ExpressVPN vs PIA VPN

These are two popular, but different VPN providers. To find out all the differences, we decided to make this ExpressVPN vs PIA review. After comparing everything between these two VPNs, it becomes clear that one of them has more to offer.

Safety Information

  • Located in British Virgin Islands
  • Doesn't save logs
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • Shared IPs
  • OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), SSTP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2/IPsec
  • Located in USA
  • Doesn't save logs
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • Shared IPs
  • OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), SSTP and PPTP

Only a couple of things are different in this chapter, but they are still worth mentioning. When it comes to the location where the company is based, ExpressVPN has chosen a bit better. They are in a country that has no data retention laws. Governments of countries that are famous for snooping won't ask them for info. Even if they do, ExpressVPN doesn't have to cooperate with them. 

PIA is based in the USA, but they do not keep user logs. If the American government requests session logs, they don't have any kind of info to give them. But the truth is that being away from countries such as the USA or U.K., is an extra layer of security. That way, the VPN company doesn't have to cooperate with them.

That being said, we have to give the advantage to ExpressVPN in this chapter. The number of protocols is not the same, but that is not very relevant. The important thing is that they both offer OpenVPN, which is the most secure protocol.


  • Kill Switch
  • DNS Leak Prevention
  • IPv6 Leak Protection
  • Manual / Automatic server selection
  • Smart Location
  • Built in Server Speed Test
  • Split Tunneling
  • Kill Switch
  • DNS Leak Prevention
  • IPv6 Leak Protection
  • Port Forwarding
  • Option to choose level of encryption
  • PIA MACE - Protection against ads, trackers and malware

Both of them offer the most important features to guarantee anonymity. We are referring to the Kill Switch and the DNS protection.

Besides that, both have interesting options of their own. For example, ExpressVPN has a server speed test integrated into the software. And PIA has a protection against ads and malware, to provide a better browsing experience

Impact on Speed

  • 7% Speed Loss
  • 11% Speed Loss

Although there wasn't a big difference, on average, ExpressVPN was faster. We registered 93% of the speed of our original Internet connection. PIA's servers were, on average, a bit slower. We kept 89% of the original speed.

A good encryption comes with a price. It consumes resources and slows down the connection. But comparing to the majority of VPN providers, these speed results are quite good, especially ExpressVPN.

Available Servers

  • Servers in 94 countries
  • 3000 Servers
  • Servers in 28 countries
  • 3100 Servers

ExpressVPN has more server locations, but PIA has more servers. Who wins this one? The advantage goes to ExpressVPN. Having servers in many countries is more importan. Each user is more likely to have more available locations to choose from in nearby locations.

Note: remember that it's advisable to choose a server located in a different country from yours, but still close. But of course, this situation may change according to each user. So, the best thing is always to have a look at the server list of each provider. That way, it's possible to see if there are servers available in countries close to your location.

Torrenting Policy

  • Torrent Friendly
  • Allows torrenting on servers located in 94 countries
  • Torrent Friendly
  • Allows torrenting on every server location (28 countries)

When it comes to torrenting, they both have a similar approach. They allow BitTorrent traffic on every server. Naturally, having more server locations to choose from and faster speeds is an advantage. ExpressVPN is a better choice for users who are looking to download torrents anonymously.

Platforms and Connections

  • Compatible with major platforms and devices
  • 5 Simultaneous Connections
  • Compatible with major platforms and devices
  • 5 Simultaneous Connections

The two of them are compatible with the major platforms and devices, such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, etc… They now offer the same amount of simultaneous connections. A user can have all his devices protected at the same time. And there's still room for someone else to use the same VPN account, like a family member.

Available Plans

  • 1 month plan: 12.95$
  • 6 months plan: 9.99$/month
  • 1 year plan: 8.32$/month
  • Current Discounts: 3 extra months for free
  • 30 days money back guarantee
  • 1 month plan: 9.95$
  • 1 year plan: 5.99$/month
  • 2 year plan: 3.49$/month
  • 7 days money back guarantee

PIA VPN is cheaper, with a subscription of 3.49$ per month with the 2-Year plan. This is a very good price for a VPN service, and there aren't many providers offering such value. However, ExpressVPN allows users to ask for their money back in the first 30 days, in case they aren't satisfied with the software. PIA also has a money back policy, but only 7 days.

Comparison Conclusion

Both VPN providers do a good job in providing anonymity. But our choice for the best VPN goes to ExpressVPN. For us, the speed, server locations and company location make this VPN superior. It is more expensive, but this is one of those cases where you get what you pay for.