Private Internet Access Review
- Headquarters: United States
- Servers: 30,000+
- Countries: 78
- Supported devices: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers
- Starting price: $2.03
- The largest server network on the VPN market
- Great speeds
- A top solution for P2P torrenting
- Advanced security features
- Based in the US (14 Eyes Alliance)
- Has some streaming issues
- Some details are “hidden”
Private Internet Access VPN (or otherwise known as PIA) is considered one of the old dogs in the industry, and ranks very high among the best VPNs. It offers a variety of advanced security features, great prices, and a vast server network that allows insane speeds.
PIA VPN works great on many devices. It’s superb for P2P torrenting and is a preferred choice by many VPN users around the world. It offers more than 20,000 servers and has a server in 50 American states.
And while there are some amazing benefits of using this fast VPN, there are some disadvantages to Private Internet Access. The VPN provider is based in the US, and it isn’t the best option if you want a VPN service to stream content. However, the strict no-logs policy gives some peace of mind, so you don’t have to worry that much!
This Private Internet Access review will show you what to expect and what not from one of the legacy players in the VPN industry.
The single most crucial aspect of reviewing a VPN is the way in which it handles customer queries and the quality of the services offered.
PIA receives a very good score in Trustpilot – 4.6 out of the maximum 5 stars, which is greater than NordVPN, Tunnelbear, and AtlasVPN. There are more than 8,400 submitted reviews on the platform. The scores are just a tad worse than what ExpressVPN receives and not far away from Trustpilot’s best VPN choice PrivateVPN.
While we cannot guarantee that all reviews are authentic, we believe most Private Internet Access reviews are genuine. The majority of the reviews received recently are positive, which is a good sign.
The team behind Private Internet Access VPN also provides explanations for negative reviews, which is something that Time4VPN highly regards. There are only a few other VPNs with such practice.
PIA offers 24/7 customer support over live chat and industry-leading documentation – there are plenty of guides with screenshots and step-by-step explanations.
The Private Internet Access app is available on many devices and operating systems. It is a great VPN for iOS and Android, and at the same time, it ranks very high for Windows and Mac OS. One area where it trumps the competition is how well the Linux app is made.
The PIA Windows app has a bit more advanced view, but Mac users have a more straightforward experience with the VPN software. The Linux version is very intuitive, too, making Private Internet Access a top choice for Linux users.
PIA for Android is a bit better than the iOS version, although the latter doesn’t lag behind. You will witness a great user experience, and you will have split tunneling, kill switch, and most other security features available on Android. PIA’s iOS app isn’t stripped, either. It offers everything but split tunneling.
Both Android and iOS don’t support Private Internet Access’ proprietary ad-blocker MACE. However, on iOS, PIA will lead you to Safari’s native ad-blocker. You can also set up a VPN for routers. If you have issues, you can check PIA’s detailed guidelines.
No one can deny that the value for money is what separates good VPNs from the top ones. Private Internet Access price plans are among the best ones on the market.
There are three pricing plans (which are standard for the industry), and the monthly subscription would cost you $11.95 each month. This ranks PIA between PrivateVPN and Tunnelbear (which are cheaper) and Surfshark and ExpressVPN (the more expensive options).
The annual plan will see you pay around $40 ($39.95) or $3.33 per month. It is considerably less than the monthly subscription. In fact, PIA’s annual plan is cheaper than NordVPN’s and Surfshark’s propositions.
And if you want the best value for your money, you should subscribe to the three-year plan. The $79 one-off payment will grant you access to 36 months of use, which comes at a $2.03 monthly price. This is as close as possible to the sub-$2 price, which we consider the best bargain.
On top of that, you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, which is very generous. There are very few top VPNs that offer more (Surfshark and AtlasVPN allow you to use unlimited devices), but it’s way more than ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee which is standard for the industry.
PIA offers some of the most generous security packages on the VPN market. You have access to OpenVPN and WireGuard, as well as the military-grade AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, IPv6 leak blocking, and DNS leak blocking.
Private Internet Access security includes advanced features, such as split tunneling on all (except for iOS) apps, a proprietary ad-blocker – MACE, Dedicated IP addresses, an option to choose between AES-128 and AES-256 encryption, and you can even modify your encryption type and handshake. This is especially useful for gamers who want to experience less lag and latency.
PIA works well in China and bypasses The Great Firewall. However, we still don’t know if PIA owns its servers, as a lot of information is in the “gray zone.” We would love to have that information since the company is based in the US, and it is not without significance to know that.
PIA unblocks many streaming services, including Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and others. There’s a wide range of US servers that work with Netflix US, which is great.
And while Private Internet Access works for Netflix, we have to admit that it doesn’t support many regions, so if your main goal is to use a VPN for Netflix, we advise you to pick another VPN – PrivateVPN and NordVPN are great options.
The supported speeds are quite good, so you won’t have trouble streaming Full HD and even 4K without lag and buffering issues.
If torrenting is your thing, Private Internet Access will satisfy your needs completely. It is among our best VPNs for P2P torrenting. You can protect your traffic with the AES-256 encryption (we advise you not to risk with AES-128 when torrenting) and the best-in-class kill switch.
The speeds recorded are insane, all thanks to the WireGuard protocol, which is fast and reliable. On top of that, port forwarding is available, which means you can seed files.
You should still ensure that you encrypt your traffic well, as the US is one of the countries with the most strict copyright laws. We advise you to protect your traffic and even enable the Dedicated IP address feature.
Private Internet Access speeds are very high. What we averaged on the tests is between 6-8% speed loss on local servers, which is a very decent number.
There is a large server network (20,000 servers) which makes PIA perfect for torrenting and gaming. You can easily connect to any global server without sacrificing more than 35% of your maximum speed. That is much better than many VPN services.
However, we still don’t know how many of the PIA servers are private-owned and what is the portion of virtual servers since this plays a huge role, especially for long distance connections.
Private Internet Access is a high-speed VPN with vigorous security and excellent technical features ideal for privacy advocates. PIA is an old dog in the VPN industry but continues to deliver amazing results, and if you want an affordable VPN that provides great speed, performance, and security, then Private Internet Access is your perfect option.