The use of virtual private networks for even standard web browsing has been on the rise. There are now hundreds of services to meet your VPN needs, but when it comes to quality Private Internet Access is a step above the rest.
Our Private Internet Access Rating
Private Internet Access gets our vote as the top all-around VPN. We do not hand out this honor lightly, so being our top all-around services means that PIA has gotten an added level of scrutiny from our testers. PIA received this award because:
- Price (unlimited & 5 simultaneous connections)
- Very anonymous
- Quality, quantity, and location of servers
- Solid client software
- Track record of solid support
Anyone comparative shopping for virtual private network services will quickly see the value with PIA. First the price alone is great and it will be what catches your attention right away when going to their page. Currently just under $3 a month with two year purchase and just over for one year. You can also go monthly for a good price if that suits your needs best.
The yearly was the sweat spot for us when we purchased one of their plans. What sweetens the deal even more is that you can connect up to five (5) devices simultaneously with one (1) account! So you can connect say your home network router and then still have four connections available for outside the home.
PIA does have a seven day money back guarantee and you can pay monthly. If you like their service you can cancel the monthly plan and then upgrade to the yearly plan for the savings.
PIA is Highly Anonymous
Private Internet Access starts with anonymity by requiring almost no information during sign up. They also accept payment from a wide variety of payment methods to include major gift cards like Starbucks, Walmart, Best Buy as well as digital currencies like Bitcoin and electronic payments like PayPal . Yes you can pay for your VPN anonymously.
So if you want to be truly anonymous, sign up from some location where the IP address does not lead back to you. Use an anonymous name, an anonymous email, and pay anonymously with a service like bitcoin or gift cards bought with cash.
While using their service, PIA pours on more anonymity by routing multiple users out onto the Internet from their servers over the same IP address at same time all mixed-up. Throw in a healthy bunch of not keeping any logs and their clients become lost on the safe side of one their 3300+ VPN servers!
Information they collect from clients of their service
- E-mail Address.
- Payment Data.
- Clients who opt to use the optional control panel will receive a temporary cookie.
Information they collect from the website and email
- Google analytics data (appears anonymous). Google may store a cookie. Feel free to opt out with Google’s plugin.
- Apache Webserver (see apache.org) logs.
- Submissions on the ‘Contact Us’ page.
- Any e-mails we receive.
- Affiliates who opt to use the optional control panel will receive a temporary cookie.
Private Internet Access VPN is headquartered out of the United States. This might raise eyebrows for some because of the spying allegations that have been tossed around, but put that aside because the US is still one of the few countries that do not have mandatory data retention laws.
To get any data out of PIA you would need a court order. Even then it would still be impossible to match a specific activity to a specific individual because the service is using shared IPs and keeps no logs.
Now match how well they keep their customers anonymous with the quality of their VPN servers.
Do they log the traffic of their users?
PIA states in their FAQs that they absolutely do not keep any logs, of any kind, period. Logs are never written to the hard-drives of any of their machines.
They also address the required Mandatory Data Retention logs in the EU and many areas stating that these laws apply to Telecommunications and Internet Service Providers as they are a “Public Communications Network”, but PIA is a private network so this is not applicable to their VPN service.
The other main feature that PIA offers in this area is that they do not store logs of metadata. This means whenever a subscriber uses the VPN the IP address they are using, the amount of time they were on the VPN and the IP addresses that are visited are not store in any location. This is a big bonus to anyone worried about this data being used for other purposes.
Server Quality, Quantity, and Locations
A VPN service is nothing without its servers. All PIA’s servers feature gigabit connections and there is no shortage of them. As said earlier they have over 3300 of them and they are nicely spread over thirty countries. This gives PIA a very robust platform to handle their unmetered VPN traffic.
Private Internet Access has more servers than most other providers. With several countries having servers placed in multiple locations. This can be a very good though if you want access in one of the countries they cover.
A lot of servers in a country mean a higher concentration and higher access in the those countries. If you want a fast Canadian virtual private network connection, done! Need the best Netherlands VPN server? Done! You want the reach the UK by VPN or want the fastest US VPN service? Done and done a couple of hundred times over and spread across thirteen locations!!
VPN client software
Private Internet Access supports OpenVPN as well as all the other major protocols such as IPSec,,L2TP, PPTP, SOCKS5. PIA is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Of course PIA supports laptops and desktops, but you are good to go on iPad, iPhone, Android phone and tablets as well.
PIA VPN client software also includes:
- A kill switch – stops IP leaking if the VPN disconnects
- IPv6 leak protection – ensures that no IPv6 traffic leaks out
- DNS leak protection – ensures that DNS requests are routed through the VPN
PIA has no logging, no bandwidth filtering or monitoring, and is an unlimited VPN. These combined features make it the best VPN client software on the market.
Service and support you can count on
Client support for PIA would be a bright spot amongst any industry. Private Internet Access stands out and stands by their excellent customer service. They have a highly knowledgeable staff ready to offer support should you need it. There are multiple ways to get help including: Facebook, forum, email, knowledge base, FAQ, and phone. Their support is available 24 hours a day.
The Private Internet Access big picture
Private Internet Access is a leading VPN service provider specializing in secure, encrypted VPN tunnels than create several layers of privacy, security, and safety on the internet. Their service is backed by multiple worldwide gateways with VPN tunnel access in the US, UK and Switzerland.
- Highly anonymous
- Best security
- Great VPN client
- Pay multiple ways anonymously
- Hide your IP address and location
- Hundreds of VPN gateways in many locations
- Fast and reliable VPN servers
- Torrents allowed
- No logging unlimited unmetered VPN
- Great price with five connections per account
When you rap all that up in a pretty package and put a price on it you get the surprisingly inexpensive Private Internet Access.
True PIA is not a free trial VPN, but you only risk a few bucks to give them a try and find out that the experience is well worth the risk. It all makes Private Internet Access an easy recommend.
Watch their YouTube video.