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Private Internet Access Review

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Company
Private Internet Access
Starting Price
$3.33 / Monthly, billed year (Grab this Deal)
Founded
2010
Location
England
Customer Rating
Our Rating
#5 for Android
#7 for Chrome
#9 for Home
#1 for Linux
#9 for Mac
#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 (PIA) is loved all over the world for its dedication to staying true to its name, and that means letting its customers keep their privacy. They combine this exceptional privacy policy with one of the cheapest going rates around to give VPN users a truly noteworthy option as far as their choices go.

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 Connected to PIA’s nearest server, however, the block was negated and speeds were usually around this rate: private internet access speed test results 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 PIA when it comes to speed is their 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. Private Internet Access also has few worries when it comes to reliability. Tests were done on each server, with no disconnects once logged on. A long test was done on the USA East and the France servers. No disconnects occurred during days long testing. Slight problems were had when switching between servers when you do not close and re-open the client. These problems were fixed immediately by closing and re-opening the app, but it did lead to the PIA client feeling a bit buggy and unstable.

Pricing & Payments

Private Internet Access has some of the best pricing plans in the entire VPN industry. Their yearly plan works out to $3.33/month. This is the best price point of any VPN we rank. Their other pricing plans are:

  • $5.99/month billed bi-annually.
  • $6.99/month billed monthly.
  • Even these prices are fantastic for this industry! They also have a 7 day money back guarantee that makes the decision to choose them all the easier.

Features

Private Internet Access do not have the best looking VPN client, but it does feature key privacy tools that everyone will enjoy:




    • 5 simultaneous devices

    • The blocking of ads, malware, and trackers

    • Multiple VPN gateways

    • SOCKS5 Proxy Included




All of this comes in an easy to install VPN client. The client could be a little bit better presented, but it is quite well built for the task at hand with no frills.

Servers & Countries

Private Internet Access currently has 3270+ servers in 25 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


And many others in smaller quantities.

You are able to choose which country you want to connect to, giving you the ability to unlock geo-blocked content in those countries. PIA users can also select from different regions in the USA, Canada, and 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 their three forms of support.

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 on to other departments.

Live Chat: Their 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 can get cut and paste answers from people who don’t really know what they’re talking about.

Community Support Forum: If you think that your problem is one that has already been addressed, or that it’s an issue that many are facing, going to the Community Support forum 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

PIA is most well known for their no-logging policy, and for their complete lack of any restriction at all on the traffic you send over the service. Users are free to enjoy the internet any way 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. They state in their Terms of Service that they will work with law enforcement to capture the worst offenders who are on their service to commit crimes.

Problems with the PIA software include the fact that you are told very little about errors that occur. This can be frustrating for advanced users. The software occasionally felt buggy, or that it was a bit less than stable. The connection issue mentioned in our Reliability section holds as a drawback as the client itself can act a little buggy.

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, 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 they have succeeded. They are 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 industry.

Their simplistic software lends itself well to beginner users, 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 PIA. Their slower P2P traffic, lack of advanced features, and low diversity of countries with servers (just 25), is the only thing holding them 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:  
 3 reviews
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.

by Joseph on Private Internet Access

PIA is the cheapest VPN I could find and I've been incredibly impressed so far. Their software isn't as flashy as others, but it works well. I haven't had any issues yet and I have recommended it to friends.

by Mike on Private Internet Access

A excellent VPN. Very cheap and dependable. However, it takes a while to connect sometimes, which can be a little distracting. Other than that, it's super fast and it's never (randomly) disconnected on me like the last one I used.



I would recommend!

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