• VPN Protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN
  • Streaming: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max
  • Connections: 10 simultaneous connections
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • RAM-disk mode: Yes

minimum price:

£1.81/monthly

Visit Website

Private Internet Access VPN Review

PIA VPN is a robust, trustworthy VPN that won’t break the bank. Read our Private Internet Access VPN Review and find out more.

Private Internet Access VPN Review

minimum price:

£1.81/monthly

Visit Website
  • VPN Protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN
  • Streaming: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max
  • Connections: 10 simultaneous connections
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • RAM-disk mode: Yes

works on:

Android Android
Windows Windows
Mac OS Mac OS
Apple Apple
Linux Linux
Firefox Firefox
Chrome Chrome

Best For

Budget-friendly protection

STRENGTHS

  • Ten simultaneous connections
  • Reliable no-logs policy
  • Very affordable
  • Great server coverage

WEAKNESSES

  • Inconsistent speed in some situations
  • No free trial

Can you recall the last time you were in Sephora, and your anxiety hit because you picked one too many goodies from the shelves? So, while waiting in the line, you went ahead and naively connected to public wi-fi, logged into your bank account just to see if you have enough funds to pay for all that stuff. How about that time Netflix blocked you from trying to watch your favourite show? We have all been there.

As more people become aware of online privacy concerns, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) have grown in popularity, be it for preventing your information and browsing habits from being exposed or for gaining access to better entertainment and news. If you are wondering what a solid VPN looks like, you should go ahead and read this Private Internet Access VPN Review, and you will understand why you were missing a trustworthy VPN service provider all along.

 

  • What is PIA VPN?
  • Services and Features Offered by PIA VPN
  • PIA Review of Prices and Plans
  • Speed and Performance
  • Privacy and Registration Process
  • PIA VPN Competitors
  • PIA VPN Customer Reviews
  • Wrap Up
  • FAQ

What is PIA VPN? 

Private Internet Access is one of the best-rated VPN service providers on the market, making sure its users browse the web privately and securely. PIA is a US-based company, and it was created in 2010. Today, PIA VPN can brag with its 100,000+ users and a customer base growing faster every day. Since its release, PIA has become one of the best VPN software on the market, offering the best VPN protection for its consumers.

Services and Features Offered by PIA VPN 

Let’s start with the fact that PIA has thousands of VPN servers across 78 countries and 101 regions. These numbers offer higher internet speed and more flexibility since the users can connect to a server that is closer to them.

Logging

When choosing a reliable VPN provider, you would like it to be transparent about its logging policy. PIA’s website claims that the company will not store any information whatsoever that may personally identify consumers. That means that they will not log the used IP address, the websites you visited, how long you’ve used the VPN, or that you accessed the VPN at all, for that matter. Private Internet Access is a safe VPN that knows how to make its users’ online experience untraceable.

Number of Simultaneous Connections

One of the many things that make PIA an excellent VPN provider is its number of simultaneous VPN connections. With PIA’s plan, you can connect ten devices to the VPN at once, making the cost per device significantly low. Although some VPNs have no limit regarding simultaneous connections, PIA’s number is remarkably higher than most VPN providers

Kill Switch

The Kill Switch feature adds to the security aspect of the app. You can choose from three options which are “off”, “auto” and “always”. You should opt for “always” for maximum safety since if the VPN fails for any reason, this option will block your internet connection entirely until the VPN connection reestablishes itself. 

It is worth mentioning that PIA added the Kill Switch feature to their mobile app as well, which is not what the other major VPN providers practice as often. 

Security

PIA’s scores are high on the scale of security and privacy. The PIA VPN app uses the most up-to-date protocols and technologies, and at the moment, it is one of the safest VPNs available. 

The PIA subscription comes with email breach monitoring for free. The system helps you track any potential compromises to your email account and identify the threat before it does further damage (password resetting, identity theft). 

Cybercriminals often use pop-up ads, which are not only annoying but are also dangerous and can infect your computer with malware if you click on them. The good news is that PIA is a secure VPN, and it will protect you from these online threats too. The subscription includes ad-blocking, which is a part of its MACE feature. Whenever the VPN is on, this feature blocks adware, tracking, and malware, which prevents your browsing speeds from slowing down.

VPN Protocols

Protocols regulate how data travels through the encrypted channel, and the protocols that PIA VPN uses are always top-grade. Its apps support WireGuard, OpenVPN, and SOCKS5 (Proxy). Both OpenVPN and WireGuard are popular and incredibly secure protocols that provide much stronger safety when compared to others. The services operate at the TCP/IP interface or at the kernel level, which means that not only your web browser but all of your applications will be secured, as well. The SOCKS5 proxy that Private Internet Access supports is convenient for using P2P applications.

Supported Platforms

Private Internet Access supports most popular platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, which is pretty decent. All of the apps have similar characteristics except for the iOS app, which does not have the MACE ad-blocking feature. Moreover, there is a Private Internet Access Chrome extension, but the VPN has browser extensions for Opera and Firefox too. The downside of these extensions is that they only secure your browser traffic but not the other activity on your computer.

If you are in the mood for some manual setup, you can also opt for the router protection option, which is compatible with DD-WRT, Lede, Merlin, PFSense, Tomato, and ASUSWRT routers.

PIA Review of Prices and Plans

Aside from the robust features, what determines PIA to be even more attractive and popular, is its pricing system. The prices are very reasonable if we compare it with other paid VPN providers with similar features, which usually charge more for their service.

In all of the offered plans, you get the same features together with the ten simultaneous connections. What significantly affects the price of each plan is the duration of the subscription, meaning the longer the subscription, the cheaper the plan will be on a monthly basis.

There are three plans included: monthly, yearly, and three-year plan. The prices start from £8.09 for the monthly plan, £2.71 a month for the yearly plan, and only £1.81 a month for the three-year plan. We can all agree that the best value plan is the three-year one. 

1 Month 1 Year 3 Years
Monthly Price £8.09 £2.71 £1.81
Total Price £8.09 £32.49 £65

PIA VPN offers a 7-day trial period, but only on the Android and iOS mobile apps. Still, this is enough time to test out the PIA VPN and determine if the features fit your needs. However, PIA also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which covers all of the plans, supposing their service does not meet your expectations.

Private Internet Access offers multiple payment methods which can pretty much meet all different preferences, including:

  • Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover)
  • PayPal
  • Cryptocurrencies (Bitpay, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum)
  • Popular retail gift cards (Starbucks, The Home Depot, Walmart, Target, and 70 more).

The fact that PIA offers plenty of payment methods is good, but what is even better is that you can pay anonymously for your membership with a retail gift card of your choice and add even more to your privacy and security.

Speed and Performance

Since encryption happens in real-time, a VPN will most probably slow down your internet connection. A lag while browsing the internet and downloading files is something no one would like to experience, which is why VPN providers must have servers in different countries to allow for more flexibility and boost the connection speed.

Private Internet Access VPN has thousands of VPN servers which mean better download speeds as it is very unlikely to overload one server. According to one of the latest speed test results, PIA is above the industry average of 65%, with a VPN speed average of 68 Mbps across all times and locations. Compared with the top two fastest VPN service providers – ExpressVPN (135 Mbps average global download speed) and NordVPN (115 Mbps average global download speed), PIA could use some improvement. However, PIA VPN still delivers good speeds, maintaining its reputation as one of the best VPN service providers on the market.

Concerning latency, it’s worth mentioning that PIA will automatically connect you to the closest server available. You can also choose a server from a list, where you will find each server’s country, city, and ping times, giving you some idea of expected latency.

Privacy and Registration Process

The installation of the app is very effortless, and it will only take you a few minutes, but this does not mean that the steps aren’t carefully described. You have the option to choose between 32 and 64-bit builds. 

PIA’s apps are all simple to navigate and are very user-friendly. The PC apps, browser extensions for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox, and the mobile VPN apps have a similar frontend making it easy to switch between platforms. Once you click the connect button, the app will automatically connect you to the closest available server. Users can also easily select a server location from a list that shows the country, city, and ping time of every server. The settings are easy to access and handle and give you the option to customise the app to your preferences, even though the app is good to go right away without any struggle.

Overall, the PIA VPN app is a great and easy way toward privacy and security, which is everything an average user should need.

PIA Customer Support

PIA has a Support Portal on their website, including community discussions and suggestions, detailed installation guides, a searchable knowledge base with FAQ, and a regularly updated news page alerting users about app updates, new releases, latest issues, new servers, and more. You can also find articles for troubleshooting technical problems with your account, which in most cases should be enough for resolving the issue by yourself. 

Private Internet Access VPN Review | CyberCrew

However, if you need more in-depth advice, you can opt for the 24/7 live chat service and get help from a customer support representative. You can also contact PIA’s agents through email by filling in a form and providing an explanation of your current issue. 

PIA VPN Competitors

Private Internet Access vs Surfshark

Surfshark is a pretty new VPN service founded in 2018, and it is not as popular as Private Internet Access. Both services have similar features, but each offers its unique characteristics. 

PIA VPN is a renowned and established provider offering an impressive number of servers. Surfshark, on the other hand, might be new and not that popular, but because of that low profile, it can get away with unblocking geo-restricted streams and bypassing the Great Firewall of China.

Concerning privacy, both VPNs have strict no-logging policies and robust security features. PIA VPN comes with extras like port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxies, making it a competitive VPN for torrenting and P2P file sharing. 

Private Internet Access vs VPN Unlimited

Another VPN provider with similar features as PIA is VPN Unlimited. VPN Unlimited has a slightly lower price than PIA, and it also offers a lifetime subscription if that is your thing. Both providers have the option of connecting up to ten devices to the VPN at the same time, and they both offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their service. 

Private Internet Access has compatibility with many different operating systems, many servers, and as previously mentioned, it is a superb service for torrenting. On the other hand, VPN Unlimited supports torrenting only on a limited number of servers, which is a downside to this provider when compared to PIA VPN. 

Private Internet Access vs ExpressVPN

Both ExpressVPN and PIA have a good reputation among the most popular VPN providers on the market. The two VPNs have a reliable zero-logging policy and offer a diversity of security and privacy features.

Both providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but ExpressVPN is a bit more pricey. In turn, it remains the fastest VPN service provider to date. The two VPN providers also support the most popular and advanced security protocols and technologies, including a very reliable Kill Switch. 

They as well both provide excellent customer support via email and live chat.

If compared with ExpressVPN, PIA’s VPN services lead in the category of simultaneous connections. With PIA you can connect up to ten devices to the VPN at once, whereas ExpressVPN allows only five.

Private Internet Access vs NordVPN

NordVPN was released a few years after PIA VPN, and it’s also spotted on the list of best VPNs available. Again, it is worth mentioning that both providers have a strict no-logging policy and robust features, including DNS leak protection, adware and malware protection, and a Kill Switch. 

NordVPN has an advantage as it is headquartered in Panama, whereas PIA is US-based, which brings privacy concerns to the table hence the US jurisdiction laws. However, as previously stated, PIA does not keep any logs, and therefore it does not have anything to provide.

PIA has the upper hand regarding the diversity of payment methods as it offers anonymous payment with gift cards. Moreover, NordVPN has a slightly higher price for its subscription plans, but Private Internet Access remains one of the most budget-friendly and best value VPNs. 

Private Internet Access vs IPVanish 

Another provider found among the best-rated VPNs is IPVanish. Compared with Private Internet Access VPN, IPVanish has steadier speeds limited only by the user’s usual bandwidth connection. IPVanish also has the advantage of fully functioning in China, whereas PIA is known to have issues concerning this matter. 

Both VPNs have great features and client apps and support popular security protocols and technologies.

Private Internet Access has the option of 24/7 live chat for communicating issues with their customer support agents, and with that, it stands out when compared with IPVanish, which does not provide a live chat option.

PIA VPN Customer Reviews

Private Internet Access has an excellent (literally) reputation on Trustpilot. Out of 7,200 reviews at the moment, 65% have rated it as excellent. That gives PIA an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars, and therefore it is categorised as an excellent service provider.

Private Internet Access VPN Review | CyberCrew

 

Some of the reviewers have used the PIA VPN for years and highly recommend it to others. You can find across the reviews that PIA’s users are particularly pleased with the number of servers, the speed, the vast privacy, and the strong encryption it offers. Most loyal and new customers are also really content with the budget-friendliness of PIA and firmly believe that it is worth the purchase.

Wrap Up

Private Internet Access VPN service is certainly one to consider if you are after robust features for a great price. This Private Internet Access VPN Review shows that it is just what the average user needs from a VPN provider. PIA is easily comparable with some of the best VPNs in the industry. It scores in many areas, including online privacy, data protection, torrenting, streaming, number of servers, and simultaneous connections, and all of these features for a very affordable price as low as £8.09 per month. If you do not want your data collected and exposed and merely want to make the web a safer place with an easy-to-use service, you should give PIA VPN a try.

FAQ

Is Private Internet Access free?

PIA offers a 7-day free trial for its Android and iOS apps. Also, if you purchase a plan and decide that it’s not the right choice for you, you can get a full refund within the first 30 days of the subscription.

Does Netflix work with Private Internet Access?

Yes, PIA is a great VPN for streaming, and it unblocks Netflix too. Just set up your PIA account, choose a server,  and easily start streaming Netflix titles.

Does Private Internet Access VPN have a Kill Switch?

Yes, PIA has a reliable Kill Switch that significantly adds to the security of the app. If the VPN fails for any reason, this option will block your internet connection entirely until the VPN connection reestablishes itself. Outstandingly, PIA added the Kill Switch feature to their mobile VPN apps as well!

Does Private Internet Access VPN keep logs?

No, PIA won’t log any of your personal information. It has a strict no-logging policy, which is not affected even by the fact that the company is headquartered in the not that privacy-friendly USA.

ABOUT AUTHOR