Private Internet Access (PIA) Review

8.1/10
Popular, cheap, and fast
Last updated: September 19, 2022

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable and well-known VPNs out there. The consistent quality of this service has kept it popular for ages now. But just how good is it?

Minimum Price:
$2.03 / month
Apps available:
windows macos ios android linux chrome firefox opera
Works with:
router
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Often heralded as one of the top VPNs in the industry, Private Internet Access is a dependable security tool with high customizability. Users can torrent safely, utilize dedicated streaming servers for quality entertainment, and benefit from solid protection at a great price. But does PIA actually deliver on its promises?

That’s what I’ll be testing in this Private Internet Access review. Is this provider safe to use? Have the speeds improved, or are they still painfully average? And what about unblocking various streaming services? I answer all these questions below and even cover some controversial topics, like the new owners of PIA – Kape Technologies.

Keep reading to see whether to invest in the product or look further.

Overview

Rank #18 out of 231 providers
Website privateinternetaccess.com
Countries 84+
Servers 29300+
Netflix Yes
Torrenting Yes
Support Live chat, email
Logs Court-proven no-logs
Price From $2.03/month
Free version or trial 7-day free trial

Is PIA good for streaming?

Private Internet Access is a great choice for watching your favorite shows online. It has plenty of bare-metal servers to keep the load down and fast-enough speeds for HD or even 4K streams.

You can easily tune into Netflix US, YouTube TV, or even Hulu. But because the provider primarily focuses on the US, you might encounter problems accessing foreign streaming platforms.

Unblock Netflix US with PIA

Getting access to Netflix US wasn’t a problem, whether I was doing so on PC or mobile. The speeds were good, so the experience wasn’t hindered by video stuttering or buffering. And the streaming quality was decent as well.

pia netflix punisher

I tried a bunch of other locations as well – the UK, Canada, Germany, and Japan – but PIA wasn’t able to unblock these regional Netflix libraries. Therefore, if you want to access foreign content, look for another streaming VPN service.

However, if you cannot unblock Netflix at all, I suggest reading up on our troubleshooting guide.

Unblocking other streaming platforms with PIA VPN

Private Internet Access works like a charm for US-only platforms. Besides Netflix US, I could peruse the libraries of Youtube TV, Hulu, and HBO Max. Interestingly enough, I could also access Sky Sports and CBC Gem whilst connected to the Canada Ontario server.

PIA with BBC iPlayer

Regarding UK-only services, I couldn’t access BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Sky Sports, and other streaming platforms. I suggest trying other streaming VPN providers if you really need these services.

PIA plans and pricing

There are three different Private Internet Access pricing plans. You can choose from:

PIA subscriptions

All subscriptions come with the same features promised on the package. I’m talking about 10 simultaneous connections, standard VPN security tools, the Email Breach Scanner, Boxcryptor license, etc. Everything is protected with the 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a refund if the service doesn’t meet your expectations.

You can also add two premium add-ons for an extra cost:

  • PIA Antivirus – real-time protection for $1.27/month for 1 year
  • Dedicated IP – for $4.25/month for 1 year

Taking advantage of various PIA coupon codes could potentially net you a better deal. For example, some offer 80% discounts.

Better yet, Private Internet Access finally offers a 7-day free trial if you’re interested in testing the service before committing. Available only on iOS & Android, you can download it from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, respectively.

PIA payment methods

The payment options include standard, widely-used methods, and more private ones if you want to keep the purchase a secret, so to say. Selections usually tend to vary from country to country, but you can generally pay with:

  • Credit Card
  • PayPal
  • Amazon
  • Google Play (through the Android app only)
  • Apple/iTunes
  • Crypto
  • Paygarden (Supported US Gift Cards)
  • Prepaid Visa/Mastercard

Overall, PIA VPN offers subscriptions for a pretty low price. While the service isn’t spectacular compared to competitors like NordVPN, it gets the job done.

Speed and performance

Connection speeds depend on location, Internet Service Provider (ISP), hardware, and other factors. Because of this, no average speed test in the world can give you a good answer to the question, “How fast is this VPN for me?”

That said, we’ve created our in-house speed test tool that eliminates as many variables as possible when measuring those Mbps. It should give you an idea of how fast PIA really is when connecting in the US, the UK, Germany, and other countries.

Private Internet Access 14-Day Speed Average

More live data from our VPN Speed Test tool
USA server
Download Speed 106 Mbps
Upload Speed 115 Mbps
UK server
Download Speed 54 Mbps
Upload Speed 99 Mbps
Germany server
Download Speed 238 Mbps
Upload Speed 378 Mbps

Right off the bat, PIA provides plain average speeds, even when utilizing the next-gen WireGuard tunneling protocol. They’re not the best in the industry, especially when you compare them to speed demons like NordVPN or Surfshark, some of the fastest VPNs in the industry.

Connecting to servers further away will likely result in less than optimal performance. So, it might not be the best provider for streaming foreign content from other countries. But if you’re only planning on using it primarily for protection, PIA’s speeds should be enough for a comfortable online experience.

Here’s a comparison of Private Internet Access with other VPN provider speeds from the last 7 days:

ProviderAverage download speed (7 days)
Private Internet Access105
NordVPN1,127 Mbps
Surfshark886 Mbps
PrivateVPN138 Mbps

PIA servers

Private Internet Access used to show exactly how many servers they have across the globe. Sadly, there’s no information about it anywhere on the website, and the support couldn’t provide an estimate when I contacted them for answers.

We currently know there are a lot of them and that they are primarily based in the US. As for the overall global coverage, PIA VPN covers an impressive amount of countries – 84. Still, it doesn’t beat Surfshark VPN with its roster of 95 countries across all continents.

Most of the hardware is bare-metal, meaning they are located in the country you can connect to. What’s left is virtual, in regions where having physical hardware could be dangerous due to data retention laws, like India. You can either connect to:

  • Standard servers – great for regular online activities, like browsing and gaming
  • Streaming-optimized servers – located in the US, Japan, UK, Denmark, Sweden, and Italy

What’s more, the infrastructure is slowly being upgraded to 10 Gbps servers. It is excellent news for those seeking reliable performance. Even with increased traffic on the overall network, your speeds technically shouldn’t be dropping below average.

Server locations

With Private Internet Access, you’re most likely to feel the negative effects of server distribution if you reside in Asia (including the Middle East), Africa, or even South America. Sadly, most servers are not based in these locations.

map showing PIA servers around the world

If you are in Europe or North America – you’re in luck. A large chunk of PIA’s servers is concentrated in these two locations.

Here’s what it all looks like in more detail:

RegionCountries
AmericasArgentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Greenland, Mexico, Panama, United States, Venezuela
EuropeAlbania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Asia PacificArmenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Georgia, Hong Kong SAR China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Macau SAR China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam
Africa & OthersAlgeria, Australia, Egypt, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa

PIA security and privacy

PIA includes plenty of reliable security features. They may not be super-advanced or numerous, but they’re all most users will ever need. These include:

Of course, there’s more than that. First, all PIA’s applications are open-source, meaning their software code is publicly available for scrutiny. Then there are the Whitehat Alert Security and Vulnerability Disclosure programs. Both allow users to submit high-impact bugs that pose security and performance risks.

Feature-wise, subscribers also get PIA MACE (ad & malware blocker), advanced split tunneling (routing VPN traffic via select apps), Multi-Hop + Obfuscation (double routing and hiding VPN traffic), Identity Guard (an email breach scanner), and a Boxcryptor License (secures cloud storage).

Users can increase their privacy and security with PIA Antivirus and Dedicated IP for an additional price. The former protects against real-time cybersecurity threats, while the latter gives you a static IP address only you can use.

The most appealing factor of Private Internet Access is the highly-customizable and feature-packed applications. They’re perfect for tech-savvy people with specific security needs who want to tailor everything to the smallest detail.

Encryption

PIA uses strong encryption – namely, AES-128 and AES-256. In the past, you could pick between CBC and GCM, but now the latter is only available as it is newer, faster, and more secure.

PIA encryption protocols

The app offers more cryptographic choices than are commonly available. You can pick:

  • Data encryption
  • Transport (UDP or TCP)
  • Remote Port (Default, 8080, 853, 123, or 53)
  • Local Port
  • MTU (Auto, Large Packets, or Small Packets)

Previously, users could also select the type of Handshake used for VPN server authentication. But because it caused some minor manual connection compatibility issues, the option was removed. Now, PIA uses RSA-4096 as default – the strongest option currently available.

Tunneling protocols

Usually, premium providers offer several tunneling protocols as they’re suitable for different purposes. Private Internet Access includes only two – OpenVPN and WireGuard – across all operating systems.

OpenVPN is an older, reliable tunneling protocol that’s been used for several years. There are two versions of it: UDP, which is faster, and TCP, which is slower but more stable. You can expect great security and optimal speeds from it.

WireGuard is the newer, open-source tunneling protocol that provides lighting fast speeds due to lightweight code. It’s much faster than other protocols and has better security in general. So, if you want excellent performance no matter what you do, this is the superior option.

Kill switch

Private Internet Access has a great kill switch – an important feature to protect from unexpected connection disruptions. This is bolstered through the use of their private DNS to avoid any leaks.

PIA kill switch options

The provider also offers an Advanced Kill Switch. It blocks all connections, thus avoiding data leakage, even when the VPN is turned off. Pretty useful if you want to prevent important info from being visible in all situations.

IP and DNS leak protection

To see if there are any IP or DNS leaks, it’s best to run a test online. First of all, I connected to Luxembourg and was assigned the IP address 5.253.204.110. After that, I checked if my IP address or DNS queries were leaking:

PIA leak test result

As you can see, the IP addresses match, which means there is no IP leak.

PIA DNS leak test result

Above is the result of the DNS leak test. PIA does not leak DNS requests.

I performed the test a couple of more times by connecting to Mexico, France, Algeria, and Slovakia. My real location was hidden throughout.

Subpar business location

PIA is based in the US, one of the most problematic places for registering a VPN company. It is the founding country of the Five Eyes Alliance, an alliance between several countries for the sole purpose of monitoring their citizens’ activities. Although the pretext is national security and “the greater good,” it’s still invasive and eliminates your rights to privacy.

The United States is also notorious for its seemingly anti-privacy legal climate. Legislation such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), The Patriot Act, general government surveillance, including by the NSA, and corporate surveillance by tech and telecommunications companies certainly doesn’t make things better.

Usually, I’m not one to recommend a VPN provider based in regions that don’t shy away from surveillance. With that said, all of these privacy risks are greatly mitigated by PIA’s strong no-logs policy, which has been proven in court.

Logging policy

Private Internet Access has a clear no-logging policy. This was proven in a US court case in 2015 and several more recent cases. PIA personnel was called to testify and couldn’t produce anything useful to the prosecution.

Furthermore, PIA releases semi-annual Transparency Reports. These include information about legal requests sent to the company, such as court orders, subpoenas, and warrants. Next to them, you can see the number of inquiries received and how many produced logs. In PIA’s case, none were ever procured.

This should be reassuring to anyone seeking online privacy – you can be certain that not even PIA knows what you’re doing online. Still, it would increase the provider’s reliability considerably if their no-logs policy underwent an independent audit.

Ownership concerns

As of 2019, Private Internet Access operates under another companyKape Technologies. It also owns several other notable VPN providers: CyberGhost, ZenMate, and ExpressVPN. Amassing a few services under one name certainly isn’t a crime, but what concerned most users was Kape’s controversial past.

Formerly known as Crossrider until 2016, the company was responsible for creating internet tools used to distribute malware. Furthermore, it was ​​an affiliate of many Ad Injection Libraries, which typically litter unsuspecting users with intrusive ads and pop-ups.

Not exactly the best track record, especially for a business that now tries to champion privacy in the digital space. Some tend to let bygones be bygones, for others, it is a clear dealbreaker, and understandably so.

Anonymous purchase

What I like about PIA is its vast options for anonymous purchases.

PIA gift card payment

You can pay anonymously with many major brand gift cards, including Fully Anonymous, Instant Access, 100% Secure Starbucks, Walmart, Best Buy, and many more.

PIA crypto payments

Additionally, there are plenty of cryptocurrency options as well. These include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Beam, and Zcash, among others, thanks to Bitpay. That’s more than enough opportunity to keep Private Internet Access off your balance sheet.

PIA’s Handshake Naming System

In August 2019, Private Internet Access announced a new feature – the Handshake Naming System (HNS). To put it in simple terms, the HNS is a blockchain alternative for the Domain Name System (DNS).

HNS completely decentralizes the domain name system and creates an additional layer of privacy for users. According to PIA, it also works as a tool against DNS-level blocking (something governments use to ban websites and online services).

PIA VPN Handshake DNS

The HNS is definitely good and will be appreciated by power users. However, its usefulness for common folk is exaggerated. It is no more effective for bypassing DNS blocking than regular PIA DNS servers.

Other technical features

PIA offers an abundance of features that help users customize their VPN experience:

  • PIA MACE
  • Identity Guard
  • Boxcryptor License
  • Split Tunnel
  • Multi-Hop and obfuscation

Then there are some minor settings you can tweak. These include port forwarding, allowing LAN traffic, changing your DNS, and automation (which turns on or disables the VPN when you join a particular network).

PIA VPN feature set

PIA MACE is Private Internet Access’s in-house ad blocker that works as intended by disabling most online advertisements. It utilizes public blocklists to do so, which are updated every month. MACE does not block Facebook, Twitch, or YouTube ads, though. Furthermore, you can’t whitelist specific domain names.

Identity Guard is an email breach scanner that allows users to check whether their email address has been compromised. You’ll have to log into your PIA account via browser and navigate to the Client Control Panel. The email will be monitored for any breaches, and you’ll receive an email containing all data that was jeopardized.

The Boxcryptor License, once activated, can be used to secure your online cloud storage with leading end-to-end encryption. It’s compatible with Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, among other 30 cloud services in total.

Split Tunnel is a split tunneling feature useful for routing VPN traffic via specific apps only, like torrent clients or streaming platforms. Everything else outside the list remains unprotected, letting you browse the interwebs like usual.

Multi-Hop and obfuscation is a double feature that utilizes either Shadowsocks or a SOCKS5 Proxy, depending on your choice. First, it routes your traffic through a proxy, thus adding an extra layer of encryption. Then it also hides all VPN usage, which in theory, should let you bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).

Is PIA safe?

Yes, Private Internet Access is a safe and secure VPN provider. It comes with industry-standard AES-256 encryption, solid IP & DNS leak protection, and a reliable kill switch. Plus, all applications include OpenVPN and WireGuard tunneling protocols, considered some of the best in the industry.

Furthermore, PIA VPN utilizes the RSA-4096 handshake by default for server authentication. Currently, it is the strongest cipher you can use to bolster your security to the max. Then there are the numerous useful features for protection you usually won’t find with other providers.

Does PIA VPN support torrenting?

Private Internet Access supports torrenting and is definitely not the worst choice for P2P action. European and North American users will find the speeds decent, and the security features are sufficient.

PIA features for torrenting

There’s also the port forwarding feature, which is great if your torrent tracker demands that you seed. However, use it at your own risk because it increases your device’s vulnerability.

Unlike some other VPN services, PIA doesn’t limit P2P traffic on the network – you can torrent on any server. Additionally, users can take advantage of the free SOCKS5 proxy. This allows you to secure traffic at the VPN app level, thus potentially saving some valuable bandwidth.

PIA device support

PIA has apps for a wide range of operating systems. These include Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can cover such devices as Smart TVs and Xbox & PlayStation gaming consoles by utilizing the Smart DNS feature as well.

PIA VPN device support list

There’s no Private Internet Access router applet at the moment. However, you can still run PIA VPN on most router devices, including DD-WRT, pfSense, and Tomato, if you follow the instructions on their site. There are also manual Amazon Fire Stick setup guidelines, although it’s not officially supported.

As for browser extensions, PIA offers full-fledged add-ons for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Despite being mere proxies, these extensions offer high customizability and exceptional functionality.

How to download and install PIA

  1. Go to the official Private Internet Access website and click on Get PIA VPN at the top right corner
  2. Pick a subscription plan, select the payment method, and fill in any other necessary information. Once you create an account, you’ll receive an email with your username and password.
  3. Download the appropriate PIA VPN client for your operating system. Run the installer and allow it to make changes to your device.
  4. Follow the instructions in the installation wizard, and click Finish once the setup is complete.
  5. Open the app and log into your account with the credentials you received in the email
  6. That’s it – tweak the settings to your liking, connect to a VPN server, and safely enjoy the internet!

Visit Private Internet Access

After finishing setting up the app, the first step I advise doing is changing the “Dashboard Appearance” from “Attached to Tray” to “Window.” It will make using PIA much easier, as the Tray setting forces the application to vanish from the screen whenever you move the mouse somewhere else.

Desktop apps: Windows and macOS

I’ve looked at the Windows 10 and macOS v3.3.1 versions of Private Internet Access applications. They are identical on both operating systems (features included), and the design is elegant and simplistic. Plus, there are some security benefits over the old app.

Once you’re connected, you’ll see a simple home screen where you can:

  1. Click the large Connect button
  2. Choose the server (sortable by country or latency)
  3. Enter the Settings screen (button in the top right)

PIA app main screen

The server choice screen lets you expand or minimize the location lists in various countries. The menu is easy to use and self-explanatory, but I think the lack of a visual server map you can use to pick a country is a bit detrimental to the overall experience.

PIA App settings menu

In the Settings screen, everything’s grouped according to function:

  • General. Includes such settings as Launch on Startup, Connect on Launch, Show Geo-Located Regions, language options, app theme, etc.
  • Protocols. Allows picking the tunneling protocol (OpenVPN or WireGuard), Transport type (UDP or TCO), data encryption (AES-128 or AES-256), and Remote Port (8080, 853, 123, 53, Default). MTU is a unique feature with the option to use Small or Large Packets, which should improve the experience for users with connection stability issues.
  • Network. Allows you to choose the DNS server (Custom, PIA DNS, Built-in Resolver, Handshake DNS, Use Existing DNS, Custom), Request Port Forwarding (useful for seeding torrents or remote desktop connections), and toggle whether to allow LAN Traffic.
  • Privacy. Let’s you customize the kill switch, turn on the Advanced Kill Switch, and toggle PIA MACE. The latter is an excellent security feature combining an ad blocker, tracker blocker, and malware shield.
  • Dedicated IP. You can buy a dedicated IP address in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany. It is useful for secure remote access and improving site speed as you’re the only one who can use it. Plus, using such an address decreases the chances of getting IP blacklisted (unless you do something malicious).
  • Automation. This tab lets users create their own automation rules. Connection Automation is a unique feature that will connect or disconnect the VPN whenever you join a specific network.
  • Split Tunnel. This is PIA’s split tunneling feature, which allows you to use the VPN with specific applications only. There’s even an option to utilize it with chosen IP addresses as well.
  • Multi-Hop. Here you’ll find the Multi-hop and Obfuscation feature, which routes VPN traffic via a proxy (Shadowsocks or SOCKS5) and hides all VPN usage simultaneously. For Shadowsocks, users can choose which country to route the traffic through. As for SOCKS5 Proxy, you can pick the server IP address, port, user (optional), and password (optional).

Ultimately, this constitutes a good set of tools for both Windows and macOS owners. However, power users may miss stealth features that are crucial to have in censorship-heavy countries.

Desktop apps: Linux

PIA VPN is the only VPN provider that has a Linux OS app with a full graphical user interface. And beside some minor differences, it has the same looks and functionality as the Windows and mac applications.

PIA Linux interface

Currently, it works on Ubuntu 18.04+ (LTS), Mint, Debian, Fedora, and Arch. Plus, it supports x86_64, ARM64, and ARMHF. The installation process was quick and easy – downloading the file from the website and following the instructions was enough to get everything up and running.

Mobile apps: Android and iOS

Both PIA VPN applications for Android and iOS are virtually the same as their desktop counterparts. You can request port forwarding, switch DNS, connect via a proxy, force IPv6 blocking, and so on.

PIA mobile application

The interface is customizable, so you can hide what you don’t need to see. Apart from what you’ll find on Windows and mac, there’s a Favourite servers tab, a secure InBrowser, a built-in kill switch, and an obfuscation feature that allows you to connect via proxy. Notably, you don’t get PIA MACE on mobile apps.

You’ll find some differences between Android and iOS as well. Android has a Private Browser and the Per App Settings feature, which is split tunneling. You can also technically get MACE, but this requires downloading the .apk file from the provider’s website.

iOS, on the other hand, supports Siri shortcuts and offers the private InBrowser +Safari Content Blocker. There is no form of split tunneling, though.

Browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, and Opera

You can download PIA browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. These are HTTPS proxy add-ons, and while they are great, keep in mind that only your web traffic will be protected.

PIA VPN browser add-on

I was surprised by the abundance of features and sheer security customizability. First of all, the browser extension looks like a proper VPN application rather than simply an add-on. And you get so much more than other providers tend to offer. The complete list of tools includes:

  • Blocking WebRTC IP detection
  • Browsing websites using HTTPS
  • Disabling network protection
  • Tracking protection
  • Fingerprint protection
  • Disabling website referrer
  • Disabling hyperlink auditing
  • Removing UTM parameters
  • Removing FBCLID parameters
  • PIA MACE

The server list is, understandably, more moderate, but it still has good options. Other notable features include the Bypass List and Smart Location. The former acts similarly to split tunneling – you can exclude specific websites from the extension connection. The latter allows you to set a geographic location for a particular page and view the site through it.

PIA customer support

Private Internet Access has multiple customer support options. These include:

  • Self-help resources – knowledgebase, guides, news, community
  • Support tickets – can be submitted via Contact Us
  • 24/7 live chat

PIA support options

We welcome the most recent addition, the 24/7 live chat option, as it truly makes for a much more streamlined experience. Sure, it works according to the US time zones, but it’s still way better than waiting at least half a day before someone sees your support ticket.

PIA live chat window

Still, this option is a bit of a hit or miss. Sometimes the responses were prompt and polite, other times, I had to wait for an agent to answer me for quite a while.

Private Internet Access (PIA) video review

Those who want a deeper dive into Private Internet Access VPN can watch several of our videos that sum up the service pretty well.

Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN review 2021 | Finally, the TRUTH💥
2021-03-03
Should you use NordVPN vs PIA in 2022? FULL COMPARISON
2022-06-29
Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN review: is it good enough for you? | VPNpro
2020-02-24

Should you get Private Internet Access VPN?

PIA is good, especially if you’re an experienced VPN user who wants to fine-tune their security. It comes with solid features, a court-proven no-logs policy, plenty of connection points in the US and Europe, and an excellent price-to-feature ratio. Still, the service has certain drawbacks.

The company is based in the US, a not-so privacy-friendly country, the speeds aren’t the best either, and it fails to unblock some streaming services. The privacy policy hasn’t been audited by an independent entity to confirm its veracity. Furthermore, while the client is sleek, the abundance of features can overwhelm first-time users.

If these don’t pose an issue for you, then Private Internet Access is worth the attention.


You may also like to read:
Best VPN services
Most secure VPN
NordVPN vs PIA
IPVanish vs PIA
PureVPN vs PIA
VyprVPN vs PIA


FAQ

Is PIA trustworthy?

Yes, PIA is a trustworthy VPN that offers good security and a court-proven no-logs policy. It comes with an ad blocker, anonymous torrenting, and the largest server fleet on the planet. One would be hard-pressed to find a more reliable VPN option for such a small price.

Why is Private Internet Access VPN so slow?

While PIA is not the fastest VPN, it’s far from the slowest. You have to keep in mind that speed is affected by multiple factors, such as tunneling protocol implementation, your location, hardware specs, server load, internet quality, etc.

Does Private Internet Access work with Netflix?

Yes, PIA works with Netflix, but it only unblocks the US library. If that’s all you need, it’s good, but if you want to access multiple foreign libraries, you’re better off getting a VPN suited for Netflix.

Does Private Internet Access keep logs?

No, Private Internet Access does not keep any logs. In fact, it’s been proven in a court case that PIA cannot provide any information about user browsing habits. Still, the no-logs policy hasn’t been audited by an independent third party to verify it.

Does PIA work in China?

Private Internet Access has trouble working in China, despite offering the Shadowsocks proxy, which technically should bypass The Great Firewall. If you need a service for this country specifically, we strongly recommend looking at the best VPNs for China that are able to circumvent online censorship.

Is Private Internet Access free?

No, PIA VPN is not free. There is a 7-day free trial, though, that lets you test the service beforehand. It’s only available on Android and iOS – you can download it via the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, respectively.

Good

  • Good security credentials
  • Largest server list (29300 servers)
  • Not bad for torrents
  • Very cheap
  • Unblocks Netflix US
  • Privacy-friendly service
  • Fast speeds
  • 10 simultaneous connections

Bad

  • Based in the US
  • Not good in China
 8.1 / 10
Total score
$2.03 / month
Minimum Price
18 comments
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  1. Juan

    While using a fire stick is it normal for IP address to be visible and then the VPN IP address also appears in the automatic setting? I want to make sure my IP address is not discovered. Why does both addresses appear simultaneously?


  2. Major

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written! 


  3. James

    Kape technologies now owns PIA and CyberGhost. Both are monitoring traffic and both will block access to your router. I’ve had a few other VPN’s. This is the first that has done this. Also if you whitelist games or apps the traffic still goes through their servers. Can not connect to online games. When asking about this CS will simply tell you to file a ticket and disconnect. Very rude.


  4. Bill

    I’ve been using PIA for a couple of years now and it’s not perfect, but its cheap, fast and works well for torrents and such.


  5. Anthony

    where i live, PIA is the ONLY app which works. after introducing the WireGuard feature, speed got better and works like a charm. definitely recommend it.


  6. AlArabi

    It seems that it offers a good value and decent performance but I heard that there is no free trial for it, is it true? If yes then it’s a no-no for me.


    1. Kevin Marlowe

      Hi AlArabi,

      Yes, that’s correct, although you can pay and get a refund within 7 days (they have a 7-day money-back guarantee).


  7. Kevin D

    My device is LENOVO YOGA 730-151 KB. OS is Win 10 Home. I’ve used others and find this to be the best, fastest, and most efficient for the money. Great application. A quick and easy solution to surf the web anonymously and it works across multiple platforms. Recommended highly


  8. Lorna

    PIA is a decent option for browsing but what do you do when you have problems and their support doesn’t answer or takes a few days to do that? Happened to me and I cancelled my account with them. I was expecting a far better service from such a known company. ExpressVPN is much better.


  9. B. Chmielewska

    I tried using PIA and was very disappointed with them. I experienced disconnects regularly and struggled getting any help from their support system. I wouldn’t recommend using Private Internet Access and hope that no one has to go through the horrible experience that I did. Their price may be enticing, but don’t waste your money.


  10. Daniel G

    Best VPN on the market!

    Not only it is cheaper(in price), but it has the best features! Including their own security feature, MACE.
    Both Windows Software and Chrome Extension are amazing! And easy to use.


  11. Wilhelm J.

    Do you know of other VPN with a Kill Switch feature? I’m from Germany and copyright laws are very strict here. I liked PIA, but I’m looking for something to watch Netflix on.


    1. Kevin Marlowe

      Hi Wilhelm,

      There are plenty of VPN services with a kill switch. Basically any of the top ones will fit your needs: NordVPN, ExpressVPN, PrivateVPN – all are great for Netflix and have a kill switch.


  12. Benton1234

    As long as it uses OpenVPN, I’m satisfied with it.
    Thanks for the info.


    1. Kevin Marlowe

      Yes, it’s a very decent choice, especially if you’re based in the States!


  13. Elvira Albert

    I have used PIA for 2 months only but I can definitely its good for torrents and streaming but not for its speed. Currently using Ivacy VPN now and found it the best option in terms of cost as well.


  14. digvane

    cant seem to get pia to work on roku
    dont know if doing something wrong or just not compatible


    1. Kevin Marlowe

      Hey digvane,

      While PIA doesn’t support Roku directly, you could still get it to work in a roundabout way by setting PIA up on your router (assuming you have the right kind of router). Check the helpdesk page on PIA’s website for info on how to do this.

      Best of luck!

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Private Internet Access review
Private Internet Access
8.1 / 10
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