Best value

Private Internet Access Review: How Safe and Effective Is It?

At only $3.33 per month for an annual plan, Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the least expensive VPN services that we recommend—but that doesn’t mean you should lower your expectations. On the contrary, PIA offers everything you need from a VPN service, and they have the customer testimony to back up their claims.

If you’re familiar with VPNs and technology in general, and you don’t foresee yourself needing incredibly fast speeds from your VPN, PIA might just be the solution you’re looking for. And if you’re not sure, you can always try PIA risk free by taking advantage of their 7-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access - Best Value for True Anonymity

100% verified commitment to privacy. Offers Tor, SOCKS, OpenVPN and more. P2P-friendly. 5 simultaneous connections. 7-day money-back guarantee.

$3.33 per month


Private Internet Access does not log any user activities whatsoever. In fact, PIA is one of the few VPN services whose privacy claims have been tested in the real world, so you can rest assured that they really do mean what they say.

As they write on their blog: “There are no logs. There is no identifying information that can be collected, regardless of the amount of force applied. There are several companies who claim they don’t log, but do anyway at the end of the day. In contrast, we have public court records to prove we don’t log .”

The court records in question refer to an instance when PIA was subpoenaed to provide data regarding activity by an IP address that they owned. The only information they were able to provide was that “the cluster of IP addresses being used was from the east coast of the United States.” In other words, they had absolutely no user information, timestamps, or bandwidth data. 

Moreover, even though PIA is based in the US, their service is built precisely to counter the kinds of gag orders and warrants that are prevalent in US court system. For example, if they were ever secretly or overtly forced to start recording user activities, PIA’s owners would rather shut down their service than start collecting logs.

This policy has already been tested in the real world: when the Russian government demanded that PIA start logging its users’ identities, PIA responded by shutting down their operations in Russia.

PIA offers several anonymous payment methods, including bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as gift cards from major stores. If you’re looking to stay as private as possible without trying to figure out how cryptocurrencies work (which can be difficult for a novice) having the ability to pay by gift card can be a major benefit.

In short, if privacy is your main objective for using a VPN, Private Internet Access is one of the few VPN services whose no-logging policies you can fully trust.

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P2P File-Sharing

If you ever engage in any sort of P2P file-sharing, it’s imperative that you have a reliable VPN to protect your connection. A VPN protects you by ensuring that your ISP isn’t tracking you, and that you’re not being targeted for ads and malware attacks.

As PIA does not monitor or tamper with user traffic, they treat P2P activities just like any other traffic, and won’t censor or limit your BitTorrenting and file-sharing. Since they keep no logs, they have no way to identify users, nor the ability to tie them back to specific P2P traffic.

If you’re concerned about copyright claims, you can rest assured that PIA has no way to trace specific activities or traffic back to individual users. PIA’s DMCA policy says the following: “Because we do not log our users’ activities in order to protect and respect their privacy, we are unable to identify particular users that may be infringing the lawful copyrights of others.”

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Travel, Geo-Shifting, and Unblocking

Private Internet Access boasts over 3,000+ servers in 28 countries, which is plenty for most users who travel or want to be able to rotate their IP addresses regularly.

In fact, many of the more expensive “premium” VPN services offer fewer servers or a smaller selection of countries, so PIA, as we continue to stress, offers excellent value for your money.

Keep in mind that PIA is not ideal for unblocking Netflix and other regional services, like BBC iPlayer. Many content providers, like Netflix, pump inordinate amounts of manpower and time into seeking out and banning VPN IP addresses. This means that very few VPN providers are able to keep up the cat-and-mouse game for very long. (If geoshifting and accessing geographically blocked content is your main objective in subscribing to a VPN, we highly recommend NordVPN).

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VPN Features

As with most major VPN services, PIA offers a whole raft of protocols and features to help you get connected. They support L2TP, Tor, OpenVPN, SOCKS, and other useful protocols. With L2TP, for example, you should be able to access PIA in China and other places where VPNs are blocked.

PIA also supports all major platforms (Mac, Windows, Chromebook, Linux, iOS, Android, etc.) and they allow you to connect up to 5 devices at the same time using one subscription.

Always remember that if you have multiple internet-connected devices in your home or office, you can always install PIA directly on your router. This allows you to connect as many devices as you want to VPN, without restrictions.

While they do have customer support available around the clock, many customers tend to find them slow to respond. If you don’t foresee having major technical issues (e.g. perhaps you’re already familiar with how VPNs work or you’re good at figuring out technology) this shouldn’t have a major impact on your decision to go with PIA.

Overall, PIA offers just as many (or more) features as its more expensive competitors. In fact, the only feature they lack is the ability to obfuscate or disguise your VPN connection to bypass firewalls that block or monitor VPN users. This might make it difficult (though not impossible) to use PIA in a small number of hotels, businesses, or organizations that don’t like VPNs.

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At only $3.33 per month, Private Internet Access is one of the most affordable VPNs on our recommended list, but they have privacy features that handily beat many of the more expensive VPN services. For true anonymity, it’s almost impossible to find a better VPN than PIA. It has all the features you could possibly want to stay private, no matter where you are.
Unless you’re particularly interested in being able to access geographically-restricted content (such Netflix, BBC or Hulu), or you need specific obfuscation features, PIA would make an excellent choice. And if you’re not sure if PIA will fulfill all of your needs, keep in mind that they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee, so you can always try them and cancel if you’re dissatisfied in any way.
9 Total Score
Private Internet Access - Best Value for True Anonymity

100% verified commitment to privacy. Offers Tor, SOCKS, OpenVPN and more. P2P-friendly. 5 simultaneous connections. 7-day money-back guarantee.

Protocols and Features
Ease of Use
  • Absolutely no logging 
  • Verified commitment to absolute privacy
  • Allows anonymous payments (bitcoin and gift cards)
  • Travel-friendly: 3,000+ servers in 28+ countries
  • P2P-friendly, no restrictions 
  • All major protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP, multi-hop, Onion over VPN
  • Up to 5 simultaneous devices supported
  • All major platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, etc.
  • 7-day money-back guarantee 
  • Yearly plan only $3.33 per month 
  • No obfuscation protocols
  • Support is occasionally slow to respond
User Rating: Be the first one!
Private Internet Access - Best Value for True Anonymity

100% verified commitment to privacy. Offers Tor, SOCKS, OpenVPN and more. P2P-friendly. 5 simultaneous connections. 7-day money-back guarantee.

$3.33 per month

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