Surfshark VS PIA 2020


Winner: Surfshark

In recent years, VPNs have become all the rage with savvy internet users who want to make sure their online data is secure. But choosing a VPN can be a bit of a daunting task. That’s why we have compared Surfshark vs PIA to help you choose the best between these two.

VPNs give you a safe way to browse the internet and stream your favorite shows without worrying about your information falling into the hands of third parties.

Surfshark vs PIA – Showdown

Surfshark is the winning champion! Based on:

  • Anonymous torrent downloading
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Access in China

Check out the whole comparison summary of PIA vs Surfshark here:

Factors Surfshark PIA
Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands US
Logging Policy No Logs No Logs
Pricing $1.99 $3.99
Speed 43.91 Mbps 19.70 Mbps
Server Network 1000+ Servers

50 Countries

3300+ Servers

33 Countries

Customer Support Tutorials, Tickets, FAQs, Knowledge base Tutorials, FAQs, Knowledge base
Torrenting Supported Supported
Netflix Unblocking Yes No
Security High High

Now lets look at the comparison in detail.


Result: Surfshark

Price Surfshark PIA
Monthly $1.99/mo $3.33/mo
Yearly $71.88 $39.95
Best Plan $1.99/mo

24-Month Plan


1-Year Plan

Having security online should not cost you an arm and a leg. A one-month plan for Surfshark will set you back $1.99 while a monthly plan with PIA costs only $3.33.


However, the real savings come when you opt for annual subscriptions. A one-year plan with PIA costs $3.33 a month, but a two-year plan with Surfshark costs only $1.99 a month.


In terms of getting the biggest bang for your back, Surfshark offers the best deal when you go for a two-year plan, which is not available at PIA.

You can pay for either one using a good variety of payment options, including credit card, PayPal and Bitcoin. You should also consider the fact Surfshark has a money-back guarantee that lasts up to 30 days when you first sign up.

Meanwhile, PIA only has a money-back guarantee for seven days. When it comes to pricing between Surfshark vs PIA, Surfshark is the clear winner, offering great savings and a reliable refund policy.


Result: Surfshark

Features Surfshark PIA
Multi-login Unlimited 5
Apps Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, IOS, Amazon Fire Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, IOS, Amazon Fire
Automatic Kill Switch Yes Yes
Encryption 256-Bit 256-Bit
Split Tunneling Yes No
Customer Support Email, Live Chat, Tutorials


Email, Live Chat, Tutorials, Tickets
Added Features Browser Extension, DNS Leak Protection, No-logs policy, split tunneling, Multi-platform protection, Obfuscation features Browser Extensions, Malware Protection, Ad-Blocker, Wi-Fi Protection, No-logs policy, Multi-platform protection, DNS Leak Protection

When you download the Surfshark app, you will find it to be incredibly responsive. It is a well-designed piece of software that provides you with superb connectivity.

PIA does not have a very attractive app. It is basic looking and lives within the taskbar, so it is nothing to write home about. Its connectivity works just fine. For the best performance possible between Surfshark vs PIA, Surfshark will be your best bet.

Server Network

Result: Surfshark

Servers Surfshark PIA
Number of servers 1000+ Servers 3300+ Servers
Number of Countries 61 Countries 33 Countries
Obfuscation Yes No
Virtual Servers Yes No
Speed 43.91 Mbps  19.70 Mbps

Ideally, you want a VPN that has an expansive network availability. This plays a vital role in any VPN’s success. When it comes to this quality, PIA has definitely put in the work. The service has over 3,300 servers located in more than 33 countries around the globe.

Surfshark is more of a newcomer in the VPN industry. As of this writing, the company has about 800 servers located in over 50 countries. It is certainly an impressive array of servers, but it does not hold a candle to what you get with Private Internet Access, which has been around for much longer.


Ultimately, the VPN with the fastest speed will come down to where you live and a host of other factors. However, by and large, most users will find that Surfshark is the clear winner. On average, Surfshark has a download speed of 30.21 Mbps. Meanwhile, PIA only has a download speed of 19.70 Mbps.

Surfshark (Speed Test):


PIA (Speed Test):


It may not seem like much, but such a vast difference can really impact what you do and watch while you are online. You can enjoy decent streaming capabilities with Surfshark, so when speed is on your mind that is the one to go with.

Result: Surfshark

Privacy and Security

Result: Draw

Security and Privacy Surfshark PIA
Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands USA
Logging Policy (Connection, Usage Logs) Yes Yes
Encryption 256-bit 256-bit
Tunneling Protocols OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP, IKEv2
IP Leak No No
WebRTC Leak Yes No
DNS Leak Protection Yes Yes
Kill Switch Yes Yes
Secure Payment Method PayPal PayPal

There are plenty of great security features you can find with either VPN service. Surfshark offers WhiteLister, which is a split-tunneling service.

It also provides you with CleanWeb, which blocks ads and malware, and like most other VPNs, you get a kill switch feature that automatically logs you off in the event your connection becomes spotty. However, one of the best features you get with Surfshark is that you can log on to as many devices as you want at the same time.

PIA offers many of the same features. You still get an ad blocker, but you can only log onto up to 10 devices simultaneously. Both services are perfectly fine when it comes to security, but if you want the extra benefit of being able to log into as many devices as you want, then Surfshark is the way to go.

Unblocking Capabilities

Result: Draw

Geo Unblocking Capabilities Surfshark PIA
Netflix Yes Yes
Hulu Yes Yes
BBC iPlayer Yes Yes
Sky Go Yes Yes
Amazon Prime Yes Yes
ABC Yes Yes
CBS Yes Yes
NBC Yes Yes
ITV Yes Yes
Channel 4 Yes Yes

Surfshark vs Private Internet Access – Netflix Unblocking

One reason many people want to acquire a VPN is so that they can unlock their favorite movies and television shows from around the globe. A VPN allows you to access Netflix content from different countries, so you can see virtually anything you want. Surfshark is the preferable VPN to use for this endeavor. It unblocks Netflix with ease.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of PIA. In years past, it was able to unblock Netflix in the United States. It can no longer do that service, so if streaming is your ultimate goal with your VPN, then you will want to opt for Surfshark.

Logging Policy

One way in which you can tell a VPN works well by how many logs the service keeps. Surfshark really wins in this category because it does not keep any logs related to its users. The same cannot be said of PIA, which has not clearly stated what its logging policy is.

Customer Support

Result: Draw

Customer Service Surfshark PIA
Live Chat Yes Yes
Email/Ticketing Yes Yes
Phone support No No
Searchable knowledgebase Yes Yes
Video guides Yes Yes

Regardless of which VPN you decide to buy, you know you will end up with problems eventually. You deserve to know where you can turn to when you end up with a shoddy connection, and both VPNs offer some impressive services.

With PIA, you will find FAQs and tutorials on the website. They also have a form-based complaint system where you can speak to a real person within a matter of hours.


Surfshark also has a FAQ page and plenty of tutorials. This particular VPN differs in the fact that it has a live chat feature. This allows you to talk to someone in a matter of minutes instead of hours. When you need help right then and there, Surfshark has your back.


Who Is the Winner?

Surfshark comes ahead in most categories, so between these two, it is your best option for a high-quality VPN. It’s low price and super-fast speeds give it a strong edge over PIA VPN. However, PIA is also not that bad of an option for a VPN.

To check out more VPNs go head to head, check out our Top VPN Comparisons.