Private Internet Access VPN Review

Private Internet Access VPN

$9.95/month
8.9

Pricing & Subscription Plans

7.0/10

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Speed & Server Locations

9.0/10

Security & Privacy

10.0/10

Streaming

9.0/10

Online Support

9.0/10

Additional Features

9.0/10

Pros

  • Has internet kill switch protection
  • Supports P2P function & split tunneling
  • 256-bit AES, SHA256, and RSA-4096
  • Can block adware, malware & trackers
  • Has DNS leak & IPv6 leak protections
  • Supports PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec
  • Supports SOCKS5 (Proxy) VPN protocol
  • Has port forwarding system & encrypted Wi-Fi
  • Zero-logging policy & can access Netflix US

Cons

  • No phone support system
  • Monthly subscription price is higher

Private Internet AccessVPN Review

Private Internet Access VPN was originally released in August 2010 by Andrew Lee who happened to be an American entrepreneur and a crowned prince of Korea. Later on, the virtual private network provider became a subsidiary of London Trust Media, Inc. Private Internet Access gained recognition among competitors throughout the years that resulted in a successful merger with Kape Technologies in November 2019. Kape Technologies is known for running 2 other competing VPN platforms which we know as Cyberghost and Zenmate. As of today, Private Internet Access is one of the reliable software companies engaged in the development and production of virtual private network platforms in the industry. Read the full Private Internet Access VPN Review below to know more.


Jump to:

Pricing & Subscription Plans
Who is it for?
Ease of Use
Speed & Server Locations
Security & Privacy
Streaming
Online Support
Additional Features
Conclusion


Pricing & Subscription Plans

Private Internet Access has 3 subscription plans available as of this moment. I can avail of the monthly subscription plan of the VPN provider for only $9.95 per month. I can also try the semi-annual subscription plan for a one-time payment of $35.95. If I translate the advance payment in terms of monthly amortization for the semi-annual subscription plan, it will only cost me $5.99 per month.

Aside from that, I can get the best value of the VPN service if I choose to pay for an annual subscription plan for only $39.95 each year. If I do a cost-benefit analysis, it will show me that it will only cost me approximately $3.33 a month for that particular type of subscription plan. There is also a hidden benefit if it is my first time getting the yearly subscription. I can use Private Internet Access for additional 2 months free of charge if it is my first time to get the yearly subscription. It is important to take note that it is just a one-time offer. So, if I’m subscribing to the annual subscription for the first time, the monthly computation of price would only be at $2.85 per month.


Monthly Plan
Monthly
$9.95
$9.95/Month
10 simultaneous connections
Semi-Annual Plan
6 Months
$35.95
$5.99/Month
10 simultaneous connections
Yearly Plan
1 Year
$39.95
$3.33/Month
10 simultaneous connections

Furthermore, I learned that Private Internet Access offers a 30-day money-back guarantee program just in case I don’t want to continue using the service. Regardless of the subscription plan I signed up for, the payment made will be refunded with no questions asked. Of course, there are payment methods wherein payments made deemed non-refundable. It includes PayGarden and PIA gift card purchases.

In the case of cryptocurrency payment, I will need to give a valid cryptocurrency address to be able for my payment to be refunded. Since this type of payment is highly volatile, I learned that the amount of cryptocurrency paid will be the basis of the refund and not the actual value in the US dollar.

I can pay via credit cards, bank transfers, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Beam, Mint, Bitpay, as well as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, BitcoinCash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash, and Razer Gold. I can also purchase a subscription plan through PayGarden and PIA gift cards. There is no free trial option as of the moment for the Private Internet Access VPN provider. Private Internet Access also allows up to a maximum of 10 devices connected simultaneously to the virtual private network platform.

Private Internet Access VPN - Pricing 1

There is also a “Refer a friend” program wherein both I and the one I invited will get 30 days of free VPN service from Private Internet Access.


Who is it for?

If you want to protect your identity while browsing the internet, then I advise you to use virtual network platforms such as the Private Internet Access VPN. It will prevent prying eyes from knowing your real identity, browsing history, as well as your location history. With a VPN connection, you can protect yourself against espionage, unwanted social engineering, and persona profiling. A virtual private network such as Private Internet Access is also a powerful tool to give you unrestricted internet access especially to countries and regions where there are strong internet censorship and geo-restrictions. If you want an additional layer of security through a firewall system, then the use of virtual private networks is best for you.


Ease of Use

It is very easy to sign up for an account and purchase a subscription plan that is being offered by Private Internet Access. First, I need to select a subscription plan and click the “Sign up now button.” Second, I need to select a payment option. Third, I need to type a valid e-mail address which will be used to give me additional instructions to finish the sign-up process. Fourth, I need to click the “Pay now” button.

 In order to use the VPN platform on my laptop or desktop computer, I need to download the desktop client version of the virtual private network system on the webpage of the VPN provider. Once downloaded, I need to run the program on my computer and install it properly.

Private Internet Access is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux computer operating systems. The virtual private network is also compatible with both Android & IOS mobile devices. I can also get web browser extensions for Private Internet access for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. The VPN provider also works well with routers such as Netgear R6400, Netgear R9000, and Linksys WRT3200ACM.

Private Internet Access VPN - Ease of Use 1

Once I’m inside the desktop client version of Private Internet Access VPN, I can modify the following settings:

  • Launch on System Startup (enable / disable)
  • Connect on Launch (enable / disable)
  • Show Desktop Notifications (enable / disable)
  • Language (select language)
  • Theme (Dark or Light)
  • Tray Icon Style (Light, Colored, or Classic)
  • Dashboard Appearance (Attached to Tray or Window)
  • Allow LAN Traffic (enable / disable)
Private Internet Access VPN Review - Ease of Use 0000011abc

Other settings and features not mentioned above are discussed under security and privacy section as well as the additional features section of the Private Internet Access VPN Review.


Speed & Server Locations

Private Internet Access has approximately 3,351 servers located in various locations across 31 different countries worldwide. The VPN platform is still planning to add more servers in more countries in the next few years. Another thing that I learned is that the VPN provider only uses bare-metal servers for better performance and for better security.

In 14 different locations in the United States alone, Private Internet Access has 1,525 servers. It is then followed by the Netherlands which has access to 548 servers concentrated in 1 location. Canada has 246 servers in 3 different locations. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has 188 servers in 3 locations. There are also 110 servers in 3 different locations in Australia. There are also 100 servers in Sweden.

Private Internet Access VPN - Server 1

The rest of the servers are located in Germany, New Zealand, Albania, Norway, Denmark, Finland Switzerland, France, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Poland, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Israel, Mexico, and India. We can see that the distribution of servers across geographical regions is well-balanced. The company is also happy to announce that the VPN platform does not limit the speed. In fact, supports unlimited bandwidth.

Check the table below to know more about the latency, upload speed, and download speed of the Private Internet Access on different locations based on independent tests I personally conducted.

Server locationPing [ms]Download [Mbps]Upload [Mbps]
No VPN (Phillippines)107.2410.95
USA (New York)2426.919.51
United Kingdom (London)3784.349.66
Canada (Toronto)3335.798.99
Australia2207.6710.02
Netherlands3977.559.94
Singapore2764.344.23
United Arab Emirates3693.8810.21
Average278.135.979.19

Security & Privacy

There are 3 different levels of data protection systems that Private Internet Access is currently implementing. First, the VPN provider is using both the 128-bit AES encryption system and the 256-bit AES encryption system.  Second, the virtual private network platform uses both SHA1 and SHA256 as data authentication systems. Third, Private Internet Access uses 2048-bit and 4098-bit RSA handshakes.

While settings can be adjusted, the virtual private network provider advises that I should use the maximum recommended protection of the combination of 256-bit AES, SHA256, and RSA-4096. However, I learned that the default option is the combination of the AES-128, SHA1, and RSA-2048 setting. As the user of the VPN platform, I have the power to customize the settings. I also don’t have to worry about a breach of data privacy since the VPN platform uses a zero-logging policy.

Private Internet Access VPN - Security 1

In order to establish the VPN connection, I need to click the circular switch on button found in the graphic user interface of the desktop client version of Private Internet Access VPN. Once I do that the VPN connection will automatically initiate. Once connected, the VPN system used an I.P. cloak system that masks the true I.P. address that I’m using. It then issues a false I.P. address to spoof my location.

Private Internet Access VPN - who is it for 1

In order to select a VPN server location or to change my virtual location, I need to click the “VPN Server” menu option just below the circular switch on button on the graphic user interface. Once I click that, a drop-down menu containing the complete list of VPN server locations will immediately appear. I need to select and click one of the VPN server locations listed. After That, I need to click the circular switch on button again to establish a VPN connection.

Private Internet Access VPN Review -

Aside from that, I can bypass geo-restrictions and internet censorship quite easily. I can gain unrestricted access to internet services of the USA, France, Switzerland, Romania, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, and the Netherlands. Furthermore, any blocked software program by my local internet service provider can be opened and be readily available when I’m connected to the VPN system.

Private Internet Access currently supports PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and the SOCKS5 (Proxy) VPN protocols. The virtual private network also runs on a tier-1 multi-gigabit private network. In terms of data privacy, the VPN provider abides by the rules set forth by the GDPR.

Private Internet Access VPN - Feature 3

Streaming

Private Internet Access VPN can bypass geo-restrictions and VPN blockers of certain video streaming services such as Netflix US and Hulu. In fact, I tested it thoroughly and it only took 20 seconds before the Netflix US video I selected played without any technical issue. I also have not experienced video buffering in between. However, there is no assurance that it will work on all video streaming sites aside from the ones mentioned.


Online Support

Private Internet Access has strong online customer support as evidenced by the presence of user guides, knowledge base, and frequently asked question (FAQs) pages. I can also create a support ticket to voice out my concerns. On top of that, there is a chat support system and a 24/7 e-mail support system on the website of the VPN provider. 

Private Internet Access VPN - Support 1

Additional Features

Listed below are the advanced features of Private Internet Access VPN.


Private Internet Access MACE

The VPN provider has a revolutionary feature called Private Internet Access MACE. It is a technology that can block adware, malware, and trackers. I can easily switch it on or switch it off by going to the privacy preferences section of the desktop client version of the VPN provider.

Private Internet Access VPN - Feature 1

VPN Kill switch (Internet Kill Switch)

The VPN provider also has a disconnection protection feature that works as an Internet kill switch. By activating this feature, I can’t access the internet without connecting to one of the VPN servers of Private Internet Access. It also blocks access to the internet if the VPN connection is dropped and disrupted. The feature works efficiently based on my experience.


Split Tunneling

The VPN provider also supports the split tunneling protocol. If I activate this feature, I can select which applications that uses internet connection pass through the VPN connection and which ones are going to bypass the same established VPN connection.

Private Internet Access VPN - Feature 2

Port Forwarding

The VPN provider also has a port forwarding feature. Once activated, it will forward a port to my VPN I.P. to my local computer.


P2P & Torrent

Private Internet Access also supports the P2P VPN protocol that allows secure data transmission. Because of this feature, I can also upload and download torrent files easily.


Mobile Applications

I can download the mobile applications of Private Internet Access VPN through the Google Play Store for Android and in the Apple Store for the iOS mobile devices. I always use the mobile application systems of Private Internet Access VPN whenever connecting to public Wi-Fi to encrypt my internet access and to enjoy anonymous web browsing at the same time.


Other Features

PIA has its own firewall system. It also has an IPv6 Leak Protection. It also has an encrypted Wi-Fi system that I can use. The VPN system also has a DNS leak protection.


Conclusion

As to privacy and security, Private Internet Access is one of the best. Once connected, the VPN system used an I.P. cloak system that masks the true I.P. address that I’m using. It then issues a false I.P. address to spoof my location. I can set the encryption to maximum protection using 256-bit AES, SHA256, and RSA-4096.

Netflix US and Hulu can also be viewed and accessed. The VPN provider can bypass the VPN blockers of these particular video streaming services. The video I selected played without any technical issue. I also have not experienced video buffering in between.

Online customer support is also very good. On top of that, server speed tests I conducted also showed that the VPN servers of Private Internet Access is also good enough in terms of upload and download speeds.

The VPN platform is also known for its advanced features such as the VPN Kill SWitch, Private Internet Access MACE, and split tunneling. I recommend you to test and further use the VPN system of Private Internet Access provided you subscribe to the annual subscription plan for more affordability.


I hope I answered all your questions within this Private Internet Access VPN Review. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section down below!

Ryan Rommel Rosario

Ryan loves eating blueberry cheesecake and watching movies at the same time. When not rewatching the John Wick trilogy for the 11th time, he spends his hours doing research, writing and data analysis. He also takes great care of his privacy & presence on the web.

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