What is Private Internet Access?
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based virtual private network provider with a particularly strong track record on privacy and security. It supports a wide range of devices and operating systems and a good range of international endpoints.
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Private Internet Access – Features and usability
PIA has a clear and explicit no-logging policy, and the USA doesn’t currently have any mandatory data retention laws in place. When served with an FBI warrant to hand over VPN logs, PIA really didn’t have anything to give investigators, making it one of the few VPN providers whose no-logging claim is known to have been tested.
There are graphical clients for Windows, Linux and macOS, and detailed instructions are provided for setting up connections on other operating systems and devices. As you’d expect, the client can be configured to connect automatically when your GUI starts up.
Although its client is clear and easy to use, you’ll only really need to interact with it if you want to change any of VPN’s settings, as a complete of endpoint countries is available a right-click menu, making PIA one of the most convenient services around if you need to regularly switch from one endpoint location to another.
PIA comes equipped with a range of security features including a VPN kill switch that disables your connection to the internet if your VPN is disconnected, IPv6 leak protection that temporarily disables IPv6 to prevent unwanted identifying data from being accidentally transmitted and DNS leak protection that directs all DNS requests through a non-logging DNS service.
Private Internet Access – Performance
It has a good range of 28 endpoint countries and over 3,000 servers. Our tests cover endpoints in the USA, UK and the Netherlands. Its performance in our FTP speed tests was excellent, maxing out our test server’s connection at just under 10.5MB/s via endpoints in the UK and Netherlands, and achieving a very credible 3.4MB/s to the USA.
In our streaming tests, we were able to watch BBC iPlayer from UK endpoints, which is great for travellers who want to keep up with their favourite series and, for the first in a couple of years, we were able to stream US Neflix content without detection.
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Why buy Private Internet Access?
Although the falling value of the pound means that it costs a little more to UK users than it did last year, Private Internet Access is one of the least expensive and most feature-packed services around.
Its subscription fees among the lowest in the industry and the best value option is a two-year subscription that works out at £52.56 – £2.19 per month. If you don’t want your name associated with your subscription, you can pay using bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash or Zcash.
PIA’s proven track record on privacy is also a compelling reason to use the service.
PIA’s improved support for Netflix makes our favourite VPN provider better than ever. Private Internet Access hits the sweet spot for speed, features and privacy, and remains our recommended VPN service.