About the Company
Private Internet Access, widely known as PIA, is an online pricy and security service (VPN). PIA is managed by London Trust Media, Inc. before you think that the company exists in London, guessing by its name; let us tell you that it basically is located in the US. PIA is a very innovative company and is actively involved in the technical community. Apart from offering online privacy and security services, they also sponsor a number of groups and projects that support online privacy and freedom.
We have thoroughly reviewed PIA and will discuss in detail about each of its feature below:
Private Internet Access’s VPN network is spread in 30+ regions. PIA has strategically deployed 2784+ severs in 19+ countries that handle over 2784000 Mbps! PIA certainly is one of the biggest VPN networks we have come across so far.
The pricing plans are the next thing we love so much about PIA apart its network. There are a number of VPN providers that offer basic services but charge big amounts of money while PIA is feature-packed yet charges fairly. PIA’s packages start from as low as $6.95/month, which is very reasonable. There are currently three packages they offer;
- Buy VPN Monthly: $6.95/month
- Buy VPN (Best Value): $39.95/year
- Buy VPN 6 Months: $35.95/6 months
The best thing about each of the plan is that they all come with same features (more or less) and so the user doesn’t have to think too much before selecting a package. The only thinking part is to decide for how many months one needs the VPN.
PIA scores more points with the number of payment options it offers to the customers. There are a total of 14 payment methods as of now that include all major Credit and Debit Cards i.e. VISA, PayPal, American Express etc. If you have a gift card (Starbucks, Target, Walmart, Macy’s and over 100 more), you can even pay through that, anonymously! Last but not least, PIA also supports the most commonly desired payment method Bitcoin.
Protocol Support & Encryption
PIA provides you access to their VPN via OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec. OpenVPN focuses on offering the users up to AES-256 for datastream encryption, RSA-4096 for handshaking and SHA256 for data authentication. Users have the power to choose their desired protocol to carry out various activities with ease.
We connected all three protocols on different devices and checked the stability and speed of the VPN connection. On the recommended servers we got good speeds and perfect stability. However, on a couple of random servers we saw our connection dropping but that wasn’t a frequent instance. So in totality, the protocols and encryption is pretty strong and trustable.
The VPN can be easily used on all the major devices and operating systems including iOS, Android, Consoles, Routers and so on. PIA offers custom VPN clients for Windows, Android, Mac OSX and iOS. The clients are easy to configure as all they require is downloading, installation and entering the user credentials. The server, protocol and/or purpose selection is required on the time of connecting the VPN. Various easy to follow guides are available on the official PIA website to help the users in case they find difficulty setting up the VPN on their desired machine or OS.
All the Apps are user-friendly, fast, stable and pleasing to the eyes. While the iOS uses L2TP, PIA has also provided easy to follow setup guide to configure VPN on iOS using open-source OpenVPN protocol, which provides a secure internet environ. The Android users, on the other hand, get a native OpenVPN-capable App with OpenSSL. It provides one the safest and impressive suite of options our team has seen on the platform. The App automatically connects on Startup, provides a stable connection, protects users on public WiFi and so on.
If you are a fan of P2P file sharing then PIA is a good VPN option for you. PIA offers a number of servers from different parts of the world for using P2P clients for uploading/downloading content with ease.
PIA is amazing when it comes to multi-device support and multi-logins. You can configure and use PIA on 5 different devices simultaneously. All you need is 1 account credentials and they will be good for 5 connections. You can keep 2 logins for yourself and give the rest to your family members so that they can also become secure, anonymous and restriction-free.
We figured out that there are two policies about which we must inform all of our readers, they are:
Money back guarantee: PIA offers a 7 days money back guarantee. This is to give skeptical customers an opportunity to try out a new VPN service before actually starting to pay for it or to continue using it. 7 days money back guarantee, according to us, is pretty useful.
No-logs policy: Unlike a number of VPN providers, PIA does not keep logs and they clearly say it everywhere. This is a noteworthy thing keeping in mind that the company is located in the USA. PIA even promotes the usage of anonymous P2P filesharing, which is exactly what a lot of users look for.
We contacted the customer support to find out how good they are. PIA offers live chat feature on their website through which we got connected to one of their representatives. Though we had to wait for about 5 minutes before a customer support executive responded to our query, the answers were to-the-point, which saved precious time. We, however, had to enter a name and e-mail address in order to connect to the representative but haven’t received any particular e-mail from PIA so it can’t be said if the company uses this info to send marketing material or ads to the users.
The representatives are very knowledgeable and helpful, which would definitely take away most, if not all the frustration of an annoyed customer. We contacted the live chat again and talked to another support executive and the response was similar; smart and helpful. PIA also has a fully-featured knowledge base that offers over 135 guides on variety of subjects. Users are also given the power to submit support ticket, with ‘estimated answer time’ being shown on the front page.
Innovative Features or Special Add-ons
Though PIA is one of the best VPN services out there today, it doesn’t offer adequate Add-Ons or special features. Lack of Add-Ons, however, doesn’t make PIA any weaker at all.
Dedicated IPs – Yes
PIA’s dedicated IPs are perfect to go anonymous and carry out day to day professional or personal activities with an IP that nobody else would ever have access to.
Internet Kill Switch – Yes (Not Really) P
PIA’s website claim that this feature comes with the service but actually it doesn’t. The feature is there but to configure it is impossible and even team PIA has confirmed this themselves on their official forums.
Streaming Booster – No
Online Gaming Support – No
NAT Firewall – No
Web Protection – No
Anti Malware Protection – No
Encrypted Email – No
Stealth Browser – No
DDoS Attack Protection – No
Below we will mention the pros and cons that you should be looking at while making your decision about whether to buy PIA or not:
- Diverse range of encryption options
- Strong encryption and handshaking availability
- All the major protocols are supported
- Clients are available for all the major devices and operating systems
- Doesn’t keep logs
- Doesn’t offer Nat Firewall, Online Gaming Support, Anti Malware Protection and DDoS Attack Protection
PIA Clients and Website lack the visual appeal but its core service is amazing. PIA is rightly known for its commitment to user privacy and support for P2P file sharing. The DNS leak protection, custom encryption, powerful Apps and affordable costs make PIA a very competitive VPN service and one that users must try out for experiencing a securer, anonymous and restriction-free internet.