PrivateInternetAccess (PIA) is based in the United States. They have a simple client that has all the options you need but few bells and whistles. This service is really notable for its convenience in just about every regard, from opening an account to logging on to one of their servers
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Pricing & Plans
Private Internet Access (PIA) offers one plan, but staggers pricing according to the length of time you sign up for. Bandwidth is unlimited on this service. The pricing options include:
PIA accepts plenty of payment types including credit cards, PayPal and multiple cryptocurrencies.
Free Trial/ Money-back Guarantee
Private Internet Access does not have any free trials but their plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Privacy & Anonymity
PIA does not log your traffic in any way, making it a very private service.
Provider Logging Policy
PIA has a strict no-logs policy, and they have the court records to back it up. Privacy is the core of their business, and they never store or share any of your personal information such as:
- Your IP address
- Browsing history
- Bandwidth consumption
- Connection times and duration
PIA’s no-logs policy has been repeatedly confirmed in court. When authorities request data about their customers, they can’t provide it because it simply does not exist.
PIA occasionally gets requests for logs about their users, but since they don’t keep any logs, there’s nothing to turn over. Still, they like to provide regular transparency reports to keep their customers informed about the types of requests they receive.
There are no restrictions on torrenting over PIA. Combine that with the unlimited bandwidth and it’s a very good service for torrent users.
PIA has a live chat option on its site, which provides the easiest way to get support around the clock. There are extensive support guides provided on the site, as well.
PIA has a very compact client, as you can see from the screenshots. It tucks away neatly in the system tray when you connect on Windows.
Additional features including a kill switch and DNS leak protection are accessible from the client interface; two very nice enhancements.
VPN Server Locations
PIA has servers in more than 70 countries and a large portion in their own backyard optimized for US performance.
PIA performed comparably to other big providers where speed testing was concerned. It didn’t blow away the competition, but it didn’t slow the connection down to below broadband range, either.
IPCheck and DNSLeak Test
PIA did not leak our DNS server address. It has a checkbox for DNS leak protection right on the client. If you have trouble with DNS leaks, you can try this option, or hard code a DNS server such as Google’s.
PIA had no issues with changing the IP address.
- PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN TCP/UDP
- Very simple client
- Simultaneous access on up to 10 devices with only one subscription
- Supports multiple platforms
- Add your very own dedicated IP
- Less than $4 per month with 12-month purchase
- No logging
- Plenty of servers to choose from
- Windows, Mac and mobile compatible
- SOCKS5 over Port 1080
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Additional Bonus Features
- Kill Switch
- Dedicted IP add-on
- PIA MACE – ad blocker
- Ease of Use
Areas for Improvement
There were some issues with installing the TAP drivers on a Windows 8 computer, which required them to be re-installed. The error resulted in a series of nag screens.
Kam Hak says
Does your vpn work in a country such as Iran. Thank you
Private Internet Access should work in Iran
Private Internet Access works in Iran with OpenVPN.
Does your VPN work in Saudi Arabia.
Hi, then what about Singapore? whats the speed for a singapore address?
Alan Ho says
signed up for a month and changed to a year.
Works as promised, has great speed and good tech support.
Worked like a charm! Downloading torrents through Switzerland!
Best value for cost ,by far.
They accept Bitcoin yay!
Up and Runinng in Seconds.
(as of dec 2 2012 78 servers in 9 countries us,uk,de,fr,ca,nl,se,ro,swiss)
tom han says
Hong Kong TVB shows are played poorly with its Hong Kong servers. Even many Hong Kong bank sites such as HSBC and CCB have trouble to load. Unless you have a lot of time doing testing for its technical support, you are better to go other VPN service providers.
Don Lewis says
Not very reliable. My service frequently refuses to connect up and have had to remove and reinstall twice in 4 months plus change settings and ports several times.
Spend your money elsewhere.
Paid. Tried to download. Would not download on Windows 7. Does not work on Ipads. Tried to get a refund. No luck there. They kept sending passwords, etc. but since I could not download it, I could not get a refund. Hugh rip off.
I had nothing but trouble with this outfit [PrivateInternetAccess] -constantly dropping connection, no notification that PIA had lost connection, etc. Got my 1st and only RIAA letter while supposedly “protected” by these clowns. Customer service response time was abysmal, almost 72 hrs. Truly their acronym fits them well.
I dumped them for HideMyAss about 2 months ago and could not be happier. Only flaw to HMA is MUCH lower [~70% lower] download speeds when torrenting but it’s worth it for the peace of mind. Fast customer service, too.
A 5 star rating seems entirely too generous. I’ll have to assume you haven’t been a long time PIA customer like I have and may have only given it a quick once over. They were a good value with fast servers and okay support when I first signed up several years ago. But in the last two years they started falling apart. Buggy software with unreliable kill switch. DNS leaks. Mac app takes down your firewall (on purpose). Terrible if not non-existent support that gets worse by the day. Always the same excuse of a “temporary backlog” but in two years they’ve never caught up on the backlog. Hundreds upon hundreds of customer complaints posted on their forums and reddit channel about support tickets never being responded to, including requests for refunds on the so-called money back guarantee being ignored. PIA has gone from a good vpn to one of the worst, much of it probably due to poorly managed growth. Way too much money spent on marketing and none on hiring new support people to accommodate all the new customers. Company morale appears very low as evidenced by most of the competent support people quitting and those being replaced by unqualified ones. On top of everything else they recently appointed Mark Karpeles as their CTO, the same Mark Karpeles of Mt. Gox fame who “lost” $480 million of their customers’ bitcoins, while at the same time $2.3 million mysteriously materialized in his personal bitcoin wallet. Karpeles is under arrest and awaiting trial in Japan for fraud and embezzlement. Even if he’s ultimately acquitted it’s hard to reconcile how PIA could appoint such a bungler (if not a con artist) to be in charge of their security when he presided over one of the biggest online security breaches in history.