Private Internet Review

  • servers in UK, USA and Switzerland
  • PPTP, OpenVPN and IPSEC/L2TP
  • no free trials
  • iPad, iPhone, iTouch, and Android.
  • Windows, Linux, Mac

Private Internet Access Overview


Price4.714.714.714.714.71
Support3.893.893.893.893.89
Speed4.44.44.44.44.4
Reliability4.24.24.24.24.2

Private Internet Access is an ideal name for this VPN company because that is exactly the service that they provide: privacy. VPN services help users to surf privately on the Internet, so that information remains private and anonymous. Of course, the top-secret nature of VPN services is not represented by Private Internet Access’ website, which features images of happy children and plenty of colorful graphics. However, their graphic of a laptop computer securely protected behind lock and key is a point well taken. The company does offer the ability for users to unblock banned websites, safely surf public Wi-Fi connections in hotels, cafes and the like, as well as hide your specific location. There are plenty of reasons to surf the web using a VPN service, and little reason not to.

Price

The price is currently broken down in monthly and yearly plans. A monthly plan costs $6.95 and includes unmetered bandwidth, no logging, PPTP, OpenVPN and IPSEC/L2TP option, as well as multiple national gateways. The yearly plan offers all the same features but at a discounted price for buying in advance. A year of service costs $39.95. This breaks down to only $3.33 a month or roughly a savings of over $40 dollars a year versus monthly subscriptions. The yearly price of $39.95 may very well be an industry first, since it amounts to $3.33 monthly, and the average cost of VPN service in nearing $10 a month.

Countries

Currently gateways are through the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States. The United States has a gateway in the east, west and Midwest for multiple options. The U.S. gateways are great for getting around country censorship, and the Swiss gateway is the best choice if you are looking for the strongest amount of privacy the company can offer. Being able to switch between these gateways at will also makes this a good value, as many companies often charge for this service.

Protocols

PPTP, OpenVPN and IPSEC/L2TP protocols offer you a lot of options for safe surfing on many operating systems and devices. OpenVPN also offers installation-free protection.

Customer Support

Private Internet Access currently has multiple ways in which clients can reach them. First, they have a “Contact Us” form available on their website. They also offer a customer support email address, toll free phone number and a local phone number if you are in the New York area. Both phone numbers can be reached Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM Us eastern time. The company also offers a fax number if you prefer that form of communication. They also have a Facebook page, so that clients can leave feedback and see any current news in the Facebook feed. If that isn’t enough they have a support forum as well as some automated tools to help with everyday issues. In case you have difficulty getting started, you can multiple setup guides online.

Money Back

The company’s current policy is that all sales are final, which may be off-putting to some potential new clients. The company claims it is the client’s obligation to be sure that their system is compatible before signing up with the service. The company does claim to make all efforts to keep clients happy with fast speeds, and high quality and there are some very good reviews attesting to this. Private Internet Access does offer plans of a one-month period at a very low price. Some people choose to do a “trail period” by buying one month of service to start out with, and then switch to the cheaper yearly plan. By doing this, if they find they do not match up well with the company, they are only losing a very small amount of money.

Traffic

Unmetered bandwidth and no logging mean there are no restrictions on the amount of traffic. This is not always found in VPN companies, many of which often add caps to their client’s traffic amounts, which is one reason many are drawn to this Private Internet Access.

Speed

The service currently runs at gigabit server speeds, and has been ranked as good and reliable by others. Making a switch to other gateways is free, so if you find one connection to be lagging, you can quickly and easily switch to see if you can boost the speed. Some situations can cause VPN hosting or IP response to seem slow. However, quality VPN hosts do not create any drain on normal network speeds.

Supported Devices

Supported devices for this service are many. You can use the service on your iPad, iPhone, iTouch, as well as your Android. Setup for the service is easy to manage on all devices, and clients can be surfing securely in no time.

Supported OS

Windows 7, Vista, XP, and NT/2k are all supported, as is Mac and Linux systems. Setup for these operating systems is also easy, and the website offers many tutorials to walk clients through the process should any problems arise. The service supports Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Opera. With these cross-platform browers, users can also look forward to accessing popular sites like Hulu, Facebook, YouTube Demand5 and many sites.

Free Trial

Currently, Private Internet Access does not offer a free trial period. The service is offered from month to month, so clients can invest a small amount to try the service out, with no obligation past a one-month period.

Others

Payment for this service is currently accepted through Paypal only. Google Checkout, Western Union, Moneybookers.com, and CashU will be possible payment options in the future, as their website currently lists them as “coming soon”. At first glance, the company seems ultra-competitive, as it offers a very low price and the practically unheard of feature of live customer support via phone. However, the lack of a free trial, no money back guarantee and a low number of servers (approximately 10) may make some users think twice. However, users that want to work with an American company and who have relatively simple expectations for the VPN services, will not be disappointed.

Click here to visit Private Internet Access


Private Internet Access Customer Reviews (35)


On March 5, 2012 H. Aman wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 44444
Reliability 55555

Using Private Internet VPN in Iran. Works pretty good. Recommend it.


On March 17, 2012 Hsu wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

Good service. Would recommend.


On April 30, 2012 Geoffrey wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

using in pennsylvania. speeds pretty fast.


On May 6, 2012 S. wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

Excellent support. Had some difficulty configuring Ubuntu 12.04, but email support squared it away quickly. Thanks!


On May 15, 2012 mb wrote:
Price 55555
Support 22222
Speed 11111
Reliability 11111

I purchased this service so I could use Pirate Bay. I can’t even get Pirate bay’s web page to open while this VPN service is activated. Some pages will load, but many web pages hang up “waiting for Twitter” or waiting for adsense. Oh, and it won’t work at all on my HTC smartphone – I get a “timed out” message every time I try to connect. What am I doing wrong?


On May 17, 2012 Guy Faulks wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

Unblocked the Pirate bay in Netherlands! Thank you!!!!


On June 12, 2012 G wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

I’ve only been using it for about 2days and it’s absolutely awesome. Excellent speeds, almost the same as my normal speed.

Very reliable, I’ve been running it 12 to 18hrs per day and no problems at all. No dropping or any of that crap.

The setup was very simple, download, install, enjoy.


On June 18, 2012 Steve wrote:
Price 33333
Support 11111
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

Great speed, however trying to use torrents sucks. They do not offer port forwarding, and when I tried to explain this in a forum post, they removed the post!

If you are not using torrents, however, this service is very good.


On June 21, 2012 Jessica wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

I am having a great time with their service. I’m able to download all the torrents I want and it’s going very well. I would definitely recommend them to others!


On July 9, 2012 JC wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 44444
Reliability 44444

Had a minor issue when setting system up, but support emailed back in seconds to help. Works out a simple re-boot solved my problem.

Utility works fine, there is a marginal slow-down in speed, but for the price the system is excellent.


On July 16, 2012 DP wrote:
Price 55555
Support 44444
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

I’m not exactly sure what Steve is referring to when he says they don’t offer port forwarding. Currently, my torrents are fast! And all ports are go. I’m not saying he is wrong but my experience is definitely different as of 7/2012.

In any case, I was worried about this VPN service because their website is somewhat lacking. I was worried they would rip me off but it turned out they’ve been great.

Setup for a router can be a bit of an issue using their “Client Support” webpage. The instructions are clear but don’t include some things their email support had to tell me to do. But it looks like they take feedback and change that page accordingly. Plus, when I emailed support, they emailed me back very quickly.

This is the first VPN service I have used, so I could be too inexperienced to provide a truly accurate review. I do, however, feel that my own personal experience with P.I.A has been very positive. My only negative experience was working with DD-WRT, Tomato, and the instructions they provide.

I hope they continue to improve the instructions! Then, anyone will be able to do it fast and easily.


On July 18, 2012 Ben wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

Honestly I am very hesitant to write a haste review but after having great service, fast speeds, and excellent customer service I had to praise this service. I was somewhat worried because a few people had some negative feedback about the customer service but I had incredibly fast response time and they even explained things to me in easy terms. Honestly, great.


On August 7, 2012 Kris wrote:
Price 55555
Support 33333
Speed 44444
Reliability 55555

good price value, dumb software


On August 9, 2012 CJ wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

I have been using this service for about a month and am very impressed. Speeds are fast, the price is great, and the Mac application is easy and convenient to use. My torrents actually download faster on this service… Leading me to believe my ISP has been throttling them. People who want port forwarding will be pleased to know they are in the process of implementing it. Also this article is outdated as they have many more gateways.


On August 14, 2012 vpnnoob wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

just signed up a couple of days ago for a 1mo trial and very impressed – fast, torrent friendly and convenient / painless to configure (openvpn on ubuntu 12.04) did not try the bundled software.

Definitely going for the annual plan next month, a must if you bring your tablet to pubic hot-spots.

Highly recommend this service, hopefully it will stand the test of time.


On August 17, 2012 Kris wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

cheap, good speed in Nederland, software is dumb, port fowrding is not work :(


On August 23, 2012 JJ wrote:
Price 55555
Support 44444
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

Only been a couple of days but much faster than HMA and half the price. HMA can suck it, I was irritating by their policy and the audacity to actually argue with me about through emails. They claim NO companies can offer without logging and make themselves out to be so innocent. Their service is USELESS.


On August 23, 2012 Jazz wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

This was my first VPN service (other than work-provided) & I must say, it works as well as I had hoped (better than I had figured). I’m sure it is slower than not using it, but over wifi I can’t say I notice a difference except to say that my upstream seems faster over VPN than not. I’m technical enough to know this shouldn’t be, but speedtests so far back me up. Weird. I paid the $7/mo for first month as like many I was worried about the complete lack of a trial, but as soon as this month is over (in a few days) I will do the $40/yr. I don’t trust my ISP any more (Charter) since their latest money-grab forcing everyone to have a minimum of 30mbit even though they do not have enough bandwidth to provide this. Now, all they see is I am moving data to/from PIA.

This review site won’t allow the absence of stars, but I can’t rate their support as I have not needed it!


On August 25, 2012 Haz wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 44444

Signed up a few months ago, unfortunately L2TP does not work on my android but PPTP does. Support is very fast and helpful. Open VPN is good on W7, connections are good and speeds are fast. Its cheap. PIA software does not work for me (W7, AVG). Lots of servers. Worth it, despite some issues.


On September 9, 2012 CeeDee wrote:
Price 33333
Support 33333
Speed 11111
Reliability 11111

My connection drops constantly, and even when it doesn’t I’m only getting a max speed of maybe 15mbps. Very disappointing.


On October 10, 2012 Paul Harris wrote:
Price 55555
Support 33333
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

The price was the selling point for me.
I saw an improvement in DL/UP speeds and only one dropped connection; when doing a Virus Scan.
It’s comforting to know I have security away from home.
I only gave 3 stars for support, but didn’t need it, so will assume it is 3/5.


On October 16, 2012 dshizzel wrote:
Price 55555
Support 33333
Speed 44444
Reliability 44444

I stepped up my torrent downloading, and also read that by the end of ’12, all US broadband providers will engage in new RIAA enforcement tactics. Wanting to sidestep such detection, I decided to go with a VPN. Lifehacker mentioned PIA and their web site looked pretty good so I gave it a try with a 1 year subscription. I mean, $40 — wth why not.

Speeds are excellent. WhatIsMyIP shows I’m in Texas, and the software was easy-peasy to use within Windows 7.

I am very new to VPN except with my work, but this seems to be really easy and secure. With no logging, I feel that I’m safe from prying eyes and vindictive organizations (RIAA?).


On October 27, 2012 Mark wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 44444
Reliability 55555

This service is awesome for the price. For 40 bucks you get a full year which you can run on THREE different devices at the same time.. so basically like getting thee accounts for a year, for 40 dollars.. not bad at all. the speeds aren’t the best.. but its about 3/4 the speed of an broadband services I pay 70$+ a month for


On November 19, 2012 Marc Tremblay wrote:
Price 55555
Support 11111
Speed 44444
Reliability 11111

I purchased the VPN service but still after 16 calendar days I have not received my login credentials. I’m working with Tier I support to resolve the issue but with no success. There seems to be a serious lack of Tier II support and issues with their payment processing, and accounts department. If not resolved by today I will need to move to a competitor with better support.


On November 23, 2012 Jason Crimes wrote:
Price 44444
Support 11111
Speed 44444
Reliability 11111

There support is absolutely terrible… I wouldn’t use these guys ever again.


On November 24, 2012 Marc Tremblay wrote:
Price 44444
Support 11111
Speed 44444
Reliability 11111

I was never in the end able to rectify the account problems with Tier II support and had to resort to a Paypal resolution to receive a refund after almost a month of problems. I cannot recommend this company to anyone.


On December 5, 2012 Russ wrote:
Price 44444
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

- signed up for a month, and its probably me, but I didn’t know until I checked my paypal account that I’d signed up for a monthly subscription. In paypal I was able to cancel the subscription easily.
- the initial email with my login info didn’t get to me. Waited a day, then contacted support to have it resent. They were very prompt in communications to me, and had the credentials resent after about 3 emails to verify my payment status (send the paypal transaction number). Not a fan of paypal, but using it did make a lot of the issues simpler to resolve.
- initial connection to canadian server was unbearably slow. 3 min to load a page. Support was very helpful in suggestions that were relevant. Response to emails was 3 to 20 minutes. To me that was quite prompt and reasonable.
Even had communication with them at midnight pacific time.
- solution was to use a us server instead of the canadian server as geographically I was closer.
- ipad speeds seem slightly slower. Given the additional overhead of the vpn, it was OK. On my macbook, I dont notice any degradation of performance. I’d tried another VPN service,and found L2TP slower then PPTP. With these folks, they perform the same on the laptop.
- overall, I’m satisfied.


On December 17, 2012 Charlie wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

Works Great. Good speed, great price. If support is lacking I am unaware as there has never been any need to contact them. The article is old as they offer more stuff now, and you can pay via a bunch of sources (including bitcoins).


On December 28, 2012 MS wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 33333
Reliability 55555

I’m a first time user and this has been very easy to set up and go with. Many choices of location. I get 8MB/s going though US.


On January 17, 2013 Andrew wrote:
Price 33333
Support 11111
Speed 44444
Reliability 11111

The speeds are great and that’s the only good thing I can say about them.

- there’s no portforwarding allowed on any US gateway. That means good luck connection to XBOX live on your XBOX or anything like that. Torrents work without an open port, but Hulu/Vudu/etc won’t (Hulu does in browser, but that’s it)
- support is atrocious, takes ages for a reply and they don’t seem to know much
- the refund after 7 days is a LIE. I gave up the service after 5 days over the impossibility to find a solution to get my XBOX running with their VPN and after 35 days of being ignored I resorted to PayPal to get my money back. Paypal support told me PIA is known for their deception.


On February 4, 2013 ladygogo wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

I switched to Private Internet Access from HideMyAss. PIA is EVERYTHING HMA is not. They take your privacy seriously, very simple to use and keep no logs of your activity (unlike AHEM SellMyAss). Downloads and connection speeds have been fast and reliable. Their support will respond to you with suggestions within minutes (unlike AHEM a weeks wait from HMA). Unlike HMA, they probably honor refunds though I don’t see why I’d cancel their service.


On February 11, 2013 Rami wrote:
Price 55555
Support 44444
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

Very happy with PIA they are just great. Fast speeds and I love the feature where they turn off your Internet if the VPN client disconnects. Did I mention I love PIA :)


On March 12, 2013 Adam Johnston wrote:
Price 55555
Support 55555
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

Very good, First time using a Public VPN, very good reliability and easy to setup with OpenVPN.


On March 26, 2013 D Balcom wrote:
Price 55555
Support 11111
Speed 33333
Reliability 44444

I used Privateinternetaccess for about two months. I was considering purchasing a year subscription when one day they charged my account and then later that day discontinued my account for non payment. I contacted them and they stated that they would give me a month of service to make up for what I had already paid for. I advised them that I wanted to purchase a year subscription and was told that there was “no way they could apply that amount to a years subscription”. I replied that if they could not accommodate such a simple request that I would prefer a refund instead. I was then advised that they would need the exact time of the transaction, account number, and personal contact info. I supplied this information within two weeks and was told that I was no longer eligible for a refund. My bank has become involved and the issue is pending. It’s only $6, but that’s not the point.

The best thing about this experience is I am now using BolehVPN and it is much faster. Thank you PIA for having POS customer service. If not for that, I may have been stuck with you for a year.


On April 5, 2013 Scott wrote:
Price 44444
Support 44444
Speed 55555
Reliability 55555

i have been using these guys for a few days now, speed is near perfect when using the closest server to your location, and at 40$ a year, its cheep(ish). Im using it when traveling on my Nexus 7 Tablet and my laptop. I cant tell when its on, I can even game on it without issue, it works like charm. Two speedtests are below. My native ISP is Comcast, the other is with the VPN.
http://www.speedtest.net/result/2624955403.png
http://www.speedtest.net/result/2624957288.png

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