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Is it a good VPN?

Is it a good VPN?


Private Internet Access (PIA) is very intuitive and fast Maintains some of the strongest security practices in the industry Its apps are completely open source, the no-logs policy has been repeatedly tested in court, and it offers plenty of high-security customizations for advanced users.

PIA also offers more additional features than most other VPNs, including:

  • Torrenting on all servers.
  • split tunneling;
  • Tor support.
  • Ad blocker.
  • And more…

PIA is a good VPN for torrenting and gaming, and one of the best streaming options – PIA works with Netflix, as well as Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and many other streaming services. In addition, PIA operates in countries that restrict Internet access, such as China.

Overall, PIA is one of the best VPNs out there. It’s secure and easy to use across all apps and platforms, and allows 10 simultaneous connections to be made on one account (unlike most VPNs that only allow 5-7 simultaneous connections).

Private Internet Access has 1-month, 1-year, and 3-year payment plans (a 3-year plan often comes with additional months for free). All plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

overall rank # 2 Out of 52 VPN
🌍 Number of servers Anonymous
πŸ“± Number of devices 10
πŸ’Έ Starting price Per month
🎁 Free Plan No

30 Days Risk-Free – Get Private Internet Access Now

Internet access special review

I spent two weeks testing and researching Private Internet Access (PIA) to see if it was indeed one of the best VPNs out there.

PIA has excellent security features, is very intuitive and easy to use, and maintains fast speeds across all servers.

PIA had excellent speeds in my speed tests, which allowed me to stream content in HD without any buffering (even while connected to remote servers), download torrents quickly, and browse the web without interruption.

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Private Internet Access Features

PIA comes with all standard security features, such as:

  • Multiple encryption options. PIA offers 256-bit AES encryption and 128-bit AES encryption. 256-bit AES is more secure, but 128-bit AES has slightly faster speeds (it was 4-5% faster in my tests).
  • No-logs policy. PIA does not track, store or log any browsing data, and this has been proven time and time again in court (unlike most other VPNs that are not legally tested).
  • kill switch. This feature protects you from potential data leakage by blocking internet access if you are not connected to a VPN.

I like that PIA has an automatic kill switch built into the iOS app (many VPNs don’t have a kill switch on iOS). PIA’s kill switch for Windows and Mac offers some additional flexibility – you can choose whether to activate the kill switch if the VPN connection accidentally drops or if you are not connected to a VPN server (it only allows you to use the internet if you are connected to a PIA server) VPN).

I also think it’s great to run PIA servers on RAM. This means that PIA does not store any data on the hard disk, and all data on the server is erased when the server is restarted.

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PIA offers complete DNS and WebRTC leak protection. PIA’s DNS servers prevent DNS leaks and their browser extensions prevent WebRTC leaks (some of the best VPNs like VyprVPN, PrivateVPN, and ProtonVPN do not have browser extensions and are unable to block WebRTC leaks). PIA does not support IPv6, but I really like how it automatically disables IPv6 traffic by default – that way, you won’t have to remember to manually disable it on your device.

PIA offers 3 protocols: OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPSec (available only in the iOS app). I’m really happy that PIA includes WireGuard because it’s more secure, and in my tests WireGuard delivered faster speeds than OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec (competitors like TunnelBear and HMA don’t support WireGuard).

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Tor . support

PIA Tor (The Onion Router) supports VPN on all of its servers, allowing you to browse .onion sites with an extra layer of security.

Although Tor is already very secure, using Tor over a VPN prevents other Tor users from discovering your real IP address (if your IP address is leaked, other Tor users will see the VPN’s IP address, not your actual address).

Using PIA’s Tor over VPN feature is very simple – just connect to any PIA server and start using Tor Browser (downloadable for free).

But keep in mind that Tor over VPN connections are very slow (in general) Because Tor encrypts your traffic multiple times and adding a VPN connection makes it slower. In my tests, websites took up to 20 seconds to load and had connection speeds reduced by 75% compared to my internet speed without the VPN.

PIA has good Tor support, but I slightly prefer Tor over VPN and ProtonVPN than AstrillVPN – these two VPNs allow you to browse the Tor network using Opera, Chrome, and Firefox instead of the Tor browser.

But overall, Tor over VPN from PIA is very easy to use, it works on any server, and provides an extra layer of protection for users who visit .onion sites on a regular basis.

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split tunneling

Divided tunnels in Baia The feature is better than most other VPN’s split tunneling functions.

PIA has split tunneling on Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux (iOS does not support split tunneling).

PIA’s desktop apps let you specify both apps and website IP addresses to bypass the VPN tunnel, unlike top competitors like ExpressVPN, which only let you bypass app traffic (although PIA’s Android split feature only works at the app level) .

One of the things I love most about PIA’s split tunneling functionality is that it is available on macOS. Most VPNs don’t support split tunneling on Mac computers, so this is a plus.

During my tests, PIA’s split tunneling worked perfectly. I tested split tunneling while downloading files – I routed all my P2P activity through the VPN and excluded the IP address of the bank (most banks don’t allow VPN traffic). This allowed me to get faster download speeds, and still have access to my bank account.

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Overall, PIA’s split tunneling function works great, it allows you to redirect both applications and websites’ IP addresses, and I really like that it’s also available on Mac.

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Traffic jam

PIA offers obfuscation through the Shadowsocks (open source encrypted proxy) protocol, which hides your VPN traffic from third parties.

PIA basically hides your VPN connection and makes it look as if you are using the internet without a VPN, which allows you to get around geo-blocking and VPN blocking.

Shadowsocks is a great place to bypass online firewalls in countries with heavy internet censorship. Shadowsocks from PIA is also reliable at hiding your VPN connection from your ISP, good for accessing geo-restricted websites.

Keep in mind that using Shadowsocks will slow down your internet connection a bit because Shadowsocks adds another layer of encryption to the connection. While using obfuscation, I had an average speed drop of 7% compared to the speed I was connecting to when I was connected to the PIA server. This isn’t too bad, but it may cause some minor delays or buffering.

Overall, PIA’s Shadowsocks proxy obfuscation feature is useful for bypassing internet firewalls and hiding your VPN connection from your ISP.

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PIA MACE (Ad Blocker)

Piya Mas It is a good ad blocker at blocking ads, ad tracking, and malicious websites. I tested PIA MACE by visiting dense ad media outlets and social media pages, PIA MACE blocked most ads from loading on sites. And since there were (almost) no ads on these sites, the web pages loaded faster than usual.

I also tested for malware detection in PIA MACE – I tried visiting known suspicious HTTP sites and the tool blocked most of them. However, PIA MACE also rated some of the safe sites as unsafe (but this didn’t happen often).

PIA MACE is available on the PIA desktop apps, and you can also get it on Android if you install the APK version of the PIA Android app (You will not get PIA MACE if you download the app from Google Play Store). PIA MACE does not work on iOS, but PIA will easily redirect you from PIA settings to iOS Safari settings to enable the ad blocker in Safari.

But overall, I think PIA MACE is a great add-on capable of blocking ads and protecting users from trackers and malicious websites.

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identity guard

Identity Guard is a good data breach monitoring tool that is easy to use and works really well.

This feature allows you to check if your email (or any other personal information) has been compromised in a data breach, and will send you an alert if anything is leaked in a new breach.

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I tested Identity Guard with an old email and found that my account was hacked in 9 different data breaches. The findings included the company that was breached, a brief summary of the breach, and my personal information that was disclosed (email address, passwords, names, date of birth, etc.).

Overall, Identity Guard is a good way to check if your email is involved in a data breach, and you can set up alerts to receive email notification if your email has been leaked.

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Privacy and security to access the Internet

PIA has a strict no-logs policy It does not track your IP addresses or your online activity (files you download or websites you visit). Its privacy policy states that PIA stores only data that all VPN services store, including your email address (to contact you), payment data (to process refunds), status data, and zip code (to detect fraud and payments and to ensure compliance with legal tax obligations ).

PIANo-logs policy proven in court (multiple times). For example, PIA was unable to comply with a subpoena in a 2015 case over a cyber attack on a media home and in a 2016 case over a bomb threat. PIA publishes regular transparency reports detailing exactly which requests it receives and how often it has complied with the authority’s request for user data. There are very few VPN companies that have this level of transparency.

One of the things I love most about PIA is that all of its applications are open source. This allows anyone to scan the PIA code for security or privacy vulnerabilities.

Headquartered in the United States, PIA is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (a group of countries that share intelligence data). But since PIA does not keep any logs, it will not have any user information to turn over if requested by the US government (see the transparency report linked above).

Overall, PIA is one of the most transparent VPNs – it has a strong no-logs policy, has been court tested on multiple occasions, and all PIA’s software is completely open source.

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Private internet access speed and performance

Speed ​​tests were conducted by connecting to a server in all 78 countries where PIA has a server and, on average, experienced a speed reduction of 67%. But I’m from Romania, which has some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, so the speed loss wasn’t as hard as it seemed – I was still able to stream content, download files, and surf the internet at very fast speeds. I asked my colleague in the US to run speed tests as well and he reported that his speed loss was 25% on average, which is better than most other VPNs.

speed tests, I mainly used WireGuard because OpenVPN was usually a lot slower.

I first ran a speed test without connecting to the PIA server to get a baseline of my speeds:

Next, I used PIA’s auto-connect option to connect to…

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