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.
Pricing and 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:
- $6.95 per month
- $35.95 for six months
- $39.95 per year
PIA accepts plenty of payment types, including anonymous ones that allow you to use gift cards that can be purchased at a number of major US retailers.
Free Trial / Money Back Guarantee
There isn’t a free trial or money back guarantee with this provider.
Privacy & Anonymity
PIA does not log your traffic in any way, making it a very private service.
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.
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. The connection tested was a 50mbps/5mbps connection from Albuquerque to Washington DC for the baseline. The PIA server tested was in Texas, hitting the same speed testing server in Washington DC.
IP Check and DNSLeak
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 hardcode 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
- 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
- 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.