Private Internet Access Review 2023

private internet access review

Private Internet Access is a VPN provider managed by London Trust Media, based in the USA. PIA, being the most popular VPN, bypassing geo-restriction, mass surveillance, malware attacks, and cyber crimes.

Throughout this Private Internet Access VPN review, you’ll find our favorable inclination towards PIA; because for our experts, it is one of the most successful VPN players; thanks to its affordability and top-notch security features. PIA also complimenting P2P file sharing, DNS leak protection, internet kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, ultra-fast speed and a lot more.

Let’s critically analyze the company’s vision, which is as:

We’re bringing the Internet back to its original state. We’re bringing power back to the people.”

What’s the original state of Internet? Freedom of expression!

This claim can be crossed check against the level of anonymity PIA VPN offers; this VPN also has anonymous payment options. The only concern we’ve with this is its jurisdiction, but this can be set-off with its strict no logs policy to clear the air of doubts.

The company also owns other businesses including Block Explorer, Freenode, Snoonet, Kore Asian Media, and Kinglife Family; means highly diversified. This could be a trust-building marketing strategy or might prove of the credibility. In this PIA VPN review, we find it quite appealing when finding the roots of PIA.

Q. Does PIA VPN works in China? Yes & No

While updating this review, it’s quite hard to say yes or no in black and white; means it’s working and not working. If you’re in Beijing, the possibility of connectivity is moderate, moving towards villages areas, the connectivity will die down completely; even ISPs play a role in this regard.

But hold on! What are the providers are saying? Feel free to have a look!

private internet access in china

When it comes to VPN subscription, the first thing we look for is the plethora of pricing plans; so, let’s begin with that. Means the company has already admitted being in trouble in maintaining connections within China; look elsewhere to grab the one which is working in China.

Private Internet Access Pricing & Plans

PIA VPN has three affordable options;

  • Monthly Package: It costs $11.99/month.
  • Two years Package: It costs $56.94 for first two years, which makes the monthly cost only $2.19.
  • 6 Months Package: It costs $7.50/month.

private internet access price and discount

The dual year plan seems more affordable, what say? It depends on your usage, click here to go with this plan.

You must have already witnessed the small line in the snippet that relaxes you a bit as far as your precious bucks are concerned, but what about the free trial?

Q. Does PIA Offer any Free Trial? Simply, NO

Sadly, no surprises here! PIA VPN does not offer free test-drive; compensatory seven-day money back guarantee is available. Our experts consider guarantees more advantageous than fake claims including free trials; you’ll always end up with limited accessibility with all the free trials.

Don’t like the service, get your hard-earned wealth back without justifying your reason.

Since PIA VPN is not for free, so, get any one of the given payment options.

PIA VPN Payment Options – Backed By No-Log Policy!

PIA payment methods range from simplest to anonymous; you can pay via credit card, PayPal, or anonymously using bitcoins and major gift cards (Starbucks, Bestbuy, Walmart, etc.).

Paying anonymously alleviate your fear of being traced back by the government surveillance and further protect your digital footprints. To expand the list of payment methods, PIA VPN has also introduced Z-cash acceptability.

Some other Payment methods are,

  • American Express
  • Discover
  • CashU
  • OK Pay
  • MasterCard
  • Ripple
  • Pay Garden
  • Gift Cards (Walmart, Starbucks, Macy’s etc)

To measure the value of money that you’ll be spending, you need to weigh the cost with the benefits or the features being offered; so, here we are to help.

Astounding Features of Private Internet Access

  • Strong Security

PIA is capable enough to protect your sensitive data using advanced protocols and tunneling techniques to encapsulate the data, providing the well-rounded security; means no data is lost without hijacking the connection, the traffic is protected.

  • Robust WiFi Encryption

PIA VPN encrypts WiFi by encoding the transmission of data between your device and the router, creating several security layers to prevent data locally from internet criminals. VPN encryption turns your data into cryptographic gibberish that nobody can decipher, and interestingly you can also customize the encryption.

Encryption is the core element to deal with privacy and security. PIA offers unbreakable encryption of AES 128-bit and 256-bit encryption levels; have a look.

private internet access wifi encryption

  • Range Of Protocols

PIA offers three tunneling protocols – PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec; liberalize your freedom. Though these protocols must be beyond your understanding, a netizen even don’t need to know in detail. But for the sake of necessary know-how – PPTP offers shallow security with a minimal effect on your internet speed, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is for the legacy users, who require absolute anonymity and security, while OpenVPN is the latest, fastest yet safest protocol.

For better understanding, give this, a read.

There is a slight inconvenience with PIA’s client software – allows you to select data authentication and handshake settings, but has a default OpenVPN protocol setting; to use any other, configure it manually.

  • P2P Support

Use the PIA VPN torrenting option and decentralize your communication by anonymizing routes of your network traffic. It provides a massively parallel computing environment, prevailing the distributed storage and its functions. PIA enables P2P file-sharing without any limitation – be it servers or anything.

PIA has special servers in different countries when it comes to torrenting; means they are optimized for a better experience.

Note: Since downloading content via Torrent is considered illegal, discouraging VPN providers being torrent-friendly, but PIA is taking that risk. But this does not mean that the provider is encouraging criminal activity; it only allows legal downloads within a country where torrent is permitted.

  • Block Ads, Trackers & Malware

PIA VPN added an ad-and tracker-blocking service called MACE. Upon engaged, this tool restricts movement-tracking pesky ads across web pages, making webcomic artists to earn a living by sharing users’ digital footprints.

  • Unlimited Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the network’s carrying-capacity, indicating the maximum amount of data can transfer between servers per unit time. PIA allows “unlimited bandwidth” ideally this means – faster the transferring-data, more the download/upload in a given frame of time.

  • Automatic Internet Kill Switch

PIA offers a neat feature of a killswitch, to prevent your IP address from exposing and leaking your identity; it shuts your internet connection as the VPN disconnects and resumes once VPN connection restored, without letting the streaming services to know the presence of a VPN. It also possibly interrupt an essential task in the middle.

  • No traffic logs – zero-logging policy

Although, PIA VPN is a UK based VPN provider which means they have to follow the rules enforced by the UK government that’s nothing other than keeping a record of user’s online activities.

But, don’t worry! PIA does not store your online traffic, following a zero-logging strategy; means PIA have very little (Your email address, Payment data, and Clients who opt to use the optional control panel) to share if authorities knock them out. But don’t forget the jurisdiction has more power and the VPN provider is helpless.

Due to surveillance laws and intelligence-sharing agreements, our experts tend to avoid those based under 14 eyes surveillance; though it’s not necessary for everyone.

  • DNS and IPv6 Leak Protection – Nothing Detected

DNS leak protection disables a user’s DNS server and connects them to a VPN’s DNS server. PIA has its DNS server to handles all the DNS queries. Does these jargons sound unfamiliar? If yes, then have a look!

DNS ensures 24/7 anonymity, whereas IPv6 Leak Protection automatically disables your IPv6 network address. Windows XP users need to check it as PIA won’t cripple their IPv6 network address automatically if they have enabled it manually.

We’ve tested the leak protection, and this is what we’ve recorded;

  • Ease Of Usability

Private Internet Access is quite spartan to operate, even a non-techie can sign up, install and start using right away; download in your little sister PDA and forget about removing malware again.

Want to go through the Private Internet Access download process? Have a look!

  • Clicking sign-up will open a pop-up window asking payment method.
  • After selecting a suitable payment method, you will be given to fill your login credentials.
  • Once subscribed, head over to the download area and get the software; don’t be stressed, all the popular platforms are being complimented.

To setup PIA on your router, go to its support center. If you don’t want to face the hassle, get the PIA’s pre-configured routers – to connect and go to Private Internet Access login page – or else concerned to the detailed guides for all the well-known router firmware.

Already subscribed, but not happy? Cancel the subscription.

Q. How to Cancel PIA VPN Subscription? PIA Won’t Mind!

Canceling subscription varies with the payment methods you’ve chosen to pay with; for plastic money, log into the Client Control Panel and click the cancel button and for OKPay, log in your payment account, locate the subscription and cancel, rest can simply skip the payment option to let the account expires automatically.

Features are done, what about streaming dynamics; to stream, we want a large number of servers. Let’s find out the servers of PIA VPN.

Private Internet Access VPN Servers – It’s Expanding…..

Private Internet Access is operating from Michigan in the US, giving access to 3335 (last verified in March 2019) servers and proxy servers in 33 in 53 geo-scattered regions respectively.

Find the entire list here.

private internet access vpn servers

Q. Is PIA VPN Torrent-Conscious? Ofcourse

Yes, we’ve already mentioned that Private Internet Access is one of the Torrent-friendly, most affordable, and security conscious VPNs out there. Being torrent-friendly, PIA VPN does not have a bossy nature of being restrictive in providing torrents.

Subscribe to any of the PIA VPN plans and enjoy anonymous SOCKS proxy service to expand the flexibilities in anonymizing torrent downloads.

Let’s talk about compatibilities – for those who own more than one PDA.

PIA VPN Apps And Compatible Devices – More Than Expected!

In this regard, PIA VPN is the best alternative to consider. PIA runs smoothly on all the devices and OS including Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome extensions.

Even your routers (DD-WRT, Tomato, Lede, Merlin, PFSense, and ASUSWRT), will also be secured; no extra labor is required, but some manual setup.

Let’s see what our experts are upto regarding the given compatibility.

  • PIA Android App

private internet access vpn android app

Android, being a reliable and do-everything smartphone, making a prime target for hackers to to break into; thanks to PIA for cashing the opportunity with an Android-compatible app for free but with paid subscription.

A dedicated app has all the features (mentioned above) following the similar outlook pattern with that of windows; within the app, you can decide between TCP and UDP, when using public WiFi.

Don’t forget to check the Smart Packet options; shrinks the data sent by phone; decide which app/s should be VPNized. We didn’t find slow browsing while securing high-value apps.

  • PIA VPN iOS App

private internet access vpn ios app

The popularity of iOS made it a primary target for hackers to steal the data; the need for a VPN is paramount. Following the similar app structure, PIA’s iOS app is more than the page with a toggle the VPN on & off. An iPhone app shows your IP address, but lacks features as its Android cousin; you cannot enjoy Smart Packet options but, does include the MACE ad and malware blocker.

  • PIA Mac App

Here’s a catch; you won’t find PIA VPN Mac app in the official Mac store. You’ve to download its VPN clients through their website. Unlike others, PIA has an honest-to-goodness installer; no more clicking and dragging the app.

Once installed, Private Internet Access app remains un-Apple in outlook, but bang-on the speed and performance of PIA in MacOS, especially when connects to a local VPN server; the case is quite the opposite with international server.

  • PIA Windows App

The Windows app of Private Internet Access a feature-rich customized VPN client with top-end features and options; you might not find its front-end most stylish front but, the functionality is simply outstanding.

Accessibility of the app is most comfortable, keeping all the features at fingertips; be careful! The kill switch is a bit moody, and don’t rely on the app for being an update on its own.

Q. Is PIA VPN good for Online gaming? Of course, YES!

VPN for gaming, are you serious? Yes, because only a VPN can solve problems like global connectivity, data caps or throttling, slow speed and lagging; so don’t stress your gaming moments and acquire downloadable geo-restricted content, earn locale-specific achievements, or do whatever you want.

PIA let you purchase newer versions of your favorite game that are the cheaper or might not be available at all; don’t worry! PIA will also protect you from DDoS attacks, hackers’ ideal tool to gain notoriety.

Q. Is PIA Netflix-friendly? Neither YES, Nor NO

Netflix ban – a fight in which every one of us is somehow involved, thanks so much for technologies like VPN; a straw for drowning man!

PIA’s support forums have already confirmed that they’ve been working day and night to find ways to escape from Netflix’s detection.

We tested three servers – United States: New York, Canada, United Kingdom, and faced the same dead black screen:

Interestingly, the server in Texas worked successfully; one out of four is cool, when the majority players don’t even try to work with streaming giants.

Netflix-fanatics look elsewhere!

A service is well-balanced when you’ve someone to talk with for queries; PIA lacks this balance a bit.

Customer Support – Not Bad!

After sale service of Techs like VPN are the crucial enforcers or we consider -something more than necessity – to retain the clients; customer service representative becomes a life-saver when you are in the middle of trouble.

PIA VPN offers 24/7 North American support, but lacks the life-saving tool – live chat; help will be offered via the ticket system (waiting for weeks). 24/7 means continuous availability, but if you contact them in the middle of the night, you’ll get the response in the morning; 24/7 huh.

It’s not the end of customer support; PIA has content-loaded yet clean and categorized FAQs, find your query using the search bar to narrow down the relevant result. Or, to assist yourself, go to the client support page and see all the possible guides and manuals.

Other than that, you can also contact them via their condensed medium – Twitter account; we reached and received a detailed answer.

Last but not least, find out our speed test results.

PIA VPN Speed Test – Faster Than Many

EU – Amsterdam 41ms 81.46 Mbps 40.30 Mbps
US – New York 118ms 77.56 Mbps 36.75 Mbps
Asia – Hong Kong 283ms 69.98 Mbps 13.04 Mbps
UK – London 48ms 75.67 Mbps 23.00 Mbps

What Do We Think Of PIA VPN?

Private Internet Access – a VPN service which has more servers in North America and Europe, leaving the rest into the expansionary state, with state-of-art protocols and encryption. Price is lowest among all the big fishes in the pond, lacks free trial but offers a seven-day money back guarantee. Although live chat is missing and jurisdiction is under 14 eyes surveillance, but still, this doesn’t affect our favorable inclination towards PIA VPN; so don’t waste any more time and get Private Internet Access in your favorite PDA.

Private Internet Access VPN
9.5 Total Score
Private Internet Access VPN Review

Private Internet Access is a competitive VPN with power pack features and affordable pricing packages; servers are huge, payment options are anonymous, bandwidth is unlimited, no logging policy, but no live chat option and headquartered in the most unsuited jurisdiction for a VPN i.e. US.

Privacy and security
Speed and Performance
Value for money
Ease of use
  • 3000+ VPN Servers in 33 countries
  • Offers PPTP, L2TP/IPSec & OpenVPN Protocols
  • Torrent-friendly VPN
  • Unlimited bandwidth & server switches
  • Simultaneous logins - up to 10 devices
  • Military level AES 256-bit encryption
  • DNS & IP leak protection
  • Multi-platforms compatibility
  • Instant setup & easy to use apps
  • PIA VPN lacks free trial - disappoint the new seekers
  • The servers’ network and customer support still have a room for expansion
  • We would be glad if PIA affords US Netflix accessibility.

Adam Orr is a UX designer turned tech reviewer who lives and breathes technology. A know-it-all geek who has things to show and stories to tell, his reviews and how-tos are a must for those looking for easy read yet insightful information on the highly anticipated tech.

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