Bert
10.0/10
Best VPN I have used

I have been using PIA for three years and I have been very pleased. My internet connection is 270MB up...  and 270MB down. I get on average 250MB up and 250MB down. I have found that turning on the wire guard speeds up my internet speed by 50mb.More

Latest negative user review
M
Mischa
4.0/10
I was not happy with them

The use of PIA is detected by a lot of websites and you get constantly banned. I try to contact them ... but the contact form doesn't work. Needless to say, if the form doesn't work you can't claim your 30 days money-back guarantee. So I lost my money have no sense with the product and can't do anything.More

Review by our expert
Author Image Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru

Senior Editor

8.5/10

Astrill’s marketing team does a great job of advertising it as one of the best VPNs out there, especially in China — but are they telling the truth about how good it is? I tested every feature and analyzed its privacy policies and security measures to see if it’s good enough to recommend. I also paid attention to its server network, speeds, torrenting support, gaming, streaming and final...

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Latest positive user review
N
Nestor
10.0/10
Been using it for a long time.. but have to go

I have been using Astrill for more than 10 years. Never had a problem. A couple of times I used the ch... at for support and it was excellent. However this is probably going to be my last year. Reason .... price. With the virus crisis I am unemployed and can not afford it. They do not give any kind of discount and keep raising the price year after year. I am not in China so I suspend it, I do not need all those features.More

Latest negative user review
T
Tony
2.0/10
Horrible evil company

They have locked me out of my account for more than 11 days with no communication and no clear updates...  about what is going on. They are holding my money hostage and providing no service. This is an evil, spiteful, just overall bad company. If you can avoid them, please do.More

Pricing

Starting price $2.19/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
Number of devices per license 10 devices
Starting price $12.5/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 0 Days
Number of devices per license 5 devices

Best VPNs by category

Both PIA and Astrill VPN are reliable and feature-rich. Though it is more expensive, Astrill VPN offers significant advantages, such as streaming restricted services and penetrating the Great Firewall of China.

PIA and Astrill VPN support torrenting activities on certain servers, but considering their prices, PIA offers greater value if torrenting is your primary reason for using a VPN.

PIA offers an attractive and user-friendly client for Windows, but Astrill VPN offers a sleeker and better-organized Windows app that gives you far greater control of your internet traffic. The Astrill VPN app has a “Smart Mode” that routes international websites through the VPN while letting you access local websites from your local IP address. Or if you prefer, you can activate the “App Filter” option and choose which apps you want to tunnel through the VPN connection.

PIA has a simple and easy-to-use app for Android that uses OpenVPN by default. If you want to connect to PPTP or L2TP, you can do so manually. The PIA Android client also includes a kill switch. Astrill VPN’s user-friendly Android client defaults to OpenWeb protocol, but you can set other protocols manually. It doesn’t include a kill switch, but it does have an App Filter and you can set ports.

Both PIA and Astrill VPN offer polished and simple apps for Mac, but Astrill VPN is easier to set up, more intuitive, and gives you more control over your connection.

PIA's iOS app is great for securing your internet connection and blocking unwanted ads; however, if you're going to want to stream shows or bypass China's Firewall on your phone, then Astrill is the right choice for you.

PIA is US-based and has thousands of servers in the country, but it can’t access heavily restricted American services such as Netflix-US. Astrill VPN has fewer servers in the US, but can overcome geoblocks to stream Netflix, Hulu, and many more.

The Bottom Line

Author Image Daniel Krohn
Daniel Krohn

Cybersecurity Researcher

Astrill VPN wins this battle by a thin margin. Putting cost aside, Astrill VPN is a more complete service that combines class-A security and privacy with reliable performance, more features, and higher speeds. Working in China is another point in Astrill VPN’s favor, and the provider’s user support system is great.

PIA offers excellent features, strong encryption, and reliable privacy at much cheaper prices. Unfortunately, it also has several weaknesses such as location, inability to bypass geo-restrictions, limited support channels, slower speeds, and fewer features compared to Astrill VPN.

Interestingly enough, however, if you compare Astrill VPN with ExpressVPN, a top-ranked service that’s also cheaper, you’ll find that Astrill VPN has a lot of room to improve in spite of winning this battle.

Time to decide which one is best for you

FAQ

Is Private Internet Access better than Astrill VPN?

Yes, Private Internet Access is better overall than Astrill VPN. It has 29650 servers in 84 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2.19 a month.

What should I keep in mind when choosing between Private Internet Access and Astrill VPN?

When choosing a VPN, you want to pay close attention to its number of servers, overall speed score, pricing, and the number of simultaneous device connections it offers. While some VPNs provide a flawless online experience, others will really slow you down.

If you’re ready to commit, then Private Internet Access may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

Is Private Internet Access faster than Astrill VPN?

Yes, Private Internet Access is faster than Astrill VPN. Since your VPN is your computer’s main connection to the internet, you need to use a service that won’t slow you down by more than 20%.

If speeds are important to you, then I recommend you take a look at ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest service out there, provides unlimited bandwidth, and you won’t experience any slowdowns even when you connect to the other side of the planet. You can try it out risk-free. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you don’t like it.

Do Private Internet Access or Astrill VPN offer any deals?

Both Private Internet Access and Astrill VPN offer deals on occasion. You can check out the current coupons and discounts here. However, ExpressVPN has the best deals. Right now, you can get a 49% discount and up to 3 months for free with a new subscription.