Private Internet Access Review
PIA is one of the most popular VPN services you can find. Much of its popularity isn’t on advertising like many services are.
PIA comes with plenty of word of mouth praise, and even though they are a US based company they have proven time and time again, they don’t retain user logs.
Does this PIA review show enough to tempt you or is it let down in areas which stop’s it becoming your VPN provider of choice?
PIA VPN Features and Benefits
With PIA you are pretty much guaranteed a high level of reliability and privacy. It uses robust encryption and being based upon OpenVPN as many other reliable VPN providers are.
The numbers of servers around the globe are some of the highest from any VPN company even if their server locations isn’t the highest.
This should mean they have more than enough coverage for the average user looking for VPN services.
One of the biggest attractions for any user of a VPN service is unlocking geo-locked content. Unfortunately, PIA isn’t suitable for either American Netflix or for anyone away from home who wishes to watch the BBC iPlayer.
One saving grace for PIA is it does allow P2P file sharing and torrenting whereas some services fail on both counts.
PIA does offer plenty of other features which includes a kill switch to protect you if your PIA VPN UK connection is lost for any reason. DNS leak protection is catered for, and there is a built-in SOCKS5 proxy.
PIA also comes with an auto-connect feature which connects the VPN as soon as it is launched.
Devices are covered well, and it supports Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Chrome, and Linux while allowing a healthy 5 simultaneous connections.
There is one nifty feature on the website which allows you to check the server counts, available locations, and stats for the bandwidth. Further to this you can select any individual server and perform a quick speed test and check its performance.
Some providers use the PPTP protocol, so their VPN connects and shows faster speeds. PIA doesn’t do this and uses the same AES-256 ciphers as the other market leaders. Although the option is still there to use PPTP, it is advised to ignore it and stick with OpenVPN.
PIA has now added a new service since they were last reviewed. PIA mace will block malware, trackers, and adverts while you’re connected through your Private Internet Access download. This was a great feature to be added and prevents the need for third-party extensions or applications being installed.
One further downside though being PIA won’t auto-update which really rules it out of being the best VPN to fulfill all of your needs.
In a previous review, the company’s customer service was seen as lacking and this hasn’t changed in that time.
Other features have been tweaked or introduced however VPN’s do go wrong, and a newer user might rely on this customer service to make sure they are adequately protected.
Delays in this area can be a huge deal breaker, and with no sign of it improving any time soon. It could be pushing users away.
Private Internet Access Pricing
PIA is one of the cheapest options you can find when signing up for a more extended period.
Since a previous PIA VPN review, there is now a more extended lock-in period which offers even cheaper rates.
If you decide to opt for Private Internet Access VPN you do have the option of seven-day money back guarantee, but after this, you are stuck with them for the two years, or you forfeit the money you have paid up front.
- 1 month – $6.95
- 1 year – $3.33 billed as $39.95 yearly.
- 2 years – $2.91 charged as $69.95 every 2 years
PIA accepts many payment systems including the use of gift cards which can include Bestbuy, Starbucks, and Walmart.
Signing up for PIA is super easy, and all you need is an active email address, and a valid method of payment.
If you wish to remain anonymous entirely, the payment options can help you to be altogether unknown by using a cryptocurrency payment and an email address which doesn’t contain personal information.
As soon as your payment has been processed you navigate to the download area and select the client you need.
The windows client is fully featured although not the most intuitive but it is functional, and any user should be able to understand what they need to do.
- A High number of servers
- Much cheaper than alternatives
- Fast download speeds
- Great security options
- Easy setup and use
- Supports Bitcoin
- Allows P2P and Torrenting
- 24/7 support limited to North America
- No live chat support
- No Netflix support
- Located in the US (5 eyes jurisdiction)
- Basic Client for Windows
Although PIA doesn’t tick all the boxes in terms of some online streaming. There is Private Internet Access Kodi to consider which can meet many movie buffs needs without Netflix being watched directly. With the use of a third-party add-on, you could stream content to your heart’s content.
If this is your primary goal, then PIA is a worthy contender for several overall reasons. The price is reasonable, and now with the 2-year option, it is hard to beat.
Speeds are fast enough for HD streaming and torrenting while offering high levels of security and protection.
Any VPN would have a solid reputation backing it up, and this is one area in which PIA rises above many other more expensive VPN services.
One feature which is also included, and doesn’t come with a lot of other providers is the option of installing PIA on your home router.
This will count as one device and will protect your entire home without wasting your other 4 connection.
PIA is a top quality VPN provider although it does have its’ downsides and its quirks. If your needs are not extensive and you are attracted to the keen price for a 2-year period, then it could be highly recommended.