Private Internet Access has given its desktop client a complete overhaul. ‘Silently released’ on January 11, the newly-updated version is available to download from the website now. here’s still no sign of any sort of official announcement or press release from the company.

In a post from October 2018, Private Internet Access outlined its plans for ‘significant changes’ across the client and service as a whole. These included a ‘more modern user experience’, along with some more practical updates such as a smaller download size and lower CPU and memory usage.

Apparently a closed public beta of the new client was launched around October 8, but we received no information about this at the time. It seems unusual that Private Internet Access didn’t announce this more prominently, as from what we’ve seen, all of the updates have done nothing but drastically improve the service.

For starters, the desktop client is no longer just a simple system tray dweller, but rather a full-featured app that opens in a separate window. This makes it dramatically easier to use, not to mention much easier on the eye.

It’s also a great deal simpler to navigate through all of the advanced settings that Private Internet Access has to offer – previously these were hidden in another menu. They’re now much better organized and even come with a few handy contextual hints and tips.

According to the ‘Upcoming Changes’ announcement, this update also includes an improved VPN kill switch features and better leak protection implementation. There’s no way of us knowing for sure whether these are in fact an improvement on those included in the last version of the app, but we certainly like the new ‘Auto’ kill switch setting.

Other changes include a customizable dashboard, allowing you to control the information you see on the home screen, as well as the ability to download and install updates from within the app. There’s also a new crash reporting system which is opt-in only, meaning none of your information can be collected without your prior consent.

The new desktop client isn’t the only recent major update, either. Following the success of its recent Live Chat pilot program, it’s now rolling out Live Chat to all customers within the Customer Control Panel.

Customer support agents will be available from 09:00 to 18:00 MST – outside of these hours, you’ll be able to log a ticket as normal.

It’s really encouraging to see these sorts of improvements, even from major players in the VPN market, and we can only hope to see other providers follow suit in the near future.