Private Internet Access Review 2022

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most popular and advanced VPN services ever, due to its biggest server network, a strong focus on user privacy, and its no-logs policy.

Wanna see

  • How quick PIA download and upload speed?
  • How well does it work on Netflix?
  • How good is it for torrenting?
  • Are there differences in these options for different regions?

All answers are here.

Our tests include connection test, download speed, upload speed test, torrenting, streaming. Finally, we contacted customer support for any issue that we encountered.

Our key finding about PIA

🌍Country of IncorporationUS (Five-Eyes Member)
🖥️Number of Countries78
🖥️Number of Server Location
🖥️Number of Servers29,643
💰Price$9.29 per month
⤵️Download Speedavg. 11.75 Mbps
⤴️Upload Speedavg. 27.95 Mbps
🔒Dedicated IPYes
📱 Multiple Devices10
📺NetflixNo
📥TorrentingYes
💻Operation SystemMac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and Routers
🌐Browser extensionChrome, Firefox, Opera
🇨🇳 Does it work in ChinaYes
🆓Free TrialYes, full refund within 30 days
👩‍💼Live Chat Support24/7 Live Chat Support

Servers and Locations

PIA has the biggest servers network – more than 29 thousand. PIA has servers in more than 78 countries. This is the bigger number of servers among all the VPN networks.

PIAIndustry average
Number of Countries7860
Number of Server Locationsno data (mainly the USA)120
Number of Servers29,6431000

The number of servers is the biggest among all the VPN networks. It is more than the industry average. This way, it is better because it makes download/upload speeds bigger in general, but these benefits are unique only to regions with many locations. In terms of the number of countries, of course, there is nothing special, but it’s still enough to gain access to blocked content.

Speed Test

The connection speed here is quite high, all speed fluctuations also fit within reasonable limits. PIA is certainly not the fastest VPN service, but when working with it, you will hardly encounter slow downloads or high ping.

Programs for connecting to VPN (Virtual Private Network – virtual private network) can significantly reduce the speed of Internet access. This is due to the nature of their work. These programs do not send a request directly to the requested website but act through a proxy server or multiple proxy servers.

Download speed

Here we provide data on 42 countries from 120. The test results of downloads are presented below.

Header LabelAmericasEuropeAsia Pacific
Number of tested countries114426
Number of countries without test data9426
Average Download speed5.72 Mbps9.155 Mbps23.44 Mbps
Min Download speed 0.61 Mbps (Mexico)0.56 Mbps
(Georgia)
0.56 Mbps
(Qatar)
Max Download speed52.46 Mbps
(Canada)
65.45 Mbps
(UK)
111.75 Mbps (Australia)
No VPN153.25 Mbps153.25 Mbps153.25 Mbps

There was essential variation in data across countries. For example, while some connections have low average speeds (such as 0.56 Mbps from Qatar), other regions are much faster, but Australia demonstrated 111.75 Mbps of uploads and downloads speed!

The average speed for the Americas was 5.72 Mbps, for Europe –9.155 Mbps, and for the Asia Pacific – 23.44 Mbps. In particular, the minimal download speed for the Americas was 0.61 (Mexico), for Europe –0.56 Mbps (Georgia), and for Asia Pacific – 0.56 Mbps (Qatar, Asia). The quickest connection in the world was 111.75 Mbps (Australia, Asia). The average download speed for all tested countries was 11.75 Mbps.

PIA Download speed compares to no VPN (for regions)*

Header LabelPIANo VPN avgDifference
Quickest111.75Mbps155.91 Mbps1.39 times less
Slowest0.56 Mbps155.91 Mbps276.7 times less
Average (all countries)11.75 Mbps155.91 Mbps89.1 times less

*Note: We’ve tested, reviewed, and ranked dozens of top VPNs and selected the top ten that are worth your money. To do this, we carefully studied their features, market reputation, and prices.

Upload Speed

Here we provide data on 91 uploads worldwide.

Header LabelAmericasEuropeAsia Pacific
Number of tested states114426
Number states without test data9426
Average Upload speed27.46 Mbps26.718 Mbps30.27 Mbps
Min Upload speed6.97 Mbps (Bahamas)0.76 Mbps (Georgia)6.01 Mbps (Kazakstan)
Max Upload speed39.45 Mbps (Canada)40.62 Mbps (Moldova)38.51 Mbps (Australia)
No VPN42.22 Mbps42.22 Mbps42.22 Mbps

The average upload speed for PIA was 27.95 Mbps, and it is 1.5 times lower than No VPN. There was essential variation in data referring to regions, but. in general, the average upload speed for regions was close.

The average upload speed for the Americas was 27.46 Mbps, for Europe – 26.718 Mbps, and for the Asia Pacific – 30.27 Mbps. The minimal upload speed for the Americas was 6.97 (Bahamas), for Europe – 0.76 Mbps (Georgia), and for the Asia Pacific – 6.01 Mbps (Kazakhstan). The quickest connection for all countries was 40.62 Mbps (Moldova, Europe)– and no VPN usage upload speed was 42.22 Mbps.

PIA Upload speed

Header LabelCountryDownload
QuickestMoldova, Europe40.62 Mbps
SlowestGeorgia, Europe0.76 Mbps
Average (all countries)27.95 Mbps
No VPN Connected42.22 Mbps

PIA Upload speed compares to average (for regions)*

Header LabelPIANo VPN avgDifference
Quickest40.62 Mbps42.42 Mbps1.04 times less
Slowest0.76 Mbps42.42 Mbps55.81 times less
Average (all countries)27.95 Mbps42.42 Mbps1.5 times less

*Note: We’ve tested, reviewed, and ranked many of the top VPNs and selected the top ten that are worth your money. To do this, we carefully studied their features, market reputation, and prices.

Ping time out

Every user who loves online games has come across the concept of ping. The concept itself has several interpretations, but regardless of this, high ping always means problems with Internet speed.

PIA ping speed, ms

Header LabelAmericasEuropeAsia Pacific
Quickest6.97 (Bahamas)186 (Monaco)2.36 (Indonesia)
Slowest370 (Argentina)358 (Ukraine)493 (Iran)
Average257.9228.27176.7
No VPN connection181818

PIA ping speed compared to other VPNs

Header labelCountryPing
QuickestIndonesia2.36 ms
SlowestArgentina370 ms
OverallAll countries215.9 ms
No VPN connectionAll countries18

PIA ping speed compared to the industry average

Header LabelPIAOther VPN avgDifference
Quickest2.36 ms
(Indonesia)
65.83 ms27.9 times less
Slowest370 ms
(Argentina)
65.83 ms5.62 times more
Overall215.965.83 ms3.28 times more

PIA is an outsider because it outperforms the other VPNs in ping speed 3.28 times.

DNS Leak Test

Many VPN providers promise privacy and security, but the reality is that user data on these services is far from safe. Information about this appears on the Internet regularly.

A side effect of the “DNS leak” is a blow to anonymity.

No VPN connectedVPN connected (PIA)DNS leak test
172.253.237.2
(Central, Hong Kong)
191.96.106.4
(Digital Energy Technologies, USA)
Good
172.253.237.4
(Central, Hong Kong)
172.253.5.3
(Hong Kong)
172.253.6.1
(Hong Kong)
172.253.6.3
(Hong Kong)
173.194.171.3
(Taipei, Taiwan)

Our DNS leak test was successful with PIA. NO DNS leaks were detected.

Streaming

We tested PIA for work in different regions. They are – the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. We selected 1-2 countries from each region (the USA, UK, Japan, and South Korea). We were really disappointed that PIA does not work anywhere.

Netflix

Header labelPIA – LibraryPIA – Streaming bufferPIA – Streaming quality
Americas
United StatesNO
Europe
United KingdomNO
Asia Pacific
JapanNO
South KoreaNO South Korea IP

Torrenting

Obviously, using a VPN is critical if you want to torrent safely and anonymously. The problem is that many VPNs simply don’t cut this:

  • Many VPNs are not fast enough;
  • Some don’t allow torrent;
  • Not all VPNs hide your IP address;
  • Some VPN services keep user logs.

BitTorrent with PIA

We have tested PIA for work with BitTorrent. The tested performance options are file size, number of seeders, download speed, complete time. The file size was 3.5 GB. We managed to download it for 1 h 40 min, so the download speed was 662.2 kB/s with only 0.59 seeders. It’s not a great result.

BitTorrent with PIA

Header LabelFile sizeSeedersDownload SpeedTime
PIA3.5 GB0.59666.2 kB/s1h 40 min
Other VPNs1.85 GB0.8782.1 Mbps11 min

uTorrent with PIA

We have tested PIA for work with uTorrent. The tested performance options are file size, number of seeders, download speed, complete time. The file size was 3.5 GB. We managed to download it for 2 h 17 min, so the download speed was 602.8 kB/s with only 0.524 seeders. It’s not a great result.

uTorrent with PIA

Header LabelFile sizeSeedersDownload SpeedTime
PIA3.5 GB0.524602.8 kb/s2h 17 min
Other VPNs1.85 GB0.2192.1 Mbps22 min

Router

Best Routers for PIA

According to the official site, the following routers are the best for PIA:

  • Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT FlashRouter – Best Router with PIA for apartment/ 1-4 Devices.
  • Asus AC5300 DD-WRT FlashRouter – Best Router with PIA for small home/ 9 Devices.
  • Netgear R6700 DD-WRT FlashRouter – Best Router with PIA for large home/ 10+ Devices.

PIA Router App

The official site recommends using the flash routers for PIA.

Best Routers for PIA

Linksys RoutersAsus RoutersAsus Routers
Linksys WRT3200ACM AC3200 DD-WRT FlashRouterAsus AC5300 DD-WRT FlashRouterNetgear R6700 DD-WRT FlashRouter
Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT FlashRouterAsus AC68U FlashRouterNetgear R6400 FlashRouter
Netgear R7000 DD-WRT FlashRouter

Router Manually setup

Besides, the list of configured routers for use with PIA:

  • DD-WRT v40559 OpenVPN Setup;
  • LEDE 19.07.2 (OpenVPN Setup from Config File);
  • ASUS-WRT (OpenVPN Setup from Config File);
  • ASUS-WRT-Merlin 384.16 (OpenVPN Setup from Config File);
  • pfSense 2.4.5 OpenVPN Setup.

Browser extension

PIA VPN has a browser extension for:

  • Chrome;
  • Opera;
  • FireFox.

TV

PIA is one of the VPNs for Smart TV, it is compatible with the following smart TVs:

  • Amazon FireStick TV
  • Apple TV & 3,4K
  • Smart TV
  • Fire TV
  • Samsung TV
  • Roku TV
  • Other Android TVs
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • Google ChromecastApple TV
  • LG


Devices and Operating Systems

The following OS can be used with CyberGhost VPN

  • PC & Windows;
  • MacBook;
  • Android;
  • Mac.

Price

PIA offers 3 different subscription plans.

  • Subscription for 1 month –  $9.29;
  • Subscription for 12 months – $37.19, which is $3.10 per month;
  • Subscription for 36+3 months – $70, which is $1.79 per month .
PlanPIAIndustry AvgDifference
1 monthUS$9.29US$9.00+3%
12 monthsUS$3.10US$8.00-258%
39 monthsUS$1.79

PIA price is higher than the industry avg. But this difference is not essential for 1 month. However, it makes sense to buy a subscription for 12+ months.

Discount

No discount is offered.

Free Trial

There is no free trial at this time. But it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee instead of 1 month.

Customer support

PIA provides great 7/24/365 customer support. We waited only 5 seconds and the reply speed was 15 seconds. The answer was great. But we were disappointed that the time to connect the agency was 40 seconds – 4 times more than the industry avg.

Header labelPIAIndustry AVGDifference
Connect to an agency40 second10 second4 times more
Reply speed15 second15 second
Quality of the answerGreat

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