IPVanish VPN vs Private Internet Access vs 2017

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

 
 

Which VPN is better?

Technical writer, ex-robot manual creator gone privacy enthusiast/VPN expert
IPVanish and PIA are 2 VPNs with a lot going for them. Both are completely log-less, though IPVanish runs out of the British Virgin Islands, giving them a slight edge over PIA, which runs out of the US and is thus subject to the stricter laws therein. PIA has very customizable security options such as optional DNS leak protection and adjustable encryption strength, but IPVanish includes NAT firewall with every subscription, which is a very strong layer of added security. IPVanish also has a plethora of countries to choose from, second only to HideMyAss, as well as a free proxy. PIA does stand out in the area of customer service, providing a 24/7 live chat option, whereas IPVanish has a strong knowledge base, but has no live chat option, a big minus in our opinion. Of great importance is IPVanish’s speeds, which are second-to-none. IPvanish controls their own tier-1 network backbone, which basically means your speed is only limited by the users’ normal bandwidth connection, not by any limit on IPVanish’s end.
 
Rating
Features
  • 4.6
  • 4.5
Pricing
  • 4.7
  • 4.9
Ease of Use
  • 4.9
  • 4.3
Reliability & Support
  • 4.9
  • 4.4
 

Reviews

Expert Review

Guy Fawkes
Various tips from anonymous experts
  • 4.8

IPVanish is one of the best VPN providers out there when it comes to protecting your privacy online. It is at the top of our list, along with ExpressVPN and NordVPN. The huge list of 400 servers in 61 countries means that you can keep your location confidential, while shared VPN conn

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Latest positive user review
Matt
  • 5.0
Great for streaming I'm using it to stream stuff I don't wish the gov will track... Nothing serious, but why should they know what I like to watch. Speed is fine and service did the job when I had to switch servers once. Go with it
Latest negative user review
Anonymously
  • 1.0
Excellent service but too expensive I found the service worked well but ended up being double billed; one $10 bill per month for my pc and another $9.99 bill per month for my iPhone. When I brought this to the attention of John in their customer service which is only available by email (support@ipvanish.com) they ended up blowing me off. So after having canceled my service with them I purchased a lifetime service with VPN Unlimited for $48. These days I'm more than discussed by unethical business practices that put profits over taking good care of their customers.
Expert Review

Ariel Hochstadt
Ex-Google, International tech speaker
  • 4.5

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable VPN service providers on the market. The online privacy provider boasts over 3,000 servers, spread across 37 locations, in 25 countries. PIA is a service provider based in the USA with ties to London-based Trust Media Inc. While this isn't bad, it is important to note that both the USA and UK are part of the "Five Eyes" countries. It offe

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Latest positive user review
Wayne Harvey
  • 5.0
Secure and fast Have been with PIA for a couple years now and am extremely happy with the service. I get speeds of around 95-97% of my connection speed total which is excellent. Have maybe 1 or 2 dropouts per year so stability is really good.
Latest negative user review
Merith12
  • 1.0
Hopeless on MAC if it crashes, poor customer service I bought a subscription to this VPN program as I thought it had good reviews. Well, not from me. After about a month, my MAC was pestered by a dialogue box that could not be removed and said 'Networksetup is trying to modify the system network configuration' Enter your password to allow this. Well you can put in your password 100 times, it will not go away. Wrote to support and had to wait 6 days to get an answer by Tom W. The idea was to remove the app and make changes to the terminal prompts. The app was however not removable, no matter how many times I closed the app, made sure it did not startup nothing could be done. My advise: stay away from this one, app is no good and support is hopeless.
Latest positive user review
Matt
  • 5.0
Great for streaming I'm using it to stream stuff I don't wish the gov will track... Nothing serious, but why should they know what I like to watch. Speed is fine and service did the job when I had to switch servers once. Go with it
Wayne Harvey
  • 5.0
Secure and fast Have been with PIA for a couple years now and am extremely happy with the service. I get speeds of around 95-97% of my connection speed total which is excellent. Have maybe 1 or 2 dropouts per year so stability is really good.
Latest negative user review
Anonymously
  • 1.0
Excellent service but too expensive I found the service worked well but ended up being double billed; one $10 bill per month for my pc and another $9.99 bill per month for my iPhone. When I brought this to the attention of John in their customer service which is only available by email (support@ipvanish.com) they ended up blowing me off. So after having canceled my service with them I purchased a lifetime service with VPN Unlimited for $48. These days I'm more than discussed by unethical business practices that put profits over taking good care of their customers.
Merith12
  • 1.0
Hopeless on MAC if it crashes, poor customer service I bought a subscription to this VPN program as I thought it had good reviews. Well, not from me. After about a month, my MAC was pestered by a dialogue box that could not be removed and said 'Networksetup is trying to modify the system network configuration' Enter your password to allow this. Well you can put in your password 100 times, it will not go away. Wrote to support and had to wait 6 days to get an answer by Tom W. The idea was to remove the app and make changes to the terminal prompts. The app was however not removable, no matter how many times I closed the app, made sure it did not startup nothing could be done. My advise: stay away from this one, app is no good and support is hopeless.
 

Pricing

Starting price $6.49/ month $3.33/ month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 7 7
Devices per license 5 5
See plans & pricing See Plans See Plans
 
 

 The Bottom Line

Daniel Krohn
Technical writer, ex-robot manual creator gone privacy enthusiast/VPN expert

IPVanish is the winner, though not by much. Both providers provide very good security, have great options such as kill switches and free proxy servers, and both score equally well in our reviews. IPVanish takes the lead with their speed and inclusion of NAT firewall. Their software also has a much more up-to-date feel than PIA’s and has the great option of automatic server rotation. Of importance for some is the fact that IPVanish is proficient at breaking through the Great Firewall of China, while PIA is known to have issues in this area. While you will pay a few more dollars for IPVanish, it is well worth it.

Interestingly, if you compare IPVanish VPN with NordVPN, which is our top ranked vpn, you'll see that IPVanish VPN can learn a lot from NordVPN. Compare IPVanish VPN with NordVPN