Private Internet Access VPN Review
PIA offer Cheap VPN service,Good Windows client with Fast connections,7-day money-back guarantee
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a virtual private network that allows you to hide your IP address and geographical location keeping you private and secure when searching the internet. PIA is based in the US and has over 3415 in 25+ countries giving you plenty of options in terms of geographical location as well as allowing you to connect from just about anywhere in the world.
Along with great server options, PIA has great connection speeds, 24/7 support, a simple but flawless Windows client, 7-day money back guarantee, strong encryption, multi-device compatibility and a cheap price plan, making it one of the best VPN services in the business. All features will be discussed throughout the review.
- Over 3415 servers
- Strong encryption
- Fantastic client
- Cheap price plans
- Speedy connections
- Various security protocols
- 7-day money back guarantee
- Slow(ish) support responses
- Performance can fluctuate
- Only available in 25 countries
Pricing and Packages
PIA starts off with some of the cheapest VPN price plans on the market, offering a monthly price of just $3.33. Prices and price plans are very important in any VPN service as price is one the biggest factors when it comes to actually purchasing the software, and PIA does not disappoint. It should also be noted that, like many good VPN services, PIA does not discriminate between price plans and you will receive all the same features as you would if you were to purchase any of the other plans. As with most VPNs, the more committed you are to their service, the better the price, and PIA offers three different price plans: monthly, semi-annually and yearly.
The cheapest and most affordable price starts off at $3.33 a month for a year’s worth of the service, and you’ll receive a 52% discount for choosing this package. The price begins to go up as you commit less and less to their services, with the 6 month package coming in at $5.99, creeping up to a further $6.95 for their monthly package, which is still cheaper than most other VPN services.
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Any good VPN service should offer multiple ways to purchase their services and PIA does exactly that! VPN services want you to be safe on the internet and for you to be protected, and this obligation should also be present in their payment gateway options, preventing you from being tracked and scammed. As a result, PIA offers the option to use all major debit/credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, as well as the secure third-party application – PayPal. PayPal is one the most secure and easy ways to pay on the internet and it is no surprise that PIA allows its customers to purchase their software through this particular gateway.
In addition, for the most paranoid of online buyers, PIA also gives the option to purchase using Bitcoin, the most reliable and untraceable cryptocurrencies in the industry. Bitcoin is completely anonymous and does not link your payment with any of your personal information, making it perfect if you want to remain completely anonymous. One thing I did notice that I have not seen with other VPN services was the ability to use gift cards to pay, which is another genius way to stay private and secure as gift cards need no personal information to be used!
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Setup and User friendliness
Setup was a little different to other VPN software and took a little more effort, taking approximately 10 minutes. Once you have navigated towards the download section after purchase, you must choose the correct software you would like to download. I chose Windows as that was the system I had running at the time. Once you’ve chosen, the VPN will begin to download and you must follow the instructions PIA lays out, which include running the application as the administrator, etc. All tutorials are very straight forward and easy to navigate. In addition, once the installation is complete, you don’t need to restart your system, which is always good. You will be then greeted with a login page as seen on the right. Enter your details and then press save, after which you’ll be good to go.
The client is simple but effective and has a whole host of options. What’s fantastic about the client is that it is almost entirely available from your desktop tray (just beside your computer clock in the bottom left) and can be activated and deactivated from there. However, if you want to make some finer adjustments, you will have to right-click the little PIA icon in the tray (looks like a green/red man as seen to the left) and click settings. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be taken back to the login screen, where you will have the option to adjust the ‘advanced’ settings.
The advanced settings offer you a bundle of choices, such as encryption settings and connection settings. For encryption, you can decide on how encrypted your data is, having the choice between a 128-bit to a 256-bit encryption, and you can also choose how your data is authenticated and can choose your handshaking options also. In addition, you have a load of options in terms of connection, such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection and port forwarding for P2P.
As previously mentioned, PIA has thousands of servers, 3415+ to be exact! This massive number allows users to have a lot of options when it comes to connecting to a server that will provide you with good speeds. One thing I was hesitant about was that they are only available in 25 countries, which is fairly low when you compare it to other good VPN services. However, PIA’s connection is solid and with all the servers they have available it is no surprise. Connection speeds rarely drop and are consistent across the board! That being said, speeds, although good, did fluctuate occasionally. Nonetheless, the network was great and it gave me plenty of options.
In addition, don’t be put off by the fact the software is associated with London Media Trust Inc. The company is based in the states and therefore is not subject to log checks and other annoying security laws that UK services are subject too.
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Any great VPN service should offer multi-device compatibility and PIA is no exception, and actually allows you to connect to an amazing 5 devices at once, including your computer, smartphone and tablet, supporting both IOS and Android.
As we live in an age where we are moving away from bulky devices like computers and laptops to more portable devices, we need to stay protected on the move, so it would be unprecedented to see a VPN service such as PIA not offering multi-device compatibility. PIA also offer a detailed setup guide and FAQ for all devices and all the support is incredibly helpful.
The mobile clients are very similar to the windows client and offer all the same options. The client is simplistic and tidy, and there was no speed decreases. The client worked smoothly and I was impressed with its quality.
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Like many good VPN services, PIA offers 24/7 customer support, as well as an excellent FAQ section and knowledge base. The most annoying thing about the support though, was that PIA has done away with the live chat option leaving only a ticket based support system. In addition, the support was fairly slow and the team took a while to respond to any of my queries.
They weren’t slow by any extreme means, but it was one of the only small issues I had with the service. In addition to their knowledge base, they also have a series of online videos demonstrating their software and showing how to setup and use it. Moreover, they also have a superb blog with tons of articles relating to VPN.
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Privacy and Security
PIA runs a very tight ship and offers some of the best security and privacy on the market. Not only does it have great security and encryption, it also gives you a whole host of options and allows you to mix and match different levels of security. The system allows you to encrypt your tunnels with AES-256-bit military encryption, authenticate data with SHA256 and handshake with RSA 4096, this will, however, slow down your system. In addition, a number of security protocols are offered including PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN. Of course, OpenVPN is currently the best and safest option so it would be a no-brainer to choose it over the other options.
As there are many different options and ways to customise your security, PIA offers are load of tips and suggestions on how to setup your security, making it easy for even the most novice of users. Furthermore, PIA has a strict no logs policy and actually doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever. When they were asked to hand over logs to the FBI, they replied with something along the lines of “how can we hand over something that doesn’t exist?” This strict log policy is well praised and will ensure you remain secure and private on the web.
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Free Trial and Refund Policy
Unfortunately, there was no sign of a free trial around the website, which is disappointing as anything free creates a unique selling point and a reason to give it a go. Free trials usually result in a purchase anyway so I don’t see why they don’t offer one. They do, however, offer the choice to get a 7-day money back guarantee, allowing you to get your money back if you are not satisfied with the service.
Honestly, I see a lot of companies offering 30-day money back guarantees and I believe that other VPN services should jump on board, it shows a commitment to your own service and that you feel customers will be satisfied enough to continue to use it.
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PIA is an incredible VPN and is possibly one of the best on the market at this current period in time. They offer a ridiculous amount of servers that have an above-average connection speed, they have an amazing, simplistic client that allows you to make a whole host of changes to your security and they also run a tight ship when it comes to logs and privacy.
The only issue I had is that their support should bring back live chat and that they should look into expanding their network to more remote countries. Other than that, this VPN is truly amazing and is highly recommended.
Private Internet Access named as PIA offer anonymous VPN based in US which is one of the trust and leading VPN providers,The Price is one of the absolute superiority compare with other VPN service.