Private Internet Access Review
Private Internet Access is ranked second in our list of the Best VPNs of 2023. It is compatible with the majority of operating systems and social media platforms. It has a helpful feature called email breach monitoring, which can notify you if your email account has been hacked. There are also plenty of standard features, such as DNS leak protection and a kill switch. For various reasons, professional reviewers like Private Internet Access, including its simple mobile app and relatively fast speeds. Continue reading to find out if this VPN will meet your requirements.
Ranked # 2
Private Internet Access is ranked third in our Best VPNs of 2023 list, and it is tied with Surfshark, and both VPN services have an overall rating of 3.9 out of 5. The Private Internet Access VPN is our review’s most affordable annual plan, costing $3.33 per month or $39.95 per year.
Most operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, are supported by the VPN. Private Internet Access is available as a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. It works with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. It also works with popular streaming services such as Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.
The service includes email breach monitoring, which allows you to track any potential compromises to your email account. If a hacker obtains your password and gains access to your emails, email breach monitoring assists in identifying the threat before the hacker can cause further damage by resetting your passwords or stealing your identity. A kill switch, DNS leak protection, split tunneling capability, and peer-to-peer (P2P) functionality for torrenting are also included in the VPN.
You are also protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee, which allows you to thoroughly test the VPN and determine if it meets your requirements.
Should You Select Private Internet Access?
The Private Internet Access VPN ranks near the top of our list, providing a full-featured VPN at a reasonable price. It includes access to a fast global network, privacy, and security features that most users want, such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a malware-blocking add-on. A dedicated IP address, a convenience feature not offered by all VPNs, is not free. This VPN provider allows you to connect 10 devices simultaneously, which is more than some competitors, but it does not provide unlimited devices. Streamed content from other parts of the world is available, and the service can be used for torrenting.
Users should consider whether they want a VPN based in the United States when deciding whether to use this VPN provider. The company has a “strict” no-log policy and “court records to back it up.” This means that even if it obtains a court order to turn over data, it will not have access to users’ browsing histories or identifying information. However, if the VPN is in the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes or other intelligence-sharing agreements, there may need to be more reassuring for those dealing with susceptible data.
Professional reviewers praise private Internet Access for its user-friendly mobile app, extensive server network, and fast internet speeds, among other things. However, they point out that the VPN service does not have a free version, and some users complain that the login system is difficult to use.
Pros of Private Internet Access
- Wide array of VPN features
- Suitable for budget-minded consumers
- Provides a dedicated IP address
- Wide range of server connections
- High-speed connection
- Secure third-party audit
Cons of Private Internet Access
- No trial version
- Not recommended for highly sensitive data usage
- Might get caught under the Five Eyes
Cost of Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access charges $9.95 monthly for its VPN, but a one-year subscription reduces the monthly cost to $3.33 without promotions. Antivirus protection costs $1.27 per month as an add-on, and a dedicated IP address costs $4.25 per month for those on an annual subscription. Bitpay accepts credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and anonymous cryptocurrencies as payment methods. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access offers three monthly billing options, with prices beginning at $11.95. That’s nearly double what the company charged when we first looked at it many years ago for $6.95.
Private Internet Access VPN, like most VPNs, offers steep discounts for longer subscriptions. A one-year plan costs $39.95, significantly less than the $66.28 average of the reviewed VPNs. Private Internet Access also offers a three-year plan for $79 per month. While subscriptions purchased at these prices will typically renew at the same rate, this is not always the case. The company’s subscription structure changes frequently, so read the fine print carefully.
The Use of Private Internet Access
Settings & Features
One of my favorite aspects of Private Internet Access was the wealth of information displayed on the dashboard. You can select a simple view that shows the server to which you’re connected, a small world map with the server’s location, your original IP address, or your VPN IP address.
You can also expand the dashboard to show information such as download and upload speeds, amount of data downloaded and uploaded, connect time, and VPN protocol, which can all be reordered on the dashboard. There is also a “snooze” button for quickly disconnecting and reconnecting.
The settings menu was easily accessible via icons at the top of the dashboard in each app. The options for Windows and macOS settings were identical, but the options for Android and iOS differed slightly. The iOS app, in particular, did not allow you to set different settings for different apps, which is a feature I do not require but that others may find useful.
The Android app also includes network options, such as the ability to allow traffic on devices connected to your local area network, such as printers (LAN). I wish the iOS app had this feature because routing LAN traffic through a VPN isn’t necessary for security reasons.
Streaming and Social Media
While using Private Internet Access, I was able to stream a high-definition YouTube video without buffering or stuttering. I also connected to Facebook and could quickly scroll through my feed. I had no DNS leaks while using Private Internet Access, which means the VPN properly concealed my IP address, location, and internet activity from my internet service provider.
Private Internet Access offers excellent speed. The average upload speed is 151.30, the average download speed is 266.60, and the average torrenting rate is 117.25.