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Private Internet Access or PIA is an excellent, budget-friendly VPN, which offers most if not all the killer features of its higher-priced competitors. The service provides subscribers with a private, safe and highly secure internet experience. PIA is worth considering whether you’re a work from home freelancer or run a small business.
PIA’s versatility extends to iOS, PCs, Macs and Android devices. Plus, since the company has a pretty strict policy of not logging traffic, it does not matter where you go, nobody will ever find out.
Privacy is one of PIA’s significant centerpieces, but you can also count on it for anonymity and freezing hackers in their tracks from attempting to eavesdrop on your online activity. However, apart from all the abovementioned features, PIA boasts of many others which are worth considering.
My comprehensive PIA review gives you the lowdown on what to expect as well as what you shouldn’t expect!
As mentioned above unlike other VPNs PIA isn’t a budget-busting service. Its affordable with a monthly subscription starting at 6.95$/month. However, you can save even more with the $39.95 annual subscription which works out to $3.33 a month.
Though if you’re anything like me and want to save the most money then get the tri-annual subscription for $89.95 which works out to a mere $2.50 a month, that’s cheaper than your daily dose of Starbucks caffeine!
Private Internet Access is a particularly significant service encompassing 3081 servers spread out across 28 regions across the world. So, finding a fast server isn’t a problem. Also, a single subscription can be used on up to 5 devices that you own. PIA also boasts of a few advanced features like Disconnection Protection and DNS Leak Protection, both of which work in tandem to ensure that your real location and identity isn’t visible online.
All data passing through and from PIA’s servers are encrypted which renders man-in-the-middle attacks harmless. Also, it is near impossible for an eavesdropper to record your data since it also masks your IP address, location, etc.
PIA also uses a Kill Switch feature, that will kill the internet connection in case the service is momentarily disconnected. Though it might come across as an inconvenience but it helps to ensure that your connection remains secure.
PIA uses the ‘Netfilter Project’ which is a firewall of sorts that filters unwanted or malicious connections. Malicious code often makes these unwanted connections to your smartphone and computers. If anything it is perhaps one of the best features for anyone who wants to keep hackers out.
With all incoming malicious openings closed by the firewall, the only openings that are created are the ones which you authorize. So, be careful whom you open the door for. But even if you do allow someone evil to enter PIA can still cover you with its use of encryption and by masking your IP address.
Private Internet Access also supports OpenVPN, IPSEC/L2TP, PPTP and SOCKS5 internet protocols for added security.
PIA boasts of a handy ad blocking feature which conveniently blocks ads, trackers, and malware. If anything, this helps you to steer clear of the dark underbelly of the internet and enables you to save precious internet bandwidth. In my personal experience, the service blocked 100% of the ads that tried to intrude upon my browsing experience.
Though unfortunately, the ad blocking feature isn’t extended to the apps. So, if you happen to be using a free version of an app on your Android or iOS device and it triggers pop-ups, PIA does not block them. For that, you’ll need to get a dedicated ad blocker and that too the paid version!
PIA permits the use of up to 5 devices.
I have personally used VPN services faster than PIA. However, they were also marginally more expensive. That said compared to all the other VPN services in this price range, PIA offers solid performance, great privacy measures and a high degree of online anonymity.
Perhaps my only gripe with Private Internet Access is that it isn’t as intuitive to use as the competition. You need to have some degree of either experience with using VPN services or willing to undertake a bit of a learning curve.
Overall, after having using PIA cross Android, iOS, Mac and Windows devices, the performance was pretty much the same. Plus, when it comes to value for money I’ve yet to find a service that beats PIA.