Private Internet Access is a virtual private network (VPN) service provider. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means. This review of Private Internet Access will explain to you what VPN is, why you need it, and why Private Internet Access is your best bet when it comes to VPNs.
What The Heck is VPN?
Before I can convince you that Private Internet Access (PIA) is the best VPN service provider out there, I need to explain what the heck a VPN is in the first place. Since the fact that VPN stands for virtual private network doesn’t do much in the way of explaining what it is, I’ll take a stab at attempting to explain it in my own words.
When connected to VPN, you are essentially scrambling all of your internet traffic and routing it through another computer.
So why would you want to do this? Even more, why would you want to pay money to connect to a VPN? Let me explain.
VPN Hides Your IP Address
The main benefit of VPN is that it gives you an anonymous IP address. This prevents websites, advertisers, and your internet service provider from tracking your web searches and browsing habits. Not to say that you have anything to hide, but remaining anonymous on the internet has its benefits.
VPN Encrypts Your Traffic
All internet traffic leaving and coming into your computer or phone is encrypted when connected to a VPN. This means that even if a hacker had access to your home network, he wouldn’t be able to understand the internet traffic coming in or out of your computer because it is encrypted with VPN.
Outside of your home, you are even more vulnerable to hackers when connected to public WiFi hotspots or your hotel’s internet. In these situations, a VPN will allow you to rest assured that your internet traffic is safe from prying eyes.
The Limits of VPN
There’s one caveat that I feel obligated to point out. Please understand that your internet traffic is only encrypted from the time it leaves your device until the time it leaves the VPN server. In other words, your request is decrypted before it leaves the VPN server.
Let’s say that you are on an unsecure website. An unsecure website does not have the green lock and https in the address bar. Even when connected to VPN, your request will be visible to anyone watching the internet traffic between the VPN server and the destination website.
If that last bit doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. It’s just an edge case that means a VPN won’t protect you 100% in every single situation.
VPN Unblocks Websites
To date, I haven’t come across much internet censorship or geographic restrictions within the United States, but when traveling overseas, VPN comes in handy to unblock websites and services based on your location.
For example, when traveling to India, I wanted to download some movies from the Amazon Prime Video Android app on my phone. However, on the download page, I would get the message, “This title is not available in your current location“
To get around this geographic restriction while in India, all I had to do was open up my PIA app and connect to a server in the United States. When connected to the VPN, I was able to download any Prime movie from Amazon Prime Video without any restrictions.
For those of you residing outside of the United States, a VPN will have the same benefits for you. Say you would like to access HBO Go or another streaming service that’s not available in your country. All you have to do is connect to a VPN server in the United States in order to access the content that’s not available in your country.
4 Reasons Why Private Internet Access Is The Best VPN
There are a ton of VPN service providers out there. So why should you choose Private Internet Access? Based on my 7 years of being a PIA customer, here’s why.
1. PIA Keeps No Logs
I first learned about VPNs when I was doing a work-study as a student technician in college. A co-worker of mine recommended the VPN service provider called Private Internet Access.
I went back to my off campus house and did some research about PIA. I came across a TorrentFreak article that compared various VPN services.
What sold me on Private Internet Access was that the company does not maintain any logs of any kind. The article pointed out that some of the other VPN providers temporarily store VPN logs or keep a database of connection information. That’s not cool.
2. PIA Is Affordable
When you sign up for a two year plan with Private Internet Access, your monthly rate is just $2.91. Less than 10 cents per day is extremely small when compared to the worst case scenario. Imagine the nightmare that could result if a malicious hacker would gain access to your unprotected internet traffic. Your credit card number, social security number, and other sensitive information is vulnerable when you use the internet without VPN.
I don’t mean to scare you. I just want to you to be aware of the risks.
With that in mind, Private Internet Access offers one of the lowest rates for VPN on the internet. It’s a small price to pay today to avoid a disaster in the future.
3. PIA Is Easy To Use
My experience with signing up for, downloading, and installing PIA VPN was hassle free. After you sign up for the PIA VPN service, you will receive an email with a link to download the PIA software for the device(s) of your choosing.
I do have one issue I have with the way Private Internet Access handles sign ups. PIA sends your new login username and password in plain text in the welcome email. This means that if someone gains access to your email account, they can easily steal your VPN service.
Putting this minor concern aside, I love that Private Internet Access has apps for Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, Mac, and Google Chrome. That means you can install PIA VPN on all of your devices and benefit from the protection at home and on the go.
4. PIA Is Fast
In the 7 years that I’ve been a PIA customer, I’ve never seen a noticeable decrease in bandwidth with my VPN turned on. Don’t get me wrong, there will be tiny decrease in your internet speed due to the indirection that your internet traffic has to take. But the decrease in speed is so small that it is not noticeable.
The efficiency of the PIA VPN is due to the fact that no matter where you are in the world, the PIA software on your computer or on your phone has the ability to automatically connect to the fastest (which is usually the geographically closest) server.
Get PIA VPN Protection Now
If you are interested in getting protected with VPN today and you found my review of Private Internet Access helpful, please sign up for the service through my referral link below. It comes at no extra cost to you, and I will be rewarded with a small commission for my work.
The internet is a wild place. Stay safe out there my friends!