Private Internet Access (PIA VPN)

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The same developers who created Mt. Gox Mobile and Mt. Gox Live of the Bitcoin world also created Private Internet Access on August 10, 2010. Private Internet Access has a true passion for anonymity and privacy. It was created to fill a role that did not exist before its creation of a truly anonymous VPN service. The U.S. does not have any mandatory data retention laws, which means that since Private Internet Access is headquartered in the U.S. it does not have to log. One of the key features that sets Private Internet Access VPN apart from other service providers is privacy.

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When you use this service it is easy safely surf public Wi-Fi, unblock websites that are banned, and to hid your actual location and real IP address. The company maintains their mission is stated as “while simultaneously providing the most solid, top speed VPN network to maintain the highest standards of privacy.”

About Virtual Private Networks

If you are spending your time reading this, it is likely that you understand what a VPN is.  Just too briefly reiterate a Virtual Private Network is a VPN. When you are using a public Wi-Fi access connection or another network that is unsecured a VPN is a private network that can connect to remote servers securely. Using a VPN comes with many advantages. Using a VPN if your location is in a country other than England or the United Kingdom will allow you access to online programming from Netflix, Hulu, and BBC when you are assigned a British or American IP address.

One of the most secure means of connecting to the internet is by using a VPN. In terms of security, a firewall or anti-virus software can be some help; a VPN provides additional layers of security through encryption that is hard to penetrate. To protect your online activities from being seen by identity thieves and hackers, this added security is essential. When you use a VPN, you can make sure that your online activity can go on unobserved by the authorities, especially in a country like China where the government monitors the Internet activity of visitors and citizens. Now you many not actually have anything to hid, but there are certain advantages to letting your online activities anonymous and discrete.

In some countries, the Internet can see unreliable and slow for those who have traveled around the world. Wherever you may be, you can have access to stable, fast, and reliable Internet connection through a good VPN service. Now that we have covered the details of VPN, we should take some time review Private Internet Access and the VPN service they provide.

VPN services are available in the marketplace free by many service providers, however they are too easily detected and blocked by firewalls and they are often inferior in nature.  You need to sign up for a paid service just like what is available from Private Internet Access to get the most out of your VPN.

Overview

In six different countries with 13 servers, Private Internet Access provides paid VPN services. In the United States, the company has multiple servers. OpenVPN GUI can be used easily to install the software. Using a control panel allows you to set up for PPTP. Including Mac and Windows, the VPN services are compatible with most major operating systems. London Media Trust, Inc., which is a British company, owns and operates Private Internet Access, but many of their operations are handled in the United States.

Instead of using static or dynamic IP addresses, this VPN service makes use of shared IP addresses. An outside party will find it difficult to match users to any type of external IP. Two simultaneous connections can be enabled when you are using this service. For the highest possible level of anonymity, you can multi-hop using an OpenVPN.

The company does not keep any traffic or request logs in order to respect the privacy of their customers. The company is governed by US laws since the company is based operationally in the United States. There are no speed limits or limits on downloading and the service is affordable. Private Internet Access allows its users downloading through torrent and P2P.

Available protocols

Access via OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/1PSec is provided through Private Internet Access. Use of the OpenVPN is recommended to provide the best optimal connection and it is the best in going around blocks because it provides alternate access methods in addition to methods that are pre-existing. To maximize compatibility with Boxee, Android, and iOS devices, L2TP/1PSec and PPTP are offered.

Compatibility

Among most major operating systems such as Linux, Mac, NT/2k, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 this service is fully compatible. With these operating systems, the service is easy to set up and configure. In the event that any problems should arise, the company’s website offers helpful tutorials to walk users through the process of set-up. This service is supported by the following browsers: Opera, Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari.  Android, iTouch, IPad, and IPhone are all devices that can be used with this service.

Network Description

With a state of the art network that has over 24,000Mbps of bandwidth, Private Internet Access has the ability to expand their reach over an infinite amount. To maximize the privacy and anonymity of its users, Private Internet Access uses shared IP addresses. Because dynamic and static IPs can be used in the identification of users, shared IPs cannot be used to identify their users.

Server Locations

Currently, Romania, Switzerland, UK, Netherlands, Canada, and the United States is where the servers of Private Internet Access are located. In order to provide the lowest latency to users the gateways are positioned in important places. There are six gateway entry points inside the US operated by Private Internet Access. They are located in Ohio, Arizona, Texas, and New York City. In Switzerland, United Kingdom, China, Netherlands, and Canada there are two servers in each location. One of the most liked things about Private Internet Access is the high number of servers that are held in the United States. In generally it is possible to have the ability to connect to a US network with a US IP address being assigned to the user.

It is a disappointment that the company only has servers located in a half a dozen countries.  Other VPN service providers have networks that are spread throughout dozens of countries around the world.

It makes sense that the US server network is centered in the US because that is where the company is based.  It is thought that Private Internet Access may be somewhat more reliable because they are a company based in the US unlike some of the VPN services, which are headquartered around the world in offshore locations.

Security

For most users who use a VPN service, security is a big concern and as their name implies, Private Internet Access offers many features related to security that are good such as uncensored access, firewalls, identity protection, IP cloaking, and encryption.

One of your company’s anonymous IP addresses can be masked through the IP cloaking feature when an IP address is assigned. Your online activities or any browsing habits will be protected from tracking with this service. An IP cloak will enable you to search the internet discretely and will prevent anyone from tracking down your actual geographical location.

Packages

There are three packages offered through Private Internet Access. The monthly plan is $6.95, the six-month plan is $35.95 and the yearly plan is $39.95. Discounts for longer durations are simply provided by these packages. All of the packages offer one low price that includes unlimited access, access to all gateways, and unlimited bandwidth.

Private Internet Access VPN P2P Torrent Policies

P2P and torrent usage that is legal is allowed in the Private Internet Access’ network according to their policies. To help ensure that the service does not exceed 50% in peak hours, the company is continually increasing the capacity of their network. Bit Torrent downloads are advertised as being completely anonymous. It is not known if this is true or not, so take it with a grain of salt, so to speak. Private Internet Access accepts Bitcoin as another advantage for users who are looking for security with their torrent usage. To send payments without any central authority, Bitcoin is a digital currency that uses peer-to-peer technology.

Speed Test

To help clients find the best gateway to them, Private Internet Access provides the speediest page. Their speed tests can be seen at: VPN Speed Test

Best in class for speeds available is what Private Internet Access is considered.

Application (Dialer)

To allow for easy gateway switching, alternate configuration methods, auto-start and connect options, and advanced port information, Private Internet Access provides a simple application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer and Log Policy

All users have access to unlimited Peer-to-Peer (P2P) usage and port forwarding capabilities through Private Internet Access. Their log policy has absolutely no limits.

Staying true to their goal of anonymity and privacy, Private Internet Access does not log any usage periods, data, or traffic.

Support

Considered one of the best in class for providing support to their clients, Private Internet Access offers around the clock support. We made inquiries, which were handled in a professional and timely manner that shows the company maintains a highly professional support staff. The customer support page that is on the website provides answers to many of the questions or problems that consumers may experience. You can fill out a form on the website if you are unable to find answers to your questions.  Your issue will be address through email, once the form is submitted. Within 7 days of purchase, you can obtain a refund from Private Internet Access.

Regular Updates

Regular updates of service are performed by Private Internet Access. The company swapped out their machines for the newest server grade CPUs that have 16-32 GB or Ram in March of this year. During this update, the gateway was expanded to include Canada and Netherlands. Both the Netherlands and Canadian gateways are very P2P friendly. For any user that wants to engage in file sharing activities that are legal to include Bit Torrent and other protocols these gateways are ideal. Any kind of legal file sharing activity is allowed through the company’s gateways in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Canada.

Private Internet Access has been able to improve the user’s experiences with the help of these upgrades. While the improvements to the service continue, to the company’s credit the prices are remaining fixed. They state they do not have plans for rate increases at this time.

Pricing Details

One of the service’s strengths is their affordability. If you opt for the yearly subscription, it is available for as low as $3.33 monthly, which is $39.95 for the year. Even at the monthly rate of $6.95, the service is still more affordable than other VPN providers on the market are.

Available Payment Providers

Most major platforms of payment are accepted by Private Internet Access, which includes:

PayPal
VISA/MasterCard/AMEX/Discover,
OKPay
Bitcoin
Google
Liberty Reserve
CashU
Amazon

The first VPN to accept Bitcoin as an option for payment was Private Internet Access.

Terms of Service

Engaging in any kind of illegal activities online using a VPN is discouraged by the VPNReviewer. The policies of Private Internet Access are along that same line. According to the terms of the company, they have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy against any activity that is a breach of the terms and conditions. For anyone who has violated the terms and conditions, Private Internet Access has agreed to cooperate with any government agencies.

For users who are on unmetered plans that display excess usage, the terms of the company states they have the prerogative to terminate, suspend or cap the account of users. With many Internet contracts, it remains unclear as to when they would really undertake an action such as this. It would require a bandwidth of an inordinate amount for a suspension like this to take place.

Conclusion

For a VPN service to test, we have found that Private Internet Access is an enjoyable one. The dialer is preconfigured for PPTP connections, and the set up process was easy to get it up and running. Private Internet Access is definitely a worthwhile option when it comes to high quality VPN services that consider security and anonymity to be serious business. “Privacy done right” is the consensus of Private Internet Access. You should choose Private Internet Access as your service provider for VPN because of their best in class speeds and their best in class support. This service will appeal to a great many users because of the fact that the company is based in the United States and they maintain so many server options.

When compared to other VPN service providers such as HideMyAss that has wider spread server networks in many companies around with world, Private Internet Access may seem to be limited when it comes to selecting a VPN service provider with the broadest available gateway.

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About Author

Technology and me? Still a better love story than Twilight. I love to see the new technology emerging in this world. Besides a tech lover, I am a big fan of esports games specially DotA 2.