5 Best Alternatives to PIA – 2019’s Fastest & Cheapest VPNs

PIA Alternatives

With generally reliable performance across a network of over 3,000 servers in 33 countries, Private Internet Access (PIA) delivers a secure VPN service at affordable prices. Dedication to user privacy has made it a very popular VPN, but the service has significant limitations.

PIA users have complained of inconsistent streaming performance, and the VPN is unable to access Netflix and other sites protected by VPN-blocking software. So if you want to stream content from hard-to-reach providers, you should consider other options.

On the other hand, if you only need a VPN for private and secure browsing, PIA certainly delivers it. In spite of its US location, PIA has proven that it honors its pledge to keep no logs.

In short, PIA is a good service. However, there are other VPNs that do everything it does and more. Here are five great alternatives to PIA that match or exceed its security measures, while outperforming it in areas like geoblock bypassing, customer support, and network speed.

Best Alternatives to PIA – Quick List

  1. NordVPN
    NordVPN secures your online activity with double encryption and reliably unblocks Netflix and other tough sites with the largest server network of any top VPN.
  2. ExpressVPN
    You won’t ever worry about speed with ExpressVPN, the fastest premium VPN available. It unlocks content from everywhere, and its security is second to none.
  3. CyberGhost
    If ease of use is your priority, CyberGhost might be the VPN for you. Its preset profiles make high-speed streaming with complete security as simple as it gets.
  4. PrivateVPN
    PrivateVPN simply does everything you’d expect a top-quality VPN to do, and does it well. Excellent security and great unblocking are highlights of this reliable service.
  5. Hotspot Shield
    You’ll need the premium (Hotspot Shield Elite) service to reach Netflix, but all Hotspot Shield users get a superfast network and complete privacy protection.

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Why You Need an Alternative to PIA

If your browsing is light and you only need a VPN for privacy, you might love PIA and never want another option. However, if you’re trying to access heavily blocked sites or your online activity is bandwidth-intensive, you’ll run up against PIA’s shortcomings.

For one, PIA’s speeds are decent but not lightning quick, so it is not ideal for streaming. And although PIA can bypass some website geoblocks thanks to its many server locations, it fails to unlock sites like Netflix that use aggressive anti-VPN protocols.

Furthermore, unlike the top VPNs on the market, PIA does not allow you to choose your server, only the country or region. The intention is good – managing network traffic to keep speeds as high as possible – but we like it when VPNs put as much control as possible in your hands.

Finally, PIA’s customer support needs improvement. Live chat is not available, so you can only reach agents via an email ticket system. That’s fine for minor issues, but if your problem requires multiple rounds of discussion with the support team, the delays can get frustrating.

Of course, you should never sacrifice your privacy for the sake of speed, support, content access, or any other VPN option. Our recommended alternatives to PIA deliver feature-packed services without any compromises when it comes to keeping you safe online.

These Are the Top Alternatives to PIA – Here’s Why

1. NordVPN

NordVPN devices

NordVPN lets you choose from over 4,900 servers in 62 countries, many of which are optimized for streaming. This provider offers exclusive SmartPlay technology, which enhances its power to lift geoblocks and grant you access to almost all video providers.

These features make it a popular pick for users looking for a VPN to stream restricted content, but NordVPN’s greatest strength is industry-leading security, including a Double VPN feature that sends your traffic to two different servers for double encryption.

NordVPN uses military-grade 2048-bit and 256-bit keys coupled with a CyberSec feature, which blocks dangerous websites and annoying ads that bog down your browsing speed. The technology clearly works, because connection speeds are superfast.

In the unlikely event that you have any issues, 24/7 live support is always a click away. Try out NordVPN’s exceptional service without worry, thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN can unblock:

  • Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes, P2P specialty servers available.

NordVPN works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s also compatible with routers.

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2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN benefits

Offering unlimited server switching among 148 cities in 94 countries, ExpressVPN puts you in total control of your surfing. And wow, are those servers fast – ExpressVPN remains unbeaten in our VPN network speed tests.

ExpressVPN also offers unlimited bandwidth, so you can browse, stream, and download without end. To top it all off, ExpressVPN bypasses tough anti-VPN software, granting you access to platforms like Netflix and the BBC iPlayer at top speeds.

As far as security is concerned, ExpressVPN matches PIA feature for feature, offering 256-bit AES encryption and abiding by a strict no-logs policy. It also supports multiple protocols and has an automatic kill switch across all platforms and installations.

Add-in 24/7 live chat help from some of the friendliest agents in the VPN world, and it’s easy to see how ExpressVPN has become a leader in the industry, with happy users all around the globe.

Experience ExpressVPN’s amazing performance for yourself with a 7-day free trial for mobile users and a 30-day money-back guarantee for all subscribers.

ExpressVPN can unblock:

  • Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes, all servers support P2P activity.

ExpressVPN works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It also offers an app for use with certain routers.

View ExpressVPN Deals

3. CyberGhost

cyberghost multiple devices

If you are new to the world of VPNs, CyberGhost is a great introduction. CyberGhost’s crisp, intuitive interface is super easy to navigate, making it a favorite of beginners and pros alike. Reliable customer service is available 24/7 via live chat.

CyberGhost’s network reaches across 60 countries, with 2,900 servers to choose from. Premade profiles for streaming and Stealth features designed for dodging VPN blockers assure you of seamless access to Netflix and other content from anywhere in the world.

This Romania-based provider offers all the essential security features, including a strict no-logs policy and a kill switch that automatically stops traffic if the VPN connection is interrupted. CyberGhost also allows you to torrent anonymously with its Ghost Downloads interface.

Long-term plans are very affordable, and a 45-day money-back guarantee means you lose nothing by trying out a subscription. Android, iOS, and Windows users can also sign up for a 7-day free trial.

CyberGhost can unblock:

  • Dedicated streaming profile with servers optimized for: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Hulu, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and others.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes; dedicated profile shows countries and number of users.

CyberGhost works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and Chrome.

View CyberGhost Deals

4. PrivateVPN

privatevpn devices

Proving that you don’t have to compromise on your VPN just because you’re on a tight budget, PrivateVPN actually beats PIA’s prices for 2-year and month-to-month plans, while offering a more complete service.

PrivateVPN’s server network is small compared to those of our top three providers (100 servers spread across 56 countries), but those servers deliver consistently high speeds just the same. Security measures are all topnotch and include a kill switch.

You might find that accessing Netflix, Hulu, and the BBC iPlayer is easier on some servers than on others, but since the network is small and switching servers is easy, you’ll be streaming in no time with great video quality.

A live chat support option is available with PrivateVPN, but it doesn’t always work. So you might end up needing to submit your inquiry via email or the online help ticket system.

When it comes to installing the VPN, however, you will have all the support you could ever want, including a unique Free Remote Help feature where the tech team installs and sets up the app for you, an option that users love.

PrivateVPN can unblock:

  • Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes, all servers support P2P activity; list of P2P-optimized servers available through the app.

PrivateVPN works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

View PrivateVPN Deals

5. Hotspot Shield Elite

hotspot shield devices

Hotspot Shield has been around since 2008, and has spent much of that time near the top of many “Best VPNs” lists. It has over 2,500 extremely fast servers in 25 countries, giving you plenty of locations and IP addresses to choose from.

Hotspot Shield backs up its impressive network speed with unlimited bandwidth and unlimited server switches, two advantages appreciated by its satisfied clients.

For security, Hotspot Shield keeps pace with PIA with 256-bit AES encryption and automatic alerts anytime you come across sites that contain malware or otherwise threaten your cybersecurity. However, it does not include a kill switch.

Hotspot Shield’s basic service is FREE, and includes all the VPN’s privacy protection features. However, Netflix access and other premium features are only available with the Elite plan, which is more expensive than PIA but cheaper than our top two VPNs for 1-year and 2-year plans.

Sign up for the free plan to learn the interface, then start your free 7-day Elite trial before subscribing with the peace of mind of a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Hotspot Shield can unblock:

  •  Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video.

Supports torrenting: 

  • Yes, P2P allowed on all servers.

Hotspot Shield works on these devices

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome.

View Hotspot Shield Deals

Summary

PIA is a trustworthy VPN that keeps you safe online. However, there are other VPNs available that offer the same level of security, far better streaming, and more useful features, all for a similar price. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use PIA, but it’s worth shopping around first.

Even if you don’t choose one of the providers we’ve recommended here, we hope we’ve helped you learn what to look for in a premium VPN service. You might also want check out our article on the best VPNs for streaming online content for some more great alternatives to PIA.

If you want to know more about how Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming platforms deflect VPNs – and how the best VPNs stay one step ahead – check out our information on how to beat anti-VPN software.

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