Private Internet Access VPN$6.95
Private Internet Access is another company based out of the US and has been in the game for a while now. PIA is a great budget option for a VPN as it offers no bells and whistles what so ever but provides excellent speed for the servers that it does have.
All together Private Internet Access has over 1500 servers and counting to choose from based in 10 different countries including the United States, Europe, England and Canada. This is quite a few less countries to select from when compared to the others on this website although they the countries that they do have servers in are most of the main ones (as in the majority of visitors to this website) apart from Australia. And what they do lack in quantity they do make up for with quality and speed.
Online security to many people is a huge priority and concern. We all want our private information such as banking details safe and secure so we do not face threats of our pockets being cleared out. Information can easily be shared and taken these over the internet so we question as to whether how safe our personal information is. Private Internet Access offer an openVPN Service including options such as PPTP and L2TP IP and also IPSec/L2TP, and SOCKS5 technologies for customers who prefer those methods.
Because the website is based in the United States it has made best use of the powers it has. It doesn’t collect user activity and it even accepts payment for their plans in bitcoin for those who want to remain completely anonymous.
Speed And Bandwidth
After multiple tests on various different components of the service, the VPN service came back with outstanding results. During the speed test Private Internet Access using the OpenVPN it performed the quickest out of the five, it had blistering download and upload speeds across the board. The only problems I encountered was that when connecting to Pairs it would not upload during the speed test and also there are no servers in Australia which was one of the locations in my testing. If you use PIA own app without the OpenVPN then speeds are even quicker but be warned, you are less secure and the encryption is not as good.
(Speed test with PIA connecting to London)
After checking out the website itself, I discovered that it is surprisingly easy to use in terms of navigation and finding the information you require in order to download and install the software. This is important for PIA as the whole installations process is more of a hassle and also requires some configuration in order to use the OpenVPN, this is not a one or two click install like IPvanish or Overplay. Its pages are laid out fairly straight forward and the use of diagrams and pictures help to dilute the drab layout that you may find out with similar websites.
One of the main drawback of Private Internet Access in that in order to utilize the OpenVPN protocol you need to install another VPN client with is the opensource application commonly used among the less mature VPN services. After installing the app you then have to go and configure the different locations which is a bit of a pain so if you are not that tech savvy then this really is not for you. You do this by downloading a separate zip file containing files for each location, they then have to be unzipped using a program such as Winzip and copied to the correct file location. The whole process takes doesnt take too long if you know what you are doing but if you are not that good with computers then it may take a bit longer and become a burden that you don’t need.
After you have downloaded and installed the OpenVPN app and then configured the locations it is pretty straight forward to use. One thing that does annoy me in the normal use of the OpenVPN app that PIA utilizes is that you need to enter the username and password every time you connect to a different location. If you change locations often then this is going to get on your nerves as it did mine.
Private Internet Access is a true no frills what so ever type of VPN, there are hardly any features except for providing a secure connection though a VPN.
Support is very straight forward with a live chat feature where you can ask any burning question and get a response in a fairly good amount of time. They also have the option to email them and again the response time is reasonable although it did come in last out of the 5 on this site, but at least they answered the question on the first reply.
Private Internet Access has an app that provides data encryption features, you can prevent snooping eyes from getting hold of your internet data transfers. For those who do not feel safe on public Wi-Fi networks, using their own PIA mobile app is an advantage because it has public Wi-Fi security. You can also be able to unblock any sites that were previously blocked especially when you travel abroad. Using the mobile applications can help you surf in up to nine countries. You can also speed the activity of your internet connection and browse the net faster using data compression techniques which accompany the app.
Overall Private Internet Access VPN is a great budget service offering its customers the ability to keep their details secure and there web surfing anonymous. You really do get what you pay for with PIA, you get a straight up VPN with not much else and a limited number of locations to connect to. You need to have a bit of technical know how to make this option work for you but if you do possess this then you will enjoy excellent speeds during your connection. If you wish to get more features, connect to more countries or are not that technically inclined then this probably is not for you.