Private Internet Access Review: Not as Good As Expected…

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com

Private Internet Access (or PIA) labels itself as the most trusted VPN out there and for a good reason.

PIA may just be the most popular VPN for most Internet users and consistently receives top-notch reviews. In fact, Brian Nadel said on Tom’s Guide earlier in 2018 that PIA was “still the one to beat”.

The wide range of features of PIA is what makes it one of the best VPN services out there. These include, but are not limited to:

  • An above-average number of servers
  • Ad blocking
  • P2P file sharing support
  • Multiplatform and device support
  • Strong encryption
  • Servers in nearly 30 countries
  • A great stance on keeping customer information private.
  • Simple user interface

Yet customers report slow speed performance across multiple devices and so do our tests.

Some potential drawbacks to watch for include the fact that PIA is based in the US hence have limited flexibility for the specialization of usernames and reloads more than usual.

More below.

Company Profile

It is brought to you by London Trust Media Inc. – a company founded in 2010 and located in Denver, United States. Here comes the first con.

PIA old website

It is located in the 14 eyes jurisdiction, making it vulnerable to governmental pressures.  However, this is only one drawback. There are tons of positive aspects. Scroll down to learn more.

No Browser Usage Logs, No Leaks

PIA belongs to the no logging VPN club. Some of the VPNs actually do log data even though they claim that they do not, PIA doesn’t.

They passed all our security tests and had no DNS leaks or logs, which gives us a reason to believe that PIA is worth considering.

Their AES-256 Encryption supported these protocols:

  • PPTP
  • OpenVPN
  • L2TP/IPSec

Location in the 14 Eyes Jurisdiction

PIA is located in the United States of America. The location is the first con of their service.

They are part of the 5 Eyes jurisdiction.

What is Five Eyes?

FVEY is an intelligence alliance between the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Simply put, each member can ask for information from any alliance country observations.

Privacy Policy and TOS

(Reviewed by a professional lawyer)

Privacy policy

  • The privacy policy operates under EU law.
    • The policy was last updated on May 2018, likely to reflect the recent changes in data security law in the EU and its member states.
  • It has some style and spelling errors, but nothing that would require immediate corrections.

Full version including comments: download

Terms of service

  • While PrivateInternetAccess.com is compliant in so far as they have a privacy policy and terms of service agreement, both agreements operate using a different version of the law. The privacy policy applies the standard practices of the EU to data protection and the terms of service claim that the law of Indiana, a state in the United States, applies directly to litigation/arbitration.
    • Another note:  these terms designate Hamilton County, Indiana, as the venue for litigation. Chances are that unless the plaintiff was located in the same county any litigation would be immediately moved to federal court and federal law would apply.
    • The Hamilton County line would likely only apply to small claims made by individual consumers, but still not likely to be useful at all, as a plaintiff would rather sue in federal court.
  • Spelling and grammar were not an issue in the terms of service agreement. It is well written and usefully provides notes examining the purpose of each paragraph of the agreement.

Full version: download

Devices and Platforms

You can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously, which makes it a great choice for a small family. The application is available for devices listed below.

Operating systems:

  • Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, phone
  • Mac High Sierra, 10.13, 10.12, 10.11, 10.10, 10.9, 10,8
  • Linux Crunchbang, Fedora, Mint, Command Line Interface, Ubuntu

Phones and tablets:

  • Android: Oreo 8, Nougat 7, Marshmallow 6, Lollipop 5, KitKat 4.4, Jelly Bean
  • iOS 11, 10, 9, 8
  • Chrome browser extension

Routers:

  • Tomato, pfSense, DD-WRT

You can connect up to 3270+ servers in 33 countries.

Easy to Use UI

The application has to be understandable for rookies.

PIA has done it right.

Even though there are a lot of options, if you are new to VPNs, you can’t go wrong with the default settings and auto-location.

Kill-switch

Kill-switch is valuable for repeat users.

This feature enables you to permanently have a VPN connection every time you connect to the Internet.

How does it work?

Kill-switch allows internet connection only if the VPN is on. Yes, they do have a kill-switch and it works great.

The same feature is also on their iOS and Android app. SOCKS5 Proxy is included.

Average Speeds

Speed decreases when you use the VPN.

This is the case of all services. However, some are faster than others. PIA has above-average speed compared to other service providers.

Speed results without VPN
Atlanta, United States

The United States server ping went up by 788.24%. Download decreased by -34.05% and upload by -62.58%.

London, United Kingdom

The United Kingdom server ping went up by 291.18%. Download decreased by -85.61% and upload by -96.32%.

Tokyo, Japan

Japan server ping went up by 211.76%. Download decreased by -42.63% and upload by -6.37%.

Various Payment Methods

There are 9 ways to purchase the subscription.

  • PayPal
  • Credit card
  • BitPay
  • Bitcoin cash
  • Bitcoin
  • ShapeShift
  • MINT
  • Gift cards

Low Price and 7-Day Money-Back-Guarantee

To buy or not to buy?

PIA is a great service for home users.

London Media Trust is a reputable company with a good record of keeping private data. They have a large user base with tons of supporters. The service is finely tuned, responsive, and smooth. It’s cheap and the money-back guarantee removes the risk of disappointment.

We believe it’s worth a try.

 

Leave a Comment