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Private Internet Access Review

    A VPN is a virtual private network. This, of course, is a network constructed using the web (in most cases) to act as a private method of transferring data and collaborating with a team. This allows for a more encrypted connection even on a less secure network and is a more affordable choice for companies that don’t have the option of creating a wired network – which may, in turn, be due to finances or need to stay remote.

    There are only a handful of VPN providers that can be considered essential for companies to check out and it’s important to ensure you make the right choice if you want to enjoy a secure and fast connection that will be conducive to work while keeping your data safe.

    In this review, we’ll be looking at Private Internet Access VPN. This is one of the most popular VPN packages on the market, and here, we’ll assess whether it’s a good fit for your particular requirements.

    The short version? We think this is one of the very top VPN services available today, regarding performance, pricing, features, and support. It will be able to cater to the demands of almost any business client, and if you want to get started, you can check out the website HERE.

    Otherwise, read our in-depth review for more detailed information.

    Basic Features and Speed

    The PIA network consists of over 1,800VPN servers located on every continent around the world. This immediately ensures that there is always a local server to connect to, which helps improve speed and connectivity. Each server uses gigabit internet connections to guarantee the fastest data transfer.

    Unlike many VPN accounts that will restrict the number of connections that can be maintained at any time, PIA will allow up to 5 individual VPN connections to be active on the same client account at any time. This means you can share the same account with a large team, with family and friends or across multiple devices. This is especially useful for those that want to be connected via a mobile, laptop and tablet at the same time, for instance.

    Setup Process

    One essential requirement for any VPN service is that it be quick and easy to set up. That’s exactly what you’re getting with PIA VPN, which is handled through a proprietary VPN client installer. This works on all modern operating systems (mobile and desktop) and lets you choose TCP and UDP VPNs on ports TCP 80, 110, 443 and UDP 53, 1194, 8080 and 9201. Protocols can be selected from the Advanced options area, or you can let the service install with the default set-up.

    Port Forwarding is also available which is used by P2P software like Bit Torrent. This option shows a tooltip with the forwarded port whenever you connect and is available on servers in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, and Romania.

    When it comes to paying for and creating an account, PIA keeps things equally straightforward and easy. What is particularly interesting is that the service accepts payment by Bitcoin, which will be a very useful feature for many people reading this. You can also pay with a PayPal account.

    Either way, as soon as payment is accepted, you’ll be sent the VPN login details. Simply install the software on your chosen device, connect using those details, and you’re good to go!

    Security Features

    While speed is important, security is even more crucial for many companies when it comes to choosing a VPN service. Thankfully, PIA handles this aspect of its service incredibly well too. Leak protection, for example, ensures that your real internet address details won’t be accessible. Some features that enable this protection include:

    • VPN Kill Switch – This deletes your ISP gateway if the VPN disconnects to prevent an IP leak
    • IP6 Leak Protection – This disables the IPv6 network address and helps to protect against leaks this way
    • DNS Leak Protection – This removes default DNS servers, thereby ensuring that only DNS servers assigned by the VPN are available

    It’s also important to check out the logging policy of a VPN. This is essentially industry talk for the privacy policy, which is particularly salient for any business that revolves around improving security for its clients.

    PIA will gather customer addresses only so far as they are required by the payment process. Furthermore, they will not need to collect home addresses or other personal details. The emails will not be released, except under legal obligation such as a subpoena. This is the case for all VPNs though, so there’s no down shot here.

    Speed & Ping Test

    We ran numerous speed tests and found that the network performed remarkably well even during peak congestion hours. OpenVPN speed throughput is especially good and could achieve almost 40mbs (which was the limit of the internet connection we were testing on). The fastest VPN servers were achieved using the LA servers. L2TP, OpenVPN on UDP gave us the best results of all. PPTP performance isn’t a high point, however.

    PIA Logging Policy

    One of the important aspects of any VPN service is the providers Privacy Policy. A quick breakdown of the PIA policy:

    They gather customers email addresses, which are required in the payment process. No other information such as home address is required. However, they may release customer data to comply with legal obligations (under subpoena) – but this is the same as most other VPN businesses.

    PIA was also featured on TorrentFreak’s article: “Which VPN Service Providers Take Anonymity Seriously?”. Here’s their response to questions regarding VPN logging:

    “We absolutely do not maintain any VPN logs of any kind. We utilize shared IP addresses rather than dynamic or static IPs, so it is not possible to match a user to an external IP. These are some of the many solutions we have implemented to enable the strongest levels of anonymity amongst VPN services. Further, we would like to encourage our users to use an anonymous e-mail and pay with Bitcoins to ensure even higher levels of anonymity should it be required. Our core verticals are privacy, quality of service, and prompt customer support.”

    “Our company currently operates out of the United States with gigabit gateways in the US, Canada, UK, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. We chose the US, since it is one of the only countries without a mandatory data retention law. We will not share any information with third parties without a valid court order. With that said, it is impossible to match a user to any activity on our system since we utilize shared IPs and maintain absolutely no logs.”

    Service

    When you use a VPN, it’s also good to choose a recognized company like PIA, which will provide peace of mind and better support. We found the set-up process to be incredibly smooth with this company and the customer service is also particularly good. The support team responded quickly to questions and issues and was always friendly, polite and helpful in troubleshooting and helping to get us up and running again. This is another thing to always look for with VPN services, as you don’t want to find yourself shut out with no one to help – especially if you desperately need to be completing work that day.

    Final Thoughts On Private Internet Access VPN

    Good:

    • Excellent speed and reliability
    • Wide range of VPN gateways in many locations to choose from
    • Privacy-focused provider, allowing anonymous payment methods like BitCoin and gift cards
    • Torrents allowed across all VPN gateways
    • No logging

    Bad:

    • PIA is incorporated in the US, which raises the risk or legal action from movie studios and copyright holders. To PIA’s credit, they have publicly stated any action to breach their customer’s data will be prevented.

    All in all, we would highly recommend PIA VPN for any company that wants a fast, reliable and secure private network with great customer service. It’s easy to set up, and within minutes you can have your virtual private network up and running.