There are simply so many reasons that one might need a VPN that we are not all that surprised you have stumbled upon this particular Private Internet Access review. This is 2018 and we understand how important your privacy is to you. With major websites like Facebook under the limelight for misusing user data, it has become all the more important to browse online anonymously so that nobody can misuse your data without your consent. This is where a Virtual Private Network comes into handy.
Private Internet Access is a VPN that has been around for quite some time. It has established a reputation for itself in the private browsing industry as a highly loved and respected VPN for users based on the layers and layers of privacy it provides to browse anonymously online. Isn’t that what we all want? Features such as strong encryption options, reliable privacy policies and an unlimited amount of servers spread out across the globe to improve online streaming are just a handful of what PIA actually provides you. Follow us along on this incredible Private Internet Access review as we analyze every aspect of this VPN that could prove to be highly beneficial for your browsing needs.
Pricing and Plans
PIA is a relatively cheap VPN that gives subscribers a chance to stay with this service a long time. What’s amazing is that PIA continues to introduce cheaper packages to its customers.
In addition to these great packages, Private Internet Access VPN provides you with a 7-day money back guarantee. This means that you can back out at any time if you wish to get a different VPN. This VPN isn’t trying to trap you into its services with its terms and conditions.
Server Locations & Other Features
Private Internet Access VPN happens to be a US based company that is located in Michigan. This particular brand of VPN provides users with 3,402+ servers in about 33 countries spanned out all over the globe. We know that the number of server locations offered by this VPN are fewer than that of its counterparts in the market but, it still happens to be a strong contender in the face. The servers that do exist with this VPN service allow you to unblock so much content online that you don’t have need for more servers.
PIA provides you with many credible and advanced features that include kill switch, DNS leak protection, variety of encryption options, auto-connect feature for multiple supported platforms, SOCKS5 proxy, 5 simultaneous connections as well as the option for peer-to-peer Torrenting.
Among other features, the bonus that you get with PIA is that its official website shows you location, server counts and bandwidth statistics. Moreover, as a user you can select your own individual VPN server and conduct an on-the-spot speed test to analyze just how well that particular server is working out for your device.
Specialized in Torrenting
If you are in search of a VPN that will not restrict your torrenting needs then Private Internet Access VPN might just be the right fit for you as it gives you the option for Peer-to-Peer file sharing. You can use any torrent client you like to download files and be confident in the knowledge that your identity will remain hidden under the strong encryption offered by PIA.
Though the official website of this VPN doesn’t state that the company approves of torrenting, they do officially state that P2P feature is offered to users. This particular VPN has made quite a name for itself for how torrent friendly it is for users which is why people choose it whenever they are looking for a VPN specifically for downloading torrent files anonymously.
Private Internet Access accepts several forms of payments for its packages. Following is a list of them.
- Credit cards
- Gift cars including Starbucks, Walmart and Best Buy.
You can also choose to pay through crypto currencies such as Z-Cash or Bitcoin in order to remain anonymous. However currencies such as Ripple are no longer accepted by PIA as payment.
This VPN originates from the state of Indiana in the United States. This isn’t the most ideal situation for a VPN given that the US government can very easily issue warrants for user data or on any company that is using this service. What this means is that Private Internet Access could very easily be served a gag order by the government where it would have to hand over all user data and it would have no option but to oblige. The United States also happens to be a part of the Five Eyes Surveillance Agreement and is home to organizations like the CIA and NSA.
Zero Logging Promise
This factor makes it very risky for any user to consider using a US based VPN. However, PIA does make up for this factor with its zero logs policy. In this Private Access Internet review, we stress on the importance of looking at this issue from all angles.
Following is a list of privacy features that you get in all plans of Private Internet Access VPN:
- Torrenting ability
- Anonymous IP
- Kill switch
- 3059 servers in 29 countries
- 5 simultaneous servers
Strong Encryption Options
This VPN also offers you varying levels of encryption to choose from.
The default setting for encryption with this VPN is set at 128-bit. This setting is relatively good but it could certainly be improved with future updates. However, users do get a chance to upgrade to 256-bit data encryption which will provide better security but will lag the device a little.
You can choose an encryption option for both your handshake and data authentication. What they do is help your device as well as your server to verify just how authentic your connection is so the data is transmitted safely. The default setting set for these are SHA1 and RSA-2048 alongside a 2,048-bit encryption key which is extremely difficult to crack.
You can also choose to go up to RSA-4096 with the SHA256 key. We recommend that with this VPN, you use the highest level of security options so that you get maximum security while browsing online. But if you prefer speed over security, then the default settings should work beautifully for your device. The default settings may seem appropriate for minimum browsing with speed but if you need a VPN for torrenting needs, we highly recommend using the maximum security settings for ultimate anonymity.
We can talk about the features offered by Private Internet Access VPN all we want but ultimately what it all boils down to, is performance. In order to analyze just what kind of speed and security is offered by PIA to its users, we conducted a series of speed tests for our readers.
Speed Test Results
We first tested our own speed connection and then proceeded to connect our device to several of PIA’s servers for comparing results. Our current internet connected for this test was at the speed of 100 Mbps. Below is the result of this speed test.
We then moved on to connect our device to the US based server of Private Internet Access VPN. Once the connection was successfully connected, we tested this VPN for ping, download and upload speed.
The results of this particular tests are visible in the snapshot we have posted below. The ping went up to 25 ms from 9. The download speed however was rather disappointing given that it dropped to 64.7 Mbps from the previous result which was 95.11 Mbps. There is good news though. The upload speed didn’t deteriorate as much as the download speed did. Before connecting a VPN, the upload speed was 59.57 Mbps and after, it was 58.83 Mbps.
The only issue we faced while setting up the Windows based interface of Private Internet Access VPN was the warning we received against the software by Windows Defender. But once we approved the installation of the 62 MB file, everything else progressed rather smoothly and automatically.
As you can see above, a PIA account has been set up. You don’t need to use your name, email address or a username to register which is one of the biggest pros of this VPN. PIA offers you with a random and cryptic username which contains eight letters along with numbers. Since this username will be difficult for even you to remember (we suggest you write it down on paper somewhere), it becomes impossible for anyone else to crack.
You can change your password but PIA will not give you the option to chance your username which is only beneficial to you in terms of maintaining your anonymity.
It will take you an estimate of 3 minutes to complete the installation of this VPN and to go online on a secure connection.
Online Resources and Customer Support
Private Internet Access VPN does offer you several online resources available on its official website that will help guide you along the installation and setup process. But if the problem you face is more complex, you can always reach out to PIA through email and get a response within 6 hours which is their average response time per query.
On their official website, PIA offers users individual guides on how to set up the VPN on each of the following supported platforms.
- Tomato Routers
Are you looking for a way to browse the internet anonymously without being spotted? Private Internet Access VPN covers most of your needs with its super affordable packages. As this is an unbiased review, we would like to tell you that this VPN, like any other does affect your download speed but that is the price you pay with most VPNs for browsing anonymously. That being the only flaw with this VPN, we would rate this an 9 out of 10, deducting points for slowing down the device and reduced download speeds.