It may not be the biggest name on the market, but know this: Private Internet Access is the absolute fastest VPN you can subscribe to in 2019.
Not only that, but you get a host of high-end privacy and security features like a built-in malware blocker and first party DNS servers, and a reassuringly minimal logging policy to back it all up.
Pricing & Deals
With most providers a month-long subscription would set you back at least $10, but Private Internet Access charges just $6.95.
This goes down the longer you subscribe for, though, with a two-year subscription costing a mere $2.91.
Private Internet Access Coupon
Private Internet Access
Get 58% off Private Internet Access's 2-year plan
Private Internet Access Pricing & Deals
The money-back guarantee is only seven days long, but it is at least 100% no-questions-asked, with your refund arriving within seven working day.
PIA accepts a broad range of payment methods including most major credit and debit cards, PayPal and a few cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Zcash.
Users in certain countries may also have access to additional international payment options like Mint, ecoPayz, and Neosurf, although they can't be used to set up a rolling subscription.
Speed & Reliability
PIA has produced some the most impressive results we’ve seen on our speed tests so far. Its best servers are absolutely fantastic: if you live near London, New York or Toronto and mainly want to connect locally you won’t find a faster provider in the current market.
We were also highly impressed with its global performance, with an amazing average download speed of 91Mbps. Again, this is the highest we’ve seen from any provider, making it a fantastic choice for P2P users and torrenters.
Gamers will love the practically non-existent latency of less than 1ms in some locations.
Private Internet Access Performance Data
- Download Speed Average:91.08 MbpsUpload Speed Average:32.47 MbpsPing Time Average:134 ms
- Download Speed Average:307.29 MbpsUpload Speed Average:167.20 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:370.13 MbpsUpload Speed Average:124.93 MbpsPing Time Average:3 ms
- Download Speed Average:298.36 MbpsUpload Speed Average:152.27 MbpsPing Time Average:6 ms
- Download Speed Average:354.61 MbpsUpload Speed Average:194.70 MbpsPing Time Average:3 ms
- Download Speed Average:412.46 MbpsUpload Speed Average:219.09 MbpsPing Time Average:1 ms
- Download Speed Average:213.62 MbpsUpload Speed Average:75.14 MbpsPing Time Average:25 ms
- Download Speed Average:63.01 MbpsUpload Speed Average:177.24 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:251.52 MbpsUpload Speed Average:172.14 MbpsPing Time Average:1 ms
- Download Speed Average:208.35 MbpsUpload Speed Average:77.10 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:396.73 MbpsUpload Speed Average:223.45 MbpsPing Time Average:1 ms
- Download Speed Average:123.75 MbpsUpload Speed Average:28.20 MbpsPing Time Average:29 ms
PIA offers some of the fastest download speeds on local connections we’ve ever seen, peaking at an incredible 412Mbps, with other hotspots averaging around 273Mbps. Connecting out to the US from the UK you can expect average speeds approaching 113Mbps, more than ample for HD streaming across multiple devices. Even more distant connections performed very well, with Japan to San Francisco reaching speeds of over 75Mbps.
Latency was also ridiculously low at under 1ms for users in Sydney and Paris and less than 2ms in Tokyo. Most other popular locations came in at well under 5ms ping, making PIA a great choice for gamers and privacy-conscious streamers.
Average local upload speeds of 146Mbps are some of the best we’ve seen in our tests, making PIA very appealing to users of P2P software.
Very few providers can compete with PIA in terms of worldwide performance, particularly on download speeds.
To find out more about our bespoke speed test, read How We Review VPNs.
33 countries is a considerably smaller number than some of Private Internet Access’ bigger-name rivals and, while 3,200-plus servers is a fantastic amount, it’s likely that there’s only one IP address for each – an extremely low number.
All the most popular locations are covered in a good global spread, while 14 separate cities within the US is impressive.
Platforms & Devices
There are custom apps to get Private Internet Access running on all the popular operating systems, both desktop and mobile, while a router-level installation will cover everything else.
Manual setup guides are available on the Private Internet Access to help walk you through more obscure platforms or older OS versions.
There’s also browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, which protect your browser traffic. They’re just proxies, but still protect your IP address and prevent WebRTC leaks when surfing the web.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
Private Internet Access offers a simple custom app for the Amazon Fire TV and Stick. It’s also possible to use the software with other streaming devices and games consoles by connecting them to a configured router.
Streaming & Torrenting
The wide array of US servers means that unblocked Netflix is never more than one or two clicks away. However, access to BBC iPlayer recently stopped working for us, and Private Internet Access has said that rectifying that is not a priority for the service. Our most recent tests, however, had success accessing the service.
With torrenting, on the other hand, you’d be hard pressed to find a better VPN provider. P2P traffic is permitted on all servers and the market-leading upload and download speeds ensures rapid file transfers and buffer-free Kodi.
Encryption & Security
Private Internet Access is one of the most advanced VPNs on the market, sure to satisfy even the most advanced of users.
You get a broad choice of protocols (including OpenVPN), encryption (including AES-256), an ad and malware blocker, TCP Port 443, and a kill switch.
On top of all that, we also found it didn’t leak our IP or DNS – Private Internet Access operates its own DNS servers, which helps.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- First-party DNS
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- Supports TCP Port 443
- VPN Kill Switch
- WebRTC Leak Blocking
- Ad Blocker
Unless you want to spend a lot of time tampering with long-winded manual configurations, Private Internet Access is unusable in China as the government has successfully managed to block it.
It will still work to unlock the internet in slightly less draconian nations though, such as Turkey, Iran or Saudi Arabia.
Private Internet Access keeps absolutely no logs whatsoever – you can use the service with total peace of mind that nothing you do is being monitored, nor can it be traced back to you.
We would normally criticize a VPN for choosing the US as its base of operations, however in the case of Private Internet Access we’ll make an exception.
The fact that absolutely nothing is stored or monitored by the service means that any prying authorities would have nothing to reveal.
Ease of Use
In the past, PIA’s one glaring failure was its clunky, unintuitive and grossly outdated desktop app. But it has recently released a far more modern app which is much easier to navigate and straight-up better looking, clearly taking note from its competitors.
There are plenty of customization options for desktop notifications, launch on start-up, and a kill switch with an ‘always’ option.
It’s come a long way but it’s not perfect: the advanced settings still open in a new tab and the tray app remains open on top, blocking the view. Annoyingly, you have to close the whole tray app manually in order to see it.
The mobile app is terrific – with just as much configurability as the desktop app, plus some extra connection details.
Installation and set-up is incredibly easy and only takes a matter of minutes. Whatever platform you’re using, there are loads of helpful set-up guides on the PIA website that are really easy to follow and contain lots of useful screenshots so you can make sure you’re doing the right thing.
24/7 live chat is the obvious absence from Private Internet Access’ support repertoire. It’s something almost all of its higher-scoring rivals have, such as StrongVPN and VPNArea, and a feature we’d love to see soon.
The positive flip-side to this, though, is that it has one of the best online knowledge bases out there. It’s well organized and should answer almost any query or issue you have.
The Bottom Line
- Fast, reliable performance with local connection speeds of up to 412Mbps
- Great choice for streaming, including access to Netflix
- Very easy to use. Instant set-up on most devices
- Connect securely to 33 countries worldwide
- Lots of advanced privacy features and a strict zero-logs policy
- Very limited server network compared to top-tier providers
- Based in the privacy-unfriendly US
- Email and live chat support can be slow
Private Internet Access is a great choice if you’re looking for a super fast VPN with lots of advanced privacy options.
It’s one of the cheapest options on the current market and delivers excellent value for money, even on the monthly plan.
It’s configurable enough to satisfy even the most experienced VPN user, and its zero-logs policy goes a long way to mitigate the fact it’s based in the privacy-unfriendly US.