Background of Private Internet Access VPN (PIA)
Private Internet Access is a top VPN with offices located in Denver, Colorado, United States. The company was founded in 2009 by Andrew Lee and then was subsequently acquired by Kape Technologies in 2019. In this article, we look at a detailed, best Private Internet Access VPN review so that you see why it’s one of the best VPN services you can use today.
When choosing a VPN it is important to consider all the factors that are outlined below. This is because when dealing with privacy and security we can’t leave anything to chance. One small data breach can be costly to your company or to you as an individual.
How many servers does PIA have?
PIA has a staggering 12153+ servers that are distributed in over 74 locations and the number is growing. There are servers in South Africa, and that means if you are in the SADC region like Zimbabwe, you easily connect to a fast PIA VPN network.
The further you are from a VPN server, the slower the network as data travels long distances. This is one of the major drawbacks of cheap VPN services with a few servers. Fewer servers also means less security as a hacker can easily bombard the network servers with malicious software.
With that widespread distribution of servers, PIA easily re-routes your traffic if there is an attempt to gain access into your VPN tunnel. It’s also easier for companies to expand as the servers have the capacity to easily handle increased load.
Cost of PIA
All this power in the VPN comes at an affordable cost and that is welcome. PIA has 3 plans and all of them come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.
You can pay with gift cards of major brand gift cards like Starbucks, Walmart, Best Buy and more! The plans are as follows:
- Monthly plan: $9.95/month
- Yearly plan: $3.33/month
2-year plan: $2.69/month. This is the popular plan where you save 73%! You get 2 months for free when you choose this plan.
As a word of caution, whatever you do make sure you don’t settle for cheap, low-quality VPNs that put you at high security risk. Most of them, especially the freebies, are simply proxies that do nothing but just change your IP address. When you want total anonymity and security, the VPN has to deliver more. Read on to find out more features of PIA.
Devices supported by PIA
As expected in a top VPN, PIA supports all your devices irregardless of the type of operating system. According to their website, PIA supports 34 device types ranging from:
- And more
One account supports up to 10 devices simultaneously, and that is respectable given that other competitors support less. NordVPN supports up to 6 devices on one account and ExpressVPN supports 5 devices on one account.
You can install PIA on your router but it is generally not recommneded due to inherent speed limitations of a router-based VPN connection. Once you set it up, devices that connect through the router are secured as all traffic passes through the VPN tunnel.
However, in this best Private Internet Access VPN review, I have to highlight that network speeds drop when you use a VPN with a router. If possible, install it directly in a device for better speeds.
Does PIA change your IP address?
You can change your IP address easily with PIA hence you access sites from any location supported servers. This has huge benefits most of which are explained in one section. By hiding your IP address, you reduce chances of your location being exposed to hackers or other interested parties. As a result, you browse the internet like you should, that is, in private.
Prices of some online services vary from region to region and a VPN comes in handy because you order a product or service from a region where prices are lower. This is common with hotel bookings (raise your hand if you are doing that already!)
With this feature, you easily unlock any geographic restrictions and protocol filters in sites like Netflix.
Does PIA have DNS leaks?
PIA handles all the DNS queries so your ISP is not able to see the sites you visit. A VPN with DNS leaks establishes a VPN tunnel but the ISP still handles any DNS requests. In that case, you don’t browse in private as you may think.
With PIA all your traffic is encrypted and passes through the VPN tunnel. A DNS leak test of PIA shows the location of the VPN server you select, not that of your ISP.
This and other security features are audited regularly to ensure the VPN provider maintains high standards. Don’t expect that in a free VPN that you download from an App store. Read about dangers of free VPNs in a separate section on VPNAnchor.
How good is PIA customer support?
Customer support is swift and excellent. There is a live chat option so that you get your queries attended to quickly. Alternatively, you can send an email via a contact form or use a vast knowledge-base with common solutions.
If PIA representatives are on stand-by to address any enquiries, it shows they are confident with their services. Shady VPNs (I shall not name them) hardly provide room for questioning their service live because they are tailored to take advantage of subscribers in one way or the other.
This is a feature I have to emphasize in this best Private Internet Access VPN review.
Does PIA have a kill switch?
A kill should come as standard in a top VPN. This is because it is a last line of defense when there is a slight indication that the network may be compromised.
PIA has a reliable kill switch available in all plans. If the network is restored, a more secure VPN tunnel is re-established and your traffic is kept safe.
Encryption used by PIA
Thanks to PIA for being an open-source VPN. This means a lot of developers work hard to ensure the VPN security is kept airtight. Modern VPN protocols are used to ensure there is no breach of the VPN tunnel. The top protocols you must use for maximum security are:
Other protocols are used for browser proxies and also to increase speed. PIA also uses 256-bit encryption to ensure that data is never accessed by unscrupulous elements.
This sums up the best Private Internet Access VPN review. You can see that this is a super-charged VPN with all the features you need to be safe on the internet.
Remember, you can can pay with gift cards of listed major brands. How cool is that? Leave comments and let me know what you think.