When You hear that a VPN provider has been created by Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish Pirate party, You might expect that privacy and security will be a priority instead of design and marketing. And that's the promise Private Internet Access (PIA) delivers on.
PIA was Launched in 2010 and went on a sustainable growth curve both in an amount of servers as well as service functionality. Currently, it's one of the most feature-rich VPN providers which seriously focuses on privacy.
Three standard billing options are available to choose from - monthly, 6 months and a yearly one. Yearly plan teases with the monthly fee of $3.33, which offers a discount of more than 50%.
Though no free trial is available, a 7-day money-back guarantee is available and ensures that the "try-before-you-buy" is in place.
All standard payment options are available, including the BitCoin cryptocurrency, guaranteeing maximum privacy for users who want to stay anonymous even during payment.
PIA provides an extensive feature list:
Some of the features mentioned above are noteworthy because they are not your standard features: 5 device support, proxy server inclusion, multiple VPN gateways as well as a strict no-log policy.
PIA has an extensive set of privacy and security functions in place. All three major VPN protocols are available - PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN - with OpenVPN being the default and recommended choice. OpenVPN connections can be encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) protocol, which is a specification for encryption of electronic data established by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. Without getting too deep into technical aspects, PIA provides one of the widest selections of security measurements, which are nicely documented and explained in a form that even a novice user would understand.
Private Internet Access has an extensive knowledge base covering both technical and payment topics. Advanced users will enjoy tutorials on how to set up custom debugging log files, whilst beginners might enjoy detailed walkthroughs of many different router brands or simple app install guides for each and every platform.
Beginners will also enjoy a set of videos that simplify the hassles of starting using PIA (not that there are many of them). The videos are great, especially for those who have just purchased VPN services and PIA is their first provider.
Another support option is an email contact form with an average response time of 4-6 hours.
We did not mention live chat support for a reason - as you might have already guessed, live chat is not available, though you can leave a message for the support team. The lack of live chat is indeed a drawback for some users, considering the fact that most of the direct PIA competitors do provide it. But as we all know, live support costs a lot and is incorporated into the pricing. For many users it is better to wait a few hours, but save a few bucks each month.
PIA supported platform list is impressive. It even supports windows 2k – some of the readers probably don’t even remember or know it ever existed.
This just once again confirms the techie attitude the PIA team has and they definitely deserve credit for that!
All of the supported platforms feature an impressive list of service functions:
PIA has a geographical coverage of 24 countries with all of the major locations included as well as some exotic ones available too.
The overall server count per country equals to around 140 servers. Not many VPN providers have that many servers for each and every location. There might be a case when you're interested in a specific country, but it is good that many different servers are available per country. PIA perfectly satisfies the need for many server locations and even the more advanced users will find the list of available servers extensive.
To give you a glimpse of how the application interface looks like, we’re sharing several Windows application screenshots:
The design might look pretty basic, but on the other hand, it is not overwhelming and jarring with too much content.
The settings once again prove that PIA is really focused on security features. Take the VPN kill switch function - it is a feature which ensures that you are never browsing the web when the VPN disconnects and your IP is left exposed. I always wanted such an option in VPN services and PIA were the first ones to offer it - credits for innovation.
PIA is a VPN provider that is focused on security and functionality. It has a very attractive pricing and a simple, yet easy to use design. It is one of the top-notch VPN players on the market, if not the best one.
The 7-day money-back guarantee means just one thing - trying out this service is a must!