Launched in August 2010 by London Trust Media, INC., the Private Internet Access VPN (PIA) has turned out to be the most widely used VPN. The question, therefore, arises, is the PIA reliable enough for serious usage despite being one of the least expensive ones? In order to respond to this inquiry, we bring you our comprehensive Private Internet Access VPN review 2022, where we discuss our observations on the VPN’s server network performance, app usability, and the encryption technology behind their service.
The download speed of a VPN is one of its key components. You’ll experience exorbitantly sluggish speed if you join up with a slow VPN. That has happened to us countless times, particularly while evaluating StrongVPN and Mullvad’s speeds (20 Mbps out of 100). However, everything seemed to be going well with Private Internet Access. As usual, we tested the VPN’s speed in locations including the US, EU, Asia, and the UK to ensure the accuracy of our PIA Private Internet Access VPN Review.
|US Server (New York)
|EU Server (Amsterdam)
|Asia Server (Hong Kong)
|UK Server (London)
These findings suggest that PIA is a reasonably fast VPN. Although it’s slower than NordVPN or ExpressVPN, it’s still an “OK” choice since it’s less expensive. Remember that speed is crucial and that your choice of VPN software has a big impact on it. A VPN connection may be sped up in a few different ways, but its greatest benefit comes from the VPN servers themselves.
Logging is the process of keeping track of and documenting data points related to your VPN usage. For instance, your internet service provider (ISP) will keep a record of the websites you visit and the personal data you used to connect to those websites (like email or ISP). Additionally, they are able to sell such data. In order to track their use and enhance their services, certain VPN providers may record specific information, such as your sign-in and sign-out times. According to PIA’s “no logging” policy, neither traffic nor will communication records be tracked or observed.
However, it does keep track of certain data, including your email address, payment information, and those customers who wish to utilize the optional control panel through a temporary cookie.
Your data is encrypted using 128-bit standards by default, which is a decent but not ideal security level. However, you may increase your data encryption to the industry standard of 256 bits, which will result in an extremely safe connection.
Additionally, you have the option of selecting the encryption level for both your data verification and handshake. This aids in the server and your computer confirming the legitimacy of the connection and the data being sent. The 2,048-bit encryption key for RSA-2048 and SHA-1 are the default values. It’s incredibly difficult to break that. However, you may use SHA256 to twice the size of the data authentication key and increase the maximum key size to RSA-4096.
To provide the greatest security, we advise utilizing the highest settings. However, if you absolutely need more speed, you could think about following the default advice. We strongly advise against using the Risky Business option, even though it could seem like a smart idea if you need more speed for torrenting or streaming.
PIA is a good option if you search for a VPN that won’t impede your torrenting. Peer-to-peer file sharing is not subject to any restrictions or monitoring by them. You may download anything you want using any torrent software you choose, certain that your account won’t be suspended or your connection slowed down.
Although P2P is enabled, the Private Internet Access website does not clearly state that the firm permits torrenting. That’s something, then. However, the VPN has gained notoriety for being torrent-friendly, and as a result, users see them as a reliable option for file sharing.
Compared With Other VPNs.
Having a reputation is quite important in the world of VPNs. One of the greatest reputations in the industry belongs to Private Internet Access vpn. Since it first appeared in 2010, PIA has always offered dependable service. It received the Most Stable VPN Award at the end of 2017, which is really significant.
Although PIA has won several editors’ choice awards, we will never know whether the results were biased or not. There haven’t been any significant concerns raised regarding the VPN’s devotion to privacy, despite the fact that it often appears on “best of” lists.
Being in operation for close to 20 years is unquestionably an indication of status in the VPN industry. Due to its standing and durability, PIA is a fairly secure option. The business also backs several groups that improve the internet, including as the Software Freedom Conservancy, Blender, Inkscape, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Creative Commons.
The most widely used operating systems supported by PIA are Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and Firefox. Additionally, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browser extensions are available.
Technically, the VPN also supports routers. But doing so will need some manual configuration using OpenVPN. You may connect gaming consoles and smart TVs to such routers.
PIA claims to provide “24/7 North American” assistance, but the only way to contact them if you’re interested in their services is via live chat, which is unfortunate. That, in our opinion, indicates that they have support staff in North America. On the plus side, they also provide a unique Twitter account for customer care. We investigated that network to discover how they deal with clients. Despite Twitter’s concise format, the good news is that they continue striving to provide thorough responses.
The fact about Private Internet Access review is situated in the United States is an issue for a lot of individuals. In the industrialized world, the US has some of the harshest, most privacy-invasive surveillance regulations, and this also applies to VPN services. Privacy groups are concerned because the government has been known to use covert warrants to compel VPNs to turn over user data.
Naturally, PIA has very little information to provide to the police if they show up at their door since they don’t maintain records. But the truth is that they could be required to disclose whatever information they have on you, including whether or not you’re a client and how long you’ve been a customer, assuming they have any information at all.
The government could monitor your connection if there are claims that the NSA has cracked the encryption on certain VPNs. That’s less probable if you follow the instructions for optimum security.
We often steer clear of VPN providers situated in the US due to a confluence of surveillance legislation and intelligence-sharing agreements. But that does not imply that everyone must have it.
PIA Pricing, Plans & Facts
|Monthly; $9.95 per month
|Annual $5.99/month ($71.88/year)
|$3.49/month for two years ($83.87 for two years)
If you’d like to commit and prepay for longer, PIA offers a single plan with tiered pricing. This keeps everything nice and easy. You may also receive a terrific discount if you’re willing to pay for one year in advance. Below are the pricing plans for PIA.
A 7-day money-back guarantee is provided. So over the course of a few days, you may test out the service. You may easily request a refund of your money if you are unsatisfied at all within those seven days.
It’s interesting to note that PIA allows a wide range of payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin (which could also help you add another layer of privacy to the transaction). Additionally, they take gift cards from well-known stores like Starbucks, Costco, Best Buy, Target, and others.
To sum up our Private Internet Access VPN review, here are some of the main points worth pointing out:
- No activity logging: Only payment and email information is kept track of. The VPN program is simple and easy to use, despite its more than 60 MB large installation size.
- No upsells.
- After payment, you do get immediate access.
- DNS leaks: built-in security (though you should always test it yourself).
- United States jurisdiction.
- Protocols: PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and Socks5 proxy.
- Kill Switch: Users can activate or disable it; however, some have discovered that it doesn’t operate as reliably as they would want (We recommend testing it yourself).
So, do we recommend it?
With a large number of servers strategically placed across Europe and North America, PIA provides outstanding coverage. However, fewer servers are spread out over the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania, and there is just one lone server in Brazil for customers in South America. Hence, coverage isn’t as good there.
All significant protocols are supported by PIA, along with cutting-edge encryption techniques. They have among of the lowest yearly prices in the sector. A seven-day money-back guarantee is available if you want to check them out. So, all in all it’s a decent VPN if you wish to choose.