If you don't take a deeper look at these two VPN services, you will hardly find any differences. Both Private Internet Access and Ivacy VPN are well-known brands, marketing their services as the ultimate way to safeguard your private data. However, there are some important differences between these two - that you can only find by reading hands-on reviews. Therefore, we have decided to compare them side-by-side and see which one should be recommended. So, welcome to our Private Internet Access vs Ivacy VPN comparison!
Private Internet Access has a humble name and we found it to be a simple and unpretentious VPN service. It’s owned by a holding company based in the USA, but thanks to widespread industry endorsement and clever technological privacy measures, we aren’t too worried about that. Ivacy VPN is based in Singapore and when we reviewed it, the plucky VPN gave a good impression, even surprising us with some nifty features.
In this article, we’re going to evaluate both VPNs in line with our standard criteria. In each category, we’ll decide which VPN wins and then an overall winner will be declared at the end. We’ll be looking at everything from features to customer service, so get ready for quite a bit of information. To make it easier, here’s a table with the most important info.
|Private Internet Access||Ivacy VPN|
|Logs||No data logging.||No data logging.|
|Number of Servers||3,300+ servers in 30+ countries.||1,000+ servers in 100+ locations.|
|Encryption Standards||AES-256; OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec.||AES-256; OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2.|
|Speed Reduction||8%, on average.||49%, on average.|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Web browsers.||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Web browsers.|
|Visit||Private Internet Access||Ivacy VPN|
If you take a closer look at the table found above, you'll see subtle differences here and there. However, these subtleties actually mean quite a lot (as you'll soon find out). Before we continue, here's another table comparing the scores from these two VPNs' individual reviews.
|Private Internet Access||Ivacy VPN|
|Ease of Use||9/10||7/10|
|Security & Privacy||8/10||10/10|
|Speed & Performance||10/10||5.5/10|
Finally, we will begin with our Private Internet Access vs Ivacy VPN comparison. Keep on reading to learn more.
Private Internet Access vs Ivacy VPN (2020) - The Ultimate Comparison!
The best way to truly get to know the differences between these two capable VPNs is by comparing their features and capabilities. That is exactly what we'll do here, so let's get started with our Private Internet Access vs Ivacy VPN comparison.
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
So, first things first. As a VPN user, you'll want to know where your chosen VPN comes from. That's because different countries come with different laws, especially when it comes to mandatory data retention.
- Private Internet Access: The truth is that PIA comes from the United States - which certainly isn't something you're going to love. After all, the USA is a core member of the 5-Eyes Alliance and this country doesn't have the best reputation for protecting its citizens' private data. However, PIA is to be trusted - as it was proven before. Not too long ago, the FBI pushed PIA into handing over personal files of an individual accused of a criminal act. However, this VPN gave zero data - because it doesn't collect anything.
Winner: We have to say that both of these VPNs seem like trustworthy options. It's true that PIA comes from the USA - but this VPN has proven that it doesn't collect anything related to your personal data. Therefore, we'll call it a draw.
Supported Platforms & Devices
Next, we need to see on which devices you can install these VPNs. An ideal case scenario would be full support for all currently popular platforms and devices. Let's take a look.
- Private Internet Access: You will be happy to know that Private Internet Access supports pretty much any VPN-compatible device. This includes Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS (both iPhones and iPads), as well as Android. We are talking about official client apps here that you can install and start using within minutes of your time. However, PIA goes beyond that by also supporting different kinds of VPN routers. It supports OpenVPN, which is the most secure VPN protocol right now, and it works on DD-WRT routers.
- Ivacy VPN: This VPN does things the same as PIA by offering support for all popular platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android). This is also a VPN that supports the OpenVPN protocol that's compatible with numerous third-party clients. In theory, this makes it compatible with routers, smart TVs, and more. There's also an extension for Kodi.
Winner: Both of these VPNs are equally powerful when it comes to supported devices. We are pretty sure you'll get to install them no matter which platform you use. So, it's a tie!
Installation & Initial Configuration
Next, we will take a look at how easy it is to install PIA and Ivacy VPN on your devices. Ideally, you want a simple and straightforward installation, so that you can start protecting your data as soon as possible.
- Private Internet Access: Upon signing up for a new account, you can proceed to download the official client. Once downloaded, open the file to start the process of installation - and that's pretty much it. Everything about PIA is fully automated, and this process shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Once done, this VPN will show you a guided tour, presenting different aspects and options.
- Ivacy VPN: This VPN features incredibly simple installation. Sign up for a new account, download the required installation files to your PC, and double-click to start the installer. You won't get to see anything strange here and the entire process shouldn't take more than a few minutes. All in all, very simple and easy to go through.
Winner: Once again, it's very difficult to see who's the winner here. Both of these come with simple installation methods. However, if we're really going to nitpick, we'll say that PIA comes with a more streamlined UI.
When it comes to basic features, every VPN brings some kind of encryption to help you 'hide' your Web browsing data. However, advanced features are what counts here, since they increase value and give you more for your money.
- Private Internet Access: First of all, PIA brings full support for all currently available VPN protocols. Then, there are DNS and IPv4 leak protections in place. And to make sure that your data is safe at all times, PIA utilizes a kill-switch, which shuts down your traffic if the VPN connection becomes unstable. There's also a semi-helpful ad-blocker, and split-tunneling is available on desktop platforms.
- Ivacy VPN: This VPN has done a wonderful job of coming up with a compelling set of features. It protects you against DNS, IPv4, and IPv6 leaks. There's a kill-switch, anti-malware, and there's split-tunneling as well. All of these features are easy to find and fine-tune within the application.
Winner: Both PIA and Ivacy VPN have a sensible set of features that will suit most mainstream VPN users. However, we do have to admit that Ivacy VPN truly shines when it comes to more advanced features.
You want to use a VPN to teardown any Web barriers and use the Internet without any restrictions. To do this, you need to have access to a vast server network that's present in the entire world. Let's see how PIA and Ivacy VPN have done their job.
- Private Internet Access: PIA comes with more than 3,000 servers. This is the reason why you'll find PIA on our list of the VPNs with the highest server count. On the one hand, this is one of the rare VPNs with several thousands of servers. On the other hand, you're limited to 30+ countries only - so you better hope that you're near one of PIA's servers. In case you aren't, the speed of your Web connection will most likely suffer.
- Ivacy VPN: Then, we have Ivacy VPN and its 1,000+ servers. Once again, quite impressive. However, what's even more impressive is the fact that these servers are found in 50+ countries. As you can see, there are two ways to look at this comparison - depending on the total number of servers offered by each of these, or depending on the number of countries covered by these servers.
Winner: Which is more important? Server counts or number of countries? Ivacy VPN comes first with its server coverage, while PIA wins when it comes to the number of servers offered.
Ease of Use
While some users prefer a simpler UI with clear explanations of what's going on, others are into more technical options. So, our Private Internet Access vs Ivacy VPN comparison will tell you what kinds of UIs to expect from these two VPNs.
- Private Internet Access: It is clear that this VPN provider is a big fan of mobile interfaces and iOS in general. That's because its desktop clients are modeled after their mobile UIs. This means seeing plenty of toggles and drop-down menus. Before you connect to a remote server, you can tick or un-tick a bunch of options like port forwarding, DNS leak protection, small packets usage, and more. This means having to spend some time learning what all those terms mean.
- Ivacy VPN: We believe that Ivacy hits the right balance between simplicity and usability. Even complete newbies will find their way around this application since everything is nicely explained. You select a server, and Ivacy will connect to it using a secure encryption protocol. Then, you'll see what's happening at every moment. You'll see your new IP, what kinds of features you're using, as well as how long you've connected to that server. So all in all, very user-friendly.
Winner: Even though PIA's interface is far from being difficult-to-understand or bad looking, Ivacy VPN takes the win here. It's highly polished and very intuitive to use.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
If you're a fan of media streaming, pay close attention to this segment of your article. We've tested both PIA and Ivacy VPN and here's what kinds of streaming platforms can be unblocked by using these VPNs.
- Private Internet Access: We'll be honest with you - Private Internet Access (as its name says) isn't made for media streaming. It's capable of unblocking Netflix, but it's out of reach of other media streaming services. However, PIA also supports torrenting. Still, considering that it comes from the USA, we strongly recommend avoiding any action that might lead to copyright infringement.
- Ivacy VPN: As per our tests, Ivacy VPN is a perfect VPN for media streaming. It unblocks Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. In addition, it fully supports torrenting - and even scans your P2P-downloaded files for malware and viruses. It's clear which VPN is the winner of this category.
Winner: We don't have to think hard about which VPN wins this round. Ivacy VPN is capable of unblocking plenty of streaming websites, and also fully supports P2P traffic.
Security & Privacy
How effective are PIA and Ivacy in preserving your privacy? The best way to see this is by taking a look at their privacy policies.
- Private Internet Access: PIA might be based in the USA. However, they’ve set things up in such a way that even if the suits do come knocking, there’d be nothing to give them. You can even pay with Bitcoin if you are really paranoid. This means having peace of mind while using this service and knowing that your privacy is truly safe.
- Ivacy VPN: This VPN isn’t required to keep logs either and says that it doesn’t. It has the same general protocol support, DNS leak protection and encryption standards as PIA. Therefore, the biggest difference here is in the fact that Ivacy VPN comes from a country without any mandatory data retention laws.
Winner: Both VPNs have solid security features and good privacy policies. However, Ivacy VPN comes from a country that's seen as a better option for VPN users - so, it wins this round of our comparison.
Speed & Performance
Having advanced features and plenty of servers at your disposal is a good thing. However, all of that doesn't matter if there are performance issues. That's why we believe this one to be the most important category of our comparison.
- Private Internet Access: When we tested PIA, we noticed that some throttling occurs, which depends on a server you select. If you connect to a nearby server, the chances are that you won't even feel any throttling. You'll get to use your connection, as usual, download large files, and stream videos online. Connecting to a remote server can drop down the speed of your Web connection, but not by much. On average, this VPN slowed us down by only 8% - which is one of the best results we've encountered yet.
- Ivacy VPN: Everything we said in the previous paragraph is also true for Ivacy. However, this VPN throttled our connection in a noticeable way once we connected to a remote server. On average, this VPN throttled our Web connection by 49%.
Winner: If you care about maintaining the speed of your Web connection, the choice is clear. You should pick Private Internet Access over Ivacy VPN.
No matter which VPN you select, your subscription also includes access to different kinds of customer support resources. The most reputable VPNs offer live chat, which is the quickest type of support.
- Private Internet Access: PIA has functional guides and email support, but it’s not in the same overall class as Ivacy VPN when it comes to this category. That is because you won't find live-chat here, which means your best bet is to use email (and you'll have to wait up to 72 hours for a response).
- Ivacy VPN: Ivacy’s client is a customer service and support marvel all by itself. We’ve already waxed lyrical about how you can get most answers directly from there, but you can also submit support tickets from there as well. It's safe to say that all your questions will be answered if your turn to Ivacy's customer support team.
Winner: Ivacy VPN has great built-in help and includes live help, which means it’s got quite the edge over PIA.
The final category of our Private Internet Access vs Ivacy VPN comparison is about pricing. Let's see how much money you need to pay to become a member of these subscription services.
- Private Internet Access: If you decide to go for a monthly plan, this will cost you $6.95 per month. Then, the price goes down to $5.99 per month (for the 6-month plan) or $3.33 per month (for the 1-year plan). You can pay via numerous payment processors, Bitcoin included. And also, there's a 7-day money-back guarantee.
- Ivacy VPN: This VPN is priced at $9.95 per month, which is a bit more expensive than what PIA offers. At the moment, there's also a 3-month plan that costs $6.66/month. And quite often, this VPN offers promo deals on its 1-year plan, which can go down to as low as $1.67 per month.
Winner: Even though PIA is more affordable if you pay on a monthly basis, Ivacy usually offers promo deals on its 1-year plan. It all depends on if you're interested in a long-term investment.
Private Internet Access vs Ivacy - Which One to Pick?
Well, this is a tough decision. Private Internet Access and Ivacy VPN are two very similar VPN services. However, you'll find a series of subtle differences if you really dig deep into their lists of features. After everything said so far, we conclude that Ivacy VPN seems like a better pick overall - and especially when it comes to media streaming.
Ivacy VPN keeps your privacy protected online - using the latest available encryption standards and VPN protocols. It unblocks websites, supports torrenting, and comes with an easy-to-use interface. These are all the reasons why you should sign-up for Ivacy VPN today!
Dear VPN enthusiasts, this is where we end our Private Internet Access vs Ivacy VPN comparison. In case there's anything else you'd like to know, don't hesitate to post a comment below. Also, don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!