Private Internet Access (PIA) is a well-priced VPN service for everyone with fast speeds, extremely secure, and unblocked for Netflix in the US. With the fastest local connection speed, Private Internet Access provides compelling applications for all platforms and torrent support on all of its more than 20,000 servers. The difference between Private Internet Access is that it has a zero history policy that is verified through server seizures and many real-world cases.
|service name||Private Internet Access (PIA)|
|Number of positions||Over 70 Countries|
|Number of servers||More than 20,000 servers|
|Equipment used at the same time||10|
|Protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|Customer support||Talk directly|
|Logging policy||Not logging|
|Price||From $ 2,13 / month|
|Free trial||Not available|
PIA uses industry-leading encryption protocols including OpenVPN, AES-256 cryptography, and Perfect Forward Secrecy. This is exactly what makes Private Internet Access one of the safest VPN providers on the market.
- The speed is very fast
- Works with Netflix and the US BBC iPlayer
- Torrenting is allowed on all servers
- Advanced coding and customizable
- It doesn’t work in China
- US-based not privacy friendly (Five Eye’s jurisdiction)
This VPN service is also considered to be one of the cheapest VPN services available today. PIA monthly package’s available price is $11,95 per month Or you can keep costs down $3,33 if you pay one year in advance. The best value can be found with a three-year package, costing only $2,19 per month. This equates to a saving of 82% over a monthly plan. Once you make a payment, Private Internet Access offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can use 1 account on 10 machines with many different applications for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux.
Aside from the one downside of accessing geo-blocked websites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney, we just mentioned, Private Internet Access is a great budget option for VPN users. We spent months of testing and analyzing for VPN Private Internet Access review, read on and decide to install PIA today!
Private Internet Access has an extensive server network covering 94 top locations and 74 countries.
20367 VPN and Proxy servers at 97 locations across 76 countries. All servers support WireGuard. A complete and specific listing can be found on the Private Internet Access main website.
PIA only uses a single client physical server for its VPN network. These are served locally and do not run in any form of modern virtualization and cloud storage. Customer privacy and security are at the forefront with Private Internet Access, so we have tested and found this to be true even as a VPN expands its infrastructure.
However, unlike most competing VPN providers, Private Internet Access does not offer a Dedicated server for streaming, torrents, or a static IP address.
We wanted to see which servers perform best for sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, along with server load so users can see where the bottlenecks are at any given moment. As of now, most users will have to switch to their closest servers to find a location that is right for them.
The PIA VPN servers are spread out as follows:
- Europe: 41 countries
- Asia: 17 countries
- North America: 6 countries
- Africa: 5 countries
- South America: 3 countries
- Oceania: 2 countries
Its servers are mainly located in Europe and North America, and a lot of other parts of the world. In practice, this means that wherever you are, you can connect to a nearby Private Internet Access server.
Do you know? The biggest advantage over Private Internet Access’s server network is that it operates the largest number of servers we’ve ever seen from any VPN provider.
PIA has 12,204 VPN servers concentrated in 74 countries. This means local traffic is spread across multiple servers, reducing congestion, and improving performance.
Does PIA support virtual server placement?
The virtual host location assigns you the IP address in the location you chose even if the physical server is located elsewhere.
Virtual server locations allow some VPN providers to provide IP addresses in countries where physical servers cannot be located. For example, here is how to VPN HideMyAss provides a North Korean VPN server.
They can also improve performance if the physical server is closer to your physical location than the IP address you specified. However, if the physical server is much further away from your physical location than your ad, you may also see a significant drop in performance.
Private Internet Access covers a lot of countries because 41% are virtual server locations. These servers are clearly labeled in the app with a globe icon and can be disabled by disabling “Include geotagged areas” in the app’s settings.
Performance and Speed
When it comes to local connections, Private Internet Access is the fastest VPN on the market.
We measured an average loss of just 3% when connecting to a nearby server, with speeds dropping from 92Mbps to 89Mbps. These local speeds are among the fastest we’ve ever seen and are close to the speeds you’ll get when you’re not using a VPN.
The long-distance speed of Private Internet Access is less impressive. We measured our connection speed dropped 66% when connecting from London to the US – from 92Mbps to 31Mbps. This is disappointing, but fast enough for streaming, torrenting, and other data-intensive activities.
We recorded an average speed reduction of 72% when connecting to Singapore. This degree of speed loss is not unusual for long-distance connections, however, competitors like ExpressVPN saw a drop of just 19% when we connected from London to the US.
USA (New York):
If you are planning on using a VPN primarily for connections to a remote server, then you might want to consider an alternative provider like ExpressVPN or Hotspot Shield.
Although its connection speed with international servers is not the best, we found that the PIA speed was consistent and reliable. We didn’t experience any sudden drop in performance and found that connection times were always quick.
All our VPN reviews go through the same scientific speed test, and we always use the protocol. OpenVPN to keep it fair and consistent.
If you want more details, you can read more about our speed test method here.
How fast is Private Internet Access compared to other VPNs?
The chart below compares Private Internet Access’s average speed loss with 17 other popular VPNs with our custom VPN speed test tool. We use our infrastructure and resources to test the quality of the VPNs.
Use our Speed Test Tool to compare the speeds of private PIAs across different cities.
Private Internet Access is the fastest VPN on local connections. However, for the past eight weeks, PIA has been outperformed by NordVPN over a short-distance New York connection.
However, this is blazingly fast speeds from the PIA, and it comfortably beats other top performers, like ExpressVPN.
What is most impressive, however, is its fast speed which is its stable and reliable service. During this time, the speed of Private Internet Access dropped in the range 80Mbps to 86Mbps, while the speed of ExpressVPN was more discrete and ranged from 60Mbps to 76Mbps.
This means PIA can always be trusted to give you the fast internet speeds needed for streaming and torrenting.
Sadly, Private Internet Access costs less than international connections. When connected to Frankfurt from New York, PIA’s speed is less impressive and more stable than other sharks in the industry.
Security and Privacy
Private Internet Access is an extremely secure VPN. We ran some security tests and found that it will encrypt internet traffic and reliably hide your IP address.
Private Internet Access supports OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2, and L2TP / IPSec protocols with the option to choose between UDP and TCP connections. The default settings protect your connection with 128-bit AES encryption, although you can manually select the AES-256 passcode in the setup interface.
The new Private Internet Access introduces support for WireGuard, a new and promising VPN protocol. Initial tests show that WireGuard has a significant speed benefit over other VPN protocols while maintaining a high level of privacy and security.
WireGuard is an interesting technology, and it may even surpass OpenVPN to become the best VPN protocol out there in the future. It is encouraging to see that PIA is continuing to make strides in improving its VPN service and offering users new options. However, WireGuard is still under heavy development and should be avoided for now. Unlike OpenVPN, which has been continuously improved over 18 years of open-source development, WireGuard still hasn’t had time to prove its viability when it comes to privacy and security.
There are built-in IPv4 and IPv6 leak protection, DNS leak protection, and VPN kill switches on all platforms. Our tests found no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leak in any application other than the PIA browser extension.
Private Internet Access also owns and operates its own DNS servers, which means that your DNS requests are handled by Private Internet Access itself, not your ISP. Applications are also flexible – Windows clients can also be set up to use any custom DNS of your choice.
All Private Internet Access applications are open source, which means that other third-party developers can check for software security vulnerabilities.
Experienced users will also appreciate PIA’s advanced security features, which are easily enabled in the app’s settings. Including:
- VPN interrupt switch
- SOCKS5 proxy
- Anti-malware and tracking
- Dividing the tunnel
- Port forwarding
The desktop client also comes with a command line interface that can be used to automate some application functionality using scripts. This is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, and is explained in detail on the PIA support website.
Chrome extension comes with a host of additional security features including the ability to block location access, third-party cookies, website referral links, etc. We will explain each of the enhancements in more detail. later in this review.
Manual configuration is supported with OpenVPN, L2TP / IPsec, PPTP, and SOCKS5 and the company has now introduced the WireGuard protocol.
Overall, Private Internet Access performed well in all of our security tests. Windows, macOS, and mobile VPN clients effectively encrypt your traffic, and the anti-leak features work well for keeping your data secure. While other VPN services offer many more advanced features, you can count on PIA to protect your data.
Unlike many other VPN services, Private Internet Access gives you detailed control over the algorithms and protocols used to encrypt your data. The ability to adjust your encryption settings is helpful for optimizing performance and configuring the VPN to suit your needs. In general, the stronger the encryption you use, the slower your speed will be.
The default setting protects your connection with OpenVPN and 128-bit AES encryption. You can raise the encryption type to AES-256 (CBC or GCM) in the settings menu and even disable encryption entirely.
If you’re not sure what these numbers mean, be sure to read our beginner’s guide to VPN encryption, where we explain all the details.
The bottom line
In short, PIA offers the strongest encryption available, along with the option to choose the setting that works best for you.
However, the safest settings are not selected by default, so we recommend changing them to the following configuration:
- VPN protocol – OpenVPN UDP
- Data Encryption – AES-256 (GCM)
- Handshake – RSA-2048
Platforms & Devices
Private Internet Access provides custom apps for every major platform including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can also use PIA on up to ten devices simultaneously, double the level allowed by most VPN services.
There are browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, as well as custom apps for streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Manual setup instructions are also available on the PIA website to help you guide you through older operating system versions.
Private Internet Access is easy to install and use on all platforms, but you can still request support.
Thanks to recent improvements, PIA’s customer support is just as impressive as other top VPN providers. This is because the PIA customer service team is now ready for the adoption of 24/7 live chat.
Live chat can be started from the lower right corner of the Private Internet Access website homepage. You are then asked to enter your account details, such as email and account ID, before connecting to the support staff.
When you connect with a PIA support agent, you will resolve your problem within minutes. We realize that all PIA support staff are knowledgeable, courteous, and responsive.
In terms of online resources, there is a repository of knowledge Large, searchable with articles on troubleshooting, account issues, technical problems, etc.
Private Internet Access is an extremely fast VPN with strong security and some great technical features making it ideal for privacy advocates. If you are looking for a cheap VPN service that offers good performance and security, Private Internet Access is a great choice.
This service is well-suited for torrenting, with its verified no-logging policy, efficient VPN break-off switch, and allowed P2P activity on all of its servers. It continuously unblocked Netflix and the US BBC iPlayer, while also offering a slew of attractive apps with a host of advanced settings.
While PIA jurisdiction in the United States is a legitimate concern, we still rely on Private Internet Access as their strict no-logging policy has been verified through numerous real-world incidents.
While a 30-day money-back guarantee and simple interface make PIA great for beginners, a VPN isn’t suitable if you’re looking to bypass internet restrictions in a heavily censored country or access many international streaming libraries.
If you are looking to stream US Netflix or increase your security on public WiFi networks for an affordable price, then Private Internet Access is a VPN worth considering.