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VPN by Private Internet Access Review 2021

Just like its name, Private Internet Access is best known for its no-logs-policy and user privacy. The VPN provider claims that it creates an encrypted tunnel so that nobody can spy on you. Private Internet Access also provides IP cloaking which frees you from Geographic restrictions when traveling or accessing some restricted websites. In sum, Private Internet Access VPN lets you disappear online—as it should be. If you are new to VPN and confuse to find the best VPN for you, you should check out our VPN Guide 2021. I am 100% sure, all of your doubt about VPN will be cleared.

But is it reliable as touted by the company? How does it perform in terms of torrenting, streaming, and data privacy? Does it keep users anonymous and protect user privacy? Can Private Internet Access provide access to the maximum number of servers? 

Find out in this Private Internet Access review. We also explore its cost and features.

Is Private Internet Access Safe?

You wouldn’t want to expose your data to a company that isn’t trusted. Private Internet Access is a reliable VPN provider owned by Private Internet (owners of CyberGhost and Zenmate). The company has recently upgraded its VPN network, increasing its servers to a massive 24,000 plus in 77 countries from the previous 3,300. It describes the new Private Internet Access service as the ‘NextGen VPN Network’.  

According to Private Internet Access, the VPN servers ‘utilize better hardware components’, 10Gpbs network cards instead of 1Gbps,’ use RAM Disks to ensure ‘all sensitive information is lost as soon as the server disconnects. The servers also support both OpenVPN and WireGuard. With the upgraded security features and fast network cards, and a huge number of servers, Private Internet Access has positioned its VPN network as a force to reckon with in the market.

Private Internet Access Subscription Plans

What does Private Internet Access cost? Considering the features that the VPN service offer, Private Internet Service price is fair, especially if you subscribe to a long-term plan.

There are three packages on the Private Internet Access plan,

  • Monthly plan: $11.95 per month
  • Yearly plan: $39.95 per year ($3.33 per month) 
  • Three-year plan: $79 per three years ($2.19 per month)

All subscription packages include all of its features, including:

  • Access to over 24518 servers in 77 countries
  • Super-fast connection speeds
  • Connect 10 devices simultaneously
  • Email breach monitoring for FREE

The three-year plan also comes with a one-year license of Boxcryptor, a service that you can use to encrypts cloud files on Dropbox, GoogleDrive, and OneDrive, and more.

How to Pay for Private Internet Access

The VPN service has made it easy to pay for its subscriptions via various channels. This includes Bitcoin, Amazon Pay, major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, American Express, Discover, and more. You can also pay with gift cards from over 100 brands including:

  • Starbucks ($25 gift card will get you 95 days of Private Internet Access)
  • Target
  • Best Buy ($32 is 128 days of Private Internet Access)
  • Lowe’s
  • Walmart
  • The Home Depot.

The gift card option also lets you subscribe anonymously without giving the VPN Company any of your payment information like your credit card number, billing address, name, email address. All you have to do is buy a gift card with cash and then use it to buy Private Internet Access.  

Private Internet Access Student Discount Via Student Bean

Are you a student looking for the best Private Internet Access deals? Whether you’re studying abroad and want to access geo-restricted content, bypass restrictions to sites, have privacy online, protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi, Private Internet Access has a deal for you. Save money by verifying your student status on Student Bean and unlock a $2.69 per month student rate plus two free months. Log onto your Student Bans account and search for Private Internet Access to gt a discount code that you’ll use at checkout.

Does Private Internet Access Offer a Free Trial?

At the moment, the VPN provider is not offering a free discount. You’ll have to use a gift card or enter your credit card details to access the service. However, there’s a 30-day refund policy if you can cancel within the first 30 days of subscription. Take note that this refund policy only applies when you subscribe directly on the company’s website and use your credit card or PayPal. It doesn’t work when you pay with gift cards. You can also use a Private Internet Access coupon to get a discount or take advantage of the Private Internet Access deals made available by the company.

Private Internet Access Features

Private Internet Access offers multi-layered security and state of the art privacy protection using VPN tunneling. The VPN not only secures your web browser. It operates at the TCP/IP interface or at the kernel level to ensure all your connected applications are secured. 

You can also access geo-blocked content from streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu.

Private Internet Access Review

Here are the features that set this VPN network apart:

  1. Secure VPN Account
  2. Encrypted Wi-Fi
  3. P2P Support
  4. WireGuard®, PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec
  5. 10 devices simultaneously
  6. PIA’s MACE blocks ads, trackers, and malware
  7. Multiple VPN Gateways
  8. Unlimited Bandwidth
  9. SOCKS5 Proxy Included
  10. No traffic logs
  11. Instant Setup
  12. Easy to use

IP Cloaking

Private Internet Access provides high-powered IP cloaking which effectively masks your IP address for all your online activities and software application. This includes instant messaging, web browsing, and more. It effectively prevents internet services and websites from tracking your web browsing habits, discovering your geographical location, or monitoring what you search for. 

How does it work? After you’ve established a secure connection to PIA’s security layer, you will be provided with a new IP address which will show your connection originating from a different location. 

We tested Private Internet Access’s efficiency using What Is My IP? The result displayed the IP address given us by PIA instead of our original IP. We also used dnsleaktest.com to check if there’s a DNS leak. Our IP address and location were perfectly hidden by Private Internet Access. The UK server that we connected to was displayed instead.

Private Internet Access VPN IP Cloaking

Data Encryption

PIA combines data encryption with OpenVPN protocol and is able to secure your data admissions, even in the most insecure and dangerous hotspots and networks. 

Private Internet Access encrypts all of your internet traffic and routes them through an intermediary server. Also,  users have access to WireGuard and OpenVPN. You’ll also be able to choose your level of encryption, and set data authentication and handshake methods. 

Information on the Private Internet Access website states that its service utilizes high-grade encryption based on the cryptographically secure Blowfish CBC algorithm. This encryption system does not allow the company to view and log what IP addresses a subscriber has visited or is visiting.

No Traffic Logs

Private Internet Access VPN has been able to set itself apart from other paid VPN providers as a trustworthy provider that values user privacy. The company has been transparent about its no-log policy. And this feature is the company’s major selling point. On one of its forums, a representative of the company stated, “NO! PIA does not keep any logs, of any kind, period.” The firm affirms that logs are never written to the hard drives of any of the company’s machines. They are specifically written to the null device, which simply acts as if the data never existed. The online security firm has proven that it does not keep:

  • Subscriber accesses to the VPN service
  • How long a subscriber’ use was
  • What IP address a subscriber originated from
  • What IP addresses a subscriber is visiting or has visited

There are numerous responses on the company’s website and two actual court cases that anyone can look up concerning cases of various data requests the company has received from government agencies. An example is when PIA has its servers seized by Russian authorities. The firm has also been subpoenaed by the US federal government. Yet it managed to protect user identities, as it was not able to provide any logging information. PIA states that it doesn’t collect any data from users besides the email addresses, state of origin and zip code, and payment data (it does not save credit card information).

Private Internet Access Download

Download PIA VPN

If you’re looking to use the VPN service on multiple devices, PIA’s got you covered. The VPN service has software or extension for the following:

Mobile:

  • iOS11 or newer (only 64-bit devices)
  • Android 4.1 or newer (only mobile devices)

Desktop:

  • Windows 8.1, and 10 (32 or 64 bit)
  • Linux (64-bit and desktop versions only)
  • macOS (64-bit only) 10.13 or newer

Browser Extensions:

  • Firefox v57 or newer
  • Chrome v48 or newer
  • Opera v52 or newer

How to Set up PIA Chrome Extension

Follow the steps to set up PIA Chrome extension.

  1. Install Private Internet Access Google chrome extension

    Install Private Internet Access Chrome Extension from the Chrome web store. Once it’ssuccessfully installed, you’ll see the red PIA robot icon in the top right of the page. Click on the PIA icon. The sign in overlay will come up. Enter your username and password:PIA Chrome extension download

  2. Set up PIA VPN

    Once you sign, the main screen will bring on the “ON” button to connect. It will display the current region that you’ve selected. Click on the “Power” button to enable the extension. 
    Private Internet Access is a tempting option if you want to have access to the maximum number of servers, torrent, and tweak all your VPN settings. It has comprehensive desktop and mobile apps. This Private Internet Access Review highlights the features, pros, and cons of this VPN service, including Private Internet Access cost.   Connect chrome extension

  3. Connect with VPN.

    Once connected, the color will change to green:

  4. Verify the VPN connection.

    You can confirm that you’re protected by the VPN by visiting the PIA website. Check to ensure the top bar says “You are protected by PIA”:Verify connection

  5. Change the region.

    If you would like to change the region you’re connecting from, click the Current Region option:Change the region

  6. Access Private Internet Access chrome extension setting.

    Click the three dots in the top right corner of the extension menu to access the settings including security, privacy. Ensure to disconnect and reconnect to save any changes you made to the extension settings. The Chrome extension comes with various settings including security, privacy, tracking, and bypass list. You can easily tweak the settings according to your preferences.PIA Chrome extension setting

Private Internet Access for Torrenting

Private Internet Access VPN is known for its support of p2p/torrents and filesharing uses. It supports well-known torrent clients such as BitTorrent. You can use torrents from any location with unlimited bandwidth. The VPN service doesn’t ban or block torrent downloads. The provider is optimized to enable peer-to-peer computer network activities. Also, due to its no-logs policy, PIA is ideal for anonymous torrenting. In other words, when you connect to a specialized VPN server on PIA, you will be able to share files at top speeds without compromising your privacy. Private Internet Access automatically picks the best server network and network protocol so that you can have the best P2P experience. 

Private Internet Access P2P friendly features include:

  • Kill Switch: If your VPN disconnects while it’s connected to PIA’a servers, the Kill Switch will kill your internet connection instantly. This keeps your identity secure from torrent peers and monitors. During our testing, the kill switch feature works effectively.
  • Port Forwarding: PIA’s software for PC and Android supports port forwarding. This is extremely useful for getting the best speeds while torrenting, especially if you’re behind a restrictive network. An example is when using school Wi-Fi.
  • SOCKS5 Proxy: A Socks5 proxy is the best proxy-type for torrenting. It routes your internet traffic through a third-party service via Transmission Contol Protocol (TCP). It provides a new IP address so that the web host cannot detect your physical location. PIA includes free access to their Netherland-based SOCKS5 proxy with every subscription for anonymity purposes.

Private Internet Access for Netflix

Due to its massive number of servers, PIA is one of the best VPNs for streaming. Users can connect to over 24,000 servers located in 77 countries around the world. This makes it possible to find a stable connection for streaming your favorite shows. To test PIA’s Netflix streaming service, we cleared our stored cookies and cache. Then opened Netflix in various locations. We were able to access some Netflix libraries, while we triggered an error in some cases. While testing, We were able to access Netflix Germany, Netflix Japan, and Netflix US. We were not able to access Netflix UK and Australia.

Comparison with other VPNs

VPN Best Deal Free Trial Connections Countries No of Servers Visit website
Private Internet Access
$2.69/Month with 2 Years plan
No (30 days money back guarantee)
10 devices
77
24000
Nord VPN
$3.71/ Month with 2 years plan
No (30 days money back guarantee)
6 devices
62
5500
Express VPN
$8.32/Month with 1 year plan
No (30 days money back guarantee)
5 devices
94
3000
TunnelBear
$3.33/Month with 3 years plan
500 MB Free Trial
5 devices
23
1800+
CyberGhost
$2.25/Month with 3 years plan +3 Months free
No(45 days money back guarantee)
7 Devices
89
6000+
Ivacy VPN
$1/Month with 5 years plan
$0.99 for 7 days trial
5 devices
100
3500

How does Private Internet Access VPN fare when compared to its competitors?

Nord VPN

Nord VPN is well-known for offering features beyond the basic VPN at a cheap price. This includes dedicated IP, Double VPN (a second layer of encryption), and P2P sharing support. The VPN service supports all the usual platforms and many home networks. It has over 5,500 servers worldwide, no logs policy, and connection to 6 devices at the same time. The company also offers a package for organizations, known as NORDVPN Teams. This provides a centralized billing and management for a mobile workforce.

  • Platforms: Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Linux, Windows, Android TV
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Kill switch
  • NORDLynx protocol for best speeds
  • Servers 5,500
  • Security: 2048-bit AES encryption, double VPN, and Onion Over VPN
  • Unblocks Netflix, Philo TV, Fubo TV & other streaming services
  • Jurisdiction: Panama

Express VPN

With outstanding speeds and a reputation for reliability and security, ExpressVPN ranks among the top VPN providers. It has an easy-to-use interface, ideal for newcomers. ExpressVPN also works on multiple platforms including Kindle Fire, Chromebook, and even the Nook device. It also works with PlayStation, AppleTV, Nintendo Switch, and Nvidia Switch. ExpressVPN has 160 server locations in 94 countries.

  1. Use 5 devices simultaneously
  2. Bypass ISP throttling and buffering
  3. AES-256 encryption
  4. Kill switch
  5. Split tunneling
  6. No logs 
  7. Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  8. Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

CyberGhost

CyberGhost VPN markets itself as a full security system. Its features include ad-blocking. By blocking ads at the network level, CyberGhost prevents malicious ads from ever touching your server. It also offers malicious website blocking to protect your browser from encountering malicious sites. As its name implies CyberGhost helps you be a ghost online by blocking your online footprint so no website can track you. Another great feature is data compression. CyberGhost compresses images and other elements to reduce bandwidth usage and minimize data costs. The VPN provider has 6,000 servers in 89 countries. It also offers adequate bandwidth to stream video. 

Features:

  1. 7 simultaneous connections
  2. Kill switch
  3. No logs
  4.  6,381 servers
  5. 89 countries
  6. Supports all the major platforms

TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear simplifies VPNs for novice users. It has a user-friendly interface and an excellent no-logging and privacy policy. TunnnelBear is one of those transparent VPN providers that getsits software and systems independently audited. However, it does not have the largest network or an extensive number of apps like its competitors. This VPN has 1,800 servers in 26 servers. With its jurisdiction in Canada and its parent company McAfee based in the US, there have been concerns regarding the users’ privacy. Despite this, this VPN is worth it for less demanding users.

Features:

  • 1,800 servers
  • 23 server locations
  • Jurisdiction: Canada
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Kill switch
  • GhostBear prevents VPN blocking
  • 5 simultaneous devices

Ivacy VPN

Ivacy is one of the best-value virtual private network services available on the market.  Its main selling point is its unbeatable $1 per month fee on the five-year long-term plan. Though there’s no external audit to back up Ivacy’s no-logs policy, its privacy policy is transparent. BesidesIvacy provides IPv6 leak protection, kill switch, and DDoS protection. In addition, it does a good job of unblocking Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video, Vidgo TV. It also supports P2P torrenting.

Features:

  1. Over 3,500 servers
  2. 100 countries
  3. Supports all the major platforms
  4. Split tunneling
  5. Kill switch
  6. 5 simultaneous connections
  7. Country of jurisdiction: Singapore
  8. IPv6 leak protection
  9. 256-bit encryption

Private Internet Access Final Review

8.9 Total Score
Best VPN for multiple devices usage

Here, we have listed the pros & cons of PIA.

PROS
  • Anonymous torrenting
  • User-friendly interface
  • 10 simultaneous devices
  • Excellent security
  • Unblocks few Netflix libraries
  • A high number of servers compared to most competitors
  • Comprehensive desktop and mobile apps
  • Pocket-friendly price and student discounts
CONS
  • Can’t unblock Netflix libraries worldwide
  • No free Trial available.
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)

PIA is no doubt one of the most reliable VPNs on the market. If you want to torrent, access a maximum number of servers, and enjoy enhanced security features, Private Internet Acess will be a tempting option. However, it is limited in unblocking Netflix and its speed is average. You get PIA’s feature regardless of the package you choose, but there’s no free version or trial.  As such, you should read an unbiased Private Internet Access Review before you sign up. Though PIA offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, you have to contact customer support.

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