Private Internet Access

6.2

Overall Score

1 User Review

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Private Internet Access, commonly abbreviated as PIA, is owned and operated by London Trust Media, Inc. They have been providing VPN service globally since 2013. The company offers a global network of servers, multiple methods of payment which are completely anonymous (including the ability to pay for VPN service with gift cards from hundreds of retailers), and a comprehensive seven day guarantee. Customers are able to use multiple devices with the VPN and PIA is compatible with all popular desktop and mobile operating systems.

The Good

  • Price
  • Cancellation Policies
  • Speed
  • Extra Features
Price

Private Internet Access only offers VPN service. Like most of their competitors, customers select their term of their payment, with longer terms of the subscription being paid upfront and in a lump sum receiving the best rates.

Customers choose from one of the following options for subscriptions:

  • Monthly - $6.95/month
  • 6 Month Subscription - $35.95 ($5.99/month)
  • Annual - $39.95 ($3.33/month)

Those concerned about maintaining their anonymity will appreciate the options available for payment, including hundreds of gift cards from local retailers. In addition to these options, customer may use PayPal, Amazon Payments, Bitcoin, OK Pay, Ripple, Pay Garden, and all major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover) to pay for their VPN service with PIA.

Cancellation Policies

Customers have reported some confusion about how to cancel their VPN services with PIA. The company has several different methods for cancellation, based upon the type of payment used to create the subscription.

  • PayPal or Credit Card payments - Customers need to cancel on Private Internet Access' website in the Client Control Panel.
  • Amazon, Google and OKPay - Customers must log into their payment account and follow the steps recommended by each company to cancel.
  • Any other type of payment method - These customers may simply not pay their next payment and their account automatically expires.
 Speed

PIA boasts that they offer Gigabit VPN port speeds on their servers. As speed is a fluid and unpredictable criterion with several variables, the Review Team attempted to use an independent speed testing site. If there was insufficient data standardize the speed results for each company, the Review Team gathered data from other independent speed test sites and averaged the results for both upload and downloads. Private Internet Access has an average speed of 9.08 Mbps (download) and 4.15 Mbps (upload). The average connection speed for the entire United States is 20.8 Mbps (download) and 5.2 Mbps (upload).

Extra features

PIA offers several features to their service which include:

  • DD-WRT VPN Compatible
  • P2P and VoIP Support
  • DNS Leak Protection
  • IPv6 Leak Protection
  • Internet kill switch
  • Multiple VPN Gateways
  • Port Forwarding

The Bad

  • Free Trial
  • Transparency
  • Customer Support
Free Trial

Unlike many of their competitors, PIA does not offer their new customers any sort of free trial period. The company offers a comprehensive 7-Day money-back guarantee, which allows customers some time to test their services and determine if they want to continue with a subscription.

 Transparency

Private Internet Access has comprehensive terms and conditions and privacy policies online, with the exact data which they collect and its purpose. The bulk of information is used for billing and addressing technical problems on the website and is not unusual to the industry.

However, there are issues about which the Review Team was not able to find answers via the company's website, external sources or from the company itself.

Customer Support

Private Internet Access offers customer support via an online ticket system, knowledge base with directions and how-to videos, and via email for certain departments only. There are several complaints about the company not responding in a timely manner or at all.

The Bottom Line

The Review Team found that there were many positive features which PIA offer to their customers. These include the ability to connect five devices simultaneously to the VPN, DNS leak protection, and a plethora of accepted methods of payment. However, there are significant concerns about the company's transparency. If it were not for this concern, the company would be fully recommended by the Review Team. As it stands, though, the Review Team cannot fully recommend Private Internet Access without reservations.

User Reviews

5

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  • 10

    April 14th, 2017 Matawan, NJ

    Very good, fast and cheap VPN. Two thumbs up!

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