With a near constant stream of cyberhacking news, snooping government agency news, and rampant identity theft news, one could be forgiven for being nervous about the current state of online safety. In the current Internet climate, safeguarding your online activity and tracks is a necessity.
That’s why VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are out there, fighting the good fight to make people’s online data safe and secure, every day. And VPNs don’t come much more powerful and affordable than Private Internet Access VPN or PIA for short. So what makes Private Internet Access so special?
Well, let’s start with their 2500+ servers located in 18 countries including a variety of 9 options in the US as well the rest of North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. That’s a lot of the globe covered by one VPN.
Like all VPN providers, Private Internet Access VPN gives you the option to set up your OpenVPN, L2TP or PPTP connection manually, but the fastest and best solution is just to download their proprietary connection software.
They also have installation guides for your mobile devices such as your Android smartphone, Iphone or tablet. By downloading the VPN software, I was up and running with the VPN in under 3 minutes from the time I first logged into my account.
The manual installation guides are effective, but totally text based. No video or picture setup guides like some other VPN’s.
Private Internet Access has thrown in some bonus security features, including a server-side firewall that blocks unwanted incoming connections for you. They also build a VPN kill switch into their software that gives you the option to automatically disconnect your internet connection should your VPN connection fail.
You can also choose to enable DNS leak protection, which helps close additional security vulnerabilities in your Operating System to give you maximum privacy online. The VPN also features 128-bit encryption, which can scale up to 1024-bit depending on the software and server used. Even 128-bit security should be sufficient for anything short of protecting government secrets.
The speeds we experienced in testing were decent but nothing to write home about. All servers we tested (except france) offered at least 3Mbps download speed, and several were closer to 8Mbps. While 3Mbps is more than enough for everyday internet usage, power users who need maximum bandwidth for things like HD video streaming will need to make sure they pick a server close by, and even that may not be enough during peak hours. The remaining 90% of us should find the speeds perfectly adequate.
You may find more features, servers, or software at other VPN providers, but you’re unlikely to find more value. As long as you don’t need micro-regional I.P. address control or super-high bandwidth, Private Internet Access VPN is an excellent choice.
When you consider you can get a full year of VPN service for under $40, you’d be crazy not to at least check them out and see if they fit your needs.