Private Internet Access review: A cheap, powerful VPN


(Impression: Shutterstock)

Private Web Entry is a highly effective, adaptable VPN that does a excellent job of holding your information and spot protected.

  • Servers: 29,311
  • Nations: 78
  • Simultaneous connections: 10
  • Kill swap: yes
  • Logging: no
  • Most effective deal: $two.19/mo or $seventy nine for three many years
  • Demo: seven-working day cost-free demo and thirty-working day refund warranty
  • Supported platforms: iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Linux

Undoubtedly study via the information under. There is certainly a lot to like with this product, and the value is excellent as perfectly as the general performance. Just you should not check out applying it to hook up to India. Go through on, and you can see individuals results as perfectly. Ugh.

Initiating a link

Initiating a link with Private Web Entry (PIA) was very clear-cut. I am likely to display this on Windows, but the interfaces are relatively very similar for Mac, iOS, and Android.

Upon install, an app was placed in the system tray. As you can see, starting with the default link is a issue of just urgent the amber electric power button:


There is certainly a lot you can do from this interface, even right before initiating a link. For case in point, you can opt for what server you want to use for your link. You can get to that record by clicking on the better-than signal to the right of the pre-chosen server spot. 


Exclusive functions

PIA provides a excellent range of additional functions and choices. You can get to this by right-clicking on the tray icon or tapping the three-dot menu at the higher right and then choosing Settings. The Common choices are fairly clear-cut. You can make a decision no matter if to launch on startup and hook up on launch, furthermore there are a number of look choices. I like the darkish concept.


Anti-malware and tracker disabling

The Account tab only reflects your account and plan information. But the Privacy tab is fascinating. Listed here you can help the VPN destroy swap as perfectly as MACE, PIA’s anti-malware and tracking feature. 



A incredibly practical feature is the extensive break up-tunneling feature PIA provides. As you can see, you can opt for no matter if to use the VPN or not primarily based on both of those programs and IP addresses. This is highly effective, for case in point, if you must go to a site or services without having applying the PIA VPN. Some banks will never permit accessibility if they detect you might be applying a VPN. One more advantage is that you could use the PIA VPN for personal surfing, and then if you use the corporate VPN app, you could change off PIA, so you might be on your firm’s supplied link.


Protocol choice

PIA protocol choice is relatively limited, supplying you the choice of OpenVPN or WireGuard. Honestly, both of those are very excellent, so we have no problems that some of the older, weaker, and fussier protocols usually are not supplied. I am showing OpenVPN chosen right here, but all the tests we will do afterwards will be with the usually-more quickly WireGuard, a additional fashionable protocol for this kind of application.


Relationship automation

PIA’s link automation feature is fascinating, but I do desire it was additional feature-loaded. As it stands, you can configure PIA to routinely hook up or disconnect primarily based on no matter if you might be linked to an open up Wi-Fi channel, an encrypted Wi-Fi link, or a wired link.


Which is all perfectly and excellent, but we might like to see the capacity to change on and off the malware surroundings primarily based on a link, modify which applications use the VPN link, and alter configurations primarily based on IP handle or block of IP handle. That way, for case in point, when you provide your notebook to get the job done, a single comprehensive set of profiles would activate. When you might be at dwelling, another set could activate, and so on. This is a excellent initial step, but it is an location the place PIA can undoubtedly advantage from further get the job done.

Devoted IP

Ultimately, you can opt for to up grade your account with a single or additional focused IP addresses. Devoted IP addresses are out there for connections by means of the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the Uk. The further value is $five/mo for each focused IP handle procured. That IP remains yours during the period of your focused IP subscription.


General performance and leak tests

I mounted the Private Web Entry application on a fresh new, entirely-updated Windows 10 install. I often use a fresh new install to do this variety of tests, so some other firm’s VPN leftovers usually are not clogging up the system and maybe influencing results. I have a 1GB fiber feed, so my baseline network velocity is rockin’ rapid.

ZDNet Suggests

The greatest web services vendors

When you’re comparing web vendors for your business, never just seem at velocity and value. Much more than anything else, you want the most dependable link to keep your business working.

Go through Much more

To deliver a good US general performance comparison, instead than comparing to my community fiber broadband service provider, I made use of speedtest.web and picked a Comcast server in Chicago to take a look at download velocity.

For every take a look at, I linked to every server three moments. The amount proven under is the regular consequence of the three connections.

In seeking at these numbers, it is feasible to get carried absent by the variance in the baseline velocity compared to the VPN velocity. Which is not the greatest measurement, typically due to the fact I have broadband over fiber, so my link velocity is particularly superior.

Also, if you seem at the baseline speeds concerning my critiques, you might notice that they differ noticeably likely to the similar cities. Hold in brain that velocity checks are totally dependent on the general performance of all the back links concerning the two areas, which include the time of working day, how active individuals servers are, and how sluggish or rapid the Web is on a offered working day.

I made use of to commute to get the job done from Berkeley to Mountain Watch in Silicon Valley. At midnight, that was a 35-minute push. In the course of rush hour, it was a two-hour push. The similar types of targeted traffic jams can strike the Web. All this is to go to the recommendation I have in all my critiques take a look at for you. Much more on that afterwards.

Outside of the US, I tested connections to Sweden, Taiwan, Australia, and India. For every take a look at, I linked to every server three moments. The amount proven under is the regular consequence of all three connections. I could not take a look at a link to Russia due to the fact PIA would not seem to have a Russian presence.

Even though I was linked, I also ran DNS and WebRTC leak checks (to make absolutely sure that DNS and IP are safe) using, ipleak.web, and These checks are essential stability checks and not a great deal additional. If you might be arranging on applying NordVPN (or any VPN services) to disguise your id for daily life and dying reasons, be absolutely sure to do far additional intensive tests.

Listed here are the results of my checks:

Speed Take a look at Server

Baseline download velocity without having VPN (larger is improved)

Ping velocity without having VPN (decreased is improved)

Time to hook up to VPN

Download velocity with VPN (larger is improved)

Ping velocity with VPN (decreased is improved)


Chicago – Comcast



three sec

seventy seven.43Mbps



Stockholm, Sweden – SUNET



4 sec




Taipei, Taiwan – TAIFO



five sec

eighty one.17Mbps



Perth, Australia – Optus



five sec

a hundred.80Mbps



Hyderabad, India – I-ON

one hundred seventy.66Mbps


five sec




sixty six.Mumbai, India – Sky Broadband

sixty six.83Mbps


five sec




In seeking at these numbers, it is feasible to get carried absent by the variance in the baseline velocity compared to the VPN velocity. Which is not the greatest measurement, typically due to the fact I have broadband over fiber, so my link velocity is particularly superior.


There is certainly a minor much too a great deal promo right here for me to sense at ease.

When you use a VPN services, it is purely natural for general performance to fall. Soon after all, you might be working all your packets via an totally artificial infrastructure created to disguise your path. The true numbers you really should seem at are the download velocity and the ping velocity. Are they superior plenty of to do the get the job done you need to do?

Ping velocity is an indicator of how rapidly a response will get back again just after a network request is despatched from your computer system. Some of the restrictions right here are thanks to real physics. If you might be sending a packet throughout the planet, it will take for a longer time to listen to back again than if you might be sending a packet throughout city.

The leak checks have been fascinating in that they confirmed no leaks in anyway. The only issue that slightly involved me was that was plastered with promotions for Private Web Entry. Given that the other web-sites reported the similar leak-cost-free results, I am at ease passing it along. It just appeared to embed the PIA promotions much too tightly into the take a look at results.

For all connections, with the exception of India, PIA download general performance was very excellent. Given that you you should not genuinely need additional than about 6Mbps to 8Mbps to stream Hd movie from web-sites like YouTube, the PIA connections have been undoubtedly rapid plenty of. For many years, most of us would have been thrilled to have the broadband download speeds reported just after this VPN was enabled.

Then there is certainly India. My non-VPN general performance was sufficient. Nonetheless, my VPN general performance was terrible. I initial tried a Hyderabad link, and the ensuing .69Mbps was fundamentally unusable. Connecting to Mumbai resulted in scarcely improved results. I retried these checks six moments every, and they have been consistently terrible. 

The only shiny aspect to the India checks is that other VPNs I tested, most notably NordVPN, also experienced abysmal VPN results, so PIA is just not alone in this general performance phenomenon.

The bottom line of my essential general performance checks is that you can clearly get the job accomplished until it includes India. If you have a precise state you want to hook up to, it is a excellent idea to take gain of the firm’s comprehensive thirty-working day refund policy and just check out it out.

The bottom line

There are three genuinely essential issues to know when deciding upon a VPN:

  1. Does it log any of your information?
  2. Does it disguise you though on the web?
  3. Is it rapid plenty of to get accomplished what you need to get accomplished?

I are unable to independently validate the initial concern, but PIA does say they you should not log any information. That concern is likely the most difficult to answer definitively due to the fact number of of the VPN distributors we have appeared at have unbiased audits to validate their claims.

As for the next concern, PIA does disguise your information, it does disguise your originating spot, and it appears to disguise the truth that you might be applying a VPN. Which is a good consequence.

As for the 3rd concern, for the areas I was equipped to take a look at (with the exception of India), the answer is a obvious “yes.” You can easily move documents, stream YouTube, and do all your essential get the job done though active VPN link. It could be more quickly to stroll there if you might be hoping to hook up to India, at minimum from the Pacific Northwest in the United States.

In general, even though, I was very impressed with PIA. At $two.19 for each month for three many years, it is a single of the additional low-cost plans we have appeared at, and nonetheless it is incredibly comprehensive-featured. We liked the set up and configuration choices, even though seeing the automations change into comprehensive-on profiles would be awesome. We also like that PIA provides its consumer software program in open up source on Github.

As often, I advise you take gain of PIA’s thirty-working day dollars-back again warranty and give it a comprehensive take a look at. The only way you can definitely know if it will get the job done for you is if you put it to get the job done and locate out for you.