Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN Review
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Finding a VPN we feel comfortable recommending is sort of like stumbling across the Holy Grail at the supermarket in the chips aisle. Surprising
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a trusted VPN provider that has built a positive reputation because they put their customer’s privacy and confidentiality first. As such, they do not retain user usage logs.
Spread over 24 countries, PIA offers access to more than 3,000 servers. Private Internet Access can be used on Android, Windows, Linux, Mac OSx, and on most smart devices.
Here’s why we like this company.
Private Internet Access VPN Overview
|Logging Policy:||No logging policy|
|Server Size:||3,300++ servers|
|Server Distribution:||33 countries|
|VPN protocol and encryption:||OpenVPN, SOCKS5 proxy, IPSec/L2TP and PPTP;|
The Basics of Their Payment and Subscription Plan
PIA offers flexible pricing that allows users to purchase a monthly, annual, or two-year subscription. The longer you subscribe, the cheaper your monthly rate will be. For example, paying for a month-to-month subscription is $6.99. Paying for the two-year subscription reduces the price to $2.91 a month.
Payment options include PayPal, credit cards, and hundreds of gift cards, ranging from Best Buy cards to Walmart cards to Starbucks cards and more. Crypto currencies like Bitcoin and Z-Cash are also accepted.
NOTE:If you pay for the two year subscription, you’re stuck with the product for two years. It is an awesome VPN, and we are sure you will love it. Still, we encourage you to read this review all the way through to understand what the service offers. Don’t forget that PIA offers a seven day money back guarantee. So you can test the product out for seven days and get your money back if you want.
Private Internet Access Features
Over the last few years, PIA has doubled their size while retaining solid performance. Their key to success is limiting the locations where they add new servers.
The service is a great VPN for Netflix and other sites like HBO and YouTube. While they do not have the same global coverage as other more expensive services, the countries they do cover span a large audience.
Whether you pay monthly, bi-annually, or annually, you will still benefit from the same protections, namely:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Secured VPN account
- P2P and VoIP support
- Connect five devices simultaneously
- Multiple VPN gateways
- SOCKS5 Proxy Included
- PPTP, Open VPN and L2tp/IPSec
The ability to customize the handshake encryption mode and the data authentication method means that you can create the perfect mix of security and speed. PIA comes equipped with a kill switch that will interrupt data if the VPN drops. DNS leak protection and port forwarding configurations can easily be modified at the customer portal.
Speed and IP Leak Test
Connection speeds are fast with PIA. They provide tier-1 gigabit servers. We noticed a small drop in the average connection speed when we compared the speed with the VPN on switched off. When we tested the UK test server, being in the United States, there was a small drop in testing speed. However, we felt this was due to geo-proximity as opposed to VPN performance.
Using ipleak.net, we found that there were no DNS leaks. Using test-ipv6.com, we found no IPv6 leaks. Lastly, we searched for WebRTC leaks and were pleasantly surprised that we did not find any.
PIA has built a good reputation because of their zero-logging policy. They do not keep logs or collect traffic data. Only when they receive a valid court order will they provide customer subscription data to the government. They are proud to offer customers security and anonymity thanks to having thousands of servers and using shared IP’s housed in a few locations.
PIA recommends that customers looking for increased anonymity should use anonymous emails, pay with Bitcoin, or use some other anonymous form of payment. As we mentioned earlier, they even accept gift cards from hundreds of merchants as a form of anonymous payment.
Dynamic IP cloaking is available across a number of countries. The Blowfish CBC algorithm makes surfing the web safe, even in parts of the web that are considered dangerous (Read more: Dark Web personal data). Their quick Wi-Fi and integrated firewall offers advanced filtering options.
Do you want a VPN that will not prevent torrenting? If you do, then PIA is an excellent choice. They neither monitor nor restrict connections. That includes peer to peer file sharing. This means that you can use whatever torrenting client you want and be sure that your account will not be blocked nor will your connection be throttled. Just for the record, PIA is also considered one of the best VPNs for torrenting.
To be clear, Private Internet Access does not say that they support torrenting. However, they do say that P2P will be supported. PIA is respected for being a torrent friendly VPN. They are a good choice if you want to do file sharing.
A Well-Known Reputation
In the world of VPNs, your reputation means everything. PIA has one of the most impeccable reputations in the business. They have been in the game since 2010. In 2012, they received the award for the Most Stable VPN. This is a prestigious award in this field. PIA frequently shows up on the list of the best VPNs. The fact that PIA has been in business for so many years makes it a secure choice.
The fact that PIA is based in the United States worries some. This is because the United States has privacy invading surveillance laws that are a lot stricter than what you see in other developed countries. And, as we mentioned, if the government has the proper warrants, PIA may give up user data. However, since PIA does not keep logs, they have very little to share with authorities if they come looking.
This does not bother us because PIA is upfront and open about being based in the United States. Other VPNs try to hide their location. PIA’s transparency and the fact that they do not store logs gives us confidence that the VPN is secure.
Numerous customizable options for encryption
Same options available on different platforms
No logs are kept
Accepts crypto currency, gift cards, credit cards, PayPal, and other non-traceable forms of payment
Seven day money back guarantee
Some servers can be saturated
Customer support delivered via email
Not compatible with Netflix
There are thousands of VPNs on the market. All of them are vying for your business. This can lead to some VPNs promising a lot but offering a little.
This is why we truly appreciate the honesty, simplicity, and transparency offered by Private Internet Access. Their well implemented encryption and a zero logs policy coupled with their cheaper price are a few of the reasons why we recommend this VPN service.
Q: Is PIA a good VPN?
A: Yes, PIA is a very good VPN. On our rankings, it comes in as number five behind reputable companies. It isn’t a perfect VPN, but none of them are. If you’re shopping around for a VPN, PIA is a great choice to test out.
Q: Is PIA good for torrenting?
A: Yes, PIA is one of the best options for torrenting. Your torrents will be encrypted and secure with no logging of data. All of the top VPNS are great for torrenting but we recommend using VPNs with the fastest speeds and extra protections.
Q: What is the safest VPN service?
A: The safest VPN service is NordVPN as it offers double encryption. This does come with a sacrifice as going through encryption twice can slow down server speeds. Any top VPN is relatively safe as long as it doesn’t log and offers actual encryption. The most unsafe VPNs are the ones that offer you a VPN for free.
Q: Who owns PIA VPN?
A: London Trust Media owns PIA. The CEO is Ted Kim and the founder is Andrew Lee.
Q: What is a VPN kill switch?
A: A VPN kill switch is one of the most important features a VPN can have. What it does is detect when your actual IP address is exposed and then automatically cuts your connection. This feature alone can ensure that your IP address is never exposed to anyone malicious.