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Best VPN Service / Private Internet Access Review

Private Internet Access Review 2023: How Safe & Good is the VPN?

Read Our complete Private Internet Access Test - Server, Speed, Pricing & More

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Welcome to our in-depth PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) review, where we delve into the service's performance, security features, and privacy measures.

Our team at Strafe aims to provide you with an informed assessment of this VPN solution. In this review, we will discuss PIA's speed and performance, its robust security protocols, its commitment to user privacy, and much more.

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Private Internet Access: Pros & Cons
  • Access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more.
  • Ideal for gaming and streaming in Ultra HD on local servers.
  • 3,200 servers in 86 countries.
  • Fast download speeds on any server
  • Audited and verified
  • 24/7 live chat support is inconsistent
  • Some servers are virtual
  • No free trial.
Payment Methods
Private Internet Access, Inc
Available Languages
Customer Support
Live Chat, Email Support
Overall Rating
  • Usability, Look & Feel
  • Mobile App
  • Payment Methods
  • Customer Service
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User Rating
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Last Updated on 26/11/2023

PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) specs

You’ll be asking yourself is PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) good? This section briefly outlines the specific features and performance metrics of PIA VPN (Private Internet Access).

Simultaneous device connections Unlimited
Number of Servers 3,200
Server locations 86
Countries 84
Ad-Blocker Yes
Free version No
Starting Price $2.03
Pricing plans 3
Money-back guarantee 30 days

PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) review – All you need to know

Now that we’ve briefly gone through what the VPN has to offer, this part of our PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) review will expand on it all. From its server network and coverage to its speed, performance, Private Internet Access VPN pricing, and payment plans, we leave no stone unturned. Join us as we provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about PIA VPN.

1. PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) - Server locations, numbers & coverage

How good is PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) in terms of server network? The VPN punches above its weight with over 3,200 servers across 86 countries. This extensive coverage ensures that users have a wide range of options for secure and reliable connections. The inclusion of both physical and virtual servers further enhances flexibility and accessibility.

The brand is transparent about its server infrastructure, clearly indicating which servers are virtual. While physical servers offer superior performance and security, virtual servers enable PIA VPN to extend its network to regions with limited physical presence. PIA VPN also provides specialty servers tailored to specific purposes. These include dedicated servers optimized for streaming, torrenting, and bypassing censorship in restrictive regions. This specialization increases the likelihood of finding a nearby server, resulting in faster speeds and lower latency.

2. PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) speed and performance

PIA has received positive reviews for its impressive speed and performance. Our PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) test observed minimal speed drops and more than decent latency rates. Using the VPN had a minor impact on download speeds, reducing them by only 10.9%, while upload speeds experienced a 19.4% decrease. Although latency results were slightly less remarkable, the VPN still performed better than average, with a 30% increase in latency. It is worth noting that individual results may vary, as speed tests are subjective and dependent on various factors.

3. Plans and pricing for PIA VPN (Private Internet Access)

Many PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) reviews put this network in the average pricing regions.  Private Internet Access VPN offers three monthly billing options, starting at $3.03 on the 3-year plan, charged as $79.00 once-off. The 1-year plan will appeal to more users, with a $3.33 price tag, charged as $39.95. At $11.95, the monthly plan is the most expensive but will still work out for people seeking temporary protection.

A 7-day free Private Internet Access VPN trial is available for Android and iOS devices, and PIA VPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for users to test the service risk-free. It accepts various payment methods, including Amazon payments, credit cards, cryptocurrencies, and PayPal. The premium subscriptions include unlimited simultaneous connections, allowing users to connect multiple devices without limitations.

What unique features do you get on PIA VPN?

PIA VPN stands out from the competition with its range of unique features and proprietary technologies. It has its own ad- and tracker-blocking tool called MACE. This feature enhances privacy and security by blocking unwanted ads and tracking scripts, providing a more streamlined and protected browsing experience.

A dedicated IP address means users can have the same public IP address every time they connect to the VPN, making it less likely to be blocked by sites that limit VPN access. Port Forwarding allows users to forward network ports on select servers, enabling easier access to devices or services running on specific ports. PIA also has an in-house antivirus for Windows devices as an add-on service.

Staying safe with Private Internet Access VPN security features

Any good PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) review should emphasize the VPN’s many security features that keep their readers safe. With a focus on privacy and advanced security measures, PIA VPN offers multiple layers of defense against potential threats. Let's explore some of the key security features that make PIA VPN stand out.

Split tunneling

PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) is safe partly because of the split tunneling feature that allows you to choose which apps route their traffic through the VPN and which can access the internet directly. This feature provides flexibility and control over internet traffic, enabling users to optimize their VPN usage and protect sensitive data while still accessing local services that don't require VPN protection.

Kill switch

In the event of a VPN connection drop, the kill switch immediately breaks internet traffic, preventing any data from being transmitted outside the encrypted VPN tunnel. This ensures that sensitive information, such as browsing activities or file transfers, remains protected, even if the VPN connection is interrupted.

MACE (Ad and tracker blocking)

PIA VPN includes MACE, its proprietary ad and tracker-blocking tool. With MACE enabled, PIA VPN enhances privacy by blocking unwanted ad pop-ups and tracking scripts from websites. This feature reduces the risk of data collection and potentially malicious activities associated with online advertising. By removing distractions and blocking trackers, users can enjoy a cleaner and safer browsing experience with reduced exposure to privacy-invasive elements

DNS leak protection

PIA VPN employs DNS leak protection to prevent any potential leaks of DNS queries, which could reveal your online activities. DNS leak protection securely routes all your DNS through the VPN's encrypted tunnel, even if your operating system or network settings are misconfigured. By directing DNS queries through the VPN, PIA VPN safeguards users' privacy and prevents their browsing habits from being exposed to third-party entities.

Strong encryption

PIA VPN prioritizes the security of user data transmission by utilizing strong encryption protocols. It supports virtually unbreakable AES-256 encryption, ensuring that your data remains protected from interception and unauthorized access. By encrypting data packets with robust algorithms, PIA VPN maintains the confidentiality and integrity of user information, safeguarding it from potential threats.

WireGuard protocol

PIA VPN has implemented the WireGuard protocol, a modern and efficient VPN protocol known for its speed and security. WireGuard balances strong encryption and optimized performance, making it an excellent choice for ensuring privacy while maintaining fast connection speeds.

Premium Vs. free with PIA VPN (Private Internet Access)

PIA doesn’t have the best VPN free trial, as you can only get protection for 7 days on Android or iOS devices. The good thing, however, is this free trial comes with all the bells and whistles you’ll find on the premium plans. Users do need to remember to cut off the service if they aren’t prepared to pay, as there’s no reminder or prompt to authorize the payment. Users also have a 30-day money-back guarantee period, so you can get a refund if PIA doesn’t meet your expectations.

Private Internet Access
from $1,98 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
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Private Internet Access Highlights
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service

Platforms & extensions for PIA VPN (Private Internet Access)

This part of our PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) review will explore the supported platforms and extensions. As you’ll find, PIA offers broad compatibility across various platforms and devices, ensuring users can protect their online activities seamlessly.

Desktop (Mac and Windows)

PIA VPN provides dedicated applications for both Mac and Windows operating systems. These applications offer a user-friendly interface and easy installation process, allowing users to establish a secure VPN connection on their desktop computers. Whether you're using a Mac or a Windows PC, PIA VPN ensures that your online activities are encrypted, and your privacy is protected.

Mobile (Android and iOS)

PIA VPN offers user-friendly apps for Android and iOS devices, allowing users to protect their privacy on the go. The mobile apps allow you to browse the internet safely, access public Wi-Fi networks, and confidently use apps, knowing that your data is encrypted and your identity is safeguarded. Mobile users will also be happy to access the 7-day free trial, something you can’t do with all other devices.

Browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox)

PIA VPN offers browser extensions for popular web browsers like Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. These extensions allow you to enable VPN protection directly within your browsers, encrypting web traffic and ensuring privacy while browsing websites. You can easily toggle the VPN on or off, access geo-restricted content, and enhance your online security without launching a separate application.


PIA VPN supports various router models, including those running DD-WRT, Tomato, and PfSense firmware. By installing PIA VPN on a compatible router, users can protect all devices connected to their home network, extending VPN coverage to devices like smart TVs, gaming consoles, and IoT devices. Configuring PIA VPN on a router offers the convenience of VPN protection for all devices without installing individual VPN apps. The PIA VPN website provides detailed instructions and guides for setting up the VPN on supported routers.

Gaming consoles

While PIA VPN does not offer dedicated applications for gaming consoles like Xbox or PlayStation, users can still secure their gaming sessions by installing the VPN on a compatible router. By doing so, all devices connected to the network, including gaming consoles, will benefit from VPN protection.

PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) user experience

As most PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) reviews will tell you, the service offers a seamless user experience with its user-friendly website, easy signup process, and intuitive VPN apps for various devices. The website has a clean layout, making it easy to navigate, and signing up and subscribing to PIA VPN is straightforward.

Customer support is readily available through live chat, email, and a comprehensive knowledge base, ensuring prompt assistance for any challenges. Canceling a subscription is hassle-free, with clear instructions provided to avoid recurring charges. The VPN apps are user-friendly, allowing for easy connection to VPN servers without intrusive pop-ups.

Streaming and torrenting using PIA VPN (Private Internet Access)

Any good review will let you know that PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) is good and reliable for accessing streaming services. Users can enjoy access to popular platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more. PIA VPN allows users to unlock content from various regions, including the US and other countries.

Additionally, PIA VPN is a solid choice for torrenting, as it provides fast download speeds and supports P2P file sharing. With PIA, users can securely and anonymously engage in torrenting activities while maintaining their privacy and bypassing any restrictions or limitations imposed by their internet service providers.

Bypassing censorship using PIA VPN (Private Internet Access)

PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) is legit for bypassing censorship, providing access to blocked services in restrictive countries. While no VPN can guarantee 100% success in all cases, PIA VPN has a track record of effectively circumventing censorship measures in countries like China, Iran, Russia, and others. By encrypting and rerouting internet traffic through secure servers, PIA VPN enables users to bypass government-imposed restrictions. It also allows you to access the open internet, allowing you to browse websites, use social media platforms, and communicate securely, even in highly censored environments.

Conclusion - reliable choice with affordable pricing

With a wide range of server locations, good streaming performance, and solid security features, PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) is good for a protected and versatile online browsing experience. The user-friendly apps, easy signup process, and responsive customer support contribute to a positive overall user experience. Whether you need to access streaming services, engage in torrenting, bypass censorship, or simply enhance your online security, PIA VPN is a reliable choice with affordable pricing.

Private Internet Access
from $1,98 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access Highlights
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service

PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) review FAQ

⚙️ How do I set up PIA VPN on my device?

Setting up PIA VPN is a straightforward process. Our PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) reviews provide step-by-step instructions for various devices and platforms. You’ll find detailed guidelines for your specific device to ensure a smooth and hassle-free setup.

📺 Can PIA VPN unblock all streaming services?

PIA VPN has proven to be successful in unblocking a wide range of streaming services. However, it's important to note that the availability of specific content may vary based on your location and the streaming service itself. We recommend checking our in-depth streaming tests and reviews to get the latest information on the streaming services PIA VPN can unblock.

🌎 Does PIA VPN work in countries with heavy internet censorship?

While it has a strong track record, it's essential to understand that the effectiveness of VPNs can vary depending on the specific censorship measures in place. We suggest referring to our in-depth PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) reviews and guides for more information on using PIA VPN in countries with heavy internet censorship.

💰 What is the refund policy for PIA VPN subscriptions?

PIA VPN offers a 7-day free trial, ensuring customers can explore its security features risk-free. But what if you pay for a premium plan but aren’t satisfied with the service?  Our PIA VPN (Private Internet Access) reviews offer detailed information on the refund process and eligibility criteria.


User Reviews for Private Internet Access

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Private Internet Access
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service
Private Internet Access Costs Offer
from $1,98 / Month
Go to Private Internet Access
T&Cs apply, 18+
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