Private Internet Access Review by our expert: Affordable secure connections
Rating ?
4.5 / 5.0
Features 4.7 / 5.0
Ease of Use 4.7 / 5.0
Pricing 4.6 / 5.0
Reliability & Support 4.7 / 5.0

PIA is one of the most popular VPNs out there, but is it actually worth all the hype it's getting? Released in 2010, PIA has grown users through word of mouth and recommendations. And, while they are based in the USA (which we’re usually wary of), they have proven twice that they do not maintain user logs. Although you’re not going to get too many extra features, and PIA isn’t the best when it com...

updated: Dec 27, 2018
Private Internet Access User Reviews
3.5
Xavier Mitchell
Oct 19, 2018
  •  1
PIA robs computers of their speed while the VPN is turned on.

I found out too late!! Here are my issues. Private Internet Access is "popular" because people are unaware and don't know until they've bought and it's too late. After purchasing this VPN (don't purchase this one) I installed on two computers and was told how to increase speed. Afterwards Charter raised their speed to 200 MB. Below are the results of my speed after the increase. I gave Private Internet Access my results and they are refusing to answer my questions and concerns (no response to 2 emails). Needless to say I will not renew. Charter raised internet speed to 200 and I get 200+ while not connected to this VPN. 1st Computer (windows 8.1). The following are my speeds (with adjustments) while connected to VPN and used the 2nd test which was usually a point or two lower or higher upd - auto 86.7 - 7.6 upd - 1194 87.6 - 7.5 upd - 8080 86.8 - 7.7 upd - 9201 85.1 - 7.7 upd - 53 76.0 - 7.2 tcp - 443 38.0 - 5.1 tcp - 110 48.0 - 5.6 tcp - 80 48.3 - 5.8 Why should it take 112.4 from my highest, which I will use, 87.6? I badly need help with this. 2nd Computer (windows 7 professional) Charter raised internet speed to 200 and I get 193.7+ while not connected to VPN. The following are my speeds (with adjustments) while connected to VPN and used the 2nd test which was usually a point or two lower or higher: upd - auto 39.8 - 4.9 upd - 1194 38.0 - 4.7 upd - 8080 37.2 - 4.7 upd - 9201 46.8 - 6.1 upd - 53 37.7- 4.8 tcp - 443 42.8 - 1.6 tcp - 110 44.0 - 1.7 tcp - 80 42.9 - 1.7


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    Steve
    Oct 19, 2018
    •  1
    I will NOT be renewing my PIA subscription.

    Very slow connection speed and I found it necessary to re-download the program about every three days in order to use the program at all. Customer support is terrible. The only thing good about this program is the price but in fact, "you get what you pay for". Don't waste your money.


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      Janet Bradey
      •  1
      Might As Well Buy Something With Better Odds. Like a Lotto Ticket.

      PIA claims to have a 7 day money back guarantee. Just try getting your money back and see what happens. When I couldn’t get the Windows app working reliably I submitted multiple trouble tickets. All I got were useless script replies from a bot. So I asked for my money back. Multiple times. They just ignored me. I had to file a fraud claim with my credit card company. I've heard others say "PIA is the Walmart of VPNs.” Okay, I get that. But it’s unfair to Walmart. At least Walmart gives your money back if you’re unhappy, and they make it easy. Walmart also has real managers you can complain to who’ll take care of any problem. PIA has bots with useless scripts. What few real people PIA has are also useless. "PIA is the Walmart of VPNs"? I don't think so. PIA is more like a flashy Las Vegas used car dealership that makes big promises but sells you a lemon and then refuses to give your money back. Might as well take your money and buy a lotto ticket. Your odds are better with lotto than with PIA.


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        Compare Private Internet Access with the top alternative VPNs

        Features Description
        Number of Server Locations (countries) 25
        Number of servers 3253
        Does VPN keep logs No
        Includes Kill Switch Yes
        Devices per license 5
        Ease of use - Private Internet Access 4.7 / 5.0

        PIA is a lightweight VPN that takes just a few minutes to install:


        1. Once the download is complete, open the installer from its saved location

        2. Right-click on the downloaded file and run the install.

        3. Once the installation process is complete, you will be required to enter your login details, which you will have received via email upon payment. You can also select specific options at this stage.

        4. Once complete, press Save and the VPN is ready to use.



        Download

        Watch the short video review and tutorial below of Private Internet Access
        Pricing 4.6 / 5.0
        Two Years
        $2.91 /month
        Yearly
        $3.33 /month
        Monthly
        $6.95/month

        PIA is one of the cheaper VPNs available and offers three pricing packages – monthly, six months, and yearly. Unlike other VPNs, PIA does not offer a free trial but does have a 7-day money-back guarantee. All PIA pricing tiers include the same features, unlike some of its rivals where specific utilities are available only in the more expensive categories. There are a range of different ways to pay for your PIA package, including anonymous payment options, and the option to pay with gift cards.

        Accepted payment: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, AmazonPay, Bitcoin, Ok Pay, Z-cash, Mint, Mobiamo.

        Reliability & Support 4.7 / 5.0

        PIA has helpful installation videos and other tutorials. Its technical trouble-shooting pages and support center are extensive, and you’ll find documentation on all the features offered, including the kill switch, SOCKS proxies, and other configurable settings.

        PIA has a ticketing system for specific inquiries, but the response time is about 30 hours. You can also reach customer support through Twitter where the response time is typically a couple of hours.

        The Bottom Line
        Sarit Newman
        (Content Manager & Internet Security Writer)
        Though somewhat of a minimalist VPN, PIA boasts a large number of servers, tight security and very competitive pricing

        PIA is a user-friendly VPN with lots of useful features and configurable settings. Its privacy policy is robust and speeds are reliable, with plentiful servers all over the world. Although, it is not possible to select specific servers, only country and region. PIA offers up to five simultaneous connections and unlimited bandwidth, as well as P2P support.

        Private Internet Access
        4.5 / 5.0
        Detailed expert review of Private Internet Access
        Sarit Newman
        (Content Manager & Internet Security Writer)

        PIA is one of the most popular VPNs out there, but is it actually worth all the hype it's getting? Released in 2010, PIA has grown users through word of mouth and recommendations. And, while they are based in the USA (which we’re usually wary of), they have proven twice that they do not maintain user logs. Although you’re not going to get too many extra features, and PIA isn’t the best when it comes to streaming, you definitely get a trustworthy and honest service.

        So, what makes PIA so popular?

        With PIA, you get your basic features: encrypted WiFi, unlimited bandwidth, your choice of AES-128 or AES-256 encryption, up to 5 devices on one license, and ad-blocking. But you also get some really great extra features, too. This includes multiple VPN gateways, SOCKS5 Proxy, and port forwarding.

        For the average user, you won’t need to use the extra features, but for those who like to delve into security, this VPN has everything you need.

        In addition, PIA has over 3,300 servers in 30 countries, allows for P2P and torrenting, and is available on your main devices (Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, plus online browsers). They also have an easy interface that’s simple to install.

        Is PIA Safe?

        There is one thing that categorically impressed us: PIA really keeps to its no-log policy.

        PIA is based in the US. Companies based in the US fall under the US jurisdiction and are required to comply with government laws. This means that if the government requires PIA to hand over information, then PIA is required by law to do so.

        Not only that, but the USA is one of the five-eyes countries, which means that the USA shares information and works with the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. (You can read more about it here.)

        But with PIA, we’re not so worried.

        Both in 2015 and in 2017, the government demanded log data from PIA regarding an ongoing investigation. On both separate occasions, PIA did not have anything to hand over.

        While it’s hard to test whether a VPN retains data logs of its users or not, it’s clear from both of these instances that PIA does not keep any logs.

        It seems like a great VPN, so where does it fall short?

        Well, for starters, speed isn’t incredible. This is probably due to its fantastic encryption. However, it is consistent, and as long as you stay clear of the Hong Kong and Australia servers, you shouldn’t have a problem.

        Another feature we’re not thrilled with is that fact that you can’t choose your own server. PIA does this because they want to control traffic and provide better speeds for everyone.

        The intention behind the reason is good, but we’d still like to have the option to choose which server we connect to.

        PIA also doesn’t match some of our other top VPNs when it comes to customer support. There is no live-chat on the website, rather an email ticketing system. While this system does work, and you typically get a reply within a day, it’s not the instant satisfaction we’re used to.

        That being said, PIA does have some great guides and forums that you can search to find the answer on your own. It takes more time and effort to navigate and find the solution you’re looking for (who wants to do that nowadays?) but they have almost every answer on their website.

        The last thing we don’t love is the fact that PIA cannot access Netflix or other streaming websites. When we contacted PIA about it, they stated that the issue of geo-locked content is not within the scope of their support system. The company clearly sees the Netflix proxy error as a battle and has decided to focus its resources elsewhere.

        Drawing the Line

        In conclusion, despite not having the best speeds or customer support, PIA is an incredibly secure VPN, and it was designed with the intention to protect its users. This is something we truly value, and it makes sense that our users value it too.

        If you are a user that is especially concerned about their privacy, Private Internet Access VPN is a trustworthy source to turn to!

        • No-logging policy
        • Unlimited bandwidth and usage
        • Up to five simultaneous connections
        • Numerous features, including kill switch, Ipv6 leak protection, ad blocker, P2P support
        • Over 3,000 servers in 25 countries worldwide
        • User-friendly interface
        • Get started with Private Internet Access now
        Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
        Mobile app:
        Devices per license: 5
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