The VPN by Private Internet Access is an easy way to secure and keep your Internet traffic private. And Private Internet Access, or PIA, offers a useful collection of security settings to tune your speed.
One-month to two-year subscriptions: Sign up for a 30-day subscription for $6.95, a year for $39.95, and two years for $69.95. You can run the service on five devices simultaneously, and while the company does not have a free trial period to check out its VPN, the company does offer a seven-day refund policy. You can pay with credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash, or with a third-party gift card such as Starbucks.
Does not log or monitor user activity: "PIA absolutely does not keep any logs, of any kind, period," the company says, emphatically, and offers support for the claim with examples where governments and courts have requested information and PIA had nothing identifiable to turn over. The independent VPN testing site That One Privacy Site gives PIA solid scores for its logging policies and server security. (In general, note that using a VPN doesn't necessarily guarantee your Internet activities will be hidden. Shady VPN providers overpromise and underprotect. Pick a trustworthy VPN to secure your networking communications, bypass geoblocking, and dodge government filtering and censorship.)
Servers around the globe: Private Internet Access operates servers in 28 countries from the Americas and Europe to Asia, with several regions hosting servers in different geographic locations.
Tune your connection to suit your security and privacy needs: PIA lets you adjust your encryption settings to strike a balance between speed and security. By default, PIA uses the open-source OpenVPN and AES-128 for encryption. If you want to crank up the encryption, you can pick the 256-bit version of AES.
A cost of the stronger encryption, however, is networking speed. The company has a helpful page looking at the pros and cons of adjusting your encryption settings. For most, the default AES-128 should be fine, as many in the security field believe it will remain unbreakable in the foreseeable future. Note that PIA used to offer Blowfish for encryption but dropped supported in 2016.
No trial period: Private Internet Access doesn't offer a free trial version of its VPN. And while the shortest period you can sign up for a subscription is 30 days, you can request a refund within the first seven days of signing up.
Private Internet Access VPN has something for everyone: It's simple to set up and use and offers plenty of tweakable encryption settings to find a balance between speed and privacy. We'd like to see a free trial period, but a seven-day refund policy helps offset the lack thereof.