Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most famous budget VPNs that are available right now. PIA offers some interesting features, decent speeds, and has its own DNS to enhance the online security of its users. These are some of the main reasons for PIA’s popularity.
As a matter of fact, PIA offers some amazing features which are enough to entice you into buying it, but it has some drawbacks as well, because nothing is just perfect. We will be reviewing all the aspects of Private Internet Access(PIA); its good features and downsides in detail, simply all that jazz you need to know about this VPN before buying it. Our review is overall in favor of this VPN for many reasons listed below.
Before we jump into the particular features of Private Internet Access, let’s first understand why, in general, you need a VPN over the Internet, just in case you’re new to VPNs. You can just skip the section below if you are already aware of the basic features of a VPN.
The Internet, being a global network, is reachable to everyone. It is the most commonly used utility all around the world. More so, the first thing we do right after getting out of our bed is use the internet and the most unavoidable thing we ask someone when we go to their house is their Wi-Fi password.
And what’s the first thing we all consider when using the internet? That’s, of course, security. To avoid the vulnerability of losing data or getting it misused, we have come up with some do’s and don’ts of using the internet. Such as, you should not just connect your device to any unknown or public network just because it’s free.
We all know that nothing in the world is free, so it turns out that ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ isn’t really a cliche. The risk of using public Wi-Fi has now become a big threat. You would not know how eavesdroppers, cybercriminals, ISP, or even the government is getting their hands on your personal information and your online activity.
Moreover, hackers are now more active, always after a chance to get access to your information. When we think that the internet is safe, that’s where we actually are mistaken big time.
You cannot avoid using the internet in this era, but you can certainly avoid internet mishaps. You can trick cybercriminals, and that’s not too big of a task. Each one of us is security conscious and the market has a solution for us.
With increasing cyber-attacks, the usage of VPNs has become more and more important. Let’s hop right into a brief introduction of what a VPN is and how it can save you from the trouble.
Also Read: NordVPN Review by Experts
Each device that you use to access the internet has an IP address. The IP address tracks down your location. But, a VPN has the ability to mask your IP address and alter it. It helps bypass geo-restrictions, encrypts data, and ensures that your data is secure.
Using a VPN simply means you can trick the third parties by changing your apparent location. You can unblock and get access to geo-restricted websites by connecting to a VPN server of some other region. When using public Wi-Fi, a VPN will make sure your data is encrypted and your online activities are protected.
However, the VPN market has a lot of competition. If you have to invest in such a thing, it should be worth it. Considering just security would not be too realistic because a VPN has multiple features and not every VPN provider offers what it claims.
So, today, we are going to be of a little help and make you learn about what features you need in a VPN and the type of VPN that is best for you to start with.
Read More: Best Kodi VPN Service
This is our take on PIA’s Review, which is one of our top VPN services.
Private Internet Access is a US-based VPN software. It is a budget VPN and offers some interesting features.
It has proved its credibility in the market because of its strong encrypted security features, decent speed, and availability of servers worldwide.
Other than that, you can connect 10 devices simultaneously, twice of what you’ll get with most VPNs.
PIA also has its own DNS to reduce the chance of DNS leaks.
All this makes PIA one of the biggest VPN services in the market.
Let us hop right into the features PIA has to offer to its valuable VPN users.
Private Internet Access has servers located all over the world. It has its roots in more than 28 countries where Private Internet Access has located over 3335+ servers and is continuously adding more servers to its servers list. Multiple servers give you the ease to connect to any server, anywhere, and be completely anonymous with your online activity. You connect to a server of your choice and your original IP address changes to that of the servers. PIA has servers in Asia, Central America, South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the US.
Private Internet Access offers OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP Protocols and shares compatibility with Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Windows devices. It provides strong AES 128 and 256-bit encryption which helps protect your data from cybercriminals.
Private Internet Access allows P2P file-sharing and BitTorrent. You can share as many files as you wish.
Private Internet Access VPN, just like other VPNs, offers three pricing plans. Monthly, semi-annually, and yearly plans.
The monthly plan costs $6.95 per month, but you can cut down the price with a longer period plan, it costs $3.33 per month for the yearly package, which is half of what the monthly offer costs. Each price plan offers the same level of protection and security.
It is a bad news to tell that PIA does not allow free trials but it does facilitate the users with a 7-day money-back guarantee.
However, knowing that free VPNs are in the bad books when it comes to services, some VPNs like PIA don’t offer any free services to disown the label of Free VPNs completely.
PIA VPN rather likes to stay in the category of cheap VPNs.
Private Internet Access (PIA) accepts payment methods such as credit/debit card payments, PayPal, American Express, BitCoin, and Pay Garden. However, you can also pay using gift cards from Wal-Mart and Starbucks.
Netflix is enormously popular all over the World and it is particularly aggressive toward blocking VPN users. There is a little trouble using Netflix with PIA for some reason. You can use PIA to stream Netflix in some countries, but overall it gets blocked from time to time.
Customer support is the key. Private Internet Access (PIA) makes sure users are up-to-date and responds to queries to help users with complexities.
It is indeed important to communicate to the users, that’s how you can also improvise and improve your services.
Private Internet Access allows a live chat feature and an FAQ section to guide and help users.
All the details and tutorials are also updated on the website, so it makes it easy for users to setup the VPN.
PIA offers this feature for your safety. It protects your data by routing your DNS through the VPN, which helps protect you from DNS leakage so that you can continue to maintain your privacy.
The sign up method for Private Internet Access is easy and PIA has a knowledge base to guide its users. It only requires a few steps and it depends on the price package that you have chosen.
If you intend to pay by a credit card, it will ask for detailed information such as your email address.
If you want to stay completely anonymous, you are advised to pay using a gift card or BitCoin.
This feature makes sure that you do not encounter leakage of IPv6 traffic. As you use Private Internet Access VPN, it disables the traffic that goes through IPv6, so you wouldn’t get into the traffic hassle.
Private Internet Access (PIA) also gives you the leniency to use up to five devices with just one subscription account. This feature is quite useful and provides safety and ease to the users over the internet regardless of the device used.
This feature has recently been added by Private Internet Access. They have included their own ad-blocking tool called Mace. This is a sort of tool which blocks unnecessary ads on the web page. It is not only useful for blocking annoying ads, but it also keeps you protected because cybercriminals set up ads to hop into your details.
Another important feature that Private Internet Access (PIA) boasts is the internet kill switch feature. When the VPN disconnects suddenly, it stops all the internet-connected sites and apps on your device.
If this feature isn’t present, all the efforts done by a VPN are nullified once the VPN disconnects and your data is visible to the internet world.
In the case of other VPN services, you are asked to select the apps that you want to disconnect. However, PIA’s Kill Switch feature shuts down all the internet-connected apps which is more secure.
Using PIA is very easy and everyone can easily use it, even if they don’t have any technical know-how. Users simply need to select the location that they want to connect to and tap the “power” button on the main dashboard. You can choose an optimal location or one of the 52 locations available.
Earning a golden point, PIA, unlike its competitors, provides an extended panel of settings where users can optimize the network according to their preference. The program uses a wide range of protocols such as OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec to provide quality encrypted Wi-Fi.
PIA has created a clean and user-friendly interface to enable users to effortlessly recognize and connect to a VPN across all operating systems where the application can be used, like Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Linux.
PIA is available for several operating systems. It can be used on Android, Windows ( Windows 7 or later), macOS (at least macOS 10), iOS, and Linux (Ubuntu 16.4+ or newer).
PIA also provides browser extensions for Google Chrome, Opera, and Firefox.
Users can install the application on more devices but only 10 devices can be connected simultaneously.
There is no such thing as perfect, this VPN also has a slight imperfection. No matter which VPN you use, it will affect your web browsing speed. Some will slow down your speed majorly and some will slow down the speed but it will not be noticeable.
Upon testing the performance and speed of Private Internet Access, we found some troubles. We checked the changes in speed by comparing original speeds to the server’s speed over connecting to different servers of our choice.
We observed that the speed reduced for downloading and streaming of content. This was a drawback about this VPN because the speed reduced by 40 percent which is a noticeable drop. However, for other tasks, the speed was quite good.
Private Internet Access(PIA) has 3,341 servers located at 52 locations in 32 countries. With a subscription to PIA, you get access to all these servers, which means you won’t have to share bandwidth with a lot of other users accessing the same VPN server. A number of locations also mean you have more choices to manipulate your location.
Private Internet Access shares compatibility with iOS, therefore, the PIA app is available for iPhone users on the Apple Store. The iOS app uses IPSec to connect to the network of the VPN server. IPSec is the toughest VPN protocol that is supported by iOS, then OpenVPN.
Private Internet Access app for Android is just the same as that on Windows. It offers a kill switch feature and options for you to choose strong encryptions. So, Android security-conscious users have the ease to get PIA’s app and go completely anonymous with their online activity.
PIA offers full P2P support. Torrenting is allowed on all of their servers. PIA’s strict no-log policy is great for anonymous torrenting. The VPN also offers a kill switch, which will keep your P2P activity secure even if the VPN connection suddenly drops.
Private Internet Access(PIA) is a VPN that pays close attention to affordability and anonymity. It offers a pretty decent amount of features for a budget VPN, however, it needs improvement in a lot of areas, such as support for Apple TV. Overall, it is a decent budget VPN with a record of good performance over the years.
Thus, this review has made things clear to you about Private Internet Access (PIA) and it is no doubt that the VPN has some of the best features to look forward to. Private Internet Access is a VPN that offers strong encryption, privacy, and incredible features. PIA understands the need for security in this era of the internet and aims to protect its users from all sorts of cyber threats, and that’s what a VPN is all about!