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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access 2024

Table of Contents
    Editor's Note: Transparency and impartiality are important to us when bringing you our best selection of VPNs. Some of the industry-leading products on our list, including Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company. The VPNs we choose are derived from a thorough testing process.

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image James Everard
    James Everard

    Senior Writer

    Here, we have 2 long-established, heavyweight VPNs with solid reputations. Both are owned by Kape Technologies, yet they’re managed by separate teams, so they contrast vastly in terms of user interface and functionality. So, differentiating them is easy, but picking a winner is a lot harder.

    The key difference is that Private Internet Access (PIA) requires more technical know-how and has a wide array of adjustable features. Conversely, ExpressVPN is a solid all-around service that can tackle multiple online activities with minimal configuration.

    So, while I had plenty of fun tinkering with PIA’s settings, ExpressVPN is the clear winner. It’s just as technically impressive as PIA, yet its workings are hidden beneath the surface. With a strong commitment to security and privacy that doesn’t interrupt your daily activities, ExpressVPN is a great choice. You can try it without risk as every plan is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free

    Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

    ExpressVPN Private Internet Access
    Overall Rating Rated 9.9/10

    www.expressvpn.com

    Rated 9.5/10

    www.privateinternetaccess.com

    💲 Lowest Monthly Price $6.67/month for a 1-year plan + 3 months free $2.19/month for a 2-year plan + 2 months free
    🗓️ Price on Renewal $116.95 per year
    (subject to change)
    $56.94 per year
    (subject to change)
    🤑 Coupons ExpressVPN 49% Off 1-year + 3 months free PIA 82% Off 2 years + 2 months free
    💸 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days 30 days
    📺 Streaming Works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, DAZN, ESPN, iPlayer, Sky TV, and more Works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, and more
    🌍 VPN Servers 105 countries with 3,000 servers 91 countries with 29,650 servers
    Speed 1% speed drop on nearby servers, 7% on long-distance connections 5% speed drop on nearby servers, 34% on long-distance connections
    🎮 Gaming Performance Optimal speed and ping Decent speed and ping
    🧑‍🤝‍🧑 P2P Support Yes, on all servers Yes, on all servers
    🔐 Security Protocols Lightway (UDP & TCP), OpenVPN (UDP & TCP), and IKEv2 OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) and WireGuard
    🔌 Kill Switch Yes, Network Lock Yes, with 2 options
    IP/DNS Leak Protection Yes Yes
    🏢 Based in Country British Virgin Islands US
    ⚠️ Does VPN Keep Logs No No
    Works in China Yes Maybe
    #️⃣ Number of Device Connections 8 Unlimited
    💻 Device Compatibility Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge
    Plus, a native app for routers
    Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
    Plus, manual router installation
    🔧 Customer Support 24/7 live chat, knowledge base, FAQs, and email 24/7 live chat, knowledge base, FAQs, and email

    Streaming — An Easy Win for ExpressVPN

    Important: The vpnMentor team and I condemn copyright infringement. Theoretically, you could use a VPN to watch geo-restricted streaming platforms and libraries from abroad. However, that may constitute copyright infringement and violate the streaming platform’s terms of use. Please use your VPN responsibly and within the laws of your region.

    When streaming Netflix or Prime Video in licensed regions, ExpressVPN typically provides faster and more reliable connections than PIA. Both services support these platforms, but ExpressVPN provides extremely fast loading speeds for seamless binge-watching.

    Streaming Platform ExpressVPN Private Internet Access
    Netflix ✅ Yes, including popular Netflix
    libraries like the US, UK, Canada,
    Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland
    ✅ Yes, but less reliable for some libraries
    Disney+ ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    ESPN ✅ Yes ❌ No
    (HBO) Max ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Hulu ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Sky ✅ Yes ❌ No
    Amazon Prime Video ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    BBC iPlayer ✅ Yes ❌ No
    ABC ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    CBS ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    NBC ✅ Yes ✅ Yes

    PIA offers streaming-optimized servers in 11 countries, which is great for local streaming connections if you’re in one of these countries. During my tests from the UK, I tried its UK streaming server. Unfortunately, I found it didn’t work with iPlayer this time, although it did in the past. Channel 4 was slow to load, but it worked in the end. I had no issues with ITVX, though, and I was able to stream this with no buffering.

    Screenshot showing the PIA app over a browser streaming ITVXPIA's streaming servers include the US, Canada, UK, Italy, Germany, Japan, and Australia

    Meanwhile, all of ExpressVPN’s 3,000 servers support streaming. I found it worked with BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Sky Sports, and more in the UK, and my colleague in Ireland confirmed that it also worked with RTE. My US colleagues confirmed it worked well with Max, Hulu, and other US platforms, and my friend in Germany used it to watch RTL+ lag-free.

    Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app over a browser streaming RTEYou can "favorite" your favorite platforms and sites for one-click streaming on the ExpressVPN app

    For devices that don’t support VPN applications directly, such as game consoles and some smart TVs, ExpressVPN's MediaStreamer (Smart DNS feature) is easy to set up and is reliable, but it only works with select UK and US streaming platforms. PIA also offers a Smart DNS option, but while the performance isn’t as reliable, it works for streaming in the US, UK, Japan, the Netherlands, and Germany.

    Winner
    ExpressVPN is the superior choice for streaming as it’s more reliable with a range of worldwide platforms.

    Server Network — ExpressVPN Wins With Quality Over Quantity

    ExpressVPN Private Internet Access
    Total Countries With Servers 105 91
    Number of Servers 3,000 29,650

    ExpressVPN has far fewer servers, but they’re spread across a few more countries. PIA’s coverage is excellent in the US, where it has servers in every state, and you’ll never struggle to find a nearby location from wherever you are in the country.

    Saying that, I found that ExpressVPN’s servers are faster and far more versatile. Despite the smaller network, I never came across any server congestion either.

    Winner
    PIA heavily outnumbers ExpressVPN with nearly 10 times as many servers. Yet the latter proves that it’s not just the size of the network but what you do with it that counts.

    Speed — ExpressVPN Is Miles Ahead

    Our UK-based tester had starting speeds of around 230 Mbps and used the fastest protocol for each service. For ExpressVPN, that was Lightway, its exclusive lightweight, built-for-speed protocol. For PIA, that was WireGuard, the industry-standard, open-source option for speedy connections.

    Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app over speed tests from London and New YorkExpressVPN's ping of 104 ms from New York was very impressive

    Nearby speeds were comparable — we found a 1% drop with ExpressVPN and a 5% drop with PIA, which is really impressive on both counts. However, the difference was more stark when connecting across the Atlantic.

    Screenshot showing the PIA app over speed tests from London and New YorkPIA's ping from New York and Southampton (UK) weren't far behind ExpressVPN's

    ExpressVPN’s New York server offered a 7% speed drop, compared to 34% with the same location using PIA. This was really surprising, considering that PIA has a higher server coverage in the US. We found similar results when testing servers in Australia, Germany, and Canada. Only PIA’s Japan speeds were a shade faster than ExpressVPN.

    Speed Tests ExpressVPN Average Download Speed Private Internet Access Download Speed ExpressVPN Average Upload Speed Private Internet Access Average Upload Speed
    Connected to a US server 212.48 Mbps 154.94 Mbps 24.55 Mbps 23.30 Mbps
    Connected to a UK server 226.07 Mbps 223.3 Mbps 24.17 Mbps 24.01 Mbps
    Connected to a Japan server 137.36 Mbps 143.19 Mbps 21.68 Mbps 23.84 Mbps
    Winner
    ExpressVPN was notably faster in both download and upload speeds in almost all of our tests. While PIA was still fast, it was noticeably slower on long-distance connections.

    Gaming — ExpressVPN’s Has Lower Latency

    Ping is the critical stat when it comes to gaming. It measures the time between your commands and the server response — the lower your ping, the less laggy your gaming will be. Our UK-based speed tester gathered the data for this section, and they have a base ping of 32 ms.

    Once again, ExpressVPN wins due to its proprietary Lightway protocol. It was built to remove all the unnecessary code that you don’t need in a commercial VPN protocol, so it doesn’t slow your data requests down as much as WireGuard with PIA. That said, PIA only just lags behind.

    ExpressVPN Lightway PIA WireGuard
    Quick Connect 29 ms 32 ms
    Connected to a US server 104 ms 113 ms
    Connected to a UK server 29 ms 32 ms
    Connected to a Japan server 274 ms 265 ms

    Under 100 ms is considered optimum for smooth gameplay, which both VPNs comfortably provide. However, if you want to play in your own region when you’re traveling abroad, ExpressVPN is the one to go for, as it has lower ping on long-distance connections. It’s also worth pointing out that both VPNs support Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch gaming consoles via router installation.

    Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app over Turrican 2 playing on a web browser I was in retro heaven when gaming with ExpressVPN's low ping

    Winner
    With a lower ping on most connections, it’s another win for ExpressVPN. Neither was suitable for extremely long-distance gaming connections, but I rarely find VPNs that are.

    Torrenting — Draw

    Important: While torrenting is legal in most jurisdictions, downloading copyrighted materials isn’t. We do not endorse the use of a VPN in this manner. Always check your local laws and regulations, and be careful only to download works in the public domain.

    I recommend ExpressVPN if you just want an out-of-the-box service that supports P2P on every server. It has automatic obfuscation, so you can even torrent over restrictive networks at work, college, or over public WiFi. If it detects VPN or media blocks, it disguises your data as regular traffic to evade detection.

    PIA has a host of adjustable settings to optimize your connections for torrenting. You can activate the Advanced Kill Switch, which blocks your internet entirely until the VPN is connected, so you never accidentally start file sharing over an unsecured network.

    You can also use PIA’s Multi-Hop for extra security. This lets you route your VPN connection through a SOCKS5 or Shadowsocks proxy, which has the added bonus of obfuscating your connection, too. When I tried this, it slowed my connection slightly more than with ExpressVPN.

    Both support port forwarding. Plus, both VPNs have reliable malicious content blockers to guard against dangerous links and files that can lurk on torrent sites. So, I’m calling this round a draw, as both offer speedy torrenting with robust security to keep you safe.

    Winner - draw
    /
    These VPNs offer a very different torrenting experience, so it depends on your level of technical preference.

    Security — PIA Wins With a Vast Array of Customizable Features

    ExpressVPN’s Lightway security protocol gives it an edge, enhancing both speed and security. This makes it a suitable choice if flexibility is important to you. Private Internet Access sticks with OpenVPN and WireGuard, which are reliable but don't offer the proprietary benefits of Lightway.

    Security Feature ExpressVPN Private Internet Access
    Encryption level AES-256-GCM with 4096-bit DH key, HMAC authentication AES-128-GCM, AES-256-GCM, SHA256 authentication, 4096-bit DH key
    Kill switch All operating systems. Use Lightway protocol when activating it on iOS All operating systems, including Advanced Kill Switch option
    DNS/IP leak protection Yes Yes
    Protocols Lightway (UDP & TCP), OpenVPN (UDP & TCP), and IKEv2 OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) and WireGuard
    Split tunneling Yes (except macOS) Yes (in beta testing on macOS)
    Private DNS servers Yes Yes
    Tor Over VPN servers No No
    RAM-only servers wipes data Yes Yes
    Ad & malware blocker Yes, Threat Manager (Advanced Protection) Yes, MACE
    Double hop servers No Yes
    Dedicated IP addresses No Yes
    Obfuscation technology Yes Yes

    Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app over an online ad blocking test toolExpressVPN's blockers are in Settings > Advanced Protection

    If ad blocking is a priority, PIA’s MACE will appeal. In my tests, it blocked an incredible 97% of ads, trackers, and malware. While ExpressVPN blocked a relatively modest 58%, it is at least customizable. MACE is a simple one-click solution, which is unusual for PIA.

    Screenshot showing the PIA app over an online ad blocking test toolPIA MACE is far more effective than many standalone ad and malicious content blockers

    PIA’s greatest strength is its breadth of customizable security features. You can balance your speed and security by switching encryption levels with OpenVPN. With both protocols, you can configure which ports your connections use, as well as your maximum transmission unit (MTU). Plus, you can set the VPN to connect automatically if it detects you’re using a public WiFi network, which is great for keeping you secure while you’re on the go.

    In terms of transparency and trust, both VPNs have proven reliability. ExpressVPN and PIA have both endorsed strict no-logs policies supported by independent audits. This should give you confidence that neither VPN collects or stores your data. But, PIA’s abundance of security features gives it the win.

    Winner
    Both these services offer excellent security protection, but PIA’s plethora of adjustable settings gives it the edge.

    Privacy — ExpressVPN Goes the Extra Mile for Its Users

    ExpressVPN and PIA assert a strict no-logs policy, which is great for your browsing privacy. However, ExpressVPN’s HQ is in the British Virgin Islands, a locale without data retention requirements, while PIA’s base is in the US, subject to stricter surveillance under the 5 Eyes Alliance.

    The open-source approach of PIA allows anyone to inspect its code for potential vulnerabilities, an advantage if transparency is a priority. While ExpressVPN’s apps aren’t open-source, the Lightway protocol is, so there’s at least some visibility of what’s going on under the hood.

    Meanwhile, ExpressVPN found a significant security flaw with its Windows app back in February 2024, which it fixed by April. It then commissioned a third-party audit to ensure it was completely fixed and published a white paper detailing the matter. This demonstrates how seriously ExpressVPN considers its users’ privacy and that it continuously invests in providing the best service it can.

    Winner
    ExpressVPN is better for privacy due to its location in the British Virgin Islands, which shelters it from surveillance laws. Regular and transparent third-party audits further underscore its commitment to user privacy.

    Works in China — ExpressVPN Is More Effective

    Important: Only VPNs sanctioned by the government are permitted in China, and these aren’t generally considered safe. There have been no publicly documented cases of tourists being penalized for using an unsanctioned VPN, but we still advise you to exercise caution. Always ensure you stay up to date with current laws and regulations.

    The status of VPNs in China is complicated. Even the best VPNs stop working in China from time to time as the country continually updates its Great Firewall (GFW) technology.

    Overall, ExpressVPN is the best of the two for China. It outshines PIA in obfuscation technology, mimicking HTTPS traffic better than PIA's Shadowsocks, and works a lot more reliably in China as a result. While PIA claims it can work in China, it is also clear that it doesn’t guarantee service there.

    Both VPNs offer servers in Macau, which is in China but isn’t subject to the Great Firewall.

    Winner
    ExpressVPN is the better option for China due to its specialized obfuscation technology that allows it to work more reliably in the country.

    Installation & Ease of Use — ExpressVPN Is Sleek and Intuitive

    Both ExpressVPN and PIA offer straightforward installation across various devices, but you may notice that ExpressVPN takes the lead in simplicity, particularly on mobile platforms. It sets up with fewer taps and gets you connected faster. On desktops, both VPNs are clean and user-friendly, though ExpressVPN has the edge with its sleek interface.

    Screenshot showing the 3 interfaces of the ExpressVPN appExpressVPN's server list is simple and easy to navigate

    PIA has two “views” — the app opens in a condensed view that shows the location you’re connected to, but you can expand it to see more details. Personally, I really like seeing this extra technical information, and I think it’s great you can hide it unless you need it. The expanded version of the app, unfortunately, takes up a lot of space on your screen. It’s still fairly intuitive, but not as much as ExpressVPN.

    Screenshot showing the PIA app interfacesPIA's Settings panel has 10 submenus

    When it comes to using these VPNs on routers, both provide supportive guides, but ExpressVPN supports more models directly and offers more precise instructions. Plus, its router app’s installation is a lot more hands-off, unlike PIA’s setup, which requires you to change a lot of settings in your device’s admin panel.

    Winner
    ExpressVPN is the better choice for installation and ease of use due to its faster setup, particularly on mobile devices, and its user-friendly interface. Its superior router support is also appealing if you're looking to extend VPN protection to your entire household.

    Reliability & Support — ExpressVPN’s Excellent Live Chat

    Customer Support Features ExpressVPN Private Internet Access
    24/7 Live chat Yes, responds immediately Yes, responds within a minute
    Email support Yes, via a form on the website Yes
    Phone support No No
    Step-by-step setup guides Yes Yes
    Searchable knowledge base Yes Yes
    Exhaustive FAQ section Yes Yes

    Both services offer 24/7 live chat, but ExpressVPN allows you to access support directly from its homepage, giving you quicker service. It also updates its knowledge base more frequently and organizes it more intuitively; I found PIA’s content a little frustrating to navigate.

    PIA matches up well, providing competent support with occasional promotions that enhance support features. However, the quality of support from ExpressVPN often surpasses PIA with more personalized and detailed responses. I generally found that the former’s customer support responded a lot quicker than the latter’s.

    Both VPNs offer support in multiple languages, but the quality of non-English support can vary, with ExpressVPN maintaining a higher standard, according to my international colleagues.

    Winner
    ExpressVPN is the better choice for reliability and support due to its faster response times, more regularly updated knowledge base, and the ability of its support agents.

    Tips on Choosing Between ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access

    • Smooth streaming. Fast and consistent connections are important for reliable streaming. Both VPNs provide this, although ExpressVPN works with more platforms.
    • Fast speeds. Decent speeds are essential for data-heavy activities like streaming, gaming, torrenting, and video calls. PIA offers fast connections, but ExpressVPN is simply the quickest service we’ve used.
    • Server networks. PIA offers one of the largest server fleets on the market, but ExpressVPN beats it in terms of speed, reliability, and versatility.
    • Robust security features. Both VPNs offer 256-bit encryption, reliable kill switches, and leak protection. But PIA’s dizzying array of security features is truly impressive.
    • Respectable privacy practices. You can’t argue with the no-logs credentials of either of these services. However, ExpressVPN’s HQ in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands offers peace of mind, and it regularly invests in ensuring its service keeps your details secure.
    • Easy to use. You might be in gadget heaven playing with PIA’s extensive settings, but even its most ardent fans would have to admit that ExpressVPN’s simple, smooth app is easier to use.
    • Trustworthy money-back guarantee. We’ve tested both VPN’s money-back guarantees several times over the years, and they’re always reliable and hassle-free.

    ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access — Reddit Opinions

    Both of these VPNs have many admirers and positive comments on Reddit. ExpressVPN is commended for its reliability, fast speeds, and streaming capabilities and is recommended as an all-around service for general use. PIA is credited as an excellent choice for the security-conscious and for those who want a customizable torrenting experience.

    Screenshots of positive feedback for ExpressVPN and PIA on RedditRedditors praise both services for their robust privacy practices

    Our Score

    Features 9.9/10
    Pricing 9.4/10
    Ease of Use 10.0/10
    Reliability & Support 10.0/10
    Features 9.5/10
    Pricing 9.5/10
    Ease of Use 9.6/10
    Reliability & Support 9.8/10

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Keira Waddell
    Keira Waddell

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.9/10

    ExpressVPN is one of the most popular and trusted names in the industry. It’s known for being one of the safest, fastest VPNs around, so I wanted to see if it can live up to these claims. It’s not the cheapest VPN, but it often offers discounts that make it a better value for the money. Other decent VPNs offer similar security features for much cheaper. So, do you really need to pay that muc...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    J
    JKJHB
    8.0/10
    jhJ JJ

    I've been an ExpressVPN customer since 2017 and it's been great: quickly connects to a nearby server i... n the Wash DC region, embedded shortcuts to apps I want to use while using VPN, disconnects quickly, has the kill switch feature which is necessary these days, and has a fine mobile app which works well on my Android phones and tablets. However, I was just notified that the annual price is jumping from $99 to $117 upon the next renewal, so it's time to see how the others compare within VPN Mentor.More

    Latest negative user review
    C
    Charli
    6.0/10
    Ok, but expensive

    Seems ok, but I wouldn't say it's worth $20AUD a month. That's steep if you live in a backwater like A... ustralia, where the currency is not valuable. Easy enough to set up - you don't need to be Einstein - but unless you're a tech nerd who can take a look under the bonnet, you'll just have to trust what they say about their product. It frequently drops out without the slightest warning, often when it's the only thing online at the time - despite fast and flawless fiber internet, rendering expression entirely useless UNLESS you have it sitting on your desktop where you can keep an eagle eye on it to actually see it when it drops out so you can kick it back into service again (it doesn't do it by itself), which seems to defeat its purpose, so I'm taking away 2 stars for that. Support is good and they do get back to you as fast as they can.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Angela Jovanoska
    Angela Jovanoska

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Our Score: 9.5/10

    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
    E
    Ez
    10.0/10
    Best VPN Out on The Market

    I like PIA VPN the best for the following reasons: ● It's a reliable and trustworthy policy; they don... 't record anything harmful to you; strict no logs. ● I've been using it for one month and there are specific times when it speeds up my internet speed (varies by internet) ● It's a distinctive feature of DIP (dedicated IP) - I think not many popular VPNs have this feature, I also purchased this feature to avoid getting the captcha verification and it never showed up ever since. It's only been a month using this VPN but as I gain more experience with this client, I'm pretty sure I will find more good features and utilize them. Thanks for having read my review:)More

    Latest negative user review
    M
    Mike Johnson
    2.0/10
    PIA no longer works on Amazon Fire devices.

    I have used PIA for several years with no issues. Currently, amazon fire devices can no longer sign i... n to the account. Used on 3 TVs with 3 different fire devices with the same result. There is no way to resolve the issue.More

    Pricing

    ExpressVPN Private Internet Access
    Starting Price $6.67/month $2.19/month
    Price (On Renewal) $116.95 per year
    (subject to change)
    $56.94 per year
    (subject to change)
    Money-Back Guarantee (Days) 30 days 30 days
    Number of devices per license 8 Unlimited
    Router Setup (for Unlimited Devices) Easy setup with custom firmware and native app for several router models Manual setup

    If you compare monthly rates, PIA is only slightly less expensive. However, for long-term plans, PIA is significantly cheaper than ExpressVPN. While the pricing strategy of VPNs is beyond the scope of this comparison, it was clear to me during testing that the latter invests a lot of money into maintaining its service, which could explain its higher price point.

    Both offer similar payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, and crypto, ensuring flexibility regardless of your preferred method. While neither VPN offers a free plan, they both provide money-back guarantees, allowing you to test the service risk-free.

    You might also find PIA more appealing for covering more devices, as it allows unlimited simultaneous connections compared with ExpressVPN's limit of 8. This makes it excellent value for larger households.

    PIA also demonstrates its commitment to privacy by offering free accounts to journalists, whistleblowers, and NGOs in vulnerable regions. If you think you might be eligible, you can apply on the PIA website.

    Winner
    PIA wins as it provides more affordable plans. But, if money isn’t a concern, then go for ExpressVPN. In my opinion, its reliability, speeds, and proven continuous investment into its technology justifies its higher price.

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    ExpressVPN takes the lead for overall performance due to its exceptional speed, reliability, and strong security features. It offers a balance that meets the needs of most users, making it a top choice for general use.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    PIA stands out for torrenting with its robust P2P support and strong privacy policy. Its highly customizable security options mean you can rely on it for safe and efficient torrent downloads.

    Best VPN for Windows

    ExpressVPN is best for PC users since it offers a dedicated and intuitive Windows app, providing powerful features and fast speeds, making it ideal for Windows users seeking both security and usability.

    Best VPN for Android

    ExpressVPN excels on Android devices thanks to its easy-to-use interface and fast connection speeds.

    Best VPN for Mac

    Mac users favor ExpressVPN for its seamless integration and strong performance on macOS. It ensures your security without compromising on speed or usability on Mac devices.

    Best VPN for iOS

    ExpressVPN stands out for iOS due to its superior design, which complements this ecosystem. You get a secure, fast, and reliable VPN experience on your iPhone or iPad.

    Best VPN for USA

    PIA is the top choice in the USA because of its extensive server network across the country, ensuring fast and reliable connections with excellent coverage.

    The Bottom Line

    ExpressVPN is the clear winner. It’s considerably faster than PIA, particularly on long-distance connections, and works with more streaming services. That said, the latter isn’t bad by any stretch — its security features are fantastic, and its plans are more affordable than the former’s.

    Nevertheless, I recommend trying ExpressVPN with no risk since it offers a trusty money-back guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, you’ll have 30 days to claim a full refund.

    FAQ

    Is ExpressVPN better than Private Internet Access?

    Yes, ExpressVPN is generally considered better than PIA. It offers superior reliability and is better for streaming due to its consistent speeds. Moreover, it provides a custom app for routers, enhancing user convenience across multiple devices.

    Is ExpressVPN faster than Private Internet Access?

    Yes, ExpressVPN is faster than PIA. Tests have consistently shown ExpressVPN to outperform PIA in speed comparisons across various server locations, maintaining significantly higher download and upload speeds. This performance edge makes ExpressVPN a preferable option for those needing stable and quick internet access.

    Is Surfshark or NordVPN better than these services?

    No, NordVPN and Surfshark do not outperform these services across all metrics. While NordVPN may be a good all-around choice, both ExpressVPN and PIA have their unique strengths. ExpressVPN excels in reliability and streaming capabilities, while PIA is noted for its affordability and privacy features.

    Do ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access offer any deals?

    Both offer deals, especially for long-term subscriptions. PIA frequently promotes significant discounts such as up to 82% off for a 2-year plan. ExpressVPN also offers deals, such as 49% off for an annual subscription. These promotions make both VPNs appealing depending on your budget and specific needs.

    We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
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    vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

    About the Author

    James conducts rigorous hands-on research and testing to evaluate dozens of VPNs for his articles. He's an advocate for digital freedom.