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 & 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
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.