Private Internet Access Review

THE BOTTOM LINE: We love that Private Internet Access is 100% open-source, has a strict no-log policy, user-friendly interface, robust security features, and excellent speed test scores. Owned by KAPE technologies, PIA promises to "keep your data secure and your identity private as you enjoy restriction-free browsing." Did it deliver? Find out as we discuss its security and privacy features, server network, speed test results, and more!
👍 PROS:
  • Extensive server infrastructure — 35,000 servers in 78 countries worldwide
  • Connect up to 10 devices simultaneously under a single subscription
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 100% open-source
  • Strict no-log policy and kill switch on all clients
  • Excellent speed test scores
  • Linux client is available, and installation is a breeze
  • Allows customization of encryption algorithm and protocols
  • Offers dedicated IPs in the US, Australia, UK, Canada, and Germany
  • Block malware, harmful scripts, ads, and trackers with MACE ad blocker
  • Available client apps for almost every platform — Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Apple iOS
  • Supports browser extensions and preconfigured routers
  • Live chat option
  • Accepts anonymous payment methods (cryptocurrencies and third-party gift cards)
👎 CONS:
  • Lacks multi-hop connections
Security and Privacy Features

Okay, so let's jump straight into what makes Private Internet Access different from all the other VPNs security-wise. While it has all the standard features such as military-grade encryption, kill-switch, DNS leak, and IP leak protection, PIA does a few things quite differently. First of all, they let you customize your encryption algorithm and protocols, so you can switch between AES-128 or AES-256 or explore a handful of other protocols like OpenVPN and Wireguard. Secondly, Private Internet Access offers dedicated IPs in the US, Australia, UK, Canada, and Germany. Unlike shared IPs, having your own IP address comes with a few obvious benefits:

• You'll notice less interruption on gaming platforms
• Fewer verifications when logging in to sites
• Access private networks remotely
• Bank and pay online securely

Next comes PIA's own proprietary ad-blocking system called MACE ad blocker. This feature is designed to automatically block harmful scripts, ads, trackers, and other malware. If you're tired of ads following you around on the internet or worry about unintentionally installing malware, MACE should give you some peace of mind. On top of all these, you also get port forwarding support, advanced split tunneling, SOCKS5 proxy, firewall, and a Chrome extension.

Server Network

More servers generally equate to faster and more reliable connections anywhere in the world. This means a better browsing experience and lag-free gaming. Private Internet Access will not leave you hanging as it boasts a staggering 35,000 servers in 78 countries worldwide. Even more notable is that it offers multiple servers in regions often overlooked by other VPNs such as Africa and South America.

Speed and Reliability

So, did PIA's extensive server network result in blazing-fast speeds? We tested PIA's servers on three different locations with a base connection speed of 100 Mbps. After connecting to a local server in New York, our speed dropped by a mere 9%. Considering that the average speed loss when connecting to a VPN is between 10-20%, it's looking good so far. Connecting to a server in Australia, PIA managed to output 87.5Mbps. A server in Canada yielded 57.7Mbps, and another in Singapore recorded a download speed of 59.3Mbps. Judging on the result of our speed tests, it looks like PIA is living up to its claim of being the fastest VPN network.

Compatible Platforms and Devices

With a single subscription, you get unlimited bandwidth and simultaneous connections on up to 10 devices. Private Internet Access also has client apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Apple iOS, and browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. Private Internet Access also extends VPN coverage to almost every device in your household with preconfigured routers.

Pricing

Like most VPNs, the longer you prepay, the cheaper your monthly cost becomes. For Private Internet Access, snag a whopping 83% discount when you commit to its 3-year plan and pay only $2.08 per month instead of the usual $11.95. Visit our link to secure this deal and get 2 months free plus an antivirus! Not ready to sign up for three years? You can still get a 72% discount on a 1-year plan. Whatever you choose, you're backed with PIA's 30-day money-back guarantee.

Customer Service

Private Internet Access' support portal is divided into 5 sections: community, guides, knowledgebase, news, and contact us. The articles are extremely helpful, especially the detailed troubleshooting guides. If you don't feel like digging through hundreds of articles, you can jump on the live chat widget located on the lower right corner of the website. Live chat is available between 9:00 - 18:00 Monday to Friday MST. Outside this timeframe, you can submit a ticket or drop them an email at helpdesk@privateinternetaccess.com.
Private Internet Access
9.8
Best Overall

 
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