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

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. Add...

Private Internet Access User Reviews
3.1
Cerkaz
Nov 14, 2017
  •  5
Perfect vpn

It's cheap, it works, super fast connection. Only downside is that you can't stream Netflix, sometimes they renew the IP's but else you can't. The UI is super nice and quick, not a big ugly box each time you open the vpn.


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David Perkins
Oct 31, 2017
  •  2
Use To Be A Decent VPN

When I initially setup my PIA VPN connection, they had a chat client for support. After the issues with the initial setup, I didn't have any issues with the service until a month ago when my client would no longer connect. The online chat support is gone, so I put in a support ticket. Almost a month later and my connection still does not work and I have not received a responses on my support ticket.


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John
Oct 28, 2017
  •  5
Works Fine For me For over Three Years

I've been using PIA on Windows, Android and Mac stuff with basically no problems for 3+ years. Very reasonable cost and just plain works. Maybe a 10% speed hit, but I still see fast transfers, and even my mail works through their addresses. Only things that don't work are some streaming video services.


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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

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.


Desktop download link: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/installer/download_installer_win

Mobile download link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.privateinternetaccess.android&hl=en

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Watch the short video review and tutorial below of Private Internet Access
Pricing 4.9 / 5.0
Yearly
$3.33/month
6 Months
$5.99/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 4.4 / 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.

4.8 / 5.0
Detailed expert review
Sarit Newman
(Content Manager & Internet Security Writer)

I found PIA very simple to install on Windows and Android and, although I didn’t try it out, would assume a similar standard for other platforms, like Linux and Mac. While it isn’t the fastest VPN out there, speeds are consistent, with a little more latency in areas where there are fewer servers, such as Hong Kong and Australia.

While I found it a little frustrating that PIA doesn’t not enable users to select their own servers, I can understand that, in doing so, they can better control each individual server’s traffic, and therefore guarantee reliable speeds. The customer service is not comparable to some of the leaders in the world of VPNs, as the time taken to respond is rather lengthy, however, once I received a response, I found it both useful and informative.

One area where PIA does fall behind the leaders in this field is in accessing geo-blocked sites such as Netflix and Hulu. When I contacted their customer support center with regards to this problem, they responded saying that, as the issue of geo-locked content is not within the scope of their support system, the best people to advise me would be those who actually block the content. This is far from a satisfactory answer and leaves PIA languishing behind acclaimed VPNs such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

Despite this, PIA does offer a lot of great features, including a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. PIA also offers a no-logging policy, which means you can be certain your sensitive data is protected as your browse. Its privacy policy is clear and concise, with the only negative being that they retain the right to change the policy at any time without informing their users, thereby making it the user’s responsibility to check their privacy policy online on a regular basis.

  • 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
Sarit Newman
(Content Manager & Internet Security Writer)

PIA is a good option for downloading torrents and using P2P protocol. PIA has a separate VPN designated for torrents that routes its traffic through specific servers in unrestricted locations. This is so you can download torrents without worrying. The VPN is also known for its dedication to users' privacy.

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. On the other hand, Private Internet Access creates a means for their users to access torrents. One of the main reasons to use a VPN is to access restricted content. Most data centers have blocked sites with 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 with 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.

  • 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
Sarit Newman
(Content Manager & Internet Security Writer)

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.

  • 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
Sarit Newman
(Content Manager & Internet Security Writer)

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.

  • 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
Sarit Newman
(Content Manager & Internet Security Writer)

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.

  • 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
Sarit Newman
(Content Manager & Internet Security Writer)

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.

  • 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
Sarit Newman
(Content Manager & Internet Security Writer)

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.

  • 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