AirVPN and PIA (Private Internet Access) are two low-cost VPNs that take your privacy really seriously.
While they may not look as 'flash' as some of the other VPNs out there, you will struggle to find VPNs that offer a better product at a lower price than these two.
Please read on to see who wins the battle of AirVPN vs PIA!
PIA Top Features
- Servers in 25 countries
- OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
- Up to 5 simultaneous connections
- 256-bit encryption
- Ad, tracker, malware blocker
- Can use with P2P
- Kill Switch
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited speed
AirVPN Top Features
- Servers in 18 countries
- OpenVPN protocol
- Three simultaneous connections
- 256-bit encryption
- Apps for most devices
- Three day pass available
- Can use with P2P
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Speed
AirVPN vs PIA: Features In Common
Absolutely No Logging
One of the most impressive things about these VPNs is the fact that neither of them log any information about your browsing or your connection. This is crucial if anonymity is one of the main reasons that you are using a VPN.
If your VPN logs your data it would be possible for anyone who is able to access these logs to find out information about your browsing. This could include anything from the dates you accessed the VPN to the sites you browsed and files you downloaded.
However, neither AirVPN nor PIA keep any logs of your browsing meaning that you can use their product safe in the knowledge that they are keeping your browsing private.
Simultaneous Usage Across Multiple Devices
Simultaneous usage across multiple devices means that you, or people in your family, can use the VPN on different devices at the same time. For example, you could watch a show on the internet while both you and your partner browse the net on your phone.
Out of the two VPNs discussed today, PIA has the slight advantage over Air VPN as it allows five connections in comparison to AirVPN’s three.
No Traffic Limits
Neither of these VPNs have any limits on the amount of, or the speed of, the traffic that you use. This means that you should have no problem when it comes to downloading files, streaming shows, or playing games.
Both AirVPN and PIA also allow you to make P2P transfers on their servers and have no limits on these transfers either.
DNS Leak Protection
DNS Leak Protection is another feature that is crucial if anonymity is important to you. Without it, it is possible that your real IP address could “leak” which would give away your identity.
When you don't use a VPN, your DNS requests go to the DNS server that is assigned by your ISP. This means that your ISP can easily see your browsing. However, when you use a VPN your DNS requests will go to your VPN’s DNS server. This will stop your ISP from being able to monitor your browsing.
However, if your VPN leaks, it means that some DNS requests will go straight to the ISP’s DNS server instead of the VPN’s. This has obvious privacy problems as your ISP will once again be able to see your browsing.
Both AirVPN and PIA have a leak protection feature, on PIA you will simply have to go to the settings section within the app and turn on “DNS Leak Protection”. On AirVPN the DNS leak protection comes when you turn on the 'Network Lock' feature. This feature actually includes many different network protection features including DNS leak protection and a kill switch. It is found in the “Overview” section of the app.
A kill switch is another essential feature is privacy and anonymity are your top priorities for using a VPN.
When you use a VPN, it is possible that you will lose your connection to the VPN server. If this happens you will usually automatically connect to the site you are trying to access without the protection of a VPN. If this happens, anyone monitoring your browsing would be able to see your real IP address.
However, if your VPN has a kill switch, then if you disconnect from the VPN server, the app will kill your internet connection until you reconnect. This means that you don’t run the risk of connecting to the internet without the protection of your VPN.
The kill switch is known as 'Network Lock', which we touched on before...
ExpressVPN And PIA Differences
PIA Exclusive Features That We Like
When you connect to a VPN you often forgo the benefits of your router’s firewall. This is because your VPN tunnels straight through your router. While this is often a risk worth taking, it can leave your connection vulnerable to malicious incoming connections.
PIA have tried to solve this issue by enclosing your connection with a NAT firewall. Much like the firewall on your router, the NAT firewall will help to block risky incoming connections and keep you protected online.
NAT firewalls are also really useful if you connect to the internet on your phone using data. When you do this you often don’t have any protection from a firewall. However, if you use PIA when using data, you will get the benefits of the VPN’s NAT firewall.
Uses Multiple Protocols
While OpenVPN is generally the most highly recommended VPN protocol, it can be nice to have other protocol options. This is especially the case if your device can’t use the OpenVPN protocol.
Luckily, PIA have a range of protocol choices including PPTP and L2TP/IPSec which you can use if your device won’t allow OpenVPN.
AirVPN Exclusive Features That We Like
Competitive Price (Daily Rate)
AirVPN is one of the only VPNs out there that allows you to sign up for a really short contract period. In fact, the shortest amount of time you can sign up for is only three days! And this only costs just over 1 dollar.
This is perfect if you just need a VPN for the short term or if you want to try out the service offered by AirVPN before committing to a longer time period.
As well as this, they offer a good variety of other contract lengths including one month, three months, six months, and one year.
Neither PIA nor AirVPN have the biggest variety of server locations out there, although both do cover all the main bases really well.
PIA has slightly more server countries than AirVPN, although AirVPN has a lot of different servers locations within their countries. AirVPN also have a really useful page that details all the status of all their servers so you can check before connecting to one of them.
The main reason you would want a server in a certain location is so that you can unblock geo-restricted content or so you know there is a server nearby to your physical location(close servers are usually faster).
Therefore, rather than choosing a VPN with the highest number of servers, you are best off choosing one that has good servers in the locations that you need.
What About Plans And Costs?
PIA is one of the cheapest VPNs around based on both its monthly plan and also its longer term plans. AirVPN is also quite cheap and has the added benefit of giving you the option to sign up for a really short term three-day contract.
PIA allows you to pay by Bitcoin and also by using e-vouchers. This can help keep you even more anonymous as you won’t have to give over any card details.
AirVPN also allows payment by bitcoin as well as by numerous other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Dash, and Zcash.
Of course, it is also possible to pay for both PIA and AirVPN using more standard payment options such as Paypal and your credit card.
AirVPN vs PIA: Conclusion
Once again we have compared two really good VPNs. Both are cost effective, have apps for all your devices, and, importantly, do not take any logs.
PIA has slightly more advanced features although the fact that you can sign up for AirVPN for a super short term three-day contract means it is sure to find some suitors.
Thanks for reading! And remember to share your experience of these VPNs in the comments section below.