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How Does Private Internet Access VPN Work

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How Does Private Internet Access VPN Work

Private Internet Access VPN review: Does it live up to it’s name??

So, how does Private Internet Access actually work? Much like any other Virtual Private Network software, PIA provides data encryption to protect your privacy and hide your online activity from your Internet Service Provider or any other third parties that may want to view it.

Private Internet Access encrypts your data by sending it through an encrypted VPN tunnel to a server . All data you receive on your phone is also encrypted and sent back via a VPN tunnel from the same VPN server. PIA ensures that your data remains encrypted by using advanced encryption and secure tunneling protocols such as OpenVPN. Encryption is the best defense against prying eyes that want to see your data and is essential when connecting to unsecured public wifi networks.

When you connect to a PIA VPN server, youll also be assigned a new IP address. Private Internet Access has thousands of shared IP addresses on its network, which is good since you will become anonymous online. By using a shared IP address, any activity done under that IP cannot be directly linked back to you, as many other users will have been using the same IP.

Since PIA has many different IP addresses, there is the option to access more online content than ever before. Websites detect your physical location by your IP address, so PIA helps users to access blocked streaming sites and other websites by giving you an IP from the country of your choice while keeping your data safe online.

Pia VPN Privacy And Jurisdiction

PIA is based in Denver, which means they have to comply with the USAs disclosure-related laws. Because the USA is part of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance, it can share data with other alliance members. But PIA explicitly states that no user activity inside the PIA VPN is recorded, logged, or stored.

PIAs zero traffic logs policy was confirmed when the company couldnt provide stored data after the FBI subpoenaed it in 2016 and 2018. Even though PIA hasnt been subjected to a privacy policy audit, these real-world cases confirm that Private Internet Access is safe.

Os X 108 Mountain Lion

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion was released on July 25, 2012. Following the release of Lion the previous year, it was the first of the annual rather than two-yearly updates to OS X , which also closely aligned with the annual iOS operating system updates. It incorporates some features seen in iOS 5, which include , support for in the new messaging application, and Reminders as a to-do list app separate from . It also includes support for storing documents in ., which makes its debut in Mountain Lion, is a desktop version similar to the one in iOS 5.0 and higher. Application pop-ups are now concentrated on the corner of the screen, and the Center itself is pulled from the right side of the screen. Mountain Lion also includes more Chinese features including support for as an option for search engine, , and services for , and , , and are integrated into share sheets.

Starting with Mountain Lion, Apple software updates are distributed via the . This updating mechanism replaced the Apple Software Update utility.

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Safety How Secure Is Pia

PIA puts safety and privacy first, and therefore certainly excels at these aspects:

  • PIA works with various strong protocols, including OpenVPN and the new, innovative protocol WireGuard. It also has a SOCKS5-proxy. Recently PIA has ensured that all of its VPN servers now support the new Wireguard protocol.
  • PIA has a strict no-log policy.
  • PIA has a built-in kill switch and PIA MACE for blocking ads, trackers, and malware.
  • The only information you need to give them to create an account is an email address and your payment information, but both can be done anonymously.

Pricing And Methods Of Payment

How does a VPN work to keep you safe over the Internet?

PIA offers three subscriptions to choose from: a monthly, a yearly, and a two-yearly option.

If you decide on a monthly planwhich you can cancel after each monthit will cost $9.95 per month. A yearly plan comes down to $3.33 per month. If you choose a two-yearly plan, youll only spend $2.69 per month. This means you save massively compared to a monthly subscription. On top of that, youll get two months extra for free with this last subscription . Youll also get a free cloud security license called Boxcryptor. In short: the longer your subscription, the cheaper it relatively is for you.

All subscriptions to Private Internet Access give you complete access to their entire VPN network. They also provide a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the VPN before committing to a contract.

PIA accepts many different payment options:

  • PayPal
  • Amazon Pay
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Gift cards

Plenty of options for paying your subscription, we think. There are various anonymous payment methods, such as Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, that allow you to maintain complete privacy, even when it comes to purchasing your VPN connection. Again, PIA puts anonymity first, which is highly appreciated by many usersincluding ourselves.

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Is Private Internet Access Easy To Set Up

When it comes to installing the PIA client, PIA makes it super simple and easy for users. After purchase, youll be taken to a download page where you choose an app to install depending on the device youre using at the time. Once you select a client, youll also be directed to a setup guide that gives specific advice about installing the app.

When the client is downloaded onto your operating system, you can log in with your account credentials and access the VPN service and settings.

Since OpenVPN is the default encryption protocol, you can enjoy separate downloads for different encryption settings. There is also an Android APK file option, which is good if you are manually installing the VPN on other devices, such as a Chromebook.

PIA is easy to set up, and the company does provide decent tutorials to help VPN novices. We like that there are some advanced features on offer, especially during download and installation, which will please VPN experts.

How Can I Tell If My Netflix Is American

There is a simple way to check if you are accessing American Netflix. Search for the show, which is available only in the US, including Gothika, Gimme Shelter, and The American President.

If you can access these shows, you are browsing Netflix America.

You can also check your current IP address. If you are connected to an American server of a VPN, your IP address will be different from the real one indicating that you are accessing Netflix, America.

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How Effective Are VPNs

Now that you understand how VPNs operate, and the fact that they can actually work, its time to talk about effectiveness. In this section, were going to cover how effective VPN security is, as well as the limits of a VPN when it comes to user privacy.

Lets start with security. With your normal internet connection, your internet service provider handles all of the details. You send a request to your service providers DNS servers, they route the connection properly, and a channel is opened that allows internet traffic to pass back and forth.

A VPN sits between your initial request and your internet service provider. Instead of connecting to your ISP, you connect to a remote VPN server. This connection is encrypted, and once your requests reach the server, theyre anonymized and decrypted, then sent to the open internet.

What results is a connection that looks like its coming from the VPN server, replacing any personal information, like your IP address.

There are two points of pressure when it comes to a VPN connection. The first is the encrypted tunnel between your computer and VPN server. There are multiple different encryption methods, but we recommend AES-256, when available. Its well-documented and highly secure, with no known exploits. If a VPN service has perfect forward secrecy, like ExpressVPN does, its even better.

Security And Privacy Tests

Private Internet Access VPN Review & Tutorial

Most people using VPNs today need a service that is secure and free of data leaks. And while data leaks are common with free VPN apps, this is not something we should expect with a premium service that promises security.

So to test this, I ran both the Windows and Mac OS clients through some basic VPN tests and checks to identify leaks or broken features.

Below Im testing the PIA Windows VPN client for leaks while connected to a server in Sweden. You can see that there were no leaks to be found, with my real IPv6 address being blocked .

I also tested the PIA Mac OS client and found it to be secure and without leaks. Although Im not sure I would consider PIA to be one of the best VPNs for Mac, it may still be a decent choice for Mac users.

PIA also implements a good kill switch with their VPN apps, which will block traffic if the VPN connection drops for any reason. This ensures all traffic remains encrypted and protected by the VPN tunnel.

The PIA kill switch has three levels:

  • Off: does not block any traffic
  • Auto: blocks outside traffic when the VPN is on
  • Always: Also blocks all traffic when the VPN is off
  • In testing out the kill switch with various interruptions, everything appeared to work well.

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    Does Private Internet Access Offer Good Customer Service

    Private Internet Access offers a customer support page with a range of troubleshooting and setup guides. However, these articles are not as detailed or comprehensive as those provided by some of the providers competitors. If you require additional assistance, there is a live chat customer support option too.

    Pricing How Much Is Private Internet Access

    PIA VPN costs $2.69/month on its 2-year plan. Currently, the provider offers three affordable pricing plans for its existing as well as new users. This is what the current pricing looks like:

    All PIA VPN packages offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so users can cancel PIA VPN and request a refund within 30 days of purchase if theyre unsatisfied with the service. PIA also offers 10 simultaneous connections so, you can connect up 10 different devices on a single Private Internet Access account. The refund policy also doubles as a PIA free trial.

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    Your Privacy With Private Internet Access VPN

    It’s important to understand the efforts a VPN company undertakes to protect your information. Unfortunately, the lengthy privacy policy from Private Internet Access has precious little to say about what information is gathered during the use of its product, on top of being enormously difficult to read. The company’s Terms of Service are more readable, using helpful plain-English text in green to explain lawyerly jargon, but it too lacks information on how the product operates. Mullvad VPN is radically transparent about its service and operation, going into such depth that it becomes educational, while TunnelBear VPN focuses on its policies as being easy to read and understand. Private Internet Access must make it clear to users what it gathers and why.

    A company representative explained that Private Internet Access does not keep logs of user activity and does not profit from user data. Its privacy policy also says that personal data will not be sold or rented. That’s what we want to see.

    The policy also does not elaborate on how and why information is gathered from VPN users. When we reviewed the product in 2020, a company representative said that Private Internet Access gathers, “username, IP address, and data usage,” and deletes that information as soon as you disconnect from the service. We have reached out to Private Internet Access to verify that this is still the case but haven’t heard back yet.

    Pia Review: Final Verdict

    Private Internet Access VPN Review: The Complete Package

    Private Internet Access impresses with its ease of use, wide range of clients, support for torrenting, and advanced features and its also great value if you .

    It strikes the right balance between usability and features with plug-and-play apps for all manner of devices, plus advanced functionality such as command line VPN control and multihop servers and that’s not to mention the incredible number of servers.

    However, it lags behind class leaders like ExpressVPN in consistency, and while PIA can unblock some geo-blocked content and speeds are usually fine, other services offer more reliable content unblocking thats always fast and always works. Overall, though, it offers excellent value, and is definitely one to consider if youre glued to your smartphone or tablet 24/7.

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    Is Pia Compatible With My Device

    PIA offers dedicated apps for all major platforms, including:

    • Windows
    • iOS
    • Linux

    Features are similar across apps. The exception is the iOS app, which lacks the MACE adblocking feature and uses the IPsec protocol rather than OpenVPN.

    PIA also offers secure browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

    If you prefer manual installation, PIA offers in-depth installation guides on their website. PIA can also be installed on compatible routers, including DD-WRT, Tomato, and pfSense.

    One big advantage to PIAs service is that you can connect up to 10 simultaneous devices with a single account. This is more than most of PIAs competitors.

    Advantage : Anonymous Downloading

    Downloading certain Torrents is illegal in some countries and more than ever before tracked down and sometimes even prosecuted. Of course, we are not advocating any illegal actions. However, we do understand people want online privacy and anonymity, not just when browsing the internet, but also when uploading and downloading files.

    To make sure nobody knows what you are downloading or uploading you can use a VPN. Because of the encrypted traffic and the rerouted IP address you can with a VPN.

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    Is Private Internet Access Good For Streaming

    Many internet users choose to install a VPN to access the geo-restricted content on a range of streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, and more. Therefore, we believed it was necessary to test the providers streaming abilities for this Private Internet Access VPN review.

    A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel of VPN servers and masks your actual IP address, making it appear as if your web traffic is originating in an alternate location. This means that you can use a VPN to access overseas content that would not typically be available in your region. However, some VPNs work better than others at overcoming geo-restrictions.

    Private Internet Access can unblock some geo-restricted content. However, it likely does not provide access to enough streaming sites to satiate an avid streaming fan. The VPN service can successfully access United States Netflix, but it does struggle with libraries in Japan and Canada. Private Internet Access has no issue unblocking YouTube, and Disney+ and Amazon Prime were available on particular servers. However, it did fail to access the more troublesome BBC iPlayer.

    How Does Netflix Geo

    How to Setup Private Internet Access VPN On Asus RT AC87U WiFi Router – Tutorial

    How Netflix delivers the content to its users is determined by licenses and copyright laws. Netflix mainly utilizes geolocation services from the IPs to base your content on your current location.

    As the content selection is based on your location you need to change it if you want to watch American Netflix.

    To prevent the issues associated with license breaches a geo-restriction policy was implemented by Netflix. It involves identifying proxy and VPN. The following approaches implement Geo-restriction.

    • Blacklisting popular VPN providers
    • Blocking connections from the same IP range
    • Blacklisting DNS unblockers

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    Does Private Internet Access Support My Device

    PIA has apps for the following platforms:

    • Windows
    • Android
    • iOS

    Theres no Private Internet Access router app at the moment. However, you can still run PIA VPN on most router devices, including DD-WRT, pfSense, and Tomato, if you follow the instructions on their site. There are also guidelines for manual Amazon Fire Stick setup, although its not officially supported.

    How To Get American Netflix In Australia In November 2021

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    Netflix is undoubtedly the uncrowned king of entertainment, and American Netflix shows are the latest rage. Boasting the most extensive content library Netflix America has become almost an infatuation to the users so it becomes crucial to know the answer to the frequently asked question, how to get American Netflix in Australia?

    Even though other countries users are paying far more than their American counterparts, the contents availability is limited. Like all other problems, there is a solution for this one, and it is VPN. Lets discuss the best VPNs for Netflix that can solve this problem.

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    Network Coverage And Servers

    The larger a VPNs network and coverage is, the better. Its because such VPNs efficiently evade VPN bans, server congestion, and speed issues.

    However, finding such a VPN is always tricky.

    Nonetheless, Private Internet Access is one such VPN that boasts an almost unmatchable network coverage.

    Can you guess how many servers this VPN would offer generally? You might think of it up to 8000 or 10,000 servers but, youre still wrong.

    Private Internet Access has one of the largest networks with over 29,000 servers.

    They have distributed this huge number of servers in 99 locations across 77 countries.

    Certainly, theyre comparable to our favorite ExpressVPN that has a far smaller number of servers, which they have distributed across 94 countries.

    While you may not get as many locations with PIA as ExpressVPN offers to you. Yet, PIA works excellent if you need a high-speed, uninterrupted, and secure connection to the same location.

    Thanks to its vast number of servers for individual locations, youll always enjoy a smooth browsing experience without worrying about network congestion issues.

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