Private Internet Access Expert Review: Affordable secure connections

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Rating ?
4.8 / 5.0
Features 4.5 / 5.0
Ease of Use 4.3 / 5.0
Pricing 4.9 / 5.0
Reliability & Support 4.4 / 5.0

The iOS operating system has a default setting that does not allow the use of OpenVPN protocol. For this App, the L2TP setup is recommended. However, the user can configure the use of OpenVPN using simple steps that are available online. The application is simple to configure and...

Private Internet Access User Reviews
3.3
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Monty Monty
Jul 19, 2017
  •  1
Not worth the money

Don't bother with PIA VPN - the worst waste of money. Poor stability and constantly disconnecting and reconnecting. Checked for the cause and after trying out their solutions for the poor connection which didn't help at all, wrote to complain. They took 11 days to respond and their solutions were already what I'd tried. I can't get my money back but I can warn other users so they don't lose theirs to a terrible "service".


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Brian
Jul 13, 2017
  •  1
Slowest Internet ever

My download speed is under 2mb/s and I can't download most files. Followed their website's troubleshoot and nothing fixed it. With PIA disconnected, my download speed goes up to 100mb/s. Worst experience ever.


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Michael Quek
Jul 12, 2017
  •  1
Private Internet Access -SCAM or Fake VPN

PIA is a fake VPN. Once you subscribe and they take your money; they do not deliver the service. Sad. Please do not subscribe to their service otherwise you will regret it. I am one of those victims despite several times to contact them,I received no reply. SCAM


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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
How to use Private Internet Access 4.3 / 5.0

1. It only takes about a minute to install the VPN on your computer. First go to privateinternetaccess.com, click support, then client support.
2. Next click the ‘Download Windows VPN’ button and a message pops up – click ‘Save File’.
3. When it has been downloaded, click on it or manually open your downloads folder.
4. Right-click on the file and select ‘Run as Administrator’, then click ‘Yes’.
5. When the next box opens, click ‘Install’.
6. Enter your VPN username and password when prompted (that have previously been emailed to you). Click ‘Save’.
7. Right-click the PIA icon in the Network Tray (bottom right of your screen) and select ‘Settings’. You can use this to ensure the VPN is always active as soon as you turn on your computer.
8. Click ‘Advanced’ to select which server you wish to connect to.

Download

Pricing 4.9 / 5.0
Yearly
$3.33/month
6 Months
$5.99/month
Monthly
$6.95/month

Private Internet Access offers a single service, with tariffs available for either 3 months, 12 months, or 24 months, the longer you have the service, the cheaper the monthly cost – meaning you get even greater value for money.

Reliability & Support 4.4 / 5.0

Private Internet Access has good speeds on its connection and provides helpful customer support. There are a number of support articles and an extensive list of FAQs to help you with any issues you may have. They also provide a live chat option that gets you in touch with a very helpful and knowledgeable member of staff after a wait of around 5 minutes. If you need to upload any files in order to resolve your query, you can also submit a support ticket, though you have to wait longer for a response (the average time taken to respond at any given time is shown on the website).

The Bottom Line
Ariel Hochstadt
(Ex-Google, International tech speaker)
Though somewhat of a minimalist VPN, PIA boasts a large number of servers, tight security and very competitive pricing

Private Internet Access is one of the most affordable VPNs on the market. It has over 3,000 servers in a total of 37 locations across 25 countries. It is a very secure service with high levels of encryption, though the company itself is not very transparent. The service provides fast connections, which are ideal for torrenting, downloading and streaming content. The user interface is also highly customizable. While it is one of the cheaper VPNs, it may be worth considering more expensive options to check whether the savings are worth the decrease in quality. (VyprVPN offer a money back guarantee so you can easily claim your funds back if you don’t prefer their service). The bottom line is that while we really admire the security they provide, there is not as much to choose from, so they are a good provider if security is your aim.

4.8 / 5.0
Detailed expert review
Ariel Hochstadt
(Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable VPN service providers on the market. The online privacy provider boasts over 3,000 servers, spread across 37 locations, in 25 countries. PIA is a service provider based in the USA with ties to London-based Trust Media Inc. While this isn't bad, it is important to note that both the USA and UK are part of the "Five Eyes" countries. It offers a secure connection in a variety of protocols and highly sophisticated encryption levels like AES-256 for data stream encryption.

The encryption protocols available are PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, so there are a variety of options available to keep your data safe and secure from interception, but the company’s lack of transparency regarding its server locations, and the number of IP addresses it offers are matters of concern. This is because if there are a limited number of addresses, the quality of the service you get may be affected. In addition to this, setting up this service is comparatively harder than for most of the other proxy services we have reviewed so far.

However, once it is installed, you will be impressed by their user interface, which offers a pool of options, including encryption levels, handshaking, DNS leak protection and a kill switch. These enable the user to configure their VPN access according to their preferences. The users can configure a highly encrypted connection with specific servers and access them at high speeds.

Their customer support isn't stellar, and users have complained of not being able to stream Netflix or Hulu.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ariel Hochstadt
(Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

PIA allows its users to download torrents using P2P protocol and BitTorrent, which have a separate VPN routed through servers in regions with no restrictions on internet access, meaning PIA routes the traffic through countries that are not affected by such laws. This service is aimed at guaranteeing the users’ privacy, and legality. The company has a separate VPN that is dedicated to the torrent service.

However, being a US-based company, there are geo-restrictions that compromise the users’ access to their servers of choice, including blocking torrenting over US servers. However, Private Internet Access has created a means for their users to access torrents. The main reason for internet users seeking VPN services is to secure privacy and access restricted content. Most data centers have blocked sites that have large BitTorrent traffic due to the restrictions and copyright laws involved. It is for this reason that the website has little information on torrent-useable servers through their network.

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable VPN service providers in the market. The online privacy provider boasts of over 3,000 servers, spread across 37 locations, in 25 countries. PIA is a service provider based in the USA with ties to London-based Trust Media Inc. It offers a secure connection in a variety of protocols and highly sophisticated encryption levels like AES 256 for data stream encryption.

The encryption protocols available are PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, so there is a variety of options available to keep your data safe and secure from interception, but the company’s lack of transparency regarding its server locations and the number of IP addresses it offers are matters of concern. That’s because if they are only a few, the quality of the service you get may be affected. Apart from this, setting up this service is comparatively harder than for most of the other proxy services we have reviewed so far.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ariel Hochstadt
(Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

The Private Internet Access (PIA) website’s Windows client is one of the most functional interfaces compared with other VPN providers. The client offers an interface with a pool of options including encryption levels, handshaking, DNS leak protection and the kill switch. These enable the user to configure their VPN access according to their preferences. The user can configure a highly encrypted connection with specific servers and access them at high speeds. Additionally, the client has the option to switch between UDP and TCP. This is particularly an advantage for users in open Wi-Fi networks where TCP is the most appropriate.

It is a simple interface with plenty of options including auto-start clearly available. The interface is not as glamorous as many others but is perfectly functional. The user can choose servers from a list of those available, as quickly as with any of the provider's rivals.

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable VPN service providers in the market. The online privacy provider boasts of over 3,000 servers spread across 37 locations in 25 countries. PIA is a service provider based in the USA with ties to London-based Trust Media Inc. It offers a secure connection in a variety of protocols and highly sophisticated encryption levels like AES 256 for data stream encryption.

The encryption protocols available are PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, so there are a variety of options available to keep your data safe and secure from interception, but the company’s lack of transparency regarding its server locations and the number of IP addresses it offers are matters of concern. That’s because if there are only a few, the quality of the service you get may be affected. Apart from this, setting up this service is comparatively harder than for most of the other proxy services we have reviewed so far.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ariel Hochstadt
(Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

Private Internet Access has an app on the Google Play Store for Android users. Unlike Apple products, Android’s default protocol is OpenVPN. However, the procedure for configuring L2TP and PPTP is available and easy to follow. Most users prefer OpenVPN protocol since it offers faster speeds with a secure connection that is reliable enough to block hackers, spammers and spying.

The app also uses TCP rather than UDP which is most suitable for users in public Wi-Fi hotspots. Additionally, it is easy to use, fitted with a kill switch, on/off switch, and the variety in encryption levels to use all ensure that the user is protected whatever the case. The app, like the applications for other platforms, lacks style and seems purely functional.

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable VPN service providers in the market. The online privacy provider boasts of over 3,000 servers, spread across 37 locations, in 25 countries. PIA is a service provider based in the USA with ties to London-based Trust Media Inc. It offers a secure connection in a variety of protocols and highly sophisticated encryption levels like AES 256 for data stream encryption.

The encryption protocols available are PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, so there are a variety of options available to keep your data safe and secure from interception, but the company’s lack of transparency regarding its server locations and the number of IP addresses it offers are matters of concern. That’s because if there are only a few, the quality of the service you get may be affected. Apart from this, setting up this service is comparatively harder than for most of the other proxy services we have reviewed so far.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ariel Hochstadt
(Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

Private Internet Access has a Mac client to help serve everyone using their services. The MacOS  client is easy to operate and configure. It has a simple layout with a variety of functions accessible from the homepage.

The client can support L2TP, PPTP and OpenVPN protocols. Additionally, a variety of encryptions are available for data-streaming, handshaking and authentication. Moreover, the choice of encryptions is available from the users’ home screen. The user is also able to choose between servers depending on which they prefer, or which connects faster.

As the Private Internet Access website declares, their main aim is to guarantee privacy for their users while using their internet. Therefore, the client has the kill switch and auto-start option for an automated system.

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable VPN service providers in the market. The online privacy provider boasts of over 3,000 servers, spread across 37 locations, in 25 countries. PIA is a service provider based in the USA with ties to London-based Trust Media Inc. It offers a secure connection in a variety of protocols and highly sophisticated encryption levels like AES 256 for data stream encryption.

The encryption protocols available are PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, so there are a variety of options available to keep your data safe and secure from interception, but the company’s lack of transparency regarding its server locations and the number of IP addresses it offers are matters of concern. That’s because if there are only a few, the quality of the service you get may be affected. Apart from this, setting up this service is comparatively harder than for most of the other proxy services we have reviewed so far.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ariel Hochstadt
(Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

The iOS operating system has a default setting that does not allow the use of OpenVPN protocol. For this App, the L2TP setup is recommended. However, the user can configure the use of OpenVPN using simple steps that are available online. The application is simple to configure and operate and is available for download on the app store.

The application is a complete suite, with a kill switch, auto-start option, encryption details and server details. It also utilizes TCP connections, which is an ideal mode for mobile devices since the majority of users often use public Wi-Fi hotspots to surf the internet.

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable VPN service providers in the market. The online privacy provider boasts of over 3,000 servers, spread across 37 locations, in 25 countries. PIA a service provider based in the USA with ties to London-based Trust Media Inc. It offers a secure connection in a variety of protocols and highly sophisticated encryption levels like AES 256 for data stream encryption.

The encryption protocols available are PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, so there are a variety of options available to keep your data safe and secure from interception, but the company’s lack of transparency regarding its server locations and the number of IP addresses it offers are matters of concern. That’s because if there are only a few, the quality of the service you get may be affected. Apart from this, setting up this service is comparatively harder than for most of the other proxy services we have reviewed so far.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ariel Hochstadt
(Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

Private Internet Access (PIA) is based in the USA and has numerous servers serving the country. Despite the huge traffic in the USA, the speeds available for users are not compromised. Although the website does not disclose the position of their servers, it is evident that they are strategically positioned to cover the country. Users are permitted to share materials using P2P software.

Additionally, PIA also allows VoIP services for its users. This is an exciting offer for secure communication, especially since they have a non-logging policy. Although the torrent services are not available in the US, streaming media, accessing blocked content and maintaining stealth online is offered at high speeds. The VPN provisions also allow users in the USA to download BitTorrents from servers in countries that do not have stringent rules against torrenting.

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable VPN service providers in the market. The online privacy provider boasts of over 3,000 servers, spread across 37 locations, in 25 countries. PIA is a service provider based in the USA with ties to London-based Trust Media Inc. It offers a secure connection in a variety of protocols and highly sophisticated encryption levels like AES 256 for data stream encryption.

The encryption protocols available are PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, so there are a variety of options available to keep your data safe and secure from interception, but the company’s lack of transparency regarding its server locations and the number of IP addresses it offers are matters of concern. That’s because if there are only a few, the quality of the service you get may be affected. Apart from this, setting up this service is comparatively harder than for most of the other proxy services we have reviewed so far.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5