Private Internet Access Review 2022: Is It Legit? Is It a Scam?

Last Updated: November 22, 2022
We’ll explore this Private Internet Access review more to see if it lives up to the hype. Let’s look into that and see what we can find.
Private Internet Access Review
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Private Internet Access Review 2022: Summary

Private Internet Access 811

When a VPN is activated, all data sent to and from the user is encrypted before being sent to a server managed by the VPN provider.

Your ISP and other prying eyes won’t be able to see what you’re up to in cyberspace, and it will be far more difficult for advertisers and other third parties to follow your digital footprints. 

Private Internet Access VPN, although one of the oldest players in the business, is still up there with the best of them.

Many websites can detect your use of PIA and permanently ban you if you continue. We’ve tried to get in touch with them, but their online form is malfunctioning.

It is strongly suggested that you sign up for NordVPN if you are looking for a VPN service of a good standard. 

Pros
  • Very quick speeds over short distances
  • A certified no-logs policy for personal data
  • Features compatibility with both American Netflix and the British service BBC iPlayer.
  • All servers support BitTorrent downloads.
  • Highly secure and adaptable encryption
Cons
  • Usability concerns with the Mac client
  • The Smart DNS proxy is incompatible with video-streaming services.
  • An updated app for the Fire T.V. Stick is a must.
  • American headquarters (Five Eye jurisdiction)
  • Unstable speed
  • Server breakdowns
  • No free trial is offered

👉 Get NordVPN’s FREE Trial

Private Internet Access Review 2022: In-depth

Private Internet Access 914

Private Internet Access At A Glance

Protect your personal information and transactions with Private Internet Access (PIA). The company claims it has extras like ad blocking and browser add-ons.

However, while these advantages are undeniable, there are still some causes for caution. 

PIA is not the best VPN for streaming since it cannot access many popular streaming services and its speeds are slower than those of some other prominent providers.

The VPN’s parent business, Kape Technologies, is also linked to virus distribution allegations in multiple publications.

Are there any of these aspects that warrant concern, and do the advantages justify the disadvantages? Is there anything unique about PIA, given that more powerful VPNs like NordVPN are available?

Does it provide complete anonymity and security in the virtual world, and does it function with Netflix and other prominent streaming services?

We’ll explore this Private Internet Access review more to see if it lives up to the hype. Let’s look into that and see what we can find.

Who Is It For?

Use a VPN, like Private Internet Access, if you are concerned about your online privacy. Your true name, web activity, and location can remain hidden from curious eyes.

A VPN helps shield users from snooping, social engineering, and profiling. 

When traveling to a country or region with tight internet regulations and geo-restrictions, a VPN-like Private Internet Access can be a lifesaver.

Using a VPN is the best option if you need an extra degree of security beyond what a firewall can provide.

How Fast Is PIA?

Private Internet Access Speed Performance

When connecting to far-flung places, we found that PIA’s average connection time was only 2 seconds when utilizing WireGuard and 2.5 seconds when using OpenVPN.

We put PIA through its tests on hardware at a U.K. data center and in the U.S. at a site with a 1Gbps connection. We utilized the app to find the nearest hotspot. 

We then tested the download speeds using various tools and services (including SpeedTest’s website and authority line software, nPerf, SpeedOf.me, and more).

We performed the testing in the morning and again in the evening, utilizing WireGuard and OpenVPN connections.

With speeds ranging from 170 to 190 Mbps, OpenVPN in the U.K. fell short of expectations. 

Our findings improved once we switched to WireGuard, and PIA’s download speeds increased to 200-250 Mbps.

In the United States, however, PIA’s OpenVPN connections achieved speeds of up to 320Mbps.

It will likely be fast enough if that is quicker than your internet connection or if you only use PIA for browsing and similar chores.

User Friendliness

The link between PIA and user-friendliness is complex. On the one hand, the app is simple and provides clear explanations of complex concepts.

It is partly because of how easy it is to log in by typing in your email address or to click a button.

On Windows, however, it can be closed accidentally if the user clicks anywhere but in the app’s tray.

However, PIA’s site is quite user-friendly. Selecting the “get PIA VPN” link is all that is required to begin the signup process.

You only need to fill out a few fields, and then you’ll be taken to a page where you may download the software. 

PIA Servers

Private Internet Access previously advertised its extensive network of servers in every region worldwide.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t locate any information on this on the site, and when We called customer care, they could not assist me with a rough estimate.

At this time, we know that there are many of them and that their main center of operations is in the United States.

PIA VPN’s global coverage of 84 countries is not quite remarkable compared to other VPNs.

However, NordVPN’s support for 95 countries across all seven continents gives it a massive advantage.

Most of the devices are “bare metal,” which means they are located in a country where your network can communicate.

Due to data retention restrictions, possessing physical hardware could be risky in countries like India. Two options for linking are:

  • Standard servers are ideal for everyday web use, including surfing and casual gaming.
  • Streaming-optimized systems (in the U.S., Japan, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, and Italy)

In addition, 10 Gbps servers are gradually being incorporated into the system. It is fantastic news for anyone in need of consistent efficiency.

Your speeds technically shouldn’t be slower than usual, even with greater traffic on the overall network. The question is whether or not my data will be logged through private internet access.

The fact that Private Internet Access does not keep logs of user activity while using the service is heavily promoted.

In other words, your employer will be completely in the dark about when and how long you use the VPN, your I.P. address, and the websites you visit.

So, what kind of data does PIA keep track of? According to its privacy policy1, it records the following data on its users to keep their accounts active:

  • Email addresses
  • Payment details, except complete credit card numbers
  • Labels stored in cookies
  • Users’ home states and provinces, as well as their postal codes
  • Regarding users’ I.P. addresses, browsing information, and traffic data, PIA does not collect any information.

Kill Switch

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The term “kill switch” refers to the automated shutdown of a program or website in case of a VPN connection loss.

This prevents your connection from automatically switching to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, which would expose your surfing habits to your ISP.

If you’re torrenting behind a VPN and your connection drops in the middle of a download, your ISP will know exactly what you’re doing. You might get into problems with it.

When your VPN connection drops, your torrent activity will end automatically using a kill switch. As promised, Private Internet Access includes a kill switch in its apps.

Privacy

Private Internet Access Security Features

The company claims that PIA’s apps only employ the most up-to-date and secure protocols, like OpenVPN and WireGuard.

To prevent DNS leaks, Private Internet Access uses its DNS servers.

However, the programs are adaptable, and the Windows client can be configured to utilize either the system’s default DNS or a user-specified alternative.

If your VPN connection suddenly breaks, a kill switch will prevent you from accessing the web. 

PIA has its desktop kill switch and is compatible with the ones already built into iOS and Android.

PIA’s desktop apps have a feature that allows users to provide anonymized connection statistics back to the firm.

In contrast to several rivals, the installer does not automatically enable this feature. 

Turning on the settings panel’s “Help improve PIA” option (included in the Help section, in case you were wondering) is required before any data is transmitted.

Using the Chrome add-on, you may unlock many new security options.

These could be set up independently for no cost, but the extensions make it simpler and provide useful additional layers of security.

With PIA’s MACE feature, you can prevent advertisements, trackers, and malware from loading on your computer by blocking access to their domains.

Private Internet Access has released numerous components and libraries under an open-source license, including its desktop clients and phone applications.

It opens the door for other programmers to review the code at their leisure, evaluate its quality, report errors, and maybe check to see if it does anything that could endanger the user’s privacy.

Based On Privacy-Unfriendly US

Private Internet Access

The United States, where PIA is situated, is largely regarded as one of the worst areas to base a VPN company.

The United States is one of the original members of the Five Eyes (FVEY) intelligence alliance, which includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

U.S. authorities have broad rights to collect and store information due to the Patriot Act, particularly employing National Security Letters.

VPNs hosted in a Five Eyes nation like the United States are generally not recommended.

A certified no-logs policy, however, can mitigate many of the dangers an overbearing government poses.

The company claims that you can trust PIA with your data since its security policy and logging policies have been tested in the real world and found to be up to par with those of VPNs in more privacy-friendly jurisdictions.

PIA Shadowsocks

Under the “multihop” tab of the program, you may also configure a proxy using Shadowsocks or SOCKS5 to route your traffic through another server.

This setup is analogous to a double-hop network, albeit without the added security of a second hop.

Adding a proxy to your VPN setup might be challenging for those without networking experience.

If you’re already utilizing Shadowsocks, PIA does not make it incredibly easy to add an extra layer of security whenever you need it.

SOCKS5 calls for the input of a server’s Internet Protocol (I.P.) address and port number in addition to the user name and password.

When using Shadowsocks, all you have to do is select a proxy.

PIA MACE Ad Blocker

The company claims that the ad blocker, known as PIA MACE, is another useful tool provided by PIA.

PIA MACE prevents access to malicious advertising, tracking, and malware domains.

PIA MACE does not allow you to whitelist specific domains or modify the filter parameters, similar to other ad-blocking tools. To turn it on or off is as simple as that.

We would not recommend utilizing PIA MAC as your primary ad blocker, but any ad blocker is better than none.

When comparing ad blockers across VPNs, We discovered that PIA’s did not effectively block nearly as many domains as the competition.

For blocking advertisements when using a VPN, NordVPN is a better option than PIA. In contrast, the ad blocker may leave much to be desired.

Compatibility

A single PIA VPN subscription can be used for up to ten different devices at once.

It works with Chrome and Firefox add-ons and extensions and is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Not only that. Now that PIA VPN can be downloaded directly from the Amazon app store, it is simple to use on any FireStick device and with other media streaming apps like Kodi.

Additionally, PIA on Roku can be set up manually utilizing a router. However, PIA’s desktop and mobile apps provide users with the most features and satisfying experiences.

Traffic Obfuscation

Private Internet Access obfuscates your VPN traffic with the open-source encrypted proxy Shadowsocks.

If you enable this function, your data will be encrypted by the Shadowsocks server before it reaches the VPN server. 

You’ll need to cover your VPN connection to circumvent geographical restrictions and VPN bans, so it looks like you normally surf the internet.

Occlusion can be used on all major platforms, including Android, Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.

The company claims that the obfuscation feature in PIA is easy to use; all you have to do is go to the Multihop tab, turn it on, and select the Shadowsocks server you wish to connect through.

If you have ten seconds, you can switch it on.

Protocols do not employ open-source and are free for anybody to use. This is not a straightforward rationale for why this does not matter to you as a user.

When a software program is open-source, its source code is made public so that anybody, including developers and information technology (I.T.) security experts, can examine and critique it.

It promotes rapid vulnerability and issues reporting, which expedites the provision of fixes and security updates thanks to independent code review.

Meanwhile, only a few (the VPN provider’s developers, I.T. professionals, independently retained I.T. security firms, etc.) can review closed-source VPN software for vulnerabilities.

If you’re looking for a VPN service that genuinely values your privacy, go no further than NordVPN.

It uses cutting-edge VPN protocols, all its programs are open source, and the kill switch function works flawlessly.

Plans And Pricing

Private Internet Access Pricing

Monthly, annual, and quarterly plans are available from PIA. The monthly plan’s $11.95 price tag is steep compared to the competition.

The yearly plan is the same at $3.33 per month.

PIA’s new 3-year plan is an even better deal than the 2-year plan it replaced, costing only $2.03 a month and including three bonus months at no extra charge.

There is no VPN free trial, but your payment is fully refundable within 30 days. Suppose you’re seeking a safe way to shop online.

In that case, PIA might be a good option because it accepts a wide variety of payment types, from traditional ones like credit cards and gift cards to more innovative ones like cryptocurrencies and bank transfers.

Customer Service

Support for PIA VPN customers can be obtained through a live chat feature.

We’ve previously voiced our dissatisfaction with PIA’s customer service because the email was the only available contact method.

Even though PIA’s email support has consistently been quick to respond and helpful, adding live chat will greatly improve their skills and make life easier for their consumers.

These customer service features of PIA are not so quick. You might have to wait one day or more to get a reply. 

In Summary, the best VPNs in 2022 are;

Review Verdict

This Private Internet Access review is packed with useful details, such as a summary of the service’s main features and instructions for getting started.

Several problems exist. The quality of customer service varies. It’s also slow on long-distance networks and can be erratic while connecting to nearby ones. 

In terms of raw operational power and unblocking ability, it lags below industry leaders like NordVPN. In case you’re seeking a VPN service, Nord is a great option.

👉 Get NordVPN’s FREE Trial

As far as we can determine, NordVPN has provided a courtesy that covers all the bases and satisfies the needs of its users.

Quick, feature-rich, and simple to operate, NordVPN is an excellent VPN service. 

It provides all the typical safety and privacy aspects customers can expect from a decent VPN and a few additions, such as double VPN and Onion over VPN.

It is headquartered in a privacy-friendly country.

Private Internet Access Review 2022: Is It Legit? Is It a Scam? - EarthWeb
Private Internet Access

We'll explore this Private Internet Access review more to see if it lives up to the hype. Let's look into that and see what we can find.

Price: $3.33

Price Currency: USD

Operating System: Windows, Mac, Android & iOS

Application Category: VPN

Editor's Rating:
3.6

Pros

  • Very quick speeds over short distances
  • A certified no-logs policy for personal data
  • Features compatibility with both American Netflix and the British service BBC iPlayer.
  • All servers support BitTorrent downloads.
  • Highly secure and adaptable encryption

Cons

  • Usability concerns with the Mac client
  • The Smart DNS proxy is incompatible with video-streaming services.
  • An updated app for the Fire T.V. Stick is a must.
  • American headquarters (Five Eye jurisdiction)
  • Unstable speed
  • Server breakdowns
  • No free trial is offered

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Written by Trevor Cooke

The only safe internet is a private internet. You’ll see me at parties talking about cybersecurity, privacy, and VPNs. Yes, I’m that guy.
4.7/5