Express VPN vs. PIA VPN review
I’ll start with a comparison of the most important aspect of any VPN - privacy. During review I will consider whether VPN logs anything (IP address, traffic, DNS logs, bandwidth, or any type of timestamps) and the jurisdiction of VPN’s country of origin.
ExpressVPN is located in British Virgin Island which is not part of 5 9 14 eyes countries and is not part of enemies of the internet countries while PIA VPN is located in United States which is part of 5 9 14 eyes countries and is not part of enemies of the internet countries.
It’s important to note that If you are like me and you will be using VPN only to unblock GEO-restricted content, privacy will not be that important factor but it’s still essential for any VPN.
The next category I want to compare are features of ExpressVPN and PIA VPN such as kill-switch, unblocking of streaming, support of P2P traffic (torrenting). I am a heavy user of various streaming platforms so for me it’s important whether VPN unblocks major streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO or BBC. I don’t do much torrenting but it’s always good to use a VPN while doing so. If this is an important factor for you, definitely look for a VPN which supports P2P traffic.
|P2P traffic - torrents||Yes||Yes|
As you can see from the comparison table above, ExpressVPN has kill-switch, supports streaming services, and supports torrenting. On the flipside PIA VPN has kill-switch, doesn't support streaming services, and supports torrenting.
Being hidden behind VPN shouldn’t limit the speed of your connection. I’ve measured the speed of each VPN against a 100mbps connection - which should be sufficient for any activities including heavy streaming in 4K or downloading large files.
In my test ExpressVPN was more on the fast side while PIA VPN had below average speed. If there were no limits in speed on a 100mbps connection, I consider VPN a “fast” one. If the speed is limited somehow but still achieving decent values, I categorize it as “average”. The “slow” is usually used for VPNs which limit your bandwidth significantly.
I will start by comparing the type of encryption ExpressVPN and PIA VPN use, what tunnelling protocols are available, and finally we’ll test whether it leaks the IP address or DNS.
|Tunneling protocols||PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP and OpenVPN||OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and SOCKS5 Proxy Tunnel|
The most important factor of a VPN service is a strong encryption of the traffic which is forwarded through the VPN servers. The most common encryption types in cryptography are SHA encryption or AES encryption which are not really comparable against each other. There might be different lengths of encryptions (eg. 128-bit, 256-bit, 2048-bit) and while usually the higher is the better, for most use cases you will be fine with any encryption. Watch-out if there is no encryption at all. ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit and PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP and OpenVPN protocol and PIA VPN uses 256-bit and es AES 256-bit and OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and SOCKS5 Proxy Tunnel protocols. I’ve tested both VPNs also for IP and DNS leaks and ExpressVPN had no IP leaks and No DNS leaks while PIA VPN had No IP leaks and No DNS leaks.
Probably one of the most important decision factor for the majority of users will be price. Shocking? Not really. We all love to compare things and I am not different. It’s always good to get the best value for your hard-earned money, isn’t it? So let’s see whether ExpressVPN or PIA VPN is cheaper.
ExpressVPN supports 5 connections at the same time while it works fine on all the platforms below. You can use PIA VPN on 10 devices at the same time with support of all these platforms:
Should you have any problems with ExpressVPN or PIA VPN you can reach out to their support via:
ExpressVPN ranked in our list on 5. position while PIA VPN. is on 19 position. If you are looking for a better choice, see our rankings here.