Private Internet Access Review

What’s true in the bedroom also goes for the internet: always use protection. At least that’s what Private Internet Access advises its users.

These days, if you value your online privacy, you can’t afford not to have a VPN. But some VPNs are better than others. While writing our Private Internet Access review, we put this virtual private network to the test, and we found it to be the perfect solution to keep you and your data safe online.

 

 

Key features:

  • Number of servers: 29,700+
  • Number of server countries: 78
  • Maximum simultaneous connections: 10
  • Split tunneling: Yes
  • Kill switch: Yes
  • Ad blocking: Yes
  • Supported protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN
  • Streaming services supported: Netflix US, DE, JP and UK, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer
  • Price range: $2.19 to $9.95 per month
  • Best price: $2.19 per month with a three-year contract

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Tens of thousands of servers in 78 countries
  • Easy to download
  • Straightforward interface
  • Secure
  • Pricey monthly subscription
  • No free trial

Before delving deeper into features, apps, and pricing, we need to highlight a few key components about the company behind this VPN.

Private Internet Access has been around for more than a decade. The company excels in providing secure and private VPN connections that rely on open-source protocols. Its client base of over 15 million users coupled with positive online feedback underscores the company’s solid reputation.

Private Internet Access Pricing

There are three pricing plans that have the same features. You can choose between the monthly, annual or three-year plans. For a single month, the cost is $9.95, but if you sign up for the annual package, the price drops to $3.33 per month, which is a total of $39.95 for the entire year. The three-year option costs $79.00, which equates to $2.19 per month.

In addition to its 73% discount when compared to the monthly plan, the biennial option also throws in an extra two months for free. So, if you’re looking to get value for money, the annual and biennial plans are your best options.

When it comes to these long-term subscriptions, this provider offers a competitive price. However, many other VPNs offer more affordable monthly packages that don’t require you to sign up for an entire year.

Another downside is the absence of a Private Internet Access free version. Many competitors such as Windscribe have free versions, and although limited, these offer valuable insight into what you can expect from a paid plan. For its part, Private Internet Access tries to minimize any potential risk by offering a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Our review of the Private Internet Access VPN reveals that there are several payment methods for your subscription, including credit cards, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. Cryptocurrency options are also available, including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. These crypto options are especially useful for users who wish to remain completely anonymous. The only downside for those who use cryptocurrencies is that they won’t be eligible for money-back schemes.

Installation and User Interface

You can install Private Internet Access on a broad range of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can enjoy the VPN on up to 10 devices simultaneously, making it an excellent choice for both small businesses and families.

While conducting our Private Internet Access Mac review, we found that the site provides a detailed installation guide for each platform. The Private Internet Access download process takes mere seconds to complete, but since there is no free version, you won’t be able to proceed with the setup until you’ve signed up and paid for a subscription.

Just like with other VPNs, you’ll get access to a control dashboard, from which you can turn on your VPN connection and select features like the kill switch, ad blocker, and DNS leak protection. From here, you can also choose to log onto one of the provider’s 12,886 servers located in 75 countries.

Our review of the Private Internet Access dashboard found that it is highly functional with a clear interface designed for easy use. Even first-time VPN users shouldn’t have any trouble getting a handle on all its functions.

The Android and iOS apps are also very easy to master. While we were researching our Private Internet Access mobile review, downloading the app was a breeze. Once you’re signed in, you’ll be greeted with a straightforward interface.

Features

Private Internet Access gives you an abundance of features, making it one of the best VPNs on the market. Just like many of the top providers in the industry, this VPN can block ads, disable unwanted tracking, and protect you against malware.

As the name implies, your privacy is the company’s top priority. There is a strict no-logs policy, which means that none of your browsing data is stored. If you care about your privacy, make sure you choose a top VPN that has a solid reputation in this department.

In 2016, the FBI subpoenaed the VPN provider in search of evidence against a suspected bomb hoaxer. The subpoena didn’t result in any useful data being handed over to the federal government, confirming that Private Internet Access doesn’t keep logs of user activities.

During our Private Internet Access review, we were also pleased to see the kill switch feature. If you’re concerned about your privacy, then subscribing to a VPN with a kill switch is essential. If your VPN connection is interrupted for any reason, the kill switch will automatically disconnect your desktop or mobile device from the internet to prevent your IP address from being exposed.

Of course, if privacy isn’t your number-one priority, you can always disable the kill switch feature and continue to browse the internet without any interruptions.

We also felt it was important to conduct a Private Internet Access review for torrenting. This VPN uses a peer-to-peer function that keeps you secure while torrenting. In these instances, we recommend turning on the kill switch because torrenting can be extremely risky. You can stumble across applications loaded with malware or get into trouble over copyright restrictions.

The Private Internet Access security tools review and identify all the potential pitfalls to ensure your safety online. The provider uses WireGuard protocol technology to create secure point-to-point connections in bridged configurations.

These protocols determine how your data is transferred between your device and the VPN’s server. WireGuard has been available since 2016 and uses a simple open-source code. In addition to working great on mobile platforms, our Private Internet Access VPN speed review found that the software is extremely fast.

Private Internet Access also provides various encryption options. You can switch between AES 128 or AES 256 encryption. The former allows for faster browsing, while AES 256 is more secure. You can decide which of these is most appropriate for you depending on your task.

You can also choose to work without encryption. With this option, your Private Internet Access login details will still be encrypted, and your IP will remain hidden, but none of your data will be encrypted. This is a viable option for those trying to get the best possible performance while keeping their IP address hidden.

Aside from data encryption, Private Internet Access reviews data authentication options to protect you from malware attacks and viruses. You can choose to have SHA1, SHA256, or none. Secure hash algorithms protect you from active attackers. Like with data encryption, SHA1 operates faster than SHA256. If you choose not to have this feature turned on, you’ll still be protected from passive attacks, but there is no guaranteed protection from active, targeted attacks against you.

Of course, many readers want this Private Internet Access review to answer one very important question: Can this VPN unblock Netflix content? Unfortunately, there are very few servers that enable you to use Private Internet Access to watch Netflix. This vendor isn’t dedicated to bypassing geo-blocked content, and it simply doesn’t have the resources to counter Netflix’s crackdown on IP addresses found to be originating from a VPN.

ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access

Thanks to its huge network of servers in over 90 countries, as well as excellent security features, Express VPN is regarded as one of the best VPN providers on the market. For the purpose of our review, we’ve tested ExpressVPN services in a bid to compare the two pieces of software.

For starters, ExpressVPN offers a much faster connection than Private Internet Access, though it depends on how far you are from the nearest server location. With over 3,000 servers all around the world, ExpressVPN offers great connectivity, but Private Internet Access servers are hard to compete with since there are more than 29,700 of them around the globe.

One of the characteristics that stands out about Private Internet Access is that it allows 10 simultaneous connections, while with ExpressVPN, you’ll be limited to five devices. Also, ExpressVPN is missing the ad blocking feature, while Private Internet Access VPN comes with a built-in app for blocking annoying ads.

ExpressVPN is definitely a better option if you want to unlock Netflix. A few online reviews further highlight some of the complications plaguing Private Internet Access when it comes to this functionality.

Private Internet Access vs NordVPN

Both NordVPN and Private Internet Access are good choices to secure your internet connection. NordVPN has a reputation as one of the fastest VPN services, but in reality, it really depends on your location. Thanks to the massive Private Internet Access network, you can always expect stable and fast connections. And you can secure up to ten devices (computers, laptops, phones), while NordVPN limits you to six.

NordVPN pricing is another reason to choose Private Internet Access. Simply put, the PIA VPN pricing plans are more affordable.

Private Internet Access Recent Upgrades

Private Internet Access regularly works on upgrading its VPN service. Recently, the company unveiled a dedicated IP address and promised more VPN features in the future. The server infrastructure has also improved, while VPN apps come with an updated interface.

Customer support

If you are new to VPNs or have any problems while using PIA, you can always turn to the company’s support agents. The Private Internet Access customer service agents are very friendly and knowledgeable. To make use of the 24/7 live chat option, just click on the green Chat Now button in the bottom-right corner of your screen or shoot them an email. There are also helpful user guides on the company website.

How Does PIA VPN Compare to Other VPN Services?

Private Internet Access Review
  • Number of servers: 29,700+
  • Number of server countries: 78
  • Maximum simultaneous connections: 10
  • Split tunneling: Yes
  • Kill switch: Yes
  • Ad blocking: Yes
  • Supported protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN
  • Streaming services supported: Netflix US, DE, JP and UK, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer
  • Price range: $2.19 to $9.95 per month
  • Best price: $2.19 per month with a three-year contract
Price $2.69/mo
ProtonVPN Review
  • Servers in 51 countries
  • More than 1,000 servers
  • Up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Highly effective kill switch
  • No stream service unblock with free and basic packages
Price $4/mo
VyprVPN Review
  • More than 700 servers in more than 70 countries
  • No data cap
  • 24/7 email and chat support
  • Up to 5 simultaneous users
  • A highly effective kill switch
  • Unblocks streaming for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer
Price $2.5/mo

Bottom Line of Our PIA Review

PIA is undoubtedly one of the most dependable VPNs on the market. Our Private Internet Access VPN review proves that it’s a solid option in the age of identity theft, increased government surveillance, and data collection. By subscribing to PIA, you can browse the internet comfortably, knowing that you are using one of the most secure VPNs on the market.

The installation process is simple, even for first-time VPN users. A well-designed interface for both mobile and desktop enables you to explore the many options and features with relative ease.

Our review for Private Internet Access found that the vendor has some of the most robust features in the industry. There is a no-logs policy, a kill switch option, P2P for torrenting, and various encryptions. And while you may not be able to stream some of your favorite shows on Netflix, your anonymity is guaranteed.

You get all of these features regardless of which package you choose. There are no hidden costs or additional fees. But there are a number of issues when it comes to Private Internet Access prices.

For starters, the monthly costs are too high, and there is no free version or trial. Instead, if you want a cost-effective VPN solution, you’ll need to sign up for an entire year. Whilst there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, you’ll need to contact customer support to cancel your subscription.

Since there is no free trial, you need to take a very close look at Private Internet Access reviews before signing up. Of course, having tested it ourselves, we can safely recommend the annual or biennial subscription plan.

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Tens of thousands of servers in 78 countries
  • Easy to download
  • Straightforward interface
  • Secure
  • Pricey monthly subscription
  • No free trial

FAQ

Is Private Internet Access a good VPN?

The short answer is yes. PIA has excellent security features that keep you and your data safe online, which is the primary function of a VPN. It’s easy to install and simple to use. Moreover, our Private Internet Access review 2021 found that there is an excellent mobile app supported by both Android and iOS. The VPN is trustworthy, and you can also hook it up to as many as 10 devices.

Is Private Internet Access fast?

Every VPN likes to claim that it’s the fastest option on the market. However, the differences tend to be fairly minuscule, and the rankings change all the time. What’s important is that the vendor provides a product that’s consistent; it doesn’t necessarily have to be the fastest VPN. Private Internet Access was certainly fast enough when we tested it. Simply put, speed is something you need to worry about when using PIA, whether you’re using Private Internet Access for torrenting or streaming.

What is Private Internet Access used for?

Private Internet Access is a VPN with a variety of different tools that protect your privacy online. Its primary function is to protect your anonymity online, which is exactly what the best VPN should be doing. This guarantees anonymity and prevents anyone from tracking your IP address. Some of the features enable you to torrent safely and access geo-blocked sites.

Does Private Internet Access work with Netflix?

You can use Private Internet Access on a Mac computer for Netflix only with some of the vendor’s servers. But this isn’t an ideal solution for bypassing geo-blocked content on Netflix. PIA has had a tough time adjusting to Netflix’s crackdown on IP addresses found to be originating from a VPN. Online reviews confirm that many users still struggle with accessing Netflix with the Private Internet Access VPN.

Can you be tracked if you use a VPN?

The primary function of a VPN is to protect users from being tracked online. Our Private Internet Access review highlights this provider’s ability to do just that.

Private Internet Access Review
Price $2.69/mo
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