Private Internet Access review: A primer on what a VPN does and what to look for in a VPN
Last updated: September 20, 2021
If you’re in the market for a VPN provider, then you’ve probably heard about Private Internet Access (PIA). Being one of the most popular VPNs out there, you might be wondering whether PIA is the right choice for you.
We’ll help you answer that question.
To be precise, we’ll cover everything from features to pricing, technical support, pros and cons, and even potential alternatives so you can make the most informed decision.
Let’s get straight into it.
What is Private Internet Access VPN?
Private Internet Access (also known as PIA) is an open-source VPN service popular for its focus on privacy and security for the casual user.
PIA offers solid security credentials, a privacy-friendly service, and great speeds for torrenting and streaming, especially in the west.
If you’re looking for a VPN provider that helps you download files securely, protects your information from cyber threats, and unblock Netflix libraries in other countries, PIA may be a good fit for you.
As of November 2019, Private Internet Access was acquired by Kape Technologies, the large cybersecurity company behind Cyberghost and Zenmate.
What does PIA offer?
Now that you understand what Private Internet Access is all about, the question becomes: what does it offer? More importantly, is it worth it?
The short answer is that it depends on what you’re looking for.
If you’re a casual user looking for a balance between affordability and reliability and your goal is to get better entertainment while improving your security, PIA is definitely worth it.
To help you make a more informed decision, though, let’s cover exactly what PIA brings to the table, starting with features.
PIA’s top features
In terms of features, Private Internet Access offers everything you need to keep your information secure, including:
Encrypted Wi-Fi: Get access to military-grade encryption and protect your wireless network.
P2P support: Download large files securely and with speed.
WireGuard and OpenVPN: Access lower ping times and much faster speeds.
Adblocker: Prevent advertisers from installing trackers, block ads, and avoid websites with malware.
SOCKS5 proxy: A general-purpose proxy that supports HTTP, SMTP, and FTP traffic.
Multiple VPN gateways: Share available bandwidth with multiple VPN tunnels.
Instant setup: simple, fast, and secure setup to start using the service immediately.
Multi-device compatibility: use up to 10 different devices simultaneously.
Speed and performance
Keep in mind; all VPN services will lower your speed a bit.
You’re never going to find a VPN that doesn’t lower your speed. The trick is finding a service that can keep the speed reduction as small as possible.
As far as speed, we found PIA to be fast enough, especially for Europe, U.S., and Canada-based servers.
On average, speeds on Windows are 25 Mbps, when you have a starting speed of 50 Mbps. iOS speeds were slightly lower, with Apple’s mobile devices seemingly impacted more when the VPN connection was on.
These speeds are enough to load Ultra HD movies from Netflix and other major streaming platforms, access fast torrenting, and experience high-quality VOIP.
Besides, PIA offers multiple protocols, including:
This gives you the flexibility you need to find the fastest server quickly.
NordVPN is an award-winning VPN app widely known for its amazing customer service. It offers a smooth user experience and solid security features, including military-grade encryption, multiple server locations, and DoubleVPN.
NordVPN’s top features include:
Simultaneous connections: Connect up to six devices at the same time.
Uninterrupted streaming: Watch your favorite shows uninterruptedly
Dedicated IP: Never share your IP with other users again
IP masking: Mask your IP and hide your information anytime
Adblocker: Block ads and avoid malware
NordVPN offers three paid plans, which are monthly, yearly, and bi-yearly. Paid plans start at $11.95 per month.
When you purchase a two-year plan, you save 65%.
Also, every plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.