Private Internet Access VPN Review

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March 6, 2023


Launched in 2010 by entrepreneur Andrew Lee, Private Internet Access (PIA) has worked to become one of the world’s leading VPN providers. Lee’s goal was to “take privacy mainstream”, and to do so, the company has developed a high-end open-source client, providing not only a top-quality service but also an impressive degree of transparency; anyone, anywhere, can verify that PIA does precisely what it says it does.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) masks your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, making it so that your browsing is hidden from your ISP, network admin, and even your local government. It also allows you to bypass region locks for content that might be hidden on services such as YouTube and Netflix and helps to keep your information safe on less secure networks such as public Wi-Fi.

With over ten years of experience in the industry, PIA is one of the top VPNs worldwide. Between the world-class infrastructure, the transparent open-source software, and its strict no-logs policy, your privacy is guaranteed to be protected with almost no loss in speed or digital freedom.

Private Internet Access gives you unmatched access to thousands of next-generation servers across 83+ countries, alongside every US state! We found the full US coverage to be a highlight of PIA’s service.

Private Internet Access Pricing

PIA offers a variety of plans for its service. The shortest on offer is an $11.99/month plan (paid monthly), if you only need the service for a short while.

You can also get yourself a six-month package for $45, which comes out to around $7.50/month – an impressive 37% saving!

However, the real deal comes with their 2 Year + 2 Month plan; you pay $56.94 for two years (coming out to only $2.19/month!) and get those extra two months absolutely free. Even without the bonus months, you’ll be landing yourself a massive 83% discount.

As you can see, the longer you’re with them, the better the deal you’ll get. But if you’re unsure about the service, don’t worry about committing: PIA offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning that if you’re not 100% satisfied there’s no risk to your wallet.

Compared to their competitors, PIA VPN is exceedingly cheap – NordVPN’s two-year plan has a running cost of around $3.63/month, making it more than 150% the cost of PIA. The closest might be SurfShark’s two-year deal at $2.49/month, which is still pricier and lacks those extra two free months.

For more information about the pricing, you can visit the PIA official website.

Private Internet Access Features:


The biggest service that PIA offers is the ability to mask your IP address. Without a VPN, it can be incredibly easy to not only find your IP address, but then use it to track your actual location – needless to say, this is a huge privacy concern in our digital age.

Below is a screenshot without PIA VPN:

As you can see, the location is listed as the city of Dinga, in the Punjab region of Pakistan.However, if we try the same test with PIA VPN active:
The IP address appears to be in Singapore instead – a pretty significant difference in location. You can choose where in the world you want your IP address to originate from, which is useful for avoiding region locks, but more importantly, it guarantees that your location is always kept secret.

In addition to masking your IP address, PIA VPN also encrypts all internet traffic and communications from your device. Whilst encryption is standard for passwords, payments, and other personal information on many sites, this still allows third parties to collect and sell your data. PIA’s encryption service prevents anyone from seeing what you do online – from network administrators to your Internet Service Provider and even government agencies and censors. As a US-based company, PIA is also constitutionally protected from government overreach, adding an extra level of security and privacy to your browsing.

As if all of the above wasn’t enough, PIA also offers its own antivirus software as a part of its applications. With flexible scanning settings, detailed security reports, and an extensive database of known malware programs, PIA offers a great deal of protection for a low cost.


A common worry with services like VPNs is that they’ll log your information and sell it to a third party: running all your internet activity through one service could make you vulnerable. However, on top of PIA VPN’s open-source client – meaning anyone can look at the code and see exactly what PIA’s apps do and don’t do – they also have a strict No Logs policy, meaning they keep no data on your browsing habits.

PIA is one of the few VPN providers to have this policy proven in court multiple times: they have received multiple subpoenas for information, and each time they have had no logs to share.

In 2022 PIA invited Deloitte Audit Romania (one of the Top 4 auditing firms in the world) to run an independent audit of their No Logs policy and their VPN server network. Deloitte found no evidence of logging and concluded that there is no trace of a user’s activity on any of PIA’s servers. The full audit log can be found on PIA’s website, further proving their commitment to transparency.


A big concern when it comes to VPNs is how they will affect your browsing; namely whether or not it will slow your internet to a crawl. PIA runs off world-class infrastructure, with NextGen servers in over 80 countries and boasts up to 10 Gbps connection speeds. PIA promises zero throttling or bandwidth restrictions, meaning that you can browse as fast as possible with minimal interference. To test these claims, two websites were used to log download and upload speeds with and without PIA’s service. First was

And then
Using these two websites we could compare the difference in download/upload speed and latency.

We saw that whilst there is a difference in upload/download speeds, it’s marginal at most. There seems to be no difference whatsoever running many of the most popular apps and services out there; for example, there were no notable issues playing videos from YouTube or similar streaming sites, and news websites saw no delay whatsoever.


PIA’s apps can be installed on a variety of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as many devices from iPhones to androids and even consoles. They also provide add-ons for internet browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Opera. Between the variety of platforms available and the ability to connect up to ten devices at once, you can guarantee your privacy and safety in just about every area of your digital life.

It’s also possible to get their VPN set up on your router, though the process can be a touch tricky and needs you to follow some manual installation instructions.

Aside from this one exception, installation and set-up for the PIA VPN apps are simple and intuitive. Just download the app or extension from their website and follow the on-screen instructions, if any appear at all. There may be a small issue where it has trouble connecting to a server at first, but setting the location to automatically be chosen by PIA VPN will fix this.


Support for PIA’s services is readily available, including community forums, handy how-to guides, and an extensive array of FAQs via the support portal on their website. In addition to this, PIA also offers a live chat service to help you troubleshoot any potential problems you might encounter. During testing, the initial connection was with a chatbot that could only provide limited help. However, after a few seconds of back and forth, a real customer representative arrived and was able to help deal with any issues.

If live chat isn’t your thing, then it’s possible to send in a report via the form on their website. You will have to fill in a decent amount of information and there’s no indication of how long a response may take, but PIA guarantees that a representative will get back to you by email as soon as possible.

Whilst PIA VPN offers excellent service across many regions, it does seem to have some issues in China. Many users report that it’s much less reliable in mainland China and that they struggle to access certain websites and streaming services. Whilst there are known workarounds for China’s strict censorship, including for PIA’s apps, you’re likely to still see significant issues.


Private Internet Access has been in the business for well over a decade and has thoroughly earned its reputation as one of the best VPNs on the market. With excellent reviews from PC Magazine and a comprehensive audit of their services from Deloitte Audit Romania, PIA is one of the most trustworthy VPN providers out there.

PIA has apps for almost every device and operating system, all with flexible security settings, data encryption and IP masking, letting you take control of your digital privacy and keeping you safe from any and all third parties trying to sell your information. With up to ten devices able to be connected, one package can cover your entire online presence.

On top of their fast and reliable service (outside of China, at least), PIA is also one of the cheapest VPNs out there, boasting prices far lower than most of their competitors. With 83% savings on their longest plan and a guaranteed 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s very little reason not to give them a go.