- Software

Review: PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) – A Cheap And Well Performing VPN

With the NSA, CIA and whatever other agency watching you, you have to protect yourself. One option to protect yourself is by using a VPN. This will make your connection secure and nobody else should be able to spy on your connection.

Introduction

There are many options available and PIA is just one of them. PIA stands for Private Internet Access and it let you browse the internet anonymously. There are other features that make PIA VPN a good option, like kill switch, no log policy and many servers across the world. Let’s have a look at PIA VPN!

What Is VPN?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a tunnel between your device and the internet. This tunnel is secured with encryption. You use a VPN to protect your online activity from snooping, censorship and interference.

As soon as you start the VPN software, you are protected. It will encrypt your data and send your online requests through the VPN servers. With this method, your IP address and location are safe. The online service sees your request as coming from the VPN server and it’s location and not from your own device.

You can find more information, and a video, on how a VPN works if you click on THIS LINK.

Software

As a VPN provider, you need cross platform support. Luckily for PIA, they have all of that. It doesn’t matter if you are on a MacBook, a Windows laptop or an Android smartphone. PIA is available on (almost) all platforms. Below is a list of the available platforms:

  • Linux (Requires Ubuntu 16.04+, Mint 18+, Arch, Debian)
  • macOS (Requires at least 10.11)
  • Windows (Requires at least Windows 7)
  • Android (Requires at least Android 4.1)
  • iOS (Requires at least iOS 9)
  • Browser extension (Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera)
  • It doesn’t matter what device you use, with PIA VPN you are able to secure your connection to the internet. I own an Android device, below I will talk about the Android app and the usability of PIA Android.

    Usability (Android)

    The app for Android (which is available via THIS LINK) is super easy to use and work with. When you open the app, you see the server where you will be connecting with and you can change it by clicking on the country server. You will see the list with all the available servers and the estimated latency of them.

    When you press the three stripes on the top left corner, you will get the menu with all the option which we will discuss below.

    Overall the app works great, fast and it is super easy to change servers. The app is simple and that makes it super handy to use for everybody.

    Protect yourself online. Let PIA VPN do the hard work for you. Click here to view the deals!
    Or pay anonymous via BITCOIN!

    Features

    PIA VPN has more to offer and sometimes you might not even know about it. Did you know you can choose the kind of encryption used or use a kill switch? PIA VPN is packed with features and we talk about some of them below.

    Encryptions Available

    In the settings of the PIA VPN Android app you can choose three kinds of encryption. Those are for Data Encryption, Data Authentication and Handshake.

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    Pricing

    There are free VPN options available. They often leak information or other things thst you might want to keep secure! PIA VPN is not the most expensive option and it is at the cheaper side of the top VPN apps. What are the prices? See below:

    PIA VPN Pricing two yeara

    PIA VPN Pricing yearly

    PIA VPN Pricing monthly

    Click Here to view the prices on the website of PIA VPN.

    Simultaneous Connections

    You don’t have one device, most people have a laptop, tablet and a smartphone. That are three devices you want to protect. If you share the VPN with your partner that are easily 5 to 6 devices.

    With some VPN apps you can only connect 4 or 5 or 6 devices, most of the time it is enough but I share it with 4 people. PIA VPN is able to connect 10 devices at the same time! That is just great. You can share your connecting with multiple people and they all can be online at the same time!

    Protect yourself online. Let PIA VPN do the hard work for you. Click here to view the deals!
    Or pay anonymous via BITCOIN!

    Kill Switch

    This is a good feature and this could keep you 100% safe. The kill switch can turn off your internet or active connection when you are not connected to the VPN!

    PIA VPN kill switch

    There is the option to make PIA VPN connect after a restart, update or start automatically when you open the PIA VPN app.

    These features are super handy and make sure you are safe, no matter what happens!

    Click Here for more information!

    No Log Policy

    PIA VPN handles a “No Activity Log”. For me, this means they are not logging any activity on your sessions, but they might log other things? On their website it is not clear what they do and do not log.

    On their website they state they will not log anything, and even though they are based in the US, they figured a way to by pass the strict and hard rules from the government. I hope it is true, but online I read that they are logging some customer information.

    This should be fine by me, if they were clear about it on their website. I’ve mailed the support team with this question, but I’ve been waiting now for a week for an answer.

    Here is more information from the PIA website. Click Here!

    Refund Policy

    If you are not happy with the provided service of PIA VPN, you can use their refund policy. They have a 7 day refund policy, which is not super long but it is better then none, right?

    Also you must have a new account and you must request the refund via a webform or via mail. You can find more on the refund policy via THIS LINK.

    PIA VPN Servers

    PIA has a lot of server, all over the world. This is a good thing! This means you can connect to a lot of different countries and really hide your online activity.

    PIA has 3307+ servers in 32 countries, including the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.

    For the full list of counties and servers, please click HERE.

    PIA VPN Speed Test

    When you connect to a PIA VPN server, your internet speed will change. This is because your internet request has to go through the VPN server before it goes to the webpage or service. The further away the server, the slower the connection (most of the times).

    We did a little test and connected with several servers and did a speed test. All the test are done using a Lenovo P2, without WiFi and connected to 4G using Tele2 as provider. Below you will find the results and the location of the server:

    Baseline test – No VPN(Mobile connection, Tele2 mobile network):

    Amsterdam Baseline Test PIA VPN

    Germany, Frankfurt (Mobile connection, Tele2 mobile network):

    Germany Frankfurt PIA VPN

    USA, New York (Mobile connection, Tele2 mobile network):

    USA New York PIA VPN

    Belgium (Mobile connection, Tele2 mobile network):

    Belgium PIA VPN

    Norway (Mobile connection, Tele2 mobile network):

    Norway PIA VPN

    South Africa (Mobile connection, Tele2 mobile network):

    South Africa PIA VPN

    Australia (Mobile connection, Tele2 mobile network):

    Australia PIA VPN

    Brasil (Mobile connection, Tele2 mobile network):

    Brasil PIA VPN

    Protect yourself online. Let PIA VPN do the hard work for you. Click here to view the deals!
    Or pay anonymous via BITCOIN!

    The baseline speed is not great and I will test this again using a faster connection to see if the PIA VPN Servers can handle speeds up to 80 or 90 Mbps download (I’ve seen other reviews where they get those speeds and sometimes even over 100 Mbps!)

    If we compare the speed we got in our baseline test, I’m really happy with the results. Some are really close to the baseline test and others, mostly further away, are slower, but not super slow. You are still able to comfortably use the internet.

    PIA VPN Privacy Test (Leaks?)

    On the website of PIA VPN, you can test if there are leaks with your DNS or with your IPv6 address. These tests are quick and easy.

    While doing those tests, connected to the Dutch VPN server, there were no leaks found!

    Support

    Unfortunately, there is no 24/7 live chat support. PIA VPN offers 24/7 mail support and I’ve been waiting for a week now for an answer.

    For me, that is not a problem since it was a question about the “No Activity Log” policy, but if you have an urgent questions, waiting will be annoying.

    I rather see a live chat option, which is mostly faster. Unfortunately it is not possible now, maybe they will introduce it later.

    Conclusion

    PIA VPN is a good priced, well featured VPN. You are well protected and you can choose what level of encryption you want, which is nice! There are a lot of servers around the world and that makes it possible to have a fast connection, no matter where you are in the world.

    There are some downsides. There is no 24/7 live support, this means you have to email them and it can take some time before you get an answer. If you have a urgent question, this can be difficult.

    The other thing is that PIA VPN does not log activity. It does log other things like your email, your payment details and
    For me, that kind of information is fine to store, but they are not clear on what they collect online.

    Overall PIA VPN proofs to be a reliable option and you can safely use it everywhere you are in the world.

    Private Internet Access VPN

    $3.50
    7.5

    VPN Servers

    9.5/10

    Features

    9.0/10

    Software (Android)

    9.0/10

    "No Activity Log"

    5.0/10

    Support

    5.0/10

    Pros

    • A lot of servers worldwide
    • Good working features
    • Strong and changeable encryption
    • Easy to use app (Android)
    • Cross platform software available

    Cons

    • Not clear what is logged and what is not
    • Support takes long to answer
    • No 24/7 live chat support