Pricing

PIA has 3 pricing models, the 2-year plan is the cheapest around apart from NordVPN’s 3-year pan

PIA Pricing

For a month PIA is pretty standard at $10 a month among the competition there seems to almost be a fixed price. They try to encourage people to plum for longer plans, but 2 years seems fairly unlikely for recreational users.

Each plan comes with a 7-day money back guarantee which falls short of other providers who normally offer 30 days money back.

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Speed Test and App Overview Video

Pros
  • + Connect to a Server Using OpenVPN, PPTP or L2TP
  • + Use a Gift Card From a Major Company as Payment When You Sign Up
  • + 7 Day Money Back Guarantee
Cons
  • Email Support Only
  • Proxy Service is Harder To Set Up Than Most of Those We Reviewed
  • Dashboard is Simple But Lacks Some of The more Useful Features
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it cost?
Prices start at $4.12 / mo
How many servers are there?
3321 + Servers in 32 Countries
What apps are there?
Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
Are there logs?
Zero logs are kept
What protocols exist?
PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec
Is there a trial?
7 day money back guarantee

Client

PIA VPN Client

Privacy /Anonymity

PIA is based in the US, like Strong VPN which causes concern for those who fear that their data may be compelled in court, if a company operates under US and EU jurisdiction.

However, PIA is explicit about having a zero logs policy. They also have a page which goes one step further than any other company we have reviewed. They provide a transparency report which shows how many times that have had a court order, subpoena or warrant from the government asking for data to be produced and how many times they have done so. They have been asked 23 times over the past 12 months and have not once produced data.

Those who are truly skeptical could say these figures may be false, but I believe it gives a level of assurance above and beyond StrongVPN and other providers based in the US and EU.

Torrent Policy

PIA mentions that they are P2P compatible on their homepage, though do not mention it any more than that. Understandable for a US-based jurisdiction. Based on the fast download speeds registering on the provider, it makes it an ideal provider for torrents.

Does It Work Well With Kodi?

Kodi is the perfect solution for those who want to unify streaming all their favorite tv shows, movies and even live sports in the same place. Imagine a multimedia dashboard with all of your favorite entertainment.

Unfortunately, Kodi is banned in some countries as it allows you to access shows and films you would normally have to pay for, so is best accessed using a VPN provider. As IPA works great for P2P it is also perfect for Kodi.

Streaming Netflix?

PIA did manage to pass the Netflix GeoIP test in roughly 1 in 4 of its servers, which is about the industry average. This is better than many providers who do not configure their servers to avoid GeoIP tracking. Meaning PIA will allow you to watch the latest releases I the US from wherever you are in the world.

Tor Compatibility

PIA is compatible with Tor. A known security risk of using Tor is that the end point of your traffic may not be secure if the site you exit on does not use SSL. However, if used in conjunction with PIA will; give you an added level of security. Worth recognizing that this will significantly slow down your browsing speeds.

GeoIP

With over 32 countries to choose from, PIA is more than capable or circumventing GeoIP tracking. Just as Netflix uses GeoIP to direct you to which national site you should go to.

So do some countries restrict access to pornography or other illicit sites depending on the location you are browsing from. This can be a problem in the UK and Asia.

PIA is more than capable of circumventing geographic censorship.

Speed

One of the features that PIA has become so popular for are download and upload speeds comparable to ExpressVPN. They are two of the fastest browsing speeds available. You can expect a drop of 15-20% on your browsing when using an VPN due to the lag from point to point encryption.

But in recent speed tests, many of the European and US servers registered speeds of between 45-60Mbps.

Plus, unlike some providers, PIA has server distributed evenly across the globe meaning that you will never have to connect to a server which is too far away and thus significantly slow down your browsing speed

Security

PIA offers the same level of security you can expect from any respectable VPN provider. All data is encrypted with AES 256-bit keys. Along with OpenVPN, IPSEC, L2TP, PPTP and Socks5 Proxy setting.

Though no IKEv2.

One thing that PIA does, that we haven’t seen anywhere else, is that all of their mobile, web and browser applications are open source. Meaning developers can tweak them, rip them apart, and report bugs and security fixes. A strategy that has worked well for a lot of big software companies and we think should be applauded.

Customer Support

One drawback of PIA is that this no chat system. You can access email support, but it’s not a quick fix. There are the usual guides, manuals and FAQ’s but we’re quite surprised to not see a chatbot at the very least in 2019.

Jurisdiction

PIA is based in the US which means it is subject to US regulation. Though we applaud their transparency report (even though it could just be a table of numbers for all we know) You wouldn’t want to bet against the US government.

For those for whom privacy is crucial we would steed you to an out of US and EU based provider like Nord.

Apps

PIA offers apps for all major browsers, operating systems and mobiles

Servers

PIA has 3321 + Servers in 32 Countries

Final Thoughts

We are always conflicted when it comes to VPN providers in the US. But we can understand why PIA is so popular and we have to admit we are kind of swayed by two things.

The quick download speeds make it ideal for torrents and streaming and cheaper than ExpressVPN.

Also, we felt like open sourcing their applications was a master stroke and something that the most tech literate would truly appreciate. Though of course, the proof of the pudding is the servers themselves.

PIA may not be our first choice, but definitely makes the short list.

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