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Surfshark vs Private Internet Access: Which VPN is better?

Should I choose Surfshark or Private Internet Access?

Last Updated on 29/04/2024

A comparison between Surfshark vs PIA ultimately boils down to your specific requirements and preferences since both are leading virtual private network (VPN) service providers. While both prioritize user privacy and deploy robust encryption protocols, they can be distinguished based on specific strengths and weaknesses.

In this article, we will dive deep into the various factors for a Surfshark vs PIA comparison to enable more thoughtful decision-making. Both popular options offer robust features and a promise to enhance online privacy and security.

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The best VPN options compared

ExpressVPN
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4.6/5
  • Wide server coverage and continuous expansion
  • Lightning-fast VPN speeds
  • Flexible pricing plans with a money-back guarantee
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
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from $8,32 / Month
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CyberGhost
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4.6/5
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No
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Yes
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from $2,37 / Month
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NordVPN
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4.5/5
  • Lightning-fast server speeds
  • Wide server coverage globally
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No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
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from $3,59 / Month
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Private Internet Access
4.
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4.5/5
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
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Torrents
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from $1,98 / Month
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Payment Methods
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Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Wide server network, extensive coverage
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Excellent streaming capabilities
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $2,49 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
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Hide.me
6.
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4.5/5
  • Top-rated VPN for privacy
  • Lightning-fast connection speeds
  • Innovative features for security
Data Logging
Yes
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
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Netflix
bbc_iplayer
from $2,59 / Month
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Payment Methods
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PureVPN
7.
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4.5/5
  • Always-on auditing for transparency
  • AES-256 encryption and obfuscation
  • Competitive pricing and streaming
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
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bbc_iplayer
from 2,04€ / Month
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ivacy VPN
8.
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4.5/5
  • High-speed streaming and browsing
  • Robust security and privacy
  • Affordable long-term plans
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
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from $1,00 / Month
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ProtonVPN
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4.5/5
  • Free version with excellent features
  • Extensive server network
  • Top-tier encryption and security
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
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from $4,99 / Month
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StrongVPN
10.
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4.5/5
  • User-friendly VPN for beginners
  • Strong privacy and security features
  • Access to 950 servers
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
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from $3,97 / Month
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Bitdefender
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4.4/5
  • Affordable pricing plans
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  • Impressive server network
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Yes
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Yes
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from $2,50 / Month
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PayPal
Bank Transfer
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Atlas VPN
12.
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  • Impressive free VPN service
  • Solid security features
  • Optimized for streaming
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
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Hulu
bbc_iplayer
Best Alternative
ExpressVPN Go to ExpressVPN
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SurfsharkPrivate Internet Access
CompanySurfshark B.V.Private Internet Access, Inc
Web Sitesurfshark.comwww.privateinternetaccess.com
Customer SupportLive Chat, Email SupportLive Chat, Email Support
Licence
Verified byn/an/a
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Bonusfrom $2,49 / Monthfrom $1,98 / Month
VisitGo to Surfshark
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Private Internet Access
T&Cs apply, 18+

Surfshark vs PIA at a Glance

The following table summarizes, in brief, the key differentiating factors between Surfshark and PIA.

Surfshark VPN PIA
Rating 4.5/5 from 19,924 reviews on TrustPilot 4.5/5 from 9,447 reviews on TrustPilot
Pricing starts at $2.49 per month starts at $2.03 per month
Servers More than 3200 More than 35,000
Server Locations More than 110 locations More than 144 locations
Countries of Operation 100 84
Bandwidth Unlimited bandwidth Unlimited bandwidth
Log Policy None None
VPN Protocols Available WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2 Wireguard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
System Platforms Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, Mac Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux
Simultaneous Connections Unlimited Unlimited
Customer Support 24/7 live chat, email support, FAQs, Knowledgebase FAQs, email support, 24/7 live chat
Torrenting Scope All servers able to torrent All servers able to torrent
Headquarters The Netherlands United States
Encryption AES-256-GCM, Chacha20Poly1305 128-AES, 256-AES
Split Tunneling Available Available

Surfshark VPN vs PIA: Detailed overview

Surfshark VPN and Private Internet Access VPN (PIA) are two popular and reliable VPN choices, offering valuable features to ensure online privacy and security.

In the following sections, we break down the critical aspects of both Surfshark and PIA to help determine the best VPN for your needs.

Surfshark vs PIA Speed

The best VPNs have low latency and fast connection speeds. A VPN with superior infrastructure and service servers can guarantee lag-free streaming, quick downloads, and seamless browsing.

This is why speed plays a vital role in comparing Surfshark vs PIA. We examine the speed users can obtain from Surfshark or PIA through their functional VPN protocols in this section. The table below shows the results of our speed tests of the Private Internet Access VPN protocol compared to Surfshark.

Surfshark VPN Private Internet Access VPN
Download Upload Download Upload
WireGuard 260 Mbps 166.8 Mbps 122.0 Mbps 152.6 Mbps
OpenVPN UDP 122.2 Mbps 142.3 Mbps 128.8 Mbps 132.4 Mbps
OpenVPN TCP 27.8 Mbps 29 Mbps 35.8 Mbps 40.6 Mbps

Both PIA and Surfshark function at favorable speeds. While PIA is faster when utilizing multiple VPN protocol options, Surfshark is also faster in select options.

Surfshark vs PIA price

Both platforms provide various and flexible subscription options, along with a few added features or advantages with each bundle.

1. Surfshark VPN pricing

Depending on the subscription you choose to purchase and use, Surfshark VPN is among the most reasonably priced VPN service options available today, with the following three options:

  • Surfshark Starter
  • Surfshark One
  • Surfshark One+

Each category further provides three subscription options: monthly, 12-monthly (or annual), and 24-monthly. The prices and offerings differ in each.

Surfshark Starter

The costs of various plans under the Surfshark Starter subscription are as follows:

  • Monthly Plan: $12.95 per month
  • Annual or 12-Month Plan: $3.99 per month ($47.88 for a year)
  • 24-Month Plan: $2.39 per month ($57.36 for two years)
Surfshark One

Over and above Surfshark Starter’s offerings, Surfshark One provides additional benefits like private search engine browsing and anti-virus, anti-spyware, malware, and webcam protection. Surfshark One users have to pay based on the following plan rates:

  • Monthly Plan: $17.95 per month
  • Annual or 12-Month Plan: $4.99 per month ($53.88 for a year)
  • 24-Month Plan: $3.59 per month ($83.76 for two years)
Surfshark One+

Along with all the features of Surfshark Starter and One subscription, the One+ category ensures data removal from company databases and people search sites. If one chooses the Surfshark One+ subscription, they can choose from the following three plans:

  • Monthly Plan: $22.95 per month
  • Annual or 12-Month Plan: $8.29 per month ($99.48 for one year)
  • 24-Month Plan: $6.49 per month ($155.76 for two years)

Surfshark
4.5/5
from $2,49 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Surfshark
Surfshark Highlights
  • Wide server network, extensive coverage
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Excellent streaming capabilities

2. PIA pricing

PIA is among a few of the most affordable VPN options many users find suitable. It offers the following three categories of subscriptions. Each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Monthly Plan: $11.95 per month
  • Annual or 12-Month Plan: $3.33 per month, or $39.99 for a year
  • 3-Year or 36-Month Plan: $2.03 per month, or $73.08 for three years plus an additional three months of complimentary benefits.
Private Internet Access
4.5/5
from $1,98 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access Highlights
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service

Comparison between Surfshark and PIA features

Some of the prominent and distinguishing features of Surfshark and PIA that we will compare include:

Split tunneling

Users can get around apps that don't like VPNs using split tunneling, which enables users to direct traffic around and through the VPN simultaneously. Both Surfshark and PIA are excellent in this aspect.

Servers

When it comes to VPNs, the more functional the servers, the better the service. While Surfshark offers more than 3200 servers spread across 100 countries, PIA spans more than 35,000 servers spanning 84 countries.

User experience

Surfshark provides a user-friendly interface and intuitive applications on various devices. PIA follows a minimalistic design approach on both its website and app.

Additional features

Surfshark offers exclusive features such as a built-in ad blocker apart from Whitelister (split tunneling). PIA, on the other hand, is known for features like SOCKS5 proxy and PIA MACE ad-blocking.

Surfshark or PIA: Pros and Cons

Surfshark VPN award winning
Surfshark Pros & Cons
  • You can access capabilities like split tunneling and multi-hop.
  • Unlimited number of devices can connect at once.
  • Quick and trustworthy client service.
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
  • The monthly plan is significantly more expensive than rivals like PIA.
  • A dedicated IP address add-on needs to be provided.
Surfshark
4.5/5
from $2,49 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Surfshark
Surfshark Highlights
  • Wide server network, extensive coverage
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Excellent streaming capabilities
Private Internet Access ad blocker
PIA Pros & Cons
  • Deploys a vast network of servers.
  • Offers 24/7 technical support.
  • Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • You can connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously with a dedicated IP add-on.
  • The transparency report needs to be more specific.
  • The recurring plan is expensive.
  • There is no free trial version available.
Private Internet Access
4.5/5
from $1,98 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access Highlights
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service

Final Verdict: Which is better, Surfshark or PIA?

Despite being a relatively young player in the VPN industry, Surfshark has quickly become well-known for its affordable prices, vast server network, and user-friendly design. It strives to offer a complete VPN service that prioritizes user privacy, security, and convenience, through features like the MultiHop function and integrated ad and malware prevention.

On the other hand, PIA has been in business for a while and is renowned for its steadfast dedication to privacy, open-source software, and cutting-edge encryption techniques. It is an appealing option for customers seeking a VPN provider that prioritizes user control, superior security, vast server networking, and competitive pricing.

Ultimately, the best VPN is one that fulfills your needs and preferences.

Even more great VPN options

ExpressVPN
1.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $8,32 / Month
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
CyberGhost
2.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $2,37 / Month
PayPal
Visa
Mastercard
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
NordVPN
3.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $3,59 / Month
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Private Internet Access
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $1,98 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $2,49 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+

Surfshark vs PIA FAQs

🤔 Which Is Better Surfshark or PIA?

Both Surfshark and PIA VPN have various useful features and brilliant records. Visit Strafe.com for a complete comparison between the two and select the best VPN that suits your needs.

😁 Surfshark or PIA, which has more servers?

Both Surfshark and PIA have impressive global coverage with thousands of servers.  Explore the number of servers and countries covered by each VPN service provider in our review for a better assessment.

🔑 Surfshark or PIA, which is cheaper?

Both Surfshark and PIA offer multiple plans to suit all budget needs. Strafe.com enlists the pricing plans and membership categories of each service provider for better assessment.

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ExpressVPN
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