- Simultaneous Connections: 5
- Number of Countries: 24+
- Number of Cities: 35+
- Monthly Cost – High/Low: $6.95/$3.33 USD
- Zero-Log Policy: Yes
- Review Last Updated: 2016-09-13
Private Internet Access is a VPN service brought by London Trust Media, Inc., operating out of the US, who claims to have had an inside look of how easy it was to spy on the public and how active some corporate sectors we’re in wrongfully doing so. This propelled them to bring forth a product that would best protect everyday web users. Private Internet Access values the privacy and security of society as a need for prosperity and diversity. PIA offers low cost yearly plans that attract new subscribers by the masses, and the general consensus is that the service works, and no incidents of any users complaining of P2P notices or logged activity. They cater to pretty much any need, and although they provide less global coverage than most, the heavy amount of clustered servers keep the speeds respectable on most of their connection points.
Private Internet Access offers a total of 3 plan options, respectively monthly, bi-yearly, or yearly. All plans allow up to 5 simultaneous device connections to be used. This, additionally to low prices, makes Private Internet Access one of the cheapest VPN services available. The Yearly Package at $39.95 is one of the best deals you can get from any VPN service provider on the market today.
- Monthly Package: $6.95 USD per month.
- Yearly Package: $39.95 USD – Comes to $3.33 per month.
- 6 Month Package: $35.95 USD – Comes to $5.99 per month.
Being that the service is actually pretty good, this deal is hard to pass by for budget conscious users, as well as a notable secondary VPN account for dedicated purposes. Additionally to accepting cryptocurrency, you can also pay anonymously using gift cards from over 100 vendors such as Starbucks, Target, Macy’s, or Walmart,
PIA has grown their gigabit tier-1 network to have over 3000+servers across 24 countries. In the last two years, they have more than doubled in size, while retaining solid performance on my latest testing. By continuously adding more servers to a limited amount of locations, they seem to have achieved a standard level of service that has not declined. The service is great for gaining unrestricted access to internet services such as Hulu, iPlayer, or Youtube. All while removing any ISP imposed restrictions including but not limited to P2P and VOIP services. Even though the global coverage is smaller, most of the countries available cover a large audience.
Private Internet Access is easy to use from the get go with a simple one click setup client. The well designed software client is available for all major operating systems including mobile Android and iOS devices. The app has an killswitch to interrupt the data connection in case the VPN drops, as well as additional DNS leak protection that can be enabled. You can quickly modify all your connection settings through the app, as well as set port forwarding configurations on the customer portal.
Standard OpenVPN, PPTP, IPSEC/L2TP protocols and options are available. They also include a SOCKS5 (Proxy), and the encryption can be customized. From 128 to 256-bit AES encryption, you can select your data authentication method and handshake encryption mode, allowing you to create your own balance of security and speed.
PIA has a very reputable track record of not keep any logs or collection of traffic data and only provide customer subscription data under a valid court order. They pride in having one of the best security and anonymity systems available through shared IPs and thousands of servers in few locations. They additionally suggest that users looking for the highest form of anonymity should use anonymous emails and Bitcoin or other anonymous monetary transactions. As mentioned, they even accept over one hundred different merchant gift cards as anonymous payments.
I highly suggest to always use OpenVPN where supported for maximum effective security. The level of customization offered by Private Internet Access allows for users to pick between fastest possible connections with low security or highest security connections sacrificing some speed. As mentioned, encryption type, data authentication and handshake encryption protocols can be changed. They offer presets to make a quick selection of the most popular choices;
- Default Recommended Protection — AES-128 / SHA1 / RSA-2048
- All Speed No Safety — None / None / ECC-256k1
- Maximum Protection — AES-256 / SHA256 / RSA-4096
- Risky Business — AES-128 / None / RSA-2048
Dynamic IP Cloaking available across many countries, encrypted using a highly secure Blowfish CBC algorithm, safe in even in the most dangerous areas of the web. Encrypted Wi-Fi and integrated firewall with the same advanced filtering options as NETFILTER PROJECT. DNS leak protection and killswitch features are available for users to turn on, as well as live ad, tracker and malware blocking while browsing. Highly secured Swiss gateways act as yet another reinforcement of identity safety. A SOCKS5 proxy is also available and is a good add-on to any Bittorrent client user.
Speed & Stability:
As an attempt to deliver on all fronts, PIA provides tier-1 gigabit Servers that be speed tested right off their website. A large number of these fast servers are readily available almost always guaranteeing the fastest possible speeds for your location. With the ability to switch to UDP, gamers and video streaming users can get the best of both worlds. As always, speeds can diminish depending the protocol used and server location. Most servers I tested provided consistent speeds with minimal to no loss, but this did fluctuate from time to time when using the service over long periods of time. The ability to tweak each client to specific needs really makes the Private Internet Access VPN service hard to beat. There is not much more to say, the speed and performance is great for the cost of service.
Customer service at PIA is available by chat and email 24/7, response time can be fast to slow at times according to peer user reviews. However, they do not fully support device setup by chat and you’re unlikely to run into troubles with any other aspect of the service. Instead, they include an extensive list of all important setup guides for all devices including network routers. They are clear and illustrated, enabling you to quickly connect on any platform. The service agents are generally cordial and well knowledgeable on the service. The client portal provides a simply control panel that is easy to understand and use.
Private Internet Access is always looking to expand add new data centers. Thousands of servers have been added in just the last two years. My latest review revision shows no signs of service degradation. They have expanded coverage a little bit to reach a larger audience, but server capacity has grown exponentially in order to upkeep fast speeds with a growing user base. As of 2016, I can still confidently vouch for PIA as a very good choice, especially if cost is an important concern. The yearly plan makes for a top budget choice, with each account allowing up to 5 simultaneous device connections.