Private Internet Access Review

3.6
Rated 3.6 out of 5
3.6 out of 5 stars (based on 561 reviews)

Private Internet Access chose to do one thing very well, and it has succeeded. It is perhaps the most anonymous, private, and confidential of all the VPN providers out there, and this has built great trust amongst those in the VPN community and industry.

Private Internet Access Review Summary

Private Internet Access is loved all over the world for its dedication to staying true to its name, and that means letting its customers keep their privacy. It combines this exceptional privacy policy with one of the cheapest going rates around to give VPN users a truly noteworthy option.

The provider has over 3,320+ servers in 52 locations across 33 countries. Although the server locations are fewer than other top-tier VPN providers, the huge number of servers is quite impressive. It also has both the basic and advanced features that every VPN provider should have for utmost privacy and security.

Private Internet Access VPN Features

Private Internet Access does not have the best looking VPN client, but its simplicity works well, especially for new VPN users. You can connect up to five devices simultaneously and set it up so that the VPN auto-connects when you turn on your device. The VPN also detects the best server for you in terms of speed and reliability.

The provider has premium features that make it the most private and reliable VPN provider:

  • Port forwarding
  • DNS leak protection
  • Internet kill switch
  • IPv6 leak protection
  • SOCKS5 proxy
  • Multiple regional VPN gateways


Aside from these, Private Internet Access openly disclosed on its website that it supports P2P, unlike other providers that make you guess. Users also get to enjoy unlimited bandwidth, no matter which pricing plan they select.

The provider added Private Internet Access MACE™ years ago, which is a feature that blocks ads, malware, and trackers. This ad-blocking feature and all the other advanced functionality made Private Internet Access loved by a lot of VPN users.

Private Internet Access SERVERS & COUNTRIES

Private Internet Access currently has 3320+ servers in 33 different countries. The last number is a bit lower than most other Tier 1 VPN provides, but they are sure to have their servers in the most often used countries:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong

You can choose which country you want to connect to, giving you the ability to unlock geo-blocked content in those countries. Private Internet Access users can also select from different regions in the USA, Canada, and the UK to help lower their ping rate.

Reliability & Speed Tests

PIA was found to have surprisingly good speed when used to surf the web. The account used was capped at 2Mbps, and tested out at this rate on the day of testing: private internet access speed test 1 Connected to Private Internet Access’ nearest server, however, the block was negated and speeds were usually around this rate: private internet access speed test 2 These speed increases are, of course, not possible for everyone. However, if you have a restricted line, you may be able to enjoy faster speeds. The downfall of Private Internet Access when it comes to speed is its torrent speeds. Downloads of P2P traffic always seemed to be down by about 5-10% of their normal potential. This is likely something you’d only notice if you spend too much time watching your torrent client. You don’t have to worry about the reliability of Private Internet Access. We tested each server and experienced no disconnects at all. A long test was also done on the USA East and the France servers, and no disconnects occurred during days of long testing. However, we experience slight problems when switching between servers without closing and re-opening the client. These problems were fixed immediately by closing and re-opening the app, but the situation did lead to the Private Internet Access client feeling a bit buggy and unstable.

Pricing and Payments

Private Internet Access has some of the best pricing plans in the entire VPN industry. Below are the pricing plans:

  • $3.49/month, billed biannually
  • $5.99/month, billed annually
  • $9.95/month, billed monthly

After years of being one of the cheapest VPNs, they have increased their prices slightly. We believe that they are still a great deal for what you get in return though!  The company also has a seven-day money-back guarantee which you can take advantage of if you want to get a feel of the service first.

Support

Very rarely is there a reason to contact the support team of Private Internet Access. For fun, we made up a reason to contact them to see what happens over the three forms of support.

  • Ticket/Email support: The response time was usually under two hours, and more than one person can get back to you in that time. Using email helps keep the conversation all in one place. If you have a complex issue, this is probably the best way to get support as it can easily be forwarded to other departments.
  • Live Chat: The live chat is available for 12 hours per day. It is best to only go to the Live Chat when you have a simple problem, as you get cut and paste answers from people who don’t really know what they’re talking about.

Private Internet Access had a community support forum within its website, but it was decommissioned in June 2018 citing the security and privacy its users as the reason.

However, there is a subreddit that’s managed by Private Internet Access’ staff, so you can also get your answers there if you think your problem has not been addressed. Going to forums can answer your questions quicker than either of the above methods. Why explain yourself and then get an answer, when you can just go get the answer? It’s so much easier!

POLICIES & LOGGING

Private Internet Access is most well known for its “no logging” policy and for its complete lack of any restriction at all on the traffic you send over the service. Users are free to enjoy the Internet anyway they wish: peer-to-peer is allowed, you’re free to unlock any geo-blocked content you wish, and everything else is good to go.

An exception is, of course, for illegal activities. It is stated in the Terms of Service that Private Internet Access will work with law enforcement to capture the worst offenders who are on its service to commit crimes. These two policies—zero logging and cooperating with law enforcement—have been put to the test a couple of times when FBI subpoenaed the provider’s activity logs. In all occasions, the FBI wasn’t able to find anything on Private Internet Access’ logs that could be traced back to the suspects.

private internet access privacy logging policy

Problems with the Private Internet Access software include the fact that you are told very little about errors that occur. This can be frustrating for advanced users, especially since the software occasionally felt buggy during our tests. The connection issue mentioned in our Reliability section holds as a drawback as the client itself is a little bit unstable.

There is also no way to select specific servers. The US East selection gives you a server that is somewhere on the East Coast of America. Sometimes you connect to a server in New Jersey, and sometimes it’s in New York. For those looking for the lowest possible ping, this could be an issue.

Expert Recommendation

Private Internet Access chose to do one thing very well, and it has succeeded. It is perhaps the most anonymous, private, and confidential of all the VPN providers out there, and this has built great trust amongst those in the VPN community and industry.

Their simplistic software lends itself well to beginners, while more advanced users will be turned off by the lack of error notifications. Setting everything up is a breeze no matter your experience level, and anyone could connect to a VPN server in minutes.

If you want complete anonymity on the Internet, you don’t need to look any further than Private Internet Access. The slower P2P traffic, lack of advanced features, and low diversity of countries with servers (just 33) are the only things holding the company back from the top of every VPN provider list.

Private Internet Access User Reviews

3.6
Rated 3.6 out of 5
3.6 out of 5 stars (based on 561 reviews)
Excellent49%
Very good15%
Average7%
Poor9%
Terrible20%

Terrific all around

Rated 5 out of 5
July 2, 2021

Easy to use, excellent server choices, and superb customer service

Shardul Phadnis

Thumbs up

Rated 5 out of 5
July 1, 2021

Thumbs up, great product.

Jim

Easy to install and use.

Rated 5 out of 5
June 30, 2021

Easy to install and use.Client is easy to install across the devices, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. App based filtering is fantastic as I don’t always need to VPN my entire connection.

Andrew Darrow

Long time customer no sign of leaving.

Rated 5 out of 5
June 30, 2021

Been a customer for years and have no inclination to leave. Their product and service is top notch and only keeps improving over time.

Brett F

Good stuff

Rated 5 out of 5
June 30, 2021

Simple, unobtrusive and reliable.

JoeP

You're lucky to have Irving Y

Rated 5 out of 5
June 30, 2021

Irving Y was extremely patient, knowledgeable, and helpful. He resolved my problem in a short amount of time. You’re lucky to have him.

L C

very good vpn programme and if there is…

Rated 5 out of 5
June 30, 2021

very good vpn programme and if there is a issue the people that works there are very friendly good job guys

marcel vlietstra

It works and is easy to use

Rated 5 out of 5
June 29, 2021

It works and is easy to use. Plain and simple.

kat

Difficulty logging on

Rated 5 out of 5
June 29, 2021

I had difficulty getting logged on and had no idea why. I reached out for support and it was offered immediately and professionally. I felt very taken care of.It turned out it was a problem with my network and all is well now. I am very impressed at how quickly my email was responded to. Very impressed.

Kimberley

quickly solve an issue

Rated 5 out of 5
June 29, 2021

I got PIA again when i got a email offer but by the time i completed the order i had 2 accounts. i quickly got in contact with support and in a few minutes they merged the 2 accounts and was back to work like nothing happened. excellent support

Mich Tremendo El

Poor customer service

Rated 1 out of 5
June 29, 2021

After purchasing a yearly subscription for this service I was not using it as expected so asked for a refund clearly stating the reasons and also that I would be happy to purchase in the future when my circumstances changed. This was within 30 days of the account activation, so within the specified refund time. I received an email asking for account verification information to process the refund. I provided this information on several occasions and have received the same automatic response each time. No refund has been given. I’m highly disappointed as I read good reviews about the transparency of this company but based on this poor customer service I would not recommend at all.

Rachael

Pretty Good

Rated 5 out of 5
June 29, 2021

There was some confusion but that was partly my fault for not being more clear. They got back to me quickly and were able to help. All in all good customer service.

Sean Agan

For the most part, happy and grateful

Rated 4 out of 5
June 29, 2021

Plus: Most of the time reliableMinus: At times, it goes from not working to working, which slows down the internet speed (usually with mobile devices).

Customer

PIA is a pleasure to use!

Rated 5 out of 5
June 29, 2021

PIA has more server options available 24×7 than I’ve seen with other like programs. It is highly reliable and a pleasure to use.

JD

Great!

Rated 5 out of 5
June 28, 2021

Easy to use, solid VPN. I’ve only dabbled with VPN services before, but I’m all in for PIA. No complaints.

Ben

7 years with PIA and still very happy.

Rated 5 out of 5
June 28, 2021

I’ve been using PIA for about 7 years now, long enough to use it through several updates. I use it across two different platforms (iOS and Windows) and across five different clients. The experience is and has always been flawless regardless of where I VPN to. I appreciate the simple way to change locations as well as the most used country feature. Honestly, I can’t think of a single issue except for occasional slow-ish connections back to the US although, given the distance, that is to be expected. Still, with enough US connections, there are usually several in the green, which is good. Within EU, however, absolutely no issues.

JS

In the five years I have been using PIA…

Rated 5 out of 5
June 27, 2021

In the five years I have been using PIA I have NEVER had any issues! I can not think of any other service I can say the same about.

Jerry Jacques

This service works way better

Rated 5 out of 5
June 27, 2021

This service works best and has the fast server connects compared to my last service. Just works.

John

Private Internet Access Still Amazes

Rated 5 out of 5
June 27, 2021

Private Internet Access continues to wow me with their interface, their product support, and how thoroughly secure I feel as I go exploring the Web. YAYA!

LK Barrett

This vpn works like a charm

Rated 5 out of 5
June 27, 2021

This vpn works like a charm. PIA is the best hands down.

SD Howard

A very good quality at low price!

Rated 5 out of 5
June 27, 2021

Clearly better than Cyberghost, which certainly is not expensive but also of poor quality. PIA offers a real good quality for a very reasonable price! I am very happy to be their client! They don’t advertise much, and are therefore little known. Yet the quality is remarkable.

VAN TIEGHEM

great service

Rated 5 out of 5
June 26, 2021

great service, no issues in two years.

Andrew Scott

The really multi-plateform VPN software

Rated 4 out of 5
June 26, 2021

Really multi-plateform, so easy to install in any system, particulary in Linux. A beautifull and customizable GUI. A downside : network latency and the choice of regions could be improved

Jean-Philippe

Number 1

Rated 5 out of 5
June 26, 2021

Just the number 1!Works where other top rated VPNs doesn’t work like for using WhatsApp call where its blocked.

Sa'eed Hussein

I thought I had forgotten my Username

Rated 5 out of 5
June 25, 2021

I thought I had forgotten my Username. I was reminded how to remember what it is. Very helpful experience through talking to your agent.

Don

Simple to install and use

Rated 5 out of 5
June 25, 2021

Simple to install and use. More options than I need to stay safe. Very cost effective.

GeoffS

Truly and amazing VPN!

Rated 5 out of 5
June 25, 2021

Truly and amazing VPN!I live in a country where everything is banned, including VPNs. I couldn’t even Access PIA’s website. I luckily downloaded Tor browser before my country banned it and used it to access PIA and other VPNs (proton, Express, HMA) to try them. The ONLY VPN that worked for me was PIA! it didn’t work by default. I actually accidently turned on Wireguard on the settings and BOOOM! It worked!If you live in a $hitty country, use PIA and if it doesn’t work, make sure to turn on wireguard in the settings and see for yourself.

Saleh Odinie

Don’t purchase if you want to use on a fire stick

Rated 5 out of 5
June 24, 2021

UPDATE- The billing department contacted me and issued me with a refund, this is all I was looking for as it didn’t work for the purpose I had purchased it for and had contacted them within their timeframe.. as I said before my previous experience with them was very good for many years!! I was a customer with PIA for many years and used it successfully with our router to watch tv abroad, when we changed our viewing system we cancelled and a few months later decided it would be good to have a VPN for our Amazon fire stick so I set out to find which company was the easiest and most reliable, I was happy when I saw PIA advertised their service could be used with the fire stick and as they had a deal on purchased a two year subscription however after about a week I couldn’t no longer use it as the apps on my fire stick would not work when it was on so I contacted support 13 days after my purchase and after many emails back and forward, spending lots of time trying to get it working again I finally decided I wanted a refund however they inform me that I am now outside of my 30 day from purchase so no longer entitled to a refund even though I contacted them well within the 30 days to report the problem. I am now stuck with a 2 year subscription which is completely useless to me as I not wanted it for the fire stick… PLEASE check it works well with your devices or like me you could be out of pocket and looking for a new service while still paying for this one!! Maybe if you wish to use them pay a shorter term to make sure it works for you over a longer period of time..

Angie Simons

Should work on more linux distros.

Rated 4 out of 5
June 24, 2021

I like the program but cannot give it 5 stars because I can only get it to work on Debian derived Linux distros. It really should work on Fedora at least.Top marks though for working on virtual machines and through existing host VPN’s.

David Platt

Great VPN

Rated 5 out of 5
June 24, 2021

Great VPN, especially for the low price. Responsive customer service who helped me configure PIA for Linux. Highly Recommended!

Derick J. Sager

good

Rated 5 out of 5
June 23, 2021

noel missed me on online chat he emailed me back to the solution to my problem and solved it i tried windscribe but that blocks your uploading onto a filehost hidemyass is slow overhyped cr.p now pia has got more servers and is really fast i be renewing it once it runs out keep up the good work guys!!!5mb a second speeds from eqypt!!! say no more this vpn is faster than anything i ever triedif you gonna download use internet downlaod manager or idm to download with it increases your downloading by 500 perecnt make sure you use a paid version not crackedso good i renewed it for another two years and got a dedicated ip as well

ddddrelease

Excellent VPN

Rated 5 out of 5
June 23, 2021

Excellent VPN. Offers plenty of protection and a variety of fast servers. iOS app is a little iffy but the Windows 10 desktop version is fantastic.

nothing.mp

Best VPN

Rated 5 out of 5
June 22, 2021

Excellent VPN..been with PIA for a few years.

Allen Craig

JUST DO IT!

Rated 5 out of 5
June 22, 2021

Just, DO IT! Don’t think about it just DO IT!

Chris Mihaylov

The Best VPN

Rated 5 out of 5
June 22, 2021

Always available. Always smooth connections. Just perfect!

FWPG

Fast and reliable

Rated 5 out of 5
June 22, 2021

Fast and reliable. Reasonably priced

Meesta Bond

Effective and easy to use

Rated 5 out of 5
June 21, 2021

Effective and easy to use. My other preference is Mullvad but I chose to use long term PIA.

John Ledesma

PIA - Great Software, Super Fast, Great Support!

Rated 5 out of 5
June 21, 2021

Back in 2012, I realized all of my internet traffic – every site I had visited, every purchase I had made, and every other detail of my activities were being logged. And those logs could be (and sometimes were) turned over to any governmental agency or private company that requested them. And I had absolutely no recourse in such a situation; no opportunity to present my side before I might have found myself the target of some kind of misguided legal action. Large corporations have one or sometimes several law firms under retainer; they can crush a private citizen should they so choose by a multitude of methods – filing multiple complaints, and filing those complaints in widely spread-out jurisdictions, and so on and so on. Also, as someone with a life-long commitment to striving for equal rights for all, my internet research takes me at times to sites that are very troubling – for instance, the explosion of “White Rights” sites during the four years Trump was in power… and some of these sites advocate behaviors that are straight-out damaging, like managing to convince perhaps a quarter of all U.S. adults that COVID vaccinations must be avoided, keeping the risk level much higher than it should be by now… the “evidence” is laughable, llke being vaccinated will infuse you with tiny Bill Gates microchips that will allow him to control you like a marionette or something… but especially during the Trump years, I wanted any record of my visits to such sites to not be accessible to anyone. I’m by no means a criminal (my family would find that laughable!), but I want to trust that my communications provider would keep all of my communications completely confidential. The exception would be any evidence of serious criminal activity, such as the sharing of child pornography. Those vile creatures are beyond redemption, and a VPN company cooperating with law enforcement agencies for purposes of catching these dangerous deviants would be fine with me. Way back in 2012, I signed up with Hide My Ass, trusting the company name told the story and not doing much research into their logging policies. Just by chance, I spoke with someone much more experienced than me, and they told me HMA logged EVERYTHING. Damn. I terminated my account the same day.Next I tried another VPN company that prominently touted their “no logging” policy. Well, maybe, but the network was unacceptably slow some of the time, and tech support was nonexistent. I cancelled after one month. Can’t remember the name of that outfit.So this time I tried to do my homework. Private Internet Access seemed to be the best choice, so I signed up, but wasn’t expecting too much.Jeez, was I mistaken – from day 1 it was apparent they were MUCH MUCH faster than any other VPN I’d tried. Their PC code installed without a hitch, and ran perfectly from that day on. It appears that they invest a great deal in continuing software development – every new release has been easier to use than its predecessor, and overall network throughput seems to have gotten faster and faster over the years. Tech Support: Great! And around the clock! My latest interaction with PIA tech support came at 3 am California time, very recently: I’ve been running Vuze from before hooking up with PIA, and one reason for that is that it has (apparently) always had a trustworthy killswitch feature (I wouldn’t consider running without one). But when I migrated to a new PC, I just couldn’t get the Vuze killswitch to work properly – setup in Vuze to enable this feature is fairly complicated, too. So I called PIA to see if they might be able to help, even on a different product. Imagine my surprise and delight when the support person pointed out that PIA has a killswitch – if I had been paying attention I would have seen that. Anyway, the PIA killswitch is laughably simple to configure, and it works perfectly.I’ve tried to come up with someone that isn’t close to perfect with PIA, but honestly, I can’t come up with a single thing. Really excellent network in every respect, the cost is VERY low for what you get, and I couldn’t imagine switching to another VPN company!

Robert Rice

Having the option to run my VPN for…

Rated 5 out of 5
June 20, 2021

Having the option to run my VPN for specific apps only makes all the difference. I have it on my phone and PC and has worked great for me. I can also put it on routers that support VPN’s. Has worked great for me.

Jeremiah D

PIA is the most seamless and easy to…

Rated 5 out of 5
June 20, 2021

PIA is the most seamless and easy to use of the VPN’s on the market and I have tried them all. I get the best download speeds while running it. Its secure, fast, and updated often, and the vpn killswitch feature that allows programs only to run when VPN is active is a great. For those super worried about their privacy, They truly are the only big VPN that doesn’t keep files on their customers usage. Just google the others that say they do, they have given up info on clients.

Nick Muller

Advanced design is low key without…

Rated 5 out of 5
June 20, 2021

Advanced design is low key without unnecessary bells and whistles or gaudy interfering advertising. Good design does actually make it easier on users, which is why that’s what phony advertising is always claiming it will do. When you have to declare your own glory, it’s moot. You score highly in all this.

wadejm

Excellent VPN Service

Rated 5 out of 5
June 20, 2021

Been using for a few years. Never hand any issues. Great VPN service

Ashik Khatri

Great

Rated 5 out of 5
June 19, 2021

Never had any problems, works flawlessly for me.

Ionut Cojocaru

Five years, all good...

Rated 5 out of 5
June 19, 2021

I have been using PIA for about five years and always had a good experience.

Nick Tilberg

Excellent VPN service

Rated 5 out of 5
June 19, 2021

Excellent VPN service at a very affordable price. I’ve been a customer for a number of years.

Chetan

Setting The Standard For A VPN

Rated 5 out of 5
June 19, 2021

Setting The Standard For A VPNPIA is great service from every angle.They offer a great and user friendly UI across all their platforms, even including their fairly new extension for browsers like chrome and firefox.Using PIA allows users to have complete control over how secure they want their VPN. So they can decide if they want more security or sacrifice some for faster speeds. However, I would like to see in the future slightly faster speeds, or a suggestion section based on speed and security that your looking for as It can take quite a bit of tinkering to help you get the result your looking for.The price for this service is completely reasonable, and I would recommend it to anyone that wants complete control, security and having the diversity so they can use it on any platform they want.

Danny

PIA is a great VPN for a good price

Rated 5 out of 5
June 19, 2021

PIA is a great VPN for a good price. Never had an issue in the time we have been using it.

Dave

Tried many VPN apps & PIA is the best!

Rated 5 out of 5
June 19, 2021

I’ve tried many different VPN apps, this one is the one I keep coming back to. PIA is really the best one out there. So easy, user-friendly, great customer service when needed. I recommend 100%.

Dena

Works independently.

Rated 5 out of 5
June 19, 2021

So nice that Private Internet Access can do everything without my help- because I would mess things up.So important also that it begins at startup. PIA protects this computer without my doing anything. Love it.

Donald Brady

Excellent VPN highly recommend

Rated 5 out of 5
June 18, 2021

Excellent VPN highly recommend, fast,efficient and many VPN location chooses. Best of all they provide a VPN for the Linux platform.

JG

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