Highly recommended

Private Internet Access Review — Quick Summary

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the fastest and most secure VPN services on the market. Over the past years, I’ve been using it regularly during my travels, and have always had a great experience with it. I also ran additional tests for this review to check its streaming, torrenting, and gaming support, how user-friendly it is, and if it has good additional features that also work well. 

I can safely say that PIA is excellent for torrenting, large families, security and privacy, and fast speeds. It allows P2P traffic on all servers (located in 80+ countries), supports unlimited simultaneous connections, comes with essential and advanced security features, and provides blazing-fast streaming, torrenting, gaming, and browsing speeds on nearby and distant servers. 

What’s more, it also provides other cool perks — it works with 20+ streaming sites (including top ones like Netflix and Disney+), it has one of the best ad blockers on the market, and its desktop and mobile apps are really simple to install and use. 

Only a few minor areas need improvement — PIA doesn’t consistently work in restrictive countries like China, it doesn’t have dedicated apps for Android TV and Fire TV, and its live chat could be a bit better. 

But, overall, PIA is a great choice for securing your online activities. Plus, it’s also very affordable and backs all purchases with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. I've consistently ranked it in the top 3 of my best VPNs list for years.

Quick Private Internet Access Review
Rating
4.8
Overall rank2 out of #19
Works with Netflix
Server NetworkUnknown number of servers in 80+ countries
Number of DevicesUnlimited
Starting Price$2.03/month
Money-Back Guarantee30 days
CouponsPrivate Internet Access Coupon 83% OFF

Private Internet Access Security Features Security Features

PIA has all industry-standard security features, including:

  • 256-bit AES encryption — This is the same level of encryption the military uses. Makes all of your web traffic completely unreadable.
  • Kill switch — Cuts off internet access if the VPN disconnects, protecting you from data leaks. PIA has a kill switch on its Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS apps. There’s also an advanced kill switch option, which disables web access if the VPN is turned off (this is helpful if you want to be 100% sure you don’t go online without first securing your data with the VPN).
  • No-logs policy — PIA doesn’t collect users’ IP addresses or web traffic. What’s more, its no-logs policy has been confirmed in an audit and court documents.
  • DNS leak protection — Runs its own DNS servers to make sure your DNS requests don’t leak outside the VPN tunnel, so that your ISP and other third parties can’t spy on them. 

The VPN also comes with the WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec protocols. I like Wireguard the most because it’s super fast and also very secure. But OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec also provide strong security and good speeds as well. Here’s the list of protocol availability on PIA’s desktop and mobile apps:

VPN ProtocolsWindowsmacOSLinuxiOSAndroid
WireGuard
OpenVPN
IKEv2/IPSec

In addition to DNS leak protection, PIA also has IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection. It’s great to see this, as not all top VPNs provide full leak protection. To make sure PIA is 100% safe to use, I performed 10+ leak tests while connected to different servers — I’m happy to say that the VPN never leaked my IP address or DNS requests in my results.

Screenshot of leak test results while connected to Private Internet Access.

I also like how PIA has other advanced security features, including RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy (PFS). RAM-only servers ensure that data is only written to the RAM and not the hard drive — so every server reboot wipes all data. And PFS changes the encryption key for each VPN session, making it impossible for hackers to try and compromise past or future session keys to spy on your traffic. 

Finally, the VPN lets you secure your account with two-factor authentication (2FA). This forces you to verify each login attempt with a time-sensitive code that’s generated by an authenticator app on your device. This way, even if a malicious actor somehow manages to steal your VPN account credentials, they still won’t be able to log into your account.

Bottom Line: PIA is excellent for securing internet traffic. It has all essential VPN security features, and it also comes with secure VPN protocols, full leak protection, RAM-only tech, PFS, and 2FA.

Private Internet Access Privacy Features Privacy Features

Private Internet Access Logging Policy
IP Address
Web Traffic
Email Address
Connection Timestamps
Bandwidth Usage

PIA provides excellent privacy since it has a strict no-log policy. According to its privacy policy, it doesn’t collect your IP address and web traffic, and it also doesn’t log connection timestamps and bandwidth usage. It only logs your email address, which it needs to manage your account and communicate with you. It also collects your state and zip code (for tax analysis purposes) and payment data, which it needs to process payments. 

On top of that, the provider’s no-logs policy has also passed an independent security audit. What’s more, its no-logs policy has also been proven in several court documents. And it also provides a semi-annual transparency report that details types of data requests (warrant canaries or court orders, for example) made to the provider’s legal department. The transparency report also shows how PIA doesn’t comply with any user data requests.

I also like how the provider open-sourced all of its apps, as this provides great transparency. Basically, this means anyone can inspect the VPN’s code to check if there are any security concerns. 

PIA is headquartered in the US, which isn’t exactly the most privacy-friendly location. That said, I don’t think there’s any risk of US authorities getting their hands on user data since the no-logs audit and court documents already proved the provider doesn’t store any.

Bottom Line: PIA offers perfect privacy for all online activities. It has a strict no-logs policy that has been independently audited and proven true in court documents, it releases a transparency report, and all of its apps are open source.

Private Internet Access Additional Features Additional Features

PIA comes with the following extra features:

Split-Tunneling

Screenshot showing Private Internet Access' split-tunneling tool on the Windows app

The VPN’s split-tunneling feature lets you pick which sites and apps use the VPN, and which don’t — for example, you can use it to only send traffic from your P2P app through the VPN server. PIA provides access to split-tunneling on its Windows, macOS, and Android apps. 

I always use this feature whenever I need to boost my VPN speeds. For this review, I tested it by only sending Netflix traffic through the VPN connection, while all the other apps used my ISP’s network — which helped me increase my Netflix streaming speeds by about 20%.

What I really like about PIA’s split-tunneling is that it lets you split-tunnel IPs in addition to apps — most VPNs (like ExpressVPN and NordVPN) only let you split-tunnel apps. Being able to split-tunnel IP addresses is sometimes more convenient. For example, if you only want to split-tunnel a website, you can split-tunnel its IP address instead of the whole browser.

Bottom Line: PIA has a very good split-tunneling tool. It allows you to split-tunnel both apps and sites, it works very well, and it’s available on most of its apps.

MACE

Screenshot showing Private Internet Access' MACE feature on the Windows app.

MACE is PIA’s ad blocker, which gets rid of ads, blocks ad trackers, and stops you from accidentally connecting to shady sites that host malware and phishing scams. 

MACE is built into the provider’s Windows, macOS, and Linux apps. You can also get it on the Android app, but only if you manually download the .apk app from PIA’s site — if you download it from the Play Store, you won’t be able to use the ad blocker. And while there’s no built-in option for MACE on the iOS app, you can still use it by setting a custom DNS using PIA’s MACE DNS address (available in the provider’s support articles) in the iOS app’s network settings.

I think PIA’s MACE feature is very good — I tested it by visiting 10+ ad-heavy websites, and it always got rid of all ads, which made the sites load faster. I especially like that it can even block YouTube ads (not a lot of VPN ad blockers can do that). I also tested MACE using multiple third-party ad blocker testing tools, and it always scored high on all of them.

Bottom Line: PIA’s MACE tool is an excellent ad blocker. It always gets rid of all ads whenever I use it (even YouTube ads), and it also blocks trackers and malicious websites. 

Obfuscation

Screenshot showing Private Internet Access' obfuscation feature on the Windows app.

The VPN’s obfuscation essentially hides your VPN traffic. PIA provides obfuscation via Shadowsocks, which is an open-source encrypted proxy — basically, the provider sends your VPN traffic through the Shadowsocks proxy, which adds an additional layer of encryption to your VPN connection. That extra layer of encryption makes your VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic. PIA’s obfuscation is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android via the OpenVPN protocol.

Obfuscation is a good way to get extra privacy or bypass censorship in restrictive countries, like China for example. Unfortunately, PIA doesn’t consistently work in restrictive regions, so I’d only recommend using its obfuscation if you just want to prevent your ISP from seeing that you’re using a VPN. If you’d like to use obfuscation in restrictive countries, I recommend getting ExpressVPN instead.

PIA’s obfuscation is simple to enable and use. Just turn it on in the VPN app, then choose your desired exit server (you can choose from 5+ countries). 

If you do plan on using obfuscation, keep in mind it might cause noticeable slowdowns. This is due to the extra layer of encryption (the obfuscation layer) that’s added to your connection. In my tests, I experienced a 25% slowdown when I enabled the obfuscation feature.

Bottom Line: PIA’s obfuscation is a good way to hide your VPN traffic. It’s easy to use and available on all apps, though I think it’s a shame it doesn’t consistently work in restrictive regions.

Identity Guard

Screenshot showing Private Internet Access' Identity Guard feature.

Identity Guard is an email breach monitoring tool that you can access inside your PIA VPN account dashboard. This tool lets you monitor emails, and it sends you alerts if it detects that one of the monitored email addresses is involved in a data breach. I really like that Identity Guard is included free of charge with each PIA VPN subscription. The only downside is that it can only monitor 2 email addresses.

I tested Identity Guard with a brand-new email address, and its results were accurate — it correctly told me that it wasn’t involved in any data breaches. 

Also, using this tool is really straightforward — just access it in the account dashboard on PIA’s site, add the email address you want to monitor, and then confirm that address to start keeping tabs on it.

Bottom Line: PIA’s Identity Guard is good for securing your email addresses since it alerts you if they’re compromised in a data breach. The feature works well and is easy to use, though I’d like to see PIA allow you to track more than 2 emails in the future.

Tor Support

Screenshot showing an .onion website loaded in the Tor browser while connected to Private Internet Access.

The VPN supports Tor traffic on all of its servers. This means you can first connect to the VPN before connecting to the Tor network to surf the dark web. I recommend doing that because you get better security and privacy — if the Tor network suffers a leak or routes your internet connection through a malicious node, only PIA’s IP address will be compromised. Your real IP address will remain hidden.

Just keep in mind that using Tor over VPN connections will cause noticeable slowdowns. That’s because the Tor network is already pretty slow, as it sends your traffic through 3 encrypted servers. When I used PIA with Tor, it usually took around 10 seconds for .onion links to load. 

Also, if you plan on using the VPN with Tor very often, I recommend getting NordVPN instead. In addition to Tor support on all servers, it also has Onion Over VPN servers that let you access dark web sites in normal browsers (like Chrome and Firefox) — that’s much more convenient than having to download and use the Tor browser.

Bottom Line: All of PIA’s servers support Tor traffic, so you can first secure your connection with the VPN before accessing the dark web.

Dedicated IP Addresses

Screenshot showing Private Internet Access' list of available dedicated IP addresses.

PIA lets you buy dedicated IPs, which are IPs only you use — by default, the VPN provides you with a shared IP, which you share with tons of other PIA users. 

Dedicated IPs are useful for bypassing reCAPTCHAs and accessing sites that block shared VPN IPs. For example, I always use a dedicated IP address when traveling to securely access my bank’s website (if I use a normal shared IP, the bank’s site always blocks my connection).

I also like that PIA designed its dedicated IP system to provide enhanced privacy. Basically, it uses a token-based system to authenticate the ownership of a dedicated IP address — that prevents the provider from knowing which dedicated IP is assigned to you.

The VPN provides dedicated IPs in 5+ countries, including the US, Singapore, Canada, and Japan. If that’s not enough for you, check out NordVPN instead since it provides dedicated IPs in 10+ countries.

Bottom Line: For a small extra cost, PIA provides access to dedicated IPs. It lets you pick dedicated IPs from 5+ countries, and it also uses a token-based authentication system to provide better privacy.

Smart DNS

Screenshot showing Private Internet Access' smart DNS tab in the account dashboard.

You get free access to a smart DNS with each PIA subscription. A smart DNS is a streaming tool that allows you to enjoy streaming content on platforms that are not compatible with VPN apps — like gaming consoles, Roku TV, Chromecast, and more. PIA’s smart DNS can access streaming sites from up to 5 countries: the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, and Germany.

To use the smart DNS feature, you need to perform a manual setup — but it’s pretty straightforward. From the account dashboard on the VPN’s site, just pick the Smart DNS tab, add a new device and select a virtual location, and then follow the provider’s setup instructions to configure the smart DNS on the device. The tutorials are pretty easy to follow. It only took me about 8 minutes to set up the smart DNS on my Xbox console. 

Just remember the smart DNS is only intended for streaming, and not for privacy or security. It doesn’t encrypt your traffic, and it also doesn’t hide your IP address. The lack of encryption does mean you’ll get much faster streaming speeds, though. 

Bottom Line: PIA comes with a smart DNS that’s easy to set up, and which allows you to access TV shows and movies from up to 5 countries on devices that don’t natively support VPN apps.

Automation

Screenshot showing Private Internet Access' Automation feature on the Windows app.

The provider allows you to automate VPN connections, which is really convenient. This feature is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. 

This tool lets you choose how the VPN behaves on different types of networks: secured WiFi networks, public WiFi networks, and wired connections. For example, I set PIA up so that it automatically connects to a VPN server when I connect to a public network, like a coffee shop or an airport’s WiFi.

PIA’s Automation feature is also very easy to use — it only takes a few clicks/taps to set up an automation rule in just 5 seconds. 

Bottom Line: PIA provides automation rules on all of its apps, which let you specify if the VPN automatically connects to or disconnects from a server on specific networks.

Private Internet Access Streaming Support Streaming Support 

Private Internet Access Works With
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer
Max
HBO MaxMaybe
Disney+
Hulu
YouTube TV

PIA provides very good streaming support, as it works with 20+ top streaming services. This includes popular platforms like Netflix, Max, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. I can also confirm it works with HBO Max, but I can’t promise consistent access to the platform since the provider’s reps told me they don’t guarantee that the VPN works with that platform. Other than those platforms, PIA also works with Crunchyroll, CBC, Canal+, and 10Play.

In addition to regular servers, the provider also has dedicated streaming servers in 5+ countries. Each server refreshes its VPN IP address more frequently than normal servers, so it’s much harder for streaming platforms to detect and block them.

Plus, I’m really happy that PIA comes with a smart DNS feature. You can use this tool to access your favorite streaming services on devices you can’t install VPN apps on, like certain smart TVs or gaming consoles. 

I also think PIA is a great Netflix VPN, as it guarantees access to 5+ Netflix libraries. This includes top libraries like Netflix US, Netflix UK, Netflix Germany, and Netflix Japan. Unfortunately, the provider doesn’t guarantee access to Netflix Canada (and it also didn’t work with that library in my tests).

Private Internet Access Netflix Support
Netflix US
Netflix UK
Netflix Canada
Netflix Japan
Netflix Germany

Bottom Line: PIA offers very good streaming support. It works with 20+ popular streaming services (including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+), it can access 5+ Netflix libraries, and it provides access to a smart DNS.

Private Internet Access Torrenting Support Torrenting Support

Screenshot showing a legal torrent being downloaded with qBittorrent while connected to Private Internet Access.

PIA is one of the best torrenting VPNs on the market in my opinion. It has really good P2P support since it allows torrent downloads on all of its servers, which are located in 80+ countries.

Plus, PIA also comes with other useful P2P-related feature:

  • Port forwarding — This feature lets you connect to more peers to get faster download speeds. Port forwarding is easily enabled inside the VPN app, and it’s available on all PIA servers except the US ones. When I used this feature while torrenting, it increased my P2P speeds by about 10%.
  • SOCKS5 proxy support A SOCKS5 proxy hides users’ IP addresses while torrenting, but doesn’t encrypt web traffic. If you’re not concerned about security that much, you can use a SOCKS5 proxy to get much faster download speeds. In my tests, my SOCKS5 speeds were 30% faster than my VPN speeds.

Speaking of speeds, I enjoyed very fast downloads with PIA. On average, it only took me around 35 minutes to torrent a 13 GB file on a distant server, which is really good. Plus, the VPN has split-tunneling, so you can route just P2P app traffic through the VPN to further increase your speeds.

What’s more, the VPN also provides excellent security for torrenting. It protects you from accidental leaks via a kill switch, it has an audited no-logs policy to protect your privacy, and it also comes with full leak protection. Plus, its MACE feature gets rid of annoying ads on torrent trackers and also stops you from accidentally connecting to malicious P2P sites that host malware.

Bottom Line: PIA is one of the best VPN providers for torrenting. It allows P2P traffic on all of its servers, comes with port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy support, has very good P2P download speeds, and also provides very strong security and privacy for torrenting.

Private Internet Access Gaming Support Gaming Support

Screenshot of the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive while connected to Private Internet Access.

I had an enjoyable experience whenever I used PIA for gaming. I used a distant server to play a few rounds of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and I generally had average, stable ping (120-135 ms). I also never experience any lag — all of my matches went very smoothly to the point where I even forgot I had the VPN running in the background.

I also like how the provider has router support. This way, you can manually configure it on your router and use it to game on devices that don’t support VPN apps, like Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

Also, by hiding your real IP address, PIA protects you from DDoS attacks — sore losers can use them to try and force you offline while gaming. Another cool thing is that PIA has anti-DDoS protection on all of its servers. That means nobody can try to DDoS your connection to PIA to disconnect you from it.

The only thing that’s missing is cloud gaming support (like ExpressVPN has). PIA’s reps confirmed that they can’t guarantee the VPN will work with cloud gaming services that stream video games to portable devices, like smartphones. I tried out the VPN with GeForce Now, and it worked well, but I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience as me.

Bottom Line: PIA has very good gaming support, as it maintains stable ping and smooth connections on distant servers, protects you from DDoS attacks, and supports manual router setups. The only minor complaint I have is that there’s no cloud gaming support.

Private Internet Access Server Network Server Network

Private Internet Access Server Network
Number of ServersUnknown
Number of Countries80+
P2P Servers (all servers)
Virtual Locations
Dedicated IP Addresses

PIA doesn’t disclose its total number of VPN servers — when I asked its support reps about this, they told me they don’t make the number of servers public for security reasons, which is understandable. 

It has servers in 80+ countries, which is really good. Its servers are spread across the globe, covering North and South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. That makes it really simple to find and connect to a nearby server to get the best speeds.

The VPN also allows torrenting across all of its servers, which is very convenient. In addition, it also has streaming servers in 5+ countries — if you can’t access a streaming site using a regular server, the provider recommends trying the streaming servers instead. 

PIA also uses virtual locations. These are servers that provide you with an IP address from the country you connect to — but the actual, physical server is located in a different country. The provider’s virtual locations work well, as they always provided me with the right IP address in my leak tests. Plus, I like how PIA is transparent about its use of virtual locations since it clearly marks them in its apps.

Finally, you can also get a dedicated IP address for a small additional cost. PIA lets you purchase a dedicated IP from 5+ countries, so you get a decent variety.

Bottom Line: PIA has a really good VPN server network. It keeps its total number of VPN servers a secret, but it makes up for that by providing access to servers in 80+ countries. In addition, all VPN servers allow torrenting, it also has streaming servers, and you can also purchase a dedicated IP address.

Private Internet Access Speed Tests Speed Tests

I travel a lot, so my baseline speeds are rarely the same. That influences my VPN speeds, so it’s hard for me to provide you with consistent speed test results for all the VPNs I review. 

That’s why I decided to ask my friend from Romania to handle this part of the review. He doesn’t travel 24/7 like me, so his speed test results will be more consistent across all reviews. Also, for his speed tests, he always uses the provider’s fastest protocol, WireGuard in this case.

First, he ran a test without being connected to PIA’s servers. That way, he’d have a baseline to compare the VPN speeds to. 

Screenshot of internet speeds in Romania displayed by Ookla Speedtest

Then, he connected to a nearby server in Hungary. He said he barely experienced any slowdowns — websites loaded instantly, and so did HD and 4K videos. It was almost as if he wasn’t using a VPN at all!

Screenshot of VPN speeds in Hungary displayed by Ookla Speedtest, alongside a connection window to Private Internet Access.

After that, he tested a distant server in the US. He experienced some slowdowns, but they were pretty minor. When he accessed websites, they still loaded instantly. What’s more, HD videos loaded instantly too, while 4K videos took around 2 seconds to load (but there was no buffering when skipping through them).

Screenshot of VPN speeds in the US displayed by Ookla Speedtest, alongside a connection window to Private Internet Access.

Finally, he connected to a Japanese server. He reported some slowdowns, but they were only a little more noticeable than on the US server — sites took 2 seconds to load, HD videos loaded in 3 seconds, and 4K videos took around 3–4 seconds to fully load. Also, he played a few online games and reported stable ping, and also torrented an 8 GB file in around 15 minutes, which is pretty good.

Screenshot of VPN speeds in Japan displayed by Ookla Speedtest, alongside a connection window to Private Internet Access.

I can also confirm that I always had similar results whenever I used PIA while traveling. Whether it was a nearby or a distant server, I generally never experienced long load times for websites and videos, nor did I have to deal with noticeable slowdowns while playing online games, having Zoom calls, or downloading large torrents.

Bottom Line: PIA has some of the fastest speeds on the market. It provides smooth, stable connections across both nearby and distant servers, helping you maintain very fast speeds for browsing, streaming, torrenting, gaming, and more.

Private Internet Access Censorship Bypassing Censorship Bypassing

Private Internet Access Works in
🇨🇳 ChinaMaybe
🇪🇬 EgyptMaybe
🇹🇷 TurkeyMaybe
🇷🇺 RussiaMaybe
🇦🇪 UAEMaybe

Despite having obfuscation, PIA doesn’t consistently work in restrictive countries. Its support reps told me that they can’t guarantee that the VPN service will always work in places that restrict VPN usage like China, Egypt, Russia, Turkey, and the UAE. I personally didn’t have any issues using PIA in China, but I can’t guarantee everyone else will have the same experience.

If this is a deal-breaker for you, consider getting ExpressVPN instead. It works 24/7 in restrictive regions without any problems.

Bottom Line: I unfortunately can’t make any guarantees that PIA will 100% work in restrictive countries. It worked for me, but the provider itself says it doesn’t guarantee full uptime in places like China and Iran.

Private Internet Access Apps and Ease of Use Apps and Ease of Use

PIA has apps for all popular platforms — Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. It also has browser extensions for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox, and supports manual router setups. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have dedicated apps for smart TVs (unlike ExpressVPN and NordVPN).

Installing PIA’s desktop and mobile apps is really simple — on average, it only took me up to 3 minutes to install its Android and Windows apps on my devices.

I also like that PIA allows unlimited simultaneous connections. This means you can set up the VPN on as many devices as you want, so it’s a good pick for large families. Most top VPNs only let you connect 5–10 devices.

Android and iOS 

Screenshot of Private Internet Access' Android mobile app.

PIA’s Android app and iOS app are very similar in design — the layout and interface are similar, so it’s very simple to switch between the 2 apps. Plus, I like that both of PIA’s mobile apps have a quick-connect feature that automatically connects you to the fastest server with just 1 tap. 

That said, I like the Android app better since it’s more feature-rich than the provider’s iOS app. While both apps have the Automation feature, the Android VPN app also comes with split-tunneling, obfuscation, and MACE (but only if you install the .apk app from the provider’s site).

Bottom Line: PIA has really good mobile apps. Both its iOS and Android apps are very user-friendly, but the Android app is more feature-rich.

Windows and macOS

Screenshot of Private Internet Access' Windows app.

I really like PIA’s Windows and macOS apps as they both have the same features, including split-tunneling (many VPNs actually don’t have this tool on macOS), MACE, obfuscation, and Automation. You can also pick between the OpenVPN and WireGuard VPN protocol.

What’s more, both the macOS and Windows apps are really intuitive. It’s simple to find and connect to a server, and I like how there are helpful, easy-to-understand explanations for all settings and features. 

And I also like how the main connection window is full of useful info and customization options. For example, you can choose up to 6 servers to quick-connect to. And you can also see quick information about your VPN connection, including the encryption type and the amount of data you downloaded and uploaded.

Bottom Line: PIA has very good apps for Windows and macOS. They’re both feature-rich and very simple to use and navigate.

Linux

I think PIA has one of the best Linux apps out there, as it comes with a GUI. That means you don’t have to use command lines to connect to servers and change settings, which is really convenient. The GUI app is available on distros like Mint, Ubuntu, Arch, and Debian. For other distros, you’ll need to use the CLI app.

The Linux app is also pretty feature-rich, as it comes with MACE, obfuscation, and Automation. What’s more, you can either use the OpenVPN or WireGuard VPN protocol.

Bottom Line: PIA’s Linux app is really good. It has a GUI app on several distros, so it’s convenient to use. In addition, the Linux app also comes with many features, including the ad blocker and obfuscation.

Browser Extensions

Screenshot of Private Internet Access' Opera browser extension.

PIA’s browser extensions are very easy to use — you get access to a quick-connect feature, it doesn’t take more than 4 seconds to connect to a server, and the interface displays the server ping next to each VPN server location (the ping help you find the fastest servers for your location).

The extensions also come with tons of security features. For example, you can configure them to block WebRTC to prevent leaks, block camera and microphone access, and disable credit card autofill. 

My only complaint is that the number of server locations is limited compared to the other apps. With the browser extensions, you only get access to servers in 20+ countries, whereas the mobile and desktop apps have servers in 80+ countries.

Bottom Line: PIA’s browser extensions are very good. They’re easy to use and provide access to tons of useful security features. I just wish you’d get access to servers in more countries.

Router Support

PIA supports manual router setups on multiple router models and firmwares, including DD-WRT, Tomato, Asuswrt-Merlin, pfSense, and LEDE. 

I like how the VPN provides access to helpful tutorials for all router setups. Some of the guides even include screenshots, which is really helpful. On average, it shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to manually configure PIA on your router. 

But if you’re mainly interested in using a router VPN, I recommend getting ExpressVPN instead. It’s one of the only VPN providers with a dedicated router app, which is much easier to install and use than performing a manual router setup.

Bottom Line: PIA supports manual setups on many router models and firmwares. Also, it provides access to helpful tutorials that make the setup process straightforward.

Private Internet Access Pricing and Refund Policy Pricing and Refund Policy

Private Internet Access Pricing
Starting Price$2.03/month
Free Plan
Money-Back Guarantee30 Days
CouponsPrivate Internet Access Coupon 83% OFF

PIA is a very affordable VPN service, with prices starting as low as $2.03 per month. It comes with a 1-month, 1-year, and 3-year plan — the longest plan provides the best value, and even includes a few extra months for free.

The provider also accepts multiple payment methods, including PayPal, credit/debit cards, and even cryptocurrencies. 

Also, PIA comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. I especially like that you don’t need to meet any requirements (like not using a set amount of data) to be eligible for the refund.

Bottom Line: PIA is one of the most budget-friendly VPN services on the market. Its longest plan includes free months for free, and all purchases are also backed by a no-questions-asked 30-day refund.

Private Internet Access Customer Support Customer Support

Private Internet Access Customer Support
Live Chat (24/7)
Email Support
Support Library
Phone Support

PIA provides access to multiple customer support channels — it has 24/7 live chat support, email support, and a really helpful support library that comes with FAQs and setup and troubleshooting guides. 

I often use the provider’s live chat support, and it’s pretty decent. I usually am connected to a live chat rep in less than 10 seconds, but there are sometimes occasions when it takes up to 30 seconds. Most live chat reps are helpful, but I have sometimes come across some reps that are not knowledgeable at all, so I’d like to see PIA improve this in the future.

Screenshot of a conversation with a live chat support rep from Private Internet Access.

I don’t usually use the VPN’s email support, but I tested it for this review, and it was really good. I sent PIA several emails over the course of a week, and I generally got a reply in less than 3 hours, which is very fast. And the replies were friendly and informative.

The provider’s support articles are pretty helpful — the FAQs provide clear, helpful answers, and the installation tutorials are simple to follow. That said, I’d like to see PIA add more visual elements to its support articles (screenshots or videos), like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have.

Bottom Line: PIA provides pretty good customer support. You can use the provider’s support library to find a solution to your issue, or get in touch with its support reps over live chat (available 24/7) or email support.

Private Internet Access Review 2023 — Final Words Final Words

Private Internet Access is one of the best VPN services on the market — it has excellent torrenting support, allows unlimited simultaneous connections, comes with very good security and privacy features, and has really fast speeds on all servers. It also comes with really good extras (including split-tunneling and an excellent ad blocker) and provides access to very intuitive desktop and mobile apps. Plus, it has great streaming support since it works with 20+ streaming platforms, including Netflix.

I really only have a few minor complaints about the VPN — it doesn’t consistently work in restrictive countries like China, it lacks apps for smart TVs, and its live chat support could use some improvement. But other than that, PIA is a solid VPN service that provides great value.

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Private Internet Access is an excellent VPN service that provides very good P2P support, really fast speeds on all servers, and excellent security and privacy features. It also allows unlimited connections, is super affordable, and comes with a no-questions-asked 30-day refund.

Private Internet Access Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

Is Private Internet Access safe?

Yes, it provides excellent security since it has all essential security features, including military-grade encryption, a kill switch to prevent data leaks, and a verified no-logs policy. Plus, it also runs its own DNS servers to make sure your DNS queries don’t leak. 

What’s more, it also comes with other high-end security features. In addition to DNS leak protection, it also has WebRTC and IPv6 leak protection. Plus, it uses advanced features like RAM-only tech and PFS. It also uses secure protocols (WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec) and lets you secure your account with 2FA. I’m also a big fan of its MACE feature, which protects you from shady ads and malicious websites.

Does Private Internet Access keep logs?

No, as PIA has a strict no-logs policy that doesn’t collect your IP address and web traffic. What’s more, its no-logs policy has also been proven true in several court documents and in an independent security audit. In addition, it also provides other privacy features that back up its no-logs claims, including a transparency report and open-source apps.

Does Private Internet Access work with Netflix?

Yes, PIA consistently works with Netflix without any issues. It also provides great variety, as it can access 5+ Netflix libraries, including popular ones like Netflix US, Netflix UK, and Netflix Japan. And I also like how it lets you use a smart DNS tool as well — that allows you to enjoy Netflix on devices that don’t support VPN apps, like gaming consoles and certain smart TVs. 

Is Private Internet Access free?

No, PIA doesn’t come with a free plan. That said, it has some of the most affordable plans on the market — and if you get its longest plan, you might also get a few extra months for free. In addition, the provider has a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee, so you basically buy with no risk.

Does Private Internet Access allow torrenting?

Yes, and PIA actually has excellent torrenting support. It allows P2P traffic on all of its servers, which are located in 80+ countries — so it’s really easy to find a nearby server to torrent on to get the best download speeds. In addition, it also has SOCKS5 proxy support and allows port forwarding, which can both increase your P2P speeds. 

Other than that, it also provides excellent security and privacy for torrenting since it has a kill switch, an audited no-logs policy, and full leak protection. Also, its MACE feature gets rid of shady ads on P2P sites and also stops you from accidentally connecting to malicious torrent trackers.

Does Private Internet Access work on Fire Stick?

Yes, but PIA unfortunately doesn’t have a dedicated Fire TV app, so you can’t download it from the Amazon app store. Instead, you’ll have to sideload its Android app on your Fire Stick, which is a bit inconvenient. 

If that’s a deal-breaker for you, consider getting ExpressVPN instead. It has a dedicated Fire TV app that you can quickly download and install from the app store. Plus, its Fire TV app is extremely intuitive and feature-rich.

How many devices can you use with Private Internet Access?

PIA allows unlimited simultaneous connections, which is very good to see since most top VPNs allow anywhere between 5 and 10 simultaneous connections. So you can basically connect an unlimited number of devices to PIA. This is one of the main reasons why I think PIA is a good pick for large families.

Does Private Internet Access work in China?

PIA works in China, but unfortunately not consistently. It worked whenever I used it there, but its support reps told me they can’t guarantee 100% uptime in restrictive countries like China. So I can’t promise you’ll have the same results as me. If you’re mainly looking for a VPN that works in China, I recommend trying ExpressVPN instead.

How fast is Private Internet Access?

PIA is one of the fastest VPN services on the market. I ran speed tests on both nearby and distant servers, and the slowdowns were minimal — I maintained smooth browsing, streaming, and torrenting on all servers. 

Plus, I also like how the VPN comes with split-tunneling, as this feature lets you boost your VPN speeds. For example, I used split-tunneling to only route traffic from my P2P app through the VPN, and that increased my download speeds by around 15%.In addition, I also like how PIA displays the server ping for all of its servers. You can use that metric to find the fastest servers for your location, which is really helpful. In my experience, I always had the fastest speeds when using servers with low ping than with high ping.

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TREVOR JAMES

Full Time Digital Nomad

About The Author

Hi! I’m Trevor James, a Canadian YouTuber who travels the world full-time. I make videos about food, travel, and cybersecurity. I have been traveling the world and making videos for over 10 years. You can read more about me here.

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