VPN service provider “Private Internet Access” review
Using the internet anonymously can be a very good thing, and the US (currently) has no data retention laws on the books, so acquiring a virtual private network (VPN) service is straightforward and legal. Whatever your reason may be for needing a secure internet browser, the pricing and security that Private Internet Access provides is an exceptional way to go. Private Internet Access is a company bent on providing the user with a completely anonymous experience when browsing the net, and ensuring that none of your browsing data is saved. Ever.
In our review of the top internet VPN service providers, we have found Private Internet Access to be an extremely simple and easy installation process, and the service they provide is excellent. They are also very price-conscious, so if you are searching for a provider that offers reasonable rates, look no further.
One price fits all, really
Private Internet Access offers “one size fits all” pricing packages; the only thing that varies is how long of a term you select to pay for. So depending on your budget, you pay for one month, or six months, or a year.
- Monthly pricing-If you subscribe for one month at a time you pay $6.95 per month, every month.
- 6 month pricing-When you commit to a six month block of time your monthly rate goes down to approximately $6.00 per month. So your flat fee for 6 months is $35.96, charged every six months.
- Yearly pricing-A one year subscription is only $39.95, so your monthly price has dropped to about $3.50 per month. A great deal any way you look at it, the yearly rates lock you into a fantastic price on a good VPN service.
Each package comes complete with full Open VPN, 18 servers spread through 9 countries, along with Socks5 Proxy, VOIP and P2P support. Each client gets unlimited bandwidth, a guarantee of unfettered traffic and instant set-up through Private Internet Access.
When it comes to customer service, Private Internet Access has your back
Customer service is the name of the game, and Private Internet Access provides the goods. In our test of their response time, they responded in less than 24 hours, and the information they gave was both accurate and to the point.
They do have an online chat service too, although it is not 24 hour. For some people that might be a deal breaker, but if you are comfortable with VPN services it isn’t an issue.
The majority of their customer support queries are directed to an online FAQ (frequently asked questions) service which can be frustrating, to say the least. Best to initiate an online chat if you need more immediate answers to your questions, so pay attention to the time frames that online chat is available.
Just how private and secure is Private Internet Access?
As a VPN provider, Private Internet Access take the job of protecting their clients anonymity very seriously indeed. Through an arsenal of encryption, uncensored access, firewalls (multiple) id protection and cloaking; they provide the customer with a virtual invisible cape while surfing the net. They provide IP cloaking also, which further increases your stealth factor. All that is cutting edge in the field of VPN is basic protocol provided to all customers of Private Internet Access.
In the instance that you might be disconnected from your VPN server, Private Internet Access will disconnect you from the net immediately so there can be no residual information lingering on your unprotected service. A kill switch, if you will. Private Internet Access uses a 128 bit encryption method, not the deepest, but extremely functional. For 85% of VPN users, 128 bit encryption is absolutely fine.
Interactivity with Private Internet Access website
Their website is clean and simple, signing up is very painless. The links, navigation and information you need to sign up are readily available, multiple questions can be answered on the landing page. Verification of payment is fast, and the initial info/set up package is very helpful.
Signing up and paying couldn’t be easier
Once you have navigated to their main site, you determine which package you want, and then choose your method of payment. You can use your PayPal email address if you so want for further anonymity. Private Internet Access accepts Paypal, MC, Visa, Discover, Amex, Amazon Payments, BitCoin, PayGarden, OkayPay, CashU.
Once we had chosen our package and paid for it, the confirmation email was almost instantaneous. That confirmation email held our activation link, and once we downloaded the software for our OS, we simply followed a series of very understandable prompts to install the software. The install was so easy that even a total newbie to VPN software will have no problem at all.
After you have successfully installed the software, an icon that looks like a robot will appear in your task bar. Once you click on that robot, the software will ask you which VPN server you wish to connect to. If you cannot decide, Private Internet Access will select one for you, and away you go! It is really that simple, and the process should take about 7 minutes.
This is important, so don’t forget. Once your software is successfully loaded, go to the advanced settings window of the software. Make sure that you check the box for VPN Kill Switch. This is the feature that shuts down your entire internet in the event that the VPN server fails.
When You Want Platform support, Private Internet Access does it all!
Windows and OSX obviously, but Private Internet Access offers the tools, set up guides and software to bring compatibility to multiple other operating systems including Android, iOS Tomato, PF Sense, Ubuntu, DD-WRT (routers) Windows, Boxee Box and OXS.
Review Conclusion for Private Internet Access
What we like about PIA:
- Incredibly simple sign up
- Ability to use BitCoin
- VPN kill switch=monster security
- No tracking or logging
- Excellent pricing structure
- Extremely easy to use
What we don’t like about PIA:
- No free trial
- No money back guarantee
- No 256 bit encryption offered
- No info available on server loads when picking your VPN server
Private Internet Access is a great VPN provider, and we are confident in recommending it to anyone. At that price, your could buy two! We would like to see them at least offer 256 bit encryption (yes, we would be happy to pay more) but their 128 bit security is excellent across the board. They are an excellent security value for the price they charge for any user, whether a stationary or mobile device. A free trial would be nice, along with “money back” guarantee, but heck, their prices are so low that the point is (almost) moot. They are up to date (and updating constantly) with the latest in VPN security protocols, so all around a great bargain on an excellent service.