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Private Internet Access Review

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Company
Private Internet Access
Starting Price
$2.91 / Month, billed every (Grab this Deal)
Founded
2010
Location
England
Customer Rating
Our Rating
#5 for Android
#1 for Cheap
#7 for Chrome
#9 for Home
#1 for Linux
#9 for Mac
#10 for Netflix
#5 for NoLogs
#1 for Russia
#7 for Streaming
#8 for Torrenting
#9 for Windows
  • Quick Summary (TL;DR)
  • Features
  • Servers & Countries
  • Reliability & Speed test
  • Pricing & Payments
  • Support
  • Policies & Logging
  • Expert Recommendation

Private Internet Access In a Nutshell

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 3,200 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.

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 & Payments

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

  • $2.91/month, billed biannually
  • $3.33/month, billed annually
  • $6.95/month, billed monthly
The annual plan is the best price point of any VPN we’ve ranked. These prices are fantastic for this industry! 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. private internet access pricing plans

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.

Servers & Countries

Private Internet Access currently has 3270+ 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.

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.

Technical Assessment

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.

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User Reviews of Private Internet Access

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Private Internet Access
Average rating:  
 12 reviews
by Abigail on Private Internet Access

PIA has amazing customer support who are keen to ensure their customers get their issues sorted out in the shortest time possible. With this service i am assured of my privacy and anonymity. I got them for this and 2 years down the line, it has been bliss.

by Elijah on Private Internet Access

I use a restricted line and i have discovered that using private internet access i am able to enjoy faster speeds. Their customer support is awesome, they are very prompt and clearly knowledgeable in what they do going by how they answer my mostly technical questions.

by Esther on Private Internet Access

I have used PIA for the last 6 months and so far it has lived up to its name. My privacy is well taken care of. I have to mention their fast speeds as well.

by David on Private Internet Access

These guys have a great customer support that is always quick to answer my questions. They have offered me and my company. I am assured that my data is secure, at least going by the trend in the last 2 years since starting to use this service.

by Cate on Private Internet Access

I got pia primarily for privacy reasons but discovered their great speeds as well while in the course of using the service. The speeds are excellent which to me comes as an additional service since like i mentioned i got the service with privacy in mind.

by Steve on Private Internet Access

My company has been using pia for the last years. We deal with some very intricate information and we are very sensitive about our communication and what we do online. Since acquiring their services w have had zero incidences. If you are keen on your privacy this is the service you need.

by Cathy on Private Internet Access

PIA are the most affordable VPN services i have used that deliver what they promise. Just like the name suggests they give you privacy. I have used them for the last 16 months and i have had no issues at all.

by emily on Private Internet Access

PIA have a great support with great speed and best security with best privacy with no logging

by Brian Brigg on Private Internet Access

When HideMyAss would not work from Indonesia I tried PIA and it works perfectly with no sign of any issues for almost a year now. The price is great and speeds have never been an issue.

by Mike Kelly on Private Internet Access

I have been using PIA a while now. Whilst the software uses the Ruby Assembly Compilers and creates random files in random directories (Sending firewalls like Comodo beserk (However there is a workaround for this on their forum), this VPN provider is best in class. I have only 3 complaints.



No, obvious, SSTP provision

Not enough international coverage. However,

Use of third party hosting servers (Some with a very poor reputation).



I am sure the first 2 will improve with time, and the third is only really an issue if your connection is dropped or you logged in via those servers. There is, without a doubt, definitely no one else, (With the same level of encryption and added features such as, ip cloaking (Multiple users share the same ip address, making tracing virtually impossible. Especially if you pay by one of the anonymous methods) the kill switch, no logging, free socks 5 proxy included in your connection and remote firewall (Local firewalls are not sufficient when using a VPN.



If you need coverage in other countries (Not included in this package) and the connection speeds are not sufficient when logged in from neighbouring servers, you even have enough to take out a second account with another provider covering those zones. (With the exception of China and Egypt, the speeds on my connections were sufficient as to not need to do that).

Highly recommended! No viral infections from this service whilst using their service.

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