If you are familiar with VPNs, then it is likely that you have heard of both PureVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA). These two services are offered by some of the biggest VPN companies in the world, and because of this they are very popular.
Both PureVPN and Private Internet Access are companies that have co-existed for a long time. The only way that they have been able to do this is because they both have loyal customer bases.
But when it comes to these VPNs, you tend to either be a fan of one or the other. There is no in between. So, which VPN is the best?
In this ultimate guide, we’ll be taking a look at both PureVPN and PIA to compare them in different categories, and come to a conclusion of which is the best. So, let’s dive right in.
What Is PureVPN?
First things first, let’s take a look at PureVPN. This is a VPN service that was first founded in 2007, making it one of the early birds in the VPN community. The service is owned by GZ Systems Ltd., a sports app company, and they are based in Hong Kong.
Although they are based in Hong Kong, this service is popular all across the world, particularly in Westernized areas, such as the United Kingdom and the USA. Within the single service, PureVPN offers a couple of different services, we will take a look at these a little later on.
But for now, let’s take a look at PIA.
What Is Private Internet Access (PIA)?
Of the two services we will be looking at, PIA is actually the younger service. This company was first set up in 2010, and is actually based out of the USA.
This is rare for a VPN service, as a lot of companies base their services out of countries that do not have stringent internet security laws. But despite this, PIA has quickly become one of the most popular VPN services in the world.
It is clear that both PIA and PureVPN are well-loved across the world, but what makes them so good? Let’s find out.
When it comes to VPNs, the most important things that you want are privacy and security. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the data logging policies of PureVPN AND PIA.
Some VPN services choose to base themselves out of countries that do not have many data logging laws, instead choosing to base themselves out of countries which have more intense privacy laws.
However, a VPN service keeping data logs shouldn’t be enough to put you off of that service, instead transparency about their policies should be important.
PureVPN has a very transparent policy when it comes to logging, and this is very reassuring for users. Of course, they are able to have such a transparent policy because this company is based out of Hong Kong, which is a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
If you look at the PureVPN policy, you will find that they keep no logs of personally-identifiable information (IP addresses, DNS requests, user activity, etc.), so you have a lot of privacy with this service.
In contrast, PIA is not as transparent, and their policy is a bit vague. The company does not keep data traffic logs, but is unclear if they keep any personal information, such as IP addresses. On the basis of this, PureVPN wins in this category.
Something else that is very important with a VPN is its compatibility with different user interfaces and operating systems. So, let’s take a look at this next.
When it comes to compatibility, both PureVPN and PIA are very similar to one another. Both of these services are compatible with the most common operating systems and platforms out there, and they are both compatible with some less common systems too.
Both of these services are compatible with Android, Apple iOS, macOS, Android TV, Windows, Linux, Firefox, Chrome, and more.
PureVPN and PIA offer dedicated apps for the main operating systems, and they both have dedicated extensions for the different internet browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc.).
However, once again PureVPN wins, and this is because in addition to the compatibility options we have listed above, it can also be used with Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
Everything that we have looked at so far is vitally important when it comes to VPNs, but something that is equally important is speed. VPNs are powerful services, and because of this they will slow your internet connection.
So, when we speak about speed, we are discussing the amount of speed that the VPN takes away from your internet speed.
Due to the popularity of these VPNs, you probably will have already guessed that these VPNs are pretty quick.
It is important to remember that the location in which you are using the VPN will have an impact on the speed of it, so let’s take a look at how these VPNs performed around the world.
When tested on servers in both the USA and Australia, PureVPN came out on top. However, the difference in speed between the two was so minimal that it was barely noticeable. Due to this, we cannot declare a winner in this category, the two systems are simply too similar to one another.
When you are going to use a service as much as you will use a VPN, it is vitally important that they come with a straightforward user interface so that you know how to use it. So, how do PureVPN and PIA measure up in this category?
As we mentioned earlier, both PureVPN and PIA offer apps and extensions depending on the platform upon which you are using the VPN. If you generally want to use the VPN on your phone, then you will be able to download an app.
Both of these services offer simple and straightforward apps that are insanely user-friendly, and almost impossible to measure up. By the same principle, their internet extensions are also very easy to download and use.
Of the two apps, there is no denying that PureVPN is the most attractive. Their app has been designed to be a lot flashier, and this alone is sometimes enough to attract people to the app. In contrast, the app that PIA offers is a lot more basic.
Some people might see this as a negative, but we don’t. In fact, we think this is a positive as it means the app is easier to navigate.
However, it would be unfair to declare a winner for this category, simply based on the design of their app, so, once again, there is no winner in this category.
It is becoming more and more common for VPNs to be used, exclusively for streaming services. When you are in the US, the UK Netflix can have a pretty attractive catalog, and you might find yourself wanting to stream their version instead. With most VPNs, this is possible.
Thankfully, both PureVPN and PIA have the ability to unblock the location blockers on most streaming services, allowing you to access the streaming services for these countries.
However, of the two services, there is one that clearly comes out on top. It will probably come as no surprise that PureVPN is once again the winner in this category.
Both PIA and PureVPN have the ability to unblock Netflix for foreign countries, likewise they also have the ability to unblock Hulu, CBS, and Sky Go. However, as we have said, PureVPN has the edge.
This is mainly because you can also use this VPN to access BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video, whereas PIA is unable to do this. So, once again, PureVPN wins in this category.
Conclusion: Which Is The Best?
Based on everything that we have found out in the course of this comparison, there really is no question, PureVPN wins. This is actually quite surprising because you would expect PIA to outperform PureVPN on every level.
We say this because PIA has actually been voted the #1 trusted VPN in the USA. However, a large amount of this trust could come from the fact that this is a company that was founded, and is run out of, the USA.
However, just because PureVPN wins in most categories, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best option for you. For example, if you are looking for a cheaper VPN, or a VPN that comes with better payment options, then PIA would be the best choice for you.
When it comes to VPNs, you simply cannot pick a winner on the sole basis of one review. You will use a VPN a lot, and for this reason, it is incredibly important that you buy one based on your needs, rather than reviews alone.
But, from an objective standpoint, PureVPN has won in all of the categories we have looked at (including where it drew with PIA), so we would say that PureVPN is the best service out of these two options.