Private Internet Access Overview
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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