An Unbiased Review of Private Internet Access
Internet security is one of the most crucial aspects of any business that uses online communication and file transfer. The safety of the transfer needs to be assured for there to be confidentiality in the same. It is for this reason that companies seek internet security service providers offering VPN. Virtual Private Networks work by providing both low and high-level encryption for files and information passed between computers and servers. Private Internet Access is an internet security provider that comes with a number of services under their belt. They have focused their services on user security as well as providing options for the user. They also provide an android app that guarantees Wi-Fi security making it one of the most versatile VPN providers out there.
PIA is based in the United States but a subsidiary of London Trust Media. It has a network of 29 locations with almost 3000 servers spread out in 24 countries around the world. This has made it possible for users to access up to 5 connections of choice.
The first things any company looking for VPN security services will look for is the pricing. Thanks to the new tech, companies no longer need to use leased internet security. This cost an arm and a leg despite the fact that it worked great. VPN services are cheaper and more versatile providing the user with a great array of choices to pick from. Private Internet Access comes with 3 packages that the client can choose from. All these come with a secure VPN account, encrypted Wi-Fi, P2P and VoIP support, PPTP, Open VPN and L2TP/IPSec, connecting 5 devices simultaneously, Multiple VPN gateways, Unlimited bandwidth, SOCKS5 Proxy, no traffic logs and an instant set up. The only difference is the period of time. The monthly package goes for $6.95 while the 6 months and one year package go for $35.95 and 39.95 respectively. The yearly package allows you to spend as little as $3.33 per month making it a most affordable option.
Just how tight is their security?
A good VPN service needs to have top notch security for it to be well legit. The idea is to be able to transfer any kind of data without it being hijacked. It should also be impossible to read once this happens. PIA uses OPenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP security options. They have also provided a useful range of data encryption protocols and strengths. OpenVPN is the main one providing up to AES-256. This is used for datastream encryption while RSA-4096 is used for handshaking purposes. SHA256 is ideal for data authentication. The users are left to pick their level of encryption making it a versatile commodity to work with. The website comes with a guide that helps one pick what they need.
How usable is the website?
Truth be said, the website is a little messy though usable. Finding your way through the clutter is eventually doable with a little study. It is, however, a good thing that most of the important features are at the front of the interface. The small print can also be easily accessed without much of combing through. The bottom of the website is fitted with a support forum that is supposed to connect the users and the company. The website is a hub of knowledge if you take the time to look around. It comes with over 135 articles all about the service and FAQs. You may find all the answers you need by simply going through them. This assures the user that there is support all through.
Is the support really there?
The support chat option is available. Some people, however, find it off-putting that one has to use their email and name to have a chat. The support also requires a little patient with an ETA message prompting you to hold on while someone attends to you. They eventually do after a few minutes. This is still better than most at the end of the day. The support is friendly and helpful.
Private Internet Access has gone to lengths to ensure that installation is trouble free. A big chunk of this experience is determined by how you pay for the service. You will have to go through the whole billing payment information filling process if you are using the credit cards. The bitcoins and gift cards option just needs an email address. Once this is sorted, the user is furnished with a username and a password they can use to login to a client area. The password can be changed at will by logging into into the website. The user will also find information on how to go about the installation.
It is a fact that most VPN service providers in the past have provided an almost impossible interface to use. PIA’s set up is an impressive one. You can easily access DNS leak protection, handshaking and encryption options fast and easy. The users disabling kill switch is also easily accessible making it one of the most user friendly VPN interfaces we have seen in a long time. The TCP and UDP option for the open Wi-Fi users are open to see. Do not get me wrong though, it is not the prettiest interface you will come across. The function however, beats the need for aesthetic value. All the server options are listed from the pre-selected option to any other option you would like to use.
The speed test
One of the most important needs of a company is enjoying security with good speeds. Good security that hampers speeds will still cost production time. PIA has beaten this by providing up to 25Mbps. This is a great speed despite it being about 5Mbps lower than the best. The internet stability is admirable with solid IP and DNS checks.
PIA has gone a long way to ensure that most platforms are catered for. The VPN service works for Mac OSX, iOS, Windows, and Android. The setup guides for all the platforms are presented clearly with the OpenVPN connect App. iOS, for instance, uses L2TP. The Android App users enjoy OpenVPN App along with OpenSSL providing impressive security thanks to the consistent use of open Wi-Fi hot spots. Most of these have compromised security making android users a vulnerable bunch. The windows users have the killswitch option as well as the ability to pick the level of encryption they want. This in no way affects the connection speeds. They are fast and reliable for the android users. PIA has also provided SOCKS5 proxy with support for all accounts. You will need to talk to support to have this set up done thanks to the fact that there is no guide.
A secure VPN account, encrypted Wi-Fi, P2P and VoIP support, PPTP, Open VPN and L2TP/IPSec, connecting 5 devices simultaneously, Multiple VPN gateways, unlimited bandwidth, SOCKS5 Proxy, no traffic logs and an instant set up.
Unreliable proxies and waiting for support to come through.
Other/ Free Services.
In addition to the conventional VPN offering, Private Internet Access also offer a SOCKS5 proxy for all accounts– although there’s no setup guide for this, and regardless of a lengthy conversation with support we could not get it to work.
- Variety of user-selectable encryption alternatives.
- High strength file encryption and handshaking offered.
- Great variety of methods.
- Customers for all significant platforms.
- Outstanding Android app and OpenVPN on iOS (through OpenVPN Connect).
- Fantastic range of security alternatives built-in to clients.
- Excellent speeds.
- No logs.
- Excellent costs and money-back warranty.
We weren’t so sure about.
- Speeds and cable times can be variable.
- Waiting times for assistance a little bit higher than some other suppliers.
- Couldn’t get proxy to work.
While its customers and site lack the visual pizazz of some other VPNs, Private Internet Access’ core service is exceptional, its customers are powerful and it has some of the most available and helpful user-configuration alternatives we’ve seen on both Windows and Android platforms. Given all this is available for a cost point reaching as low as $3.33 with a seven-day refund ensure to boot, Private Internet Access produces a really simple suggestion. Go provide them a try today.