Are you trying to find a reliable solution to conceal online activities? Well, you’re in luck because

PIA, or Private Internet Access, has you covered. As one of the oldest virtual private networks on the market, PIA encrypts your data and redirects traffic, so your actual IP address is never revealed.

But how is Private Internet Access different from other similar platforms? What are its benefits and apparent setbacks?

This Private Internet Access UK (PIA) review covers all essential details, including its pros and cons. We’ll evaluate its security, encryption, privacy and other factors to help you make an informed choice.

Private Internet Access UK (PIA): An Overview

Private Internet Access was released in 2010 by Kape Technologies, which owns CyberGhost,  Zenmate and ExpressVPN. The VPN service remains an old-school, quality favourite because of its top-notch privacy, security and torrenting services.

Professional reviewers praise the VPN for its kill switch, split tunnelling, DNS leak protection, port forwarding, and multi-hop servers.

PIA has a well-established, extensive network of over 10,000 NextGen servers equipped with military-grade AES-256 encryption. These servers give you blazing connections and unlimited bandwidth. The VPN also employs robust protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard and a strict no-logs policy.

However, despite these fantastic features, the service also has some setbacks. The streaming abilities of PIA aren’t the best, and the chat support team is usually scrutinised for not responding promptly.

Is PIA Affordable?

Private Internet Access UK (PIA) is known for being affordable. Their longer subscriptions offer significant discounts.

Private Internet Access offers three premium plans as of 1st August 2023. Each plan includes the same features.

  1. The 1 Month Plan is $11.95 monthly.
  2. The 1 Year plan is $39.95 yearly, which makes $3.33 per month. This rate is discounted; the original price is $143.40, billed annually.
  3. The 3 Years + 3 Months plan will cost only $2.03 monthly.  For 3 years, you are billed $79 upfront. Without discounts, this plan costs $466.05.

All the premium plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS apps. Payment options include Bitcoin, credit cards, gift cards and PayPal.

*All prices were checked in August 2023. Actual prices may differ.

Key Features

FEATURE AVAILABILITY
Does it have an ad blocker? Yes, PIA has an ad blocker
Is fast streaming available? The connection speed is moderate
VPN Protocols? OpenVPN and WireGuard®
Does Private Internet Acces UK offer a refund policy? Yes, the service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Does it have a Kill Switch? Yes
How many connections does the provider offer? Unlimited
How many serversdoes PIA have? More than 35,000
Which VPN encryption does Private Internet Access UK offer? 256-Bit AES
Supported platforms? Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, etc
Does it offer 24/7 customer support? Yes
Is it suitable for P2P? Yes, PIA supports torrenting
VPN server locations PIA? 84 countries

PIA for Torrenting

PIA is great for torrenting. All its servers are P2P friendly and integrate SOCKS5 for even more protection.

Private Internet Access also offers Shadowsocks to reroute traffic and protect your torrent client without compromising speed. However, as the service is based in the United States, the copyright violation laws are valid.

PIA for Streaming

Is PIA suitable for streaming Netflix and other sites? The answer is yes, but not a complete yes.

Users can utilise PIA for unblocking Netflix and Hulu UK and US libraries. It also unblocks YouTube but isn’t compatible with other platforms like HBO Max, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer.

In short, Private Internet Access can let you stream Netflix. But is it the best option? No.

Features of Private Internet Access UK

Port Forwarding

Port forwarding is an advanced feature to redirect incoming traffic. This feature allows incoming connections to bypass the NAT firewall to improve download speeds. Port forwarding also allows you to connect to more P2P peers.

Antivirus Software

You can add on Private Internet Access’ state-of-the-art antivirus software for an additional fee. This software is excellent at removing malware without tracking the users or logging their activities on Windows devices.

This software is regularly updated to protect your computer against new viruses and vulnerabilities. It also includes a prevention engine, virus alerts and malicious file neutralisation to reduce the effects of malware.

OpenVPN

PIA is an open-source Virtual Private Network. PIA VPN protocols and apps are entirely open - its source code is available for everyone to analyse.

This transparency decreases the risk of data exposure and other threats - if there were any concerns, PIA wouldn’t subject their source code to public inspection. 100% open source VPNs also bypass firewalls without affecting internet speed.

Ad Blocking

Private Internet Access’ ad blocker called ‘MACE,’ removes annoying, spammy ads. The DNS-based feature also blocks YouTube ads, pop-ups and trackers. This eliminates the risk of accidentally clicking on malicious websites and compromising online security.

Additional Security Features

PIA VPN has a built-in kill switch, tunnelling and proxies for anonymity. In addition to these basics, PIA VPN offers some additional features for free to go the extra mile in browsing freedom. These perks include:

  • Email Breach Scanner: If your email address is affected by a leak, PIA VPN will alert you instantly. You can check the status of your email anytime for digital privacy from cybercriminals and hackers.
  • Public Wi-Fi Protection: Although most websites and apps are encrypted, public Wi-Fi is not and can expose you to various risks. PIA VPN saves you from surveillance exposure and browsing logs.
  • Browser Extensions: PIA offers browser extensions to prevent third-party cookies, online tracking and data leaks. You can directly stream and share content from Opera, Firefox and Chrome browsers.

Chat Support

PIA offers a 24/7 live chat facility for round-the-clock support. Its website has a comprehensive ‘Support’ portal with Guides, News, Updates, and other information regarding PIA.

+ PROS

  • Torrenting optimised
  • Kill Switch is offered on all client apps
  • Independent auditing and anonymous payment
  • Linux app includes a graphic interface

- CONS

  • Average browsing speed
  • Not optimised for streaming
  • Based in a country that is not privacy-friendly

Private Internet Access UK (PIA) Rating

Features 9.5
Privacy & Security 9
Encryption Level 9
Media Streaming 8.5
Chat & Support 9
Torrenting 9
Average Rating 9

Private Internet Access UK Review: In A Nutshell

With over 10 years of experience in the VPN industry, PIA is undoubtedly an excellent service provider. It includes impressive security features like a kill switch, split tunnelling, ad blocker, port forwarding, and multi-protocol support.

Private Internet Access caters to businesses and individuals seeking advanced security and privacy. If your priority is customisation and adaptability, PIA is a great choice. But as with all VPNs, it has shortfalls, like no free version and lack of transparency.