Private Internet Access Review | Let’s Find Out Actual Facts & Figures

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Private Internet Access is the US-based VPN service that is really affordable for all the internet users. It has an adequate number of servers and is compatible with all the popular platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. Also, you have the option of connecting 5 simultaneous devices with a single PIA VPN account.

They have efficient encrypting protocols and some of the distinctive privacy features such as Kill switch and IPv6 leak protection. Yet, there are a few lacks but that are minor ones.

Before writing the Private Internet Access review, I have subscribed the six-month package of Private Internet Access so that the performance of the VPN service could be judged more accurately. Also, the measure tasks of Torrenting and streaming were performed with the Private internet connection as the most VPN users are intended to carry on these tasks through VPN.

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Let’s quickly check the Pro’s & Con’s Of PIA VPN

Pro’s Con’s
Really affordable No live chat support and a bit lacking customer support
Vast options of encryption protocols Not many server locations
No-log policy
Numerous payment options including anonymous channels such as gift cards and Bitcoin
Kill switch and IPv6 Leak Protection
User-friendly Website
P2P permit

 

In this Private Internet Access review, you will find out all the vital details and performance overview so that you could better decide whether to opt PIA or not.

Also, the social channel reddit has numerous PIA user reviews who are recommending PIA VPN to others and are satisfied with its performance.

Pricing Plans

While the Private Internet Access review I haven’t found any difference in terms of the features they provide with all the plans. That means the plan you are selecting just differs in price and the duration of VPN subscription.

I found Private Internet Access an extremely cheap VPN provider as compared to other popular VPN providers and its features are almost same as the pricy VPN services. With the basic plans alike most VPN providers, PIA VPN has added a new pricing package that is extremely affordable. private-internet-access-price

The packages PIA VPN offers to the customers are;

  • One Month Plan – $6.95/M
    This plan is for one month and you have to renew your subscription after every month. This is the most basic plan that is comparatively cheaper than other VPNs but among the other plans of PIA, one month plan doesn’t offer any discount.
  • One Year Plan – $3.33/M
    for this plan, you get a subscription for a whole year in the total amount of USD 39.95. If you are selecting this package than you have to pay a monthly amount which is almost 52% discounted as compared to one month plan.
  • Two Year Plan – $2.91/M

Two- year plan is rarely offered by a VPN provider and at such a low cost. You have to pay a total of $69.95 for two years. This price is offing a discount of 58% every month.

Here I must clarify that a longer subscription makes you bound and you cannot jump to another VPN. Yet, a way out for this concern is provided by PIA VPN and they offer you seven-day money back guarantee with every plan. This could help you to get to a better decision for which plan you may choose, whether the VPN is working well for you and such other things.

Unlike most of the refund policies, the best thing I found in Private Internet Access is that they don’t have any restrictions or hidden requirements for a refund. However, I have seen many customers irritated and finding it difficult to get back the refund.

Payment Method

PIA VPN has provided an adequate number of channels for the customers so that they could pay for the subscription easily. A beneficial thing is that they also provide payment options such as PayPal which are the safest as they keep your identity anonymous.private-internet-access-payment

They also have the cryptocurrency options such as Bitcoin and Z-cash. PIA accepts gift cards and you can pay through credit cards or other payment systems.

Private Internet Access Review; Security

The most basic thing and for which the VPN has grown so immensely is the security and privacy which a user get with this tool. I have seen some of the popular security protocols while proceeding on the Private Internet Access review. However, the location of PIA VPN is not an ideal one for the customers as it is located in the US.

The US is deemed a bit risky place as it has some strict laws regarding internet usage and privacy. Also, there are some major surveillance identities such as CIA and NSA; therefore, it is possible that the Private Internet Access gets a notice for service shutdown or more threatening is the demand to hand over all the customer private data without notifying the users.

Fortunately, the PIA service has maintained features which assure improved security and privacy. The Encrypting options of Private Internet Access provide the users numerous choices to select between security OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP.

OpenVPN is the best security protocol with the encrypting channels such as AES-128 and AES-256. The fastest encryption mode is AES-128 with a moderate security; however, AES-256 is the most secure encryption. There are numerous privacy setup combinations that a user could select according to his need and usage. On VPN Encryption page of PIA, you could get detailed information about the encryption setting and modes.

Also, the PIA VPN has a SOCKS5 proxy and P2P support. These are some rare features in VPN providers which make internet browsing safe for the customers.

No log Policy

The privacy of a VPN also depends on the policy the provider has kept for the user data which is received by them. Private Internet Access has a brief privacy policy in which I have seen just a short sentence regarding their logging policy which is; “PrivateInternetAccess.com does not collect or log any traffic or use of its Virtual Private Network (‘VPN’) or Proxy.”

However, the detailed information is provided in the FAQ section in the article “Do you log’. They claim that the information is never kept with them and if for instance the logs are maintained for a short period then PIA redirects it to a null device instead of storing it on the hard drive. Here you can get more details about PIA logging policy.

Other Privacy Features

There are certain distinct privacy features which I have noticed while Private Internet Access review. These features add on to the privacy of a PIA VPN customer in which the main features are Kill Switch and IPv6 Leak protection.

The Kill switch helps in securing data through blocking all the internet traffic when VPN connection drops unexpectedly. On the other hand, the IPv6 leak protection prevents leaking of IPv6 address outside of your VPN tunnel.

They also have an ad blocker which automatically blocks all the intrusive ads from your internet browsing. However, a thing I have noticed while Private Internet Access review that they don’t allow customization for PIA MACE ad-blocker and sometimes it is unable to block ads.

Private Internet Access; Features

private-internet-access-features

Servers Locations

The server network of PIA VPN is quite restricted in terms of countries. They are a US-based VPN provider located in Michigan having more than 3000 servers in 28 countries all around the world. Their server locations might be less than most of the VPN providers, however, the increased number of servers allow a decent chance of unblocking restricted content.

Also, the advantage of server switching is that you can check for a speedy server if your current server is not performing well. The speed implications might be due to the server load or may be that it is located far from your real location.

Performance

I have tested the speed of PIA VPN with connecting different servers so that it could be figured out that which server is performing well.

When different servers are tested during the Private Internet Access review, the speed performance was adequate and satisfactory. The most efficient and well-performing servers were from UK and Germany; however, the others were also adequate. Also, the speed performance varies with the security protocols and the fastest protocol is L2TP.

Therefore, if you require fast speed with moderate security such as while torrenting then you could go with this protocol and a server location where the torrenting laws are flexible.

I have also tested the PIA service for different leaks such as IP leak, DNS leak and most importantly, the WebRTC leak. Fortunately, the results for PIA VPN were positive and there were no IP leak, DNS leak or WebRTC leak.

Compatible Platforms

Private Internet Access is compatible with all the popular platforms such as Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Windows. Also, you can install it on your DD-WRT and Tomato routers.

Also, they have a free extension for Chrome users and an Android app. The free extension provides you the limited features as compared to their premium version; however, the app is almost like Windows or other platforms. The features are same and also the encrypting protocols options.

Websiteprivate-internet-access-website

 

Visiting the PIA website I found easy access to all the vital information about their service as well as to the link pages. It is an informative channel and the display has easy directions for the main information you need.

The basic information such as pricing packages, VPN features, server locations and other details about PIA services is displayed on the homepage. However, at the bottom of the home page, you can find the easy links to other pages.

Unlike other VPN sites, Private Internet Access review has revealed a fact that this VPN service hasn’t obscured any kind of details. They provide easy access and directions to numerous issues and information a customer would need.

Pages such as VPN encryption provide detailed knowledge for every user with different needs. Yet, the VPN blog section is very beneficial for the new VPN users as well as for the ones who are using this technology from an adequate time period. Along with blog section, PIA VPN official site provides easy guides and FAQ section including the video tutorials.

Website details and information is a vital part of VPN service as it makes easy for all the customers to run the VPN smoothly and efficiently. Unfortunately, a prominent feature of many VPN websites is the live chat support which is absent from the PIA VPN. But another great feature of PIA website is, a reader is able to view the website in 18 different languages.

Customer Support

A massive miss and lack of Private Internet Access customer support is the absence of live chat support. Although they have a detailed informative section such as guides, blogs, and FAQs but a 24/7 customer support has a fast response and most users find it a more convenient option for issue resolving.

On the other hand, they have a contact us page where you can submit your query. However, when I have submitted an issue to test their services for Private Internet Access review, the answer from them was received after hours. Also, the feedback from customers shows that they are facing troubles while contacting the customer support team.

But still, it is good to receive the response in a time period of hours instead of waiting as long as weeks.

PIA While Torrenting

As far as the torrenting is concerned, I am satisfied with the downloading capacity of PIA VPN as it offers unlimited bandwidth and you don’t get stuck with data limits. Yet, I have to face a bit slow downloading as compared to other browsing activities with PIA connection.

However, a beneficial thing about PIA is the kill switch feature. While torrenting I have to face connection drops most often and because of the kill switch the internet is automatically disconnected to avoid IP leak and anonymity destruction.

Another thing I have noticed is that the PPTP protocol has an adequate speed performance while torrenting because this protocol provides the fastest speed with a bit low security.

Comment from discussion PIA for torrent?.

Comment from discussion PIA for torrent?.

Streaming With Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is a good VPN for streaming purpose. I find many streaming channels working accurately with this service; however, it was incapable to unblock Netflix. The main cause for such issue might be that the Netflix has blocked many VPN channels and PIA is probably one of these providers.

Yet, the other streaming channels were working efficiently and I found a smoother YouTube streaming when connected to PIA. Also, the Private Internet Access review from other individuals show that they are quite satisfied with the streaming performance other than Netflix.

Private Internet Access Setup

Setting up PIA VPN is really easy and all you need is to enter the email address and a payment method through which you would subscribe the VPN. There are methods such as Bitcoin or Gift Cards that allows you a completely anonymous subscription without giving any kind of private data.

They will email you the log-in details once you are done with the payment procedure. Now you can log-in from the website and download the VPN client for your device. There are the options for the platform you are looking for the download. Also, you can find the setup guides for different platforms on the PIA website including the video tutorials.

Conclusion

After this Private Internet Access review, I came to a conclusion that this VPN provider has all the major features of a VPN with some drawbacks. However, when we compare the price of PIA VPN to other providers it is really cheap and extremely affordable.

Also, they gave the same features for all the individuals allowing tweaks to the VPN subscription. Therefore, it is a good consideration for the ones who are looking for an affordable VPN service which is equally reputable and efficient in working.

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Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist. She has done her Masters in Mass Communication. Topics related to cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Big Data and other privacy matters are extensively covered by her on various platforms. You can follow her on twitter.

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