Private Internet Access Review – Everything you need to know

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access India is a VPN that focuses on user privacy and transparency of practices. Thanks to its advanced security features and tools, it has become popular among network experts and users. Further, as a privacy-focused VPN, it comes with a strict no-log policy, easy configuration, premium add-ons, and many more.

So, that’s why we have come up with this PIA reviews to give you an in-depth look into Private Internet Access India. Here we’ll talk about Private Internet Access pricing, their features, user interface, customer service and much more. Let’s get started!

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Last updated on 14 May 2024

Private Internet Access India Presentation

Private Internet Access India first came into being in the year 2010 under the banner of London Trust Media Inc. The owner of the company, Andrew Lee, started PIA to stop IP address leaks via the Internet Relay Chat. Years later, on 18th November 2019, Kape Technologies took over PIA.

The corporate office of Private Internet Access India is in the USA. However, the VPN promises to maintain a no-log policy always.

Private Internet Access India Mission and Values

The core value of Private Internet Access India is online privacy. The VPN makes sure to put priority on the security, freedom, and privacy of its users. Further, to guard user privacy, this VPN follows a strict no-log policy and has open-source VPN protocols.

Also, it has been ten years since the beginning of this VPN. It aims to function as the true privacy expert to keep a user safe and anonymous online.

List of Private Internet Access India Features

  • Hide or Change Your IP Address
  • Hiding Internet Traffic
  • Additional Online Security
  • Open-Source Transparency
  • Secure Kill Switch
  • World-Class Protocols
  • Advanced Split Tunneling
  • Reliable Automation Rules
  • Highly Customizable Settings
  • Built-in Ad Blocking
  • World-Class Server Network
  • Versatile Compatibility
  • Premium Add-Ons
  • Additional Benefits

However, PIA India still has some scope for improvements. We have tested its strength to bypass Geo-blocking, tunneling protocol, encryption standard, speed, and many other factors. After our complete Private Internet Access VPN review, we have found that it is lagging behind in unblocking streaming sites and speed.

As this VPN has some pros and cons, you need to learn about it in detail before buying a subscription. Here is our review presenting what the VPN has to offer.

PIA VPN Price

PIA VPN Price

Private Internet Access India is one of the most reasonable VPN services available in the market. Its 1-month pack costs INR 915. Further, its 6-month plan comes at INR 570 per month. Also, its 2-year-2-month plan costs INR 165 at an 83% discount. If you want to avail yourself of the add-ons like dedicated IP and antivirus, you will have to pay extra charges at the time of checking out.

As an alert user, you must also watch out for the festive offers and Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts offered by PIA VPN India.

Each plan of Private Access Internet has a 30-day money-back guarantee. PIA VPN India even offers a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS mobile phone users.

PIA VPN India also stands out due to its varied payment options. You can pay the charges through Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit cards. The VPN accepts cryptocurrencies too.

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Summary Table of PIA VPN India

Characteristic Value
Strict no-log policy? Yes, you're safe
Is this provider good for torrenting? Yes, it's good for P2P and torrents
Unblockable Netflix catalogues
How many simultaneous connections are available? This provider allows ∞ multi-logins
Server locations Over 84
Supported OS and devices Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Android TV, iOS, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and routers
Does it have a refund policy? Yes, the money-back guarantee lasts up to 30 days
Supported protocols WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec
Unlimited bandwidth? Yes
Type of VPN encryption Military AES 256 bits encryption
Number of IP Addresses The company doesn't disclose that info
Number of VPN Servers? Over 35,000

Using PIA VPN India

People connect to a VPN to access blocked streaming sites or for torrenting. Many also use it for playing video games. But do you know what is the reason behind all these problems and how a VPN can solve that? Let us tell you. The reason behind these problems is Geo-blocking, where streaming sites make use of the Geolocation or IP address of a user to know their actual location and IP address.

Further, as per the contract signed with content producers, the streaming sites only allow access to local viewers. Also, some streaming sites like Netflix have location-specific content libraries. So, when we talk about the usability of PIA VPN India, we must assess how effective it is in blocking Netflix’s foreign content libraries and unblocking other streaming sites.

Also, a VPN must offer good speed while torrenting and gaming and be able to unblock Geo-restricted games. In addition, it must be able to function in restrictive conditions, and that is why we have checked whether PIA VPN India works in China or not.

PIA VPN Review of Unblocking Netflix

We checked the ability of PIA VPN India to unblock Netflix by connecting to many server locations. In the UK and USA, it worked properly. In other words, we got easy access to Netflix UK and USA content libraries from foreign locations. However, the Canadian and Australian servers of PIA VPN India failed in 3 out of 10 cases.

In addition, the obfuscation technology of PIA does not always work as many times during our use, the streaming site has detected the proxy and blocked the traffic. So, if unblocking Netflix is your concern, you must try using better options like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost.

We even checked the ability of PIA VPN India to unblock Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, and ITV. The performance in unblocking Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus has been good. However, it showed some problems in evading the Geo-blocking of ITV and BBC iPlayer.

PIA VPN with Netflix

PIA VPN Review of Torrenting

PIA VPN India is good for P2P and torrenting. Its integrated SOCKS5 proxy, along with the Shadowsocks option, can redirect your internet traffic and make the protection stronger. You can even expect bolstered protection while using only torrent clients. For us, PIA VPN India worked with uTorrent, BitTorrent, and qBittorrent clients.

We tried torrenting on macOS and Windows devices by connecting to PIA VPN India, UK, and USA servers. On average, we got 10 to 15 MBps speed. So, we recommend Private Internet Access India for torrenting. For your information, this VPN has 10 Gbps servers in 84 nations of the world.

PIA VPN Review of Workability of Private Internet Access India China

While doing our PIA VPN review, we found it to be a good VPN to work in China. However, we cannot call Private Internet Access India a great VPN to work in China. First of all, let us tell you that officially, it is to work in China as it offers the obfuscation technology through its Shadowsocks proxy.

This is crucial, considering in China, VPNs are blocked, and obfuscation makes VPN traffic look like any regular internet traffic. So, though you are using a VPN, nobody can detect it easily.

However, we faced an issue while using Private Internet Access India in China. The VPN tells us to use the WireGuard protocol in China. But in many cases, we had to choose OpenVPN and do manual configurations. It was a turn-off for us as for ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, we could use them in China with the default settings.

Private Internet Access India in Playing Video Games

At the time of doing the PIA VPN review, we sometimes faced problems while gaming. The main issue we noticed is a drop in speed when connected to long-distance servers. The local servers showed only 30-35 ms ping in loading games like “Rise of Empires: Ice and Fire,” “Call of Duty,” etc.

Also, on average, the games took one minute to get loaded, and we felt no disruption while playing the games.

However, when we connected to a faraway server located in France, we saw a considerable drop in the speed, with the ping rate shooting up to 155-156 ms. In addition, the games we tried playing took more than five minutes to get uploaded.

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Private Internet Access India Features, Advantages, and Benefits

As already mentioned in our PIA VPN review, PIA puts the utmost priority on the digital privacy and freedom of users. Its various core and advanced features help it to build digital protection for users. Let’s discuss the features one by one in the upcoming sections.

Hide or Change Your IP Address with Private Internet Access India

PIA VPN India is great when it comes to doing the foremost task of a VPN, and that is changing the IP address of a user. As a mediator between the internet and your device, it will stop anybody from reading your actual IP address. Further, the PIA server you are connecting to will assign you a new IP address.

In this way, you get to hide your online identity. At the same time, by getting a new IP and giving the internet and streaming sites the impression of operating from a different location, you can bypass Geo-blocking and access any restricted content.

PIA VPN review Hiding Internet Traffic

PIA VPN India keeps your internet traffic away from the prying eyes of hackers, spammers, unwanted third parties, and your internet service provider. So, none of these entities become able to track or store your online activities and identities.

Thus, the chances of cybercrime and breach of anonymity are eliminated. Further, as your internet service provider fails to track your online activity, he fails to throttle your bandwidth and speed.

Also, today, internet censorship is a major concern, hampering internet freedom. As with PIA, nobody gets to monitor or access your traffic, you can easily overcome this problem.

Private Internet Access Features

Additional Online Security

Cybercrimes and data theft are very common these days. However, PIA VPN India can help you avoid this problem through encryption or by turning your data into codes. By default, PIA uses the AES-128-GCM encryption standard. However, it can also offer maximum protection up to the AES-256-GCM encryption standard.

Open-Source Transparency

PIA is known for its open-source VPN applications. Further, the client source code of Private Internet Access can be seen publicly. When the application codes are open-sourced, the chances of vulnerabilities become very less. Also, there are always provisions for scrutinizing or verifying codes with an open-sourced code.

Secure Kill Switch

Sometimes, you may lose connection to PIA VPN India due to network problems, internet speed, and other technical issues. It’s great that PIA VPN continues to protect your IP address and online anonymity even in those conditions due to its secure Kill Switch mechanism. PIA promises “airtight” leak protection with this advanced Kill Switch feature.

World-Class Protocols

PIA will allow you to use WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols. These two protocols are popular, and, being open-source, promise minimal risks of data and identity leakage. Further, PIA uses IPsec on devices running on iOS. IPsec ensures a greater level of security and transparency.

Advanced Split Tunneling

To optimize your online experience and avoid bandwidth issues, PIA also comes with an advanced split tunneling feature. This feature is available on Android devices and desktops. Further, desktops come with the facility of bypassing IP addresses.

The split tunneling mechanism of PIA is “highly configurable.” So, it is easy for users to decide on custom rules for websites and applications. In addition, you can direct your traffic through the VPN tunnel and outside the tunnel at the same time. So, even if you are using an app that is not VPN-friendly, you don’t need to switch off PIA, completely compromising your online safety.

PIA Interface

Reliable Automation Rules

Network automation and reliable rules for the same make PIA a sought-after VPN service. However, this automation features only works with iOS and Android mobile phones. Using these automation rules, you can decide how your VPN application on the mobile will function on the cellular data network and public Wi-Fi connections.

Highly Customizable Settings

PIA comes with customizable setting options. So, you can use its default settings and, if required, can go for customized DNS setups, proxies, remote ports, port forwarding, etc.

Built-in Ad Blocking

PIA has come up with an in-built MACE feature to stop attacks of ads, trackers, or other malicious third parties. In other words, this in-built ad-blocking feature helps PIA to boost user data safety. In other words, you don’t need to configure your browser or install any extension to use ad-blocking if you are browsing on your desktop or mobile connected to the VPN.

That is why with MACE, you experience a faster streaming speed sans the comparison of each URL by your browser against endless rules. In addition, the battery of your mobile device will last longer if you are using PIA with built-in MACE.

You can use this in-built MACE feature on Linux, Windows, and macOS devices. However, to use this feature on Android devices, you will need to install the.apk version.

World-Class Server Network

In our PIA VPN review, we must tell you about its great server network. It has colocated servers in 84 countries, and the servers run on RAM as the VPN follows a strict no-log policy. Further, you can stay connected to the VPN network on a 24/7 basis and enjoy unlimited bandwidth. Also, its server network is 10 Gbps streaming optimized.

PIA is also known to have servers in all 50 states of the USA. Moreover, it comes with a multi-hop feature. So, you can use two servers at a time and get an extra layer of security.

Versatile Compatibility

While doing our PIA VPN review, we found that this VPN works with many operating systems (OS). It even supports 10 devices at a time. Also, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and all other major operating systems.

Premium Add-Ons

If you want to boost your online security, you can pick the premium add-ons of PIA. The PIA antivirus can be customized and is fast. Further, it offers real-time protection against malware. Also, you will get full control over your data with this antivirus.

The other add-on feature is a unique IP address. Only you can have and use this IP address. Also, as you are using a unique IP address, you will not have to think about overcrowding of servers, and you will be easily able to evade the problem of shared IP blacklists.

In simple words, if you are using a shared IP, someone else’s online functions can cause the blocking of the IP. Here, your IP blocking depends on your activity only. As a whole, you will be able to enjoy better safety and online privacy.

PIA VPN Review: Additional Benefits

With PIA, you will get some extra benefits. It has an email breach scanner to detect any risk on your email ID at any time. It also has browser extensions to block sites that allow ads to find your IP address and access your microphone or camera.

You will even get a Boxcryptor license. So, you can be sure of the safety of the files being uploaded to Google Drive, Dropbox, or any other cloud storage.

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PIA VPN Review: Windows Client

The PIA Windows desktop app comes with a slick and easy interface. You can take charge of the app with the main window. Further, you can use the settings window to customize the app as per your needs. With just a few clicks, we added the “Quick Settings” and “Quick Connect” panels to the standard app display window.

You can even choose between dark and light modes. We found a lot of info on the main window. So, we could know about the port, protocol, authentication cipher, and encryption. There is also a graph showing speed and a counter telling how much data is sent and received during the entire VPN session.

There is another good thing about the PIA Windows Client is that you can put it on snooze for a certain time. You can even choose how you want the app to be seen on your device’s screen. Just use the option below the “General tab” to pick an “Attached to Tray” or “Window” Display.

Now, let us tell you what we didn’t like about the Windows Client interface. First of all, it’s not easy to choose a server from a long list, and as there is no map, you will have to do that.

However, if you don’t need to choose a specific location, you can just click on the big “Connect” button to connect to the nearest server. Also, a couple of times, our desktop froze for a few minutes when we tried to connect to long-distance servers. These types of bug issues are never pleasant.

Windows Settings

Setting PIA on our Windows desktops was fun, and we got to know about a lot of things. Let us tell you the basic step-by-step guide first, and then we will share the other details.

  1. At first, sign up for a subscription plan of PIA.
  2. Then, download the VPN on your Windows PC (32 and 64-bit)
  3. Next, you can connect to a server and start using the VPN

However, if you want to go a little beyond the basics and control how the Private Internet Access India works, you can choose between WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols. If you pick OpenVPN, you will be able to choose TCP or UDP and even change the default AES-128-GCM encryption to AES-256-GCM.

You can even pick a custom remote port and set the Maximum Transmission Unit or MTU. Further, you can enjoy port forwarding on some locations and make use of split tunneling, DNS traffic redirection, and Kill Switch features on OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols.

In addition, the in-built MACE of PIA could block trackers 111 times out of the total attempts of 160. So, we can say that PIA Windows Client has a mixed bag of basic and advanced settings.

PIA setting

Command Line Use

If you are using the PIA Windows app on your desktop, you can now make the most of a command tool, piactl. In other words, you can use the VPN now from a command script. This tool lets you do a lot of things, like:

  • Scheduling any task
  • Automatic connection at the time of your system booting
  • Creation of shortcuts to connect to many locations and opening a specific website or app that you may want to stream in that location
  • Easy connection and disconnection with ‘piactl connect’ and ‘piactl disconnect’ commands.

Compatibility with Other Applications

Along with Windows, PIA also works with many other operating systems. You can use the macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS apps as per your choice. You can even use it on gaming and streaming consoles, smart TVs, and routers. It also works with Opera, Firefox, and Chrome browser extensions.

PIA with Other Applications

PIA VPN Review of Test Results

We did speed, DNS leaks, and torrenting tests of PIA. Let us first talk about the speed that depends on many factors. The number of users on a particular VPN server at the same time, the distance between the server and the connected device, bandwidth restrictions in the specific region, the internet service provider, etc., impact the speed you are getting.

Speed Test Results

We have already told that PIA has not been up to the mark in speed. We checked it on a 500 Mbps line in the UK, USA, and Japan server locations using the advanced WreGuard protocol.

In the USA, it gave an average upload speed of 41 Mbps and a download speed of 15 Mbps with a 60 ms ping rate. In the UK, it recorded around 65 Mbps download speed and 13 Mbps upload speed with an 82 ms ping rate. Further, in Japan, it performed very poorly with a 10 Mbps download and 11 Mbps upload speed, and 165 ms ping rate.

So, you can see that the PIA VPN is not only weak in speed but also inconsistent. There is a massive change in speed with changes in server locations.

DNS and WebRTC Leaks Test Results

We did the DNS leak tests on Internet Protocol Version 6 or IPv6 and Internet Protocol Version 4 or IPv4. At first, we conducted a DNS leak test without the VPN and noted the IP address and location results on both versions.

Then, we did the test by turning on the VPN, and each time it showed the IP address and location as per the location of the connected server. In other words, PIA has passed with flying colors in our DNS leak tests.

We also did a WebRTC leak test to be sure about the protection of our IP addresses and other online data as different web browsers interact with each other using WebRTC for faster operation. The WebRTC leak test was done on IPleak.net, and we did not find any leak.

PIA VPN Review of Torrenting Test

We did torrent tests of PIA in a total of ten locations, including the UK, USA, India, and Japan. We could use all torrent clients on these server locations, and we did not face any issues with IP or data leakage. Further, we could download 2 GB files within a little over one minute and got 10-15 Mbps speed on average.

PIA VPN Review of Customer service

PIA can leave many VPN services behind in customer service. It offers 24/7 support through live chat, and it has the best knowledge base, guides, community forums, news, and FAQ sections. In addition, you can know about the latest updates about PIA on its Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube platforms.

But we were most impressed with the email support of PIA. We got a reply within 1 hour, and we also loved how easily the support process worked. You can click the contact us icon on the Help Desk page. Then you will be directed to the New Ticket page. There you will find a form where you have to fill in necessary personal and technical details and submit the form for correspondence.

PIA VPN Review: Comparison with Other Services

According to our 360-degree assessment, ExpressVPN is the topper, while CyberGhost and PIA assume the 2nd and 3rd spots, respectively. Here, we will very briefly compare PIA with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.

Private Internet Access vs ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN and PIA are almost at par if we talk about anonymity/privacy features and server coverage. But ExpressVPN leaves PIA miles behind in encryption standards or security, ability to unblock Geo-blocking, torrenting, and speed.

ExpressVPN‘s server architecture is impeccable, and it is hard to find a server that is not consistent in performance. At the same time, the default encryption standard of AES-256-GCM of ExpressVPN is much stronger than the default AES-128-GCM standard of PIA though it can be upgraded to AES-256-GCM. In addition, the Lightway protocol of ExpressVPN supersedes the WireGuard protocol of PIA in speed and performance.

Private Internet Access vs CyberGhost

CyberGhost is better than PIA in security, speed, and performance. PIA, despite having a greater number of servers, gets defeated by CyberGhost as it has a presence in a lesser number of countries (84) in comparison to CyberGhost (91+ countries).

Conclusion

Hope that our PIA VPN review has been able to highlight the best features, usage, and pricing details of the VPN for every user. We have also talked about areas that we think PIA can improve. Overall, it is a good VPN, as its security and privacy features are spot on.

However, if you are looking for the best option in all aspects, including privacy, security, speed, consistency, reliability, and bypassing Geo-blocking, is definitely the best. We recommend using PIA, but if you want only the top-notch provider, is what we advise.

8.7 Total Score
Affordable VPN Service

Features
9.5
Ease of Use
9
Privacy and Security
8
Value for money
8
Speed and Performance
9
PROS
  • No logging policy
  • Unlimited bandwidth usage
  • User-friendly interface
  • Good encryption method
CONS
  • Unstable Speed
  • Ability to unblock Netflix streaming
  • Inadequate Customer Service
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Radha is a writer by heart, with a particular passion for writing in the realm of technology. She has been a geek ever since her preschool days, and looking back, she sees her journey from a reader to an author as incredibly fulfilling. Moreover, Radha finds joy in inspiring kids, much like herself, to pursue their own paths. With a background in Computer Science, Radha's knowledge and expertise are further enriched by her career as a technical support specialist. For any inquiries or collaboration opportunities, you can contact Radha via email at radha@thebestvpn.in.

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