Private Internet Access VPN Review 2022 – Private Internet Access is a longstanding professional in the VPN industry — but a great deal has changed in the previous couple of years.
In this Private Internet Access (PIA) review, we set bent on see how the VPN heaps against the competitors. To do this, we bought a PIA membership, investigated the company’s history, and after that thoroughly evaluated the VPN applications. Here are the questions this PIA review will answer:
So let’s start with a summary of our searchings for before entering into the information.
Private Internet Access VPN Review 2022
Here is a brief overview of the test results and research findings for this PIA review:
- User-friendly and secure VPN apps
- Extra privacy and security features
- Tested and proven no logs VPN provider
- Low prices
- Inconsistent speeds
- Based in the US (bad privacy jurisdiction)
- Does not work well for Netflix and streaming
- Now part of a VPN conglomerate (Kape)
Additional research findings:
- PIA support tests
- Convicted cryptocurrency criminal hired as the CTO of PIA
- Does PIA work well for torrenting?
User-friendly and secure VPN apps
Private Internet Access offers a nice choice of VPN applications for desktop computer and mobile os. Furthermore, PIA also has browser expansions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers. Listed below you can see all the PIA VPN applications:
Keep in mind: Most of the prominent VPNs today support greater than simply desktop computer and mobile os. For contrast, we explained in our Surfshark vs NordVPN record that both of these VPNs support gaming systems, Wise TVs, Firestick, routers, and all significant desktop computer and mobile os.
Private Internet Access Windows App
For this PIA review, I thoroughly evaluated out the Home windows VPN customer. Overall, the Home windows customer really feels polished and it is also user-friendly. I also suched as the “dark setting” design. Listed below you can see the PIA Home windows customer which broadens or collapses to expose more setups and options. Here’s the broke down variation showing basic link information:
The application hovers over the tray in the bottom-right corner of the desktop computer. Along with all the features we protected over, the PIA desktop computer customer also has:
- Light and dark modes
- Settings to open VPN client on system startup
- Connect on launch settings (to a specified VPN server)
- Different language settings
- Customizable DNS options
- Port forwarding
Overall the PIA desktop computer customers work well. It may be a good choice if you want a user-friendly VPN for PC os.
Security and privacy test results
Most individuals using VPNs today need a solution that’s secure and free of information leakages. And while information leakages prevail with some free VPN applications, this isn’t something we should anticipate with a costs (paid) solution that promises security.
So to test this, I ran both the Home windows and Mac OS customers through some basic VPN tests and inspects to determine leakages or broken features.
Listed below I’m testing the PIA Home windows VPN customer for leakages while connected to a web server in Sweden. You can see in our test outcomes listed below that we didn’t determine any leakages or problems with the PIA VPN applications.
I also evaluated the PIA Mac OS customer and found it to be secure and without leakages. Although I’m uncertain I would certainly consider PIA to be among the best VPNs for Mac, it may still be a good choice for Mac users.
PIA also executes a great eliminate switch with their VPN applications, which will obstruct traffic if the VPN link drops for any factor. This ensures all traffic remains secured and protected by the VPN passage.
The PIA eliminate switch has 3 degrees:
- Off: does not block any traffic
- Auto: blocks outside traffic when the VPN is on
- Always: Also blocks all traffic when the VPN is off
In testing out the eliminate switch with various disruptions, everything appeared to work well.
Extra privacy and security features
Despite being a fundamental VPN solution, Private Internet Access still offers some great personal privacy and security features.
Along with the multi-level eliminate switch we discussed over, PIA also provides:
- Various data encryption options, including WireGuard
- A VPN ad blocking feature called PIA MACE
First, the WireGuard procedure is an outstanding feature that usually offers big benefits with efficiency. However, in our tests for this PIA review, WireGuard rates weren’t excellent (we will examine slow rates further listed below). Nevertheless, the WireGuard VPN procedure does still offer some benefits, consisting of updated security and more dependability on mobile devices.
Listed below you can see the file security options in the PIA Home windows application:
In most situations, the WireGuard procedure offers big benefits over OpenVPN. For instance, you can truly see this in the current NordVPN vs IPVanish contrast.
Private Internet Access MACE ad blocker
Another great feature offered by PIA is the advertisement blocker, which they call PIA MACE.
PIA MACE obstructs domain names for ads, trackers, and malware. Unlike some various other advertisement blocker options, PIA MACE doesn’t have the ability to white list certain domain names, or change the filter setups. It’s simply On or Off.
While some advertisement blocker is better compared to no advertisement blocker, I would certainly not suggest using PIA MAC as your primary advertisement blocker. When I evaluated various VPN advertisement blockers, I found that PIA’s advertisement blocker didn’t obstruct as many domain names as various other options.
In regards to VPN advertisement blockers, NordVPN, Surfshark, and Perfect Personal privacy performed better compared to PIA, while PureVPN and CyberGhost performed the most awful. We contrast and comparison both in our Surfshark vs PIA guide.
Overall, PIA does well in regards to security and personal privacy features, also if the advertisement blocker isn’t very durable.
Private Internet Access is a tested and proven “no logs” VPN
Many VPN solutions claim to be “no logs” – but couple of have actually been evaluated and/or confirmed.
Private Internet Access is among minority confirmed no logs VPN solutions that has made it through real-world tests. There were 2 separate court situations where Private Internet Access was subpoenaed for information logs, but they could not provide any information.
The first court situation occurred in 2016 when the FBI required logs worrying a PIA user that had presumably been production bomb risks. As discussed in official court documents, the just information PIA had the ability to provide was a collection of VPN IP addresses that were presumably used for the criminal offense:
A summon was sent out to London Trust Media [Private Internet Access] and the just information they could provide is that the collection of IP addresses being used was from the eastern coast of the Unified Specifies.
While PIA has not gone through an investigate to confirm their “no logs” plans, such as with NordVPN and VyprVPN, these 2 court situations certainly validate their claims.
Court situations are certainly a great test to confirm logging claims. Besides, a court situation exposed that PureVPN had been logging client information and handing it over to US authorities, despite declaring to be a “no logs” VPN solution. (You can obtain the information in our PureVPN review.)
You can read the PIA personal privacy plan for more information.
Low prices for Private Internet Access subscriptions
Private Internet Access has formerly been amongst the best inexpensive VPNs on the marketplace, with very affordable prices.
Today there are 3 basic pricing rates:
At under $3 monthly with the two-year plan, PIA is very affordable. They presently don’t offer any free tests. However, with a thirty days refund home window, it does function such as a free test VPN enabling you to test the solution and terminate if you do not such as it.
Refund plan – All plans come with a thirty days refund plan, which has to do with average for the VPN industry. Reviewing the Regards to Solution, I did find a couple of exemptions to the thirty days refund home window:
Because of restrictions with third party payment cpus, certain accounts cannot be reimbursed by PIA straight. Accounts bought through the Apple Store, Giftcards or third party deal websites, can just be reimbursed by the payment cpu.
It is fascinating to see a mention of “Giftcards” in the refund plan since PIA doesn’t offer that payment option any longer. You’ll also be rejected a reimbursement if you “materially violation” any component of the Regards to Solution.
Payment options – At the moment of this PIA review, they presently offer 4 various payment techniques, as you can see listed below:
This is a respectable choice of options. Some VPNs don’t also support cryptocurrency resettlements, as we kept in mind in the IPVanish review. So overall this is another solid point for PIA.
Currently let’s move on some of the disadvantages with Private Internet Access.
Since we’ve protected some of the pros of PIA, we will appearance at the cons.
Among the greatest disadvantages we kept in mind in this PIA review was with efficiency. This was rather unexpected, however, since most VPNs that support WireGuard have excellent efficiency. With PIA, I ran numerous speed tests on a 500 Mbps internet link (standard speed) from my testing laboratory in the Unified Specifies.
In purchase to give PIA the best efficiency test feasible, I selected the WireGuard VPN procedure and ran speed tests with the newest variation of the PIA Home windows customer. Currently let’s examine the outcomes.
Here was a PIA web server in Seattle at 41 Mbps:
This is truly bad. Obtaining just 41 Mbps on a 500 Mbps link is definitely slower compared to average. So let’s examine some various other locations.
Here was a PIA web server in Los Angeles, California at 85 Mbps:
While this is better compared to the previous test outcome, it’s still quite slow. We should be obtaining rates over 200 Mbps, particularly with the WireGuard procedure.
Next, I evaluated a PIA web server in New York, which gave me about 23 Mbps.
With PIA web servers in the Unified Specifies, it’s clear that this is a sluggish VPN.
For the last speed test, I decided to try a place throughout the fish pond in the Unified Kingdom. Here was a PIA web server in London, UK, which gave me 10 Mbps.
With slow rates such as this, PIA is certainly not the best VPN for the UK if you worth efficiency.
In previous PIA reviews, rates were better. It appears that rates with Private Internet Access are becoming worse, after including WireGuard.