Founded in 2010, Private Internet Access VPN (PIA) is one of the oldest and most established players in the Virtual Private Network (VPN) market. The VPN offers a wide range of features for users and businesses alike, from advanced encryption protocols to unlimited simultaneous connections.
Whether you're still wondering if you need a VPN or are already searching for the best VPN services available, there is a lot to consider when selecting one. Continue reading this Private Internet Access review to find out if its features, plans and user experience make it the right VPN provider for you.
Best VPN for small businesses
There are two main reasons why PIA stands out as one of the best VPN options for small businesses. The first is its unlimited simultaneous connections policy, which allows users to connect an unlimited number of devices to a single account. The second is that PIA offers a VPN setup specifically designed for small businesses.
PIA’s "Corporate VPN" feature allows business administrators to configure the VPN service to work with an entire office network. Setting up a single VPN for the entire office helps prevent unwanted devices from accessing the network and ensures that business operations are safeguarded against online threats.
Private Internet Access VPN pros and cons
- Unlimited simultaneous connections and devices
- Advanced customizable feature set
- Competitively priced long-term subscriptions
- Customer support is lacking
- Customization can be confusing for beginners
- No free version
Unlimited simultaneous connections and devices
While many other VPN providers only offer between five and seven simultaneous connections, PIA users can connect an unlimited number of devices to their accounts at once. This is ideal for families or small businesses that want to keep several devices connected at once without purchasing multiple plans.
Advanced customizable feature set
Whether it's choosing between 128-bit and 256-bit encryption or selecting from several different encryption protocols, Private Internet Access users have a wide range of options when it comes to customizing their VPN experience. Many of these options help advanced users balance security and speed.
Competitively priced long-term subscriptions
At just $2.03 per month for a 3-year subscription, Private Internet Access is one of the most affordable VPNs for those willing to make a long-term commitment.
Customer support is lacking
Online review sites show that users feel frustration with PIA’s customer support. They frequently cite slow response times and inadequate assistance.
Customization can be confusing for beginners
The advanced customizability of Private Internet Access is highly functional and may appeal to VPN veterans. However, those just starting out with VPNs may find its interface less intuitive and visually appealing than that of other services.
No free version
Unlike some popular competitors, Private Internet Access doesn't offer a free version of its service. It does, however, provide a 30-day free trial.
Private Internet Access VPN plans
Private Internet Access offers three plans with different subscription length options that range from one month to three years. All plans offer the same set of features and services.
PIA’s VPN includes:
- Unlimited device connections: PIA allows users to simultaneously connect an unlimited number of devices to their service with no limits on bandwidth.
- Access to its wide network of servers: PIA has a large network of VPN servers spread across 84 countries. It's also one of the only VPN providers with servers in all 50 US states.
- P2P support: PIA customers can use its service for file-sharing activities, including torrenting.
- Multi-hop: Multi-hop VPN chains allow users to connect through multiple servers for additional security and privacy.
- Customizable encryption and security: Users can customize their PIA connection’s encryption and security settings. This includes choosing between 128-bit and 256-bit encryption, selecting a secure encryption protocol (IKEv2, WireGuard and OpenVPN) and more.
- Advanced kill switch: PIA’s firewall-based kill switch helps protect your data by cutting off your Internet connection when it detects that the VPN has disconnected.
- No-log policy: PIA has an independently audited no-logs policy that ensures your data is never recorded or filed.
- Browser extensions: PIA’s free browser extensions block sites from allowing advertisers to track you by IP address or accessing your camera and microphone.
Next, we’ll look at the company's three subscription plans in more detail.
The month-to-month plan costs $11.95 per month and offers the most flexibility in subscription length, with no long-term commitment. The annual cost for the 1-month plan is $143.40, while the three-year cost would be $430.20 (assuming no price changes).
The 1-year plan costs $3.33 per month — significant savings over the 1-month plan — and requires an upfront payment of $39.95 for the full year of service. The total cost for three years would be $119.85 (assuming no price changes).
The 3-year plan offers the greatest overall value and a huge 83% savings over the 1-month plan. It costs just $2.03 per month and requires an upfront payment of $79.
Private Internet Access VPN pricing
While the company's monthly plan costs about the same as many of its competitors, its 3-year plan is among the most cost-effective long-term VPN solutions. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to try the service risk-free.
Here is a summary of the plans’ pricing:
Cost per month
PIA also offers two additional add-on services. The first is exclusive access to a dedicated IP address, and the second is an option to add PIAs Windows antivirus software.
The following table shows the pricing for these additional services.
$5.00 per month
$4.50 per month
$4.25 per month
(billed at $51 annually)
$2.00 per month
(billed at $24 annually)
$2.50 per month
(billed at $90 every three years)
$1.00 per month
(billed at $36 every three years)
Private Internet Access VPN financial stability
None of the three major business credit rating agencies (Moodys, Fitch and S&P) have rated Private Internet Access. This makes it difficult to evaluate the company's financial stability, how profitable it is or what its financial position might be in the future.
The company claims to have 15 million customers worldwide. This claim doesn’t prove its financial stability, but a large customer base is a positive sign.
Private Internet Access VPN accessibility
Private Internet Access VPN boasts a large server network, with servers in 84 countries and all across the U.S.. In addition, Private Internet Access offers specialized applications for Android (with APK download for advanced users), macOS, Windows, iOS, and Linux operating systems. PIA’s VPN is also compatible with consoles, Smart TVs, routers and other devices.
PIA provides email support and has live chat support 24/7. The company’s live ticketing system typically addresses customer inquiries within minutes.
You can reach email support through the company's contact page. For any mail correspondence, the company can be reached at:
Private Internet Access, Inc.
5555 Dtc Pkwy Ste 360
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
PIA offers an easy-to-use and intuitive user interface that enables fast and simple VPN connection. The company also provides a wide range of tutorials and helpful information on the support section of its website, allowing users to find answers to their questions quickly.
Novice users might be confused by some advanced features of the VPN’s interface. However, you don't have to use or access these tools to use the service casually.
Private Internet Access VPN customer satisfaction
For the most part, PIA has a solid reputation among customers. Most customer reviews online express satisfaction with the VPN’s reliable connections, speedy customer support and overall low prices.
On the other hand, the company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where it holds an F rating. This rating primarily reflects inactivity on the BBB platform rather than poor performance on the company's part. Much of the BBB rating depends on how companies respond to customer reviews and complaints filed specifically in the BBB’s platform.
Private Internet Access VPN FAQs
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How we evaluated Private Internet Access VPN
To review Private Internet Access, we considered factors ranging from available features and server locations to customer reviews and accessibility. The following are the most important criteria we considered for this review:
- Security: We assessed the security protocols offered by PIA to ensure it adequately protects users from malicious online threats.
- Pricing: We evaluated the PIA’S plans to ensure that they were both affordable and competitive.
- Server coverage: We evaluated the number of servers offered by PIA to determine if customers can access a wide range of locations.
- Ease of use: We reviewed the usability of PIA to ensure that customers can easily set up and manage their VPN connection.
- Customer support: We evaluated the different types of customer support available and their hours of operation.
- Customer reviews: We read through customer reviews of Private Internet Access to better understand users’ experience with the service.
- Accessibility: We considered PIA’s compatibility with different platforms and devices to ensure that users have access to a wide range of options.
Summary of Money's Private Internet Access VPN Review
With roughly a decade and a half of experience, Private Internet Access has shown to be a reliable and secure VPN provider. Robust security protocols, competitive plans and extensive server coverage make PIA a great choice for those looking to keep their online activities secure.
The company's unlimited simultaneous connections and specialized Corporate VPN make it an especially attractive option for small businesses that require a secure network. However, PIA's customizable features may be overwhelming for new users, and its customer service could use some improvement.