Tuesday, October 4, 2022

How Good Is Private Internet Access VPN

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Private Internet Access Encryption And Protocols

Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN review: is it good enough for you? | VPNpro

When it comes to encryption, you can customize encryption protocols. The default encryption setting is AES 128-bit encryption. While it’s not as secure as the latest AES 256-bit encryption, it’s still highly secure, and many argue it is more than enough and is usually used instead for higher speed, as more intricate encryption hinders speed.

Note

Are you new to VPNs?

For Private Internet Access, use WireGuard protocol for speed, use OpenVPN protocol for security, use the SOCKS5 protocol to bypass geo-censorship .Pro mode: The protocols available for Private Internet Access include:

What We Didnt Like About Private Internet Access

Under most circumstances, we will not usually care about the company that offers a service, especially when it is good. However, when it comes to VPNs, the parent companies tend to come under a bit more scrutiny.

What I found when doing the background work on PIA was a little disturbing. PIA today has fallen under the ownership of Kape Technologies a kind of investment company thats been going around buying web-based services.

Under normal circumstances, there isnt a problem with this. However, Kape has also recently bought Webselenese, which is itself a little odd. Webselenese claims to be an online platform specializing in consumer-focused privacy and security content. It works with other websites to publish reviews and such in this industry.

Having Webselenese under the same corporate ownership as services like PIA seems to be a conflict of interest. It certainly isnt indicative of anything good for consumers like you and me. For all we know, they could be flooding the market with biased reviews.

Does Pia Offer Split Tunneling

PIA offers even more freedom over your online activity by offering split tunneling on its desktop apps. This convenient feature allows you to decide which apps will access the internet directly and which will pass through the VPN first.

With split tunneling, you can use PIA to protect your banking data or be safe while torrenting, all while streaming or web browsing outside the encrypted VPN tunnel on the same device.

To activate split tunneling, just click the Network tab, click App Exclusions, and add the programs you want to bypass the VPN.

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Price And Value For Money

One of the reasons that PIA is such a popular VPN service is because of its reasonable prices. Many premium VPNs with comparable features charge more for their service.

If you are mainly interested in a VPN for security and anonymity while browsing or torrenting, PIA offers good value for the price. When you consider the big discounts offered on longer subscription plans, the value is even better.

However, there are other VPNs in the same price range that have strengths that PIA lacks, such as stronger streaming support and more reliable speeds. It all comes down to what you are looking for.

Unfortunately, PIA does not offer a free tier or a free trial, so the best way to try out the service is to purchase an affordable monthly subscription.

If you decide PIA isnt for you, you can take advantage of PIAs 30-day money-back guarantee.

Does Pia VPN Support Youtube Netflix Hulu Hbo Go Amazon Prime & Bbc Iplayer

Private Internet Access VPN

During our testing, Private Internet Access VPN worked well with YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime, Google, and Facebook. We have used various US server locations.

Private Internet Access Works Well with BBC iPlayer

Surprisingly it is also one of the few VPNs which worked with BBC iPlayer! We set the location to United Kingdom, Southampton and the shows were loaded and streamed without any issues. Big up for the PIA VPN.

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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.

A Complete And Efficient Security System

Another major advantage of investing in quality VPN services is the provision of an efficient and complete security solutions package. As mentioned earlier, there are over one million different viruses, spyware and malware floating throughout the information superhighway. Even though earlier viruses focused more on corrupting files and folders within your computer, a host of viruses and spyware in the world today specifically compromise your data and gain unauthorized access to your confidential file and resources. It is of the utmost importance for business owners to find an effective way to protect this information without letup for the sake of your brand as well as your customers and clients. Investing in a virtual private network service, such as one of the packages offered by Private Internet Access, would allow you to enjoy the benefits of a strong defense when it comes to warding off attacks and breaches conducted by cybercriminals and computer hackers from around the globe. Private Internet Access offers high-grade encryption in order to provide a superior level of security for the customers that trust in them, even when their customers are accessing the Internet from public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Learn more about how Private Internet Access works in this video:

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What VPN Protocols Does Private Internet Access Support

VPN technology comes in a handful of flavors, with different protocols used to create the encrypted connection. We prefer OpenVPN, which is open-source and therefore examined by volunteers for potential vulnerabilities. The open-source VPN heir apparent is WireGuard, which has newer technology and the potential for even better performance. WireGuard is still new, and it hasn’t been as widely embraced as OpenVPN.

Private Internet Access supports OpenVPN and WireGuard on all platforms. Additionally, the iOS app supports the IKEv2 protocol, which is also excellent.

What Other Customers Have To Say

Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN Review 2021 ð» Is This VPN Good Enoughâ?

Even though there are many different VPN service providers from which you can choose to use for your business, quite a few customers and clients satisfied by the services offered by Private Internet Access. There have been many different reviews, ratings and testimonials posted and published online in reference to their multiple security layers as well as the fact that their services are compatible with a wide variety of different operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The competitive pricing and rates for these services are also very satisfying to the average consumer, especially if they have to stick to a highly restricted IT budget.

Hereâs what one user found in their Speedtest result for their connection to the US-East server :

As you can see from this screen capture, this is a very fast connection rated in the top 10%. Youâll see that this experience is common to many other users as well in the feedback section that follows below.

Here are some comments from actual users of the service:

âI just signed up and the speed is excellent! No problems with general browsing or watching Youtube at all. Iâm using US California server and it feels like Iâm not using a VPN at all.ââ Jotunheim, forums.whirlpool.net.au

Voted Best VPN for Privacy and Torrenting by GreyCoder.com, this service maintains your privacy online with little effort and at a reasonable monthly fee. This is repeated in user feedback as well:

Read Also: How To Install Pia VPN On Firestick

Pia Is A Tested And Proven No Logs VPN

Many VPN services claim to be no logs but few have actually been tested and/or verified.

Private Internet Access is one of the few verified no logs VPN services that has survived real-world tests. There were two separate court cases where Private Internet Access was subpoenaed for data logs, but they could not provide any information.

The first court case occurred in 2016 when the FBI demanded logs concerning a PIA user who had allegedly been making bomb threats. As discussed in official court records, the only information PIA was able to provide was a cluster of VPN IP addresses that were allegedly used for the crime:

A subpoena was sent to London Trust Media and the only information they could provide is that the cluster of IP addresses being used was from the east coast of the United States.

The second court case occurred in June 2018, when US authorities again demanded data logs for a criminal investigation. Once again, however, PIA was not able to provide any data on the accused VPN user:

While PIA has not undergone an audit to verify their no logs policies, such as with NordVPN and VyprVPN, these two court cases certainly validate their claims.

Court cases are indeed a good test to verify logging claims. After all, a court case revealed that PureVPN had been logging customer data and handing it over to US authorities, despite claiming to be a no logs VPN service.

You can read the PIA privacy policy for more info.

Private Internet Access VPN Netflix And Other Streaming Services

One of the more common uses for a VPN service is to access geoblocked streaming content from around the world. While people who do this do run the risk of violating user agreements for these services, it does open up a greater breadth of streaming options. Heres how PIA VPN fares when attempting to streaming with one UK service, two Australian alternatives and four popular US options, all of which have a knack for detecting VPNs.

Streaming service

Partial

Fast

Private Internet Access was inconsistent in my tests, with only US streaming service Peacock proving to reliably work, albeit with moderate to fast buffering speeds depending on the server. The Netflix US library is basically an easy win these days for most VPNs, but PIA VPN only worked when connected to certain US servers and was incredibly slow to load the library and had slow buffering results. BBC iPlayer and Kayo detected PIA VPN, and Stan only worked on the slower Sydney server.

Normally, this is where I introduce a table that gives an idea of how Private Internet Access should work with different NBN speed tiers. But given it doesnt work at all with BBC iPlayer while Netflix US and Hulu only have partial support , it doesnt feel like an accurate indication of real-world use. If youre after a VPN service for streaming, dont go with Private Internet Access.

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What I Loved About Pia

  • Fast like Usain Bolt with speeds reaching > 300 Mb/s with WireGuard
  • A true no-log VPN and has proven so in courts
  • Top security features bare metal servers running on RAM, AES-256-bit encryption, no leaks, has ad blocker and anti-tracking tools
  • 12,000+ servers in 70+ country gateways
  • Works with Netflix & allows torrents
  • Smooth apps an advanced yet simple VPN client
  • Excellent browser extension with proxy and tons of privacy features
  • Up to 10 connections allowed with each PIA account
  • Live chat support and the highly useful user community
  • Cheap for a high-end VPN at $2.69 per month on the two-year plan

Mobile Apps: Android And Ios

Best VPN For Gaming 2020 [Buying Guide]

The Android version of PIA has most of the desktop features. You can request port forwarding, switch DNS, connect via a proxy, force IPv6 blocking, and so on.

Unfortunately, the iOS app provides only the basics, such as choosing the protocol and encryption or turning on the malware blocker. Luckily, you can use WireGuard to achieve much higher speeds.

In the end, both mobile apps are user friendly and easy to use.

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Pia Privacy And Security

Many of us use a VPN to increase our privacy and security online. In that regard and from a technical standpoint, Private Internet Access is as good as any service I have ever reviewed.

PIA is also a proven no-logs VPN provider and retains no personally-identifiable information that could tie us to any of our online activities.

The elephant in the room is that PIA is US-based not exactly ideal for privacy. But, as well see, that may not be such a huge deal after all.

Can I Use Netflix With Private Internet Access

I like to think of VPNs and Netflix has a tug of war. Sometimes the VPN wins, sometimes Netflix wins, but each side is constantly trying to outdo each other. Although Private Internet Access doesnt restrict access to Netflix itself, Netflix does attempt to block VPNs whenever possible. Therefore, access is not guaranteed. You should, however, be able to torrent files, a nice alternative to Netflix.

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Hands On With Private Internet Access VPN For The Iphone

We installed Private Internet Access VPN’s iOS app on our iPhone XS running iOS 14.7.1. The app has an unusual bright green and off-white interface. The dashboard has a well-designed layout, with a small world map located below the connection button, followed by a list of countries you can connect to, your IP address, and the connected VPN IP. The bottom row features the Kill Switch, a button to turn on the network management settings, and a shortcut to download InBrowsera private browser.

When you tap the connection button, it turns bright green to show your connection was successful. You can choose your VPNs location by either selecting the countrys flag on the dashboard or tapping the arrow to the right of the world map. You can choose the city where the VPN is located in some countries, and you can also choose a server labeled Streaming Optimized in select countries.

The app has a surprising number of creative features for iOS users. It offers Network Management and Siri commands to turn the service on and off. The app also includes an ad tracker and a malware blocker for the mobile Safari browser. The Automation setting allows you to decide if PIA will automatically connect when youre on secure Wi-Fi, open Wi-Fi, or mobile data.

Extra Privacy And Security Features

Private Internet Access VPN Review & Tutorial

Despite being a basic VPN service, Private Internet Access still offers some good privacy and security features.

In addition to the multi-level kill switch we discussed above, PIA also provides:

  • Various data encryption options, including WireGuard
  • A VPN ad blocking feature called PIA MACE

First, the WireGuard protocol is an excellent feature that usually offers big advantages with performance. However, in our tests for this PIA review, WireGuard speeds were not very good . Nonetheless, the WireGuard VPN protocol does still offer some advantages, including upgraded security and more reliability on mobile devices.

Below you can see the encryption options in the PIA Windows app:

In most cases, the WireGuard protocol offers big advantages over OpenVPN. For example, you can really see this in the recent NordVPN vs IPVanish comparison.

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Will Private Internet Access Log My Data

Private Internet Access emphasizes the fact that they do not log data of any kind. That means theyll have no idea when youre using the VPN, for how long, what your IP address is, or what sites have you been visiting.

Weve never been asked for keys, nor handed over user dataWe dont have any logs whatsoever. We dont log metadata session data either. We will comply with anything, but we cant comply because we do not provide any logs. We dont log, period,

Private Internet Access founder Andrew Lee told ARS Technica in 2013. Granted this quote is a little dated, but still quite clear.

Is Private Internet Access Customer Service Any Good

It took about three minutes to connect to a live chat support agent through PIAs website on a weekday evening. The agent didnt respond quickly to my questions, though, and I had to wait a couple of minutes between questions, presumably so they could look up the answers. I also had issues with some of my messages not being delivered through the chat interface. The answers I eventually received could have been more clear.

Private Internet Access has a blog and plenty of support materials to help you troubleshoot issues and keep up to date with the service. Its also one of the only VPN providers to run its own forum where customers can post questions and comments to the developers and other users.

On the downside, much of the material in the blog posts and forums is out of date. That made it difficult in some cases to find clear and accurate answers to my questions.

A debug logging mode in the apps can be useful when troubleshooting connection issues. Instead of trying to describe the problem to customer support, I can enable this mode and then hand over the debug log so technicians can quickly pinpoint the issue. Just remember to turn it off when youre done to prevent unnecessary logging.

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