Having recently unveiled its NextGen VPN Network, Private Internet Access is the go-to solution for a secure VPN. The massive network comes 17,300+ servers in 76 countries, an improvement from the previous 3300 servers in 30 countries. The upgrade enables the company to use better hardware components to ensure sensitive information is lost in case of a connection failure.
Our extensive tests showed PIA has inconsistent speeds. It clocked speeds of 70 Mbps using OpenVPN in the US which is pretty low compared to Hotspot Shield. However, the speed increases significantly when using WireGuard clocking speeds of up to 373 Mbps.
PIA scores highly for this feature as it is equipped with WireGuard and OpenVPN, the most secure protocols.
You can set up data authentication methods like RSA-4096 and RSA-2048 and with its proprietary DNS it minimizes data leaks. As for the openVPN, PIA uses the standard AES-128 encryption which you can bump up to AES-256.
Ease of use
Operating PIA is pretty straightforward. Once you log in, simply press the big power button to connect to the desired server location. We found the server selection interface user-friendly. It displays the current ping time for every server location in ms.
By comparison, its monthly and annual plans are fairly priced. Notably, the company removed the six-month plan and introduced a two-year plan that will have subscribers paying as little as $2.56 a month.
In addition, the plan comes with a free one-year license for BoxCryptor, a service for encrypting cloud files. PIA provides great value for your money.
- Device compatibility: PIA has dedicated apps for a range of operating systems including Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, and iOS. All its features are accessible across all applications except the iOS app which doesn’t have the MACE ad blocking feature.
- Customer support: Apart from the usual live chat option, PIA’s support center has a range of articles for troubleshooting technical problems with your account. While the articles are not as detailed, they go a long way in helping users solve problems.
- Streaming sites unblocked: PIA unblocks few streaming services. During our test, we found that you can stream US Netflix from the UK and not Japanese or Canadian Netflix. Similarly, US Amazon Prime, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer worked when connected using specific servers. However, PIA makes a great torrenting VPN as there are no restrictions on P2P traffic.
Its ease of use, advanced features, and top-notch security make PIA a solid pick. The only bummer is its inconsistent speed and limited unblocked streaming services. Since other services unblock more streaming services, PIA comes sixth in our review.