Private Internet Access is an American based VPN service that promises a lot in terms of compatibility and customer support attributes. Moreover, the users may access to 3500+ servers in 30 countries. The provider offers different benefits to the users.
The subscribers of PIA VPN may use the service on five different devices simultaneously. In addition, the users can avail marvelous customer support advantage that allows the subscribers to get the solution of their queries in timely manner.
Our detailed guide on Private Internet Access Review will help you in making the right decision. To know more about other VPN services available in the industry, read our detailed VPN reviews guide.
Private Internet Access VPN Review 2018
The below mentioned review of PIA will help you to understand the importance of online privacy in the right direction. Likewise, you will be able to make a right decision about your privacy once you go through our analysis.
Read our exclusive Private Internet Access VPN review to explore the salient features and other offerings of the service in detail.
Every now and then we pick a VPN service provider. We analyze every feature associated with the service and test its promises via rigid scrutiny measures. We do this to facilitate the purchase decision of new users seeking a VPN.
Furthermore, through our reviews, we also provide alternatives to the users dissatisfied from their current VPN service provider. Today, we have selected VPN Private Internet Access. We will analyze and test every promise made by PIA VPN against its performance.
The findings of our VPN PIA review would be impartial and based only on the findings extracted.
- High emphasis on privacy & security
- Offers anonymous payment options
- Expansive server spread in major countries
- Does not keep any logs
- Offers easy to use apps & software
- Provides leading protocols and military grade encryption
- 24/7 customer support
- 7 days money back guarantee
- 3500+ servers in 30 countries
- Compatible with all leading platforms and devices
- No free trial to test the service
- Variable speed performance on some servers
- Does not support US Netflix streaming
- Does not have live chat feature
- Based in the US
What is Private Internet Access?
Private Internet Access is one of the leading VPN providers in the industry. Its emphasis on privacy and security are without comparison the best when it comes to picking a VPN service.
With top of the line features, military grade encryption, secure tunneling, no logging policy, and a global server spread, PIA provides online anonymity and protection against most dangerous cyber threats. You can even subscribe to the VPN service through anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin.
Therefore, if you are looking for a VPN that guarantees online safety and internet freedom, you should definitely try Private Internet Access.
Kill Switch Feature
Private Internet Access offers a neat feature of internet kill switch. This is an essential feature for all privacy concerned users. What it does is that it automatically shuts down your internet connection if you disconnect from the VPN.
Private Internet Access Kill Switch prevents your IP address from leaking and exposing your identity. Your internet connection resumes once your VPN connection is back up and running or if you deactivate this feature. Internet Kill Switch is baked into all the software and apps offered by PIA.
In addition, this feature comes with all its pricing plans, which means you don’t have pay anything extra to utilize the VPN Kill Switch.
Private Internet Access Kill Switch Benefits
- It is beneficial if you use a VPN for torrenting. PIA Kill Switch will stop your internet from working if your VPN connection drops. This way copyright holder cannot identify your location as your IP address never leaks.
- Stop streaming services from blacklisting your IP address. Internet kill switch will prevent streaming services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer from identifying that you use a VPN to access their service and block your IP.
Plans and Pricing
There are three basic package plans offered by PIA VPN service: monthly package plan, 6 month package plan and yearly package plan. An interesting thing that we acknowledged in package plans was the uniformity of features associated with each plan.
PIA with its no log policy represents feature-rich package plans offering unlimited bandwidth, multiple gateways, Wi-Fi encryption and P2P along with VoIP support.
furthermore, you can connect 5 devices simultaneously via PIA VPN. In addition, SOCKS5 proxy indeed is a cherry on the top.
After studying the pricing plans of the service for our review and concluded that you can subscribe to monthly package for just $6.95. Amazed already?
But wait, there’s more. PIA offers 12 months package plan for just $3.99/month; in addition, if you decide to commit for an elongated period, you get the best value package as two yearly package costs as low as $2.91/month.
There are many reasons that justify the need of a VPN. Number of servers offered by a VPN service provider serves as the key enforcer while making a purchase decision.
The VPN servers along with the geographic location of their presence allow users to access broad range of geo-restricted content. PIA VPN gives you access to more than 3500+ servers geographically scattered in different regions.
Currently PIA has its servers located in more than 30 countries: U.S, Canada, U.K, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Germany, Romania, Isreal, Japan, Mexico, Singapore and Hong Kong and others.
When you connect to a particular server, you will be assigned an IP of that respective region. Hence, you can access any geo-restricted content produced for the native eyes only.
PIA Decides to Close Services in Russia
A new data retention law has just been passed in Russia which mandates telecom companies and web-based services operating in Russia to store metadata, communications, and internet traffic history of their users.
In light of such events, Russian law enforcement authorities have seized PIA servers located in Russia without any notice. The VPN service announced that it has discontinued all its Russian Gateways and will no longer be operating in Russia. It has ensured all its users that no information was compromised since the VPN service does not keep any logs.
For preventive measures, PIA has rotated all its certificates and has advised its users to update their VPN clients and apps from respective app stores. If anyone is using OpenVPN then they should download the new configuration files. PIA remains firm that it will not compromise on its subscriber’s privacy and will be evaluating policies of other countries as well.
PIA’s Response to Pulling out from Russia
To dig deep into the implications of the decision made by PIA, we at VPNRanks conducted an interview with their CEO, Ted Kim. From the interview, it can be clearly stated that PIA remains steadfast in preserving its subscriber’s privacy.
We initially inquired about how the VPN service will facilitate users looking for Russian servers and when can we expect PIA to operate again in Russia. PIA responded that it will not setup servers in countries that don’t ensure privacy of its customers and it is impossible to say when the service can return back in Russia.
When we inquired about the long term implications of such data retention laws on the VPN industry, PIA retorted that people who are concerned about their privacy will continue to use a VPN. It went onto say that laws such these are a compelling reason to use VPN services that guarantee ultimate online privacy.
Protocols and Encryption
Despite of all the value added features and benefits you can enjoy by connecting a VPN, encryption is one of the core ingredients that satisfy the most basic and important needs – privacy and security.
A VPN ensures your confidentiality through its diverse tunneling protocols. Furthermore, through its encryption protocols, a VPN encrypts your data, which minimizes the possibility of unauthorized access and data abuse.
We studied the security features of the service for our VPN and concluded that the provider offers three tunneling protocols: PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) and OpenVPN. Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is usually preferred by VPN users who want to access geo-restricted content.
In addition, it satisfies the needs associated with anonymity as your real IP is masked the moment you connect a VPN. PPTP has minimal affect on your Internet speed; but, it in return offers shallow security.
Those who are concerned about their security prefer L2TP instead. L2TP is a sophisticated protocol that offers absolute anonymity and competent security.
OpenVPN is on the other hand is not always a preferable protocol to adopt. All three different protocols liberalize users’ freedom of choice along with diversity.
How to Use PIA VPN With uTorrent?
Torrenting and P2P file sharing are the most popular and economical method to get popular movies, songs, documentaries, videos, games and softwares for free. However, with a crackdown against torrent giants like torrentz and piratebay, law enforcement agencies are lurking to catch and penalize torrenters.
However, fortunately, PIA VPN with an excellent set of strong tunneling protocols offers top-notch torrenting protection to users. Once configured on users’ system, PIA VPN encrypts the entire torrent traffic of users and makes them anonymous to DMCA, ISP monitoring and copyright owners.
For users ease, we’ve created an easy step by step configuration guide below; that will help you to use PIA VPN with uTorrent.
Here’s how to use PIA VPN with uTorrent client:
- Make an account on PIA VPN site
- Choose a VPN package plan of your choice and make payment
- Now, setup uTorrent client on your system
- Launch uTorrent client, click on Menu>Options>Preferences
- From Preferences, select Connection
- Now make configuration as mentioned below:
Proxy server type: Socks5
Connection port: 1080
- Next, enter the username and password as provided by provider and proceed.
Once the setup is finished, restart uTorrent client and start downloading endless torrents safely and anonymously from any corner of the world.
Moreover, if you face any issues with the VPN setup on uTorrent then feel free to drop a query in the comment box at the end of this VPN review.
Device compatibility is another key aspect of a VPN service we would like to explore in this VPN review. Imagine a VPN service with feature-rich package plans offered in exchange of cheap price or a VPN service with 2000+ servers in 50 regions. But, you can connect this VPN on your PC only. All the features and tempting offers would go straight into the trash.
We live a busy lifestyle in a technologically advanced era. Life today is literally on the go. Device compatibility therefore, is one of the most essential constituents you may consider before purchasing a VPN.
Let’s talk about the security of your Smartphone now. Private Internet Access VPN is also compatible with Android which is one of the most readily adopted Smartphone platforms along with iOS. In addition, you can easily configure PIA VPN on your Boxee Box and it is also compatible with DD-WRT and Tomato Router.
After sales service is one of the key enforcers to retain your clients; especially when you operate in a service industry. However, when it comes to a VPN, customer service becomes something more than just necessary.
Customer service representative is often a life saver when you are in middle of something and can’t get through. All these services add value to the service purchased and probably augment retention.
Customer and tech-support of PIA VPN is just extraordinary and the provider claims 24/7/365 live tech-support. To validate this claim, we tried to test their customer service. Below mentioned snapshot is the conversation between me and customer service representative.
For our review, we explored company’s official website and found that the provider only supports PPTP protocol on DD-WRT Router. So, we decided to inquire about other supported protocols for DD-WRT Router, if any.
Here’s You can see the response we received from PIA representative – and yes it was very prompt (received within 10 seconds). On the basis of this short yet useful conversation, I would rate PIA VPN 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Unfortunately, our latest PIA VPN review 2018 reveals that the service does not offer live chat benefit to its users anymore.
Unique Selling Proposition
After in-depth analysis of Private Internet Access’s features and package plans in our review, we have concluded several characteristics that comprise unique selling proposition of Private Internet Access VPN such as variety of payment options, number of servers and device compatibility. However, all these features seem nothing compared to DNS leak protection.
When we connect a VPN on a preferred device – we ensure our privacy and security, no doubt about that. However, there are still some loopholes left to be filled. After a VPN is connected on our device, we become absolutely invisible to the digital universe.
However, our Internet service provider can still track our activities such as which platform or website we accessed; but, won’t be able to view our data. All this information is transferred through our DNS.
What leak protection does – you might be wondering? DNS Leak Protection even blinds our Internet service providers – making them monitor absolutely NOTHING. Private Internet Access VPN along with other lucrative offers provides DNS Leak Protection. This can indeed be reviewed as PIA’s unique selling proposition in this VPN review.
Software and Tutorials Provided
Diversity in payment methods offered by a VPN service provider is another key enforcer to a purchase decision. Diversity in payment options facilitates the transaction process liberalizing subscribers to choose a payment method as per their convenience.
Private Internet Access VPN currently accepts payments via Credit Cards, Bitcoin, PayPal, Amazon, Ripple, CashU and OKPay. Google Wallet is another option you may include in the list; however, it is currently inactive.
“Private Internet Access does not collect or log any traffic or use of its Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Proxy”.
This is something we witness once in a blue moon. A VPN service provider with a claim like that is definitely worth a shot; however, the only hurdle is the lack of free trial.
Nevertheless, there is nothing more luxurious than privacy itself – is it? There might be several VPN service providers out there – offering FREE trials and cheap price.
Free Trial of Private Internet Access
We know most of you would have tried to find this section the moment you accessed this article. However, we don’t have good news to offer here; because, Private Internet Access VPN does not offer a free trial.
We know most of you would be shocked after reading our Private Internet Access review. In fact, some of you might decide to turn down Private Internet Access VPN for this reason.
Nonetheless, there might be another aspect of this. A free trial is often offered to people so that they can try the services and purchase them if they’re satisfied. However, some VPN service providers show something and sell another. People often complain that connectivity, PIA VPN speed and privileges associated at the time of trial are just not the same now.
The VPN service providers that do not offer a free trial often present a money back guarantee with their service. However, a free trial is an enforcer like no other; hence, it can be regarded as a loophole of Private Internet Access VPN.
Private Internet Access Speed Test
No matter how much we research about Private Internet Access VPN, we can only hypothesize about its performance. In order to add valid rationale justifying PIA VPN’s performance, we conducted some speed tests to check reliability of the service in our VPN review.
Find here the latest VPN speed tests results for various VPN services including PIA.
For this, we first tested our connection speed and then connected our device to different servers of PIA to compare the results. We are currently using a 100 Mbps connection and the results revealed by speed test are portrayed by the snapshot given below (Ping – 0 ms, Download Speed – 74.33 Mbps, Upload Speed – 4.49 Mbps).
We will now connect our device to PIA’s UK server to contrast the results extracted via speed test. After connection was successfully established with PIA VPN’s UK server, we tested PIA’s effect on ping, download and upload speed.
The results revealed by speed test are portrayed by the snapshot given below. Ping has increased from 0 to 10 ms – which is actually not that bad. Download speed however was affected as it dropped from 74.33 Mbps to 49.48 Mbps. The good news is that upload speed wasn’t deteriorated much (4.49 Mbps – before connecting a VPN, 4.46 Mbps – after connecting a VPN).
After testing different servers of PIA, it can be deduced that download speed was significantly affected every time we connected a VPN. However, this is a widely accepted fact that a VPN affects your actual Internet speed. So, an approximate drop of Internet speed by 40-45% should really be a concern here – I guess.
The results derived for PIA VPN review worth notifying and include download speed, upload speed and ping statistics.
PIA VPN’s servers do not affect the upload speed much which is the good news for all those who love to share. Furthermore, the ping isn’t affected as well which is more than just good news for all gamers seeking a VPN.
Private Internet Access Bandwidth and Other Features
Our review unveils that the provider offers a list of compelling features to the users. You can assume these features in the form of compatibility, multi-login, customer support, strong encryption and others.
Is PIA Secure?
According to our review, the provider has all the ingredients to secure your online presence. However, the provider is based at the US that may spoil the fun of the subscribers. Still, you can consider the service if you want to improve your online protection to another level.
PIA VPN Process
Our PIA VPN review affirms that the process of installing the service on different devices is straightforward. Here is how you can do to achieve your objective.
- Subscribe to the service through the official website
- After subscribing to the service download the app on your device
- Once you have installed the app, just login by entering your login credentials
- Select the VPN server of your choice from the list
- Enjoy the benefit of complete online freedom from anywhere.
PIA VPN Performance
The performance of the service varies from server to server. Our Private Internet Access VPN review discloses that you may find better downloading speeds on different servers. Conversely, you may experience slow downloading speeds on servers.
Furthermore, if you use the service during peak hours then you may face the connectivity issues. The users may anticipate buffering issues while watching their favorite media content on their devices.
Private Internet Access Compatible Devices
According to our Private Internet Access VPN review, the provider is compatible with the list of operating systems and devices. Here is the list of operating systems and devices that includes:
- Chrome extensions
PIA on Android
Our PIA VPN review suggests that the service is highly compatible with the Android platform. Through the official website, you can download and install the Android app on your Android devices instantly.
PIA on iOS
Likewise, the users may opt the service to attain online privacy and freedom on their iOS devices. To achieve this purpose, you can download and install the relevant app on your iOS devices straightaway.
PIA on Windows
Our PIA VPN review discloses that the service is compatible with Windows platform. You can download the software on Windows devices to protect your online identity from online hackers and from other malicious threats.
PIA on MacOS
The same goes for MacOS because the service is compatible and provides amazing installation guides for MacOS. Thus, you need to install the software for your MacOS. By doing so, you are able to surf the web anonymously on your Mac devices.
PIA on Linux
Our review unveils that the service provides user- friendly tutorials for Linux based operating system. The subscribers just have to download and follow the simple installation procedure to enjoy next level anonymity.
PIA VPN Encryption Options
According to the findings of our review, the provider offers different protocols. Therefore, the users are able to secure their internet traffic with 256-bit military grade encryption since the service uses OpenVPN protocol. This type of tunneling protocol applies the said level of encryption by default.
PIA on Netflix
Unfortunately, the provider does not support Netflix streaming anymore. The users may experience connectivity issues while trying to stream content on Netflix.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Interestingly, PIA VPN has advantages and disadvantages for the users. The users may assume the advantages in the form of multi-login, compatibility, money back guarantee, protocols & encryption, and others.
On the other hand, our Private Internet Access VPN review has explored some weaknesses of the service. The service belongs to the US that does not encourage the users to opt the service. This is because you cannot select the service for streaming purpose.
Likewise, you are not able to access US Netflix streaming since PIA VPN does not support this feature.
Private Internet Access Torrenting
Our review explores that the service is based at the US. Therefore, the users should not opt the US servers for streaming servers. However, you can select the service for the torrenting needs. The users need to select servers other than US to secure their torrent downloading activities.
Furthermore, the service follows the notion of DMCA policy in true letter and spirit. Therefore, you should not use Private Internet Access VPN at any cost. By doing so, you will not find yourself in the hot waters of legal troubles.
Still, you should not lose all your hopes because you have a best VPN for streaming at your disposal. As a result, you can watch your desired media content from anywhere anonymously.
PIA Review on Reddit
Reddit is one of the most sought interactive platforms that allow you to get the solution of your queries instantly. Moreover, you are able to attain the unbiased or neutral reviews about different VPN services in a timely manner. Hence, you can make right decisions about your online privacy.
Here is the response of one Reddit user suggesting you can opt Private Internet Access to protect your online activities.
Likewise, the service has started accepting online payments through BTC and BCH.
London Trust Media Review
Our review reveals that the service is a brainchild of London Trust Media. Interestingly, you can find different unbiased reviews about London Trust Media owned Private Internet Access VPN on ResellerRatings. Thus, you are able to discover the pros and cons of the service in a realistic manner.
Private Internet Access Coupon
According to our review, the service has been offering different kinds of discount coupons to the users on continual basis. It would not be a big surprise for you if you find followers of Private Internet Access from different countries worldwide.
At present, the service offers an eye-catching 58% discount on its two yearly pricing plan. Moreover, if you do not want to avail the two-year pricing package, you can avail a yearly plan to get an amazing 52% discount instantly.
Private Internet Access vs. NordVPN
Our review suggests that the netizens prefer to compare Private Internet Access with NordVPN. Here is the snapshot of comparison table that helps you to know about the hidden attributes of both the services.
|Salient Features||Private Internet Access||NordVPN|
|Money Back Guarantee||Yes||Yes|
Private Internet Access Login
Fortunately, the task of logging in through PIA VPN is straightforward and does not need any rocket science. According to our Private Internet Access VPN review, the users can download and install the preferred app on their devices.
Once you have completed the payment procedures from the official website, you can start using the service instantly. After providing your username and password, you can connect to any server from the list and attain online anonymity straightaway.
Private Internet Access Discount
Our PIA VPN review discloses that the service surely belongs to the category of generous VPN services. It means you can get discount of your choice after availing its yearly and two yearly pricing plans from its official website. By doing so, you can obtain humongous discounts up to 52% and 58% respectively.
Private internet Access Download
Our review unveils that the downloading process of the software is simple. Likewise, you do not need to be a tech geek to download and install the relevant app on your devices. Luckily, you can download and install the software on different operating systems and browsers extensions.
Here is the list of operating systems and internet browsers extensions compatible with Private Internet Access. The list includes:
- Chrome Extension
According to our review, the service offers 128-bit AES encryption by default. However, you will not anticipate much of a hassle when it comes to improving your current encryption level up to 256-bit military grade encryption.
Furthermore, you can use its customized SHA-1 or SHA-256 encryption to enhance your anonymity to new heights. Likewise, PIA uses RSA-2048 public key encryption to setup handshakes between clients and servers.
The rise of technology has made our security vulnerable. We currently are experiencing different threats directed to our privacy. It is almost impossible to acknowledge Internet liberty now; because, someone, somewhere is always monitoring our online activities. No matter who is behind the privacy threats we encounter – either it is the NSA vigilantes or the cyber-goons, absolute anonymity has become a myth.
A VPN in this regard serves as a great remedy. A VPN is an ultimate solution to all the concerns we encounter with respect to Internet security and online privacy. However, there are many VPN service providers trading in the market. Most of them have resembling package plans and often confuse new users with their tempting offers and promotions. We are here to help you in this regard.
After thorough analysis and testing of package plans and features representing Private Internet Access VPN, we can conclude that PIA offers feature-rich package plans at affordable price. Not only this, PIA has wide range of servers allowing you to break through divergent geo-restrictions. DNS Leak Protection in addition is a feature that adjoins more value to the package plans.
PIA VPN does not depict much effect on either Internet speed or ping; hence, it can be considered as a viable alternative. Nonetheless, PIA does not offer a FREE trial which will probably be a loophole hindering purchase decision of many. We therefore give 3/5 to the service in our analysis of Private Internet Access review.