PIA operates on more than 3,300 servers in 32 countries, so your network can compete with some of the largest VPN players. It works for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
Unlike some VPN services, it does not have specialized servers for streaming, P2P or other tasks: you can connect to any of them and do whatever it takes. Unlock Netflix, for example, regardless of which of the US servers.
You will find our other recommendations in our summary of the best VPN services.
Plans and prices
PIA does not offer any free trial version, and its money-back guarantee offer must be used within seven days after the start of your subscription, which is a much shorter period than the usual 30 days offered by most VPN services
However, prices are competitive, with a monthly subscription that costs $ 3.49 (approximately £ 2.65) if the longer two-year plan is taken. It is not the absolute cheapest, but it is still very affordable.
Best of all, PIA allows you to pay anonymously with several crypto currencies and even gift cards. In the USA, EU. That includes Starbucks, Walmart and Best Buy. Residents of the United Kingdom can pay with Topshop, Wallis, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Gant and Dorothy Perkins cards.
Features and applications
Starting with the Windows application, which is easy to install from the PIA website, the interface has been updated to look more like its competitors. There is a large connection button that automatically connects you to the best server, but the interface remains immovable and is locked in the taskbar.
Shows your current IP address and, when connected to a server, your new IP address.
When you open the settings, they appear in a mobile window. They are divided into five sections, and include options to start PIA at startup, connect at startup and, under "Privacy", the interrupt switch settings.
It's great to see that the interrupt switch is enabled by default, so all traffic will be blocked if the VPN connection is interrupted.
There is also MACE, which is an ad blocker and crawlers.
In «Network», you will find the option to use PIA DNS servers (the default) but you can also use your ISP (not recommended) or even your own custom server configuration. PIA offers protection against leaks for both IPv4 and IPv6.
An additional advantage is the ability to forward ports, which could speed up P2P downloads, although you will have to know what you are doing, as there is little help with this function.
More unusual is the ability to select the type of encryption, link protocol and type of connection used: by default, PIA uses AES-128, but most VPNs use AES-256, which is more secure. However, it means that you get a generally faster connection and there is help on the PIA website with examples of how you can change these settings depending on whether security or performance is your priority.
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