In my Private Internet Access review, I found the service to be decent. With faster speeds and a better app than most VPN providers I’ve found, it’s gotten one of our highest ratings. It’s also super cheap. But does that mean it’s the best VPN to use still in 2017? Well, not necessarily. The thing about VPNs is that your mileage can vary. While my experience in my PIA was fairly positive in my first Private Internet Access review–that was some time ago.
The reason that I’m following this thought process is because I got an email from a Private Internet Access subscriber. Lets call him “John”. In his lengthy well written email, John describes to me numerous problems he has with PIA.
Johns Problems with PIA:
“I’m writing to you because you have covered or reviewed Private Internet Access previously and you recommended them. This is the fourth consecutive year as PIA’s customer and I use it extensively. I hope my experience and opinions count when you assess them next. (I don’t know how much the hiring of Mr Park by the owner Mr. Lee, the ‘revenue leak’ and the continuing lawsuit against Mr. Park is affecting its operations but must customers be paying for their shoddiness?)
The speeds have been going down terribly. There used to be support via phone calls and chat lines for those intractable problems. Both have been pulled. You can only email them and they NEVER respond. The unique questions you ask, they never get entered into the FAQs. I think this company is serious trouble. I hope you will assess it rigorously and objectively by various metrics in the next round. I’m only writing this as a customer and do not have any interest other than getting the the service I paid for.”
Some VPN providers, I can vouch for EVERY DAY, like TorGuard, since I use it myself on a daily basis due to their excellent customer service, high speeds with OpenConnect VPN, and their consistently updated apps. However, Private Internet Access didn’t really impress me more than TorGuard–so to be truthful, I haven’t kept up with it as much as I should have.
Other User Case Problems with PIA in 2017 (Within 30 days):
Re-Testing PIA in 2017
So once I got this email, I felt obligated to take a look at PIA and see “whats up”. The first thing I did was buy a 1 month sub and try out the setup process again. I paid with Bitcoin–which was nice, and I noticed you can even pay with Amazon which is convenient, as well as Zcash (for more anonymity). Here, I didn’t have any issues, although the setup email mentioned an installer link that didn’t work for me. Instead I found the correct link on this page.
After that, things went smoothly. I installed PIA, entered in my login information that was sent in an email right away, (different from my Overplay Experience). From here I started testing speeds, and things seemed pretty normal. Here are the speeds I got:
These speeds are quite good. So I tested torrenting just to make sure there wasn’t any data compression involved, and again my speeds seemed quite good. However, speeds can be a bit variable depending on location and server, so I’m inclined to trust “John” in his review. Additionally, I don’t think Private Internet Access has EVER been super helpful in chat lines or calls, so that complaint is also valid.
Private Internet Access’s sketchy history with its founders is also a valid complaint, but we’ve already covered that in this article. Overall, I think PIA is an “OK” VPN to use in 2017 but with all of these problems lately, it’s important to consider that if other people are having lots of problems, something is wrong. From an objective rating perspective, I’m hesitant to change too much since my own tests have been “decent”. However, there ARE things to watch out for–which is why we made this article. A lot of users are complaining about poor customer service and sometimes servers don’t seem to be located within the right location. That’s pretty bad…
You can still get good speeds with most servers, and the app as well as the website works fine. It should “do it’s job”, but if you are getting bad speeds, consider going for a refund. Just make sure you used something besides cryptocurrency, since it can be hard to get a refund like that, as I noted in my review.
However, if you want a better VPN with more reliable customer service, I’d recommend testing and trying out our #1 VPN, TorGuard. See our full TorGuard Review for more details. Or if you don’t like TorGuard for one reason or another, IPVanish is also a decent choice.