Private Internet Access has crafted a name among VPN providers as one of the most anonymous VPN services on the market. In a world full of blatant abuse of privacy and spying by government agencies, Private Internet Access has stood its ground to protect users’ privacy despite possible intimidation and threats from authorities.
By exploiting vague data retention laws in the U.S (where it is based) and taking advantage of legal but anonymous tools on the Internet, PIA has managed to win the hearts of many Internet users who crave total anonymity for one reason or another.
Pricing and Plans
PIA offers the cheapest VPN plans among the top providers. Users can access the monthly plan at only $6.95 while the six months plan is even cheaper at only $5.99 (billed $35.95). The biggest discount though comes with the yearly plan at $39.95, which works out to $3.33 per month. No other VPN provider can match that offering among the top providers.
In addition to standard credit cards, PIA accepts a range of payment options including Bitcoin, PayPal, Amazon, Google Wallet, OKPay, CashU, and Ripple.
Once you’ve purchased your plan, you then connect to the service via an installed terminal.
Because of its high commitment to anonymity, PIA tends to attract BitTorrent users who are mostly based in Europe, North America, and East Asia. As such, the company’s server network is relatively small and seems to represent the distribution of their target customers.
The company has servers in 10 countries altogether including Hong Kong, Romania, Germany, Sweden, France, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, US, and the UK.
Security and Privacy
PIA’s custom VPN software supports PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec, and can connect up to five devices simultaneously. The company also allows a proxy connection through SOCKS5 technology. Your data’s security is guaranteed through 256-bit encryption as well as an advanced firewall and filtering functionality.
In terms of privacy, PIA never logs any user online activities and it categorically states so on the company website.
In addition, several independent tests have been performed to verify these claims and were found to be true.
More moreover, the company encourages the use of anonymous payment methods such as the use of anonymous gift cards from more than 90 retailers as well as Bitcoin.
PIA’s website is a neat affair that’s pretty straightforward to browse. You can easily find your way around and get what you want without hassle. The customer support page contains all info you would need about connecting to the service and troubleshooting your connection.
If you cannot find what you’re looking for on the main website, you can use the live chat feature to contact customer support, which is very responsive most of the time. They have a ticketed email system as well through which you can send your support tickets.
In terms of privacy, PIA is clearly a cut above the competition. The company is clearly committed to the privacy cause using all available legal means.
The only disadvantage is that they have a somewhat small server network and so, if you travel a lot internationally and want to stay connected, you might be inconvenienced in certain places where the company does not have coverage.