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Private Internet Access Review

With more and more of our financial and private lives being broadcast between our personal computers and web services through the internet, the need for secure communications has never been greater. One approach to fulfill this need for security is to connect through a virtual private network, or VPN.

Private Internet Access offers this type of secure connection through their VPN product. While there are many approaches, both closed and open source, to building a VPN system, Private Internet Access has based their platform on the open source OpenVPN protocol. Building a system on top of this proven protocol is a good first step towards providing a strong solution.

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Private Internet Access Takes Anonymity Serious

When looking at the various purposes the VPN will be used for, the strength of the remaining system details becomes apparent. First, for providing anonymity, they score high points by not keeping any user logs. Not all VPN providers forgo logging, making those solutions less secure. By not logging individual connections and IP addresses, the only way anonymity could be compromised is through a sophisticated traffic analysis that watches all traffic coming into and out of the VPN server. This kind of analysis is really only within the reach of major government organizations and is so expensive and difficult to carry out, the current capabilities to do so are completely attached to national security projects.

128 Bit Encryption

Data from a client computer to a VPN server is encrypted with 128 bit Blowfish encryption. This is technically weaker than other available VPN solutions but not actually weak by any means. With 128 bit encryption, a current supercomputer would take on the order of one billion years to compute a brute force crack.

Protect Yourself on Public Wi-Fi

For applications where encryption is important, such as connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, Private Internet Access provides more than enough encryption to render any traffic captured by a packet sniffer completely useless to the person collecting the data. Another area where encryption is important is in shielding activity from an internet provider. By connecting first to the VPN server, an internet provider will only see an encrypted stream of data heading to that one server. The content, and ultimate destination of that data, is indecipherable to the internet service provider. This allows a user to use provider blocked services such as voice over IP, point to point file sharing and bit torrent file sharing.

Multiple Connections Supported

The system supports up to three connections at a time which is significantly better than most competitors that only support a single device connected to the network at any given time. With support for connecting to the VPN directly from a router running dd-wrt firmware, an entire home network can be connected at the same time.

Location masking is accomplished by offering connections to the internet through over 3023 servers from 21 different countries. This is useful for bypassing geographical restrictions that have been set in place by a user’s government or by a specific website.

Other Protocols Supported

Rounding out an already robust system, Private Internet Access also offers the ability to connect via a PPTP/L2TP/Socks protocol when OpenVPN is not supported by a device. There is also an option to enable DNS leak protection which prevents a computer from revealing information through the DNS server connection. Finally, the program includes an internet kill switch. If for any reason the connection through the VPN system is lost, this option will disable the internet connection on the computer to ensure no private data is transmitted in the clear.

All of these features, combined with fast VPN bandwidth speeds, make this VPN solution a top choice.

Private Internet Access Features

  • Secure VPN Account
  • Encrypted WiFi
  • P2P and VoIP Support
  • PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec
  • 5 devices simultaneously
  • Multiple VPN Gateways
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • SOCKS5 Proxy Included
  • No traffic logs
  • 3023+ Servers in 21 Countries
  • Instant Setup

Screenshots

Private Internet Access Mac Screenshot

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access, one of VPN Service Review's favorite VPN service providers, makes it easy to surf privately and securely from anywhere.

$3.33 a month

Service
Private Internet Access Review
Private Internet Access prides itself in true online anonymity. They keep no access logs and accept bitcoin which makes this VPN the best option for those looking to stay 100% anonymous.
8.4 Total Score
True Anonymity!

Private Internet Access prides itself in true online anonymity. They keep no access logs and accept bitcoin which makes this VPN the best option for those looking to stay 100% anonymous.

7.9Editor's score
Anonymity
8.5
Price
8
Reliability
8
Speed
7.5
Support
7.5
8.9User's score
Anonymity
9.5
Price
9.1
Reliability
8.4
Speed
9
Support
8.6
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15 Comments
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  1. Reply
    James Thompson January 31, 2015 at 2:44 pm
    4.7
    Anonymity
    100
    Price
    90
    Reliability
    90
    Speed
    100
    Support
    90

    No problems whatsoever. I switched from HideMyAss to Private Internet Access and there is no going back. Speeds are great and connections are stable. I was even able to pay with Bitcoin which was very convenient.

    + PROS: Accepts bitcoin, no connection issues, does not keep logs.
    - CONS: Can't think of any at the moment.
  2. Reply
    Daniel February 3, 2015 at 12:54 am
    4.3
    Anonymity
    80
    Price
    100
    Reliability
    80
    Speed
    80
    Support
    90

    I do believe PIA would be the yodel of vpns! There isn’t any technologies that will PIA doesn’t present. PIA has every little thing some sort of vpn individual could obtain.

    + PROS: Nice Price, great support
    - CONS: A lot of locations are congested
  3. Reply
    Arnold S. Hensley February 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm
    4.5
    Anonymity
    100
    Price
    90
    Reliability
    90
    Speed
    80
    Support
    90

    My favorite VPN thus far. Try it out. They keep it simple.

    + PROS: DNS Leak protection, IPv6 leak protection, accepts bitcoin, keeps no logs. Need I say more?
    - CONS: More device support would be nice. Like iOS.
  4. Reply
    Brenda B June 23, 2015 at 7:28 am

    My only issue is you need to test out different servers for video streaming, but with all their locations, it’s not hard to find one. Otherwise, it’s a very good company. I have been with them for 2 1/2 years and have never had any breeches.

  5. Reply
    Lucy July 10, 2015 at 7:31 am
    4.8
    Anonymity
    100
    Price
    90
    Reliability
    90
    Speed
    100
    Support
    100

    Customer service is great to help you walk through set-up if you aren’t too computer literate….as I have had problems in the past with other providers, since being with PIA, I’ve had no issues whatsoever.

  6. Reply
    Julian July 14, 2015 at 11:01 am
    4.8
    Anonymity
    90
    Price
    100
    Reliability
    90
    Speed
    100
    Support
    100

    Have used the free providers and other paid ones….but found PIA has the fastest download speeds for my location, Dubai. While connecting to UK and US for streaming movies, it was horrible. But with PIA, my speed has increased, somehow. Highly recommend for your VPN.

    + PROS: Great streaming
    - CONS: none
  7. Reply
    Justin July 22, 2015 at 6:32 am
    4.9
    Anonymity
    100
    Price
    100
    Reliability
    90
    Speed
    100
    Support
    100

    Have used PIA for the past year. Am happy with the speeds offered. Recommend to anyone who wants a more secure network.

    + PROS: Great speeds, multiple locales to choose from.
    - CONS: No complaints thus far.
  8. Reply
    Piper July 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I like the ability to connect up to 3 devices, as my family is

    constantly online through various means. The price is comparable

    to others, never had an issue that wasn’t resolved quickly through

    their customer service.

  9. Reply
    Sagan August 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm
    4.3
    Anonymity
    90
    Price
    90
    Reliability
    90
    Speed
    70
    Support
    90

    Hands down the best VPN I have used for iOS devices. I am a happy customer. Thank you for the review. Great work!

    + PROS: Accepts Bitcoin. No access logs. So this VPN is very secure. The iOS app is the best. Very easy to use and helps keep my connection secure when using public wifi.
    - CONS: Could be faster but it is a VPN after all.
  10. Reply
    Joseph Vauss September 20, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Hello, I am a disabled military veteran. I live in Colombia, S. America on my disability pension. I need to hide my offshore location from my u.s. bank. Will this suffice?
    Do you offer any discounts for disabled veterans, I am 100% disabled, I can prove with docs. Thanks for your consideration. Joseph

    • Reply
      Ezra September 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Yes, this will work fine for your purpose. Just be sure to choose a US server location and ensure your IP has changed (whatismyip.com) before accessing your online banking.

  11. Reply
    TomS November 23, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    5
    Anonymity
    100
    Price
    100
    Reliability
    100
    Speed
    100
    Support
    100

    OVERALL, I would recommend PIA VPN to everyone because it has everything you could want, including an icon that sits in your taskbar that you can disconnect, then re-connect choosing another server (PIA does NOT do this automatically for you). You must do this manually.

    I RECOMMEND THAT ANYONE USING ANY VPN, and you are surfing questionable web sites, to manually change your location every 10-15 minutes, which is the amount of time it takes the NSA to find you on your current IP. NSA uses PRISM, a web IP surveillance tool that has a database of KEY WORDS you use for searches, chatting, and blogging.

    When you use a VPN service you create an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a server run by your VPN provider. Your ISP cannot ‘see’ what data is being transmitted (i.e. what you are doing), but can see that you are connected to your VPN server, when you are connected, how much data is transmitted, and usually also the fact that you are using encryption.

    Anyone watching traffic on the internet can easily trace the IP of website visitors back to the VPN server. The VPN provider can then connect a user with the traced IP if it keeps logs of such activity. PIA DOES NOT KEEP ANY LOGS.

    So in the normal course of things, if you do not volunteer personal details to an internet website or service, and you are using a VPN service that keeps no logs, then VPN will do a good job of maintaining your anonymity.

    + PROS: Everything. This is a great VPN. Look no further. GREAT VALUE! You can hook up to 5 devices for one great price. Pay anonymously with many major brand gift cards Starbucks, Target, Macy’s, Walmart and over 100 more accepted.
    - CONS: Doesn't have an auto-change IP built into its software. It should. I have used other VPNs that automatically change your IP address every ## minutes (15, 30 60 minutes). THIS SOFTWARE DOES NOT HAVE THIS FEATURE and this is probably why it is only $3.33 per month.
  12. Reply
    TomS November 23, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    BE SURE THAT ANY VPN YOU CHOOSE, DOES NOT KEEP LOGS OF ANY KIND!!!!!
    When you use a VPN service you create an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a server run by your VPN provider. Your ISP cannot ‘see’ what data is being transmitted (i.e. what you are doing), but can see that you are connected to your VPN server, when you are connected, how much data is transmitted, and usually also the fact that you are using encryption.

    Anyone watching traffic on the internet can easily trace the IP of website visitors back to the VPN server. The VPN provider can then connect a user with the traced IP if it keeps logs of such activity.

    So in the normal course of things, if you do not volunteer personal details to an internet website or service, and you are using a VPN service that keeps no logs, then VPN will do a good job of maintaining your anonymity.

  13. Reply
    Gary March 23, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    DON’T SUBSCRIBE for 1 year. I did, and 6 months later PIA no longer works for geoposition with my favorite website. Their technical support said there was nothing they could do and they could not refund me the remaining 6 months because their policy only allows refunds after 7 days. Don’t let them con you too

  14. Reply
    James West May 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm
    3
    Anonymity
    100
    Price
    60
    Reliability
    40
    Speed
    80
    Support
    20

    Consistently faster than either of the other two VPN services I have tried. App very simple. Lots of choices of server locations.

    When it stops working support is very slow. Responses take hours and days for problems that should be fixed right away if tech support were actually there to help. Frustrating in the extreme. No option except emailing and then waiting hours or days for an unhelpful response like asking what operating system you are using, then its back to waiting again. If you need your VPN up and running and can’t afford interminable delays if there is a problem.. choose another provider.

    + PROS: Fast. Lots of server choices. Simple.
    - CONS: Support very slow. Even for issue like app failing to connect, takes days to resolve.

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